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States wisely resist fascist request for personal info on every voter in nation

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Washington Post news photo

“President” Pussygrabber meets with Repugnican Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach early in Pussygrabber’s illegitimate administration. Kobach, who never met a voter who isn’t a Repugnican whose vote he doesn’t want to suppress, is the “vice chair” of the so-called “Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity,” which Pussygrabber himself in a tweet tellingly referred to yesterday as the “VOTER FRAUD PANEL.” The “VOTER FRAUD PANEL” sent a letter dated June 28 to all 50 states asking for extensive personal and sensitive information about all of their registered voters. With an approval rating persistently stuck below 40 percent, Pussygrabber is in no political position to ask for anything.

On the surface, it might seem like no huge deal: The “president’s” “Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity” sent a letter, dated June 28, to all 50 states, asking them to turn over extensive information on all of their registered voters.

But this isn’t a normal “president” that we’re talking about. This is a “president” who already has pulled it out of his orange asshole that he only lost the popular vote in November 2016 because more than three million people (the margin of the popular vote that he lost by, very conveniently) voted illegally.

This is a claim for which Team Pussygrabber has offered no proof, of course, because no such proof exists — because it’s a wholly bogus, bullshit claim.*

At least half of the states thus far, including my great state of California, have refused to give any or at least some of the information to the “president’s” “commission” on “election integrity.” 

“Numerous states are refusing to give information to the very distinguished VOTER FRAUD PANEL. What are they trying to hide?” “President” Pussygrabber predictably tweeted yesterday, stupidly revealing what we already knew: that the “commission” isn’t set up to ensure “election integrity,” but is meant to “prove,” retroactively, Pussygrabber’s bullshit, bogus claim that he actually won the popular vote because of “voter fraud.”

I mean, in his tweet — in which he at least isn’t talking about some woman bleeding from somewhere — Pussygrabber calls the “commission” “the very distinguished VOTER FRAUD PANEL.” Pussygrabber himself tells us that the “commission” isn’t interested in “election integrity” but instead is interested in “proving” “VOTER FRAUD,” which he even puts in all caps, for fuck’s sake. This conclusion obviously already has been reached before the “very distinguished” commission (which isn’t “distinguished” at all, which is why the Pussygrabberian qualifier “very” is necessary) has even done any work.

Just as “President” George W. Bush — another fascist who lost the popular vote and who thus never was a legitimate president — ordered his underlings to find evidence of Iraq’s connection to 9/11 (to “justify” his Vietraq War), evidence that didn’t exist because Iraq had had nothing to do with 9/11, “President” Pussygrabber has ordered his “very distinguished VOTER FRAUD PANEL” to find voter fraud that doesn’t exist.

It’s not, of course, that the states that wisely are resisting the fascist, illegitimate “president’s” demand for detailed information on every single voter in the nation are trying to “hide” anything; it’s that it’s fucking obvious that you don’t turn over highly sensitive, personal data for millions and millions of voters to a fascist, illegitimate, wholly untrustworthy White House regime that obviously intends to use the data only for evil.

(If you can’t get on board with “evil,” you at least have to admit that the “commission on election integrity” fucking obviously is not a non-partisan, neutral, disinterested operation that dispassionately, objectively and fairly would delve into the subject of “election integrity.”)

The actual wording of the “commission’s” June 28 letter to the 50 states, signed by the “commission’s” “vice chair,” Repugnican-of-course Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, a real Nazi known only for his voter-suppression efforts** (and who is running for governor of Kansas, of course), is scary.

The letter reads, in part:

… In addition, in order for the Commission to fully analyze vulnerabilities and issues related to voter registration and voting, I am requesting that you provide to the Commission the publicly available voter roll data for [your state], including, if publicly available under the laws of your state, the full first and last names of all registrants, middle names or initials if available, addresses, dates of birth, political party (if recorded in your state), last four digits of social security [sic] number if available, voter history (elections voted in) from 2006 onward, active/inactive status, cancelled status, information regarding any felony convictions, information regarding voter registration in another state, information regarding military status, and overseas citizen information.

You may submit your responses electronically to ElectionIntegrityStaff@ovp.eop.gov or by utilizing the Safe Access File Exchange (“SAFE”), which is a secure FTP site the federal government uses for transferring large data files. You can access the SAFE site at https://safe.amrdec.army.mil/safe/Welcome.aspx. We would appreciate a response by July 14, 2017. Please be aware that any documents that are submitted to the full Commission will also be made available to the public. … [Emphases in bold are mine.]

“Please be aware that any documents that are submitted to the full Commission will also be made available to the public.” I interpret that line very broadly, because of the treasonous Nazi weasels with which we are dealing.

The letter does ask for other information besides individual voters’ extensive personal information, but I think that in order to be safe and not very, very sorry, we have to assume that the “commission” indeed would make all individual voter data stupidly submitted to it “available to the public.”

Imagine hordes of Orc-like Pussygrabber supporters poring over millions of voter registration records — provided to them by Pussygrabber’s “Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity” — with the purpose of harassing, say, those who have Spanish or Arabic surnames or whose names suggest that they are black Americans.

