Jan 172018
 

It’s another sweaty muggy day, and I am very busy.  Store to Door delivered groceries, and I just finished putting them away and having lunch.  WWWendy is coming this evening to destink the VERY smelly TomCat.  I plan to get us a pizza.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 2:48 (average 4:49).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From YouTube: Republican Tax Cut Song

Bush Barf Bag Alert!!

 

This six year old song illustrates that the only way Republicans have changed is in degree.  RESIST!!

From NPR: Three-quarters of the seats on the U.S. National Park Service advisory board are vacant following a mass resignation Monday night, citing Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke’s unwillingness to meet with them.

Nine of the panel’s 12 members, led by former Alaska Gov. Tony Knowles, handed in their resignations. The bipartisan panel was appointed by President Barack Obama and the terms of all members who quit were set to expire in May.

When they can’t even get a meeting with Republican park destroyer Stinky Zinke, mass resignation is a valid protest. RESIST!!

From Common Dreams: The win by a Democrat for a state senate seat in Wisconsin’s special election on Tuesday is being seen as the latest sign that traditional Republican strongholds, including districts where Donald Trump beat rival Hillary Clinton handily in 2016, could be up for grabs as the nation eyes this year’s mid-term elections.

The victory by Patty Schachtner, the chief medical examiner at a local hospital, over Republican Adam Jarchow, who currently serves in the State House, in Wisconsin’s 10th Senate District—where Trump triumphed over Clinton by 17 points—was an indication to many Democrats, as the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reports, that they are "taking hold of the energy that benefited their party in special elections last year in Alabama, Virginia and Oklahoma." According to reported tallies, Schachtner beat Jarchow by approximately nine points.

Woooo Hoooo!! May Fartfuhrer Walker and Lyin Ryan be next to fall in Fitzwalkerstan, formerly Wisconsin! RESIST!!

Cartoon:

0117Cartoon

Would that we had listened then!

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Dec 292017
 

It’s a very uncomfortable day.  The current temperature is 54°, about 10° above normal, but the humidity is 98%.  I’m not hot, but I’m sweating anyway, and I slept very poorly.  UGH!

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:05 (average 4:53).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From YouTube (Media Matters Channel): Some of the best moments of 2017

 

And in 2018, we’re not going to shut up either. RESIST!!

From USA Today: President Trump demanded Friday that Democrats approve a wall along the border with Mexico and other programs to tighten immigration before he supports a program designed to protect young people brought into the country illegally as children – all while promoting his agenda and attacking political critics on Twitter.

"The Democrats have been told, and fully understand, that there can be no DACA without the desperately needed WALL at the Southern Border and an END to the horrible Chain Migration & ridiculous Lottery System of Immigration etc. We must protect our Country at all cost!" Trump said during a wide-ranging tweet storm.

I have a one word reply!! NO!! RESIST!!

From NY Times: Alabama officials on Thursday unhesitatingly pushed aside a legal challenge from Roy S. Moore and certified Doug Jones as the winner of this month’s Senate election.

The action, during a brief meeting at the State Capitol, was essentially the state’s final step before the seating of the first Democrat elected to the Senate from Alabama in a quarter century. It was also a swift rejection, by some of the state’s most powerful Republicans, of Mr. Moore’s complaint that he was the victim of “systematic voter fraud.”

Mr. Jones’s margin of victory was 21,924 votes, with more than 1.3 million ballots cast.

Swear him in IMMEDIATELY! RESIST!!

Cartoon:

1229Cartoon

Although I normally post my Wounded Knee graphic on the 29th, this year I thought it appropriate to resurrect my cartoon from 12/29/2011 in light of Republican stance on Jerusalem.

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Dec 202017
 

It’s another crazy day in the CatBox.  I had to split my grocery order into two deliveries, one from each of two locations, the Amazon warehouse and New Seasons Market.  The larger of the two from Amazon has already come, and it was so well packed and organized that putting everything away was relatively painless.  The New Seasons order is only three items, but one of them is a key ingredient for tonight’s supper.  That will come between 10:00 and Noon.  Tonight is a shower night, and I’m planning a special supper for WWW: bagels with lox, cream cream cheese, and onions!  Oy Purrrr!!!

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:22 (average 5:12).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From The Atlantic: Representative Tom Cole of Oklahoma put it a bit more succinctly. “God made Republicans to cut taxes,” he quipped to reporters.

Trump hasn’t even signed it in OUR blood yet, and Republicans are already trying to blame their albatross on somebody else. RESIST!!

From Washington Post: The White House has taken down a popular online tool created by President Barack Obama’s administration that allowed the public to create online petitions, some of which required an official response.

