There Can Be No Compromise On Voting Rights!

Every person 18 years of age or older has the right to vote in the United States.  Per the Fourteenth Amendment, states will lose their congressional representation …

“… When the right to vote at any election for the choice of electors for President and Vice-President of the United States, Representatives in Congress, the Executive and Judicial officers of a State, or the members of the Legislature thereof, is denied to any of the male inhabitants of such State, being twenty-one years of age, and citizens of the United States, or in any way abridged, except for participation in rebellion, or other crime.”

Since 1787 when the Constitution was first amended, we have passed laws to include women “inhabitants” and to lower the legal voting age to 18 instead of 21.

In the Fifteenth Amendment, the right to vote is not to be …

 “… denied or abridged on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude.”

So, what part of this do the legislatures in 43 states not understand?  What part of this do the Republicans in Congress not understand?  They have allegedly read the damn Constitution … with the exception of some like Lauren Boebert and Marjorie Greene, who cannot read!  It’s as plain as the noses on their pocky faces!  Everybody over the age of 18 has the right to vote!  Read that again!  Better yet, perhaps Senator Joe Manchin from West Virginia needs to read the Constitution before he opens his mouth again!

There are two bills that have passed the House of Representatives and are now awaiting consideration in the Senate.  S1 and S4 are about voting rights.  We should not need new federal laws to give us the right to vote … WE ALREADY HAVE THAT RIGHT!!!  But, sadly, the states, particularly those in the South and those run by Republican governments, are passing bills willy nilly that would rob us of those rights.

Manchin says that any legislation on voting rights must have the support of the Republican senators … WHY???  They aren’t about to support our right to vote because they know damn well, they have even stated, that if everybody can vote, they don’t stand a snowball’s chance in hell of winning another election.  They aren’t going to compromise, they want to dominate the discussion, the landscape.  They want only white, Christian male voters, if the truth be known.  They don’t want Blacks, Hispanics, Muslims, Asians, or really even women voting.  They don’t want college kids voting.  The majority of people in this nation would not vote for a Republican today if they offered … a Krispy Kreme Donut!

The State of Georgia just shoved through demonic voter suppression legislation.  The bill passed both chambers of the legislature in the span of a few hours before Republican Governor Brian Kemp signed it into law yesterday evening.  The new law imposes new voter identification requirements for absentee ballots, empowers state officials to take over local elections boards, limits the use of ballot drop boxes and makes it a crime to approach voters in line to give them food and water.  WTF???  You’re going to make is such that they will be forced to stand in lines for HOURS to vote, yet they cannot be provided with life-sustaining WATER???  What a bastard!

Voting rights advocates say the state’s rapid-fire action — and plans in other Republican-controlled states to pass restrictions of their own — underscores the need for federal legislation to set a national baseline for voting rules.  In my book, the only ‘rules’ should be that the person be 18 or older.  Nothing else matters!  I may not have two forms of photo ID … in fact, I don’t.  It doesn’t matter!  I pay taxes, I’ve lived here all my life … I have the right to cast my vote.  If I don’t, then I no longer wish to live in this hellhole!  If my Black friends Rob & Aundrea or my Muslim friends Ali & Maha don’t have the right to vote, then why are they bothering to pay taxes to support a government that has robbed them of their voice?

I am fortunate to live in a state where it is relatively easy to vote by mail and where voting laws are not being altered, but for the majority of people in this country, it will be harder to vote in the next election unless S1 & S4 are passed by the Senate.  That is the goal of the Republicans in Congress and in state legislatures around the nation.  Are we going to let them get by with it?  I certainly hope not, for the sake of this nation that has already seen far too many of our rights go down the tubes.

Funny, isn’t it, that the fools on the hill will go ballistic over “protecting gun rights”, but they don’t give a royal f*ck about our voices, our rights to participate in our own government – the one that we fund!!!

Joe Manchin calls for ‘compromise’.  Well, we’ve been compromising for ages now … on healthcare, on education, on wasteful military spending, on foreign affairs, on just about everything.  There is no room for compromise on voting rights … there is no wiggle room at all.  We all get to vote!  Understand that, Republicans???

