Wednesday, October 5, 2022


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Monday, October 3, 2022

Trump threatens McConnell with Death. Uses racist nickname for Elaine Chao. Despicable!

by Rod Williams, Oct. 3, 2020- When you think Trump can't stoop any lower or get any crazier, he does. The above was posted by Trump on his social media platform over the weekend.  This is simply unacceptable.  Some Trumpinistas and Trump apologists will say he is speaking metaphorically and this does not constitute a death threat against McConnell. I think it does. Given how nutty some of Trump's supporters are this is a dangerous post. Some Trumpinistas may take this as a call to assassinate McConnell. 

Trump stood by for hours and did not call off a mob on January 6th that was intend on finding and hanging Vice President Mike Spence. Trump has maniacal followers who will kill in his name and Trump loves them and doesn't care. He encourages them. 

Also, the use of a racist nickname to attack McConnell's wife and Trump's former Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao is despicable. 

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City to modify Planned Parenthood funding bill to remove requirement funding Abortion tourism.

by Rod Williams, Oct. 3, 2022- There is a bill pending before the Metro Council that would provide a half-million dollar grant to Planned Parenthood. Included in the bill is $150,000 that would provide travel assistance for Davidson County residents seeking an abortion outside Tennessee. 

The bill is being changed to remove the funding for travel expenses for residents seeking an abortion. The change comes about because Metro Legal says the bill would violate Title X federal funding requirements which says Title X dollars may not fund abortion or abortion-related services. Planned Parenthood would still get the $500,000 but the specific requirement that $150,000 be used for travel for abortion would be removed.  This is an improvement, but not much of one. I still oppose the bill. We know in the real world how things like this work. Planned Parenthood would fund Abortion tourism with other funds that are now freed up due to the Metro funds. Also, I don't think any organization that advocates for abortion should receive any public funding.

I think it may be time for the State to step in and act to prohibit Metro from funding abortions through the back door.

For more read The Tennessean article, City turns focus of Planned Parenthood grant from abortion access, to birth control

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From right to work to slavery, Tennessee set to vote on four constitutional amendments

 By Jon Styf | The Center Square, Oct. 3, 2022 — Tennessee residents will be asked to vote on four different constitutional amendments.

In order to pass, the amendments will need to receive approval from more than 50% of those voting in the Nov. 8 statewide election after going through an extensive process to reach the ballot.

The four initiatives include a right-to-work amendment, a gubernatorial succession plan, a ban on indentured servitude for those incarcerated, and the end of a law that prevents ministers from being elected to public office.

Several of the amendments are formalizing rules that are already followed, including the rule regarding ministers and the right-to-work amendment.

The rule against ministers holding public office was found to be unconstitutional by the Supreme Court in 1978 but the words were never formally removed from the Tennessee Constitution.

Tennessee has had a right-to-work law in place since 1947 and is one of 27 states with such laws, which allow workers across the state to elect whether or not they would like to join a union. Without a law in place, unions can require membership as a condition of employment as they do federally.

Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee is the statewide chairman of the "Yes on 1" supporting the measure with a campaign committee that includes former Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam.

"The right-to-work law simply means you cannot be forced to join a union and pay dues in order to get or keep your job, nothing more," former Tennessee Sen. Brian Kelsey, who sponsored the amendment, wrote last week.

Many, including Tennessee Senate Democratic Caucus Press Secretary Brandon Puttbrese, oppose the measure.

"The anti-worker ballot initiative to amend Tennessee’s constitution will further destroy the freedom workers have to negotiate for better pay and benefits," Puttbrese told The Center Square previously. "Policies like this tip the scales of power toward big corporations. That’s not a free market — that’s market manipulation against workers, union and non-union.

"Tennesseans already earn $10,000 less a year than the average American worker. This amendment will only make our low-wage, no-benefit economy worse. We strongly encourage every Tennessean to vote for better wages and benefits by voting NO on Amendment 1."

