Skip to content

Rumors vs. reality: 6 facts about voting by mail for folks worried about election integrity

Contrary to opinions of naysayers who believe that our elections are overly fraught with voter fraud leading to the defeat of candidates who would obviously win if shenanigans did not prevail, voting by mail has proven to be a reliable method for conducting elections that are fair and accurate. Read the linked article for more information on this topic.

Those who deny election integrity based only on their belief (regardless of how strongly felt) that an election resulting in victory for any person(s) other than their stated preference is proof of voter or election fraud are in fact really just denouncing elections as a means of choosing political leaders. Donald Trump and the vast majority of those denying the validity of the 2020 election despite no proof of their allegations and plenty of evident to the contrary are seeking to replace our democracy with a neofascist regime led by Trump or one of his carbon copy wannabes.

As you vote this November, keep this in mind. Pennsylvania, which is where I live and vote, permits no excuse mail-in voting. I have used this method since 2020 to vote. I have found that this method brings results remarkably similar to voting on a machine in person during a specified short period of time. Sometimes my votes are cast for people who win and sometimes not.

Evidence exists that Trump’s backers include some willing to threaten election volunteers or even voters themselves with violence or prosecution. Voting is meant to be free, not under duress (unlike the recent sham “votes” held in portions of Ukraine to justify Russian claiming ownership of those areas). If you you don’t want to risk losing an election – don’t run. Don’t pretend that you deserve to win and refuse to recognize the legitimacy of the outcome with no evidence of chicanery.

People volunteering to help conduct free and fair elections do not deserve to face threats of physical or emotional violence for performing their civic duties. People inciting such threats or refusing to discourage them on the part of their supporters belong in jail, not elected office. The shoe fits. Trump may not be Cinderella, but his infectious election denialism certainly meets this description in my opinion.

Be safe. Vote in whatever manner is comfortable and legally available to you wherever you may be. But vote. Don’t let the autocrats win. – rjc

 

Source: Rumors vs. reality: 6 facts about voting by mail for folks worried about election integrity

The Extremist’s Veto: What Happens If We Don’t Prosecute Trump? | Mike the Mad Biologist

Excellent article from Mike the Mad Biologist’s blog.

As this seemingly unending saga of the Trump right (AKA – MAGATS) attempt to immunize Trump against criminal prosecution regardless of the crimes he committed in the past (as well as those he continues to commit) it is apparent that he has no intention of ever being held accountable for any of his misdeeds. The American People deserve true justice and freedom from his authoritarian attempts to subvert the rule of law inherent to the US Constitution.

The Department of Justice must know by now that there is little, if any, possibility that Trump will end his obsession with regaining the power he abused during his entire term of office. He needs to be prosecuted and banned from holding elected office ever again. Recent pronouncements by both Trump and his myriad collection of blindly obedient followers will not end unless and until he either regains  power or is successfully prosecuted in the courts (many of which he stacked with other enablers) and either sentenced to incarceration or banned from office.

The time has come to end the endless debate and return our democracy to a state where the Constitution (which, you may recall, he took an oath to protect and defend – only to blatantly refuse to do so at any opportunity). The man was wrongly allowed to escape conviction and removal from office twice in four years. Two years later, he remains free and is attempting to help elect as many fellow insurrectionists as he can to strength his hold on the GOP and win himself in the 2024 election.

This seven year stranglehold that Trump has had on the vast majority of members of the GOP needs to end. Gumming up the workings of the courts and Congress with his incessant lies and authoritarianism are what Trump has been able to to show proficiency in. This is exactly the opposite of what our country needs to help face future problems of all shapes and sizes. The daily barrage of media concentrating solely on Trump’s foot-dragging concerning all aspects of his erratic behavior needs to make way for true progress in improving our wellbeing as human beings without regard for his narcissistic rants, self-promotion and pocket-lining grift.

We need a government for US. Donald Trump is either unable or unwilling or both to give us a government of, by and for the people. We need to stop fighting a losing battle with Trump’s conceited notions of what America needs in order to be “great again”. Starting with this November’s midterm elections, we must send a message loud and clear that we will not reward his out-of-control political agenda.

