Wednesday, 11 July 2018

Beware of the Evil Russians

There is a piece off Yahoo News (I usually discount them entirely for value)....but the topic is mid-term elections, and the suggestion by an 'expert' (Barbara Simons) that Putin has the opportunity to launch an assault on the election, and create a massive mess.

How?  The basic idea is that so many states (five) have switched to an entirely paperless voting procedure....that you'd just hack in and flip the votes. 

Course, in this article, they mentioned that the Russians have probed the registration listings in various states, and know who is, or is not registered.

I see several problems here.

First, the Russians might be brilliant enough to have an actual voter's listing, and have a couple of agents in the US who go and find people registered in two states or people who are illegally in the US and registered to vote.  They could go and blackmail the people into voting for Trump-candidates.  Blackmail, as we a serious deal and these folks would open themselves up to Russian agents. (I know it's a joke, but play along).

Second, the Russians might have the right people to stand in and manipulate the voting numbers, and ensure a Trump win for various candidates.  (I know it's a joke, but play along).

So, what we need to fix the system.

First, a national ID card and a mandatory national folks wouldn't accidentally register in two states and get Russian blackmail situations. 

Second, establish a national minimum security situation. 

Third, dump the registration rolls, and start fresh.

The sad thing here is that the Democrats will have to fall on the ground and agree to these procedures, or the evil Russians will take over the country, as Republicans.  (I know it's silly, but play along).

Yes, all this fake fix what they could have fixed a decade ago. 

A Supreme Court Story

There are dozens of bits of history sprinkled over the 1929 to 1942 period of American history, which rarely get any mention today.  So this is a short essay piece over this unique episode that occurred with FDR and his 'pack-the-court' strategy.

Shortly after his 2nd win, going into early 1937....FDR was a bit peeved over the challenges to his solutions via the court system.  The Supreme Court was actually hindering and preventing various things from occurring.  One could suggest that the court was heavily slanted by that point by GOP-appointed Justices of the 1920s, which would be true.

So what FDR decided to do....was to produce the Judicial Procedures Reform Bill of 1937.  He intended to pack the court himself.  How? 

Well....he'd just add more justices.

The draft bill would grant the President the power to appoint one additional Justice (for a max of six), for each member of the court over the age of 70.5 years old.  As far as I one has ever explained where the 70.5 number came from, and I suspect that he just looked over the court and figured this was the appropriate number.

So instead of nine could have had a total of 15 (if this all played out).

The odd thing least told by some that not only was the GOP against the bill, but various Democrats found the bill to destructive.  My guess is that some sat there and asked if this was logical....why couldn't some GOP President come up in ten years and mandate another six extra Justices, and put 21 potentially on the court.

What happened? of the Justices reviewed the mess and privately on his own....just started leaning to support any measure that FDR had come up.  This support, along with the effort by Senate Judiciary Committee by Democratic committee chair Henry F. Ashurst to stall the draft law....basically ended the threat to the Supreme Court.

A lot of this was not exactly front-page news, and probably understood by the bulk of American society.  In the decades after the event, historians got around to telling the story, and suggesting how close the Court to being heavily manipulated by FDR.

The 'Jesus' Factor on Supreme Court Justices

I sat and paused over the pick of Kavanaugh for the Supreme Court Justice seat, and the amount of air-time that the news geeks gave the topic.

Here's the thing....for 99-percent of us, in general, the pick really won't matter much.  Most of the cases you see in a normal year before the court, have little to zero influence on our lives.  If you watch CNN, you'd think that you were appointing some dictator over your neighborhood. But no, this pick or the past forty-odd picks....generally don't matter. 

Historically speaking, about every decade, there's one single case with some historical impact.  Since 1900 (120 years).....if you went reading, I'd say there are probably twelve to fifteen four-star cases, and the rest were cases which just didn't matter that much to the general public.

So what's going on?  Well....the 'Jesus' factor.  Everyone in the news media figures that you need one good 'Jesus' to fix law in America.  And that's mostly fake reality.