Supreme Court Upholds Travel Ban, Ruptures American Dream.

And Justice For All.

The Supreme Court ruled on Tuesday that Donald Trump acted lawfully when he called for the US to begin a policy of banning anyone, most notably persons of Islamic faith, who live in a certain seven countries last year and has upheld his right to continue doing so.

It’s a dark day for democracy worldwide. So the Republicans are actively celebrating.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R) marked the Supreme Court ruling upholding President Trump’s travel ban by sharing a photo of himself with Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch.

McConnell’s campaign shared the image just minutes after the Supreme Court handed down its 5-4 ruling finding that the ban was constitutional. Gorsuch sided with the majority of justices upholding the ban.

Gorsuch is the guy Trump picked out to replace former Chief Justice Antonin Scalia after he died. He was brought in to rubber-stamp Trump’s decisions, and the whole Supreme Court has been corrupted because of it.

Scalia was a miserable excuse for a man who was against everything except the death penalty. Little kids in cages? Banning entire populations of countries from so much as visiting here? He’d have loved this.

This is why the Republicans were so desperate to block President Obama’s nominee, Merrick Garland.

This is not the first time the Supreme Court has been wrong. The Dred Scott case comes to mind. That very same court once ruled that it was acceptable to treat humans as cattle and that Africans were only 3/5 human.

The first Muslim elected to Congress, Keith Ellison, predicted on Tuesday that the Supreme Court’s decision to uphold President Donald Trump’s travel ban will end up in “the dustbin of history”, and this is almost certainly true.

During the interim, however, this is undoubtedly a tremendous win for both Trump and future holders of the executive branch of our government, and such a win could not have come at a worse time. It is certain to embolden both a man and a party who already have no respect whatsoever for the spirit of the law.

Fox anchor Abby Huntsman recently referred to Trump as a dictator, live and on the air, as he strolled around with his good buddy Kim Jong Un of North Korea, another guy who has no respect for human rights.

“I called both President Trump and Kim Jon Un a dictator”, Huntsman explained.

It’s Jong Un, ma’am, but we’re not going to quibble.

At the time, we had this to say about the aforementioned exchange:

The incompetence of the enemy is no longer funny, and in our opinion, it’s probably being done on purpose. The lady tried walking the statement back with an apology but the seed has been planted just the same. They’re sending subtle, almost subliminal cues, and if we listen carefully, we too can catch their meaning.

If Trump is a dictator, and Fox reports on it as being normal, then all of their viewers necessarily believe that they are now subjects and that democracy has fallen and they’re fine with it.

Several weeks ago, the senior United States Senator from Massachusetts, Elizabeth Warren, was asked by news host Rachel Maddow if she thinks America is still a country who respects the rule of law. Her response?

“I hope so.”

These words ring true with even greater solidity now that Trump’s anti-Muslim travel ban, which violates everything about the spirit of American law, has been confirmed by the Supreme Court.

Going forward, our focus will be the raising of awareness that Trump really is walking down an autocratic road, and that Trump and the Republicans have decided to make themselves into active enemies of the American dream.

In order to get people to realize it, we’ve got to make the case. We’ve got to gather and arrange the evidence and lay it on the American people’s doorstep. Republicans have dropped the ball by every conceivable metric. They have failed us at every turn. Let’s make sure they are properly credited.

The Constitutional Convention Concept Is A Republican Con Job.

The GOP's Con Con.

American democracy is headed for peril. A quiet campaign to legally overwrite the Constitution of the United States of America, with the ostensible purpose of proposing a balanced-budget amendment, has been silently building steam.

The process is known as a Constitutional Convention, a legal apparatus by which the contents of our Constitution can be altered.

Prominent extremist Republicans like Ted Cruz and Mike Huckabee have supported it, and the Koch brothers‘ libertarian network has long placed its financial power behind their push.

Article V of the U.S. Constitution grants Congress the power to amend the Constitution by a two-thirds vote. It gives the states the power to call for a convention to amend the Constitution if two-thirds of the states can muster support for the measure.

Having the radical right wing rewrite our Constitution would be an unparalleled disaster for the American people, not to mention the rest of the world.  The Center on Budget and Priority Policies understates the case beautifully by telling us that it’s got “serious risks”. That’s a soothing way of telling us our entire global economy will be wrenched.

David Super of the Los Angeles Times wrote that “It would also drastically reduce America’s standing in world affairs,. far more than handing the presidency to an incoherent, shop-worn reality TV star.”