American voters need to vote in record numbers to give ourselves a government at the federal, state and local levels that will provide a starting point for strengthening our democracy instead of destroying it. Give ourselves a government with solid majorities of people who want to do more than fulfill an insane desire to increase divisiveness while ignoring the most important issues of our time. Progressive legislation is needed more than catering to the greed for power and money that has always been the leading motivation for Trump, McConnell, McCarthy, Abbott, DeSantis and the rest of the MAGA team. – rjc

When it comes to the topic of prosecuting former, twice-impeached Donald Trump, some asshole with a blog noted: Our political discourse is admitting that, if the left, construed broadly loses, then they might protest and do non-violent things, but if the right loses, they will engage in political violence, which is to say terrorism…. This…

Source: The Extremist’s Veto: What Happens If We Don’t Prosecute Trump? | Mike the Mad Biologist

Remarks By President Biden on the Continued Battle for the Soul of the Nation – The White House

Attached is a link to the speech made by President Biden to the nation on September 1, 2022 making clear his perception of the danger to democracy presented by Former President Donald Trump and the many unquestioning supporters of his blatant lies regarding the legitimacy of the 2020 election which saw his defeat and the victory that resulted in his replacement as President of the United States by President Biden. The tone and content of the speech was long overdue, in my opinion.

The midterm elections this coming November will go a long way towards proving that the American people reject the authoritarian style Trump has presented us constantly at every opportunity before, during and since he was allowed to ascend to the office. We must furthermore leave no doubt to each other and to the world that violent mob insurrection such as that fomented in the Capitol Insurrection of January 6, 2021, inspired and carried out ON HIS BEHALF by people taking direction from the none-too-subtle remarks he made to a rally which immediately preceded it.

Such calls to violent overthrowing of the results of an election has been repeatedly endorsed by Trump, GOP leaders in Congress and many state and local GOP elected officeholders. In many respects, much important work in Congress and elsewhere is being held hostage by constant cacophony of his toddler-like tantrum of trying to get his way despite the fact that the vast majority of us either never did or now do not want to continue to be subject to his wholly undemocratic policies/dictates.

Tomorrow, September 3, 2022, will see a Trump event in my own backyard of Wilkes-Barre, PA, wherein he will campaign for candidates whom he has endorsed for US Senate, Governor and House of Representatives. The contrast between his venomous tirade and the Biden speech will be plain to see. I only hope he is able deliver his speech without inciting a riot in the process. – RJC

Source: REMARKS BY PRESIDENT BIDEN ON THE CONTINUED BATTLE FOR THE SOUL OF THE NATION – The White House

In Trump and Christian Nationalism the Racism, and the Ghosts of the Confederacy Return | The Inglorius Padre Steve’s World

A little over three years ago, I published an essay to this blog entitled, “Trump Must Go.” Subsequently, Trump was soundly defeated in the 2020 Presidential Election. Trump has not admitted his defeat and most likely never will. He has gone to great lengths to spread the Big Lie that the election was an utterly criminal rigging of the election to give the office he won fair and square to the real loser – Joe Biden.

Trump, along with the support of the vast majority of members of the Republican Party, has cried his eyes out, rallied wherever and whenever he pleases and raised millions in cash from anyone and everyone willing and able to contribute to his cause. Donald Trump, though out of office, is far from gone. In fact, in some ways, he is even more subject to news coverage than he even was while in office.

Padre Steven Dundas wrote the linked essay for his blog. He is spot on. Whether Trump is elected to the Presidency again is irrelevant. So much of the Party leadership is pushing the notion that nothing can cause them to lose elections except for criminal activity by their opponents. Donald Trump is a felon. He makes Richard Nixon seem like a choirboy in comparison. In about a week and a half he’ll be holding a campaign rally in my city of Wilkes-Barre, PA encouraging us to elect candidates for governor, US Senate and US House of Representatives whom he endorsed prior to their primary victories.

The candidate for Governor was a State Senator who participated in the January 6, 2021 insurrection and is hoping to weed out ineligible voters by forcing all voters to re-register to vote before the next election. He also claims he would appoint a Secretary of State (which is true in PA) and will have the ability to invalidate any election results in the state. His candidate for US Senate is Dr. Oz – like himself a TV celebrity – who bought a house in PA just so he could run for the Senate.

