Category Archives: Elections

For Kids

Another reason to vote for Hillary.  The Children’s Health Insurance Program.

Here, you’ll need this.


Societies are judged by what they do for their most vulnerable.

My thanks to Crooks and who showed me this video.


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Call Me “Rigger” on Election Day

So you thought I was a more or less law abiding citizen, except for when I bribe French government officials.  In fact, reality is far worse.

Because on Election Day, November 8, 2016, I will be in an undisclosed polling booth, watching.  And I’ve even been trained for this nefarious activity.  In fact, I’m one of the folks Donald Trump is so concerned will “rig” the election.

It’s true.  A coordinated effort has been made by the Democratic Party.  You see, on Saturday, I went to a class where my fellow instigators and I learned what to do.  And “fixing” an election is as easy as taking candy from a baby.

What did we learn?

Well, you may have to cover your ears/eyes/heart.  Because it is evil unbridled.

  1. Study the Virginia voting regulations.   They include information on acceptable forms of ID, what to do if a voter’s name on ID doesn’t match the one on the roll (if a woman got married, for instance, or if there is a slight misspelling), or the voter has moved, etc.  The regs say what is legal and what is not.
  2. Arrive at undisclosed polling precinct obscenely early (5-f’ing:15).
  3. Bring baked goods.
  4. Observe the non-partisans set up the voting machines.
  5. Check that all voting machines register “0” prior to the doors opening to voters at 6.
  6. Share baked goods.
  7. Watch as they open the doors promptly at 6.
  8. Monitor that voters are not hindered from voting.
  9. Assist the election official (the “Chief”) in instances where the voter has a problem — incorrect ID, came to the wrong precinct, not registered, name or address doesn’t match the voter list.  We learned how to ensure that the Chief follows the regulations.  As legal folks, we understand how to read the regs.
  10. When appropriate, let the Chief and/or voter know what alternate IDs are valid.
  11. If necessary and there is no legitimate way for the voter to cast a regular vote, have him/her cast a provisional ballot.
  12. Make sure nobody who has cast an absentee ballot votes again.
  13. Monitor the length of the line, let Dem HQ know if there are problems.
  14. Ensure the voting machines are working.  Let Dem HQ know if there are problems.
  15. Enjoy baked goods, lunch, coffee and bathroom breaks when possible.
  16. Repeat.

Nefarious, no?  Downright wicked.  The evil continues all day until the polls close at 7 p.m.  Then comes the fun stuff.

  1. Make sure that anyone in line at closing time is allowed to vote.  That’s the rule.
  2. Ensure that the officials close and lock the door once everybody in line has voted.
  3. Verify that the number of voters who checked in = the number of votes cast (adjust for provisional ballots cast, naturally).
  4. Ensure that the Chief contacts the Secretary of State and reports the correct number of ballots cast for each candidate and the tally for any ballot initiatives voted on.  Presidential.  Congressional, local, ballot initiatives.
  5. Collect personal items.
  6. Go home.

Try to stay awake long enough to learn who won the election.


My badge from last time with my friend, Rigger.

I should tell you that when I did this in 2012, there was one incident. I’m sure you’ll agree it was obviously voter fraud.

An 86 year old woman came in to vote, but had already voted absentee.  She forgot she’d voted already.  She had trouble walking and had been dropped off at the voting station by her daughter.  “Oh, I guess you’re right,” she said when told she had voted already.  “I forget things sometimes.”  I called her daughter for her on my cell phone, and the woman and I chatted as she waited, eating baked goods.


There are poll observers from both parties at many polling stations across the country.  It is one of the ways that our system ensures the integrity of the vote.  As a man I respect and admire said earlier today:

WASHINGTON — President Obama said Tuesday that Donald J. Trump should “stop whining and go try to make his case to get votes.”

Speaking at a Rose Garden news conference with Matteo Renzi, the Italian prime minister, Mr. Obama also called it “unprecedented” for any presidential candidate to “discredit the elections” before any votes were even cast, as Mr. Trump has done repeatedly in recent days.

“One of the great things about America’s democracy is we have a vigorous, sometimes bitter political contest, and when it’s done, historically, regardless of party, the person who loses the election congratulates the winner, reaffirms our democracy and we move forward,” Mr. Obama said.

Speaking of the tradition of a peaceful transfer of power after presidential elections, Mr. Obama said, “That’s how democracy survives.”

“I have never seen in my lifetime or in modern political history, any presidential candidate trying to discredit the elections and the election process before votes have even taken place,” Mr. Obama said. “It’s unprecedented. It happens to be based on no facts.”

Elections Matter. 

Vote on November 8

Make sure you know where to vote and have appropriate ID in states where ID is required.


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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.


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.]


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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Which White House?

You will be surprised to know that I am on Trump’s mailing list.  But I am, and I have been for ages.  I’m always curious what they are up to, what they’re telling their folks, and what sort of information they think will get folks to send them money.

I’m not sure which polls they’re talking about in this fundraiser.  Because the ones I’m reading won’t put Donald Trump into the White House.


Email sent to me

Email sent to me

And you know what?  I’m really OK if Trump ends up in the White House.  As long as it’s not located at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington, DC.

There are two other White Houses nearby.  Both are for sale.

Photo Image Washington Post

The White House on Georgetown Pike in  McLean VA.  Photo Image Washington Post


White House Towlston Road, McLean VA Photo Image Washington Post

White House Towlston Road, McLean VA Photo Image Washington Post

These White Houses are both for sale according to this article in the Washington Post.  So Donald Trump can have the White House.  Either of these two.  Let’s elect to put Trump in a different house all together.

