Nel's New Day

August 20, 2022

Persecution: The Favorite GOP Strategy

[Drought Update]: Yesterday’s blog post on climate disasters focused primarily on the U.S., but other areas face more calamities. In Europe, one of the worst droughts on record uncovered sunken German warships in the Serbian section of the Danube River, part of a Nazi Black Sea fleet sunk in 1944 while fleeing Soviet troops. Loaded with unexploded ordnance, the ships are a threat to fishing and shipping vessels squeezing by in half the 110-yard stretch of the river. Removal of the over 20 ships and their explosive loads will cost $30 million.

In July, a Roman bridge built during the first century BC was uncovered in the Tiber River, and in August, a village flooded in 1963 to build a dam appeared in the Belesar reservoir in Spain. Other submerged towns and villages in Spain surfaced in February with intact house windows and walls. Almost half of EU is under “warning,” connoting a severe drought and major moisture deficit and threatening shipping routes, food supply, and electricity. The heat wave leaves the Iberian peninsula drier than any time in the past 1,200 years and revealed stones from 5000 BC known as the Dolmen of Guadalperal, the “Spanish Stonehenge.”

The U.S. Supreme Court hasn’t quit its rulings during the summer, this one even in favor of Georgia’s Black voters. Lower courts conflicted in their decisions regarding elections for members of the state’s public service commission. They represent specific districts but are elected in a statewide race, diluting the Black vote, according to one judge. The judge, appointed by Dictator Donald Trump (DDT) ordered a November election be postponed for two commissioners’ seats so that the state legislature could create a new system. Another judge had allowed the election to proceed although he found the election violated the Voting Rights Act.

The 11th Circuit Court halted the ruling and cited the “Purcell principle,” disallowing changes in elections immediately before an election. The Supreme Court overturned the appeals’ court decision in its finding that the current public service commission election system discriminates against Black voters. The issue isn’t settled yet because the circuit court can continue deliberating about overturning the postponement. Another commission candidate had been refused for not meeting the district’s one-year residency requirement, but a Fulton County judge reinstated her because she had been targeted for exclusion during redistricting based on her residency. Text messages showed that a revision of a new map came after the Republican commissioner responsible for drawing the maps had been sent the candidate’s address.

In another Georgia decision, a judge refused to block the provision in the state’s new voter suppression law banning people giving food and water to voters who may have to wait in line as long as ten hours—if they are low-income and/or minorities. He said he didn’t want to change the process from the primaries.

After undated Pennsylvania ballots have collected dust for over three months since the May primary election, a judge ordered three counties to include them in their certified results for the primary election. Mail-in ballots in the state require a date on the declaration on the return envelope. That ruling can allow hundreds or even thousands of additional votes in future elections. The judge ordered the certified totals by August 24.

Two counties are considering an appeal to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, and the third one won’t comment. The Department of State pushed the counting of votes, and 64 of the 67 counties did so. Some elections in the three non-compliant counties crossed county lines, leaving the department with either certifying results counted differently across counties or unofficially forcing uniformity. It sued the three counties on July 11.

Earlier this month, it was discovered that a fourth county’s results were certified although it, too, had refused to count undated ballots. Dated ballots were first required in 2020. A federal judge has ruled that rejecting undated mail ballots in last November’s election was a technicality, violating federal civil rights law. The ruling ordered counties to report results both with and without the undated ballots until the case was decided. The state Supreme Court must take an appeal and take action, and the U.S. Supreme Court has not yet decided whether to take the federal case.

In Utah, a state judge gave transgender girls the opportunity to participate in female sports if they pass the scrutiny of a state commission of political appointees. The panel of health professionals and athletic officials will evaluate the child’s height and weight in determining whether a transgender girl would have an unfair advantage. At least 12 states passed laws preventing transgender women or girls from sports, and three more states are in the process of following the discriminatory legislature. In his ruling, the judge said that the families of three transgender student-athletes filing the lawsuits showed they suffered significant distress by “singling them out for unfavorable treatment as transgender girls.” The plaintiffs claim the law violates the Utah Constitution’s guarantees of equal rights and due process.

This week the Utah High School Activities Association revealed it secretly investigated a female athlete as transgender without her or her families knowledge because of complaints from parents of two girls she defeated. The probe into her school records back to kindergarten showed her to be “female.” Association spokesperson David Spatafore claimed the process was hidden to spare the girl and her family embarrassment and “to keep the matter private.”

Gov. Spencer Cox accused the complaint and ensuing investigation of crossing a line. At his monthly news conference, he said:

“My goodness, we’re living in this world where we’ve become sore losers, and we’re looking for any reason why our kid lost.”

Cox added that he was disturbed about “making up allegations.” When he vetoed the law barring transgender girls in sport before it went into effect, he explained his disgust

‘Four kids and only one of them playing girls sports. That’s what all of this is about… “Rarely has so much fear and anger been directed at so few.”

Cox also said that his decision to veto the bill could hurt him politically, but he “tried to do what I feel is the right thing regardless of the consequences.” Gov. Eric Holcomb vetoed a similar bill in Indiana for fear of business boycotts in the state.

In Florida, an anti-LGBTQ activist in Moms for Liberty wants all LGBTQ students separated in different classes from straight and cisgender students like those with autism and Down Syndrome. The group also attacked the Trevor Project for trying to prevent LGBTQ teen suicide, called two girls briefly kissing at a school function is “lewd” and “traumatic,” and offered bounties for people turning in teachers who discuss “divisive topics.”

Doctors used to be respected for their medical knowledge; now Republicans want to make them felons. First was the proposal to send medical professionals to prison for performing abortions—even ones necessary to save the lives of the pregnant woman or girl. Now Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) has introduced a bill making it a felony to provide over a dozen medical interventions and procedures used to treat gender dysphoria—any gender-affirming medical care including puberty blockers and hormones to transgender youth under 18. The measure would block federal funds for gender-affirming health care, including in Affordable Healthcare Act plans, and bar colleges and universities from offering instruction on gender-affirming care. Greene even found 14 GOP House members to co-sponsor her bill: Mary Miller (IL), Jeff Duncan (SC), Bob Good (VA), Ralph Norman (SC), Matt Gaetz (FL), Tony Gonzales (TX), Diana Harshbarger (TN), Clay Higgins (LA), Burgess Owens (UT), Claudia Tenney (NY), Andrew Clyde (GA), Lance Gooden (TX), Lauren Boebert (CO), and Paul Gosar (AZ). She describes “gender-affirming care” as “child abuse” and “assault.” Violators of her law would face 10 to 15 years in prison and a maximum fine of $250,000. 

Alabama already has a similar law, passed earlier this year, but a federal judge blocked its enforcement, ruling that the state hasn’t provided any credible evidence that this health care is “experimental.”

Greene also wants everyone armed so they can shoot transgender people and drag queens. She tweeted that unlimited gun ownership “will be a tool to disarm any gun owner that wants to stop abortion, the trans agenda on kids, mass illegal migration, & big government oppression suffocating our families, faith & freedoms.” She maintains that without guns, these haters will be persecuted by the media. She concluded by saying “every single Republican must wake up and face this frightening reality” where people who make threats against trans people and drag queens might lose their guns.

The next prosecuted category could be witches, now that the last Salem witch has been exonerated, thanks to an eighth-grade class in Andover (MA). Elizabeth Johnson, 22, was judged guilty but not executed, which eliminated her from exoneration when the state legislature exonerated all those put to death in the trials—in 2001. After an intense lobbying campaign by eighth-grade students, legislation has pardoned the last wrongly convicted Salem witch, but other states may go in a different direction. Perhaps students could also start work on other persecuted categories—like LGBTQ people and pregnant women.

April 1, 2022

News – But Not ‘April Fools’

A gain of 431,000 new jobs in March makes this the 11 straight monthly gain above 400,000 on record beginning in 1939 and dropped unemployment to 3.6 percent. Job totals for January and February were also revised upward with 95,000 more new jobs on top of those 431,000 jobs in March. The U.S. economy has replaced 93 percent of pandemic job losses since President Joe Biden took office 14 months ago. In his first three years of Dictator Donald Trump (DDT), which he called the greatest U.S. economy in the history of the planet, he gained 6.5 million jobs—and lost all and more with his mismanagement of the pandemic. In Biden’s first 14 months, the nation’s economy created 8.43 million jobs.

DDT is the only person in the White House to record net job losses since Herbert Hoover’s presidency led to the Great Depression. George W. Bush’s eight years saw a gain of only one million compared to the gain of 12 million jobs during President Obama’s eight years.  Per the chart, Trump is the only president in the last 80 years to net job losses during his presidency. 

Republicans fight any increase in the federal $7.25 minimum wage, but in 2020, CEOs were paid 351 times as much as a typical worker, up from 307-1 in 2019 and 21-1 in 1965 and 61-1 in 1989. The 2020 ratio is an 18.9 increase from 2019 because of the rapid growth in vested stock awards and exercised stock options. The average CEO compensation in 2020 was $13.9 million. CEO gets these increases because they set pay and their pay is stock-related.

In contrast to CEO salaries, those for teachers are so bad that many of them are forced to take a second job for survival. In the first years that they work, many of them have to pay off student loans; when that is finished, the child care expenses are stupendous. Average salary for new teachers is $41,000; it’s $64,000 for teachers across all levels of education and years of experience. The 18 percent of teachers holding second jobs outside their teaching makes them three times as likely as all U.S. workers to handle multiple jobs at once. Forty-one percent of preK-12 teachers work more than one job.

Raises for teachers haven’t kept up with inflation in over half the states, stagnating in the past two decades within two states and declining in another 27 states. With a loss of 20 percent in Indiana, for example, the $61,000 that a teacher makes today would have the buying power of under $48,000. For that money, teachers not only instruct but also act as facilitators, mentors, family liaisons, behavioral interventionists, etc. Staff shortages erased planning periods, moving all lesson preparations, grading communication, and other work into evenings and weekends. Teachers make 19 percent less than employees in commensurate professions, about 81 percent on the dollar. In 1996, the penalty was only six percent for teachers.

