Let's Fix This Country
midterms

Can the Blue Wave Breach the GOP Dike?

Republicans know how to play defense. Democracy is a casualty

Long confident about the Blue Wave that is supposedly assured to win the majority in the House of Representatives, Democrats were shocked to see polls showing Republicans were closing fast on their lead. Anger over Democrats' treatment of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh was the driver. The question is whether or not Trump and Republican candidates can sustain their fury right up to the midterms on November 6th.

But Republicans have put together a much stronger strategy. Since taking over governorships and state legislatures in the 2010 midterms, which coincided with
the decennial census that gave them the power to redraw electoral maps to their advantage, Republicans have erected a formidable wall of obstacles designed to suppress the Democratic vote. Gerrymandering those maps to pack the most undesirable voters into the fewest districts has been maximized more than ever thanks to computer software. And according to the Brennan Center for Justice, 23 states, predominantly controlled by Republicans, have enacted new voting restrictions since 2010: 13 states have more restrictive voter ID laws, 7 with strict photo ID requirements; 11 have laws making it harder for citizens to register; 6 have cut back on early voting days and hours; and 3 made it harder to restore voting rights to people with past criminal convictions. A running battle has been waged in the courts to try to counter the worst of these laws, but there is no keeping up.

the fraudulent fraud scare

The common thread in all these election laws is the requirement that voters have identification with their photograph on it. The claim is that this is to prevent the fraud of a voter impersonating someone else, a solution to a problem that doesn't
exist. Many studies prove this. A 2012 investigation by the News21 journalism project looked at all kinds of voter fraud nationwide, including voter impersonation, people voting twice, vote buying, absentee fraud, and voter intimidation. It confirmed that voter impersonation was extremely rare, with just 10 credible cases. The most comprehensive study, conducted by the Loyola Law School, found that among one billion votes cast in all American elections between 2000 and 2014, there were 31 cases of impersonation fraud.

The fraud myth has been so successfully spread by the right-wing that an ABC News poll found that 46% of registered American voters believe that voter fraud…

law

Our Obligatory Take on the Kavanaugh Hearing

We'd look clueless if we'd said nothing

Donald Trump said reversal of Row v. Wade, the Supreme Court decision that gives women the right to abortion, "will happen, automatically" if he were to be elected president and get to appoint justices to the high court. That was October 2016 in a Chris Wallace interview. Two years later, he has the fifth vote in place, but only after a bitter fight for a more than controversial nominee whose presence on the court could diminish its legitimacy in the eyes of the public.

to be expected

Senators on the right decried the Democrats for ruining the life of both Brett Kavanaugh and his family by the last minute sabotage of leaking what Dr. Christine Blasey Ford wanted treated confidentially. Kavanaugh may…

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government

What’s Causing All These Socialists? That’s Easy. Capitalism

The younger generation of Americans is increasingly disenchanted with capitalism. That came to light a couple of years ago when the Institute of Politics at Harvard released a survey that
said more than half of respondents between 18 and 29 do not support capitalism, that one-third support socialism. Only 19% of that age group declared themselves to be capitalists.

The socialism they have in mind does not likely fit the dictionary definition, which calls for the transfer of ownership of the "means of production and distribution, of capital, land, etc." to the people. Rather, they are attracted by the Scandinavian model of universal healthcare, free education, a strong safety net but, let's not forget, high taxes.

It won't come as a surprise that it's Democrats who yearn for this different form of government. Among all age groups, 57% of them have a positive view of socialism (compared to just 16% of Republicans). The percentage of Democrats who have a positive view of capitalism has dropped from 57% to 45% in just two years, says Gallup.

This has been brewing for a time. By 2015 a Gallup poll already reported that confidence in American institutions had "big business" second from the bottom, above only Congress, with only 21% expressing "a great deal" or "quite a lot" of confidence in it.

What explains this turnabout? Who can deny that capitalism has made America the most successful nation in history, that free markets have brought millions out of poverty and into lives lived in comfort in a stable society? In the 75 years since World War II Americans have steadfastly believed that democratic capitalism was certainly more in their interest than the other models they'd seen — national socialism in Germany, fascism in Italy,… Read More »

the presidency

Is the End Game at Hand? »

He had already made it clear that he intends to fire Attorney General Sessions after the midterm elections, when The New York Times handed President Trump justification for an immediate act of retribution: the report that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein had last year, two weeks into the job, considered wearing a wire while with Trump to gain grounds for a 25th Amendment incompetency removal of the president from office. (Rosenstein says he was joking, the Times says he was not). This, selectively, was not viewed as fake news in the Trump camp.

The stage was set for Saturday Night Massacre Part II — getting rid of Rosenstein, who, as overseer of the Mueller probe, blocks Trump's path to shutting down the Russia probe.

“The president should order Rosenstein to release all documents requested under subpoena by every committee on the Hill within 72 hours. And he should fire him immediately after if he does not comply in full”

…said former White House chief strategist Stephen Bannon said in an interview, thinking exposure to the world of Americas secret intelligence as just punishment of Rosenstein. But Saturday night came and went. Before the summer break…

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