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The RFRA is backfiring and needs to go

by Dan Burns on July 16, 2014 · 1 comment

REPEAL RFRA2I was raised Roman Catholic, and took it fairly seriously, but not super-seriously, as a youth. At least as an altar boy (it was only boys doing that, then) I had something to do during Mass, to cut the boredom, a little. Then I got to college and got sunk in philosophy and became an atheist, as I am now. At the time I thought pretty highly of myself and my “intellectual courage,” but I recognize now that “courage” was not a factor. My temperament is scientific/skeptical, much more so than religious, and that’s that.
 
Certainly I continue to be critical of religious efforts to foist dogma on others, via politics, but I have long since stopped “bashing” religion in and of itself. I see said bashing as pointless and often counterproductive. Moreover, if you consider the bloodiest, most violent and destructive century in human history so far – the twentieth – the primary problem wasn’t religion. It was totalitarian socio-political doctrines like Stalinism, Nazism, and Maoism. Not that the U.S. and other somewhat more democratic nations reacted all that well, especially post-WWII.
 
I recognize why many continue to choose religion. I can relate to the desire for guidance, solace, and (far and away the most important, imo, even if believers don’t get all hung up in what really motivates them, and why should they?) participation in a community of shared belief and values.
 
Finally, I think that plenty of coverage, in the left-progressive blogosphere, of the Hobby Lobby SCOTUS decision has been apocalyptic overkill. Full-blown religious right Pentecostal/fundamentalist theocracy is here, because of this? Come on.
 
All that being said, it is one awful decision. And we can’t really just blame it entirely on the excesses of five reactionaries on the Court. More below the fold.
 
…READ MORE

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1922312_291422187681656_881030080_n- First of all, Rep. John Kline (R-MN) has about as anti-woman a congressional record as one could have.
 

So, who can Republicans count on to “preach the Gospel of Bachmann” … of course, John Kline. Just look at the bills that he has sponsored :
 
H.R.7 : No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act
H.R. 23 Sanctity of Human Life Act
H.R.61 : Title X Abortion Provider Prohibition Act
H.R.217 : Title X Abortion Provider Prohibition Act
H.R.346 : Stop Abortion Funding in Multi-state Exchange Plans (SAFE Act)
H.R.447 : Prenatal Nondiscrimination Act (PRENDA) of 2013
H.R.732 : Child Interstate Abortion Notification Act
H.R.940 : Health Care Conscience Rights Act
H.R.1091 : Life at Conception Act
H.R.1797 : Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act
(MN Political Roundtable)

(That’s just regarding reproductive choice; there are many, many more War on Women efforts, with Kline’s name on them, in other areas.)
 
- And there’s this:
 

But the Supreme Court isn’t the only government body limiting insurance coverage to women. A new White House report released Wednesday argues that the 24 state governments that have failed to expand their Medicaid programs to individuals and families earning 138 percent above the federal poverty line could also be undermining women’s health.
 
That’s because women make up nearly 70 percent of adults on Medicaid and the report finds that limiting their access to coverage significantly restricts their access to health care. Relying on past health research, the analysis concludes that “having health insurance increases the probability that individuals report receiving ‘all needed care’ over the prior year.” “If the 24 States that have not yet expanded Medicaid did so, an additional 651,000 people would receive ‘all needed care’ over a given year once expanded coverage was fully in effect,” it says.
(Think Progress)

- “A Comprehensive Guide To Right-Wing Media’s Mockery, Victim-Blaming, And Denial Of Sexual Assault.” What a bunch of sorry, craven, whimpering, worthless losers the right-wing punditry are. I don’t know how to successfully hold them accountable, though.
 

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(Cross-posted from twoputttommy.com)
 
This great country’s founders feared and loathed corporations; the Boston Tea Party was a revolt against that era’s largest international corporation, the British East India Company. Of the hundreds that participated or watched tea being dumped from three British ships, only one (Francis Akeley) was arrested – and released due to lack of evidence. Clearly, our Founders had no love for the East India Company. There’s no mention of corporations in the Constitution; “We the people” is.
 
Yesterday’s Supreme Court decision expanding “personhood” of corporations is leading us down a path we really don’t want to go. Where might that be? “Nations are bankrupt, gone. Corporate society was an inevitable destiny.” Pay close attention to the question at the 2:00 minute mark….
 

