HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » PandoraAwakened » Journal
Page: 1 2 Next »


Profile Information

Member since: Thu Oct 4, 2018, 12:57 PM
Number of posts: 905

Journal Archives

Synopsis of Arizona's Battle Against Voter Suppression

See the following posted in General Discussion:

"Sinema versus McSally: Arizona's 2 Largest Counties Fighting Back Against Voter Suppression"


Go Sinema!
Posted by PandoraAwakened | Fri Nov 9, 2018, 06:25 PM (6 replies)

Sinema versus McSally: Arizona's 2 Largest Counties Fighting Back Against Voter Suppression

From the desk of: The American M.O.B. (Majority Opinion Blowback)

"My American M.O.B. over the GOP's Russian Mob any day, any time...Let's roll!"

PHOENIX -- If you're wondering what's going on with Arizona's vote count, here's an on-the-ground synopsis of what's happening:

First and foremost, there's a battle raging to combat the state's oppressive voter suppression laws and force a complete counting of Arizona's Early Ballot votes. In particular, the issue at hand is the easily manipulated and corruptible "signature match" law that has in the past enabled Republicans to discount large swaths of Democratic, Native American, Latino, and youth voters.

On one hand, you have the state's two largest counties, Maricopa and Pima (together comprising approximately 75% of the state's population) who decided to barrel ahead in counting their votes. On the other hand, you have Republicans doing what they always do best here: Run to the courts to get a judge to intervene and stop the vote count.

Why Republicans Want the Courts to Stop Vote Counting in Arizona

Late Wednesday, four county Republican parties filed a lawsuit against all Arizona County Recorders and the Secretary of State in an effort to stop "signature verification" of Early Ballots dropped off at the polls on Election Day as well as those arriving in the days just prior to the election:


UPDATE: A hearing on the matter occurred this morning in Maricopa County Superior Court. Judge Margaret R. Mahoney said in the hearing that it was too soon to require Maricopa and other counties to stop contacting voters to verify signatures on mail ballots. She also declined to order the counties to "temporarily separate mail ballots verified after Election Day":


The Republicans' increasingly feverish goal is to force continuance of a deceptive voter suppression tactic that has enabled them to remain in power several years past their time in Arizona---Early Ballots submitted near or on Election Day are NEVER COUNTED. The reason for this is because there is not enough time to complete the state-mandated signature verification by the state-mandated deadline of 7 pm Election Day, the point at which the state says counties are supposed to turn over "validated" ballot counts. These are the numbers from which races are called and voter statistics are created in Arizona.

So, how many Early Ballot votes are at stake? Well, that's the question of the day. Arizonans have never been allowed to know the true number of Early Ballots, particularly the ones not counted, and that's what the Republicans are desperate to prevent from coming out. Reportedly, 75% of the Arizona vote is cast using Early Ballots. The percentage not counted is unknown.

[In an interesting side note, a Republican troll attempted to dispute a separate Arizona story on DU by claiming that 90% of Arizona's vote is by Early Ballot. Given that all of the state's statistics, including those submitted to the federal government, show Arizona's highest Early Ballot total to be 75%, the troll was asked to cite his/her source. Amazingly, he cited himself as the source because he said he had worked at Arizona's Bureau of Elections and was in a position to know the "actual" total. When it was then pointed out that what he had just admitted to was that 15% of Arizona's actual vote was being suppressed in the Early Ballot process, he clammed up and disappeared.]

How "Early Ballot" Votes are Suppressed in Arizona

The important thing to understand about Early Ballot voting in Arizona is that this does NOT mean those ballots are necessarily cast early because voters can choose to either mail them or drop them off all the way up to and including Election Day at dropbox locations or at polling sites.

Republicans figured out years ago that the voter signature issue of Early Ballots is their "golden ticket" to suppressing the vote. First, as already noted, the time required by the very nature of the signature verification process eliminates Early Ballots cast late in the election process from ever being counted because state law crafted by Republicans prevents this.

In addition to later-arriving Early Ballots being ignored, Arizona state law also leaves it up to the counties to institute a hodge-podge of selective "signature match" voter suppression tactics in the weeks leading up to the election, including whether voters caught up in such baloney are ever notified that their votes were thrown out.

So how does this type of voter suppression work? In Arizona, early ballots have to be enclosed in the provided envelope; on the envelope is a tiny space where voters are required to sign. So, right off the bat, hapless voters who forget to sign the envelope are immediately disenfranchised and go into the "do not count" pile.

Next comes the completely manual "signature match" process completed by partisan hacks pretending to be "handwriting analysts" (even though every real handwriting analyst will tell you that you need at least 10 signature samples to even begin to make such comparisons).

The signatures on the Early Ballot envelopes are compared to the voter registration signatures on file. Remember that registration form you signed, perhaps while balancing a clipboard as you attended a community event where a get-out-the-vote drive was going on? Yeah, that signature. Does anyone remember exactly how they signed that form, which may have been years ago (a timeframe in which your signature has likely changed anyway)?

