Tag Archives: Tyranny

(Update) House Tea-Publicans vote to restrict your constitutional right to make laws

Last week I posted about how Tea-Publican newbie legislator Rep. Todd Clodfelter (R-Tucson) was the decisive vote in committee to advance a package of bills from our corporate overlords in the Chamber of Commerce organizations to restrict your constitutional rights to the initiative and referendum process. House Tea-Publicans vote to restrict your constitutional right to make laws.

This week it is Rep. Vince Leach (R-Tucson) who is carrying water for our corporate overlords in the Chamber of Commerce organizations and doing the bidding of his “dark money” masters. Arizona lawmakers advance bill to limit voter initiatives:

Spurred by business interests in the wake of a voter-approved minimum-wage hike, Republican lawmakers approved legislation Thursday that could curtail the ability of citizens to create their own laws.

The most significant provision of HB 2404 would effectively eliminate the ability of groups to use paid circulators by prohibiting payment by the number of signatures gathered.

Paid circulators would still be allowed — but only if compensated on an hourly or other basis. But that removes any incentive for circulators to gather as many signatures as possible.

“It reforms the incentive for fraud and forgery,” said Rep. Vince Leach, R-Tucson, who is carrying the legislation that was largely crafted by the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

The measure approved by the House Government Committee on a party-line vote and sent to the full House also imposes a series of new procedural hurdles and gives those who oppose initiatives new rights to try to have them knocked off the ballot before voters get a chance to weigh in.

The legislation also requires strict compliance with all initiative requirements, something Sierra Club lobbyist Sandy Bahr said could result in disqualifying petitions simply because their margins are not the right size.

And it would require any initiative committee that uses paid circulators to purchase a bond of up to $50,000.

Continue reading

Tea-Publican legislators, doing the bidding of our corporate overlords, are coming for your constitutional rights

I warned you about this earlier this year. Arizona’s authoritarian Tea-Publicans are coming for your constitutional rights.

The Arizona Capitol Times (subscription required) has a lengthy report, A raft of bills would make Arizona’s initiative process more difficult:

More than a century after Arizona’s voters gave themselves a Constitution and the right to write laws, legislators still can’t quite accept the fact that they have competition.

And this year [Tea-Publican] legislators, backed by powerful business interests including the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry, are preparing to launch a sustained assault on the initiative process.

Legislators this year have proposed a rash of bills designed to make the initiative process more difficult. They’re proposing tougher signature-gathering requirements for groups seeking to change the law and restrictions on funding streams for initiative campaigns.

They’re also seeking an outright repeal of the Voter Protection Act, which prevents lawmakers from simply repealing voter-approved laws, or even changing them unless that change has bipartisan support and furthers the intent of the proposition.

Failing that, they’re hoping voters will at least go along with some reforms to the Voter Protection Act.

Continue reading

(Update) SCOTUS fight is not about qualifications, it is about an illegitimate nomination process

Following up on the previous post, SCOTUS fight is not about qualifications, it is about an illegitimate nomination process, E.J. Dionne of the Washington Post today adds, It’s time to make Republicans pay for their supreme hypocrisy:

You want bipartisanship on Supreme Court nominations? Let’s have a consensus moment around Sen. Ted Cruz’s idea that having only eight Supreme Court justices is just fine.

“There is certainly long historical precedent for a Supreme Court with fewer justices,” the Texas Republican said last year when GOP senators were refusing even to give a hearing to Judge Merrick Garland, President Barack Obama’s nominee.

* * *

If that argument was good in 2016, why isn’t it valid in 2017? After all, some Republicans were willing to keep the seat vacant indefinitely if Hillary Clinton won the presidential election. “I would much rather have eight Supreme Court justices than a justice who is liberal,” Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) said in October:

At a debate on October 10th, Senator John McCain, of Arizona, said flatly, “I would much rather have eight Supreme Court Justices than a [ninth] Justice who is liberal.” A week later, in a radio interview, he made that a “promise,” telling listeners that “we will be united against any Supreme Court nominee that Hillary Clinton, if she were President, would put up.”

Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.) went further: “If Hillary Clinton becomes president, I am going to do everything I can do to make sure four years from now, we still got an opening on the Supreme Court.”

