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#Breaking #News – #ALpolitics Corrupt, Scandalized Republican @GovernorBentley To Resign Later Today

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Monday, April 10, 2017

No love lost.

See also: http://www.al.com/news/montgomery/index.ssf/2017/04/alabama_gov_robert_bentley.html

http://whnt.com/2017/04/10/governor-robert-bentleys-office-in-negotiations-to-set-terms-of-his-resignation-sources-say/

www.alreporter.com/2017/04/10/gov-robert-bentley-reaches-agreement-resign

By Josh Moon and Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

MONTGOMERY — Gov. Robert Bentley has agreed to resign later today, several sources have confirmed to the Alabama Political Reporter.

The Governor reached an agreement with state lawmakers and law enforcement officials early Monday morning to step down. The terms of the deal were not immediately available.

Bentley’s resignation comes after a tumultuous weekend following the release of a salacious report from the House Judiciary Committee’s special counsel, Jack Sharman.

Sources told APR on Sunday that a steady stream of Bentley’s friends and confidants have spoken to the governor since the Friday release of Sharman’s investigative report. That report and its supporting documentation revealed embarrassing details about Bentley’s relationship with former aide Rebekah Mason and provided evidence of potential criminal misuse of state resources…

 

–BREAKING NEWS—

Governor Robert Bentley Is Resigning

By Donald V. Watkins
©Copyrighted and Published (via Facebook) on April 10, 2017
Used with permission

It started with a special series of exclusive investigative articles published on this Facebook page. This first series of articles was titled, “Forbidden Love – Robert Bentley’s Secret Love Affair”. This historic four-part series was published on September 4, 9, 11, and 13, 2015. It detailed Governor Bentley’s secret love affair with Read the rest of this entry »

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How Russia Captured the American Presidency

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Sunday, April 2, 2017

——EDITORIAL——

How Russia Captured the American Presidency

By Donald V. Watkins
©Copyrighted and Published (via Facebook) on April 2, 2017
Used with permission

Russian President Vladimir Putin devised and implemented a brilliant plan to capture the American Presidency. He used our greatest asset – freedom of the press – to invade America, manipulate the 2016 election process, and seize the Presidency.

The most powerful leadership position in the free world was captured a Russian strongman without one shot being fired. Putin’s plan was successful because it was simple, easy to implement, and unexpected by Americans.

This is how Putin worked his plan: 

Putin has always known he could control the fate of the world if he controlled the American Presidency. This control was not possible during the last year of Bill Clinton’s Presidency, or the 16-year period when George W. Bush and Barrack Obama served as President. Each of these men respected Putin, but none of them trusted him. Their relationship with Putin and Russia evolved on a measured, issue-by-issue basis. To their credit, none of them surrendered an ounce of America’s super power to Putin and Russia.

With the dawn of the 2016 national election cycle approaching, Putin saw a chance to pick and back a presidential candidate in order to shape the American-Russia relationship in his country’s favor. The candidate who best fitted Putin’s profile for serving as a Russian surrogate in the America Presidency was Donald J. Trump.

Trump, a high-profile New York real estate developer, was an easy target for Putin. He was political neophyte and he was financially indebted to members of Putin’s powerful financial oligarchy. Trump also had an oversized ego and bloated sense of self-importance.

Putin played to Trump’s ego and political ambitions. He stroked Trump’s ego and bagged him right away. Trump’s substantial debtor-creditor relationship with Russian financial institutions was just icing on the cake.

Next, Putin embarked upon a plan to destabilize America’s participatory form of democracy by exploiting our Freedom of the Press. Using an Internet delivery system, Putin orchestrated the greatest invasion of America the world has ever seen. He did it by flooding us with fake news stories. These stories had two central themes: (a) they projected America as a troubled democracy and (b) they portrayed Hillary Clinton in the worse light possible.

