Binders and Blinders: You Didn’t Build That Binder

A Poll of a lie used to perpetuate and justify a lie, is still a lie.

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

— by Steven Bradley

How to make a lie look like a reality – take a poll

  • Say a lie that engenders people to you.
  • Get a “focus group” to hear your lie during a Debate.
  • Poll the effect of your lie on their opinion after the Debate.
  • Declare the lie as insignificant and the Poll representing a shift in women’s opinions.
  • Use the Poll later to sway opinions and discount further examination of the truth.

Has anyone been following this “binders of women” issue on the news? It has begun to have a life of its own hasn’t it?

But does pointing a lie out after the fact have the same effect as pointing it out at the time it occurs? Will conservative pundits point out lies by their own kind or just cover them up?

About 65 million people watched the second Debate where Mitt Romney lied about the “binders of women” as being one of his own initiatives to hire and place women in his Cabinet.

Most people who listened to the Debate will never know the truth. The truth that, both candidates during the race for Governor in Massachusetts were given binders and signed an agreement with a woman’s action organization to hire women in their administration. They were both given binders of women to draw from in filling positions at a time long before the election occurred. It wasn’t Mitt Romney’s initiative at all that put women in his administration…

More after the jump.

Another reason to be disgusted with the direction NBC is taking with their morning shows. They are now pandering to the largest conservatives, their owners.

MSNBC might be progressive at night but it isn’t in the morning.

The exchange between Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski on “Morning Joe” (MSNBC) October 18, 2012 is a prime example of what these “Conservatives” really think of women.

Mika was an “island of reason” surrounded by an “old boy network”. She was attacked for speaking out about Mitt Romney’s lies. I could just picture these guys saying dumb blond jokes in the locker room later after the show.

Joe Scarborough the host of Morning Joe belittled Mika Brzezinski and her opinion as not being representative of women in general regarding this binder issue and its importance to the election. Joe based his argument on an MSNBC poll taken right after the second Debate on Romney’s popularity among women by NBC.

“A Poll of a lie used to perpetuate and justify a lie, is still a lie.”

The MSNBC focus group Poll was based on women hearing Mitt Romney’s presentation at the Debate and not knowing about his blatant binder lies.

In sales terms this is called; “Closing the deal before they figure out the truth.”

This is how Conservatives do it. They lie and then back their lie up with another lie and discount the value of you, your opinion, or even the truth. Pretty soon you don’t know what to believe anymore.

How can you ignore the impact that the truth would have had on a women’s opinion had they known?

Conservatives use lies and double down on them and then challenge anyone who would dare speak out against them. It’s called “being a bully” and it was clearly demonstrated on the Morning Joe Show.

Also, have you noticed Mitt Romney’s pattern when it comes to public appearances lately?

After the Republican Convention and each of the Debates Mitt Romney has held off his appearances until his “morning conservative allies in media” have had a chance to spin the story his way and build up momentum. They don’t want anyone questioning Mitt Romney too soon and spoiling their marketing plan.

It looks like people within NBC are exploiting their own polling to shape opinion rather than report it.

Joe Scarborough has no shame.

That should be a clue to you women out there about listening to him and any of these “conservatives.”

I find the Conservative disdain for women absolutely disgusting.

More power to you Mika Brzezinski for speaking out and trying.

It looks like Joe Scarborough is Rush Limbaugh’s surrogate now.

Gov. Rendell & Mayor Goode Leadoff Black Jewish Leadership Series


(left to right) Former Mayor Wilson Goode and former Governor Ed Rendell talk privately before making a presentation and taking questions.

— by Bonnie Squires

The Black Jewish Leadership Series began today with a lunch and discussion on Black-Jewish relations with:

  • Edward G. Rendell, Former Governor of Pennsylvania and
  • W. Wilson Goode, Sr., Former Mayor of Philadelphia

 
More after the jump.                    


(left to right) Gregory Davis, Rep. Mark Cohen, Derek Green, Esq., Kory Grushka, Esq., Hon. Wilson Goode, Hon. Ed Rendell, and Michael Bronstein.

