Nov 172015

Yesterday was a much better day.  I made four laps around the unit.  My previous high was one lap.

Short Takes:

From Washington Post (Thanks to Judi Angel {aka JL A} for bringing the issue to my attention.): The U.S. Supreme Court said Friday that it will review whether Virginia lawmakers improperly packed minority voters into one congressional district at the expense of their influence elsewhere in the state.

The court will consider whether earlier court decisions that ruled the districts invalid were correct. A three-judge panel of the U.S. District Court of the Eastern District of Virginia has twice invalidated the boundaries of a snake-like district that stretches from Richmond southeast to Norfolk — and ordered lawmakers to redraw the election map.

The Supreme Court’s action represents a small victory for Virginia House Speaker William J. Howell (R-Stafford) and Senate Majority Leader Thomas K. Norment Jr. (R-James City), whose chambers would draw up the boundaries. Republicans had insisted on letting appeals play out before they abided by the order in case the high court intervened, as it did Friday.

There are two downsides to this. The first is that the Republican Reich can disobey the District Court decision until SCOTUS decides, which could be as late as the first Monday in October. The Second is the fascist five Injustices of SCROTUS (Republican Constitutional VD). This case is so obvious that I suspect SCROTUS will decide correctly but too late to implement the decision before the 2016 election.

From Daily Kos: Chris Whipple has written a story at Politico offering a long teaser of the upcoming Showtime documentary The Spymasters. He and two colleagues spent more than a hundred hours interviewing the 12 living CIA directors, with considerable focus on the 9/11 attacks. Although the overall picture of failure by the administration to prevent the attacks has long been known, the story and documentary provide some added details. The key detail is that the warnings the Bush White House received from the CIA in the summer of 2001 were a lot more chilling than the infamous August 6 presidential daily brief.

Click through for more. Perhaps this is because both the Bush and Bin Laden families made a bundle by short selling the companies hardest hit financially. They did this through a wholly owned subsidiary of the Carlyle Group.

From The New Yorker: On Sunday’s edition of “Meet the Press,” Jeb Bush said that it was time for the United States to go to war with ISIS, and to put together an international coalition to rout the jihadis from their strongholds in Syria and Iraq. “We should declare war and harness all of the power that the United States can bring to bear, both diplomatic and military of course, to be able to take out ISIS,” Bush, who is trailing badly in the G.O.P. Presidential polls, said. “We have the capabilities of doing this, we just haven’t shown the will.”

InsaniTEA! If Strike Three is elected, we’re out.



Place your bets!

Nov 092015

I was able to get back to sleep, after they woke me up last night, but I still feel very tired.  They put a goopy cream on my donor site to soften the thick scab so it will flake off.  It also increased the pain level.

Short Takes:

From The New Yorker: Presidential candidate Ben Carson has issued a dire warning that President Obama’s cancellation of the Keystone Pipeline has left the United States with “virtually no place to store grain.”

Without the massive pipeline, Carson told Fox News, the nation’s network of silos is woefully inadequate “to store the bounty of grain that we soweth.”

Andy might as well be quoting Uncle Token, because the statement fits his stupidity level.

From Daily Kos: Why any ostensibly rational person living in Kentucky, Tennessee, the Carolinas, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, or Louisiana who saw this map, and still would think their states’ Republican leaders’ policies were delivering the economic growth their region so sorely needs is beyond comprehension.

Where Are the Hardest Places to Live in the U.S.? 

The toughest places to live in America

Almost every county in the U.S. has its share of haves and have-nots. But there are some regions where it’s just plain harder for Americans to thrive, places where the poor far outnumber those living in middle-class comfort.

Ten counties in America stand out as the most challenging places to live, based on a survey of six criteria including median household income, disability rate and life expectancy, according to an analysis by The New York Times.

The county with the dubious distinction of being the worst of all is Clay County, Kentucky, where residents can expect to die six years earlier than the average American.

