To republicans and likeminded citizens, voter fraud is neatly summed up in illegal immigrants, namely Hispanic, Latino ‘Mexican’ illegal immigrants somehow casting ballots, liberal, progressive candidates who want voting rights for said illegal immigrants, completely ignorant to how many Mexican, Hispanic, Latino and similar heritage persons are here legally, possess their citizenship or were born her in the first place. Same liberal, progressive, social justice warrior, advocate types who want to restore voting rights to convicted felons; what’s next giving voting rights to actual inmates while incarcerated, oh the horror. Voting errors where rolls of dead people are casting ballots, non-residents of specific cities, counties or states are voting there, people are voting multiple times, coming in 10 times, assumption skewing the vote in one candidates favor. Who could forget Maine’s 2012 RNC chairman flabbergasted by the number of African Americans who turned out to vote, vowing to get to the bottom of where they all came from; never any indication they didn’t belong there, were improperly registered, flooded in from another town, city, state, county forget trying to nefariously influence an election. But he’s not racist because he plays basketball with a black person. You have to admire the logic of David Packman who asked why not examine census data to ascertain the number of African Americans residing in those Maine towns under suspicion compared to voters who turned out election day, versus his plan to send out mailers and see where they are postmarked from. In reality nothing could be further from the truth, their stereotyped version of voter fraud is so minimal it has little or no impact on voting results at all and is patently racist to boot; however, voter fraud serves a dual purpose these days providing a convenient excuse for why, usually republican, tea party, conservative candidates, 3rd party outliers didn’t win. Donald Trump uses it all the time to energize his rally crowds and to provide cushion when he inevitably loses post alienating key voting blocks women , minorities and young people; the election was rigged, the system is corrupt, there is a conspiracy against me personally, larger policy, issue X launched by the nebulous opposition. Not say your candidate’s antics, ill-preparedness and utter unfitness for office, traits we saw long before Donald Trump, Gary Johnson and to a lesser extent Jill Stein; like the guy who made his dog chief of staff , Delaware candidate Christine O’Donnell who told Phil Donahue back in the day condoms wouldn’t prevent HIV/AID, recorded an MTV abstinence ad that compared masturbation to adultery and, running on a conservative platform, had to issue an ad assuring voters she’s not a witch after admitting to dabbling it witchcraft as teenage rebellion. Meshing perfectly with Rick ‘sanitarium’ Santorum who called contraceptives one of the ‘barriers’ to a better life, also a license to do unnatural things i.e. premarital sex, who came out against Obamacare because it included the amniocentesis used to diagnose genetic diseases of infants in-utero, which he said lead to more abortions. Sharon Angle who was slightly more sane, but frightened Americans with her plans to privatize, ‘phase out’ social security and Medicare, who was back on the ballot this year competing for that same Nevada senate seat resoundingly defeated in the primary; Sharon Angle who according to insiders didn’t know how social security worked, who thought its reserves were somehow kept in a lockbox in an undisclosed government building somewhere in West Virginia. We know said details thanks to former campaign workers felt compelled to speak out about their experiences because she was “such a disastrous candidate;” if her views on fluoride in water, alcohol and marijuana weren’t enough or her wish to abolish the department of energy and the EPA, talking deregulation directly after BP weren’t enough, there’s the reality she was the first one to start talking about ‘second amendment people,’ the idea when you don’t get your way politically you can shoot people. Carl Paladino who suggested to fellow New Yorker’s, where he was running for governor, they convert unused prisons into dorms for the homeless to teach them hygiene skills they didn’t get in dysfunctional homes as prerequisite for assistance benefits they can eventually get off of with those ‘skills,’ just the beginning of his political woes enfolding drivers with DUI’s, campaign staff with criminal records, accused of stealing, suspected of criminal behavior, proliferating unsubstantiated allegations about opponent’s extramarital affairs. It was just 4 years ago the common question morning after election night was did the rape guy when and people responded which one, referring to Todd Akin of Missouri and his legitimate rape comments used to defend his pro-life stance. And Indiana’s own Richard Murdock whose statements on what joy a child can bring, even when the product of rape or incest, coming on the heels of Akin’s giant foot in mouth moment, seemed like the ultimate affront to women and the sanctity, sovereignty of their own bodies; bodies in Murdock’s example already suffering an extreme violation. Then let’s look at the ones who got in, those who achieved enough votes to hold political offices on a local, national level: Jan Brewer fighting for reelection when she had, not 1 but 2 ‘brain freeze’ moments at her crucial debate, who bungled opening statements both there and at a press conference a-la 2010, including totally awkward pauses when asked about supposed beheadings of Americans on U.S. soil by Mexican drug cartels, how she justified Arizona’s ‘papers please’ immigration law, and couldn’t identify one single case. Yet Hillary Clinton and her muumuus are concealing a ‘brain stem battery pack’ to control Parkinson’s tremors, if you say so. Arizona home to the infamous sheriff Joe Arpaio known for racial profiling, papers please traffic stops on top of unusual conditions in his prisons drawing human rights concerns, beyond forcing male prisoners to wear pink, leaving them out in the desert sun with minimal water and shelter. Arpaio who refused to stop his ‘boarder patrolling,’ ‘immigration enforcement’ ways even after orders from federal courts, who is simultaneously running for reelection and facing possible prison time; see Donald Trump it’s not all that unusual, running for office and being under criminal investigation, you just want to only point it out when it applies to Hillary Clinton. There’s what Scott Walker has done to Wisconsin, undermining union rights while failing to create either more jobs or higher wages, scaling back environmental protections resulting in laid off workers, curtailing abortion rights to a 20 week limit, forcing drug tests on public assistance recipients that expose little drug abuse and cost a small fortune. His gutting and privatization of a national bright spot to public education functionality mirrors what Sam Brownback did in Kansas leaving the state in a fiscal hole and causing courts in Kansas to question funding maneuvers to the point it was uncertain whether some schools would open at all earlier this summer, an agenda continued by sitting governor Matt Bevin. Furthermore Kansas’ secretary of state is who gave Trump the funding ideas for his border wall, disallowing people to send remittances, legal monies home to relatives, and pawning it off on Mexico in exchange for not tariffing the hell out of goods imported from there, Fed-Xing back all their ‘problems.’ Rick Scott of Florida who among other things seems to opposed Obamacare because he is getting rich from current healthcare systems and dysfunctions; Rick ‘is he too medicated, does he need medication’ Perry who not only had candidacy imploding debate performances rivalling Jan Brewer in 2012 and 2016, earing him the aforementioned moniker, but whose most restrictive abortion laws in America were overturned, Paul Broun of Georgia, congressman, who sits on a congressional science committee while calling evolution lies from the pit of hell. Steve King who spread ‘information’ Obama is a Muslim and doesn’t have an ‘American experience,’ who compared immigrants to livestock in a demonstration of his ideas on a border fence complete with electricity, not enough to kill them, he assured, merely zap them as a deterrent to climbing, “like we do with livestock,” concepts Herman Cane followed with suggestions of a sign announcing that electrification could kill you. Maine, again whose sitting governor Paul LePage made headlines for his threatening, obscene rant to an opposing lawmaker he thought called him racist; ignored entirely A- he called select remarks racist and B- judging by those remarks: calling out of state black people ‘the enemy,’ going by names stereotyped straight out of a ‘gangster’ movie from the 90’s “D-money,” “shifty,” “smoothie” come there to sell their drugs and ‘impregnate a white girl’ before leaving town support his opponents alleged name-calling. Or that his self-compiled book of black/Hispanic drug dealers is actually filled with white people. His behavior was so bad adjacent lawmakers, government officials called for an intervention and there were rumors he might resign, only to parrot Donald Trump on the gargantuan number of dead people who will be voting thanks to democrats. How about the racist Pennsylvania mayor Charles Wasko, whose Facebook memes depict the Obamas as orangutans, detail a lynching of our commander in chief; that’s not crazy, absurd, out of bounds at all. Still, our biggest obstacle to republican won seats and a ‘return to traditional American values’ is vast voter fraud, leading to unfavorable outcomes like LGBT rights, keeping abortion intact so women don’t die if something goes wrong with their pregnancy, more insured Americans receiving healthcare, state by state legalization of marijuana to keep people from serving jail time for our biggest hysteria driven petty drug crime, one joint, single persons smoke-able amounts of a natural substance, federal funding for public schools producing the highest high school graduation rate to date; again oh the horror.
But there is actual voter fraud worthy of concern and its source, as stated above, is primarily republican politicians; by contrast their efforts to stop nearly non-existent voter fraud result perpetrating the biggest fraud against the people. The American people who have the majority’s will regularly subverted via strategically drawn lines, comprising voting districts whose main goal is winning over the competition; that’s called gerrymandering. Easily then answering the echoing question why, why these eyebrow raising candidates won their primaries, why we had to endure Ted Cruz reading Green Eggs and Ham during a government shutdown to impede the implementation of Obamacare is to understand they got there by gerrymandering, a practice well in full swing as the tea party came on scene in 2008; gerrymandering only ramped up since the last election. After their voter driven gut punch in 08’, giving us the first African American president much to their angered dismay even post their huge Palin debacle, their own shellacking in 2012, seeing their least favorite person reelected, they resorted to an anything to win mentality. Best illustrated through the Missouri case where ‘districts’ were so crazily and unfairly drawn one student comprised a district and they weren’t in favor of voting for the proposed business venture said districts were drawn to pass, Missouri potentially next to vote on ID laws with Amendment 6. A particularly egregious case was ultimately lost by conservatives on the eve of the current election cycle exposing their attempt to draw voting districts according to registered voter dynamics rather than more inclusive general population data; Supreme Court striking down the last ditch, desperate effort to win at any cost stipulating districts must be drawn using general population metrics. Gerrymandering key to why democrats can’t take back the House of Representatives through their 2011 redistricting announced in an Wall Street Journal op-ed, author none other than Karl Rove, from the year before skewing things toward republicans for the next decade; vice grips democrats, progressives won’t get out of until 2020 he boldly calculated capitalizing on census data to justify his reengineering of election maps, which will give way to the next nefarious strategy for all the lack of attention this issue gets. Voting restrictions, handed a big boon via the Supreme Court’s ruling removing huge sections of the voting rights act circa 2013, giving carte blanche to forcing people to provide a birth certificate or passport upon voting such as Alabama, demanding photo ID‘s when showing up to vote, limiting early voting, removing same day registration, states accepting gun permit ID’s, fishing licenses but not student ID’s from local universities and students who can’t fly home to cast ballots there. Rural citizens having to go several miles from home to register to vote in offices only open once or twice a month, closing polling places altogether, remaining places having to be told why polls must be kept open past 5:00 PM (people need the opportunity to vote after work) explain long lines seen in 2012, people in line well past closing just to cast their ballot, an elderly disabled woman in line 3 hours to vote. Voter ID laws that aren’t based on when you register to vote, provide proof of residence, usually a utility bill, local pay stub, your picture will be taken, you sign it, similar to a driver license, and that photo and signature are compared to your face, you signature when you sign in at your polling place; rather voter ID laws meant to ‘authenticate whose reporting to vote, prevent duplicate voting, felons, criminals, illegal persons from using some else’s name to vote’ end up disenfranchising older persons past driving age (most common form of ID) and many who are legitimately not be able to locate documents such as a birth certificate to obtain state ID’s, homeless people residing in city, county, state X but who can’t afford a state ID, can’t pay to receive a copy of their birth certificate from say another state, afford expensive transportation to appear in person as is routinely required. People exemplified by the 107 year old woman dancing in the Whitehouse with president and Mrs. Obama, ID lost in a purse snatching years before, told she had to have a birth certificate in D.C. to get an I.D., told she needed a photo ID in her home state North Carolina to receive a replacement ID; if she ever had a birth certificate, noting her considerable age, record halls likely don’t have it anymore, documents easily damaged by fire, flood, earthquake, tornado, lost in building relocations. A centenarian given special dispensation by her city’s mayor and other officials, but what about everyone else; Jim Crow era southerners born outside a hospital who never had a birth certificate, lived somewhere with public transit systems mitigating state ID necessity, working menial labor, who are American citizens, who do reside in area X and have every right to vote, just can’t prove it to the new ‘standards’ blatantly designed to exclude individuals like them. Fights still going on as voters registered and headed to the polls during this current primary season, speculation borne out though court case documents uncovering North Carolina deliberately collected data on how minority populations cast their ballots systematically deleting those means, placing other roadblocks where that wasn’t possible, governor asking election boards to drastically shrink voting hours and cancel Sunday voting generating identical effects to voter ID laws. Governor being Pat McCrory, who gained national attention over the summer for forcing a bathroom bill on citizens there, mandating they use locker rooms and toilets, fitting rooms corresponding with gender assignments on birth certificates, not gender identity to avoid neighboring municipalities adding sexual orientation, gender identity to anti-discrimination statutes. Supreme Court siding with voters putting a permanent kibosh on voter ID as it pertains to this election, upholding