Archive for the ‘Voting Rights’ Category

Some quickies for you:

  • Dinesh D’Souza, asshat extraordinaire, is a big whiny child.  Those evil prosecutors are doing their job and trying to put him in prison.  How dare they?!  He’ll get probation and we’ll probably still have to see his idiocy on Bill Maher.
  • Conservatives are freaking out because the President saluted with a coffee cup in his hand.  I would rather have a latte in the middle of my salute than a Scottish Terrier.  And never mind about the real problems this country has because the paranoid, desperate, white, male base eats up this shit up.
  • Can I just say how much I admire Gabby Giffords?  She is absolutely amazing to have come back from that horrible tragedy in Tucson AND launch a PAC to fight against NRA extremism.  What’s even better?  It’s working.
  • If I hear one more liberal complain that the President isn’t liberal enough, is ineffectual and that Congress sucks, I’m going to go nuclear and remind them that it’s probably because they didn’t vote in the f*%!ing 2010 mid-terms.  Here’s just one very good example of how that has hurt and will continue to hurt us for years to come.
  • How effed up is that Emma Watson, of Harry Potter fame, gave a speech to the U.N. on feminism and as a result was threatened with sexual violence and having nude photos of her posted online. This kind of terrorizing online is getting worse, not better.  I don’t know the solution but I really feel for any woman who is harrassed and terrorized because she speaks her mind on the Intertoobs.
  • Love the fact that big tech companies are divesting themselves of ALEC.  If you don’t know who they are, they’re what’s wrong with America.  A group of corporate representatives and conservatives who draft “model” legislation that they then push using vast resources in multiple states.  Their laws which include gems like SB1070, Stand your Ground,  Voter ID, and many more are nightmares and they’re making headway in many state legislatures because people aren’t paying attention to what’s happening on the state level. They’re too busy hating the President (see “Coffeegate” above and Congress (lowest approval ratings ever) on the national level and worrying about things that aren’t immediate threats (Ebola, Isis, etc).
  • And speaking of ISIS, don’t you just love that we’ve gone to war and there was absolutely no debate in Congress?!  They’d rather have yet another vote on appealing Obamacare.  Never mind that the rising cost of healthcare has actually slowed down as a direct result of the law, which was one of the main points of it in the first damn place.  Who needs facts….right?

I’d better stop while I’m ahead.  Methinks I’m getting my mojo for political blogging back and it’s about damn time!

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If voting changed anything, they’d make it illegal.  —Emma Goldman

Well, Republicans and their lackey libertarians are well on their way to doing just that for minorities and the poor and right under our noses (or at least under the noses of those who aren’t paying attention when they outright tell us they are doing it). According to a new study by a sociologist from U of Mass:

States that passed more restrictive legislation in 2011 were those in which:

  • Republicans controlled the governorship and both chambers of the legislative body.
  • Forecasters viewed them as potential swing states in the 2012 election.
  • Minority turnout was higher in the 2008 presidential election and those which have larger proportions of African-American residents.
  • There were a larger number of allegations of voter fraud in the 2004 election–although this fact had a much smaller substantive impact relative to partisan and racial factors.

Well duh!  The left has known about it for years but it’s nice to see that our observations are backed up by actual numbers.

Some quick thoughts on news items I heard today yesterday….(so sue me, I’m slow to post lately)

  1. You know how waiters approach you and say, “Hi, My name is Kelly and I’m going to be your server today. How is your day going?” Well, I hate it. Call me a curmudgeon (really, it’s okay, I can accept that label) but I don’t give a damn what their name is because I’ll never remember it anyway. And I don’t want to make chitchat with them. I don’t do small talk very well so I don’t bother with it. I only want a waiter to be quick, attentive, efficient and quiet. Well there’s a new application of current technology out there that let’s you order via your phone and text your waiter when you want him/her to come over to your table. A waiter was quoted as saying something like, they “might as well replace us with robots”. Okay!  Sounds good to me.  I’m all for it if it means I don’t have to know your name or talk about the weather with you.
  2. The city of Detroit has been officially allowed to go bankrupt, including the ability to cut pensions in spite of a state constitutional provision that forbids it. Unfortunately, no word as to what creditors will be given precedence–the banks or the thousands of city workers whose pensions have not been funded. Correct me if I am wrong but I thought a bankruptcy judge could specify ‘who gets paid first’? It’s shameful to think that banks making millions, if not billions, in profit would get money before city workers who spent years if not decades toiling away thinking that they would some day be able to retire and now cannot. If the judge does not put them first, those people will have to rely on others and/or work until the day they die. That just sucks.
  3. As I’ve written about many times before, Arizonans hate to pay taxes but they still have the nerve to be upset when public services go unprovided. Sometimes it bites us in the ass like it did when Sheriff Joe failed to investigate over 400 felony cases for the City of El Mirage some involving murder, rape and molestation of children. Now we have another scandal. Six thousand CPS (Child Protective Services) cases have been neglected–as in not touched at all. The Governor having been informed of this created a task force to review all of those cases to see “if the kids are safe”.   Ironically the acronym for the task force is CARE–hah!  Maybe she should have cared BEFORE?!?!  CPS is not at fault. They are extremely underpaid, understaffed and under-appreciated. If some of those kids have been harmed, and the odds are good that they have, I want to know. And I want it rubbed in the face of every Arizonan who refuse to pay their taxes.  Liberty in a Capitalist society is only for those that “Have”.  The “Have Nots” are just SOL.  Their liberty is the freedom to suffer without assistance and without hope.  I wonder if those abused and neglected kids can smell the liberty right now–that is, if they’re still among the living.
  4. The price of milk in the U.S. may double and worse yet, become extremely scarce. And milk won’t be the only commodity that this will happen to…ANY product made with milk and many other basic staples that come from farming. Why? Because the U.S. Congress, held hostage by crazy, foaming at the mouth Republicans who want to take yet more money away from the food stamp program, sucks balls. They’ve failed to pass a Farm Bill–a very basic thing BTW. We need to get some rational adults into office who actually want to make government work for the American people.
  5. And speaking of crazy people, there’s this guy. He is openly advocating treason on Fox Television. Maybe he’s just crazy like a fox because you know he’s making bank off this stunt.  I like to call it Entrepreneurial Hatemongering TM As Bob Cesca says:

