Tag Archives: voter suppression

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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When you know you’re going to lose an election, just claim that it’s rigged

Vox.com reports that from 2000 to 2014, there were only 35 “credible allegations of in-person voting fraud” among almost 1 billion ballots cast. Um, yeah.

The next time that you hear a wingnut claim that there is rampant voter fraud within your state (or city or county or hell, even within the entire nation), ask him or her for a specific, verified example of it. Ask for a name, a place, a date, a manner.

There will be silence. (Well, maybe not silence, but you won’t get the information that you just asked for.)

Because the fact is that actual voter fraud within the United States is so very rare as to make its effect on our election results statistically irrelevant.

The only wolves who cry “rampant voter fraud!” are those who vote Repugnican — because they’re sore losers who refuse to deal with the fact that their right-wing, fascist, white supremacist, patriarchal, misogynist, xenophobic, homophobic worldview (yes, they are deplorable) is rejected by the majority of Americans.

The vast majority of the handful of cases of illegal voting that are verified are found to have been unintentional — that is, these weren’t people with the criminal intent of knowingly trying to influence the outcome of an election by casting a ballot illegally. They’re people who had thought that they were eligible to vote but who weren’t, or such cases as widows and widowers filling out and submitting the absentee ballots of their spouses who recently died, apparently failing to see a huge problem with that.

(Yeah, you’ll hear Der Fuhrer Donald Trump claim that hordes of “illegals” are crossing the border to vote illegally — you know, when they’re not too busy raping, murdering, pillaging, plundering and drug running — but he won’t bash widows and widowers, who probably are the plurality if not the majority of those relative tiny few who actually commit voter fraud. [Most of those widows and widowers probably vote Repugnican, which I’m sure has something to do with that…])

Again, intent is what makes an act fraudulent, and the form of voter fraud that the sore-loser traitors on the right claim happens the most — in-person voter fraud — actually happens the least.

Repugnican Trump surrogate Rudy “A Noun, A Verb And 9/11” Goebbels Giuliani these days frantically is alleging that in-person voter fraud is rampant, especially within our inner cities (no dog whistle there!), but of course he just throws these bullshit allegations out there and offers no actual details of any verified instances of in-person voter fraud.

That would be because, as the Brennan Center for Justice remarks in its thoughtful report “The Truth About Voter Fraud,” “It is more likely that an individual will be struck by lightning than that he will impersonate another voter at the polls.”

Yup.

Of course the Repugnican Tea Party traitors’ true intent isn’t to stop criminality that virtually isn’t even happening at all. Their agenda, of course, is to try to steal elections by crying “fraud!”

They know that this fact- and reality-free propagandistic tactic works with their base of mouth-breathing, knuckle-dragging fucktards who deem themselves patriots but whose very deplorable existence only continues to drag the entire nation down to this day, which is hardly patriotic.

And, of course, the intent of false allegations of rampant voter fraud is to “justify” post-election violence by treasonous, sore-loser Repugnican Tea Party retrogrades. Recall how Repugnican traitors — George W. Bush campaign operatives masquerading as angry regular civilians — tried to influence the outcome of the presidential election in Florida in 2000 by thuggishly storming the Miami-Dade County ballot canvassing location.

A writer for Vox.com notes that

… Trump … is spending the weeks before the election telling his followers that the election is so illegitimate that they need to be physically present at polling places to monitor it. That raises the possibility of violence on Election Day. It certainly lays the groundwork for anger and denial afterward — even if Trump himself walks away and takes that nice long vacation he talks about. …

It’s more insidious than that.

Right-wing “poll monitors” aren’t there to ensure a clean election; they’re there to try to intimidate the “wrong” kind of people — that is, those who tend to vote for Democrats — from voting at all. They do their partisan profiling based upon the voter’s demographics, and whose ballots do you think they contest? How often, do you think, they challenge, say, old white people and people who appear to be rich versus people of color, younger people, people who appear to be poor, et. al.?

Yes, there could be violence on Election Day if Der Fuhrer Trump’s jackbooted thugs show up at the polling places in significant numbers with the full intent to intimidate voters whom they perceive (correctly or incorrectly) won’t vote for Trump.

But there could be violence after Election Day, too, even if Billary beats Trump by a large margin, which I surmise will be the case.

You know what, though? Fuck the neo-Nazis. If they want violence, let’s give violence right back to them. We Americans must not make the same mistake that the Germans did in the 1920s and 1930s. If the neo-Nazis here at home want another Civil War, let’s hand their sorry, treasonous asses to them again.

To be clear, I’m no shill for Democrat in name only Billary Clinton. I’m voting for Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein, the only progressive in the presidential race, very most likely.* I most definitely don’t want fascist demagogue Donald Trump to be president, but I don’t want Billary Clinton in the Oval Office, either.

But I recognize that, even though the Democratic Party presidential primary process most definitely was stacked in Billary’s favor and against Bernie Sanders’ by her anti-democratic operatives within the Democratic National Committee and throughout the nation, in November Billary is going to win my state of California and thus all of its 55 electoral votes in the winner-takes-all(-except-for-Maine-and-Nebraska) Electoral College.

And I recognize that Billary Clinton is much more likely than not to be elected our next president.**

Only if it were close could the Repugnican Tea Party traitors perhaps successfully scream that the nationwide election is (going to be) rigged. But it’s not close.

Per Real Clear Politics’ average of recent nationwide polls, Billary right now leads El Trumpo by 5.5 percentage points nationwide, and the Huffington Post’s average of recent nationwide polls similarly puts Billary at 6 percentage points ahead of Der Fuhrer Trump.

There’s that and there’s the fact that while Billary Clinton’s unfavorable rating is 53 percent (she is liked by only 43 percent), Trump’s unfavorable rating is 10 points worse: a whopping 63 percent don’t like him, and only 34 percent do.

Um, yeah, you don’t win a presidential election if 63 percent of the American people don’t feel favorably toward you.

Finally, fivethirtyeight.com right now gives Trump no more than a 17.1 percent chance of winning the election — he’s at the lowest point in fivethirtyeight.com’s tracking of the race since June, and the election is only 23 days away.

Again: Trump is, in a word, toast.

He will win states where the majority of the voters are deplorable — I expect him to win anywhere from 19 to 23 states (I refer, of course, to the red states) but not even 24 states — but he won’t win the White House.

