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post #1 of 32 (permalink) Old 05-19-2009, 12:34 PM Thread Starter
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http://news.yahoo.com/s/politico/200...politico/22684


Hip hop on the Hill


Nia Malika Henderson – Tue May 19, 5:18 am ET

Buoyed by Barack Obama’s election as president, a group of hip-hop artists and other activists is taking to Capitol Hill — trying to harness the wave of support for Obama among young voters into an ongoing political force.

The group, the Hip Hop Caucus, has a nine-member Washington office — but its real reach comes from its ability to harness the power of hip-hop artists to put a famous face on issues and draw in their young, multicultural fans.

In the next few weeks, the caucus will see a bill it fashioned with Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) be introduced — calling for funding for a one-day voter registration drive and lessons on the Constitution in high schools across the country.

Organizers are working with Rep. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) to gather support for legislation fighting climate change — and singers Solange Knowles and Keyshia Cole have both signed on to help, through the Green the Block campaign.

And the group also reached out to Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) to get support for prisoner re-entry legislation that would help former inmates transition back into society.

To the group’s executive director, Lennox Yearwood Jr., the link between politics and hip-hop is a natural one — as a way to make politics more accessible to young voters, more like sports than study hall.

“If you have a flier that says something about the economic stimulus package, versus one that has ‘Hip-Hop Town Hall, find out how you get yours’ on it, what’s going to get a bigger draw?” Yearwood said. “That’s the power of hip-hop.”

And the power of Obama.

Rappers have campaigned for candidates before, but the hip-hop community hasn’t been able to sustain the interest or the momentum when the election was over. Obama’s election has led some in the industry to say it’s time for the political side of hip-hop to get more serious.

And already there are signs that hip-hop artists seem to be sticking around this time. The HHC harnessed that creative interest into a get-out-the-vote campaign and used artists like Young Jeezy, T.I., Rick Ross, Busta Rhymes, Fantasia, Brandy and Big Boi to get voters to the polls.

Obama got 68 percent of the youth vote, to Sen. John McCain’s 30 percent — with 2.2 million more voters between 18 and 29 turning up at the polls this election cycle compared with 2004.

Some artists — including Jay-Z and Nas — also appeared on the stump for Obama, and there was a hip-hop inaugural ball, a first. The message that January night was clear: Hip-hop has to grow up or be marginalized again.

“I wanted to use my voice to make sure people were engaged,” said rapper David Banner, who testified in 2007 House hearings on media representation of African-Americans. Banner, a BET hip-hop award winner, pitched in with the Hip Hop Caucus’ Respect My Vote campaign and will continue to be engaged, he said.

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“The decisions that we make now politically will affect the next generation and the generation after that. So we have to be involved. By speaking out, I end up speaking for poor people and a larger group all over the country,” Banner said.

First formed in 2004 as an offshoot of P. Diddy’s New York-based “Vote or Die” campaign and Russell Simmons’ Hip Hop Summit Action Network, the HHC sprung out of the disappointment from that election cycle.

“We voted, and we got die,” Yearwood said, referencing the “Vote or Die” campaign slogan.

Yet politics and hip-hop haven’t always been an easy mix. While the roots of the music and the culture have political undertones — Grand Master Flash’s 1982 hit “The Message” was a searing indictment of the decades-long neglect of urban areas — hip-hop has often been on the outside of politics, looking in.

Bill Clinton criticized rapper Sistah Souljah in 1992 in order to appear more centrist. Vice President Al Gore’s wife, Tipper, worked to get advisory stickers put on some rap records to warn parents of violent and misogynistic lyrics.

Enter Obama. Young Jeezy’s “My President’s Black” was in heavy rotation last summer, and many in the hip-hop generation take credit for Obama’s victory and count him as one of their own. One popular T-shirt has Obama sporting a Kangol cap, Gazelle glasses and a fat gold chain with the tag “Run DC.”