 
(Direct link to YouTube here)
 

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SCOTUS and unions: Could have been worse

by Dan Burns on June 30, 2014 · 3 comments

unionsBut bad enough.
 

However, the decision authored by Justice Samuel Alito is limited to undercutting home care workers specifically…This means that teachers and fire fighters and the like maintain their existing union rights, but many of the most vulnerable workers have lost a tool for building power…While the Harris decision carves home care workers into a category of not-quite-public-employees to leave fully public employees untouched, the decision makes clear that the conservative majority is hostile to the precedent allowing fair share fees for public worker unions more generally, so unions are not out of danger, in addition to the blow this case deals to organizing new categories of workers who have not traditionally had union rights.
(Daily Kos)

Because of the prevalence of women among home care workers, this is, among other things, SCOTUS going two-for-two on anti-woman decisions, today.
 

Could have been worse, because the Court conceivably could have essentially extended “Right To Work” (I call it “Right To Be Exploited”) to all public sector workers (including public school teachers) nationwide, thereby potentially rendering their unions non-functioning.
 
Every reasonable progressive knows that there will be setbacks, sometimes severe, on the long path to ultimate progressive triumph. I suggest ignoring the doom and gloomers, purity martyrs, and the terminally cynical, and bearing in mind that the long game is in our hands.
 

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SCOTUS enables sick, vicious harassment

by Dan Burns on June 26, 2014 · 1 comment

85823294I am so f*cking sick and tired of g*d-damned right-wingers, whose need to screw others over is as pathological as their ethics are base and their intellects feeble.
 

The Supreme Court, which has very large buffer zone to keep protesters away from the building, has just unanimously ruled that Massachusetts’ buffer zone of 35 feet at abortion clinics is unconstitutional…
(Daily Kos)

It was 9-0, and I don’t know why the moderate wing went along with anything so despicable. Apparently the decision itself is kind of mealy-mouthed and open-ended. I don’t concern myself with those intricacies, but rather with the probable practical effects. Also, SCOTUS loves to issue unanimous decisions, presumably especially now, when it’s held in the lowest public esteem since polling of that started.
 

If people have a problem with abortion law in this country, they should try rational persuasion to get it changed. Not screaming at women, as up-close and personal as can be, seeking to exercise their rights. But anti-choice “protesters” tend to be a narcissistic, gutless, and, most of all, exceedingly irrational bunch.
 

If you’re pro-choice, and your blood isn’t on high boil already: “12 Horror Stories Show Why…Big Supreme Court Abortion Case Matters.”
 

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How sweet, what delicious IRONY, that a study showing that conservatives trust false and inaccurate sources came out on the same day as that election!

 

A h/t to the Daily Liar (aka the Daily Caller) for failing to inform their readers of accurate information, leading me to find this study.
I routinely lament the fact that conservatives believe things which are not true, which are factually false or factually deficient.
And that wilful conservative ignorance has now resulted in a massive upset in Virginia primary elections, where factual ignorance about immigration appears to be the deciding issue in the upset.
The PPP has done studies/polling every year which documents it, as noted here.


Study says Fox News may ‘harden conservative views’ of its audience

A Public Religion Research Institute/Brookings Institute study of Americans’ views on immigration reform finds that people’s media choices have a strong effect on their beliefs:

Only 12% of Americans who most trust Fox News for information about politics and current events correctly believe deportations have increased. In contrast, nearly one-quarter (24%) of Americans who most trust broadcast news, one-third (33%) Americans who most trust CNN, and 35% of Americans who most trust public television believe the deportation rate has increased.

In fact, the study finds, Fox News may “reinforce and perhaps harden conservative views.” 60 percent of Republicans who trust Fox News most say immigrants “Burden our country because they take our jobs, housing, and health care.” 38 percent of Republicans who trust other news sources most say the same thing.

republicans-views-of-immigrants

So, in other words – Fox News viewers ARE WRONG; conservatives believe LIES, FACTUALLY FALSE INFORMATION. Conservatives TRUST that false information and are either unable or unwilling to fact check it or to trust other, more accurate sources. In other words, conservatives engage in wilful ignorance and have done so for YEARS AND YEARS.

 

Among conservatives, not surprisingly, Fox is huge: 48 percent trust it most. “By contrast, there is no dominant trusted news source among Democrats or liberals,” the study found. “These figures may partly reflect the ideological diversity of the Democratic Party,” E.J. Dionne Jr. and William A. Galston propose in the study’s media section.