The other four counties ranked at the bottom of the survey include four counties in the rural south: Humphreys County, Mississippi; East Carroll Parish, Louisiana; Jefferson County, Georgia; and Lee County, Arkansas.

The findings highlight an often overlooked issue in the debate about income inequality — the stubbornness of rural poverty. In the U.S., the number of poor rural residents outnumber those in the cities, with 14 percent of rural Americans living below the poverty line, compared with 12 percent in urban areas, according to the International Fund for Agricultural Development’s Rural Poverty Portal.

Of course you’d never get an inkling of any of this from watching Fox Noise.


There is a way to improve these areas. Forget the hate and fear that the Republican Reich peddles on Faux Noise, and elect lefties in all levels of government. Every Republican in office is one republican too many!

From Think Progress: New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) vetoed legislation Monday that would have added 1.6 million new voters to the state’s rolls and made New Jersey the third state in the country to adopt automatic voter registration.

After sitting on the “Democracy Act” for almost five months, the governor and Republican presidential candidate vetoed his second voting rights-related bill in three years, according to the Brennan Center for Justice. Christie has previously said that he does not support making it easier for residents of his state to vote.

Now that residents of NJ have experienced what PIGnocchio is really like, he knows that his only good shot at keeping his job is to disenfranchise voters. Republicans like nothing better than separating YOU from your Constitutional and human rights.


Apr 262015

Tomorrow I have my semi-annual appointment with my primary care doctor.  She is the one that moved to the far side of town.  I have to take the lift bus, so my half hour appointment will probably take me 5 – 7 hours.  Today I need to prepare for that, and do tomorrow’s chores in addition to today’s.  Expect only a Personal Update tomorrow, please.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 2:15 (average 4:04).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Upworthy: No, I don’t want to take my clothes off to board the plane, and no, I really don’t want to surrender my civil liberties in the name of what they call security.

I’d heard about the TSA’s S.P.O.T. (Screening of Passengers by Observation Techniques) program before and was aware that they were using it, but I had no idea how much it costs (over $1 billion) or that, scientifically, it’s bunk.

Next time you go to the airport, stand in line and just TRY to not be nervous as you see TSA agents look at you to decide if you’re sweating too much, or if you’re just a wee bit too jumpy. Or have the wrong skin color.


I can spot a terrorist. Here’s one.


From Daily Kos: So mere hours after the Supreme Court struck down Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act, Texas wasted no more time and re-instituted the same redistricting plan the courts had already ruled as unconstitutional.  The same with their new voter suppression bill.

Attorney General Holder was having none of it, however.  Texas was the first lawsuit to be filed by the Justice Department under Section 2 of the Voting Right Act. 

And now Texas is presenting its defense. It is using two main arguments.

And boy, are they doozies….

…1st, says Attorney General Greg Abbott, the redistricting is not about race.  Oh no.  It’s about not allowing DEMOCRATS to vote.  White Democrats too.

From their brief:

DOJ’s accusations of racial discrimination are baseless. In 2011, both houses of the Texas Legislature were controlled by large Republican majorities, and their redistricting decisions were designed to increase the Republican Party’s electoral prospects at the expense of the Democrats….The redistricting decisions of which DOJ complains were motivated by partisan rather than racial considerations, and the plaintiffs and DOJ have zero evidence to prove the contrary. It is perfectly constitutional for a Republican-controlled legislature to make partisan districting decisions, even if there are incidental effects on minority voters who support Democratic candidates.


"So, basically, we just want to fuck over all Democrats, and if the Black and Brown people are also hurt, well, they shouldn’t vote for Democrats, should they?  It’s only collateral damage"

This is a classic from 8/13/2013. Nothing had changed.

From NY Times: Nine declared or likely Republican candidates descended on a large church in Iowa on Saturday to court evangelical Christians, the voters who played the starring role in the state’s two most recent caucuses.