Again, as a douche bag who never was vice president, a U.S. senator or the governor of a state, Trump always was highly unlikely to become the first “reality”-television star and bankruptcy-happy billionaire to become president of the United States of America in the first place.

His loss in November, by a significant margin, will come as no surprise. I mean, I haven’t even mentioned here that he has committed serial sexual assault, and that no presidential candidate who was recorded as having bragged about “grab[bing]” women “by the pussy” (and otherwise sexually assaulting them because he is a “star” who can get away with it) ever went on to win the White House.

I suppose that if I were a Repugnican Tea Party traitor, right about now I’d be making bullshit claims about rampant voter fraud, too.

*Lately I’ve toyed around with writing Bernie Sanders’ name in, even though it very most likely wouldn’t count at all. I might do that, but I’ll probably vote for Stein, as I voted for her in 2012, since President Hopey-Changey, for whom I voted in 2008, didn’t change nearly enough during his first term, losing the Democrats control of the U.S. House of Representatives in the 2010 mid-term election, dooming any progressive agenda that he might wanted to have tried to enact after that, but in retrospect it’s pretty clear to me that he never had any real intent to even try significantly to enact a progressive agenda at all.

**This reminds me of this recent great editorial cartoon by Ted Rall:

Love Trumps Hate...What?Yes, it is going to be a stupid next four to eight years. (I don’t really expect it to be eight, though; as I’ve noted before, given her high level of unpopularity going into the job, I expect Billary to be a one-term president. She has benefited greatly from the fact that Trump has been a train wreck of literally historical proportions.)

I like this one of Rall’s too:

Donald Trump called for a lot of outrageous things throughout his presidential campaign. He wanted Muslims to be banned from entering the knighted states. He wanted to build a border wall and deport 11 million illegal aliens. He called for beating up protesters at his own rallies. Oddly, none of this made him less popular. To the contrary. What did him in, or at least looks like it might, is an open microphone moment in which he talked about grabbing women's pussies.

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It’s (probably) Billary’s if she wants it

FILE - In this April 2, 2013, file photo Vice President Joe Biden and former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton are seen in Washington. Clinton, whose popularity is high when out of public office and who carries the scars of being seen as inevitable in 2008, is trying to strike the right careful balance between staying out of the daily political maelstrom and setting herself up for a possible second presidential run. Her fans and foes are making that difficult. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen, File)

Associated Press photo

Recent polls put Billary Clinton (photographed above with Vice President Joe Biden in Washington, D.C., in April) at 50 (yes, fifty) or more percentage points ahead of Biden for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination, and show her beating her toughest potential Repugnican Tea Party challenger, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, an average of 6 percentage points in the November 2016 presidential election. If Billary runs for president in 2016, she most likely will be our nation’s first female president, so it’s too fucking bad that her record indicates that as president she’d be little to no more progressive than the dismally disappointing Barack Obama has been…

Admittedly, I have wondered if Billary Clinton would have been a better president that President Hopey Changey has turned out to be. In 2017 and the following years, most likely, we’ll find out.

Smug individuals point out that Barack Obama for 2008 campaigned as a moderate and that thus the way that his presidency has unfolded could have come as a surprise to no one. My response to that, in a word, is: bullshit.

It’s true that Obama did not campaign as a radical. Crucial to his 2008 victory, I think, was the fact that he didn’t come off as “threatening” to too many white voters, as though once in the Oval Office he’d orchestrate the violent overthrow of the white ruling class by blacks, a revolution that many whiteys, at least in the back of their minds, still fear even today (they’re still talking about the New Black Panthers non-scandal, for fuck’s sake), a revolution that never could be successful any year soon, given the fact that the 2010 U.S. Census put whites at 72.4 percent of the American population and blacks at only 12.6 percent (not to mention the giant gap in wealth and power between white Americans and black Americans as groups).

It’s true that in his first presidential campaign Obama’s mantra was so-called “bipartisanship,” and that his stated goal was that he basically wanted to induce all of us to hold hands around the national campfire and sing rounds of “Kumbaya” until we all dropped of exhaustion.

It’s true that I cringed when Obama repeatedly publicly evoked the name of Ronald Fucking Reagan as A Model President, as though a Repugnican president would publicly praise Bill Clinton or even Jimmy Carter. (The last Democratic president that any of the Repugnican Party set have viewed as remotely OK to praise publicly is John F. Kennedy, probably because he’s dead and because the way that he died made him a bit of a martyr.)

But Obama in his first campaign for the White House also promised “hope” and “change” — ubiquitously and relentlessly — and promised to turn the nation around, promised to undo the damage of the eight long years of the unelected Bush regime.

The word “change” means something, and it does not mean “status quo.” Obama had talked and written about the “audacity of hope.” We were to bravely dare to hope. Just like he claimed he did.

And while Obama never promised to be a left-wing radical, we progressives understood that, politically, he probably couldn’t afford to do so, not if he wanted to actually win the White House, but while Obama was campaigning at least as a progressive lite, Billary Clinton, as her quest for the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination became more and more desperate, acted as though she weren’t a limousine liberal.

After Obama had taken some heat for having stated during a private fundraiser in San Francisco (!) in April 2008 that some Americans “cling” to their “guns or religion” (which is, um, true*) — audio of which was leaked to the public (probably by the Clintonistas)  the desperate Billary saw an opportunity and so she took some shots: an actual shot of whiskey to show what a bad-ass redneck she actually is, and a shot at Obama, calling him “elitist and out of touch” and remarking, “I was taken aback by the demeaning remarks Senator Obama made about people in small-town America.”

Jesus fuck, I thought at the time (and still think). Which party’s presidential nomination is it that she wants?

Seriously: Billary was using the same rhetoric that the Repugnican Tea Party traitors were using against her own party. (Well, OK, this was in 2008, before the rise and fall of the so-called “tea party,” but still…) Billary painted Obama as an “out-of-touch” “elitist,” as though she weren’t a carpetbagging Beltway hack herself, and as though the state she had dragged her carpetbag to, New York, were a red state (indeed, New York is bluer than is Obama’s Illinois).

