While she’s relieved that the Violence Against Women Act finally become reinstated yesterday
, Elizabeth Colbert-Busch is definitely unhappy that it took so long.
And that all of the Republican congressmen from South Carolina voted against VAWA makes it even worse, she says.
“I am horrified by the complete disconnect between the danger that women in South Carolina face, and how their Republican representatives voted,” said Colbert-Busch in a statement released this afternoon.
This reinstatement follows a two-month relative absence of VAWA, which had been in effect since 1994, and only needed formal renewal last year.
In May 2012, however, the Republican-led U.S. House of Representatives attempted to change VAWA
following its Senate renewal, seeking to remove inclusion of programs for Native American, LGBT and immigrant victims of domestic violence.
Voting against this renewal
, however, were Reps. Joe Wilson, Jeff Duncan, Trey Gowdy, Mick Mulvaney and Tom Rice. Both Scott and Sen. Lindsey Graham voted against the Senate version
on Feb. 12.
“These are the very same politicians who are always claiming that they have South Carolinians’ best interests at heart,” said Colbert Busch. “Try telling that to the families of the 39 women—and 13 men—who were killed by their partners in South Carolina in 2011.”
An average of 36,000 South Carolina women are victims of domestic violence every year
, according to the state Attorney General, and the state currently ranks second-highest in murders by domestic violence. One of every eight women in South Carolina suffers physical abuse in relationships at least once.
Since first passage of VAWA in 1994, the number of women killed by intimate partners decreased by 34 percent
, domestic violence against men dropped 46 percent
, and the rate of all domestic violence in the U.S. fell 67 percent
That Democrats and Republicans think differently is rather obvious to most.
But these opposing political supporters even think from different parts of the brain, a recent study found.
According to the recent (and appropriately titled) “Red Brain, Blue Brain
” report, Democrats have higher activity in the left insula – the part of the brain that processes internal cues and emotions – when facing risks.
When Republicans think about risk, however, they have much higher activity in the right amygdale, the region of the brain associated with fear and exterior cues. As a result, these conservative-leaning voters “show greater sensitivity to threatening stimuli,” the report concludes in its summary.
In other words, Democrats tend to think through challenging circumstances before responding, while Republicans are more prone to react impulsively and emotionally to outside influences.
The “Red Brain, Blue Brain” study was conducted by professors of medicine, psychology, psychiatry, biology and (of course) political science, and was released by the Public Library of Science
on Feb. 13.
Eighty-two subjects who identified their political preferences participated in the research, which included MRI tests conducted as they participated in risk-taking mental exercises and games. Researchers confirmed subject party identification by voting records.
Although the study was just released, similar ones have circulated in recent years, and it seems the Republican Party has kept up with the topic, too.
For example, a 2008 study published in Science
noted that conservatives have much quicker and stronger physiological reactions to sudden noises and alarming photos than do liberal Democrats, and establishes connotation between Republicans’ knee-jerk responses and their political beliefs of increased military spending and capital punishment.
Republican campaign platforms and political ads used that year and in following have been laden with such tactics, too. For example (and see slide show for images at the bottom of this page):
- The McCain campaign was often criticized for using “fear factors,” such as calling opponent Obama a “terrorist” and implying racial division in 2008.
- Hoping to build support for offshore drilling, the GOP falsely claimed that China was drilling immediately off the coast of Cuba, threatening U.S. oil supplies.
- Arguments against the Affordable Care Act from 2009 and 2010 told of “death panels.”
- Both Republican candidates and the National Rifle Association continue false claims that “Obama will take away your guns.”
- The “Obama is a Muslim” tactic has been continuously promoted, and at times in support of the juvenile “birth certificate” argument.
- In March 2010, an internal party presentation that was leaked to media showed how the Republican National Committee intended to promote the term “socialism” as a fear-inducing tactic in voter outreach and fundraising.
- Voters saw that fraudulent “socialism” tactic regularly used in 2012, too, and from Republican candidates for U.S. Senate and U.S. House, not to mention the presidential race.
