Both sides are not equally to blame. When was the last time that a left winger went out and killed someone?

The mass shooting in Tucson, Arizona has fortunately sparked a dialogue about political discourse. But the narrative that both sides are to blame is simply ridiculous. I will definitely admit the left can be sanctimonious at times and hurl their fair share of insults. i.e. Alan Grayson, Keith Olbermann. But the facts are the facts. And the fact is, lefties aren't running around shooting people. When was the last time a bleeding-heart liberal went out and killed someone? When is the last time someone on the right was targeted? In the words of the Washington Post’s Eugene Robinson: “It is dishonest for right-wing commentators to insist on an equivalence that does not exist. The danger of political violence in this country comes overwhelmingly from one direction -- the right, not the left. The vitriolic, anti-government hate speech that is spewed on talk radio every day -- and, quite regularly, at Tea Party rallies -- is calibrated not to inform but to incite. “Demagogues scream at people that their government is illegitimate, that their country has been "taken away," that their elected officials are "traitors" and that their freedom is at risk. They have a right to free speech, which I will always defend. But they shouldn't be surprised if some listeners take them literally.” This is one of the most annoying things about the supposed “objectivity” of the media, this tendency to create these false equivalencies. In an attempt to be fair to both sides, they end up painting this image that one side is no better or worse than the other. We saw it frequently in the climate change debate. Despite overwhelming scientific evidence, the media would prop up some petroleum-industry-backed talking head as if his lone opinion was just as important as science.This is a disservice to their readers and viewers. The truth is, one side is worse, much worse and much more dangerous in the current political climate. Right-wing extremists in this country are teetering on the edge of being full-blown domestic terrorists in their rhetoric, in their vitriol and in their actions. The Republican party, trying to take advantage of the tea party momentum, has not only embraced the fringe elements of the party, but it appears to be taking its marching orders from that element of the base. In this climate, Saturday’s shooting was no surprise. It was just the most tragic of a trend of politically-motivated violence that has been plaguing this country for the last two years. Is it entirely coincidental that we have our first black president? Is it entirely coincidental that Rep. Gabrielle Giffords’, the target of the Tucson shooting, office was also vandalized back during the passage of health care? Are we suppose to entirely ignore that she was a Democrat? What about the apparent ties between Jared Lee Loughner an American Renaissance? And, here's a really interesting point, the media continues to call amren, an anti-immigration and perhaps antisemitic group. Amren.com is a white supremacy website. Back during the health care debate, it featured a list of tea party rallies for its membership to attend. It's leader Jared Taylor is an "expert" on Eugenics. In my opinion, Amren is a terrorist organization.
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To find evidence of left wing violence, the far right must reach back 40 years to the Weather Underground Organization. The only recent examples of left-wing violence the far right can muster is the Ft. Hood shooting. The only problem is the shooter in that case was not a lefty. He was a Muslim angry, imbalanced and waging his own persona jihad. It had nothing to do with folks on the left or the right. The other example, of course, is the alleged heckling from members of the New Black Panther party in the 2008 election. For that incident, the right wants to investigate Eric Holder. Then, they bring up the Rev. Jeremiah Wright. Each one of these examples are so far stretched, they are absurd. How can you begin to equate the dozens of deaths we've seen in the last few years with the words of a few loud mouths? How can you compare the influence of someone like Rev. Wright with the most watched cable outlet in the U.S., Fox News? Here are just some of the incidents of violence the far right is responsible for -- within the last two years, not the last four decades. The far right continues to ignore the obvious: Hate-filled speeches and rhetoric has consequences. It leads the irrational, the illogical, the imbalanced to act out. It justifies that violence. I do not think that Sarah Palin is directly responsible for the mass shooting in Tucson that has killed six including a nine-year-old girl and a federal judge and has left Rep. Gabrielle Giffords in critical condition. But she, along with Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh, have intentionally created this political atmosphere where things are like this are more likely to occur. It seems absurd not to make the obvious comparison between the political climate, the Republican party’s embracing of fringe element into their tent and this weekend’s shooting. Loughner was no Palinite, but he was anti-government crazy looking for an excuse, looking for someone to blame for his own miserable life. Those are the exact kind of folks that extremist look to recruit. It’s a the M.O. of terrorists organizations whether we’re talking about the homegrown racist fringe here or al Qaeda abroad. Back in April 2009, the Department of Homeland Security published a report warning about the rise of extremist group and the threat of violence that might present. "Let me be very clear: We monitor the risks of violent extremism taking root here in the United States," Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said in a written statement. "We don't have the luxury of focusing our efforts on one group; we must protect the country from terrorism whether foreign or homegrown and regardless of the ideology that motivates its violence." The report indicated that right-wing extremist groups might be using the recession, the election of the first black president, immigration, etc to recruit new members. Back then the right-wing was livid about this report, absolutely livid. Even now, the right-wing is trying to paint Loughner as apolitical despite the fact that his anti-government ranting comes directly from the Glenn Beck playbook. They insist on bringing up Olbermann when referencing folks like Beck. They bring up Rachel Maddow when they bring up Ann Coulter. But the reality is, nothing on the left even remotely compare to what the right has been getting away with in this country for the last two years. There is no network of left-wing talk radio as influential, as nasty or as unhinged. And there is nothing no the left in terms of actual repercussions that compare with what is going on on the right... Period! read the story...

Connecting the dots between extreme rhetoric and real-life violence isn't that hard

A sidewalk altar at the Safeway where Giffords and others were shot (Credit: Getty Images)
Saturday morning we saw one of the most tragic mass shootings in U.S. history. It was the first in U.S. history that was so obviously politically motivated. But the folks fueling this rage with rhetoric are still free, still infecting us with their vitriol and mainstream media is not asking Fox News, Sarah Palin, Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck or any of the anti-immigrant right-wing to explain themselves. Though the mainstream media continues to tip-toe around it, the fact is Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, the 40-year-old Arizona Democrat, was targeted for political reasons by a troubled and imbalanced young man with illogical anti-government feelings. Now, six people are dead, including a judge and a nine-year-old girl and Giffords is in critical condition. In all, 18 were shot. The gunman, 22-year-old Jared Lee Loughner is in custody. On Saturday afternoon Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik called Arizona "the Mecca for prejudice and bigotry." On Sunday, he elaborated upon that original statement, decrying increasingly divisive, discriminatory and anti-government political rhetoric for the violence. "I think that when the rhetoric about hatred, about mistrust of government, about paranoia of how government operates and to try to inflame the public on a daily basis, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, has impact on people especially who are unbalanced personalities to begin with." In his words, Arizona, has become the "the tombstone of the United States of America." Loughner, the alleged shooter, may have ties to American Renaissance -- a white supremacist, anti-immigrant hate group, according to a memo leaked by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Check out Amren.com for yourself. I have personally been targeted by the site, receiving dozens of threatening emails when I have criticized Glenn Beck, etc. Those folks are unhinged to say the least.

