Sep 142014
 

The Republican Party is facing an ever increasing problem.  They can count up all the millionaires and billionaires with no sense of their civic responsibility.  They can add in all the racists, homophobes, misogynists, polluters, militias, warmongers, hatemongers, pseudo-Christians, etc.,  for whose support the Republican party has sold their soul.  They can add to that all the fools stupid enough to watch and believe the Republican Reichsministry of Propaganda, Faux Noise.  They still won’t have enough to hold power.  That leaves just one last thing.  If they can disenfranchise enough of the majority, they may be able to steal the vote.

GOPvotingIn the summer of 2012, Pennsylvania House Majority Leader Mike Turzai (R) bragged that the voter ID law he’d helped pass was “gonna allow Governor Romney to win the state of Pennsylvania.” That law was short-lived: a federal judge issued a ruling that, as the New York Times reported, the law “hampered the ability of hundreds of thousands of Pennsylvanians to cast their ballots, with the burden falling most heavily on elderly, disabled and low-income residents, and that the state’s reason for the law — that it was needed to combat voter fraud — was not supported by the facts.”

This summer, Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp was caught in a moment of candor when he warned a crowd of fellow Republicans: “The Democrats are working hard… registering all these minority voters that are out there and others that are sitting on the sidelines, [and] if they can do that, they can win these elections in November.”

When the Supreme Court struck down Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act last June, it was an open invitation to states with a history of voting discrimination – previously required to clear voting restrictions with the Department of Justice – to enact laws that made it harder for traditionally Democratic-leaning groups to cast a ballot. The demographic headwinds facing the GOP, rather than the mythical specter of voter fraud, motivated those legislatures to do so with gusto. According to the Brennan Center for Justice, 22 states have enacted new voting restrictions since the Republican “wave” election in 2010. For 15 of them, this November will be the first test.

But the fight for voting rights continues in the courts. On Thursday, Richard Wolf reported for USA Today that a series of challenges to various states’ restrictive voting laws may ultimately send the Voting Rights Act back to the Supreme Court… [emphasis added]

Inserted from <Bill Moyers>

Click through for more,

This situation has me nervous as a hooker getting a VD test after a  pseudo-Christian convention!  Under Roberts, the Fascist Five Injustices of SCROTUS has shown that they like to dismantle out rights incrementally.  As they showed in the follow on cases to Hobby Lobby, with each new case they take more.  They will say, of course, that Congress has the power to change it, knowing full well that Congress will do no such thing, as long as a minority can stay in charge of the House.  Therefore we must

Get Out The Vote!!

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Aug 202014
 

Title humor aside, this nation desperately needs help to restore the value of government of by and for the people.  This article clearly shows just how broken the system has become, and why change is so necessary.  Neither party should have the power to draw a dishonest election map, but Republicans have reached an unprecedented high in subversion of the peoples’ will.

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In the original conception of our Constitution, the House of Representatives was to be the branch of government that best reflected the will of the people. House members cannot serve without being elected — vacancies are not filled by appointees — and they must face the voters every two years. Notably, the House holds pride of place as the first branch of government to be described in the Constitution. The framers move directly from “We the People” to the House, underlining the notion that, for our Constitution (and our government) to function, representatives must be accountable to the people.

Unfortunately, as we near the 2014 midterm elections, the reality of House races today clashes with that goal.

Let’s start with the connection between votes and seats. In 2012, we faced a major choice between the major parties and a mandate on President Obama’s first term. In the presidential race, Obama defeated Mitt Romney in the national popular vote by almost three percentage points, and Republicans suffered the worst performance in Senate elections by any major party in a half-century.

In House races, Democratic nominees overcame incumbent advantages for Republicans and won the national popular vote by more than 1.1 million votes. By those numbers, Americans painted the Capitol royal blue. Shockingly, though, Republicans won 54 percent of the House seats, establishing for themselves a 33-seat majority. And looking ahead, analysts estimate that Democrats may need as much as 55 percent of the popular vote in November to secure a majority.