“You couldn’t go anywhere without seeing Obama. His face was the universal picture for change,” said Jeff Chang, author of “Can’t Stop Won’t Stop: A History of the Hip-Hop Generation.” “But the thing about hip-hop is that it’s been a cultural force and great at mobilizing and messaging — but the political end isn’t unitary or stable, and it’s recent.”

These days, Yearwood, 39, who often sports a Green the Block baseball cap, Hip Hop Caucus pin and clergy collar, is up on the Hill three to four times a week, meeting with elected officials and sitting in on hearings.

Their agenda is a progressive one, centered on health care, education, climate change and livable cities. Yearwood submitted a memo to Obama’s transition team, has reached out to the EPA and the public liaison’s office and is looking to work with the White House Office of Urban Affairs to push its agenda.

“We are giving voice to those who are outside of institutions, folks who are not in college, who didn’t graduate high school; we are able to tap people at the barber shop, on the block and in the beauty salon,” Yearwood said. “We allow their perspective so that voice doesn’t get lost in the discourse.”

Members of the Congressional Black Caucus served as early mentors for the organization, back when the Hip Hop Caucus was still being confused with a rap group.

Now, 21 members of the CBC are on the advisory panel to the Caucus, which has field teams in 48 cities.

“The Hip Hop Caucus does an incredible job of connecting young people in urban communities with the political and legislative process,” said Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.), who chairs both the CBC and the HHC’s advisory panel.

Rep. Andre Carson, who sits on the advisory board and is himself a former emcee, said hip-hop doesn’t get enough credit for creating the climate that allowed for Obama’s ascendance.

Hip-hop “opened doors to build friendships between African-Americans and Latinos and whites,” he said. “America became comfortable with the idea of a black executive because of all the hip-hop moguls.”

But the skepticism about political projects under the hip-hop label remains.

“The music harbors and celebrates a way of behaving that works against a progressive agenda. That’s the contradiction that nobody wants to talk about,” said Tricia Rose, author of “The Hip Hop Wars.”

Yet some counter that members of Hollywood’s elite rarely get the same critique when they take up political issues, although the movies they peddle are often violent and misogynistic.

Counters Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-N.Y.), who is a member of HHC’s advisory board:

“Hip Hop does have a ways to go in terms of its image, but the fact is that the artists and the music that they put out is born and bred from the districts we represent.”

Yearwood also is working with CBC members to bring hip-hop artists to the group’s annual legislative conference in the fall. “We need Andre 3000 and Andre Carson connecting,” Yearwood said, referring to the lead singer of OutKast. “We have to be able to move politics from the hood to the Hill and from the suites to the streets.”



Does Nia Malia Henderson not have anything better to write about today? And is it really necessary for society to function with a Hip Hop Caucus?
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post #2 of 32 (permalink) Old 05-19-2009, 12:43 PM
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Shit, just put another black/bi-racial person on the face of the next Democratic ticket, register kids in inner-city schools, where the Freshmen are already 18 years old, and you'll have the ultimate one-party system.

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post #3 of 32 (permalink) Old 05-19-2009, 12:47 PM
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So you guys are now hating on a group that is getting more citizens involved in the election/governmental process? Maybe you disagree with their message, but isn't the point of a democracy to have EVERYONE involved and voting? I may not agree with some of their views/opinions and maybe even some actions, but it's good to see people getting involved.

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post #4 of 32 (permalink) Old 05-19-2009, 12:54 PM
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So you guys are now hating on a group that is getting more citizens involved in the election/governmental process? Maybe you disagree with their message, but isn't the point of a democracy to have EVERYONE involved and voting? I may not agree with some of their views/opinions and maybe even some actions, but it's good to see people getting involved.
I wouldn't have one single problem if they try to get everybody involved. It's when they only target one audience and cater to one ideology that gets me, and that is where you are wrong in your fallacious statement. It's comparable to an ACORN for teenagers and it's appalling. Just look at all of the people cited in this article -- every single one of them is either black, a Democrat, or both.

If the Jonas Brothers (just taking a popular white-group) did the same thing with a bunch of Republicans, that target white audiences in white schools, you cannot tell me that the media backlash would be brutal. There's a double-standard when it comes to politics as to what the parties are allowed to do, yet you seem to not realize that, just from the few posts of yours I have actually paid attention to within this forum.

