Closing Thought–18May21

Mississippi’s governor did what all cowards within the GOP does……he jumped on the BS that people are not working because they make too much on unemployment….

Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves followed the lead of his Republican counterparts in Montana and South Carolina by announcing the state will refuse expanded federal unemployment benefits, costing unemployed Mississippians $300 a week in an effort to force them into low-wage jobs—despite a lot of data showing that Republican claims about the effects of the federal unemployment aid boost are simply false.

President Joe Biden pushed back on some of those claims in Monday remarks on the economy, saying “we don’t see much evidence” that people are staying home because of high unemployment benefits, and pointing out: “We still have 8 million fewer jobs than we did when the pandemic started.” At the same time, Biden emphasized that “anyone collecting unemployment who is offered a suitable job must take the job or lose their unemployment benefits.”

In Mississippi, businesses “report that they cannot get employees to return to work because they can earn more from combined federal and state unemployment benefits than their normal wages … These businesses are no longer suffering from a lack of demand due to COVID-19,” Mississippi state House Speaker Philip Gunn wrote in a letter to Reeves. “Rather, they are suffering from a labor shortage caused by unemployment benefits that exceed normal wage levels for productive work.”

Mississippi’s maximum unemployment benefit without the added $300 a week is $235, so the benefits that “exceed normal wage levels for productive work” end up at $13.38 an hour, just under the $13.43 an hour that the MIT Living Wage Calculator says is a living wage for one adult with no children in Mississippi.

Contrary to Republican claims that people are staying home because they don’t want to work, Ashton Pittman reports that Mississippi’s labor force participation rate is back to pre-pandemic levels. People are either working or looking for work, in other words. And nationally, the April jobs data suggests “the exact opposite” of the claim that people aren’t looking for work because they can get more money from unemployment benefits, as Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen recently noted. That’s because the highest job growth has been in low-wage industries like hospitality and food service, where unemployment benefits can outstrip wages. 

https://m.dailykos.com/stories/2021/5/11/2029937/-Mississippi-dives-into-the-Republican-push-to-blame-low-wage-workers-for-the-COVID-19-economy

This spin that people do not want to work because they are making too much with it is just plain BS.

It seems they want to blame people for the shitty work environment….the GOP is killing workers with their fixation on BS.

Enough Said!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

 

Is Our Democracy In Danger?

There is so much chaos in this country these days.

Misinformation and lies are driving this chaos.

So to answer my own question….yes it is…and it is in deep danger.

From denial of science to the denial of elections to voter suppression and most of all this chaos can be laid at the feet of the GOP.

And all this chaos grows from the policies put forth by state GOPs……the obstruction and the denial of real policies that move the state forward they focus on cultural crap that has NO place in the legislatures of this country……stuff like bathrooms, abortions, who we can boycott or not….silly shit that has no business taking up the time of elected representatives.

I ask again….is our democracy in danger?

Research is showing that it IS in danger and GOP lead states are the cause….

Georgia passed a restrictive new voting law that, in effect, permits the Republican state legislature to put partisan operatives in charge of disqualifying ballots in Democratic-leaning precincts. The law is one of at least eight proposals from GOP lawmakers in state legislatures around the country for increasing partisan influence over electoral administration — and one of more than 360 state bills that would curtail voting rights in one way or another.

New political science research suggests this wave of attempts to restrict the franchise is not an anomaly: Republican control over state government is correlated with large and measurable declines in the health of a state’s democracy.

The paper, by University of Washington professor Jake Grumbach, constructs a quantitative measure of democratic health at the state level in the US. He looked at all 50 states between 2000 and 2018 to figure out why some states got more democratic over this period and others less. The conclusions were clear: The GOP is the problem.

“Results suggest a minimal role for all factors except Republican control of state government, which dramatically reduces states’ democratic performance during this period,” he writes.

https://www.vox.com/2021/4/5/22358325/study-republican-control-state-government-bad-for-democracy

These moronic politicians are harming the people of their states but they care less….and the saddest thing is that the residents of these states could care less….they cling to BS and misinformation instead of looking beyond their backyard and seeing the bigger picture.

