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Let a thousand Justice Department probes of Texas voter suppression bloom

Just don’t expect too much to happen.

With Texas lawmakers poised to push for new voting restrictions in a special session next week, the state’s congressional Democrats are urging U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland to investigate Texas’ existing voting laws.

In a letter to Garland on Thursday, the Democrats — led by U.S. Reps. Joaquin Castro of San Antonio and Marc Veasey of Fort Worth — urged the U.S. Department of Justice to examine what they called “unconstitutional voter suppression” in Texas. They pointed to a number of existing practices that they say disproportionately affect Black and Latino voters, including the closure of polling sites across the state, reports of voter intimidation and a lack of Spanish-language voting materials.

They also reminded Garland that Republicans are likely to bring back a revised version of a controversial elections bill as early as next week, asking that federal officials keep a close eye on any changes.

“The Department of Justice must protect voting rights for all Texans,” wrote the group of 12 lawmakers, which includes all of the state’s Democratic members of Congress except U.S. Rep. Henry Cuellar of Laredo. “I am requesting that the DOJ Civil Rights Division focus its investigative powers in key areas reported over the last several elections that present a pattern of racially discriminatory voting practices in Texas.”

This was motivated in part by AG Garland puttint Texas on notice after suing Georgia over its voter suppression law. I applaud the move, but I don’t expect much from the federal courts, especially now. Put the maximal pressure on the poll watcher stuff and the “mistaken” provision to make it easier to overturn elections. Make some noise and hope to score some PR wins, if nothing else.

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16 Comments

  1. Bill Daniels says:

    We gripe about AG Paxton using his office for lawfare against the federal government, but celebrate when would-be SCOTUS judge Garland uses his position to enact revenge on Texas and other states.

    One thing I will say….leftists are a lot more aggressive than conservatives. Compare and contrast Garland with Kavanaugh. Both got treated like crap by the opposition party. But only one of them is doing something about it. Kavanaugh votes like a pussy, while Garland has cold anger, and is using his power to extract vengeance on those who screwed him over.

    Advantage: leftists.

  2. Bill Daniels says:

    Off Topic:

    I hope everyone has a Happy 4th of July. Celebrate our forefathers, who secured the blessings of liberty for themselves, and succeeding generations. We should be mindful of that, and quit trying to be the generation that loses that freedom.

  3. Manny says:

    The racists in the Republican party, do what they do best, lie and promote hate, a la Bill Daniels.

  4. Lobo says:

    Re: lawfare, enact revenge

    These are your chosen “fighting” words, Bill. Just because you use the first person plural doesn’t result in others agreeing on your premises, pre-judgments, or attribution of motives. Nor the equivalency of state vs. feds litigation and feds vs. state enforcement actions based on federal law. I, for one, haven’t yet formed an opinion as to whether the U.S. Justice Department should be launching an investigation of possible voting rights abuses in Texas. And the results of the federal litigations of various sorts last year in the Fifth Circuit, brought by voters and outfits claiming to represent them, including the TDP, don’t provide much encouragement.

    And as for celebrating, who is celebrating anything other today than the Fourth of July?

    Re: Fight, assault, combat etc. generally

    A legitimate point can be raised about the utilization of the vocabulary of war in domestic politics, which has become routine. The mindset it reflects and perpetuates does not lend itself to sober deliberation and compromise. It is not conducive to the smooth functioning of a democratic system when the other party or ideological grouping is demonized and made an object of hatred and condemnation.

    Regrettably both sides’ talk is infused with war rhetoric, as if the other side were the enemy to be vanquished. Even political scientists can be caught using the words of warfare, alas. The words of game (and game theory, for the segment of the sophisticated audience) may not be perfect either, but would be preferable.

  5. Bill Daniels says:

    Wolf,

    You’re avoiding reality. The US is literally IN a civil war of actual violence. Leftists use their blm and antifa street thugs in a coordinated manner to achieve anarcho-tyranny. Have you noticed, in the areas they operate, those street thugs can commit mayhem with impunity, but anyone who dares fight back against them gets arrested and the full force of law used against them? At the January 6th protest, have you even wondered why blm agitators like John Sullivan were let go and actual Trump supporters languish in solitary confinement?