Russian bloggers were highly effective in seeding the fake stories on the Internet and amplifying their impact in America through advanced cyber trending and distribution technology. The bloggers were aided by Russian hackers who stole electronically stored documents from the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton Campaign and released them into the public domain through WikiLeaks.

Then, Putin’s operatives provided Trump campaign members and political surrogates with Read the rest of this entry »

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Voting Participation Rates: A Steady Decline… Or Not?

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Sunday, March 26, 2017

As of today – Sunday, March 26, 2017 –  we are less than 100 days into President Donald Trump’s term in office, and his approval ratings – so far, a low of 37% –  are practically subterranean. According to Gallup, his highest approval rating thus far has been 46%, which was a three-day average shortly after he was inaugurated, from January 23-25, 2017. An average of all presidents from 1938-2017 at this point in their presidency (first year, first term) is 53%. Two-term Republican Dwight David Eisenhower (previously former Supreme Allied Commander during WWII) was the highest with a 74% approval rating in March 1953. Oft-maligned Democrat President Jimmy Carter had a 72% approval rating March 1977, and JFK had 73% in March 1961. A reminder that JFK was later assassinated November 22, 1963. More recently however, Barack Obama had a 62% approval rating March 2009.

A reminder also that the 2018 Election (aka “Midterm”) is arriving quickly, and for many, it will be one of THE MOST SIGNIFICANT elections in a lifetime, because ALL 435 seats in the House of Representatives and Read the rest of this entry »

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Gardening Tips and Tricks: How To Make Trees Grow Faster

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Monday, March 20, 2017

“The Man Who Planted Trees,” in Mosaïcultures Internationales Competition at the Montreal Botanical Garden. Image by Flickr user AV Dezign, (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

“He that plants trees loves others beside himself.”

– Dr. Thomas Fuller, MD (1654 – 1734), British physician, writer, intellectual, preacher, in Gnomologia: Adagies and Proverbs, 1732

Over the years, I have observed (and learned by experience) that I have quite a knack for making trees grow rapidly.

Even slow-to-moderately growing trees (such as oaks) have responded phenomenally well under my guiding hand.

What and how to accomplish that?

Aside from planting in a well-lighted area, with adequately drained, properly hydrated & fertilized soil, there is but one thing we can do to encourage growth in trees. That one thing is Read the rest of this entry »

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True Life Story: What did you name your kids?

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Saturday, March 18, 2017

–True Story–

A few years back (2006, to be exact), I recall having seen a human interest story on teevee about children in Birmingham Alabama’s Norwood Elementary Band Program and their need for instruments.

They were in dire need of instruments, having only about 50 – not nearly enough for all the children.

One dear, sweet child whom was interviewed was named Read the rest of this entry »

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Humane Animal Research

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Friday, March 17, 2017

American Psychological Researcher Dr. Harry F. Harlow, PhD (1905-1981) observed newborn primate behavior when they were removed from their mother’s presence and placed with a “wire mother” and a “cloth mother.” He sought to prove to the psychology community that primate research could contribute to the understanding of important clinical issues without having to be molecular in nature. His theory hinged on the universal need for contact.

I do not oppose using animals in laboratory research to save human life, or to ameliorate human suffering. However, I do oppose torturous maltreatment of animals.

In part, one reason I support humane research – the word “HUMANE” is VERY important – using animals is because in animals there is NO placebo effect. A medication either works, or it does not. There is no in between. In humans, that is not so.

Our mind is powerful – and it is not clearly understood why this is so – but it has been noted that there are cases in Clinical Trials in which human subjects’ condition improved – including placebo research – even ~after~ they were told that the substance they were taking had no possible effect upon them, one way or another.

The “Gold Standard” of pharmaceutical clinical trials is Read the rest of this entry »

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You Voted For Trump Because…

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Monday, February 6, 2017

Ben Mallicote – Any guy with a god... er, dog must be A-okay.

Ben Mallicote, FaceBook profile image –
Any guy with a god, er… a dog must be A-okay.

