Stu 1 year, 5 months ago on KING: GOP wasting its time with outreach to Hispanic voters

As usual, Lincoln said it best:

"Our progress in degeneracy appears to me to be pretty rapid. As a nation, we began by declaring that all men are created equal'. We now practically read itall men are created equal, except African Americans'. When the Know-Nothings get control, it will read `all men are created equal, except African Americans and foreigners and Catholics'. When it comes to this, I shall prefer emigrating to some country where they make no pretense of loving liberty - to Russia, for instance, where despotism can be taken pure and without the base alloy of hypocrisy."


Stu 1 year, 5 months ago on ROBINSON: The GOP's listening problem

If you want to understand why Romney lost, you need look no further than his infamous "47%" comments. First he made the comments in a private talk with fat cat donors -- a setting where you would expect a candidate to say what he really believes. Then, after a long delay, Romney claimed that he didn't "really" mean the comments -- as if a five-minute riff could somehow be written off as a slip of the tongue. Then, after he lost the election, when he had nothing to lose, he essentially repeated the 47% comments, only with an even more bitter and divisive edge.

So there you have Romney in a nutshell -- flipflopping on where he stands, telling each audience what he thinks they want to hear, and flatly denying inconvenient past statements. Part of the reason that President Obama flubbed the first debate was that he was incredulous at the blatant lies that Romney was telling -- for example, that Romney's health care plan wouldn't turn away people with pre-existing conditions.

As if this isn't bad enough, when Romney speaks candidly, as to his donors or after the election, the sentiments he expresses aren't pretty. They reflect the contemptuous, patronizing attitude that he displayed throughout the campaign. Having been lionized by his tight Mormon inner circle his entire life, Mitt felt that he was so self-evidently superior that the only explanation for his defeat must be that people wanted "stuff." Romney simply couldn't accept that voters sized him up and found him wanting.

Yes, Mitt, you're right, we voted for Obama and against you because we wanted stuff. Stuff like respect for our intelligence. Stuff like openness to diversity. Stuff like a refusal to pander to our worst prejudices. Stuff like a president who wasn't born with a silver spoon in his mouth, and who actually has a clue about ordinary people's lives. Is that too much to ask for?

Thanks for the parting shot 47% reprise, Mitt -- just when I was starting to feel sorry for you, it reminded me how grateful I should be that you didn't make it to the White House.


Stu 1 year, 5 months ago on At the end, Romney, Obama spar over voter revenge

Three Republican myths:

Myth #1: Governor Romney is committed to working with the Democrats in Congress.

Reality: President Obama has bent over backward to try to work with Republicans. He has appealed to them to act responsibly and help him fix the economy. He has received zero cooperation. In fact, from Day One of the Obama Administration, top Republicans were openly stating that they wanted to see Obama fail -- this in the middle of two wars and the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. If the Democrats had behaved this way, Ann Coulter would have accused them of treason. The GOP's dirty little secret is that Republican Congressmen deliberately sabotaged any legislation that would have improved economic conditions because they were afraid this would help President Obama get re-elected.

Myth #2: The Republicans care deeply about reducing the deficit.

Reality: Where was this heartfelt concern when President Bush was turning the Clinton surplus into a mammoth deficit. Governor Romney and the other deficit hawks didn't raise a peep at the time. And why suddenly become fixated on the deficit when the economy is teetering on the verge of a depression -- the time when the top priority should be increasing employment, not reducing the deficit? Could it be because deficit mania provides a handy excuse for Republicans in Congress to block efforts to create jobs -- efforts that, again, could help get President Obama re-elected.

The bottom line is that Republicans don't care about the deficit -- they just don't like government. If the deficit didn't exist, they would need to create -- and, indeed, under W, they did. Only a pathologically anti-government party could actually argue that the bank crisis and the housing crisis were somehow caused by too MUCH government regulation, rather than too LITTLE.

Myth #3: Governor Romney stands for all Americans.


Even by Republican standards, the Romney campaign is Wonder-bread white. Take a look at the guy's rallies -- his campaign doesn't seem to be able to even drum up a few token African Americans or Hispanics. And it's hardly a wonder. After all, Governor Romney has suggested that we make life so miserable for Hispanic immigrants that they "self-deport." Instead of addressing the concerns of African Americans to win their votes, Governor Romney's supporters have chosen to try to scare off blacks from voting by posting ominous billboards in African American neighborhoods in Ohio warning of dire penalties for voter fraud and by shutting down weekend voting in African American neighborhoods. And let's not forget that Governor Romney's religion didn't allow African Americans to be priests until the late 1970s, and continues to treat women as second-class citizens. Mitt would like us to think that we will all be invited to a 1950s-style family reunion if he gets elected, but there will be a lot of folks who don't get invitations.