an appeals court ruling and refusing to hear a challenge before Election Day. “He’d spent $200, visited two states, and made seven trips to different public institutions, but still couldn’t vote in Wisconsin;” here describes Eddie Lee Holloway Jr. who move to the badger state in 2008 voting without incident until their 2011 restrictive laws went into effect. Yet because of a clerical error on his original birth certificate even with his previous states’ expired license and social security card Milwaukee’s DMV would not issue him the ID; attempting to fix the error required a nearly $200 bus ticket, $400 to 600 he couldn’t afford to verify and reprint his birth certificate, and numerous phone calls, social security statements people couldn’t fax to the appropriate office, rendering him unable to vote in the April primary. Welcome to document hell after a federal appeals court kept the photo ID portion of Wisconsin’s restrictive voting law also demanding they simplify the process to getting said photo ID; obviously it didn’t work. One of the things illuminated by president Obama’s birth certificate drama was discontinuity regarding documents, variations in what state by state, county by county papers contain, i.e. long and short form of a birth certificate; remember ‘a certificate of live birth is not a birth certificate,’ even though that’s apparently what they call it in Hawaii? Similar things happening pertaining to Arizona’s primary related to closed primary processes and people ‘registered in the wrong party to vote that day;’ DOJ (department of justice) officials caught Texas in noncompliance with court orders calling the law illegal in voter education and poll worker training manuals, engaging in word play to differentiate from people who ‘cannot find ID’ and the actual wording of their ruling ‘reasonably obtain ID,’ all to stop more people from voting. 9 states Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Hawaii, Mississippi, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Utah and Washington can’t get basic mail in voter registration correct sans violating federal law; spurring senators from New York and Vermont to contact the Election Assistance Commission, astutely noting standard 30 days preceding the election mailing deadline fell on a Sunday followed by Columbus day, no adjustments for the odd calendar coincidence made in listed states shortening voter registration 3 whole days. While Ohio’s election chief purged thousands of voters from their rolls because they hadn’t voted in recent elections initiating a lawsuit from Ohio’s chapter of the ACLU coordinating with a national public advocacy group, also what happened in at least one New York voting precinct; both they and Arizona’s situation prompting court hearings and an overwhelming feeling from voters Bernie Sanders was robbed of the democratic nomination. And a Florida federal judge is asking why several thousand voter registration applications haven’t been processed; here’s a hint, he’s not because something’s fishy with registration materials on the applicant end. Indiana seems to have voter suppression in its back yard as Mike Pence got national credit for refuting Donald Trump’s rigged election claims, but once again the rigging going on is against the American people in that police raided an Indiana voter advocacy group trying to mobilize the African American vote, numbers in that demographic going back to 2014 were the lowest nationwide. Their evidence weak at best; between 10 and 19 cases out of nearly 50,000 registration forms contained possibly fraudulent information easily attributed to human error, typos, sloppy handwriting. Accusations governor Pence may be using state police to intimidate voters seem to have merit, when they are preventing staff from contacting the organizations lawyer, seizing person cellphones totally unrelated to their investigation; plus serving a search warrant, acting in accordance with the law yet prohibiting videotaping as they do it. Cumulative effect trickling down to the public, ordinary people volunteering to be poll workers, who blatantly partisan, believe one way or the other; poll workers like the one discovered in Wisconsin unabashedly admitting she didn’t want to open up her campus early voting site because more democrats would vote. Making a case for those convicted felons referenced in the introduction having the right to vote restored is how many of the same tactics used to prevent voting, the same biases fueling voter suppression are running rampant throughout the criminal justice system as well. Largely what Virginia likely went on when it earnestly tried to restore voting rights to former felons, coupled with sentiments embodied in this quote, “they send their children and grandchildren to our schools. They shop at our grocery stores, and they pay taxes. And I am not continent to condemn them for eternity as inferior second-class citizens.” Governor Terry McAuliffe, who eventually individually, hand signed as many as he could before the close of voter registration. Incarcerated persons by the thousands merely awaiting trial, guilt or innocence remaining undecided can usually vote but don’t know it, don’t have access to absentee ballots or rudimentary items such as writing utensils. Serving prisoners or convicted felons largely comprised of African Americans, persons of color roughly 13% of the population yet almost half of criminally convicted; meaning 1-5 backs in some restrictive states cannot vote. Yet voter fraud is something miscreant citizens are trying to perpetuate on candidates and the law abiding portions of America.
We’ve now added to gerrymandering and voter suppression, in previously seen senses, voter intimidation under the guise of preserving the integrity of our election; hardly surprising when Trump rallies have been marked by fisticuff altercations, calls to beat people in the face, haul those with loud opposing viewpoints out on a stretcher and when 2 white, drunk brothers decided to beat up and urinate on a homeless Latino person, and our GOP candidate for president’s response was my people are passionate. Fast-forwarding to right now, Trump supporters and probable Trump voters, Daniel Parks and friend, are standing outside democratic offices holding fire arms saying they are protecting the election, but clearly making staff, visitors uncomfortable. One Trump supporter, Dan Bowman, vowing to ‘be a patriot’ if Hillary Clinton gets in, ‘doing what he has to do if she is elected,’ thinly veiled allusion to planning her assassination; an outgrowth of his repeated second amendment people rhetoric attacking the legitimacy of the presidency in a whole new way, a sinisterly perfect follow up to his pre-candidacy years dogging president Obama’s birth certificate. Bowman speaking at length, calling for revolution if Hillary Clinton is elected, stating he hoped they could start a coup, she should be in prison or shot “that’s how I feel about it,” elaborating ‘they’ would take ‘them’ out of office, pronouncing there would be a lot of bloodshed. A female voter cornered vice presidential nominee Mike Pence spouting mirroring phrases, which he hedged you don’t want to be saying that—beg to differ she absolutely did and would be soundly confused when next brought up on charges for a crime—and, did what he does best, pivot to voting touting a revolution on November 8th, e.g. when he and his running mate are elected to office. Prime examples of implicit white privilege, each is seen either as a misguided citizen or a good American exercising their rights and defending their belief; where, were they anything but white, had anyone else virtually threatened the life of a political candidate, factions would be screaming terrorist, treason, intimidation and voter interference. Rare exception black Trump-enthusiastic sheriff David A. Clarke telling rally goers in Wisconsin it was “pitchforks and torches time in America,” whatever that means; remembering Mr. Clarke is the same sheriff who let a man die in jail of thirst previously shutting off his cell’s water testifying he, developmentally disabled