Direct ties to political rhetoric

Back in May, Sarah Palin targeted, using gun sights, 10 Democrats she wanted to see lose reelection on her facebook page. Giffords was one of those Democrats. Giffords and the Judge who was killed were both vocal opponents of Arizona’s anti-immigration law. Back during the health reform debate hers was one of the offices vandalized. The judge, John Roll, had been receiving police protection due to ongoing death threats due to the fact that he recently presided over a controversial immigration case. Giffords herself had previously expressed concern about swastikas appearing in rallies. Click here for a tragic and sadly ironic video where the tea partyers mock Giffords for being concerned about the appearance of swastikas at a recent rally. In a very strange YouTube video, Loughner wrote: “We need a drum roll for those front runners in the election; those illegal teachers, pigs, and politicians of yours are under illegal authority of their constitution. Those dirty pigs think they know the damn year. Thirdly, tell them mother@#^%$#@ to count from 0 to whenever they feel a threat to stop their count…” “Those illegal military personal are able to sign into a country that they can't find with an impossible date! How did you trust your child with them fraud teachers and front runners, listener? Did you now know that the teachers, pigs, and front runners are treasonous!” Then, in another video, he accused the government of imposing "mind control and brainwash on the people by controlling grammar." "You don't have to accept the [SIC] federalist laws…A terrorist is a person who employs terror or terrorism, especially as a political weapon. If you call me a terrorist then the argument to call me a terrorist is Ad hominem." Palin, Speaker of the House John Boehner and Sen. John Mccain have all expressed their condolences. But it was just last week that Boehner dismissed the birther heckling with in his own Republican caucus about the President’s citizenship. It was just earlier this week thatMccain, the new anti-immigrant tea-party-light Mccain, said immigrants need to be dealt with before the country addresses reforms. “Close the borders” before considering immigration reform policies, he said. Glenn Beck, of course, has built a media empire off this anti-government, nihilistic rhetoric. He and Palin are literally encouraging these imbalanced and violent people to take action. In her own words, I present you with Sarah Palin. “Is this what their ‘change’ is all about? I want to tell ‘em, nah, we’ll keep clinging to our Constitution and our guns and religion — and you can keep the change,” Palin said. “It’s not time to retreat, it’s time to reload.”

Lone gunman + vitriolic rhetoric = human tragedy

This is not the first time that a target of the right has been assaulted. It’s not the first example of how this “lock-and-load” political environment has resulted in human tragedy. But it’s definitely the worse case we have seen so far. Will Fox News finally get a clue and dial down their rhetoric? I doubt it. In fact, after Dr. George Tiller was assassinated in his place of worship after months of being targeted on national television by Bill O’Reilly as "Tiller, Tiller, the baby killer," Fox News lashed out at anyone who tried to make a connection between their words and other people’s actions. Will our elected representatives be shamed into dialing it down themselves? I should hope so. Or at least I would hope that America wises up and vote them out next time around. 18 shot. At least 6 dead, including a judge and a nine-year-old girl. 10 others wounded. Five critically wounded. Below are some other cases to consider: Click here for this commentary and additional videos illustrating how the right wing expertly escapes responsibility for the violent actions taken in response to their rhetoric:

The criticism Obama faces is unforgiving. But he made some serious mistakes too.