And, of course, they would seek to harass all of those who are registered as Democrats (and maybe even also anyone who isn’t registered as a Repugnican; I, for example, am registered with the Green Party, and I would rather castrate myself with a pair of fingernail clippers than cast a vote for a Repugnican).

This harassment of voters could be illegal, classical harassment, such as by personally, directly contacting and harassing and trying to intimidate these registered voters whose contact information so helpfully has been made public by the “commission on election integrity,” and/or it could be bureaucratic harassment, such as by challenging the validity of individuals’ voter registration — challenging mostly or only Democrats or (perceived) Democratic leaners, of course. (These challenges almost always turn out to be bullshit, but local elections officials have to deal with them anyway.)

I am happy to live in a state whose laws wisely fiercely protect my voter registration information from those who would misuse it. Indeed, the verbiage in the “commission’s” June 28 letter, “I am requesting that you provide to the Commission the publicly available voter roll data for [your state], including, if publicly available under the laws of your state…,” apparently would exclude California, because a voter’s information isn’t publicly available under California state law.

In any event, on June 29, California Secretary of State Alex Padilla released this strongly worded press release:

California Secretary of State Alex Padilla today released the statement below in response to a letter from Kris Kobach, Vice Chair of the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity. The Commission was established through executive order by President Donald Trump after he lost the popular vote to Hillary Clinton in the 2016 Presidential Election. Because he lost the popular vote, Trump has falsely alleged that three to five million votes were cast illegally in the 2016 election. This, despite the fact that his claims of voter fraud are unsubstantiated and that academics and bipartisan leaders have confirmed that there is no evidence of large-scale, let alone massive, voter fraud.

“The President’s commission has requested the personal data and the voting history of every American voter — including Californians. As Secretary of State, it is my duty to ensure the integrity of our elections and to protect the voting rights and privacy of our state’s voters. I will not provide sensitive voter information to a commission that has already inaccurately passed judgment that millions of Californians voted illegally.

“California’s participation would only serve to legitimize the false and already debunked claims of massive voter fraud made by the President, the Vice President, and Mr. Kobach. The President’s Commission is a waste of taxpayer money and a distraction from the real threats to the integrity of our elections today: aging voting systems and documented Russian interference in our elections [oh, snap!].

“The President’s appointment of Kobach — who has a long history of sponsoring discriminatory, anti-immigrant*** policies, including voter suppression and racial profiling laws — sends a clear and ominous message. His role as vice chair is proof that the ultimate goal of the commission is to enact policies that will result in the disenfranchisement of American citizens.

“I will continue to defend the right of all eligible voters to cast their ballots free from discrimination, intimidation or unnecessary roadblocks.”

Absolutely.

And Padilla isn’t alone.

The Associated Press reports that at least 10 states (California, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Mississippi, New Mexico, New York, South Dakota, Tennessee and Virginia) and the District of Columbia won’t give the “president’s” “VOTER FRAUD PANEL” any voter information at all.

Even Mississippi’s Repugnican secretary of state said that the “president’s” “VOTER FRAUD PANEL” “can go jump in the Gulf of Mexico, and Mississippi is a great state to launch from,” adding, “Mississippi residents should celebrate Independence Day and our state’s right to protect the privacy of our citizens by conducting our own electoral processes.”

The only states that are going to participate in Pussygrabber’s “VOTER FRAUD PANEL” sham are those red states that already are on board with voter suppression that helps the treasonous Repugnican Party, which is faltering so badly that to survive is has to cheat, such as to steal presidential elections (as in 2000 and in 2016), to engage in gerrymandering on crack, and to engage in the suppression of those voters it deems (correctly or incorrectly) aren’t supportive of it.

*As CNN reported at the time, “President” Pussygrabber’s own legal team claimed in a court filing in response to Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein’s quest for a recount of Michigan’s vote for president that “All available evidence suggests that the 2016 general election was not tainted by fraud or mistake.”

Clearly, it’s “fraud” only when it benefits Pussygrabber that it’s “fraud.” When it doesn’t benefit him, then it isn’t.

**Wikipedia notes of Nazi Kobach:

In 2015, [Kansas Secretary of State Kris] Kobach received from the [state] legislature and the governor the right to prosecute cases of voter fraud, after claiming for four years that Kansas had a massive problem of voter fraud that the local and state prosecutors were not adequately addressing. At that time, he “said he had identified more than 100 possible cases of double voting.” Testifying during hearings on the bill, questioned by Rep. John Carmichael, Kobach was unable to cite a single other state that gives its secretary of state such authority.

By February 7, 2017, Kobach had filed nine cases and obtained six convictions. All were regarding cases of double voting; none would have been prevented by voter ID laws. One case was dropped. The other two were still pending. All six convictions involved elderly citizens who were unaware that they had done anything wrong.

One of those prosecuted, Randall Kilian, thought he was expressing his preference about marijuana legalization as it affected his new Colorado retirement property after receiving a mail-in ballot in 2012. He didn’t want pot growing next to his home, so he marked that issue only, and mailed it in as instructed. The sheriff and county attorney of Ellis County, Kansas, learned of this and questioned Kilian. Both concluded he had not intentionally broken the law and decided not to prosecute. However, when Kobach got prosecutorial authority in such cases, a year later, he reopened the case. Trying to avoid the expense of a trial, Kilian pleaded guilty in 2016 and paid a $2,500 fine.

