Ohio Voters Pass Gerrymandering Reform 75% to 25%

People get it, Ohioans do in droves – gerrymandering is a big part of the problem and its got to go.  What Republicans have done to weaponize elections has poisoned the well for everyone and it’s no longer okey dokey to allow politicians to pick the voters, we need reforms that take it out of the hands of the most interested parties.  Think of that, it’s been totally standard operating procedure throughout our history for legislators to decide who votes for (or against) them by designating who can vote and then designing the districts and who is in them.

With computers the science of redistricting became as pinpoint as laser surgery.  As with most norms we took for granted, the abuse of such a system was just something we thought no honorable politician would do.  Then came the modern Republican Party that, to paraphrase their hero Richard Nixon, said “well, if we do it it’s not a crime, or even wrong.”

The people who believe down to the bottom of their souls that the ends justify the means and that they’re in a holy war against modernity, science, liberalism etc. sought to gain electoral advantage in order to push that advantage to the point of invulnerability.  Then they could do whatever they want, period.  Starting after the 2010 Republican census, legislators gerrymandered states so that even when 52% of Wisconsinites, Pennsylvanians or Michiganders voted for Democrats, 55% (or more) of the seats went to Republicans.  Ohio is a 50-50 state (okay maybe 52-48) but Republicans have 75% of Congressional seats and a 2-1 advantage in the state legislature.  All of that alarmed Democrats in 2016.  In 2016!  Six goddamn years too late.  But you know, they’re doing their best.

Advocates say their success in Ohio on Tuesday could be the start of a record-breaking year for redistricting reform, which could be on the ballot in five more states. And that raises the question: Are voters who are sick of Washington now turning their frustration to gerrymandering?

In Ohio, it certainly seems that way. By a 75-to-25 percent vote, Ohio voters approved a constitutional amendment designed to force state lawmakers to come up with a compromise congressional map in 2020 that doesn’t just benefit the party in control, which is now the GOP.

This electoral action is in addition to the legal actions having been taken in several states leading to state court and Supreme Court cases that have so far been sensible in showing toxic gerrymandering the door.  The Supreme Court will likely render a decision in June that could upend this sort of clearly politically motivated redistricting.

I don’t care who you are, if you are fair minded and want our representatives to do have honest debates on the battlefield of ideas, this is a key part of electoral reform that would make our elections more competitive and our legislatures more representative.

Silver points out that an April Pew Research Center survey found that 61 percent of Americans say “significant changes” are needed in the “design and structure” of American government.

Uh huh.

About Time – California to Make Solar Panels Mandatory on New Homes

Solar panels SHOULD be on every new home built everywhere and on every office building, every shopping center, etc.  I would have done this years ago if the universe had listened to me and put me in charge.  There is no reason not to do this before,  certainly no reason not to do this now.  The costs involved are negligible at this point, but the benefits are tremendous.  It’s as if when electricity for home use as developed by Edison and Tesla was a proven technology being utilized in a growing number of applications every year, but new houses were still being built with gas lamps.

The California Energy Commission is scheduled to vote Wednesday, May 9, on new energy standards mandating most new homes have solar panels starting in 2020.

If approved as expected, solar installations on new homes will skyrocket.

About feckin’ time.

 

Is There a Trump Medical Mystery? Trump Org. “Raided” His Own Doctor’s Office

There is no bottom for these maniacs, they just keep digging down into the pile of weird and guilty and creating new lows.  But each new low also makes sense in its own way in the Trump universe. NBC is reporting that Trump’s former creepy and somewhat assaulty bodyguard Keith Schiller and other Trump organization shadowy figures “raided” the office of Dr. Bornstein, the original odd doctor who claimed Trump to be a miraculously healthy Rasputin.

They took Trump’s health files and even asked him to take a picture of him and Trump together off the wall.

If you’re thinking what the fuck?  I think you’re not alone.

In February 2017, a top White House aide who was Trump’s longtime personal bodyguard, along with the top lawyer at the Trump Organization and a third man, showed up at the office of Trump’s New York doctor without notice and took all the president’s medical records.

The incident, which Dr. Harold Bornstein described as a “raid,” took place two days after Bornstein told a newspaper that he had prescribed a hair growth medicine for the president for years.

If you’re thinking this maybe connects to Trump’s subsequent Dr. Feelgood, Dr. Ronny Jackson, you’re right.  Bornstein says there was a letter from Jackson given to him at the time of the raid.  But he doesn’t recall what was in it.  Okay.  No, I wouldn’t have made a copy of that either in all the violation, I’m sure.

So Bornstein leaked the classified information that he had proscribed Propecia for Trump. Trump goons raid his office and take his records.  At that point apparently Admiral Jackson becomes Trump’s personal physician, which he would have anyway… being the White House physician… but whatever.  We all know that Jackson too, like Bornstein, was made to issue a bizarre hostage video in which he claimed trump to have preternatural health.  Then Jackson is nominated to the VA and we find out Jackson has been a drug pusher to the WH elite and scumbag to everybody below him for a long time.  Don’t let the military haircut fool you, Jackson is every bit the freak that Bornstein is.  And he’s ruined now too.

Trump is the reverse Midas, it all turns to shit.

But what was in Trump’s records to be so jealously guarded that he just could not trust Bornstein with them anymore, he had to have his goon “raid” the doctor’s office?  Never mind the obvious question of who does that?  Trump does.

Can the Southern District of NY add this to the list of possible crimes committed before and after January 20, 2017?

What the fuck, indeed!!!

P.S. Sarah “Perfect Smoky Eye” Sanders said that the raid was standard procedure.  All presidents do it.  Of course.  It’s all so normal.  Go back to sleep.  So sleepy.

