Motley Moose – Archive

Since 2008 – Progress Through Politics

Elections Matter

Listen to *this* Guy!

The problem with the U.S. Senate polls heading into the final week before election day is that when you dig a little deeper, they are essentially saying that most of the races are “too close to call”.

Yet that does not stop the breathless headlines: “Democrats will be crushed by Republican wave” or “Democratic majority doomed”.

I recommend listening to this Guy, Guy Cecil, who says that we can win ALL the close Senate elections if we just get out the vote, even in states where there are more Republicans than Democrats.

How? Well, state by state (from the video):

– CO (mail-in means 2 million more voters than in 2010),

– AR (95,000 more AA voters, 5% bump),

– LA (900,000 new AA voters since Katrina),

– AK (Turnout among native people),

– NC (education is #2 issue which has no anti-Obama component),

– IA (D dominating early vote, non-2010 voters are voting Democratic),

– GA (New AA voters, maximize Atlanta and southern GA),

– KY (Tied, key is turnout in Louisville, high negatives for McConnell),

– SD (Not giving up),

– NH (Shaheen is up and will stay up)

– MN (Franken is a lock)

New voters, re-energized voters, non-2010 voters. Democratic voters.

So who is this Guy and why should we listen to him?

There is no place for voter suppression in a democracy. Period.

The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, the largest circulation paper in Wisconsin and the paper of record for the City of Milwaukee and Milwaukee County, penned a scathing editorial calling out the Republican legislature for their attempt to disenfranchise those who would vote for Democrats.

The editorial is in response to the blistering opinion from 7th Circuit Court Judge Richard Posner about that court’s big sloppy kiss to Gov. Scott Walker and his re-election campaign.

From the Journal-Sentinel editorial:

Five appeals court judges gave their colleagues the what-for Friday in a bark-peeling attack rarely seen in the legal genre. Led by Judge Richard A. Posner, himself a convert to the idea that voter ID equals voter suppression (good for him), the judges called the idea of voter fraud by impersonation “a mere fig leaf for efforts to disenfranchise voters likely to vote for the political party that does not control the state government.”

Which is precisely what is afoot in Wisconsin.

It has been clear from the day this rancid idea began working its way through the state Legislature that this was all about winning elections and not about the integrity of those elections. Voter ID makes it harder for certain classes of voters to exercise the franchise, including minorities, the elderly and the young. The fact that those categories of voters tend to favor Democrats should tell you all you need to know about the motivations of Republican legislators.

It’s about winning, baby, which is about integrity only in the sense that up is about down or that white is about black.

The editorial goes on to call out Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen who is contemplating an end around the Supreme Court’s ruling that Wisconsin’s voter id law cannot be used in the November 4th election. How, pray tell, does one defy the Supreme Court of the United States of America? Maybe J.B. stand for Jefferson Beauregard and he will rally the other crazee Republicans who wanted to include secession in the Wisconsin GOP platform this past summer to foment rebellion? Or maybe he is simply an idiot.  

More …

Elections Matter — for Future Elections! UPDATED

The ruling by the anti-voter judicial activists on the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals, the ruling which implemented newly developed and completely untested voter id rules for Wisconsin’s general election on November 4, 2014, will not be reviewed by the full panel.

ACLU Comment on Federal Appeals Court Ruling on Wisconsin Voter ID

CHICAGO – The full Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals today declined to rehear a three-judge panel’s order reinstating Wisconsin’s voter ID law prior to the midterm election. The vote was split evenly, 5-5, meaning the panel’s order stands. Neither the panel nor the full court has yet ruled on the actual merits of the law, which was found unconstitutional by a federal judge in April. The American Civil Liberties Union is challenging the law, and petitioned for a full appeals court review following the panel’s order on September 12 allowing the law to take effect. The ACLU presented oral arguments to the panel that day asking the court to uphold the April decision striking down the law as unconstitutional and in violation of Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act.

The following is a statement from Dale Ho, director of the ACLU’s Voting Rights Project:

“Allowing this law to take effect so close to the midterm election is a recipe for chaos, voter confusion, and disenfranchisement. The court could have avoided this pandemonium and given Wisconsin voters a chance to cast their ballots free of obstruction. It failed to do so, and we are evaluating our next step.”

The “I” Word


The Republican Party is making a point of not mentioning “Impeachment”. In fact just yesterday, Famously Insane Rep. Steve King (R-IA) said this:

“I think Congress has to sit down, have a serious look at the rest of this constitution, and that includes that ‘i’ word that we don’t want to say,”

He was talking about the other “I” word, “Immigration” and making sure that President Obama knew that trying to fix the immigration crisis via executive order (yes, the same crisis that Speaker Boehner (R-OH) begged him to fix via executive order) would trigger Impeachment.

Why is Rep. King so adamant about this? Because he is the author of HR 5272, aka, The Republican Party Suicide Note. He was bursting with pride over it:

“The changes brought into this are ones I’ve developed and advocated for over the past two years,” he told CQ Roll Call. “It’s like I ordered it off the menu.”

Well, as one who wants the Republican party to shrink into Irrelevance (another great “I” word!), seeing them following the lead of Steve King would be something I would order off the menu.

It’s the misogyny, y’all

In trying to make sense of The Way Things Are in a post-Hobby Lobby world, it is important to peel away the layers and understand what the Hobby Lobby ruling is and, more importantly, what it isn’t.

The Supreme Court ruled that a closely-held corporation can avoid paying for health insurance that covers contraceptive options if the belief about how those methods work offends the religious feelings of the majority stockholders.