The Black Jewish Leadership Series is a speaker series where leaders from the Jewish and Black (and other) communities are invited to meet and greet some of today’s leading civic, business and political figures. Featured speakers include elected officials or candidates for federal or
state‐wide offices, civic leaders and prominent business persons.

The event was a collaboration between the Idea Coalition and the Blank Rome Diversity
Committee.

Photos: Bonnie Squires


(left to right) Timothy Roseboro, Steven Bradley, and David Hyman all talked about the AJCommittee’s Black-Jewish program, Operation Understanding, which brings together Jewish and African American high school students to socialize and learn about each others’ experiences with prejudice.

             

The Legislative Reapportionment Commission Strikes Out

Great news to report from the Pennsylvania Supreme Court!

Gerrymandering declared unconstitutional in Holt v. 2011 Legislative Reapportionment Commission.

Our recent article The Legislative Reapportionment Commission Strikes Back explained Pennsylvania’s flawed redistricting process. Many local leaders petitioned the Pennsylvania Supreme Court about how their communities had been diced into a number of legislative districts. The LRC countered those claims by appealing to the big picture: those splits were “necessary”. Meanwhile, Amanda Holt et al and State Senator Jay Costa et al each proposed a complete redistricting map superior to the LRC’s official map according to all of the relevant criteria: they split fewer communities, the districts were more compact and equal in population, etc. The LRC countered these petitions saying that they usurped the LRC’s traditional authority.


Amanda Holt

In the past few citizens had the technological know how to propose redistricting maps of their own so unfair maps went unchallenged. Now private citizens like Amanda Holt can produce such maps on their personal computers. In fact,  Philadelphia, Ohio, Michigan, Virginia and Arizona have held redistricting contests literally inviting their citizens to help draw the lines.

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court agreed with the petitioners and rejected the LRC’s gerrymander. The vote was 4-3 with Justices Castille (R), Baer (D), Todd (D) and McCaffery (D) in the majority, and Justices Saylor (R), Eakin (R) and Melvin (R) dissenting. Chief Justice Ronald D. Castille crossed party lines and joined the three democratic Associate Justices in the per curium order remanding the redistricting back to the Legislative Reapportionment Commission which will have to start over again.

AND NOW, this 25th day of January, 2012, upon consideration of the petitions for review and briefs in these legislative redistricting appeals, and after entertaining oral argument on January 23, 2012, this court finds that the final 2011 Legislative Reapportionment Plan is contrary to law. PA. CONST. art. II, Sec. 17(d). Accordingly, the final 2011 Legislative Reapportionment Plan is REMANDED to the 2011 Legislative Reapportionment Commission with a directive to reapportion the Commonwealth in a manner consistent with this Court’s Opinion which will follow.

The 2001 Legislative Reapportionment Plan… shall remain in effect until a revised final 2011 Legislative Reapportionment Plan having the force of law is approved.

In the meantime, we will stick with the old districts drawn in 2001.

Is the idea that voters should choose their representatives passé?

For too long, politicians have usurped the rights of citizen’s to choose their representatives, instead gerrymandering their states, effectively choosing the people who are most likely to elect them. Hopefully this decision will limit the ability of politicians to choose their constituents and put the power back where it belongs — in the hands of the people.

The new calendar for nominating petitions follows the jump.

  • Today, January 26. Nomination petitions can be circulated using the old districts. Signatures dated January 24 or January 25 will still be accepted even if they come from the districts on the rejected LRC plan.
  • Thursday, February 16, last day to file nominating petitions.
  • Thursday, February 23, last day to file objections to nominating petitions.
  • Monday, February 27, last day court may hold hearings on objections to nominating petitions.
  • Friday, March 2, list of candidates for the primary is finalized. This is the last day for the court to rule on objections to nominating petitions, and the last day for candidates to withdraw.

The Legislative Reapportionment Commission Strikes Back


Pennsylvania’s historic gerrymander is approaching a conclusion.

Let’s review the story so far.