President Obama has been attacked, but he's also made mistakes
Let’s just start off by saying expectations for the President were too high to begin with. The problems facing this country were much worse than any of us realized. Some of the criticism -- being thrown his way by all sides -- has been unfair. Yet, there have been some serious missteps that have helped propel the narrative that even though this President is obviously brilliant in many ways, he’s not that skilled politically, that his leadership has been at times misguided or lacking and that some of his policy proposals have drastically underestimated American individualism. Here's a list of 10 big mistakes President Obama made during the first two years of his first (and only?) term: 1.) Underestimating the jobs crisis It was Dec, 2009 that Obama announced the big “jobs bill,” that’s nearly a year after he was in office. It should have been priority No.1 -- as he must have known how a deep recession worsened by a financial collapse, credit crunch and global recession -- would ultimately affect jobs. There is nothing more important to people than their ability to work, support their families, pay their bills and even their mortgage -- regardless if they are upside down in that mortgage. But the jobs bill took a back seat to home loan remodification plan -- which was ultimately not successful -- health care reform, a surge in Afghanistan, the beer summit and a failed plea to host the 2012 Olympics. Then when he did so, he seemingly failed to understand that private industry is largely responsible for creating jobs in this country and that above and beyond the recession, outsourcing is primarily to blame for jobs hemorrhage. 2.) Messaging Problem "The danger here is an incoherent presidency," said David Morey, vice chairman of the Core Strategy Group, who provided communications advice to Obama's 2008 campaign. "Simpler is better, and rising above these issues and leading by controlling the dialogue is what the presidency is all about. So I think that's the job they have to do more effectively.” This is definitely the prevailing wisdom and I agree. Obama has won very few messaging wars since the first few months of his presidency. It’s difficult to win in this climate where the most popular news outlet is Fox News -- whose current mission/business model is to destroy his presidency and prop up Republicans. But Morey brings up a good point. Obama has a problem delivering a simple message. He has a tendency to give nuanced statements that can, and frequently are, picked apart. He has also made some bad decisions, not responding to death panels in a timely manner, likely assuming American people are smart enough to figure it out, then taking the Fox News bait, when he probably should have let it go. Hindsight, I know, is 20-20. But here’s a little advice: Keep it simple. 3.) Skip Gates President Obama is friends with Skip Gates. Gates, of course, was arrested early on in Obama’s first year inside of his own house by the Cambridge Police Department. Personally, I think it was a little suspect that a man should be arrested in his own home. But Obama came out quickly and stated that police acted stupidly, then he confessed to not having all the facts. This entire little scuffle was entirely beneath his office. It gave the far right an opportunity to paint him as some anti-police radical who was simply looking out for his friends. And honestly, he had more important things to do. Gates is a grown man -- a rich and extremely powerful grown man I might add -- he can take care of himself. And the beer summit afterwards was just silly. And Rule No.1 of the Presidency: Never tell America you don’t have all the facts -- especially while you are in the middle of a press conference casting blame. 4.) Health care reform Health care reform -- despite the fact that it does contain some nice things -- was a complete disaster. It was badly sold. It was unnecessarily complicated. It included some -- perhaps necessary -- but seemingly ominous back-door deals with big pharmaceutical companies as well as individual legislators. But most importantly, it didn’t focus on reducing cost. This country has health insurance for the most severely marginalized, it’s called Medicare and most folks living below the poverty level are eligible for it. The stranglehold the health insurance has over this country most immediately affects the working poor and middle class, and by extension businesses who provide health insurance to their employees. Health care insurance has gone up 60 percent in less than 10 years. Premiums soar while the services they provide are drastically reduced. Employers are increasingly abdicating all responsibility of providing health care insurance largely due to cost. So at the end of the day, if you can’t win the single-payer debate, if you can’t pass universal health care, the negotiation point should be to focus on drastically reducing cost. If the administration would have focused on that, it would have been largely more palatable, and it would not have been able to be spun into being yet another entitlement program. 5.) Alienating the base You can blame former Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, you could even point to some ill-advised words of frustration from the usually affable Press Secretary Robert Gibbs. But Obama, through neglect, alienated and created enemies out of a likely small but very loud element of his base -- yes, the professional left. The problem with that is they actually do influence the opinions of many people. He should have reined in his staff earlier. He should have outreached to these folks sooner. It was a huge tactical mistake, and he’s still paying for it. 6.) Getting enamored by his own mystique This may be a bit subjective. But I think this was a serious problem for Obama -- especially among his many melanin-deficient voters -- he kind of allowed his own hype to personify him. In a way, he fell into that black athlete trap. Everybody loves you one day, then the next day you’re Kobe Bryant and giving tearful interviews on ESPN trying to convince folks you can be humble. It’s a very delicate balance for us black folks to be confident without coming off as being “cocky,” “full of ourselves,” or God forbid “uppity.” And somewhere along the line, a significant percentage of white folks in America have likely said all of the above about Obama. I don’t really know what he can do to solve this problem. After all, they are already waiting in the wings to call him weak as well. All I can say is my heart goes out to you brother! 7.) Not speaking to the people President Obama is a great speaker. But he doesn’t do it nearly enough, not in settings or formats where it actually appears as if he is speaking to us. Sometimes, it seems as if he is lecturing us, or preaching to us, but he has a problem connecting with ordinary folks and speaking about policy issues in a manner that most folks can hear and digest. 8.) Failure to close Guantanamo You do what you say. It’s pretty simple. You don’t let a few bumps in the road force you to detour or backtrack. Even Obama laments his inability to fulfill this campaign pledge: “I wanted to close it sooner,” Obama said. “We missed that deadline.” The president, taking reporters questions in the White House East Room, said his inability to close the facility is “not for lack of trying.” “It's because the politics of it are difficult,” Obama said. The president said al Qaeda operatives still use the facility as a recruiting tool and “as a justification for attacks against the United States.” “There's no reason for us to give them that kind of talking point when, in fact, we can use the various mechanisms of our justice system to prosecute these folks and to make sure that they never attack us again,” Obama said. Obama has confessed the obstacles to closing Obama are entirely political. An honest answer. But in saying that, he invites the criticism that his inaction, his inability to do politically difficult things simply makes him another politician and not the advocate of change he campaigned as. 9.) Lack of leadership on DADT Leadership requires many traits, including the courage to take a position that is morally correct, even if it isn't politically expedient. Leaders defend their beliefs. Leaders don't pretend to lack authority when they know they are the decision-maker -- wrote Howard Steven Friedman. And it really does capture Obama’s issue with many of his Democratic constituencies in regards to DADT, closing Guantanamo Bay, fighting for the public option, capitulating to Republicans, etc. In the game of baseball, the sluggers -- with the help of steroids of course -- are fairly new phenom. It use to be in most sports that folks would say it doesn’t always matter that you win or lose but how you play the game. And in this case, your supporters wouldn’t necessary mind if at the end of the day you lose the debate on any of the above as long as you went down swinging. At the end of the day, no one should ever doubt where a true leader stands on an issue. 10.) Demanding a more civil tone -- on all sides of the aisles This is a difficult one to write because the guy has been demonized, vilified and mocked from Day One by the conservative media, talk radio and self-appointed tea party leaders. He’s been disrespected by legislators and at least one Supreme Court Judge. They have not played fairly. But the truth is President George W. Bush was also crucified by the left -- not nearly to the same extent. But the real difference is Bush really didn’t seem to give a crap. Obama is a little thin skinned. I am too. But I am not the most powerful person in the world. And to be honest, he and the Democrats have more to lose when the rhetoric turns ugly. Conservatives vote when they are pissed. Democrats sulk and fight with each other. In fact, the nasty political tone, according to a Center for Political Participation poll actually kept many Democrats and Democratic-leaning Independents at home in the mid-terms.
  • 63 percent of those polled during the final four days leading up to midterm elections said politics has become less cvil since Obama took office.
  • 46 percent of registered voters said in the November poll this year's election was the "most negative they had ever seen."
  • Another 26 percent said it was "more negative than in the past."
  • Only 4 percent said it was more positive.
  • 30 percent of registered voters polled said the the tone of the midterm elections made them less interested in becoming engaged.
Here’s the rub -- Independents and Democrats were way less likely to become engaged due to tone while a majority of Republicans were motivated to participate due to the negative tone. Read the story.

This is a classic Depression for Black America, and few appear to be paying attention. Just look at the numbers.

