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 …

Letter to Members of Congress

This is the letter I wrote yesterday to my two senators, Senator Rob Portman, a republican and Senator Sherrod Brown, a democrat, and my single useless Representative, Warren Davidson, a republican and member of the ignoble House Freedom Caucus.  I sent the letter via regular USPS mail, as I did not wish it to become lost in the tens of thousands of emails they receive daily.  I am angry with the entire lot of them, democrats and republicans, members of the House and Senate.  They are wasting time when there is important work to be done and they are allowing Donald Trump free rein to do exactly as he pleases … quite often abusing the limitations on the power of his office.


Dear Senator/Representative ___________________,

As a taxpayer, a voter, and a citizen of this country, I am beyond disappointed in the job Congress has done and is doing.  It matters not to me if you are a Republican or a Democrat … you are an elected official who swore an oath to uphold the U.S. Constitution, to do your job with the best interests of the country and its people as your goal.  Congress as a whole has let We the People down in so many ways that I’ve lost count.

Per the aforementioned Constitution, it is the duty of Congress to oversee the executive branch, ie the president, and in this, you are failing miserably.  By ‘you’, I mean the body as a whole, but each member must share responsibility for allowing the many atrocities that are being forced upon the people of this nation.  I have a few questions I would like answered:

    • Why is Donald Trump being allowed to fire the Inspectors General who are tasked with overseeing the various departments and agencies within the federal government? It is rather like allowing a child to fire its nanny!
    • Why is he being allowed to continue his false accusations against such honourable people as President Barack Obama, Vice President and candidate Joe Biden, Hillary Clinton and others? These are merely a smoke screen intended to distract the public, and Congress, from the real issues at hand.
    • Why is he being allowed to threaten to cut off federal funding to states that adopt absentee and mail-in voting this year in order to make voting safe for everyone?  This is not within the bounds of his authority, yet who will stop him, if not Congress?
    • Why is Congress so divided along party lines that literally nothing of value is being accomplished, yet you are all taking your monthly pay?  Can you not set aside your differences to act in the best interest of the nation at this, a time of genuine crisis?  Is the power of your position more important to you than our lives?
    • Why did you so easily give up your oversight function regarding the last stimulus bill, such that the money was grossly misspent?  Small businesses received little, and corporations with ties to Trump and his cronies received money to which they had no right.

Today I read that Donald Trump is threatening states that are planning to use absentee and mail-in ballots in the upcoming November election.  This is an obvious ploy to disenfranchise many voters of both parties.  Do you plan to continue sitting on your haunches and allow him to get by with this?  He claims he will withhold federal funding from those states that plan to allow mail-in ballots … you CAN stop him from doing this, but will you?

Thus far, he has pulled this country out of critical international agreements, such as the Paris Accords and the Iran nuclear deal, and now he has ceased critical funding to the World Health Organization (WHO), which he is threatening to make a permanent cessation.  Will you truly allow this?  It is not within his power to do so, unless you simply sit back and do nothing to stop it.

As I said, I do not care what your party affiliation is … I myself am an independent who has voted at various times for people in both parties.  But, I DO care whether our elected officials, people whose salaries we pay with our hard-earned tax dollars, are doing their jobs, and it appears today that most of them are not.  Most seem to be more concerned with collecting their campaign donations from the NRA and corporations, rather than protecting the people of this nation.

I write this letter in hopes of opening your eyes to the fact that things need to change, and they need to change NOW.  You need to understand that the madman in the Oval Office is NOT your employer … We the People are!  You need to open your eyes and engage your brain and see what is in front of those eyes … a corrupt and evil person who has aspirations far beyond what the office of president allows.  I hope that you will take my concerns to the floor of Congress, allow me to have a voice, and that you and your peers will act to stop this runaway train before it dooms us all to life under a dictatorship.

Sincerely,

Jill E Dennison, voter & taxpayer

Snarky … grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr … Snippets

Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr. 

Tonight I have enough snark to fill an entire shelf, nay, an entire room!  So, hold onto your hats and maybe open a window to let the heat out.


Save the masks for the docs & nurses!