Given Billary’s mad dash to the right as she became more and more desperate in her losing quest for the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination, given her vote for the unelected Bush regime’s obviously bogus Vietraq War in October 2002, and given her husband’s destruction of the Democratic Party through the now-thank-Goddess-defunct “Democratic Leadership Council,” which dragged the party to the right to the point that the Democratic Party and the Repugnican Tea Party now pretty much are the Coke Party and the Pepsi Party — two plutocrat-and-corporation-loving parties that, like Coke and Pepsi, are hard for many if not most of us to differentiate — Barack Obama to me was the obvious choice in 2008.

But now, five years later, admittedly, I have to wonder if Billary would have been a better president than Obama has been.

It wouldn’t have taken much for Billary to have done a better job as president than Obama has, given that as president Obama has done little, that he squandered his best opportunity to push through an actually progressive agenda (which was in 2009 and 2010), that instead of tackling the nation’s in-its-death-throes economy head on, he spent all of his initial political capital on “Obamacare” (I have to wonder if he had wanted to accomplish what Billary had tried but failed to accomplish when she was first lady — to reform health care), and that because Obama squandered his initial wealth of political capital, the Repugnican Tea Party traitors regained the House of Representatives in late 2010 and probably will retain it after the November 2014 election, thus ensuring that Obama will have no legacy other than the dubious “legacy” of “Obamacare.”

Would Billary Clinton as president have spectacularly squandered the political opportunity of 2009 and 2010 like Obama, with both houses of Congress controlled by his own party, did?

Sure, you might say, she would have tried again with health-care reform, and perhaps she would have, but at the same time, her husband’s mantra for his 1992 presidential run was the James-Carville-credited “It’s the economy, stupid!”

My guess — and, admittedly, it’s just a guess, just a hunch — is that as president, Billary would have worked to fix the economy first, and then focused on health-care reform later (if she ever took it up at all).

Consequently, my further guess is that had Billary been elected as president in 2008, the Democrats would have kept the House of Representatives after the November 2010 elections, allowing Billary to continue pushing for an actually progressive agenda beyond her first two years in office.

Barack Obama has been such a fucking failure and such a dismal disappointment, and already is a lame duck so early into his second term that already the 2016 presidential speculation has heated up; all of us already are looking to what comes after him, knowing that the rest of his second term will be, at best, a wash.

I mean, Billary Clinton is getting her own fucking miniseries on NBC, for fuck’s sake.

Yes, today.com reports:

Betting on Hillary Clinton’s second candidacy for president, NBC has ordered a four-hour miniseries based on the former first lady, U.S. senator and secretary of state’s life.

“Hillary,” starring Diane Lane [as Billary], will recount Clinton’s life from 1998 to the present and will be written by Oscar-nominated screenwriter Courtney Hunt (“Frozen River”). NBC chairman Bob Greenblatt announced the miniseries [yesterday] at the Television Critics Association summer press tour.

“I think she’s one of the most fascinating women of our time and this world,” Greenblatt [said]. “And on the precipice of what we all assume will be her running for president, we think it’s an interesting story to tell with classy producers and a great star.”

The script, which has not been written, will begin with Clinton living in the White House during her husband’s second term and will likely include her second run at becoming the nation’s first female president. It is not based on a book and Clinton is not involved with the project, Greenblatt said. Lane was already attached to the mini-series when NBC bought it, Greenblatt said. …

The miniseries would likely air before Clinton would announce her candidacy if she decides to pursue the nation’s highest office. …

Since Bill Clinton was impeached by the Repugnican-controlled House of Representatives over the (literally…) messy Monica Lewinsky scandal in December 1998 (and was acquitted in February 1999 by the Repugnican-controlled Senate, which could not muster the 67 votes necessary to remove a president from office), presumably the miniseries will begin with the bullshit, uber-partisan Lewinsky affair, but I expect the miniseries to get it over with fairly quickly.

Anyway, I get it that the NBC bigwig is shilling the show, but how, exactly, is Billary Clinton “one of the most fascinating women of our time and this world”?

What, exactly, has this whiskey-guzzling, supposedly “elitist”-hating, carpetbagging, Vietraq-War-rubber-stamping woman accomplished? Does not pretty much everything that she has “accomplished” stem from the fact that she has been married to William Jefferson Clinton?

Would the voters of New York have elected her as their U.S. senator in 2000 had she not first been first lady? Or, like almost anyone else would have been, would she have been rejected by New York’s voters as the shameless carpetbagger that she was?

How is gaining success via your spouse “fascinating”? Or inspiring? And what, exactly, does it do for feminism?

I’m more than ready for our First Female President, but I can’t say that I’m ready for President Billary Clinton.

I’m much more impressed by a woman who made it without having ridden her husband’s coattails. How about my own Sen. Barbara Boxer for president?

I have much more respect for her than I do for Billary. Not only did Boxer have the brains and the balls to vote against the Vietraq War in October 2002, but in January 2005 she had the balls to be the only U.S. senator to stand with U.S. representatives in their objection to the certification of Ohio’s Electoral College votes in light of the serious problems at Ohio’s polls. (Like Florida was crucial to George W. Bush’s “win” in 2000, Ohio was crucial to Bush’s “re”-election in 2004, and like Florida’s chief elections officer in 2000 [Katherine Harris] was openly supporting Bush’s campaign [no conflict of interest there!], so was Ohio’s chief elections officer in 2004 [Kenneth Blackwell].)

Boxer also in early 2005 famously took on then-U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza “You Know She’s Lying When Her Lips Are Moving” Rice during a hearing in D.C., stating, “I personally believe – this is my personal view – that your loyalty to the mission you were given, to sell the war, overwhelmed your respect for the truth.” Hell yeah!

When did Billary Clinton ever do anything as courageous as these things?

Much like Barack Obama used to be, Billary to a large degree still is a political rock star, even though, like Obama, she has accomplished little to nothing in D.C. and thus doesn’t deserve the status.

But, just like in a high-school student-council election, it’s popularity, not accomplishment, that gets you into the White House. (Well, unless you’re George W. Bush; when, like Gee Dubya, you don’t have enough popularity, you have swing states’ chief elections officials who are of your party and the right-wing members of the U.S. Supreme Court and your governor brother help you out…)

And while Billary Clinton has little to no actual accomplishment, she does have popularity aplenty.

