MSNBC's Sharpton Claims Voter ID Laws Are a Poll Tax
On the Thursday, January 23, PoliticsNation on MSNBC, host Al Sharpton characterized voter ID laws as a "poll tax" as he celebrated the 50th anniversary of the abolition of poll taxes with the 24th Amendment's passage.
MSNBC's Alter Predicts Obama to 'Rule Against the Pipeline After the Election,' GOP 'Not Sincere About Wanting to Put Americans to Work'
Appearing as a panel member on the Sunday, April 20, Disrupt with Karen Finney, MSNBC political analyst Jonathan Alter -- formerly of Newsweek -- asserted that President Obama's move to delay a final decision on the Keystone Pipeline "strongly increases the likelihood that he will rule against he pipeline after the election," as he recounted a history of Democratic presidents appeasing liberal environmentalists before leaving office when it is politically safer.
A bit later, he took a jab at Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell for criticizing the President's decision on the pipeline as the MSNBC analyst asked if McConnell "only like[s] dirty shovel-ready jobs," and asserted that Republicans are "not sincere about wanting to put Americans to work" because of opposition to President Obama's American Jobs Act.
Below is a transcript of the relevant portions of the Sunday, April 20, Disrupt with Karen Finney on MSNBC:
JONATHAN ALTER: But something I think hasn't gotten mentioned enough. We don't know for sure what his ultimate decision will be, but I think this strongly increases the likelihood that he will rule against the pipeline after the election. For this reason: There's a pattern of Democratic presidents in the past, at the end of their time in office, making big, bold, unilateral, pro-environmental decisions that are in accord with the pro-environmental principles of the Democratic Party.
MItch McConnell, he says, "Well, this is a shovel-ready project. Why don't we vote?" Does he only like dirty shovel-ready projects? The American Jobs Acts, which the Republicans defeated, there are dozens of shovel-ready infrastructure projects that could get going right now to create seven million jobs if the Republicans would just simply get over their anti-Obama bias and say, "Let's put America to work." They're not sincere about wanting to put Americans to work.
MSNBC's Harris-Perry Mocks People Who Lost Their Insurance: Dems Should Say 'Just Deal With That!'
On the Sunday, April 20, Melissa Harris-Perry show on MSNBC, as host Harris-Perry chastised Democrats for not bragging about ObamaCare for the year's midterm elections, she at one point mocked voters angry about having their health insurance plans cancelled, which she referred to as "crappy plans," as she made a crack about how Democrats should declare, "Yeah, you can't keep your crappy plans. Just deal with that!"
Her mockery of the ObamaCare-induced insurance cancellations came as she compared Republicans to people who flip houses and brag about doing only a little work, as she characterized Democrats, by contrast, as people who do substantial work on houses but fail to boast about it adequately to potential buyers. Harris-Perry:
You can have some people -- let's call them Republicans -- who will go into a fallen down blighted house, slap some granite counter tops, while ignoring real problems, and declare their work is the best thing ever.
After boasting boasting about Democrats passing ObamaCare, she added:
And they're not even owning it. No confidence, no swagger. No, "Yeah, you can't keep your crappy plans. Just deal with that!"
Below is a transcript of the relevant portion of the Sunday, April 20, Melissa Harris-Perry on MSNBC:
But try thinking of it this way. It's kind of like flipping a house. No, I really mean a real house. You do a whole lot of little things. You replace the counter tops, you add crown molding, you refinish the floors. It all adds up to something entirely different than where you started.
Now, there are different strategies to house flipping. You can have some people -- let's call them Republicans -- who will go into a fallen down blighted house, slap some granite counter tops, while ignoring real problems, and declare their work is the best thing ever.
They have swagger. They can say to their voters: "That's right. We blocked every last thing we could. We shut down the government. We're still planning to repeal ObamaCare, even though we know that would mean taking health insurance away from milliions of people. We talk a good game.
And then you have the people who will do the more substantial, structural changes. They'll redo the wiring or reinforce the foundation. But they won't do anything to actively and aggressively court buyers or advertise their work. Try as they might, they can't make the house look good.