Ben Mallicote recently shared the following on his FaceBook page.

You may also be interested in reading his blog.

—/—

You voted for Trump because Clinton was going to be in Wall Street’s pocket. Trump wants to repeal Dodd-Frank and eliminate the Fiduciary Rule, letting Wall Street return to its pre-2008 ways.

You voted for Trump because of Clinton’s emails. The Trump administration is running its own private email server.

You voted for Trump because you thought the Clinton Foundation was “pay for play.” Trump has refused to wall off his businesses from his administration, and personally profits from payments from foreign governments.

You voted for Trump because of Clinton’s role in Benghazi. Trump ordered the Yemen raid without adequate intel, and tweeted about “FAKE NEWS” while Americans died as a result of his carelessness.

You voted for Trump because Read the rest of this entry »

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Original Russian Tea Recipe

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Holiday season is again upon us, and many folks – particularly Southerners – are familiar with a tasty warm beverage known as “Russian Tea.”

Exactly how and where the recipe developed, and how it came by that name is somewhat unclear, but “the font of all knowledge” – and I sarcastically refer to Wikipedia – cites an article entitled “Russian Tea is Favorite Recipe in the South” by Cecily Brownstone in the November 27, 1976 issue of Kentucky New Era newspaper in Hopkinsville.

Interestingly, the story which is perhaps the newspaper’s most renown is the August 1955 Kelly-Hopkinsville Alien Encounter, which may also be known as “Kelly Green Men Case,” or the “Hopkinsville Goblins Case.” It’s a precursor of sorts to a “Close Encounters of the Third Kind” type story in which five adults and seven children reported to Hopkinsville Police that “little men with big heads and long arms,” presumably alien creatures, were attacking their farm house, and that they’d held them off with gunfire “for nearly four hours.” It all started around 7PM when one of the men went out of the house to get a bucket of water, and lasted until 0330 – that’s 3:30AM.

Who knows? Maybe they’d had too much Russian Tea. Anyway, I don’t think you’ll be doing any hallucinating, or discharging any firearms after drinking this, so it’s pretty tame stuff… unless you start adding Kentucky Bourbon or other liquor to it.

Anyway…

Spiced Tea infusion recipe in Joy of Cooking, p40

Spiced Tea infusion recipe in Joy of Cooking, p40

However, as seen in the image herein, the Read the rest of this entry »

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The Great Unknown… Or Not: Separating #Fact From #Fiction: @realDonaldTrump’s First 100 Days – Realistic, Or Idealistic?

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Saturday, November 12, 2016

November 11, 2016
Day 3: Still thinking

Yesterday, President Obama met with Donald Trump at the White House. It was the first time either of them had met. According to brief remarks made to the Press afterward, their collegial meeting lasted about one and a half hours.

The erudite will recall that “the first 100 days” is taken from a radio address given by Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s first term in office, in which during his first 100 days , and modeled after his plan to get Americans back to work, protect their savings and create prosperity, provide relief for the sick and elderly, and get industry and agriculture back on their feet.

Having read Trump’s goals for his first 100 days in office, it seems to me that there are some ideas I can support. Yet, there’s some pure bluster and ignorance designed for purely emotional appeal. I’ll separate fact from fiction, and we’ll have to wait and see how it all pans out.
See: donald-trumps-contract-w-american-voter

Trump’s objectives are in bold, my comments follow.

—/—

First: Constitutional Amendment for Congressional Term Limits – I have long supported that idea. Kentucky Senator Mitch McConnell (R), however, opposes them – as, presumably, do some others. Whenever their income source or security is potentially challenged, they’ll fight. Which is probably all the more reason it ought to enacted. A Lifetime Limit of Eight terms in the House of Representatives (2 years x 8 terms=16 years), and a Lifetime Limit of Two terms in the Senate (2 terms x 6 years=12 years) for a combined total of 20 years Lifetime Total ought to be enough for anyone.