Billary shows a whopping 50 (yes, a five-oh)-point lead above Vice President Joe Biden in recent polls of 2016 Democratic presidential candidate preference. Biden consistently comes in at second place in only the low double digits. Yes, Billary consistently is hitting more than 60 percent in these polls.

The Repugnican Tea Party traitors, on the hand, have no clear front runner for the White House for 2016, with not one member of the possible field of Chris Christie, Pretty Boy Paul Ryan, Marco Rubio, Rand Paul, Ted Cruz, Prick Perry, Prick Santorum and yes, Jeb Bush, able to reach even 20 percent in recent partisan 2016 presidential-preference polls.

And in recent hypothetical matches against Repugnican Tea Party traitors for the 2016 presidential election, Billary handily beats them all. She beats even her thus-far most formidable opponent, Chris Christie, by an average of 6 points. (Recent polls, by contrast, have Biden losing not only to Christie but even to the likes of Jeb Bush…)

In a Bloomberg poll taken not too terribly long ago (May 31-June 3), 40 percent of those polled said they “probably” or “definitely” would vote for Billary if she were the Democratic presidential candidate in 2016, while only 34 percent said they “definitely” would not vote for her. Twenty-three percent said they “might” vote for her and 3 percent said that they were “unsure,” so if you give her the support of only half of those individuals (which is 13 percent), that’s 53 percent before she’s even declared her candidacy.

Fifty-three percent is not bad. (And it’s what Obama got in 2008 — 52.9 percent of the popular vote.)

So, while I never have been and never will be enthusiastic about Billary Clinton, whom I consider to be just another Democrat in name only, just another Repugnican Lite, the numbers very apparently are behind her.

Add to this the probability that Billary’s mere official announcement of her candidacy probably would effectively or perhaps even literally, totally clear the Democratic field, saving her a primary fight and thus allowing her to focus her time, energy and money on the November 2016 election, while we’ll probably see another crowded Repugnican Tea Party primary field, as we did in 2012.

Not only will these Repugnican Tea Party candidates have to focus on the presidential primary elections (and caucuses) and the presidential general election, but if they have a particularly nasty primary season, the eventual winner could come out of the process fairly bruised, battered and tarnished.

And my guess is that the Repugnican Tea Party traitors’ “Benghazigate” bullshit** has been helping Billary more than it has been hurting her, in that those (34 percent or so) who already solidly hate her already solidly hate her, and in that if the Repugnican Tea Party traitors attack Billary viciously and frequently enough, they could induce even unenthusiastic-about-Billary people like me to support her.***

And that’s a feat that only morons of the magnitude of those who comprise the Repugnican Tea Party could accomplish.

*The fuller quote is:

“… You go into some of these small towns in Pennsylvania, and like a lot of small towns in the Midwest, the jobs have been gone now for 25 years and nothing’s replaced them. And they fell through the Clinton administration, and the Bush administration, and each successive administration has said that somehow these communities are [going to] regenerate, and they have not.

“So it’s not surprising then that they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations. …”

Again, there is a word for these remarks: the truth.

Indeed, the “tea party’s” best accomplishment is blaming the wrong people for the nation’s problems (feminists, immigrants, non-heterosexuals, progressives [a.k.a. “socialists” or “Commies”], labor unionists [also a.k.a. “socialists” or “Commies”], Muslims, et. al.) while those who actually are responsible for the nation’s problems (the plutocrats, corporatocrats [Wall Street weasels and many, many others] and militarists, mostly) get off scot-fucking-free.

**Statistician god Nate Silver, who I hope writes about the 2016 presidential election despite the fact that he soon is leaving the New York Times for ESPN, wrote this about “Benghazigate” and Billary’s popularity back on May 31:

… So, are Americans carefully parsing through the details of the Benghazi attack — and finding Mrs. Clinton more culpable than Mr. Obama?

Probably not. Instead, the decline in her ratings was likely just a matter of time — and if the Benghazi hearings had not triggered it, something else would have.

… It’s easy to be popular when nobody is criticizing you — and there was a long period, from the closing stages of the 2008 campaign through most of her tenure as secretary of state, when Republicans had little interest in attacking Mrs. Clinton directly. Now that Republicans have chosen to engage her again, her numbers are coming down. … This is what happens when a politician returns to being in the partisan fray after having drifted above it for some time.

But if Mrs. Clinton were to run for president in 2016, Republicans would undoubtedly have found any number of other ways to criticize her — from her policy proposals, to concerns about her age or health, to gaffes that she might make on the campaign trail, to controversies recycled from her tenure as secretary of state.

Mrs. Clinton, if she runs in 2016, is highly unlikely to win by the double-digit margins that some polls have given her over prospective Republican opponents. But the same would have been true regardless of Benghazi. The main circumstances in which a presidential candidate wins by double digits are when that candidate is an incumbent running in a time of exceptional economic growth, or when the other party’s incumbent is viewed as having performed terribly. Or, every now and then, the opposing candidate might be viewed as extreme or incompetent, and swing voters will feel as though they have no real choice. …

I expect Billary, if she runs for president in 2016 (and I put it at more than a 75-percent chance that she will), to do about as well as Obama did in 2008 and in 2012 (Obama in 2008 beat John McCainosaurus 52.9 percent to 45.7 percent and in 2012 beat Mittens Romney 51.1 percent to 47.2 percent).

In fact, again, Billary’s polling against the most-popular-thus-far potential 2016 Repugnican Tea Party presidential candidate, Chris Christie, has her, on average, 6 percentage points ahead of him, and Obama’s average popular-vote victory over his Repugnican opponents in the 2008 and 2012 presidential elections was 5.55 percent, which to me suggests that we’re seeing about a 6-percent gap between those Americans who prefer a Democratic president and those who prefer a Repugnican Tea Party president.

This to me appears to be a demographic (and not a situational) gap that the Repugnican Tea Party traitors cannot close, which would explain why they want to further rig our future elections, such as through even further voter suppression (especially in the name of preventing “voter fraud”) to the greatest extent that they humanly possibly can.

***That said, about the only way that I could see myself casting a vote for Billary for president in November 2016 would be if her Repugnican Tea Party opponent, whoever it is, actually were close to winning California and its huge chunk of electoral votes, which is quite unlikely, given that Billary beat even Barack Obama in California’s 2008 Democratic presidential primary election, 51.5 percent to 43.2 percent. She’s quite popular here in California.