Nixon Unites Albany

One of the craziest political stories in the country over the last few years was the story of how Republicans effectively controlled the State Senate in deep blue New York State because of some crazy animal called the Independent Democratic Conference.  The IDC was a group of Democratic State Senators, elected by Democrats in their districts, who caucused with the Republicans in the Senate rather than their own party.

You may ask how such a thing could happen in a bluey, blue state with a Democratic governor allowing that to happen and continue.

There is no good answer. But it seems to been ended, over a steak dinner.

Two warring factions of Democratic lawmakers have agreed to reunite and end seven years of infighting, a significant political realignment that ends an arrangement that had helped give Republicans a foothold of power in Albany.

Those rogue Democrats thought they were strengthening their individual power with their game playing.  What did the Governor get out of elevating the power of Republicans and allowing the fracture of Democrats?  Nothing good for the people of New York, I can tell you that.

Last week when the state budget was being negotiated, the Senate Democratic leader (State Sen. Andrea Stewart-Cousins) was not allowed in the room.

Ms. Nixon noted the accord came less than a week after lawmakers struck a deal on a $168 billion budget, when the state’s priorities were set. Ms. Stewart-Cousins had been excluded from those discussions.

“I would have the leader of the Senate Democrats in the room negotiating,” she said.

This went on for years, until this week.  Credit the campaign of Cynthia Nixon and the pressure it is putting on Cuomo to finally put an end to it.

In a brief phone interview, Ms. Nixon said “Andrew Cuomo can’t have it both ways” — claiming he was powerless to corral the I.D.C. for years and then taking credit for it disbanding on Wednesday. She accused Mr. Cuomo of working from the “old playbook” of centrist politics.

“He is trying hard to evolve,” she said, “but I think it’s a little too late.”

You know how big a factor the Nixon challenge was in all this?

Asked about Ms. Nixon’s role in the unity deal, Mr. Cuomo said, “It had nothing to do with it.”

Yeah, spoken like a governor afraid he might not be able to keep his phony-baloney job.  Cuomo probably still thinks he could be president – just shit on Democrats relentlessly while claiming liberal bona fides and play footsie with Republicans.  He’s a New York governor that’s been playing a national strategy for so long he needed Nixon to remind him what state he’s in.  It’s that big blue one in the northeast that wants gun control, legal cannabis, universal health care, etc.

Later on Tuesday evening, at a fund-raiser for a Democratic Senate candidate in an upcoming special election, Mr. Cuomo said that “we have achieved political clarity” in watching Republican rule from Washington, D.C., for the last year.

“The clarity is this: Everything we are for, they are against. It’s that simple,” he said. “The Democratic Party and the Republican Party are an antithesis, one of the other.”

Hallelujah for Cuomo reaching clarity, conveniently in an election year.  He just better hope Democratic voters of New York haven’t likewise achieved “clarity” or we’ll be inaugurating Governor Nixon next January.

Simple Answers to Simple Problems – Pelosi Edition

As Peter Beinart writes in the Atlantic, Nancy Pelosi has been a tremendously effective legislative leader. When she was speaker, groundbreaking legislation got passed against heavy opposition. But the GOP has effectively turned her into a scarecrow, a villainous characature and an albatross around the neck of Democrats in redder districts with higher concentrations of Fox News victims.

These victories led Thomas Mann, who studies Congress at the Brookings Institution, to call Pelosi the “strongest and most effective speaker of modern times.” And even after being relegated to minority leader when Republicans took the House in 2010, she kept winning legislative fights.

Respect to Nancy Pelosi.  Nevermind her gender, her age, her San Francisco district, her liberal beliefs, all of the virtues the right wing propagandists turn into vices.

However, politically you can’t just “nevermind” it.  Pelosi’s demonization is real and poisonous.  On the one hand, they’d do that to any Democratic leader, and will.  On the other hand, it’s smart to neutralize it.  We do have a recent example of how a political party neutralized the effect of a polarizingly partisan figure who really was a political pariah (alliteration intended).

In November 1998, when (1) Newt Gingrich had to resign because he was caught in an ethical trap (he took money and didn’t report it) and led the GOP to defeat in the ’98 midterms, and then (2) they handed the speakership to Bob Livingston, who had to resign a month later due to illicit affairs that came out (while they were trying to impeach Clinton for a blow job), the GOP was typically behind an eight ball of their own making.  The next in line and the actual power in their caucus at that point, was “The Hammer” Texas Congressman and former pest control expert Tom DeLay, a truly vile human who even Republicans had to agree could not be speaker.

What DeLay did was work to have friendly, white haired, avuncular Denny Hastert, a benign Santa Claus of man, named speaker.  Since then we’ve found out that Santa was an abuser of young men when he was a popular wrestling coach back home in illinois, but at the time he seemed like a perfect Norman Rockwell version of a midwestern grandfather.  DeLay would run the Republican caucus and the House, but Hastert was the face of the party, DeLay’s beard.

Pelosi could take herself out of the running for being speaker if the Democrats get the House back.  That would take her off the playing field as an effective boogie woman for the GOP.  Find her a friendly beard to be speaker.  Preferably one that wasn’t a wrestling coach.

 

An Uncontested Divorce Could Have Been Granted Right After This Picture Was Taken

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Does it even have to be said that nobody with a vagina would have procreated with those two lumpy gravy loads on the right if mounds of money were not involved.

Not in photo – Ivanka has a pistol in her left hand with nozzle buried in Vanessa’s left hip.

Coincidence that on the day Mueller subpoenas Trump organization business records one of the junior wives asks for an uncontested divorce with all the attendant money transfers?