Monday, November 28, 2022

Last Call For Vote Like Your Country Depends On It, Con't

Arizona Republicans are doing their dead-level best to destroy voting in the state, vowing that if they can't win, then nobody will.
Officials in a rural, Republican-controlled county in Arizona have voted to delay certifying the results of this month's midterm elections and miss the state's legal deadline of Monday, despite finding no legitimate problems with the local counts.

The move by the board of supervisors for Cochise County in southeastern Arizona, near Tucson, puts more than 47,000 Arizonans' votes at risk and is expected to set off court action. The state's secretary of state's office plans to file a lawsuit on Monday, spokesperson Sophia Solis said by email.

"There is no reason for us to delay," said the board's chair, Ann English, a Democrat, whose vote was outnumbered by the county's two Republican supervisors, Tom Crosby and Peggy Judd.

Before Monday's vote, Arizona's state election director, Kori Lorick, said in a statement that the state's secretary of state "will use all available legal remedies to compel compliance with Arizona law and protect Cochise County voters' right to have their votes counted" if the board failed to complete its "non-discretionary duty."
The problem with that of course is that the Arizona GOP may actually end up losing more races as a result of Cochise County's Republicans disenfranchising themselves like the childish idiots they are.

Board members who voted against certification would face the very real prospect of civil and criminal penalties. And in all likelihood, they would achieve nothing, as Arizona courts would almost certainly step in and order the board to abide by its legal obligations and certify the results.

But in the unlikely event that the courts didn’t intervene, the board’s gambit would only hurt the voters of Cochise County and the candidates that they support.

If the board has still refused to certify by the Dec. 5 deadline for state certification (which can be extended to Dec. 8, but no later), the law requires that the secretary of state still move ahead with the statewide canvass of results. In that case, the statewide canvass would not include the results from Cochise County, which is heavily Republican.

This mass disenfranchisement of Cochise County voters − at the hands of their own board of supervisors − could result in flipping the final results in a number of tight races, with Republican candidates and voters paying the price. For example, Republican Juan Ciscomani would likely lose his congressional race to Democrat Kirsten Engel.

That decision could prove decisive in the race for state superintendent, handing Democrats a win over their Republican opponents. This outcome would be even more likely if another heavily Republican county, such as Mohave County, followed the lead of Cochise County and likewise refused to certify. 
Again, the law makes it clear that these Republican scoundrels don't have any recourse. The courts will almost certainly rule against the county and possibly they could end up in jail. 

But if they are willing to disenfranchise their own voters, let the Democratic candidates take the wins.

We lost the House by less than 4k.
Always remember that.

It's A Gas, Gas, Gaslight

Everything you need to know about the speed which we've fully transformed from the Information Age of the previous four decades to the Disinformation Age in the last few years is found in Merriam-Webster's "Word of the Year" for 2022: Gaslighting.

“Gaslighting” — behavior that’s mind manipulating, grossly misleading, downright deceitful — is Merriam-Webster’s word of the year.

Lookups for the word on increased 1,740% in 2022 over the year before. But something else happened. There wasn’t a single event that drove significant spikes in curiosity, as it usually goes with the chosen word of the year.

The gaslighting was pervasive.

“It’s a word that has risen so quickly in the English language, and especially in the last four years, that it actually came as a surprise to me and to many of us,” said Peter Sokolowski, Merriam-Webster’s editor at large, in an exclusive interview with The Associated Press ahead of Monday’s unveiling.

“It was a word looked up frequently every single day of the year,” he said.

There were deepfakes and the dark web. There were deep states and fake news. And there was a whole lot of trolling.

Merriam-Webster’s top definition for gaslighting is the psychological manipulation of a person, usually over an extended period of time, that “causes the victim to question the validity of their own thoughts, perception of reality, or memories and typically leads to confusion, loss of confidence and self-esteem, uncertainty of one’s emotional or mental stability, and a dependency on the perpetrator.”

More broadly, the dictionary defines the word thusly: “The act or practice of grossly misleading someone especially for one’s own advantage.”