“Whereas Republicans overwhelmingly identify as conservative (74%), the Democratic Party is more ideologically diverse, with 46% calling themselves liberal, 31% moderate, and 20% conservative.”

One more interesting finding: Republicans “make up 23% of the entire sample and 21% of those who say they use public radio as a “news source for information about politics and current events,” the study says. “Democrats make up 34% of the sample and 36% of those who say they use public radio. Independents are 40% of the broader sample and also 40% of those who report that they listen to public radio for their news.”

And now we have seen the badly misinformed and wilfully ignorant tea party throw out the House majority leader, because they were convinced of things about immigration and immigration reform by their propaganda arm of the right that were not true.

 

That congressional district, FYI, is composed of 28% minority residents, many of them Hispanic. This might play out very very badly for Republicans in the general election, given that we have seen Virginia elections decided by minority voters and women – both groups opposing the GOP, especially the tea party.

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10439498_10202965631314937_7763882604465877273_nThe U.S. Senate finally got rid of the filibuster for executive and judicial nominees, because Republicans were shamelessly and vindictively using it to block pretty much everybody. Unfortunately, Sen. Pat Leahy (D-VT), chair of the Judiciary Committee, continues to allow the use of “blue slips” by Republicans, to shoot down some nominations. Leahy apparently has this bizarre delusion that the U.S. Senate is still fundamentally a “collegial” place full of intelligent, reasonable people who honestly mean well, but are just separated by a few minor differences of opinion that can be respectfully worked out with a little good-faith effort on all sides. It’s hard to determine how Leahy, who does not seem like a fool in general, can be so screwed up in his head on this particular matter. But that’s what we have to deal with.
 
So, President Obama cut a deal, down in Georgia: Conservatives could have a couple of their own, within reason, if they agreed not to block very important circuit court nominations. The result was predictable, and, thankfully, at least one U.S. Senator from Minnesota is having none of it.
 

Michael Boggs’ disingenuous answers to members of the Senate Judiciary Committee considering his nomination to the federal bench aren’t cutting the mustard with Sen. Al Franken (D-MN).
 
Franken and his colleague Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) were particularly concerned about Boggs’ comments in his confirmation hearing that he made a completely uninformed vote for a controversial anti-abortion bill in the Georgia legislature, a measure that would endanger the lives of healthcare providers. Those concerns weren’t allayed by Boggs’ written responses to follow-up questions by the senators, and have led Franken to announce his opposition to Boggs.
(Daily Kos)

This could work. If there’s enough committee opposition, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid could decide to torpedo the nomination by simply refusing to allow a floor vote. That’s probably our best bet.
 

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Iowa has gay marriage.

 

Minnesota has gay marriage.

 

The remaining backward states in the region are being dragged into the 21st century, and real freedom and equality, in spite of the attempts by the right to create a tier of 2nd class citizens.

 

And now Whiz-sconsin and North Duh-kota have recently joined South Duh-kota in facing legal challenges that are expected to overturn their gay marriage bans.

 

Six couples on May 22, 2014 filed a lawsuit in South Dakota.  Those challenges have yet to be heard in court.  As noted in the Washington Blade, both Iowa and Minnesota same sex marriage recognition is central to those challenges.

Six same-sex couples on Thursday filed a federal lawsuit seeking marriage rights in South Dakota.

The lead plaintiffs — Nancy and Jennie Rosenbrahn of Rapid City who have been together for 27 years — exchanged vows last month in Minnesota during a ceremony that Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges officiated.

The Pennington County Register of Deeds in March refused to issue the women a marriage license. Rapid City officials earlier this month also denied their request to change their name after they tied the knot in Minnesota.

Clay Schweitzer and Jeremy Coller of Rapid City last month also tried to apply for a marriage license at the Pennington County Register of Deeds, but were denied. The couple married in Iowa on May 14.

As of the May 22nd filing, North Dakota was the only state left without a legal challenge to gay marriage. That changed on Friday when seven couples filed a challenge to the same sex marriage ban.

According to the Wa Po:


Lawsuit challenges North Dakota gay marriage ban

BISMARCK, N.D. — Seven couples filed a federal lawsuit Friday challenging the constitutional prohibition on same-sex marriage in North Dakota, making it the last state in the country with a ban to be sued by gay couples seeking the right to wed in their home state. A federal judge also struck down Wisconsin’s ban, ruling it was unconstitutional.

