Wednesday, April 27, 2022

A note to my libertarian friends: autocracies are bad for your political health

A note to my libertarian friends: autocracies are bad for your political health. Rand Paul's rant against US support of Ukraine and blaming us for Russian invasion is not only a perversion of facts and advances Putin's cause in the US, it also is a position that is bad for libertarians' political health. There are certain libertarian positions, especially in the role of government in some issues with which I agree, but when it come to a foreign policy of isolation and democracy v authoritarianism I do not understand. Rand Paul, always marching to his on ideological libertarian beat, blamed the US for Russia's invasion of Ukraine, fear of Ukraine joining NATO, the tune played by the Kremlin, is not only twisted (Putin's own stated goal: land bridge to Crimea and to destroy Ukraine as a separate country that should be part of Mother Russia instead), it signals support of permitting autocratic rule. There is nothing more diametrically opposite to libertarianism than a dictatorship as a form of governance, . It is an extreme intrusion of government into personal and political lives whether the dictatorship is led by fascists, communists, or the simply power hungry. . As we have watched Putin's form of dictatorship, anyone who marches to a different drummer as Paul and his father have done over years, and speaks out as a leading voice against government policy, faces poison and jail . Web sites, broadcast news, ad social media that do not dance to the dictator' tune are blocked. Dissent in Putin's land is a no no..

Particularly dangerous to freedoms to speak your peace are libertarians like Paul are those who have lost grip with reality,  Putin's war shows the folly of US isolationism, thinking that the coast was clear to invade because of the four years of withdrawal from the leadership of the free world  (freedom from attacks on national sovereignty in western style democracies. Putin saw a significant number of such foreign policy adherents who wanted to destroy NATO's clause of an attack on one member is an attack on all and its purpose of defense, not aggression.  That lack of the grasp of ambitions of dictators is similar to the same miscalculation that was made with "Chamberlain's "peace in our time" as the British leader  turning over Sudetenland in Czechoslovakia would avoid World War II and satiate the appetite of Hitler.   The world stage is not just a theoretical clash of ideologies, it is about raw power and ambitions of to get or to keep that power.  

 Putin's epic miscalculation of the West's response to the Ukraine invasion has resulted in the opposite result  of   his strategy  to divide and weaken NATO,  as Sweden and Finland seek protection of their sovereignty and democracy in joining NATO and NATO is unified as never before.  The most dramatic exhibit of Putin's miscalculation was the meeting of 40 countries summoned by the US, meeting in Germany under the flags of the US and Ukraine, April 26,  to support Ukraine's military defense.  It was a diplomatic success unprecedented in history due to  the leadership of the Biden team and Biden   himself.

Rand Paul and Anthony Blinken Argue Over Ukraine's Sovereignty - Rolling Stone

Austin Says Group of 40 Nations Focused on Sending More Weapons to Ukraine | Military.com




Sunday, April 24, 2022

Red herring strategy of hyping cultural wars works for both political parties

May 5, 2022 update: Biden takes the cultural wars on. Biden condemns efforts of extremist ‘Maga crowd’ to overturn Roe v Wade abortion protections – as it happened | US politics | The Guardian

CA Governor Newsom fleshes out the attack calling the GOP to pro birth party, but fails to support children and families after birth. Gov. Newsom Lashes Out at Draft Abortion Ruling, Assails `Pro-Birth' Politicians - MyNewsLA.com

The April 24 posting continues:

The GOP is the first to gripe about Democrat's failures to solve what they claim are their main issues in 2022 midterms, yet they have no plan, no platform, no solutions to crime, inflation, and immigration for what they would do differently. Instead, to divert attention from the nothingness they would do differently, they beat the war drums on cultural hot buttons like CRT and Don't say gay, hoping these act as red herrings drown out their "just say no" agenda.   Democrats' efforts to fix any of these problems have not been felt in real life so far, so combatting cultural issues also diverts attentions from these pocketbook issues. Elections are often about a choice between the lesser of two evils, and sadly, if there are no solutions for day-to-day pocketbook problems from either side, the loudest table pounder on cultural issues wins.

 The truth is while Democrats' efforts have not been felt yet, the GOP's platform is either "no idea what to do but just say no to anything Democrats propose" or "whatever Donald Trump says is fine with them". Traditionally, to combat crime, the GOP has fought any restrictions on second amendment rights which means more guns in the hands of criminals, to fight inflation, they blame the government for curbing drilling (that one is sheer BS, too), and "fer gawd sakes' keep those low wage brown people for invading our southern border.  None of that is helpful in reducing gun violence, reducing inflation, and solving a labor shortage or supply chain issues.  The GOP solutions are MIA, and they need and deserve to be called out. 

The hope for Democrats in November is that by continuing to be touting plans and promoting "green shoots" of progress, it may dawn by November on enough middle of the road and pragmatic voters that a vote for the GOP is a vote for no solutions to their kitchen table problems. There are concerns that are more important to them than the red herring diversion of culture wars.

End of February 2022 public policy issue priorities had shifted from last year in both parties .  The question both political parties should be asked is what would you do to fix the problems that you see are priorities?   The  GOP has no platform, but to hurl cultural issues, hot air, and harm to those who are marginalized.   Public’s Top Priority for 2022: Strengthening the Nation’s Economy | Pew Research Center

The newest arrow in the quiver of social wars arrows is to call someone a pedophile or a fellow traveler. That is particularly rich coming from GOP politicians. A recent newsletter from the Boston Globe cited studies that showed most pedophiles were white Christian men, and victims mainly were their own family members. Most were heterosexual and not gay or trans. The newsletter cited their source: as an attempt to paint the candidate for Supreme Court as too soft on pedophiles when she was a judge., and the don't say gay law aimed at taking revenge on Mickey Mouse for" grooming victims." Add that to the dog whistle to racists of Dr. Suess and CRT, and you get how the GOP is using cultural wars to advance their power. https://www.childmolestationprevention.org/_files/ugd/4b2901_d91e1a1c004d4e68b7d2b45157971961.pdf?et_rid=1048338397&s_campaign=fastforward:newslett
Summed up by the Globe:
Research shows:
-- 99 percent of child molesters are male.
-- 91 percent of pedophiles are heterosexual.
-- 79 percent of admitted child molesters are white.
-- 93 percent of child abusers are religious, and the vast majority are Christian.
-- 90 percent of child molesters target kids in their own family or those of friends, and the overwhelming majority are married or were married to women."