Some teachers have more advantages than others. The highest-paying states are Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New York, Pennsylvania, and Connecticut. Those with partners or other family members may keep them from taking on additional paying jobs.

One person other than teachers will make less money after DDT stiffed her. Since Ronald Reagan’s presidency, each man in the Oval Office has had an official photographer to chronicle his administration’s experiences. Many people take photos of the president for the media, and the White House has staff photographers. Only one person, however, is the chief White House photographer for the president.

After another photographer failed to stay, Shealah Craighead, staff photographer for George W. Bush, had the primary position. Like every other chief White House photographer, she planned a collection of her photographs, and asked DDT if he would write a foreword. Unlike other men in the Oval Office, however, DDT wanted some renumeration for doing this historical document. She obtained his commitment and negotiated her contract with a publisher when DDT stalled on his commitment.

That’s when Craighead discovered DDT took her photos for his own book, Our Journey Together: he’s selling it for $75 a copy, $229.99 for a signed copy in his “Winning Team Publishing” section of his merchandising operation. This after he insulted Craighead and told White House guests “that he questioned her skills as a photographer.” His “publishing” is “co-founded by Donald Trump Jr. and Sergio Gor, a former Capitol Hill aide and Republican campaign operative.” DDT’s representative told Craighead that the “noncompete” clause from DDT’s publisher meant more stalling of the foreword. The book from DDT also provides no photo credits and doesn’t not mention any photographers taking the images until the last page that has a “grateful acknowledgement” to “all the phenomenal White House photographers” listed them.

No president personally profited from the photographs as DDT has. The company has evidently grossed at least $20 million by now. After the New York Times contacted DDT for a comment, he said he’s ready to write the foreword.

DDT’s behavior with the book is nothing new: he cheated hundreds of contractors, ran a scam university, and misstated his assets’ evaluation to cheat on taxes and loans. He wrote all the photo captions, including one for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA):

“She was screaming and shaking like a leaf, she’s f***ing crazy, hence the name ‘Crazy Nancy.’”

My personal suggestion is for a collection of DDT’s photographs taken by the media. It could include photographs such as the one of his dragging toilet paper behind him while he ascends the stairs to Air Force One. Or this one. 

Biden has rescinded Title 42, DDT’s policy expelling and blocking migrants at the border from seeking asylum. Supposedly based on the pandemic, the order was lifted by the CDC because it is no longer needed “to protect U.S. citizens.” Most of those crossing the border will still not be permitted to stay, removed if they cannot prove a legal reason for remaining the U.S. Asylum is for “a well-founded fear of persecution on protected ground.” Biden’s administration used Title 42 to expel migrants 1.7 million times.

Biden also announced an expenditure of $3.2 billion to retrofit 450,000 homes in low-income communities to cut power bills and lower fossil fuel emissions. Funding comes from last year’s $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill to boost the home weatherization program from the 1970s. Other climate-related actions announced Wednesday include new energy code requirements for federal buildings and new efficiency standards for residential air conditioners and pool heaters. Federal contractors use concrete and asphalt with a low carbon footprint.

After Florida had an almost perfect election with GOP winners, the Republican governor, Ron DeSantis, led the charge in legislation highly restricting voter access to the polls. At least one federal judge agrees that the new laws cause unneeded problems and banned the enforcement of most new restrictions, calling them discriminatory and infringing on voting rights. Mark Walker’s 288-page ruling declared much of the state’s voter suppression law unconstitutional and issued a permanent injunction barring its enforcement—with lots of details. The order also mandates “preclearance,” using Section 3(C) of the 1965 Voting Rights Act to get pre-approval on election law changes with Walker’s court for the next ten years if they involve drop boxes, third-party voter registration, or line-warming activities (giving food or water to people waiting to vote). Appeals will go to the highly conservative 11th Circuit Court. Heather Cox Richardson has more to say about the decision.

The DOJ has also filed its third lawsuit against Texas about its discriminatory voting laws, this one over county precincts in Galveston that disenfranchise Black and Latinx voters. The U.S. has already sued Texas for its new redistricting maps and its new voting law restricting mail ballots and outlawing drive-through voting and 24-hour polling places. Texas rejected at least 23,000 mail ballots last month under the new law, a 13-percent rejection rate. Usually, the rate is in the low single digits. The state has had to defend every redistricting process since the 1965 Voting Rights Act went into effect, but the U.S. Supreme Court struck down preapproval for the process in 2013.

Texas has had to defend its maps in court after every redistricting process since the Voting Rights Act took effect in 1965. Previously, Texas and other states with a history of racial discrimination had to seek preapproval before changing election laws, but that is no longer the case after the U.S. Supreme Court struck down that requirement in 2013.

Despite Amazon’s dirty tricks in union votes, its 6,000-employee warehouse on Staten Island won its union election—on April Fools Day—making it the first U.S. union in the company’s 28-year history. Amazon, the second largest employer in the nation, issued a statement disapproving of the vote and the possibility of challenging the results. It alleged misconduct on the part of the National Labor Relations Board that administered the election. A similar vote at Bessemer (AL) came out against the union by 993-875, but 416 ballots have been challenged. Starbucks workers have unionized nine stories and filed for elections in over 100 stores within 25 states.

December 31, 2021

2021: A Year of Denial

The past tumultuous year has largely been marked by insurrection, inauguration, and infections—all major event which Republicans denied. Within a month after January 6, GOP congressional members were either silent about the attack by supporters of Dictator Donald Trump (DDT) on the U.S. Capitol or they denied any violence by the people they called “tourists” despite five dead people and 140 wounded—many in law enforcement. Some naysayers still falsely accuse the “antifa” (literally anti-fascists) for the unprecedented desecration by domestic terrorists. Also overlooked is the attempt to overturn the election by 147 congressional members who challenged legal electoral votes after the attack and mostly continue to support the “Big Lie” of a “stolen” election. That leadership, plus DDT’s unremitting similar claims, results in 71 percent of Republicans declaring Biden is not their president. 

Denial of the inauguration matches the denial of the insurrection as DDT and his supporters continue their march to a coup by declaring DDT the “true” president. Violent militia members use denial of Joe Biden as the legally elected president in their supposed “First Amendment” rights in court cases—a defense struck down by even DDT-appointed and GOP-confirmed judges. The abject fear of losing elections has led to 19 states passing 33 new voter-suppression laws, not only turning the voting process over to Republicans but also giving legislatures the right to change legal state ballot counts if the election officials don’t fall in line with the party. These laws have accompanied a huge spate of threats to election officials, who then resigned. To illustrate the severe national polarization, at least 25 states enacted 62 laws to expand voting access.

Big judicial cases dominated much of the year. The cases of three killed Black men brought three convictions: the police officer who killed George Floyd, a police officer who “accidentally” killed Daunte Wright, and three men who killed Ahmaud Abrey. After a police officer received “immunity” for killing a schizophrenic man by kneeling on his neck for 14 minutes in 2016, the family finally has the right to take the case to civil court. Ghislaine Maxwell was convicted of federal sex trafficking after recruiting and grooming teenage girls sexually abused by her former boyfriend, Jeffrey Epstein, who died in prison.

Teenager Kyle Rittenhouse, who killed two men and wounded another while gunning for them, was acquitted and became a far-right hero.  DDT escaped conviction in his second impeachment trial, going on to control the GOP—much to the dismay of most Republicans. Now he’s bilking GOP donors to pay for his ongoing criminal cases. 

Upcoming court cases will include those for a teenage boy who shot and killed four classmates and injured another seven while his parents have been charged with abetting his actions. This horrific event was one of almost 700 mass shootings during the year in the United States.

As cases and deaths from COVID skyrocket, conservatives, especially Christian evangelists, deny both the effectiveness of vaccines and the existence of huge numbers of people suffering and dying from the coronavirus. With his desire to live in the White House, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has tried to block every public health policy to keep people safer, including his fight to permit cruise ships to land at his docks. This past week, Florida had its highest level of COVID cases, 31,758 new infections, since the pandemic started in February 2020 and its third COVID outbreak on a Florida-based cruise ship. In the past two weeks, cruise ships in U.S. waters reported 5,013 COVID cases, up from 162 cases during the previous two weeks. Overall, the U.S. has 265,000 reported cases average for a week, up 60 percent from the previous week. Only 62 percent of people in the U.S. have been vaccinated. Yesterday, the U.S. experienced 572,019 infections with 1,362 deaths.

Denial of climate change has led to more horrific disasters in 2021 with fires, the most recent one this December described as the worst one in Colorado’s history and tornadoes, the deadliest one in history and staying on the ground for a 250-mile swath, earlier in December.

The so-called “culture wars” are leading to states passing laws against the non-existent teaching of “critical race theory,” expanding into a censorship of curriculum and library books not seen for decades. School boards are calling for the burning of books about racism and LGBTQ rights issues or being physically threatened and attacked for not following the wishes of “parents,” sometimes childless violent protesters who don’t live in the districts.

The worst denial for the year is how well Biden is administering. Immediately after his inauguration, he used the Defense Production Act to purchase more vaccines and coordinate the transportation to states. The project would have been a success except for the concerted effort of Republicans to remain unvaccinated, partly to thwart any achievement on the part of Democrats. As vaccinations waned from GOP opposition, mandates issued by Biden and government entities were sent to courts where several of them were overturned by DDT-appointed judges. When death rates for Republicans tripled those for Democrats, even before the Omicron variant, conservatives blamed Biden for not stopping the disease that the GOP made worse by rejecting vaccinations.

