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Category Archives: Dirty side of Politics


January 12, 2022
Heather Cox Richardson
Jan 13The struggle between the Trump-backed forces of authoritarianism and those of us defending democracy is coming down to the fight over whether the Democrats can get the Freedom to Vote Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Act through the Senate. It’s worth reading what’s actually in the bills because, to my mind, it is bananas that they are in any way controversial. The Freedom to Vote Act is a trimmed version of the For the People Act the House passed at the beginning of this congressional session. It establishes a baseline for access to the ballot across all states. That baseline includes at least two weeks of early voting for any town of more than 3000 people, including on nights and weekends, for at least 10 hours a day. It permits people to vote by mail, or to drop their ballots into either a polling place or a drop box, and guarantees those votes will be counted so long as they are postmarked on or before Election Day and arrive at the polling place within a week. It makes Election Day a holiday. It provides uniform standards for voter IDs in states that require them. The Freedom to Vote Act cracks down on voter suppression. It makes it a federal crime to lie to voters in order to deter them from voting (distributing official-looking flyers with the wrong dates for an election or locations of a polling place, for example), and it increases the penalties for voter intimidation. It restores federal voting rights for people who have served time in jail, creating a uniform system out of the current patchwork one. It requires states to guarantee that no one has to wait more than 30 minutes to vote.Using measures already in place in a number of states, the Freedom to Vote Act provides uniform voter registration rules. It establishes automatic voter registration at state Departments of Motor Vehicles, permits same-day voter registration, allows online voter registration, and protects voters from the purges that have plagued voting registrations for decades now, requiring that voters be notified if they are dropped from the rolls and given information on how to get back on them. The Freedom to Vote Act bans partisan gerrymandering.The Freedom to Vote Act requires any entity that spends more than $10,000 in an election to disclose all its major donors, thus cleaning up dark money in politics. It requires all advertisements to identify who is paying for them. It makes it harder for political action committees (PACs) to coordinate with candidates, and it beefs up the power of the Federal Election Commission that ensures candidates run their campaigns legally. The Freedom to Vote Act also addresses the laws Republican-dominated states have passed in the last year to guarantee that Republicans win future elections. It protects local election officers from intimidation and firing for partisan purposes. It expands penalties for tampering with ballots after an election (as happened in Maricopa County, Arizona, where the Cyber Ninjas investigating the results did not use standard protection for them and have been unable to produce documents for a freedom of information lawsuit, leading to fines of $50,000 a day and the company’s dissolution). If someone does tamper with the results or refuses to certify them, voters can sue.  The act also prevents attempts to overturn elections by requiring audits after elections, making sure those audits have clearly defined rules and procedures. And it prohibits voting machines that don’t leave a paper record. The John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act (VRAA) takes on issues of discrimination in voting by updating and restoring the 1965 Voting Rights Act (VRA) that the Supreme Court gutted in 2013 and 2021. The VRA required that states with a history of discrimination in voting get the Department of Justice to approve any changes they wanted to make in their voting laws before they went into effect, and in the 2013 Shelby County v. Holder decision, the Supreme Court struck that requirement down, in part because the justices felt the formula in the law was outdated.The VRAA provides a new, modern formula for determining which states need preapproval, based on how many voting rights violations they’ve had in the past 25 years. After ten years without violations, they will no longer need preclearance. It also establishes some practices that must always be cleared, such as getting rid of ballots printed in different languages (as required in the U.S. since 1975). The VRAA also restores the ability of voters to sue if their rights are violated, something the 2021 Brnovich v. Democratic National Committee decision makes difficult. The VRAA directly addresses the ability of Indigenous Americans, who face unique voting problems, to vote. It requires at least one polling place on tribal lands, for example, and requires states to accept tribal or federal IDs. That’s it. It is off-the-charts astonishing that no Republicans are willing to entertain these common-sense measures, especially since there are in the Senate a number of Republicans who voted in 2006 to reauthorize the 1965 Voting Rights Act the VRAA is designed to restore. McConnell today revealed his discomfort with President Joe Biden’s speech yesterday at the Atlanta University Center Consortium, when Biden pointed out that “[h]istory has never been kind to those who have sided with voter suppression over voters’ rights. And it will be even less kind for those who side with election subversion.” Biden asked Republican senators to choose between our history’s advocates of voting rights and those who opposed such rights. He asked: “Do you want to be…on the side of Dr. King or George Wallace? Do you want to be on the side of John Lewis or Bull Connor?  Do you want to be on the side of Abraham Lincoln or Jefferson Davis?Today, McConnell, who never complained about the intemperate speeches of former president Donald Trump, said Biden’s speech revealed him to be “profoundly, profoundly unpresidential.”The voting rights measures appear to have the support of the Senate Democrats, but because of the Senate filibuster, which makes it possible for senators to block any measure unless a supermajority of 60 senators are willing to vote for it, voting rights cannot pass unless Democrats are willing to figure out a way to bypass the filibuster. Two Democratic senators—Krysten Sinema (D-AZ) and Joe Manchin (D-WV)—are currently unwilling to do that. Nine Democratic senators eager to pass this measure met with Sinema for two and a half hours last night and for another hour with Manchin this morning in an attempt to get them to a place where they are willing to change the rules of the Senate filibuster to protect our right to vote. They have not yet found a solution.This evening, Senate Majority Leader Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) announced that he would bring voting rights legislation to the Senate floor for debate—which Republicans have rejected—by avoiding a Republican filibuster through a complicated workaround. When the House and Senate disagree on a bill (which is almost always), they send it back and forth with revisions until they reach a final version. According to Democracy Docket, after it has gone back and forth three times, a motion to proceed on it cannot be filibustered. So, Democrats in the House are going to take a bill that has already hit the three-trip mark and substitute for that bill the Freedom to Vote Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act. They’ll pass the combined bill and send it to the Senate, where debate over it can’t be filibustered.And so, Republican senators will have to explain to the people why they oppose what appear to be common-sense voting rules.—Notes:https://www.brennancenter.org/our-work/research-reports/freedom-vote-acthttps://www.brennancenter.org/our-work/research-reports/john-lewis-voting-rights-advancement-acthttps://talkingpointsmemo.com/live-blog/senate-schumer-voting-rights-filibuster-sinema-manchinDemocracy Docket @DemocracyDocket🚨BREAKING: Senator Schumer announces plan to push through filibuster and proceed with voting rights legislation using a procedure known as “messages between the Houses” in a caucus memo. Here’s what you need to know🧵👇January 12th 20227,125 Retweets25,023 Likes​​https://www.nytimes.com/2022/01/07/us/cyber-ninjas-arizona-vote-review.htmlEric Michael Garcia @EricMGarciaMcConnell calls Biden “profoundly, profoundly unpresidential” and says “I did not recognize the man at the podium” yesterday when Biden said people who oppose voting rights were akin to Jefferson Davis and Bull ConnorJanuary 12th 202224 Retweets218 LikesDemocracy Docket @DemocracyDocket🚨BREAKING: Senator Schumer announces plan to push through filibuster and proceed with voting rights legislation using a procedure known as “messages between the Houses” in a caucus memo. Here’s what you need to know🧵👇January 12th 20227,125 Retweets25,023 LikesShare
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The influence of TOTUS is still live in Congress, the people elected are there to do work, not name call and hold back progress on needed infrastructure which means JOBS, which brings better health, increased spending (economic boost). History has shown the GOP has consistently misrepresented spending yet under the cover of darkness aided and abetted the worldwide rich to continue making billions on our misfortunes- this does not rule out the DEM’s in all of this but if we (the voters) look at history we will see that we have been “hosed ” regularly by both sides. Our recourse is being informed first by looking back at what was done or not done in our names. WE the people are the only solution to poor government. The political class” primary weapon is division among the people which allows them to continue to spread misinformation for their benefit. We are a multilingual, multi ethnic and multicolor nation but as one and being well informed we can stop the “business as usual” governance which does not benefit us as a Country.