The GOP's don't say gay cultural war because gays are pedophiles  caused a Michigan State Senator to fight back.  Her comments went viral.  Michigan state senator pushes back on GOP colleague who accused her of wanting to ‘groom’ children (yahoo.com)

Footnote:   So what is this term " red herring?  English journalist William Cobbett in 1807, per Wikipedia" made up a story about how, when he was boy, they used to drag red herrings on strings to distract dogs sent on hares in their property. He then used this story as an analogy to how he felt the English press was, at that time, spreading false news about the defeat of Napoleon as “a political red herring,” designed to distract people from more important matters at home."

Wednesday, April 20, 2022

Critical race theory and "Don't say gay" called out

 She speaks for me. My mantra Hate is not a Christian value...and I am a white, straight, Christian, suburban mom, who has been speaking out for over 60 years. it is good to know my speaking out has others thinking the same way.

Repeat: Hate won't win...my new mantra. Thanks, Mallory.


Michigan Sen. Mallory McMorrow blasts fellow Sen. Lana Theis in viral floor speech

Tuesday, April 19, 2022

"Election integrity' means "keep partisan hands off my ballot"

 A bill is making it through the Colorado state senate supporting greater election integrity and to make it harder for anyone to mess with the actual paper ballots and tabulations. It passed out of committee 4/18 22. The bill has the word " integrity" in its title. It should define integrity to mean "keep partisan hands off my ballot".  It addresses the issue on which Mesa County Clerk Tima Peters was indicted for criminal acts for giving non staff access to the room where ballots are secured.  The bill, SB 153, would require card access and more than one staffer to accompany anyone entering the secured location.  For any Democrat running for County Clerk or an elections official, the key word is to pledge election integrity which means  "keep partisan interests from messing with your ballot ".  Election integrity for some is the opposite and is deceptive. For those it means" make my own party in charge of election voting security." 

Per publication Colorado Politics:.. "to fortify Colorado's elections against those with "inside access" to harm them SB 153 increases basic security measures, such as requiring 24/7 surveillance and key card access to rooms where election equipment is stored. In any county of more than 100,000, the bill would prohibit any elected official or candidate from having key card access to a room with voting equipment or devices without being accompanied by someone else with authorized access. For smaller counties, the bill sets up a $1 million grant to pay for the round-the-clock surveillance or key card access."

. On local issues such as the election of those supervising elections, as a former Clerk and Recorder o Denver and past president of the elections board, , this one is particularly close to my heart.  Election integrity means different things to different constituencies. For Republicans, election integrity means put Republicans in control of the rules and compliance and the tabulation. For Democrats, just keep them secure, accessible, independent, with administrators directly accountable to voters and not to a partisan dominated body like a state legislation comprised of politicians who have a self-interested stake int he outcome.   Democrats have got a strong hand in appealing to their base and swing voters touting free and fair elections and accusing the GOP of rigging the vote count and ballot access in ways that are so partisan we cannot trust them.  Forget the Trumpster voters and go for the Democrats and independents on this issue.  Go on the attack. This one is fair game in taking on the likes of Trumpists who want to deprive all but their loyalists of ballot access and control of counting the vote.  This one should be:  "don't trust the GOP to play it fair" They have a track record on this in ignoring the popular vote, laws, rules, and regulations, and overturning the will of the people) Instead, trust administrators pledged to follow the rules, not to circumvent them, and demand paper ballots electronic tabulators kept secure from tampering in case there is an audit (official or "forensic". .  On voter access, a cross-racial/ideological approach would be "GOP wants to make it inconvenient to note, harder for everyone. Convenience affects everyone.   While fair and free elections are keys to a democracy, calling the GOP autocrats and anti-Democracy is just too abstract. Having fair and free elections is not just a racial issue; it is everyone's concern.  Voters should demand their will is expressed through the ballot box, not distorted, lied about, ignored, and are willing to let the chips fall where they are.  Just do not get hung up on who stole what from whom in 2020. Instead, demand proof instead of opinions. (Use "opinions" instead of "conspiracy theories" and no proof with enough evidence has been found the election was stolen. Using "opinion" is less divisive than "conspiracy theory"  when appealing to swing voters)  Conspiracy theory is a bit derisive of those who think that if there is smoke there must be fire. The opinion is more respectful of those who are on the fence. Focus on how trumpsters want to screw with the term "fairness"., making the process only fair to them and controlled by them, not to or by anyone else. This is a state by state, district by local district approach that should work in swing and blue venues.  Ruby red states and election districts have already swallowed the Trumpster cool-aid and see being unfair working to their advantage.

 Colorado is a generally blue state with some enclaves of Trump land.  Some county clerks, known partisans of Trump in Colorado, have been charged with giving the keys and passwords and hard drive copies of the ballots and tabulators to their partisans. They should be called out as the poster child of abuse and one now wants to run (or ruin) Colorado's gold standard system. Republican Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters announces candidacy for Colorado secretary of state (denverpost.com) They were in violation of laws designed to keep partisan hands-off.  Ballot and tabulation machine security procedure is the way to insure they and anyone else are unable to mess with them if and when there is an audit. . "We just can't trust them". Is a possible slogan.  Above all, Democrats should support the election reform laws currently put on the back burner in DC.  It is fairer for everyone.   This is particularly true for Colorado that has an exemplary system in which all ballots cast are paper ballots. How Colorado's Stellar Voting System Was Improved in 2020 (5280.com) " Possible slogan to pin on such abusive clerks : " if it ain't broke, don't break it" 


Sunday, April 17, 2022

Will the extreme anti-abortion laws passed by GOP state legislatures cause a backfire?