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post #5 of 32 (permalink) Old 05-19-2009, 12:58 PM
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...and lessons on the Constitution in high schools across the country...
Oh, the irony.


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post #6 of 32 (permalink) Old 05-19-2009, 01:03 PM
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I wouldn't have one single problem if they try to get everybody involved. It's when they only target one audience and cater to one ideology that gets me, and that is where you are wrong in your fallacious statement. It's comparable to an ACORN for teenagers and it's appalling. Just look at all of the people cited in this article -- every single one of them is either black, a Democrat, or both.

If the Jonas Brothers (just taking a popular white-group) did the same thing with a bunch of Republicans, that target white audiences in white schools, you cannot tell me that the media backlash would be brutal. There's a double-standard when it comes to politics as to what the parties are allowed to do, yet you seem to not realize that, just from the few posts of yours I have actually paid attention to within this forum.
Okay, hold up. I agree with you 100% on media backlash/etc. I thought you were complaining about the group itself. Using the Jonas Bros. is a great example. I think you're right on with how the media would handle it. It's an unfortunate situation that our media has created. Of course any group formed to build awareness is going to target a specific audience (minorities, white businessmen, women, etc.), and I have no problems with that. I wish there were more awareness groups that published facts and tried to involve more citizens. I also wish that the media would give equal time and not try to condemn the groups not targeting media darlings.

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post #7 of 32 (permalink) Old 05-19-2009, 01:06 PM
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So you guys are now hating on a group that is getting more citizens involved in the election/governmental process? Maybe you disagree with their message, but isn't the point of a democracy to have EVERYONE involved and voting? I may not agree with some of their views/opinions and maybe even some actions, but it's good to see people getting involved.


So, I take it you're a supporter of Acorn?


This is real simple. Some people, simply should not be allowed to vote. This last election is proof of that.
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post #8 of 32 (permalink) Old 05-19-2009, 01:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Juiceweezl View Post
So you guys are now hating on a group that is getting more citizens involved in the election/governmental process? Maybe you disagree with their message, but isn't the point of a democracy to have EVERYONE involved and voting? I may not agree with some of their views/opinions and maybe even some actions, but it's good to see people getting involved.
You are missing the fact that uneducated, useless hip hop thugs should not be influencing anybody's vote. If you are determining who you vote for from some damn song or the encouragement from a hip-hop star you should note have the right to vote at all. I think there should be a basic knowledge test before you get to vote.

You can't fix stupid, but you can vote it out.

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post #9 of 32 (permalink) Old 05-19-2009, 01:11 PM
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You are missing the fact that uneducated, useless hip hop thugs should not be influencing anybody's vote. If you are determining who you vote for from some damn song or the encouragement from a hip-hop star you should note have the right to vote at all. I think there should be a basic knowledge test before you get to vote.
...of the people... Who are you to say that someone shouldn't be allowed to vote? Were there restrictions other than women and age originally? It's all or nothing with you guys. You condemn someone for saying the Constitution is a "living document," yet you say these people shouldn't be allowed to vote. Keep flip-flopping your positions. It makes you look very strong.

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post #10 of 32 (permalink) Old 05-19-2009, 01:16 PM
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So, I take it you're a supporter of Acorn?


This is real simple. Some people, simply should not be allowed to vote. This last election is proof of that.
I could care less about ACORN -- only that they have a right to assemble and become an organization just as much as the NRA. It's a group of people working towards a set of goals. How is that any different from current political parties or groups throughout history? Are you saying people shouldn't be allowed to vote because they are uneducated? Because they are poor? Please show me where our Constitution states that we should limit the right that citizens have to vote, to organize and seek reform, etc.