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The GOP who raised debt ceiling 8 times to finance the touted “tax cuts” and other misbegotten laws and executive orders are pushing the idea that the proposed spending will saddle future generations with debt. The facts are these funds will be spent over 10 plus years not 1 year as hinted by the GOP. It is well known that many of us do not (with good reason) trust politicians no matter the party however the misdeeds on either side bear remembering when elections roll around again. Bear in mind the two letters in the middle of poLItican is “LI(e)”! To cite a movie line: What we have here is a failure to communicate”, with those words we sum up the relationship between our elected representatives and us, the taxpayers. The daily sucking up to the words of the former president and adherence to the voluminous lies he is spewing daily is the GOP line now. Since our elected officials are following this line of thought for their own gain, it is time that we look seriously at who we vote for and consider some legislation that will limit terms and several of the perks associated with the Congressional offices. If there is no incentive to stay in office for 20 years and retire in ease, perhaps we can get proper legislation and governance. We should be aware that Congress has over the years made rules that benefit them and their personal well being. Now as a group they are telling us (taxpayers) don’t believe the facts and what you see, believe the lies we are telling you and keep us in office or as the former liar said” Only I can save you” while pouring water on you and saying it’s just a little shower! If you are paying attention you will see that the stopping or otherwise affecting the spending needed for infrastructure that is long overdue is not in our best interests. The previous administration did nothing even after raising the debt ceiling and putting us more in debt with “tax reform” which benefitted “them” not “us”! To be blunt the GOP wants to regain control to cover their own immoral acts and commit more much like they did in the 1800’s prior to the war between the states.

