Mitch McConnell Is Set To Let Slip The Dogs Of Judicial Chaos

So, what happens next in the battle for Scalia’s seat? Does Obama offer an “olive branch” SCOTUS nominee to the Senate, a judge with a corporate lawyer background who would be friendly to big business and moderate on most social issues? A candidate who would be a shoo-in with a rational, thinking person’s Senate devoid of the partisan political ideology of its hack Republican Majority Leader would order his people to approve? Judge Sri Srinivasan’s name is currently being floated as just such a possibility. Would McConnell dare pull down his drawers, squat down and crap on Obama, the nominee and the Constitution, using his butt in the effort to make a power grab?

Or, just to play with McConnell’s head and to further publicly embarrass him, does Obama nominate someone who is a real, certified REAL Liberal like State AG Kamala Harris of CA, for instance?

Last thing: Turtle Man is about to let slip the dogs of judicial chaos. In a split 4-4 SCOTUS decision or if the justices refuse to hear a case, the lower court decision stands. In the federal court system there are 12 circuits, most of them dominated by Democrats. Of the 13 federal courts of appeal, 9 are controlled by Democrats and 4 are controlled by Republicans. So a Blue circuit court might determine that religious organizations must give their female employees access to contraception through their health plans while a Red circuit court will uphold the religious right (and membership therein) of the organization say “Nicht”.

Because of this attorneys on their own ideological missions shop the different circuits to find a case to bring to them which should result in the desired verdict. This colorful patchwork of legal opinions and ideologies among the circuit courts serves to resurrect the rootin’, tootin’, shootin’ days of the Old West where every town had its own laws and ordinances. So, in some cases you can in the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco but you can’t in the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals in Louisiana’s three districts. But in both circuits same-sex marriage is protected by the Constitution. Go figure.

So, until McConnell is reduced to a quivering hulk of rebuked jelly by outrage of the American people—AKA voters—to accept and approve Obama’s SCOTUS nominee, chaos will reign among the lower federal courts. Voter ID, gun control, same sex marriage, the right to an abortion, etc., will vary from state to state instead of conforming to one, unified federal decision from SCOTUS establishing it as the (hopefully Liberal) law of the land–for now. That is until the next Republican president is handed SCOTUS vacancies and installs their own Scalia(s) to reverse as much of it as possible—again.

But until then, sit back with your favorite snack and beverage and watch the fight. Who knows how long it will last? And who will history determine was the heavyweight and which was the lightweight? My guess is that when public outrage against this latest game of brinkmanship by the Republicans reaches firestorm level, McConnell’s political weight won’t even register on the scale.

Once Again The Senate Republicans Play The Shutdown Game

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“The American people‎ should have a voice in the selection of their next Supreme Court Justice. Therefore, this vacancy should not be filled until we have a new President.” – Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell

“Would be unprecedented in recent history for SCOTUS to go year with vacancy. And shameful abdication of our constitutional responsibility,” – Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid on Twitter.

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2016/02/13/senate-unlikely-confirm-obama-supreme-court-nominee/80351274/#.

I predicted this would happen because the Repugnant-cons are entirely predictable in holding SCOTUS hostage, in effect, shutting it down for at least the next year and a half to play partisan politics, gambling that one of the Republican clowns inside the candidate car will find his way into the White House. If Bernie Sanders is elected president and McConnell loses his gamble, would he then try to go for double or nothing by extending the SCOTUS shutdown through 2018 hoping to add even more Republicans to Congress? Let would be his legacy going into 2020 when he will be up for reelection to the Senate.

Now, it is possible that the eight remaining justices will still hear cases already on the Court schedule. Some of the cases might be relatively easy for them to arrive at an unanimous decision, or at least 5-3. But an Affordable Care Act case where the ideological lines are drawn 4-4 with no swing votes to tip the decision one way or the other, well, what happens then? Kick it back down to a lower court for it to be kicked back up some time in the near or distant future when the Court is once again at full strength? How many other unheard cases would be sitting smack dab atop the Ideological Divide? This isn’t the Senate. You can’t bring in Joe Biden to cast the tie-breaking vote. This is what I mean by the Republicans shutting down SCOTUS because when it comes to those big, high profile cases concerning gun control or state anti-abortion laws and such, the justices will be able to decide nothing.