You know -- Democrats. You know, the same party that passed and defended and implemented the most sweeping social policy in decades, who can say that millions of people now have affordable health insurance that they didn't have before. And they're not even owning it. No confidence, no swagger. No, "Yeah, you can't keep your crappy plans. Just deal with that!"
Now, the President certainly has some of that swagger. Here he is on Thursday after announcing that more than eight million people have signed up for insurance on the ObamaCare exchanges.
MSNBC Panel Slams GOP Governors Where ObamaCare 'Isn't Going Very Well,' '10,000 People a Year That Will Die'
On the Saturday, April 19, Disrupt, as MSNBC's Karen Finney hosted a discussion of ObamaCare noting that President Obama has started encouraging Democrats to brag about the program, guest Dana Milbank of the Washington Post blamed Republican governors for hurting Democratic Senators in red states as he charged that in some states "ObamaCare isn't going very well because of those Republican governors."
A bit later, Zerleena Maxwell of The Grio asserted that 10,000 people a year will die because of Republican governors who have refused to expand Medicare.
After Finney played a clip of President Obama boasting about ObamaCare, Milbank responded:
I think a lot of Democrats need to hear the President saying that because they've been out there supporting this law before, and then the rug is pulled out from under them and something goes wrong. So it is good for him to be saying that.
The problem is, a lot of these Senate Democrats who are in danger are in those states with the Republican governors where ObamaCare isn't going very well because of those Republican governors. So it's not necessarily going to work for the people who are in the most danger.
Ironically, moments later, Jamelle Bouie of Slate magazine fretted that in Kentucky Obama will not be able to take credit for ObamaCare because the state, which has a Democratic governor, named its program KYNCT. Bouie:
I think the challenge for the Democrats in the red states, as like say in Kentucky where ObamaCare isn't ObamaCare, it's KYNCT, right? So it's connecting the state-level program to the national program in a positive way and trying to get like the warm feeling from those state-level programs to ObamaCare.
Finney soon added:
And the other thing is, you know, if you are, it strikes me, and the President kind of sounded off another message, if you're in a state where the governor or the legislature is blocking Medicaid expansion. We're talking millions of people. Why not take them to task for that?
Maxwell responded: Right, and we're talking about 10,000 people a year that will die because Republicans are blocking Medicaid. So we're talking life and death, and this is beyond the politics of it.
MSNBC Panel Members Find 'Disturbing Level' of Gay Activists 'Targeting People'
On Friday's All In show, during a discussion of the firing of former Mozilla CEO Brendan Eich for simply donating to a political campaign opposing same-sex marriage, guest Richard Kim of the far left The Nation magazine intoned that he found it "disturbing" that gay activist friends of his have expressed interesting in "targeting" more people who have made similar donations, and "let's find out where they live." Kim:
Here's a disturbing thing. I did ask some of my gay activist friends, I was like, "Look, here's a list; 6,500 people gave the same amount that he did or more in California. Should we go down the list and sort of start targeting all these people?" And I asked this facetiously, and people were like, "Let's do it. Let's find out where those people live. It's all-" To me, that's a disturbing level of targeting people.
Hayes, who had earlier expressed reservations about Eich's firing, exclaimed, "Yes," to Kim's view that such talk was "disturbing."
As he brought up the discussion, the MSNBC host seemed skeptical of Eich's firing: "And there was part of me that did not know how to feel about how this whole thing unfolded."
A bit later, as panel member and MSNBC host Karen Finney defended the practive of pressure company heads about their political views, Hayes brought up President Obama's previously history of opposing same-sex marriage. Hayes: "Barack Obama in 2008 was opposed to marriage equality."
Below is a transcript of the relevant portion of the Friday, April 18, All In with Chris Hayes on MSNBC:
CHRIS HAYES: So here's the other interesting part of this, and I want to use this to segue to the Brendan Eich story because what you hear and see here are changing social norms, right? It is legal in South Carolina to fire someone because they're gay. Increasingly, that is not viewed as socially acceptable, right? And rightly so. We agree everyone at the table agrees that is wrong.
But, now, there's also social norms about whether it is socially acceptable to have the belief that gay folks can't get married or to oppose gay equality. And this came to a head in the tale of Brendan Eich, who was the CEO of the firm, Mozilla, which makes a very popular Web browser. People found out that he had given a contribution to the wrong side in Prop 8, which was the anti-equality side. It was in a public record.