    Look at the case in Austin….blm thugs blocked streets and were rioting. One of them, armed with an AK, aimed that AK at an innocent driver, who it later came out was an Army Sgt. The driver shot the guy who had leveled the AK at him, just as he probably shot hajis overseas that also leveled AK’s at him….self defense. That happened last year. The new Austin DA has charged the Army Sgt. with murder….for defending himself against a government sanctioned mob.

    Did you see the attacks in California, against people protesting against a spa? Actual peaceful protestors, Mexicans, a street preacher, women, an Asian…..just regular people with a grievance, were set upon by leftist street thugs, and the street thugs weren’t arrested.

    Even in Houston, the blm folks arrested during last year’s blm rioting…..Kim Ogg let virtually all of them go….charges dismissed, no trials. Why? Because the goal of the D.A.’s office isn’t public safety, it’s about power, about protecting anarcho-terrorists, protecting criminals, and striking fear into the populace.

    Wolf, you’re being naive at best, disingenuous at worst, if you don’t think political violence isn’t being used right now, today, and it is sanctioned by various forces in government. It’s not a ‘war of ideas,’ it’s an actual war, in the same way Hugo Chavez and Maduro use street thugs to corral THEIR people, while they fix their elections with rigged voting machines.

    Finally, this:

    “And as for celebrating, who is celebrating anything other today than the Fourth of July?”

    Your folks have been tearing down statues, railing against our founding fathers, railing against the US and its founding as evil. Shit, they march in the streets to proclaim their hatred for America. They’re renaming streets and schools to strip our founding fathers of the legacy they earned with their own sacrifice. Have you not been paying attention? Your people are NOT celebrating July 4th.

    The irony: The influx of Venezuelans pouring across our undefended border…..they are fleeing political oppression, and coming to a place that is in the process of doing the exact same political oppression.

  6. Jason Hochman says:

    Let me just say that my Green Principles do not see how anyone can support drive through voting, which is going to cause more traffic, more deadly smash ups as people drive from the bar at 3AM to the polls to vote, and most importantly, it will cause Climate Disaster and the ocean will be all the way in Illinois due to sea level rise from the exhausted fumes from the cars waiting in line at drive through voting. Unless the entire Climate Crisis is another over hyped mind control fear technique. Another good use of the drive through voting that I would support is if the police waited there and fined all of the cars with expired registration, helping to raise some much needed revenue for the city, so that the fire department and police department can be paid, and not need to have petition drives and court cases to get paid fairly.

  7. Política comparada says:

    A L A M O I S M

    Like they say, everything is bigger under the Lone Star. At least by a factor of 10, in this particular case. The more modest original goes like this:

    “Let a hundred flowers bloom; let a hundred schools of thought contend.” (Mao Tse-tung)

    https://www.britannica.com/event/Hundred-Flowers-Campaign

    First the blooming, then the crackdown … and the “more correct handling of the contradictions among the people.”

    THE MORAL: Be careful what metaphor you magnify.

  8. Bill Daniels says:

    Wolf,

    The conclusion I draw from this is, you want some sort of cessation of persecution by leftists of the right, to make the right more comfortable in speaking out, identifying themselves, so that the left can then drop the hammer and REALLY attack all those newly identified enemies of state.

    Just like the original Mao created plan, that’s truly diabolical. You should feel bad for promoting that

  9. Ross says:

    So, Bill, I assume your plan for dealing with BLM, Antifa, etc would be to set up Browning M2 machine guns and just mow them down? Including the people who were there to protest peacefully? How many have to die for your bloodlust to be satisfied? Everyone who disagrees with you?

  10. Bill Daniels says:

    Ross,

    First, you’re pulling an Alinsky, accusing me of having ‘bloodlust.’ I’m not the one going out and assaulting/harassing/looting/vandalizing. No one I know does any of that. My side doesn’t do that. We have families, houses, businesses, churches….we have something to lose. We don’t want violence. The violence is coming from the left, but you accuse me of having ‘bloodlust.’ C’mon, man!

