Mississippi

Brennan Center For Justice: 19 States With New Voting Restrictions Since 2016

The William Brennan Center For Justice, named after the great former Supreme Court Justice, tracks violations of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties, and has exposed the reality that 19 states, since the Supreme Court backtracked on the Voting Rights Act of 1965 in a decision in 2013, have made the right to vote much more difficult, and affecting election results.

In 2016, 14 states had new voting restrictions in place for the first time in a presidential election, with these states including Alabama, Arizona, Indiana, Kansas, Mississippi, Nebraska, New Hampshire, Ohio, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and Wisconsin.

In 2017, Arkansas, North Dakota, Missouri, Georgia, and Iowa added new laws.

So 8 Southern states of the old Confederacy (Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Mississippi, South Carolina, Texas, Tennessee, Virginia) are back where they were before the Voting Rights Act of 1965, making it harder for blacks and other people of color, and poor people in general, to be able to have the chance to vote.

But also, the 8 Midwestern states of Ohio, Indiana, Iowa, Missouri, Wisconsin, North Dakota, Nebraska and Kansas have gown down the same road.

And Arizona in the West and New Hampshire and Rhode Island on the Atlantic Coast also have made it more difficult to vote.

Look at this list of states, and notice almost all of them, except Virginia, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island voted for Donald Trump.

So we have the possibility that despite public opinion polls that indicate a “Blue Wave”, the restrictions on voting rights could impact election result in November.

Possible Democratic Gains In US Senate In Midterm Elections Of 2018

The Democrats have a massive challenge ahead, somehow to reelect all ten “Red State” Democratic Senators, but also, at the same time, to gain at least two additional seats and have a majority of 51 or more in the US Senate.

This is crucial to stop the worst of Trump Administration policies, and to insure that any future Supreme Court or Circuit or District Court judgeships not be as extreme right wing, as are occurring now.

Six seats seem open to switching to the Democrats:

Arizona, where Jeff Flake is retiring, and where Congresswoman Kyrsten Sinema is ahead of three potential Republican opponents.

Nevada, where Dean Heller is the most endangered Republican Senator up for reelection, challenged by Congresswoman Jacky Rosen, and she has been ahead of Heller in many public opinion polls.

Tennessee, where Bob Corker is retiring, and former Democratic Governor Phil Bredesen is seen as ahead of Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn.

Texas, where Ted Cruz is gaining a serious challenge from Congressman Beto O’Rourke of El Paso, and O’Rourke has raised more money than Cruz, who famously is disliked by all his fellow Senators by the testimony of many Democrats and even Republican colleagues.

Mississippi, where Thad Cochran retired suddenly due to bad health, and will have a special election to fill the seat, temporarily filled, and the hope that an upset is possible, as occurred in Alabama last fall, with Doug Jones taking a normal Republican seat. Mike Espy, former Congressman, Secretary of Agriculture for two years under Bill Clinton, and an African American, is seen as having some chance to take the seat, although not seen as likely to win, but a surprise could occur.

Mississippi, where Roger Wicker faces a challenge from state legislator David Baria, Minority Leader of the state legislature, who is seen as having a reasonable chance to win.

The first three of these six seats seem likely to go to the Democrats, which if true, would allow the loss of one of the ten “Red State” Democrats, and still have 51 seats, but that does not leave much room for error.

If all six seats, magically, went Democratic, and no loss of any of the “Red State” Democrats in November occurred, in theory, the Democrats could have as many as 55 seats, but that is clearly a result with very low potential to occur.

One more issue: New Mexico, where Democrat Martin Heinrich should have no trouble winning, but if former Republican Governor and 2016 Libertarian Party Presidential nominee Gary Johnson decides to run for the Senate, creating a three way race, it could put Heinrich’s seat in jeopardy.

So the challenge for Democrats to gain a Senate majority of 51 votes is clouded by overwhelming challenges!