Such a disconnect between voters and those who are installed as their congressional leaders goes far beyond any distortion we’ve seen in the Electoral College in presidential elections. It’s absolutely unacceptable in House elections, and it deserves far more debate than it has received… [emphasis added]

Inserted from <Washington Post>

Photo Credit: Hands Off Redistricting

Now the bottom map in the above graphic is hypothetical, but the top map how Republicans are actually stolen 72% of the Representatives in a state where the majority of the voters voted for Democrats.  Part of the problem is that the scheme favors incumbents from both parties. The five Democratic candidates in PA have so many Democrats packed into their districts that they don’t have to work to keep their jobs, making them less likely to fight to change the system.  As a rule, progressives and even most corporate Democrats favor reform.  A few Corporate Democrats and Blue Dogs do not.  Republicans favor reform, but only in those states where Democrats control redistricting.  They consider any attempt to return their states to representing the people a Kenyan, Socialist conspiracy.  That’s why reform must be national

There are no easy answers here, but the next time America does major redistricting will be after the 2020 Elections.  How can we be ready?

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Jun 262014
 

There is no greater foundation for democratic republic than the right of all members of that republic to participate in choosing their representatives at the polls, that is, to exercise their right to vote.  That foundation remains under attack by the Republican Party, who are trying to establish fascist one-party rule, a Republican totalitarian plutocracy in which elections exist only for show.  They would prevent all who might vote against them from voting.  It has become quite widespread.

0626Voting

According to a new report by the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law, “[n]ew voting restrictions developed since 2010 are slated to be in place in 22 states this November.”

The Republican Party have rolled back voting with a whole range of tactics from requiring identification to shortening the time to vote. Many of these states were long covered by the Voting Rights Act passed in 1965 to remedy 100 years of states denying the right to vote to people of color.

Limiting the franchise, limiting the right to vote is the most fundamental obstruction of democracy and certainly one of the most un-American things imaginable.

But not the only. This Supreme Court has allowed states to disenfranchise their own people, has equated money to free speech and corporations to people, and opened up the floodgates to unmitigated big money.

All three of these democratic assaults were committed by this John Roberts Supreme Court… [emphasis added]

Inserted from <Daily Kos>

Click through for more, please.

Unless you want to live in the functional equivalent of the Fifth Reich, we must everything we can to vote and to help those, who Republicans are trying to disenfranchise, vote.  Then we must keep it up until the Fascist Five Injustices of SCROTUS (Republican Constitutional VD) have been replaced through retirement or impeachment.

Corporations are NOT people!

Money is NOT speech!

VOTE!!!

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Jun 122014
 

I’m writing for tomorrow, and trying to get as much rest as I can, because tomorrow is a physical therapy day.  Because that is sure to involve pain, I may have little or nothing to post on Friday.  Day 52.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:02 (average 4:58).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Upworthy: Here’s a video that sorta shows what could happen to different cities as the tides rise. I get it; we don’t know exactly what that world will actually look like after this goes down. I’m guessing there will be levees, water pumps, sandbags, and other city-saving devices to protect the coasts for a little while. However, this artist wanted to make a point — an important point — about protecting what we’ve got.

 

You can be sure that the 1% will allow is the exclusive use of inundated dwellings.

From The New Yorker: Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said today that she is “seriously considering” not running for President in 2016 after reading an avalanche of scathing one-star reviews on Amazon for her new book, “Hard Choices.”

Secretary Clinton said that she was “shattered” to discover that dozens of people had apparently purchased her book on its first day of publication, read all six hundred and fifty-six pages in one sitting, and judged the finished product so unsatisfactory that it only merited one star on Amazon.

“These people all read my book cover to cover on the very first day it was published, so they must have really been looking forward to it,” a shaken Clinton told reporters. “It’s devastating for me to think about how I must have let them down.”

But Andy, we already knew it stunk, because you told us Idiot, Son of Idiot, Named after Idiot refused to plagiarize it.

From Daily Kos: Guns everywhere does mean everywhere:

Montgomery, Alabama officials have mere weeks to sort out whether gun-toting voters should be allowed in polling places under a new state law.

Differing interpretations of the new law became a problem in Tuesday’s primary after men showed up with guns in at least two precincts near Birmingham. Also, an east Alabama county first banned guns from polling places only to change the policy.

