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Member since: Sat Jun 26, 2004, 02:21 PM
Number of posts: 11,240

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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.

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