Second: Federal Hiring Freeze, to reduce federal workforce through attrition (exempting military, public safety, and public health) – I can understand that, and could go along with that for a period of time. Realize also that whenever any public action is required to be taken – such as “extreme vetting,” it is done by Federal Employees. So if their numbers are reduced, as a natural result, expect slow-downs and delays in any actions undertaken.

Third: Require that for every new federal regulation, two existing regulations must be eliminated – That’s unrealistic, and impracticable. It may be nice to think about, but as a blanket statement, it’s simply unrealistic.

Fourth: A 5 year-ban on White House and Congressional officials becoming lobbyists after they leave government service – TOTALLY in favor of this idea.

Sixth: Lifetime ban on White House officials lobbying on behalf of a foreign government – Totally in favor of, and the ban should extend to ALL former Federal Employees.

On the same day, I will begin taking the following 7 actions to protect American workers:

FIRST, I will announce my intention to renegotiate NAFTA or withdraw from the deal under Article 2205 – I have long advocated for changes to NAFTA, and other Free Trade deals to which the United States is a party.

SECOND, I will announce our withdrawal from the Trans-Pacific Partnership – TOTALLY in favor of this idea.

THIRD, I will direct my Secretary of the Treasury to label China a currency manipulator – Some say “yes,” some say “no,” but there is no disagreement China has bought American currency on the FOREX (Foreign Currency Exchange Market), and has purchased American indebtedness (T-bills, and other bonds). Mr. C. Fred Bergsten, Senior Fellow and Director Emeritus at the Peterson Institute for International Economics, put it this way: “Currency manipulation occurs when Read the rest of this entry »

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Going Straight To Hell In A Solid Gold Trump Handbasket

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Thursday, November 10, 2016

November 10, 2016
Day 2: Still in a state of shock

Donald Trump appears to have won the 2016 General Election.

Hillary Clinton has conceded.

However, Hillary Clinton won the Popular Vote. In the history of the United States, this is only the 5th time that’s ever occurred. The other times are:
1.) 1824: John Quincy Adams v Andrew Jackson – The Congress met according to the terms of the 12th Amendment to vote for a winner.
2.) 1876: Rutherford B. Hayes v Samuel J. Tilden – The “Compromise of 1877” awarded 20 disputed Electoral College votes to Hayes.
3.) 1888: Benjamin Harrison v Grover Cleveland – New York City’s Tammany Hall Democratic political machine helped deny native son Grover Cleveland the win.
4.) 2000: George W. Bush v Al Gore – Slim margins in some Florida counties automatically required mandatory recount. The punch card voting system’s infamous “hanging chads” were contentious, and counties had significantly differing standards of counting. Gore exercised his statutory right to request a manual recount in Volusia, Palm Beach, Broward, and Miami-Dade counties. Bush petitioned in  Bush v. Palm Beach County Canvassing Board, 531 U.S. 70 – to order the recounts stopped. The Florida State Supreme Court decision had effectively changed the elector appointment procedures after Election Day, and the case asked whether the court’s decision changed the manner in which the State’s electors were to be selected. Time was also quickly expiring on certification of the results, in accordance with Federal Law. Essentially, the Supreme Court Of The United States sought clarification from the Florida State Supreme Court. Following those clarifications, the SCOTUS ruled in Bush’s favor in 531 U.S. 98 https://supreme.justia.com/cases/federal/us/531/98/
5.) 2016: Donald J. Trump v Hillary Clinton –

Clinton had 60,274,974 Popular Votes, while Trump had 59,937,338 Popular Votes. That’s a difference of 337,636. At press time, Michigan was the only state without Official Vote Results, and though it’s close – almost evenly split – it’s widely expected to tilt toward Trump.