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The GOP is balking against the proposed spending by the DEM (who are divided themselves). yet they have gone along with an idiot while using his blustering as a cover for their own budgetary acts. These are the actions of self serving politicians, not leaders. The primary job (supposedly) of elected officials is to administer the government in the best interests of the voters and taxpayers not their party and it’s overall agenda.. No matter who you affiliate with politically, it should be noted that what weight is placed on some is also placed on all in someway or another. The party line is not necessarily what the party leaders do for us or to us. We as taxpayers are left to read between the lines and we need to read carefully.

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A well known Faux news Commentator or more a provocateur and consummate liar visited Hungary to meet with Viktor Orban, the President of Hungary who has stolen several if not all of the last “free elections. The last one he lost with 67% of the voters voting against him. He packed the legislature with loyalists who called the election for him. His actions against Muslims, LBGT plus and immigrants (which are similar to the actions what the former guy wanted to do and did in some cases). Carlson being a big booster of the Former guy and as great a liar reported that the President of Hungary was wonderful and not the monster everyone thinks he is in spite of what the world and his countrymen have seen and experienced. This type of reporting ( it is not journalism) is like a fungus, difficult to eliminate or mitigate. We have gone through a 4 year period of of deception and misdirection. This type of information dissemination is “entertainment” not useful facts or information which makes it dangerous. The owner of Faux corporation has admitted that his goal is purely financial and has no concerns over content (a refreshing if callous opinion). This leaves the onus of what is true, false or proper to the public. We (the public) have expand our viewing and listening to other media outlets to get a full and possible correct assessment of world and local events that affect us. That is the way!

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90 years ago the seed and subsequent growth of the Hitlerian era of history engulfed Europe and affected the globe much like Covid has currently. The united states is in the grips of a political party whose de facto leader is a failed businessman and former President. There have been several Congressional members whose only attributes seem to be the ability to spin a tale of woe that doesn’t exist. This followed by an intransient Congressional leader whose sole objective is to turn back the clock to pre civil war times where the least of us are restricted and even constrained from exercising the right to vote. All of this to aid and abet the baser elements of the country while lining their own pockets. The worst of it is that their followers do not realize their complicity in their own misfortunes by supporting these self serving “leaders”. The high court seemingly has abdicated its duties to the voters with recent rulings effectively rolling back established voting initiatives and allowing restrictive voting laws enacted by several states under GOP leadership. It is ironic that the high court appears to be decidedly conservative in nature effectively making them partisan rather than apolitical in their judgements. Too many of us have in some respects watched silently while our fellow Americans suffer from the centuries old “White European” style of governing which is to overwhelm all “lesser” folks and people of color with might and or lies. The current political climate is skewed by “conservatives” whose objectives are decidedly not conservative, liberal or any of the other commonly used sobriquets but based in the pursuit of power and money on the backs of the greater segment of society. This is how America was built and how the baser elements of the political system continues to work. We in America fought a war over this to the tune 100’s of thousand lives thrown away, in todays dollars Billions in property loss. It seems that WE have not fully recovered since “Jim Crow” apparently has been in evidence since the civil war tacitly and overtly with impunity. As the well worn statement proclaims: “we have one job”, that is to vote for the best available people to administer our country for the good of us all yet we are still being distracted by “shiny objects” and missing the evil deeds done to us and in our names. Information on the people we elect is our only and most valuable tool in building the envisioned government of 1776. It must be pointed out that the signers and crafters of the declaration and it’s amendments had hoped that future generations would execute the promise of that document but left us a number of unresolved issues that plague us today. Our method of correction is the vote and we must become smarter about it and not be led by rhetoric and lies but pragmatically listen and observe-remember the truth never changes but lies shift by the minute.