Mitch McConnell is claiming that a lame duck president doesn’t speak for the American people, therefore, Obama has no right to name a replacement for the not-so-dearly departed Antonin Scalia. What doesn’t McConnell understand about the Constitution? The one thing Scalia sometimes got right is that you don’t screw with certain sections of it. The president is elected to a four-year term, period. His power and authority are not diminished in his final year. Although Obama’s overall approval rating isn’t great, he still has enough support from these same American people–who voted him into office–to choose a replacement justice that the Senate Republicans should confirm.

But, that’s fine. This is an election year. Let the Republicans play their latest shutdown game again. President Obama and the Democrats should and hopefully will start a major media campaign urging the American people AKA voters to make it loud and clear that the Republicans don’t speak for THEM. That they already spoke for themselves when they reelected Obama president in 2012.

Why Black Voters Should Be Supporting Bernie Sanders

A criticism of Bernie Sanders from several black groups is that he has not really talked about racism or otherwise addressing black issues, something they say Hillary Clinton has done.

OK, here’s my response. I’ve listened to Bernie talk for years and I’m currently reading his autobiography. He talks about why this country is so racist, coming to the same conclusion I arrived at independently. Basically, we’re all being played. Poor white sharecroppers and laborers were being played by wealthy Southern landowners, bankers and politicians and we’re being played by the ruling power elite of today. Being played how? By polarizing us into different groups who look across the room or the country with hate at each other. When life is hard and you’re struggling just to survive, many people need someone to blame for their hardships and struggle, a scapegoat. They also need to feel superior to the object of their hate. So, poor whites hate blacks, Hispanics, Muslims, Jews, immigrants, etc., anyone they feel superior to and fear is in danger of taking a piece of the small pie they’re grasping onto.

Blacks and Hispanics hate each other in many communities. Many groups join together and hate gay people. So, we’re all looking across and hating each other instead of stopping to look up and see who are the ones who have pitted us against each other. We’re all rats in an overcrowded maze with no way out and the food and water grow less and less.

Why are we kept pitted against each other like this? Because of all us stopped to think and reason, we’d realize who actually is responsible for all of this. We’d unite and as one huge powerful group rise up and overthrow the power elite, which would be the first step in healing all the rifts between us.

So, this is why Bernie doesn’t concentrate on black issues, or Hispanic issues or any issues which just serve to polarize one group from another. All our issue stem from the same common problems: inequality of wealth and income, lack of a job, working at of a job which pays a living wage and offers benefits, lack of adequate income, lack of adequate housing, lack of affordable college education, etc. If you focus on the basic problems we all face and fix those, racism becomes less of an issue because if just about everybody has theirs, there’s no reason to hate the those who have more than you or for you to try to feel superior to those who have less and you feel are trying to take more of yours.

So, let Hillary talk about black issues. Let her continue to perpetuate the hatred and polarization among the races. Bernie is talking about changing the fundamental issues and institutional inequalities which separate us all so that we can finally unite under the common goal of equality—in every sense of the word—and justice for all. Bernie Sanders for president for ALL of us.

Hillary Clinton Second Wave Feminists Wipe Out On The Third Wave

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http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/what-steinem-albright-and-clinton-don%e2%80%99t-get-about-millennial-women/ar-BBpks2o?li=BBnbfcL

The headline to this op-ed piece is misleading. Read down to the lower half of the article and it’s clear the female writer is trying to push two points: 1. Liberal millennial women are voting for Bernie Sanders because they’re too young to know better. 2. Liberal millennial women are ungrateful little brats for failing to respect the holy feminist trio of Clinton, Albright, and Steinem. If it wasn’t for them, your major goal in life would be to have “Mrs.” in front of your name.