But why is this happening?

The GOP has been completely taken over by the conspiracists…..

New York Times reporter Peter Baker told MSNBC that the one takeaway he had from his interview with former Republican Rep. Denver Riggleman (VA) was how hard it will be to extricate the Republican Party from the conspiracy-wing of the GOP.

Speaking to Yasmin Vossoughian on Sunday, Baker explained that Riggleman was endorsed by Donald Trump and the Freedom Caucus, but now he feels uncomfortable in his own party.

“I think, frankly, the tipping point shows how difficult it’s going to be for Republicans like Denver Riggleman to break through and that’s because he lost,” said Baker. “He was no longer going to have to face voters. Once he was unburdened by that, he was able to speak the truth more forcefully. He told me, and he’s an incredible credible source this, that he was in the private meetings, in the Republican conference meetings where he knew that he and about 70 percent of his colleagues generally believed that Trump was exaggerating, that Trump was hurting their party and that ultimately they had to go along with it in order to get re-elected.”

https://www.rawstory.com/republican-party-eradicate-conspiracy-theorists/

Let’s face it….the ‘good old boys’ network is petrified of change….and they will push anything that slows the winds of change…even wild untrue conspiracies.

So yes it is in danger….the GOP has learned a political lesson from Stalin….always have ‘your’ people in positions of power.

Be Smart!

Learn Stuff!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Whose Big Idea Was It?

At least 37 states are attempting to suppress the vote in their states…..of course they use the security of the institution as a premise for the suppression.

But since it is a wildly popular in most states the next question logically would be ….whose idea was this suppression……where did it all originate……

A great question and now we know thanks to a leaked video…..

In a private meeting last month with big-money donors, the head of a top conservative group boasted that her outfit had crafted the new voter suppression law in Georgia and was doing the same with similar bills for Republican state legislators across the country. “In some cases, we actually draft them for them,” she said, “or we have a sentinel on our behalf give them the model legislation so it has that grassroots, from-the-bottom-up type of vibe.”

The Georgia law had “eight key provisions that Heritage recommended,” Jessica Anderson, the executive director of Heritage Action for America, a sister organization of the Heritage Foundation, told the foundation’s donors at an April 22 gathering in Tucson, in a recording obtained by the watchdog group Documented and shared with Mother Jones. Those included policies severely restricting mail ballot drop boxes, preventing election officials from sending absentee ballot request forms to voters, making it easier for partisan workers to monitor the polls, preventing the collection of mail ballots, and restricting the ability of counties to accept donations from nonprofit groups seeking to aid in election administration.

All of these recommendations came straight from Heritage’s list of “best practices” drafted in February. With Heritage’s help, Anderson said, Georgia became “the example for the rest of the country.”

Leaked Video: Dark Money Group Brags About Writing GOP Voter Suppression Bills Across the Country

Watch the video!

I have been writing about the evils of Heritage for 30+ years….and now all can see just how much they hate democracy.

Do not be fooled by groups with cutsey names like “freedom” this or that….it is and has always been a con job….a con job that works well with the ignorant few.

Heritage is dangerous….and now their deceit has come to light…..

Be Smart!

Learn Stuff!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Mississippi Voters Mean Nothing!

I have said on numerous occasions that the vote means little to politicians anymore…..and Mississippi proves my point.

Recently there was an initiative that the Mississippi voter approved of the sale of medical marijuana…..a win right?

Maybe elsewhere but not in Mississippi…..

In a brutal loss for direct democracy in Mississippi, the state’s supreme court struck down a ballot amendment on Friday that legalized medical marijuana in the state. But the ruling didn’t stop there. Invoking a technical flaw in the law, the court invalidated the entire process for amending the state’s constitution by popular vote.

“The killing of our ballot initiative process means that Mississippi is, definitively, the state with the least democracy, the most restricted ballot access, and where voters’ voices matter least when it comes to the deciding our future,” said Ashton Pittman, a reporter at the Mississippi Free Press.