Tennessee previously did not have a gubernatorial succession plan if a governor was incapacitated. The amendment would temporarily put the state’s lieutenant governor in charge without requiring that person to resign from his or her current post.

A "Yes on 3" campaign with bipartisan support would change the state’s constitution to say "That slavery and involuntary servitude are forever prohibited in this State. Nothing in this section shall prohibit an inmate from working when the inmate has been duly convicted of a crime."

The state Constitution currently has an exception where work can be required of those convicted of a crime. The "Yes on 3" support includes the mayors of Nashville, Memphis, Knoxville, Knox County and Chattanooga along with state lawmakers from both parties.

"There is absolutely no place in the world where slavery should exist, and certainly not within the Tennessee State Constitution," said Rep. Bob Freeman, Co-Chair of the Yes On 3 Advisory Board. "I am honored to work with my Republican and Democratic colleagues who overwhelmingly share the common belief that 'Words Matter.' This vote is not about left or right, it’s about right or wrong."

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Tennessee's 5th Congressional District race between Ogles, Campbell will take spotlight on Nov. 8

Andy Ogles, left, at the entrance to a voting location
 Thursday, Aug. 4, 2022, in Brentwood, Tenn.
By Jon Styf | The Center Square Sep 27, 2022
  — Of Tennessee’s nine congressional seats on the upcoming Nov. 8 ballot, the one expected to get the most attention statewide is the newly drawn 5th Congressional District including some of Nashville.

Republican Andy Ogles, the Maury County mayor, is taking on Sen. Heidi Campbell, D-Nashville, in a contest of contrasting ideologies.

Ogles is pro-life, stating "life begins at conception, and we are duty-bound to protect it at every stage until natural death." Campbell, meanwhile, believes that Tennesseans should have the right to choose abortion, saying "everyone should have the freedom to decide what is best for themselves and their families, including when it comes to abortion."

Campbell has also opposed Amendment 1 on the upcoming ballot, which would put right to work in the Tennessee Constitution.

Early voting begins on Oct. 19 for the Nov. 8 election.

Before then, Campbell has been calling for a debate. Those favored to win a race, however, are often less likely to commit to a debate as it is less likely to help their chances than an underdog.

"Voters deserve a public debate from candidates who run for Congress," Campbell said. "Families deserve to hear why he wants to defund public schools, ban abortion nationwide and increase prescription drug costs on seniors. I guess if I had to defend his ugly record, I’d be hiding too."

Ogles, meanwhile, has campaigned for more responsible government spending such as the recent $740 billion spending bill dubbed the Inflation Reduction Act by congressional Democrats despite the fact most Americans believe that it will not reduce inflation.

Spending has increased by $9 trillion, inflation increased by 550%, and food prices are up 13.5% under the Biden administration," Ogles tweeted. "Enough is enough! We must cut wasteful spending, strive toward energy independence, and restore the American supply chain."

Ogles has opposed Biden’s plan to hire 87,000 more Internal Revenue Service agents as part of the bill.

While Campbell won her primary unopposed, Ogles advanced through a crowded field with plenty of drama as three candidates were removed by the state’s Republican Party before the election and one of them — Robby Starbuck — received nearly 2,500 write-in votes to finish fifth in the race behind Ogles, former Tennessee House Speaker Beth Harwell, Kurt Winstead and Jeff Beierlein.

Ogles fared best in the Maury and Williamson county portions of the district with more than 6,500 primary votes in each while Harwell nearly doubled Ogles in the Davidson County portion of the district.

Portions of Wilson, Marshall and Lewis counties are also in the district, which was redrawn this year before U.S. Rep. Jim Cooper announced he would not run for the seat after Nashville and Davidson County were split between two districts. 

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Wednesday, September 28, 2022

America is not giving more than its fair share to stop Russian aggression. Others with far less are giving a greater share of their resources.

by Rod Williams, Sept. 28, 2022 -
I am proud of America for stepping up to the plate and again being the arsenal of democracy.  As one of the two most powerful countries on earth and the leader of the democratic nations of the world, we have an obligation to keep the world safe for democracy. I am proud of President Biden for his support of Ukraine and for rallying other nations of the world to do the same.