- A tactic now known as “Medi-scare” – a false claim that the savings Obamacare produces for Medicare were actually cuts to its benefits, thus threatening the well-being of seniors – was widely used by many campaigns.
- And in last year’s elections, strongly religious voters were pelted with ads and other communications that frequently referred to “danger” and “threats” to “Judeo-Christian” values. Some were even told that a vote for President Obama was equivalent to “reject(ing) Jesus Christ” and would “put your own soul in jeopardy,” and were threatened with the claim that their votes would “be recorded in eternity.” (See video at bottom of this page)
Apparently, and as 2012 election results showed, the population of “blue brain” Americans seems to be dominant.
Another study associating political beliefs to specific operation of the brain was released recently, as well.
Last year, the Univ. of South Carolina released a neurological study of similar format
but focusing on different areas of the brain. Similar to the “Red Brain, Blue Brain” results, this study found members of the opposing parties to have higher activity rates in different cranial areas.
Democrats have more activity in the part of the brain connected with wider social connections, such as friends and issues that affect more people and are inclusive of other parts of the world, the USC study concludes; on the other hand, Republicans are dominantly active in the brain region associated with tight social connections, such as family and their own personal properties and interests.
While millions across the country watched Sunday's Super Bowl, a prominent South Carolina Republican spent the time tweeting crude comments about the game and its participants, leading to a series of arguments that are still ongoing.
Todd Kincannon, a Columbia attorney and ranking member of the South Carolina Republican Party, apparently drew the last straw in the Twitter community with the following message, submitted at 9:09 p.m. on Feb. 3:
“This Super Bowl sucks more d--- than adult Trayvon Martin would have for drug money.”
was the unarmed, young African-American who, while walking in his father’s subdivision, was shot and killed by a Neighborhood Watch coordinator in February 2012.
Retorts from many were quickly responded to in counter-tweets from Kincannon, who responded with insults and additional questionable comments on race, violence and homosexuality.
In other tweets submitted during the game, Kincannon referred to Colin Kaepernick, the biracial quarterback who started for the 49ers in yesterday’s game, as “quadroon” and “mulatto.”
In an interview yesterday with Huffington Post Live
, Kincannon defended his Twitter statements, saying “they were just for fun.”
- In October 2012, a conservative online journal reported that Kincannon was caught “sexting” (not once, not twice, but three times), submitting nude photographs of himself and requesting the same from women in the Columbia region.
(Lindsay Street/Summerville Patch)
For Tuesday's presidential debate, the Charleston County Republican Party hosted a watch party
complete with food, drinks and ... someone dressed in pimp garb who wore an Obama mask.
I find that personally disturbing, not just because I’m active with the competing party in the area, and not just because I find CCRP's welcoming of that attendee to be just as discriminatory, negatively-stereotyping and racist as his costume, either.
What offends me is the negative implications now placed upon my Republican friends and relatives.
The person who pulled this stunt made it clear that the Republican Party no longer represents the values of its voters. While party officials and representatives may talk about faith, families, limited government and other so-called conservative issues, their actions are completely different. And that unfairly paints a negative image upon voters who actually support those ideals.
We see this in Republican politicians and candidates very often.
Take, for example, the rhetoric regularly stated by our Republican congressman Tim Scott
. He publicly complains about “big government,” but his record seems to indicate he’s in favor of “Big Brother.”
He voted to extend warrantless searches of your computer
, for example – that allows government to directly access your computer, even your Internet history, at any time without any authorization or even established need. Scott also voted to allow your employer to force you to give up your passwords to social websites
, such as facebook, so that your boss can keep a close eye on your private life. If your employer doesn’t like what he sees, or if you refuse to hand over your passwords? You can be fired.
How, then, is Scott supporting the traditional Republican tenets of freedom and smaller government?