Critics of Kobach’s crusade say that he overreaches on cases that district attorneys deemed not worth prosecuting, and allege that he is motivated by racism. University of Kansas assistant professor of political science Patrick Miller includes voter intimidation as a form of fraud. “The substantially bigger issue with voter fraud has been election fraud being perpetrated by election officials and party officials tampering with votes.” “It is not the rampant problem that the public believes that is there. Kris Kobach says it is. Donald Trump says it is. And the data just aren’t there to prove it. It’s a popular misconception that this is a massive problem.”

A Brennan Center for Justice report calculated that rates of actual voter fraud are between 0.00004 percent and 0.0009 percent. The center calculated that someone is more likely to be struck by lightning than to commit voter fraud.

Indeed. The Brennan Center’s report is here.

***Indeed, this is a blow-up of the document that Kris Kobach had in his hand in the photo of his meeting with Pussygrabber above:

The document Kansas secretary of state Kris Kobach is holding during a photo-op with President-elect Donald Trump on Sunday in Bedminster, NJ. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Associated Press photo

The meeting between Pussygrabber and Kobach was on November 20, 2016, at the Trump National Golf Club Bedminster clubhouse, in Bedminster, N.J, and Kobach was lobbying Pussygrabber to become the U.S. Department of Homeland Security secretary by showing his xenophobic, nationalistic chops.

His right-wing, anti-immigrant sentiment is clear just from the portion of the document that he stupidly left in view.

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Der Führer Trump hits new low with attack on physically disabled man

Updated below

A screen grab shows Repugnican Tea Party “presidential” candidate Donald Trump on Tuesday publicly mocking a New York Times reporter who has a congenital physical disability. The reporter’s “crime”? Telling the truth instead of supporting the dangerously fascistic Trump’s bold-faced lies against yet another already oppressed minority group. Reports USA Today: “Referring to Serge Kovaleski while on the campaign trail in South Carolina, Trump told a rally: ‘You’ve got to see this guy.’ He then ridiculed Kovaleski’s appearance by bending his wrists and jerking his arms around. Kovaleski has a chronic condition that affects his joints called arthrogryposis.” Kovaleski is pictured below, on the left.

Ken Belson y Serge Kovaleski (izquierda) atienden una recepción relacionada con el Día de la Tierra en el hotel Algonquin el 21 de abril de 2010 en Nueva York (Neilson Barnard/Getty Images).

Getty images

It should come as no shock to see Donald Trump make fun of a man with a congenital physical disability during a “presidential” speech. (Video of this wonderful event is here.)

The Nazis, after all — and Trump, unshockingly,  is of German descent — murdered tens of thousands of human beings with disabilities in a program that later was dubbed “Action T4.” As Wikipedia explains:

The program ran officially from September 1939 to August 1941, during which the recorded 70,273 people were killed at various extermination centers located at psychiatric hospitals in Germany and Austria. Several rationales for the program have been offered, including eugenics, natural selection, racial hygiene, cost effectiveness and pressure on the welfare budget. After the formal end date of the program, physicians in German and Austrian facilities continued many of the practices that had been instituted under Action T4, until the defeat of Germany in 1945. The unofficial continuation of the policy led to additional deaths by medicine and similar means, resulting in 93,521 beds “emptied” by the end of 1941. Historians estimate that twice the official number of T4 victims might have perished before the end of the war, exceeding 200,000.

So as not to be a hypocrite, and to provide full disclosure, I myself have used the term “fucktard” (and other iterations of “retard”). Many times. But my first job out of college was working with mentally and physically disabled individuals, and while I probably shouldn’t use the term “fucktard” to denote a person of low intelligence (who has not actually been diagnosed clinically with mental retardation, let me add, importantly), I don’t make fun of people with actual physical or intellectual disabilities, because to do so is to show a stunning lack of empathy for another human being who has challenges that oneself does not.

And, of course, I am not running to be president of the United States of America.

There long has been no way in hell that I would or could support fascist Führer wannabe Donald Trump in any way, and to some degree I suppose that I’ve become immune to the venom and bile that has been spewing freely from Trump’s pie hole for months now, but this latest Trumpism should be the one that finally takes him down.

The Amazon.com series “The Man in the High Castle,” based upon a Philip K. Dick dystopian novel that envisions a scenario in which Germany and Japan actually won World War II and divvied up the United States between them, is timely. (Just last night I watched the first episode. It even makes rather chilling reference to eugenics, which the Nazi Germans occupying the United States are still practicing routinely.)

Here in Donald Trump is a patently fascist presidential candidate (of German blood, appropriately) openly mocking, in a “presidential” speech, a man who has a congenital physical disability.

How will the masses respond to this?

How will the masses respond to such utterly shameless bullying? I mean, other groups of people Trump has attacked — “illegals” from south of the border, Muslims, women, et. al. — can, for the most part, defend themselves against Trump’s bigotry to at least some degree.

But attacking those with disabilities?