The North Dakota lawsuit, filed in federal court in Fargo, challenges both that state’s ban on gay marriage and its refusal to recognize the marriages of same-sex couples who legally wed in other states.

That means cases are currently pending in all 31 states with gay marriage bans. Judges have overturned several state bans since the U.S. Supreme Court struck down part of the federal Defense of Marriage Act last year, with Wisconsin being the latest. Many of those rulings are being appealed, and Wisconsin Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen quickly vowed to do so.

… A federal judge has struck down Wisconsin’s ban on same-sex marriage Friday, June 6, 2014, ruling it unconstitutional. It wasn’t clear whether same-sex marriages could immediately begin.

North Dakota’s attorney general said he had not yet seen the lawsuit challenging the state’s 2004 ban, which claims violations on three issues that are guaranteed in the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution: equal protection, due process and right to travel.

“Ultimately, only the Supreme Court can determine whether North Dakota’s enactment is constitutional or not,” Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem said in a statement.

Legal experts said because North Dakota is the last state to face a lawsuit, a federal appeals court that covers the region or even the U.S. Supreme Court could rule on another case first, making the lawsuit largely symbolic given that all states with bans have now been challenged.

“They’re not going to just wait around, because it’s inevitably coming,” Carpenter said. Rulings in the 4th and 10th Circuit Court of Appeals are expected in the coming months.

Gay couples already can wed in 19 states and the District of Columbia.

So, to recap – Minnesota was the 12th state to legislate gay marriage. Now that is the case in 7 more states, and the district of Columbia with legal rulings in some stage of advancement in 31 others. Wisconsin is only the latest in a long line of decisions overturning gay marriage. Colorado has civil unions.
From CNN:

Facts: Same-sex marriage is legal in 19 U.S states and the District of Columbia: California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington.

Same-sex marriage is banned by constitutional amendment or state law in: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming.

The laws banning same-sex marriage in Arkansas, Idaho, Michigan, Oklahoma, Texas, Utah and Virginia have been ruled unconstitutional. Those decisions have been stayed and are awaiting appeals. Judges in Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio and Tennessee have issued limited rulings relating to same-sex marriages, but have not ruled that bans are unconstitutional.

Worldwide, 16 other countries (and parts of Mexico) also have laws allowing same-sex marriage and domestic partnerships. Most of these are in Europe and South America.

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Better funding of background checks so as to provide data to the NICS data base help prevent the dangerously mentally ill from obtaining legal guns from FFL licensed sources.

 

We still have the problem of the dangerously mentally ill obtaining legal guns through other means, and of course, we have too many illegal guns available in our society as well.

 

But when we have the radical right wing nuttery trying to equate partisan  political affiliation with mental illness, and/or fraudulently and factually inaccurately trying to categorize all mass shootings as having a mental illness causation, we need to object.  We must push back against this faulty thinking, this profoundly flawed analysis, and this crackpot right wing belief.  It is trying to redefine the NRA fiction of a bad guy with a gun as a crazy bad guy with a gun.

 

We must push back because what this really represents, above and beyond attempting simply to disparage the opposition by the right, is that this claim attempts to redefine gun control arguments and focus.  We see some acquiescence to this change of focus by Sen. Blumenthal, in his appearance on Face the Nation, this past Sunday (CBS).

So for example, the excellent article in the Examiner debunked a widely circulated belief on the right, one that occurs across the right wing echo chamber/bubble, that mass shootings are by registered democrats, or at the very least, “lefty leaners”.

The idea that recent mass shooters are mostly registered Democrats is a myth

Based on the assertions of Roger Hedgecock a right-wing radio show host,

the meme that the five worst recent mass shootings were committed by

registered Democrats is making its way through e-mail chains and social

media. Hedgecock asserts, without providing any evidence or sources,

that the Ft. Hood shooter, the Virginia Tech shooter, the Aurora Theater

shooter and Adam Lanza of Sandy Hook infamy were all “registered

Democrats”. He acknowledges that Klebold and Harris (the Columbine

Colorado shooters) were too young to be registered voters but asserts,

again without providing any evidence, that Harris and Klebold’s parents

were progressives or liberal Democrats.