They included the winners of those two contests (Rick Santorum and Mike Huckabee), newcomers whose biographies lend themselves to evangelical support (Ted Cruz and Scott Walker), and candidates who would like to win some support from the Christian right but are eyeing broad coalitions (Rand Paul and Marco Rubio).

The nine-candidate lineup in the worship hall of Point of Grace Church [pseudo-Christians delinked] in Waukee, a Des Moines suburb, was proof of evangelical power in Iowa, but also a warning that the script may be rewritten in 2016, with so many candidates competing for social conservatives that their votes splinter.

We need to take note of the promises Republicans make to throe pseudo-Christian base, pandering to their greed, bigotry and intolerance. Then we get to impale them on the quotes they make in Iowa all the nay to election day.



Apr 192015

Citizens United and Shelby County have one key attribute in common.  Both are unconstitutional, activist decisions by the Fascist Five Injustices of SCROTUS (Republican Constitutional VD) designed to help Republicans steal elections.  The former opened the billionaire floodgates.  The latter helps Republicans decide who is allowed to vote.  When Chief Injustice Roberts claimed that protecting voting rights was no longer necessary, because things have changed so much, I knew he was lying,  However, I could not prove it, until now.

0419VotingRightsWhen the Supreme Court struck down the heart of the Voting Rights Act in 2013, its main argument was that the law was outdated.

Discrimination against minority voters may have been pervasive in the 1960s when the law was passed, Chief Justice John Roberts Jr. wrote, but “nearly 50 years later, things have changed dramatically.” In this simplistic account, the law was still punishing states and local governments for sins they supposedly stopped committing years ago.

The chief justice’s destructive cure for this was to throw out the formula Congress devised in 1965 that required all or parts of 16 states with long histories of overt racial discrimination in voting, most in the South, to get approval from the federal government for any proposed change to their voting laws. This process, known as preclearance, stopped hundreds of discriminatory new laws from taking effect, and deterred lawmakers from introducing countless more.

But Chief Justice Roberts, writing for a 5-4 majority, invalidated the formula because “today’s statistics tell an entirely different story.”

Well, do they? A comprehensive new study by a historian of the Voting Rights Act provides a fresh trove of empirical evidence to refute that assertion. The study by J. Morgan Kousser, a professor of history and social science at the California Institute of Technology, examines more than 4,100 voting-rights cases, Justice Department inquiries, settlements and changes to laws in response to the threat of lawsuits around the country where the final result favored minority voters.

It found that from 1957 until 2013, more than 90 percent of these legal “events” occurred in jurisdictions that were required to preclear their voting changes. The study also provides evidence that the number of successful voting-rights suits has gone down in recent years, not because there is less discrimination, but because several Supreme Court decisions have made them harder to win… [emphasis added]

Inserted from <NY Times>

Chick through for more detail.  In case you are considering not giving your full support in 2016 to the Democratic Presidential Nominee, whoever it is, consider Citizens United and Shelby County.  Also consider that the next two to retire from the Court are two of the four remaining Justices.  Imaging having the Straightjacket Seven Injustices of SCROTUS (Republican Constitutional VD).

Mar 072015

My helper friend finally made it yesterday, and we shared six plus hours of heavy cleaning.  Needless to say, I’m way pooped, but I’m writing, because, at my age, I need more days than I have left.  On the plus side, today is definitely a kitty basking day with a forecast high of 70°.  I feel so sorry for my Eastern and Midwest friends.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 6:12 (average 8:28).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From The Oregonian: A sweeping voter registration bill that could add another 300,000 to Oregon’s voting rolls won final passage in the Oregon Senate on Thursday on a 17-13 vote and heads to Gov. Kate Brown for her promised signature.

The so-called "New Motor Voter Bill" was promoted by Brown when she was secretary of state as a way to remove many of the barriers to voting, particularly for younger and poorer Oregonians who tend to move more often.