Stu 1 year, 5 months ago on Gwinnett immigrant challenging driver's license laws as unfair

Your arguments for immigrant-bashing are so full of fallacies that I feel like a mosquito in a nudist colony -- I don't know where to start. So I'll hark back to the words of Abraham Lincoln, who, as usual, said it best:

"Our progress in degeneracy appears to me to be pretty rapid. As a nation, we began by declaring that all men are created equal'. We now practically read it asall men are created equal, except African Americans'. When the Know-Nothings get control, it will read `all men are created equal, except African Americans and foreigners and Catholics'. When it comes to this, I shall prefer emigrating to some country where they make no pretense of loving liberty - to Russia, for instance, where despotism can be taken pure and without the base alloy of hypocrisy."

Poor Honest Abe -- he wouldn't be able to win a Republican primary for dogcatcher today. He was far too intelligent, too compassionate, and too humble. Most of all, he was too open to growing in this thinking. In Lincoln's short lifetime, he went from being a dyed in the wool racist to, not only ending slavery, but supporting citizenship and voting rights for African Americans -- very radical ideas for his time.

By contrast, if a Republican politician today takes one step away from rigid Tea Party orthodoxy, or dares to have an original thought, or look for common ground with a Democratic colleague or an immigrant, they are promptly excommunicated from GOP.

Old Abe would be brokenhearted to see that the party he helped found is now being run by the narrow-minded Know Nothing bullies he warned us about.


Stu 1 year, 5 months ago on GUEST VOICES: Which country is it? That's debatable

I'll tell you what kind of country it is. It's a country where a pro-Republican foundation is placing billboards in African American neighborhoods trying to scare residents out of voting by threatening to bring voter fraud charges against them. Very classy, huh? Just when you think the Republicans can't stoop any lower in their drive to win at any cost -- can you say Willie Horten? -- they prove us wrong.

Given the fact that brave African American and white activists gave their lives not that long ago to win African Americans the right to vote, the folks behind this belong in a special circle of hell. You really wonder how they can look themselves in the mirror, especially since real cases of voter fraud are rarer than lightening strikes. Unfortunately, the same can't be said for voter intimidation.

Luckily, it looks like this tactic, like so many other ham-handed GOP stunts, is backfiring. It turns out that the folks who live in the targeted neighborhoods don't take kindly to such blatant intimidation. Thanks for the boost to the African American get out the vote effort, Mitt!


Stu 1 year, 5 months ago on Face to face: Obama, Romney in crackling debate

Questions I wish the moderator at one of the presidential debates had the guts to ask Romney:

(1) Governor Romney, let me get this straight. Do you REALLY believe that the bank failures and the housing collapse were caused by too MUCH government regulation, instead of too LITTLE?

(2) Governor Romney, what brilliant economist told you that it makes sense to focus on reducing the deficit when the country is teetering on the brink of a depression -- especially after ignoring the issue throughout the previous administration while W frittered the Clinton surplus away?

(3) Governor Romney, you say that, if elected, you would strike a more bipartisan tone. Isn't it true that Republican leaders stated immediately after President Obama was elected, while the country was still in economic freefall, that they wanted him to fail? Is this the type of bipartisan spirit you have in mind?

(4) Governor Romney, isn't it true that the Republicans in Congress have sabotaged almost every move that President Obama has tried to take to improve the economic situation because they were afraid that a better economic situation would help him get reelected? If the shoe were on the other foot, and the Democrats in Congress behaved this way, wouldn't Rush and Ann Coulter be denouncing their acts as unpatriotic and even treasonous?

(5) Finally, Governor Romney, given your frequent flip flops on every issue of substance, isn't it true that your only core belief is your unshakable conviction that you are somehow entitled to be president?


Stu 1 year, 7 months ago on CEPEDA: Obama, the non-change agent

If you want to see the impact of our failed immigration policies, all we have to do is take a look at what is happening right here in Gwinnett. The other night I was driving home from work when I ran into a huge traffic jam. My first thought was that there must have been an awful accident. As I got closer, I saw what appeared to be a DOI checkpoint. OK, I thought, a little inconvenience is worth it for the worthy goal of safe roads. Now I find out, however, that this is part of a strategy of checkpoints for undocumented Hispanic immigrants. In order not to make the racial profiling too blatant, the police go through the motions of checking everyone, but they are really only interested in our Hispanic neighbors.

