Your Right To Vote — Going, Going …

I am fuming, so let the reader beware that this is likely to be a rant of Filosophic proportions.

Let’s get one thing straight here, people … WE ARE ALL IN THIS BLOODY MESS TOGETHER!  Democrats, Independents, Republicans, Christians, Jews, Muslims, Atheists, White, Black, Male, Female, Gay, Straight, Young, Old … WE ARE ALL SUFFERING THE SAME DAMN FATE!  What the Sam Hell is so hard about just stepping up to the plate, accepting that we have one hell of a mess on our hands, and working together to find the best way to keep people safe and at the same time, attempt to restore the democratic republic that has been seriously eroded over the past three months … er, years???

Whew … that said …

Why am I angry tonight?  Because, we have an election coming up in exactly 165 days, just over 5 months, and not only Trump, but the majority of the damn Republicans in Congress are doing every single thing they can think of to ensure that the election is dishonest, unfair, and that as many poor, elderly, and minority voters as possible will not be able to vote.  I’m sick of this, people!

Given that the coronavirus will almost certainly still be at pandemic levels, given that there will be no cure, no vaccine that is sufficiently tested to be widely available, and given that there is no reason to believe the number of new cases or the death toll will be dramatically decreased by November, it only makes sense that we go to a system of mail-in voting.  Now, it’s no surprise that the damn fool sitting on his fat arse in the Oval Office is trying his level best to put a stop to the mail-in voting efforts … that’s a given, but some of the people on the far right side of the aisle on Capitol Hill are playing games with not only our taxpayer dollars, but with our very lives and I HAVE HAD ENOUGH!

Former Representative Darrell Issa, who served in the House of Representatives from 2001 – 2019, declining to run in the 2018 election, as he was outclassed and knew it, has filed a lawsuit to attempt to stop California from going to an all-mail voting system in November.  WHY???  Because he, and the conservative group backing him, Judicial Watch, claim that switching to an all-mail voting system is a democratic attempt to “interfere with the election”!  Say WHAT???  Interfering in what way, exactly?  Is it interfering to ensure that ALL eligible voters have the right to vote in a safe manner?

The lawsuit claims that Governor Newsom’s order to allow all-mail voting violates elections provisions of the Constitution and represents an “unlawful attempt to supersede and replace California election law” by creating “an entirely new system” that does not conform with an existing state law, the Voter’s Choice Act, which lays out requirements for counties that wish to mail ballots to all voters.  Make sense of that if you can!

Newsome is running again this year, hoping to win the seat vacated by Duncan Hunter who resigned in January after pleading guilty to campaign finance violations (remember the rabbit?) The lawsuit also charges that Newsom’s order has scrambled Issa’s campaign by compelling him to “reevaluate his electoral strategy” and increasing the cost of running a campaign.  So WHAT???  Get over it, Darrell!  Our lives are more important than your damn campaign costs!

And on top of that, of course, Donald Trump is threatening to withhold federal funds from states that implement mail-in voting, calling it ‘voter fraud’.  Without a shred of evidence, Trump claims …

“I think just common sense would tell you that massive manipulation can take place. And you do have cases of fraudulent ballots where they actually print them and they give them to people to sign, maybe the same person signs them with different writing, different pens. I don’t know. It’s a lot of things can happen.”

voter fraudNever mind that many states, including my own, have had the option for mail-in voting for years and never mind that voter fraud is virtually non-existent in the U.S.  Trump cannot make that decision … well, he can, but it won’t hold water if Congress challenges him.  Will Congress step up to the plate and protect our voting rights?  I don’t know about you, but my level of trust in Congress to protect us against Trump right now is around nil.

Voting in the U.S. is a right, not a privilege, not as Trump claims, an ‘honour’ … it is a right set forth in the U.S. Constitution and one that is not to be infringed on, although in truth the republicans have infringed on it numerous times in past years, with restrictive voter ID laws, gerrymandering and other games intended to disenfranchise those of us likely to vote democratic.  People like Darrell Issa and Donald Trump are attempting to interfere with that constitutional right.  We must stop them!  If you live in the district Issa is running in, California’s 50th district, San Diego County, make sure he knows that you will not vote for him unless he withdraws his lawsuit and shuts the f— up!  The rest of us need to make sure our representatives and senators know this is NOT going to fly!

There are many crucial issues facing the people of the United States today, but I can think of none that are more important than protecting our right to vote … EVERYONE’S right to vote!  If nothing else, all of this should make you more determined than ever before to vote in this year’s election and vote these asses out of Washington!

And to conclude … Seth Meyers takes a more even-toned approach addressing the same topic …

A Bit of This and A Bit of … I Forget …

You’ve heard me complain of my condition that I term ‘mind bounce’ … it is when I simply cannot stay focused on any one topic for more than a few minutes at a time.  Today, it is so bad that I started to put my socks on, put the right sock on and then moved onto the next task of gathering towels … and I still don’t remember where the left sock is.  So, long story short, I could not write my usual afternoon post that typically runs between 800-1,200 words, for my mind bounced to another topic after only 57 words.  So, today I present you with a few snippets that may later lead to full-length posts … or not.  Hopefully this bout of mind bounce won’t last more than a day.