and/or mentally ill, tried to flood it. Subsequently refusing him drinking water for 6 days listening to him desperately beg for it and fellow inmates try to appeal to his nonexistent conscience, saying if anything happened to the man it would be his fault. Mentalities identical to Paul LePage who told a radio show we needed Donald Trump to exercise more authoritarian power, to restore the rule of law, because we are slipping into anarchy thanks to autocrat president Obama; both entities responsible for governing, law enforcement who don’t understand parts of the constitution, ultimate law in America, their jobs entail them upholding. New Mexico republicans rather than having faith in their ideas, policy platforms, polished delivery to voters and how it will better their lives resorted to mailers ‘warning’ Albuquerque residents people would be made aware of their voting choices; threats encapsulated in ominous phrases you’d think were movie mafia grade if violence hadn’t been a central theme dominating 2016 election politics: “your neighbors will know if you vote democrat or “your neighbors will know if democrats win.” Sidestepping so will the whole world when the winner is announced, what they expected collective ‘neighbors’ to do defies imagination, if they predict A-they will collectively vote republican and collectively join a mob of baseball wielding working class thugs, housewives, senior citizens, singletons driven to mad rage enough to attack people voting democrat, or gasp, 3rd party; highly improbable and impractical even in 2016 ever evolving, seemingly worsening bizarre-o world, unable to change election outcomes no matter what they do or don’t do. Nor is their dream scenario remotely possible forget plausible, secret balloting, a staple of American democracy, ensures how you voted is not part of the public record only your participation. Quite the opposite of sane, orderly democracy, analysts and commentators after the 3rd debate called it the peaceful transfer of power responding to Trump’s refusal to direly answer if he would accept election results continuing his ‘it’s rigged’ mantra until and surpassing debate night; Trump and his surrogates, think Newt Gingrich, openly call for citizens to self-monitor polling places, including Trump’s order to Pennsylvanians to deputize themselves as poll watchers. Consequence, average citizens such as Steve Webb practically giddy describing how he plans to defend his polling place election day, methods: admitted racial profiling, creeping up behind “Mexicans, Syrians, people who can’t speak American,” swearing to do things legally, not do anything illegal, but “I’m going to make them a little bit nervous.” Guess no one told him voter intimidation, interfering with an election is illegal. Condemnation immediately heaped upon the DNC for the North Carolina republican offices being firebombed despite Hillary Clinton rapidly condemning the act and democrats starting social media funding pages to pay for damages, no indication democrats had anything to do with the bombing forget a coordinated effort to intimidate republican voters. Long prior to that shocking incident GOP sympathizers, surrogates and the candidate himself routinely pushing false equivalency between violence at, say the democratic national convention, more disorder and yelling than anything else, calmed almost completely at the conclusion of the democratic national convention, and recurring violence at Trump rallies, promised violence if…opposing candidates get elected, violence carried out by Trump inspired individuals; mirroring the Latino assaulting brothers the guy who stabbed an interracial couple simultaneously praising Trump, a white supremacist who deliberately ran over an African American teen using his jeep. Persons keying cars, cutting truck cables to democrats allegedly sent in to stir up brawls at Trump events, a DNC campaign bus driver dumping sewage are equivalent and expediently overshadowed, added to greater feelings boiled down to unsafe owing to sheer frequency. But not to the point of serious bodily harm, threats a-la the bombs people want to send to the newly opened civil rights museum when they denied Donald Trump a photo-op. Done so upon encountering rude and disrespectful campaign staff who thought they could bully museum personnel on behalf of a candidate, who didn’t want a tour, just a photo as he breezed through town on a campaign stop then audaciously demanded it be close significant portions of the day during his desired photo-op. Chronicling no one got hurt during the North Carolina firebombing, property only damaged. You shouldn’t receive death threats being a credible newspaper, publication deciding on a candidate to endorse representing any given election cycle, especially weighing the significance of general elections wherein is chosen a president, the next leader of America, determining our direction for 4 years. Nevertheless that’s the perceived comeuppance doled out to the Arizona Republic for endorsing Hillary Clinton, first democrat in it close to 2 centuries. Is it any wonder people, 51% surveyed, are justifiably concerned about election day violence, what happens, what could happen when we awake on November 9th, inauguration day too far out to contemplate, but not without the same nagging fear. Who wants to go out and vote in this climate, facing potential harassment, cautious of bar room brawl level violence, verbal abuse as people rudely and aggressively try to guess who you voted for based on your perceived race, ethnicity, gender or divined speculation on sexual orientation? When we have social media memes reading # repeal the 19th, 19th being the 19th amendment granting women the right to vote spawned on the heels of ginned up electoral math forecasting a Trump win should only men have the right to vote; juxtaposed against women who were literally born before the 19th amendment describing what it’s like to be voting and voting to elect our first woman president. Sure repeal the 19th is about as serious as the Texas secessionist group claiming a whopping 22 counties there voted to approve measures to secede from the union, remove themselves from the United States, a popular exercise once president Obama came into office; petitions circulating internet wide declaring their withdrawal garnering a few thousand signatures, disregarding secession was rendered illegal through supreme court case circa 1869, so the only way you’re going anywhere folks is passport in hand. Unfortunately # repeal the 19th reinforces undercurrents women still aren’t full, equal citizens 90 odd years after they were given the right to make decisions about the nation they too live in. All this happening as DOJ has less official election observers, those specifically trained to spot real, bona fide election irregularities, fallout related to the Supreme Court’s voting rights act decision ripping up huge swaths of it deeming them no longer necessary. Certainly influencing voter turnout, possibly voter decision making, even on a subliminal level, are things beyond voter apathy labeled the enthusiasm gap, non-voters who habitually stay home on election day, voters this round who detest both candidates close to winning, paramount has to be unprecedented declarations of what fellow lawmakers plan to do should Hillary Clinton win the Whitehouse. If you aren’t gravely concerned about violence to your person election day, violence to your candidate days directly proceeding election night, then assuming you want governance, an end hopefully endless gridlock, laws to get passed things to get accomplished, you are logically less likely to vote Clinton when her opponent is standing on a debate stage threatening her with jail if he is sworn into office himself, republicans have said their will be lengthy investigations and a conservative watchdog group thinks it has the powers of impeachment all awaiting her in the oval office. And Ted Cruz has suggested leaving Antonin Scalia’s Supreme Court seat vacant during her presidential tenure, if that is indeed what comes to pass. On the GOP side Donald Trump is touting endorsements he never received, so if I’m a low information voter too busy working, raising my children, taking care of my family and I hear him list enforcements from police departments, military, immigration and customs enforcement (ICE) that’s not going to direct my vote; Problem 1- it didn’t happen and 2- laws prevent federal agencies from endorsing any candidate, military guidelines further restricting active military persons from doing the same, hardly stopping Trump from talking. But none of these things are wrong, swaying votes toward candidate X.
