Nov 29, 2015

Colorado Mass Murderer: "No More Baby Parts"

Another misogynistic nutcase called to the fascist cause by anti-choice propaganda massacres innocents and engages in an act of domestic terrorism.

As noted by Judd Legum at ThinkProgress:

Robert Lewis Dear allegedly killed three people and injured 9 others yesterday at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs, Colorado. In the hours after the shooting little was known about Dear or his motivations.

Saturday evening, those motivations began to come into focus. NBC News and the Washington Post reported that, after the shooting, Dear told law enforcement officials 'no more baby parts.'

The phrase clearly references a series of videos released by the Center for Medical Progress, an anti-abortion advocacy group. The videos alleged that Planned Parenthood was illegally selling body parts from fetuses for profit. These allegations were untrue and the videos relied on deceptive editing.

Still, the videos have become a rallying cry for the right, including the Republican presidential candidates. In August, Marco Rubio said, 'what’s happening at Planned Parenthood, what’s being revealed in these videos, is atrocious, it’s grotesque, it’s barbaric.' Rubio later accused Planned Parenthood of pushing women into getting abortions “so that those tissues can be harvested and sold for a profit.” He told TMZ that people should be more 'fired up' about the Planned Parenthood video.

Republican governors and other Republicans (and only Republicans) are using the demonstrably false videos to try to halt women's right to choose what to do with their bodies, and halt promising stem cell work, (Mal Contends).

Nov 27, 2015

Increasing Public Awareness of the Problems with Prosecutors

Conviction Integrity Units of varying effectiveness are springing up around the country as prosecutorial misconduct is now a common a feature of the criminal justice system.

The New York Times today has an op-ed by Brandon Buskey on criminal prosecutors and judges and an under-used federal law: Title 18, Section 242, of the federal code.

Section 242 of Title 18 makes it a crime for a person acting under color of any law to willfully deprive a person of a right or privilege protected by the Constitution or laws of the United States. [U.S. DoJ]
The political reality is prosecutors and judges protect each other as effectively as the Blue code of silence, a more insidiousness venality when wielded by the Sovereign—prosecutors and judges representing the state in all its oppressive and malevolent systemic manifestations, motivated by careerism and complacency—"base motives" such as bigotry and hate making matters worse in the words of Robert Jackson.

Nov 25, 2015

Voters Are Pot of Incoherent, Resentful Ignoramuses

A series of pieces out offer some facts of the American political culture.

The Marquette University Law School, Democratic Strategist, ProPublica and The New York Times’ Sunday Review, and Guide to Public Opinion and Electoral Behavior all confirm what is clear: America is a depoliticized state where policy and socio-political knowledge and sentiment are mostly confined to racism, social resentments, fear and a vague idea that a few special interests are looking out for themselves.

Low turn-out, midterm elections show the results.

Republican Party efforts to obstruct voting and gerrymander state and Congressional districts show why shifting demographics minimizing the electoral power of white, rural, Evangelical voters are imperative to Republican Party success, even post-Citizens United.

The large swath of voters who have given up on electoral politics need reasons (spelled out and repeated) and a dynamic candidate to drag them out to vote next November 2106.

First things first, get past the Republican gauntlet obstructing voting.

"Anybody who suppresses the vote, who intentionally tries to keep people from voting, is a political coward. They are undermining democracy," said Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont).

Republicans are political cowards, but indecency and undermining democracy are no deterrent to what Republicans do. They are after power and their base is fascistic.

These are facts you won't read in the above analyses and corporate political reporting: Republicans do not believe in Democracy.

Nov 24, 2015

White Supremacists Open Fire on Black Lives Matter# Citizens

White Supremacists Open Fire on Black Lives Matter# Citizens
Photo from Raw Story, via Lorena de la Cuesta
Updated - "Five protesters were shot late Monday night near the Black Lives Matter encampment at the Fourth Precinct police station in north Minneapolis, according to police."

Those who were shot sustained non-life-threatening injuries, said police spokesman John Elder in a statement,"(Minneapolis Star Tribune) (Southhall, NYT) (U.S. Uncut).

Black Lives Matter# have been staging peaceful vigils over the Minneapolis police killing of Jamar Clark on Nov. 15.

Fascism has come to America, and it has come with guns and white supremacists opening fire on black people in the streets of Minneapolis.

White people beating black people at political rallies, and the racial taunts of Republican Party politicians running for the presidency.

Walker, GOP's Anti-Choice Law Ruled Unconstitutional

Gov. Scott Walker and the Republican Party legislators fooled many Wisconsin citizens with their 2013 Act 37 to stop a woman's choice to an abortion, but the federal judges in the Seventh Circuit ridiculed the anti-abortion intent and effect of the law from its inception, and ruled it unconstitutional.

Yesterday, a three-judge panel upheld U.S. District Judge's William Conley's 2013 opinion concluding the GOP-imposed law is "motivated by an improper purpose, namely to restrict the availability of abortion services in Wisconsin," (Bice, Spivak, Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel).

The case is Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin et al v. Attorney General Brad Schimel (N0 15-1736). Orals were heard October 1, 2015.

Schimel is a Republican who performs political work in the legal arena for the Scott Walker administration.

Writes Judge Richard Posner for the three-judge panel (with rightwing Judge Daniel Manion dissenting):

There are those who would criminalize all abortions, thus terminating the constitutional right asserted in Roe and Casey and a multitude of other decisions. And there are those who would criminalize all abortions except ones that terminate a pregnancy caused by rape or are necessary to protect the life or (in some versions) the health of the pregnant woman. But what makes no sense is to abridge the constitutional right to an abortion on the basis of spurious contentions regarding women’s health—and the abridgment challenged in this case would actually endanger women’s health. It would do that by reducing the number of abortion doctors in Wisconsin, thereby increasing the waiting time for obtaining an abortion, and that increase would in turn compel some women to defer abortion to the second trimester of their pregnancy—which the studies we cited earlier find to be riskier than a first-trimester abortion. For abortions performed in the first trimester the rate of major complications is 0.05-0.06 percent (that is, between five one-hundredths of 1 percent and six one-hundredths of 1 percent. It is 1.3 percent for second-trimester abortions between 22 and 26 times higher. [p.23]

Notes Posner on Republican end-around and disingenuous legislative initiatives to halt the Constitutionally protected women's' choice to choose to have an abortion:

A great many Americans, including a number of judges, legislators, governors, and civil servants, are passionately opposed to abortion—as they are entitled to be. But persons who have a sophisticated understanding of the law and of the Supreme Court know that convincing the Court to overrule Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania v. Casey is a steep uphill fight, and so some of them proceed indirectly, seeking to discourage abortions by making it more difficult for women to obtain them. They may do this in the name of protecting the health of women who have abortions, yet as in this case the specific measures they support may do little or nothing for health, but rather strew impediments to abortion. [pp 24.25]

Concluded Posner: "[I]t is apparent that the defendants have failed to make a dent in the district court's opinion granting the permanent injunction sought by the plaintiffs." [pp 28, 29]

Roe, (upheld in Planned Parenthood of Se. Penn. v. Casey (1992)), is a landmark case acknowledging the personal, "fundamental" right to liberty and privacy (against state action) individual women retain in the First, Fourth, Fifth, Ninth, and Fourteenth Amendments.