Precinct Reporter E Edition Page A-4

Telephone: (909) 889-0597 Fax: (909) 889-1706 Precinct Reporter Group Art Townsend - Founder (1965 - 1989) Precinct Reporter Serving Inland Southern California Adjudicated a Legal newspaper of general circulation on July 24, 1974 case number 162020 by the Superior Court of San Bernardino County. The Precinct Reporter is published every Thursday by the Precinct Reporter Group, 670 N. Arrowhead Ave, Ste B, San Bernardino, CA 92401. Tri-County Bulletin The Only Black Publication Serving All of Orange County. Adjudicated a Legal newspaper of general circulation on July 15, 1988 case number A143589 by the Superior Court of Orange County. The Tri-County Bulletin is pub- lished every Thursday by the Precinct Reporter Group, 2401 E. 17th Street, #152, Santa Ana, CA 92701. Telephone: (714) 547-4118 Long Beach Leader The Community's Newspaper serving Long Beach and Surrounding Communities. Established as a newspaper of general circulation on January 23, 1997. The Long Beach Leader is published every Thursday by the Precinct Reporter Group, P.O. Box 91055, Long Beach, CA 90809. Telephone: (562) 490-3299. Publisher and Editor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Brian Townsend Controller . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Mary Townsend Sports Writer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Willie Ellison, II Orange County Social Editor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Jacqueline Johnson Graphic Design . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Ken Jordan Copyright 2015 Member: National Newspaper Publishers Association West Coast Black Publishers Association Associated Press A-4 Thursday, September 17, 2015 Precinct Reporter By Benjamin F. Chavis, Jr. As we enter the 2016 political campaign season with numerous candidates for president of the United States in the Republican and Democratic parties, it appears once again that the political and eco- nomic interests of Black America are not being adequately addressed by either of the major political parties. It is as if the Black American vote is being taken for granted. The Black vote is important first to the Black community and secondly to American democracy. The right to vote and the Voting Rights Act of 1965 did not come about without a struggle. Many brothers and sisters went to jail and paid a heavy painful price to acquire the right to vote. Some even died in the struggle to advance Black political and civic participa- tion. In the Civil Rights Movement, voting rights were deemed precious and a sacred moral responsibility to every- one of voting age. Today, there is need for the Black commu- nity to reassert the value and strategic leverage of the Black vote. It is one thing for the sta- tus quo to ignore the political interests of the Black commu- nity, but it is another when so many of us are missing in action on Election Day. According to the United States Elections Project, Black voter turnout has been significantly increasing steadily from 48.1 per- cent in 1996 to 52.9 percent in 2000 to 61.4 percent in 2004 and peeking at 69 percent in 2008 when Senator Barack H. Obama was elected president. In 2016, we should have no less than a 90 per- cent Black turnout. If that happens, the Black vote, more than any other single voting group in the U.S., will determine the outcome of the elections. We should recall that in the 2012 elections, for the first time in history, Black voter turnout was higher than White voter turnout - 66.6 percent to 64.1 percent. Why do all these voting statistics mat- ter? The short answer is because if we can continue to increase our voter turnout we will be better positioned to advance the interests of the Black community. A few weeks ago, the Pew Research Center reported that for the first time in history, there are at least 364 counties, independent cities and other county-level equivalents in the U.S. that did not have a White majority population - "the most in modern history, and more than twice the level in 1980." Ninety-two of the 364 counties are predominantly Black. This is leading to the election of more Blacks as county sheriffs, county chief executives, and other high public offices at the county and regional levels. Some would say it is poetic justice, but it is a rapidly changing racial demographics reality in terms of population density increas- es and Black elected officials are on the rise particularly in the 11 states that once made up the old Confederacy: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia. That's not surprising when you consider that 55 percent of all African Americans reside in the South, up from 53.6 percent in 2000. It's not surprising that some of the most intense efforts to sup- press the Black vote is taking place in the South. Yes, Black Lives Matter! We must do whatever is necessary to improve the quality of life for our families and communities. Do not fall into the cynical attempts to persuade us that our votes do not count. Our votes do count and do make a big difference