Really?

How low, exactly, can Donald Trump go?

Should the masses actually allow Donald Trump to sit in the Oval Office, I can guarantee you this: In the future, if we even still have anything remotely resembling a democracy left, presidential candidates might be asked: If you could go back in time, would you kill Baby Donald in order to prevent the crimes against humanity that he perpetrated?

The Germans claimed that they didn’t know what Adolf Hitler was all about until it was too late. Bullshit. The signs were all there all along.

With Donald Trump, similarly, the signs are all there.

If we actually allow this “man” to be president — whether we actually elect him or whether we just allow him to steal the White House, like we just allowed George W. Bush & Co. to do in 2000* — we won’t be able to claim, with any shred of truth at all, that we didn’t know.*

P.S. If you think that noting Trump’s German ancestry is out of bounds, well, apparently Trump possibly has had a problem with it himself, or at least his father apparently had a problem with it. Notes Wikipedia:

Trump’s paternal grandparents were German immigrants; Trump’s grandfather, Frederick Trump (né Friedrich Trump), was a successful Klondike Gold Rush restaurateur. In his 1987 book, The Art of the Deal, Donald Trump incorrectly claimed that Frederick Trump was originally called Friedrich Drumpf and of Swedish origin, an assertion previously made by Fred Trump for many years. Trump later acknowledged his German ancestry and served as grand marshal of the 1999 German-American Steuben Parade in New York City.

More disclosure: A while ago I participated in the Genographic Project, and my genes (if I interpret my results correctly) are a match for the dominant genetic populations first of the United Kingdom and second of Germany, so it seems quite possible if not probable that I have at least some German blood in me, as do many if not even most white Americans. That said, the Germans always have rubbed me the wrong way, even Nazism aside.

Update: Donald Trump has issued a lying, cowardly statement denying that he said/did what he said/did.

In the video I linked to above, Trump clearly says to his audience, “You gotta see this guy” (Serge Kovaleski, whom he has just called a “poor guy”) — this certainly indicates that he has met or at least seen Kovaleski, at least in a picture — and then Trump immediately mimics the distorted voice and gestures of someone with a physical and/or intellectual disability.

Yet now Trump alternately claims that he’s never laid eyes on Kovaleski and that “Despite having one of the all-time great memories, I certainly do not remember him” and “Serge Kovaleski must think a lot of himself if he thinks I remember him from decades ago – if I ever met him at all, which I doubt I did.”

The Washington Post has noted that “Kovaleski covered Trump while reporting for the New York Daily News between 1987 and 1993, a tumultuous period for Trump in which he struggled through several financial setbacks,” casting further doubt on Trump’s claim that he has no idea what Kovaleski even looks like. (Trump strikes me as the kind of individual who certainly would do opposition research; not only does he have the paranoia and the egomaniacal grandiosity, but he has the mean$ to have his henchpeople do this for him.)

Trump also took the page right out of the fascist/right-wing playbook in which he blames his victim; he proclaimed that Kovaleski “should stop using his disability to grandstand.”

Yes, it’s Kovaleski’s fault that Trump very, very apparently made fun of him and his congenital condition. Not only has Trump now attacked Kovaleski twice — Kovaleski, to my knowledge, has made no public statement, by the way (the New York Times has) — but Trump bizarrely has attacked the New York Times at length, criticizing its fiscal management and questioning its ethics, its quality and its relevance, which has absofuckinglutely nothing to do with the fact that Donald Trump very, very apparently recently publicly mocked a man for his congenital physical disability during a “presidential” appearance.

What started this whole fracas, of course, is Trump’s colossal falsehood that on television he saw “thousands” of Muslims in New Jersey celebrating the destruction of the World Trade Center even as the twin towers burned and fell. This is a right-wing über-fabrication meant to further the wingnuts’ anti-Muslim agenda, of course.

But Donald Trump is too much of a fucking liar and a fucking coward to admit that he lied or, at the very minimum, very carelessly misspoke about “thousands” of Muslims celebrating in New Jersey on September 11, 2001. If he didn’t outright lie, which I think he most likely did, then he certainly didn’t care about the facts, the truth, because his overriding objective was to bash Muslims for personal political gain, not to tell the truth. Very presidential!

As I wrote above, we are seeing ample signs about what kind of “man” Donald Trump is. We ignore these flashing lights and sirens at our own peril.

And when I call Donald Trump a fascist, I mean it in the dictionary-definition sense of the term, not as a slam, although it’s perfectly fine with me if it’s also taken as a slam. (See Slate.com’s Jamelle Bouie on the topic of Donald Trump being a textbook fascist.)

Fuck the fascist Trump and the neo-Nazis who support him. They won’t turn the United States of America into another Nazi Germany without a fight.

P.S. I stand corrected; Business Insider reports:

… [Serge] Kovaleski told The [Washington] Post that he is confident that Trump remembers him and his condition. Kovaleski met with Trump several times when the reporter was covering Trump while working at the New York Daily News from 1987 to 1993.

“The sad part about it is, it didn’t in the slightest bit jar or surprise me that Donald Trump would do something this low-rent, given his track record,” Kovaleski told the Post.