Throughout the year, Biden worked to improve the economy with the successes—and problems—described in yesterday’s post. The U.S. would be in even better shape if Republicans, aided by Democratic Sens. Joe Manchin (WV) and Kyrsten Sinema (AZ) had not blocked the second infrastructure bill by denying that people needed any money. With no or almost no GOP votes, Biden succeeded in moving three must-pass bills through Congress in December: the budget, the increase in the debt ceiling, and the military appropriations bills.

The biggest problem this year would be if Congress had not increased the amount permitted to cover the nation’s debts, raised $7.8 trillion by Republicans and DDT during his four-year term. Republican senators use the filibuster, a requirement of 60 percent approval to debate a bill, for all major Democratic bills, but knew the country could not default on its debt. To these senators, the filibuster is sacred—unless they want something—so they waived the filibuster this one time while not one of them voted to increase the debt ceiling. Again, a denial that the filibuster is really necessary unless Republicans say it is. The GOP-permitted debt ceiling increase of a paltry $2.5 trillion is good only until 2023 when Republicans hope to control Congress.

With no discussion of inflation or debt ceiling, the military appropriations bill passed at $25 billion higher than Biden and the Pentagon requested while protecting Saudi Arabia. Congress tacked on 12 additional F/A-18 Super Hornets, five extra Boeing F-15EX jets than the request for 17 total, and five more ships including two attack submarines and two destroyers. The president can also declare war, in opposition to the Constitution. The $768 billion, over four times the request in the Build Back Better bill, takes 65 percent of the budget’s discretionary spending. Once again, denial for domestic needs because of funding for “the military-industrial complex,” something President Dwight Eisenhower warned about 63 years ago.  

Unlike the military appropriations bill, the general budget faced a rocky road because Republicans, like Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX) who was formerly Sen. Ted Cruz’s (R-TX) chief of staff, wanted to block the bill in his effort to stop Biden’s vaccine mandates. Not funding the United States would close down the nation like many other GOP shutdowns. Roy’s idea received traction from the Senate with Mike Lee (R-UT) leading the charge. Eventually, the Continuing Resolution to keep the government open until another showdown on February 18, 2022, passed the House with only one GOP vote, Illinois’ Adam Kinsinger.

QAnon Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA), most recently known for her idea that people moving from blue states to red states should be fined and blocked from voting, gave her rationale for a shutdown vote—“The people in here cannot control themselves.” Eleven months before her win in a solidly red district, Greene moved there from a district electing a Democrat. 

In attempts to salvage the U.S. standing in the world, where the nation fell to a “flawed democracy” for the first time, Biden worked to revive the Iran nuclear agreement while rejoining the Paris Climate Accords and the World Health Organization. As Russian president Vladimir Putin threatens the autonomy of Ukraine, Biden is communicating to stop the giant power—and prevent a world war.

After the U.S. occupied Afghanistan for 20 years following George W. Bush’s preemptive war against the country, Biden fulfilled past promises to pull troops out of the country—much to the dismay of all the people who had demanded the administration follow through with the promises. Once again, conservatives denied that DDT had made a deal with the Taliban for doing this and left only 2,500 military members in the country.

In the corporate world, Mark Zuckerberg changed his company name to “Meta,” trying to deny the bad press he received from helping destroy people’s lives with “Facebook” as reported by whistleblowers. Thus far no one seems to have noticed the name change. AT&T was outed as the bankroller for One America News Network (OANN), which Salon called “one of the most corrosive news channels in America.” AT&T denied their actions which were backed by evidence. Caught in a Greenpeace sting, two Exxon lobbyists openly admitted the company had blocked effective climate action and bragged about using the American Petroleum Institute as Exxon’s “whipping boys.” Exxon CEO Darren Woods denied the comments.

Tonight is New Year’s Eve. You can top off the year with these holiday songs. 

January 5, 2021

Georgia Goes to the Polls

Georgia’s runoff election on January 5 will determine the extent of gridlock in the U.S. government for the next two years. If at least one of the two GOP incumbents, Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue, wins, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) will block every action from the House and President Joe Biden. If both Raphael Warnock, a Black pastor involved in social and political activism, and Jon Ossoff, who almost won a special congressional GOP-leaning district in 2017, win, the people of the United States will benefit.

Corruption – the GOP:

The runoff is a gold mine for GOP campaigns. Dictator Donald Trump (DDT) is collecting money supposedly for the GOP candidates but gives them nothing. Other politicians duplicate the scam although some of them keep only half the take: Sens. Ted Cruz (R-TX), Mitch McConnell (R-KY), and Mike Lee (R-UT) along with Reps. Cathy McMorris Roberts (R-WA), Ashley Hinson (R-IA), and Madison Cawthorn (R-NC).

Republicans aren’t comfortable voting in this election because conspiracy theorists such as attorney Lin Wood and convicted Michael Flynn told them to boycott the election because it’s rigged. DDT briefly supported the GOP candidates at Monday’s rally before he launched into a long rant about election fraud.

Corruption – the Candidates:

Barack Obama said:

“Every single voter in Georgia should know that both of their Senators, David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler, profited to the tune of $20 million as a result of their insider trading stemming from classified briefings they received on the coronavirus in January. For months Perdue and Loeffler questioned if the virus was real, obstructed relief for small businesses and unemployed Georgians, and pressured the Supreme Court to strike down protections for Georgians living with pre-existing conditions during a historic pandemic. Meanwhile, behind the scenes, they made off like bandits as their own constituents died.”

Corruption – Kelly Loeffler:

  • Made last-minute “irregular” contributions reports without employment information for hundreds of donors and misleading information about employers or their positions, including lobbyists and executives with corporate or personal ties to herself.
  • Donated $67,200 to herself in 24 donations of exactly $2,800, possibly fencing these for donors who already gave the maximum allowable amount.  
  • Sits on the Senate committee with direct oversight over the top global financial firm, Intercontinental Exchange (ICE), founded by her husband, Jeffrey Sprecher, who owns the New York Stock Exchange and where Loeffler worked for over a decade.
  • Owns between $5 million and $25 million in ICE stock.
  • Helped ease regulations to benefit Bakkt, a new market for trading Bitcoin in which she once owned $15.6 million, and another two subsidiaries in which she holds large investments.
  • Failed to identify donors from the Asplundh family, owners of the multibillion-dollar infrastructure clearing company, which one of Loeffler’s committees oversees.
  • Received donations from CEO and CFO of Postmaster General Louis DeJoy’s former company XPO Logistics which plans to go public to trade on the NYSE owned by her husband.
  • Made 27 trades between $1.2 million and $3.1 million to dump stocks likely to lose money from the developing disaster after a classified briefing about the upcoming pandemic while saying COVID-19 will be no problem.
  • Cost Georgians an additional $18 million in heating and gas bills between 2006 and 2007 by helping a firm acquire natural gas stock in highly speculative unregulated energy trading.
  • Illegally solicited campaign donations on Fox network while standing inside the U.S. Capitol.
  • Claimed on annual reports she used her private jet to “save taxpayer money” but takes taxpayer-funded commercial flights to and from her home, at first-class cost.
  • Repeatedly poses with white supremacists and other members of extremist groups for photo shots and claims she doesn’t know who they are.
  • Interviewed by neo-Nazi collaborator at One American News network to attack the Black Lives Matter political organization.
  • Celebrated endorsement from racist QAnon Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA.

In last weekend’s campaign, Loeffler went over the edge in lying and racism. She accused her opponent, Raphael Warnock, of being involved in child and domestic abuse, hiding, and accepting a donation from Harvey Weinstein’s lawyer. Warnock had insisted a juvenile at a church camp have representation before being questioned by law enforcement about alleged child abuse. Neither Warnock nor the juvenile was a suspect, and all charges were dropped because of “miscommunication.” The donor, David Boies, is a member of a law firm defending people on the right and left; the firm donated to a PAC supporting both Warnock and Ossoff for U.S. Senate.

Corruption – David Perdue:

  • Sued for wage theft and discrimination while losing $150 million in two years as CEO of Dollar General before leaving with a $42 million bonus
  • Purchased shares in a company selling body bags while saying that COVID-19 is no problem.
  • Sold his Washington, D.C. home off-market to an official in an industry regulated by the Senate Banking Committee on which he sits.
  • Promoted government contracts for FireEye, a cybersecurity firm, while owning shares in the company.
  • Made 2,596 trades since joining the Senate. (Martha Stewart went to prison over one trade.)
  • Couldn’t face Jon Ossoff in any more debates after Ossoff asked him about these accusations.
  • Built his career by moving businesses and jobs offshore, particularly to Asian low-wage factories, resulting in loss of jobs in Southern mill towns.
  • Takes credit for other people’s accomplishments.
  • Panders to racists; i.e., repeatedly and deliberately mispronouncing VP Kamala Harris’ first name in a rally and elongating the nose of Jon Ossoff, who is Jewish, in ad photos.
  • Bought stock in company supplying nuclear components for Navy submarines a month before he became chair of the seapower subcommittee and added a multibillion-dollar nuclear submarine to the nation’s defenses.
  • Bought stock in Regions Financial before co-sponsoring a bill to loosen regulations for banks like Regions.
  • Ordered the sale of $1 million in Cardlytics after lying about his trades being made by an independent adviser.
  • Supported Loeffler by pushing Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin into a regulation giving a tax break benefiting Loeffler as co-owner of Atlanta’s WNBA team.

Religious Attacks:

Loeffler’s real religion is stock trading, but she attacked the Rev. Raphael Warnock’s religious beliefs and sermons as “radically liberal.” Like Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Warnock preaches the liberation of the oppressed and the Christian moral responsibility to oppose racism and other societal sins. Ten days before Warnock entered the race, Loeffler gave a speech in his church where she said, “Dr. King’s call to service, to sacrifice, to put others first—it shaped our home and inspired us to ask what Dr. King asked the world: ‘What are you doing for others?’”

