Category: Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS)

But you have to stay…

But you have to stay…

Ya know, since I started posting about this election cycle, the rhetoric has gotten increasingly difficult to take, from both sides. For those of us who are all #VoteBlueNoMatterWho, it’s a no-win scenario.

From either side, I hear that I’m supporting someone disingenuous or incapable of winning. Hillary supporters think Bernie can’t do the job, that his plan is lacking, and that all he has is momentum, and not as much of that as he ought to have. Her supporters think I’m somehow less of a feminist if I support Sanders instead of Clinton.

Bernie supporters think that she’s a pathological liar, she’s in bed with Wall Street and not interested in serving MY needs, and all sorts of other things besides.

Never mind that the press and politicians haven’t touched Bernie and his Democratic Socialism yet because until he’s a real threat (which they’re denying as hard as they can because they would rather continue to smear Hillary). This crap isn’t new. In fact, it’s nearly 40 years old, and ought to be recognizable as a historically embarrassing time in our history. Except, of course, that the history books bear NO mention of what those years really looked like. And haven’t been taught. If the student never studies and never sees what happened, did it ever happen at all? That’s the core of 1984, and the whole of the GOP’s strategy against Hillary Clinton.

Meanwhile, there’s…Trump. Three times married, crude, lewd, greedy narcissistic jerk that he is, he’s garnering the Christian Conservative vote, the White Supremacy vote, the Never Hillary (and Bernie won’t get there) vote, and the Narcissist vote. He’s got the backing of the NRA, and pretty soon, the Koch brothers will line up behind him because it’s the only way they get their way in politics.

Someone asked if anyone else was sick of the rhetoric. I raised my hand, with a link to this article on Rawstory.com regarding Trump trolls posing as Clinton/Sanders supporters, and the link to the stories out of West Virginia talking about the open primary there and who actually crossed the line and why.

BUSTED: Trump-loving comment trolls pose as Sanders and Clinton supporters to divide Democrats

(Note that 4Chan is NSFW, but you can still see the original trolling posts there.) I got back a comment that it was just one guy.

Sigh.

Every time this subject has come up, I’ve said that I won’t stay in the US if Trump wins. I have no desire to live in a fascist theocracy or dictatorship, and I’m absolutely certain that’s what’s coming, with the certain replacement of three to four Supreme Court justices within the coming presidential term.

And the response? You can’t leave! Who’ll fight the battle for the US?

Well, let me tell you, it won’t be me.

I don’t love my country so much that I’m willing to die or be maimed for it. If that makes me a heretic, so be it, but I know for a fact I’m not alone here. I chose not to serve in the military for a reason, and I’ll be damned if I’ll make cannon fodder out of my kids because I opted to stay and fight.

The last post I made, You say you want a revolution…, got a *crickets* response. People really think that revolution is actually a bloodless, painless affair. They truly don’t understand history, have no frame of reference for what freedom fighters did and what it cost them to do it. They can’t fathom what life was like for Anne Frank, or how concentration camps actually worked because teachers don’t teach the history anymore. They’re too busy making sure their students can pass the Pearson tests that fail to cover these aspects of history, whitewash what slavery was truly like, and promote ignorance over reality and historical fact because it’s inconvenient.

No, it’s NOT my job to stay here, take up arms, and fight for my country. It’s my job to protect my kids and to raise them in a safe environment, to ensure their rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Nowhere in that language does it say I have to wield a gun to make that happen, no matter how many 2A apologists want me to think otherwise.

If that’s all the US has left, to give itself over to misogyny and hate, I’m out of here. My passport’s current. Is yours?

If you want me to stick around, make sure Trump doesn’t win.

That’s YOUR job.

The hole in the middle…

The hole in the middle…

While I would like to say I was completely immune to the tasteless celebrations of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia on Saturday night as the news broke, I would be lying. I have known too many people who suffered directly and personally because of decisions Justice Scalia handed down in almost 30 years on the bench.

I’ve had some interesting questions posed in the last 24 hours, but let me clarify one point. While my initial response to Scalia’s death might have had a whiff of “Ding, Dong, the Witch is Dead,” I have deleted more than a dozen whiny posts in the last six months that beg the immortal question of fairness (“How can X die so young while Y is still alive?”) where most instances Justice Scalia = Y.