And there was a campaign that basically got rid of him, basically saying this is an unacceptable view for the CEO of a major firm to have. And there was part of me that did not know how to feel about how this whole thing unfolded. What was your thinking?
RICHARD KIM, THE NATION: Yeah, so I, first of all, say I don't think anybody's rights were violated.
HAYES: Nobody has a right to be a CEO.
KIM: Right, exactly, exactly. I do, on the level of proportion, question this. So this guy gave one $1,000 donation six years ago to a campaign that 7 million Californians voted for, that 6,500 people gave a donation at his level or higher. Mozilla has an anti-gay discrimination policy. He had no intent to change that. Marriage in California is settled law.
So there's a question of whether or not all the sort of fury targeted at him and this one sort of, you know, attempt to oust him is in proportion to any threat that he represents to gay people in the future.
CATHY HENNA, LGBT ACTIVIST: It's somehow, it's how the culture works, too. This is a major tech company in Northern California, and, you know, as we were talking about before, you know, this is not just about gay people anymore. This is about allies. I mean, the second this went on social media, on Facebook, on Twitter, people just find this unacceptable. It's no longer acceptable to be anti-gay.
HAYES: But did they find it unacceptable, there was a weird kind of advertising of one's own enlightenment that this was part of. You know what I mean? It felt to me a little bit like, "I can like this, I can get behind this because this is a kind of, it's no skin off my back, you know? Like, I don't care who the CEO of Mozilla is." And this shows -- that's what conservatives were saying, right? Conservatives were saying that this is basically hounding people, this is totally "il-liberal."
HENNA: (INAUDIBLE) -to say that when it works for them because what their big thing is, "Oh, it's about the free market." Well, in this case it was the free market. People are making decisions about what they do and what they buy and what the organizations and the companies they support and the decisions they make as consumers voting with their wallets based on the leadership of those companies.
KAREN FINNEY, MSNBC HOST: It's the little bit of power that we have as consumers. And you hear Karl Rove and the right wing. What do they always say about the companies that give to right-wing causes. We don't want to have to publish our names. They're afraid of a backlash. Well, guess what: I can decide I don't want to spend my money at, with your company if I don't approve how you spend that money. I can decide-
HAYES: Barack Obama in 2008 was opposed to marriage equality.
FINNEY: And he still got elected, you know, that's the process.
HAYES: The point, but this guy gave them-
KIM: Here's a disturbing thing. I did ask some of my gay activist friends, I was like, "Look, here's a list; 6,500 people gave the same amount that he did or more in California. Should we go down the list and sort of start targeting all these people?" And I asked this facetiously, and people were like, "Let's do it. Let's find out where those people live. It's all-" To me, that's a disturbing level-
KIM: -of targeting people.
FINNEY: But is part of it because Prop 18 is so, it became such a heated issue in this country, and it sort of became, I think, and it is a sort of either you're on the right side or the wrong side, and, ironically, even the lawyer in the case has been evolving as he's planning his daughter's wedding.
MSNBC's Sharpton Claims ObamaCare 'Exceeded Expectations,' Sees GOP 'Lies, Fearmongering and Paranoia'
On the Friday, April 18, PoliticsNation, Al Sharpton hyped President Obama's dubious claims about the Affordable Care Act's alleged success as the MSNBC host asserted that the program has "exceeded expectations," and that Republicans are suffering from a "hangover" in denying its success.
Sharpton claimed to see "lies, fearmongering and paranoia" from the GOP, and brought up questionable claims dating back to 2010 that Tea Party members spat on Democratic members of Congress during a protest.
Below is a transcript of the relevant portion of the Friday, April 18, PoliticsNation on MSNBC:
AL SHARPTON: Tonight's lead, the GOP's health care hangover. Today, Republicans woke up after the day of historic news about the President's health care law, but they're still struggling to wake up to reality. Eight million people have signed up for the plans on the exchanges, and now comes the denial.
Speaker Boehner said the President is obscuring the full impact of the law. The third ranking Republican in the House said, quote, "Republicans cannot and will not accept this law. And on the right-wing airwaves, conservatives are in full spin mode.