A law enforcement leader in Shelby County says someone needs to sort out the confusion before the runoff election on July 15. Two armed voters tried to cast ballots there.

Boy, I sure would hate to be a black voter in Alabama when a bunch of open carry nuts decide to show up with their high-powered rifles and Confederate T-shirts. Let me guess the response from the gun nuts: "Hey … just exercising our rights! Wanna make something of it?"

When Bill Maher coined the term Ammosexual, did he nail it, or what?

Cartoon:

0612Cartoon

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Jun 042014
 

I’m writing for tomorrow, when I shall be leaving for prison volunteer training.  I will return on Friday afternoon,  I’m taking my notebook, but I don’t know how much I shall be able to do, while there.  It will probably be little more than Personal Updates, if that.  Please keep the Republicans at bay, while I’m gone.  Day 44.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 2:52 (average 4:42).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Upworthy: Whenever I hear people condemn those who are financially less fortunate than themselves, I tend to tune them out (yes, sometimes I’m RUDE). A better idea would be to share the information from this infographic, because 1) it’s more tactful than what I usually do and 2) it might help some folks be a little more compassionate.

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The loss of IQ and mental illness factors help explain why some poor people vote Republican.

From Daily Kos: Fox News has fallen and it can’t get up. Ratings for the month of May 2014, have just been published, and the numbers are devastating for Fox News. While still occupying the top slot among the cable news networks, Fox saw about a quarter of its audience dissolve across every demographic group and time period.

Every Fox program in primetime dropped by double-digits, with Bill O’Reilly taking the deepest dive. Sean Hannity posted some of his lowest numbers ever in his new 10:00 pm time slot. And Megyn Kelly’s new, and highly anticipated, primetime show failed to improve on the ratings performance of her predecessor.

To be sure, Fox was not the only network to see declines. In fact, CNN had an even larger dip. The news was much better for MSNBC who was down the least of all the cable news networks. They lost a relatively insignificant five percent of total viewers, but actually saw increases for Morning Joe, and for Chris Hayes and Rachel Maddow in primetime.

For Fox to post numbers that they haven’t seen since August of 2001 (before 9/11) is a painful blow to both their reputation and their bank account. But they have even bigger problems. The viewers that do tune in to Fox are significantly older than viewers of their competitors. Fox News has always had the oldest skewing audience in cable news. With a median age of 68.8 years, Fox’s audience is over six years older than either CNN or MSNBC. It’s even worse for their top rated program (O’Reilly) who’s average viewer is over 72 years old. And their Great Blonde Hope (Kelly), who was specifically brought in to draw younger viewers, also exceeded Fox’s average with her typical viewer voyeur being over 70.

You can sum up my response in two words. The first is "Wooo". Can you guess the second? ;-)

From NY Times: The Supreme Court on Monday agreed to consider challenges from Democratic lawmakers who say the Alabama Legislature packed minority voters into a few districts, diluting their voting power.

In another case from Alabama last year, the Supreme Court effectively struck down Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act, which has required permission from the federal authorities before states may change their voting procedures.

This is one to watch. Considering the record of the Fascist Five Injustices of SCROTUS (Republican Constitutional VD), I’m not expecting an outcome that agrees with our Constitution.

Cartoon:

0604Cartoon

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May 252014
 

I’m writing for tomorrow.  It’s safe to drink Portland water again, without treating it with alcohol. ;-)  I’m surprised that I functioned at all yesterday, as tired as I was.  Today, I still am a bit foggy.  It can be difficult to find interesting material on a holiday weekend.  Day 33.

Late (early) update:

I overslept again.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 2:55 (average 4:45).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Daily Kos: In April, the Mustang, Oklahoma school board announced they had voted to to implement a Bible course developed by the president of Hobby Lobby, Steve Green.

Daily Kos user ProgLegs shared the news report:

Mustang will be the only public school district in the state to pilot the program.  Green hopes the course, which teaches about the "narrative, history, and impact" of the Bible, will be in "hundreds" of schools in 2015 and thousands the year after.