Some Arizona county officials will take the extra step of comparing the ballot envelope signature with the motor vehicle database containing signatures for driver's licenses and state-issued IDs. But, therein is another potential snag. What if your voter registration signature isn't exactly like your driver's license? What if one of them uses just your middle initial but the other uses your full middle name? This can become yet another excuse to throw out your vote if you're not registered with the "right" party from the point of view of the county worker performing the "handwriting analysis."

For an up-close look at "exact-match signature" voter suppression occurring in Arizona this election cycle, see the following story posted this past Sunday:


Additionally, Arizona's numerous other voter suppression laws present a labyrinth of "gotcha" provisions. For example, if you happen to find out in advance that there's a problem with your Early Ballot signature, short of marching yourself down to the County Recorder's Office to deal with it, you will likely be told to just go ahead and vote using a "Provisional Ballot." The problem with that, however, is that once you cast the Provisional Ballot after you've already cast an Early Ballot, by state law your vote can be thrown out because you voted twice!

Importance of Maricopa County Votes

Maricopa County, home of the state capital in Phoenix, contains approximately ~61% of Arizona's population. As the fourth largest county in the entire country, calling it huge is an understatement. It includes not just Phoenix, but all of the sprawling suburbs and towns out to the desert on three sides and to the low mountains at the north.

In Maricopa County alone, Democratic County Recorder Adrian Fontes, who won his position in 2016 running on a platform of fighting Arizona's notorious voter suppression, reported on Election Day that there were still 50,000 Early Ballots dropped prior to polls opening that needed to make it through the signature verification process. The day after the elections, local news stations were reporting that another 100,000-150,000 Early Ballots were submitted by voters on Election Day at the polling stations in Maricopa County.

Then, Fontes reported last night that there were 345,000 Maricopa County ballots yet to be processed. He further stated that the county's outdated vote-counting machines, of which there are too few in number for the size of the county, are only capable of processing 75,000 votes a day---and that's after the lengthy signature verification process.

Why Pima County is a Prime Target of Republicans' Legal Challenges

On October 24, prior to the election, the American Civil Liberties Union, League of United Latin American Citizens, League of Women Voters of Arizona, and several other groups wrote to Arizona's Republican Secretary of State, Michele Reagan, asking her to instruct the rest of the counties to follow Pima County's lead in contacting voters whose Early Ballots are at risk of being discarded:


Reagan rejected the letter by claiming she "doesn't have the authority to tell the counties what to do" in the lead-up to an election, suggesting this was instead an issue for the courts. No, seriously, that's what the Secretary of State, who is in charge of the elections, said.

The naming of all the state's County Recorder Offices along with the Secretary of State in the Republican lawsuit filed Wednesday is nothing more than a smokescreen to provide legal cover. The actual targets where Republicans want the vote counting to stop are Maricopa County (for the obvious reasons described above) and Pima County because Republicans are royally pissed that Pima had the audacity to kick this hornet's nest in the first place.

Pima County comprises the second largest Arizona population (approximately 14.5%). Its major city, Tucson, is a Democratic stronghold. This is the ONLY county in the entire state that makes a sincere effort to track down voters with Early Ballot signature issues, including not only illegibility and potential signature-matching problems, but also all the no-signature ballots of people who completely forget to sign in the tiny box on the outside of the Early Ballot envelope.

In addition to providing an online ballot-status site for voters, Pima County uses telephone, email, and in-person visits to notify voters of Early Ballot issues, giving them the chance to have their votes counted. More specifically, Pima is the only county that will do so even for Early Ballots cast on or near election day, thus typically holding up the calling of some races...like the Senate race between Sinema and McNasty.

Pima has been doing this for 15 years and Republicans are hopping mad about the county's continuance to do so after their party went through great pains in the Republican-controlled courts here to tighten the noose on voter suppression. According to the Arizona Republican Party, counties are only allowed to make such efforts "if time permits," in other words, by 7 pm on Election Day. This is the same legal loophole that allows Early Ballots cast on Election Day to be rejected outright because time will have run out to verify the signatures, let alone deal with any discrepancies.

However, in a bit of creative legal jujitsu, Pima County is turning one of the Republicans' own voter suppression laws against them in order to give itself the time to verify signatures of all Early Ballots cast and resolve any signature issues with voters:

Informally called the "challenge law," this is the law that allows county election officials to come in after previously cleared votes have already been counted for a race and "challenge" just enough ballots to change close elections. In the past, with Republicans in control of the Maricopa County Recorder's Office, this was used to great effect to help them win elections.

The way the challenge law works is this: If your vote is challenged, you have until 5 pm on the Monday after Election Day to jump through whatever new hoops are demanded to make your vote count---crazy stuff like having to bring in three recent utility bills to prove you live where you say you live, or additional ID to prove you are who you say you are even though the county had already supposedly verified all that through signature matching. This is why it's important for Arizona voters to continue checking their ballot status on the Secretary of State's website even in the days following an election.