Voter Suppression:

The far-right conservative Texas group, True the Vote, illegally joined Georgia’s GOP to challenge the eligibility of 360,000 voters across the entire state, starting on the first day of Georgia’s early voting. State law allows individual voters to challenge another voter’s eligibility, a law True the Vote uses. Some counties ruled against the practice, but Muscogee County, home to the state’s second largest city, allowed the complaints, requiring a large number of provisional ballots requiring proof of eligibility to have the ballots counted. 

The GOP filed a lawsuit blocking newly registered voters in Georgia from voting if they moved from another state where they voted for a senator and asked all ballots be separated for those who registered in Georgia between November 4 and December 7. The plaintiffs used selected language from the 1965 Voting Right Act.

Two Georgia counties closed several early voting locations in majority-Black and Latino communities. They were forced to reinstate them but not until four days before early voting ended.

Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger claimed Georgia had no election fraud but opened investigations into four progressive groups registering voters with the effect of disenfranchising them. He claimed they “sought to register ineligible, out-of-state, or deceased voters.”

Federal judges rejected GOP lawsuits to restrict absentee voting after hundreds of thousands of people had already voted by mail or in person. Two goals were to block the use of drop-boxes and raise the requirements for signature verifiers to accept absentee ballots.

Last week, a federal judge ordered two counties to reverse their purges of over 4,000 from the rolls before the runoff election. The voters had been removed because they appeared to match USPS change-of-address records, an unreliable source of residence changes.

Conclusion:

Surveys are uncertain about the winners, but a record 3 million people, at least 100,000 of them first-time voters, have voted before the final day on January 5. A left-learning youth group, Peaches for Progress, has joined Gen Z for change, using TikTok to encourage younger voters. Some of Ossoff’s videos have over a million views. Voters 18-29, 20 percent of the Georgia electorate in the general election, may have turned Georgia blue by voting for Biden. About 23,000 Georgians turned 18 since the general election on November 3.

Polls close at 7:00 p.m. (EST), but anyone in line by that time can vote. People may not know the results for two weeks, and Republicans will likely not accept any losses. Watch for the fallout!

October 28, 2020

DDT, GOP Lie about the COVID-19 Surge, Voting Rights

Filed under: Health Care,Voting — trp2011 @ 12:28 AM
Tags: , , , , ,

Dictator Donald Trump (DDT) is crossing the nation, spreading COVID-19 among his campaign rallies and telling his audiences COVID-19 is “rounding the turn” and no longer a problem. He says any cases come from all the testing.

The “turn” evidently means far more coronavirus cases. In many regions—the Upper Midwest, the Mountain West, the Southwest, and the heart of Appalachia—hospitals have record levels of people infected by coronavirus. Over 42,000 people were hospitalized in the U.S. just yesterday, a number nearing the midsummer peak. The result is a nightmare on the horizon–triaging patients to pick which ones will get care and putting younger ones over the older. The 83,000+ cases of last Saturday, a single-day record, set up the motion the COVID-19 pattern: spiking diagnoses, hospitalizations, and then deaths. 

Johns Hopkins University has reported increases of 20 percent in new cases, 13 percent in hospitalizations, and 11 percent in daily death. Nineteen states announced more cases in the past seven days than any other seven-day period of the epidemic, and dozens of states have a seven-day average of over 100 new daily cases per 100,000 people with over 700 per 100,000 in North Dakota, five times the U.S. average. El Paso (TX) hit 100-percent hospital capacity Sunday and moved patients to field hospitals. Tulsa (OK) said the soaring number of hospitalizations “is not sustainable.” North Dakota has only 25 ICU staffed beds remaining in the entire state.

North and South Dakota are the poster states of bad leadership and dramatic surges of COVID-19. Earlier, they bragged about having no problem. North and South Dakota report the highest and second-highest rates of hospitalizations and deaths. South Dakota is second only to North Dakota in the number of virus cases per 100,000 people for all 50 states while North Dakota reduced testing by 2 percent. In South Dakota, the testing average rose by 11 percent, but cases increased by 20 percent over the previous week. South Dakota’s tests have 40 percent positives.

South Dakota’s Gov. Kristi Noem started big outbreaks by forcing infected people to continue working in the state’s meat processing plants, and she thinks the state still has no problems.  Last week she wrote in an op-ed, “Our trust in the data and in each other has been rewarded.” The “data” shows South Dakota reported over 1,100 new cases, 95 cases per 100,000 and a single-day record after the record of 973 the day before. Of the ten hottest spots for coronavirus in the nation, six are South Dakota cities. Nearly half the 3,138 inmates in South Dakota’s prison system tested positive as of Monday. About masks, Noem wrote that people should make “informed decisions” about wearing them because people “question” their effectiveness. The state has no limit at gatherings; last summer’s Sturgis biker event drew almost one-half million people who spread the virus to thousands of people throughout the nation. DDT held another superspreader event at Mt. Rushmore on July 3. Noem sounds like DDT and wants his position in four years: she’s traveled to at least 11 other states as a DDT surrogate for his campaign.

Noem is wrong: masks do work. Last summer after a stay-at-home order expired, Arizona’s COVID-19 daily cases spiked 151 percent for weeks, putting the state with more capita numbers than almost all countries in the world. After the governor lifted his ban on local mask mandates, the number of cases dropped 75 percent later in the summer. Loosening of safety measures, however, are causing another spike in the number of the states’ cases and hospitalizations, matching the June spike. Numbers could be even worse because Arizona includes only electronically-reported test results. By October 28, Arizona almost doubled the number of counties with moderate levels of community transmission (26 percent to 37 percent of counties) and high levels of community transmission, 7 percent to 13 percent. According to an estimate, 7,405 lives would have been saved with a universal mask mandate. With a mask mandate for over five months, Oregon has over five times lower death rate.

A University of Kansas study of counties in the states with and without mask mandates also discovered orders to wear face masks cuts back on the number of COVID-19 cases. The 21 counties adopting rules of wearing masks and distancing six feet from others reported an average of seven fewer cases per 100,000 compared to the spike of up to 40 average daily cases per 100,000 in the other 80 counties. The report concluded a saving of 130,000 lives of the predicted 510,000 deaths in the next four months if 95 percent followed these guidelines.

In his campaign rallies, DDT urges his audience to ignore the surging number of cases. Like a tsunami, each COVID-19 wave is higher than the last one. The first wave reached 9.7 cases per 100,000 on April 7 and dropped before increasing to 20.5 cases per 100,000 on July 19. The latest one rose to 23 cases per 100,000 on October 24 and may not have stopped. DDT’s chief of staff Mark Meadows said the White House planned to do nothing to stop the cases, the hospitalizations, and the deaths. 

DDT actually has a few plans. After he gave farmers $46 billion in welfare to cover his disastrous tariffs, he is in federal court to stop emergency food stamps to 700,000 people during the virus crisis. He has already kept $480 million out of Pennsylvania, a state with extraordinarily high unemployment and a swing state DDT wants to win. The emergency funding is $2 per meal for a person. A federal judge has accused the USDA of “egregious disobedience” for not following congressional mandates. With no backup plan, DDT also wants to rid the country of the Affordable Healthcare Act, leaving tens of millions of people without health insurance. In another idea, DDT said he wants to make reporting about the coronavirus illegal. It “should be an election law violation,” he ranted.

Republicans and conservative judges are trying to infect more people by forcing them to the polls. Virus cases are rising in Texas again, but people fearful of infection who want to avoid exposure cannot cast ballots by mail because of GOP restrictions. The governor, Greg Abbott, has shot down every plan to make voting safer and more accessible. Indiana, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Tennessee are going along with strict restrictions on absentee ballots. All states also have strict voter ID requirements, and Mississippi limited early in-person voting. Anyone not working for an elections office in Tennessee and handing someone an application for absentee voting faces one to six years in prison. These conditions discriminate against less privileged groups such as people of color and those made vulnerable by medical conditions. Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee and Texas have some of the country’s highest rates of poverty and chronic health conditions.

One recent cheery piece of news comes from a federal judge order for South Carolina counties to stop rejecting absentee ballots over mismatched signatures and a review of ballots eliminated for that reason. County election boards wanting to have that procedure must get court approval and give voters the chance to correct any mismatches. Ten of the state’s 46 counties, some of them highly populated, were using “signature matching.”

Voter suppression, however, seems to be failing. A week before Election Day, the number of early voters equals about half the total number of people voting in November 2016. Even in restrictive Texas, almost half the registered voters have submitted ballots a week before Election Day, exceeding last year’s complete early votes by over three million and almost equaling the entire number of votes cast in Texas four years ago.

An outstanding occurrence in the current election comes from the large number of young people voting. Both parties have long said that more voters, especially young ones, benefit the Democrat party. For that reason, Republicans have tried to suppress the vote for decades.  

As DDT travels the country negating the disaster he has caused by mismanaging the COVID-19 crisis, health officials and scientists on DDT’s coronavirus task force are offended by the announcement from the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy that DDT has successfully ended the pandemic. The group called the lying statement to be one of DDT’s major first term accomplishments. The lie explains it “has taken decisive actions to engage scientists and health professionals in academia, industry, and government to understand, treat, and defeat the disease.” In the conservative Hill, Nathaniel Weixel writes:

“The rosy outlook flies in the face of reality, and underscores the efforts of Trump to continuously try to downplay the severity of the pandemic that continues to rage nearly uncontrolled across the country.”

On October 27, one week before the election, COVID-19 shows no sign of abating in the U.S. Total cases: 9,038,030. New cases during last 24 hours: 75,072. Total deaths: 232,084. Deaths during last 24 hours: 1,039. With under five percent of the world’s population, the U.S. has provided planet with over 20 percent of cases and deaths from coronavirus.