Republicans, however, charged that using drivers’ license data to automatically register voters raised worries about ID theft and undermined the privacy of Oregonians. House Bill 2177 passed both chambers without a single Republican vote. The only Democrat to vote no was Sen. Betsy Johnson of Scappoose, who had cast the deciding vote against a similar measure that died in the 2013 session.

When someone registers for a Driver’s License or an OID (same without driving, like I have), they are automatically registered to vote. This does not invalidate the many other ways Oregonians with no license or OID can register.  Kudos to Governor Kate and the Oregon Democrats, except the DINO that needs to be primaried.  Oregon leads the way!

From The New Yorker: In what could be a prelude to a Presidential run in 2016, on Friday Joe Biden released to the public both e-mails that he has written while serving as Vice-President for the past six years.

Biden took pride in announcing that he had sent both messages from his official government e-mail address, adding, “I have nothing to hide.”

Minutes after the e-mails were released, the media pored over the treasure trove of materials, which offer a fascinating behind-the-scenes glimpse into Biden’s tenure as Vice-President.

The first e-mail, written to President Obama in December of 2009, asks about the time and place of the White House holiday party.

Dang Andy!! Joe released both of them?!!? ARGH!! Isn’t that TOO transparent? 😉

From NY Times: The coffers of Jeb Bush’s not-quite-declared campaign for president are filling at such a rate that fund-raisers have reportedly been instructed not to ask megadonors to give more than $1 million each this quarter. The concern is seemliness — that acceptance of multimillion-dollar checks from deep-pocketed supporters could bolster the impression that Mr. Bush, the former Florida governor, is in their debt, according to a Washington Post report.

Just a million?!!? Strike Three is smelling just like Little Lord Willard!!



What has changed?  The Republican Party emplaced the racists.

Feb 102015

I won’t even try to count how many times I’ve complained about low voter turnout, so when a saw an article purporting to have ways to increase voter turnout, I could not resist sharing it with you.  However I do disagree with the author on one key point.

0210VoteVoter turnout in the U.S. during the last midterm election hit the lowest point since the 1940s. The number of Americans heading to the polls each election has been declining for the last fifty years and lawmakers have recently been pushing efforts to keep even more people away from the polls.

People do not exercise their right to vote for various reasons, some of which are easier to solve than others. According to a U.S. Census report from 2013, 14 percent of nonvoting respondents were unable to participate because of an illness or disability, 8.6 percent were out of town, 12.7 percent did not like the candidates or campaign issues and almost 19 percent were too busy. Some people cannot take time off from work on a Tuesday in November, which has led lawmakers including Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) to call for making Election Day a federal holiday. Others may not feel engaged in politics or informed enough to vote, while 5.85 million U.S. citizens are prohibited from voting due to a felony conviction on their records.

Voting advocates, including those who spoke at the Elections and Voting Summit last week, have been developing and pushing for new ways to get more people to the polls. Unlike laws that restrict access through voter ID laws, shorter registration and early voting periods and disenfranchising felons, these proposals are likely to have support from lawmakers on both sides of the aisle and would not be difficult to implement to get voters to turn out in higher numbers… [emphasis added]

Inserted from <Think Progress>

Click through for the list of ideas.

My disagreement is with the author’s statement that these ideas would have bipartisan support.  Republicans may give lip service to such ideas at conferences, but in real life, Republicans are doing everything they can to disenfranchise legitimate voters.

I still think one of the best ways to increase voter turnout is to adopt Oregon’s vote by mail system.

Oct 182014

I’m writing for tomorrow, day 180, and this is my only article.  Street noise last night was far worse than normal, as street sweepers took advantage of the rain and the neighborhood became an ambulance zone.  I finally slept for around four hours, cutting into my research and writing time, and I need to sleep more.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:06 (average 4:56).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Tales:

From The New Yorker: There is a deep-seated fear among some Americans that an Ebola outbreak could make the country turn to science.

