Category Archives: Daily Kos

PICK UP THE PHONE, PLEASE

What the hell.  Do this.  It is just one of the ways we can express our feelings about the fact — yes FACT — that the Russians influenced the 2016 American election.

The entire reason that the Electoral College exists is to protect our nation from an unqualified candidate.  Sooo….

 

From the Daily Kos:

Call the White House: Brief the Electoral College on Russia’s sabotage before December 19

The CIA has said that the Russian government sabotaged this election with the express purpose of aiding Donald Trump. Such foreign interference is exactly what the Founding Fathers feared when they set up the Electoral College—as a final buffer before electing the President of the United States.

Before the Electoral College meets on Monday December 19, President Obama must declassify any and all relevant intelligence to Russia’s interference—and officials must brief the electors before they make this decision.

Please call the White House at 1-855-999-1663 and leave this message to President Obama:

I am requesting that President Obama declassify any and all intelligence related to Russia’s interference of the presidential election—and to brief all members of the Electoral College before they meet on Monday, December 19.

Daily Kos wants you to let them know how it went.  But frankly, I’m only asking you to make the one call to the White House.

Do I think this will work?

Do I think that enough electors will change their votes?

Do I think that Hillary will become president?

Sadly “No” is the answer to all of these.

But I don’t know about you, but I must speak up (while I still can).  For all the things that are important to me that I yammer on about all the time on this blog.

Again and again — we all must speak up.  It’s time to get used to using our loudest, most effective protest voices — not our inside voices.  We’re going to be calling this number a whole lot in the next few years.

the-russians-are-coming

Image from IMBd.  I’m pretty sure that Putin and his Pals are not the nice Russians that arrived on our shores in this 1968 movie.  Positive.

UPDATE!!!  The phone lines are very busy.  You can also email, but calling is better:  https://www.whitehouse.gov/contact.  Or do BOTH!

Please share this so that as many people call as possible.

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Serious and Silly

cusedToday’s post is stolen.  Copied.  Plagarized (with attribution, but hey, it doesn’t make me any less lazy, just less liable for prosecution.  But I’m good with that).  Sometimes other people just hit the nail on the head and, well, it should be shared/stolen and disseminated all over the sphere.

Serious

One clear lesson I learned in grammar school is that everyone in America deserves a fair trial by a competent lawyer.  It serves to promote confidence in our government, avoid mob actions against accused people, and prevents unjust imprisonment.  In short, it demonstrates that we are a nation of laws.  In fact, it long predates our independence.

My first exposure to it was in 5th grade, when Mrs. Ganley (a wonderful soul, RIP) taught us about the Boston Massacre and how John Adams, later one of the authors of the Declaration of Independence and the 2nd U.S. President, defended the British soldiers accused of killing colonists in December 1770 Boston.

The story of the Boston Massacre and John Adams’ able defense of the soldiers is a noble story.  And it helped establish in the new Republic, formed not too long thereafter, the tradition of capable representation for the accused.

Hillary did just that when she was assigned to defend a man accused of raping a 12 year old girl.

My friend Karen in her blog Why I’m Voting For Hillary and Not Against Trump reposted a lawyer’s excellent Facebook explanation of the duty of lawyers to represent those accused of crimes.  Hillary Clinton’s representation in that long ago case demonstrates that she did what lawyers, including John Adams, have done for centuries.  Ensure justice is delivered.

Gail Webb West
(earlier this week on Facebook)·

[…] Before you run that misleading, disgusting video about Hillary Clinton representing the piece of scum who violated Kathy Shelton or repeat the blatant lies about Hillary Clinton laughing about “getting him off” you might want to think about who, and more importantly what, your mud slinging is hitting. It’s hitting me, my husband, and every other attorney who has ever been appointed to represent an indigent criminal defendant. It’s hitting the United States Constitution and the constitutions of every state, including the Tennessee State Constitution.

I woke up to that b***s*** this morning and that’s when the whole thing got way too personal and, just to be frank, way too ignorant, for me. Until you’ve been in the position of being REQUIRED by your professional oath and license to represent to the best of your capabilities the CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS of an individual charged with a crime, you don’t have a clue. I’ve been there. In a big way. Step into my shoes. Walk with me . . .