The New York Times, where Kovaleski is currently a reporter, also had a response to the incident: “We think it’s outrageous that he would ridicule the appearance of one of our reporters,” a Times spokeswoman told Politico and confirmed to Business Insider. …

*Of course, after George W. Bush brazenly blatantly stole the 2000 presidential election, it couldn’t have come as a surprise that he would not protect Americans on September 11, 2001, or in late August 2005 (when Hurricane Katrina struck), and nor could it have come as a surprise that the “man” who had refused to accept that his opponent Al Gore had won the 2000 presidential election would go on to start the illegal, immoral, unjust and unprovoked Vietraq War, in which thousands of our troops died for nothing more than the treasonous war profiteering of the treasonous BushCheneyCorp and in which many, many more innocent Iraqi civilians, tens of thousands of them, have died — and which, of course, contributed to the rise of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), which has caused even more death and destruction.

There are terms for these high crimes: treason, war crimes, crimes against humanity, etc.

That enough Americans not nearly long ago just enough allowed the fascist George W. Bush to rise to power anti-democratically should give pause to those who claim that Donald Trump couldn’t become president.

He probably won’t, but to ignore the possibility entirely is dangerous — and, dare I say, probably even treasonous.

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The pink-triangle bullshit continues

Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark. arrives to pose for photographers in his office on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, March 11, 2015. The rookie Republican senator leading the effort to torpedo an agreement with Iran is an Army veteran with a Harvard law degree who has a full record of tough rhetoric against President Barack Obama's foreign policy.  (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Associated Press photo

Repugnican Tea Party U.S. Sen. Tom Cotton of Arkansas (he looks like such a nice guy, doesn’t he?) recently took time out from his important task of treasonously sending letters to the leaders of other nations meant to undercut the foreign policy of the twice-democratically-elected U.S. President Barack Obama to essentially tell us non-heterosexual and non-gender-conforming Americans that we should sit down and shut the fuck up already and just be grateful that we aren’t executed, like non-heterosexuals are in Iran, and that speaking of which, A nuclear-armed Iran! is all that we Americans should be thinking about anyway! After all, we need to get our priorities in order!

Same-sex marriage now is the law in 36 states and in other jurisdictions, covering more than 70 percent of the American population. Not that same-sex marriage is the be-all and end-all for equal human and civil rights for non-heterosexuals and non-gender-conforming individuals, but it’s not a bad start.

So, of course, the heterosexist and homophobic “Christo”fascists are agog and apoplectic.

Losing the battle of same-sex marriage — for which I expect the U.S. Supreme Court to rule for all 50 states this summer (arguments in the matter of the constitutionality of denying same-sex marriage are to begin in the court late this month) — the wingnutty haters now are focused on trying to legally allow businesses that serve the public to deny service to non-heterosexual and/or non-gender-conforming individuals on the basis that the business owners’ religious belief is, in a nutshell, that God hates fags. And surely the most important right that we Americans possess is the right to hate and to discriminate against certain groups of people. It’s apple pie, man!

I’m not a lawyer (I probably should have been), but, as I have noted, my reading of Title II of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which states that businesses serving the general public legally may not refuse to serve customers based upon those customers’ race, color, religion or national origin, is that the act does not expressly prohibit discrimination based upon sexual orientation or gender expression, because those minority statuses are not listed in the act as protected classes. (Indeed, in 1964, which was more than 50 years ago, non-heterosexuals and non-gender-conforming individuals were considered so lowly, so subhuman, that their protection by the Civil Rights Act was not even a possibility.)

While it’s beyond pathetic that an historically oppressed minority group should have to be listed expressly on a do-not-discriminate list in order to be treated with dignity, respect and equality — you know, as Jesus Christ taught that we should treat everyone else — federal law does need to be updated in order to add non-heterosexuals and non-gender-conforming individuals to the list of protected classes. (That won’t happen as long as the Repugnican Tea Party traitors control both houses of Congress, but they won’t be in control forever.)

The “Christo”fascists also are losing the battle (at least in the court of national public opinion, if not in the courts of law) to enable businesses serving the general public to discriminate against non-heterosexuals and non-gender-conforming individuals, but never fear, “Christo”fascists! We have Repugnican Tea Party U.S. Sen. Tom Cotton of Arkansas on the front lines of the battle!

Apparently the new “argument” against equal human and civil rights for non-heterosexual and non-gender-conforming individuals in the United States of America is that everything up to the point of their execution for their “crime” of not being heterosexual and gender-conforming should be tolerated.*

After all, Tom Cotton, a U.S. senator, defending states’ “right” to enact “religious-freedom” laws that are meant to allow business owners to discriminate against non-heterosexuals and non-gender-conforming individuals, proclaimed on CNN on Wednesday:

“I think it’s important that we have a sense of perspective about our priorities. In Iran, they hang you for the crime of being gay. They’re currently imprisoning an American preacher for spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ in Iran. We should focus on the most important priorities that our country faces right now.”

Cotton went on to say that “a nuclear-armed Iran” is “the most important thing that we be focused on.”