Trump will likely run for President in 2024. What other use does he have for the millions of dollars he continues to raise on a daily basis? If he loses in the primaries it will no doubt be to someone who has been mimicking him since 2017. He is not above the law. He has broken plenty of laws before, during and after his term as President. He should be prosecuted where it is appropriate for any other American would be prosecuted.

The Inglorious Padre Steve’s World is a great blog, in my opinion. I encourage those don’t subscribe to it to do so. Trump Must Go. I mean depart the stage permanently. No more mention of holding public office or leading the nation down a path as far from democracy as possible. The GOP needs to stop endorsing his authoritarian agenda or face the fate of the Whigs. – RJC

Source: In Trump and Christian Nationalism the Racism, and the Ghosts of the Confederacy Return | The Inglorius Padre Steve’s World

Article: Six Reasons Democrats will Win Midterms | OpEd News

The history of the entire Biden Administration’s legislative accomplishments, along with the most recent SCOTUS decisions, leave no doubt in my mind that this year’s midterm elections must defy recent history and solidify Democrat control of not only both houses of Congress, but as many state legislatures and other statewide office holders as possible. To allow this GOP to wrest control of the US House and Senate, as well as those state offices controlling their conduct and certification of elections would likely allow for an even more dramatically chaotic outcome for the 2024 election of the next President than we have been experiencing since the 2020 election/attempted Trump coup.

The GOP, since the election of Donald Trump in 2016, has taken our government further towards the authoritarian political right than many of us previously thought possible. The notion of government of the people, by the people and for the people (as championed by the first Republican President – Abraham Lincoln) is diametrically opposite the governing policy goals of this horridly mutated GOP. Allowing them to totally undermine future Biden/democratic policy initiatives for the remaining two years of Biden’s term and steal the 2024 election for Trump or one of the countless cookie cutter clones currently bending over backwards to back up anything he says or does in both words and deeds, may well result in disaster for the vast majority of Americans.

The recent Kansas voter referendum which diametrically opposed the SCOTUS overturning of Roe v Wade demonstrates how outside the mainstream public opinion the ultra-rightwing Supreme Court connived by the Senate GOP, thanks to Trump, McConnell and their GOP enablers really has become.

The recent flare up of violence instigating rhetoric related to the FBI serving of a legal search warrant at Trump’s private residence at Mar-a-Lago is only the latest manifestation of a political party hellbent on gaining and making permanent control of our government a reality – by making the voting preferences of millions of Americans meaningless in the selection of government office holders. The death of our democracy must not stand.

Kevin McCarthy must not become Speaker of the House and Mitch McConnell must not become Senate Majority leader again. The solid gains for Biden’s legislative agenda were made despite the unanimous attempts by them to thwart any meaningful progress for on any level. Increasing Democrat control over those two bodies would allow more progress to be made.

Go to the polls in November with the memory of January 6, 2021 on your mind – as well as the more recent attempts by Trump, McCarthy and other so-called Republican leaders to place a target on the the backs of law enforcement personnel doing their duties for the protection of our legal rights. Inciting violence against law enforcement, judges and elected officials is highly hypocritical for members of the party which has prided itself as THE Law and Order party in this country for decades.

The reasons spelled out in detail in the attached article provide a call to action to bring about lasting change for the better while preventing the currently chaotic insurrectionist direction being thrust upon us from becoming a permanent prison for our hopes and dreams. – rjc

 

Source: Article: Six Reasons Democrats will Win Midterms | OpEd News

Roe v. Wade

The Mitch McConnell sponsored packing of the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) with extremist rightwing politically activist justices bore fruit in the form of a series of decisions unleashed in the final days of its most recent session. By effectively stealing what should have been an appointment by Obama of a justice to replace Antonin Scalia at his passing on a made-to-order grounds of allowing the incoming President to nominate the new justice since the sitting President was a lame duck owing to his ineligibility to serve a third term in office (despite the fact that the vacancy would last nearly an entire year before a new POTUS was sworn in), the Senate GOP put into motion what would become the most rightwing Court in recent history. The retirement of Justice Kennedy (again making way for another hard-right replacement legitimately nominated by the then sitting Trump) further moved the Court to the liking of Republican hardliners.