Now new information has come to light that Hobby Lobby president Steve Green met privately with school board members, which appears to be a clear violation of the Oklahoma Open Meetings Act:

Authentic Christians respect the law. If their conscience demands they break it, they do so openly, standing ready to suffer the consequences for their protest, just as Jesus did. Republican Supply-side pseudo-Christians consider themselves above the law they demand everyone else follows, while they violate it themselves in secret.

From NY Times: A man who had shot to death his four young children, for reasons known only to him, sat in the wooden chair reserved for him at the Riverbend Maximum Security Institution in Nashville. His body was strapped tight and his head was freshly shaved, to enhance the conductivity.

I could see him, but he could not see me. We sat perhaps 30 feet apart, on opposite sides of a one-way glass partition that separated those who would walk away that September night in 2007 from one man who would not.

The electric chair had not been used in Tennessee since 1960, a reflection of a nation’s discomfort with a procedure that had come to be seen as gruesome, if not cruel. But the condemned man, Daryl Holton, 45, had been given a choice between lethal injection and electrocution. To the dismay of prison officials, he had chosen the latter — again, for reasons known only to him.

Perhaps he preferred the quicker torture of feeling his eyeballs fry and pop out to the longer term torture of feeling like his body is on fire for several minutes. What does this say about those who debate how we torture people to death instead of joining the civilized world community that has evolved beyond such barbarity?

From TPM: Earlier this week Rep. Ted Yoho’s (R-FL) 2012 comments surfaced. "I’ve had some radical ideas about voting and it’s probably not a good time to tell them, but you used to have to be a property owner to vote," he told a cheering audience.

Alexander Keyssar, Stirling Professor of History and Social Policy at Harvard University and a member of the Scholars Strategy Network, weighed in on the multitude of reasons why Yoho (pictured, right) is just plain wrong:

Congressman Ted Yoho’s interest in re-imposing property requirements to vote is yet another sign of his party’s interest in rolling back two centuries of progress in American political life. Property requirements were, indeed, the norm for the first several decades of our history (as were gender and racial restrictions), but they were overturned almost everywhere by the middle of the nineteenth century.

Today’s Republican Party would like nothing better than kick both civil rights and voting rights back into the 1800s.

Cartoon:

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How long must we wait before more Republican 1% criminals are convicted?

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May 022014
 

I’m writing for tomorrow.  It’s 82° at my desk.  That’s too hot, but it’s 20° less that what it would have been at the old place.  I’ll be ordering my AC on Monday.  That will guarantee cold weather until July.  I spent the entire morning gathering the data for today’s Monthly Report, so the Poll Results will be delayed until Saturday.  Day 11.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:02 (average 4:46).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From The New Yorker: After being banned by the N.B.A. Tuesday afternoon, the Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling told reporters that he would miss being around people he hates.

“Sure, I’m saddened by this,” Sterling said. “Sitting in the stands night after night, a boiling cauldron of hatred bubbling inside me—it doesn’t get better than that. Those were good times.”

“Knowing that I’ll never be able to sit in that arena again and look down on the people I despise—that hurts the most,” he said.

Andy describes just how unhappy that typically racist Republican will be, IF the ban sticks.

From Upworthy: When it comes down to it, these kids get it — love is love, and family is family. And the way they talk about their families is absolutely adorable. Prepare to be charmed and delighted.

 

Isn’t this wonderfully different from the hatred Republicans teach their children to spew.

From Daily Kos: Buh bye Republican dreams of voter suppression by onerous Voter ID requirements.

The shiny new law has been on hold and now its dead.  .pdf is here.

In Tuesday’s decision, U.S. District Judge Lynn Adelman in Milwaukee determined the law requiring voters to show one of a narrow set of photo IDs at the polls violated the federal Voting Rights Act and established an unconstitutional burden on the right to vote. He issued an injunction barring the law from being enforced.

State Attorney General (Republican) J.B. Van Hollen, who had defended the law, immediately pledged to take the case to the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago.

This is a big win for the people of Fitzwalkerstan and a big loss for Fartfuhrer Walker and Republican election theft.

Cartoon:

0502Cartoon

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