In a move that angered Republicans to no end, Pima County claimed its rights under the "challenge law." But instead of using it to suppress votes, county officials challenged all the later-arriving Early Ballots, giving themselves until Monday night to finish verifying signatures and contacting voters having ballot problems, like forgotten and illegible signatures. This move, in turn, gave the Maricopa County Recorder's Office the incentive it needed to continue verifying and counting its Early Ballot votes also.

Thus, we see that the real impetus for the Republicans' hissy-fit lawsuit (and the next one that's sure to follow) is to try to yet again use Arizona's court system as a political bludgeon to beat Pima County into line for once and for all…especially now that it looks like the much more dangerous prospect, Maricopa County, has decided that it too wants to do justice by its Early Ballot voters.

Posted by PandoraAwakened | Fri Nov 9, 2018, 05:48 PM (9 replies)

tRump Was an Ass Even as a Teenager

The picture on the left in the OP of teen tRump in a "military" uniform is real (obviously, the text underneath is fake). Here's the skinny:

We all remember that bully in school who thought every prank and every mean act they engaged in was worthy of laughter and applause. Ever notice how those same guys always had a small gang of like-minded boys that they "led" so as as to assure their narcissistic "fix"?

At his private middle school (junior high) in Queens, NY, that guy was tRump. Now, this school, the Kew-Forest School, was a very small, "elite" academy. Thus, the antics that the orange buffoon led his gang into committing were quite noticeable, so much so that by the end of his eighth grade year and after many "consults" between the principal and his parents, the school finally said, "You're outta here!"

Meanwhile, at home, tRump also was acting out and, while daddy indulged his golden child's every whim, mommy dearest finally set her foot down when tRump started being abusive to her at the tender, young age of 15. That's when the decision was made to kick him out of the house. Off to military school for you, young man! Oh sure, that'll straighten him right up.

So, they shipped him upstate to the New York Military Academy, which is where the above picture comes from. So, how the hell did this guy end up making it through four years of military high school? Well, the commanders figured out fairly quickly that this kid was dumb as a box of rocks because he had spent all of grade school and middle school patting himself on the back for being the #1 troublemaker. So, what to do with him? Easy: They kept him busy by putting him on every single sports team they had---football, basketball, baseball, softball, soccer, wrestling, and even bowling (no shit).

So, how did he do? Well, he became known as the campus' biggest sports asshole, playing way too aggressively, constantly breaking rules, and, of course, cheating. The academy by and large just looked the other way because they felt it was at least better than him acting out in class.

Four years later, they gladly got rid of him with barely passing grades. Other than his involvement in sports, the only award tRump achieved in his entire time there was a medal for "neatness and order" (shades of authoritarianism?). The only "power" position they entrusted him with was that of Honor Guard Commanding Officer---yes, he led the military parades!

So, now you know the real story.
Posted by PandoraAwakened | Wed Nov 7, 2018, 09:44 PM (0 replies)

URGENT---Check Your Early & Absentee Ballots Online NOW: Do NOT Yield to Voter Suppression!

From the desk of: The American M.O.B. (Majority Opinion Blowback)

"My American M.O.B. over the GOP's Russian Mob any day, any time...Let's roll!"

URGENT ACTION NECESSARY: Check online to make sure your Early Ballot was not only received, but COUNTED!!!

"Exact-match signature" is in play in Arizona, as I'm sure it is in many other states. This past Friday, I had planned to knock on more doors, but found myself face-to-face with the proverbial "one in the hand is worth three in the bush" situation: Instead of canvassing, I ended up driving all the way up to NAU to bring my son's college friend back to where he is a registered voter because his straight-Dem vote was at risk of being suppressed.

The problem was that his mailed Early Ballot was going to be rejected because he had completed his voter registration using his full middle name, whereas he signed the green return envelope containing his ballot with his middle initial! Plus, his signature didn't look "exactly" like how he signed his driver's license, which, funny enough, is signed using just his middle initial! He found out about it after checking the status of his ballot on the Secretary of State's online site, which I had told my own son to do, who, in turn, had told his friends.

This young man is an 18-year-old, first-time voter who had no idea what to do when he discovered that his vote wasn't going to count. His own Rethuglican parents have turned their backs on him because he's gay. When he called his mother about it, she said, "Well, maybe this is God telling you that 'your kind' shouldn't be voting." Ughhh!!!!

This is a straight-A student on a 4-year college scholarship who also works part-time because even scholarships don't cover all necessities. While he does have a driver's license, he doesn't own a car and neither does anyone else in his group of friends, so he had no way of getting home to fix the problem. His parents haven't paid a damn penny toward his education and they couldn't be bothered to lift a finger to help him exercise his civic duty either. I swear, these Repugs never cease to disgust me.

My son told me that when his friend came to him on Thursday all depressed about losing out on his first chance to vote, my son said, "We gotta call my mom. She'll know what to do. She don't take no shit from anyone." Aww, bless his heart. [And yes, I did correct his language when he told me that---the word is "doesn't," not "don't," and the double-negative is a no-no. 😉]


At the crack of dawn Friday, I made the 3-hour drive up to the mountains, picked them both up (thankfully, neither have Friday classes, although my son's friend did have to get off from work), drove 3 hours back to the desert, went straight to the County Recorder's Office where we got that mess straightened out, stopped for lunch, drove 3 hours back up to NAU, dropped them at their dorm, and drove 3 hours back again where I was welcomed home by hubby with a tall glass of red wine---after which I promptly fell asleep without eating dinner.