I just couldn’t bring myself to compare the two, or to publicly wish death on anyone. That said, I’m not going to spend a lot of time mourning a guy whose interpretations of our Constitution have done far more damage than good since he took his place on the SCOTUS bench. So don’t look to me for rejoicing or chest-beating. You’re not going to find either one here.

I say this with extreme prejudice, there are times when celebration is inappropriate, and this is one of them. As fellow member Ruth Bader Ginsberg so eloquently described recently, Scalia was as human as he was principled. Love him or hate him, he was true to his own view of the Constitution and his role in protecting it, even when the role he played was at odds (to put it mildly) with general liberal opinion.

Now that he’s gone, there’s a hole to fill, and a massive question about how that’s going to happen.

A friend asked me the following question, which I viewed as a post prompt:

I read this somewhere and wonder if it is truly possible:
“With the death of Antonin Scalia supreme Court justice, and congress in recess, president Obama could in theory appoint himself for the lifetime job, without a vote from congress, and move joe biden to the position of president changing the entirety of the Democratic nomination process and changing the balance of the court from conservitive [sic] to liberal causing trouble for Donald Trump.”

Comments?

When constructing an answer to the question, there’s a whole lot to be considered.

  1. Can the President nominate himself?
  2. What would happen if this theory became a reality?
  3. Can the President appoint someone without the benefit of Senate approval?

We’ll take all of these in order, noting that I am in no way any sort of legal expert, just good at research and reasoning.

CAVEAT: I welcome adjustments and challenges as long as they’re civil. All comments are screened by definition, so your rant won’t be seen unless it’s civil and related to the subject. Don’t bother if you’re just going to rant and call names.

You’ve been warned.

Can the President nominate himself? 

Unlikely. There is no precedent whatsoever for such a thing, as attractive as it might be to entertain the notion, either from the perspective of wishful thinking or for conspiracy theorists who’d rather see the President behind bars.

Only one U.S. President has ever served on the Supreme Court: William Howard Taft, who was appointed by President Warren G. Harding after Taft stepped down from office, replaced by Woodrow Wilson in 1913 after the 1912 election.

It is far more likely that President Obama could be nominated by the next President, if that person is a Democrat, but I don’t think he would be approved by enough members of the Senate in its current incarnation, regardless of whether he appoints himself or the next President does it for him.

Precedent for seating himself? A totally different question requiring a lot more investigation.

What would happen if this theory became a reality?

If the President steps down for any reason prior to the end of his term, Vice President Joe Biden becomes President.

If you look at the history, the last two times a VP became President mid-term, there was no Vice President, so my initial response to the question posed was incorrect. I had suggested that it was possible Paul Ryan would become VP automatically, but that’s not the case. He does remain in the line of succession, however, if something happens to President.

Can the President appoint someone without the benefit of Senate approval?

In theory it’s possible, and if the Senate goes into recess this summer without confirming, by my cursory read of this Wikipedia article (which should tell you how authoritative this opinion is), it is possible.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Recess_appointment

And I would say, particularly since there is precedent, the chances are excellent, especially if the Senate stonewalls prior to the summer recess. That is, of course, unless they intend to work all the way through until November, which I doubt seriously.

As of this moment, whether President Obama uses the President’s Day recess (which is just barely long enough) or he waits until summer, the effect is the same, and likely just as controversial.

So what happens if the Senate gets its way?

Great question. No, really.

Leaving the court evenly split–with only a few justices willing to straddle the line–could set up a number of the remaining court cases for a tie, which tosses the decision back into the laps of the Circuit courts. Or, if the less conservative Justices opt to side with the liberals, could change the answers in ways that are likely to make the conservatives in Congress regret their long term inaction.

In other words, that tricky law of unintended consequences could backfire big time with Congress this November, when all seats in the House are up for re-election, along with a third of the Senate. By my count, there are just 15 seats needed to take the majority back in the Senate. Of those seats, only two are Democrats running unopposed for re-election. The rest of the 34 seats (in this year’s election) are either held by incumbent Republicans who are also running unopposed (two) or with Republicans or Libertarians but no Democrats.

If Trump’s candidacy has proved anything, the Republicans don’t have a lock on their electorate after all. This could prove to be the catalyst for the same sort of rout we saw after the government shutdowns of the 1990s. Not guaranteed by even the smallest stretch, but still possible.