All of the petitions, including one that called on President Trump to release his tax returns — the most popular, with more than a million signatures — disappeared from Petitions.WhiteHouse.Gov as part of what a statement https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/ said was part of a maintenance effort to improve its performance.

The statement said that the site, as well as all of its existing petitions, would be restored by the end of January.

“All existing petitions and associated signatures have been preserved and will be available when the site is relaunched,” the note said. “Following the site’s relaunch, petitions that have reached the required number of signatures will begin receiving responses.”

I’ll bet a buck that, when the end of January comes, there will be a problem that will cause a "slight" delay in getting it back up. That delay will continue until Drumpfenfarten is no longer Fuhrer. Any takers? RESIST!!

From NY Times: The Democratic wave that rose on Election Day in Virginia last month delivered a final crash on the sand Tuesday when a Democratic challenger defeated a Republican incumbent by a single vote, leaving the Virginia House of Delegates evenly split between the two parties.

The victory by Shelly Simonds, a school board member in Newport News, was a civics lesson in every-vote-counts as she won 11,608 to 11,607 in a recount conducted by local election officials. [emphasis added]

How many times have you heard lazy lefties or third party fools say their vote doesn’t matter, because it will make no difference anyway. Bullshit! RESIST!!

Cartoon:

1220Cartoon

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Dec 182017
 

Voting Rights in the US are a patchwork of federal and state laws, and nothing more clearly demonstrates this than the laws surrounding the voting rights of felons and ex-felons.  Unfortunately, people of colour are disproportionately affected.

Alabama Democrat Doug Jones was elected to the U.S. Senate on Tuesday by a mere 21,000 votes. That margin would have been much larger if Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill, a strident partisan Republican, would have taken steps to inform his state’s voters than thousands of ex-felons were eligible to vote under a 2017 state law. But Merrill didn’t do that,

6. I’m here to talk about Alabama’s outrageous locking out of people with convictions (disproportionately people of color) from the electoral franchise.

7. Hundreds of thousands of people in Alabama either couldn’t vote yesterday in the #ALSEN election or thought they couldn’t vote bc of AL SOS’s failure to communicate the law.

8. Here’s a long but important timeline. In 1901, #alabama created a criminal disenfranchisement law designed to disenfranchise blacks. They said as much right in the record.

9. They chose to disenfranchise ppl with crimes “involving moral turpitude” b/c that standard was mushy enough to let their friends vote while disenfranchising blacks for violations of the “black code” crimes they made up.

10. In 1985, the Supreme Court struck down the moral turpitude phrase as racially discriminatory because duh. But in 1996, the #AL legislature put the “moral turpitude” standard BACK INTO THE LAW.

11. From 1996 to 2017, there was absolutely NO standard for what convictions were disqualifying. There was no set list of crimes that “involved moral turpitude” and individual registrars county to county decided who got to vote. Many treated ALL felonies as disqualifying.

12. Remember how the standard was chosen in the first place because it could be applied to hurt minorities? (And by the way, Alabama is one of only 12 states that still permanently disenfranchises anyone after their convictions are complete and their time is served.)

13. Americans of all political stripes overwhelmingly support letting people vote after they have completed their sentences (although apparently #RoyMoore does not.)

I encourage everyone to read the article which is a series of tweets by Danielle Lang, an attorney with the Campaign Legal Centre in Washington DC and longer than the 8 points I have highlighted.
This from a Mother Jones article in May 2017:
Fifteen percent of black residents in the state have been kept away from the polls because of their criminal records, according to the Campaign Legal Center, which filed a lawsuit last year arguing the state’s moral turpitude rule was discriminatory. “Felony disenfranchisement laws have the undeniable effect of diminishing the political power of minority communities,said Danielle Lang, an attorney for the center. Indeed, at the time of the state’s constitutional convention, the president of the convention said the rule was intended to “establish white supremacy” in the state. (emphasis added) …

More than 7 percent of the adult African American population couldn’t vote, compared with 1.8 percent of other Americans.

Alabama is one of 12 states that permanently disenfranchises some or all people who have ever been convicted of felonies.

From Wikipedia:

Other than Maine and Vermont, all U.S. states prohibit felons from voting while they are in prison.[41] In Puerto Rico, felons in prison are allowed to vote in elections.