However, were Billary’s campaign actually struggling nationally and her Repugnican Tea Party opponent actually within range of winning the White House in November 2016, I cannot, as I type this sentence, rule out holding my nose and giving her campaign some money…

As much as I’m not a fan of Billary, of course, when push comes to shove, I’d prefer her in the White House over any Repugnican Tea Party traitor.

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The Supremes give me reverse November 2008 déjà vu

Updated below (last on Friday, June 28, 2013)

For this progressive Californian, this week feels like an uncanny reversal of Election Day 2008: In November 2008, we Californians saw our nation’s first non-all-white president* elected, a historical milestone — but with the narrow (52-48) passage of Proposition H8, which wrote homophobia into the California state Constitution by banning same-sex marriage, we non-heterosexual Californians were stripped of our constitutionally guaranteed right to marry, which the California Supreme Court earlier that year had ruled was ours.**

Yesterday, in a typically 5-4 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court eviscerated the Voting Rights Act, claiming that the act’s provisions were too outdated, despite the fact that Congress had renewed it overwhelmingly in 2006, which wasn’t all that fucking long ago.

In her dissent, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg nailed it on the head when she remarked, “Throwing out [U.S. Justice Department] pre-clearance when it has worked and is continuing to work to stop discriminatory changes [to voting laws] is like throwing away your umbrella in a rainstorm because you are not getting wet.”

While I surmise that Congress will restore the Voting Rights Act in the future, that won’t happen, of course, with the current wingnut-dominated U.S. House of Representatives. Indeed, media reports are that the fascists of the red states, in light of this new U.S. Supreme Court decision, are working fast and furiously to reinstate their voter suppression laws (previously shot down by the Justice Department) just in time for the 2014 midterm elections.

I have to wonder, of course, if that was the goal of the wingnuts on the high court: To help the struggling Repugnican Tea Party in the next national elections. Hey, they’ve certainly involved themselves in election-fixing before, which even former U.S. Supreme Court “Justice” Sandra Day O’Connor, who was appointed by Ronald Reagan and who, with four other like-minded “justices,” put George W. Bush in office, has expressed a potential problem with.

Yesterday was a giant leap backwards for the equal human and civil rights of non-whites, and was yet another stain on our nation caused by yet another 5-4 vote by the right-wing U.S. Supreme Court, right up there with the court’s 5-4 coronation of George W. Bush as president in late 2000 even though he’d lost the election by more than a half-million popular votes and even though the pivotal state of Florida clearly had been stolen as a “victory” for Bush and with the court’s 5-4 Citizens United decision, which reinforced the bogus concept that corporations are just like individual people, and that just like individual people, corporations have First Amendment rights.

It’s mind-blowing to ponder the fact that the voting rights for which so many Americans fought and even died were eliminated at the stroke of the poisoned pen of just one right-wing U.S. Supreme Court justice. (Yet at the same time I suppose that it’s a little encouraging to know that it was only a 5-4 vote, that only one “justice” made the difference.)

I hope that the backlash against the right wing’s ongoing attempt to suppress voters is considerable. Generally speaking, the right-wing traitors among us win little battles here and there, but over time, they continue to lose the war. They stymie and delay progress as much as they can, but progress still marches on, and the haters go down in history as the haters that they are or were.

But today, unlike in November 2008, there was good news for us non-heterosexuals when the US. Supreme Court ruled, 5-4 (of course), that the so-called Defense of Marriage Act, which Congress passed in 1996, is unconstitutional, as it violates the Fourteenth Amendment’s guarantee of equal protection of the laws (duh).

This ruling means that no same-sex couple that has been married in a state with legalized same-sex marriage may be denied any of the federal benefits of marriage that are enjoyed by opposite-sex married couples.

However, this also means that same-sex couples in most states will not have the same rights as do same-sex couples in other states (those states that have adopted legalized same-sex marriage), which, of course, is a patently unfair and thus an untenable situation.

Yes, the nation’s high court, while it struck down DOMA, by yet another 5-4 vote refused to touch Prop H8, ruling that, as Reuters puts it, “supporters of [Prop H8] did not have standing to appeal a federal district court ruling that struck the law down.” Thus, the court apparently very intentionally avoided directly ruling on whether or not any state may constitutionally outlaw same-sex marriage, leaving same-sex marriage, for now, as an untenable issue of “states’ rights.”

Because the U.S. Supreme Court wouldn’t touch Prop H8, the lower federal courts’ rulings that Prop H8 is unconstitutional (because it violates the Fourteenth Amendment) stand, and my understanding is that this means that California will have same-sex marriage again, as it did briefly in 2008 (between the effective date of the California Supreme Court’s ruling for same-sex marriage and the effective date of the same-sex-marriage-nixing Prop H8) — but, I understand, there’s more legal wrangling ahead as to what, exactly, the Supremes’ refusal to touch Prop H8 means for California.

It was cowardly, irresponsible and short-sighted of the court to rule that DOMA is unconstitutional on the grounds of the Fourteenth Amendment but to then refuse to rule that accordingly, no state may outlaw same-sex marriage on the grounds of the Fourteenth Amendment, but apparently today’s rulings were, pathetically, the best that we could get from this right-wing court.

Of course it would have been nice if either or both of today’s high-court rulings on DOMA and Prop H8 (the court’s cowardly refusal to issue a ruling on Prop H8 was the court’s “ruling” on Prop H8) had been 6-3 or even 7-2 (or hell, even 8-1 or 9-0), but the right-wing homo-haters have no credibility in (predictably) calling the 5-4 decisions the “tyranny” of the U.S. Supreme Court against the American majority when a series of recent nationwide polls clearly show that a clear majority of Americans favor same-sex marriage.

And those fascistic haters who claim that to overturn Prop H8 is to overturn the will of California’s voters conveniently ignore the two facts that (1) any ballot measure passed by a majority of any state’s voters can be overturned by a federal court if that court deems it to be unconstitutional (Civics 101 — duh) and that (2) while Prop H8 passed in November 2008 with 52 percent of the vote, polls show now that around 60 percent of Californians support same-sex marriage; were Californians to vote again on the issue again today, same-sex marriage would pass by a decisive margin. Prop H8 no longer is the will of the majority of California’s voters.