    I would prefer to see decorum be the norm in society, and I would prefer to see political street thugs dealt with by the justice system. From “Disrupt J-20 on to the present, we haven’t seen that. We’ve only seen conservatives who dare to fight back against street assaults be prosecuted, but not mass prosecutions of the leftist rioters. Their charges, assuming a few even get arrested, generally get dropped, including here in Houston….thanks, Kim Ogg!

    So here’s my two proposed solutions, in order of preference:

    ~bring justice back to the justice system. Arrest and prosecute agitators for assaulting people, damaging property, blocking roadways, etc. Recognize that American citizens have a natural, God given right to defend against these types of attacks (see the Austin case I referenced, see the Kyle Rittenhouse case, etc.)

    Failing that, if the police and prosecutors can’t or won’t do their jobs fairly, then they should stand aside and let people handle their own business on the streets the way they see fit.

    The second option shouldn’t be wished for by anyone, left OR right.

  11. Política comparada says:

    LESSONS OF HISTORY, NOT TO MENTION TAUTOLOGY

    Bill: A bluebonnet is a bluebonnet is a bluebonnet.

    So much for poetry, with due deference to Gertrude’s claim to originality and local flora.

    Not so for leftists. There are lots of disagreements and contradictions on the so-called Left. Always have been if you have any awareness of the history of Marxism at all, not to mention the societal divisions that preceded the industrial revolution.

    But today the dichotomy of left vs. right is obsolete, except that the reality-remote partisans in the USA aren’t willing to acknowlege it. There is obviously more room for maneuver in the public policy space than being AGAINST what the other side is FOR, and dumbing down the choices to a dichotmony of good versus evil, or God versus the infidels. ​Or what is “right” versus the leftie-commie Socialists.

    GUN VIOLENCE AND FLOWER POWER

    On the matter of violence, the Little Red Book writer said: “Political power comes out of the barrel of a gun. ”

    By contrast, American flower children, now grown into geezers if not deceased, would put flowers into the rifle barrels of National Guardsmen at anti-war demonstrations. They were vilified as leftists at the time, were they not?

    See iconic photo here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flower_Power_(photograph)

    And so was Martin Luther King, the nonviolence crusader, if that’s not an oxymoron.

    Left is not Left, is not Left, is not Left. Same might be said of the color red. Does heavy symbolic rousing duty for Republicans and Communists alike. And what about the royal more-loyal Redcoats, to get even more historical?

    As for critically assessing Mao’s locution, didn’t he just state a truism?

    To bring the issue home to trans-Atlantic shores, would the colonial rebels have succeeded with a purely verbal act of treason alone? With no guns?

    Something to think about on Fourth of July.

    BOTTOM LINE: Violence has always played a big role in history as a means to attain political objectives. It has often been effective. And often not. Such as when met with superior force. Whether violence can be justified, not to mention revolution, is a much dicier moral and philosophical question.

    People celebrate their liberators’ or founding fathers’ and their sundry war heroes’ use of violence, and they condem the use of violence by those they hate. Nothing new there.

    Thinking folks (homo sapiens) ought to nevertheless be able to separate their own nationalism and/or ethnocentrism and look at the big picture in a more dispassionate and objective fashion. And recognize that all functioning political systems must use some degree of violence, and must regulate and suppress the violence committed by people in the community.

    Democracy provides an ingenious way to reduce and avoid mass violence through institutionalized means to resolve conflicts peacefully, and reconcile and accommodate competiting ideas, preferences, priorities, and claims to limited resources. That’s why we can’t have one political party shut down or impede voting by adherents of the other party in a two-party system. Or any party system. That’s why everyone must agree to and abide by the basic rules of the game. And that obviously includes accepting election defeat when defeated, and then regrouping and trying to do better the next time.

    Sigh.

  12. Manny says:

    Bill, you do have blood lust. You are a typical extreme racist Republican. Let me quote you, from prior postings:

    “give orders for the soldiers to shoot to kill any person entering the kill zone from the Mexican side, period. Women? Children? Old people? Military age males? Waste anyone that crosses from Mexico into the US. Back that up with predator drones . and perhaps an A-10 every 3 or 4 hundred miles, for close air support for larger groups, and you’ve secured the border, with no fences.”

    https://www.offthekuff.com/wp/?p=89263

  13. Bill Daniels says:

    Wolf,

    “Always have been if you have any awareness of the history of Marxism at all….”