If that’s what it takes, so be it. Congress has abrogated its job for too long. It’s time to elect people who will take their responsibilities to the entire population of the US (and not just to its richest 1%) seriously. That’s what Senator Sanders and Former Secretary Clinton are preaching, and it’s what I believe.

Let this be the litmus test: Can Congress get its act together or will it leave the responsibility to our President?

I predict it’s going to be a very long year.

What’s at stake…

What’s at stake…

Presidential elections are different from all the other elections we have in this country. If you aren’t familiar with the process, you’d better get familiar, and fast.

After Monday’s Iowa caucus, we have nothing but caucuses and primaries between now and summer, when the political parties get together for a week and then settle the question of which candidate(s) will represent their interests best. We’re done with pure speculation, though the media in general might think otherwise. Folks are finally exercising their right to vote. That is, as long as those rights haven’t been infringed.

While I could trot out all the ways in which campaigns smear candidates in service to proving their worth, I am only going to post two links and then I’m going to ask a lot of the questions I’m getting from Millennials on one hand and conservatives on the other.

With the demonizing of Muslims, backlash against African Americans and Central American refugees recast as “migrants,” Afghanistan, Iraq and (if the GOP get their way) Iran and Syria, we are in our own Wiemar Republic-style Liberal/Conservative war, bringing us to the Election of Exhaustion.

First, from Mother Jones: Here Come the Crazy Clinton Conspiracies of the 1990s

Second, from Amazon.com: The Hunting of the President: The Ten-Year Campaign to Destroy Bill and Hillary Clinton

Now that I have those things out of the way, let me make my own position clear: I support Bernie Sanders in the Primaries, including my own in Maryland, where I am a registered Democrat. And I support the winner of the nomination when the Democrats select their candidate in late July this summer. It will be hot as hell in Philadelphia, and oh, so appropriate for the election this time.

So, before New Hampshire’s primary next week, let’s have that conversation.

How does the President win an election?

Every state does it differently when it comes to primaries. Some states, like Iowa, hold caucuses, others have elections. Some of these are open–meaning a voter can cross party lines–but most are closed. No matter how the candidate is selected, at the party convention, where the candidate gets the official nod, we discover the running mates (Vice Presidential candidates) and from then on, the campaigns are all about which candidates will win. But here’s the thing. If you think you’re voting for your candidate, you’re not. You’re voting to select the members of the Electoral College, who will THEN vote for your candidate, assuming they do the job they were sworn to do.

This artifact of the original founding fathers and the first Constitutional Convention in 1787 is destined for retirement eventually. Until that happens, you’d better understand what your vote actually does, or you’re likely to regret your choice, come November.

If I don’t like a candidate I can just write in my own choice, can’t I?

Well, no. It’s not that simple. Sorry. If your write-in candidate isn’t registered in the state that way, your vote goes into the trash. Nice try, but that’s not how it works.

What else am I voting for in November?

Members of the US Senate serve six-year terms and are elected in thirds. One third of the Senate is up for election each two year cycle. In 2016, from (http://www.periodicalpress.senate.gov/reelection-2016/) these senate seats are up for grabs:

DEMOCRATS   

Michael Bennet (Colorado)
Richard Blumenthal (Connecticut)
Barbara Boxer (California) retiring in 2016
Patrick Leahy (Vermont)
Barbara Mikulski (Maryland) retiring in 2016
Patty Murray (Washington)
Harry Reid (Nevada) retiring in 2016  (may go Red)
Brian Schatz (Hawaii)
Charles Schumer (New York)
Ron Wyden (Oregon)

REPUBLICANS

Kelly Ayotte (New Hampshire)  (may go Blue)
Roy Blunt (Missouri)
John Boozman (Arkansas)
Richard Burr (North Carolina)
Dan Coats (Indiana) retiring in 2016  (may go Blue)
Mike Crapo (Idaho)
Chuck Grassley (Iowa)
John Hoeven (North Dakota)
Johnny Isakson (Georgia)
Ron Johnson (Wisconsin)  (may go Blue)
Mark Kirk (Illinois)  (may go Blue)
James Lankford (Oklahoma)
Mike Lee (Utah)
John McCain (Arizona)
Jerry Moran (Kansas)
Lisa Murkowski (Alaska)
Rand Paul (Kentucky)
Rob Portman (Ohio)
Marco Rubio (Florida)
Tim Scott (South Carolina)
Richard Shelby (Alabama)
John Thune (South Dakota)
Pat Toomey (Pennsylvania)  (may go Blue)
David Vitter (Louisiana) retiring in 2016

To take back the majority, Democrats need to win five seats (four will only tie the GOP). A further ten seats are required to give Democrats a filibuster-proof majority. (We haven’t seen that in the Senate since 1976.)