There is a lot in there, so let’s unpack it:

We Americans have priorities, and we have to have a sense of perspective about our priorities. Equal human and civil rights for non-heterosexual and non-gender-conforming individuals — equal human and civil rights for all Americans, which are guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution — is not one of our priorities. (Duh!) We have to have perspective!

After all, it’s a crime to be non-heterosexual and non-gender-conforming, and in Iran, they hang you for that crime! Non-heterosexual and non-gender-conforming Americans should sit down and shut the fuck up already, and just be thankful that here in the U.S., we’re not executing them for their crime of being non-heterosexual and/or non-gender-conforming (yet)!

Besides, an American preacher is imprisoned in Iran, and his rights are far more important than are the “rights” of all of the millions of sodomites in the United States of America combined! (We have, after all, established that they are criminals!)

And besides all of that, a nuclear-armed Iran is all that we really should be focused on anyway! For the love of God, why are you just sitting there, reading this? Why aren’t you doing something right now to prevent a nuclear-armed Iran?

That is, more or less, the propagandistic spirit of Cotton’s remarks. What a fucking neo-Nazi Tom Cotton is. (Recall that the Nazis put tens of thousands of gay men into their concentration camps.)

The attitude that an historically oppressed minority group’s equal human and civil rights aren’t at all one of our national “priorities” is the slippery slope that leads to slapping inverted pink triangles (or the yellow Star of David) on us and putting us into concentration camps. And even executing us, because it’s well-established fact that God hates fags (as well as Jews).

When Cotton referred to “the crime of being gay” on CNN, I don’t believe that he was referring only to the Iranian perspective that being non-heterosexual is a crime. I believe that Tom Cotton and his ilk — being as theofascist as any Iranian could be — also hold that being non-heterosexual and/or non-gender-conforming is a crime (indeed, for years and years it wasyou know, in the good old days), and I’d call Cotton’s wording on CNN a dog whistle to his fellow “Christo”fascists except that every mammal could hear his message loudly and clearly.

Besides trying to advance the “Christo”fascist agenda, which includes the persecution of non-heterosexuals and non-gender-conforming individuals (because that’s what God wants), Tom Cotton, whose letter to Iranian leaders of last month already has demonstrated that he is an anti-democratic traitor (the majority of the American people twice elected Barack Obama, not Tom Cotton, to represent us and our interests on the world stage), also is trying to advance the treasonous Repugnican Tea Party’s tactic of having Americans so terrified over Iran that the Repugnican Tea Party can do whatever it wishes, just like the good old days when the unelected, treasonous regime of George W. Bush and Dick Cheney used 9/11 and Iraq’s “weapons of mass destruction” (replete with the “threat” of “mushroom clouds” here at home) as political cover with which to ram their treasonous, right-wing agenda down distracted, terrified Americans’ throats.

It’s classic George Orwell: The fascistic oligarchy always has an enemy nation with which to terrify and distract the masses. The designated enemy nation sure changes a lot over time (such as, here in the U.S., first Russia, then Iraq, now Iran), but that’s not the point; the point is that there perpetually is an enemy nation that (we, the masses, are told by the oligarchs) threatens the very existence of our home nation. This is critical to the oligarchic fascists’ grip on power.

And it’s funny that the likes of Tom Cotton (who, pathetically, very well might be a closet case himself) should try to spook us Americans with the bogeymen of the Iranians, when Cotton and his Repugnican Tea Party ilk are just jealous that they can’t get away with executing non-heterosexuals for the “crime” of being non-heterosexual.

Iran? No, I’m much more concerned about the enemies here at home, such as the “Christo”fascists who comprise the treasonous Repugnican Tea Party. They’re a far bigger threat to our national security than those evil Iranians ever could dream of being.

*Not to pick on just Tom Cotton, of course, it’s important to note that the intention of the proponent of the widely-reported-upon “Sodomite Suppression Act” of California, on which I blogged here, also might have been (at least in part) to raise the specter of the mass execution of non-heterosexuals and non-gender-conforming individuals because once that specter has been injected into the public consciousness, then anything else short of execution that is done to non-heterosexuals and non-gender-conforming individuals will seem, by comparison, to be no big deal at all. (After all, we have to have our priorities!)

And I want to provide this update on the “Sodomite Suppression Act”:

Last month California Attorney General Kamala Harris asked a superior court to kill the “Sodomite Suppression Act” by relieving her of the obligation to issue it a title and summary, after which the proponent of the “act,” a right-wing, bat-shit insane and evil lawyer who should be disbarred, could begin to gather the signatures of registered California voters who want the proposition to appear on the ballot. (I rather doubt that the proponent ever has had any actual intention to significantly try to gather the required amount of signatures [365,880 of them], by the way.)

In a March 25 press release, Harris proclaimed:

“As Attorney General of California, it is my sworn duty to uphold the California and United States Constitutions and to protect the rights of all Californians. This proposal not only threatens public safety, it is patently unconstitutional, utterly reprehensible, and has no place in a civil society. Today, I am filing an action for declaratory relief with the Court seeking judicial authorization for relief from the duty to prepare and issue the title and summary for the ‘Sodomite Suppression Act.’ If the Court does not grant this relief, my office will be forced to issue a title and summary for a proposal that seeks to legalize discrimination and vigilantism.”