A few days later, I watched as five police cars staked out the neighborhood convenience store where Hispanic workers often stop on their way to work in a blatant attempt at intimidation.

Does anyone else find this a little bit creepy, not to mention a poor use of police time and taxpayers' money? While our Hispanic brothers and sisters take the biggest hit, we all suffer collateral damage to our freedoms and our consciences. Do we really want to live in a community that is systematically implementing a strategy of ethnic cleansing and that is looking more and more like a police state with every passing day?

Dr. King said that injustice anywhere diminishes us all. We live in a county that is perpetrating injustice against our neighbors on a massive scale. It is doing this in our names with our tax money. It's about time that we pulled our heads out of the sand and did a little soul-searching. Is this really what we stand for? Is this really the best we can do?


Stu 1 year, 8 months ago on THOMAS: Suppose Michele Bachmann is right?

I too commend Rep. Bachmann for her courageous stand. In fact, I urge her to expand her probe and to also investigate the abominable snowman, Bigfoot, the Loch Ness Monster, and the possibility that the earth is flat, rather than round.

I applaud Rep. Bachmann for her keen sense of priorities. It takes true clearsightedness to focus on the really serious threats without allowing oneself to become diverted by pesky but minor problems like the economic downturn, global warming, and gun violence.

Seriously, though, if the Congresswoman has her heart set on investigating nefarious, shadowy forces that infiltrate and corrupt the political process for their own gain while endangering the public safety, I suggest she look elsewhere. I suggest that she expose the way the Koch brothers are trying to buy this election to maximize their profits, the way that private prison corporations are lobbying for Draconian immigration laws that fill their cells and their pockets, the way that the NRA blocks even the mildest, most common-sense restrictions on deadly assault weapons like those used in the Colorado movie theater, and the way that the American Legislative Exchange Council covertly pitches regressive policies on a whole range of issues to receptive legislators.

I guarantee you, the influence peddling you unearth will surpass the most lurid thriller.

Of course, it takes a bit more gumption to go after powerful corporate interests than a lone Muslim woman. There is always political hay to be made by playing on the resentments of those who still haven't got over the fact that we elected a black man as our president.

But I have faith in you, Rep. Bachmann. You can break the mold, stop postering, and investigate a true threat to the public safety, rather than a trumped up one. I know you can do it!


Stu 1 year, 8 months ago on Chick-fil-A sandwiches become a political symbol

I applaud Chick-fil-A's concern for our moral well-being. Their ownership is clearly uniquely qualified to know what's best for us spiritually.

However, I encourage Chick-fil-A to take this crusade a step further. I am deeply concerned that some of the chickens they are serving may have unwholesome views. How can I be sure that the chickens I and my family are eating are right-thinking Christians? How can I be sure that none of them belong to other faiths, or, even worse, are atheist or agnostic? How can I be sure that none of them belong to unions, or read the New York Times, or listen to NPR, or have had pre-marital sex?

I urge Chick-fil-A to provide its customers with written guarantees that only morally sound, conformist, conventionally thinking chickens are led to the slaughter and end up in my sandwiches.

After all, you are what you eat. I am all for free-range chickens, but if I eat a free-THINKING chicken, I might start thinking myself, and I could end up straying from the straight and narrow road of moral orthodoxy prescribed by our spiritual guides at Chick-fil-A!


Stu 1 year, 8 months ago on Horrific attack at Batman screening leaves 12 dead

Human beings are made in God's image. Assault weapons, which are designed to maim and kill human beings, are not. Elevating assault weapons over the sanctity of human life is idolatry. The NRA, which used to be a sportsmen's organization that supported reasonable gun restrictions before it was hijacked by extremists, has become a purveyor of idolatry.

The kinds of assault weapons used in the Colorado shooting belong in the military. They have no place in civilian life. Making them widely accessible, and even further loosening the nonexistent restrictions on their use, will predictably lead to increasingly frequent repetitions of these tragedies.

These massacres are not acts of God. They are certainly not what our Founding Fathers had in mind. They are a result of conscious choices by gutless politicians -- Democrat and Republican alike -- to elevate political self-interest over public safety and a respect for human life.