The House of Representatives is selected during every even year election. If you wanted to, you could replace every one of your House representatives every two years. Democrats need 218 seats to gain a majority again, and that’s a total of 30 additional seats to take control back from the GOP. (Democrats presently hold only 188 seats.) http://www.270towin.com/2016-house-election/

The following seats are at risk (according to 270towin.com):

AK-AL  Don Young
1973 22th

AZ-01  Ann Kirkpatrick
2013 2nd
Incumbent not running for re-election in 2016.

AZ-02  Martha McSally
2015 1st

CA-07  Ami Bera
2013 2nd

CA-10  Jeff Denham
2011 3rd

CA-21  David Valadao
2013 2nd

CA-24  Lois Capps
1998 10th
Incumbent not running for re-election in 2016.

CA-25  Steve Knight
2015 1st

CA-49  Darrell Issa
2001 8th

CO-03  Scott Tipton
2011 3rd

CO-06  Mike Coffman
2009 4th

FL-07  John Mica
1993 12th

FL-13  David Jolly
2014 2nd

FL-18  Patrick Murphy
2013 2nd
Incumbent not running for re-election in 2016.

FL-26  Carlos Curbelo
2015 1st

IA-01  Rod Blum
2015 1st

IA-03  David Young
2015 1st

IL-10  Robert Dold
2015 1st

IL-12  Mike Bost
2015 1st

IN-02  Jackie Walorski
2013 2nd

IN-09  Todd Young
2011 3rd
Incumbent not running for re-election in 2016.

KS-03  Kevin Yoder
2011 3rd

ME-02  Bruce Poliquin
2015 1st

MI-01  Dan Benishek
2011 3rd
Incumbent not running for re-election in 2016.

MI-07  Tim Walberg
2011 3rd

MI-08  Mike Bishop
2015 1st

MN-02  John Kline
2003 7th
Incumbent not running for re-election in 2016.

MN-03  Erik Paulsen
2009 4th

MN-08  Rick Nolan
2013 2nd

MT-AL Ryan Zinke
2015 1st

NE-02 Brad Ashford
2015 1st

NH-01 Frank Guinta
2015 1st

NJ-05  Scott Garrett
2003 7th

NV-03  Joe Heck
2011 3rd
Incumbent not running for re-election in 2016.

NV-04  Cresent Hardy
2015 1st

NY-01  Lee Zeldin
2015 1st

NY-03  Steve Israel
2001 8th
Incumbent not running for re-election in 2016.

NY-19 Chris Gibson
2011 3rd
Incumbent not running for re-election in 2016.

NY-21 Elise Stefanik
2015 1st

NY-22 Richard Hanna
2011 3rd
Incumbent not running for re-election in 2016.

NY-23 Tom Reed
2010 4th

NY-24 John Katko
2015 1st

PA-08 Mike Fitzpatrick
2011 3rd
Incumbent not running for re-election in 2016.

PA-16 Joseph Pitts
1997 10th
Incumbent not running for re-election in 2016.

TX-23 Will Hurd
2015 1st

UT-04 Mia Love
2015 1st

VA-05 Robert Hurt
2011 3rd
Incumbent not running for re-election in 2016.

VA-10
Barbara Comstock
2015 1st

WI-08
Reid Ribble
2011 3rd
Incumbent not running for re-election in 2016.

Note: Court-ordered redistricting has led to many Florida and Virginia congressional districts being redrawn for the 2016 election. The map and Representative data on this page reflect the current district boundaries, which will remain in effect until the new Congress is seated in January, 2017. However, the election ratings in the table reflect the new boundaries, as these determine where people will vote in November.

Why should I care?

The Presidency is only one branch of government and the President doesn’t write law. He can ask for law to be enacted or, with strict limits, make executive decisions regarding legal interpretation, but it’s the House that writes the budget and only in cooperation with the Senate. If the House and Senate agree with the President and he sides with corporate interests (Oligarchy, Plutocracy), the people lose their rights to Democracy.