In interviews conducted across the nation, leading anti-science activists expressed their concern that the American people, wracked with anxiety over the possible spread of the virus, might desperately look to science to save the day.

“It’s a very human reaction,” said Harland Dorrinson, a prominent anti-science activist from Springfield, Missouri. “If you put them under enough stress, perfectly rational people will panic and start believing in science.”

Additionally, he worries about a “slippery slope” situation, “in which a belief in science leads to a belief in math, which in turn fosters a dangerous dependence on facts.”

Andy has explained why Republicans want to substitute a travel ban dealing with the problem.

From Daily Kos: The Arkansas Supreme Court confirmed the decision of an appeals court Wednesday and overturned the state’s strict voter ID law on a 7-0 vote. Since the grounds for reversal related solely to a violation of the Arkansas Constitution, chances are the decision will not be subject to review by the U.S. Supreme Court.

That’s one more state that will be harder for Republicans to steal.

From Upworthy: \They Were Shooting A Beautiful Video From Space. Then They Sped It Up. Just WOW.


I’ll second that. WOW!



Oct 132014

I’m writing for tomorrow, day 175, and due to volunteer work, I’ve been going non-stop since 6:00 AM, and it’s now evening, except for three hours of intense religions mediation upon the wonderful Holy Ellipsoid Orb.  Pardon my brevity.  The Cartoon is resurrected from last year.  (Early AM Update: Unplanned vertical sleep has me running way late).

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 4:23 (average 5:51).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Religious Ecstasy:


Short Takes:

From Daily Kos (Hat-Tip: JL A from Care2): …These are the sorts of bigotry, harassment and human rights violations faced on a regular basis  by American Indians seeking equal access to the ballot box. The discrimination that they endure is remarkably similar to that of African-Americans and Latinos, but odds are that you hadn’t been thinking about the voting rights of American Indians. In fact, outside of the #ChangeTheName controversy surrounding Washington DC’s professional football team, I doubt that American Indians have crossed many of your minds recently. This may be in part because there are only 1.9 million American Indians in this country and you don’t have much direct interaction with them, but I think it is also because the Civil Rights Movement in the United States during the fifties and sixties was almost exclusively an African American movement.

If you doubt me, I urge you to a little free association exercise with yourself and take note of the events from that era that first come to mind. When I think on it, the images I see are of sit-ins in Greensboro, North Carolina and bloody marches in Selma, Alabama; I envision Dr. King speaking of his dreams in front of a packed National Mall and I think about the bodies of 3 civil rights workers being buried on a hot Mississippi night during Freedom Summer. At no point do I think about “No Indians or Dogs Allowed signs” in Wyoming during the 1960s or the Occupation of Wounded Knee, because these things aren’t part of our mainstream narrative of civil rights in America. They aren’t part of our narrative, but they should be. Civil rights movements are not mutually exclusive and there is no cause too remote or removed from our personal experience to be fought. Many of us may not live near a reservation or interact with American Indians in our daily lives, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t hold ourselves as responsible for their voting rights as we do any other race or ethnicity. First and foremost, voter discrimination is not a southern problem; nor is it an African American problem, a Latino problem or an American Indian problem. It is an American problem and it’s about time we treated it as such…

This article is a veritable history lesson of the disenfranchisement of native people, and I’ve shared just a tiny part of it. Click through for a most informative read and an issue that needs more exposure.

From Upworthy: The context (not to mention that footage) at the beginning of this clip is key. Her reaction is just on point. It takes a lot to say something like that on live television.


Kudos to Sony Hostin. The rest? Not so!

From NY Times: It turns out that the Internet does not have infinite capacity. At least not for political ads.

As an increasing number of campaigns and outside groups are finding out, premium space on the web has long been booked. Digital advertising is maturing much in the way television did, as targeting becomes more sophisticated and the definition of a viewer expands drastically.