Let’s Talk About Joe Manchin

Our friend TokyoSand has given us an overview of Senator Joe Manchin from West Virginia.  She reminds us that he is a Democratic Senator from a heavily Republican state, and as such, he cannot be expected to vote favourably on legislation that will be unpopular with the people in his state (he’s a politician, not a philanthropist).  Take a look at her post for a better understanding of Senator Manchin …


Senator Joe Manchin is in the news a lot now, because he represents the key 50th vote in the Senate. Let’s look at Manchin’s background to see what clues there are for how he might operate under President Biden.

When we won the two Senate seats in Georgia and made the Senate 50-50, it was inevitable that Senator Joe Manchin from West Virginia was going to start getting a lot of press. Which he has.

To put it mildly, Manchin is a rare bird when it comes to politics today. And I want to see the Democrats pass a lot of important legislation, and getting Manchin on board will be crucial to that goal, so I set out to understand him a bit better.

It’s About West Virginia

To say that Joe Manchin is a West Virginian politician is an understatement. Unlike those Senators who have an eye on the presidency, Manchin is about West Virginia, and West Virginia only. He was born there, raised there, got his college degree there, and has spent a lifetime in politics there, starting as a state representative and rising through the ranks up to the governorship, prior to becoming the Senator in 2010 in a special election. He is not interested in what the rest of the country thinks of him, he is only preoccupied with his own state and its voters.

Read the rest of the story …

Some Good News, And A Mini-Rant

Let’s start with the good news today … the Senate confirmed Merrick Garland as Attorney General in a 70-30 vote!  This was the best news I’ve heard all week … maybe all month.  As Senator Richard Durbin of Illinois said …

“Attorney General Garland will lead the Department of Justice with honesty and integrity.  He has a big job ahead of him, but I can’t think of anyone I’d rather have in his place.”

I second that motion.  It’s been a while since we’ve had an honest person leading the Department of Justice and it will be a welcome relief.  Even Mitch McConnell played nice, saying …

“I’m voting to confirm Judge Garland because of his long reputation as a straight shooter and legal expert.”

Garland has said his first priority will be the investigation into the January 6th attacks on Congress by domestic terrorists, and to that end he is planning to meet this week with FBI Director, Christopher Wray, and with Michael R. Sherwin, the departing top prosecutor in Washington who has led the Justice Department inquiry.  But Garland has many more things on his plate, such as civil rights, police reform, and restoring the trust that has been missing under the last two Attorneys General, Jeff Sessions and William Barr.


And now that I’ve given you the good news, let’s move on to the bill currently passed by the House, For the People Act, aka HR1.

On February 26th, 1869, Congress passed the Fifteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution.  The Amendment was ratified by the people on February 3rd of the following year.  Sections 1 and 2 read …

Section 1

The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude.

Section 2

The Congress shall have the power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

The language is straightforward … even s 5-year-old child could understand it.  So WHY do we have 43 states doing the very thing that they are forbidden under the Constitution to do???  What the hell is so difficult to understand here?

Why should Congress have to pass a bill to do exactly what has been the law under the Constitution for 151 years now?  It isn’t rocket science to figure that every citizen of this country has the right to vote in elections!  It’s actually pretty much common sense!  Here is a rundown of what HR1 contains:

  • A set of national voter registration and mail-in voting standards
  • Nonpartisan redistricting commissions
  • Big changes in campaign finance law (long overdue!)
  • New ethics rules for public servants
  • A requirement that presidential candidates disclose their tax returns

I think that the last few years have shown us how critical those last two are.  It should also be noted that Mr. Lee is facing a re-election next year.  But the biggest issue the congressional republicans seem to have is setting federal standards for voter registration and postal voting.  Why?  Because, my friends, if every eligible voter actually votes, the Republicans will get only crumbs.  They are not wildly popular these days among Blacks, Hispanics, women, LGBT people, or basically anybody who cares more about people than money.  They have to cheat in order to win, and if what the do is unconstitutional … they really don’t care.

I was incensed yesterday when I read what Senator Mike Lee from Utah said about HR1 …

“I think I disagree with every single word in HR1, including the words ‘but,’ ‘and,’ and ‘the.’ Everything about this bill is rotten to the core. This is a bill as if written in hell by the devil himself. This takes all sorts of decisions that the federal government really has no business making. It takes them away from the states, makes them right here in Washington D.C. by Congress.