Both the World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control have said that surgical masks should only be worn by healthcare workers, infected people or those who are taking care of someone who is infected.  These are the experts in the field.  And, the fact is that healthcare workers in hospitals are desperate for masks to protect them when they are working with infectious patients, but there is a severe shortage of the personal protective equipment they need.

So, along comes Donald Trump and his wrecking crew who are expected to announce sometime today that everybody should be wearing a mask when out in public.  Brilliant … the front-line doctors and nurses cannot get masks, but the government suggests that every Tom, Dick and Harry should be snatching them up for their own personal use, even though washing their hands is the far better option.

I think doctors and hospitals all across the nation should sue the federal government for putting their lives in danger.  In fact, I hope they do.  And no, I won’t wear a mask … I cannot, for I would choke to death with something covering my mouth.  Take your mask, Trump, and put it where the sun don’t shine.


Impeachment caused WHAT???

The U.S. is now the hardest-hit nation on the globe by the coronavirus, thanks in large part to the bungling responses of Trump and his wrecking crew throughout January, February and March.  Within the U.S. the State of New York has seen the most cases and deaths.  There are a number of reasons for that, but Trump has his own idea … he blames it on his own impeachment!  Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.

In a letter to Senator Chuck Schumer …

Trump-SchumerTrump-Schumer-2

The letter was in response to one from Schumer requesting Trump to appoint a logistical expert from the military to use the Defense Production Act to properly allocate resources to the states.  The utter bombast of Trump’s letter is enough to make one growl, but for him to refer to his impeachment as a hoax and then make the assumption that the coronavirus would not have become a problem had it not been for his well-deserved impeachment deserves a full-throated banshee scream!


Mail-in ballots?  Why not???

The U.S. elections are exactly seven months from today.  Given that we are told by experts like Dr. Anthony Fauci that we cannot even begin to predict when it will be safe for the nation to come to life again, many of us are deeply concerned about that November 3rd election and are in favour of going to a Universal Vote by Mail system.  Already, there are 27 states, including my own, that have no-excuse absentee voting, and in three states, all voting is done by mail.  It isn’t rocket science.

Yet Trump and his wrecking crew are sitting on their fat arses on this one, debating, saying it may be too risky.  I champion 100% mail-in voting this year for a number of reasons.  First, it would ensure that we have an election.  Second, I believe it would increase voter turnout significantly.  Third, it would put an end to many of the voter disenfranchisement tactics used by republicans in numerous states, such as moving polling places, closing polls early, requiring voter I.D., etc.

One of their arguments against universal mail-in voting is that it would take time to get the systems in place.  Only six states have no current accommodation for mail-in ballots … all other states already have the systems in place to provide and count mail-in ballots.  But more to the point … time’s a-wasting!  Okay, if it’s going to take time and effort, get off your arses and get busy doing it!  Stop talking and balking, stop looking for excuses to take away our right to a fair and honest election and start developing the damn system!  What the hell do you think we’re paying you for???

But I smell a rat …

The headline in Fortune reads …

USPS warns it might have to shutter by June as $2 trillion coronavirus stimulus package provides no funding

And in Business Insider

Lawmakers are sounding the alarm on the coronavirus shuttering the USPS by June

Now … how would mail-in ballots work if there is no mail?  Now do you smell the rat?

rat

To another issue, though, if the USPS were to shut down … nearly one million people in this country would not be able to receive their life-saving medication by mail.  Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.


Golf, anyone?

Looks like the ‘person’ in the Oval Office is planning a bit of golf this weekend, while the nation literally burns.  The Secret Service this week signed a $45,000 contract (our money) to rent a fleet of golf carts in Northern Virginia, saying it needed them quickly to protect a “dignitary” in the town of Sterling, home to one of Trump’s golf clubs.

Trump-golfAll of Virginia is under a stay-at-home order from Governor Ralph Northam, lasting until June 10. But that order allows golf courses to remain open … I suppose like churches in Florida, golf courses in Virginia are considered “essential”.  Funny how words can have different meanings, depending on who’s using them, isn’t it?