Thursday, December 18, 2014

Raynard Jackson - The Republican Party of Virginia and the Black Community

Raynard Jackson, a Republican political consultant, blast the Virginia Republican party, and other Republican state committees for failing to take the lead in engaging the African-American community.

My view: The [State] Republican committees are likely the [number one] reason why GOP outreach goes no-where, year after year despite the RNC's efforts. After one Chairman leaves, another comes in leaving GOP State committees unaccountable for their gross performances. There are a few exceptions, like in California, but for the most part most local State power-brokers in both the GOP and conservative base have no interest in reaching beyond their White base. They will only engage Blacks when they are up against a wall, like in Mississippi, in the case of Sen. Thad Cochran.

Truth be told, if GOP State committees were a company responsible for growing their brand, they'd all be fired by now.

via the New Pittsburgh Courier

Raynard Jackson is a Republican political consultant based in Washington, DC. 

"Unlike the Republican National Committee (RNC), our national party apparatus, most of the 50 state party committees are stuck in the 1960s when it comes to the Black community.  Exhibit A for this was the annual weekend gathering for the Republican Party of Virginia (RPV)  that took place two weeks ago in Dulles, Va., about 25 miles outside of Washington, D.C.  This is a gathering where all the powers that be from across the state gather to plot future strategies that will move the state party forward.

I used to be intimately involved in these annual gatherings, but over the years found them to be increasingly a waste of time. The state party would always invite me to participate or moderate a panel on “minority outreach.”  The panels always turned out to be more talk than action.  In the 90s, I was elected statewide to be national committeeman of the Young Republicans Federation of Virginia, the first and only Black to ever win this office.  In that position, I traveled the state talking to anyone who would listen about the imperative of getting more Blacks involved in our state party.  Suffice it to say that Virginia’s moniker of being the “cradle of the confederacy” is well deserved.

Despite the lack of interest by the Republic Party of Virginia in the Black community, Virginia has a long history of statewide elected officials who talked, lived, and breathed real diversity. We had governors such as Jim Gilmore, George Allen, Lt. Gov. John Hager, and Attorney General Mark Earley. They not only earned north of 25 percen7 the Black vote, they had paid Black campaign staffers; and had prominent Blacks throughout their administrations.  These Blacks were placed in decision-making positions and were not just window dressing."

Read complete article here

Bryan Adams - Summer Of '69

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Blacks falling behind under ObamaCare

The Hill:  African-Americans are less likely to see benefits under ObamaCare compared to other racial groups, according to research released Tuesday.

While Hispanics, American Indians and Alaska natives have seen “dramatic” increases in healthcare coverage over the last year, obtaining coverage has been tougher for black Americans, largely because they disproportionately live in states that have not expanded Medicaid, according to an extensive 65-page report by The Urban Institute, a nonprofit research group.

Most of the states that have not adopted a central ObamaCare provision that helps low-income people qualify for Medicaid have Republican legislatures or governors.

Read complete article here

Chidike Okeem — Jay-Z’s Ideas on Policing and Criminal Justice Reform Matter

From Change The

Contrary to popular opinion, Jay-Z’s former criminality and current entrepreneurial and musical success make him uniquely equipped to contribute to police policy. If police departments in major American cities are truly behind the idea of community policing, then the Brooklyn rapper is precisely who should be sitting down with police officers and collaborating on ways to ensure that officers are equipped with the cultural competency required to effectively police communities of color. A former crack dealer turned multi-millionaire and highly accomplished recording artist is the perfect kind of person to sit down with and devise policing strategies that do not entail engaging in instantaneous gunplay when interacting with young black American citizens.

Community policing is not just about addressing the issues that plague a given urban area. It encompasses having an intricate and accurate knowledge of the people in the area being policed. Without police officers sincerely dedicating themselves to cultural competency, community policing will always be inefficacious. Sitting down with artists like Jay-Z in order to better understand urban culture should be a necessary component of police training, inasmuch as Jay-Z's music is massively influential in many of the urban centers where both crime and police brutality are rife. Perhaps the reason why Jay-Z sitting down with leading law enforcement figures and helping to devise policing strategies is scoffed at is because the serious subject of cultural competency is injudiciously treated as a joke within many police forces. Cultural competency will inevitably result in more respect for the humanity of people being policed and reduce instances of police brutality.

