SCOTUS 4 – SCROTUS 4

 Posted by at 1:22 pm  Politics
Oct 012016
 

At the outset, I’d like to thank JL A, who knew I have published similar articles as the start of the Supreme Court term.  Had she not emailed me the link, I would have missed it.  The Supreme Court is evenly split.  The four Justices of SCOTUS are Ginsburg, Breyer, Sotomayor and Kagan.  The four Injustices of SCROTUS (Republican Constitutional VD) are Roberts, Scalito, Thomas and Kennedy.  I fear many cases will be deadlocked, but several will be interesting.

1001Supreme

The Supreme Court begins a new term next week with a docket of cases that could have sweeping implications for religious freedom, jury deliberations and congressional redistricting.

Whether the court will be able to resolve all of its cases remains to be seen. The justices deadlocked several times last term, with the court evenly split between the conservative and liberal wings after the death in February of Justice Antonin Scalia…

…Here are five of the most interesting cases before the court.

1. Trinity Lutheran Church of Columbia Inc. v. Pauley

This case centers on a Missouri program that gives schools money to buy recycled tires to resurface playgrounds.

Trinity Lutheran Church of Columbia requested funding for a playground on church property that’s used by its licensed preschool and daycare, called the Learning Center.

The Missouri Department of Natural Resources denied that request, citing state constitutional policy prohibiting public funds supporting churches.

Both the district court and the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals sided with the state.

The justices are being asked whether religious schools can be denied equal access to government benefits. Trinity additionally argues the rejection is a violation of both the First Amendment’s religious freedom clause and the 14th Amendment’s promise of equal protection under the law.

Court watchers note that the court accepted this case before Scalia died.

From <The Hill>

I shared just one.  Chick through for the other five.

In my opinion, religions schools should not receive government financial aid of any kind.  If people want to send their children to religious schools, that is their right, but religious organizations, especially ones representing Republican Supply-side pseudo-Christians, want everyone else (taxpayers) to pay for it.

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Sep 262016
 

I finally had a decent night’s sleep, last night, but feel no better, because it will take several more before I’m back to speed.  I’ll be stocking up on Barf Bags for tonight’s media circus.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 2:41 (average 4:34).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Religious Ecstasy:

0925Broncos29-Bengals17

Short Takes:

From NY Times: The pitched battle over President Obama’s signature climate change policy, which is moving to the courts this week, carries considerable political, economic and historical stakes. Yet its legal fate, widely expected to be ultimately decided by the Supreme Court, could rest on a clerical error in an obscure provision of a 26-year-old law.

That error, which left conflicting amendments on power plant regulation in the Clean Air Act, will be a major focus of oral arguments by opponents of Mr. Obama’s initiative when the case is heard on Tuesday in the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.

The initiative, known as the Clean Power Plan, which Mr. Obama sees as at the heart of his climate change legacy, gave the United States critical leverage to broker the landmark 2015 Paris climate change accord. If the plan is struck down, the United States, the world’s largest carbon polluter over the centuries, will lose its main tool to cut greenhouse gas emissions. If it is upheld, it will transform the nation’s electricity system, closing hundreds of coal-fired power plants and setting in motion a wholesale shift to wind, solar and nuclear power, as well as to improved electric transmission systems.

As things stand now, the Supreme Court will probably vote 4-4, meaning that whatever decision the last Appeals Court will have made will stand. This should demonstrate just how critical it is for Democrats to hold the Presidency and take the Senate.

From Think Progress:

Hours after the New York Times and the Los Angeles Times published separate stories outlining the lies Donald Trump has told during his presidential campaign, Trump’s campaign spokesperson told ABC’s “This Week” that it isn’t the media’s job to factcheck the presidential debate.

“I really don’t appreciate the campaigns thinking it is the job of the media to go and be these virtual fact-checkers,” Kellyanne Conway said, in an apparent attempted jab at the Clinton campaign. She also opposed debate moderators questioning the candidates’ truthfulness in any way…
…Conway went on to praise Matt Lauer’s performance during a candidate forum earlier this month, during which he pressed Clinton on several issues, but accepted Trump’s (false) claim that he opposed the war in Iraq from the beginning.

“We thought he did a great job,” Conway said.

No surprises there.

From Robert Reich: Last week, Congress engaged in a bipartisan barrage of CEO bashing…

…Such shaming before congressional committees tends to reassure the public Congress is taking action. But – especially with Republicans in charge – Congress is doing nothing to prevent the wrongdoing from recurring.

Can we be clear? CEOs have only one goal in mind – making money. If they can make more money by misleading or price gouging, they’ll continue to do so until it’s no longer as profitable…

…So instead of setting up further rounds of CEO perp walks for the TV cameras, Congress should give the Justice Department and regulatory agencies enough funding to do their jobs.

While they’re at it, break up the biggest banks. And regulate drug prices directly, as does every other country.