“Many political strategists don’t think of the Internet as something that can sell out,” said Rob Saliterman, leader of the elections team at Google, which owns YouTube. “But in these smaller states, just as there’s a finite amount of TV inventory, there’s a finite amount of YouTube inventory.”

Like anything else competition for these limited resources drives up their cost. It’s only a matter of time before legitimate human political advertising is crowded out by unknown corporate vultures, including foreign corporations.  Thanks SCROTUS!!



Oct 092014

I’m writing for tomorrow, day 171.  Store to Door is coming with groceries, and I have lots of cleaning to do to prepare.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:44 (average 5:28).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From The New Yorker: An Ohio man has become infected with misinformation about the Ebola virus through casual contact with cable news, the Centers for Disease Control has confirmed.

Tracy Klugian, thirty-one, briefly came into contact with alarmist Ebola hearsay during a visit to the Akron-Canton airport, where a CNN report about Ebola was showing on one of the televisions in the airport bar. “Mr. Klugian is believed to have been exposed to cable news for no more than ten minutes, but long enough to become infected,” a spokesman for the C.D.C. said. “Within an hour, he was showing signs of believing that an Ebola outbreak in the United States was inevitable and unstoppable.”

Once Klugian’s condition was apparent, the Ohio man was rushed to a public library and given a seventh-grade biology textbook, at which point he “started to stabilize,” the spokesman said.

Andy has a point. It’s a good thing the man was not exposed to the Republican Reichsministry of Propaganda, Faux Noise. His brain would not have survived long enough to reach the library emergency room.

From Daily Kos: Ellen Bogan was rolling down U.S. 27 in Union County, Indiana when she was pulled over for a traffic violation. The state trooper let her off with a warning, but not before asking some bizarrely unprofessional questions:

Did she have a home church?

Did she accept Jesus Christ as her savior?

Ellen said she felt helpless to leave the traffic stop, even after the warning had been issued:

"The police officer is representing the government … so that means, as a representative, this person, while on duty, while engaged in official action, is basically overstepping and is trying to establish religion."

Bogan, who lives in Huntington, said Hamilton asked her about her faith multiple times during the traffic stop. Because he was a trooper and his police car was still parked behind hers, she said she felt she could not leave or refuse questioning.

"The whole time, his lights were on," Bogan said. "I had no reason to believe I could just pull away at that point, even though I had my warning."

This Republican Supply-side pseudo-Christian abused his authority, violated her Constitutional rights, and should be criminally indicted and blacklisted from service as a police officer everywhere.

From NY Times: Just weeks before elections that will decide control of the Senate and crucial governors’ races, a cascade of court rulings about voting rules, issued by judges with an increasingly partisan edge, are sowing confusion and changing voting procedures with the potential to affect outcomes in some states.

Last week, a day before voting was scheduled to begin in Ohio, the United States Supreme Court split, 5 to 4, to uphold a cut in early voting in the state by one week; the five Republican appointees voted in favor and the four Democratic appointees against. Cases from North Carolina and Wisconsin are also before the court, with decisions expected shortly, while others are proceeding in Texas and Arkansas.

The legal fights are over laws that Republican-led state governments passed in recent years to more tightly regulate voting, in the name of preventing fraud.

Since virtually all actual documented cases of so-called voter fraud have been Republicans getting caught while trying to prove they could get away with it, it is clear that the Republican courts, especially SCROTUS (Republican Constitutional VD) are helping their fellow fascists. Note how the Fascist Five Injustices used the Gay Marriage non-decision to distract us from their efforts to help the Republican Party steal elections. Get Out the VOTE!!



Oct 012014

I’m writing for tomorrow, day 163.  It’s a busy day, and I have much to do.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 4:46 (average 5:43).  To do it click here.  How did you do?

Fantasy Football Report:

Here’s the latest from our own fantasy football league, Lefty Blog Friends.





Since my best players have returned from a bye week, I hope to do better.

