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pecosbob

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Member since: Wed Oct 26, 2016, 05:18 PM
Number of posts: 3,838

About Me

Don't take what I say too seriously...I'm a dumb-ass.

Journal Archives

Smilin' faces...lyin' to the races...

Holder - "it's going to be my job to make sure we don't lose sight of those other races."

The Courts Won’t End Gerrymandering. Eric Holder Has a Plan to Fix It Without Them.

https://www.motherjones.com/politics/2019/07/the-courts-wont-end-gerrymandering-eric-holder-has-a-plan-to-fix-it-without-them/

“This state is in some ways ground zero for gerrymandering,” Holder told two dozen BLOC canvassers who would knock on doors that afternoon for the progressive judge running in the race. “Last year they called it a blue wave, and yet you didn’t flip one congressional seat here in Wisconsin. That’s not because you didn’t work hard or people didn’t vote. It was because of gerrymandering.” Republicans had so effectively gerrymandered the state that even when Democrats won 53 percent of the statewide vote in 2018, they took only 36 percent of the seats in the state legislature.


For decades, Democrats successfully fought these twin efforts at disenfranchisement in the courts. As Obama’s attorney general, Holder led that charge, filing lawsuits against states like North Carolina and Texas that challenged Republican-­backed laws curbing the right to vote. But this tactic was handed an enormous defeat in 2013, when the Supreme Court gutted the Voting Rights Act of 1965 in Shelby County v. Holder, ruling that states with a long history of discrimination no longer needed federal approval to change voting laws. Last week, the court struck another blow, declaring that federal courts couldn’t block partisan gerrymandering. Voting rights advocates face not only a hostile Trump administration but a growing number of federal benches controlled by conservatives. As the GOP’s war on voting has intensified, the traditional ways of protecting ballot access are no longer reliable.


So Holder is pursuing a new strategy, trying to elect down-ballot candidates who can deliver fairer maps and voting laws. The NDRC invested $350,000 in the Wisconsin Supreme Court race, hoping that a liberal majority on the seven-­member court might strike down any egregious gerrymanders in the next round of redistricting in 2021. “I don’t think that 10 years or so ago, you would have a former attorney general campaigning for a state Supreme Court justice,” Holder told me. “This is a recognition on the part of the Democratic Party, on the part of progressives, that we need to focus on state and local elections to a much greater degree than we have in the past.”...“I understand people are going to be legitimately focused on the presidential race, as we should be,” Holder said. “But it’s going to be my job to make sure we don’t lose sight of those other races that are going to be extremely important.”

Dark money pouring in for state redistricting

'State Redistricting a Target for “Dark Money” After Supreme Court Ruling'

https://truthout.org/articles/state-redistricting-a-target-for-dark-money-after-supreme-court-ruling/

Redistricting for the next decade will be up to the states after the Supreme Court ruled Thursday that federal courts do not have the power to rule on partisan gerrymandering, the practice by which lawmakers draw maps that flagrantly benefit their own party.

The decision will make the control of state legislatures a priority for both parties in 2020, as — in the majority of states — the state lawmakers in power draw the maps for congressional districts. The ruling could also increase calls for nonpartisan congressional redistricting commissions, which more than a dozen states have adopted in some form.


In 2018, five states — Colorado, Michigan, Missouri, Ohio and Utah — passed ballot initiatives to reduce gerrymandering, which will take effect when the next round of redistricting begins in 2021.


In response to the Democrats’ redistricting 527, conservatives launched the National Republican Redistricting Trust in the fall of 2017. The nonprofit group, led by former Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and longtime GOP operative Adam Kincaid, has set a goal of raising $35 million by 2021 to support Republican redistricting efforts. It is not required to disclose its donors.


read more at https://truthout.org/articles/state-redistricting-a-target-for-dark-money-after-supreme-court-ruling/

The Violent Water Market in Puebla

'The Devious Ways One Water Company Is Profiting From Poor Mexicans'

https://truthout.org/articles/the-devious-ways-one-water-company-is-profiting-from-poor-mexicans/

Water is becoming a coveted currency. As a basic need that is increasingly scarce in some regions due to climate disruption and abusive industrial and agricultural practices, it is the new gold that the wealthy want to get their hands on. Companies like Nestlé and even drug gangs in Mexico are harnessing the profit and power potential of water, with trails of violence and corruption left in their wake.


In many regions of the world, water is becoming a scarce commodity that is bought, sold and fought over. “Whoever controls the water controls everything. It is more important than petroleum,” Argelia Arriaga Garcia, a historian and water activist, told me as we drove to visit various communities harmed by Agua de Puebla measures.

By 2030, the global demand for water will be 40 percent higher than today, and water supplies will diminish, according to the Water Resources Group. Some 2.1 billion people already lack immediate access to clean drinking water, and most countries are experiencing some kind of water stress — from water scarcity to drought concerns or contaminated piped water.

But business people who live for wealth accumulation only see market opportunity. Once they control the resource that life depends upon, they have leverage with the multinationals who use a lot of water in their manufacturing processes and with politicians who are bribed by those multinationals.


read more at https://truthout.org/articles/the-devious-ways-one-water-company-is-profiting-from-poor-mexicans/

Nestle is rapidly overtaking Monsanto on my disfavored corporate entity list...for the day when the pitchforks come out again.

Pull on your boots and grab a partner...I feel the Texan inside of me and it's Saturday Night

I like this one...sort of cowpunk.



and then when you're ready to repent all your wicked ways...

Prosecutors: Jury should hear Las Vegas shooting ammunition case

Federal prosecutors say a jury, not a judge, should hear the Las Vegas trial of an Arizona man facing a federal ammunition manufacturing charge after selling bullets to the gunman who staged the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history.


