Tag Archives: voting

TRMS Explores Literacy Tests in Our Nations Voting History

Posted by: Audiegrl

Rachel Maddow ShowMSNBC’s Rachel Maddow reviews the history of how “literacy tests” were used to prevent Black people from voting in America and why Tom Tancredo’s opening speech to the Tea Party convention calling for the return of those tests is so abhorrent. Harvard Law School professor Charles Ogletree shares his insights on racism in the United States.

This clip caught my attention, because as Rachel pointed out, this is not ancient history, the Voting Rights bill was passed in 1965, when I was three years old. The topic also reminded me of a story my parents told me. But a little background first. Although, they came to Northern Illinois in 1942, the first election they were ‘allowed’ to vote in, was for President John F. Kennedy. Seriously… They were not in the Southern states that Rachel mentioned, but in the North. I’m not sure all the literacy tests they were given, except for one. My mother was given the task to name all of Shakespere’s sonnets. She didn’t pass that test, so she was not allowed to vote.

When they voted for President Kennedy, they went as a group from the American Legion, because my father served honorably in World War II. My Great-Uncle also went with him that day, he served honorably in World War I. Amazingly although both were veterans, this was the first vote for both of them, and they sure were proud. 🙂

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Bernanke confirmed for 2nd term in 70-30 Senate vote

WASHINGTON — Federal Reserve chief Ben Bernanke won confirmation Thursday to a second term as the US central banker, despite sharp attacks on his role before the 2008 financial meltdown and in its aftermath.

After a bitter debate that roiled global stock markets, the US Senate voted 70-30 to approve Bernanke after easily dispatching an effort to block the nomination days before his term was to expire on Sunday.

President Barack Obama declared himself “gratified” by the vote and said Bernanke was needed because “while the worst of the storm has passed, its devastation remains and we have a lot of work to do to rebuild our economy.”

Opposition to Bernanke — who drew a historic number of “no” votes — had led Obama and top aides to work the phones to court wavering Senators gripped by election-year populist pressures over the battered US economy.

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Young People Grade Obama’s First Year

Posted by: Audiegrl

Nancy Lublin/DoSomething.org~Despite disappointment on some key issues, majority of young people would still vote for President Obama.

Today is the 1 year anniversary of President Obama’s inauguration, so DoSomething.org asked young people whether they think President Obama “made the grade” during his first year in office. Their responses garnered some interesting results.

According to the survey results, young adults do not feel that President Obama has adequately delivered on key campaign promises like ending the war in Afghanistan and addressing gay rights policy issues. However, on issues more directly relevant to teens, Obama garners significantly more support. Almost 62% of teens surveyed support Obama’s plans for making college more accessible, and 63.4% approve his decision to focus on more comprehensive sex ed programs. Similarly, 58.9% support a plan to allow young people to remain on their parents’ health coverage through the age of 26.

Despite this hesitation with his early policy decisions, the majority of young adults surveyed say that they would still vote for President Obama tomorrow, even though 65.1% revealed that they did not think Obama deserved the Nobel Peace Prize in 2009. The first lady, on the other hand, had the widest margin of support from those surveyed, with 74.3% believing that Michelle Obama is adequately fulfilling her job as a national role model.

Young adults were split in support over Obama’s bank bailout decisions with 41% against, 36.7% in support of, and 22.3% unsure. They were similarly unsure of how Obama has handled global warming and environmental concerns, with 47% against, 23% in support of, and 30% unsure.

The survey goes on to highlight those issues that young adults feel should be the top three priorities for President Obama in 2010. The Economy (70.1%) came in as the biggest priority, with the Wars in Iraq & Afghanistan (51.7%) and Education (47.8%) also playing a huge role.

The complete report can be viewed at www.DoSomething.org.

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Kennedy’s 1980 Speech At The DNC

Senator Edward Kennedy 1932-2009

Senator Edward Kennedy 1932-2009


Posted by Audiegrl
This is Senator Kennedy’s “The Dream Will Never Die” speech given at the 1980 DNC. He had just lost the nomination to Jimmy Carter, but still wanted to let his supporters know that he was still fighting for them. I remember watching this, because this was the first year I was old enough to vote.

My parents always instilled in me that voting was a privilege and an honor and a duty that should not be wasted. Although they had migrated north in 1942, they were not allowed to vote until they cast their vote for John F. Kennedy in 1960. The pollsters before that used all types of litmus tests and tricks to disenfranchise African-American voters. Like asking them to recite Shakespeare’s sonnets, or something that was bound to disqualify them from voting. My dad after WWII even tried going to vote in his Navy uniform, but still was not allowed to vote. So once they voted for President Kennedy, the die was cast, and not-voting was not an option in my family. 🙂

I still remember my Dad taking me to the polls with them, letting me come inside the booth and holding me up, so I could see the ballot. I did the same thing with my daughter, and one of my proudest moments was last year, when she and I drove together to cast our vote for President Barack Obama. In a way, our families history of voting will always be tied to the Kennedy brothers and we will always be thankful for what they brought to this country.  So please enjoy the video and remember…

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