Conservatives have been after what is best called the “Con Con” for years. The Constitution is a nuisance to them because it stops them from completely disenfranchising everyone who’s not in the good ol’ boys club.

Although the same people who brought you “Medicare for All” and the Free College plan are able somehow to convince themselves otherwise, it is virtually certain that conservatives would dominate a convention held today.

They have control of the White House, Congress, and 32 state legislatures. They’ve also got all the money. They would clearly have marked influence over every provision in the project.

The right has also retained control of the Supreme Court, thanks to Republican refusal to vote in the confirmation of President Barack Obama’s candidate Merrick Garland. This too would obviously give conservatives the upper hand in any litigation arising out of the convention.
Whether the delegates run for election in heavily gerrymandered districts or are appointed by state leaders, the result would be the same. A convention with a heavily right-wing bent.
If the Tea Party or the alt-right of Richard Spencer and Sebastian Gorka, were to write us a new Constitution, it hardly requires speculation to imagine a lack of improvement.

The things on their agenda read like a grocery list of bad ideas, but then again, that’s the Republican way.

They will make English the official language of the US.

They intend to “define life at conception“, which is a polite euphemism for criminalizing abortion and perhaps even contraception.

They will also include corporations as people with every constitutional right, clarifying the matter legally in favor and confirmation of the horrendous Citizens’ United ruling.

They will reverse gay marriage, as former Alabama judge and alleged molester Roy Moore proposed by way of a Con Con in 2014.

They will codify in the 1st Amendment their right to impose Christian faith and values on everybody in the whole country.

They will change the 2nd Amendment to forbid regulation. All hope of reasonable gun control would thus disappear.

The big thing they’re emphasizing now, the balanced budget amendment, might even involve the doing away of the income tax and the Federal Reserve altogether. This would leave the American poor to scrabble for a living like beggars in the sewers of Calcutta- in the richest country in the world.

Once a constitutional convention is called, all bets are off. “Regardless of why a convention is called, there is nothing to stop it from becoming a runaway convention that could ultimately overhaul the U.S. Constitution completely,” said Scott Swenson, the vice president of communications for Common Cause, to Salon Magazine.

The Constitution and the foresight of the Founding Fathers in making it so hard to alter are all that has saved us from Donald Trump and the other Republicans, who have been trying to get around it for years. Overhauling it would be an atrocity.

The only thing that has prevented it from happening already is the Democratic Party, which is now doing its best to stave off completely unnecessary threats from the far, radical left. Unbelievably, they are for this too.

Organizations such as Justice Democrats founder Cenk Uygur’s Wolf-PAC have been fighting for this as hard as the Tea Party has.

“It’s got to be an amendment,” said Wolf-PAC’s Texas state director, Todd Jagger.

That someone on the left could actually believe this defies the limits of human understanding.

Concluding, the big takeaway from this article, is that an Article V convention call is a terrible danger to American democracy.

If the Republicans manage to pull this off, we will all be rendered helpless. They could do anything they wanted. The states would lose all control.

We’ll be flat on our backs for the rest of our lives.

We have to get the word out about this, and we’ve got to do it now, or we may very well see the very foundations of the United States – the rights we hold so dearly as Americans – shake or disappear.

The best way to stop them is by electing Democrats to state legislatures, and everywhere else. Our professionals are tough. They will shut this thing down across the board. The Blue Wave is the first step. We must all make sure we vote.

How the GOP Grew Gangrenous- Racism and Reaction, Part 2.

Racism and Reaction

II. Racism and Reaction

In our times, the Republican Party has always made it a policy to resist change of all kinds, regardless of how high the cost of remaining static. Their agenda is completely negative. They can’t get anything done, because they don’t know what they want to do. They only know what they don’t want to do. This is why their party is failing and they have all been deserted in favor of Donald Trump.

An NBC/WSJ  poll released Thursday reveals that more Republican voters consider themselves a “supporter of Donald Trump” rather than a “supporter of the Republican Party.”

The Republicans have been appealing to a white-voter strategy for a long time now, because the status quo they are desperately defending only suits white men. That poll is the dividends that strategy has reaped for them. Nor have they learned from their mistakes. If you try and discuss it with them, they’ve got an extremely disingenuous defense.

Soldiers of Misfortune

Republicans like to deflect against the accusations of racism and reaction by bringing up Abraham Lincoln, who signed the Emancipation Proclamation that ended slavery. Surely, no member of the Grand Old Party of Lincoln could ever be a racist! Perish the thought!