And I think you’d agree that both are tacky enough for The Donald.

Elections Matter.


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Tic Tacs are the Mint of All Evil

Yesterday, Tic Tac USA condemned Donald Trump’s use of their products to “score” with women.


Today, I have my own Tic Tac crime to report.  I firmly believe that without Tic Tacs, Donald Trump would not be the scumbag he is today.


An International Life of Crime

When we got Cooper in 1998, we owned a Toyota Picnic, a little six seat van not available in the U.S.  It was kind of a vomit van, actually, because it was well known to induce vomiting by anyone who traveled with us.  We kept a large supply of cleaning supplies with us at all times.

Anyway, I read an article about how, if you stop suddenly, while traveling at 60 mph, a 50 lb Springer Spaniel dog — exactly MY DOG will travel significantly faster as he flies through the car.  He will, in fact, become a projectile and might end up killing your kid.

Now I liked the dog a lot even at that early stage.  But I didn’t really relish the idea of the dog killing my kid to whom I was quite attached.  So, to scorn and jeers from John, I bought Cooper a special doggie seat belt that attached to the seatbelt of the seat behind the driver’s.

Cooper, however, did not approve.  I presume I hadn’t adequately educated him on the importance of self-restraint.  Because he ate his restraint.  In fact, he had started eating the seatbelt too when I realized what was happening and released the rebel.  He then happily sat wherever he wanted in the back of the vomit van.

Fortunately, Cooper hadn’t really done much damage to the seatbelt.  There were only a few bites taken out of it; it worked perfectly well and was not a safety hazard.

But when we moved across the border into France a couple of years later, well, we had to have the car inspected.  And the French car inspectors are famous for flunking Americans.  According to my husband, anyway.  I faced the villains alone.

Now, before you jump all over my husband for sending me into the lion’s den, well there is something you should know.  My husband cannot lie.  He cannot stretch the truth.  He cannot exaggerate.  Worse in this case, he would not have been able to restrain himself from explaining to the inspector that it really was not a safety issue.

Me, well, I’m different.  I grew up getting away with high crimes and misdemeanors.  I rarely got caught, and when I did, well, I got out of it. I’ve had practice.

So whenever we needed to deal with the French government, well, it was all up to me.

I drove to wherever it was, produced my paperwork, and waited my turn.  Truthfully, I was nervous.  I didn’t want to have to spend $1 zillion replacing a seat belt (car repairs in Switzerland/France are tres cher).  So I fidgeted with the container of mints in my pocket.  Tic Tacs.

When my turn came, I was outside with the inspector, chatting to him.  He was a young guy, and was nice and helpful as I tried to have a chatty conversation with him in my pigeon French. In fact, he couldn’t have been nicer to me.

Plus, the car was in great shape, clean and nearly perfectly maintained.  He found nothing wrong on the outside.  Then he opened the front passenger side, and tested the seat belt.  He closed the door and went to the rear passenger seat, and tested that one.

I started to sweat.  The chewed one was next.

He went around and opened the rear driver’s side door.  And that’s when I did it.

“Tic Tac?” I asked him, holding out the container.

“Oui, merci, madame,” he responded, closing that door without looking at the damaged seat belt.  He took a Tic Tac, and proceeded to inspect the driver’s seat belt.

My car passed inspection with flying colors.

And I continued to live a life of crime in France, just outside of Geneva for two more years.


This is a replay of an old story. But How could I resist in light of the news about Donald Trump and how he was forced to be a cad and a boor and a truly disgusting human being.

Because of Tic Tacs.

tic-tacs-2Google Image


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Even if he apologizes

You all know what’s happened tonight.  The yuge video of Donald Trump being an asshole.  Talking about women disrespectfully.  Claiming that, because he is a star, he can get women to put up with him being sexually abusive.

Right now, I’m waiting for Trump to put out a video apology.  Or something.

But how can he apologize for who he is.  Who we — including the folks who planned to vote for him — always knew he was?

Every day it seemed, there was a statement from this woman or that, saying that he hit on them or disrespected them.

Still, most of the GOP went along with him. Endorsed him.  Sighed and signed on.

Paul Ryan.  Mitch McConnell.  John McCain.  Kelly Ayotte.  Ted Cruz.  Marco Rubio.

Right now, folks are lining up to say “he’s a bad man.”  “I can’t support him.”

Donald Trump is the same, vile man he was yesterday, before this film came out.  They always knew it.

If Trump releases a video where he assures us, with the deepest sincerity, that he respects women, he will of course leave lots of folk out:  Hispanics.  Muslims.  Blacks.  Everybody but rich white men.

Me?  I’m not ready to make nice.  Go to Hell, Donald Trump.  And don’t let the screen door hit you on the way out.


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Mike Who?

A public service announcement brought to you by FiftyFourAndAHalf (courtesy of

Who is Mike Pence?

I mean besides Donald Trump’s VP candidate who gets almost no coverage in the press.

He’s the guy who decided to defund Planned Parenthood!



So tonight, when (if) you watch the VP Debate being held here in Virginia, remember that misogyny comes in quieter forms too.  Like from those gentlemen who simply want to make sure that women have lots of babies and no access to healthcare screening for breast and ovarian or for sexually transmitted diseases.

It’s a health issue.

It’s an economic issue.

It’s common sense — keep public funding of organizations who serve the public.


Google Image

Elections Matter.  Vote on November 8.  And not for Pence!


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