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U.S. Unwillingness to Prosecute Torture Already Has International Consequences

Brennan on torture report

If John Brennan’s press conference was meant to slam the door shut on the war crimes chapter of our history, it failed on two main points. Continue reading

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The Right Wing Won’t Stop Until It Kills the Vote

killing the vote

Everyone will agree that Tuesday’s mid-terms resulted in big wins for the Republican Party.  We part company when it comes to “message” sent by voters.

Often when there are competing interpretations of an event, the truth lies somewhere in the middle.  Not this time.  Few of “the people” voted.  Republicans were already favored to win this mid-term.  The fact that more white men and the one group of women most likely to vote republican, while high numbers of everyone else stayed home doesn’t mean “the people” have spoken.

Republicans are already arguing that “the people” gave them a mandate to take health insurance away from millions of Americans, eliminate the social safety net and establish a society that’s a cross between fascism, theocracy and feudalism.  There are a few problems with that interpretation beginning with the fact that most voters stayed home. Some by choice, some by force, an unknown number as a result of intimidation and an unknown number as a result of apathy.

Republicans didn’t offer any ideas.

When they weren’t bashing the president and rewriting recent political history, Republican candidates focused on cute ads about pig castrations and playing the role of reasonable, God fearing and American loving “conservatives”  However, Republican candidates didn’t offer anything resembling a political platform.

We can only look at their voting records and stated views to ascertain what they’ll probably do.

The only thing Republicans were specific was their definition of “the people.”

The combination of vote suppression and voter intimidation passed virtually exclusively Republicans at the state level made it abundantly clear that their definition of “eligible voters” is limited to two categories of white men and one category of women.  Propertied white men already “vote” with the dollars they “invest” in their chosen right wing extremists be it directly or through the mechanisms of dark money.  They’ll also allow vote by the white men who subscribe to the Tea Party ideology that Republicans have now mainstreamed.  Republicans only enjoy majority support from women who are married, under educated and brainwashed by the religious right.

So far, vote suppression has focused racial minorities, poor people, students and seniors.  The voting rights of younger single women are, are in part compromised if they are also members of these demographics.  However, the Republican dog whistle attacks on votes by younger, single women are already being played out by propagandists at Fox.

Consider in this context, the Republican party’s blatant opposition to education and increasingly blatant assertions that the only “job” a women should strive for is that of Tea Party man’s Stepford Wife is all about creating a new generation of ignorance to replace those who are dying off.

Based on the expressed views of Republican candidates and incumbents, it’s a pretty safe bet that they will embrace the fact that “the people” voted for them, but they will ignore other things “the people” said.  The people also said they want in an increase in the minimum wage, legalization of marijuana, respect for women’s autonomy over their family planning and reproductive health decision and yes, when asked, the people continue to call for sensible gun laws.

We can blame the Republican party for its extremism and corruption and we can lull ourselves into a false sense of security by believing Fox is the Republican Party’s sole propaganda outlet.  It comes down to blaming a scorpion for being a scorpion.  It may be true, but it also means we have been warned over and over again.

Hraf Haraldsson addresses the painful and disturbing truths about the Republican Party’s multifaceted effort to kill democracy, directly through vote suppression, gerrymandering, fraud and intimidation.  That’s disturbing enough, but he also points to effectiveness of the indirect and more subtle poisons the Republican Party is using.

If you can’t steal elections any other way, just keep folks dumb enough to do what you tell them to do and think what you tell them to think. It’s working. Look at all the folks who think raising the minimum wage will destroy the country. Do you know people like that? I do. Blame Fox News for that, yes, but also the mainstream media.

This didn’t happen last Tuesday.  It didn’t even happen in 2010 or 2008.  This is the product of efforts to replace public education with garbage for the mind that denounces the validity of science and revises history all with the purpose of dulling the intellect.

Even if one escaped the doom of a Charter School “education” access to facts increasingly becomes an exercise in futility.  We fool ourselves if we believe the Republican Party’s only propaganda outlet is Fox.

It’s also a result of the Republican Party’s brutal assault on an economy that sustained itself with a significant and stable middle class.  Keep people poor, hopping from one minimum wage to another and they won’t have time to decipher truth from fiction or the energy to challenge the snake oil salesman disguised as attractive pig castraters or “job creators” in the Republican Party.

That was followed by policies that not only would keep folks dumb, but also too poor, too hungry and too desperate to notice that the greatest threat to their future, their freedom and their dignity is the Republican Party.  While Republicans still “need” votes from their low information base, in time, they will also be ordered to sit down and shut up.

Yes, most of “the people” stayed home on Tuesday.  One thing we don’t know is how much of that was a result of apathy and how much of it was an indirect consequence of voter disenfranchisement laws designed to send the message to millions of Americans that they should just sit down and shut up.  Per the New York Times

Many of the changes adopted in recent years “will make it harder for millions of Americans to participate,” said Wendy R. Weiser, director of the democracy program at the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University School of Law. “But the problems of disenfranchisement don’t show up in a visible way,” Ms. Weiser added. “It’s people who don’t show up, or someone’s who’s turned away.”

Because so many factors affect voting decisions, and because the turnout in midterm elections is low to start with, scholars will long debate the impact of the tighter voting rules.