President  Biden's disastrous withdrawal from Afghanistan and abandonment and betrayal of the Afghanistan people was shameful. Many Afghanis had chosen freedom and had trusted the US to stand by them. By the time we withdrew the war was not costing us in American lives and our presence was keeping the Taliban at bay.  Our withdrawal thrust Afghanistan back into a medieval nightmare. While our shameful handing of Afghanistan back over to the Taliban is a black mark against President Biden, he has shown courage and leadership in supporting the brave people of Ukraine. He comes close to redeeming himself.

The opposition to America helping Ukraine has come from the right in America. This surprises me.  Throughout my lifetime, most foreign affairs have been nonpartisan but Republicans could be counted upon to be the more hawkish.  When there has been opposition to American support for those standing up to Communist aggression, it had come from the left. Isolation and appeasement of totalitarian aggressors have not always come from the left, of course. Prior to World War II it was the American right that favored isolationism and appeasement. Since World War II, however, it has been the American left that has been the source of defeatism and pacifism  Now isolationism and appeasement is coming from the right. 

America's favorite political pundit is Fox New's Tucker Carlson and he has shown to be a mouthpiece for Vladimir Putin. Tucker Carlson is a Moscow propagandist. Tucker Carlson and other like-minded "conservative" voices spread the message that Ukraine is a flawed country not worthy of support and repeats the Putin argument that we are antagonizing Russia by supporting a country's desire for independence from Moscow.  To them, we should not antagonize Russia by encouraging a country to align with the West if that country is currently within the Russian sphere of influence. These are the same arguments liberals were making when the US was challenging the Soviet Union's aggression. 

One argument that Putin Apologist Republicans make is that the war is costly and we should be using the funds we are spending to support Ukraine to fix problems at home.  Instead of supporting Ukraine, we should be spending that money on securing our southern border or helping homeless vets. This is not a new argument. It is an argument we are accustomed to hearing from liberals when they were the advocates of appeasement and isolation. They argued we should be spending the money on health care or anti-poverty programs and fighting global warming and global hunger.  The size of the Defence budget has been a constant criticism of the left for decades.  There are always other things our nation could be spending money on rather than military spending.  Realists know, however, that we must stand up to aggressors if we are to exist as a nation and if freedom is going to flourish or survive in a dangerous world. 

Another argument that Putin Apologist Republicans make is that we are doing more than our share. We should not be the one funding Ukraine defense, they argue.  They argue that we are the primary supporters of Ukraine and that other countries should be doing more.  In absolute dollars, America is doing more to help Ukraine than anyone else, but we have more.   We are one of the richest countries in the world. Only a small handful of small countries such as Luxembourg and Monaco are wealthier. When looking at the wealth of a country and the percent of GDP that country gives to support Ukraine we are not doing more than many other nations. We are giving less than Estonia, Latvia, Poland, Lithuania, or Norway as a percentage of what we have.  These countries are sacrificing to give. We should and could do more. If we let Putin take Ukraine, he will not stop there.  

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Stop the next coup attempt; support the Great Task

 About the Great Task:

The Great Task is a multi-candidate PAC sponsored by Congresswoman Liz Cheney that is focused on reverence for the rule of law, respect for our Constitution, and a recognition that all citizens have a responsibility to put their duty to the country above partisanship. The Great Task is designed to educate and mobilize Americans in a unified effort to ensure that our Republic endures.


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Tuesday, September 27, 2022

The survival of American Democracy may not depend on who is Senator or President, but who is a state's Secretary of State.

Read the full article at this link
BY CHARLOTTE ALTER/PHOENIX, Time, SEPTEMBER 21,2022 - ... Fontes is running for Arizona secretary of state, a typically anonymous role that oversees the tedious details of election administration: training poll workers, managing the statewide voter-registration database, verifying the accuracy of voting machines, and certifying election results. But in 2022, the job has taken on an outsize importance. Fontes’ opponent, Republican Mark Finchem, is an election denier: an avid promoter of former President Donald Trump’s baseless claim that the 2020 election was stolen through widespread voter fraud. He is one of many Republicans running to oversee America’s next elections while denying the legitimacy of the last one. ....