Apparently in an effort to ensure an institutionally, revolutionary-democratic party of sorts. One that can remain in power for many decades to come. It does this by taking away these decisions. Elections in America have always been conducted at the state and local levels…

They are completely flipping that principal on its head so that all these things can be micromanaged from Washington. That’s wrong. That’s really wrong, it’s bad policy. As much as anything else, it’s wildly unconstitutional.”

I wonder if Mr. Lee has read the U.S. Constitution?  It should also be noted that Mr. Lee is facing re-election next year.  The argument republicans are making against HR1 is that it takes election laws out of the states’ hands and puts them in federal control.  Another day, under other circumstances, I might back that argument, but this time my response is that since the states are attempting to disenfranchise half the voters, they’ve lost the privilege of making their own election laws.  Period.  As I’ve said at least a few million times, ‘rights’ come with responsibilities and the states … at least 43 of them … are shirking their responsibilities to We the People and We the People are not going to stand for it anymore!

We should not need federal legislation to force states to allow every eligible person to vote, but because this nation has shown a desire to return to the days of Jim Crow, we do need it.  It’s a sad statement about some of the people in this nation that they still think it’s okay to treat those who don’t look, act, or believe exactly like them as second-class citizens.  A sad statement that makes me ashamed of this country, ashamed to be a part of it.

The Republican Party has proven three things to me:  they are not honest, they do not care about the people of this country, and they are blatant racists.  Yes, that’s a broad brush … go ahead, Senate republicans … prove me wrong!  I dare you!  Do the right thing, don’t filibuster HR1 but give it a fair and fighting chance, or better yet, vote “aye” instead of “nay” on the bill and then maybe, just maybe, I’ll apologize for what I said.

The Republican Party’s End Goal

This afternoon, the Senate actually managed to pass the pandemic relief bill, with no help from the Republicans.  Not a single Republican voted in support of the bill, which passed, 50-49, after an hours-long impasse over competing partisan proposals for the massive bill’s boost to weekly unemployment benefits for those affected by the pandemic.  This, it seems, is to be the state of affairs for the foreseeable future … Democrats vs Republicans, bills taking ten times longer to pass through Congress than they should, especially those that help real people, not tailor-made to make the wealthy wealthier.  What is the end goal of the Republican Party, I’ve often asked?

Dana Milbank, writing for The Washington Post, summarized the Republican’s end goal quite well.  Take a look …


Republicans aren’t fighting Democrats. They’re fighting democracy.

Dana MilbankBy Dana Milbank

MARCH 5, 2021

On the conservative Bulwark podcast this week, two admirable never-Trumpers marveled at what has become of the Republican Party since President Donald Trump’s attempt to overturn the election.

“I am a little amazed by the willingness to go just authoritarian, to really go anti-democratic,” Bulwark editor-at-large Bill Kristol said.

Columnist Mona Charen was likewise puzzled. “The attraction of authoritarianism, I don’t know, Bill,” she said. “I’m really at a loss.”

And I’m at a loss to understand their confusion. The Republican Party’s dalliance with authoritarianism can be explained in one word: race.

Trump’s overt racism turned the GOP into, essentially, a white-nationalist party, in which racial animus is the main motivator of Republican votes. But in an increasingly multicultural America, such people don’t form a majority. The only route to power for a white-nationalist party, then, is to become anti-democratic: to keep non-White people from voting and to discredit elections themselves. In short, democracy is working against Republicans — and so Republicans are working against democracy.

You don’t have to study demography to see that race is at the core of the GOP’s tilt toward the authoritarian. You need only look at what happened this week.

On Monday, the Georgia state House passed a bill brazenly attempting to deter Black voters. The bill proposed to scale back Sunday voting — taking direct aim at the longtime “Souls to the Polls” tradition in which Black voters cast their ballots after church on Sundays. The bill also would increase voter I.D. requirements — known to disenfranchise Black voters disproportionately — and even would make it illegal to serve food or drinks to voters waiting in long lines outside polling places; lines are typically longer at minority precincts.

