Monday January 16th is Martin Luther King Day. I just got an email in the ol’ in box – let’s look!

“(W)e refuse to believe that the bank of justice is bankrupt. We refuse to believe that there are insufficient funds in the great vaults of opportunity of this nation.”

We’ve come a long way since Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., spoke those words on a fateful summer day in 1963.

But despite the great strides that have been made over the last half century, there is still work required of us to ensure that all Americans have the opportunity of which King dreamed.

While we are a rich country, too many children attend failing schools.

While many Americans prosper, too many are working too hard for too little.

While bigotry and intolerance are rightly shunned, too many politicians in Washington still quietly seek to perpetuate divisions–based on race, religion, gender and sexuality. They still tell us that those who differ from us are to be feared.

Yes, we’re a better, stronger, more just society than we were in 1963, but there is work left to be done.

So as we honor Dr. King on Monday, let us also take time to renew the calling of his life and make it our own–in this election and beyond.

Sincerely,

Brian Barnes

www.barnes.mn

Brian Barnes has announced his candidacy to replace the guy on the “right” – Erik Paulsen. What can I say about Paulsen in just a few words? Well, career-politician Erik Paulsen first door knocked me WAY back, when running for the Minnesota State House – I didn’t like Paulsen’s politics then and I damn sure don’t like them now. Oh – and his voting record closely resembles Michele Bachmann’s. If you believe the 1% needs devoted water carriers in Washington D.C., Paulsen’s just the guy.

Brian Barnes, on the other hand, has been a union member. He’s been active in the Democratic Party (“DFL” here in Minnesota). He’s a graduate of the Coast Guard Merchant Marine Academy, achieved the rank of Lieutenant Commander in the Naval Reserves, is a successful businessman. Oh – and Brian is an Eagle Scout, too.

It’s a clear contrast. And if you support the 1% and Erik Paulsen, you need not do a thing – Wall Street Fat Cats are making sure Paulsen has PLENTY of dough for November’s election. If you support the 99%, Brian can use your help, and you can help out via Brian’s Act Blue page.

It’s fitting Brain Barnes took that quote to honor Martin Luther King Day; that quote is from MLK’s historic “I Have A Dream” speech, which Dr, King delivered on August 28, 1963. As Brain said above, we HAVE come a long way since Dr. King’s speech – and there’s work left to be done. So, let’s DO IT!

To help you get ready for Monday’s Martin Luther King Day, here’s a YouTube of Dr. King’s speech, over music – enjoy!

(the song above – “Spiritual High (Part 3)” – is from the album “Mood Food” by Mood Swings, and is available where I buy my music – The Electric Fetus. If you like Chrissie Hynde, check out “Spiritual High (Part 1)” – Chrissie singing at her best!)

(cross posted at MnProgressiveProject.com; comments welcome there)

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…confirming the current state of today’s Small Tent Party.

Well, “Hypocrisy, Thy Party Is GOP” fits, too.

A big ol’ hat-tip to CrooksAndLiars.com for this one – and a big ol’ (cheney)in’ raspberry at the GreedOverPrinciples party for the racism they – as usual – put on display at the Sotomayor Hearings:

Does anyone see the similarity between what those good ol’ Senate GOPer White Boys are doing to Judge Sonia Sotomayor, and what the good ol’ State GOPer White Boys did to Representative Laura Brod?

Seriously – why would anyone that’s not an aging and angry white male belong to today’s GOP? The angry white males running the GOP hates EVERYONE that’s not EXACTLY just like them.

Senator Durbin: “Of the one hundred and ten individuals who have served as Supreme Court Justices throughout our nation’s history, one hundred and six have been white males.”

MADDOW: That was Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois speaking at today‘s confirmation hearings for Sonia Sotomayor, President Obama‘s pick for the Supreme Court. It is widely assumed that Judge Sotomayor will be confirmed. She will be sworn in as the first ever Latino to serve on the Supreme Court, not to mention only the court‘s third woman.

Which means Republicans in the Senate are using the Sotomayor hearings, not so much as an opportunity to block the president‘s nominee, because they know that pretty much they can‘t, but rather to demonstrate the character of themselves in opposition which, it turns out, looks a little something like this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Many of Judge Sotomayor‘s public statements suggest that she may indeed allow or even embrace decision-making based on her biases and prejudices.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Already prejudiced against one of the parties.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Allow biases and personal preferences – the wise Latina woman quote.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Your wise Latina –

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Your wise comment -

SEN. JEFF SESSIONS (R-AL): Justice Sotomayor has said that she accepts that her opinions, sympathies and prejudices will affect her rulings.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MADDOW: If your irony-sensing ulcer is spitting bile right now, let me confirm that that last guy there was Republican Sen. Jeff Sessions of Alabama, accusing Sonia Sotomayor of having a prejudice problem.

That would be the same Jeff Sessions whose own nomination for a federal judgeship could not make it out of the Republican-run Judiciary Committee in 1986 after testimony that he had called the NAACP un-American and communist-inspired, had joked that he thought the Ku Klux Klan was OK until he found out members of the Klan smoked pot, and that he agreed with another lawyer who said a Department of Justice attorney, who was white, was a disgrace to his race because he represented African-Americans.

And those are the things that he admitted to saying and tried to defend. The charges he denied included the allegation that he told a black attorney he should, quote, “Be careful about how he talked to white folks,” and that he called a black attorney “boy.”

Now Jeff Sessions is leading the charge against Sonia Sotomayor on the grounds that she has a prejudice problem. And Sen. Sessions is doing it as part of the hearing process that is basically certain to result in Judge Sotomayor‘s confirmation, which means that Sen. Sessions, specifically, and his party generally, are using this opportunity to stand on the giant media platform that is a Supreme Court nomination to proclaim themselves to the nation as opposed to the first ever nomination of a Latino to the Supreme Court, mostly on the basis of questions about race.

(crossposted from MnProgresiveProject)

Yesterday, Paulsen told the Associated Press he wasn’t sure if he’d accept an invitation make a speech at the Republican National Convention; today he tells the Associated Press he will.

Now, with as much time as Paulsen’s spent running from the republiCon brand, stepping in front of a microphone at the RNC is a big step for Paulsen.

I just checked Paulsen’s website, and used the search feature for the term “Republican.” On Paulsen’s website, the term “Republican” exists exactly 7 times. Not on the home page; not on any of the sub-pages; but buried in 4 stories (three of which were about GOP endorsement conventions) and 3 documents.

After a political career that includes Majority Leader for the Republican Party, Paulsen is certainly hiding the brand. It’s not on his campaign signage, nor literature, either.

But there’s a lot of things Paulsen doesn’t like to talk about; his being a republiCon is only one. Erik Paulsen, Republican-Endorsed candidate, has no position on Iraq. His website is pretty much bereft of any content, and has been since I posted this way back in January. Then, as is now, this picture is worth a thousand words:

(originally published at MnBlue.com)

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