  • Act One: Stacking the Deck. The Census Bureau released the data for Pennsylvania from the 2010 Census on March 11, 2011, but the Legislative Reapportionment Commission on a party-line vote delayed choosing their fifth and final member until the Republican-controlled Pennsylvania Supreme Court stepped in and named Judge Stephen McEwen (R) on April 19.
  • Act Two: Running Out The Clock. According to a plain reading of the Pennsylvania Constitution, the LRC then had a 90-day deadline and had to prepare a preliminary plan by July 18. There would then be 60 days for “corrections” and hearings, leading to a final plan by September 17.
    Any appeals to that plan would have to be filed within 30 days or by October 16. This schedule is designed to give plenty of time for potential candidates to plan before filing to run in next year’s elections. However, according to the Republicans on the Legislative Reapportionment Commission, Pennsylvania does not have census data until they say that Pennsylvania has census data. The LRC’s first public meeting was not until August 17, and at that time, they certified their approval of the United States Census data for Pennsylvania and declared that this would start the 90-day clock. By a stroke of the pen, the Republicans bought themselves four months of time.
  • Act Three: Bait and Switch. Republicans on the Committee pretend to negotiate with the Democrats in good faith, and then reveal their secret, partisan redistricting plan minutes before the LRC votes along party lines. The 2011 poster child for the abuse of voters’ rights to fair elections is manifested in central Pennsylvania’s 15th Senatorial district shown above. Currently, the district encompasses Harrisburg and its suburbs east of the Susquehanna River, plus a small adjacent section of York County. But in an attempt to protect an embattled incumbent Senator, the LRC created a new district that eliminates troublesome Harrisburg constituents. So instead of being contained almost entirely in a compact Dauphin County region, the new 15th district snakes through Dauphin, Cumberland, Perry, York and Adams counties creating a 150 mile horseshoe that dismantles any sense of community.
  • Act Four: General Outrage. Local community leaders object that their communities have been  divided into multiple districts — contrary to the protections offered by the Pennsylvania Constitution. The plan has been opposed by public officials throughout the gerrymander. Concerned citizen Amanda Holt develops a map of her own using more compact districts which minimizes splits of county and townships.
  • Act Five: Our Protests Fall On Deaf Ears. December 12, the LRC issues its final redistricting plan, and eleven groups of Pennsylvanians file petitions with the Pennsylvania Supreme Court challenging this map.

Now, the Legislative Reapportionment Commission has responded to the various petitions.

Some of the petitions are by mayors and other locals officials whose communities have been split, packed, cracked and otherwise gerrymandered by the proposed map. The LRC argues that such local concerns should be ignored because splits are necessary in one corner of the state in order to avoid other problems elsewhere.

However, the complaints by Amanda Holt et al and Senator Jay Costa et al take a holistic approach. They both propose complete maps which satisfying the Federal and State requirements of equal population, compact districts, etc. while avoiding splits better than does the LRC map. However, the LRC does not accept this sort of map, saying that approving a map which was not created by the LRC would “invite the public at large to usurp the Commission’s responsibilities and subvert its constitutional role.”

The LRC argues that their plan is no more gerrymandered than previous redistricting maps, and perhaps they are correct on this point. However, computer technology is much more widespread now than it was in 1980 or 1990 or 2000. Back then the only people who could understand the arcane world of redistricting were experts with years of training and expensive equipment, so political operatives were able to get away with a lot of mischief. Now, ordinary citizens like Amanda Holt are able to work with the same data that the LRC has been working with, and if her map is better than the LRC’s map according to all of the criteria mentioned in the Voting Rights Act, the United States Constitution and the Pennsylvania Constitution, then it should be adopted in place of the flawed plan put forward by the LRC.

Oral arguments are scheduled for this Monday, January 23 in the Supreme Court Courtroom at the Capitol Building in Harrisburg.

Because of the delays imposed by the Republicans on the LRC, the Supreme Court will have little time to decide. Candidates will start circulating nominating petitions for the primaries the very next day: Tuesday, January 24. It would be very confusing to change the district lines once the primary is underway. (The nominating petitions are due on February 14.)

The question is whether the Pennsylvania Supreme Court will act like a partisan body and rubber stamp the gerrymander by a 4-3 party line vote, or whether they will stand up for the Pennsylvania Constitution and protect the voting rights of Pennsylvanians across the political spectrum.