    Indeed, this sort of harrowing armed revolt and assassination fetishization generates a not insignificant revenue stream. It’s become its own subsidiary of the conservative entertainment complex, as David Frum called it. Located just adjacent to the anti-Obama conspiracy theory section of the store, the violent-overthrow cosplay shelves are loaded with highly potent crazyswag. For a price. Read the crazy, but subscribe first. And don’t forget to bulk-purchase the hastily-assembled ghost-written book.

  6. Finally, FL is in the news yet again. They continue to set the standard for how to rig elections by limiting who gets to vote. Once again, changing the rules at the last moment, Governor “Gollum” Scott is ordering the county election officials to close down hundreds of drop-off sites used for absentee ballots. According to a Pinellas County official 42% of the county’s absentee ballots were left at drop-off sites in 2012. That’s significant. Absentee ballots help primarily those who cannot, for a number of reasons, physically make it to the polls in the increasingly tiny window of time being allowed–which means the poor, elderly, women, minorities and you know who they tend to vote for. There is some hope though…some county election officials are openly defying the governor (as they did when he tried to illegally trim thousands of Floridians off of the voting rolls in the last election).

I think that’s more than enough misanthropy for today. Cheers!

I wrote the other day about how the new voter ID law in Texas will disenfranchise over a million voters, many of whom are women.  Well, the law went into effect just in time for early voting for the upcoming November 5th elections.  And, as predicted, citizens are already having problems.  A Texas District Judge said she

was flagged for possible voter fraud because her driver’s license lists her maiden name as her middle name, while her voter registration form has her real middle name. This was the first time she has ever had a problem voting in 49 years.

You probably won’t hear about this on the news very much because they’d rather cover the circus in Washington, D.C. While I’ll admit that clowns are distracting, they’re not quite as important as the death rattle of voting rights.

Voter ID laws are all the rage now (North Carolina, Kansas, etc).   Most if not all of these laws were written by a guy from Kansas, Kris Kobach, on behalf of ALEC (an organization I’ve written about before).  You might remember him better as the asswipe who wrote SB1070 Paper’s Please law.     Well, Arizona also passed another Kobach drafted law in 2004 called Proposition 200 that required voters to prove they were citizens instead of letting them just attest to being citizens.

The Inter Tribal Council of America, a Native American organization representing 20 different tribes with reservations in the state, filed suit and the case made it all the way to the Supreme Court (aka, SCOTUS).  Why the Native Americans?  Because many of them are born, live and die on the Reservation and do not have Birth Certificates.  A very large percentage don’t have photo ID’s.  None of that changes the facts that they’re still citizens and they should have the right to vote and be treated equally (14th Amendment and all that).

So SCOTUS FINALLY ruled in June of this year that the National Voting Rights Act of 1993 overrides Arizona Proposition 200 and said that AZ could not reject Federal registration forms using AZ legal standards BUT they didn’t say that the AZ requirements were unconstitutional–just that anyone who used Federal forms can’t be rejected.   Unfortunately, this gives the resident fascists a lovely little opening to screw those pesky voters (who, oh so conveniently happen to be brown and/or female).  AZ Secretary of State, Ken Bennett, has decided that there will be two classes of voters now.  People who register to vote using the AZ state form, which requires proof of citizenship, will be allowed to vote in all elections and sign petitions for initiatives, referenda and recalls.  But those who use/used the Federal form, which only requires the applicant to attest to the fact that they are a citizen, can only vote in Federal elections.

Voting is complicated enough but now they’re trying to specify who has the right to vote and who doesn’t.  This sounds really effing unconstitutional to me and others.  But I’m not hearing about this outrage much in local and state news.   Google searches show up very few articles…one of which is simply an interview that allows Bennett to defend his strategy.

As informed as I am, I don’t even know whether I used a Federal form or a state form.  I’m sure millions of other Arizonans won’t either.  And since they don’t know this is happening, they’re going to be mighty effing shocked when they go to vote in the next election and are told they can’t vote for governor, legislators, ballot initiatives, etc.  But by then it will be too late.  They will have lost their right to vote, the state Republican party will have benefited and any court ruling will be another decade in the future (maybe).  This is another arrow in the heart of democracy and it’s happening far too quietly right under Arizonan’s noses.