Just a small town lawyer, growing a general practice of law, trying to make a living to support your family, and doing the best you can for your clients, you get a call (while on vacation no less) from the local court clerk saying that your name (or my husband’s name) has come up next on the list to represent a defendant who can’t afford an attorney. Then the “other shoe falls”, the defendant is charged in one of the most heinous crimes that your little county has ever known. There’s no choice. There’s no question being asked. You accept the appointment unless you have a valid and real conflict of interest that would be a detriment to the CLIENT . . . the detriment to you and your livelihood and your family can’t even be a consideration.

You represent that client aggressively to the full extent the law will allow. You do it because you took an oath to do that for EVERY client. How they became your client is irrelevant. But you also do that because the Constitution REQUIRES that every person charged with a crime be given DUE PROCESS and EQUAL PROTECTION under the law and it’s your job, defense attorney, to be sure that burden is met BY THE STATE. You also do the very best job you can because 1.) If this defendant is denied due process and equal protection, the precedent is set for any person, even those who may be falsely accused, to be denied those fundamental rights; 2.) If you don’t do this job you’ve been appointed to right, everyone may have to go through this process again based on the appeal process. Everyone means the victim, the victim’s family, the defendant’s family, law enforcement who investigated the crime, the community and the defendant; and 3.) If you don’t do this job, NO INDIGENT DEFENDANT COULD EVER BE CONVICTED OF A CRIME because an indigent defendant is ENTITLED by law to a court-appointed attorney.

Another perhaps less noble, but very real, reason you do this job is that failure to do it and do it right could result in being sued for malpractice and loss of your law license = your ability to provide for your family.

Which brings us to the realities for the defense attorney in an appointed case:

1.) You’re going to be paid approximately 1/5 of what your normal hourly rate is. But your overhead is going to stay the same. And the time required for that appointed case is going to mean there are cases (that would pay your normal rate) that you won’t be able to take while the appointed case is ongoing. Bottom line is you’re going to lose money. The reality is that you may come to the brink of financial ruin because of this one case and what it does to your cash flow situation and your client base in the community.

2.) People in the community who either don’t understand all this or who don’t give a flip or are just ignorant or mean are going to treat you and your family like crap. In the grocery line behind you and your two small children, they’re going to say that the defendant deserves public hanging and any attorney who represents that defendant deserves to be hung, too. They’re going to tell your five year old (at school, no less) that her daddy works for the Devil. Under the cover of night, they’re going to hang a gutted, black cat from your office door to “greet” your office staff the next morning.
3.) And when it’s over for the community, it’s not over for you. You get to go through the appeal process and even post-conviction relief. Post-conviction relief is where the defendant you represented gets another lawyer appointed whose job requires him/her to go through everything you did in representing that defendant with a fine tooth comb to try to find anything you did wrong or not well enough to use to say the defendant should get another trial because you didn’t do your job. So, in a sense, you go on trial.

But enough about the appointed defense attorney, what about the prosecution? The Constitution requires the prosecution to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt in every criminal case. The prosecution carries that burden. The defense does not have to prove anything except that the prosecution did not meet it’s burden of proof for the result (theoretically) to be a not guilty verdict. And long before a trial, that burden of proof is being weighed in the minds of the prosecution. If the prosecution believes that the evidence is not strong enough, or the witnesses are not credible enough, or that the process of testifying or going through the trial is too much to ask of the victim and would victimize the victim all over again, or that there were problems/mistakes made in the investigation or in handling the physical evidence that would make that evidence less convincing to a jury, or that there are any other number of reasons that a guilty plea to a plea agreement would better serve the community they represent or justice as a principle, then they negotiate and extend a plea offer to the defendant. None of that is an easy process for the prosecution. There are factors the prosecutor and law enforcement officers involved know that the general community does not know. So when you hear about a “plea deal”, don’t be so quick to judge the prosecution for making the offer. You don’t know what he/she knows.

Now about the tape. Have you seen the whole thing? I have. I’m not talking about the put together commercial video that’s going around. I’m talking about the full footage of the actual interview. It is an interview in which Hillary Clinton goes through a discussion of the role of the appointed defense attorney. Taken in context, her “laughter” (which is really just what I, myself, use as a “shaking my head, you can’t make this shit up” sarcastic chuckle) is in terms of what her client claimed had happened and the role in it all that she was forced to play as the appointed attorney required to do her job. There is no way anyone with sound mind and reasonable judgment could view that tape in its entirety and say she was laughing about what happened to that victim or about “getting off” the defendant.

