His message: Islam 'part of American culture' (North Raleigh News) "What's important is to not make a distinction between Americans over here and Muslims over there," Ali said. "I think that Muslim Americans have the same response as other Americans, which is a sense of relief."
KENTUCKY'S CLOSED PRIMARIES CONTROVERSY
The Pros and Cons of Kentucky's Closed Primaries (Stu Johnson, NPR Radio WKMS) Higdon has heard from independents who tell him they're taxpayers, they help pay for elections, so they should be able to vote. The state senator argues the first political party that voluntarily opens up its primary will enjoy an unfair advantage during the general election....
Read more about the fight for open primaries in Kentucky at Independent Kentucky
POLITICAL AND ETHICAL REFORM
- Fixing Congress (U.S. Rep. Jim Cooper, Boston Review - This article is part of Fixing Congress, a forum on the causes of legislative partisanship and corruption.) States with party-registration laws further protect extremists by outlawing independent as well as opposition voters. With a firm grip on their districts and no worries about alienating voters in the other party, gerrymandered extremists are often the loudest voices in Congress.
- Ending the Permanent Campaign (Norman J. Ornstein,Boston Review) Externally, adopt on a wider basis the California system of open primaries to provide opportunities for a wider range of moderate candidates to win nominations and elections. Even better, adopt a version of the Australian system of mandatory attendance at the polls.
- Newt Gingrich to (finally) announce 2012 run on Wednesday - Gingrich tweets that he'll be on Fox News to 'talk about my run for President.' (Politico)
- Jon Huntsman's South Carolina Debut Suggests It's Wrong To Write Him Off (by FRANK JAMES, NPR) Meanwhile, the very thing that could hurt Huntsman with the GOP activists whose support could be crucial to winning the early primaries and caucuses — his role in the Obama Administration — could help Huntsman in a general election if he could get that far. Many independent voters like politicians willing to work across party lines.
UNIONS AND THE DEMS
Richard Trumka: Talking Loud and Saying Nothing (By Mike Elk, In These Times) The AFL-CIO has not talked of restarting the Labor Party experiment in the late 1990s, which several unions, including Trumka’s own the United Mine Workers, backed. Indeed, the labor movement has bowed to the wishes of the Democratic Party by not fostering electoral efforts like New York’s Working Families Party in states that allow fusion balloting, such as Ohio. In other words, the labor movement has no plan to declare political independence from the Democratic Party other than to spend money on electing Democrats through its own channels, rather than giving it to the Democratic Party to spend.
The Castillo Theatre Dares to Dream (By Deardra Shuler, Black Star News) If you live in an area that does not offer much hope you often dream of being somewhere else. Anywhere where the grass is greener and the beaches are cleaner. “License to Dream” is a play featured at the Castillo Theatre, located at 543 West 42nd Street in Manhattan, which bring youngsters from East New York together with underpaid dance instructors in East Hampton, in a bid to teach one another the art of dance. And, along the way, respect each other’s culture and learn that no matter who you are, you can dare to dream.