Georgia Republicans clearly are hoping they can suppress enough Black votes to erase the Democrats’ narrow advantage that gave them both of the state’s Senate seats and Joe Biden its electoral votes. But Georgia is just one of the 43 states collectively contemplating 253 bills this year with provisions restricting voting access, according to a tally by the Brennan Center for Justice.

On Tuesday, the Supreme Court’s majority signaled it would be open to more such voting restrictions. In oral arguments, the conservative justices indicated they would uphold two Arizona laws that would have the effect of disproportionately disqualifying the votes of non-White citizens. One law throws out ballots cast in the wrong precinct, a problem that affects minority voters twice as much as White voters because polling places move more frequently in minority neighborhoods. The other law bans the practice of ballot collection — derided by Republicans as ballot “harvesting” — which is disproportionately used by minority voters, in particular Arizona’s Native Americans on reservations.

Representing the Arizona Republican Party in Tuesday’s argument, lawyer Michael A. Carvin explained why the party supports laws tossing out ballots: “Politics is a zero-sum game.”

It was a stark if inadvertent admission that Republicans have abandoned the idea of appealing to new voters.

Then, on Wednesday, House Republicans mounted lockstep opposition to H.R.1, a bill by Democrats attempting to expand voting rights. The bill would, among other things, create automatic voter registration, set minimum standards for early voting and end the practice of partisan gerrymandering.

In the House debate, Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), sounding like Trump, made unfounded claims of “voter fraud” and asserted that the law would mean “future voters could be dead or illegal immigrants or maybe even registered two to three times.”

“This,” McCarthy said, “is an unparalleled political power grab.”

So, in the twisted reasoning of this white-nationalist incarnation of the Republican Party, laws that make it easier for all citizens to vote are a power grab by Democrats.

The foundation of a white-nationalist GOP has been building for half a century, since Richard Nixon’s Southern strategy, through Ronald Reagan’s welfare queen and George H.W. Bush’s Willie Horton. But Trump took fear of non-Whites and immigrants to a whole new level.

Researchers have repeatedly documented that racial resentment is the single most important factor motivating Republicans and Republican-leaning voters. They have also shown that White evangelical Christians, a huge part of the GOP base and Trump’s most reliable supporters, are highly motivated by appeals to white supremacy. By contrast, Democratic voters — White and non-White — are primarily driven by their favorable views toward a multiracial America.

President Biden’s victory reveals the obvious political problem with the Republican move toward white nationalism: When voters turn out in large numbers, Democrats win. And the odds will only get worse for Republicans as racial minorities become the majority and the young, overwhelmingly progressive on race, replace the old.

This is why Republicans aren’t really fighting Democrats. They’re fighting democracy.

“United” States??? What A Joke!

Are you as sick and damn tired as I am of the constant criticism of members of the Republican Party toward anything and everything that wasn’t their own idea, of anything that promotes common sense and racial equality?  They claim to want unity, but then they act as if they are the only ones whose opinions or ideas have a shred of value.  Frankly, I’m sick of it, sick of the blatant racism, homophobia, and utter stupidity.  On Tuesday, Texas Governor Abbot announced that there would be no more mask mandate and that businesses in Texas could now re-open.  On Wednesday, Mississippi followed suit, eliminating all pandemic-related restrictions.

Both states will pay a heavy price for these decisions, for the pandemic is far from over, not even under control.  Abbott claimed he had consulted with doctors about his decision, but the doctors deny his claim and say it was the wrong decision.  There isn’t a shred of doubt that these two states will see a rise in the number of cases and deaths before the end of the month.  President Biden responded …

“I think it’s a big mistake. Look, I hope everybody’s realized by now, these masks make a difference. We are on the cusp of being able to fundamentally change the nature of this disease because of the way in which we’re able to get vaccines in people’s arms. The last thing — the last thing we need is Neanderthal thinking that in the meantime, everything’s fine, take off your mask, forget it.  It’s critical — critical, critical, critical — that they follow the science: Wash your hands, hot water, do it frequently. Wear a mask and stay socially distanced. And I know you all know that. I wish the heck some of our elected officials knew it.”