Short Takes:

From Rolling Stone (Hat-Tip Daily Kos): [T]he enormity of the Koch fortune is no mystery. Brothers Charles and David are each worth more than $40 billion. The electoral influence of the Koch brothers is similarly well-chronicled. The Kochs are our homegrown oligarchs; they’ve cornered the market on Republican politics and are nakedly attempting to buy Congress and the White House. Their political network helped finance the Tea Party and powers today’s GOP. Koch-affiliated organizations raised some $400 million during the 2012 election, and aim to spend another $290 million to elect Republicans in this year’s midterms. So far in this cycle, Koch-backed entities have bought 44,000 political ads to boost Republican efforts to take back the Senate.

What is less clear is where all that money comes from. Koch Industries is headquartered in a squat, smoked-glass building that rises above the prairie on the outskirts of Wichita, Kansas. The building, like the brothers’ fiercely private firm, is literally and figuratively a black box. Koch touts only one top-line financial figure: $115 billion in annual revenue, as estimated by Forbes. By that metric, it is larger than IBM, Honda or Hewlett-Packard and is America’s second-largest private company after agribusiness colossus Cargill. The company’s stock response to inquiries from reporters: "We are privately held and don’t disclose this information."

But Koch Industries is not entirely opaque. The company’s troubled legal history – including a trail of congressional investigations, Department of Justice consent decrees, civil lawsuits and felony convictions – augmented by internal company documents, leaked State Department cables, Freedom of Information disclosures and company whistle­-blowers, combine to cast an unwelcome spotlight on the toxic empire whose profits finance the modern GOP…

Click through for the rest of this inclusive exposé on the evil brothers Republicans love to … nevermind.

From Slate (Hat-Tip Daily Kos): Many of the police officers present during protests that followed the killing of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, did not wear nametags and refused to identify themselves to members of the public when asked, a practice that is prohbited by law in some places and by department policy in many others. Per a Department of Justice letter sent to Ferguson police on Tuesday, Ferguson officers are in fact required to wear identification by the department’s own regulations. The DOJ instructed officers to begin following this requirement immediately. From Reuters: 

… the Justice Department said its investigators had observed Ferguson police officers not wearing, or obscuring, their name tags on their uniforms, a violation of the police department’s rules.

"The failure to wear name plates conveys a message to community members that, through anonymity, officers may seek to act with impunity," the letter said.

The Justice Department then reiterated the identification requirement in a second letter to Ferguson police (whose main purpose was demanding that officers stop wearing "I Am Darren Wilson" solidarity bracelets):

It further was reported to us that some officers affirmatively displaying these bracelets had black tape over their name plates. The practice of not wearing, or obscuring, name plates violates your own department’s policies, which we advised you earlier this week when we requested that you end the practice imrnediately.

The second letter is dated Friday.

Indict the pigs! (I use this not a generic term for police officers, but an insult to these racists, who should not be wearing the uniform.)

From NY Times: The Supreme Court on Monday blocked an appeals court ruling that would have restored seven days of early voting in Ohio.

The Supreme Court’s order was three sentences long and contained no reasoning. But it disclosed an ideological split, with the court’s four more liberal members noting that they would have denied the request for a stay of the lower court’s order extending early voting. Dale Ho, a lawyer with the American Civil Liberties Union, said the court’s action “will deprive many Ohioans of the opportunity to vote in the upcoming election as this case continues to make its way through the courts.”

The ruling, which reflected a partisan breakdown in many court decisions nationwide on voting issues, saw the five Republican-appointed justices uphold the voting restrictions enacted by the state’s Republican-controlled Legislature in February. The new limits removed the first week of Ohio’s 35-day early voting period, in the process eliminating the only week that permitted same-day registration, a feature most often used by minorities.

The Fascist Five Injustices of SCROTUS (Republican Constitutional VD) just took another bite out of Democracy. Only Democrats can occupy the White House until these totalitarian bastards are gone!



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!!

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.


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?