Yes, Republicans do have a principle on nominations: When the Supreme Court’s philosophical majority might flip, only Republican presidents should be allowed to appoint justices.

Continue reading

SCOTUS fight is not about qualifications, it is about an illegitimate nomination process

In an embarrassing display of his reality TV show showmanship, President Trump announced his nomination of Appellate Court Judge Neil Gorsuch to the U.S. Supreme Court in prime time last night.

Trump invited Judge Neil Gorsuch from Denver and Judge Thomas Hardiman from Pittsburgh to Washington, but only one would receive his rose. Trump in Peak Reality-TV Form for Supreme Court Reveal; Trump brings reality TV instincts to White House; Jimmy Kimmel gawks at Trump’s reality TV Supreme Court nomination, does him one better:

“That’s right, he freaking Ryan Seacrest-ed his choice for the Supreme Court,” Kimmel said. “This is like a two-on-one date on The Bachelor.”

“Was that a surprise?” Trump asked. “Was it?” “Well, yeah, you know who it was a surprise for?” Kimmel said. “The guy who drove all the way out from Pittsburgh to not get picked as Supreme Court judge.”

Regardless of what you may think of Judge Neil Gorsuch and Judge Thomas Hardiman, they were entitled to be treated with more dignity and respect than the has-been celebrities on Trump’s reality TV show The Apprentice.

The New York Times editorializes today, Neil Gorsuch, the Nominee for a Stolen Seat:

It’s been almost a year since Senate Republicans took an empty Supreme Court seat hostage, discarding a constitutional duty that both parties have honored throughout American history and hobbling an entire branch of government for partisan gain.

President Trump had a great opportunity to repair some of that damage by nominating a moderate candidate for the vacancy, which was created when Justice Antonin Scalia died last February. Instead, he chose Neil Gorsuch, a very conservative judge from the federal Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit whose jurisprudence and writing style are often compared to those of Justice Scalia.

* * *

In normal times, Judge Gorsuch — a widely respected and, at 49, relatively young judge with a reliably conservative voting record — would be an obvious choice for a Republican president.

These are not normal times.

Continue reading

Tea-Publican tyranny: a GOP legislative coup against democracy in North Carolina

Daily Kos has the best summary of this past week’s truly disturbing events in North Carolina that somehow merited barely a mention in the GOP-friendly media here in Arizona. As the New York Times warned years ago in reference to the Watergate scandal:

JackBootedThugsIf political tyranny ever comes to America, it is likely to arrive not in the guise of some alien ideology such such as Communism or Nazism but as a uniquely American way of preserving this country’s traditional values. Instead of tyranny being the dramatic culmination radical protest and revolution, it can come silently, slowly, like fog creeping in “on little cat feet.”

Daily Kos reports, North Carolina Republicans execute legislative coup against democracy itself:

Last month, Democrat Roy Cooper unseated Republican Gov. Pat McCrory, while Democrats also gained a majority on the state Supreme Court, breaking the Republican stranglehold on North Carolina’s state government. Now, though, Republicans have used the pretext of a lame-duck special legislative session—ostensibly convened for disaster relief—to advance a slew of measures that radically curtail the authority of the governor and even the high court itself. This nakedly partisan plot is unprecedented in modern state history. Indeed, you have to go back to the 1890s to find a parallel, when reactionaries violently introduced Jim Crow after a multiracial coalition of progressives briefly won power.

Continue reading

Eddie Munster’s Monstrous Plan for America

EddieMunsterTom Toles is the Washington Post‘s cartoonist, but he also writes a column. Today’s column caught my eye: Paul Ryan: Eddie from the Munsters wants to grow up to be a real monster.

Bwahahaha! I have been using Eddie Munster for Paul Ryan for years. More on Toles’ column below, but first, a word from the professor.

The GOP’s alleged boy genius, Ayn Rand fanboy Paul Ryan, “the zombie-eyed granny starver from the state of Wisconsin, ” is an intellectual fraud and The Flimflam Man. Recently Paul Krugman reiterated:

Paul Ryan is not, repeat not, a serious, honest man of principle who has tainted his brand by supporting Donald Trump. He has been an obvious fraud all along, at least to anyone who can do budget arithmetic . . . Yet he poses as an icon of fiscal probity. That is, he is, in his own way, every bit as much a fraud as The Donald.

Continue reading