The moral of this story is:

Check your Early Ballots online RIGHT NOW! Do not count on anyone notifying you of a problem, particularly if you're a registered Dem, a first-time voter, or have a Latino surname.

Additionally, if you have a son or daughter away at college who has voted via Early or Absentee Ballot, make sure they and their friends check online TODAY to be sure their votes are going to be counted. You only have 1 more day to fix this, guys. After the election won't count.

Arizonans can check their ballots at the following Secretary of State site: https://voter.azsos.gov/VoterView/AbsenteeBallotSearch.do

VOTERS IN OTHER STATES: Check online for your Secretary of State's Office and look for a ballot status link. [If you're in Kansas, forget that; Kobach has removed the links that would normally allow you to check either "Early Ballots" or "Provisional Ballots."] Another option is to check online with your County Recorder's Office. Many use their own software separate from the Sec. of State that you can check with.

Finally, if you find others who are being marginalized with "exact match signature" suppression, do everything you can to resolve the issue by getting them to their County Recorder's Office. Also, make sure they bring with them every piece of ID they own, including voter ID card if they received one after registering and most definitely a government-issued photo ID (driver's license, passport, etc.).

It is up to everyone to do everything in their power to FIGHT THIS VOTER SUPPRESSION BULLSHIT at every turn and at every instance it rears its ugly head.

Nobody ever said stepping into Wonder Woman's shoes would be easy, but, yeah, that's just how [email protected]*king important this election is at this critical juncture in our history. So, put on your Superman cape or rev up the Batmobile, whatever superhero mojo you need to get you through the extra mile on this one.

Tick-tock…1 day and counting.

Posted by PandoraAwakened | Sun Nov 4, 2018, 02:14 PM (77 replies)

Oprah: If You Don't Vote, You're 'Dishonoring' Your Ancestors Who Couldn't

Source: Huffington Post

Oprah Winfrey on Thursday delivered a powerful message to attendees of a town hall in support of Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams: Don’t dishonor your ancestors by failing to vote in the midterm elections.

The media mogul invoked the story of Otis Moss Sr., who had walked 18 miles to vote in an election but was told he was too late to cast a ballot. He died before he was able to finally vote in the next election.

“For anybody here who has an ancestor who didn’t have the right to vote and you are choosing not to vote wherever you are in this state, in this country, you are dishonoring your family,” Winfrey said at an event in Marietta on Thursday.

“You are disrespecting and disregarding their legacy, their suffering and their dreams when you don’t vote,” she added.

Read more: https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/oprah-winfrey-stacey-abrams-ancestors_us_5bdb35ade4b019a7ab5b4f58

Oprah Video Excerpt: https://twitter.com/twitter/statuses/1058049834085765123

Inspiring and uplifting: GO VOTE!

From the desk of: The American M.O.B. (Majority Opinion Blowback)

"My American M.O.B. over the GOP's Russian Mob any day, any time...Let's roll!"
Posted by PandoraAwakened | Thu Nov 1, 2018, 09:21 PM (9 replies)

Thousands Gather In Squirrel Hill For Protest, Turn Backs On President Trump's Motorcade

Source: KDKA 2 CBS Pittsburgh

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Thousands of people gathered in Squirrel Hill Tuesday for two protests in opposition to President Donald Trump’s visit to the City of Pittsburgh, following the shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue...

...The two rallies eventually merged together for one big rally.

Police halted the protesters path about a half a block before reaching the Tree of Life Synagogue, while the president was there.

While they could not see President Trump, the protesters did hear the sirens from his motorcade. While it left the area, many of them turned their backs and knelt down as a sign of opposition to him and his policies.

Read more: https://pittsburgh.cbslocal.com/2018/10/30/squirrel-hill-protests-president-trump-tree-of-life-synagogue/

So proud of Pittsburgh!
Posted by PandoraAwakened | Tue Oct 30, 2018, 08:00 PM (17 replies)

It Literally Made Me Sick that I Predicted This

While in the process of compiling a story that looks at certain ultra-nationalist groups who violently support tRump, news broke of the mass shooting at the Tree of Life Congregation Synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

I quickly scrolled through alleged shooter Robert Bowers' social media grab from "Gab" (http://archive.li/k63LE), a Twitter-like platform where white supremacists, white nationalists, neo-Nazis, and members of other alt-right groups congregate. It revealed some posts that support a conclusion I had arrived at a few days ago after having waded through the muck of some truly despicable sites of the far-far right while conducting research for my report:

Keeping in mind that the vast majority of these guys are tRump supporters, there is a fair amount of "hair on fire" tumult and discord going on right now amongst the white supremacy extremists. This is due to a mixture of shock, uncertainty, and anger over some recent high-profile arrests of some of their own (the focus of my article), capped off by the MAGAbomber event, over which half of them are in denial with the usual wild conspiracy theories and the other half are depressed and despondent about "how it makes the president look."