“The Mississippi Supreme Court just overturned the will of the people of Mississippi,” read a statement from Medical Marijuana MS, which organized Initiative 65 that would legalize the use of the drug. “Patients will now continue the suffering that so many Mississippians voted to end.”

About 73 percent of voters supporter legalizing medical marijuana, according to Pittman.

At the heart of the court’s decision is a crucial flaw in the process that gives voters the power to amend the constitution by popular vote. According to the law, organizers for ballot measures have to collect signatures from the five different congressional districts in the state. But since the 2000 census, Mississippi dropped from having five districts to having only four.

https://www.alternet.org/2021/05/mississippi-supreme-court/

This is what you get when party politics is a decider on judges.

I continue to be a critic of voting as it is today…..

The people’s will means NOTHING to partisan politicians.

If it happened in Mississippi then it can happen elsewhere……..beware!

Watch This Blog!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Closing Thought–07May21

I live in what is being called these days as the “New South”….I have questioned the title for some time…..my premise is that very little has changed from what is the “Old South”…….the racism that all seem to think that is on the wane is far from……

Those in-bred spineless white boys that keep winning thanx to the legislation that the old white boys keep enacting prove their bias….and the most recent example is from Tennessee……this idiot wants to re-write history with the hope of continuing the racial bias…..

A Tennessee Republican falsely declared Tuesday that an 18th-century policy designating a slave as three-fifths of a person was adopted for “the purpose of ending slavery,” commenting amid a debate over whether educators should be restricted while teaching about systematic racism in America. During lengthy debate on the GOP-controlled state House floor, several Black lawmakers expressed concerns about the bill’s impact on how certain subjects would be taught in schools, specifically highlighting the Three-Fifths Compromise, the AP reports. The policy was made during the nation’s Constitutional Convention in 1787 and classified that three-fifths of a state’s slave population could be counted toward its total population when apportioning taxes and states’ representation in Congress. Historians largely agree the compromise gave slaveholding states inordinate power over choosing a president—and decisions of the Continental Congress. That clout eventually faded when Northern state populations began to rapidly rise.

Rep. Justin Lafferty, who is white, stood up and talked at length about what he saw as sparking the compromise. At one point he asked colleagues to note on paper their best guess for the reasons that led to the policy. “By limiting the number of population in the count, they specifically limited the number of representatives who would be available in the slave holding states and they did it for the purpose of ending slavery,” said Lafferty, from Knoxville. “Well before Abraham Lincoln. Well before Civil War.” None of the other lawmakers in the chamber directly challenged Lafferty’s false claims but some applauded when he finished talking. While the House overwhelmingly approved the legislation on Tuesday, the GOP-controlled Senate chamber refused to accept the House bill hours later. Its fate now remains unclear in the final days of the legislative session.

Historical revisionism just to keep the minorities in their “place”.

I would say that the New South smells as racist as the Old South….What about you?

Turn The Page!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Voter Fraud Easy To Eliminate

The news these days is of course Covid and then voter suppression being attempted by many states.

The GOP in the states have been buying into the “Big Lie” of voter fraud for decades…..now that they control so many state legislatures they have set about voter suppression under the guise of eliminating voter fraud (a unsubstantiated claim)….but the elimination of voter fraud (if we ever prove the claim) is easy to stop …….

Republicans care a whole lot about election security these days. Fueled in part by the “Big Lie,” the baseless claim that there was widespread fraud in last year’s election, Republican lawmakers around the country have made an aggressive push to pass new laws to prevent what they saw as a nightmare scenario from happening again. While the motivation to improve election security is spurious, the ostensible goal isn’t — everyone would agree that a secure election is important for democracy. Experts say there’s one very effective way for state legislatures to make the voting process more secure: pass legislation to update voting machines. But instead of prioritizing this effort, many Republicans are instead focused on limiting voter access.

“It would be terrific to see the focus on election security lead to more investments in better, more trustworthy systems,” said Mark Lindeman, co-director of Verified Voting, a nonpartisan election security organization. 