So: Today we can celebrate a significant although incomplete victory for same-sex couples who desire legalized marriage and the rights (and, yes, the responsibilities) that come with legalized marriage.

But we need to fight like hell to regain the ground that we just lost where voting rights are concerned, and we need to fight like hell to gain full marriage equality for same-sex couples in all 50 states.

The U.S. Constitution’s demands for fairness and equality demand that we do so.

*True, Barack Obama (whom I don’t really consider “black” but consider to be of mixed race) turned out to be a huge disappointment, a George W. Bush Lite, but I did cast my vote for him in November 2008 before I knew how his presidency was going to unfold. I voted for him in 2008 at least in part because I thought that it was great to be able to vote for the first non-all-white president in U.S. history. (In 2012 I could not, in good conscience, vote for Obama again; I voted for Green Party candidate Jill Stein.)

**And this was no radically left-wing California Supreme Court; when it ruled in favor of same-sex marriage in 2008, most of its justices at that time had been appointed by Repugnican, not by Democratic, governors.

Update (Wednesday, June 26, 2013): Democratic California Gov. Jerry Brown has instructed the California Department of Public Health, which comes under his authority, to direct all of California’s 58 counties to begin to issue same-sex marriage licenses as soon as is legally possible, which might take a month or so.

Update (Friday, June 28, 2013): The homo-hating wingnuts here in California (and elsewhere) are going apoplectic over this (from The Associated Press today):

The four plaintiffs in the U.S. Supreme Court case that overturned California’s same-sex marriage ban tied the knot [today], just hours after a federal appeals court freed gay couples to obtain marriage licenses in the state for the first time in 4 1/2 years.

State Attorney General Kamala Harris presided at the San Francisco City Hall wedding of Kris Perry and Sandy Stier as hundreds of supporters looked on and cheered. The couple sued to overturn the state’s voter-approved gay marriage ban along with Jeff Katami and Paul Zarrillo, who married at Los Angeles City Hall 90 minutes later with Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa presiding. …

Although the couples fought for the right to wed for years, their weddings came together in a flurry when a three-judge panel of the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals issued a brief order [this] afternoon dissolving, “effective immediately,” a stay it had imposed on gay marriages while the lawsuit challenging the ban advanced through the courts.

Sponsors of California’s same-sex marriage ban, known as Proposition 8, called the appeals court’s swift action “outrageous.” Under Supreme Court rules, the losing side in a legal dispute has 25 days to ask the high court to rehear the case, and Proposition 8’s backers had not yet announced whether they would do so. …

Call the homo-haters a waaaaaambulance! Anyway, the AP story continues:

The [U.S.] Supreme Court said earlier this week that it would not finalize its ruling in the Proposition 8 case until after the 25-day period, which ends July 21. But San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera, who joined the two couples in the lawsuit, said [today] that the Ninth Circuit panel had the power to lift the stay it imposed.

“The fact of the matter is the only thing holding up the weddings was the stay that the Ninth Circuit had in place,” Herrera said. “The fact that there is a separate 25-day period allowing the petition to go for a rehearing is separate and apart from that stay.”

[California Gov. Jerry] Brown directed California counties to start performing same-sex marriages immediately after the appeals court’s order. A memo from the Department of Public Health said “same-sex marriage is again legal in California” and ordered county clerks to resume issuing marriage licenses to gay couples. …

Anyway: Wow. After the U.S. Supreme Court’s handed-down decision on Wednesday not to touch the Prop H8 case, we Californians had figured that there would be a wait of at least around a month for same-sex marriages to resume in California; we didn’t expect them to resume this quickly.

I misspoke above, by the way: The U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday did not uphold both federal district court Judge Vaughn Walker’s 2010 decision that Prop H8 violated the U.S. Constitution and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals’ decision in February 2012 to uphold Walker’s original ruling.

The U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday vacated the circuit court’s ruling, which then reverted the matter of Prop H8 to Walker’s original 2010 ruling.

Frankly, Vaughn Walker, who is now retired, is a hero to me. Yes, he is a gay man, and yes, the homo-haters tried (but failed) to have his 2010 pro-same-sex-marriage ruling invalidated because he’s gay (apparently only [presumedly] straight white men can be fair and impartial judges, you see), but Walker is no left-wing radical: He was nominated as a federal judge first by Ronald Reagan and then by George H. W. Bush, and apparently his political leanings are conservative-libertarian.

I consider Walker’s ruling to be a landmark document in U.S. gay, lesbian and bisexual history. You can read it, if you want, here.

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Katherine, Kenneth and Ken: Three Ks make KKK

Gov. Jan Brewer, left, pauses to answer a question, as she is joined by Secretary of State Ken Bennett, right, and Attorney General Tom Horne after signing the canvass on the recall election results on the defeat of state Sen. Russell Pearce during a brief ceremony in Bennett's office at the Arizona Capitol, Monday, Nov. 21, 2011, in Phoenix. It was the first recall election of an Arizona legislator, setting the stage for successful challenger  Jerry Lewis to take office. Lewis defeated Pearce in the Nov. 8 recall election in a Mesa legislative district.

Associated Press photo

Arizona Secretary of State Ken Bennett is a Mormon and a co-chair of fellow Mormon multi-millionaire Mittens Romney’s presidential campaign in Arizona. The Repugnican Tea Party traitor Bennett (photographed above in November with Repugnican Tea Party Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer, who initially appointed him to his post) says that there is a possibility that he will remove Barack Obama from Arizona’s November ballot because of lingering “questions” over Obama’s U.S. citizenship. Do the “tea party” traitors really want a rematch of the Civil War?

In late 2000, it was good enough for the Repugnican Tea Party traitors to block a recount of Florida’s presidential votes and to have the right-wing “justices” on the U.S. Supreme Court crown George W. Bush as president, even though Al Gore had won not only the popular vote, but the state of Florida as well.

(In order for Gee Dubya to “win” the pivotal state of Florida, it was awfully helpful for him to have his brother Jeb as Florida’s governor and also to have the state’s secretary of state, Katherine Harris, in his pocket as well. Harris served not only as her state’s chief elections official, but she served as co-chair of her state’s committee to elect Gee Dubya as well. No conflict of interest there!)