Meanwhile, there's another smaller group amongst the white supremacists who appear from their comments to be getting more frustrated by the minute. These are the truly hardcore anti-Semites, many of them "old-guard" neo-Nazis who never crossed over the line to embrace tRump like most of their peers did, largely because his daughter married a Jewish man, she converted to Judaism, and her children are being raised Jewish.

This smaller group is appalled that tRump's "cult of personality" has overtaken their "politics," which was previously laser focused on hating Jewish people. The following sarcastic post written a few days ago by alleged shooter Robert Bowers encapsulates the frustration of this far-right minority:

"amazing amount of division on gab today…glad the overwhelming jew problem has been solved so we can now fight with each other."

In talking with fellow writers Friday night about the ultra-nationalists research I had done, there was speculation about potential retaliatory violence that might result from the recent arrests of some of tRump's most ardent and most dangerous supporters.

I said that, while this was certainly a possibility, I felt the next round of violence was instead going to come from one of these frustrated anti-Semites who, having failed to wrap themselves in the tRump flag, are becoming increasingly more isolated and disconnected from their own community of haters.

These guys have found it impossible to re-take a strictly Jew-bashing narrative amidst the far-right's alternating online cacophony of tRump worship and angst, which overwhelms their own messages. With no other echo chamber to go to for validation of their particular hate without including tRump in the conversation, I thought it was inevitable that one of them would eventually blow his stack.

The next day I awoke to the news of the synagogue shooting and identification of the suspect. I scanned through Robert Bowers' social media posts and instantly recognized the telltale signs placing him in the hardcore anti-Semitic group I had described to my friends the night before.

The next thing I knew, I found myself vomiting in the toilet. It literally made me sick that I predicted this.
Posted by PandoraAwakened | Sun Oct 28, 2018, 12:17 PM (0 replies)

Boilerplate Rethuglican Fundraising

From the desk of: The American M.O.B. (Majority Opinion Blowback)

"My American M.O.B. over the GOP-Russian Mob any day, any time...Let's roll!"

In answer to your question regarding why the Washington Times would print a supposedly "favorable" article about a Democratic candidate (https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2018/oct/22/kyrsten-sinema-pulls-even-martha-mcsally-arizona-s/):

This is actually a commonly used tactic to induce specific Washington D.C. PACs to send cash to a Rethuglican campaign viewed by local operatives on the ground as "in trouble."

Make no mistake about it, there are very specific D.C. PACs that are being targeted to read and react to the WT article. Those particular PACs will have tangential ties to the specific Rethuglican political operative quoted in the article, which almost always is the only person interviewed for "background" on the Democratic candidate.

Aides for the Rethuglican PACs are tasked to scan the right-wing rags for just such articles and if the name of the political operative quoted in the article is on that PAC's "heads-up" list, it will be walked right up to the top, followed by a money trail shortly thereafter.

Timing is also critical. The WT article follows on the heels of the conservative Arizona Republic newspaper (the state's largest) coming out in support of the Democratic candidate, which they rarely do.

So, let's analyze this particular article for the "tells" that give it away as a fundraising dog whistle:

1.) Headline about Democratic candidate is designed to capture Rethuglicans' attention and scare the bejeezus out of them.

2.) Sure enough, the only person quoted as to the "merits" of the Democratic candidate comes from Stan Barnes, one of Arizona's top Rethuglican political operatives. The framing of his quote is entirely boilerplate and follows "the rule of threes," a writing principle that suggests a trio of statements is most effective in engaging readers. Here's an analysis of Barnes' three-sentence quote:

a.) Set the Democratic candidate up as the smartest cookie in the room: “She is perhaps the single best politician in Arizona today.” This is code for: "HELP!" She's kicking our ass!"

b.) Follow with a set of 3 adjectival compliments (2 real and the 3rd underhanded, which is designed to lead into the final sentence of the quote): "engaging, funny, and mirrors people."

c.) End with a slapdown to convince Rethuglican donors that the Democratic candidate is so clever that she's able to pull the wool over everyone's eyes: "She makes people think she agrees with them, even if she doesn’t.” This is code for: "Holy shit! Even Rethuglicans are voting for her!"

3.) The remainder of the very short article will feature the main talking points being used in the Rethuglican candidate's on-air ads, which is what the political operative is asking certain D.C. Rethuglican PACs to help fund more of.

So, there you go, that's the answer to your question. I keep an eye on Washington Times articles during an election just to identify the boilerplate fundraising articles that tip the hat on which Rethuglicans are in trouble.

Posted by PandoraAwakened | Wed Oct 24, 2018, 08:51 PM (0 replies)

Nov 6, 2018: Take-a-Millennial-or-Gen-Z to the Polls Day

From the desk of: The American M.O.B. (Majority Opinion Blowback)

"My American M.O.B. over the GOP-Russian Mob any day, any time...Let's roll!"

