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Member since: Sat Jun 26, 2004, 03:21 PM
Number of posts: 11,240

About Me

You probably think this song is about you.

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The Value of Fusion Friendships

This is an extended version of an op-ed by Rev. William J. Barber, leader of Moral Mondays, and Jonathan Wilson-Hargrove that should run in the News & Observer today.

They call out the cynical bigotry of politicians who wish to use legitimate fear of ISIS as a tool for racist political manipulation.

They also covers the history of fusion politics in NC, where black and white working people have historically been able to find common ground to fight political battles against entrenched political powers.

NC has a solid history of standing up to racist manipulation. It scares the crap out of the politicians, and there is always huge backlash. But we rise again. We keep fighting the good fight while trying to love our neighbors. The arch of history in NC is slooooowly bending toward justice.

A Southern strategy was developed in the late 1960s to pit us against each other, creating a “solid South” for the Republican Party by dividing poor and working people according to their worst fears about their neighbors. Black and white have a long history in this place, but political strategists worked carefully to “color” immigrants, members of the LQBTQ community, and religious minorities, casting them as un-American rather than non-white. The rise of ISIS as a real and credible threat means that this racist form of political manipulation can take the form of calling Muslims un-American.


The unquestioned consensus in America’s public square is that we can only be safe by figuring out who the un-American terrorists are and getting rid of them.

But where we're from in North Carolina, we should not be so naïve. We have a disproportionate share of homegrown terrorists.


When we look closely at the acts of terror that rend our communities and make everyone feel less safe, the common denominator is not a particular religion or culture. It is, instead, a violence that is perpetuated by those who use fear to gain political power. We cannot combat this violence by naming an enemy to eliminate. Instead, we must illuminate the sort of friendships that make fusion politics possible. - See more

Let's talk about small business and Hillary Clinton.

I'm a woman, I own one and I have Thoughts.....

Small business is good for the communities. We spend most of the money we make in the communities where we operate. We hire local contractors and pay local taxes. We shop locally and send our kid to the dance school around the corner. Corporations send the profits overseas to avoid taxes and do not reinvest much in the communities where they operate. So small business is a better deal for local economies and should be encouraged.

What I saw on Clinton's site on this issue that I really liked was this:

Improving Access to Capital:

.......And she will do that in part by easing burdens on community banks that provide credit to small-business owners and families looking to invest in their futures—without compromising protections for consumers or introducing new risks into the financial system. The big banks don’t need relief from Washington—small banks and small businesses do.


This is another example of her deep understanding of the needs of regular, middle class Americans. I don't need a handout to grow my business, but I do need CAPITAL. This is a basic thing that many people who do not run a business miss: If you can't get a loan, you cannot make the business grow, you provide fewer jobs, pay fewer taxes, spend less money locally.... It all comes back to the capital.

I JUST did a major business expansion. We used the SBA and COMMUNITY BANK LOANS. She GETS it! The big banks looked at my business plan (I own a quirky recreational business. We are very unique.) and they could not compute. The fact that my financials we rock solid and I had a strong private backer made no difference. They could not deal with the smallest deviation from the average deal. We went to a community bank next and they completely put the deal together for me. Got me together with an amazing SBA loan officer and did the rest themselves.

So I am impressed. It is one thing to make airy, high minded statements about the needs of regular citizens, and another to actually offer solid, actionable policies to make life better.

Both the Clintons are good at DOING things that help. I still remember Bill's Earned Income Tax Credit and how much that meant to me when I was broke, working a shit part time job and free lancing some other stuff while trying to get this very same business off the ground. I did the tax form that year and started to sweat when I saw what I was supposed to pay. And then I dropped the Earned Income Credit in. I get very annoyed with Bill Clinton sometimes, but I can never stay mad. That one, small thing has a lot to do with why. He DID something that helped me, personally. A bunch. Not just SAID. He DID.

These are examples of good ideas that work and can actually get implemented, even with a craptastic Supreme Court and Congress.

The community organizer and "lazy" Democrats kicked the big business candidate's ass.

It proves that they are not very good at what they do, that the inflated salaries and huge sense of entitlement are a symtom of their greed and ego. Just as I suspected.

We beat them on all business metrics. We were more efficient with how we managed our money, both with staff pay and media buys. Our tech team was the best the world has ever seen while theirs totally, I mean TOTALLY failed the big test. Our staff management and ground game was so fierce, even though they knew it was coming, they didn't know what hit them.

And the "lazy" Democrats. OMG! I have been volunteering 2-4 hours a week since mid-summer and I was one of the less motivated volunteers on my neighborhood team. There were these two retired women who appeared to volunteer full time. The paid organizer worked every second he was awake, near as I could figure. Some kind of lazy, right?