In another forum, the radical righties insisted that, ok, so this author debunked the last five mass shooters — but those OTHER shootings were all by lefties! No. Wrong. Factually false.

 

1. Elliot Rodgers the most recent mass shooter was proclaimed a ‘lefty’ because he subscribed to the youtube feed from the Young Turks.

THAT does not define someone as a lefty; I follow Fox News on Facebook, it doesn’t make me a right wing nut.

 

What does appear to show a larger and more valid claim to political orientation and affiliation however is the links to the ultra-conservative male-dominionist men’s rights movement expressed in his videos and manifesto, and supported apparently by his reported internet history.

 

2. Another example claimed — that James Holmes was a member of Occupy San Diego. That is also factually false. At no time was Holmes involved in any way with Occupy San Diego, nor so far as I can find, did he have any political opinion. He appears to have been apolitical.

 

We don’t know definitively yet if Holmes was mentally ill, or if he was, that mental illness had any causational role in his actions. In contrast, we know that Jared Loughner suffered from severe schizophrenia, but that appears to be the exception to the rule, not typical of mass shooters.

 

3. Claims that Karl Pierson was a ‘lefty’ also don’t hold up well to scrutiny. The basis for that claim appears to be that he was an advocate for Keynesian economics, and that one student at his school variously claimed he was a communist or a socialist. What is not at all clear is if the student who made those claims even knew Pierson, much less knew him well. There are Keynsian economists and advocates or proponents across the political spectrum; being a Keynsian is not even remotely the same thing as being a ‘commie’ or a ‘socialist’. There appears to be zero factual basis for the claim that Pierson was a socialist, ‘commie’ or in any other way a ‘lefty’. What is clear from the way those words lefty and commie and marxist are used on the right, however, is that most of those who use those terms casually and interchangeably have no clue what the terms mean. Rather they lob them like bad-word grenades to name-call people with whom they disagree, without regard to actual definitions.

 

4. Adam Lanza, the Sandy Hook shooter has been incorrectly identified over and over on the right as a ‘lefty’ and a registered Democrat. He was not a lefty, and not a registered voter. If he was mentally ill, we have no diagnosis of it sufficiently chronologically proximate to the shooting, nor do we know if his mental health had any direct causation on his actions. What we do know is that he seemed to share his mother’s ultra-conservative views, and that she was a right wing prepper crackpot, of the variety that believes the rubbish promoted by the likes of Glenn Beck.

 

5. Jared Loughner — yup, he was severely mentally ill, and yup, that had a direct causational role in his mass shooting. But no, he was not a lefty, and to refute some of the claims made on the right, he was never a volunteer working for Gabby Giffords. What we do know is that he had some vague left-leaning political notions while he was still sane, but that as he became increasingly erratic and his mental illness worsened, he began to visit extremist conservative crackpot web sites, and the ideas from those right wing websites were repeated in communication to Giffords and the Gifford campaign, and that he appears to have targeted Giffords for rejecting those ideas (or at least, not supporting them).

 

Some mass shootings ARE political in nature, but those are NOT also mental illness caused attacks. Those mass shootings have been, consistently, by radical right wingers.

 

From the same article:

Interestingly, Hedgecock and those on the far right have conveniently overlooked a number of cases where ideology is clearly right-wing. The acts below are instances of right-wing violence that are unequivocally committed by people who are openly hostile to liberalism. While this does not mean these killers are Republicans, it is quite clear that they are RIGHT-WINGERS and that they have far more in common with Mr. Hedgecock, Alex Jones and the other gun-toting conspiracy nuts on the right than with any evils associated with the Democratic Party or liberalism. In addition, to the list below is the obvious case of Timothy McVeigh, who I have not included because his crime was not committed with firearms. It was however, committed by a right-winger and the carnage was on a massive scale.

 

For example, on July 18,84 James Oliver Huberty, who told his wife he hated “children, Mexicans and the United States” opened fire inside the McDonald’s Restaurant in San Ysidro, CA using a Browning P-35 Hi-Power 9mm pistol, Winchester 1200 pump-action 12-gauge shotgun, and an Israeli Military Industries 9mm Carbine (Uzi) – all legally acquired. He killed 21 and injured 19 before he was shot dead by police.

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It is Memorial Day Today

by Dog Gone on May 26, 2014 · 1 comment

Arlington Cemetery

Results of Conservative Voter Suppression efforts, long lines at polling places – Detroit Michigan

Today is Memorial Day.