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Both political parties and their subsets are about one thing and one thing only and that is power! No matter the good intentions and accidental good works, I would not let either of them hold my wallet! Instead of doing what they were elected to do they spend time dragging the others ideas down and appearing on TV shows often ranting and raving while many times presenting nothing of substance. The selected information that is “leaked” or presented is often just enough information to get voters to choose sides or at the least lean towards their re election runs. Many voters are intelligent enough to find the correct information on anything that is uttered by politicians and elected officials. Some of the more notable or well known voices are just barely more than talking heads that want us geeked up against the “other” side. MA.

June 22, 2021Heather Cox RichardsonJun 23There were three important takeaways from today’s Senate vote on whether to begin debate on S1, the For the People Act, the bill that would protect voting rights, end partisan gerrymandering, establish new ethics rules for federal officials, and curb big money in politics.The first is that Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) voted with the rest of the Democrats to move the measure forward. This means that he is confident that his compromise ideas will be inserted into the final bill and that the Democrats are united. Tonight, the White House nodded to Manchin when it applauded “efforts in the Senate to incorporate feedback that refines and strengthens the bill, and would make its reformers easier for the states to implement.”The same White House statement offered strong support for the For the People Act, saying, “Democracy is in peril, here, in America. The right to vote—a sacred right in this country— is under assault with an intensity and an aggressiveness we have not seen in a long time.” It pointed to the 2020 election and the January 6 insurrection to remind us that “our democracy is fragile” and that we need legislation to “repair and strengthen American democracy.”The second takeaway is that all 50 of the Republicans voted against the measure, which would have helped to combat the voter suppression laws being enacted by Republican-dominated legislatures across the country. According to the nonpartisan Voting Rights Lab, 18 states have put in place more than 30 laws restricting access to the ballot. These laws will affect around 36 million people, or about 15% of all eligible voters.Led by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), Republicans insist that federal protection of voting rights is federal overreach; that the states should be in charge of their own voting rules. As Susan Collins (R-ME) put it: “S. 1 would take away the rights of people in each of the 50 states to determine which election rules work best for their citizens.”And the third takeaway is that the Republicans are defending the same principle that Senator Stephen A. Douglas advanced when he debated Senate candidate Abraham Lincoln in Illinois in 1858.Four years before, Douglas had led Congress to throw out the 1820 Missouri Compromise, a federal law that kept the system of Black enslavement out of the land above the southern border of the new slave state of Missouri, in land the U.S. had acquired through the 1803 Louisiana Purchase. Eager to enable a transcontinental railroad to run west of Chicago, Douglas introduced a bill to organize a territory in that land in 1854 but, knowing that southern senators would never permit a new free territory that would eventually become a free state without balancing it with a slave state, he wrote a bill for two new territories, not one.Both were in territory covered by the Missouri Compromise and thus should have been free under federal law. But Douglas insisted that true democracy meant that the people in the territories should decide whether or not they would welcome slavery to their midst.Working as a lawyer back in Illinois, Lincoln recognized that this “popular sovereignty” would guarantee the spread of Black enslavement across the West, since under the Constitution, even a single enslaved Black American in a territory would require laws to protect that “property.” Slave states would eventually outnumber free states in Congress, and their representatives would make human enslavement national.In 1858, when Lincoln, now a member of the new Republican Party, challenged Democrat Douglas for his Senate seat, the key issue was whether Douglas’s “democracy” squared with American principles.Lincoln said it didn’t. Local voters should not be able to carry enslavement into lands that a majority of Americans wanted free. He did not defend civil rights, but he insisted that the framers had deliberately tried to advance the principles of the Declaration of Independence by using the federal government to limit the expansion of enslavement.Douglas insisted it did. In his view, democracy meant that voters in the states and territories could arrange their governments however they wished.But central to that belief was who, exactly, would be doing the arranging. “I hold that this Government was made on the white basis, by white men, for the benefit of white men and their posterity forever, and should be administered by white men and none others,” he said. Claiming that he, not Lincoln, was “in favor of preserving this Government as our fathers made it,” he told an audience in Jonesboro, Illinois, “we ought to extend to the negro every right, every privilege, every immunity which he is capable of enjoying, consistent with the good of society. When you ask me what these rights are, what their nature and extent is, I tell you that that is a question which each State of this Union must decide for itself.” His own state of Illinois, he pointed out, rejected Black enslavement, “but we have also decided that… that he shall not vote, hold office, or exercise any political rights. I maintain that Illinois, as a sovereign State, has a right thus to fix her policy….”I found it chilling to hear Douglas’s argument from 1858 echo in the Senate today, for after seeing exactly how his argument enabled white southern legislators to cut their Black neighbors out of the vote in the 1870s and then pass Jim Crow laws that lasted for more than 70 years, our lawmakers should know better. How is it possible to square states’ rights and equality without also protecting the right of all adult citizens to vote? Unless everyone has equal access to the ballot, what is there to stop Douglas’s view of “the good of society” from coming to pass yet again?Congress will recess after Thursday and won’t resume business until July 12. The big push to pass a voting rights measure will happen then.—-
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McConnell: “Highly unlikely” he would allow Biden to fill Supreme Court vacancy in 2024