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post #11 of 32 (permalink) Old 05-19-2009, 01:16 PM
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Let's see how many times you use the term "you guys" in this thread
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post #12 of 32 (permalink) Old 05-19-2009, 01:17 PM
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...of the people... Who are you to say that someone shouldn't be allowed to vote? Were there restrictions other than women and age originally? It's all or nothing with you guys. You condemn someone for saying the Constitution is a "living document," yet you say these people shouldn't be allowed to vote. Keep flip-flopping your positions. It makes you look very strong.

The fact is, these people are trying to influence voting based on race alone. It is your RIGHT to vote, but don't you think voting based on race is abusing the system?
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post #13 of 32 (permalink) Old 05-19-2009, 01:18 PM
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I could care less about ACORN -- only that they have a right to assemble and become an organization just as much as the NRA. It's a group of people working towards a set of goals. How is that any different from current political parties or groups throughout history? Are you saying people shouldn't be allowed to vote because they are uneducated? Because they are poor? Please show me where our Constitution states that we should limit the right that citizens have to vote, to organize and seek reform, etc.


Show me the part of the Constitution that says it's ok to register dead voters, and I'll gladly oblige.
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post #14 of 32 (permalink) Old 05-19-2009, 01:24 PM
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...of the people... Who are you to say that someone shouldn't be allowed to vote? Were there restrictions other than women and age originally? It's all or nothing with you guys. You condemn someone for saying the Constitution is a "living document," yet you say these people shouldn't be allowed to vote. Keep flip-flopping your positions. It makes you look very strong.
Show me that I have flip-flopped! Allowing your vote to be influenced by a music artist is wrong. If you can't educate your self about the candidate of your choice past listening to a hip-hop song or artist then you should not be allowed to vote. I bet 1/4 of the "young " think Dick Cheney is still the V.P. The fact is you need to learn a lot about a candidate before you cast your vote, and if you get your education from a hip-hop thug then you should be exempt.

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post #15 of 32 (permalink) Old 05-19-2009, 01:28 PM
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People shouldn't be allowed to vote if they're borderline retarded.

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post #16 of 32 (permalink) Old 05-19-2009, 01:29 PM
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The fact is, these people are trying to influence voting based on race alone. It is your RIGHT to vote, but don't you think voting based on race is abusing the system?
So let me see if I get what you're saying...you, the guy who wants basically no government, want someone to regulate these groups and limit who can/can't vote. That's funny.

More directly, I agree that these people (and every other group) are trying to influence someone based on one or two areas such as race, income, etc. Do you think the NRA targets single black males living in urban areas? I don't like their message based on the methods used, but I do like the fact that it's a group trying to get people involved. Instead of whining about it, another group should call them out in public, force them into a corner where they have to discuss real issues based on the entire truth and both sides of every issue. Until then, I support the fact that they have every right to form an awareness group and spread their message.

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post #17 of 32 (permalink) Old 05-19-2009, 01:31 PM
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Let's see how many times you use the term "you guys" in this thread
Let's see how many times you can post in a thread where you continue to point out absolutely nothing relevant. Thanks for adding to this thread with another of your quality posts.

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post #18 of 32 (permalink) Old 05-19-2009, 01:35 PM
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Yo dawg, you gotsta git yo vote on dawg...

This is a segment of our society that glorifies being a dirtbag. I don't know why anyone would be concerned about them herding voters.
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post #19 of 32 (permalink) Old 05-19-2009, 01:54 PM
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I wonder if "lessons on the Constitution" include ways to make yourself feel justified while completely ignoring it in law making.
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post #20 of 32 (permalink) Old 05-19-2009, 01:55 PM
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Let's see how many times you can post in a thread where you continue to point out absolutely nothing relevant. Thanks for adding to this thread with another of your quality posts.
That's because Hip Hop on the Hill is irrelevant, you grand master of nothing but quality posts. I did notice you immediately stopped using "you guys" like diarrhea in this thread after I made fun of you doing so, so we're all glad to see you got that message in spite of your clearly superior sense of political fairness that's obviously above all others on this board.
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post #21 of 32 (permalink) Old 05-19-2009, 02:00 PM
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I wonder if "lessons on the Constitution" include ways to make yourself feel justified while completely ignoring it in law making.
I'm perplexed by this whole thing to be honest. Doesn't a significant portion of hip hop glorify being a criminal?