New Mississippi Civil Rights Museum Besmirched By Presence Of Donald Trump, And Absence, Therefore, Of John Lewis, Civil Rights Icon

Today, in Jackson, Mississippi, a new Civil Rights Museum opens, to commemorate the sufferings of African Americans in the history of Mississippi discrimination and violence.

Mississippi is the state of the lynching of Emmett Till in 1955; of James Meredith needing National Guard intervention ordered by President John F. Kennedy in 1962-1963 to be able, safely, to attend the University of Mississippi; and of the three civil rights workers (Andrew Goodman, Michael Schwerner, James Chaney) murdered in 1964 by Ku Klux Klansmen, simply for the act of trying to register black voters. Also, the murder of Civil Rights leader Medgar Evers in 1963 stands out as a deplorable moment in Mississippi history.

It is the state which has the worst image of all 50 states on racism, bloodshed, and violence in the Civil Rights Era, but also of its members of Congress historically, including Theodore Bilbo, John Stennis, and James Eastland, and Governor Ross Barnett, infamous for racism and advocating prejudice and denial of equal rights to African Americans.

The opening of this new museum is a wonderful event, but is besmirched by the presence of President Donald Trump, who has a long history of promoting discrimination, racism, prejudice, and hatred in his own life experience, and his promotion of setting back civil rights during his Presidency, including his appointment of former Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions to be his Attorney General, and setting back civil rights enforcement as a policy.

Just as Donald Trump is advocating Roy Moore for the Alabama Senate seat, with his long record of racism, along with the record of Moore involved in sexual abuse of young women, including girls under the age of 18, now he is coming to an event which is pure hypocrisy on his part, and only promotes racial division ever more.

Therefore, civil rights icon John Lewis, Georgia Congressman, who was involved in the major events of the civil rights movement, and is much respected and honored by all decent people, will not be attending the opening of this museum on principle, a regrettable but understandable reaction by this great man.

Octogenarians In Congress: Time For Age Limit Of 80, So That Younger Generation, “Fresh Blood”, Comes Into Both Houses

Age discrimination laws have disappeared in recent decades, but at the same time, there is the issue of members of Congress staying on into their 80s in growing numbers, and one has to wonder if that is good for the nation at large, or whether it helps to promote the image of Congress being out of sync with the nation, and preventing a younger generation of “fresh blood” from having opportunity to serve in Congress.

Presently, there are eight Senators and eleven House members who are in their 80s, and there are others in both chambers nearing 80 over the next few years.

Seven Republicans and one Democrat in the Senate, and eight Democrats and three Republicans in the House of Representatives are now in their 80s, and there is no indication that the House members are planning to retire in 2018.

Four of the House members are in the upper 80s right now—Democrats Sander Levin of Michigan who is 86; Democrat John Conyers of Michigan who is 88; Democrat Louise Slaughter who is 88; and Republican Sam Johnson of Texas who is 87.

Meanwhile, three of the eight Senators were just reelected to terms ending in 2022—Richard Shelby of Alabama who will be 88 then; John McCain of Arizona who will be 86 then; and Chuck Grassley of Iowa who will be 89 then.

Three others have terms ending in 2020—Pat Roberts of Kansas who will be 84 then; Thad Cochran of Mississippi who will be 83 then; and James Inhofe of Oklahoma who will be 86 then.

The other two Senators face election in 2018–Diane Feinstein of California who will be 85; and Orrin Hatch of Utah who will be 84.

The aging of Congress has been a growing trend, and it does not bode well for the future, as far as public support for Congress is concerned.

There is no realistic possibility of legislated age limits, but the growing number of octogenarians in Congress is not a good development.

Trump Voter Fraud Commission An Attack On Voting Rights, Clear And Simple!

The Trump Voter Fraud Commission, set up and headed by Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, who is infamous for promoting voter suppression tactics, has become a total failure, as 44 states refuse to comply with all of the information that the commission is asking the states to provide.

Trump wants this commission, because he cannot accept that he lost the popular vote by 2.85 million to Hillary Clinton, and claims that millions of illegal immigrants voted, with absolutely no such evidence of this crazy theory.