They are so full of shit. Their business model sucked. They are sooooo overpaid and over rated. I can't stop gloating

Voter fraud from an activist standpoint.

We don't need to cheat. Anyone who does serious turnout work for progressive causes knows that there is an almost unlimited number of dem leaning voters available if we can just convince them to vote. GOTV is hard, tedious work, but far easier and safer than committing fraud. So why would we cheat if we can win legit with less effort? We wouldn't. Serious minds on the other side know this too. They know we are not cheating, that our voters are legal. But they need to suppress them because they do NOT have an unlimited pool of conservative, white voters to mine. Their voter universe is finite and they are demographically running into a brick wall. But they are convincing their followers that it is ok to harass fellow citizens at the polls because of some paranoid, racist fantasy that people of color are always lazy and dishonest or for other unspecified reasons don't deserve to vote. The organizers are hoping that this will suppress our turnout just enough to squeak out a win. What total bullshit. I pray there is legal action taken across the board once this is all over.

Can you IMAGINE the rage if teams of black citizens were going into white precincts challenging large numbers of voters? Heads would be exploding everywhere.

Americans for Prosperity collecting absentee ballots in NC.


North Carolina election officials don’t like the method Americans for Prosperity is using to solicit voters to request absentee ballots. The group has sent hundreds of thousands of mailers to registered voters with instructions for requesting a ballot by mail, but the request form is pre-addressed to AFP’s office in Raleigh rather than to the voter’s election board. “I would discourage anything like that,” said Charlie Collicutt, deputy director of the Guilford County Board of Elections. “When you trust an outside group to handle your request, you’re putting your faith in them that they’re going to get it there and get it there correctly. If there are mistakes, if a request isn’t filled out correctly, if the group waits too long to submit the requests, it could be too late to get out another one,” Collicutt said. AFP is a hard-line conservative group backed heavily by founder David Koch and board member Art Pope. It is spending millions on ads attacking Barack Obama across the country. Dallas Woodhouse, head of the AFP operation in North Carolina, says the group has the ballot requests come to its office because it’s too expensive to print the address of each voter’s county board of elections on the return form (which other organizations do) and because it wants to track the follow up (which can be done through the data file on the State Board of Elections’ website). The process AFP uses is not illegal, but it continues to worry thoughtful observers. The worries are intensified because AFP used a similar mailing campaign last year in Wisconsin that gave voters the wrong deadline date for the returning the absentee ballot request.


This worries me way more than in-person voter ID fraud.

I am beginning to take it all personally.

The attacks on contraception and the Girls Scouts particularly. My child bearing days are pretty much over and I never was and will never be a Girls Scout. But I have an 11 year old daughter. She has been a Girl Scout for the past couple of years. I missed the day where they promoted abortion and handed out Planned Parenthood propaganda. But I will tell you what they really do that upsets the conservative, patriarchal right wing. They teach young girls to be competent, independent and successful women who care about those less fortunate than themselves. And we couldn't have that could we?

Over and over I have been impressed with the quality of the Girl Scout program. The popular cookie sales program has been a great tool for my daughter to learn basic business skills; marketing, supply and demand, simple accounting, goal setting and working with a team. They have long term philanthropic projects that they plan and execute. They collected supplies for abandoned animals last year. This year they prepared and served a meal for a group of homeless men. The big curriculum focus this year (she is with a slightly older troop) has been identifying and addressing bullying. In short, she is learning to be a competent, professional woman who is not going to be bullied, nor is she going to be a bully, who cares about the less fortunate.

Contraception is a huge societal good anyway you slice it. Statistically, almost all women use it at some point in their lives. It helps keep families out of poverty. It reduces the need for abortions. We have the medical knowledge to do this safely, effectively and a reasonable cost. It is all win. But they want to limit access to contraception and expose a whole new generation to the stress and potential poverty that accompanies unplanned births. They want my beautiful, bright daughter, the one who writes exquisitely sensitive poetry and and taught herself to read at three, to be a mindless baby machine. I want her to be a parent someday if that is what she wants. But who does it benefit if she is held hostage to her reproductive system? It reduces her ability to get educated and earn a living. It increases the burden she might place on society. And although it looks like a great way to control women, it will burden her eventual partner who will also have to figure out how to raise and pay for the unplanned children. Why, why why do they want this? It makes no sense to me.

I have always considered myself a feminist, but for whatever reason, I have been more likely to fight for campaign finance reform. But now it is personal. They are threatening my daughter at a time when she is becoming most vulnerable. I vow to fight.
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