This economic situation qualifies as a Depression for Black America
The definition of an economic depression is a severe economic downturn, one that typically last several years. The last depression the country as a whole experienced was in 1929. It lasted 10 years. It was marked by 25 percent unemployment, wages that declined 42 percent. And a total economic output that fell from $103 to $55 billion. The current recession the nation is much worse for Black America. Of black men between the ages of 20 and 34, only 60 percent are currently employed. That’s down 10 points from 2001. Unemployment for African Americans is estimated to reach a 25-year high this year -- nationally black unemployment is expected to reach 17.2 percent (compared to about 9 percent for the nation overall) with five states exceeding 20 percent. The real estate crisis that precipitated that recession has stripped black families of more wealth than any other single even in U.S. history. This may have been a recession for the nation as a whole. But this is a classic depression for Black America, and few appear to be paying attention. Key facts to consider:
  • As of December 2009, 16.2% of African Americans and 12.9% of Latinos were unemployed, compared to 9% of whites
  • From December 2008 to December 2009, the unemployment rate among Blacks grew by 4.3% and among Latinos by 3.7%, as compared to 2.4% for whites
  • In several states, Michigan and Ohio for example, African-American unemployment is expected to exceed 20% in 2010
  • Blacks earn 62 cents for every dollar of white income, and Latinos earn 68 cents for every dollar of white income
  • Wages and salaries lost from 2008 to 2012 will total $142 billion for African-Americans and $138 billion for Latinos, out of a total $1 trillion loss for the entire nation
  • Blacks and Latinos are 2.9 and 2.7 times as likely, respectively, to live in poverty as whites
  • Black and Latino children are 3.3 and 2.9 times as likely, respectively, to live in poverty than white children
  • In five Midwestern and Plains states — Nebraska, Minnesota, Iowa, Wisconsin, and Oklahoma — the unemployment for Blacks was at least 3 times that of whites
  • In another eight a — Indiana, Louisiana, Ohio, Kentucky, Kansas, Colorado, Mississippi, and New Jersey — the unemployment rate for Blacks was at least 2.5 times higher than that of whites
  • Among Latinos, the widest disparities were in Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Dakota
  • Workers laid off in an economic downturn can take up to 20 years to replace their lost earnings
Yet, the loss of black wealth, black unemployment, suffering black families remain unseen and unheard during the recession. CNN had done a few reports on the State of Black America. But they have been broad strokes at a very complicated and historically layered problem. The only real job creation efforts so far has been the stimulus, which did not direct hardly any money to the sectors that most immediately impact high unemployment numbers among blacks, such as manufacturing. The unemployment extension proposals now stalled in Congress has been used as political fodder. The vast majority of reforms passed with the Health Care Act, which could be useful for displaced workers, will not go into effect for several years. Black America has literally been stranded in this depression as policy makers pander to the far right, the tea party, and the banks. Is it the illusion of post-racial America that prevents political leaders from addressing the unemployment and poverty gripping Black America? Is it simply another example of the most marginalized populations being the easiest to ignore? What I do know is that it will take generations for the black community to fully recover from this economic depression. Just think about the historical obstacles black family face in terms of accessing the economic engines of this country, accessing education, health care, etc. All these issues have been drastically exasperated by the current economic depression. Policy Initiatives that could provide better outcomes for Black America
  • Target job creation to high unemployment areas. It doesn’t have to be called a Black Agenda. But unemployment should be treated in the same way that a doctor approaches a triage. The victim’s suffering the most should receive attention first.
  • Let the Bush tax cuts expire. Use those funds for increased job training for dislocated workers.
  • Provide incentives for creating jobs domestically and provide immediate penalties for outsourcing.
  • Expand the mortgage modification program and make it more accessible to working-class families.
  • Strengthen financial reform to provide protection against predatory practices. Provide increased oversight into the payday loan, check-cashing and rent-to-own industries as well as other companies that exploit poorer families.
Read the story.

The absence of black faces in the Senate is not even half the story when it comes to black political fallout from the midterms.

James Clyburn will lose his position as Majority Whip in the House of Representatives
With Roland Burris retiring in Illinois and the failure of the Kendrick Meek campaign, there are now no blacks in the U.S. Senate. What did the midterms signal for the future of black political leadership? The 2010 midterm elections were apparently a repudiation of President Barack Obama’s policies, according to the pundits. But it was also a white-washing of the Senate. Ironically, however, the House of Representatives got a little more black. Three black Congressional hopefuls sailed into office. However, two of those were staunch Republicans. Tea party-backed Tim Scott and Allen West were elected to office. This marks the first time African Americans will represent the GOP in Congress in about seven years -- when J.C. Watts retired.
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Watts -- much like West and Scott -- came into office during a Republican congressional sweep. But J.C. Watts was a fiscal conservative. He did turn his back on the Congressional Black Caucus and coined the term “poverty pimps.” However, these new guys are much more suspect. Scott, newly elected from South Carolina, will be the first black Republican in Congress from the Deep South since Reconstruction. His campaign was greatly aided by the endorsement of tea party groups as well as Sarah Palin. When it comes to cultural issues such as stem cell research, immigration and national security, this guy is carrying water for the far right, not black people. West, however, is altogether another situation. This guy takes extreme right principles to a point of near insanity. This Army colonel’s claim to fame is that while in Iraq he fired a gun near an Iraqi prisoner’s head to scare him into giving up information. He was infamously quoted saying that he couldn’t stand President Obama.  West would like to abolish the Department of Education and the IRS. This guy is so extreme the Congressional Black Caucus actually campaigned for the white guy he was running against, trying to keep him out of office. West has accused liberals of racism and called the NAACP "a liberal racist enabler" that has demonstrated a double standard in portraying the tea party as discriminatory while excusing Democratic lawmakers who use insensitive language in describing black candidates. So though these candidates may have pigmentation right, they are absolutely wrong on the issues affecting African Americans. Scott will be a run-of-the-mill Clarence Thomas kind of Republican while West likely be much worse. Equally important are the massive leadership losses in Congress. Fors like Majority Whip James Clyburn will be replaced Republicans. He has since told Politico that he plans on remaining in the Democratic leadership. But as Majority Whip he was essential when it came to moving the President’s agenda forward. “I’m convinced that if we do not have a turnout in minority communities at least equal to our percentage of the voting population,” Clyburn said on the eve of the elections. “We could very well see ourselves turning the clock back on so many issues that were very important to those communities.” According to the Labor Department’s recent jobs report, black unemployment for September was 16.1 percent compared to the 9.6 percent national rate. With Republicans in charge, many black leaders speculate these numbers could get worse. Republicans voted 11 times against legislation that would close loopholes that allow American companies to outsource jobs overseas and eight times to create loopholes that would enable them do so. Other powerful Congressional Black Caucus Committee Chairmen will also be losing their gavels including Rep. Bennie G. Thompson who chairs the Homeland Security, Rep. John Conyers who chairs the Judiciary Committee, Rep. Edolphous Downs who chairs the hugely important Oversight Committee and Rep. Charles Rangel who chairs the Ways and Means Committee. If you looks at subcommittee chairmanships, the CBC will lose another 18 leadership positions to Republicans. This will not only change the dynamics of this Congress, but it puts the White House in an increasingly vulnerable situation. Darrell Issa, who will soon head the Oversight Committee has already signaled he plans to spend a significant amount of time investigating the Obama administration. Issa is likely to investigate the Department of Justice over the New Black Panther Party voter intimidation case, according to Fox News. He will personally target the administration over the alleged Joe Sestak job offer,  over funding for ACORN, and the BP oil spill. Issa has repeatedly questioned the effectiveness of Obama’s disaster response plan. When the White House sent political aides to Florida to deal with the fallout and handle the aftermath, Issa accused Obama of being too concerned with his image. "Rather than streamline the process and focus on ensuring that local officials have access to the resources they are literally begging for, the Obama administration has responded by dispatching campaign aides. It's concerning that the West Wing appears more pre-occupied with the politics and public relations of this crisis, than actually managing it," he said in a statement at the time. But Obama aside, political personalities in general aside, there are more direct ramifications for African Americans. Republicans will attempt to cut back on things vitally important to Blacks such as the unemployment structure (particularly in urban areas), educational subsidies, welfare, criminal justice, and catastrophic health programs. When they talk about cutting spending, slashing back entitlement programs, this is what they mean. And the people who will be directly affected are black. Read the story.