In 2004, Repugnican Ohio Secretary of State Kenneth Blackwell, among other things, made damn sure that Repugnican-heavy precincts had plenty of voting booths but that Democratic-heavy precincts had too few, making Democratic voters (or would-be Democratic voters, anyway) wait in line for hours.

Just like his mentor Katherine Harris, Kenneth Blackwell also was co-chair of his state’s committee to “re”-elect Gee Dubya, even though he was the state’s chief elections officer. Unshockingly, with the help of Blackwell, Gee Dubya “won” the pivotal state of Ohio in 2004, giving us four more years of his unelected rule.

Now comes the Repugnican Tea Party secretary of state of Arizona, Ken Bennett, who initially was not elected, but who initially was appointed to his post by Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer after former Arizona Secretary of State Brewer ascended to the governorship when Democratic former Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano stupidly left the state to become Barack Obama’s secretary of “homeland security” and to leave Borg queen Jan Brewer in charge. (Arizona’s constitution provides that the state’s secretary of state becomes governor in the event of a vacancy in the governorship. Arizona has no lieutenant governor.) 

Reuters reports that Ken Bennett, a Mormon, “is Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s campaign co-chairman in Arizona.”

No shock there, right? This is a pattern that we’ve seen.

But Arizona Secretary of State Ken Bennnett is talking about the possibility of his removing incumbent president Barack Obama from Arizona’s November ballot altogether.

Why bother to stop the vote (re-)counting?

Why bother to suppress the Democratic or Democratic-leaning voters, such as by falsely labeling them as felons (as Katherine Harris did) or by making them wait in line for hours to be able to vote (as Kenneth Blackwell did) or by making them show state-issued ID cards in order to be able to vote (as the legislatures of the red states are doing or are trying to do)?

Just remove the Democratic candidate from the ballot altogether!

Clearly, Ken Bennett is a fucking political genius.

Bennett says that he has received some e-mails from constituents, you see. Constituents who are “concerned” that Muslim socialist Barack Hussein Obama is not a U.S. citizen.

Not e-mails from anti-democratic, white-supremacist fascists. No. E-mails — and we all know that all e-mails, by definition, are credible and respectable — from concerned citizens. Concerned. Citizens.

So let’s see. Let’s run the logic of this:

Billary Clinton wanted to be president of the United States of America very badly. Repugnican Tea Party fossil John McCainosaurus also in 2008 wanted to be the next prez. Maybe not as badly as Billary did, but: Do you really fucking think for one nanosecond that if there had been any actual problems with Obama’s qualifications to be U.S. president, neither Billary nor the McCain-Palin camp, with millions of dollars at their disposal, would have discovered this fact through their opposition research? And prevented Obama from continuing in his quest for the Oval Office?

The birther dipshits have failed in the court system, too. Notes Wikipedia:

Although Obama was confirmed as president-elect by Congress on January 8, 2009, and sworn in as president on January 20, 2009, litigation continued into his presidency. Numerous individuals and groups have filed state or federal lawsuits seeking to have Obama disqualified from standing or being confirmed for the presidency, or to compel him to release additional documentation relating to his citizenship.

By mid-December 2008, at least 17 lawsuits had been filed challenging Obama’s eligibility in states including North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Hawaii, Connecticut, New Jersey, Texas and Washington. No such suit had resulted in the grant of any relief to the plaintiffs by any court. All of the cases have been rejected in lower courts. Three post-election suits were dismissed by the Supreme Court of the United States. [Emphasis mine.]

The U.S. Supreme Court coronated George W. Bush as president but won’t touch the birther bullshit.

This fact also speaks volumes.

But here comes Arizona Secretary of State Ken Bennett — who, as well as helping out Mitt Romney in Arizona even though Bennett is the state’s chief elections official, according to the Los Angeles Times also has his eye on Arizona’s governorship in 2014 — saying, according to the Times, that he hasn’t ruled out the possibility of removing Obama from Arizona’s ballot if the state of Hawaii does not meet his demands regarding Obama’s birth certificate. Reports the Times:

Asked if he would keep Obama’s name off the state’s 2012 ballot if Hawaii fails to fulfill his request, Bennett said: “That’s possible. Or the other option would be I would ask all the other candidates, including the president, maybe to submit a certified copy of their birth certificate. But I don’t want to do that.”

So, to recap: Neither Billary nor McCainosaurus disputed Obama’s American citizenship during the 2008 campaign. The right-wing, president-selecting U.S. Supreme Court has refused to touch the matter of Obama’s citizenship. And Arizona’s Ken Bennett remains the only chief elections official of any of the 50 states to try to make Obama’s citizenship an “issue” at this time. And he certainly is the only state’s chief elections official who has raised the specter of removing the incumbent president from the November ballot altogether.

In light of all of this, three things need to happen:

  • The state of Arizona, the South Africa of the Southwest, needs to be (continued to be) boycotted for its backasswards, white supremacist/racist bullshit, such as its blatantly unconstitutional “breathing while brown” legislation, its blatantly white supremacist infamous Sheriff Joe Arpaio*, and for its secretary of state, who, along with Katherine Harris and with Kenneth Blackwell, we now can induct into the Chief State Elections Officials’ Hall of Shame.
  • Federal legislation needs to be passed that prohibits any state’s chief elections official from participating in any political candidate’s campaign, even just on paper. This is a no-fucking-brainer. You cannot have a fair election when the top elections official has a horse in the race. Subordinate state elections officials also should be prohibited from being active in any political campaign that their elections office oversees. Otherwise, it’s a blatant and anti-democratic conflict of interest. 
  • The actual democracy- and freedom-loving residents of Arizona need to recall Ken Bennett. In November they successfully recalled the architect of the state’s “breathing while brown” legislation (a.k.a. SB1070, which the state’s legislature passed in April 2010), former Arizona state Senate President Russell Pearce (who is yet another fucking Mormon). They can recall Bennett, too.

And, of course, should Bennett actually remove Barack Obama from Arizona’s ballot – which is, I think, unlikely, and the threat of which I believe most likely is just his political ploy to get the white-supremacist/racist vote – the federal government would need to intervene forcefully in such a blatantly anti-democratic violation of a state’s citizens’ voting rights.