Running wholly counter to Donald Trump’s repeated shouts the system is corrupt, rigged, he is the victim of ‘one of the great political smear campaigns in the history of our country,’ pertaining to numerous women who’ve come forward to accuse him of sexual assault, actual voter fraud amounts to about only 31 credible instances of voter fraud out of 1 billion ballots cast over 14 years; period 2000-2014, study conducted by a law professor. And Salon contributor Bob Cesca writing on the Arizona debacle caused by limited polling places, voter ID laws and party affiliation mix ups highlighted—“between 2002 and 2005, the rate of voter fraud was 0.00000013 percent. This according to a five-year probe by George W. Bush’s Justice Department. Put another way, around 26 people out of 197 million were convicted attempting to vote illegally during all of those elections.” On the other side are the nearly 10% of disenfranchised voters in every state, every general election hampered, prevented from voting thanks to voter ID laws; held up against a presidential candidate who’s ‘sounding the alarm’ about voter fraud and mangling his citations while doing it. Pews study centered around technological deficits, not fraud at all, remember that whole hanging chads thing; millions of registrations invalid or inaccurate, people registered in multiple states, the product of moves backlogs in updating registration rolls, time lag between moving and a person remembering to update voting information, dido with wrong addresses. Finally, yes there are millions of deceased persons on the rolls, but you’d actually have to steal their identity, their name to vote, facts not in evidence; versus social security, who sends out millions yearly to properly-reported deceased persons, monies not stolen by grifting neighbors, relatives, because of backlogs. The Washington Post article was at lease on issue and slightly damaging to ‘voter fraud is nothing’ proponents, though it’s worth pointing out that’s not the crux of arguments decrying Trumps rigged election hysteria rather its insignificants to validly cast ballots legitimately deciding elections. “[I]t extrapolated that roughly 6.4 percent of non-citizens voted in 2008 and 2.2 percent did so in 2010. ‘Because non-citizens tended to favor Democrats (Obama won more than 80 percent of the votes of non-citizens in the 2008 CCES sample), we find that this participation was large enough to plausibly account for Democratic victories in a few close elections,’ the article said. Because presidential elections occur on a much larger scale than local races, though, it’s extremely unlikely that non-citizen voting could have an impact on their outcomes.” Mathematics that don’t justify nearly double and up to 5 times as many disenfranchised voters through ID laws and other artificial barriers, stereotypes about criminals and those serving bogus, excessively punitive jail sentences on a wide range of offenses. Notice he offers no solutions readily spelled out in Pew’s work cross checking voter registration lists, better techniques for spotting out of date records and allowing citizens to register online. Moreover, interestingly shrugged off, dismissed, downplayed by Trump growing potential threats to our democratic system via hacking, manipulations by foreign powers into our election choices, serious fears Russia may be hacking ballot terminals, is confirmed suspected of distributing documents to WikiLeaks including the Podesta e-mails, causing so much trouble for the Clinton campaign, breaching the DNC, the New York Times and other media outlets. Instead he was concurrently begging Russia to find Hillary Clinton’s 30,000 e-mails alluding to big rewards from U.S. press and using dubiously uncovered ‘documents’ for propel his campaign forward. Lavishing praise on Vladimir Putin, alternating between, we don’t know if there is any hacking and, assuming there is, we don’t know it’s the Russians, it could be a 400lb person sitting on their bed; said despite a double digit number of U.S. intelligence agencies saying concretely yes there is hacking and unanimously naming the Russians, said despite national intelligence briefings where we know he’s being to it is the Russians. Meanwhile substantiated hacks have been successful in cracking voter registration systems circa Illinois and the secretary of states’ office circa Arizona; prime suspect, you don’t need a crystal ball for this one, you guessed it the Russians. Further bolstering the case against Russia as the culprit, a top Russian general saying he suggested the strategy to Putin himself: goal sow confusion, “turn a thriving state into a victim of foreign intervention causing it to sink into a web of chaos;” mere hints enough to stir questions, trigger a recount election officials caution. Next methods in the hacking of Clinton campaign Chairman John Podesta tied Russian hacking group Fancy Bear, their version of our Anonymous, through an effort known as spear fishing after he clicked on a fake google log in page planted in an e-mail, also targeting investigative website Bellingcat—including Russian affiliate journalists combating government deception now receiving death threats and having his personal information posted to the internet—who linked the downing of Malaysian flight 17 crashing into pieces over Ukraine in 2014 to the soviet country. Instances making people lose faith in the electoral process aided and abetted by Donald Trump and the Trump end seems to be working; only 6 in 10 Americans display any faith in election procedures, that their votes will be counted, it was ¾ 10 years ago, and among republican voters 73% believe the election could be stolen from them parroting the Salon piece below. Predictably up, general population perceptions of voter fraud; 46% believing it very or fairly common skyrocketing to 69% among Trump supporters. Adding to a climate of should be unease, hacks doled out to some of the most known entities in cyberspace shutting down Netflix, Twitter; a Russian traced hack on LinkedIn lead to an on camera arrest of a Russian citizen. Oh and let’s not forget Russia wanted to monitor/observe our elections and was promptly told no way, whatever’s Russian for get lost and don’t come back. Julian Assange feared American involvement/retaliation, attempts at intimidation for massive WikiLeaks dumps when his internet suddenly went dark, but that was just Ecuador fed up with him using them to undermine the integrity of American elections, (recalling unlike Bradly/Chelsea Manning and Edward Snowden, isn’t an American citizen) disconnecting him out of respect for the U.S. electoral process; telling a foreign South American country has more respect for it than her own citizens. Lost in the clamor about what Mr. Podesta’s emails reveal regarding Clinton campaign tactics, inner workings, her speeches to Wall Street, Clinton Foundation intermingling with the state department, jobs given to former president Bill Clinton stemming from a supposed to be charity doing good work, and long held speculations on ‘crooked, criminal’ Hillary who belongs in jail are incidents of real criminal behavior presenting a real, not manufactured, threat to national security. Another Edward Snowden-esque situation where an NSA contractor walked out of his workplace with classified materials for NSA hacking code to be found on the ‘dark web’ a corner of the internet frequented by criminals; originally though weird-o not whistle blower now facing coming espionage charges. Retired general James Cartwright, who pleaded guilty to giving classified