This hypocrisy is especially evident in Carter’s campaign platform. In a “Political Courage” survey he answered earlier this year
, for example, Carter gave some classic conservative answers, calling for reductions in Medicaid benefits and absolutely no restrictions on the purchase or possession of weapons.
In 2000, though, and in response to a survey from this same Vote Smart organization, Carter said he supported an increase in Medicaid benefits, even for non-US citizens. And we should “maintain and strengthen” gun laws, he said. (See his 2000 “Political Courage” responses here
.)So to which party, then, does Carter actually align: Democrat or Republican?
Neither one. Carter apparently wouldn’t represent anyone other than himself.
I think he made that perfectly clear earlier this year, too. During a primary debate, when asked about his previous run for the same office as a Democrat, Carter openly stated that he intentionally misled voters that year. He was only running as a Democrat because he thought it was a strong Democratic district, he stated.
Carter said that, if he’d won that 2000 contest, he would have switched parties the very next year, right after being elected.
This “say one thing, do the opposite” pattern from the GOP isn’t in any way reflective of the Republicans I know.
My brother, for example, who’s a very conservative financial consultant, is quite fed up with the financial irresponsibility that the GOP keeps presenting in its budget proposals.
A neighbor and very good friend, who’s quite firm in his faith, has lost faith in the Republican Party because of the apparent double-standard its elected officials hold for themselves.
And I know that the Republican voters in our community aren’t childish with hints of racism, either, even though that seemed to be the projection at Tuesdays’s local GOP event.
To the actual, true Republican citizens in the Lowcountry, don’t worry – I won’t let that incident affect my perspectives of you and your values, and I’ll make sure local Democrats know that, too.
But you need to reclaim your party very quickly, or else just leave the GOP.
Until then, we all need to vote our values this November. And the only way to do that, apparently, is by voting Democrat, especially in these local races.
(David Becker/Getty Images)
While he is still taking flak for a secret video
that got released last week (see below), there were many other notable quotes and deeds from Mitt Romney in that same period that shouldn’t be overlooked.
And that “47 percent
” line wasn’t the worst of them, either. Romney appeared on Univision
, a Hispanic U.S. television network, but only after his campaign team was allowed to fill the empty seats of the studio with Romney supporters
. And his faux pas (or “paso en falso”) wasn’t the tanned, Spanish skin tone
that some media thought to be his cosmetic attempt to look Latino.
Romney reportedly refused to enter the stage when called by the hosts (“threw a tantrum
,” according to one witness) because he didn’t like this traditional intro of the network. He forced the crew to start shooting all over again with his own favored introduction of last-minute planning. Speaking about his goal to repeal the Affordable Care Act
on Sunday’s 60 Minutes
, Romney suggested that folks without insurance could simply go to a hospital emergency room
when they needed medical care.
Not only is this practice partly responsible for the very high cost of medical care
in the U.S., and even for the high cost of medical insurance
for others, but it’s also the exact opposite of what Romney told voters in his last presidential campaign.
In a 2008 debate of Republican candidates, Romney said
“they shouldn’t be allowed to just show up at the hospital and say, somebody else should pay for me.” After long wait and uncountable requests, on Sept. 21 Romney
finally released his most recent tax return
. He could have taken an additional $1.75 million in deductions for charitable donations, too, he points out, but chose not to, thus increasing his tax burden.
But just weeks ago in July, Romney said he would never, ever pass up on a possible tax deduction; in fact, to do so would mean he shouldn’t get elected, he said
. “(F)rankly if I had paid more than are legally due, I don’t think I’d be qualified to become president.”
This release of his last tax return didn’t answer many questions, either, and instead just created new ones
. Lastly, Romney thinks the aircraft industry
has long overlooked one needed improvement – retractable windows!
Explaining how an onboard electrical mishap delayed his wife’s flight last Friday, Romney said
“you can’t find any oxygen from outside the aircraft to get in the aircraft, because the windows don’t open. I don’t know why they don’t do that. It’s a real problem.”