There were more “swing states” this year – 11 states in which the vote outcome was unclear, or uncertain with 146 Electoral College Votes – and included: Colorado-9, Florida-29, Iowa-6, Michigan-16, New Hampshire-4, Nevada-6, North Carolina-15, Ohio-18, Pennsylvania-20, Virginia-13, and Wisconsin-10.

In the Electoral College, Donald Trump has 290 Electoral College votes. Hillary Clinton has 228 Electoral College votes.

President Obama met Donald Trump at the White House today for an initial meeting to begin administrative transition.

Donald Trump is not yet President, nor is he technically President-elect. It does seem, however, that he has it in the basket.

Here’s how.

On December 19th, electors in the Electoral College will meet in their respective states’ capitols to Read the rest of this entry »

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How TRUE is “largely poor, uneducated, and easy to command”? You’d be surprised… or, maybe not.

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Thursday, November 3, 2016

Remember how ANGRY some folks got when Michael Weisskopf (b.1946) of the Washington Post wrote on February 1, 1993 (link to original article with the WaPo’s editorial addendum) that the simple-minded evangelical groupies of Jerry Falwell (who himself died in 2007), Pat Robertson (b.1930), et al, that:
The gospel lobby evolved with the explosion of satellite and cable television, hitting its national political peak in the presidential election of Ronald Reagan in 1980.

“Unlike other powerful interests, it does not lavish campaign funds on candidates for Congress nor does it entertain them. The strength of fundamentalist leaders lies in their flocks. Corporations pay public relations firms millions of dollars to contrive the kind of grass-roots response that Falwell or Pat Robertson can galvanize in a televised sermon. Their followers are largely poor, uneducated and easy to command.

“”The thing that makes them powerful is they’re mobilizable,” said Seymour Martin Lipset (d.2006), professor of public policy at George Mason University. “You can activate them to vote, and that’s particularly important in congressional primaries where the turnout is usually low.”

“Some studies put the number of evangelical Americans as high as 40 million, with the vast majority considered politically conservative.”

[ed. note: The excerpt, which has frequently been distilled to “largely poor, uneducated and easy to command,” is provided here in full proper context with leading and following sentences, not merely excerpted, in order to thoroughly show proper context.]

It’s true.

Folks don’t get mad because of falsehoods.

They get mad because of truth.

It’s true.

According to the United States Census Bureau (USCB), in 2015 (22 years AFTER that was written), 32.5% of the American public aged 25, or older, have a Bachelor’s Degree (Table 1.), which is CLEARLY a minority. Thus, we see automatically the “largely” part of “uneducated.”

The USCB has also performed research on income, which is similarly delineated and categorized by education. For the year 2011 (18 years AFTER the remarks were made), and those aged 25+ with at least a Bachelor’s Degree, the average income was Read the rest of this entry »

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I had a Late Term #Abortion.

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Friday, October 21, 2016

I HAD A LATE TERM ABORTION.
IT IS NOTHING LIKE DESCRIBED BY TRUMP.
PLEASE DON’T BASE YOUR VOTE ON THE FEAR MONGERING HE IS DOING.
PLEASE READ MY EXPERIENCE:

I had to have a late term abortion. It was the worst moment in my life. What made it even worse was the State of Utah had made it illegal. I had one dead twin. The other had severe Spina Bifida, and would only have lived with life support, in great pain, for a few days.

by Alyson Draper
October 19 at 8:46pm · Midway, UT
used with permission

I lay on the hospital floor, bawling hysterically, for twelve hours, waiting for an ethics committee of the health care corporation to Read the rest of this entry »

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Terrorism In The South

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Thursday, October 6, 2016

quantrills-raiders-1924-reunion

Reunion of Quantrill’s Raiders, circa 1924, Oak Grove, Missouri. The first official reunion occurred in 1898, more than 30 years after Quantrill’s death and the end of the Civil War. The circled figure is Jesse James. Image from the Jackson County Historical Society and the Truman Library.

quantril-reunion-1901

The 1901 reunion of Quantrill’s Raiders in Blue Springs, MO. Note the tag in the upper LEFT corner of the image. Sim Whitsett was at this reunion and is probably in this picture. Also in the picture is Frank James (center front, named). The first picture of the Quantrill veterans (Sim Whitsett was in attendance) was taken at the 1900 reunion. The picture is of a parade of the attendees on horseback. The 1901 is the first group photo in which the faces of individuals can be (barely) distinguished.