The gold standard for voting security is hand-marked paper ballots, according to security experts. That’s because a paper ballot eliminates the risk of technical difficulties or certain kinds of malicious acts (think hacking) that could change or destroy your vote, and any concerns can be addressed with a recount. Because of that, most states currently use hand-marked paper ballots or have voting machines that generate paper records for verification. 

Republicans Say They Care About Election Fraud. Here’s How They Could Actually Prevent It.

A ‘problem’ that has a solution….but then do these states really want to find a solution or is it just better to keep a bad system in place and use it as a crutch for voter suppression?

These ‘fixes’ are nothing more than the politicians picking their voters…..not the voter decision any longer.

Be Smart!

Learn Stuff!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

A State With A Great Idea!

It is no secret to the readers and visitors to IST that I am an antiwar activist and have been since the 1970s…….and finally some small movement on the state level is a great idea…..

The state in question here is Montana which has recently passed an antiwar legislation….

The Montana state legislature overwhelmingly passed a bipartisan and unprecedented resolution Tuesday calling on the federal government to end endless wars. The resolution passed 95-3 in the House and 47-2 in the Senate.

House Joint Resolution 9, sponsored by Rep. Ron Marshall (R-Hamilton), is the first of its kind to be introduced by any state and is currently being used as a model for other states across the country.

The resolution specifically urges President Joe Biden and the United States Congress to “end the endless war in Afghanistan,” repeal the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force, resist sending U.S. troops into combat without a declaration of war from Congress or specific authorization to do so, and to “execute a prudent foreign policy.”

Concerned Veterans for America, a veteran-run organization, endorsed the resolution and plans on utilizing it at the national level. The organization’s Deputy Director Russ Duerstine said in a statement that “the passing of the Endless War resolution is a firm statement—a strong message on behalf of Montanans that there is a better way than continuing to fight endless wars.”

Montana Becomes First State To Pass Resolution Against Unconstitutional Wars

Like I stated….a great idea!  Now time for the rest of the country to join in and help stop these endless wars and endless confrontations that could lead to war.

Will this help wake up the antiwar movement?

The push back should be something to see…..

Bravo for Montana!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

From The ‘Can’t Fix Stupid’ Files

Closing Thought–22Apr21

This sector of IST keeps expanding…..for there is a wealth of stupid out there I intend to shine a lot on as much as possible.

Meanwhile back in the Red States of the New South….where the important issues are abortion and bathrooms….not the solutions to the problems of the residents.

This is yet another stupid law that would invade the lives of people…..

Arkansas GOP Governor Asa Hutchinson did a good thing and vetoed a bill that would criminalize healthcare for transgender kids. Naturally, the Republican-majority legislature in the state was less than pleased, but determined to make their their state even more inhospitable to transgender people than it already is just by virtue of being Arkansas. So they overrode the veto. The Arkansas House passed a bill allowing teachers to misgender their students and call them by the wrong names, and now they want to pass another, equally terrible bill meant to facilitate discrimination against trans people.

The “Arkansas Privacy Accommodations Act,” (HB 1882), sponsored by Rep. Cindy Crawford (not that Cindy Crawford), would allow people who happen to encounter a trans person in the bathroom of a public agency or entity to sue for “monetary damages for all psychological, emotional, and physical harm suffered.” How one would even begin to quantify something so ridiculous is unclear.

The bill is set to go before the State Agencies and Government Affairs committee today, and will likely be passed, given that the Arkansas legislature seems to really hate trans people.

Co-sponsoring the bill is none other than Mary Bentley, the Arkansas Republican who was the primary sponsor of both the bill that would allow teachers to bully trans students and the bill to teach creationism in schools. She’s a real peach.

The bill defines “sex” as “a person’s immutable biological sex as objectively determined by anatomy and genetics existing at the time of birth” — a definition clearly meant to appeal to transphobes who don’t even know intersex people exist. However, it also says that “evidence of a person’s biological sex includes without limitation any government-issued identification document that accurately reflects a person’s sex.”