Of course, airplane windows don’t open for three main reasons: 1) there is a depreciation of oxygen at flight altitudes
, meaning passengers would pass out and quickly die, 2) the temperature is far below zero
at such elevations, and 3) passengers would be sucked out
of their pressurized cabins. (Add in all the litter from folks tossing out their empty peanut packs, and it’s even clearer.)
And this, folks, is just a one-week recap of the man who wants to be your president.
At the recent Republican National Convention, congresswoman (and former presidential candidate) Michele Bachmann defended her former opponent against claims he was out-of-touch with the average American.
A USA Today reporter asked her, "(T)here are those who say, 'How can someone with that kind of vast wealth really connect with the American public, really understand what the plight of the American public is?'"
Bachmann's response? "Well, President Obama is extremely wealthy. He and his wife have been wealthy for a number of years, and so I think that's really the issue."
Go on - see it for yourself in the video below:
So, Bachmann says, Mitt Romney is the preferred candidate because Obama has too much money?
Of course, we could just compare their tax returns side-by-side, now couldn't we? (You can use the "view in full screen" options, located in the bottom-right corner of each of the Scribd columns below.)
ROMNEY'S 2011 TAX FILING
OBAMA'S 2011 TAX FILING
This just in for Michele Bachmann: $20,808,805 is greater than $844,585
. TWENTY FIVE TIMES greater, in fact.
And it's FOUR HUNDRED AND NINETY NINE
times more than the average American income of $41,673.83
Now, call me strange, but I can't help but notice that Romney got none of the $20.8 million from actual work. That's right - his multi-millions didn't come from any job. They came from interest on his other money. From stock dividends. And from rental properties, too.
So who is it exactly, Bachmann, that's out of touch with the average American household? Mitt Romney, that's who.
As for Bachmann herself? She's out of touch with reality.
Browsing the internet this evening, I stumbled across what I find to be the clearest, most concise indication that no one in the State of South Carolina should ever have faith in the Republican Party.
To wit, its operative leaders are the sloppiest, dumbest group of attention-seekers imaginable
. And if anyone ever wondered why SCGOP has waged such a war against public education in our state, it's clearly because its active members never got any education themselves.
Below is an exact word-for-word and letter-for-letter depiction of the current headline story on the Charleston County Republican Party's website
REP. TIM SCOTT – MIKE HUCKAGEE “UNDECIDED SOUTH CAROLINA VOTERS” FORUM
Former Arksanas Gov. Mike Huckabee will hold a forum for Undecided Voters that will be cohosted by arranged our Congressman Tim Scott.
Now, I understand that "HUCKAGEE" could have stemmed from the B/G mix-up that's a common typo on our QWERTY boards. But wouldn't the local members of his party be more familiar with that spelling, and have noticed the error quickly? Don't forget the "Arksanas." And "cohosted by arranged our"?
Think about it. That's the name of a former governor, former presidential candidate and current national news darling (albeit FOX News). And the write-up is about a presidential primary election in our state to which the entire nation is paying attention. Don't you think whoever made that entry to CCRP's site should have ... oh, I don't know .... copyedited
, maybe? Thought it over for a second? Double-checked?
Then again, it's already obvious they don't pay attention to any of the candidates they select and vote for. (Um, hello?!?! Governor "help another state's competing port take business away from ours" Haley? Appalachian Sanford? And that big long list
of SCGOP folks busted for crimes ranging from harassment to drug dealing to sexual abuse of children?)
If they'll overlook errors of that magnitude, I guess paying a nickel's worth of attention to the press releases they type up and distribute online isn't very important to them, either, even though the entire nation is paying very close attention them at the moment.
I won't let them use their density as excuse for the Jan. 21 primary results, though.
Just so you know I'm not making this up (and just in case the Charleston County GOP hears about this and tries to make the corrections later), I snagged an image of that page
Recent polls show pizza mogul Herman Cain plowing forward in the Republican presidential primary contest. He’s tied for the lead
with Mitt Romney in recent national polls, and yesterday he soundly outdistanced Romney in a Florida poll
And Democrats across the country are responding to this news with …… “Yee-haw! Bring him on!”