(CLIPS OF VARIOUS CONSERVATIVES CRITICIZING OBAMACARE)
Destined for failure? I guess eight million people getting health care is a failure. But maybe this shouldn't be surprising because this party has spent five years attacking the law. For five years, we've seen lies, fearmongering, and paranoia. In 2009, then-Senator Jim DeMint said the health care law could be the President's Waterloo, that it would break this President. It didn't.
We saw Tea Party rallies attacking the President for socialism. In 2010, there were massive Tea Party protests as a final vote in the House approached.
CLIP OF PROTESTERS CHANTING: Kill the bill! Kill the bill! Kill the bill!
Democrats on the way to vote were allegedly heckled and spat on. Then it became law, and then came the scare tactics. Remember the death panels.
FORMER GOVERNOR SARAH PALIN (R-AK): -making our health care premiums enormously unsustainably more expensive with death panels, to boot.
REP. MICHELE BACHMANN (R-MN): Let us repeal this failure before it literally kills women, kills children, kills senior citizens.
SHARPTON: Well, that literally never happened. Then they moved to a new talking point: It would kill jobs.
(CLIPS OF SPEAKER JOHN BOEHNER, LOUISIANA GOVERNOR BOBBY JINDAL, AND TEXAS SENATOR TED CRUZ)
And the economy keeps adding jobs. So then they warned the law would kill itself, collapse under its own weight.
(CLIPS OF CONSERVATIVES SAYING OBAMACARE WOULD COLLAPSE)
It didn't collapse. It exceeded exectations, but when your party's sole focus has been to destroy a law, there's no wonder they're in denial today. This is a political hangover that will be tough to shake.
ED SCHULTZ: For anyone living in reality, those comments by Attorney General Eric Holder, pretty straightforward. This administration has faced unprecedented obstruction and levels of disrespect. The folks across the street don't live in reality. In their world, if you discuss any of this, you're race-baiting.
BRIT HUME, FNC ANALYST, FROM THE APRIL 13 FOX NEWS SUNDAY, CLIP #1: It strikes me as kind of crybaby stuff from Holder. My sense about this is that both Eric Holder and Barack Obama have benefited politically enormously from the fact that they are African-American and the first to hold the jobs that they hold.
HUME, CLIP #2: To those two men, race has been both a shield and a sword that they've used effectively to defend themselves and to attack others. And I think it is depressing at this stage in our national life after all that we've been through on this issue and given the overwhelming consensus on the issue of civil rights that this kind of stuff is still going on.
GEORGE WILL, FNC ANALYST, FROM THE APRIL 13 FOX NEWS SUNDAY, CLIP #1: Liberalism has a kind of Tourette's Syndrome these days. it's just constantly saying the word "racism" and "racist."
WILL, CLIP #2: There's a kind of intellectual poverty now. Liberalism hasn't had a new idea since the 1960s except ObamaCare, and the country doesn't like it.
WILL, CLIP #3: -so what do you do? You say anyone who criticizes us is a racist. It's become a joke among young people. You go to a campus where this kind of political correctness reigns, some young person will say, "Looks like it's going to rain." Person looks and says, "You're a racist." I mean, it's so inappropriate, the constant invocation of this, that it has, I think, becoming a national myrth.
SCHULTZ: Gosh, where do I start? I mean, this is outrageous. So the color of your skin will determine whether you get disrespect or not. I mean, that's what I'm taking off Fox News on that one. Dr. Dyson, I want your reaction. Is Holder a crybaby for responding to the way the Republicans have treated him and the President?
MICHAEL ERIC DYSON, MSNBC ANALYST: Absolutely not. When I looked around that table and saw the enormous diversity -- both skin and gender and color and race -- of course we could come up with a consensus that that was a fair panel. How ludicrous this is. We know that Sunday mornings have usually been given over to conservative white men who carp and complain to no end about the inability to get access when they have it, who carp about the inability to exercise influence when they possess it, who carp about the inabiilty to leverage power when they do it.