And then, there’s this: “The more likely explanation, however, is that young liberal women, like their male counterparts, are attracted to the cool old guy because he’s promising a dream in which the rich have less and the poor have more. Robin Hood is so awesome.”

So all of you liberal millennial women are backsliding. You’re all Maid Marian hoping that someday you will become Mrs. Robin Hood in a May-November marriage.

And to think that the Washington Post was once the paper that exposed Richard M. Nixon and the Watergate scandal. It’s as out of touch with today’s young women as Clinton, Albright, and Steinem (although to her credit, Steinem has walked back her statements, claiming she “misspoke”).

So, do you agree? Are you closing the door on the feminist holy trio because you’ve forgotten they opened it? Or is it because both age and time diminish and tarnish even the strongest (to some) idols?

“But they’re missing the bigger point that had these older women not cut a path for others to enter and expect to be treated fairly in the workplace and elsewhere, these same young women would, indeed, be following the boys in hopes of inserting an “r” between the “M” and the “s” in their titles, as their predecessors had to.”

Or is it as simple as that while third wave feminists appreciate the trailblazing of the second wave feminists, they don’t appreciate the condescending attitudes of members of that much older generation currently raining down on them?

 

Bill Clinton: Big Dog? Big Phony

Bill Clinton. Big Dog. The guy the Democrats trot out every national convention time to rah rah the electorate to a fever pitch to bring the Democratic presidential nominee on home!

Big dog? Big phony. The only thing big about Bill is the stick he keeps trying to bash Bernie Sanders over the head with.

This morning I again heard on the radio the corporate media fiction of Clinton’s “Age of Prosperity” in the 90s. Yes, it was prosperous for some, unless you were poor. If you were lower-working class or among the poor there was little if any prosperity for you.  The Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 (PRWORA), the Republican bill which Clinton signed into law took care of that. It penalized poor children for living with their dysfunctional parent(s).  It forced people with no hope of finding a job to look for work or be removed from the cash grant after two years while a portion of any of the income they might be able to earn or receive was allocated to the child(ren) to further reduce their cash grant. After five years on welfare whether the parent(s) had found work or not the family timed out on welfare entirely.

The Food Stamps program (run by the USDA partly on behalf of agribusiness to sell more crops to sell more food) was slashed by over $20 billion dollars. The AFDC budget was $14 billion—less than 1% of the federal budget. Meanwhile, military spending was increased by about $60 billion over a six-year period, a time when we weren’t officially at war with anybody.  SSI eligibility for children was restricted.  LEGAL immigrants had their eligibility for programs greatly restricted and their benefits cut.

But while the those living in poverty were pushed into living in abject poverty, the rest of us were prospering, right? For some. For awhile. The Bill Clinton Golden Age of Prosperity sat atop the twin dotcom and real estate bubbles and balanced by some fancy shmancy bookkeeping that moved selected Accounts Payable ledger items off the Clinton books and onto the books of the next presidential administration. Yes, Dubya did fine in massively escalating the federal budget on his own but Bill did help his future best buddy along that path.

Yes, it sure was the Age of Prosperity alright, but all that prosperity was paid with credit cards and the bills started to come due in the 2nd financial quarter of 2007. You see, during Bill’s Age of Prosperity he sneaked a couple of things through: repeal of Glass-Steagall and the successful kibosh of the regulation of the sale of derivatives of which—if you saw “The Big Short” credit default swaps played a big part.

So here’s all these stock traders and stockholders becoming prosperous during the 90s but then the strangest stuff started to happen in 2007. Banks started to fail. Brokerage houses started to fail. Mortgage lenders started to fail. A whole lot of prosperous people lost their investments, lost their retirement savings, lost their jobs, lost their homes, lost their families, lost their lives.

