Archive for elections – Page 2

Letting Ex-Felons Vote -- A Racial Thing

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What is the purpose of sending those convicted of crimes to jail? Is it punishment? Yes. Is it rehabilitation? Yes. So it's two mints in one as the Certs commercial goes.

And are most felons guilty of violent crimes? Actually, no. Most are incarcerated for non-violent (yet still serious) felonious crimes like embezzlement, tax fraud, mail fraud, auto theft, racketeering, drug possession charges, burglary, counterfeiting, possession of restricted pornographic material, spying, and various drug-related offenses.

Wikipedia:

7.9% of sentenced prisoners in federal prisons on September 30, 2009 were in for violent crimes.

Nearly three quarters of new admissions to state prison were convicted of nonviolent crimes. Perhaps the single greatest force behind the growth of the prison population has been the national "war on drugs." The number of incarcerated drug offenders has increased twelvefold since 1980. In 2000, 22 percent of those in federal and state prisons were convicted on drug charges.

Then why, if so many of these felonies are non-violent, is it that when you become an ex-felon, all of your rights aren't returned to you? According the the ALCU, ten states severely restrict voting from ex-felons (seven require long waiting periods, applying for reinstatement and review; three others - Iowa, Florida and Kentucky - ban it lifetime for these ex-felon offenders -- most of whom are non-violent). I can understand restrictions on getting a gun, but on your vote?

So far in the 40 states that allow for ex-felons to vote there haven't been any issues at the polls. So why not make voter reinstatement upon completion of incarceration national?

We non-felons take voting for granted. But it's majorly important. Look at the crazy people that are getting elected these days. Their choices and legislation affect all of us. Yet if you're an ex-felon, chances are you are obstructed from casting a vote.

With the racial make-up of our prisons today, that appears to be a punishment that affects minorities disproportionately. And the Justice Department, led by AG Eric Holder, wants to fix that. And surprisingly he's meeting resistance on both sides of the political spectrum. Many Republicans are against it because they see the reality that minorities are the overwhelming majority of  the prison population. Minorities, for good reason, tend to vote Democratic. If you unleash hundreds of thousands of potential voters after they do their time, GOP'ers will have a tougher go of it holding their political offices. So the Republican reasoning is understandable: keep minorities away from the vote. It's wrong, but you can see their reasoning: self-preservation.

But for those Democrats on the fence, this is purely a heinous act of villainy. Why should non-violent convicted felons be subjected to lifetime sentences after they're released? It flies in the face of just punishment -- that fitting the crime. C'mon Democrats, you know better. You stand for social justice. Now promote it. Make "inclusion" more than just a catch word.

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Women have abortion rights, so why can't men rape them? asked now apologetic GOP lawmaker.

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war on women women's rights sign smaller

gay rights keep your elephant out of my bedroom smaller

Laffy Note: Apparently David Garber and I both decided to post about this pathetic excuse for a human being, and for good reason. It happens. Two writers, two different takes on the same topic.

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Republican Maine State Rep. Lawrence Lockman says he's sorry for appalling statements he made in the '80s and '90s about women's and gay rights, rape, abortion, AIDS, sodomy, and progressives.

It is now 2014. Do the math, State Rep. Reprehensible (R- Busted), because your "mea culpa" is a tad overdue.

Via  the Morning Sentinel:

In a 1995 letter in the Sun Journal in Lewiston, a reader quoted a press statement by Lockman, then part of the Pro Life Education Association, saying, “If a woman has (the right to an abortion), why shouldn’t a man be free to use his superior strength to force himself on a woman? At least the rapist’s pursuit of sexual freedom doesn’t (in most cases) result in anyone’s death.”

This Moment of WTF brought to you by "rape doesn't result in anyone's death" and "rapist's pursuit of sexual freedom," among other things. By the way, does this genius understand that men get raped, too?

So now he's apologizing, just as some Republicans are currently walking back, tempering, or avoiding their own controversial positions on similar issues with an eye toward future elections.

But that's not why Lockman hung his head, shuffled his feet, and mumbled his regrets about something he put out there years ago. Nope, he issued his apology because Progressive blogger Mike Tipping revived them in a very public way in a recent post. Call it a Tipping Point. Local Democrats demanded the State Rep's resignation.

So basically, he was sorry that his earlier vile remarks were rediscovered and spotlighted.

Lockman attributed his bigoted, ignorant, misogynistic idiocy to being "passionate about his beliefs" and declared that he holds " no animosity toward anyone by virtue of their gender or sexual orientation." Sure. Anything you say, Lawrence. I'm passionate, too, about exposing you, an elected official, who has displayed a jaw-dropping lack of judgment, sensitivity, awareness, and basic knowledge on the taxpayer's dime.