information to the media, 2 journalists at the New York Times and News Week respectively, then lied to investigating FBI agents about it; he says he was just trying to talk them out of publishing top secret information they already had, going to jail regardless. Paramount versus Hillary Clinton who testimony shows was given implied permission for what she did, didn’t have the training automatically assumed, and though was surely careless, didn’t traffic classified things to people unauthorized to have them, thus failing to meet the legal threshold for prosecution. Returning to election integrity, still voter fraud happening this way, hacking, is something to be mindful of and watchful for but not crippling to our democracy, voting processes by state are decentralized for exactly such purposes, even electronic machines are deliberately kept disconnected from the internet and a majority of states have paper records, paper trails to verify voting results if questioned. Prefect example, Colorado’s system of largely mail in ballots, varied voting machines, independent and bipartisan officials and old school, throwback canvas boards against which to reconcile all votes; Trump on the other hand claims it’s rigged because of the mail-in aspect. Election officials put on notice months beforehand hacking was a possibility; scariest example involving a $15 piece of equipment and technical knowledge of the voter card requires too a complicit voter, something you just don’t find, volatile 2016 or no, proving true the Salon title expressing his talk of rigged elections will just sere to render 2016 the most well vetted election in American history. And in a delicious twist of laughable irony the only marked case of voter fraud was a female Trump supporter who voted at 2 different voting locations in her state days apart, expediently discovered, arrested and her vote likely invalidated. Citing rigged election rhetoric when arrested and wanting to be sure her vote counted; see Mr. Trump here is why political operatives, analysts, secretaries of state exc. called it irresponsible, you cost yourself at least one vote, who knows how many more, with your own words, your own advice to citizens looking to you for leadership. Matter of fact, Donald Trump was barred from voting in 2004 because voting safeguards worked too well and Don Jr. changed his address. Human error biggest problem seen across early voting 2016, voters’ difficulty in understanding, navigating touch screens and voting cards. Maybe if we focused less on politically sensationalized scandals, topics and ‘voter fraud’ our democracy wouldn’t be ranked worst out of 2 dozen westernized countries and all eligible people could vote sans dooms day barcodes on their foreheads.
Instead we’re focusing on the contents of WikiLeaks released e-mails no standard news agency can verify, taking them as gospel playing right into a Russian propaganda campaign that starts giving credible facts and slowly slips in fictitious material towards their agenda. Following in the footsteps of DNC releases, there is no proof people requesting questionable things actually got them; there is no solid proof of collusion between the corporate media, the DNC and Clinton super PACs to elect her over Bernie Sanders. There was no comingling of her state department and The Clinton Foundation; there is no substantial evidence of a quid-pro-quo between the state department and the FBI to alter classification of an e-mail to favor Clinton through her FBI investigation and in return mare agents would be sent to countries that don’t currently have them. Tangible reality missed when shouting this juicy tidbit from the rooftops, A-the FBI approached the state department, not Patrick Kennedy deputy secretary of state coming to them and offering ‘a deal,’ B- they were 2 separate conversations and C-most importantly, whatever e-mail in question retain its original classification. Typical of these releases and good portions of the Clinton Benghazi/email, calling it what it is, witch hunt, our FBI truth teller is a no named source; news highlighting Hillary Clinton wasn’t part of said purported discussions or seemly aware, supposed to be aware of said discussions. Translation, if there is ‘corruption at the highest level,’ to quote Donald Trump, hammering Hillary Clinton about it won’t solve the problem, bring the perpetrators to justice. ‘Did The Clintons Bribe The FBI To Drop Hillary’s Email Case?’ that’s the title of a YouTube video news segment that should have everyone reading and watching asking are you kidding me; when what they describe is a fellow political friend of Hillary Clinton giving money to a down ballot democrat whose spouse happens to work for the FBI overseeing her e-mail investigation, before you start shouting bribery and shady dealings contemplate what’s absent from their story, a timeline on when money was given against when the investigation started, took place and was closed. Secondly again we’re back to what does this really have to do with Hillary Clinton, if it points fingers at anyone it points fingers at Terry McAuliffe whose campaign organization gave the money, of course this is the same Terry McAuliffe who when he signed an executive order restoring voting rights to felons in his state, republicans said he was doing so trying to pad the ballot box for Hillary Clinton. Assuming they are correct and McAuliffe is ‘a deep Clinton insider’ and tried to do her a favor, to the tune of optics that look really bad, did she know what he was doing, no proof she did; also no proof this spouse knew who was involved in money for their wife’s campaign all but eliminating intricate webs culminating in a conflict of interest. And if we are against holding Hilary’s spouse over her head, Huma Abedin’s spouse over her head, then why are we holding this woman’s spouse over hers because she ran for senate, he works for the FBI and she received democratic money funding her campaign, not from Hillary Clinton but a governor? Whether we like it or not, admit it or not political campaigns like medical research and scientific breakthroughs run on, and require, money; there are things in both the medical and scientific world’s, cures for disease, things that could, can and hopefully someday will better our lives, reverse global damage that aren’t happening for want of dollars. Lastly if this person did know about the money changing hands, thought for a moment it was at Hillary Clinton’s behest, was an attempted bribe, why didn’t they say anything, why didn’t they, at minimum, recuse themselves, wasn’t the onus on them to do so, no one else? Just like if the primary town hall questions were supposed to be concealed, held until debate night, only practiced by the moderators as not to bumble the question, make fools of themselves, make it harder for candidates to respond, why were they given to the media ahead of time, even persons such as Donna Brazile doing analyst work on behalf of CNN? And if she didn’t get it from a standard media release where did she get it, that’s the right question, opposed to the wrong question/fight haggling over what she did with it once she got it. Pot calling the kettle black, Donald Trump pulled out of an interview when he couldn’t get his questions in advance after trashing Hillary up one side and down the other for maybe using something handed to her. Continuing what exactly does that have to do with Hillary Clinton doing something ‘wrong’ it ‘implicates’ Donna Brazile if it implicates anyone. Bernie bros need to face their own truth, Bernie Sanders didn’t lose the primary because of one debate question on the death penalty where he probably had a more palatable answer to restorative justice minded people, neither did Bernie Sanders lose because of things revealed in DNC hack; Bernie Sanders lost, and I’ve covered this previously, because he didn’t have the voter support relationship network to mount a campaign and win. Similarly was it stupid to call categories of potential vice presidential running mates ‘food groups’ yes, but Bernie Sanders ‘all alone’ at the bottom doesn’t necessarily imply what even