Stuff to Read

If you don’t read anything else this weekend, make it Ari Berman, “The GOP War on Voting” at Rolling Stone.

As the nation gears up for the 2012 presidential election, Republican officials have launched an unprecedented, centrally coordinated campaign to suppress the elements of the Democratic vote that elected Barack Obama in 2008. Just as Dixiecrats once used poll taxes and literacy tests to bar black Southerners from voting, a new crop of GOP governors and state legislators has passed a series of seemingly disconnected measures that could prevent millions of students, minorities, immigrants, ex-convicts and the elderly from casting ballots.

“What has happened this year is the most significant setback to voting rights in this country in a century,” says Judith Browne-Dianis, who monitors barriers to voting as co-director of the Advancement Project, a civil rights organization based in Washington, D.C. […]

All told, a dozen states have approved new obstacles to voting….Taken together, such measures could significantly dampen the Democratic turnout next year — perhaps enough to shift the outcome in favor of the GOP.

Also at Rolling Stone, Matt Taibbi, “GOP Hearts End-Time Insanity.”

Is Rick Perry a mass murderer? Alex Pareene looks at Rick Perry’s questionable executions. See also “Cameron Todd Willingham Execution: Rick Perry’s Role Deserves Scrutiny” by Jason Linkins.

13 thoughts on “Stuff to Read

  1. I’m beginning to believe in the End Times too. Not because I have any faith in Biblical prophesy, but because the Christian wingnuts are working so hard to make it all a self-fulfilling prophecy.

    Yesterday, I mentioned Sinclair Lewis’s 1935 novel, “It Can’t Happen Here” and how it’s starting to look prescient. OK, that book wasn’t about the End Times, but I can’t help feel that a President Rick Perry would find Sinclair’s fictional President Berzelius “Buzz” Windrip a perfect role model.

    In the novel, President Windrip drums up an unnecessary war with Mexico because, as all dictators know, you need a foreign enemy to whip up public support while crushing domestic dissent. Mexico might seem an unlikely target for a warmongering US president today. Remember, 1935 was before the rise of the Gulf oil states, Islamic fundamentalism and the invention of nuclear weapons. I think if Sinclair was writing that book today, he’d be a lot more pessimistic.

    So yes, some of us may yet be around to experience the End Times. But I think those Christians who are expecting to be Raptured just before TSHTF are going to be disappointed.

  2. OT – I saw something interesting today that may indicate a significant fracture in the GOP campaign. The Republican party is mailing out, presumably to independents, an invitation to ‘change their Party’s to ‘vote in the primary election’.

    The Republican party never formally declared a strategy of driving moderates out of the party. It’s my belief that was a goal as a means of eliminating moderates in office. It worked. IMO, the GOP just served notice that they want moderates BACK in the primary process. No individual candidate was endorsed, but I’m guessing that the powers-that-be are not impressed with Perry – they have annointed Romney.

    The teabaggers will see this as treason to the movement – especially if Perry gets bumped not by Romney, but by the GOP machine. This is very early and hypothetical…. but sooo interesting.

    • I’m guessing that the powers-that-be are not impressed with Perry – they have annointed Romney.

      The powers that be may not like Romney, but at least he’s one of their own kind; he’s someone they can work with. Perry lacks class and breeding and might not take orders.

  3. Good Bye to All That: Reflections of a GOP Operative Who Left the Cult:

    …But both parties are not rotten in quite the same way. The Democrats have their share of machine politicians, careerists, corporate bagmen, egomaniacs and kooks. Nothing, however, quite matches the modern GOP…

    Everyone knows that in a hostage situation, the reckless and amoral actor has the negotiating upper hand over the cautious and responsible actor because the latter is actually concerned about the life of the hostage, while the former does not care. This fact, which ought to be obvious, has nevertheless caused confusion among the professional pundit class, which is mostly still stuck in the Bob Dole era in terms of its orientation….

    It should have been evident to clear-eyed observers that the Republican Party is becoming less and less like a traditional political party in a representative democracy and becoming more like an apocalyptic cult, or one of the intensely ideological authoritarian parties of 20th century Europe. This trend has several implications, none of them pleasant.

  4. Republicans believe that you have committed ‘voter fraud’ if you voted for anyone other than a Republican.

    When do they start openly wearing their brown shirts in public?

  5. Moonbat, coincidently, I just finished reading that article before coming here. My guess would be that we have all had the same thoughts and observations. When people who are smarter and more articulate than I am have them, I start to worry.

    Does anyone have any spare anti-depressants?

    As Candide wrote, we all seem to have our version of the Endtimes, even if it is environmental or economic rather than something out of the Old Testament. Years ago, when I was trying to write comedy, I wrote a “joke” about receiving a chain letter with a suicide pact in it. It was a quirky joke that now seems uncomfortably descriptive. The fundies and the baggers (They hate political correctness after all.) seem to have omitted an “opt out”.

  6. Bonnie …Great link.. That expresses exactly how I feel about Perry and his Texas anti- abortion law…It’s cruel and humiliating, and designed to intimidate women.

  7. This is a comment on Bonnie’s link and the future post about the young man dying from an infected wisdom tooth.

    The neighboring county where my wife works is probably quite representative of an average county in NC. My wife’s service delivers about half the babies born in the county. This will shift upward as the “downturn” progresses. The poverty rate is normally about 10%, but again that is a pre-recession figure. Approximately one half of her patients on on medicaid, of which one category is for pregnant women only. Well over HALF of the services provided are either funded by medicaid or are unfunded and provided for free, the alternative being a huge rise in bad outcomes, fetal demise, miscarriage and unnecessary deaths. The fact of the matter is that even hard working people have a difficult time affording proper pre-natal care.

    I have never heard any tea bagger, fundamentalist or social conservative who opposes Great Society and New Deal programs come to grips with the consequences of not providing such services. Moreover, my wife has delivered many of our neighbor’s children. They are hardworking, but uninsured young couples who would have been bankrupted by the medical costs. Somehow, even for decent, intelligent, otherwise empathetic people, who “happen to be” conservative Christians, I have yet to hear anyone say anything like, “Thank God for medicaid, I am glad I had it and I want others to have it.”

    In their belief system, God’s Plan predates creation and is immutable. When they tap into the Public Health System it is just another way God is providing for them. Government has nothing to do with it. The same God has long ago decided that other, less holy people will get the short end of the stick, as will their fetus and of course, their children. It’s a tough break, but God works in strange…


    One problem with the painkiller versus antibiotic is of course that not everyone knows enough about medicine to make an informed decision, and our society has made few attempts to educate consumers, formerly the citizenry. Why bother teaching them to access health care when they can’t afford it anyway? If someone can’t afford medications, denial tends to come on to the scene and painkillers often mask the effects of a worsening pathology. I personally have known SEVERAL people who have died in just this way. (Mostly, due my former profession.)

    I lost a very dear friend, who was one of the brightest people I have ever known. He was a Vietnam Veteran, a Marine and quadriplegic. His injury was not service connected and he was not on medical assistance because he had elected to work and he “fell through the cracks”. As it turned out, he fell all the way through the cracks and he died because he couldn’t afford medication. I think he was just waiting for his next paycheck.

    Sorry to have gone on for so long.

  8. When people who are smarter and more articulate than I am have them, I start to worry.

    Not me!… I take it as a confirmation that I’m seeing the right picture. I only worry because ignorance has the advantage and it appears that we’re going to hell in a handbasket…

  9. moonbat,
    I just read that. WOW!
    Of course, it begs the question, “Oh, NOW you figured it out?”

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