What he said was a hell of a lot nicer than what I said when I heard about Texas and Mississippi, but of course the damn fools on the right had to jump on what he said.  Senator Marco Rubio from Florida claimed Biden should seek “training on unconscious bias”WHAT BIAS, Marco?  Facts are facts!  It was neanderthal thinking … worse yet, it was lunacy.  And picking a fight over this is … or should be … beneath the dignity of elected lawmakers who have a job to do and don’t need to be wasting their time and our money nitpicking every word out of the president’s mouth!  Especially given that they supported the former guy who never uttered a sincere or kind word in 4 years!

But, there is an even more serious issue on which congressional republicans are determined to fight.  The issue is HR1, aka For the People Act, a bill that primarily deals with anti-corruption and voting reform.  The bill passed on Wednesday night in the House and now moves on to the Senate, where it faces an uphill battle, especially among … yep, you got it, Republicans.

HR1 is not actually a new bill … it was passed by the House in 2019, but like most every other bill during the reign of Mitch McConnell, it sat gathering dust as he refused to even open it for discussion.  A few of the key components of the bill are …

  • Instituting nonpartisan redistricting commissions to end partisan gerrymandering
  • Creating a national system for automatic voter registration
  • Putting in transparency requirements for political advertising

When the bill was first introduced back in 2019, it had broad public support.  It might have even passed in the Senate, had Mr. McConnell allowed it to see the light of day.  Today, the criticisms of the bill are infuriatingly false.  For example, a recent Facebook post claims the Act will “permanently destroy voting in America.”  My my my … what drama queens they are!  Actually, the Act would make it easier for people to vote by mail, which would benefit us all, but especially the poor and minorities who often have difficulty getting to the polling places in time.  It would require states to implement automatic and same-day voter registration.  In short … it would allow every eligible voter to vote!!!  What the Sam Hell is so hard to understand.

The Facebook post makes alarmist claims, such as that murderers will be allowed to vote, and broad generalizations suggesting that the bill will lead to regulation of freedom of speech. While the post doesn’t use the phrase “voter fraud”, it leaves readers with the misleading impression that the bill aims to weaken election security. The bill actually includes provisions to increase security through grants and cybersecurity improvements.

43 states currently have some 250+ bills on their dockets that would restrict voting rights, make it far more difficult for people, especially those who happen to not have white skin, to vote.  WHAT the hell is fair about that?  Oh, Black people are supposed to work hard, pay their taxes, but not be allowed a voice in how those taxes are spent?  And you call this liberty???

The crux of the matter is this:  The Republican Party is in the minority, is not particularly popular with people who use their brains to think instead of playing silly putty with them, and the only damn way they can win in some areas is if they can repress the vote.  So, they criticize, they lie, they cheat, and they steal!

Mike Pence, for whom I actually had a bit of empathy after his life was nearly taken and still he proceeded to do the right thing, certifying the electoral vote on January 6th, has written an opinion piece in The Signal, a far right-wing publication, where he claims …

“After an election marked by significant voting irregularities and numerous instances of officials setting aside state election law, I share the concerns of millions of Americans about the integrity of the 2020 election.”

WHOA … let’s stop right there for a minute!  After 60+ lawsuits where not a shred of evidence was provided to support the former guy’s claim of election fraud, this statement by Pence should have caused his nose to grow by at least an inch!

“Congressional districts would be redrawn by unelected, unaccountable bureaucrats. Illegal immigrants and law-abiding American citizens would receive equal representation in Congress. Felons would be able to vote the moment they set foot out of prison.”

Yeah … so … your point, Mikey, is what???  I don’t want elected bureaucrats drawing district maps … I want independent, non-partisan people drawing them so we don’t see maps that make no sense other than to cram minorities into as few districts as possible.  There is no such thing as an “illegal” immigrant!  If an immigrant is working and paying taxes in this country he/she ought to be able to have a voice.  And why do you think released felons ought not to be allowed to vote?  They are citizens.  They work and pay taxes once they are released.  WHY the hell do you think they ought not to have a say???  BIGOT!  Next, you can look for Pence, who is a blatant homophobe, to try to take away the LGBT community’s right to vote!