The Republicans came up with a plan to save it all called TARP. They came up with at near the end of Dubya’s term. Obama replaced Bush but on the first round of voting Senate Democrats stuck to their principles and voted it down. They became unstuck on the second vote and passed it with Obama signing into law in 2009. The problem with TARP was handled was similar to what happens on a baseball sandlot. Kids line up and wait to see which team captain will chose them. The team captain sticks with his favorite players and tries to give the lesser players to the other team. This is what happened with TARP. Obama chose his favorites: Goldman Sachs, Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley, JP Morgan Chase, Citibank, Bank of America, AIG. The lesser players not chosen: Bear Stearns, Shearson Lehman Brothers, Wachovia Bank, Countrywide, among others didn’t get to play at all because there was no other team to play for.  They had to take their bats and balls and thousands of employees and millions of customers and clients and walk away.

This is reality. This is fact. This is not the Camelot-like “Age of Prosperity” that the Clintons, the Democratic Party (especially the DNC), and the corporate media is attempting to have you still believe. When the lie becomes truth, then what is the truth?

So I will not join in on the Big Dog rah rah stuff. I will not speaking glowingly and nostalgically of the Bill Clinton Golden Age of Prosperity. Too much water has flowed under that bridge. The same floodwater that swept all that “prosperity” away for good. At least it worked out for the poor.  As Janis once sang, “when you got nothin’ you got nothin’ to lose”.

Hillary Clinton And The Republicans Working The System

It says a lot—maybe everything—that Hillary Clinton is joining the GOP and the conservative-to-right-wing political pundits in asking how can the federal government possibly afford to pay for Bernie Sanders’ proposals like “Medicare For All” and free higher education.

They’ve convinced the non-thinking voters who adamantly support the presidential candidacies of Clinton and the Republicans to ask that same question. If those voters were actually thinking people they would realize they are being instructed to ask the wrong question so that don’t get the correct answer.  The correct answer is: Bernie’s programs will be paid for by raising taxes on corporations and the wealthy and closing all IRS tax loopholes that enable many corporations and wealthy people to pay little or no taxes at all. Bernie’s programs can be paid for by passing laws enabling the federal government to seek out and find all offshore accounts that hide income and assets that so they can’t be taxed.

They can be paid for by forcing stock traders to pay for the millions and millions of automated transactions, which would also serve to drastically decrease these types of transactions that can quickly affect the stock market either positively or negatively or increase or lower stock share prices in a matter of moments.

These programs can be paid for by ending once and for all the corporate welfare by which working people subsidize the very corporations that pay them minimum wage, cut their benefits, raise the costs of their healthcare insurance, or lay them off entirely. Lastly, although there are still other ways to generate more federal income, the military budget can be cut by billions and billions of dollars.

But here’s the problem: politicians like Hillary Clinton and the Republicans, reinforced by the corporate media, train non-thinking voters to believe that they have absolutely no say about the federal budget because those decisions are made by powerful forces totally outside their control. This is the primary message of Hillary Clinton and the Republicans, reinforced by the corporate media, instill in non-thinking voters: “You have control of nothing. You need to elect us to control it for you.” Or they convince non-thinking voters that both parties are the same, they’re all crooks so there’s no sense in voting.

This is all mostly true under the present system. And this is what makes Bernie’s presidential campaign so important: he wants to change the system. Hillary Clinton claims that as president Bernie will never get his programs enacted because: 1. They’ll raise your (lower-and-middle class) taxes, and 2. No one in Congress will work with him to pass these programs. Non-thinking voters never stop to think that #2 would cancel out #1. And they never stop to think that, as I explained above, they shouldn’t have to be the ones to pay for all these beneficial programs anyway.

She is correct—under the present system. However, if you elect Bernie, chances are you will also vote to elect like-minded politicians who WILL work with him. And that’s the key. Incrementally over two election cycles it would be possible for thinking voters to elect enough like-minded politicians at every level to change the system so the programs that Bernie proposes will be enacted. And once that genie is out of the bottle there’s no going back. Unless enough non-thinking voters re-elect politicians like Hillary Clinton and the Republicans in sufficient numbers to reinstate the old system.