Theoretically, both the House and Senate should be providing laws that enhance or clarify the Constitution. In reality, there’s a wide margin of interpretation regarding what is and isn’t Constitutional, and a majority of law is now written to protect the wealthy and screw the poor and lower middle classes. And there is presently nothing to stop them from adding whatever riders (commonly known as “pork”) they want to bills that must pass, like the NDAA, which also pays our service members’ salaries.

So what? What does that mean to our current government?

Well, if the House and Senate disagree about what the President thinks will help the people of our country, they can stop legislation from reaching the President or, through a series of tacked on amendments, push through their own agenda by adding riders to bills that force the President to do things that aren’t in the best interests of the people. Without a majority on the side of the President, nothing gets done.

Some people are fine with that, but they’re generally not the ones who need help the most.

Well, if it’s not Constitutional, who fixes the problem?

Theoretically that’s where the third branch comes in. That’s the court system, led by the Supreme Court. And here’s the biggest problem we face today, in February, just as the 2016 election year gets underway.

Why is that a big deal?

The Supreme Court consists of nine lifetime appointments. It’s the Justice’s decision to retire if he or she doesn’t die in office first. While there is an impeachment process outlined, no Supreme Court justice has ever been impeached.

At present, the following justices are over the age of 67 (legal retirement age):

  • Clarence Thomas (age 67)
  • Stephen Breyer (age 77)
  • Anthony Kennedy (age 79)
  • Antonin Scalia (age 79)
  • Ruth Bader Ginsburg (age 82)

Five Four of the nine eight are old enough to retire from ordinary service. Three of these are on the liberal side of the courts. And there is virtually no chance whatsoever that the next President won’t be required to appoint at least one new member. The general age range of new court justices appointed is 50-55. They tend to serve at least 20 years on the bench, but Scalia is was just 8 months shy of his 30th anniversary.*

While the President can appoint a justice, the Senate has to agree on the appointment. So chew on this: If the Senate retains their GOP majorities, but the President is a Democrat, approval will be difficult at best. If the GOP wins the presidency, and the Senate retains its majority, there is no chance whatsoever that the court will see another liberal appointment. Possibly ever.*

[Now that one of these is gone, how will it work in practice instead of theory? I can’t predict the future, but this might be the year the Senate suspends the summer recess.]

What else is going on?

Well, now that you mention it, there’s that little matter of a Constitutional Convention. Remember when I mentioned it a few paragraphs ago? Did you know we are somewhere between two and five states away from having enough states to call one? True. It only takes 34, and Texas’ declaration is the most recent. Imagine the Constitution without any of the amendments beyond the Bill of Rights. That’s 17 additional amendments some conservatives would dearly love to see abolished.

So what does all this mean?

It means that if you choose to throw your vote behind any candidate except the one that wins the Democratic nomination, you are voting for the GOP. And if that happens, and they get control of all three branches of government, this could be the last time you get to vote on anything. Imagine what this country would be like under President McCain or President Romney. Now imagine President Cruz. It’s not terribly far-fetched.

Considering what the court system has done to eliminate voting rights protection, women’s rights to health and work, fair wages and so much more, what are you prepared to risk, to support your passion?

[* Edited to fix inaccuracies regarding the approval process (2/15/2016), and to correct grammar (2/29/2016).]

 

It’s time for a NEW Equal Rights Amendment.

It’s time for a NEW Equal Rights Amendment.

This is not a link share, but my own opinion and you’re welcome to do with it what you will.

In the last two days I’ve come to one inescapable conclusion. If the Equal Rights Amendment as originally written is dead, then it’s time for a new and improved Equal Rights For ALL Amendment, that covers everyone, with no exceptions for race, gender or ability.

The amendment MUST make clear that this right transcends due process and extends to every individual person in the country. And by person, I am specifically excluding corporations, which are not now and never have been people.

To wit:

Section 1. Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of gender, race or ability.

Section 2. Rights shall extend to every individual within the borders of the United States and its territories, regardless of nationality.

Section 3. The word “individual” shall not be construed to mean property held by an individual in the form of a corporation.

Section 4. The Congress shall have the power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article.

Section 5. This amendment shall take effect one year after the date of ratification.

I’ll make an appointment to see Senator Elizabeth Warren, Senator Barbara A. Mikulski and Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer if I have to.