Practices in the United States are in contrast to some European nations, such as Norway. Some nations[42] allow prisoners to vote. Prisoners have been allowed to vote in Canada since 2002.[43]

The United States has a higher proportion of its population in prison than any other Western nation,[44] and more than Russia or China.[45] The dramatic rise in the rate of incarceration in the United States, a 500% increase from the 1970s to the 1990s,[46] has vastly increased the number of people disenfranchised because of the felon provisions. (emphasis added)

According to the Sentencing Project, as of 2010 an estimated 5.9 million Americans are denied the right to vote because of a felony conviction, a number equivalent to 2.5% of the U.S. voting-age population and a sharp increase from the 1.2 million people affected by felony disenfranchisement in 1976.[46] Given the prison populations, the effects have been most disadvantageous for minority and poor communities.[47]

Since Wikipedia mentions Canada, and I am Canadian, I wanted to see just where Canada stands, although I do know that Canadian felons have the right to vote, even when they are incarcerated.  This from The Canadian Encyclopedia:

In challenges to the Canada Elections Act between 1986 and 2002, prison inmates in Manitoba and Ontario met with mixed success in their various Charter challenges to the statutory denial of their right to vote. The question was eventually resolved in the prisoners’ favour in a 5 to 4 decision of the Supreme Court of Canada (Sauvé v. Canada, 2002). As a consequence, all restrictions on prisoners’ voting rights at both the federal and provincial levels were struck down.

Sauvé v Canada refers to the case of Richard Sauvé, a former member of the Satan’s Choice Motorcycle Club incarcerated for life for 1st degree murder.  For those who argue that felons and ex-felons should not be able to vote, some felons get involved in trying to help others in many ways.  Sauvé is one such case in Canada.  Certainly TomCat can shed light on this aspect with his prison volunteer work in Oregon which he has done for years.  He personally knows some felons that are making a difference.  Why should they be denied the right to vote?

This from the Canadian Human Rights Council on the Sauvé challenge:

Some argued that taking away a prisoner’s right to vote was a reasonable violation of the charter given that they were irresponsible, uninformed, and simply undeserving.

Both the Ontario Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court of Canada disagreed.

First, they found that the right to vote can’t be limited to just a “decent and responsible citizenry.” Governments had used this restriction to discriminate against citizens on the basis of colour, race, and gender in the past.

Second, the courts ruled that prisoners could not be banned from voting under the pretext that they were isolated from society. With access to cable television and newspapers, prisoners could still stay on top of developments and make informed decisions.

Third, denying the right to vote is a blanket punishment. As such, s.51(e) of the Canada Elections Act was not a “proportional response”; therefore, section 1 of the charter would not allow it to discriminate against prisoners.

Do those arguments sound familiar?  They do to me and I agree with the Ontario Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court of Canada.

What’s more, in Canada, the reconviction rate for all the releases in the first year was 44% with the reconviction rate for violence considerably lower (14%). The non-violent reconviction rate was 30% accounting for the majority of reconvictions.  In the UK, the recidivism rate is 50% while it is over 60% in the US.  Investing in rehabilitation including voting rights could help reduce recidivism which can only be good.

Canada does not have a spotless record on voting rights historically, but it has made great strides and continues to look at the impact of all decisions on charter rights closely. 

The US needs to address the inequity in voting rights, not just for felons but for all people that are disenfranchised, nationally.  When Trump  goes to prison for his nefarious actions, do you think he will lose his voting rights?  If others do, then he should also given that his crimes are analogous to treason.

For two countries so close, we are definitely two very different nations.

Posted to Care2 at http://www.care2.com/news/member/775377582/4080845

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Dec 142017
 

I’m hurrying to finish, so that I can get some rest this afternoon, because this evening is a holy night in the Church of the Ellipsoid Orb.  My Broncos are playing the Colts on Thursday Night Football, and it is televised here.  Could it happen again?  Fantasy players,  there are Saturday games this week.  I received a call from the alternate food delivery guy I found for the two weeks Store to Door will be closed.  He has to go out of town.  So I’ll have to use Amazon Prime Now.  They are pricey.  Their offerings are incomplete.  Their user interface for groceries is a horrid disjointed maze.  But there is no waiting, and they are reliable.  I got my test results back from my stool sample.  My cat box is now a certified source of A-1 prime high octane kitty shit!  I just heard that Net Neutrality is dead.  The vote was 3-2.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 4:03 (average 5:26).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Huffington Post: An ethics watchdog group is asking the Department of Justice to investigate whether Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach (R) violated federal conflict of interest laws by promoting a column he was paid for during a meeting with President Donald Trump’s commission on election integrity, a panel on which he is a top official.