for the betterment of Black America. Yes, Black Votes Matter! Benjamin F. Chavis, Jr. is the President and CEO of the National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA) and can be reached for national advertisement sales and partnership propos- als at: dr.bchavis@nnpa.org; and for lectures and other profes- sional consultations at: http://drbenjaminfchavisjr.wix.com/drbfc Obama is No 'Lame Duck' President By George E. Curry Almost as surprising as Barack Obama's election as the nation's first African American president is his success in not becoming a lame duck president, a term normally applied to a politically weak- ened outgoing president's last two years in office. Few presidents have been as lame as George W. Bush, who was largely dismissed in his last two years in office and so unpopular that Republicans did not want him to show up at the last Republican national convention of his tenure for fear of harming the GOP's chances of winning the White House in 2008. Bush, acting as though he was in the federal witness protection program, didn't appear, but that did not alter the outcome of the election. Given the GOP's extreme hostility toward Obama - with the open declaration by now-Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell [R-Kentucky] that his sole objective was to make Obama a one- term president - many expected Obama to be impotent as he limps out of office next year. But they were in for a surprise as Obama transformed his cam- paign motto of "Yes, we can" to "Yes, we did." In the last year alone, Obama commuted the sentences of 46 prisoners incarcerated for nonviolent crimes, most of them drug related. He restored diplomatic relations with Cuba after a 50-year standoff, with each country reopening its embassy. President Obama issued an executive order allowing the parents of children born in the U.S. to remain in this country. He extended abortion coverage to Peace Corps volunteers who became pregnant as a result of rape, incest or life endanger- ment. And his administration raised the qualification for receiving overtime pay from $23,660 to $50,440. Obama scored a major vic- tory when, in the face of heat- ed Republican opposition, he joined five other world leaders in curbing Iran's nuclear program. Practically all of the Republicans running for president and their echo chamber, Fox News, have mis- represented the terms of the deal. MediaMatters, the media watchdog group, provides extensive- documentation in debunking myths created by conservative detrac- tors. Among the myths: MYTH: Iran Deal Makes The U.S. And Israel Less Safe FACT: Experts Laud 'Excellent' Deal That Deprives Iran Of Pathways To Build Bomb MYTH: Deal Will Allow Iran To Have A Nuclear Weapon After It Expires FACT: Iran Is 'Permanently' Bound By Curbs On Ability To Obtain Nuclear Weapon, Even After Some Provisions Expire MYTH: Sanctions Relief Will Greatly Increase Iran's Ability To Fund Terrorism FACT : Experts Believe Iran Will Use Sanction Relief To Restart Economy, Say Terrorists Would Benefit More From Rejection Of Deal MYTH: Secret Side Deal Allows Iran To Inspect Itself FACT: Side Deal Concerns Only Past Activity At One Site - IAEAHas Ability To Ensure Iran's Full Compliance With Long- Term Deal Myth: Most Americans Don't Support Terms Of Iran Deal FACT: Majority Supports The Iran Deal When Its Terms Are Explained Criticism of Obama by conservatives was not unexpected. But Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman explains, "There's a different story on the left, where you now find a significant number of critics decrying Obama as, to quote Cornel West, someone who 'posed as a progressive and turned out to be counterfeit.' They're outraged that Wall Street hasn't been punished, that income inequality remains so high, that 'neoliberal' economic policies are still in place." But given Republican opposition to less ambitious goals pre- sented by Obama, Krugman argues that Obama would have no suc- cess trying to advance such progressive ideals. Krugman wrote recently in Rolling Stone magazine: "Despite bitter opposition, despite having come close to self-inflict- ed disaster, Obama has emerged as one of the most consequential and, yes, successful presidents in American history. "His health reform is imperfect but still a huge step forward - and it's working better than anyone expected. Financial reform fell far short of what should have happened, but it's much more effec- tive than you'd think. Economic management has been half-crip- pled by Republican obstruction, but has nonetheless been much bet- ter than in other advanced countries. And environmental policy is starting to look like it could be a major legacy." In a speech last October at Northwestern University, President Obama said he is proud of his accomplishments. He said, "When I took office, businesses were laying off 800,000 Americans a month. Today, our businesses are hiring 200,000 Americans a month. The unemploymentrate has come down from a high of 10 percent in 2009, to 6.1 percent today. Over the past four and