Mike Tipping has much more, including:

“In the overwhelming majority of cases, people are dying because of their addiction to sodomy,” Lockman wrote in a 1987 letter to the editor to the Lewiston Daily Sunarguing against funding for AIDS education. “They are dying because progressive, enlightened, tolerant people in politics and in medicine have assured the public that the practice of sodomy is a legitimate alternative lifestyle, rather than a perverted, depraved crime against humanity.”

frustrated17

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GOP Maine Representative Hits New Low In Suggesting It's Okay To Rape Women

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rape

If you can't beat abortion legislation, rape the women. That's a loose translation of the inflammatory remarks made by Maine state Rep. Lawrence Lockman (R-Amherst). Via Raw Story:

If a woman has (the right to an abortion), why shouldn’t a man be free to use his superior strength to force himself on a woman?” Lockman said. “At least the rapist’s pursuit of sexual freedom doesn’t (in most cases) result in anyone’s death.”

"Rape doesn't (in most cases) result in anyone's death?" Whoa there, Mr. Representative. Are you kidding? Some things like psychological scarring and permanent physical damage result that can be far worse than death. And suicides by rape victims are statistically significant according to Suicide.org.

-Rape has long-term emotional consequences that can lead to suicide.
-It is quite common for rape victims to suffer from depression.
-And untreated depression is the number one cause for suicide.
-About 33% of rape victims have suicidal thoughts.
-About 13% of rape victims will attempt suicide.
-Suicide attempts may occur years after the rape.

Reality calling Rep. Lockman. Please come in. It's as if this Neanderthal is saying, if I can't stop you from getting an abortion, then you can't stop me from raping you. If you get pregnant, you have the legal way to get rid of the fetus. So tough noogies.

Rep. Lockman should be under a psychologist's care. He's not safe out on the streets and certainly not safe sitting in the state capital as a voting member of the Maine legislature. He's not just a one issue nutjob, anti-abortion. Here's a bit more about him:

In one of the quotes posted on the blog, Lockman falsely suggested HIV and AIDS could be spread by bed sheets and mosquitos, and he also said the progressive movement helped spread the virus by claiming “the practice of sodomy is a legitimate alternative lifestyle, rather than a perverted and depraved crime against humanity.”

“[Lockman is a] disturbed individual who holds some of the most abhorrent beliefs ever heard from a public official in Maine,” said Ben Grant, the state’s Democratic Party chairman in a statement Tuesday.

More and more these wackadoos are coming to light. And they aren't all made of the same whole cloth. But they seem to all have on thing in common -- they're Republicans. As we saw in Arizona with their recent smokescreen anti-gay law (vetoed by Gov. Jan Brewer), the right wing, evangelical fraction is still out there, and still active.

Their old ideas just won't die. Perhaps like the old soldiers of Gen. MacArthur's day, over time they will just fade away.

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Pack Up The Babies And Grab The Old Ladies, Because Everyone's No Longer Safe in Kentucky

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Kentucky derby

Kentucky, home of the Derby and that's about it for anything else of consequence. It does have Mitch McConnell and Rand Paul as their senators and neither of them is worth a spit. And a lot of Kentuckians agree. Especially Matt Bevin who's the Tea Party candidate challenging McConnell in the primary. He doesn't currently stand much of chance, but you never know. The land of moonshine might take to Bevin's new attacks and place even more pressure on the Senate Minority Leader.

THE HILL:

Matt Bevin, the Republican vying to knock off Senate GOP leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) in a primary, suggested Wednesday that legalizing same-sex marriages could lead to marriages between a parent and child.

Bevin, a businessman who has criticized McConnell as a Washington insider lacking conservative bona fides, said the problem with gay marriage is that it changes the definition of marriage.

So, according to the challenger, Bevin, he's adding the hidden threats of gay marriage (actually technically same sex marriage) to the list of McConnell accomplishments. I think this is kind of a reach but you decide for yourself.

Gay marriage has become a bit of a flash point in the Kentucky race after a U.S. district judge ruled Kentucky must recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states.

Bevin said he was “deeply disappointed” about the decision, and tied it to McConnell, hammering the senator for recommending that John G. Heybern II serve on the federal bench.

But this is a primary and candidates love to play footloose and fancy free with the facts. so while he's at it, Bevin draws what could be construed as a link between same sex marriage and incest and pedophilia. Why stop there. Once again, his link is a bit specious:

"If it’s all right to have same-sex marriages, why not define a marriage — because at the end of the day a lot of this ends up being taxes and who can visit who in the hospital and there’s other repressions and things that come with it — so a person may want to define themselves as being married to one of their children so that they can then in fact pass on certain things to that child financially and otherwise."

McConnell Bevin Grimes 2

Gotta hand it to the Tea Party. They can connect the dots to anything they wish -- whether or not it makes sense. Now I'm not rooting for Bevin's competition. Mitch McConnell's over-served his time and over-stayed his welcome in Washington. I'm supporting Alison Lundergan Grimes, the Democrat in this race. But it never hurts to see what the Tea Party throws out there and what sticks.

We know what stinks -- and that's either of the GOP candidates in the Kentucky primary. So we'll have to see what kind of aroma the good people of the Blue Grass state like more. This is shaping up to be a real fun 2014 campaign.

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Senator Bernie Herpin - A Real Rocky Mountain Low

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AuroraShootingw398h219

Did you ever find yourself saying something stupid and it was too late? It had already slipped out. You then look for a way to talk your way out of it before others realize how nuts your remark was? I know I have countless times. That's the beauty of the do-over. If you're given the chance down the road to correct it, you take it.