Gaslighting is a heinous tool frequently used by abusers in relationships — and by politicians and other newsmakers. It can happen between romantic partners, within a broader family unit and among friends. It can be a corporate tactic, or a way to mislead the public. There’s also “medical gaslighting,” when a health care professional dismisses a patient’s symptoms or illness as “all in your head.”

Despite its relatively recent prominence — including “Gaslighter,” The Chicks’ 2020 album featuring the rousingly angry titular single — the word was brought to life more than 80 years ago with “Gas Light,” a 1938 play by Patrick Hamilton.

It birthed two film adaptations in the 1940s. One, George Cukor’s “Gaslight” in 1944, starred Ingrid Bergman as Paula Alquist and Charles Boyer as Gregory Anton. The two marry after a whirlwind romance and Gregory turns out to be a champion gaslighter. Among other instances, he insists her complaints over the constant dimming of their London townhouse’s gaslights is a figment of her troubled mind. It wasn’t.

The death of Angela Lansbury in October drove some interest in lookups of the word, Sokolowski said. She played Nancy Oliver, a young maid hired by Gregory and told not to bother his “high-strung” wife.

The term gaslighting was later used by mental health practitioners to clinically describe a form of prolonged coercive control in abusive relationships.

“There is this implication of an intentional deception,” Sokolowski said. “And once one is aware of that deception, it’s not just a straightforward lie, as in, you know, I didn’t eat the cookies in the cookie jar. It’s something that has a little bit more devious quality to it. It has possibly an idea of strategy or a long-term plan.”
Deliberate deception to pretend the things you know are true are all in your head? Sounds like the last several years of Republican strategy to me. Combine that with repeating the "2+2=17" style of deliberate lying and you have the hell we're in today.
I don't see things getting much better, and it's going to be a constant battle going forward. 


The Night The Lights Went Out In Texas, Con't

Texas GOP Gov. Greg Abbott keeps bragging about how he's "fixed" the state's independent power grid, but nothing could be further from the truth as the fourth-largest city in the US is under a boil water notice today after power went out at a Houston city water treatment plant.
A boil water notice has been issued for the City of Houston's main water system after a water treatment plant experienced a power outage Sunday morning. City officials say it's going to be several more hours before the problem gets resolved.

Houston Water Director Yvonne Williams Forrest said she thinks it could take until Tuesday morning for the notice to be lifted.

On Sunday at 10:30 a.m., the water pressure dropped below the city's required minimum of 20 PSI due to a power outage at the East Water Purification Plant, according to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.

Forrest said the city's pressure system was never at zero, just below the regulatory limit. That pressure is important because it prevents anything from infiltrating the water system.

Over 2.3 million people are said to be impacted by this notice, which was sent out six hours after the initial outage.

The timeline of this issue has left many people questioning why it took so long for the notice to be issued.

"This is not an instantaneous automatic notice. Just because the power went out, doesn't mean the power went out in the system. We had to verify that the pressure drop was real and reach out to TCEQ. There are a number of steps to take before issuing a boil water notice," Forrest said.

City officials said they are testing the water across the city, collecting samples that will be submitted to the state.

If you get your water from the City of Houston, you are being urged to boil tap water for at least two minutes before consumption. That includes if you're making coffee.
So more than two million Houston residents under a boil water notice, schools closed, I can't imagine many restaurants will be open today either in Houston. But this is going to affect hospitals, clinics, medical practices, nursing homes, day care centers, and a lot more too.  Expect more of this and red states take Joe Biden's infrastructure aid package and use it to pay for more tax cuts to starve water and power repairs and replacements.

Oh, and Jackson, Mississippi went through this for three solid months, with the city's water treatment plant only now functioning again safely and the state of emergency there lifted only last week with GOP Gov. Tate Reeves blaming the city, and the city blaming Gov. Reeves.

Don't expect red states to take care of their cities or their citizens, folks. Not under GOP control. This is Republican "government" in a nutshell, broken water and power systems and no money to fix it because it's all being used for sports stadiums and tax cuts for the rich.

You're increasingly on your own.
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