And we real Americans would need to consider the need to pay Arizona a visit with our torches and pitchforks, because this bullshit will not stand, and this bullshit is the stuff of which civil wars are made.

P.S. Fun Ken Bennett trivia! Wikipedia notes that in 2006 Bennett’s son, Clifton, pled guilty to sexual battery, specifically, to having rectally violated at least one fellow minor:

A 2006 plea bargain involving [Bennett’s] son, Clifton, became controversial after several parents of victims accused [Bennett] of exerting undue influence to affect the case. In what a county attorney described as a summer camp “hazing ritual” gone wrong, Clifton [Bennett] and another man inserted a broomstick into the rectums of at least 18 boys in over 40 separate incidents.

Ultimately Clifton [Bennett], only 17 years old and a minor, pled guilty to one count of aggravated assault. Clifton was sentenced to 30 days in jail and three years’ probation. [Democratic] Arizona Attorney General Terry Goddard said he “had questions about the handling of the case,” but that his office had no authority to intervene. Yavapai County Attorney Sheila Polk defended the plea bargain and accused the news media of misrepresenting the issue.

A nut usually doesn’t fall far from the tree, does it?

And why is such sadism apparently so prevalent within the Mormon cult, such as how the 18-year-old Mittens Romney led a band of thugs to commit assault and battery on a young gay man? Romney called his forcible cutting of the young gay man’s hair a “prank,” but that isn’t a “prank” — that is assault and battery, a crime — and today, it would be classified as a hate crime.

Mormons are evil.

*Reuters notes that “In March, Maricopa County Sheriff [Joe] Arpaio declared Obama’s birth certificate a forgery following an [“investigation”] by a volunteer posse, acting at the request of conservative [“tea party”] activists in the Phoenix valley.” Of course, such a federal matter is not within any county sheriff’s jurisdiction, but white supremacists like Joe Arpaio, who is in deep shit with the feds for his office’s blatantly racist mistreatment of Latinos in Arizona, come to believe that they are omnipotent.

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Voters soundly reject the wingnut agenda

“Elections May Signal a Pause in Conservative Trend,” the Los Angeles Times reports of yesterday’s elections throughout the nation in an odd-numbered election year.

“May Signal a Pause”?

No, I think it’s fair to conclude that the political pendulum already has swung back to the left.

(Admittedly, though, we’re such a flip-flopping nation — thanks mostly to the “independent”/“swing” voters — that although Barack Obama’s re-election chances lately have been looking better and better, it’s not inconceivable that Mitt Romney just might be the next Flip-Flopper in Chief.)

In 2008, a left-wing wave enabled “Hopey-Changey” Obama to win “swing” states that Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry couldn’t win in 2004. The 2010 mid-term elections, by contrast, brought us Repugnican John “Cry Me a River” Boehner as the new speaker of the U.S. House and governorships that flipped from Democrats to Repugnicans, such as with Wisconsin’s Scott “Dead Man” Walker and Ohio’s union-buster in chief, John Kasich. An emboldened Repugnican Tea Party in 2010 also enacted unconstitutional and un-American legislation against those who commit the heinous crime of breathing while brown-skinned (a.k.a. “illegals”).

Yesterday, Ohio voters shot down Kasich’s union-busting legislation that was even more draconian than was Walker & Co.’s. (Walker & Co. at least had had the sense to exempt cops and firefighters, because the [mostly-white-]male-dominated professions are far more important than are the female-dominated professions, such as teaching and nursing, you see.)

Mississippi voters yesterday voted down a draconian anti-abortion measure (again: Mississippi); Mainers repealed a Repugnican Tea Party state law that would have ended the state’s long-standing same-day voter registration (and which was part of the Repugnican Tea Party’s nationwide campaign to suppress Democratic-leaning voters); and in what to me might be the greatest victory yesterday for the left, the architect of Arizona’s illegal (unconstitutional) and immoral anti-immigration legislation, Repugnican Tea Party state Sen. Russell Pearce, a stupid white man who until now has been the president of the state’s Senate, was recalled and replaced with a moderate Repugnican. The L.A. Times notes that it was Arizona’s “first recall election of a sitting lawmaker.”

(Disclosure: I donated money toward Pearce’s removal from office, even though I live in California. [Unfortunately, I was born and raised in Arizona.] And I did so gladly. [I also, late in the game, gave a donation to the campaign to overturn the Repugnican Tea Party’s labor-busting legislation in Ohio.])

So: Even in a state that is as red as is Arizona, there was a consequence at the ballot box for the race-based hate campaign that Pearce and his ilk started, the campaign that literally cost the state dearly (because of the bad name that the Repugnican Tea Party racists gave the state throughout the world, making Arizona seen, correctly, as the South Africa of the U.S. Southwest — and the resultant boycotts of the state). Pearce’s head on a pike should serve as a warning sign to those who dare to follow in his pointy-white-hooded footsteps.

In Wisconsin, in reaction to Walker & Co.’s assault on public-sector labor unions, while Democrats were not able to wrest control of the state’s Senate from the Repugnican Tea Party, recall elections that were held in Wisconsin this past summer did cost two Repugnican Tea Party state senators their seats (and no Democratic lawmaker lost his or her seat in the state’s recall mania). The state’s Senate now is comprised of 17 Repugnican Tea Party members and 16 Democratic Party members.

I expect the Democrats to recapture the state’s Senate in the November 2012 elections — and I fully expect Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker to be recalled in 2012. (Wisconsinites can start the recall process against him in January 2012. I’ve given money toward that cause already, and I’m sure that I’ll give more, because the Repugnican Tea Party traitors need to continue pay the price for so stupidly and so treasonously having attacked the working class and the middle class.)

These off-year election victories — especially for labor (and thus for the middle class and the working class) and for those of us who despise the race-based persecution of brown-skinned “illegals” (and those incorrectly believed to be “illegals” because of the color of their skin) — bode ill for the Repugnican Tea Party brand in November 2012, as does Herman “Gropey-Feely” Cain’s ongoing crusade to soil the already soiled Repugnican Tea Party brand even further.

The cocky Repugnican Tea Partiers way overplayed their hand after their victories in the 2010 mid-term elections, and next year they’re going to continue to pay the price for their gross political miscalculations.

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