If certain members of the Supreme Court can decide to ignore the 14th Amendment, because it’s not specific to equality and equity (which are similar but not the same), that’s proof enough for me that the states made a bad decision and that this needs to be addressed.

No riders, no “must ratify by” date limitation.

It’s long past time.

If you agree, spread the word: https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/pass-equal-rights-all-act-amendment-us-constitution/4TdbChJP [Petition now defunct. -CT]

Second class citizens…

Second class citizens…

On Monday, the US Supreme Court, by a 5-4 margin (which divided itself by conservative and religious lines), declared that employers who object to contraception as a violation of their deeply held religious beliefs do NOT have to cover their employees, one of the most important points of the Affordable Care Act.  Continue reading “Second class citizens…”

Here’s a new thing I can definitely get behind…

Here’s a new thing I can definitely get behind…

Last night as I went to bed, I watched friends respond with horror to the Supreme Court ruling, giving corporations (non-human entities) the right to free speech. While I could go on at length about the ludicrous concept that a corporation can have an opinion about ANYTHING (because it’s not the corporation but the people who run it who have the right to free speech), I think the following is DEAD on.

I would support such an amendment to the constitution.

And, while we’re at it, I can foresee how this court will rule when the question of marriage between same sex individuals comes before them. If they can decide a non-living entity is the same as a person, they can decide a living person is a non-entity. I fear for my human friends.

It’s time to start waking up and smelling the coffee. This is part of G.W. Bush’s legacy.

Remember what I said about Avatar? The mess they created was at the hands of a CORPORATION, in search of the almighty dollar. Sure, it’s easy to make fun of the movie, but the message was loud and clear to me. This is just plain wrong.

On the political front…

On the political front…

Got this message and submitted the petition. I strongly recommend you do the same.

Subject: The President Broke the Law

President Bush admitted to personally authorizing thousands of allegedly illegal wiretaps, and he doesn’t plan to stop. Circumventing the Constitution is serious business.

This is a big moment. People from across the political spectrum are standing together to protect the rule of law and the principles that are core to our identity as Americans.

Can you sign this petition to show Congress that Americans want a thorough investigation of the president’s secret wiretapping program?

Thanks!

I said it months ago here (July 8th, 2005 – way before the wiretapping issue broke). Funny how I can predict the future. Somewhere in the 27 comments I received was the implication that if we were good citizens, we wouldn’t have to worry.

Uh…

It isn’t getting better, especially with two Supreme Court justices on the switch. Roberts is already in, and in his very first ruling was one of three dissenting voices in an issue for which I side with the majority. With the possibility that Alito will also be seated, I think folks ought to be concerned. Cronyism, corruption and rank disregard for the Constitution – hallmarks of the current administration and many of the people in charge who helped put them in power.

Don’t know what I mean? See this Op-Ed in the Post (not related to the current administration, but the previous one), and their hope that they could smoke out some sort of dirt on the former secretary of housing and urban development:

A Fake Cisneros Scandal

The reaction from the Right, predictably, is full of conspiracy theories and anger because there was no there there, but that’s really been the hallmark of Clinton persecution since the 1990s.

All it amounts to is a justification and rationalization for continuing an investigation which should have ended years ago. No conclusive evidence has ever been found, but there *must* have been something. Riiiight.

Related Post articles are here, for historic record:

3/31/2005: Cost of Cisneros Probe Nears $21 Million Over 10 Years

4/21/2005: Cisneros Probe Faces Cut-Off

5/23/2005: Congress Won’t Stop 10-Year Cisneros Probe

10/24/2005: Release of Cisneros Report Ordered

10/29/2005: Special Counsel’s Value Is Upheld

At least Kenneth Starr knew when to quit.

In the meantime, here’s Karl Rove’s take on the 2006 elections: Rove Offers Republicans A Battle Plan For Elections

and more discussion on Alito’s nomination to the court: More Democrats Say They Will Oppose Alito

Still think your civil liberties can’t be trampled? Still believe the President has our constitution in mind? Still think the Patriot Act is for your protection?

Just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean they aren’t out to get you.