In fact, Hillary Clinton didn’t get the defendant “off”. Her client accepted a plea offer made to him by the Prosecutor on the case. A prosecutor employed by the State of Arkansas hired by someone that the voters of Arkansas elected. Have you seen the recent interview with that prosecutor? I have. He says that Hillary Clinton did her job and did it well. He says there were problems with the investigative part of the case concerning mistakes made and mishandling of physical evidence. Those issues rest with law enforcement employed by the State of Arkansas hired by someone that the voters of Arkansas elected. So if you have a problem with the result on the case, you need to look to the voters of Arkansas.

You STILL don’t like the part Hillary Clinton had in this case? That’s understandable, you may have no frame of reference. But if ever, you (or someone you care about) stand accused of any crime, whether you’re guilty or innocent, you’ll get frame of reference real quick. And you’ll want someone who’ll do just what Hillary Clinton did in that case standing on that wall defending you and your constitutional rights.  [Emphasis added.]

Silly

From today’s  Abbreviated Pundit Round-up at Daily Kos (which I highly recommend)

What more can anyone say about the GOP nominee than this:

… perhaps the most eloquent condemnation of Trump came from one of the houses of state parliament in New South Wales, which, according to BuzzFeed Australia, just passed a unanimous motion to declare Donald Trump a “revolting slug.” The motion—a symbolic declaration of sorts with no real legislative heft—was tendered by a member of the Greens Party:

“I move that this house condemns the misogynistic, hateful comments made by…Mr Donald Trump, about women and minorities, including the remarks revealed over the weekend that clearly describe sexual assault…and agrees with those who have described Mr Trump as ‘a revolting slug’ unfit for public office,” the motion read.

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And As the Day Surely Follows Night …

NRA PUTS $3 MILLION INTO ADS FOR TRUMP RIGHT AFTER HIS “SECOND AMENDMENT” COMMENT.

Because obviously nothing is more important than guns.  Certainly not people.  Especially if they disagree with you.

Photo credit photobucket.com and my friend Bao who sent it to me.

Photo credit photobucket.com and my friend Bao who sent it to me.

Nothing.

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Vote Out These Cowards

You’ve no doubt heard the news from last night.

The GOP voted down four different measures designed to protect you and me.  Designed to keep folks on the terror watch list from getting assault weapons.  They did this in spite of the fact that:

A new poll from CNN shows 92 percent of Americans support expanded background checks and 85 percent support preventing those on terror watch lists from buying guns. As we’ll explain in the post below, though, none of the below proposals aimed at these things are likely to pass. (Washington Post — https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2016/06/20/the-senate-will-vote-on-4-gun-control-proposals-monday-heres-everything-you-need-to-know/Emphasis added.

Senator Chris Murphy, who I am proud to say represents my home state of Connecticut in the Senate said the following:

“We’ve got to make this clear, constant case that Republicans have decided to sell weapons to ISIS,” [Senator Chris] Murphy said, using an alternative term for the Islamic State militant group. “That’s what they’ve decided to do. ISIS has decided that the assault weapon is the new airplane, and Republicans, in refusing to close the terror gap, refusing to pass bans on assault weapons, are allowing these weapons to get in the hands of potential lone-wolf attackers. We’ve got to make this connection and make it in very stark terms.” (Daily Kos — http://www.dailykos.com/stories/2016/6/21/1540914/–ISIS-has-decided-that-the-assault-weapon-is-the-new-airplane).

Senator Murphy made clear that he will look to November, to make sure that those opposed to gun sanity don’t return to the Senate.  That’s just what I’m going to do.  So here’s where to start:

All Democrats favored the Democratic version of a bill to restrict assault weapons from folks on the no fly list except the following:  Joe Manchin of West Virginia, Jon Tester of Montana, and Sen. Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota.  ALL Republicans voted against sensible gun laws except Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.)  who backed it; he voted with Democrats on all four measures.

Elections matter.

Vote the bastards who refuse to protect us

OUT OF THE U.S. SENATE

Photo from NBC News

Senator Murphy, talking about Dylan, one of the 20 6 year olds who died in Sandy Hook, CT.  Photo from NBC News

 

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Clap

According to the DailyKos, today Ted Cruz reached a new low in trying to get the GOP nomination.