So what this is the fact that anybody who speaks against the authority or the legitimacy or the world view of that particular punditocracy, what happens is you come in charged with playing the race card. And, as somebody indicated before, if they were playing the race card, they were dealing the deck that had been handed to them by centuries of traditions, of response by the other side, and so I think Eric Holder is not a crybaby, but has finally told the truth about what he has endured silently all along. And the very moment he speaks up, he is assailed and nailed.
SCHULTZ: Well, Brit Hume, as I see it, is race-bating by showing the position, Goldie, that both Barack Obama and the Attorney General, Eric Holder, has used race as both a shield and a sword. What's your response to that?
GOLDIE TAYLOR, MSNBC ANALYST: You know, Ed, while it may be true that this President and this Attorney General both receive criticism because they happen to be African-American, and don't receive some criticism because they happen to be African-American -- the President himself has said that -- but for George Will and Brit Hume to book this kind of position says that they are so drunk with their own privilege that they don't even know that they have it. That's how high the high happens to be.
But, you know, to say that race and color and gender don't inform our public policy or relation process, it's execution to say that race and gender and, you know, those things don't inform the way that we address one another in this public square, and to say that it has not impacted this President and his overall platform is, you know, is the kind of intellectual poverty I think they really were talking about.
SCHULTZ: Well, it is an absolute that we have a black President and a black Attorney General. It's also an absolute that we have the most obstructed President in the history of the country. Now, that's a legislative fact.
So I want to go back to Eric Holder. Goldie, in response to the accusations of race-bating, Holder pointed out this to the Huffington Post. He says: "I didn't say there was a racial component. I was very careful not to say that."
Do you buy it? Who has the issue with race here?
TAYLOR: And, you know, that is the fact that Eric Holder did not say that he was being discriminated against based upon his color. But I am saying it for him. I am saying what this Attorney General cannot say, this President can't necessarily always say, that they are being treated differently, that they are being regarded differently because someone has spun the color wheel, looked through their own cultural lens, and decided that, as an African-American man, that they are delegitimizing them as President. as Attorney General, that they are step up to the job and do it in a way that maybe their predecessors have done, and maybe, just maybe this man doesn't belong in this White House.
They did it when they said he was probably born in Kenya. They did it when they challenged his birth certificate. You know, they did it when they went after ObamaCare and said that, you know, Uncle Sugar wants to give them free health care and free condoms. You know, that's when they're doing it. They launch claims of socialism and marxism, and that's not to say they have not derided other Presidents, but there is something, something about this President that is different and lets them go further without any repercussion.
DYSON: So those of us who realize that race is at the heart of relations between that race is the nexus of political and social realities, those of us who articulate that truth plainly and straightforwardly and without obsession, but also without apology, are seen to be race baiters ourselves, and we must continue to heap coals of fire upon the heads of those who refuse to acknowlege the centrality, the legitimacy and the unavoidability of race in this particular era.
Even while acknowledging that the IDs are generally issued by states for free, Sharpton cited Attorney General Eric Holder and Georgia Democratic Rep. John Lewis in complaining that simply having to travel to obtain the free ID amounts to a tax. Sharpton began:
Finally tonight, a milestone in the fight for justice. Today marks the 50th anniversary of the 24th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. This amendment ended the poll tax in federal elections that was used in the Jim Crow South to suppress the African-American vote. Here's a receipt of a poll tax from Louisiana in 1917. Fifty years ago, they were eliminated. But today they are back in other forms, like voter ID laws.
Then came a clip of Attorney General Holder:
Many of those without IDs would have to travel great distances to get them. And some would struggle to pay for the documents they might need to obtain them. We call those poll taxes.
Then came a soundbite of Rep. Lewis:
Voter ID laws are becoming all too common. But make no mistake, voter ID laws are a poll tax.
The MSNBC host concluded:
They're those that say we need voter ID to fight fraud, but they have not been able to come up with any widespread fraud in any of the states that are passing these laws. Yes, we see efforts to suppress the votes.
Any number of studies clearly shows that they're stopping more voters than they're protecting from fraud since there's no fraud there. Yes, there will always be those that will try to stop segments of this country from voting, but thank God there will always be those of us that will fight them.
--Brad Wilmouth is a news analyst at the Media Research Center. Click here to follow Brad Wilmouth on Twitter.