Religious Zeal in the Justice Dept. Impacts Civil Rights

Weekly Voting Rights News Update

This an entry in a series of blogs to keep people informed on current election reform and voting rights issues in the news.

Featured Story of the Week:

Justice Dept. Reshapes Its Civil Rights Mission - New York Times

"The shift at the Justice Department has significantly altered the government's civil rights mission," in favor of religion rather than race, the New York Times reported Thursday.

The Civil Right Division had dramatically reduced "the complex lawsuits that challenge voting plans that might dilute the strength of black voters." Early this year, only one such case had been initiated "compared with eight in a comparable period in the Clinton administration."

There's more...

Religious Zeal in the Justice Dept. Impacts Civil Rights

Weekly Voting Rights News Update

This an entry in a series of blogs to keep people informed on current election reform and voting rights issues in the news.

Featured Story of the Week:

Justice Dept. Reshapes Its Civil Rights Mission - New York Times

"The shift at the Justice Department has significantly altered the government's civil rights mission," in favor of religion rather than race, the New York Times reported Thursday.

There's more...

MA-05: GLBT Equality News

Boston's Pride Parade changed routes this year, to walk in front of the State House on Beacon Hill - less than a week before a Constitutional Convention threatens marriage equality. Two candidates, Niki Tsongas and Jamie Eldridge, had people show up to support them, as pictures in that link. Jamie Eldridge was the only candidate in the 5th, that I'm aware of, who actually went. He marched with Jarret Barrios, one of the few openly gay Massachusetts state legislators.

Jamie Eldridge also had an interesting diary he posted at Blue Mass Group. Eldridge has announced that there will be no campaigning by anyone on his staff this Thursday, during the ConCon. Instead, he and all his people are going to do all that they can to make sure the anti-marriage equality amendment is defeated. Here's the gist:

This campaign has momentum because the voters know that we need strong leadership to make progress in our country.  And the voters are learning about the campaign because volunteers are bringing it directly to them.  I ask for your help in that effort...

But not this week.

This week must be about the Constitutional Convention.  I've been a leader in the fight for marriage equality and full equal rights for all since before I was even elected to office.  I serve as what's called a division whip on the issue which means that I am the point person for the efforts to persuade a number of legislators to oppose the amendment.  I know firsthand that your efforts are making a difference, but there is more to be done this week.  Please find a way to contact your legislators and support MassEquality's actions.

I have discussed the issue with my campaign staff, interns, and lead volunteers, and they are taking this Thursday off from campaigning to join up with the efforts in Boston.  Please join us!  People will be arriving at the Statehouse at 7:00am and I promise you the show of support for equality sends a strong message to those last legislators who are struggling to make up their minds.

Pretty cool.

Lastly, LeftinLowell posted videos of the Iraq War forum between all the Democratic Candidates. Of particular note are the questions, which you can go directly to by following that link, on Don't Ask Don't Tell and allowing colleges to ban military recruiters because it violates their non-discrimination clauses because of DADT. There are some very revealing answers on that.

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Billy Graham and black folks

WaPo reports three former U.S. presidents came together Thursday to praise evangelist Billy Graham and help dedicate a library in his honor, a $27 million complex that traces the preacher's rise from farm boy to the most widely heard minister in the world.

My grandmother liked Billy Graham. I never understood why. I just learned today reading an article in WaPo that both former presidents Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton recalled how Graham helped bring blacks and whites together in the South through his insistence that his crusades be racially integrated. Maybe that's why my grandmother liked him.

Or may she knew that in 1957 Billy Graham's New York City crusade ran for 16 weeks at Madison Square Garden. Where he recruited his first black associate, Cleveland pastor Howard Jones. He received a letter from civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. congratulating him on his efforts to end segregation.

My Grandmother has passed many years ago, Billy Graham is now 88. I have a new found respect for Billy Graham. It's to bad I found this new found respect so late in life. But its never to late  to have more respect for our fellow man.

His wife, Ruth, who is 86 is bedridden at their home with osteoarthritis. Graham has preached in person to more than 210 million people in a career spanning six decades. More HERE

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We Don't Need No Stinkin Lawyers

    In an effort to continue to circumvent due process, this administration wants to limit access to the detainees in Guantanamo and their attorneys, attorneys which by the way they didn't want them to have in the first place.

    The Justice Department has asked a federal court to impose these tighter restrictions on the attorneys. They argue that it is a breach in security to have them meeting so much with their clients and also to be able to view classified documents. These classified documents are the ones being using to prove the status of the detainees. This is eerily similar to the run up to the war strategy. The strategy where the administration would plant a story in the media and then quote the story later as proof of their quote's authenticity, better known as a circular argument and propaganda.

There's more...

Diaries

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