Updated 5/3=6,/22

https://www.usatoday.com/story/nletter/2022/05/03/leaked-abortion-draft-opinion-russias-next-moves-daily-briefing/9625726002/?utm_source=usatoday-Daily%20Briefing&utm_medium=email&utm_campa

Biden says 'a woman's right to choose is fundamental' on heels of leaked Supreme Court draft striking down Roe v. Wade (cnbc.com)      His subsequent comments about the extremist positions of the MAGAs were inspired by the nature of the draft, making it a crime for women and anyone assists them to interfere in any way with abortions  from the  moment of inception, with no exceptions for the life of the mother, rape or incest.  There is nothing more extreme than this. Biden is also said that the legal theory on which this draft is based opens the door for similar extreme positions on birth control, the morning after pill, same-sex marriage, and.  other cultural positions are supported by a minority  of the US population. The theory is that the Constitution does not address these exact issues, so therefore there cannot be rulings on federal policy by the Supreme Court, even though prior Supreme Courts had ruled to the contrary.  This kind of decision throws the issue to state legislatures and gives them permission to enact similar laws, putting candidates for state legislatures and governors in the hot seats in the 2022 midterms.  The only question left about the impact on the 2022 midterms is if more are inspired to vote for pro-choice candidates who otherwise would have not voted or who had initially supported MAGA candidates.. Polls have shown that MAGA voters already have been more  motivated to vote and Biden and Democrats had been losing steam in enthusiasm and approval. Midterm elections usually have low voter turnout, and favor the party out of power,  but this one may buck that trend.  This leaked draft of a likely Supreme Court decision to end Roe v Wade could likely backfire since it should smack younger generations of voters and suburban women between their eyes and increase their turnout. The impact will vary from state to state, but the backlash will  more likely  influence the election of pro choice cnadidates in more purple states, than in ruby red states. 

The April 17 post follows

Aside from personal views on the matter, the GOP pro-life position on abortion makes Republicans more vulnerable than ever to exploitation by Democrats in 2022 due to some states taking ultra-extreme measures to ban abortions and to defy the intent of Roe v Wade. These extreme laws will likely spark a backfire.  Democrats can charge that Republicans are using government to force compliance of their extreme pro-life belief on an unwilling majority or half of their constituency.  They are handing Democrats a hot button issue in swing Congressional and state legislative districts in November.  The task Democrats have is to raise awareness of the voters who believe government should not be the tool for the advancement of a religious/cultural group to which they do not subscribe. The target constituency for Democrats is precisely the demographic group that Biden is losing at this time, younger voters who otherwise is mired in cynicism and still unhappy Bernie did not win. Younger Voters Are Turning on Biden More Than Any Other Age Group: Poll (newsweek.com) Nothing that would warm the hearts of this demographic best would be relieved of student debt.  The message: elections do and still have consequences and failure for them to vote is a vote against preserving their right to choose.  The message to them is that elections have consequences and in 2022 and 2024 the younger generations of voters will have the critical ability to change the future.  The target should be whether their vote is registered in elections that will make the difference, especially for state legislatures, Congress, and the presidency.   A good example of that is even if the Supreme Court kills Roe v Wade at the federal level, Colorado just passed a law because it has a legislature that is Democratic and a governor of the same party, Roe v Wade is protected by a new law in the state. However, a future GOP-dominated statehouse can reverse that, and with the blessing of an ideological and politicized court. In fact, it will clear the way, for a federal ban, wiping out state Roe v Wade-like protections.  The only action to counter that is for Congress to pass a law protecting a woman's right to choose.  IF the Supreme Court overturns a 50 years worth of prior decisions, they have paved the way for banning birth control, gay marriage, and other related rights gained by Court decisions that we thought were "settled law".  If the Court persists with overturning Roe v Wade, protection of "settled law" in any other field, race, or whatever, is no longer a valid argument or reason to keep laws already on the books that are based backed up by Court decisions, public opinion be hanged.. Get out of your funk, younger generations. Wake up and act.

The GOP is using government to impose a culture on many who do not embrace it.  Nearly 60% of those polled in the US support a women's right to choose in most instances. Even in the most conservative states like Texas and Oklahoma, the voters split equally on the issue. In spite of that, nonetheless the GOP dominated state legislatures and statehouses in Texas and Oklahoma passed some of some of the most restrictive laws in the country that ban abortion de facto or outlaw them nearly altogether. Perhaps they were inspired and counting on challenges to the laws ending up in the Supreme Court now dominated with three new justices who passed the litmus test of pro-life when the GOP last held the Senate majority. Expectations are that Roe v Wade will be overturned or so damaged to be ineffective. Elections had consequences that made that Court majority anti-abortion. Future elections can still have consequences, too as these polls show to elect representatives who would support legislation that protects a woman's right to choose in law, as was just enacted in Colorado, to no longer rely on judges chosen for their bias. Gov. Polis signs bill aiming to protect abortion access in Colorado | KUNC    Such legislation does not forbid anyone to choose to continue to be pro-life if they find themselves in a situation themselves, in the case of rape or incest or the health of the mother or in the first trimester of pregnancy.. Anti-choice laws soon to be reviewed in June by the Supreme Court attempt to appear to be in compliance with Roe v Wade, but set the time frame it is permitted is so short even women do not even know for sure they are pregnant. It in effect makes most pregnancies not protected by the right to choose, or it makes services inaccessible by either making them useless or banned altogether.  Oklahoma just passed legislation that makes criminal abortions committed with one exception: the health of the mother. In Texas, a woman who performed her own abortion has been charged with murder,,and the case was]withdrawn.

https://www.usatoday.com/story/nletter/2022/05/03/leaked-abortion-draft-opinion-russias-next-moves-daily-briefing/9625726002/?utm_source=usatoday-Daily%20Briefing&utm_medium=email&utm_campa

What happens if the Supreme Court overturns Roe v Wade on abortion? (usatoday.com)

Biden says 'a woman's right to choose is fundamental' on heels of leaked Supreme Court draft striking down Roe v. Wade (cnbc.com)

Gov. Polis signs bill aiming to protect abortion access in Colorado | KUNC

Colorado Voters Defeated a 22-Week Abortion Ban - The Atlantic

Why a 'baffling' murder charge in Texas worries abortion advocates (usatoday.com)

Kevin Stitt, Oklahoma governor, signs near-total ban on abortion into law - CNNPolitics   Even in Oklahoma, the voters are equally split on the rights of women to choose  Abortion Poll Results for Oklahoma voters (isidewith.com)   

In Texas the polls were similar: "About 46 percent of adults support the Texas law, which bans abortions after six weeks of pregnancy and deputizes private citizens to enforce it through civil lawsuits. About the same amount — 47 percent of adults — oppose the law. The remaining 7 percent were undecided." More than half of men favor Texas' abortion ban, poll shows (19thnews.org)     

Easy for men to say since they will never be in the situation of having to choose.