Lo and behold, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death – even nearer to the end of Trump’s term than Scalia’s was to the end of Obama’s – enabled the Senate GOP and Majority Hypocrite-In-Chief Mitch McConnell to ditch his opportunistic sophistry that the new appointment should await the winner of the 2020 Presidential race and let Trump replace that 3rd Justice in what time remained in his first term. Miracle of miracles, the newly revamped SCOTUS was able to double down on a series of decisions that have angered a large majority of the American people – including a majority of voters (for those who may have forgotten, Trump lost the 2020 election by millions more than he lost the popular vote in 2016 – this time losing the electoral vote as well). Three hard core right wing activist Justices, two of whom would never have even been nominated under normal circumstances. 

For a President whose major accomplishment in his first(and probably only) term in office, Donald Trump will leave behind the legacy of creating a SCOTUS that seems hellbent on destroying the remnants of our democracy that has survived voter suppression and the election fraud policy of gerrymandering a way in which an increasingly smaller minority party can gain and maintain power over state legislatures, both Houses of Congress and even the Whitehouse itself indefinitely. The same applies to the entire Federal Judiciary branch, especially the Supreme Court itself – with a 6-3 ultra-conservative majority ensconced and continuing to serve up every variety of simply horrific decision (like the overturning of Roe v. Wade and the anti-gun-control decision just released) for the foreseeable future, possibly for decades.

Trump did not accomplish this unaided. Mitch McConnell declared early on in the Obama Administration that his main goal was to turn Obama into a one-term President. He failed, largely because Obama was able to see passage of the Affordable Care Act and other essential legislation prior to the 2010 midterm elections. The current 50-50 split in the Senate is often unable to pass legislation. Even when all 50 Democrats vote in unison (which has been problematic to say the least), GOP Senators can use  the filibuster to kill any bill they wish by making sure fewer than 10 Republicans  will vote with the Democrats. This was not possible when key legislation was passed under Obama.

By sending the issue of abortion/choice back to the states, SCOTUS has ensured a somewhat haphazard hodgepodge of legislation varying state to state. Laws passed by some states years ago gain validity and making it more difficult and costly for millions of American women to avail themselves of reproductive health care. Obviously, this affects those at the lower end of the economic scale far more than those at the top – especially if long-distance travel is necessary. Just as states that refused to expand Medicaid hurt economically disadvantaged residents under the ACA, vast differences in state abortion laws do likewise. Those affected most dramatically are obviously all women, and those belonging to racial and ethnic minorities at the lower end of the economic ladder.

This fostering of different rights for people based on which state they live in is simply unacceptable. Health care is a human right and should not depend on where someone lives in this country. Making an entire gender subject to such vagaries should not be allowed – any more than it ever should again affect one’s ability to vote, exercise their rights as enumerated in the Bill of Rights. Will they attack LGBT rights, marriage equality or any other vestiges of 18th, 19th or 20th century laws that we found abhorrent and legislated against at the federal level in the future? I fear we are in danger of embarking on a future replete with any number of idiotic, inhumane or utterly immoral state laws reversing current laws and reverting to a situation that is utterly unacceptable in a country that claims to have a democratic government protecting individual rights and equal justice under the law.

We need to halt this slippery slope of turning this society into one determined to Make America Great again by restoring misogynistic, racist, homophobic and/or xenophobic values that treat way too many people like criminals just because they do not share my personal preferences or lifestyle without affecting my life in any negative way whatsoever. Many of us know enough about this country’s past history to not ever want us to repeat the evils perpetrated on many of our predecessors by some of their contemporaries. Reproductive choice needs to be equally available to all Americans. The midterm elections this coming November need to make a statement that we as a people know how the GOP are trying to turn our government into an autocratic state instead of the democracy we desire. Vote in representatives in all levels of government – from local to state to federal – who will listen to, rather than mute, ALL of our voices.

Remember – Birds aren’t real.

Further Suggested Readings:

19-1392 Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization

Supreme Court has voted to overturn abortion rights, draft opinion shows – POLITICO

AOC Says Democrats Must ‘Leave It All on the Field’ to Defend Abortion Rights

Does it matter that most Americans want to keep Roe v. Wade?

