Thursday, March 10, 2016

No easy solutions to our problems.

Some Republicans may be rethinking their policy of only allowing white people to vote.

Obama. Well you all were right. He's made us all Muslims and now we have no personal guns just as you predicted.  But will you at least give him credit for still allowing us the freedom of criticizing him without him calling us losers?

Presidential politics. Maybe he HAS been reading history and how to lawfully take over a nation.  Thankfully, at least, so far, he's not growing a tiny little mustache so many of us don't figure things out in time.  Not sure he even wants to make America Great Again....I think he wants to make America white again.  


I wish I saw easy answers.  All I see are complicated issues with NO easy solutions.


Corpus Delicti: Two North Carolinians Arrested In The Act Of Burying Dead Body

by jonathanturley
120px-Toe_tagThe Sopranos make this look so easy. A man and a woman have been arrested in Ellendale, North Carolina after they were caught burying a dead body on an abandoned property. It does not get stronger than that for a criminal case. Suspect Tony Hearne is quoted as saying it was just his "bad luck" that things worked out this way.


For Those Who Had Any Doubts, Kansas Has Officially Gone Insane.
For those who had any remaining doubts, Kansas has officially gone insane, with its Republican dominated legislature now trying to pass a law effectively nullifying the state’s Judiciary system:
A committee in the GOP-controlled Senate plans to vote Tuesday on a bill that would make "attempting to usurp the power" of the Legislature or the executive branch grounds for impeachment.
Impeachment has "been a little-used tool" to challenge judges who strike down new legislation, said Republican Sen. Dennis Pyle, a sponsor of the measure. "Maybe it needs to be oiled up a little bit or sharpened a little bit."
Senate Bill 439 is currently set for debate before the state’s GOP-stacked Judiciary Committee. If it is approved and signed by Governor Brownback, it will permitimpeachment of any Judge who acts contrary to the wishes of the legislature. In other words, any Judge who strikes down or modifies any law  the legislature passes, for any reason-- whether the law is blatantly Unconstitutional, violative of existing laws, or otherwise, is thereby subject to impeachment proceedings by the state Legislature. A previous law threatening to cut off all Judicial funding was declared unconstitutional by the state’s High Court.
The state has been trapped in an economic death grip since Governor Sam Brownback and a feckless cadre of rabidly “conservative” Republican lawmakers controlling asupermajority in both of the state’s legislative chambers instituted unprecedented, radical tax cuts to benefit the richest people in the state, while just as radically guttingpublic services to the state’s citizens, most notably in education:
Parent-enraging anecdotes abounded in schools across the state: tales of swelling classroom sizes, teachers forced to fill in for laid-off janitors and nurses, libraries unable to buy new books. One group of parents took the extraordinary step of suing the government, a lawsuit Brownback appealed all the way to the Kansas Supreme Court after a lower court described his actions as "destructive of our children's future." In March [of 2014], the Supreme Court ruled the cuts unconstitutional.
Nor has the situation improved much at all since Brownback was re-elected. As Charles Pierce, writing for Esquire magazine, describes it, the sorry condition of the state under complete “Tea Party" dominance now serves as a textbook, laboratory-tested example of what unchecked Republican policies can lead to.  Furious at Court rulings ordering the state government to follow existing law and fund public education ( a task which Brownback’s extreme tax-cutting has made well-nigh impossible), the Republicans are striking back at the only thing that stands in their way of turning the entire state into a Hobbesian, conservative cesspool—the state’s courts.
And don’t think they won’t do it:
Angry over losing in court on school funding and abortion and impatient to see the death penalty carried out, some lawmakers and Gov. Sam Brownback view the judiciary and especially the state Supreme Court as “activist,” “liberal” and out of control.
If that language sounds familiar, it should. It’s the same type of overblown terminology Republicans everywhere use to describe judicial decisions that don’t go their way. The Kansas Bill here is unique, however, in providing an explicit measure for one branch of government to nullify another branch’s authority completely as a form of “punishment’ for not yielding to partisan ideology. It's a measure purely designed to intimidate and threaten the Judiciary into accepting the dictates of a Republican legislature.  Which is exactly what the GOP-dominated Kansas legislature has in mind. Pierce captures the absolutist, dogma- driven fervor of these people:
They recognize no limits to their power, no curbs to their desire. There are few frontiers in democratic government that they will not work to violate, or to twist to their own purposesAnd they absolutely will not stop. Ni shagu nazad, as Stalin said to his army. Not one step backwards.
What’s happening to Kansas should be a stark example to the rest of us of what the Republican Party in control of the U.S. Congress would do under any Republican President: Trump, Cruz, Kasich—any of them,  it makes absolutely no difference. Any one of them would act as a willing and eager rubber-stamp for a Republican legislature hell-bent on satisfying the desires of a tiny minority of obscenely wealthy donors, leaving the rest of us to suffer the consequences. The behavior of the Republican Senate majority in refusing to even consider the President’s nominations to the Supreme Court is just another ominous reminder of their total disregard for government “by the people.” And they absolutely will not stop, even if it means trashing the rest of the country—and us along with it.


Bellville Ranch Shoot Out


Legal Action Threatened.  The Aids Society objects to being associated with Trump.

Sacha Baron Cohen: New Movie Has ‘Fairy Tale Ending… Donald Trump Gets AIDS’


Turkish Government Takes Over Critical Newspaper And Then Immediately Issued Pro-Government Edition

by jonathanturley
220px-Recep_Tayyip_ErdoganZaman_Front_PageThe rapid decline of civil liberties under the authoritarianism of Turkish president. Recep Tayyip Erdo─čan has been a regular point of discussion on this blog. He has been gradually arresting or threatening the dwindling number of independent journalists in Turkey and this prosecution may succeed in forcing the remaining reporters into silence or living in exile. The latest victim of his abusive rule is the Turkey's largest-circulation newspaper which was seized by the government. The newspaper, Zaman, was one of the most read sources of criticism of Erdogan and this government. The government has now silenced that voice and taken over the newspaper. The very next issue under government control was a markedly pro-government publication.


The Brief: Appeals Court Looks Again at Texas Voter ID Law

by Jacob Sanchez and John Reynolds | March 10, 2016

The Big Conversation

The ongoing legal challenge to Texas’ law requiring photo ID at the polling place took another potentially significant step Wednesday.
Six months after a three-judge appeals court panel ruled the law violated the Voting Rights Act, the full U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals will take up the case, the Tribune’s Jamie Lovegrovereported. A date hasn’t been set yet for oral arguments.
Passed in 2011, the law is defended by its supporters as a common sense measure to better secure the voting process. Critics, though, are challenging it as a measure meant to discriminate against Hispanic and African-American voters.
The law’s provisions are in effect and governing elections in Texas while the legal fight winds its way to a conclusion.
Lovegrove noted that one election law expert, Rick Hasen, wrote on Wednesday that the current vacancy on the U.S. Supreme Court could end up having an impact on the final resolution of the challenge to Texas’ voter ID law.
“The stakes are especially high because this is a case which could divide 4-4 before the current Supreme Court, meaning what the entire 5th circuit does may be the final word on Texas’s law,” Hasen wrote.


Richard Mithoff luncheon


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