Read complete article here

Keith Humphreys ― Who Started the War on Drugs?

As President, he dramatically reduced federal criminal penalties for marijuana possession and launched the largest expansion of drug addiction treatment in U.S. history. I refer of course to Richard M. Nixon, who is today widely remembered as the President who launched the “war on drugs”. Why are his well-documented progressive drug policies almost completely forgotten today, leaving us with a collective memory of Nixon as the original snarling drug warrior?

In part, the mythology is unsurprising in that all aspects of our political history are subject to stereotype, forgetting and distortion. Why should drug policy history be immune? To cite another choice example, Dr. Jonathan Caulkins points out that if we wanted to get back to the rate of incarceration the U.S. had under the “tough lock ‘em policies of the Reagan administration”, we would have to release about 75% of the people who are currently behind bars.

The misremembering of Richard Nixon also stems from the “war on drugs” increasingly becoming a term that is used to mean almost anything and therefore means almost nothing. To some the “war on drugs” means the violence in Mexico, to others it means no knock raids and other aggressive policing tactics, to still others it means even applying the usual medical regulations to those pharmaceuticals than can be addictive (e.g., painkillers). If we can’t agree on what the war on drugs is, then we can’t of course figure out who started it.
Read complete article here

Both Sides: Is Right to Work Helpful for American Workers?

This debate is sponsored by the Arthur N. Rupe Foundation and features an opening statement from Vincent Vernuccio of the Mackinac Center about how Right to Work policies are beneficial to American workers. He is then rebutted by David Madland from the Center for American Progress about how Right to Work policies are harmful for American workers and a peculiar, narrow way for labor policy.


John McWhorter ― Ferguson Was the Spark — Eric Garner Is the Fire

Are we trying to create a humanity devoid of any racist bias, or are we trying to stop cops from shooting black men? The two aren’t the same. A world without racism would be a world without dirt. A world where episodes like what has happened just this year to Garner, Brown, John Crawford, Akai Gurley, and Tamir Rice is much more plausible. We need special prosecutors, body cameras, and, if you ask me, an end to the war on drugs. 

As such, we must be pragmatic. I know the people protesting Michael Brown’s death nationwide are sincere. But it’s easy to forget that in cases like this, sincerity is supposed to be forward-focused. It’s all too human for people to end up mistaking the heightened emotions, the threats, the media attention, the catharsis, as progress itself. But drama alone burns fast and bright. Think about how Trayvon is already—admit it—seeming more like history than the present. Are we really committed to this thing lasting past the winter? 

Read complete article here

Criminal Justice and Poverty - Jonathan Blanks

Jonathan Blanks of the Cato Institute discusses the need for criminal justice reform to alleviate poverty with newly released prisoners.


First Reads

Twilight of the “liberal” elites: How Chris Hughes & co. represent a new, bankrupt liberalism

The college trap that keeps people poor

Teen marijuana use falls as more states legalize

The next frontier in workplace diversity? Brain differences

Russia appears headed for the worst economic turbulence in Putin’s 15 years in power.

Where Jay-Z meets Jeb-B: Are Hip Hop Republicans the future of U.S. Politics?

The Progressive Case Against Birthright Citizenship

65 % of Children Live in Households on Federal Aid Programs

As gas prices tumble, inflation is plunging faster than official measures can capture

What General Holtzclaw Saw MT: Gallant black soldiers

Even Prosecutors Stunned Grand Jury Didn't Indict in Garner Case: Sources via

Is it time to get rid of grand juries? Find out why England did...about 80 yrs ago.