What Trump is trying to do is a clear attack on voting rights, and an attempt to cut millions off the voter rolls, so that Trump can have less opposition for a reelection campaign in 2020.

The fact that all but a few states refuse to cooperate is a good sign, as we now have a situation in which the stares are the progressive forces, against a right wing reactionary federal government headed by Trump cronies.

This is the precise opposite of the 1960s, when we had southern states, including Mississippi and Alabama most notably, but others as well, that worked to undermine civil and voting rights, and were forced into compliance by the federal government.

There are those conservatives who believe in states rights when it is convenient, but now want that to be ignored when it comes to states and cities protecting the environment; and also law abiding immigrants, even if they may have overstayed their time as a visitor, or entered illegally, but have led law abiding lives for decades in this nation, and should not face deportation, as the Trump Administration is pursuing, to the outrage of millions of Americans!

Donald Trump Declares War On Chicago, California, Sanctuary Cities, Undocumented Immigrants, And Common Decency, Empathy And Compassion!

Donald Trump, in just three weeks in office, has declared war on Chicago, California, Sanctuary Cities, Undocumented Immigrants, and common decency, empathy, and compassion.

He has acted as if he can send troops to Chicago to deal with the crime problem there, forgetting that the Mayor of Chicago and the Illinois Governor have ultimate authority over problems in Chicago. The only time when Presidents have sent in the National Guard over the desires of the state Governor was in the South during the Civil Rights Era, when the Governor of Arkansas, Orval Faubus, refused to promote safety for black students at Little Rock Central High School in 1957 (Dwight D. Eisenhower), and when the Governors of Mississippi (Ross Barnett) and of Alabama (George Wallace) refused to obey integration orders for the state universities in 1962 and 1963 (John F. Kennedy).

He has shown signs of trying to cut off funds to California and its university system, because of a confrontational demonstration against a hate mongering right wing extremist troublemaker at the University of California, Berkeley.

He has said he will cut off all funding to Sanctuary Cities across the nation that are out to protect undocumented immigrants, who now are being arrested and deported at record rates, breaking up families, and threatening DREAM kids with the possibility of being deported to a nation they have no memory of, since they came to this nation when very young, and had no choice in where they migrated to.

There is no debate that any felon, any criminal element–drug dealers, gangs, those who have committed major crimes–should and must be deported, but the simple act of people coming here for a better life, escaping persecution and violence in many nations, and those who overstay their visas, should not be included in the deportation.

And many do not understand or realize that millions of undocumented immigrants are making real contributions to our economy, and are not breaking the law, and are not criminal elements, and the breaking up of families and deportation of children is, in itself, a horrible criminal act by the US government.

How about cracking down on native born Americans who are felons, commit the vast number of terrorist acts in this country, and use their Christian faith as a justification for their bloodshed and violence?

Donald Trump and his administration lacks any sense of common decency, empathy or compassion.

Trump Support Hemorraghing Rapidly In “Red” States!

Three weeks to go until the Presidential Election of 2016, and it seems clear, by public opinion polls,that Donald Trump’s support in “Red” states is hemorrhaging rapidly.

His mishandling of the sexual assault allegations has turned many Republicans against him, and his condemnation of Republican leadership, including Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, is damaging his ability even to hold on to the loyal Republican states.

So we have evidence that the following states are possible pick ups by Hillary Clinton:

North Carolina
Georgia
Arizona
Utah
Indiana
Missouri
South Carolina
Texas
Alaska
Mississippi
Kansas
Nebraska (or at least the Omaha area)

One can be quite certain that many of these states will, in the end, still back Donald Trump, but by a much smaller margin than for Mitt Romney in 2012 or John McCain in 2008.

But the first four on the above list look ripe for being picked up by Hillary Clinton and the Democrats.

I will post an entry close to the election on my final projections, and I remind my readers that, independent of Nate Silver in 2012, I projected, as he did, the precise electoral vote distribution-332-206.