Yes, the ruling is a direct assault on common sense in its attempt to assign freedom of religious expression to a corporation.

Yes, the ruling is science-denialism writ large.

Yes, it is a poke in the eye to the separation of powers: where a law passed by Congress and signed by the president can be, not merely ruled unconstitutional, but hacked up and rewritten by a court.

And, it is likely a specific poke in the eye to President Barack Obama who the right wing has become completely unhinged over to the point that they want to nullify the results of two presidential elections and three congressional elections.

What it really is: complete and utter disrespect for women.

Four years ago, this happened

On March 23, 2010, President Barack Obama signed the Affordable Care Act into law. For over 60 years, Democrats had been trying to pass a law that finally and firmly declared that health care was a right and not a privilege.

This historic piece of legislation was possible because we had Democratic majorities in both houses of Congress and a Democratic president.

It is why Elections Matter … and why all the rest is noise.

It’s time WI started paying attention

On November 4, 2014, Wisconsinites will have the opportunity to take back our state and undo a terrible mistake made in November 2010.

Fool us once, shame on you. Fool us twice? WI won’t be fooled again.

In a low-turnout midterm election, Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker (R-Talk Radio) was elected governor of Wisconsin. He ran with money from national Republicans – including the Koch brother’s Americans For Prosperity (AFP) – and ideas from the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), quietly promising his donors that he would do their bidding and destroy unions (and the family supporting jobs they represent), despoil our natural resources (and sell what’s left to the highest bidder), and defund our educational systems (and use that money to pay for tax breaks to the wealthiest): all things that Wisconsinites would never have consented to had they known.  

Elections Matter: What Happened in 2010?

The results of the last midterm congressional election, in 2010, were termed a “shellacking” by President Barack Obama. Some pundits said it was “not as bad as it could have been”, and also pointed to the 1994 midterm election when another first-term Democratic president lost control of Congress. That was little comfort for those of us who wanted to see President Obama’s agenda (our agenda) advanced.

The Democratic Party lost 63 seats in the House of Representatives, the biggest midterm loss since 1938 and the largest seat exchange since 1948. John “Big Gavel” Boehner became Speaker of the House and progress towards implementing the president’s agenda came to a screeching halt. The 112th Congress passed less legislation than the Do Nothing Congress that Harry Truman ran against in 1948. (The current Congress, the 113th is on pace to do even less).

The Congress that the 112th replaced, the 111th Congress was one of the most productive in recent history. Fifty years after President Harry S Truman first talked about universal health care, Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and the Democratic majorities gave us the Affordable Care Act of 2010. That legislation affects the lives of every American by putting in place a structure to allow purchasing health insurance that is not just affordable but which provides minimum standards for coverage and does not punish policy holders for getting sick.

The “problem” with passing the Affordable Care Act was that in 2010 it put a big target on the backs of many Democrats who had been elected in the wave election of 2006. That year, another midterm election year, Democrats and other sentient beings were motivated to vote in order to create a firewall against the abuses of the Bush Administration. Democrats picked up 31 seats … and the majority … making Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) the first woman Speaker of the House of Representatives.  

Repealing the Weekend

In Wisconsin, the state whose progressive forebears championed labor rights, a move is afoot to “allow” workers to work 7 days a week.

This is being touted by the Republicans as a “win-win”: businesses don’t have to hire more workers, just add hours! And workers can make more money! What could possibly go wrong? Businesses would never coerce workers into working more hours, they lurves their workers!!!

In 1938, President Roosevelt signed into law the Fair Labor Standards Act:

The Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 (abbreviated as FLSA; also referred to as the Wages and Hours Bill) is a federal statute of the United States. The FLSA introduced a maximum 44-hour seven-day workweek, established a national minimum wage, guaranteed “time-and-a-half” for overtime in certain jobs, and prohibited most employment of minors in “oppressive child labor”, a term that is defined in the statute. It applies to employees engaged in interstate commerce or employed by an enterprise engaged in commerce or in the production of goods for commerce, unless the employer can claim an exemption from coverage.

Elections Matter: What’s at Stake in 2014?

Quick answer: pretty much everything.

When I was phonebanking in 2010 for OFA (Obama For America) in Wisconsin, the unified campaign effort was tasked with electing a Democratic governor, re-electing Senator Russ Feingold (D-WI), and electing Democrats to the House of Representatives. The phone script included this: “Please vote to send people to Washington DC who will help President Obama advance his agenda”.

On the list of people we were calling were those who had voted for President Obama in 2008, people who should have been interested in advancing his agenda because, in theory, they voted to do just that only two years before.

But mid-terms are funny things. Many of the people I called said they only voted in presidential elections. Some of them were unhappy because they didn’t get their pony so much of the president’s agenda had to be set aside to deal with the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression … a parting “gift” from Worst President in History George W. Bush.

Well, Democrats were not enthused but Republicans were because they had two things firing up their base: a black man (who was not even born in ‘Murica!!) had stolen the election (ACORNNNN!!) … and the Affordable Care Act had been passed, ushering in death panels and government-run health care and frightening all your doctors into fleeing to the libertarian paradise of Somalia.

So turnout was low and we ended up with Scott Walker and a solid Republican legislature here in Wisconsin. And we sent Ron Johnson to the Senate and Sean Duffy and Reid Ribble to the House of Representatives. Elsewhere, Michigan got Rick Snyder, Ohio got John Kasich, Pennsylvania got Tom Corbett, Florida got Rick Scott, Iowa got Terry Branstad, Maine got Paul LePage … and America got Republican Speaker of the House John Boehner.