The Democrats' last-ditch effort to inspire black voters couldn't overcome the demoralizing economy

This photo was taken after Obama's historic victory in 2008. What happened to us?
According to exit polling, black voters who came out in unprecedented numbers in 2008 to help put President Barack Obama in the White House, decided to stay home this time around. An estimated five percent of blacks voted in the 2010 midterm elections, compared to 13 percent in 2008. Just looking at eligible voters, and impressive 60 percent of black eligible voters came to the polls during the 2008 presidential election, making that electorate the most diverse in U.S. history. In fact, black women had the highest voter turnout rate among all the demographics. Period. This time is different. But despite the dismal turnout, black, young and Latino voters have not turned their back on the President or even the Democrats necessarily. We will likely continue to have your back in 2012. But as evidenced in the 2010 midterms, Obama and the Democrats will have to deliver if they want us to do it with any enthusiasm. If he continues to be as engaged with these communities as he has been in the last month, he can depend upon good solid turnout in 2012.

READ MORE ELECTION ANALYSIS


The caveat is that Obama, until very recently, has been too overly concerned with appearing to “pander” to these constituencies. Just think about George W. Bush and the religious right, if you want to know what pandering is really about. The reality is the Democratic constituencies are an even more fragile alliance than Republican constituencies. Keeping this nearly ungovernable bunch on the same page ain’t pandering, it’s just good leadership. The 11th-hour appeal to black voters It started back October 11th with a commercial airing on national radio shows with a largely black audience. It was part of a $3 million outreach effort by the Democratic National Committee to urge African-Americans to show up and vote. "On November Second, I need you to stand with ME…and VOTE," Obama said in the 60 second ad titled "Vote" that began running on Tuesday. The emphasis on "ME" and "VOTE" was added by the DNC in a copy of the script provided to CNN. The ad ran on the Tom Joyner, Steve Harvey, Michael Baisden, Yolanda Adams, Russ Parr, Bev Smith, Doug Banks, Coco Brother, Al Sharpton and Warren Ballentine radio shows. Then, he did several interviews on black radio shows. He followed up with inviting members of the ethnic media to the White House for a policy discussion -- we, TheLoop21.com, got invited. Just last week, there was a push by black celebrities like Russell Simmons to get out the vote. Are blacks turning their back on Obama? Despite these efforts many pundits will be pontificating why blacks did not turn out in high numbers at the polls. I imagine the right will call the 2008 presidential election an aberration. They will say blacks simply are not reliable as a voting bloc. The truth, I think is, many voters -- not just black folks -- are demoralized. I know I am. Demoralized by the constant beating he takes from the right. Demoralized by expecting to see some significant improvements in the foreclosure and joblessness rates, having spent so much money to battle both. And frankly a bit demoralized by a president who ran such a personal and engaging campaign, but who once in office forgot how to keep us engaged or even bother engaging with us, until the 11th hour leading into the midterm elections. A lot of the shortcomings of President Obama, I think are less about bad intentions than just political experience. He is clearly a brilliant guy but he also seems to lack the street smarts of a Bill Clinton. He has been a day late and a dollar short on messaging ever since Fox News turned the “end of life counseling” measure in health care reform into “death panels” -- a total and complete fabrication by the way -- but Obama was unable to regain leverage in the messaging wars. But this demoralization really goes deeper. Unemployment in the black community is close to 20 percent, twice that of the overall population. The foreclosure rate among black families is 2.9 times the national average. The amount of wealth that has been lost in the black community due to the foreclosure crisis has ripped more wealth from the black community than any event in U.S. history. These are stark facts. Facts the Obama has not tried seriously to abate. Facts that cannot easily be swept under the rug simply because the he appears on the Tom Joyner Radio show. If there is one lesson I hope that Obama and the Democrats take from this election, it’s that platitudes are not enough. Broad sweeping policies like health care reform, much of which we won’t really feel any benefits of until 2011 or 2014, when we, our families and our friends are literally struggling from paycheck to paycheck to hold onto our jobs and/or houses are not enough. It’s also not about big speeches but big ideas, not necessarily progressive or conservative, that are more effective. To be specific, the mortgage loan modification program Obama initiated last year was a total failure. It was yet another occasion for the banks to take federal money then extend the middle finger to struggling home owners. But even if it were effective, it was not aggressive or substantial enough to put a dent in the foreclosure crisis. That’s why Obama never got any credit for it, because it was not effective. It appeared as if the administration was simply trying to appear as if they were solving a problem. Even the tax breaks were handled in a counter-intuitive way. Sure, maybe it makes sense in some “Economics 101” kind of way to give people gradual tax breaks, a few dollars back in each paycheck. Those few dollars easily go unnoticed. But I certainly didn’t forget about the $600 check I received from the IRS during the Bush administration. The fact is, voters don’t want an Economics lesson or a professor, but a leader. We know there are limitations as to what the federal government can do when it comes to creating jobs, but leadership is about vision -- and Obama failed at delivering voters a clear vision as to how we will get out of this recession. read the story.