the news assumed it meant—he was last to be considered for VP; taking a closer look at how the document is organized there are women, African Americans, Latinos, military leaders, business giants, meaning he was alone in a singular category because he wasn’t any of the other groups. It can also be read Bernie was that special, different, exceptional; recognizing VP’s are usually strategically chosen to win a key voting block/swing state for the ticket, recognizing news media, people looking for conspiracies, scandals, titillating stories would have made something of it if he had been placed at the top of the page, wherever he was placed on the page. We now ‘know’ (based on unverified documents) it was hard to get Hillary Clinton to come around to apologize about her private e-mail and server, intermittent, non-readers of my work and most of America assume why is her trying to get away with it, angry over getting caught, not that she isn’t the one who should be apologizing rather titled entities at the state department whose behaviors gave her implicit permission for what she did or Colin Powel for his advice e-mail; also explaining why she was rocked so far back on her heels, because she has no idea what she did wrong, less because she’s inherently stupid, incompetent, ‘brain damaged’ and more because the state department, when she served as secretary of state, was that disorganized, chaotic and antiquated. Things flying right over the head of Kyle Kulinski of The Young Turks radio show Secular Talk along with the purveyors of the repeated argument from military service members, Mr. Kulinski’s examples of people having gone to jail for much less than Hillary Clinton did, had they done what she did, a fraction of it they would spend decades behind bars. Except Hillary Clinton was never in the military, where rules are much stricter and much clearer than aforementioned state department mess, code of military justice much harsher in certain aspects than the civilian penal code, even when you are holding a high government position, i.e. secretary of state. His chafing at the unfairness of the military man who took cellphone pictures of something he shouldn’t have, Bradly/Chelsea Manning, Edward Snowden and their fates, disregarding of pure intents, next to Clinton’s doesn’t change legal statutes, precedents charges laid against her factor in issues like intent; ABC News’ Dan Abrams calling it a longshot she would be charged. Curiously he, Kulinski is not calling for a change in the law, rather alleging bribery, skewed perceptions kept her out of jail. Another huge chunk of Clinton criticism is wrapped up in Clinton foundation ‘pay for play’ speculations, supposed blurring lines between the state department and the foundation, the foundation influenced things globally for Bill Clinton’s own monetary gain highlighted in e-mails between former president Clinton and longtime aide Doug Band defending to his boss urging foundation donors to give him paid speech work after daughter Chelsea confronted Band about hustling donors to generate business for Band’s new consulting firm. He, not Clinton, called his actions jokingly Clinton Inc., he, not Clinton, responsible for all solicitations of paid work, not that it’s unusual for people to parlay charitable work, volunteering into a job, happens every day throughout lower levels of the employment spectrum. Answering shouts of inside baseball, dirty politics and downright nastiness comments on Catholics, Latinos, calling someone a dickhead, floated poll questions to voters about Obama’s heritage and his speculated cocaine use during her 2008 run were done by an independent group whose aim was to vet public opinion, public attitudes about issues bound to come up, bound to be asked about him, attacks from the other side, explore problems, potential pitfalls for each candidate assessing electability. Even The Young Turks, who has reported on WikiLeaks releases religiously talking about how bad this looks for her, how indicative of corrupt Washington politics, secret, backroom crap we’ve always suspected it is, drawing conclusions and explaining ‘what people meant to say,’ finally admitted— in the midst of talking about a possibly leaked article on Clinton the campaign was given ahead of time, was written with campaign approval, undermining the journalistic integrity of standard media, not to mention the article itself— we don’t know what ultimately happened with the article, because one of the problems is we’re only getting bits and pieces, these e-mails are incomplete. Un-skewing things al-a the Jennifer Palmieri insults Catholics conversation is to comb through the details, cataloging her responses were directly in connection with Rupert Murdoch’s conversion to Catholicism and her skepticism surrounding him finding faith; comments about backwards views and bastardization of the faith came from who she was speaking with, Mark Halperin TV political analyst. Or that in Hillary Clinton’s vilified Wall Street speeches expressing opinions on regulation she had a quite reasonable, sane position; both too little and too much were bad. We don’t know which silly, absurd, outrageous, inappropriate things were vetoed by the candidate, fellow campaign staffers, left on the campaign planning room floor; reiterating some of the more cringe worthy things were from outside sources making suggestions. Then there’s the blatantly silly title summing up nicely Hillary Clinton’s WikiLeaks e-mail-gate, John Podesta hack-gate ‘Better than Podesta’s creamy risotto recipe! WikiLeaks dumps an email about Nicki Minaj’s butt;’ WikiLeaks is releasing cooking recipes and comments on Nikki Minaj’s behind, don’t leave out thoughts on Cecil the lion, and we’re supposed to take them seriously? Never mind commenter broached questions of privacy concerns, privacy invasions and ethical handling of illegally gotten material, reporting on what’s relevant publically and what’s supposed to be private, assumed private, between sender and recipient when written; snice we already know this slow drip is an attempt at death by a thousand cuts for a political campaign salaciously marred by ‘scandals’ that turned out to be nothing sustentative.
Now the FBI is reopening their investigation into Clinton’s e-mails and private server based on new e-mails uncovered in the unrelated investigation into disgraced congressman Anthony Weiner, who shared a laptop with wife Huma Abedin close Clinton aide. Excited, republicans, Clinton haters are simultaneously salivating and cheering justice, their version can be served; justice for the American people drastically less important. When both sides, from libertarian Bill Weld to Karl Rove, republicans Chuck Grassley, Joe Walsh, Jim Jordan, John Cornyn, John Weaver, and a legion of democrats, Eric Holder, Harry Reid naming just two, down to Fox news host Jeanine Pirro are angry and clamoring for more information, saying they made a grievous error in judgement. When FBI director James Comey defied FBI and DOJ (department of justice) protocols with his ominous letter to congressional members Friday, defied his own boss, Loretta Lynch or no. Why, firstly they don’t usually comment on commencement of investigations, ongoing investigations or conclusions of investigations; immoveable guidelines prevent FBI personnel from disclosing derogatory information unless charges are filed; once charges are filed, only negative information directly listed and relevant to the charges is mentioned otherwise they don’t talk about it. Why, the FBI is given incredible access and power to look through our personal papers, find out intimate details about our lives, financial status exc., therefore the FBI should be a safe place to put classified, confidential information, leaks shouldn’t be happening and that expands to Paul Manafort and preliminary inquiries into him and Trump campaign person Carter Page both with suspected of Kremlin connections; they don’t belong tried in the court of public opinion, they belong tired in the designated court of law. ‘You don’t get to be a smearer at large with derogatory information,’ why the rule