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President Abraham Lincoln

However, the spirit that animated the forcible ending of slavery has been gone from the Grand Old Party since at least the time of Franklin Roosevelt.  Its opposite holds sway there now, and it has for a very long time. In point of fact, every aspect of modern Republican policy is a direct betrayal of President Lincoln and all he stood for.

Furthermore, it’s not just racism.

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Former Chief Justice Antonin Scalia, 1936-2016

The living personification of this tendency, Antonin Scalia, died last year. While he was here, he was anti- gay, anti- black, anti- immigrant, anti- everything. The only thing he was for, was the death penalty. And the GOP was so desperate to find someone in that mold to replace him, that they obstructed President Barack Obama’s selection, Merrick Garland, for nearly a year, staking everything on the hope of retaking the White House.

That set the stage for what is certain to be a worsening and miserable tug-of-war, in which it becomes automatic policy on the part of both parties to harass and obstruct the other.

It is the opinion of Millennial Democrats that the death of Scalia drove them into a terrible panic, one they resorted to the desperate measure of Trump and the Russians to escape from. They knew full well that without him, it was going to be far harder to stem the rising tides. But why are these changing tides so threatening to them?

Political analysts Thomas Mann and Norman Ornstein did a study several years ago, attempting to discover why change in America comes so hard. Here is what they concluded.

“The Republican Party has become ideologically extreme; contemptuous of the
inherited social and economic policy regime; scornful of compromise; unpersuaded by
conventional understanding of facts, evidence, and science; and dismissive of the legitimacy
of its political opposition.”

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The Gangrenous GOP
In other words, the problem in this country is the Republicans.

Mann and Ornstein pointed out that the two parties moved symmetrically apart from the 1960s to the 1980s. Around then, however, the GOP began to shoot rightward, as hard as it could. More and more of them abandoned the sanity that characterizes the center. That tendency has led us to our current situation, in which we’ve become so polarized that half the country would prefer the Russians be in power than the Democrats, as evidenced by the chaos on social media and elsewhere this past year.

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Driving Miss Daisy

The racist and reactionary rightward movement of the GOP has been driven like Ms. Daisy, into this continuous state of worsening polarization. Everywhere the Republicans are in control, is an awful place to live.

The state of Missouri passed a law this year making it more difficult for victims of hate crimes to sue it for damages, leading to a new precedent being set by the NAACP, who issued an actual travel advisory to people of color, people with disabilities, and even women, stating in no uncertain terms that Missouri was no longer a safe place for them to be, and that they will now have to look out for themselves, while traveling through their own country. What a sickening state of affairs.

It is the opinion of Millennial Democrats that you can add to that list, anyone with long hair or an unconventional sense of style, and even people with license plates from blue states. The author of this article was once treated very badly by police officers in Arkansas, for no other reason than the California license plates on the vehicle in which he rode. The cop, who right down to his mustache looked like an obese Hitler, made sure that message was clear, along with another: Stay out of town. Do not EVER come back here again.

Selma, Alabama Civil Rights March

And while other states in the region may not have passed recent and specific legislation necessitating the issuance of another such advisory, let’s keep it real. The South is the South. We’ve all seen Selma, and we’ve all seen Easy Rider. Be careful.

Miles Demos, abused in Arkansas

 

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Electoral College Map, 1896

The U.S. electoral map we’ve come to find familiar, with the Democrats dominating on the East and West Coasts, and the Republicans running shop in the south and center of the country, is recent. In the past few elections, rich states have gone for the Democrats and poor states have voted Republican- a sickening irony, if ever there was one- but even a mere thirty years ago no such pattern existed. And a hundred years ago, things looked different entirely.

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Electoral College Map, 2000

The picture above shows the electoral map of 1896, one of the years historians consider pivotal in the timeline of the ideological shift of the GOP. Almost without exception, the states which went Republican in 1896 supported Democrat Al Gore, by the year 2000.

Meanwhile, nearly all the states that went blue in 1896, moved in the other direction. This seems unusual to us. We are used to the idea of liberal Democrats living in the city, and conservative Republicans making their dwellings in more rural areas. This is how it has always been, for millennials, but it used to be exactly the opposite. So the question begs asking. What happened?

In order to shed light on this, we will have to look closely at the turn of the twentieth century, and the circumstances surrounding the coming to power of Theodore Roosevelt. Some of the same changes were taking place then as now, such as large scale immigration from places such as South America, Eastern Europe, and Syria. The manner in which they were handled by this president did a great deal to set the stage for the hundred years that followed, and the modern era. In the next chapter, we will take a closer look at this.

Theodore Roosevelt
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