Mass Exodus

Rats deserting trump ship

Rats deserting a sinking ship

Today, Republican House member Darrell Issa from California announced that he will not seek re-election in November.  This brings the total number of members of Congress leaving office on or before January 2019 to 48, or nearly 9% of the total legislative branch.  And with more than ten months to go until the November 6th election day, I am convinced this number might double before then.  Of the 48 leaving, 32 are Republicans, 16 are Democrats.

I wish I could say that they are beginning to see the light, find their consciences, and simply cannot work with Donald Trump any longer, but sadly, I don’t think that is the case for most.  Some are leaving in shame, having been accused of sexual misconduct, and others are leaving to run for a different office, such as governor of their state, or senator.

An article in CNN this morning refers to this as ‘strategic retirement’, which somehow gave me the feeling that this is a huge chess game, with We The People as the pawns.

I also wish I could say that the retiring members of Congress will use this opportunity, these next ten months while they are lame ducks and have nothing to lose, to stand firm against Trump and his plutocratic agenda.  But we have already seen with the votes by Bob Corker and Jeff Flake that this is not the case … they are still pandering and boot-licking.  The good news is there will be at least 48 vacant seats with no incumbent in November, and typically the party of the sitting president does not fare well in mid-term elections.  A bit of a bright spot, anyway.

Nuke ‘Em Donnie

Trump-nukeWhen you alienate all your friends, and start hanging out with those bullies who would love to catch you in a dark alley, beat you up and steal your lunch money … then you better watch your back.  Kids do this sometimes, because they think life is a popularity contest and their circle of true friends are to ‘wimpy’ or ‘nerdy’, so they swat away their friends and start hanging with the ‘cool’ guys, the badasses.  But let the buyer beware …

Little Donnie Darkness seems to believe he needs a ‘tough’ image, though for the life of me I cannot see anything ‘tough’ about the image of a fat old man with a terrible complexion, an oddly shaped mouth, and fake, straw-coloured hair. Still, Donnie thinks he, and by extension the nation, need a tougher image, so he has been pushing away our friends and allies ever since before taking office.  He has insulted, threatened and bullied our allies and brought shame to our nation by pulling out of the Paris Accords. He has insulted one of our two nearest neighbors and allies by referring to its citizens as murderers and rapists and threatening to build a border wall and force them to pay for it.  And then … he cozied up to our antagonists (I try to stop short of using the word ‘enemy’, but interpret as you will), such as Vladimir Putin of Russia. He has praised leaders who have made a mockery of democracy and are violators of human rights, such as Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines.  And now, he seems to feel the need to ‘watch his back’.

And how, you ask, does he plan to do that?  Well he plans to ‘loosen’ the existing constraints on the use of nuclear weapons!  Every person I have spoken to over the past year says they are at least “very concerned” about the fool in the Oval Office having access to the nuclear codes.  And now, folks … now he is planning to make it even easier to use those nukes! Has anyone mentioned to him the terms “arms control” and “nonproliferation”?  Has anybody ever explained SALT to him?  Has it been explained that we are trying to reduce the number of nuclear weapons around the world to ensure a safer world?

Score One For Da Judge

Trump seems to be trying very hard to get rid of people … first there was the Muslim ban, then he wanted to deport the ‘Dreamers’, and now he is threatening to deport all immigrants from El Salvador.  But he got his little hand slapped yesterday, when Judge William Alsup of Federal District Court in San Francisco wrote that the administration must “maintain the DACA program on a nationwide basis”.  Needless to say, this will be challenged and ultimately end up on the docket of the Supreme Court, just as happened with Trump’s Muslim ban, but still … it is a win for the young people who have lived most of their lives in this country and know no other home.

trump vs judgeTrump, needless to say, wasn’t happy, calling the court system “broken and unfair”.  Doesn’t that just remind you of a toddler who doesn’t get his way, saying “No fair!!!”.  It is rather a shame, and speaks volumes, that my first real laugh of the day was reading that Trump is unhappy!  I call this ‘inverse happiness corelation’.  Oh, and one more note on this … Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders called the judge’s ruling “outrageous”.  Sigh.  Another boot-licker.

trump tantrum

And that wraps up my bits ‘n pieces for the day.  I shall spend the rest of this day trying to control the bounding balls in my mind and settle in to provide you with my typical snarky babbling tomorrow!  I’m fairly certain that my problem, the reason for the mind bounce, is just too much news all at once.  By the time I awaken in the morning, I usually have no less than 4-5 ‘breaking news’ updates awaiting on my phone.  It’s too much … it’s boggling my mind!

bounce ball