    You’re trying to put a happy face sticker on Marxism/communism, when, in fact, it always works out the same way. Death. Deprivation. Misery. I don’t understand why an intelligent guy like you would think you’d come out a winner in a Marxist system.

    You extol the virtues of Marxism, then at the same time explain why we need more than one political party. The cognitive dissonance there……wow.

    You bring up the ‘flower power’ folks. Yes, there was flower power, but the same subversives promulgating that, were also blowing up government buildings and committing other terror. Have we forgotten the Marxist Weather Underground? How could we forget? Susan Rosenberg, the pardoned terrorist from those days now spends her days funding the blm, today’s terror group. And now that those same folks have control of the government, of the DoJ, FBI, etc.l they have the power….in government, and on the streets, where the blm and antifa run wild.

    Marxism and Islam have a lot in common, both are evil systems of control and regimentation that demand complete fealty and complete submission. Both are anathema to the American founding, both anathema to traditional American values and traditional American culture. They are anathema to a multi party political system, in case I needed to mention it. It’s a testament to just how far this country has fallen that we even have to debate this truth, especially on our Independence Day.

  14. Bill Daniels says:

    Manny,

    As always, you miss the point.

    Until recently, the left and right both gave lip service to controlling our border. Now the left openly promotes and celebrates a wide open border. I like Trump’s solution. Build a wall, physically repel people from entering illegally.

    Since folks like you found that solution to be unpalatable, I proposed a secondary solution, one that met your requirements of, no wall at all. As usual, I’d prefer the non violent option A, but if that’s not acceptable, then option B becomes necessary, if we really want to repel the invasion on our Southern border, which you, unlike a real Chicano leader like Caesar Chavez, do not actually want.

    So if we can’t build a wall and stop them (my preference), then fuck yes, start shooting illegal crossers as a deterrent, just like we do at US military installations. You attempt to illegally enter a US military base, the gate guard shoots your ass. Coincidentally, we don’t have a rash of people trying to illegally enter US bases, because everyone knows if you do, you get shot. Deterrence works.

    Only you could make deterrence racist.

  15. Bill Daniels says:

    And Manny, here’s the whole post, so folks can see the context:

    “CL:

    I have a solution where NO wall is built. Every 1,320 feet, we put a put up a fortified pillbox with two men. That’s 8 soldiers per mile, so roughly 16,000 to crew one shift, making it 3 shifts puts the total number at 48,000. We already have large bases near the border anyway, like Ft. Bliss, so manpower is close by.

    Have the demarcation line of the border very clearly marked , have another line 50 feet into the interior of the US clearly marked, and give orders for the soldiers to shoot to kill any person entering the kill zone from the Mexican side, period. Women? Children? Old people? Military age males? Waste anyone that crosses from Mexico into the US. Back that up with predator drones . and perhaps an A-10 every 3 or 4 hundred miles, for close air support for larger groups, and you’ve secured the border, with no fences.

    The soldiers will meet and greet with the various land owners, who will only lose the area of the pillboxes through eminent domain, as well as an easement to access the border, which I am sure the government already has anyway.

    The soldiers will learn who belongs on each ranch, who should be near that 50′ zone, and all workers and visitors will be made known to those soldiers manning the machine gun nests.

    I suppose the bleeding hearts here won’t go for that solution, though.

    Manny,

    What do you think that article says that indicates a wall wouldn’t work for us?”

  16. Política comparada says:

    That is dispicable, Bill.

    Kill zone, shoot-to-kill order against civilians fleeing in pursuit of happiness or at least at chance for a bearable life. Just like the thankfully-defunct Honecker regime/GDR. Don’t rest in peace. You would have been a good commie border guard and could have bragged about the awards for killing your own buddies.

    And a dedicated SS man prior to that period in European history. No wonder every humanitarian is a Communist to you.