Doomed!

b6905cf2-2498-407c-a024-e5199cc4815bWhen I was drinking coffee this morning while reading the newspaper, my wife commented that nothing has been done since the 2016 election to fix the issues with voting machines being hacked, to combat Russian interference, to address voter suppression, or to fix state gerrymandering where Democrats receive more votes but Republicans win more seats.

“I have no doubt that, given all this, Trump will be re-elected in 2020,” she said. And then she suggested that Trump is positioning his daughter, Ivanka, to run in 2024, hoping to keep the Trump dynasty going. “That would also make Ivanka Trump the first woman president,” she added.

Ugh. Talk about a worst-case scenario!

We’re doomed!

And then, on a totally unrelated topic, I read an article on a site called Daily Writing Tips that “Google likes 1,500-word posts now, and dislikes 500-word ones.” 1,500 words? Seriously? Dislikes 500 word posts? Oh crap. My average post length so far this year is only 227 words! So much for having any of my posts show up highly ranked in Google searches.

I’m doomed!

The Continental Divide

2DAE690D-23F7-43BD-A08C-8F1E1D04FCCEAmerica continues to be a nation divided, and with yesterday’s midterm elections, it now has a Congress divided.

The good news is that, despite gerrymandering that heavily favors Republican candidates in GOP-controlled states, voter suppression efforts, and a series of “glitches” with voting machines, Democrats have regained control of the US House of Representatives, a body that more closely reflects the will of the American people.

But Republicans strengthened their thin majority in the US Senate. For the record, Democratic Senatorial candidates across the board amassed about nine million more votes than did Republican candidates, but because there are more red states than blue ones, and because, with the exception of states like Texas and Florida, most Republican strongholds are more rural states, Republicans held the Senate.

Of course, our demented, clueless president, in another delusional tweet, has claimed victory in “this great Midterm Election,” and calls anything that contradicts his assessment “FAKE NEWS.”C0F69BD4-2741-4685-A3A1-96A3668DC9D9So it wasn’t the “blue tsunami” many Democrats were hoping for, but at least the Republican stranglehold in Congress has been busted.

Unfortunately, confirming nominations for the Supreme Court and other federal judgeships is exclusively the purview of the Senate, so we can expect a continued movement to the far right with respect to the judiciary.

That said, I’m hoping that the Democratic House will impose some checks and balances on Donald Trump, will be more aggressive when it comes to supporting Mueller in his investigations to the 2016 presidential election and possible collusion between Trump and Russia, and will take steps to insure future election integrity, will protect healthcare, Medicare, Social Security, women’s reproductive rights, LGBT rights, and will restore critical environmental protections.

In other words, I’m cautiously optimistic.

Supreme Court — Racially-Motivated Gerrymandering is A-OK

 

795C3892-5DAE-4CD7-891E-E1F0D7FA98AFIn a 5-4, party-lines decision, The Supreme Court of the United States voted to approve racially-motivated gerrymandering, which is surprising because, in the past, SCOTUS has held that Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act (VRA) outlaws gerrymandering when it dilutes the votes of minority citizens.

The VRA was meant to enforce the 15th Amendment’s bar on racial voter suppression by blocking state voting laws suspected of racial discrimination. Section 2 forbids any “standard, practice, or procedure” that “results in the denial or abridgement” of the right to vote “on account of race or color.” But that is exactly what gerrymandering is intended to do.

In Abbott v. Perez, Trump’s only (so far) SCOTUS appointee, Neil Gorsuch — along with the Court’s conservative majority — has position himself as a fierce opponent of the Voting Rights Act. Gorsuch held that Texas’ maps for its congressional seats and statehouse districts do not prohibit racial gerrymandering, even though those who drew those voting district lines have privately confessed that that was their intent.

How in the hell will the United States ever recover from this kind of partisan bullshit? How can these Supreme Court justices, who allegedly possess such brilliant legal and constitutional minds, be so fucking dense?