Despite all the false hoopla about voter fraud, it's (minority) voter intimidation that is really running rampant

Emotions are running high this election, ripe ground for more baseless charges of voter fraud.
The tea party have decided to go overt with their covert campaign against minorities. Backed largely by wealthy Republican operatives, several tea parties in contentious political battles today have sent out “guards” to patrol polling places to prevent voter fraud. Former House majority leader Dick Armey, who now heads the tea party funder Freedom Works, said falsely on Fox News that Democratic voting was up during early voting — because that’s when it’s easier to commit voter fraud. However, law enforcement statistics, reports from election officials and all the available research indicate that voter fraud is practically nonexistent. Where are these “poll watchers” being deployed? Minority communities. Who are the deploying? Tea party folks, largely white men. Who are they singling out? People, who they believe, don’t look like citizens. It’s already been reported in Houston that these “poll watchers” have reportedly been interfering with voters, following them as they vote and confronting them. If this happened, it is in direct violation of state law. But where is the outcry? Back during the presidential election one group, not affiliated with any recognized political party of movement, the New Black Panther party allegedly did the same. That one case has worked its way to the highest parts of federal government for a massive inquiry. But now, with the perpetrators white and the victims white? Not so much.
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One group in Michigan, Election Integrity Watch, is even offering a $500 bounty to anyone who provides tips about fraud -- providing a financial incentive for these so-called conservative activists to take things too far. Mark Kirk, the candidate in Illinois, was caught talking about a massive “voter fraud” campaign in minority communities in Chicago. In Boston a tea party person specifically mentioned Asians who trying to vote with their utility bills. Even McDonald’s has apparently jumped on the voter intimidation band wagon -- not necessarily the international corporation but at least one franchise owner.  Employees at a Canton, Ohio McDonalds  were apparently told they better vote Republican or they would not receive raises or benefits. The note ends with a list of candidates McDonald's believes "will help our business move forward." It names Republicans John Kasich for governor, Rob Portman for Senate, and Jim Renacci for Congress. With the letter was a biography of Renacci. "The handbill endorses candidates who have in essence pledged to roll back the minimum wage and eviscerate the safety net that protects the most vulnerable members of our workforce," said Attorney Allen Schulman of Canton law firm Schulman Zimmerman & Associates, which received the documents from an employer who stepped forward. "But it's more than that. When a corporation like McDonald's intimidates its employees into voting a specific way, it violates both state and federal election law. Are there charges pending in this case? Has Glenn Beck demanded that Eric Holder resign because he has not prosecuted this employer? Back in May Rand Paul supporters were also accused of voter intimidation. In Laurel County, someone claiming to represent the Paul campaign asked to "inspect" voting machines after polls opened. In Jackson County, there are reports that Paul supporters were harassing people who didn't say they voted for Paul. In Topeka, Ks, there have also been reported voter intimidation. There the Attorney General is currently investigating reports that voters received calls over the weekend reminding voters to “bring their voter registration card” and proof of homeownership to the polls on “Nov. 3” The Kansas Democratic Party said the calls came from a “robo-call from an as yet named Republican organization.” The calls apparently went out statewide. To be clear, the election is actually on Nov. 2 and you do not have to be a homeowner to vote. On election day, tea partiers were also allegedly intimidating black college students in South Carolina. Tea party-backed candidate Christine O'Donnell apparently has some supporters who were also (allegedly) intimidated voters at the polls. What else? A reported 90,000 black voters erroneously reclassified as ex-felons and therefore ineligible to vote in Florida. Think about Tom Tancredo’s infamous call for restoring a Jim Crow-era literacy test before voting. Or how about this, there’s a group of Arizona Sheriffs openly supporting a campaign called “Stop Latinos from stealing the vote.”
Voter fraud is a just a made up justification to actively engage in voter intimidation. There is no statistical proof that voter fraud exist, but there is a dearth of evidence that voter intimidation does and continues to be pervasive in minority communities. This year, it has gotten worse due to the vigilante nature of the tea party movement.

The right wing's relentless campaign against the so-called liberal media is bearing fruit, to the detriment of us all

Conservative activist (not even close to being a journalist) Andrew Breitbart
ABC News has tapped conservative activist Andrew Breitbart to participate in its election night coverage. This is follows a trend of extreme right wing news manipulators getting access mainstream news platforms. If you remember, shortly after Loud Dobbs left, CNN announced it would be hiring Erick Erickson of Redstate.com. JD Hayworth, the failed tea-party backed Arizona senatorial hopeful, infamous for his consistent and merciless anti-immigrant race-baiting in that primary, is now apparently on staff at the “left-leaning” MSNBC. What is going on? The mainstream cable outlets are out-whoring themselves for notable personalities to drive ratings. They are playing this Jerry Springer-esque game of posing political opposites, then asking a few questions, and sitting back once the fighting begins. What they are not doing is furthering the political debate? Or even informing their viewers.
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In many ways, Breitbart is worse than the above conservative pontificators. This guy has made a career out of doctoring video and putting out false news reports, primarily to malign black people and convince other conservatives that black people are racist. He’s behind the Shirley Sherrod video. In that case, he edited a video from a presentation she gave years ago and used a snippet of  more than 10 minutes worth of remarks. While Sherrod was clearly trying to illustrate that we all as citizens need to get past racist and skin color. This guy makes the unethical move of making it appear as if she is admitting to being a racist, and admitting to allow her resentment towards white people affect how she performs her job at the Department of Agriculture. It was a lie, a big, made-up premeditated attempt at painting this black woman as a racist. By association it was an attempt at discrediting the NAACP. The NAACP has just recently asked the tea party to root out some of the racist rhetoric in their movement. How does Breitbart respond? By trying to take down an innocent public servant. Sherrod is now pursuing a lawsuit against Breitbart. Breitbart was then clearly discredited as anything resembling a legitimate journalist. Breitbart was also behind the ACORN "pimp and ho" video tape. He worked closely with the now infamous conservative activist James O’Keefe. O’Keefe and a female colleague, according to the video, dressed as a “pimp and a prostitute” and walked into several ACORN offices to receive services. That video, too, was found to be heavily doctored and without any merit. In the end, ACORN was exonerated of all wrongdoing. But it was too late, this lie destroyed this national nonprofit. Until this election cycle, ACORN has been responsible for registering more poor and African Americans to vote than any other group in U.S. history.
Breitbart is also behind the New Black Panther party story. In this case, a few knuckleheads yelled obscenities at white voters. This case, literally based on one encounter, has now risen to the highest levels of government. Just last year, the Human Rights Commission was unable to reach a vote on this case. It is being used as ammunition by the Republican party to launch investigations against the Justice Department. And Breitbart’s not even done with this race-baiting. Just today on his website, he had more doctored video about the New Black Panthers, claiming they would be out at Houston polling places on election day to do harm to tea party toll watchers. His most recent blatant race-bating narrative he’s shopping around on the conservative radio circuit involves the National Association of Black Farmers. These poor families are still waiting to be compensated by the federal government over a federal discrimination claim. But Breitbart issues completely false claims they are fraudsters.Breitbart is no more a legitimate journalist than Rush Limbaugh. He should not be given this platform. It only exasperates what ails journalism today. Colorofchange.org has initiated a campaign to prevent ABC from having Breitbart participate in its election coverage. You can participate in that campaign here. Since then, ABC, according to Breitbart’s own website has walked back their plans to allow him to participate. “In response to the announcement that I would provide my analysis on ABC News from Arizona on election night, like-clockwork, from the George Soros-funded Media Matters to Keith Olbermann to Huffington Post to Daily Kos to Talking Points Memo to Twitter (#boycottABCNEWS), the institutional left began on Friday to inundate ABC News with a wave of partisan objections and unfounded allegations against me,” Breitbart wrote on his website. “What was ABC News’ response?  Not standing up for free speech and the 1st Amendment.  Not sticking by their original invitation.  Not standing up for diversity of opinion.” Oh, poor bigoted, lying little baby! It’s interesting when anyone tries to make a distinction between spreading lies and telling the truth, between manipulating the news and reporting, between diversity of opinion and race-baiting, these guys always retreat back to their “freedom of speech” stance. The difference to me is pretty clear. It’s about standards and a news agency, a real one and I’m not talking about Fox News should have them. It should not provide massive platforms for people whose entire goal is life is to undermine reputable news reporting.
A Rand Paul staffer beat down and activist, but Murdoch and Koch brothers are beating down democracy
Rand Paul is not directly responsible for the stomped activist, but the Tea Party movement is
This week a Rand Paul staff member stomped a progressive activist. The victim was a young woman named Lauren Valle. And the only reason we are talking about it today is because it was caught on tape. The far right has already started a campaign to vilify the woman, pointing to the fact that she is an activist and was arrested in May for protesting the BP oil spill. What difference does that make? Are they making the argument that exercising free speech should come at the cost of a boot to the head. The truth is the right wing has been literally whipped into a frenzy and this is not the first act of violence it has perpetrated, and it will not be the last. Here are just a few examples: Violence after the passage of health care reform, the false imprisonment of a journalist, the killing of Doctor George Tiller, the Holocaust Murder. If the folks fueling this violence were not "conservatives" but Islamic, they would certainly be called terrorists. This woman’s crime? She tried to give Rand Paul, the tea-party-backed candidate a satirical Employee of the Month Award from "RepubliCorp," a group made up at MoveOn.org meant to highlight the merger of the GOP and corporate interests. Before she could even reach Paul, his supporters grabbed her, forced her to the ground and literally stomped on her head as she lay helpless on the curb. Though she was not seriously hurt, she was interviewed afterward saying it was premeditated. She heard some of Paul’s supporters prior to being attacked, saying they might have to. It should go without saying that big grown men beating up on a woman half their size is way beyond the pale. It’s way beyond reason. Paul has since shook up his staff -- dismissing the guy who did the beating -- and issuing an apology.

