Honoring RBG's Legacy

Blue Wave News

Friday, October 2, 2020

Biden Opens the Debate Season Standing His Ground 

The Tax Story is Not Going Away

News broke last week that Donald Trump has paid only $1500 in taxes over the last 20 or so years.

The New York Times has complete details on this story, and has published a fair amount of information to date. Principle take-aways so far are that:

 - He's actually a terrible businessperson, squandering hundreds of millions in losing property acquisitions.

 - He owes a great deal of money to as yet un-published lenders.

 - Many of the deductions he has taken are questionable, from $15,000 in hair care to property-loss write-offs in the $100,000,000 range, and which are the subject of ongoing audits.

NYTimes staff are still working the analysis of this treasure trove of data, and more is expected to be learned over the coming weeks.

On Top Of Everything Else... COVID19 in the Oval Office

And news broke last night that both the 'Resident' and FLOATUS have tested positive for COVID19 after a plane ride where several staffers and the 'First Couple' were in proximity. 

This story has a lot of legs, not the least of which is the distinct possibility that the whole thing is made-up. Nevertheless it is hard to imagine a scenario where this ever looks to enhance GOP's prospects for the campaign season. For their presidential candidate to spend half of the remaining time until the election unable to hold rallies can't possibly be good. But it's certain to be a relief to the rest of America.

Expect this story to move fairly quickly. Other's may have been exposed, Pence may have to step in, and the WH's ability to quash real pandemic news may be vastly curtailed.

Voter Suppression, Felon Disenfranchisement and the Gravity of Voting Down Ballot

By Cori Wilbur

 

Currently, there remain restrictions on the right to vote, restrictions which have universally existed in our system, overtly and subvertly. 

 

“Any restrictions on [the right to vote], strike at the heart of what it means to have a representative government,” said Bardis Vakili, Senior Staff Attorney for the ACLU of San Diego. In the United States, the court system, particularly the Supreme Court under the current Chief Justice John Roberts, is not here to protect the right to vote.

 

In 2013, the Shelby County v. Holder landmark decision struck down Sections 4(b) and 5 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965–sections which required the most historically racist districts to gain pre-clearance for active voting restrictions. The 5-4 decision made on the basis that we are not as racist as we were in the 1960s. Currently, all voter suppression within Shelby County occurs in these Section 5 districts.

 

One major voting obstacle that our society faces is felon disenfranchisement. This major problem has its origins in the Jim Crow South. However, even in California, laws cling to this notion that you waive your right to vote if you go to prison. 

 

When the southern states were being readmitted into the union, they were prohibited from preventing the right to vote on the basis of race–as outlined in the 14th and 15th Amendments. So, convicting African Americans of crimes became the loophole way of limiting the right to vote. Before 1850, only 35 percent of states supported felon disenfranchisement; as of 2008, 95 percent of states have some type of law which limits the right to vote for those convicted of a crime. 

 

This pattern of suppression is not unique to the south: after the Civil War, California refused to ratify the 15th Amendment. In 1962, nearly 100 years after the end of the Civil War, California became the 34th state to ratify it.

 

About six million Americans cannot vote due to the mass incarceration problem; 4.7 million of these individuals are no longer in prison or jail. One third of these individuals are Black. One in 20 Black people in this country have been disenfranchised due to a ubiquitous and bipartisan attack on the right to vote–an attack steeped in our history of racism.

Voter Suppression, Cont'd

In this upcoming election, Californians can vote on a ballot measure with very important implications. Currently, Black people make up six percent of the state population and 26 percent of the people on parole in California. A ‘yes’ vote on Proposition 17 would amend the state constitution and restore the right to vote to approximately 50,000 Californians who are currently on parole. 

 

In a state like California, the turnout of the election seems predetermined that the state will vote blue and it is easy to question the necessity to vote at all. However, we must consider the weight of impact that our city council has on our daily lives and the politics of our city. As we are learning, judges have a lot of jurisdiction over the way our democracy works. 

“Your school board member of today is your Congress member of tomorrow,” Vakili emphasized. We must get these individuals on record early on in their careers and hold them accountable for sticking to the values they tote. 

 

In short, we must care about the way local elections transpire. Realistically, these local elections can turn on a matter of a small amount of votes. 

 

Post Office Becomes Political Tool For GOP - Nation Reacts

Postmaster General Louis DeJoy has backed away from his public campaign to create delays and chaos in the USPS - the organization he is responsible for. In a public statement, DeJoy said: "To avoid even the appearance of any impact on election mail, I am suspending initiatives until after the election is concluded."

One interpretation of the day's events is that DeJoy and Donald Trump recognize they have overplayed their hand, and are genuinely backing away from this voter suppression effort.

However, in some respects, the damage was already done. Much sorting equipment has been trashed and in many areas Letter boxes have been thinned out. This is in addition to the reduction in force and trimming of hours that has already taken place. It's also quite possible, as electoral-vote.com reports, that "the lesson was: "Don't be so damn obvious about your shenanigans." "  Due to the many state-level lawsuits and congressional inquiries, such further hijinks won't be easy. Nevertheless, Democrats are rethinking their recommendations for voting strategy, and doubling down on their  "get your ballots in early!" messaging.

Joe Took Everything that Donny Could Throw

Joe got a lot of spaghetti thrown his way during Tuesday evening's debate. Most analysts agree that for the most part it wasn't really a debate at all. On the GOP side, more than 100 lies were told, interruptions were almost constant, and the moderator had to step in far too often. 

 

Nevertheless, Biden was able to hold up a level of decorum that approached what a classic debate should look like, without letting the other guy walk all over him.

Most people agree that more could have been learned about both candidates' policies, but as far as their capacity to listen, communicate, and ultimately to govern wisely, the choice could not be clearer.

 

Keeping Up The Good Fight - Postcards-To-Voters At ENCDC

A shout out to our postcard writing team of nearly

30 volunteers writing the Be A Voter postcards to voters in AZ, IA and now Alaska. So far they have sent out over 960 postcards, with more to come! Arrangements can be made with Nancy Hardwick to either pick up cards or have them dropped off.

 

As for "New VOTE" Postcards, 

the cards are being printed and will be delivered before the end of the month. Narima Lopes has ordered

the postage. Volunteers will be needed to help prepare the volunteer packets with 25 cards in each packet, along with the stamps, names/addresses and instructions. Distribution of the packets will come in early September, with a mail date in mid-September.

 

At least 10 more volunteers could be useful. Check in with Nancy if you want to join this effort.

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