It’s easy to holler at CEOs. It’s time for to stop hollering and take action.

The Reich on the left, Robert Reich, is right. The problem is that the Reich on the Right, the Republican Reich, is still deplorable. They will block reform as long as they have the power to do so.

Cartoon:

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Sep 012016
 

I spent the morning collecting the data and preparing the graphics for tomorrow’s Monthly Report.  That part actually takes considerably more time than writing the article.  I’m feeling quite tired, as I’ve been unable to nap.  When the weather started to cool, the city began a street repair project right below me.  For the last four days the noise has been deafening almost continuously from sunup to sundown.  Often there have been multiple jackhammers going at once.  ARGH!

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:10 (average 4:55).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Daily Kos: Donald Trump’s immigration speech on Wednesday night was described here as “fascism in it’s [sic] purest, most vile form, slathered in an unbroken stream of lies,” while most in the media tip-toed around, trying to explain it all away. So, who was praising the speech? 

There was the former Imperial Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan:

A noted white supremacist and the founder of American Renaissance:

The editors of the white supremacist website VDARE:

In addition, Trump lied about his conversation with Peña Nieto. The Mexican President told him that he would not pay for Trump’s wall!

From NY Times: A deadlocked Supreme Court on Wednesday refused to revive parts of a restrictive North Carolina voting law that a federal appeals court had struck down as an unconstitutional effort to “target African Americans with almost surgical precision.”

The court was divided 4 to 4, with the court’s more conservative members voting to revive parts of the law. The court’s brief order included no reasoning.

North Carolina’s law, which imposed an array of voting restrictions, including new voter identification requirements, was enacted by the state’s Republican-controlled legislature in 2013. It was part of a wave of voting restrictions enacted after a 5-to-4 Supreme Court decision that effectively struck down a central part of the federal Voting Rights Act, weakening federal oversight of voting rights.

Challenges to the laws have met with considerable success in recent months, and Wednesday’s development suggested that the current eight-member Supreme Court is not likely to undo those victories.

We so need to dump Reichsfuhrer Roberts, Scalito, TEAbag Thomas, and Ku Klux Kennedy, all of whom voted against the Constructional right to vote.

From The Rachel Maddow Show: Trump anti-immigrant speech follows dark pattern of US history

Rachel Maddow shows how throughout American history, when normal politics breaks down, fringe voices gain prominence scapegoating immigrant groups. Duration: 16:12

 

After the Whig Party disappeared, a new progressive party sprung up to the left of the Democratic Party, and that Republican Party was wonderful, until it was coopted by Banksters, shifted right, and began the long slide to become the vile Reich it now is. It is my hope that the Republican Party disappears, and afterwards, a new progressive party will spring up to the left of the Democratic Party.

Cartoon:

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Republicans cheered!

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Aug 302016
 

This is the first day in weeks that I’ve made it until Noon without having to turn on the A/C.  I took a much-needed nap, and am ready for more.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 2:36 (average 5:45).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From KP Daily Funnies: How ISIS Really Feels About Trump

 

I have no doubt that the Daesh would be almost as happy to see Rump Dump in the White House, as Putin would.

From TPM: Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) — the chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and thus a major player in the GOP Senate’s refusal to confirm President Obama’s Supreme Court nominee — opened the door to confirming Judge Merrick Garland in a lame-duck session, even as he continued to defend Republicans’ stance that the successor to the late Justice Antonin Scalia should be chosen by the next president.

At a question and answer session in Sioux City Monday, Grassley told attendees that, "It had nothing to do with Garland," but there was an "understanding" that Supreme Court vacancies that opened in up in a president’s final year should not be filled by that president, according to the Sioux City Journal.

But, he added, his blockade on considering Garland might lift if enough of his GOP colleagues express a desire to push the judge through after the election.

This is what Snake in the Grassley is actually saying. If Clinton wins the election, and if Democrats win control of the Senate, Republicans are likely to confirm Garland, a moderate appointee, so that Hillary cannot replace the currently sizzling Injustice Sturmbannführer Scalia with a more liberal Justice than Garland would be. Once the election is over, I hope Obama will remove Garland’s name from nomination, since Obama originally nominated him as someone he thought Republicans might accept.

From PoliticusUSA: Donald Trump and his for-profit presidential campaign thought they had the market cornered after winning the Republican nomination, but an enterprising fellow grifter invaded Trump’s turf and stole $1 million from his supporters (marks).

Because Donald Trump has no digital campaign operation to speak of, a grifter by the name of Ian Hawes was able to establish a super PAC and begin raising money by running a contest that promised the winner would get to have dinner with Donald Trump.

The money came pouring in, but there was a problem. Donors (marks) thought that they were giving to the Trump campaign. Democrats have run fundraising contests like this one for years, so donors (marks) were easily fooled into believing that the man who lives in Trump Tower would come down from his penthouse and share a quick trip through the McDonalds drive thru with them.