You Can’t Stop the Overturn of Roe v Wade, but Here are 6 Things You Can do to Mitigate the Harm and Fight Back

Unhappy Mother’s Day Due to Forced Birthing

With Roe Under Threat, Sale of Location Data on Abortion Clinic Patients Raises Alarm

Opinion | Is the Supremely Right-Wing Court About to Overturn the Majority’s Will on Abortion?

Political Supreme Court takes away the rights of Citizens

21st Century Fascism: The Bid For Survival By A Dying Capitalist Order, by Rainer Shea

Opinion | A close reading of Alito’s draft abortion ruling reveals these 8 problems

Opinion | Alito thinks history helps his anti-abortion attack. Historians beg to differ.

Hear these anonymous CNN viewers share their personal stories and opinions of abortion – CNN Video

We Will Not Turn the Clock Back On Roe v Wade

Now Is the Time to “Aid and Abet” Abortion

The MAGA Violence Yet to Come

Yet another outstanding effort by Padre Steve Dundas from his “The Inglorius Padre Steve’s World” blog. If the four years of the Trump Presidency and the nearly two years of utterly inexcusable attempts to refuse to admit that the American electorate rejected his totalitarian methods and dictatorial goals have taught us nothing else, American democrats (small d, to include members of all parties resisting his criminal behavior) know now more than ever that he needs to be brought to justice for his treasonous behavior and never again permitted to occupy the Whitehouse.

The January 6 Committee’s publicly broadcast hearings have served to illustrate Trump’s willingness to do anything and everything he deems necessary to keep himself in power without regard to facts and realities that do not coincide with his nightmarish vision of an American populous held hostage to his every whim. He, along with all those who paved the way for the chaos he has been wreaking on this country since even before his 2016 rise to power, needs to pay dearly for the criminal behavior exhibited before, during and after the January 6, 2021 riot that he fostered and inflamed on our nation’s capital.

Many millions of Americans have known this for years before the broadcast public hearings of recent weeks. Others are viewing these misdeeds with a new awareness as a result of hearings themselves. It is not sufficient to merely muddle through the days between now and the 2024 Presidential election and hope to defeat Trump or someone equally willing to rend asunder our democracy by pretending that the US Constitution doesn’t apply to them.

We need to take appropriate legal action to punish those guilty of blatant insurrection. More importantly, we need to make sure we vote out any and all candidates in any and all elections leading up to the 2024 elections – including but not limited to the midterm elections to be held this November. Fight like hell to overcome voter suppression efforts in way too many states and ensure the defeat of those seeking to overrule the will of the people while lying through their teeth that they are only doing what needs to be done to accomplish the exact opposite. We cannot limit ourselves to merely preventing the Trump acolytes in the GOP he now owns from capturing the majority of seats in both houses of Congress. The same must be done to prevent state and local legislators and executives from making a second attempted coup successful. We have our work cut out for us. Let’s show the would-be tyrants that they have picked the wrong battle with an overwhelming display of electoral enthusiasm they never dreamed we could express. – rjc

The Inglorius Padre Steve's World


Friends of Padre Steve’s World,

I have not written anything here for months, but the last few months have been so busy with teaching, and the finishing touches on Mine Eyes Have Seen the Glory. Likewise I am dealing with a number of physical issues which still continue. I think I mentioned the Kidney stone, and maybe the Carpal Tunnel syndrome. I have follow ups coming for both. I had a CT scan of the Kidney this morning in preparation for the follow up appointment with the Urologist. I am concerned that they might not gotten all of it as I still suffer from pain there. The follow up with the hand surgeon next month to determine the next steps in dealing with it which will likely involve a more complicated surgery. But enough excuses, the fact is that my mind and body were fried, I have taken the ten…

View original post 1,680 more words

Matthew McConaughey: Act on gun responsibility vs control after Uvalde

Matthew McConaughey recently spoke out about the need for action in the aftermath of the recent massacre of young school children in his hometown of Uvalde, TX. He was viewed as a possible candidate to replace Governor Abbott before he decided not to run.