Dems, do you REALLY want to see a Blue Tsunami in a few weeks? If so, then here's my challenge to each and every one of you:

Find one Millennial or Generation Z voter who you will personally drive to the polling booth on November 6 or who you will personally supervise in getting their mail-in ballot completed and dropped off at either the post office or a ballot drop-off location.

I committed in my mind a few weeks ago to finding at least one young person to drive to the polls (even though I myself and my own Gen Z son who's old enough to vote are both Early Ballot mail-ins).

Result? I was quite surprised at how easy it was to have ended up with three fired-up young persons who are registered to vote for the first time in their lives and who have committed to the carpool. I'll be driving them as a group on election day and treating them to Starbucks afterwards. It's not that hard, people. Just start talking to neighbors, coworkers, your kids, their friends, etc.

If you're not a reader, skip to the "Conclusion" at the bottom of this article for the "magic bullet" I've discovered that gets Millennials and Gen Z voters to the polling booths. If you're more interested in digging beneath the surface of who these voters are, keep reading.

Millennials (Gen Y) & The "Woke" Generation (Gen Z) in a Nutshell

So, who's Gen Y and who's Gen Z? While the world has not yet settled on universally agreed-upon birth years/age ranges, the general differentiation starting to take hold between the two groups of young people is "pre-9/11" and "post-9/11." But for those of you who really need specific guidelines to go by on this, here's some Pew Research Center data:

In 2014, Pew at first named the year 2000 as the birth year between Generations Y and Z. However, it turns out that the 9/11 attacks, combined with the Great Recession, is turning out to be an anthropological and sociological marker between generational attitudes, which also will have its effects in the voting booth.

Thus, on the basis that anyone four years of age or younger at the time of the 9/11 attacks would have little or no memory of the event, in 2018 Pew revised its designation for Gen Z as those born from 1997-2013 (although the end date is not yet firm), which means they are currently 5-to-21-years-old. In terms of the upcoming election, Gen Z includes the 18-to-21-year-olds.

Meanwhile, Pew has designated those born from 1981-1996 as Millennials. So, how does this translate to voting? Well, obviously for 2018, the 22-to-37-year-old Millennials are the bigger of the two younger voting groups (for now, but keep reading).

Gen Z:

For voting purposes, Gen Z is not a statistically large group…yet. However, from just my own personal observations, those old enough to vote in this group are the most highly enthused about turning out to vote once someone walks them through the how-to ropes. However, if no one approaches them on the nuts and bolts of what they need to do to get registered, they will likely not dive into the pool until 2020.

Listen up, fellow Dems: It is critical to engage this youngest group politically right now, along with their younger brothers and sisters thereafter. The full force of Gen Z's voting power is yet to come and by the looks of it, it's going to be a doozy.

According to Forbes (2015), Gen Z makes up 25% of the U.S. population, which is an even larger group than either the Millennials or the Baby Boomers! These are the young students you saw rise up after the Parkland, Florida shooting. This is the group that self-describes as "woke." This is who is going to hold everyone's future in the palms of their hands across the entire spectrum of American society, much like the Baby Boomers have done for a few generations now.

So, if you do no other GOTV efforts for 2018, you need to do at least this one thing:

Go find one 18-to-21-year-old who you're going to make damn sure votes in this cycle. As an added bonus, the nice thing about this age group is that they tend to bring along a friend or two!


The most striking aspect of Gen Y is the fact that, depending on which source you cite, Millennials have either already overtaken the Baby Boomers in size or they will have done so by sometime in 2019.

As some of you are painfully aware, despite their numbers holding the power to absolutely make or break any U.S. election they might choose to get involved in, the Millennials had the lowest percentage voter turnout by age group in 2016. Now, there are many factors that come into play about why this happened and there are many general studies on Millennials from which you can extrapolate.

I will just say this, based both on what I've read and what I've heard firsthand from Millennials I've spoken to while canvassing, many (particularly the older ones) consider themselves to have been a driving force in helping to put Obama into the White House. And they expected to again be players in 2016, as evidenced by the large uptick in Millennial voter registrations at that time. But, their guy was Bernie, pure and simple.

[And please, before anyone gives themselves a hernia bending over backward to take this thread off-topic, which I've seen happen a lot here anytime someone mentions the "B" word, just cool your jets for a moment and let reality sink in.]

One of the Millennials' biggest issues was and still is personal debt, a lot of it fueled by crushing student loans, which they've found themselves struggling with, even as many have started having children of their own. In fact, many will tell you it was their own children they were thinking of, coupled with personal educational debt experience, that helped The Burn resonate when he spoke of low-cost higher education.

But, as we all now know, after what happened with the 2016 primary, the previously motivated Millennials became disillusioned, bagged up their marbles, and went home (as evidenced by all that unused currency in the form of increased Millennial voter registrations that ended up lying fallow). Many Millennials I've spoken to who didn't vote in 2016 now readily admit, given the craziness that has ensued as a result, that maybe saying "to hell with it" wasn't such a good idea, after all. So, there is hope with them.