This is like starting a group called "Christians against Christ".
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post #22 of 32 (permalink) Old 05-19-2009, 02:20 PM
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...of the people... Who are you to say that someone shouldn't be allowed to vote? Were there restrictions other than women and age originally? It's all or nothing with you guys. You condemn someone for saying the Constitution is a "living document," yet you say these people shouldn't be allowed to vote.
I'm saying they shouldn't be allowed to vote. I don't see a problem with enacting SOME basic requirements for voting eligibility. How about a high school diploma, a job, owning property, speaking English, and passing a mandatory 10-question examination before entering the poll booth? I would love to see a modern Democrat get elected under these rules.
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post #23 of 32 (permalink) Old 05-19-2009, 02:23 PM
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This is a segment of our society that glorifies being a dirtbag. I don't know why anyone would be concerned about them herding voters.
Because it doesn't take a single brain cell (or in some cases, a pulse) to be an American voter. Just show up and stamp your ballot.

If some idiot tells another idiot to do something, he'll probably do it. He's an idiot after all.
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post #24 of 32 (permalink) Old 05-19-2009, 02:25 PM
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post #25 of 32 (permalink) Old 05-19-2009, 02:28 PM
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So let me see if I get what you're saying...you, the guy who wants basically no government, want someone to regulate these groups and limit who can/can't vote. That's funny.
I've never called for 'no government.' I want LESS government. I don't want government running major auto makers. I don't want government dictating that I buy some eco friendly hybrid. I don't want government raiding some old guy's house, because his son's FRIEND committed a crime 37 years ago. I do think some basic knowledge of politics and government should be required by those that want to vote.


I also support sterilization of the gene pool, and selective breeding. I'm really not that difficult to figure out, smart guy.


And for the record, a group calling out the 'Hip Hop on the Hill' people will do no good. The activists for 'Hip Hop on the Hill' are the same types that resort to "You're racist!" when you attempt to debate real issues and problems in America, simply because you disagree with the Mighty NoBama.
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post #26 of 32 (permalink) Old 05-19-2009, 02:28 PM
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I don't own property
You've served, I'd say you're exempt from the rest.
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post #27 of 32 (permalink) Old 05-19-2009, 02:29 PM
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Because it doesn't take a single brain cell (or in some cases, a pulse) to be an American voter.
In a lot of cases, you don't even have to be an American Citizen. Just ask Acorn....
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post #28 of 32 (permalink) Old 05-19-2009, 03:03 PM
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In a lot of cases, you don't even have to be an American Citizen. Just ask Acorn....
I bet some people have voted more times dead than they ever did alive

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post #29 of 32 (permalink) Old 05-19-2009, 04:08 PM
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Yo dawg, you gotsta git yo vote on dawg...

This is a segment of our society that glorifies being a dirtbag. I don't know why anyone would be concerned about them herding voters.

Pretty neat how democrats actively seek the support of said dirtbags. No wonder these guys always have their panties in a wad...
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post #30 of 32 (permalink) Old 05-19-2009, 04:47 PM
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I don't own property
How about military service trumps any other requirements
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post #31 of 32 (permalink) Old 05-19-2009, 05:03 PM
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After the last presidential election i'm a lot more for some kind of testing before being allowed to vote now. Voting is a powerful thing and dumbasses should not be pulling the lever, be them white, black, red, or whatever.

And I believe that there is merit in a means test, requiring a person to be a property owner or otherwise have some skin in the game because it eliminates the freeloaders. What are the freeloaders going to vote for? Handouts.
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post #32 of 32 (permalink) Old 05-19-2009, 11:39 PM
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The problem is that dumbasses will vote for whoever their 'idol' glorifies. These brainless idiots like the garbage that the 'artist' produces, then find out that they support whoever, and the typical reaction is 'if its good enough for so-and-so, then its good enough for me'. They'll support someone without any shred of research on who or what.

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