Okay, enough about what Mike Pence and the rest of the bigots in the Republican Party have to say, for my blood pressure is already somewhere up in the stratosphere. Does HR1 stand a snowball’s chance in hell of passing in the Senate?  The short answer is ‘no’, for in order to avoid a filibuster it would require a 60-vote majority … and it’s already obvious that not more than maybe one republican will vote for it.  There is a path … a very narrow path … if the senate democrats are committed enough to it, then they can partially amend Senate filibuster rules to allow democracy reform legislation like HR1 to advance on a simple majority vote and therefore potentially be able to pass on a party-line vote. That would be different from fully blowing up the filibuster, but it still could get pushback from Senate institutionalists even in the Democratic Party like Senator Joe Manchin, a staunch advocate of keeping the filibuster in place, though I have no idea why.

If HR1 fails, then the 43 states who are trying so hard to rob us of our voice in the government we support financially will likely succeed and this will no longer be a nation I can bear to live in.  If every single person, regardless of skin colour, ethnicity, gender identification, or religion cannot vote, then what’s the point in even holding elections?  Perhaps it’s time to admit that this is by no stretch of the imagination the “United” States?

Republican Party … The Party Of Bigots

I have said for several years now that the Republican Party has become the party of bigotry:  they despise the LGBT community, treat Blacks like second-class citizens, and would, given half a chance, impose the will of the narrow-minded Christian evangelicals on us all.  You just can’t get much more bigoted than all that.  I am not alone in my assessment, for Eugene Robinson’s most recent column in The Washington Post concurs with my thoughts …


The Republican Party is making Jim Crow segregationists proud

Eugene-RobinsonOpinion by 

Eugene Robinson

Columnist

March 1, 2021 at 5:18 p.m. EST

The Republican Party’s biggest problem is that too many people of color are exercising their right to vote. The party’s solution is a massive push for voter suppression that would make old-time Jim Crow segregationists proud.

The Conservative Political Action Conference circus last week in Orlando showed how bankrupt the GOP is — at least when it comes to ideas, principles and integrity. Some might argue that the party, in buying into the lie that last year’s election was somehow stolen, is simply delusional. I disagree. I think Republican leaders know exactly what they’re doing.

The GOP may have lost the White House and the Senate, but it remains strong in most state capitols. So far this year, according to the Brennan Center for Justice, Republicans in 33 states “have introduced, prefiled, or carried over 165 bills to restrict voting access.” The thrust of virtually all these measures is to make it more difficult for African Americans and other minorities to vote.

These efforts at disenfranchisement are more numerous, and more discriminatory, in several of the swing states President Biden carried narrowly: Arizona, Pennsylvania and Georgia. That should come as no surprise. GOP officials who had the temerity to follow the law and count the November vote honestly, such as Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, have been all but excommunicated by their state Republican Party organizations.

In Georgia — where not only did Donald Trump lose to Biden by 11,779 votes, but also two incumbent GOP senators were defeated by Democratic challengers — Republicans are using their control of the statehouse to try to eliminate all early voting on Sundays. That would put an end to “Souls to the Polls,” a popular Sunday get-out-the-vote initiative in which Black churches help parishioners get to polling places and cast their ballots.

“Souls to the Polls” eliminates barriers to voting that thousands of Black Georgians otherwise might face, such as transportation for the elderly or finding time during the workweek for others. Georgia Republicans want to put those barriers back up — and raise them even higher.

Other proposals being pushed by Georgia GOP state legislators include getting rid of no-excuse absentee voting, which has been allowed for decades; eliminating the use of convenient drop boxes for casting absentee votes; and abolishing automatic voter registration at the Department of Driver Services offices where Georgians go to renew their driver’s licenses and vehicle registrations.

Trump’s wild and false claims of election fraud aren’t the only things driving these efforts; Republican efforts to restrict voting are hardly new. Republican officials in Georgia know the state’s electorate at a granular level and are capable of performing basic addition and subtraction. They see how the populous suburbs around Atlanta, once GOP strongholds, have been steadily trending Democratic. They may not be able to halt that process. But perhaps they can compensate by suppressing the African American vote in economically disadvantaged areas of Atlanta proper; in the wide “Black Belt” stretching southwest across the state, roughly from Augusta to Columbus; and in the heavily African American area around Savannah.

In strongly Hispanic Arizona, which Biden won by 10,457 votes and where the Brennan Center tallies 19 voter-suppression bills filed since the election, the state Senate has rejected — for now — a Republican measure that would have stricken roughly 200,000 names from a list of voters who automatically receive mail-in ballots. That courtesy is considered the primary reason most Arizonans cast their votes by mail.