a half years, our businesses have created 10 million new jobs; this is the longest uninterrupted stretch of private sector job creation in our history. "Think about thatRight now, there are more job openings than at any time since 2001. All told, the United States has put more people back to work than Europe, Japan, and every other advanced economy combined." From January 2009 to April, Black unemployment had declined from 12.7 percent to 9.6 percent, a decrease of 3.1 percent. Not ideal, but not lame. By Julianne Malveaux Congress must approve a budget by October 1, or our gov- ernment will shut down. That means that people will not be paid and technically, government departments will cease to operate. Social Security payments, veterans' benefits, and more will cease to be paid. Literally, government will shut down. Whenever we get to this brinkmanship, Congress approves a continuing resolution that provides temporary funding at current levels, or enforces an across the board reduction of a certain per- cent. Sometimes the cuts are established so that the military takes smaller cuts than other departments. The bottom line is that lawmakers figure out how to apply a Band-Aid to a hemorrhaging leg. The bad news is that the problem does not go away. The good news is that it keeps us going for a few minutes. Why are House Republicans so determined to have a budget showdown? Part of it is their determination to end federal fund- ing for Planned Parenthood. They refuse to understand that, in addition to providing abortion service, Planned Parenthood pro- vides basic women's health services, including gynecological examinations. They are providing these health services in areas where they are not available. Abortions represent just a fraction of what they offer. But, based on a set of bogus videos, some Republicans are using those videos to posture about abortion. Somebody needs to speak up for Planned Parenthood, but unless they do, this is going to be a rook on the shutdown chessboard. Then there is the issue, always, about budget cuts and the difference between domestic spending and military spending. In order to accept the Obama budget, Congress will have to lift the debt ceiling. They don't want to. The Republican rap is we need more fiscal discipline. Many of these folks will take to the floor of Congress or of the Senate to rail about irresponsible spend- ing. Their drama impedes the October 1 deadline, and they know it. This is an opportunity for many Republicans who are presi- dential candidates (Ted Cruz, Jeb Bush, Donald Trump, and Ben Carson to name a few) to show their stuff. They want to stand out from their opponents, as well as from this administration. They hope like hell that C-SPAN or some other media is there to capture their vapid remarks. They pray that their passionate nonsense will make the evening news. If they have the slightest bit of sense, they will help pass this budget. Perhaps, after they've blown off enough steam, they will. The discussion about the debt ceiling and the division between domestic and mili- tary spending is a recurrent one. Some members of both Congress and the Senate have mixed feelings around the deal that our country has cut with Iran. We have limit- ed Iran's ability to manufac- ture nuclear weapons, and we have imposed some checks and balances to keep them to their word. How do you cut a deal with the devil? Can we really trust Iraq? For the longest time I have had mixed feeling about the deal, mostly because I really think that part of the deal should be to release American citizens, like the Washington Post reporter Jason Rezaian, who are being held in Iraq. After much contemplation, I am persuaded that the Iran deal is better than anything we've had until now. We're going to deal with a free-lance devil, or a devil with a contract. We can't verify a thing with the freelance devil. We have signif- icant, though not perfect, limits to Iran's arms accumulation, so we've cut a deal with the devil with a contract. That's not per- fect but it is better than nothing. Would we prefer the Donald Trump nonsense of "I can negotiate with anyone? Somebody would negotiate his comedic idiocy out of the room. It is almost impossible that Congress will pass the twelve bills that are part of our budget. Give that, the next best choice is to maintain the status quo, or impose a percentage cut until a budget deal is cut. Planned Parenthood and Iran should not even be part of the conversation. The deadline, however, has seemed to collide with the drama. There are folks who understand that the budget, or some version of it, needs to be approved by October 1. They just don't plan to sacrifice their dramatic moment by doing the right thing. Will government shut down? Only if these presiden- tial postures decide that their drama trumps an important dead- line. Julianne Malveaux is a Washington, D.C.-based author and economist. She can be reached at www.juliannemalveaux.com Black Votes Matter Another Government Shutdown?

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