Perhaps it is only fair, since Donald Trump recently brought up the fact that news* articles have stated that Ted’s seriously crazy dad, Rafael Cruz, was involved in the Kennedy assassination.

So Ted hit back, as Daily Kos says:

Candidate Ted Cruz, making his final appeal to Indiana voters (before his campaign officially goes down in flames), said of Donald Trump:

“… he’s proud to be a serial philanderer. He talks about his battles with venereal disease as his personal Vietnam.”

To his credit, Ted Cruz’s facts are more reliable than Trumps, as Trump did make the comment in a 1997 Ted Stern interview.  But still.

I keep thinking there will be a point in the quest for the GOP nomination where I won’t be left speechless by the crassness by the politicians involved.

 

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Note to David Brooks …

The  image of the New York Times as the bastion of liberalism is completely over-blown.  The paper has a mix of liberal and conservative columnists which is important to enable people to view two (or more) sides to an issue.  And while I will admit to rolling my eyes quite a bit and feeling queasy when I read some of the more rabid conservative columnists, it is good for me to do so intellectually.

Yesterday, columnist David Brooks bemoaned the fact that Donald Trump is destroying the wonderful world Ronald Reagan created:

This is a wonderful moment to be a conservative. For decades now the Republican Party has been groaning under the Reagan orthodoxy, which was right for the 1980s but has become increasingly obsolete. The Reagan worldview was based on the idea that a rising economic tide would lift all boats.  But that’s clearly no longer true.

We’ve gone from Rising Tide America to Coming Apart America. Technological change, globalization and social and family breakdown mean that the benefits of growth, to the extent there is growth, are not widely shared.

Republicans sort of recognize this reality, but they are still imprisoned in the Reaganite model. They ask Reaganite questions, propose Reaganite policies and have Reaganite instincts.

First of all, Reaganomics did not call for all boats to rise; it called for all yachts to rise and the rest of us to row through their wake with little or no paddle.  But Brooks goes on to say how wonderful it is that conservatives will be able to take part in the creation of a new, post-Trump GOP.

Reading this  was one of those time when I realized, yet again, that it is good that I don’t believe in violence.  When I realized that I can stop myself from vomiting if I really try.

When I realized that to this day, Republicans have no fucking clue about how much damage Ronald Reagan and his philosophy caused our country.

But just now, I read the most wonderful comment to David Brooks, courtesy of a post in the Daily Kos.  For those of you who don’t get The Times, or who (like me) read blog comments but not newspaper column comments, here it is for your enjoyment.  For your use.  So that the cinematic image this commenter used will be forever in your heart whenever you hear or see a Republican.

soxared040713

Crete, IL From Boston, MA 15 hours ago

Mr. Brooks, I don’t know where to begin. It would be impolite for me to tell you that you have lost your mind. Well, I’m willing to be impolite. I sincerely wish that I wasn’t limited to 1,500 characters. I’ve already wasted 227.

Ronald Reagan was evil; he took an axe to the foundation of the American democratic system “government is the problem”, a failure, then set about dividing the country by income and race and section. And smirked when while his clueless base looked the other way while his cronies hogged the government trough they so hated.

Mr. Brooks, please recall the unforgettable scene in Alien. Donald Trump, today, is the awful, bloody thing that forced itself out of the GOP’s breast. It uncoils from the corpse, snarls and snaps at everyone standing around in horror and scuttles off, leaving a clattering, putrid mess behind. The image is violent. After Reagan, H. W., Lee Atwater, Karl Rove, Grover Norquist, W. and Cheney (and now McConnell, Ryan and the departed Boehner), what on earth did you expect from the wreck?

And how do you get off writing “Trump is loveless. There is no room for reciprocity and love in his worldview.” ? No, there isn’t nor has there been any in the GOP’s since, oh, Richard Nixon (1968).

Mr. Brooks, there will be a post-Trump era because we’re still in the Reagan area. The merest child could see through your references to Thomas Kuhn’s “model.” The GOP’s a complete disaster. You were there at its creation and cheered it on. Happy today?

Yup.  The GOP is reaping what it has sown.  But why do the rest of us have to deal with it too?

Trump - Alien 2

Photo Credit:  Dailymail.co.uk

Bravo to soxared040713 for hitting the nail on the head.  Now, please hit the real thing for me.

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God Has Spoken

Found on DailyKos

                             (Found on DailyKos but God said it.)

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