But another still-pending measure would require early ballots to be hand-delivered to a polling place rather than returned by mail, negating the benefits of mail voting. And another proposed bill would simply disregard the will of the voters altogether, allowing the GOP-controlled state legislature to appoint its own slate of presidential electors. Democracy, after all, can be so inconvenient.

Elsewhere across the country, Republican legislators are trying to tighten voter-identification laws that are already too restrictive. And they are trying to find ways to disqualify more mail-in ballots — perhaps for future occasions when GOP candidates need to “find” enough favorable votes, or lose enough adverse ones, to deny victory to a Democrat.

It amounts to an outrageous and shameful attempt to establish and perpetuate minority rule in a nation in which the Republican candidate for president has won the popular vote only once in the past eight elections.

At the state level, Democrats must fight these efforts relentlessly. And at the federal level, they should use any means necessary — including eliminating or suspending the Senate filibuster — to pass H.R. 1, the “For the People Act,” which would invalidate much of the most anti-democratic legislation the GOP is trying to enact.

And voters of color must resolve not to be deterred. This is not a “Whites only” democracy. Not anymore.

Republican Party ‘engulfed in lies and fear’ per another former Republican legislator

I’ve often wondered what will become of the Republican Party, aka the GOP. The party has linked itself to the former guy, a ‘man’ without conscience, without intellect, that it seems they have nowhere to go but down. Keith’s post this morning tells us of a few members of the party with the courage to speak out and say, “This is not who we should be!” Thanks, Keith, for giving us hope that perhaps some in the GOP are as disgusted as we are!

musingsofanoldfart

In an article this weekend called “Former GOP lawmaker: Republican Party ‘engulfed in lies and fear'” by Jonathan Easley of The Hill, yet another former lawmaker is sharing his concerns about how far his party has fallen. Here are a few paragraphs from the article, plus a link below.

“Former Rep. Carlos Curbelo (R-Fla.) argued in a pre-taped interview that ran Friday that the Republican Party has lost its way and become ‘engulfed in lies in fear.

Curbelo and former Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) teamed up as part of the nonpartisan debate seriesIntelligenceSquared U.S.to argue that many within the GOP are knowingly pushing a lie that the election was stolen out of fear of retaliation from former President Trump.

In his opening remarks, Curbelo said that by embracing former President Trump’s election claims, which preceded the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol, the GOP had lost its…

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A disgusting lack of leadership

Keith has expressed my own views, only so much better than I typically do. Thank you, Keith!

musingsofanoldfart

The following are the views of a former Republican and now Independent voter. I did not vote for the former president either time and remain puzzled why people would vote for such a well-documented untruthful, egomaniacal bully.

On Friday, I read that Senator Mitch McConnell would support the seditious former president if he were the 2024 presidential nominee. Note, this is after McConnell denounced the former president for his role in the insurrection against a branch of government, which of course, put McConnell and his colleagues in danger. And, unsurprisingly, Mr. McConnell chose not to vote to convict the former president before he admitted said person was guilty.

This is a disgusting lack of leadership in a country that needs this party to help offer some form leadership. But, as of this writing, people who voted as leaders to impeach or convict the seditious former president, have been vilified, censured…

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“This is not an America I recognize” says Republican Chris Krebs

More than a few times over the past year, I have said that this is no longer a country I recognize, no longer one of which I am proud to be a citizen. Turns out, I am not alone. Please take a minute to read Keith’s excellent post about Chris Krebs who is speaking out for our democratic principles. Thanks, Keith!

musingsofanoldfart

In an article by Josh Feldman of Media-ite called “Chris Krebs Pleads With His Fellow Republicans to Push Back on Election Conspiracies: ‘This is Not an America I Recognize,’” Krebs testimony at the Senate Homeland Security hearing led by Chair Ron Johnson (R), his words are telling. Here are a few paragraphs.

Chris Krebs, the former DHS top cyber official who PresidentDonald Trumpfired after he publicly and repeatedly debunked election misinformation, pleaded with his fellow Republicans during Wednesday’s Senate hearing to quit spewing conspiracies.