Another factor to consider with Millennials is the effect of social media on their perceptions. They were the first to dive willy-nilly into Facebook and Twitter, experiencing more of their lives online than any other generation. As yet, there have been ZERO studies done regarding the actual influence of the disinformation campaigns initiated by foreign troll farms in the social media landscape. I, for one, will not be at all surprised, after such assessments are eventually conducted, to find that Millennials' political perceptions were more disproportionately affected by the Russian bots than the rest of the nation.

So, where does that put us with Millennials today? Polls continue to show a majority of them would rather Democrats take control of Congress in the upcoming Midterms and that they disapprove of Rethuglicans by a large margin. The big question, of course, is whether they'll make their preferences known by exercising their right to vote. Most polls show 50%-55% saying they will 'probably' or 'definitely' vote in a few weeks.

How can you help to get more Millennials to the polls? A crucial factor is that you have to talk to Millennials about what they care about, not what you think they should care about (see below). The good news is that many of them are already registered to vote from the last time they thought they were going to jump in, but then turned away.

What the Millennial Generation Cares About Politically

This is just a list of what I've found motivates Millennials to vote Democratic where I live. You will undoubtedly find variances in your own area. To that end, please add to this list by providing commentary below, and if you feel comfortable doing so, let readers know the general area in the U.S. where you live. I am in Arizona:

Political Issues: In terms of government, Millennials' biggest issues appear to be transparency, responsiveness, and corruption. Other issues they care about are income inequality, climate change, the environment, solar energy, preservation of public spaces, net neutrality, student loan debt, and having to work multiple jobs even after borrowing all that money for education. Those I've spoken to without higher education are deeply dissatisfied with the jobs they seem to be relegated to by not having at least associate's or bachelor's degrees.

Additionally, the young women of this demographic are hopping mad right now. Many are just realizing that something they've all heard their mothers talk about---previously vague concepts to them like "glass ceiling" and "pay inequality"---actually still exists. Their anger at bumping up against what they thought was consigned to the history books of their mothers' workforce days is exacerbated by the amount of debt they have.

Also, as has been born out with women across the board, 1 out of 3 of these young women have experienced some form of sexual harassment, mostly in their current workplaces. Sadly, about 1 in 6 have experienced sexual assault at some point in their lives. More in this age group have reported sexual misbehavior than any other group of women before them, and they can tell you all about what it's like to be silenced and denied due process as a result. Yeah, they're mad.

What The "Woke" Generation Cares About Politically

Following is a list of what I've found motivates Gen Z kids where I live. Again, please feel free to add to this list in your own comments below:

Political Issues: Gun violence, climate change, the environment, net neutrality, cost of higher education, lack of funding for K-12 education, diversity, judicial justice, wishing people would get over their hang-ups about their LGBTQ+ friends, and seeing themselves as the generation to move this country out of bigotry and racism.

As you can see, some of Gen Z's concerns overlap with the Millennials' interests. Differing issues the Millennials care about seem to be a direct reflection of their life experiences to this point, which may or may not also become concerns of Gen Z as they move in and out of college and/or into the work force. Differing issues that Gen Z kids care about appear to be more focused on seismic cultural shifts. It's also important to note that some sociological sources are still wrangling with delineating between these two groups and a few have stated they consider both generations combined to be "Millennials."

However, I can tell you that my own Gen Z children and their friends bristle at being called Millennials, who they see as politically apathetic and not civically engaged. As one of them put it to me, when Gen Z says "Stay Woke," they're not so much speaking to their own peers (who intuitively know no other way to be) as they are politely prodding their older Millennial cousins to "Wake the Hell Up."


Talk to young adult Millennials and Gen Z kids about their issues, what they care about. While you and I may understand healthcare, for example, to be extremely important, that is not necessarily what is topmost on their minds at the moment. (They're young. Remember when you, too, thought you would live forever and never get sick?) Whatever it is you find they care about where you live, bring it all back to the vote.

You're also going to discover, as you start to reach out, that these generations have a deep mistrust in current political and judicial institutions, and, frankly, it would be silly to deny that they don't have good cause for such distrust. However, through trial and error, I have figured out how to overcome this particular objection to voter participation:

Amazingly, for all the time they spend online, I have yet to meet anyone from either of these age groups who was aware, prior to me telling them so, that their generations are LARGER IN NUMBERS than any other in America.

As such, it is completely within their power to take over these institutions and remold them into a better future. That's when I see the lights come on and that's when I see a sudden interest in voting.

So, there you have it, folks. Each and every one of you needs to commit right now to finding and taking just one of these young persons to the polls in a couple of weeks. You might be surprised to find yourself with a carload!

Oh, and if you have a few bucks to spare, take them out for a latte afterward.

Posted by PandoraAwakened | Tue Oct 23, 2018, 08:53 PM (6 replies)

How to Vote for So-called "Nonpartisan" Judges on Your 2018 Election Ballot

From the desk of: The American M.O.B. (Majority Opinion Blowback)

"My American M.O.B. over the GOP-Russian Mob any day, any time...Let's roll!"