A Tuesday court filing leaves the decision to a judge.

Douglas Haig's lawyers asked for a bench trial, arguing jurors can't fairly hear evidence in a city where 58 people died and over 850 were injured in October 2017.


Prosecutors say his fingerprints were found on bullets in the high-rise hotel suite where the gunman shot into a concert crowd.
Haig has pleaded not guilty to illegally making tracer and armor-piercing bullets at his Mesa, Arizona, home.
His trial is scheduled for Aug. 12.


This guy needs to go away for a long time.

Nevada Republicans dump state party leader

Beneath the clamour of the end of the legislative session, Nevada Republicans unanimously elect a new state party head to try to stem the bleeding away of voters.

It happened when Assembly Republicans dumped Jim Wheeler as their leader and unanimously selected Robin Titus to replace him. The reason it went under the radar was that it happened during the final 24 hours of the session, when lawmakers were scrambling to resolve such major issues as school funding.

But make no mistake, this was a change worth noting. It signaled that the state GOP could be headed in a different — and healthier — direction in trying to appeal to Nevada voters.


What Nevadans made clear during those years was that the Republican Party’s divisive stances on issues like immigration, reproductive rights and immigration don’t play here anymore. Voters demanded responsible, bipartisan-minded leadership, not party ideologues like Wheeler.


The ousted leader, Wheeler, represents much of what voters found so repellant in the party, especially those in Clark County. The Minden resident checked off the boxes up and down the list in supporting GOP dogma — pro-NRA, anti-abortion, immigration hardliner, etc. Not only that, but he proposed casting Clark County out of Nevada by making it its own state or district, and once told a California legislator he’d exchange Las Vegas for Lake Tahoe. He perhaps was best known for telling a group that he’d vote to legalize slavery if that’s what his constituents wanted him to do.


read more at https://lasvegassun.com/news/2019/jun/23/nevadans-have-made-clear-their-preference-for-mode/

Kind of a Republican point of view for The Sun, but take it for what it's worth. We do have a blue female majority State Legislature here that passed a flurry of progressive legislation before they adjourned (bi-annual legislature). The new Dem governor kind of looks like he's trying to position himself as the voice of moderation, but we'll see how that goes.

A long time comin'

California Is Considering Ending Criminal Court Fees and Wiping Out Billions in Debt

This year, state Sen. Holly Mitchell introduced SB 144—the Families Over Fees Act—which would eliminate many administrative fees and discharge billions in debt, according to estimates from backers of the bill.


Unlike fines, which include traffic tickets, fees are not meant to be punitive. But because they’re charged to a high proportion of low-income people who cannot afford to pay, “they end up being punitive,” Stuhldreher said. “The only job of a fee is to recoup costs.” A recent national report found two-thirds of people on probation make less than $20,000 per year and nearly 40 percent make less than $10,000 per year. A 2015 survey found that mothers pay nearly 50 percent of court costs. A respondent from Oakland said the costs amounted to “everything my mother had in savings,” and it meant she went “back to working paycheck to paycheck.” Greene put it simply: “We know the way that policing happens—you can map race, ethnicity, levels of poverty by it.”



Unlike fines, which include traffic tickets, fees are not meant to be punitive. But because they’re charged to a high proportion of low-income people who cannot afford to pay, “they end up being punitive,” Stuhldreher said. “The only job of a fee is to recoup costs.” A recent national report found two-thirds of people on probation make less than $20,000 per year and nearly 40 percent make less than $10,000 per year. A 2015 survey found that mothers pay nearly 50 percent of court costs. A respondent from Oakland said the costs amounted to “everything my mother had in savings,” and it meant she went “back to working paycheck to paycheck.” Greene put it simply: “We know the way that policing happens—you can map race, ethnicity, levels of poverty by it.”

A little over a year ago, San Francisco eliminated many local court fees and some fines after reviewing the coalition’s analysis. Neighboring Alameda County followed suit after similar lobbying. Both also discharged debt, eliminating more than $70 million across the two counties. SB 144 would do “at the state level what we did in San Francisco,” said Stuhldreher.

There’s precedent at the state level too. In 2018, California eliminated juvenile administrative fees, but it didn’t include debt elimination. Los Angeles County decided to eliminate juvenile debt independently, and thereby wiped out $89 million in debt.
The problem lies in how that revenue is generated. The US Department of Justice’s report after the protests in Ferguson, Missouri, showed 40 percent of the city budget’s revenue came from fines and fees, which led to a “focus on generating revenue” in the police department. It brought in money but harmed the city.

San Francisco discovered the same issues. “We were handing people a bill for a few thousand bucks when they got out of jail,” Stuhldreher noted. “It just didn’t make sense. The math didn’t add up. The fees are charged to very low-income people who cannot pay them.”

But there could soon be a solution. PFM launched the Center for Justice and Safety Finance to help forge a national model for reducing revenue from criminal justice fines and fees. The group is working with three counties—Dallas in Texas, Davidson in Tennessee, and Ramsey in Minnesota—to develop plans. Funded by a $1.3 grant from the Arnold Foundation, it’s an explicit test run, said Eichenthal, to create a blueprint for local government to end reliance on the criminal justice system for revenue.

He says many local governments want to make the change but are not sure how to do it. “They’re just sort of frozen in their ability to move forward until they can answer the question of, can you do this in a fiscally responsible way?” he said.


read more at https://www.motherjones.com/politics/2019/06/california-is-considering-ending-criminal-court-fees-and-wiping-out-billions-in-debt/

To enjoy with your cofveve

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