Surprisingly, it is actually fairly easy to change one’s gender on an Arkansas driver’s license — all one needs to do is to ask the clerk at the DMV office to change the gender to M, F or X. Because guess what? As super backwards as Arkansas is, they have a nonbinary gender option on their driver’s licenses, and they were the first state to do so, back in 2010. Go figure.

Now, sure. They expressly say “that accurately reflects a person’s sex,” but how the hell are they going to know? Are they going to actually inspect people’s genitals? Ask to see their birth certificates to see what gender they were assigned when they were born? How far are they planning to take this? And boy, won’t things get awkward in these bathrooms when these transphobes think they see someone who is of the “opposite sex” in their bathrooms but isn’t? Will they still be entitled to damages for the “psychological, emotional and physical harm” suffered if they’re wrong? Because there are many, many ways this could go wrong, especially if Arkansas expects transgender men to use the women’s room and expects transgender women to use the men’s room.

(wonkette.com)

Once again the Red States find a solution that there is no problem….instead of trying to end hunger or homelessness or education they prefer to worry about bathrooms and the sensibilities of morons.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Anti-Protest Law

Once again the state’s GOP is showing that they have NO concern for the US Constitution……almost every state with a GOP leadership in government is trying to take away the right to vote for many Americans…..and now another state is attempting to ban protests for social injustices….this time it is Florida (go figure)……

Florida’s Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis on Monday signed into law a bill that civil rights groups warn is designed to crack down on peaceful demonstrations and criminalize dissent by redefining “rioting” in an overbroad way and creating draconian new felonies for protest-related offenses.

While DeSantis and the bill’s Republican sponsors in the Florida legislature presented HB1 as a response to the attack on the U.S. Capitol by a mob of Trump supporters earlier this year, critics say the measure—crafted well before the January 6 attack—is in fact a reaction against the racial justice protests that followed the police killing of George Floyd last May.

“Let’s be clear: this is not an anti-riot bill, regardless of what supporters claim,” Micah Kubic, executive director of the ACLU of Florida, said in a statement Monday. “It is a bill that criminalizes peaceful protest, and the impact HB1 will have on Floridians cannot be disputed. Each and every provision harkens back to Jim Crow.”

Kubic went on to warn that under the new law—which is part of a wave of similar Republican measures under consideration nationwide—protesters could be arrested and charged with a felony if others at a protest or gathering became violent or disorderly, even if they themselves didn’t.” According to the South Florida Sun Sentinel, HB1 defines rioting as a public disturbance by at least three people with “common intent to mutually assist each other in disorderly and violent conduct.”

“The goal of this law is to silence dissent and create fear among Floridians who want to take to the streets to march for justice,” said Kubic. “Every single Floridian should be outraged by this blatant attempt to erode our First Amendment right to peacefully assemble. It is outrageous and blatantly unconstitutional. Gov. DeSantis’ championing of and signature on this law degrades, debases, and disgraces Florida and our democracy.”

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2021/04/19/desantis-signs-outrageous-and-blatantly-unconstitutional-anti-protest-bill-law

Just how selective will this law be?

I will watch to see where this law goes.

Turn The Page!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

 

From The “Can’t Fix Stupid” Files

AS we know from the news many of our Red States are enacting laws that will suppress the voter turnout………one of the lamest excuses comes from my secretary of state……

Mississippi Secretary of State Michael Watson, the state’s top election official, getting very explicit about why he believes the state (and others in the “new” South) needs to tighten voting rules:

So think about all those woke college and university students now who will automatically be registered to vote whether they wanted to or not. Again, if they didn’t know to opt-out, they’re going to be automatically registered to vote and then they receive this mail-in ballot that they probably didn’t know was coming because they didn’t know they were registered to vote. You’ve got an uninformed citizen who may not be prepared and ready to vote. Automatically, it’s forced on them: ‘Hey, go make a choice.’ And our country’s going to pay for those choices.

Uninformed citizen?

I believe that is called the GOP.

This is nothing short of denying Americans there right to vote in election…..many are calling this “Jim Crow 2.0″……and of course I had an opinion on this……https://lobotero.com/2021/04/12/jim-crow-2-0/

Turn The Page!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”