The Days of "Impartial Judges" Are Long Gone

The takeaway that every Democratic and Independent voter should now have after witnessing the Kava-Naughty debacle is that JUDICIAL APPOINTMENTS MATTER.

If you're in a county that has a "nonpartisan merit system" for judges, it can become especially hard to fully complete your ballot because of the sheer number of judges who might be up for Yes/No retention---all listed without notation of party affiliation or judicial ideology. In this type of system, judges are initially politically appointed and then face a retention election after being in office for a period of years.

Now, purists will say, "But judges are supposed to be impartial, so party ideology doesn't matter." To them I say, "WAKE THE HELL UP and smell the puke that's been hurled on you!"

With my own 2018 General Election Ballot in Arizona, 51 judges are listed, all of whom voters are supposed to decide whether to keep on the bench or not. Unfortunately, a lot of people skip this portion of the ballot because, short of looking up actual judicial decisions of each and every one of these guys (which might take you two serious weeks of research to achieve on top of your actual day job), most don't have a clue whether to say 'yes' or 'no' on any particular judge.

So, How Can You Determine Which Judges to Keep & Which to Dump?

Do you know who does vote 'yes' or 'no' for every last one of the "nonpartisan" judges up for retention? You got it, dear ones…far-right Rethuglicans. Why? How? It's really quite simple: The right-wingnut groups and Rethuglican PACs always provide judicial voting lists for their constituents…who to say 'yes' on and who to say 'no' on. Unfortunately, at least in my state, the Democratic organizations have not seemed to have picked up on this simple idea.

So, what should Democrats and Independents do to stop leaving the judicial retentions blank on their ballots? Duh…just vote exactly opposite however the Rethuglicans tell their sheeple to vote. Very simple and it doesn't take hours upon hours of research.

Where does one find such lists? That's simple, too. Just go to the websites of the far-right-wingnuts in your state. For example, in Arizona, I always go to "Intellectual Conservatives" (I know, what an oxymoron, right?) to know which judges to keep or dump by voting in reverse of what the Repugnants say. You know you have your own versions of this kind of crazy online in your state.

If you're not from Arizona, you can stop reading now and go follow through with the action plan I just gave you (if you have "nonpartisan" judges to contend with on your ballots). Then, post your results online to help your neighbors.

Arizona's "Judicial Performance Review"

Most Democrats I've talked to who do actually fill in the judicial part of the ballot do so based on the "recommendations" of the state's "Judicial Performance Review" (JPR), which, frankly, is the biggest crock of shart that ink has ever been wasted on.

The JPR is based on surveys completed mostly by lawyers, but also by a few litigants, jurors, witnesses, court staff, and a mysterious category called "parties who have contact with presiding judges." (WTF? I'm not sure I even want to know who's in that last group.)

Survey participants rank judges in general categories like "legal ability," "temperament," "communication skills," "administrative skills," etc. These surveys are then reviewed by a panel of 31-34 "volunteers" selected by Arizona's Rethuglican-packed Supreme Court. This commission then votes as to whether judges "meet" or "don't meet" standards, and all without the public ever getting to see the raw data upon which the commission's votes are supposedly based.

Not surprisingly, since this judicial evaluation system was put into place for Arizona's three largest counties back in 1992, very few judges ever get dinged in the JPR as "not meeting judicial standards." Everyone's usually just peachy-keen! In other words, if they have a pulse and a law degree and if they can sit on the bench without veering too far off into Kava-Naughty rage, then the sitting judges will meet the JPR standards.

What is interesting, though, is a look at the handful of judges through the years who have gotten the elusive JPR "does NOT meet standards." Only a couple of true miscreants are on that short list. The rest tend to be women judges who…surprise, surprise…bucked up against Rethuglican ideology! Imagine that…

Democrats, stop using the JPR as a "guide" to anything. It says nothing about judicial biases or ideologies, let alone the consequential decisions being made in these judges' courtrooms that have profound impact on public life.

For Arizonans Only: Supreme Court & Courts of Appeals; Superior Court (Maricopa County)

For Arizonans, I've reversed the "Friends of Kelli Ward" how-to-vote list for judges on the ballot this year. (Sorry, Pima County and Pinal County Superior Court judges were not on this list.) Because we all know Ward is her own special kind of Rethuglican cray-cray, we most certainly want to do exactly opposite what she says!

So, print out this list and use it to mark your ballots accordingly:

Justices of the Supreme Court:

BOLICK, CLINT---NO, NO, & HELL NO! [Biggest political-operative, Rethuglican ass-wipe in Arizona & leader of the Abolish Public Schools movement]


Judges of the Courts of Appeals:

SWANN, PETER---YES [Division 1]
ESPINOSA, PHILIP---NO [Division 2]

Judges of the Maricopa Superior Court:


So there you go Arizonans...straight from the horse's ass of none other than Kelli Ward. Mark your ballots as noted above and stick it in Kelli's eye.

Now get those Early Ballots in, or show up at the polls on Nov. 6 armed (with knowledge) and ready!

Posted by PandoraAwakened | Mon Oct 22, 2018, 01:18 PM (24 replies)
Go to Page: 1 2 Next »