On that note, I neglected to note in my original piece on the “Sodomite Suppression Act” that one of its lovely provisions does indeed call for vigilantism. It reads that:

The state has an affirmative duty to defend and enforce this law as written, and every member of the public has standing to seek its enforcement and obtain reimbursement for all costs and attorney’s fees in so doing, and further, should the state persist in inaction over 1 year after due notice, the general public is empowered and deputized to execute all the provisions hereunder extra-judicially, immune from any charge and indemnified by the state against any and all liability.

I know of no other way to interpret that language other than that should the “Sodomite Suppression Act” be passed by the voters (it would not be, even if it actually makes it to the statewide ballot), and the state of California does not start executing non-heterosexuals as the “act” requires, after one year Californians may take it into their own hands to execute non-heterosexuals on their own (the “act” calls for non-heterosexuals to “be put to death [by the state of California] by bullets to the head or by any other convenient method”) — with impunity.

Again, the lawyer who explicitly wrote in a ballot proposition that the extrajudicial execution of an already oppressed group of persons in California should be allowed should be disbarred. Not only has the lawyer, a Matthew McLaughlin, advocated for the patently unconstitutional and thus patently illegal (and, indeed, reprehensible) execution of a whole class of persons, but he has advocated for extrajudicial actions (a.k.a. vigilantism), demonstrating his contempt for the legal system of California and of the nation. (Yes, the U.S. Constitution prohibits vigilantism/extrajudicial “remedies.”)

McLaughlin has demonstrated that he has no place within the legal system of the state of California — or, indeed, of any state in the nation. He doesn’t get to hide behind “free speech.” Lawyers are admitted to the bar only on the condition that they uphold the respectability of the legal profession as well as the state constitution and federal constitution under which they practice law.

You can, and if you haven’t yet you should, sign the petition to the California State Bar to disbar McLaughlin here.

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Pink triangle proposition won’t become law in California, but it’s the thought that counts

History repeats itself. Above are shown victims of fascist Nazi Germany’s persecution of accused gay men, tens of thousands of whom were required to wear an inverted pink triangle marking them as non-heterosexual. A theofascist California lawyer has submitted to the state’s attorney general’s office a ballot proposition to “put to death by bullets to the head or by any other convenient method” “any person who willingly touches another person of the same gender for purposes of sexual gratification.”

An Orange County, California, lawyer has paid the $200 filing fee to start the process for his “Sodomite Suppression Act,” which would, at its most merciful, prevent any non-heterosexual from being a public school teacher, a police officer, an elected public official or any other public employee, and which would, at worst, “put [non-heterosexuals] to death by bullets to the head or by any other convenient method.”

My reading of the fairly short “act” gives me the impression that the sentiment is not entirely unlike the Catholick Church’s or the Mormon cult’s: Merely having same-sex attraction is bad, but actually acting upon it is the worst, because the fuller phrasing of the “act” is: “the People of California wisely command, in the fear of God, that any person who willingly touches another person of the same gender for purposes of sexual gratification be put to death by bullets to the head or by any other convenient method.”

In a shout-out to Vladimir Putin, the “act” also mandates that:

No person shall distribute, perform, or transmit sodomistic propaganda directly or indirectly by any means to any person under the age of majority. Sodomistic propaganda is defined as anything aimed at creating an interest in or an acceptance of human sexual relations other than between a man and a woman. Every offender shall be fined $1 million per occurrence, and/or imprisoned up to 10 years, and/or expelled from the boundaries of the state of California for up to life.

Although this modest proposal first emerged weeks ago, this past week it has hit the media as “news.”

The legal consensus is that California Attorney General Kamala Harris, whose office is the first stop for any ballot initiative in the state, does not have the legal authority to shut down the “Sodomite Suppression Act,” even though it patently violates the U.S. Constitution and the California Constitution. The legal consensus also is that the office of the California secretary of state, the second and final stop for a state ballot initiative, does not have the legal authority to stop the “Sodomite Suppression Act.”

Of course, the right-wing lawyer who has proposed the “act,” a Matt McLaughlin, has cleared the easiest, lowest bar in the California ballot initiative process: he paid his $200 to the state’s attorney general’s office to obtain his ballot title and ballot summary, which he first must obtain from the attorney general’s office before he may begin to collect the 365,880 valid signatures of registered voters in order to qualify his ballot initiative for its placement on the November 2016 statewide ballot.

Collecting that many signatures would require some resources; McLaughlin would have to print his own petitions in a strict format dictated by state law and would have to get the bodies to go out and gather all of those signatures, be they paid or be they volunteers or some mixture of both.

Vox.com posits that the “[California state] Supreme Court is likely to step in and stop the [ballot] measure, particularly if the proposal gets enough signatures to qualify for the ballot,” but doesn’t cite its source of this assertion.

Oddly, though, neither Vox.com nor Slate.com, in their explainers on the “Sodomite Suppression Act,” notes that even though the majority of California’s voters might adopt a ballot initiative (for which only a simple majority is required), a federal court always can rule that the ballot initiative violates the U.S. Constitution (and, to my knowledge, the state’s Supreme Court can rule that a ballot initiative violates the state’s Constitution).