Not as riled as I ought to be, but…

Not as riled as I ought to be, but…

TAKE ACTION NOW TO STOP HARRIET MIERS

Faced with growing opposition even from their own, the Republican National Committee and the White House held a joint mobilizing conference call to rally their most reactionary supporters behind Harriet Miers, their “get out of conviction on appeal” free card. The point was to assure them that her votes on the Supreme Court were already predetermined. Here is a typically chilling quote from the transcript of that sesssion:

“He and she [the president and Miers] both understand that if she were to get on the court, and she were to rule in ways that are contrary to the way the president would want her to approach her role as a justice, it would be a deep personal betrayal, and would be perceived as such both by him and by her.”

This is absolutely nothing more than a patently crony nomination, and is perceived by even its proponents as exactly that and being sold as such. It is a matter of the utmost urgency that you communicate to your senators that this nomination is not worthy of any consideration at all on that basis alone. As if our members of Congress had not sold the people so far down the river already, do we really need ANOTHER hardcore administration loyalist on our Supreme Court?

We all know how much the reactionaries love their talking points. Here are ours:

1) NO BUSH CRONY EVEN DESERVES A HEARING

Have we not seen the disaster wrought by installation of hardcore administration cronies in positions of the highest responsibility? Must our Supreme Court go the way of New Orleans? There are many jobs in this world where you have to qualify to even GET a job interview. Surely a seat on our Supreme Court is one of them. Some say they need to hear what she has to say. That is just more of the same surrender babble, and is based on two false premises, that we don’t ALREADY know where Miers stands, and that she will disclose anything meaningful under examination. There is nothing coming but another Roberts’ style stonewall, and for all those reasons we say NO HEARING.

2) THE MAJORITY OF THE AMERICAN PUBLIC DEMAND A MODERATE

It’s time to fight for what we really want on principle. It’s time for those who would presume to represent us to take up that fight. And the American people will tolerate NO MORE extremist far right appointees to our Supreme Court. Every day Bush’s popularity rating sinks to a new record low. It is only his totally corrupt party caucus, now with a temporary majority in the House of Representatives, that has prevented the initiation of impeachment proceedings already for his incompetence and malfeasance. We the people demand that any further nominees be no worse than true MODERATES. That’s our position and we’re sticking to it.

AND SPEAK OUT FOR REAL ELECTION REFORM

Is there anybody who would want to be elected by cheating? Then why should not everybody want to support real voting reform, so we can make sure all votes are always counted accurately and reliably. Rush Holt has introduced a bill (HR 550) which would make sure that’s what happens from now on.

The Voter Confidence and Increased Accessibility Act (HR 550)
(1) establishes a requirement for a voter verified paper ballot created for every vote cast;
(2) establishes a mandatory uniform national standard that states that the voter verified paper ballot — the only record verified by the voter rather than the voting machine — is the vote of record in the case of any inconsistency with electronic records;
(3) provides Federal funding to pay for implementation of voter verified paper balloting;
(4) requires a percentage of mandatory random audits in every state, and in each county, for every Federal election;
(5) prohibits use of undisclosed software, wireless communication devices, and internet connections in voting machines;
(6) is required to be fully implemented by 2006; and
(7) protects the accessibility mandates of the Help America Vote Act.

The one click action page above has now been fully dedicated to the message that we will not tolerate any more funny business in our elections. Vote now by sending a message to our members of Congress that we need these long overdue reforms, so that we will actually have a chance to really vote in the future.

Wish I’d thought of it first…

Wish I’d thought of it first…

From my friend MB:

If I were king of the Forrrrrreeeeeessssst…

and had the good luck to be on the Judiciary Committee, I would ask the following.

Judge Roberts, our “president” had shown a penchant for appointing people with minimal qualifications to governmental positions that invariably descend into abject failure in their charge to protect and serve all members of the American public. Seeing as we only have your two years on the federal bench, leaving us with precious few written findings to go on added to your lack of candor and indeed refusal to answer questions put forth to you by this committee, why should we not refuse to confirm your nomination or indeed even let your nomination escape this committee to go on to the floor of the Senate?

I realize that the right wing press would die of apoplexy should any Senator ask such a question, but why hasn’t it been asked?

Too right…

That’s it…

That’s it…

Ok. I’ve finally had enough.

Over this post about Chief Justice Rehnquist by JTN I’ve finally given up and have dropped him from my friends list. There’s simply no excuse for the comment, and with so little regard for other people’s opinions, I can stop wasting my time reading his comfortable posts about the gourmet food and easy life of the “haves” of this world.

I’m done. Now here’s why. Continue reading “That’s it…”

Theme: Elation by Kaira.
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