While more Republicans have started to acknowledgeJoe Bidenwon the election, a significant number of them are still digging in on the president’s baseless claims of widespread voter fraud.

The hearing Wednesday comes in the wake of judge after judge —including ones appointed by the president —completely rejecting the fraud claims brought by the Trump legal team and other allies…

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Voting Rights — CHAOS!

This is our only chance for the next four years to decide who will be the president of this nation, and the Republican Party and its representatives are attempting to curtail our constitutional right to cast our vote.  This year, because of a pandemic that is once again raging out of control, many of us cannot or will not spend an hour or more in line inside a building waiting to vote, nor should we need to.  A large number of us, myself included, requested mail-in ballots and will be voting by mail, or by dropping our ballots off in person at a designated drop box.

However, the United States Postal Service, now run by a man, Louis DeJoy, who has no experience, whose only qualification for the job was the large sums of money he has donated to Donald Trump, is so inefficient that it took ten days for me to receive a letter that was mailed from 15 miles away!  That could be a problem if someone mailed a ballot on, say, October 30th, or even today!  The girls and I took our ballots to the drop box at the Board of Elections, but some people, especially senior citizens, may not have that luxury.

There are numerous lawsuits in many states to expand voting rights, to allow ballots received after November 3rd as long as they were postmarked on or before that date.  Republicans are, naturally, opposed to anything that expands voting rights.  The good news is that people have been voting, despite the obstacles thrown in their way by the not-so-grand old party, and this morning I read that 51% of the number of people who voted in 2016 have already cast their votes this year!  That is truly inspiring … I think it quite possible that in spite of the GOP’s best efforts, we will have record turnout this year.

Here are some of the latest legal developments related to voting rights cases per the New York Times – some positive, others not so much:

Pennsylvania: The state’s highest court has ruled that election officials should count mailed ballots that arrive up to three days after Election Day. Pennsylvania Republicans are trying to get the Supreme Court to reverse the order, so that only ballots received by Election Day will count.

North Carolina: Republicans and the Trump campaign have asked the Supreme Court to block the state’s board of elections from extending the deadline to receive mail ballots. The board has said ballots can arrive until Nov. 12, as long as they were mailed by Election Day.

Wisconsin: The five Republican-appointed justices on the Supreme Court sided on Monday with Republican officials in Wisconsin, ruling that ballots must arrive by 8 p.m. on Election Day to count. (A lower-court ruling would have allowed state officials to count any mailed ballots postmarked by Election Day and received up to six days later.) In response, the state’s Democratic Party is urging voters to return mail ballots in person — to a drop box or clerk’s office — rather than mailing them.

Nevada: The Trump campaign has sued to stop the counting of absentee ballots in the Las Vegas area, evidently hoping to challenge the signatures on many ballots. Last night, the campaign and Nevada Republican Party filed a separate lawsuit, seeking detailed information on the vote-counting process.

Texas: The state’s top court yesterday upheld a policy announced by Greg Abbott, the Republican governor, which limits each county to a single drop-off box for mailed ballots. The state’s largest county — Harris, which includes Houston — is home to 4.7 million people.

Michigan: A conservative judge yesterday overturned an order by Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson, a Democrat, and ruled that people could carry unconcealed guns at polling places on Election Day.

In many of these cases, Republicans have argued that changing voting rules because of the pandemic could lead to fraud (a claim that’s largely baseless) and that allowing ballots to be counted after Election Day leads to confusion and chaos.

Democrats have argued that protecting people’s right to vote, during a national crisis, should be top priority. Democrats have also pointed out that some Republicans have changed their position on the counting of mailed ballots: When late-arriving ballots seemed likely to help George W. Bush in Florida in 2000, Republicans argued that the state should count them.

The Michigan decision is appalling.  Why the hell does anybody need to take a gun with them to vote???  This is possibly the most ridiculous judicial decision I have ever heard and can only lead to trouble.  In my book, anybody being allowed to take a gun into the polling place constitutes potential voter intimidation.  Now, given that the majority of gun-nuts in this country are republicans … does anybody else see a problem here?

If at all possible, my friends, take your ballots to an official drop box, or don your masks and hand sanitizer and vote in person, for I simply do not trust the USPS to get the ballots delivered on time.