59% of Americans say abortion should be legal | Pew Research Centereven

Monday, April 11, 2022

Send in the danged Migs

 Here's how the Russians see Putin's war in Ukraine... It is a proxy war against NATO . It also demonstrates why Putin sees destroying Donbas and its people as crucial to Putin's power. I support those who say send Zelensky everything we can for the defense of attack now, asap...including the danged Polish Migs. The future of our own security interests and world peace and the future of democracy in the free world are at stake..https://www.businessinsider.com/russian-foreign-minister...

We have had experience with countries supporting war crimes before: it was in the Balkans, 19901-1995 in Bosna. and in Kosovo, The Serbian president Milosovic was voted out of office and died awaiting trial in the Hague, but his lieutenants are in jail. A few years after the conflicts, a group of Serbian students spoke to a gathering at Denver's 9 News. I walked away with the impression that they voted out Milosovic and turned him over to the Hague, not because of the atrocities he oversaw, but because he lost the promise to make Serbia greater again. He was a loser. Putin may have the support of the Russian people now, but if he loses Ukraine, he may lose power as well.

Saturday, April 9, 2022

Going on the attack. A formula for Democrats keeping the House in 2022 (revised, updated))

Update May 5, 2022: This is more like it: Biden Comes Out Swinging Against GOP’s 'Extreme' MAGA Agenda | Politics | US News

Updated  May 2,2022 and revised from an April 9 post. What will make a difference in the 2022 midterms?  Slogans have a role in messaging. They put long lists into a context and can be used in both attacks and defense:  In 2022, they can be both national and locally applied. Some possibilities: the GOP is a" just to say no to fixes to family financial struggles", or a MAGA candidate can be tagged in a swing district as "just too extreme for us", or on Ukraine and democracy, and big pharma the question put to certain candidates becomes "on whose side are you on anyway?" 

 Here is how the races could be shaping up as seen in April 2022. and  a possible winning overarching themes and slogans for Democrats which puts their contrast with GOP candidates in context. . Going on the attack  instead of just playing defense is an old bit of wisdom: The best defense is a great offense. Calling out the GOP as the party of "just say no" to helping families with day-to-day finances or tagging Qnuts and MAGA  cult members as too extreme for the district are attack slogans that could be fortified with national messaging at the same time. After two years of trying, evidence of the steal has yet to be found and those who keep on spouting the fantasy are either lying or deaf, dumb and blind. We have witnessed the gut reaction of those immediately post January 6, especially from Kevin McCarthy even consider asking Trump to retire in taped conversations, and to reverse themselves when they realize Trump is still the power to which they must bow. The best I heard recently is to call the party a party dominated by "loonies and liars". Another is "The 2022 battle cry needs to be, "A vote for House Republicans, is a vote to destroy democracy."  Both of these attack slogans are credited to Tom Rogers,  of NEWSWEEK, and formr Colorado Senator Tim Wirth.  Attacks like these need to be direct, simple, and pointed and they should not leave voters having to listen to long lists just to extract and deduce the point being made.  .These slogans then should be followed up with what the Democrats have done for your family or national security as a contrast in context of the slogan and the details of why they think so.. How effective these slogans will be depends  how skillfully  it is applied to the more district, state, and local races given the opponents' records on these issues...  With MAGA and Trump still in control of primary elections, it is probable that GOP candidates will be chosen because of their loyalty to Trumpism.  That is an opportunity for Democrats in the general election to appeal to moderates and fence sitters in swing districts. .   All politics in 2022 is local and campaigns need to be tailored to each Congressional district though national themes and slogans can back up local campaigns and put them in context.

The focus in swing districts should be on reaching swing voters.A good way to look at this is which states flipped from voting for Donald Trump in 2016 to Joe Biden in 2020 and now have competitive congressional races in 2022? Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Arizona and Georgia flipped to Biden."   That same analysis can be applied to identifying  swing  House districts  there and elsewhere. Cultural issues, racism expressed now in CRT school and parental control battles, fear of brown people invading us from our borders, religious fervor against gays and trans, and anti-choice, will be the currents against which Democrats will be swimming. These issues have no impact on what bugs most voters: the economy. Those are value and belief issues that are not debatable  , but could be attacked as too extreme to the particular district, local and state races. 

 It might make a difference in contested districts if Democrats can go on the offensive and pin MAGA candidates as un-American, and not caring about democracy, preferring Putin- like autocracies. Ukraine support is similar to the dilemma facing American in 1940, 1941 when the US was toying with arming England before Pearl Harbor.. The deciding judgment call became based on making the world safe for democracy, our own democracy. (Thanks to historian Michael Beschloss for that observation of history)..Reminder: 63 House member (including a few Democrats) voted against a pro NATO resolution recently. All  Republicans voted against reducing the cost of diabetes drugs. For candidates in specific districts like them, they should be asked" on whose side are you, anyway?", Russia and Bid Pharma? 


However,  above, cultural issues and democracy v autocracy, polls show the public policy issue on all minds is the economy  narrowed to a single problem, inflation, but the GOP persists as  the party of just saying no to family relief. The GOP has gone off on   tangents that have nothing to do with improving  the economy, dealing with inflation,  or pocket book relief health care costs, especially diabetes meds , and roads addressed because " Just saying no" fixes nothing that has to do with the economy..   This presents an opportunity to list what Democrats have accomplished in the past two years.  If the opposing candidate is not an incumbent, they still are talking the party line of just say no to any relief to families.