Do Businesses Have Rights? Andy Harris, gay weddings, and businesses with consciences

Report on sexually transmitted diseases shows chlamydia cases falling, first time in 30 years:

The Progressive Case Against Birthright Citizenship

‘Mittmentum’ Part VII: Ready For Romney

Obama amnesty is unconstitutional, federal judge finds -

 Not just Rumain Brisbon: 10 recent cases where cops shot suspects over phantom guns

Jeb Bush: The Wrong Name at the Wrong Time

Seven Reasons Police Brutality Is Systemic, Not Anecdotal

A compilation of reasons why police brutality is a systemic, not anecdotal, problem.

From The American Conservative: 

Darrin Manning’s unprovoked “stop and frisk” encounter with the Philadelphia police left him hospitalized with a ruptured testicle. Neykeyia Parker was violently dragged out of her car and aggressively arrested in front of her young child for “trespassing” at her own apartment complex in Houston. A Georgia toddler was burned when police threw a flash grenade into his playpen during a raid, and the manager of a Chicago tanning salon was confronted by a raiding police officer bellowing that he would kill her and her family, captured on the salon’ssurveillance. An elderly man in Ohio was left in need of facial reconstructive surgery after police entered his home without a warrant to sort out a dispute about a trailer.

These stories are a small selection of recent police brutality reports, as police misconduct has become a fixture of the news cycle.

Dr. Ben Carson ― Democrats’ Wasteful Torture Report

From The National Review/Ben Carson

The recent release of a Senate report commissioned by Democrats regarding torture of terrorism suspects in order to obtain vital information was a waste of $40 million of taxpayer money.

It already had been documented extensively that three suspects were waterboarded and that sleep deprivation and other such techniques were used to extract vital information from terrorists. Though the report says otherwise, that information played a part in the apprehension or annihilation of many upper-echelon terrorist leaders, including Osama bin Laden. The high-profile release of this information at a time when we are engaged in war with various terrorist groups demonstrates a profound lack of wisdom because this information will undoubtedly be used as an effective recruitment tool by our enemies.

Read complete article here

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Bev Randles, African-American Republican Running for Lieutenant Governor of Missouri

Bev Randles is a true Missouri success story.
Raised in Sikeston, Missouri, the seventh of twelve children, Bev learned early in life the value of a strong work ethic and the benefits of a good education. Bev’s father was a farmhand and his knowledge of how to work the land was passed down to her and her siblings as they grew up working in Southeast Missouri’s cotton fields at an early age.

While neither of Bev’s parents had an education past the ninth grade, Bev was motivated to earn her high school diploma and graduated as the valedictorian of her Scott County Central High School Class in 1990. Bev went on to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree in English, graduating Cum Laude, from Murray State University in 1994.

Bev is also a graduate of the University of Missouri – Columbia School of Law. Upon graduation, she joined Shook, Hardy & Bacon, Kansas City’s largest law firm, where she was a litigator in the firm’s National Product Liability Division. During her years at Shook, Bev represented several Fortune 500 companies, defending cases throughout the country and advising on public policy matters. She was also an active member of the firm’s Diversity Committee. As a Diversity Committee member, she facilitated diversity trainings for other lawyers, recruited and mentored numerous attorneys, and created liaisons between Shook and local law schools to increase the firm’s pool of women and minorities.

In 2008, Bev began writing and giving speeches about how the Republican Party can win back minorities and disenchanted voters in the current political climate. She has spoken to numerous Republican, conservative, and tea party organizations on this topic, including at the Missouri Lincoln Days in 2010 and the National Pachyderm Conference in 2011.

In the 2012 election cycle, Bev’s husband, Bill, was a candidate for governor of Missouri. In addition to managing that campaign, Bev attended hundreds of events with Bill. She also frequently gave speeches and conducted radio interviews on behalf of the campaign. She also built the largest, statewide grassroots coalition of any campaign in the 2012 cycle, managing hundreds of volunteers throughout the state.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

PEW: More Conservative Republicans, African Americans Say Gun Ownership Protects People From Crime

More Conservative Republicans, African Americans Say Gun Ownership Protects People From Crime

Professor Oliver McGee ― Dark Social of Social Media

Even wonder about how to measure the true impact of social media sharing you don't see on “viral” content? The Atlantic measured its own site traffic and discovered that more than 56 percent of its total traffic originated from what the magazine originally termed as "Dark Social" media traffic.