 

Today is the day we honor and acknowledge those who died in military service on behalf of this country.

 

Today is the day we honor and acknowledge that sacrifice in defense of our nation, our form of government, our Constitution.
The core premise of our government, what is established by our Constitution, what was so beautifully articulated by Abraham Lincoln, president during the Civil War which inspired this holiday, is “government of the people, by the people, and for the people”.
That is what those men and women, all of them back to the American revolution died to protect and defend and to ensure continues: Freedom, Representative Government.
That government of the people, by the people, takes place through the function of one man (or woman), and one vote.
That is NOT one vote ONLY for a few, special, privileged people who have the ‘right’ color, ethnicity or origins, the ‘right’ religion, or the ‘right’ economic status, or the ‘right’ political ideology.
That is the opposite of one person/one vote. That is the opposite of legitimate representative government – the form of government that defines our nation.
That was what those wars where those people died we honor today were fought to oppose – to prevent control of government by the few, to prevent human beings from treatment as second class citizens.
I think about that every time I see an effort by conservatives to suppress or limit or restrict or in some way impair or make more difficult the right of people – American citizens – legally to exercise their right to vote.

Back in March, a Republican in the Wisconsin legislature, which has passed as many provisions to shut down legal voters as any state, finally had enough.
From Think Progress:

As his own party pushed through the Wisconsin Senate the latest in a series of measures to make it harder to vote in the state, Sen. Dale Schultz (R) blasted the efforts as “trying to suppress the vote” last week.
Schultz, who is not seeking re-election and was the lone Republican to oppose a bill last week to limit the hours of early voting in every jurisdiction in the state, was a guest on The Devil’s Advocates radio program on Madison’s 92.1 FM last Wednesday. Asked why his party pushed the bill, Schultz responded, “I am not willing to defend them anymore. I’m just not and I’m embarrassed by this.”Schultz argued that this and dozens of similar bills before the Senate this were based on “mythology” that voter fraud is a serious concern: “I began this session thinking that there was some lack of faith in our voting process and we maybe needed to address it. But I have come to the conclusion that this is far less noble.”
Noting that Republican President Dwight Eisenhower championed the 1957 civil rights law, Schultz said that he could not “find any real reason” for his party’s effort to make it harder to vote:

SCHULTZ: It’s just, I think, sad when a political party — my political party — has so lost faith in its ideas that it’s pouring all of its energy into election mechanics. And again, I’m a guy who understands and appreciates what we should be doing in order to make sure every vote counts, every vote is legitimate. But that fact is, it ought to be abundantly clear to everybody in this state that there is no massive voter fraud. The only thing that we do have in this state is we have long lines of people who want to vote. And it seems to me that we should be doing everything we can to make it easier, to help these people get their votes counted. And that we should be pitching as political parties our ideas for improving things in the future, rather than mucking around in the mechanics and making it more confrontational at the voting sites and trying to suppress the vote.

Schultz added that the suppression was “just plain wrong,” adding, “It is all predicated on some belief there is a massive fraud or irregularities, something my colleagues have been hot on the trail for three years and have failed miserably at demonstrating.” The GOP-controlled Assembly has already passed a similar bill.

 

 

It should be obvious to all conservatives that keeping minority voters from the polls, or keeping anyone from voting as easily as others vote that he is dishonoring what those veterans fought and died to protect by voter suppression. By voter suppression I mean:

- creating long lines by reducing polling places or making them inaccessible;
- reducing early voter days;
- not providing bathrooms to people who come to a location to vote;
- purging legitimate voters from voting rolls;
- voter ID when there is not a problem with voter fraud that would be solved by that solution-in-search-of-a-problem;
- laws which disenfranchise criminals who have paid their debt to society so as to disproportionately disenfranchise minority ethnicities;
- laws which make it more difficult or expensive for people to register to vote;
- laws which privatize voting, and which require voting machines that result in ‘hanging chads’ or dubious electronic results vulnerable to tampering.

 

Think of that today. Think about what people died to preserve, think about the ideal, think about Lincoln’s words (a liberal), think about Jefferson’s words (another liberal) in the Declaration of Independence:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

 

All men (and women) are created equal, have equal rights, all men – and women -  NOT some second class citizens. Men and women have bled and died for that.

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