The donors (marks) never read the fine print of the contest that stated that the super PAC was only going to purchase two tickets to a future Trump fundraiser. There was no dinner alone with Trump.

Trump was livid that someone was smart enough to exploit his donors (marks) better than he could so he did what Donald Trump does best.

FOMCROTFPIMPLMAO!! Stupid Black SheepBlack SheepBlack Sheep!!!

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Aug 102016
 

Seldom does a day go by that Rump Dump Trump or one of his close Republican Aides does not signal his followers to achieve through violence what he is unable to accomplish through his normal flood of hatred.  But lately, he has been calling for the assassination of the President of the United States, if he is not elected.  I learned how he gets away with treason.

0810TrumpKKK

Over half a century ago, Clarence Brandenburg stood before a small gathering of his fellow Ku Klux Klansmen dressed in full Klan regalia. “We’re not a revengent organization,” Brandenburg told the gathered bigots, “but if our President, our Congress, our Supreme Court, continues to suppress the white, Caucasian race, it’s possible that there might have to be some revengeance taken.”

On Tuesday, the Republican presidential nominee made a statement that was far more similar to Brandenberg’s than one would expect from someone who wants to become the Leader of the Free World. “If [Hillary Clinton] gets to pick her judges — there’s nothing you can do, folks,” Donald Trump told a campaign rally. Then he added an allusion to violence: “although the Second Amendment people, maybe there is, I don’t know.”

Both statements contained calls to violence against the speakers’ political opponents. And, at least under the letter of the law, there’s a plausible argument that Trump’s statement was illegal. One federal law provides that “whoever knowingly and willfully threatens to kill, kidnap, or inflict bodily harm upon . . . a major candidate for the office of President or Vice President, or a member of the immediate family of such candidate” commits a federal felony. Another provides that someone who intentionally solicits another person to “engage in conduct constituting a felony that has as an element the use, attempted use, or threatened use of physical force against property or against the person of another in violation of the laws of the United States” may also face criminal charges.

But such a prosecution would be unconstitutional, thanks to a case that Brandenburg brought up to the Supreme Court. Donald Trump, arguably the most important racist leader in the United States for a generation, is the direct beneficiary of Brandenburg’s racist speech and the legal rule that emerged from it.

In the wake of his suggestion that “there might have to be some revengeance taken” against the president and other high officials, Brandenburg was prosecuted under an Ohio law that punishes individuals who “‘advocate or teach the duty, necessity, or propriety’ of violence ‘as a means of accomplishing industrial or political reform.’” But the Supreme Court ruled that, under the First Amendment, mere advocacy of violence cannot be a crime absent much more…

From <Think Progress>

In my opinion, Brandenburg v. Ohio was wrongly decided.  The next President will likely choose four Supreme Court Justices.  They will be chosen by Clinton or by Trump.  There are no other possibilities.  On the plus side, if we can break the Republican stranglehold on the Court, maybe we can challenge and overturn such miscarriages of justice.  That is my hope.

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Jul 132016
 

I’m expecting Wendy momentarily to shine and polish the TomCat, but I may as well get what I can done before she gets here.  She got here, so I’m clean and my floors are done.  It hasn’t been hot here, but the mugginess sure makes up for it.  Today is a grocery delivery day.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:03 (average 4:07).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Daily Kos: Former Republican congressman Joe Walsh was quick to become, in the wake of the Dallas mass murder, one of the worst human beings on Twitter. For his tweet: "This is now war. Watch out Obama. Watch out black lives matter punks. Real America is coming after you" he was temporarily suspended from Twitter—but was quickly rewarded with an invitation to appear on CNN.

Because, apparently, of all the individuals in all of America who might have insights into the shooting, CNN decided that his "analysis" was the one they wanted to run with.

Shame on CNN for parroting Republican hate propaganda!

From NY Times: Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg needs to drop the political punditry and the name-calling.

Three times in the past week, Justice Ginsburg has publicly discussed her view of the presidential race, in the sharpest terms…

…Mr. Trump responded on Tuesday. “I think it’s highly inappropriate that a United States Supreme Court judge gets involved in a political campaign, frankly,” he told The Times. “I couldn’t believe it when I saw it.”

There is no legal requirement that Supreme Court justices refrain from commenting on a presidential campaign. But Justice Ginsburg’s comments show why their tradition has been to keep silent.

Technically the Times is correct that Ginsburg was ill advised, to tell the truth.   However, why do I remember no piece from their Editorial Board condemning Scalia or Thomas for attending fund raising events for the Koch Brothers? At times the Gray Lady is a total hypocrite.

From YouTube: President Obama COMPLETE REMARKS at Dallas Memorial Service (C-SPAN)

 

Kudos to Obama!! If you have not seen this yet, you should.

Cartoon:

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