Alexis Madrigal, who coined the words "Dark Social" in his original research for The Atlantic, found that about 25 percent of all referral traffic — and 69 percent of social referrals — was unattributed. 

Specifically, the widely-known Madrigal findings revealed that 56.5 percent of traffic to The Atlantic website was Dark Social. Only 21.6 percent of The Atlantic online magazine's total traffic was Facebook driven, whereas 11.2 percent was Twitter sourced.

Read complete article here

Race and Intelligence : Science's Last Taboo

Thomas Sowell ― The Steep Cost of the Ferguson Riots

Everyone seems to have an opinion about the tragic events in Ferguson, Missouri. But, as Daniel Patrick Moynihan used to say, “You’re entitled to your own opinion, but you’re not entitled to your own facts.”

Soon after the shooting death of Michael Brown, this 285-pound young man was depicted as a “gentle giant.” But, after a video was leaked, showing him bullying the owner of a store from which he had stolen some merchandise, Attorney General Eric Holder expressed displeasure that the video was leaked. In other words, to Holder the truth was offensive, but the lie it exposed was not.

Many people who claimed to have been eyewitnesses to the fatal shooting gave opposite accounts of what happened. Some even gave accounts that contradicted what they themselves had said earlier.

Stephen L. Carter ― Torture Report, Rolling Stone and False Dilemmas

Stephen L. Carter op-ed on the CIA Torture Report, the Rolling Stone UVa rape story, and False Dilemmas: 

A fascinating side event to the furor over the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence report on the treatment of post-Sept. 11 detainees has been the debate over the majority staff’s bizarre decision not to interview the Central Intelligence Agency officials who oversaw the interrogation programs. It’s as if the Watergate Committee had announced that, all things considered, there wasn’t any reason to seek comment from White House higher-ups.

 By not talking to relevant CIA personnel, the staff weakened what was in most other respects a thorough and troubling examination of poorly conceived and poorly run program. But one needn’t be a supporter of the enhanced interrogations -- I’m certainly not -- to find unpersuasive the proffered explanation that CIA officials could not talk to the committee while a criminal investigation was pending. The investigation closed in 2012. Had the committee wanted to interview CIA officers closely involved in the program, there was plenty of time to do so, even if it meant postponing the date for finalizing the report. If, on the other hand, there are pending criminal matters to which the public isn’t privy, then releasing the report with all the accompanying hoopla is sure to poison the jury pool.

Read complete article here

Nina Jablonski — Human Skin Color is the product of Evolution

Nina Jablonski, a biological anthropologist says that differing skin colors are simply our bodies' adaptation to varied climates and levels of UV exposure. Charles Darwin disagreed with this theory, but she explains, that's because he did not have access to NASA.

Lawrence Billy Jones III ― The Elephant in the Room is Being Ignored by the Elephant in the Room

The other day I was cursing the internet when I saw a post from a Republican reacting to the situation happening in Ferguson. This person suggested that we further segregate communities in order to remove the potential for racist claims from the equation. She suggested that only black officers work in black neighborhoods, and that communities should “police their own ghettos.”

This made me furious, and furthermore it was one more drop in a bucket full of concern that I have when it comes to the Republican party.

The GOP has long suffered from a very nasty problem, and like most problems that are ignored, it continually gets worse as time goes on without an attempt at a solution. The sad part is that it’s not necessarily even a hard problem to solve.

In terms of community outreach, Republicans would score, at best, a D-. It’s one of the main components in winning an election, yet Republicans seem to have a knack for letting certain communities go unattended. In some cases, Republicans consider these communities as lost and have given up on them. In some cases they feel they don’t necessarily need them to win. Either way, they couldn’t be more wrong. 

Read complete article here

DEBATE ― Will open borders help or hurt America?