October 11, 2020

Left and Right, Rulings on Voter Suppression.

As Dictator Donald Trump (DDT) sows fear about legitimate voting practices, hundreds of lawsuits flood the courts to open up voting because of legislative suppression or further the suppression. Drop boxes for ballots were popular across the U.S., the most recent in Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Texas. The case in Pennsylvania was the most unusual when a DDT-appointed judge refused the request from DDT’s campaign to limit the number of boxes. The most bizarre came from the flip flops in Ohio after the Secretary of State allowed only one drop box per county, followed by a court settlement multiple ones that still had to be at the county board of elections offices, to be changed to multiple locations, and currently back to only one per county—at least as of today. The worst ruling is one box for 4.7 million people in Harris County (TX). 

Other contentious court issues include whether missing information on absentee applications can be filled in by officials (Iowa), whether ballots postmarked on Election Day can be received later (Minnesota and Wisconsin), whether people can return ballots for someone else (Nevada), whether voters can fix ballots with missing information (North Carolina), and whether the number of witnesses for mail-in ballots (Virginia).

The Pennsylvania GOP legislature refused permission for preparation of absentee ballots without looking at the ballots before Election Day in the Republicans’ desire to create the chaos which DDT guarantees. With great success, Oregon, with universal mail-in voting, follows the system that Pennsylvania’s governor and the state’s election officials want. Oregon makes almost all election announcements within 12 hours of the end of voting.

Also in Pennsylvania, a Philadelphia judge ruled against DDT’s poll watchers in the city’s satellite election offices because it isn’t allowed under state law. DDT’s unauthorized poll watchers attempting to enter these facilities last month were turned away. House Republicans in Pennsylvania have also dropped their proposal for a GOP-majority “election integrity” committee with subpoena power in this swing state for the presidential election. Opponents worried about the committee’s use to impound ballots and delay the state’s election results.

A federal judge ruled that Missouri must allow people to drop off mail-in ballots in person. 

An Alaska court judge ruled witnesses for absentee ballots “impermissibly burdens the right to vote” and said she would later order the method to eliminate it.

Republicans are appealing a ruling postponing Arizona’s deadline for voter registration until October 23.  Also under GOP appeal is Arizona’s ruling that people have five days to sign their ballots after notification they forgot. 

The difference in rulings lies between promoting and preventing voting results by judges who follow factual information of almost no fraud in voting and judges who support DDT’s election. In almost 90 state and federal voting lawsuits, judges question GOP claims of voter fraud and haven’t endorsed these arguments about this kind of fraud swaying a presidential election. In Montana, a GOP lawyer representing Republicans said he had no evidence of any voter fraud in the state but “it’s irrelevant.”  

The Supreme Court will decide if Wisconsin and Pennsylvania can accept ballots days later if they are postmarked by 8:00 am on Election Day. Because the Supreme Court has only eight justices, a split decision will mean that the lower rulings stand, meaning Wisconsin could not follow them but Pennsylvania could.

Last Friday, the Supreme Court turned down a GOP request in Montana to block county election officials the right to choose whether to send mail-in ballots to all registered voters. Justice Elena Kagan fields emergency requests from the area including that state. A federal judge had rejected the GOP argument, and the 9th Circuit Court declined to block the plan on appeal.

A federal judge in New Jersey rejected DDT’s campaign attempt to stop ballots received before election day and those two days after Election Day if they lacked postmarks. Post offices don’t always postmark ballots. The campaign’s argument is that federal law “establishes a national uniform election day for Congress and the Presidency,” but the judge said:

 “Federal law establishing a national uniform election day does not prevent New Jersey from canvassing [processing] ballots before Election Day so long as the election is not consummated and the results reported before the polls close on Election Day.”

He added:

“It is foreseeable that an injunction on the eve of the by-mail election could prompt confusion or distrust that voters opt to avoid the mail system altogether and cast provisional ballots in person. Such an outcome would defeat the purpose of the vote-by-mail election and needlessly force voters and poll workers into close proximity.”

In Franklin County (Ohio), almost 50,000 voters, approximately 20 percent of those applying for mail-in ballots, received the wrong absentee ballots, supposedly because somebody changed a setting on the equipment putting absentee ballots into mailing envelopes. County demographics indicate voters lean Democratic.

Along with Ohio’s mismailings, Pennsylvania’s online system for registering to vote and applying for and tracking mail ballots crashed last weekend for over 24 hours, supposedly because of failure by an outside contractor. Florida had the same problem a few days later, forcing the state to extend the time to register new voters.

And in what was perhaps an accident, in South Carolina, voters’ sample ballots did not include Democratic candidates Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, although they did include the candidates for the Green, Alliance, and Libertarian parties. 

In his hit job on mail-in voting for the conservative National Review, Trey Trainor, chair of the Federal Election Commission, told people to vote in person—just like the man who appointed him to the position. He misrepresented the facts, for example claiming a difference between absentee and mail-in voting (not true) and declaring Oregon has absentee instead of mail-in voting (definitely not true). In another false claim, he wrote a West Virginia postal carrier “pled guilty to changing the political affiliation on multiple ballots.” The changes are on ballot applications, not ballots, and “multiple” means eight. DDT earlier raised the false description of the event by claiming a postal worker  was “selling” voting ballots, an accusation the West Virginia GOP Secretary of State Mac Warner called “fake.” During the summer, the worker pled guilty to changing five ballot requests from Democratic to Republican and changed three other applications by circling the word “Republican.” Both U.S. senators, GOP Shelley Moore Capito and Democratic Joe Manchin denied voter fraud in the state.

Trainor also asserted waiting to get election outcomes is “an embarrassment” with no explanation.

AG Bill Barr shares DDT’s need to reduce the number of people who can vote by spreading lies about the process. Earlier this month, Barr told Wolf Blitzer in an interview the DOJ “indicted someone in Texas — 1,700 ballots collected from people who could vote, he made them out and voted for the person he wanted to. OK?” The DOJ had to explain Barr’s assertion was “inaccurate.” Barr added to his lies that journalists “don’t care that they’re not telling the truth, because they don’t believe truth is a meaningful concept. It’s about the pursuit of power. I’d be more tolerant of it if they were informed people, but they’re not. In the old days, even the great liberal journalists were very educated, erudite people.”

Throughout the election season, I have avoided most media attention to polling, but I was interested in the above map from the Economist’s modeled aggregates for the Electoral College just 23 days before the election. The stripes on Maine and Nebraska reflect their state laws permitting Electoral College votes based on votes instead of as a bloc from the majority.

Georgia is outdoing Pennsylvania’s education about “naked ballots” with its information about voting—get your booty to the poll. Director Angela Barnes wanted to present a get-out-the-vote message for Black male voters, an overlooked audience. She set her largely self-funded video in Atlanta’s strip club scene with vivid images of exotic dancers from Atlanta area clubs and other competitive dancers. A GoFund Me site raised over $13,000 for this must-see 90-second PSA video with at least five million viewers, many on Twitter. With a message of “Vote!” doesn’t direct watchers to either side, just “Don’t let other people decide who’s gonna run your community.” It finishes with resources, including how to register to vote and find out about local candidates and elections. 

Note: Celebrities are starting to strip down, teaching people in Pennsylvania how to avoid “naked ballots.” According to Republican law, ballots not put into both the required envelopes are considered “naked” and won’t be counted. 

July 4, 2020

The U.S., a Failing State

A definition for 2020 is clear sight or “accurate discernment, judgment, or assessment hindsight.” The year 2020 clearly shows the United States as a failing state, defined by Rebecca Gordon as “a political entity whose government has ceased to perform most or all of its basic functions. Such a condition can result from civil war, untrammeled corruption, natural disaster, or some combination of those and more.” The Fund for Peace has four criteria:

  1. “Loss of control of its territory, or of the monopoly on the legitimate use of physical force therein
  2. Erosion of legitimate authority to make collective decisions
  3. Inability to provide public services
  4. Inability to interact with other states as a full member of the international community”

1. Loss of control: The administration of Dictator Donald Trump (DDT) is replacing the rule of law with the wishes of one man who threatens his citizens with military force, ordering law enforcement to attack legal peaceful protesters to show his power. DDT encouraged his rally audience to “knock the crap out of hecklers” and congratulated a GOP congressman for physically attacking a reporter. DDT sees white supremacists who commit violence as “very fine people” and encourages to physically menace legislators debating Michigan’s stay-at-home policies. 

2. Erosion of legitimate authority: The growing suppression of voting increasingly removes collective decisions and replaces them with control by the wealthy. The Supreme Court elimination of the 1965 Voting Rights Act accelerated unequal access to the polls in 25 states during the past decade with voter ID mandates and restrictions on early voting, number and placement of polling places, and vote-by-mail. DDT failed to find voting fraud with a now defunct presidential commission and now spreads lies about vote by mail. DDT’s goal is to undermine confidence in elections to cover himself if he loses in November. For months, people have asked what can be done if DDT loses but stays in the White House. Today, DDT’s Supreme Court majority temporarily froze a decision from a lower court: people in Alabama are stopped from safely voting in its July 14th primary through requesting mail-in ballots. 

3. Failure to Provide Public Services: Just this year, DDT failed to stop COVID-19, causing a tripling of the unemployment rate and pushed a disastrous recession that could destroy the nation’s economy. Six months after an awareness of the disease in China, the government lacks enough equipment and supplies to care for millions of infected people. DDT insisted on reopening businesses and created a massive surge in the virus. He favors his friends and donors by giving them contracts. For example, Fillakit, a new contractor, took $7.3 million for plastic tubes for making soda bottles instead of the ordered test tubes. The contaminated product doesn’t fit the racks for lab analysis. Without masks and in the open air, employees used snow shovels to put the unsterilized tubes into plastic bins. In the early onslaught of COVID-19 in the U.S., the White House knew the CDC distributed contaminated tests to states.  As the number of infections and deaths hit a new peak, DDT has gone to court to remove healthcare for 23 million people in the U.S. Without the preexisting condition requirement, the millions of people contracting COVID-19 cannot be covered for any issues attributed to the virus.