Dealing with the lingering "stop the steal" candidates, there is a  local Colorado race that  has national implications and interest regarding voter integrity. The GOP talks a game about voter integrity, but they want to rig it to be able to support the candidates they favor. Voter integrity as they define it only applies to them, enabling them to wreck the ability to provide safeguards for everyone and to trample the laws in place to protect ballots for all. Colorado, a candidate for Secretary of State,  Tina Peters, is  a county clerk indicted for criminal violation of duty to secure 2020 ballots as proscribed by law. She is a perfect candidate to hold up as a poster child of a QNUT  dominated political party and she just got the support in her party's state assembly, as did other "stop the steal" candidates for state wide office and Senate.. Her defense  against the criminal charge is being funded by My Pillow Guy.  Given the blue tint of the state, the state GOP is vulnerable to be branded as too extreme, just as their candidates for other state and district offices  are.

McCarthy scrambles to contain fallout from tape on Trump and Jan. 6 (usatoday.com)

 GOP secretary of state candidate endorses Tina Peters, jumps to El Paso County commissioner primary | 2022 Election | coloradopolitics.com   

  Mike Lindell says he gave up to $800K to Tina Peters' defense | 9news.com  

   Here is everything that’s happened with Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters (coloradosun.com)  

    Littwin: The Big Lie is the big winner at the Colorado GOP assembly (coloradosun.com)   

The Card a Republican House Can Play That Turns Us Into a House of Cards | Opinion (msn.com)

All three GOP House members from Colorado voted against the infrastructure bill. The four Democrats voted in favor.  Colorado's Democratic delegation cheers passage of infrastructure bill amid GOP scowls | Colorado In DC | coloradopolitics.com


Remarks by President Biden on Actions to Lower Gas Prices at the Pump for American Families | The White House


Why 30 percent of the House GOP voted against reaffirming NATO support - The Washington Post

12 House Republicans Voted for Key Piece of Biden Agenda on Prescription Drugs

Republicans who voted against Biden's infrastructure bill are touting its projects anyway - Los Angeles Times (latimes.com) (businessinsider.com)

Republican-Colorado GOP House members voted no on the infrastructure bill. Watch if they try to take credit for projects in their district that were funded by the bill. None voted for the prescription drug bill, either.https://www.businessinsider.com/house-republicans-voted... Boebert voted against the resolution supporting NATO in the Ukraine crisis.

ntrolled states have higher murder rates than Democratic ones: study (yahoo.com)


Update March 31, 2022  Remarks by President Biden on Actions to Lower Gas Prices at the Pump for American Families | The White House

With gas prices high, Colorado oil production is ramping up | Colorado Public Radio (cpr.org)

CBS News poll: Strong support for Russian sanctions even if gas prices increase - CBS News



 


Friday, April 8, 2022

January 6 no surprise: insurrection and violence in transfer of power predicted in September 2020

The attempt to overturn the election and Trump's refusal to abide by election results should have come as no surprise. Even the use of violence was hinted at by Trump in press reports H.e signaled his intent from March through  September 2020. if not the details of how and he laid the groundwork to claim the election was stolen if he lost.  Violence on January 6 was not by accident, but by design. Proud Boy leader pleads guilty to Jan. 6 conspiracy, agrees to cooperate : NPR  One of the techniques that had become obvious is Colorado, a mail-in ballot state, was hanky panky and dirty tricks to sabotage the US postal services ability to deliver mail in ballots in time to be counted. The Trump loyal post master  did what he could to sabotage postal service in advance of the 2020 elections.  It was part of a larger scheme. It is with a bit of joy that recently, Congress funded USPS to undo the damage Postmaster DeJoy had done.  Senate passes $107 billion USPS overhaul, sending bill to Biden for expected approval - The Washington Post 

US election: Trump won't commit to peaceful transfer of power - BBC News

Thie following is from a September 2020 Muftic Forum  blog posting: Trump's refusal in advance to say whether he will honor the outcome of the election and that"the only way he will lose the election is if the election is rigged"  would be ironic if it were not so scary.https://abcnews.go.com/Politics/president-trump-declines-commit-peaceful-transfer-power/story?id=73205708&cid=social_fb_abcn&fbclid=IwAR09eLcO_oyCMrdzFPqpC5IbvCYHnE0KrASlQKVrg2XGKLXdsmEGND-fGOs    

Trump himself is threatening insurrection, refusing to commit to a peaceful transition to power if he loses the election.https://www.bbc.com/news/election-us-2020-54274115 This advocate of law and order is threatening violence. What is he planning to do? Summon his armed militias, unleash his "federal troops" a la Portland? Call for violent demonstrations by the right-wing advocates of violence and civil war? Then what. This may fit under the category of insurrection and the military may see this as intervening, not as intervening in domestic politics but permitted under their charge to intervene in an armed insurrection. with case law.case law defining what it is.: Insurrection means “a violent uprising by a group or movement acting for the specific purpose of overthrowing the constituted government and seizing its powers. An insurrection occurs where a movement acts to overthrow the constituted government and to take possession of its inherent powers.” [Younis Bros. & Co. v. Cigna Worldwide Ins. Co., 899 F. Supp. 1385, 1392-1393 (E.D. Pa. 1995)]"
 He is the rigger. Donald Trump's initials stand for Dirty Tricks. The irony is not lost since he is the one trying to rig this election by voter suppression tactics aimed at assumed anti-Trump minority voters, by using administrative measures, intimidating in-person voters, limiting poll places in Democratic cities, and sabotaging the ability of US postal service to process mail in a timely way, including mail-in ballots.  The postal service's new head ceased doing more to curtail prompt delivery but left the automatic sorters disconnected, the corner post office boxes still gone,  and overtime limited.  These slow down steps were forced to be reversed by a federal judge injunction applied nationwide on September 17. That included restoration of automatic sorters and that mailed-in ballots were to be processed as First Class mail again, among other rollbacks of the slow down process that were instituted in July. However,  in September, the USPS head told a judge he could not restore the sorters because they had been sold for parts." Witnesses reported that many of the expensive machines were quickly dismantled and tossed into dumpsters as scrap. The injunction noted that 72% of the ripped out machines were in counties Hillary Clinton won in the 2016 presidential election."
 Remember that old joke about Chicago? Vote early and vote often? That is illegal in many states. The President has just urged voters to vote twice, by mail and in-person, in order to test the system in North Carolina, a battleground swing state.  In some states, voting twice is illegal. It is in North Carolina. The question is if these wilful lawbreakers try,  it is not that they can vote twice, it is if their vote would be counted twice. What it appears Trump is doing is putting up his loyal followers to provoke fraud and be charged with a crime in North  Carolina so he can make the case there is  fraud. 

  In Colorado, if you vote by mail and then show up to vote again in person, you can do it, but the mail-in vote will not be counted so.if there is a gap in the timing between the time the mail-in ballot is received and not yet marked off in the information the polling judge receives on election day, and you vote in person too, it will be caught anyway. However, in Colorado that has had mail-in voting since 2013,  where every registered voter gets a ballot in the mail, in-person voting on election day has dwindled to 3-4% percentage. Mail-in voting was popular and convenient even before COVID. This has reduced the chance of double voting to near insignificance. Thanks to the miracle of computerized voter registration methods that reflect the received ballot,  the ability of an election judge to check quickly if a person already voted is the usual way double voting is caught. The second backup is the ability in Colorado to compare signatures at the time the voter registered vs the signatures at the time the ballot is cast either at a polling place or by mail.  If there is a question, it will be considered a provisional ballot, and a bi-partisan panel will make the judgment call. Those who are concerned their mail-in vote did not make it in time or there is some hanky panky, they can trace their mail-in ballot online just as they can also trace the status of their UPS shipment. and nearly all states have this service. Trump, as usual, is displaying his ignorance or hoping voters are ignorant so he can manipulate them by spreading ignorance.

https://www.skyhinews.com/opinion/letter-colorado-can-vote-by-mail-no-problem/

How secure are our elections nationwide? Fraud everywhere... claims the Trump folks. https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/donald-trump/trump-pushes-false-claims-about-mail-vote-fraud-here-are-n1180566?fbclid=IwAR1MNqT2F6ouGPA2BeM5VX2SrYaJtWh0gj3NMKnUqGpkmIz0kwR0aOatCqg
It is not because they found any proof of widespread voter fraud already.  Trump set up a partisan dominated commission to find it.  They couldn't so it was disbanded: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/03/us/politics/trump-voter-fraud-commission.html  

The question has been why has Trump made such an issue of mail-in ballots being fraudulent when there is little evidence of that happening in the past.. The answer was made clear in the timing of filling the Supreme Court seat left vacant with the passing of Justice Ginsburg. While it is possible the anti-Roe v Wade justice confirmation could be made in the lame-duck session, there is a reason Trump wants to have the entire bench filled before November 3. Having a friendly Supreme Court in place and making the issue of mail-in ballots is a strategy many had suspected was his scheme to steal the election all along if he fell behind Biden in the electoral college total. Now, he openly admitted that was his plan. At a rally Monday, Trump himself confirmed his reasoning, per an NBC report. "Trump suggested that he wants to fill Ginsburg's vacancy as soon as possible because he anticipates having legal issues surrounding the election and doesn't want the possibility of a 4-4 Supreme Court ruling if that is the case." Trump has been spending the past many months laying a groundwork to challenge the vote outcome in the courts, crusading to claim mail-in ballots are a fraud before the vote has even happened. Now you know why.

To compound matters, the President is threatening to not step down if he loses the election because he "believes" these mail in ballots are fraudulent. https://abcnews.go.com/Politics/president-trump-declines-commit-peaceful-transfer-power/story?  When pressed for a second time if he would "commit to making sure that there's a peaceful transferral of power," Trump again turned to ballots.

"We want to have -- get rid of the ballots and you'll have a very peaceful, there won't be a transfer, frankly," Trump said. "There'll be a continuation."id=73205708&cid=social_fb_abcn&fbclid=IwAR09eLcO_oyCMrdzFPqpC5IbvCYHnE0KrASlQKVrg2XGKLXdsmEGND-f

https://s2.washingtonpost.com/camp-rw/?  trackId=59f46ed8ae7e8a2d8f8a4a21&s=5f6e590b9d2fda0efb346989&linknum=4&linktot=41


And how do you think Trump plans to get rid of the ballots?  His plan being discussed per various sources https://www.businessinsider.com/trump-biden-electoral-college-electors-plan-loyalists-swing-states-2020-9 would be in swing states with the legislatures controlled by the GOP would be for them to choose loyal Trump supporters to cast the votes in the electoral college, ignoring the state's vote by the people entirely.  The Constitution only delegates leaving the choice of electors to the state legislatures. By customs and state laws, the process has been for the electors to represent the majority vote in that state.   Most of the swing states on which Trump depends to win have both houses of their state legislatures in the hands of the GOP.   The Atlantic also has reported this possibility. The article is available to subscribers.   If this is challenged at the Supreme Court, remember what just happened: His appointment to fill the vacancy will tilt the Court to the extreme right if he succeeds in filling the seat before Nov. 3.



https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/supreme-court/trump-says-he-ll-probably-name-supreme-court-pick-

Now there is a sense of urgency because state elections officials need to make changes soon to be ready for November.  There are two reasons for urgency:  predictions that by November a second wave of COVID-19 in the fall will mean all voters required to appear in person to vote will be risking their lives and the Russians are ready to create chaos to damage any trust in our kind of democracy.  It also opens the days after November 3 to possibilities of violence since we will not know the outcome for weeks or months. https://www.sos.state.co.us/pu…/elections/electionInfo.html…. Early in-person voting in Colorado begins October 19. www.sos.state.co.us/pubs/elections/main.html   First day ballots go in the mail to voters is October 9. As soon as you get your ballot, vote, and put it in an official drop box or mailbox or deliver it to your county clerk. For an extra sense of security, you can track it online like a UPS delivery in most states, and for sure in Colorado..      https://www.sos.state.co.us/pubs/elections/FAQs/mailBallotsFAQ.html



 

Wednesday, April 6, 2022

Is there a place for moral outrage in politics?

 An attribute of Biden's character that gets overlooked is his moral clarity. There is obvious evil in this world, and it needs to be called out, but is there a place for it in politics? Yes, if the evidence justifies it.  Nowhere has moral clarity been expressed more obviously than his outrage at the atrocities committed by Russian troops in Ukraine and his accusing Putin of being a war criminal for targeting civilians as part of a war strategy.  Six weeks into Russia's invasion of Ukraine videos of intentional targeting of civilians cannot be ignored, whether it was a clearly marked as a refuge for children in Mariupol or streets strewn with civilian corpses in Bucha with video evidence it occurred during Russian occupation. There is a pattern of hospitals being frequent Russian targets. Patterns of behavior are evidence in criminal trials. It will take years before who gave the orders, and their accountability will become formalized by international tribunals. In the meantime, moral outrage is more than justified.  International tribunals are already motivated by such accusations and are actively investigating already, .  The US Department of Justice head, Attorney General  Merrick Garland. announced today the DOJ will continue to assist the tribunal investigations.  Post-World War II and the Nuremberg trials, the most recent example of how tribunals act in the face of war crime accusations is in the 1991-1995 Balkan war atrocities like the Srebrenica massacre .and the Hague tribunal. See my recent post on the subject. 

 This is in stark contrast with someone like Donald Trump who abuses or ignores the moral element. He still will not criticize Putin and even dares ask Putin for a political favor last month as convincing evidence of atrocities by Russian invaders Ukraine were reported. Trump had no shame or concern about  morality in pursuit of his political objective.  From the beginning of his 2016 campaign, Trump touted his advantages of being transactional in his dealings because of his business success. Over the years, we now know what being transactional is about.  Transactional to Trump has meant he will do what benefits him politically or it will benefit those supporting him.  Morality is not a criteria for what is a successful transaction. Lying to explain failures is simply a strategy, not a moral no-no. Example number one  is knowingly lying about his loss in 2020 yet claiming his loss was because 'Democrats stole the election, even though courts and his own attorney general told him otherwise. He still sings that same tune, though after a year and a half of audits, all kinds of investigative journalism, still no evidence has emerged that there was enough hanky panky in the election to prove it was stolen. However, Trump persists to this day and his followers echo him. Both are still a large force in the Republican party. .  

Another strategy of Donald Trump is to paint his opponents with immorality while he himself is under investigation, and court rulings of his own corrupt practices have come to public light. His abuse of his charitable foundation funds for his benefit and a university found fraudulent are a few cases in point  where Trump himself was found culpable by courts. He is in danger of being accused of fraud in tax and loan applications by over or undervaluing property to benefit him.. His role in January 6 is still a question mark. This abuse of the moral issue is his way of deflecting criticism of his own practices by charging his opponents as being  either equally corrupt or flawed as well, even if it a false equivalency or an unproved theory. He knows that while he himself places no value in being moral, others do, and are willing and eager to join him  in calling the kettle black, even if there is no evidence.  Top of that list one is the Hunter Biden saga. It is classic Trump: "if you think my family and I are corrupt or criminals, just let me show Biden and his son are too".   The dishonesty of the right wing supporters of Trump is claiming his father, Joe Biden, benefited or helped  his son when there is no  evidence of that. The alleged events took place when Joe Biden was neither in office or a candidate, and there is no proof he pocketed any money from any of Hunter's ventures or that he helped Hunter.    The dishonesty of the right is an old propaganda technique,  to refer to the" Biden crime family", hoping the phrase is enough proof in itself it is true if it is repeated enough. 

The long list of legal cases against Donald Trump | Donald Trump | The Guardian

Monday, April 4, 2022

What was Srebrenica, and why is it relevant to Ukraine updated

Update April 10, 2022: War in Ukraine: Gordon Brown backs Nuremberg-style trial for Putin - BBC News     

Continuing with original post:

Ukraine President Zelenski called the massacre of civilians in Bucha genocide and Biden accused the Russians of war crimes.  There are often references to Srebrenica in comments from officials and pundits to it in reminding us of the most recent experiences in post-World War II with the horrific ethnic cleansing in Bosnia, 1991-1995.  The turning point in US and Europe getting more involved to stop the slaughter was an incident in a town in Bosnia where every male was marched out of town by Serbians, gunned down, and buried in a mass grave for one reason: they were Muslim.  The resulting international tribunals resulted in the Bosnian Serb leader being found guilty and imprisoned.  Eventually, Slobodan Milosevic, the president of Bosnia's neighbor, Serbia, was voted out of office and turned over to the tribunal in the Hague. He died of natural causes while awaiting trial in prison. Milosevic was accused of being the inspiration and mastermind of the bloody attempt to incorporate northern Bosnia into greater Serbia and to rid the region of Muslims, there since the Ottoman takeover in the 15th century. Bucha may be Ukraine's Srebrenica. I wrote the following column published in the local Grand County newspaper, the Sky Hi News in July 2015. Bosnia today is the poorest country in Europe, with the Bosnian Serbs threatening to instigate another civil war to deal with their unfinished business and suspected to  take inspiration from Putin's invasion of Ukraine.

This March's rallies in the Serbian capitol of Belgrade  supported Putin's aggression. .  While Bosnia does not border Russia, the parallels are still frightening.  Bosnia is more or less under control of the EU which still has peacekeepers there. In light of the Ukraine conflict, the EU doubled their peacekeeper military there and the French fighter jets are doing flyovers to remind the Bosnian Serbs to cool it. The fate of Putin could also resemble Milosevic's, He has been  warned. The international tribunal and the UN have many on the ground in Ukraine documenting Russian atrocities and those responsible with a view for future Hague or UN related trials.

The original 2015 column and an explainer of Srebrenica: Imagine if every  male, man and boy, in Grand County were assembled, hands tied behind their backs, marched to a killing field, and shot dead for one reason: they were all of the same religion, an identified ethnic group, hated by a superior force.
  Something like  that took place twenty years ago in a city with a population a little larger than our county.  You say that must have happened in Africa, maybe Rwanda? It is difficult to believe that such a horrendous event  also took place in an industrialized European country, especially since the Western world had hopefully  learned its lesson from the Holocaust. 
The world is just now coming to grips with its failure to stop the worst genocide  in Europe since World War II. July 11 in   Bosnia, former President Bill Clinton and former US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright,   prime ministers, presidents, a queen,  from Croatia, Slovenia, Kosovo, Turkey, Serbia, and Jordan ( Angela Merkel of Germany paid her respects earlier), marked the twentieth anniversary of the Srebrenica massacre, occurring  in a conflict which gave birth to  the term “ethnic cleansing”.
 On July 11, 1995, 8,372 men and boys were  marched to the countryside, shot to death, and  their executioners attempted to cover up the slaughter by moving the bodies, scattering body parts, and burying them so that no one would know.  A few of the victims played dead or hid under other bodies to escape and testify  to the world.    Thanks to DNA and forensic  recovery of the remains, all but 1000 have been identified, and another 136 coffins with parts of identified victims, were buried in the memorial ceremonies Saturday.
Oh, you say,  the Muslims did it?  (In Bosnia at that time, the largest ethnic group was Muslims).  Wrong.  The killers were Bosnian Serbs , Christian Orthodox, and the victims were killed for one reason. They were Muslim.
 It was a bloody incident in a bloody war as the former Yugoslavia broke apart in 1991 and the province of Bosnia struggled to gain its independence, with ethnic Catholic Croats, Orthodox Serbs, and Muslims engaged in a civil war to determine governance. Bosnia’s population was a little more than Colorado’s. Over 100,000, mostly Muslims, died   before Srebrenica and  in smaller incidents of ethnic cleansing. The United Nations had already intervened and had established Srebrenica as a safe haven, but some Dutch peacekeepers were held hostage and courts later ruled  the Netherlands liable for their failure to protect those in a safe haven.
News of the massacre resulted in the following month with  NATO retaliatory air strikes against Bosnian Serbs  The Dayton Accord three months later   ended the Bosnia conflict, thanks mostly to the belated leadership of the US.  Joined in a federation with a Croatian/Muslim entity, Bosnia Serbs gained autonomy.   War crimes trials of Bosnian Serbs accused of responsibility for Srebrenica are still taking place in The Hague.
 The US last week introduced a resolution in the UN to commemorate the Srebrenica genocide,  but Russia, to its shame, yet  historically allied with Serbia,   vetoed it.  Showing more grace, the prime minister of Serbia attended the commemoration ceremonies and endured rocks   thrown at him by impassioned activists.

Post note: The Bosnia Serb leader Radovan Karadzic was found guilty in the Hague in 2016  and sentenced to 40 years in prison.

Felicia Muftic is a columnist with the Sky Hi News, Grand County, Colorado
.
 Highly recommended:http://www.cnn.com/2015/07/11/europe/bosnia-srebrenica-massacre-commemoration/ and listen to the audio version.


http://www.nytimes.com/2015/07/09/world/europe/srebrenica-genocide-massacre.html?_r=1


Friday, April 1, 2022

Why Biden's poll numbers are so low: he is no demagogue

Instead of the soaring oratory of a cult rousing Trump, Biden gets slammed for being old and sounding like it.  No matter what he does, Biden gets no credit for what he has accomplished, from soaring GDP and jobs, jobs, jobs while lowering the deficit, too.. How can he counter the "old and feeble" charge? The way to do it is to begin a campaign that wisdom and experience are worth more than the lying and chest beating of political demagogues of any age who come late to the foreign affairs table or have self-interested agendas of increasing their net worth and accumulating absolute power of an autocrat, like Trump.  

There is another attribute of Biden's character that gets overlooked: Moral clarity.  No where has that been expressed more obviously than his outrage at the atrocities committed by Russian troops in Ukraine and his accusing Putin of being a war criminal for targeting civilians as part of their war strategy.  This is in stark contrast with someone like Donald Trump who still will not criticize Putin and even dares ask Putin for a political favor last month as war atrocities Ukraine were reported. That is  a person with no moral compas. From the beginning of his 2016 campaign, Trump touted his advantages of being transactional in his dealings because of his business success  .  Transactional to Trump has meant he will do what benefits him politically and ergo it will benefit those loyal to him.  Morality is not a criteria for what is a successful transaction. Lying to explain failures is simply a strategy, not a moral no-no.  Knowing lying about his loss in 2020 yet claiming his loss was because 'Democrats stole the election, even though courts and his own attorney general told him otherwise. He still sings that same tune, though after a year and a half of audits, all kinds of investigative journalism, still no evidence has emerged that there was enough hanky panky in the election to prove it was stolen, yet Trump persists. . Biden's years of experience gave him  wisdom as a Senator heading foreign affairs committees, as vice-president, and that counts for more than a fiery tongue president who used his skills to gin up white nationalism, subverting and weakening NATO, and licking boots  of  Putin. an acute adversary of our national security interests.. No one in political leadership has had more experience of dealing with Putin than Joe Biden. He is the right man for the Ukraine crisis . So let's hear it for wisdom, judgement, and morality as an offset to a lack of podium skills.  Those with wisdom like Joe Biden have gotten where they are by having been there, done that, and knowing evil when they see it. /

As years  as a Senator, Biden is also not ignorant of domestic issues, either, but the GOP is playing on the ignorance of Americans to place blame on Biden for the prices at the pump and inflation.. Biden has only  marginal control of gas prices; the bulk is in the hands of international oil cartels who decrease drilling to line their pockets and create artificial shortages to manipulate that commodity market. Biden can influence some margins of per barrel prices, and he just increased supply by releasing the largest dump of strategic oil reserves in history into the market and penalizes those with well drilling permits who have not drilled. We will hear more of this in the next couple of weeks in an attempt to educate Americans about who is to blame.  

The only power in the US that can  control inflation is the Federal Reserve. They have the only weapon to combat it with increasing interest rates ,which they are now gradually doing .  It is not Biden. but who sits on that board...unchanged since the Trump era.