The Trumpian Stop the Steal movement is unprecedented for its scale, its longevity, its resistance to established facts, and its embrace of violence as a mechanism to overturn the will of the voters. Proponents believe that the 2020 presidential race was actively stolen, not just that the outcome was unfair. They believe this so strongly that many of them stormed the Capitol on Jan. 6 to stop the election’s certification, breaking a nearly 250-year tradition of peacefully transferring power. They believe it even though judges found that more than 60 of Trump’s postelection legal challenges were lacking in merit; even though state and federal investigations have repeatedly found no widespread voter fraud in 2020; and even though Trump’s own Department of Homeland Security, Justice Department, and FBI vouched for the election’s integrity. In Arizona, the Republican-sponsored audit that set out to prove mass voter fraud in the state actually revealed the opposite, uncovering a handful more votes for Biden and fewer for Trump. ...

If any of these candidates win, experts warn, they would possess a broad array of powers to undermine future elections if they don’t like the results. A rogue election official could attempt to prematurely stop the counting of ballots, pervert the Electoral College process, turn over the outcome of the election to partisan state legislators, or simply refuse to certify the result, all while publicly sowing doubt about the validity of the contest. It could present an existential test for American democracy. “If you can’t have trusted, neutral people running our elections, then you don’t really have free and fair elections,” says Lawrence Norden, senior director of the Elections and Government Program at the Brennan Center for Justice, a law and policy institute. “Then we’re not a functioning democracy anymore.” 

...of 552 Republicans on the ballot in 2022, 201 have stated that the 2020 election was stolen or taken action to overturn the results, and an additional 61 have “raised questions” about the outcome. According to this tally, roughly 60% of American voters will have at least one election denier on their ballot in November. Many of them are running for statewide roles that would oversee the next election. (link to the full article)

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Sunday, September 25, 2022

Stop the next coup attempt by denying election victory to Trumpinista election deniers in Arizona. Support these Democrats.

Support Katie Hobbs
for Governor of Arizona.
 by Rod Williams, September 23, 2022- In looking at the 2022 mid-term election I have determined I cannot support the Republican Party. Not that I will not support any individual Repubicans but I will not support someone just because they are a Republican. I will not support the Party or any subdivision of the Party. To do so is to fund the election of people, some of whom would betray their country if given the chance.  I explained why I cannot support the Republican Party in more detail in a post titled I am suspending my support for the Republican Party

In a nutshell, the reason I cannot support Republicans in 2022 is that support for the claim of the stolen election runs deep in the Republican Party. Coast to coast in races that will determine who will have a role in overseeing, certifying or defending elections, Republican voters nominated Republican candidates who supported overturning the results of the 2020 presidential race. I fear that if given the chance these Republicans would support the next coup attempt.  The 2021 coup attempt failed, among other reasons, because Republican officeholders proved to be patriotic Americans who put fealty to the Constitution and love of country above loyalty to Donald Trump. The current crop of Republicans appears, in many cases, to be Trump loyalists who can not be trusted with the sacred duty of upholding the Constitution.

To me, the number one issue in the 2022 election and way out front of any secondary issue, is fealty to the Constitution and support for the peaceful transfer of power. 

Support Adrian Fontes
for Secretary of State of Arizona
Some of the election deniers nationwide don't really have their heart in the denial and try to avoid taking a position on the issue but will throw a lean bone to the Trumpinistas now and then by casting doubt on the legitimacy of the 2020 election, or an even a leaner bone by saying they support election integrity. I also support election integrity.  I think one should have to prove who one is before voting. I think most voting should be in-person and I oppose same-day voter registration. Much of the liberal press will conflate anyone who supports election integrity with an election denier.  They are not the same thing. Not everyone who is called an election denier is actually an election denier. Many are, however.