The man who wants to
lower taxes on wealth while raising taxes on everybody else – even charge a nine percent national sales tax upon Americans who live in utter poverty – would be the best opponent to incumbent Obama, Democrats find, and because these same polls say the president would clean Cain’s clock
in a general election.
Sadly, Cain remains a distant third
in South Carolina polls, though. Only eight percent of Palmetto State Republicans would vote for him in the upcoming January primary (the fourth in the country
), falling from the peak of 15 percent he held here in early June.
And South Carolina is a must-win for Cain, too. Since 1980, every Republican candidate who led in the South Carolina primary race went on to win
the party nomination for the general election.
Hoping to boost Candidate Cain (and guarantee the Democratic hold on the White House, too) SC Forward Progress
produced this latest video.
The video might not seem very flattering to ordinary viewers, but not all Republicans in South Carolina are ordinary voters.
With his idiotic takes on taxes and responsible parenthood, his obvious ignorance of particular issues, his impugning of poverty, not to mention his claims about so-called risks of Muslims and Sharia law (which have been compared to the McCarthy-like “anti-communist Red Scare of the 1950s
”), Cain might appeal to an uneducated, far right, that’s for sure. And we know such far-right Republicans have somewhat of a presence in here in South Carolina, too.
But when it comes down to the rest of America, it’ll be Cain who’s slain in a general election, and not the able incumbent Obama.
Yet another update on Wisconsin Republicans attempting to practice a most non-Democratic, non-representational format of government – yesterday afternoon, citizens were forcibly removed from the state assembly for exercising their established legal rights in the state.
When the video (below) opens you see Rep. Peter Barca, the Dem minority leader (who’s fought hard
against the GOP’s Gestapo tactics in Wisconsin so far this year), being interrupted by protests from the public audience.
But the protests aren’t against Barca or his statements; they’re against the capitol police who are removing that person because he’s videotaping the session.
State law allowing such videotaping has been on the books since 1977, though (Statute 19.90
, also referred to as
the “Wisconsin Photographers’ Bill of Rights”).
“Whenever a governmental body holds a meeting in open session, the body shall make a reasonable effort to accommodate any person desiring to record, film or photograph the meeting,” it reads. As long the photographer isn’t interfering with the session or its participants, he or she is allowed to film, and without need for permission beforehand.
After the citizen with the video camera gets removed, the session is then delayed by one who appears to be speaker pro tempore Bill Kramer
, who requests other attendees in the gallery to put cameras away.
Next, in a not clearly audible statement, a woman from the gallery sounds as if she stipulates Statute 19.90 in defense of those citizens, but the assumed Kramer only responds with “that’s nice.”
He then tries to justify his forced removal of those Wisconsin citizens by citing something completely different – the state’s Assembly Rules, which were last modified earlier this year. “Under Assembly Rule 26, only credentialed members of the press are allowed to use recording devices in this chamber; guests may not,” he says.
But the assumed Kramer is wrong, and in two different ways. First of all, he’s citing the wrong rule. The only portion of Rule 26
that seems in any way relevant states “a person…may not possess or use in the assembly chamber a microphone designed to pick up conversation more than 10 feet away from the microphone.” In other words, only the assembly can decide to amplify any discourse of a session, and no one can try to secretly broadcast it within the chambers. And it specifies “microphone” – it doesn’t say camera or video recorder.
Second, the rule he must have been thinking of isn’t pertinent, either. Assembly Rule 25
(“Admission to the floor of the assembly”) reads that only “representatives of news media that regularly publish or broadcast reports available to the general public who are actively engaged in reporting the proceedings of the assembly” are allowed on the assembly floor
. But it has no restrictions on anyone – even non-media – from being present with cameras in the gallery
, which is where these ejected persons were sitting.
(posted to youtube by nicknicemadison