This is why Hillary Clinton and the Republicans, reinforced by the corporate media, keep telling non-thinking voters that they are the agents of change, because non-thinking voters keep buying into that fiction by electing and re-electing politicians who perpetuate the unchanging system.

Elect Bernie Sanders president. He is in the vanguard of like-minded politicians who want to actually replace the outdated system with a new one. Wouldn’t it be nice to have a brand spanking new system in Washington, D.C. for a change?

Hillary Clinton Snatched Nothing From The Jaws Of Victory

***UPDATE: Since I first wrote this the Clinton campaign is claiming victory in Iowa despite the fact there is no victory as yet to claim. One precinct remains uncounted and there are questions about the results in a few others. This shows how desperate that campaign is to claim a meaningless win, as I explain further down. It also shows how afraid they are of Bernie Sanders’ surging campaign. It’s Déjà vu circa 2008 all over again.***

 The corporate media is spinning the virtual tie in Iowa as a victory for Hillary because she didn’t lose. That’s utter nonsense. In fact, a few coin tosses led to the tie which further renders the Iowa caucuses results meaningless.

http://www.buzzfeed.com/mbvd/a-coin-toss-was-actually-used-to-decide-some-iowa-ties-betwe?utm_term=.eqP99XPVk#.mtM779VdR

Bernie has been, ahead, behind, and tied with her in the Iowa presidential polls leading up to the Iowa caucuses. The very fact that he tied with HIllary, who has been the media-anointed eventual Democratic presidential nominee is a victory for Bernie.

 Even Reuters agrees, sort of. The news agency ran a story about how the Iowa tie raises doubts about her campaign. “‘She has had every possible structural and organizational advantage and Sanders fought her to a draw,’ said Dan Schnur, director of the Jesse M. Unruh Institute of Politics at the University of Southern California.’This is almost a moment by moment rerun of 2008,’ Schnur said. ‘The difference is her competition is not as tough this time.'”

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-election-democrats-idUSKCN0VB0PB

 So Bernie’s not as tough a competitor as Obama was in 2008 yet he still tied with Hillary. Do not think that that butterflies are not fluttering inside stomachs within the Clinton campaign today.

 But we must keep in mind that the Iowa caucuses historically have been regarded as a non-important event since they don’t really mean anything. They’re beauty contests which don’t even fully decide the number of delegates that will be sent to the national conventions for both parties. In Iowa after the caucuses, elections are held in the counties and congressional districts and then statewide to choose the slates of delegates who will go to the national conventions held by the Democrats and by the Republicans.Tonight was just the first of four contests to elect delegates to the national conventions for the Democrats and the Republicans.

 NOTHING WAS POLITICALLY DECIDED LAST NIGHT. All that happened was that both candidates could declare they didn’t lose a media-hyped contest. The full slate of 44 Democratic delegates headed to the convention won’t be decided until June. With O’Malley out of the race (suspending a campaign means the candidate still qualifies for matching federal funds for contributions that the candidate continues to receive, even after that particular election is over. These funds go towards paying down the outstanding campaign debt.) his few delegates are again in play.

 All that was at stake here were the bragging rights to winning the first political contest of the election season. These were denied to both Bernie and Hillary but they can brag they didn’t lose either.

 Meanwhile, the corporate media already has Iowa in its rear view as it has already moved on to New Hampshire. Bernie is expected to win big there but it’s predicted Hillary will win both the South Carolina and the Nevada primaries. Maybe, maybe not. In any case, like Iowa and New Hampshire those two states have never played a major role in deciding a presidential election, let alone the presidential nominee. Nevada, considered a swing state, only has 6 electoral votes. South Carolina only has 9. There are far more important contests than these two states to decide who will get the nomination and who will be elected president.