Orion RummlerMon, June 14, 2021, 10:58 AM

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) told radio host Hugh Hewitt on Monday that it is “highly unlikely” a Supreme Court nominee picked by Biden would be confirmed in 2024 if Republicans take control of the Senate.

Why it matters: record number of judges, plus three Supreme Court justices, were confirmed under Trump. Democrats have pledged to “restore the balance” of the courts.

What they’re saying: Hewitt asked if McConnell would block Biden from filling a 2024 Supreme Court vacancy as he blocked Obama from replacing the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia.

  • “Well, I think in the middle of a presidential election, if you have a Senate of the opposite party of the president, you have to go back to the 1880s to find the last time a vacancy was filled,” McConnell said.
  • “So I think it’s highly unlikely. In fact, no, I don’t think either party if it controlled, if it were different from the president, would confirm a Supreme Court nominee in the middle of an election. What was different in 2020 was we were of the same party as the president.”
Rob Rogers Comic Strip for June 15, 2021
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It is easy to fall into the trap of political rhetoric on Race, party loyalty and idealistic outrage. It much harder to take a moment to take a realistic look and listen to what is being presented. For years many of us have succumbed to the major party’s talking points and anti “the other party” spiels. It appears we have become susceptible to entertainment politics and ignore the facts which many of us know but the lies sound so real. Neither parry is perfect or totally correct but we have this need to follow one or the other based on what is said in a sound bite or described in a “buzz word”. The truth knows no limits and may not excite a response like a “real sounding lie” but it is always the truth and cannot be denied no matter how much dirt or obfuscation is applied to it. I submit that we (voters) have and have always had the power control government by intelligent use of the ballot. Do not believe all elected officials have your best interests in mind. Politician have always used division to win an office and it still applies now. The trap is mass media presentations with more flash than substance that dangles “shiny objects” to distract us from the facts. The last 4 years have shown us that our Legislators (save a few) from Municipal to Federal are essentially in it for the money. This has been the pattern for decades when we were not as well informed as we are now. At this time we can correctly state that the legislative process is corrupt and can only be corrected by our intelligence in voting. It is time to stop the “few” from corrupting the many so we can approach some semblance of honest government ( which we deserve). The trap is addicting us to the faux truths of entertainment politics while the real “anti citizen politics” continues. ” WE have one job and that is to vote with intelligence”.

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It has become pretty much normal for many in the poLItical arena to obfuscate, “misspeak”, “nuance” wording or outright lie. To that end all words having to do with elected officials and their minions should highlight or capitalize the 2 letters that describe them best in PoLItics and words parsed from it. If you are old enough to vote then you have heard all or most of the “talking points” from both sides of the polititcal spectrum and all of the subsets associated with them. Some areas that some of us miss in reading or hearing about passed legislation is that many do not take effect immediately and many have an expiration date at which time things will revert to their former state for better or worse. Where we are right now in my opinion is: “If you are not outraged at the antics of our sitting legislators, then you are complicit!”

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