4. Inability to interact with other states: Since his inauguration, DDT consistently cozied up to world dictators and alienated countries of the free world. He pulled the U.S. out of successful and hopeful treaties such as denuclearization of Iran and a world-wide climate agreement. He threatened to drop NATO and placed sanctions on cooperative countries of the International Criminal Court. He even pulled out of the World Health Organization in the midst of a pandemic. This past week, DDT turned his back on global cooperation in buying the entire three-month stock of remdesivir—a medication that might lessen stays in the hospital for people with COVID-19—so no one else could have any at a cost of $1.56 billion.

Today, the U.S., with 4.25 percent of the world’s population, has 26 percent of the over 11 million confirmed COVID-19 cases and over 25 percent of the world’s deaths, and cases are rising in 36 states. Dr. Anthony Fauci told Congress this past week the new COVID-19 cases, over 55,000 for each of the past four days, may rise to 100,000 a day. The count for today, July 3: 2,890,588 infections; 132,101 deaths. Statistics would show more infections and deaths if the reporting was honest.

The increasing numbers of deaths within jails and prisons brings to light the unnecessary and cruel incarceration in the U.S. along with the massive disconnect in healthcare services between the well-off and the marginalized communities. Homelessness suffers from the same health disaster in the greatest income inequality since the Gilded Age from tax cuts for the rich and the destruction of public services including education and infrastructure. In the U.S., 63 million people lack clean drinking water. As the virus expanded during the first three months of 2020, over $6.5 trillion in household wealth in the global economy equivalent to the combined economies of France and the UK; since March 18, U.S. billionaires have gained 20 percent in wealth–$584 billion.

Federal officials failed to protect healthcare workers by closing many of the over 4,100 coronavirus-related workplace safety complaints without taking action. At least 35 healthcare workers died after OSHA received safety complaints about their workplaces. Other than 275 fatality ongoing probes and 1,300 open healthcare complaints, the remainder of the complaints are listed “closed” in OSHA’s database. Its only citation was a $3,900 fine for a Georgia nursing home.

The man in the Oval Office declared himself a wartime president against COVID-19 and then surrendered. This week he said people will just have to “live with it” about millions of people contracting the disease, hundreds of thousands of people dying from it, and the economy crashing. DDT also claimed “not one governor needed anything” when VP Mike Pence’s questions. Yet across the nation, governors have asked Pence for help with viral spikes in their states.

Instead of trying to solve the COVID-19 disaster, DDT’s HHS Secretary Alex Azar is campaigning in election battleground states and pushing for reopening businesses. Last Sunday, Alex Azar called the virus a catastrophe but laid responsibility for handling it anyplace except the federal government.

A serious loss for democracy is this week’s decision from the Supreme Court, putting the Christian church in charge of the nation. Forcing taxpayers in Montana to pay for religious education, the high court violated the separation of church and state in the First Amendment. This ruling adds to DDT’s order that evangelicals can discriminate against women, LGBTQ people, Catholics, Muslims, atheists, differently abled, etc. in other areas such as fostering children. Private schools became popular in the mid-20th century to oppose racial integration.

The Supreme Court also conceals information about DDT by taking an appeal from a lower court decision making grand jury materials from the Mueller report available to members of Congress. Even if the Supreme Court were to affirm the lower ruling—which is unlikely—the decision won’t come down until after the election. DDT will be protected from public knowledge about Russian interference in his 2016 win until after his next election.

Acting as DDT’s fixer, AG Bill Barr is picking off U.S. attorneys general, and Richard Donoghue, representing the Eastern District of New York, is the most recent one. The Brooklyn post investigated, among other people close to DDT, Tom Barrack who chaired his inaugural committee. Donoghue was also in charge of all DOJ investigations about Ukraine. Now he’s headed for Washington, and a good friend of Barr will likely replace him. On Memorial Day weekend, Barr also removed Joseph Brown, U.S. Attorney for eastern Texas, who had been blocked in his attempts to criminally charge Walmart for its part in an opioid case, and replaced Brown with Stephen Cox, one of the Washington officials who blocked the charges. 

Some state governors collaborate with DDT in making the U.S. a failed state. Although Texas Gov. Greg Abbott now requires wearing masks in public, less than two months ago his state attorney, Ken Paxton, threatened cities such as Austin, Dallas, and San Antonio with lawsuits if they require masks and sheltering in place. Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, who wants to preserve the economy by letting older people die, still insists, without evidence, the state reopen because infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci “doesn’t know what he’s talking about” and “has been wrong every time in every issue.” Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts threatened cities with not giving them federal virus relief funding if they require people to wear masks in government buildings.  Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey blocked cities and counties from restrictions to stop the spread of COVID-19 until June 17. All three of these states have serious spikes in the disease.

The United States is becoming a failed state, and Republicans work hard for it to happen.  

January 28, 2019

Margaret & Helen: Helen Turns Loose about Last Week’s News

In the past, I’ve written about my admiration for these “elder” women and their blog. This one about last week’s events is a classic! The subtitle: “Do you have any idea how hard it is not to use the F-word when talking about Donald Trump? It’s damn near f-ing impossible.” #FactsMatter #HowToTrainYourDragon

Margaret, I know you don’t Tweet unless you are talking to your parrots. And for what it’s worth, I told you those things would outlive us. I know you thought I was stupid to get on the Twitter. Well, I should have listened to you, honey. I came. I tweeted. And I got covered in shit. Probably because Twitter is chock-full of assholes who don’t know the difference between your and you’re.

Now before all you NitTwits out there write me off, read on for a little bit. There are some things that are good about Twitter. Most are not easy to find, but they’re there if you are willing to work a bit. I’ll explain…

On Friday, a jackass named Roger Stone whined that the FBI had raided his home leaving himself, his dog, his wife (in that order) and even his neighbor forever traumatized.  From his description, it’s hard to believe he was able to pull it all together in time to make a speech, do a few radio interviews, and then finish it off with a couple of cable news shows, all while hoping someone would ask him about how he once took out personal ads referring to himself as a body builder with a hot wife looking for muscular studs for threesomes. Yep. True story. Stone is a real asshat.

But I’ve gotten off track. This really isn’t about Roger Stone. However, I would like to take a second to point out that while he was kicked off Bob Dole’s campaign for his little trio fetish, he was eventually hired again by George W. Bush and, of course, Donald J. Trump.  In fact, given enough time I can probably prove that while not every asshole is on Twitter, they are all on a Republican payroll somewhere.

Anyway, back to the point of this story…

Immediately the Cheeto in Chief tweeted from the White House that Roger Stone was treated more unfairly than drug dealers and border coyotes.  I find that pretty rich coming from Trump. Unless Roger’s wife was put in a cage, I’d say he got off pretty easy by Trump standards.  How someone can cram so many lies into so few characters is astounding. It’s probably the only thing at which Trump excels. One day the history books will tell the story of how Trump became president because a bunch of racists inbred to the point that they had the attention span of a gnat. If your family tree goes in a straight line, I’ve got a red hat to sell you. Yep. I’m a bitch. Screw you MAGA nation. You screwed up Christianity and now you’ve screwed up the United States of America.  All because you think an immigrant stole your job. Well here’s 280 characters for you:

An immigrant who achieves the American Dream didn’t steal anything from you or your family. They just wanted it more than you and worked harder than you. And they did it with all the odds stacked against them.  If your life sucks lemons, a wall isn’t going to turn it to lemonade.

Off track again.  Sadly, I’m pretty sure any MAGAt who started reading this has long ago gotten distracted by a shiny object.  Probably one of those shiny blondes on Fox & Friends.

So back to Friday…

As if the Stone indictment wasn’t enough, we also saw a woman finally get the best of Trump. Shockingly, porn and secret payments weren’t involved.  Sorry, Stormy. I’ve come to love you honey, but Nancy fucked Trump and that little mushroom of  Donald’s never made an appearance. Now that’s my kind of woman. (Note – I just used a word that I once thought I would never use. The F-word. I’ll explain in a bit.)  The great deal maker just spent a month dealing himself into Ann Coulter’s timeout corner.  Speaking of that pholcidae, Ann Coulter needs to eat a potato chip once in awhile.  Honey, when you turn sideways your nose looks like the tab on a zipper.  I know. I know. I shouldn’t body shame.  Fine. I made fun of a skinny bitch.  Hate me today.  I’ll apologize tomorrow by sending her a pie.  So many assholes. So much shit. So few characters. Even fewer with character.

But where was I?  Oh yes…Nancy.

Nancy Pelosi is one hell of a leader despite the fact that we require her to work twice as hard and endlessly prove herself worthy of her job. Nancy isn’t just matching Fred Astaire’s dance moves step-for-step backwards and in heels, she’s reminding the entire world that if women were allowed to take the reins, some important shit could finally get done. For the love of God, you MAGA asshats, she is the reason you have anything even close to affordable healthcare and a living wage. And if not for your precious GOP, you would have gotten the whole enchilada. I probably shouldn’t have used that enchilada metaphore. Did someone say wall?

Oh, but again, I digress… It’s so easy to do when you are not limited to 280 characters.

And so, here we are.  After 4,542 characters and one President without character, we arrive at my point:

With all that news to offer on Friday, that same evening the Washington Post tweeted out this headline for a story: Texas officials flag tens of thousands of voters for citizen checks. I don’t know what the terms mean, but the kids call that click bait and then go on about something to do with ratios. Not important. What is important is that IF you actually read the article – and almost no one on Twitter does – the very LAST paragraph explains that Texas has no proof of voter fraud and further research most likely will show that minimal if any occurred. But that didn’t stop the Great Orange Yeast Infection from tweeting a few hours later the lie that voter fraud was a huge problem because 95,000 illegal immigrants voted in the last election in Texas.