I also will publish my projection on History News Network, and will be on radio with Jon Grayson of CBS St Louis, KMOX 1120 AM, Overnight with Jon Grayson, one of the radio shows I have been on, and posted on the right side of the blog, on Election Night at 1 AM ET on November 9, a few hours after the polls have closed, to comment on the results.

The Myth That The Election Victory Of Hillary Clinton Is Narrowing: The Misunderstanding Of The Electoral College As Against Polls

It is amazing to this author and blogger that so many Americans seem to think that the election victory of Hillary Clinton is narrowing, according to some public opinion polls.

There is a failure to understand that news media have an investment in building up that there is a real battle between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, when there is absolutely no realistic chance for Donald Trump to overcome the deficits that he has created for himself over the past 15 months.

The point to be made is that it is the Electoral College and 270 electoral votes that elects our President, and in fact, as George W. Bush reminded us, a candidate can actually lose the national popular vote and still be elected President, as happened in 2000, and also in 1824, 1876, and 1888.

There are 18 “Blue” states and the District of Columbia, which have voted Democratic from 1992 on, and are not about to change. But even if Pennsylvania and Wisconsin somehow surprised us, which is not going to happen in the real world, Hillary Clinton is presently ahead in all of the “Swing” states that Barack Obama won, plus she is even or slightly ahead in a number of “Red” states.

If she wins the likely 242 from the 18 states and DC, all Hillary needs is Florida OR Ohio and Virginia OR a combination of other “Swing” or “Red” states, the latter including, possibly North Carolina, Georgia, Arizona, Utah, Montana, South Carolina, and even in new polls the states of Texas and Mississippi, and even possibly one vote in Nebraska in the Omaha area, since Nebraska, along with Maine, allows splitting of electoral votes.

To believe that Hillary will somehow lose is totally preposterous, while it can be said that IF the Republican Party had nominated John Kasich, or even possibly, Jeb Bush, all bets would have been off.

And while Gary Johnson will have some effect in some states, the Libertarian nominee is not going to be the spoiler he thought he would be.

And the Green Party and Jill Stein—just forget it, not worth one’s time and attention!

Another Nail In The Coffin Of Donald Trump: The Dallas Morning News Editorial Endorsing Hillary Clinton

The Dallas Morning News is a conservative newspaper, which has endorsed Republican Presidential nominees since World War II, but this time they are endorsing Hillary Clinton, and have made it clear that they consider Donald Trump totally unqualified for the Oval Office.

This lack of an endorsement comes as some polls show Texas in play, along with Mississippi, South Carolina, Georgia, Arizona, Montana, and Utah, all possibly going “Blue” for this election, a development that no one really believes possible, but it seems it could happen.

Donald Trump has made many Republicans and conservatives alienated, with the closest alienation earlier being Senator Barry Goldwater in 1964, which led to a massive defeat, including states that one would have expected to vote Republican.

It is clear that Donald Trump has sealed his fate by his words and actions, along with his corruption and past scandals and failures.

He is ill prepared to be Commander in Chief, has poor judgment and temperament, and his loose mouth is a danger to diplomacy and international order.

Donald Trump Jr. A Chip Off The Old Block–Like Father, Like Son

Donald Trump Jr, the namesake of Donald Trump, had not been paid much attention before his father began his campaign for the Presidency, but now he is rumored to be planning to run for NYC Mayor in 2017.

And while it is understandable that he would defend his dad, the son is showing that he has tones of racism and nativism just like his father.

How could he go to Philadelphia, Mississippi, the site of the murders of three civil rights workers in 1964, including two Jewish kids from New York City and an African American youth from Mississippi, and speak up for the Confederate flag remaining on the state flag?

Andrew Goodman, Michael Schwerner, and James Chaney were murdered because they were trying to register blacks to vote in the state with the worst reputation imaginable on race relations.

Does Trump’s son have any knowledge of history, or is he as ignorant and clueless as his dad about history?

It is unconscionable that Trump Jr. could defend a symbol which is connected with the defeated Confederacy, slavery, Jim Crow segregation, and lynching!