exists; former prosecutors, the attorney general and Whitehouse ethics lawyer under George W. Bush collectively gasping at violations of their most basic rules, telling news outlets Comey had zero obligation to congress precisely to keep politics out of it, not to go down the rabbit hole of what congress thinks appropriate. Ratcheting up stakes even higher credible interpretations he violated The Hatch Act preventing government employees from doing anything to help or hurt partisan political entities in a partisan election; most glaringly we are 7 days out from the election, as this goes to press, 11 when the story broke, FBI, DOJ normally refraining from making public investigations 30 days, preferably 60 days, before an election due to easily seen influencing opportunities. Millions already having cast ballots in early voting permitted states, millions more doing so daily as the election draws closer; a majority telling news media Hillary’s latest e-mail saga chapter didn’t/won’t affect their vote, but divides are on partisan lines and not applicable to everyone; some individuals wanted more information before voting would like to know what it’s about before solidifying their final choice. And he doesn’t yet know what is or isn’t in these e-mails, if there is anything pertinent to their previous investigation, anything weighty enough to come with a hundred miles of changing the outcome a statistical improbability worthy of mathematicians all. Adding to questions of timing, turns out the FBI investigation into Clinton’s e-mail and server was never officially closed, despite what he told a congressional panel and what attorney general Lynch paraphrased in July, merely concluded, who’s playing word games now; speaking to a complete and utter double standard Comey refused to sign a declaration with others naming Russia behind reported politically motivated hack dominating the news lately hiding behind protocol saying it was too close to the election. Further deepening mystery and maleficence claims apparently FBI officials have had these e-mails, knowledge of them for a month; however, he just found out about it out about it last Thursday, obtaining a warrant on Sunday to actually legal sift through them in regards to something other than Anthony Weiner. Digging deeper into Comey we get a glimpse as to why all this political horse trading, partisan dog and pony show; he has a long history of GOP leanings and decisions still garnering an appointment from president Obama as FBI director, who lock step with the FBI director under Bill Clinton, investigated the GOP’s latest democratic target Hillary Clinton. “At the time, everyone in Washington seemed to be very pleased with the choice, seeing Comey as a “straight shooter” without a political agenda. That was largely based on his dramatic congressional testimony about the night in 2004 that he and then-FBI director Robert Mueller raced to former attorney general John Ashcroft’s sick bed to stop the White House counsel Alberto Gonzales from coercing the ailing AG into signing an illegal domestic spying order. A lot of civil libertarians understood that to signify that the heroic Comey had been arguing the constitutional point, but he wasn’t. His concerns had been over a technical problem with the program’s legal basis. They fixed a few little details and Comey signed the order that month to keep the secret domestic surveillance program going for many years. A civil liberties hero he is not. Comey is also the U.S. attorney who oversaw the prosecution and torture of José Padilla, an American citizen convicted of terrorism whose horrific treatment was described by a forensic scientist at his pretrial hearing as “essentially the destruction of a human being’s mind.” Again Comey took to the microphones to gallantly inform the public that his purpose was to “allow the American people to understand the threat he posed, and also understand that the president’s decision [to prosecute Padilla as an ‘enemy combatant’] was and continues to be essential to the protection of the American people.” If there’s a camera for Comey to preen before to proclaim his righteous purpose, he’ll find it.” Bringing us to today, clinically assessing what might be in the Weiner e-mails: duplicates of e-mails already examined by the FBI, day to day correspondence between Hillary Clinton and Huma Abedin, more likely correspondence between her and her, until recently, husband Mr. Anthony Weiner. By a slim margin they might find e-mails implicating Huma Abedin mishandled e-mails, but wasn’t that already proven in the legal scrutiny of Hillary Clinton and it didn’t rise to the level of criminal prosecution? Odds they will find anything on the Abedin/ Weiner shared computer to elevate it to criminal proceedings are less than instances of voter fraud; better to bet on being struck by lightning, suffering a shark bite, winning the lottery, but that’s not information included in the Comey letter. Yet this isn’t going to influence the most important thing going on right now, the vote, our election, effect who turns up at the polls, who stays home, cause undecideds to check something different than they planned last minute or he doesn’t care if it does, all that matters is getting his man or woman; these are the types of voter fraud we need to be aware of, watch for and fight against, not impersonation, illegal immigrants, repeat voters and assaulting mail-in ballots. It’s voter beware and has been for some time when it comes to choosing candidates, to that end we have to be smarter constituents; we have to stop voting pure ideology and vote on issues, elect people with sane, logical, fact based solutions to our problems not this election cycle’s hockey mom, everyman or jack of all trades entertainer gone politics. Neither can we conscientiously elect down home, good old boy, local yokel sorts, because people like Paul Lapage is what you get when you do coupled with added dollars incarcerating drug felons to the maximum extent of the law, probably exceeding it. In that same vein, Joe Arpaio to date cost the state of Arizona 50 million dollars and counting for his controversial immigration enforcement and failure to obey cease & desist orders, on practices finally disbanded as of September after years’ long litigation. How much do you think David A. Clarke and the city of Wisconsin will be forced to pay in civil suits to the family of the man who died in his jail of thirst judging by millions justifiably awarded in similar police, justice system brutality cases, not to leave out the criminal prosecution that should take place? Ted Cruz’s government shutdown cost 24 billion dollars to the American economy and furloughed millions of government employees, shut down national monuments, parks, famous landmarks making us all look ridiculous. And it isn’t just a matter of dollars and cents, deserving hardworking Americans not getting paid, there is a much more real, tangible cost to American lives when women can’t get abortions, not least of which because Texas classifies removal of an ectopic pregnancy, growing somewhere outside of the uterus, an abortion, due to ham-fisted, strict abortion restrictions and dies, suffers lasting medical complications. Louisiana’s baggy pants ordinance, passed to the unrestrained glee of older persons sick of oversized clothes and seeing boxer waistbands, facilitated a man’s arrest, who later died in jail after a police beating that would not have happened if he hadn’t been arrested on such a capricious charge. Cash strapped Topeka Kansas stopped prosecuting domestic violence for a time in 2011 and in 2008 there was a shortage of public defenders in Missouri for anything short of capital cases and crimes carrying years and years in jail/prison, an ongoing crisis carrying us to present day where earlier this year governor Jay Nixon was ordered to prosecute a case himself for want of not putting anymore burdens on overrun legal aid attorneys. Sound bad, want this to stop, change your vote, vote out partisan gridlock, vote out candidates that say outlandish and bizarre things; it’s the only way America gets better.