Kobach has written 14 columns for Breitbart since June, and he told the Kansas City Star he gets paid by the outlet for his work. On Tuesday, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington asked the Department of Justice to probe whether Kobach broke the law when he wrote a paid column alleging widespread voter fraud could have changed the outcome of the 2016 presidential election in New Hampshire and then introduced the piece for discussion at the September meeting.

CREW alleges Kobach was using his official position on the commission to advance his financial interest, something prohibited by federal law. Kobach’s columns all have a note at the bottom noting Kobach’s position as vice chair of the commission, which is formally called the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity.

Kudos to CREW! Kobitch needs a Saguaro suppository! RESIST!!

From The New Yorker: Roy Moore’s defeat in Alabama’s special election means that the Texas senator Ted Cruz will easily retain his status as the most despised person in the United States Senate, congressional insiders confirmed on Wednesday.

According to those insiders, Cruz had been secretly hoping that Moore’s election would displace him from his unenviable position as the most vilified pariah in the upper chamber.

“Cruz was praying that, if Moore got in, that might change the daily conversation around here from ‘Who has to sit next to Ted?’ ” one Republican colleague said.

Cruz, whom colleagues deem even more insufferable than such other senatorial ass-clowns as Mitch McConnell and Tom Cotton, was reportedly “distraught” upon learning that Moore would not be joining him in the U.S. Senate.

What do you think poor Ted will do, Andy? I think he’ll seek comfort from his TRUS. RESIST!!

From Robert Reich: Common sense and decency have prevailed in Alabama. It was a vote not just against sexual abuse but also against racism and against those who would ride roughshod over our democratic institutions.

Yes, the margin was small, and Roy Moore was the worst candidate Republicans could possibly have dredged up. But remember, this is Alabama – where Democrats are hated, where minority votes are suppressed, where Trump won overwhelmingly last November.

In the most Trumpian of all states, Trump has been delivered the most powerful repudiation to date. First it was Virginia; now, Alabama. I’d like to think this is a precursor of what’s to come next November – the beginning of the end of the nightmare.

The Reich on the left is right. RESIST!!

Cartoon:

1214Cartoon

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About That Horse

 Posted by at 12:17 pm  Politics
Dec 132017
 

When the election came, my prediction was spot-on.  I predicted that I had no idea who would win, and when the election came, I had no idea who would win.  On who did win, I could not be more pleased.  Watching the different wings of the Republican Reich sniveling and pointing fingers at each other could become addictive.  But about that horse… later.

1213JonesWin

Doug Jones, a Democratic former prosecutor who mounted a seemingly quixotic Senate campaign in the face of Republican dominance here, defeated his scandal-scarred opponent, Roy S. Moore, after a brutal campaign marked by accusations of sexual abuse and child molestation against the Republican.

The upset delivered an unimagined victory for Democrats and shaved Republicans’ unstable Senate majority to a single seat.

Mr. Jones’s victory could have significant consequences on the national level, snarling Republicans’ legislative agenda in Washington and opening, for the first time, a realistic but still difficult path for Democrats to capture the Senate next year. It amounted to a stinging snub of President Trump, who broke with much of his party and fully embraced Mr. Moore’s candidacy, seeking to rally support for him in the closing days of the campaign…  [emphasis added]

Inserted from <NY Times>

The Fuhrer actually says he knew his co-pervert couldn’t win.  That’s a load of bull, but about that horse… later.

Here is Jones’ victory speech.

Now, I know I’ll be objecting to lots of his positions and, when I do, reign me in and remind me of the alternative, and about that horse… later.

Lawrence O’Donnell covered Doug’s win and Bannon’s reaction.

Bannon is a horse’s ass, and about that horse… later.

Warren-McConnellDemocratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts called on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to seat newly elected Democratic senator, Doug Jones, “without any delay” in a Wednesday tweet.

Jones defeated his Republican opponent, accused child molester and harasser Roy Moore in the Tuesday Alabama special election for Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ former seat in the upper chamber. Warren’s tweet comes as a clear effort to reduce the slim Republican majority before the passage of major tax reform and spending legislation.

McConnell indicated the newly-elected Alabama senator would not be seated before the end of the year when asked about the timeline Tuesday.

“Sen. Strange is going to be here through the end of this session,” McConnell told reporters referencing Luther Strange, who was appointed by the Alabama Governor to occupy the seat following Sessions’ departure…

Inserted from <The Daily Caller>

Bought Bitch Mitch took the opposite position on seating Scott Brown beat Martha Coakley in the special election in 2010.  But Bought Bitch Mitch is also a horse’s ass.  And about that horse, kudos to the NY Daily News.

1213MooreHorse

RESIST THE REPUBLICAN REICH!!

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