Not so much with Colorado Republican State Senator Bernie Herpin. He made a statement that was as outrageous as a Ph D after Sarah Palin's name. And when called upon to think it over and see if he hadn't misspoken, the senator tried to justify his stand, digging the hole he stood in deeper and deeper.

Here you go. Watch how Sen. Herpin goes from outrageous  to total moron, right in front of your eyes:

Now giving the Senator the benefit of the doubt -- his ignorance, not his intelligence -- I am once again amazed at how little intellect it takes to get elected to office.

So according to the Senator, the fact that the Aurora shooter's gun jammed after 70+ bullets is somehow a good thing. I'd have thought it was a good thing if he never had a gun in the first place. But allowing for the Second Amendment arguments, perhaps if he had to stop and reload 6 or 7 times with a 10 bullet magazine there would have been enough time for some of the victims, wounded or dead, to have reached some sort of safety.

When you put your faith in something going wrong, the gun jamming, instead of something working right, limited bullet clips, then you're as looney as the Tunes.

The lesson here is that we all need to vet our candidates much better than we have. Look at Congress with a 9% approval rating. Yet how many of you are willing to vote out those phonies who you see are not doing your bidding?

Colorado, here's hoping you don't return the madman to your assembly. And boot out his supporters as well. This man is dangerous to you and your health. Perhaps if he had a loved one in the theater that day, he'd have a different story.

Let's cut down on wackadoos like Senator Herpin. Some bozo's will slip through the cracks, but lets start asking the candidates real questions and demand real answers in return -- not just their talking points.

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MSNBC Looks Into Krystal Ball For Hillary Clinton's Future

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Krystal Ball

MSNBC's Krystal Ball had some strong insight into the future of the Democratic Party yesterday on The Cycle. She devoted three minutes of very honest, contemporary and deeply thought-out assessment of her party's future - 2016- and whether or not Hillary Clinton is the answer. I was quite surprised, because she precisely stated my feelings which I've expounded numerous times on The Political Carnival. It's as if she were channeling my thoughts. She said them much more succinctly and eloquently than I could have, but I hope you'll watch this. It's not long, but it's eye-opening.

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Republican on Republican Bloodbath -- Eating Their Own

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Ever get the feeling you were being eaten by your own?

Is the Tea Party really part of the Republican party or are they a third party? That's the question that leads to this story on the internecine battle going on right now in what's currently called the GOP ranks. But as you read more, you may come to the same conclusion that many share now -- the GOP and the Tea Party are two different organizations, kind of like conjoined twins - relying on each other for their complete existence.

eng and chang

Sadly, like with Eng and Chang Bunker, they were two very different people who couldn't co-exist without one another. They shared vital organs, one's blood fed through the other. Neither could survive alone, therefore they spent 63 years connected -- and when one died, the other quickly followed.

Is this the fate of the GOP? There's a certain movement afoot to separate the two groups. There were separate responses to the State of the Union. They have separate caucuses in Congress. They have separate agendas, and even separate fundraising. Yet they loosely still are bridled under the one banner of the Republican Party.

Here's where the malfunction is being felt the most. Forget "all politics is local." All politics is MONEY. Period.

Via Talking Points Memo:

As part of their efforts to avoid the unforced errors that have cost them in the last two elections, Republicans have been playing "hardball" with would-be donors to a leading tea party group.

FreedomWorks chief Matt Kibbe told the New York Times in a story published Monday that leading Republican lawmakers have done their part to block donations to his group.

This is beginning to sound like those species who eat their young. Where the Tea Party and the GOP share a number of commonalities, they also are facing some mutual obstacles -- mainly the Independent voters who are flocking to the Democrats. These are largely women, the poor, immigrants, and minorities.

So you'd think that if you were one party, you'd work together, sharing the chores and the funding. As two parties, they can't exist beyond another election without self-inflicted major injuries. One will not walk away from the next showdown. And when you cut the power to the GOP and exile the Tea Party members, you've got two weak and ineffective groups. When Eng died, Chang followed minutes later. Does anyone else smell the faint wafting of the Whig or the Bull Moose Parties?

FreedomWorks is backing a number of conservative candidates trying to unseat GOP incumbents such as Mitch McConnell in Kentucky.

And while the effort has drawn the ire of Republican leadership, Kibbe doesn't mind his insurgent role. In October, he suggested that there's a "real possibility" that the GOP splits into two factions.

So FreedomWorks, the fundraising mechanism for the Tea Party is starting to get shut out from the mainstream Republican donors. No money means no influence, which then means no politics. All they can do now is take what funds they can scrape together to try to usurp the larger, more mainstream GOP. But this Tea Party cancer is taking it's toll, eating away from within. Will the Tea Party cancer turn out to be malignant? Some say it already has. Just ask Speaker John Boehner.

The bigger question is whether or not this creeping disease is going to be fatal. Right now the attending physicians aren't giving great odds for survival. I hear Boehner and Cantor are meeting later today with Ted Cruz and Mike Lee. The Speaker has requested a priest be present, in case last rites need to be administered. Does that give you a "tale of the tape?"

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