There is precedent for this: The hateful, anti-immigrant California Proposition 187, passed by the state’s voters by a disturbing 59 percent to 41 percent in November 1994, was struck down as unconstitutional by a federal judge in 1997 (indeed, most of the law never even went into effect, because the same federal judge had imposed a permanent injunction on most portions of the law in December 1994).

And in November 2008, California’s voters narrowly passed (52 percent to 48 percent) the hateful, anti-non-heterosexual Proposition 8, which then was struck down as unconstitutional by a federal judge in 2010. (The federal judge’s ruling was challenged legally but ultimately was left intact by the U.S. Supreme Court in June 2013, and same-sex marriages in California have been legal since then.)

The California Supreme Court declined to prevent the unconstitutional Proposition H8 from appearing on the ballot, so it would be interesting to see what the court would do if it were asked to prevent the “Sodomite Suppression Act” from appearing on the ballot. Indeed, while Prop H8 “only” sought to outlaw same-sex marriages, the “Sodomite Suppression Act” calls for the Nazi-style wholesale slaughter of non-heterosexuals who ever have acted upon their same-sex attraction.

But, Wikipedia notes, citing a 2006 California Supreme Court case, “As a general rule, it is improper for courts to adjudicate pre-election challenges to a measure’s substantive validity.” In other words, the state Supreme Court apparently believes that voters get to weigh in on a ballot measure first, and the constitutionality of the measure, if it is passed, is to be hashed out in the courts only after the measure’s passage.

Thank Goddess for the federal court system and its ability (indeed, its duty) to weigh in on whether laws passed by the states’ legislatures or by the states’ voters violate the U.S. Constitution, as history has shown that even the states’ highest courts are fairly toothless, by choice or by design (to my knowledge, the states’ highest courts have jurisdiction only over their states’ constitutions, and state judges don’t have the legal authority to determine whether a state law violates the U.S. Constitution*).

True, it took years for the odious and unconstitutional California Prop H8 finally to be undone by the federal court system (that said, while today same-sex marriage is legal in California and in 35 other states, the U.S. Supreme Court has yet to rule on the constitutionality of same-sex marriage once and for all), but, even if the “Sodomite Suppression Act” were to make it to the November 2016 California ballot (unlikely, given the amount of money that is required to get anything on the statewide ballot in the nation’s most populous state) and pass (which is highly unlikely in this blue state), a federal court (if not also the California Supreme Court) immediately would halt its implementation, of course. Not a single bullet would be fired into the head of an accused non-heterosexual (not by the state government of California, anyway).

But, you know, it’s certainly the thought that counts, isn’t it?

Apparently wingnutty lawyer Matt McLaughlin is unlikely to be disbarred by the state for his ballot proposition. While proposing a law that blatantly violates the U.S. Constitution by proposing the wholesale murder of an entire class of human beings amply demonstrates McLaughlin’s blatant moral turpitude (if not also his blatant incompetence) as a lawyer, whose duty is to uphold the state and federal constitutions, not propose to violate them, McLaughlin should, in my book, be disbarred, but apparently he will be able to hide behind his First-Amendment “right” to propose, Nazi-style, that a whole class of people be executed.

Still, if you believe, like I do, that McLaughlin should be disbarred, you can sign, as I have, an online petition calling for his disbarment by clicking here.

Even if McLaughlin were just pulling an attention-grabbing stunt, his “Sodomite Suppression Act,” whether he means it seriously or not — to be safe, I assume that he is quite serious** — is hate speech, and lawyers who practice hate speech (which does not warrant First-Amendment protection, since it so obviously so easily can result in violence, even death, or other injury against its intended targets) should be disbarred.

I might thank McLaughlin, however, for demonstrating quite publicly that his Nazi-like mentality, although a minority mentality, still exists. And shudderingly, I surmise that while many if not most homophobes wouldn’t go so far as to execute an accused non-heterosexual individual with their own hands, the worst of the homophobes, if such execution were routine even here in the United States of America, wouldn’t much care and would do little to nothing to stop it.

*Alabama state Supreme Court Chief “Justice” Roy Moore, for instance, has claimed, quite incorrectly, that he has the legal authority and ability to override and ignore a federal judge’s ruling on the federal constitutionality of same-sex marriage in the state. Moore was removed from the post of Alabama Supreme Court chief “justice” in 2003 for having ignored another federal judge’s ruling on another federal constitution issue, but he was not disbarred, as he should have been, and thus he legally was allowed to run for the post again, which, insanely, is filled by popular election in the backasswards state of Alabama.

**Not much is known of McLaughlin, but the San Francisco Chronicle notes that “McLaughlin, a lawyer since 1998, tried to qualify an initiative in 2004 that would have added the King James Bible as a literature textbook in California public schools. He was quoted at the time as saying he was promoting classroom use of the Bible for its ‘rich use of the English language’ and was not trying to indoctrinate students.”

So McLaughlin apparently has a history of toxic, theofascist fundamentalism and apparently wishes for a theocratic state, much like the members of ISIS, whose mentality is the same but whose bible is different.

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