Perhaps he should run for public office. He would certainly be preferrable to the most recent occupants of the TX Governor’s Mansion (and several other high profile elected officials elsewhere throughout the country). No doubt he would also outshine the most recent celebrity occupant of the Whitehouse as well. – rjc

Matthew McConaughey: We can keep firearms out of the hands of dangerous people and protect the Second Amendment.

Source: Matthew McConaughey: Act on gun responsibility vs control after Uvalde

Here are 4 ways you can effect meaningful change as we process yet another mass shooting

The dysfunctional manner by which we have been responding to mass shootings for what seems like forever needs to end. The refusal by mainly GOP members of Congress and state legislatures to pass any legislation to deal meaningfully with these events – and reduce the death tolls exacted by the perpetrators of these attacks is totally unacceptable.

The main obstacle to passing legislation dealing with mass shooting events in schools, churches, businesses and just about any conceivable venue for the gathering of large numbers of innocent men, women and children has consistently been the US Senate and its filibuster which enables a minority of Senators to squelch common sense and dictate to the vast majority of us laws which make us feel less secure. Calling the current lineup of the US Senate a Democrat Majority only because the Vice President can cast a tiebreaking vote is a cruel joke when what is needed is at least 60 votes to end a filibuster and send the bill to the Whitehouse for a Presidential signature.

Treating the Second Amendment as a sacrosanct right without limits is utter nonsense. All rights enumerated in the US Constitution have reasonable limits. My right to free speech does not extend to using it to yell, “FIRE!” in a crowded place when it is not true in order to start a panic which causes pain, suffering and possible death to some. I doubt many people (possibly outside of the NRA, anyway) would argue that the right to bear arms extends to a right to use nuclear weapons.

Just because the National Rifle Association uses its clout (in the form of campaign contributions) to stop reasonable limits on the purchase and/or use of weapons from being implemented does not mean we need fear for our lives or the lives of our children. Last time I checked, there is nowhere in the US Constitution any stipulation making that document a suicide pact so that weapons must be made available to every whack-a-doodle to open fire with their weapon of choice on whomever their twisted hearts deemed unworthy of life.

We need to stop accepting the feeble logic which leaves us at the mercy of who knows whom and for whatever reason deems it essential to snuff out our lives in a barrage of bullets. Make Congress do its job. Make sure to identify those who continue to use feeble logic as an excuse for refusing to serve their constituents. Vote them out of office and replace them with people who can think beyond their own lust for money and power and truly represent the people who live, work and learn in the state and House districts they represent. Same goes for state and local elected officials as well.

Source: Here are 4 ways you can effect meaningful change as we process yet another mass shooting

We Will Not Turn the Clock Back On Roe v Wade

Another outstanding essay by Sally Edelstein in her Envisioning the American Dream blog. The SCOTUS draft argument to overturn the Roe v. Wade precedent and steal women’s reproductive rights by allowing states to severely rollback access to safe abortion care should become a major issue for this November’s Midterm Elections.

Turning the clock back by negating half a century of pro-choice protections while demanding via Court decision a mandate forcing birth upon all women under any circumstances with no exemptions against the wishes of a large majority of the American people is unacceptable. We need to vote out any and all advocates of such a draconian policy.

Furthermore, Congress needs to enact legislation protecting these rights, as well as other recently acquired rights (same sex marriage being an obvious example) from attacks by the hard rightwing GOP. We need to be strengthening these rights, not elimination them out of spite. – rjc

Envisioning The American Dream

Handmaids Tale

Many women went to sleep last night in America only to wake up to find out they are living in Gilead.

I came late to the game watching Handmaid’s Tale, having only recently begun binging it. A totalitarian society that strips away a woman’s physical autonomy and reproductive rights in the former United States originally seemed too darkly dystopian for my tastes.

But now it feels as if the storylines are no longer confined to HULU- it is streaming free in real life.

A document leak from the Supreme Court indicated that this summer they are poised to nullify Roe v Wade ensuring abortion will be banned in over 20 states and made difficult to obtain in many others.

Hearing the news last night was like a gut punch. The cruelty of it was breathtaking. I gasped.

We are headed back to the dark ages kids, the dark ages of…

View original post 80 more words

%d bloggers like this: