Our Vote and Our Democracy

Background: Citizen access to the ballot box is increasingly under attack nationwide. Voter roll purges, restrictive voter ID laws, cutbacks on early voting, and elimination of polling locations, have been implemented in various states to successfully reduce voter participation. These policies, under the pretense of preventing voter fraud, specifically target minority, low income and younger voters—the constituencies often identified as supportive of the Democratic Party. In addition to this focused attack on our ballot access, there is the continuing threat of hacking of voting machines (many now over 10 years old and no longer being manufactured), and computerized voting without a paper ballot for post-election audits. Our #4 Call to Action below addresses this issue.

Just as destructive to our Democracy and our voting rights is voter apathy. We must challenge people who claim their vote doesn’t matter or that their perfect candidate isn’t on the ballot. Engage your friends, neighbors, co-workers and family and talk to them about what’s at stake in this election, and how important voting is to you. November’s Blue Wave can’t happen without a robust voter turnout. Getting people to the polls will be crucial if we are to take back Congress. When we vote, we win!

What we can do: Here are some steps you can take to make sure your own vote gets counted.  Share them with family, friends, neighbors and co-workers, and keep the conversation going on voter participation

  1. Make sure you re-register anytime you move.  Students, especially, move often, so add re-registering to your list of things to do after you’ve moved. If you’re not sure if your registration is up-to-date, check here. And if you need to re-register, you can do so here. But remember, do it now— the registration deadline is Oct. 22.
  2. Vote early in the day if you can. If you’re voting early and there are any problems at your polling place, you’ll have some time to resolve the issue. What happens if you can’t fix the problems? Don’t give up! Request a provisional ballot and fill it out. You’re legally entitled to a ballot and to have your voice heard.
  3. If you prefer to vote by mail, be on the lookout for your ballot a few weeks before the Nov. 6 midterm election. Fill it out (make sure to sign the back of the return envelope!) then mail it in right away. And some good news: starting this November, you’ll receive a postage paid envelope to mail back your ballot.  You can check here to confirm your vote has been received (your voting choice will not be revealed.).  Then, remind everyone you know who votes by mail to fill out their ballot and mail it in.
  4. Volunteer to become a poll worker. You’ll be on the front lines helping people exercise their right to vote, and doing your part to make sure elections are fair.

For the future health of our nation’s democracy, support legislation that strengthens cyber security and mandates a verifiable paper ballot with post-election audits to test the accuracy of computer votes.  See our Elections and Cybersecurity call to action below.

Trump Fiction: Fake Fake News

Recently The-Man-Who-Would-Be-President got himself into more hot water and tried to lie his way out of a lie by claiming “sort of a double negative.” There is increasing awareness that almost all of what he says should be suspect. Virtually everything he says – and absolutely all of his tweets – should be considered fabrications until verified. That verification could take months or even years. Think about it: all the trump blather is just, well, blather until proven true. At some later date. Continue reading “Trump Fiction: Fake Fake News”

Emoluments (it’s juicier than you think)

Who knew a dry subject like “Emoluments” (according to Webster: the returns arising from office or employment usually in the form of compensation or perquisites) could be interesting? The history involves live lions, a gold box with 408 diamonds, elephant tusks, a Persian rug, and more.

Background: trump has refused from the beginning to release his tax returns and refused to relinquish his business interests. Despite blinding their operation during his term and putting his sons in charge (is that a double negative?), he’ll still reap the benefits after removal from office. The governments of Maryland and the District of Columbia sued the president for violating the Constitution’s Article 1, Section 9, prohibiting the receipt of gifts and business revenue from “any King, Prince, or foreign State.”

They claim his eponymous hotel near the White House is preferred by visiting officials who believe their room expenses will serve well in trump’s mind for them. This takes potential revenue from other hotels in D.C. and Maryland (damage: an important point to establish legal standing). The latest development is a US District Court judge in Greenbelt, MD, agreed. The suit moves forward over the objection of trump lawyers and the Department of Justice (our tax dollars at work).

There is more color to the history and foundation of the emoluments clause that one might expect.
Continue reading “Emoluments (it’s juicier than you think)”

Trump Fiction: Soybeans v. Edamame

Mr. “I alone can fix it” continues to lie for the sake of justifying the unsupportable. Recently he got it wrong about farmers and soybeans, claiming the fall in prices resulted from “bad (terrible) Trade Deals” (it didn’t). Since much of his base is rural and agrarian, let’s see if they ignore the fiction. Maybe City Boy Donald got confused between a major crop export and the Asian menu item . Here’s the truth.
Continue reading “Trump Fiction: Soybeans v. Edamame”

Trump Fiction: Germany Captive to Russia?

The executive blunderbuss is at it again, shooting off his mouth without checking for the truth. This time, July 11, at the NATO Conference in Brussels, he berated Germany for being “captive” to Russia due to getting “60-70% of their energy from Russia.” We’ll admit Mr. Tiny Hands knows a thing or two about being captive to Russia. He is routinely captivated himself by Russia and its leader Vladimir Putin, but that is the limit of the trump experience with Russia captives. Here’s the truth.
Continue reading “Trump Fiction: Germany Captive to Russia?”

Trump Fiction: 1929 and counting …

O Canada” and oh, those Canadians! Hell may have no fury like a polite Canadian slapped with an unfair tariff. Whether due to the tariffs imposed by Mr. Tiny Hands or not, the Toronto Star has compiled a list of all known current lies our president has told since his inauguration. It’s up to 1929 as this is posted,  in what may be a continuously updating total for the article. Adding insulting truth to injury, the author doesn’t mince words, attaching the labels “constant liar” and “serial liar” to our chief executive. Bravo! Continue reading “Trump Fiction: 1929 and counting …”

Trump Fiction: Workers “coming back off the sidelines”?

Don’t give us that skanky look, girl. You know this is a sleight of word pitch. Not so bald-faced as your daddy but he still would be proud of your effort.

Are workers really “coming back off the sidelines and into the workforce as Ms. Assistant-to-the-President would suggest? Or is this just more hot air from the royal family, hyping a charade that the economy is improving entirely due to current administration actions? Continue reading “Trump Fiction: Workers “coming back off the sidelines”?”

Trump Fiction: 5000 Immigration Judges?

Did the Liar-in-Chief just tell another whopper to the only audience who will believe him? You already know the answer to that!

This week he spoke multiple times, most visibly to a rally crowd in South Carolina (population less than combined two large California cities but having the same number of Senators as our entire state). He told a tale of some unknown supplicants requested he “hire 5,000 more judges” to handle the cases of immigrant detainees.  Asked to clarify who were the “they” that requested the judges, administration spokespeople – including Sarah Sanders, recently denied service at a Virginia restaurant – could not answer.

Fact Checkers are blossoming everywhere. This one is researched and reported by ABC News, which can’t resist adding some snark to the lead-in. Continue reading “Trump Fiction: 5000 Immigration Judges?”

Trump Fiction: Immigrant Family Separations

This is an “Outside Fact Check” on the president’s continuing 2018 claims that separation of minors from immigrant adults is the result of Democratic actions, or founded in law, or has a Biblical basis, or requires Congressional action to remedy.

 

With the expectation that this sorry tragedy will continue to play out (as it already has with the actors being the president, attorney general, a Cabinet secretary, and other administration spokespeople), we offer a comprehensive analysis of the background. Continue reading “Trump Fiction: Immigrant Family Separations”