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To Paul’s credit, he has not -- unlike other tea party backed candidates -- done much to stoke the violence. His remarks about how he did not support portions of the U.S. Civil Rights Act were completely random and borderline offensive. But as a candidate, he has not digressed to the degree that other candidates have, such as Sharron Angle and her barrage of anti-Hispanic race-bating ads, etc. But he has, through his silence and inaction, contributed to this very nasty political climate. His unwillingness to acknowledge some very racist themes within the movement continue to create the space where attacks like this can and will continue to occur. A few weeks ago, the NAACP released a report illustrating various close ties between some members of the tea party movement and racist fringe organizations. The Freedom Works Tea Party, 1776 Tea Party, ResistNet Tea Party, Tea Party Nation, Tea Party Patriots and Tea Party Express are the six major tea party organizations. Through its many positions, literature, emails, newsletters blog posts and tweets, the report claims these tea party organizations have provided platforms for many known racist and anti-semites, like former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke, author Martin “Red” Beckman and Pastor John Weaver. While these three men are not Tea Party leaders, they have spoken and recruited at Tea Party events. The NAACP also provided polling data of tea party attendees and found that racial animosity permeated its entire membership. For instance, 52 percent of Tea Partyers believe that “too much” has been made of the problems that face blacks. Of those who strongly disagree with the Tea Party, 55 percent agree that blacks are “very hard working,” while only 18 percent of those who strongly approve of the Tea Party think so. Islamaphobia and anti-Hispanic immigrant sentiments are also rampant within the tea party. In early August, the tea party issued this email. “If you have been the victim of a crime by an illegal, or if your business has gone under because your competition uses illegals, or if you have lost your job to illegals, we want to know about it.” “If you have photos and videos of illegals or their supporters doing outrageous things (like burning the American flag or putting the Mexican flag above ours, or showing racist posters), please share those as well.” Back when tea party folks yelled racist slurs and spat on U.S. Rep. John Lewis, the tea party as well as Michele Bachmann, effectively called Lewis a liar. They said it never happened. When the NAACP tried to give them the opportunity to address the issue, they retorted back that the NAACP was racist. Corporate-Backing Bigotry? It’s not terribly surprising that in these unsure financial times that racial tensions would increase, but the fact that it is being financed by corporate entities is somewhat difficult to swallow. These multi-million-dollar institutions are fueling this resentment. Why? Because they fear they will not received the same tax breaks under a Democratic administration? Because they fear financial reform? Because they don’t like health care reform? There are three billionaires in specific who are chiefly responsible for financially backing the tea party: There is Rupert Murdock and David and Charles Koch. Koch Industries began with oil in the 1930s and now also produces an array of industrial products, from Dixie cups to Lycra. David Koch is also founder of the Americans for Prosperity Foundation, which has worked closely with the Tea Party since the movement’s inception. The other major sponsor of the Tea Party movement is Dick Armey’s FreedomWorks. Under its original name, Citizens for a Sound Economy, FreedomWorks received $12 million of its own from Koch family foundations. Then, of course Murdoch contributes billions more to the movement by in-kind donations of free promotion on Fox News. So, here we are. And here we are stuck. We are facing what could very well be a take over of our Democracy by a movement of corporate-backed goons. This just two years after this country seemingly was on the verge of changing our future -- First Black President, a new day in Nuclear proliferation, a change of direction in environmental legislation and new regulations for Wall Street.  Not exactly a coincidence. Read the story.
Is there really a significant difference in terms of intelligence or competence when you compare Snookie and Christine O'Donnell
Joe Miller could do some kind of crazy Alaskan outdoorsman reality show
With this slate of clearly not-ready-for-prime-time political candidates, I can not help but thinking the midterms have somehow been switched with a Reality T.V. show casting call. I mean is there really a significant difference in terms of intelligence or preparedness for political for office when you compare Snookie and Christine O'Donnell? And who is more entertaining to watch when it comes to just straight up nutty behavior, Carl Paladino or Desperate Housewives? Christine O’Donnell. This hopeful for Vice President Joe Biden’s old seat in the Senate is virtually incapable of opening her mouth without saying something completely ridiculous. Her most recent display of inexcusable and utter ignorance was just a few days ago when she doubted that the U.S. Constitution provided for the separation of Church and State. And this coming from a woman who calls herself a “constitutionalist.” In addition to this insanity, she has called President Obama a Muslim, a Kenyan National. She has crusaded against both premarital sex and masturbation. She thinks not only should gays not be allowed to serve in the military, but neither should women. My prediction? Future reality T.V. has been. She will get a variety show on Fox News after she loses this election.