The propaganda is working on the voters Republicans want and the election fraud is working to silence the rest of us. The fact is Republicans are killing the vote, anything but softly and gently.

Image: Democratic Underground

 

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Top Five Reasons to Vote Democrat

difference between plutocracy and Democracy

If you believe in an America where all citizens count, you will want to use your vote to ensure the continued existence of that America. Continue reading

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WI Republican Thinks The Otherwise Vote Suppressing SCOTUS Has It In For Walker

Voter ID laws

Wisconsin Republicans are really mad at the Supreme Court who some claim are conspiring to prevent Scott Walker from becoming President in 2016. Continue reading

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Crazy Alert! Louis Golmert Thinks Ebola Is A War On Women

 

 

louie_gohmert2-620x412 (1)

Louis Gohmert always had a rather bizarre way of looking at things, but he really outdid himself with the claim that Ebola is a war on women. Continue reading

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SCOTUS Allows Texas To Put Minority and Women’s Votes On The Chopping Block

 

24th Amendment 1

Ever so early this morning, the men of the Supreme Court allowed Texas to enforce the most restrictive voting law in the United States. Continue reading

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To Commemorate 9/11 The Koch Owned GOPT Blocked Citizens United

Free speech destroy Citizens United

I admit to despising everything about Citizens United.  I still my initial reaction to the news of that ruling. Continue reading

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Former GOP Governor of Virginia, Bob McDonnell Guilty of Corruption

McDonnell Guilty

On Thursday, a Virginia jury found Bob McDonnell guilty on 11 of 13 corruption charges.  Continue reading

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Ferguson More Peaceful As Militarized Police Replaced With Highway Patrol

In the days following Mike Brown’s killing at the hand of a Ferguson police officer,  people were teagassed in their back yards.  The Mayor unilaterally placed a time limit on the first amendment.  Peaceful protestors were arrested subjected to teargas and rubber bullets.  Journalists were arrested.  A State Senator was teargassed.  Antonio French was dragged from his car, arrested and eventually released.  No charges, no police reports.  In at least some cases, people were not read their rights.

The police continue to withhold basic information about Mike Brown’s death.

Police attacked media crews and confiscated cell phones from people who exercised their first amendment right to video what the police were doing.

Twitter was ablaze with questions.  One of those question was where are the Libertarians?  The so called freedom fighters who defended Cliven Bundy from the “tyranny” of paying the money he owed were no where to be found as police in Ferguson showed America what tyranny looks like.  Where were those Tea Party “patriots” who appointed themselves guardians of the U.S. Constitution?

While officials in Ferguson were arresting journalists for doing their jobs, dragging a politician from his car for trying to escape the toxic affects of teargas, Ted Cruz was defending the police from the safety of his facebook page.

 

Police officers risk their lives every day to keep us safe, and any time a young man loses his life in a confrontation with law enforcement, it is tragic.

This is Cruz trying to shift attention from the militarized police using excessive force, the arrests without reports or informing people of their rights.  He was trying to divert our attention from the rubber bullets shot at people who were there to bring calm according to Antonio French who was actually there.

Cruz was hoping to distract from the fact that people were being tear gassed on their own property simply because they were exercising their right to protest peacefully when it was dark outside.   He was hoping we wouldn’t notice that reporters were arrested for doing their job, that Al Jazeera was tear gassed for the same reason.  He was hoping we wouldn’t care about the many people whose names we don’t know, but whose rights were just as violated.

Steve King denied the role of  racial profiling in the longer term tensions in Ferguson by suggesting there ain’t no racial profiling because the majority of the community are of the same continental origin.

“This idea of no racial profiling,” King said, “I’ve seen the video. It looks to me like you don’t need to bother with that particular factor because they all appear to be of a single, you know, of a single origin, I should say, a continental origin might be the way to phrase that.”

He missed the part about the militarized and for all practical purposes, exclusively white, police force teargassing and shooting rubber bullets at black protesters.   Ooops, maybe that’s a bit too much detail for Mr. King.  Or maybe looking at the facts in Ferguson is just a tad inconvenient if you’re pandering to people who believe that the constitution is the personal property of white, right wing faux Christians.

Of course, what do you expect from someone who describes immigrants as “drug runners” with calves the size of cantaloupes or is surprised because Dreamers are “very good at English.”

The reality is this is one of those moments when we see the sharp contrasts between “conservative” and “liberal” politiicans.  While Cruz and King were diverting attention from violations of people’s civil and constitutional rights of an entire community, right wing media was playing up the actions of a few to distort the reality of the many engaged in peaceful protest.  It’s straight out of the conservative rule book on law and order.  The police can do no wrong period.

Compare that President Barack Obama’s recognition of all the facts.  He rightfully condemned the infrequent, but none the less occurring, acts of looting and violence. But, he also condemned the excessive force and violations of rights under the constitution – something that didn’t matter to the right wing politicians and media.

Finally, today, Missouri’s governor announced that the state’s highway patrol would take over security matters and from what I’ve seen in the accounts by people on the scene, this step in itself is having a positive impact.

This proves that the way police conduct themselves matters.

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David Gregory out, Chuck Todd Brought In To Deal the Final Blow To MTP

David Gregory Chuck Todd

On Thursday, David Gregory announced on twitter, what everyone already knew.  He is leaving Meet The Press and MSNBC. Continue reading

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