In response to a post expressing justifiable criticism of terrorism at home and abroad, it occurred to me that terrorism itself is nothing new… not even in the United States. So, I thought to share a brief overview of it, which appears as follows.

—/—

You forgot all about the War Between the States.

The Southern rebellion, of course, was often comprised of loosely associated rag-tag bands of incompetents and criminals, which thrived and often deserted formal association with the Confederate Army, and ransacked their way throughout the countryside.

mosby-uniform-night-of-stoughtons-capture

John Singleton Mosby, image from his memoir. His note reads: “This picture is a copy of the one taken in Richmond in January 1863: The uniform is the one I wore on March 8th 1863 on the night of General Staughton’s capture. John S Mosby”

The rebels were known for such terroristic activities as Read the rest of this entry »

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We Need Prayer Back In Schools!

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Wednesday, October 5, 2016

We need prayer back in schools!,” said someone.

“Okay,” I said. “Whose prayer do you want? The Episcopalians? The Baptists? The Methodists? Church of Christ? What about the Jehovah’s Witnesses? Or the Seventh Day Adventists? Do you want the Primitive Baptists, or the Free Will Baptists? Read the rest of this entry »

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Vote Fraud Explained, and Prevention

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Sunday, October 2, 2016

I write the following as an experienced election official, having participated in various levels and capacities of electioneering, as poll watcher, at polling locations, re-counting ballots in close and contended elections, and counting absentee ballots.

Voter fraud and voting fraud may be two sides of the same vote fraud coin. Allow me to explain.

An Iraqi citizen, turning his head to protect his identity, proudly displays the indelible ink on his finger as proof he has voted in Iraq's first free election in over 50 years on Jan. 30, 2005. Everyone voting in the historic election has to mark their finger with the ink to indicate they have already voted as a means to deter voting fraud. DoD photo by Master Sgt. Dave Ahlschwede, U.S. Air Force. (Released)

An Iraqi citizen, turning his head to protect his identity, proudly displays the indelible ink on his finger as proof he has voted in Iraq’s first free election in over 50 years on Jan. 30, 2005. Everyone voting in the historic election has to mark their finger with the ink to indicate they have already voted as a means to deter voting fraud. DoD photo by Master Sgt. Dave Ahlschwede, U.S. Air Force. (Released)

In some lesser-developed nations, evidence of having voted has been accomplished by having the voter dip their finger in an indelible, semi-permanent ink. The world has seen it used in Read the rest of this entry »

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Wells Fargo CEO John Stumpf’s Massive Credit Card Fraud

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Friday, September 23, 2016

Elizabeth Warren Is Right!

by Donald V. Watkins

Senator Elizabeth Warren is right. Wells Fargo CEO John Stumpf should resign and face a criminal investigation for the 2 million acts of bank account and credit card fraud committed on his watch. This fraud was widespread criminal conduct that was part of Wells Fargo’s bank culture. Top executives at the bank received bonuses based upon this fraud. No one has been prosecuted.

Why?

Bank regulators and federal prosecutors are afraid to prosecute the CEOs of the so-called Big Banks. They enjoy immunity from prosecution. Not one of them was prosecuted for running their banks into the ground during the Great Recession of 2008 and losing $13 trillion in American wealth in the process. Other nations sent their crooked bank CEOs to jail. Here, we bailed them out with taxpayers money and gave them bigger bonuses. They thanked us by finding new ways to cheat customers and regulators.