Why the last paragraph of that story is not the first paragraph is a good example of how  we got into this mess. Shame on the Washington Post for making it so easy for Trump. In my day, people called it judging a book by its cover. I have always just called it what it is: Bullshit. And friends, Twitter is full of bullshit. And the biggest asshole spewing shit and stinking up the place is Donald Jackass Trump. His 57 million followers judge a book by its cover, a person by their color, and their own IQ by the number of channels on their cable box. The only book they might pick up is the Bible and, I promise you, they don’t read that one either. For the record, he’s YOUR president, and YOU’RE an asshat for believing him. YOUR is a possessive adjective.  YOU’RE is a contraction of you are.

Now mind you, if you look really hard, you can find Tweets like the one from the Texas Tribune to its 180,000 followers warning people about the misleading headline.  How much do you want to bet that almost no MAGA-hats follow the Texas Tribune? Trust me.  It requires reading more than just a headline, and those people only get their headlines from one place – Fox News – the only place with more assholes full of shit than Twitter.  And speaking of assholes, can Tucker Carlson pull his head out of his long enough to see where role modeling Bill O’Reilly is going to take him? A loofah, a hot shower and Lindsey Graham.  No wait. What? That doesn’t make any sense. But it did allow me to sneak in a mention of Lindsey Graham. Of all the Real Housewives I hate; Lindsey Olin Graham is at the top of my list. No matter what side of his mouth Lindsey talks out of, it’s always shrill. Don’t try to follow my logic folks – it’s all shits and grins at this point.  Because in the end, that is all Twitter is good for.  Well, almost…

Journalist and politicians have no business trying to do their jobs on Twitter.  It’s a great place for cat videos, clever comments from Quinn Cummings, and teen activists trying to take down the god-awful NRA.  All those things SHOULD be accomplished in 280 characters or less.  You really shouldn’t have to work too hard to point out that cats are cute, Quinn is hilarious, and the NRA is evil.  But trying to be President of the United States 280 characters at a time should be a god-damn constitutional crisis. And Congress should at long last put a stop to it. Censure him. Indict him. Impeach him. Anything him.  Just quit tweeting at him and do your damn job.  And the same thing goes to all of you journalists on Twitter. A story is more than its headline.  If you are going to limit yourself to 280 characters, then make sure you get to the truth around character 10 or 11.  Trump and his followers lose their attention after that.

You know what else happened last week?  Five women were shot execution style by a gunman in Florida.  Another gunman killed five people in Louisiana. All that and we focused on an idiot like Stone. It doesn’t take 280 characters to make the case that a national state of emergency isn’t at the southern border. It’s at the NRA headquarters. If the President wasn’t so fixated on how many likes he gets, he might know that. Jesus H. Christ I hate that man. How on God’s green earth did he ever become President? Oh wait. Twitter. I forgot. Damn you @Jack.  And by the way, did you really suspend me because of my joke about Trump listening to the voices in his head?  Seriously?  The man practically started a nuclear war on your platform.

Now, I’ll admit that I am probably just another one of those assholes on Twitter, but I did meet a few good people along the way. I doubt they even knew I was following them. If you want to be on Twitter and do some good, follow @davidhogg111 or @Emma4Change. Want a good laugh?  Follow @quinncy or @louisvirtel. Want to actually make a difference as a political activist?  Try @Alyssa_Milano or @williamlegate.  Want to waste your time?  Follow a Kardashian. And for the love of God, give @kathygriffin a break. It was a fucking halloween mask. If you follow a journalist, promise that you’ll click on the link and read the whole story.  Might I suggest @texastribune, @DanRather, @annanavarro or @NicoleDWallace.  Just don’t follow a politician until they retire. And that goes double for @realdonaldfuckingtrump!

So, here we are at the end of my little rant. In this story, I used the F-word. Three times. It’s a word that I had always banned on this little web blog of mine.  I humbly ask for your forgiveness.  But do you realize how hard it is to talk about Donald Trump and not use that word?  It’s god-damn near fucking impossible.  I mean it.  Really.

November 19, 2018

Midterm Elections: A Postmortem

Filed under: Elections — trp2011 @ 11:43 PM
Tags: , , , , ,

EPA/CHRIS TODD

The midterm elections of 2018 are winding down. Only two House races are still undecided, a Georgia Republican ahead by 29 votes out of over 280,000 votes and a Utah Democrat with a 739-vote lead with 270,000 votes. Without those two decisions, Democrats gained 38 seats to have the majority of 233 to the 200 GOP seats. Georgia will definitely go to a recount. In the Senate, four Democrats lost their seats, and two Republicans lost theirs. With the determination that Florida’s Gov. Rick Scott took the U.S. Senate seat, the Senate settled in with 52 Republicans out of 100 as it waits for the election in Mississippi on November 27. Usually, that state would automatically pick a Republican, but Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith (left) has made a poor showing lately, seeming to laud lynching and criticized the legality of black college students voting.

Now that Republicans won three important races—Florida’s governor and U.S. senator and Georgia’s governor—Scott and Dictator Donald Trump (DDT) decided that the elections are not rigged. The question will always be there, however, as the winning GOP Florida candidate for senator and Georgia candidate for governor control the elections that they won.

An opinion piece by Abe Rakov in conservative USA Today states:

“We’re seeing Republican politicians run a political strategy to manipulate who can vote and, ultimately, remake the electorate in their favor. They’re trying to rig our elections because they don’t think they can win any other way. It’s cheating, it’s wrong and it’s anti-democratic.

“Jason Kander and I started Let America Vote in 2017 to create political consequences for politicians who try to stop eligible voters from voting. Over 65,000 people across the country have signed up to volunteer to help us in that effort. Through this November and beyond, Let America Vote is going to fight back against these proposals because our democracy is bigger than politicians who will do anything to win an election.”

Florida GOP Influence over Voting:

Scott kept the painfully inept election supervisor Brenda Snipes in her position after many missteps, one of which took her to court. Kitty Garber, research director and co-founder of the nonpartisan Florida Fair Elections Coalition, said that Snipes’ “behavior has disproportionately harmed Democratic candidates. When absentee ballots go missing in largely Democratic Broward County, you can be sure that most of them belong to Democratic voters.”

Scott also tried to use law enforcement to control the voting process and filed several lawsuits.

Truthout did a detailed analysis of data available in the election to show how computer software can manipulate voter outcome and what happened in Florida.

Absentee ballots may not have been counted if they were locked in a mail facility after the Florida man sent pipe bombs through the USPS.

The pastor of a church posted this sign when it was used as a polling place:

Don’t vote for Democrats on Tuesday and sing, ‘Oh how I love Jesus’ on Sunday.”

Georgia GOP Influence over Voting:

The GOP may use voter suppression in Georgia as a model for future efforts.

Brian Kemp, the candidate for governor and coincidentally state secretary of state, “doxed” 291,164 absentee voters by posting their personal details online for anyone to download. “Doxing” has become a common harassment practice of posting people’s personal information, including addresses, phone numbers, and even Social Security numbers.

Some voters waited over four hours to vote in suburban Atlanta. The state installed only three voting machines in a Fulton County polling place; Atlanta is in Fulton County. In other areas, the voting machines were broken or automatically registered Kemp’s name when voters selected his opponent.

Kemp refused to have any paper trail for the voting machines.

Voters also faced intimidation in several states:

Texas (where Rep. Beto O’Rourke narrowly lost to Sen. Ted Cruz by 220,000 votes out of 8.3 million): An election judge was filmed screaming at a black voter and threatening to call the police when the voter asked where she was supposed to vote. The DHS had planned a “crowd-control” exercise near a Latinx neighborhood in El Paso but decided to cancel the exercise after critics pointed out its intimidation effort.

Virginia: A DDT supporter stood outside a polling place with a German Shepherd that barked at voters. A member of the GOP said that the man is a known, excited DDT supporter who would do no harm.

Idaho: Intimidating signs regarding student voting were posted at polling places.

Tennessee: Five or six men outside a polling place told voters they should not be voting.

Indiana: At least one voting machine refused to accept votes for Democrats.

Arizona: Republicans sued to keep mail-in ballots from being counted because the 15 county recorders done have the same standard for adjusting problems. Two counties being sued allow people to verify their signatures up to five days after the election; both are major Democratic-leaning urban counties. (Democrat Kyrsten Sinema finally won her election for U.S. Senate.)

Those who criticize Democrats for more wins or claim that Republicans are better because the Dems picked up “only” 38 to 40 seats in the House aren’t aware of the control on elections from the GOP gerrymandering. Wisconsin is a classic case. This chart tells it all: Democrats won in all state elections and cast more votes for people in the state legislature while losing almost two-thirds of the seats. State assembly Democratic minority leader Gordon Hintz pointed out the lack of competitive districts, the reason that a district court ruled the legislative maps unconstitutional. The case, Gill v. Whitford, went to the Supreme Court, which sent it back to a lower federal court. These maps

Richard Hasen wrote that Wisconsin’s continued gerrymandering is thanks to retired Supreme Court justice Anthony Kennedy. Last summer, the court unanimously determine that plaintiffs had not proved they had standing to sue because they didn’t suffer direct injury. In 2004, Kennedy demanding a “workable standard” to decide if partisan decisions on district crossed a constitutional line. The court managed to avoid making any decision about whether the U.S. Constitution forbids gerrymandering and, if so, standards for decisions. The Republicans in Wisconsin draw the districts to favor Republicans so that Republicans can continue drawing districts to favor Republicans.

