Why Media Has Responsibility to Cover RNC Racism”

Published: PolicyMic (August 29, 2012)

If you want to refute the widely-disseminated myth of the media having an anti-Republican bias in this election, one need not look any further than this recent incident at the Republican National Convention:

The controversy should have been over the type of partisan parliamentary maneuvers that normally define such major political gatherings, as Ron Paul supporters were in the process of contesting the decision of the Romney-run Republican National Committee not to seat several of the delegates that the quixotic libertarian had won during the Maine caucuses. Yet attention was quickly taken away from that matter when Zoraida Fonalledas, a Puerto Rican delegate and chairwoman of the Committee on Permanent Organization, took the stage. As soon as the crowd heard her begin to speak in accented English, some of the delegates began to shout her down by chanting, “USA! USA! USA!” read more

The Digitization of a Historic New Orleans Newspaper

Published: PolicyMic (August 29, 2012)
(co-authored with Cady McClain)

Editor’s Note: This article is written by Matthew Rozsa and Cady McClain

When Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans seven years ago, 80% of the Crescent City was buried under water, spanning an area approximately eight times the size of Manhattan. Katrina caused “the largest diaspora in the history of the United States,” driving over 1,000,000 citizens from their homes, many of them for good. Yet as thousands fled for safety, the legendary New Orleans newspaper, the Times-Picayunestayed put. read more

A Feminist Interpretation of Catwoman

Published: PolicyMic (August 28, 2012)
(co-authored with Cady McClain)

When news began to leak that an actress who once played Catwoman had criticized The Dark Knight Rises, which includes the latest incarnation of that character, the blogosphere was naturally all aflutter. Fortunately, Julie Newmar – whose turn with the whip came during the 1960s TV series – quickly corrected those misapprehensions in a letter to The Huffington Post. “Every girl is a Catwoman,” she wrote. “Like Bizet’s Carmen there will always be Catwoman. Catwoman is forever.” read more

Why Tom Head and Todd Akin Contribute to the Dumbing of America

Published: PolicyMic (August 24, 2012)

It is true that a nation which practices censorship cannot remain free. To this axiom, though, I would add that a society which doesn’t respond to inflammatory stupidity with universal contempt cannot remain safe for reasoned discussion, as recent political discussion clearly demonstrates.

Over the last week, the Republican Party has provided us with two test cases for that principle. First, there was Senate nominee Todd Akin of Missouri, who claimed that in instances of “legitimate rape” a woman’s body would not allow her to become pregnant. While common sense should be enough to undermine this assertion, those in doubt can always turn to the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, which reports that a single act of rape has a 5% chance of resulting in pregnancy among victims aged 12 to 45 who aren’t on birth control. This number increases to 30% if the assault occurs one or two days prior to ovulation. read more

Mitt Romney Selection of Paul Ryan Declaration of War Against Middle Class

Published: PolicyMic (August 11, 2012)

Early this morning, The Huffington Post broke the story that Mitt Romney had selected Paul Ryan to be his vice presidential running mate. In his article, Jon Ward commented that “Ryan is a bold pick who will energize the Republican Party, but putting him on the ticket is fraught with risk and instantly puts Ryan’s budget plan front and center in the 2012 campaign.”

That’s quite the understatement. In the end, history may remember Romney’s choice of Ryan as the moment when he became too transparent in his declaration of war against the working class. read more

What Voters Should Know About Romney’s Middle-Class Tax Hikes

Published: PolicyMic (August 3, 2012)

According to the non-partisan Tax Policy Center, Mitt Romney’s proposed tax cuts for the affluent will require him to increase taxes on middle-class families by $2,000 a year.

Just in case you missed that the first time: If you are a wage-earner for a middle-class family, Romney would raise your taxes by $2,000. In fact, if you are among the 95% of Americans whose annual income is less than $250,000, your taxes will go up under Romney’s plan.

It should go without saying that President Obama needs to focus on this issue. At a time when the economy is the top priority for most Americans, polls show that Obama’s main advantage over Romney is the perception that he is more understanding of voters’ problems and more interested in the well-being of the middle class. Romney, on the other hand, benefits from the belief that he is better able to accomplish what he wants and is more likely to actually fix the economy and create jobs. Given that Americans tend to blame Bush’s policies, rather than Obama’s, for our current economic problems (a figure that also holds up when “Bush” is lumped with “Republicans” and “Obama” with “Democrats”), it stands to reason that Romney’s strength here is the result of not what he stands for, but rather the notion that he’ll “get things done.” Naturally, the best way to counteract this is to emphasize to voters that what Romney hopes to get done would in fact work against their best interest. Focusing on Romney’s working-class tax hike would achieve that goal, while simultaneously playing to Obama’s preexisting assets. read more

Sarah Palin’s Flawed Condemnation of Pro-Gay Rights Chick-Fil-A Boycotters

Published PolicyMic (August 1, 2012) Did you know that Colonel Sanders, the iconic fast food magnate who founded Kentucky Fried Chicken, helped bankroll the third-party presidential campaign of notorious segregationist George Wallace?

Of course, this was hardly well-known during the 1968 election, when it mattered most. Sure, a trio of British reporters later chronicled Sanders’s contributions in their classic book “An American Melodrama: The Presidential Campaign of 1968.” He was listed there among the “few rich men who contributed to the Wallace campaign on a generous scale,” one who appeared on the Alabama governor’s vice presidential short list and was even “suspected by dyspeptic reporters of having supplied the interminable fried chicken on Wallace campaign planes.” Nevertheless, because the media never made a point of disseminating this information to the general public, the KFC brand name remained – and remains – unsullied by its owner’s reactionary predilections. read more