Stumpf and his fellow CEOs are modern-day untouchables, and they know it. The Big Bank bank employees who get prosecuted for criminal wrongdoing are usually Read the rest of this entry »

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Why don’t some vote? Are Democrats & Republicans really the same?

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Some citizens who have no religious compunction against voting, and who would otherwise vote, sometimes express frustration at their perceived inability to effectuate change by and through voting. Thus, they abstain from any involvement in the political process. When things don’t go their way – or even according to the wishes of the majority – they often feel justified in their passive inactions and claim a corrupted process which not merely inhibits active involvement, but actually alienates itself from the electorate. In a very real way, they are their own victims in a self-fulfilling prophesy. However, there is evidence to support the idea that to some extent, the process has become corrupted. The following article examines some of the more common refrains heard in complaint.

—/—

50 Ways the Democratic and Republican Parties Are The Same

Aug 3, 2016
By Andrew Gripp

1. Both parties engage in and benefit from gerrymandering, the practice of redrawing district lines for partisan gain. In 2010, Republicans invested millions in statewide races to retake state legislatures for the purpose of controlling congressional redistricting. Since then, Republicans have created highly gerrymandered maps in states like North Carolina and Virginia. Democrats are guilty of gerrymandering as well: Maryland hosts some of the most contorted, gerrymandered districts in the country. Gerrymandering is one of the leading reasons that many congressional races are not competitive.

2. Both parties also thwart efforts to combat gerrymandering, such as amendments making gerrymandering illegal and the adoption of independent redistricting commissions. In Florida, where gerrymandering is outlawed by the state constitution, Democrat-sponsored bills to create an independent redistricting have led nowhere, and in Maryland, Democrats have been reluctant to give up control over redistricting after a commission appointed by the state’s Republican governor recommended handing mapmaking over to an independent panel.

3. At the federal level, both parties benefit from congressionally mandated single-member districts (SMDs). Last passed in 1967, this mandate requires that only one House member can represent a congressional district (except in Hawaii and New Mexico). According to Duverger’s law, SMDs tend to produce a two-party system because there can only be one winner, which encourages voters to vote strategically for a major party candidate to prevent the opposing major party candidate from winning. There has been no major bipartisan effort to allow states to experiment with alternative modes of congressional representation, such as multimember districts (MMDs).

4. Both parties control the process of formally electing the president. First, in each state, parties create a slate of loyal electors. After the presidential election in November, the electors Read the rest of this entry »

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Do Politicians Really Care About People?

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Sunday, July 24, 2016

Do They Really Care About Us?

By Donald V. Watkins
©Copyrighted and Published (via Facebook) on July 24, 2016
Used with permission

I am a political independent, a status I have enjoyed since 2002. I watched the Republican National Convention last week and will watch the Democratic National Convention this week. I will decide which candidate has earned my support after Labor Day.

Meanwhile, I am assessing whether the current class of political candidates running for election in November really cares about us. I always enjoy a good political speech, but I tend to judge candidates and public officials by their actions or inaction, rather than their “feel good” speeches.

Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump agreed that America’s financial system is “rigged” in favor of the super rich. I agree with them. Sadly, this truism does not seem to bother a majority of public officials at the local, state and national level. Here is how and why the system is rigged against ordinary Americans.

First, every Monday through Friday at 5 p.m. EST, media organizations nationwide report on how well the financial portfolios of the wealthiest Americans and major public companies have performed on Wall Street. When the super rich have a good day, we all know it. When they have a bad day, we know that as well.

Pew Research found that 53 percent of Americans own no stock at all, and out of the 47 percent who do, the richest 5 percent own two-thirds of that stock. And only 10 percent of Americans have pensions, so stock market gains or losses don’t affect the incomes of the vast majority of retirees.

Unlike Wall Street, I know of no financial dashboard that gauges Main Street’s financial health on a daily basis. Why? Our politicians cater to Read the rest of this entry »

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