The Most Powerful, Nonviolent Tool We Have To Create A More Perfect Union

September 7, 2012 at 2:28 am | Posted in civil rights, elections, politics straight up, Voting Rights | Leave a comment
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John Lewis being ushered into a police patrol wagon during a racial demonstration in Nashville, Tenn., as a number of people watch. c.1964

John Lewis gave a speech on Thursday night, in the first hour of the convention, that almost nobody saw, which is too bad, because it summed up the great unmentioned subtext of this year’s election β€” namely, that, between the new torrents of money that are overwhelming the system, and the rise again of voter-suppression legalisms in the various states, which are in many cases products of those same new torrents of money, the election is coming perilously close to becoming a puppet show. The Republicans didn’t mention that, because they have taken in so much of the new money, and because Republican governors and legislators in the various states are behind the new voter-suppression laws, and everybody knows that. The Democrats are caught in a bind, because they have to play in the new universe of campaign finance, too, and because they’re trying to keep up with a symphony of well-financed propaganda that seeks to make voter-suppression into a good-government initiative. John Lewis is not fooled. John Lewis has seen this before. And John Lewis told the convention what he’s seeing rising in the country out of his own past.

If I were running the president’s campaign, I’d shut the hell up about Simpsonp-fking-Bowles and put John Lewis on an airplane and let him tell his story in Ohio, Pennsylvania, and everywhere else this atavistic authoritarian nonsense is going down. There’s more at risk here than anyone knows.

If you did not hear John Lewis’s convention speech, you can do so at C-Span.

The Great Depression & the New Deal

February 17, 2009 at 10:48 am | Posted in Economy, Historical | Leave a comment
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Migrant agricultural workers family. Seven hungry children. Mother aged thirty-two. Father is a native Californian. Destitute in pea pickers camp, Nipomo, California, because of the failure of the early pea crop. These people had just sold their tent in order to buy food. Of the twenty-five hundred people in this camp most of them were destitute.  February or March 1936.  (Photo: Dorothea Lange)

Migrant agricultural worker's family. Seven hungry children. Mother aged thirty-two. Father is a native Californian. Destitute in pea picker's camp, Nipomo, California, because of the failure of the early pea crop. These people had just sold their tent in order to buy food. Of the twenty-five hundred people in this camp most of them were destitute. February or March 1936. (Photo: Dorothea Lange)

It’s an hour — I know, I know, your time is precious, but so is your knowledge base.

Make some popcorn, get your comfy chair ready, then hop on over to C-Span and listen to Eric Rauchway, professor of history at UC-Davis, valued contributor to The Edge of the American West and author of several books, including β€œThe Great Depression & the New Deal,” talk about what the Roosevelt administration did to save the United States in a time of national economic collapse.

Dental clinic, FSA (Farm Security Administration) camp, Weslaco, Texas, February 1942.  (Photo: Arthur Rothstein)

Dental clinic, FSA (Farm Security Administration) camp, Weslaco, Texas, February 1942. (Photo: Arthur Rothstein)

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