While some people called election deniers are not really election deniers and while some election deniers don't have their heart in it but will placate the base by casting doubt on the legitimacy of the election, that is not the case with the election deniers running for office in Arizona. They are the real deal. They are hardcore Trumpinista election deniers.

Arizona is important as are a handful of other swing states.  In 2020, Arizona was one of the states where Trump tried to flip the results of the election. If Donald Trump can put loyalists in control of counting and certifying the election in Arizona and a handful of other states, the next coup attempt may be successful.

Support Kris Mayes for 
Attorney General of Arizona

 In Arizona, the candidate for governor is Kari Lake a former TV personality and an unequivocalelection denier.  Kari Lake has publicly supported, received endorsements from, or accepted campaign contributions from eight of the 11 fake electors in Arizona. These "electors" were chosen by the Trump campaign and other Republican officials and presented as "alternate" electors to vote in place of the state's actual elected electors. (link)

Not only is election denier Kari Lake in a position to take the governorship, two other state offices with roles to play in overseeing, certifying or defending elections, are being sought by election deniers.  One is Secretary of State and the other is Attorney General.

Republican Mark Finchem, who is running for Arizona secretary of state, has deep ties to the Trump coup attempt. Finchem was one of a number of the Arizona state lawmakers who held unofficial "hearing" at a Phoenix hotel on Nov. 30, 2020 at which Trump and his lawyer Rudy Giuliani made unfounded claims of election fraud.  Finchem took part in the "stop the steal" marched at the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021 and he is a member of the paramilitary Oath Keepers organization whose leader and other members have been charged with seditious conspiracy for their role in the insurrection. One can not get much more Trumpinista than Mark Finchem. If elected Finchem would be the chief of election administration in the state.

Abraham Hamadeh is seeking the office of attorney general. He won the crowded Republican Attorney General primary race after securing Trump’s endorsement. He has said he would not have certified the results of the 2020 election in his state and has said he would use the attorney general’s office to “prosecute crimes of the rigged 2020 election.” (link)

These three people seeking these state offices deserve to be defeated. I am not supporting the opponents of these three Republicans because I agree with them on border security, or right to life, or the second amendment, or any other policy position. I am supporting the opponents of three election deniers because if elected, these three Republicans would be in a position to make the next coup attempt a success. 

All of the above races and the race for Senator where Republican election denier Black Masters is running against Democrat Mark Kelly are close. (link) All four of the contest are in play. 

In the race for governor, Republican Kari Lake's opponent is Democrat Katie Hobbs. A recent Trafalgar Group poll shows Kari Lake slightly ahead with support from 50% of the likely voters and Katie Hobbs with 45.6 %. Money could still make a difference in this race.  Hobbs is a former social worker, State Senator, and Secretary of State of Arizona. You can learn more about Katie Hobbs and make a donation to her campaign at this link

In the race for Secretary of State, Republican Mark Finchem's opponent is Democrat Adrian Fontes. The recent Trafalgar poll shows Mark Finchem ahead with 48% of the vote and Fontes with 41%.  Adrian Fontes is 52 years old and is a sixth-generation Mexican American who can trace his Arizona roots back to 1695. He is a veteran of the United States Marine Corps and the father of three daughters. You can learn more about his candidacy and make a contribution at this link.  

In the race for Attorney General, Republican Abraham Hamadeh's opponent is Democrat Kris Mayes. The Trafalgar poll shows Hamadeh leading with 50% of the votes of likely voters compared to 41% for Mayes. Kris Mayes is an attorney, a mom, a professor, a former journalist, and was an Arizona Corporation Commissioner. You can learn more about her campaign and make a contribution at this link

I never did think I would be sending money to support Democrats. I agree with Republicans on almost all policy positions, However, I really believe the survival of America as a democracy is on the line.  The 2020 coup attempt failed but the next attempt may very well succeed if Trumpinistas control the election machinery in swing states.  We must stop the next coup attempt.

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