Obfuscations and Objections…

Big ole’ Joe Biden was giving a speech to the victim’s families of the Sandy Hook shooting. It’s the 10 year “anniversary” of the shootings.. He said the nation should have ‘societal guilt’ over taking too long to address gun violence and the curse of school shootings.

I’m going to give that a big ole’ “Screw you, Joe!” What I have on the topic is bleak, helpless, depression and foreboding. YOU, on the other hand, Joe, you and your fellow politicians? YOU absolutely should have societal as well as personal guilt. You see, I have no power – none – to do anything whatsoever about gun violence in America. If I DID have power, I would have done something a long, long time ago. (Have you read my ‘Keep Your Gun Act?‘)

The politicians in Washington DO have the power to act and guess what? You didn’t. You haven’t. You won’t. Surprisingly, speeches haven’t done it. Thoughts and prayers have been remarkably ineffective. Hand-wringing and laments, it turns out, have little power against bullets and large capacity magazines.

Don’t you dare try to lay your feckless failings off on me…

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The Republicans are at it again. The party of projection is, once again, working as hard as they can to disrupt fair and honest elections. Yes, certainly, they’re still whining about how bad stolen elections are. Still, nobody interferes with elections in this once-great nation more often or more effectively than the Republicans. Their latest? They’re hoping to make it possible to gerrymander every state they can to gain permanent governing power…

In state after state, districts were often set by the sitting legislature. Not surprisingly, those legislatures tend to draw maps that allow them to keep power despite the fact that they’re in the minority. That’s how, say, Mitch McConnell, keeps his power. California used to be nearly ungovernable due to Republican districting. By drawing very carefully considered districts that favored Republicans, they kept enough Republicans in office to disrupt California politics for years. Then, California passed a proposition that required the districts be set by an independent committee, the California Citizens Redistricting Committee (CCRC). Suddenly, the districts more accurately represented the state’s population and Republicans lost their once-gerrymandered seats. To be clear, there are still Republicans in our state legislature and they continue to try to harm as many people as possible. There just aren’t enough to get the job done.

I don’t know if the CCRC was the start of a movement or just part of a movement, but I know similar ideas started popping up across this country whenever and wherever the people could make it happen. But the Republicans are evil, not stupid. They see it happening. They KNOW that if their chances are based on their policy positions, they’d likely never win again, or at least not enough to keep up their harm offensive. FAR too many people would benefit and stop suffering if districts are drawn fairly and they know it. So, naturally, they’re trying to stop it.

The mightily moronic Supremely Kangaroo Court is hearing a case, Moore v Harper, that is trying to strip questions of voting rights and congressional districting from state courts and hand those powers to state legislatures. Wherever Republicans control the legislature, they would never lose that control again despite that fact that their “ideas” suck and appeal only to the smallest number of people. Such a case, of course, requires funding. Republicans can’t just make cases on their merits – they would have to have merits – so they force them and that takes cash. So far, as nearly as people who track these things can tell, they have received $90 million dollars in so called “dark money,” the tool of fascism brought to you by the oh-so-stupid (and certainly anti-American) 2010 Citizen’s United ruling inflicted by the Roberts Court.

The Republicans are pressing this idea that state legislatures cannot be overruled by state supreme courts when it comes to setting rules for federal elections, even if the legislature’s actions violate the state’s constitution. They call this the ‘Independent State Legislature Theory’ (ISL) in an effort to make it sound legitimate, not like “election thievery…” It’s a very dangerous idea. According to this idea, a state legislature could set a rule that one guy – “Let’s just have Dick do it” – simply declares a winner in every federal election and there’s nothing anybody can do about it. For clarity, I haven’t actually heard anyone float that particular idea – but according to ISL, they could – and nobody could stop them. Besides, they don’t need one guy. Gerrymandering is very much the idea that one Dick declares the “winner” before any ballots are ever cast…

The term ‘Dark Money’ refers to spending on an election in which the source of the money is not disclosed. In simpler terms, ‘dark money’ is rich people buying elections and the outcomes they prefer – a decidedly unamerican activity. The leading dark money financier of the conservative groups is called DonorsTrust and it’s known as the ATM of the right. They get their money from unknown sources and distribute it to various other conservative, anti-American groups to support conservative causes.

Because it’s so effing stupid, the ISL was once, solidly, a fringe idea, rejected by every knowledgeable person. Now we have so many lawyers and judges that got their “law degrees” from conservative diploma factories and buy fully into conservative ideology, America is facing the risk that it may become the law of the land. Normally, Americans could trust that the Supreme Court would prevent such stupidity but since it’s now packed with diploma factory lawyers who keep making rulings based on their personal preferences and not the law itself, there’s no telling how these unqualified morons might rule. ISL serves mostly to support the extremely unpopular conservative agenda so it seems the conservative ideological activists on the court might like it. On the other hand, courts, even the Supremely Kangaroo Roberts Court, might be disinclined to remove power from the courts in any circumstances.

I’ll tell you this: when I updated (and corrected) the United States Constitution as a personal project, I inserted a line that said the districts should be as close to square-shaped as possible. It’s a pretty simple solution that precludes such a threat…

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