A contrast in House districts can be found in Pennsylvania and North Carolina. After a court order mandated redrawing districts, Pennsylvania went from solidly GOP to one evenly split. North Carolina stayed overwhelmingly GOP with the Republican-drawn map despite an even split in party votes for the delegation members. Associated Press determined that more states have GOP-tilted districts than Democratic ones.

Karma came to the GOP sponsor of the restrictive North Dakota law mandating that no one (aka Native Americans) could vote if they didn’t have an ID with a street address. A Native American Democrat beat him in the election. And the Georgia secretary of state vote goes into a runoff on December 4.

This election breakdown as of November 16 shows the great diversity of Democrats in the 116th Congress, starting in January 2019. Of the 36 women additions to the House this coming year, one is a Republican.

 

 

November 4, 2018

Voter Suppression, Tricks: ‘We Lie All the Time’

Rep. Dave Brat (R-VA) bragged on the campaign trail that he and his GOP legislative leaders “lie all the time.” And boy, does he lie! Here’s a list from PolitiFact Virginia. He even sent out a press release lying about a WaPo fact check on his opponent by using a a fact check of an attack ad in a completely different race, against GOP Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA). And that’s just one way to get Republicans elected.

In the past, black people in the South went to the polls to cast their votes. The idea, called “Souls to the Polls,” was quashed in many states including North Carolina and Florida because Republican lawmakers decided that GOP candidates could win only if the black vote was stopped. Forty percent of states don’t allow workers time off to vote on Election Day, and many other states are restrictive in permission.

Georgia’s Secretary of State and candidate for governor Brian Kemp, poster child of the nation’s voter suppression, has lamented votes by blacks. The master vote registration purger who declines to process registration forms from blacks registered to vote said he was afraid he would lose the election “if everybody uses and exercises their right to vote.” He’s also afraid of absentee ballots, “especially if everybody uses and exercises their right to vote … and mails those ballots in.” He added that his opponent, a black woman, could win thanks to “the literally tens of millions of dollars that” her campaign is “putting behind the get-out-the-vote effort to their base.”

If voting didn’t make any difference, Republicans wouldn’t go to such extreme lengths to keep people from voting. Updates and new tricks to keep people away from the polls on November 6:

Materials are being sent out with the wrong date to vote, like this “friendly” postcard in Arizona, with a date ten days past Election Day.

Montana Republicans have joined the states falsifying information about voting. The GOP sent a mailer lying about absentee ballots being accepted ten days after Election Day if they were postmarked by 8:00 pm on that day. Wrong. Absentee ballots must reach their destination by Election Day.

A judge denied Native Americans in North Dakota the right to vote without a street address just this past week, and voter suppression continues with the GOP fear that Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D) will be reelected. One woman who went to the county auditor’s office in Sioux County to ask about early voting was told that there was no early voting, unlike most other North Dakota countries. The auditor didn’t mention an absentee voting option. The same auditor ordered a woman filling out an absentee ballot to use blue ink in order for the ballot to be counted; the directions on the state website mandates black ink. A great deal of time was required until someone from the secretary of state’s office said either color of ink was acceptable—that will hopefully be accurate.

A non-partisan election official in Dallas County (TX) said that voter intimidation is the worst she’s seen in 30 years with name calling and voter interrogation in lines waiting to vote, partisan poll watchers looking over voters’ shoulders as they cast their ballots and question voters on their politics, harassment, and verbal abuse with a person driving by and yelling about “baby killers.” Reports of this intimidation have not stopped it although the police removed one “poll watcher.”

In Kansas, people can’t get a passport if they aren’t born in a hospital even if they have a birth certificate. The same probably goes for getting a voter ID. The only way to get permission is to pay money to go to trial with a large number of documents.

The Rachel Maddow Show sent a production crew to Dodge City (KS) after the news that the only polling place for 13,000 voters will be moved far out of town away from a bus stop. County Clerk Debbie Cox [visual] made the excuse of construction at the former place in town [map below], but no construction was found. The venue was also booked on November 4 and November 17 of events. Cox put three polling places in the rest of her county for the remaining 1,300 voters. In addition, she mailed new registrants an official statement of registration with the wrong voting address. Even if the largely Latinx voters working in the meat-packing industry can get a job to the new polling place, they may not have enough time off work to actually vote.  The 22-minute segment provides more details.

Cox forwarded a letter from the ACLU offering voter assistance to the office of Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach with the attached message “LOL” (lots of laughs). In control of voting, Kobach is also a candidate for governor. An 18-year-old high school student, Ashley Romero, sued for more polling places that are accessible to Dodge City voters. A judge ruled against Romero, stating that changing anything now would be too confusing but promising to look into the case after the election.

Last week, reports of voting machines flipping votes in Georgia for Democratic gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams to her opponent, Kemp, and in Texas from Democratic senate challenger Beto O’Rourke to incumbent Ted Cruz led to thoughts of hacking. Some machines even registered Kemp’s name before a person voted. Despite the GOP trying to blame the voters for these flips, it happens if machines aren’t properly calibrated. In addition, Secretary of State and gubernatorial candidate Kemp refused to provide a paper trail for votes in Georgia. Preparing for a possible loss because of Abrams’ popularity, Kemp declared today that he was investigating Democrats’ hacking into the vulnerable voting computers although he has no evidence. He has been warned for years about the problems with this machines but said nothing as long as he supervised the winning of Republicans.

Voting machines bought almost two decades ago were meant to last no more than 15 years, manufacturing companies have gone out of business or don’t make the computers, and most spare parts are available only on eBay or Craigslist from other discarded computers. Even if voting machines work, they work slowly, meaning long lines with people not staying to vote in a form of voter depression. In 2012, over 500,000 people didn’t vote because of extremely long wait lines. Some states use provisional ballots to solve problems in computers but don’t count them after the election. Three privately held companies, subject to little oversight and put convenience over security, control over 90 percent of all the nation’s election systems. The Associated Press reports three privately held companies sell and service more than 90 percent of the nation’s election systems.

When Republicans aren’t admitting that they want to suppress the votes of minority and lower-income people, they claim laws beginning in 2005 are to stop voter fraud. Between 2000 and 2014, evidence found 35 credible voter fraud allegations among the 834,065,926 ballots. Yet voter ID laws in the red states block about 5 million people from casting ballots—many of for specific groups such as Native Americans in North Dakota, Latinx in Arizona and Kansas, students in New Hampshire, and people of color in Wisconsin. Conservative judge Richard Posner has apologized in his 2013 memoir by writing that the ID law is “now widely regarded as a means of voter suppression rather than of fraud prevention.” In 2018, voter ID laws, polling-place closures or changes, and state legislation to stop voter registration have replace Jim Crow laws of poll taxes, literacy exams, and property deeds. Paul Weyrich plotted Ronald Reagan’s win in 1980:

“I don’t want everybody to vote . . . our leverage in the elections quite candidly goes up as the voting populace goes down.”

It’s still a miracle if people vote this year—or ever again. But not all is lost:

A federal judge ordered Georgia’s Secretary of State Brian Kemp, also running for governor, to stop throwing away absentee ballots without giving the voters advance notice and a chance to rectify any issues. Kemp’s workers had been making determinations about whether a signature matched the one on file without any scientific reason. Kemp’s “exact match” requirement threw out voter registrations even if the mistake was only an extra space. The judge used Kemp’s words that absentee voting is “a privilege and a convenience,” not a right by describing the staying of an injunction—that she refused—is also not a right.  The 11th Circuit Court refused Kemp’s appeal to the judge’s order keeping absentee ballots.

In Ohio, provisional election ballots previously purged from voter rolls between 2011 and 2015 must be counted if voters still live in the same county of their last registration and if they are not disqualified from voting because of a felony conviction, mental incapacity, or death.

Overall, two-thirds of the public (67%) says “everything possible should be done to make it easy for every citizen to vote,” while only about a third (32%) say citizens “should have to prove they want to vote” by registering in advance.  [visual voting]

After 80 percent of voters said that healthcare is extremely or very important to their vote, GOP members of Congress lied to the public that they supported pre-existing conditions–even if they voted to do away with the Affordable Care Act. The 78% importance for the economy is lower than in any recent midterm.

Roxanne Gay encouraged everyone to vote:

“Every single day there is a new, terrifying, preventable tragedy fomented by a president and an administration that uses hate and entitlement as political expedience. If you remain disillusioned or apathetic in this climate, you are complicit. You think your disillusionment is more important than the very real dangers marginalized people in this country live with.”

Republicans claim that the GOP wants freedom, but they want freedom only for themselves, not for minorities, women, and lower-income people. (Below: a sign that police forced a woman to remove from her yard.)

All voter polls are open until at least 6:00 pm, some later. Here’s a list by state.

Vote as if your life depends on it. It might.

Next Page »

Mind-Cast

Rethinking Before Restarting

Current

Commentary. Reflection. Judgment.

© blogfactory

Truth News

Civil Rights Advocacy

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. -- Margaret Mead

AGR Daily News

Quaker Inspired, Evidence Based, Art And Science Of Sustainable Health Plus Success - How To Create Heaven On Earth - Education For Seventh Generation Rainbow Warriors

JONATHAN TURLEY

Res ipsa loquitur - The thing itself speaks

Jennifer Hofmann

Inspiration for soul-divers, seekers, and activists.

Occupy Democrats

Progressive political commentary/book reviews for youth and adults

V e t P o l i t i c s

politics from a liberal veteran's perspective

Margaret and Helen

Best Friends for Sixty Years and Counting...

Rainbow round table news

Official News Outlet for the Rainbow Round Table of the American Library Association

The Extinction Protocol

Geologic and Earthchange News events

Social Justice For All

Working towards global equity and equality

Over the Rainbow Books

A Book List from Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Round Table of the American Library Association

WordPress.com News

The latest news on WordPress.com and the WordPress community.

%d bloggers like this: