Dear Americans: VOTE. This Is Critical

This is it. This is the day.

Image is a banner with white stars on a navy background running across the top and bottom, bordered in red. In a white box in the middle, it says VOTE America. Every Vote Counts.
If you’re in Pennsylvania, you can get a free Uber or Lyft ride to the polls. Here’s how.

When you vote, remember this important truth:

Image is a quote from Rebecca Solnit that says, "Voting is a chess move, not a valentine." Beside the quote, there is a black and white photo of her sitting with tall grasses behind her.
So please, don’t write in a candidate who has no chance, or vote for third party candidates who not only will not win, but are unfit to govern to begin with. Don’t throw your votes away. Trump needs to lose, and lose hugely. The bigoted assholes, the white supremacists, the violent fanatics he’s goaded and enabled, they all need to see him crushed. They need to see that hate doesn’t win. They need to understand that they are despicable, and decent society will have nothing of them.



I am so terrified to find out whether my fellow citizens are such sexist dupes that they’d elect an admitted sexual abuser with none of the knowledge, temperament, and experience necessary to run a country as huge and complicated as ours, rather than have to call an eminently qualified woman Madam President.

I haven’t been able to do more than read about this shitshow and huddle in my blankets in abject dread. It’s never been like this before. Every other election, even 2004, I knew the country would somehow muddle through. This time, if we make the wrong choice, I don’t think we’ll be okay again. Not until after too many people have died. At the very, very least, our Supreme Court will be fucked for at least a generation, and the suffering that will cause is huge.

I can’t wait for this to be over, and yet I’m dreading it.

If you can vote, cast your vote for Clinton. Vote downballot for the most progressive candidates available. Then come huddle here with me. We’ll get through this together.


But if you vote for Trump, realize that you’re voting for a deeply racist child rapist. Realize who you’re unifying yourself with. These are people who burn black churches, who torch transgender people’s trucks, who beat up protestors, harass immigrants, and even attack a child in a wheelchair for having the audacity to disagree with their hate.

If you vote for this man, you are condoning this behavior. You’re saying it’s okay to assault disabled folk, women, and people of color. That’s on top of the endless pile of reasons why he’s completely unfit to be president.

I don’t care what your reasons are. I don’t care if you’re lodging a protest against the Dems, or really think an ignorant jackass in the White House would force everybody to have some wonderful revolution, or if you’re just easily bamboozled. I don’t care if you’re doing it because you think Clinton is evil, or think she’s going to rip fully-developed healthy babies from wombs right at the 9th month, or don’t like her husband, or whatever reason you might offer.

If you vote for this man, you are reprehensible, and I want you to realize that and sit with that realization and feel awful about it. And then I want you to do better. But I don’t want to hear a single word from your mouth until you’ve had that epiphany. As long as you feel you did the right thing by voting for Trump, I don’t want to hear a single thing from you.

Because you voted for this. You voted for a man who foments this kind of hate. And that says nothing good about you.

Dear Americans: VOTE. This Is Critical

Dear Americans: VOTE

There won’t be normal blogging this week because I am godsdamned terrified.

I’m haunted by Brexit (CN: casual ableism). Remember how folks in Great Britain thought that staying in the European Union was a sure thing, so they either didn’t vote, or voted NO as a joke or protest, thinking they were safe – and next thing they knew, they were staring down a wrecked economy and emboldened racists? Yeah. That could happen here.

Don’t believe that Trump losing is such a sure thing that you don’t have to bother voting. Don’t believe it’s such a sure thing that you can safely vote for a third party candidate. Because there’s never a sure thing until the last vote is counted.


Vote because we don’t only need to defeat Trump, we need to crush him and all he stands for. If we’re to have a hope of rescuing this country from the white supremacists and militias and all the other deplorables who want to burn it all down, we need to vote in such numbers that it sends a clear message to politicians who want to harness that bigotry: they are the ones who will burn. That strategy of appealing to racists and bigots and misogynists needs to fail so spectacularly that they don’t attempt it again for generations.

Vote, because if we’re going to stop global warming, we need people in office who actually believe it’s happening.

Vote, because we need to put as many progressives in power as we can, and where we can’t get the progressives we want right away, we at least get someone who leans far enough to the left to help pull us in the right direction for next time.

Vote, because we need someone with a solid liberal voting record sitting in the Oval Office, and that person is Hillary Clinton.

Vote, because the next president will decide whether the Supreme Court leans liberal or conservative, and the effects of that will be felt for decades to come. The damage a conservative court could do would not be undone for generations. Continue reading “Dear Americans: VOTE”

Dear Americans: VOTE

Justice Antonin Scalia Dies, Proves Elections Have Consequences

Justice Antonin Scalia, 79, died in his sleep after a nice day’s hunting. I’m glad that his last day on earth was pleasant, and he didn’t suffer, and my condolences go out to the family and friends who mourn his passing. My congratulations go out to the people he will be unable to fuck over in this and future Supreme Court terms.

Obviously, this changes the political and legal landscape considerably. We already have Republicans demanding Obama not appoint anyone to the bench, and vowing to block anyone he does, so replacing Scalia should be a lively process. I hate to tell them, but blocking a sitting President from appointing a Supreme Court justice in his last year in office won’t actually turn out well for them. And there’s a little something they should recall: Continue reading “Justice Antonin Scalia Dies, Proves Elections Have Consequences”

Justice Antonin Scalia Dies, Proves Elections Have Consequences

What Was That About Voter Fraud Again?

I think we have a bigger problem than a few bogus voter registration forms:

From Lexington, Kentucky’s NBC affiliate this afternoon:

Five Clay County officials, including the circuit court judge, the county clerk, and election officers were arrested Thursday after they were indicted on federal charges accusing them of using corrupt tactics to obtain political power and personal gain.

The 10-count indictment, unsealed Thursday, accused the defendants of a conspiracy from March 2002 until November 2006 that violated the Racketeering Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO). RICO is a federal statute that prosecutors use to combat organized crime. The defendants were also indicted for extortion, mail fraud, obstruction of justice, conspiracy to injure voters’ rights and conspiracy to commit voter fraud.

According to the indictment, these alleged criminal actions affected the outcome of federal, local, and state primary and general elections in 2002, 2004, and 2006.

My oh my. Smells like election fraud.

Having now reviewed the indictment, as linked above, here are some additional details on the alleged conspiracy which included election fraud though the buying and selling of votes to be cast in a certain way, with the aid of one of the defendants who served as a poll worker during the Early Voting period. Also, at the polling place on Election Day with aid of poll workers, drafted as both Democratic and Republican judges, to elect a slate of candidates — some of them bribed — the conspirators would manipulate the votes of “qualified voters” at the voting machines themselves.

Many of the voters, it seems, had no idea that their votes were manipulated after they’d left the touch-screen voting machine. While the Early Voting scheme involved finding voters who might wish to be paid to have their vote cast a certain way, the Election Day scheme, carried out in primary and general elections in at least 2004 and 2006, was accomplished by taking advantage of a “feature” on all DRE (usually touch-screen) voting systems and “voter unfamiliarity with new voting machines.”

Essentially, they tricked voters into leaving the ‘booth’ after pressing the “Vote” button on the ES&S iVotronic. That button, does not actually cast the vote, as one might think (and as these voters were told), but instead, it brings up a review screen of the voter’s “ballot.”

Instructing the voters that they were done, the conspirators then, after the voter had left, would change the voters’ votes as they saw fit, before finally pressing the “Cast Ballot” button.

They also appear to have done a considerable amount of buying votes. And they’ve done this for several elections.

I can’t get clear information on which politicians were on the “slates” these fuckers worked from. One of the officials indicted was a Democrat. But I discovered that this county’s represented by Cons on both the state and national levels. And here’s a bit of interesting food for thought:

Early this morning CNN was making the point that there was scant interest in today’s election in Clay County. Today 649 Democrats voted (32%) and 2,569 Republicans voted (19.6%). Hillary took 85% of the Democratic vote and McCain took 74% of the Republican vote. On the Senate side Lunsford got 48.5% of the Democratic vote and Greg Fischer got 26.2%.


That said, Kentucky Democrats gave a corrupt Zell Miller type quasi-Democrat, Bruce Lunsford, their nomination for the U.S. Senate, virtually guaranteeing another term for an even more reactionary and more corrupt Mitch McConnell.

If that Dem was attempting to help get Dems elected, he did a piss-poor job. He was probably in it for the money more than the power – it’s hard to believe a deep-red county could muster enough Dem candidates with the requisite power, money and questionable ethics to make it worth his while otherwise.

The point isn’t so much partisan anyway. It’s the fact that this was so easily done, and for so long. Cons can scream about Acorn all they like, but the real danger to democracy comes from election officials pulling these sorts of breathtaking dirty tricks, not a few nobodies who turn in fake applications so they can get paid without having to work, or the occasional dumbshit who votes twice. Those things are fairly easily caught, and they’re too small-scale to make much difference.

This kind of systemic fraud, on the other hand, is some serious shit indeed. And it’s something to remember the next time Cons dismiss election fraud as a non-starter while screaming to high heaven about voter fraud.

What Was That About Voter Fraud Again?

It's Not Enough

Cujo359, breaking down a Jane Hamsher post to its essential elements, points out why a candidate has to be far more than a strong progressive to win:

Often times when you make a decision can be the difference between being right and wrong. I could see myself early in this process backing someone like Geoghegan, thinking that he was good on the issues and therefore worth backing. I can also see myself, later in the process, asking the same questions Jane did: Where’s the organization? What’s the plan? Do we have resources in place? If I could see that the answers to those questions were unsatisfactory, I’d conclude that this candidacy wasn’t a happening thing.

Recognizing signs of trouble early on will be key to ensuring that we don’t waste time and effort on campaigns that won’t work. That’s why it’s good to have discussions like this, and for everyone to remember that this really is a learning process, and that the problem itself is always changing.

Listen to the Official Thinking Brain Dog of En Tequila Es Verdad, young progressive candidates, and you might just win.

It's Not Enough