READ MORE: Christine O'Donnell witchcraft Sarah Palin. Big Mama Grizzly quits the Governorship of Alaska to make lots of money and hoist up right-wing tea-party-backed candidates to run for political office. The jury is still out on whether she runs for President. Personally, I say. Run, Sarah, Run! Your are likely the only person in this country that can truly save the Democrats. Remember back in 2008 when she was asked what qualified her to handle complicated matters of national security? She says to Katie Couric, "As Putin rears his head and comes into the air space of the United States of America, where – where do they go? It's Alaska. It's just right over the border." Well, Palin, already has a Reality T.V. show on The Learning Channel of all places. I predict this unabashed narcissist will run for President. She will lose miserably. After the conservatives stop smoking crack and come to their senses, she will be but an embarrassing footnote in the annals of history. In other words, Reality T.V. has-been. Sarah Palin's Katie Couric interview Carl Paladino. This tea party-backed hopeful for the Governor’s office in New York is a multi-millionaire who made most of his money as a builder. Well, since throwing his hat in the political ring, he’s built an enviable case for keeping the status quo in Albany. If the only alternative they give you is this lunatic, then New Yorkers might as well stay with what they’ve got. And the funny thing is, as crazy and bigoted as this guy is, as much of a train wreck as his campaign has been, he’s not even the weirdest person on the ballot. He’s running against Attorney General Andrew Cuomo along with a self-professed madam, who says due to her chosen profession she can relate to the corrupt folks up in Albany. Another guy running for the Gov. of New York is named Jimmy McMillan who represents “The Rent is Too Damn High Party.” Check out this brother's campaign song! Once again, Paladino is destined for Survivor XXIII. Can’t wait to see him take out Gary Coleman’s ex-wife over a skewered barbecued cockroaches. Congresswoman Barbara Cubin, R-Wy. Before Michelle Bachmann, well there was Barbara Cubin. This woman has all the subtle wit and class of a truck driver. But unlike truck drivers, she is really quite worthless. Since, she is already a has-been, I could end my critique right there. But I really could not write this post without reminding the world of the dark days in Congress where we were subjected to some of the following quotes. "There still exists broad disagreement within the scientific community on the extent to which humans actually contribute to the Earth's temperature changes." Bigoted and ignorant, what a charming combination. "My sons are 25 and 30. They are blonde-haired and blue-eyed. One amendment today said we could not sell guns to anybody under drug treatment. So does that mean if you go into a black community, you cannot sell a gun to any black person..." Racist much? "I know what Victoria's Secret is. She's a slut." Classy! Michele Bachmann. This woman is just plain silly. Democrats are un-American commies. President Obama is to blame for the swine flu epidemic. I could go on and on and on. Instead, I will just let the following video speak for itself. Jim DeMint, R-SC. Unlike many of the above Republicans, this guy is less silly than really dangerous. He is a powerful figure on the far right and, if the Republicans gain control of Congress, he could prove to be the most dangerous man in Congress. He’s too right for Mitch McConnell. He’s a lightening rod for cultural conservatives and (with the exception of Sarah Palin), he is most responsible driving the Republican party right off the margins. In addition to his infamous Obama’s Waterloo remark, this guy believes that neither gays or single women should be allowed to teach in public schools. According to the Spartanburg Herald-Journal, the senator "said if someone is openly homosexual, they shouldn't be teaching in the classroom and he holds the same position on an unmarried woman who's sleeping with her boyfriend -- she shouldn't be in the classroom." "(When I said those things,) no one came to my defense," DeMint said on Friday in Spartanburg. "But everyone would come to me and whisper that I shouldn't back down. They don't want government purging their rights and their freedom to religion." John Raese. This West Virginia Senatorial hopeful made headlines when a casting call went out looking for “hicky” actors for an ad he planned on running against his political opponent. But what people really should be talking about are his extremely foolish and entirely elitist views.  He comes from a wealthy family and freely admits it. He is president and CEO of Greer Industries, a major mining company, and also president of the West Virginia Radio Corporation, which owns more than 25 radio stations. He has run for office three times before, each time unsuccessfully. "I've been a conservative in West Virginia before that was popular," Raese told CNN. "I've seen a change in West Virginia. Not a change in John Raese, but a change in West Virginia and a change in America."
  • His family does not live in West Virginia, but are instead located in a lavish house in Florida.
  • His wife is not registered to vote in West Virginia, but instead in Florida. Raese himself is a registered West Virginia voter.
  • He does not hide his privileged background, which could seem out of touch in this populist environment. Quite far from it, he declared: "I made my money the old-fashioned way, I inherited it. I think that's a great thing to do. I hope more people in this country have that opportunity as soon as we abolish inheritance tax in this country, which is a key part of my program."
  • He wants to abolish the minimum wage: "Minimum wage is something Franklin Delano Roosevelt put in during the depression. I didn't work during the depression and it certainly hasn't worked now.
Joe Miller. This tea party-backed Alaskan hopeful had some hired security guys rough up and detain a journalist recently. He was let go from his job for “ethics” reasons. He believes unemployment should be outlawed, but his wife receives unemployment benefits. He’s just another one of these not-ready-for prime-time tea party guys. Problem with Miller is that he actually might be around for a while. He doesn’t have the personality or charisma for the Reality TV show circuit and Alaskans, well, they are Alaskans, and obviously have a weakness for nut jobs. Can you say Sarah Palin? Virginia Foxx. I am glad to be coming to the end of this list. Researching this stuff is quite depresssing. Virginia Foxx is likely the least likely to end up on T.V. I hope she will be defeated and I hope she retires to some right wing nursing home, and I hope she never comes into contact with any minorities or gays. Read the story and see additional video