The Supreme Court Will Consider A ‘Dangerous’ Theory That Could Break American Democracy

Moore v. Harper involves a bizarre legal gambit known as the independent state legislature theory. It argues that the Elections Clause of the U.S. Constitution provides state legislatures the sole authority to set the “time, place, and manner” of federal elections.

Its adoption would place legislatures outside of the purview of state constitutions, effectively ending state court judicial review of election laws or congressional district maps.

. . .

The case comes before the court following more than a decade of attempts by North Carolina Republicans to draw hyper-partisan congressional maps following the decennial census in both 2010 and 2020.

. . .

The [independent state legislature ] theory arose in the controversial 2000 Bush v. Gore case when then-Chief Justice William Rehnquist endorsed it in a concurrence joined by then-Justice Antonin Scalia and current Justice Clarence Thomas. It reemerged in force in the fall of 2020 when Republicans in North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin used it to argue for the Supreme Court to block election law changes adopted during the COVID-19 pandemic. The court declined to do so, but Justices Samuel Alito, Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh and Thomas all showed an interest in either accepting the theory or hearing a case on it. North Carolina’s challenge presented that opportunity and these four justices took up the case, even though the North Carolina legislature specifically authorized the state supreme court to adjudicate gerrymandering disputes in exactly the manner they now wish to invalidate.

Ha! The Bitemaster heartily supports North Carolina in this case. If the Supreme Court agrees, states like New York would be able to produce congressional maps that more fairly represent the feelings of its citizens and award all the state’s 26 congressional seats to deserving Democrats. It would be a great victory, indeed.

Source: The Supreme Court Will Consider A ‘Dangerous’ Theory That Could Break American Democracy | HuffPost Latest News

Least bad Texas candidate drops out, admits affair

Incumbent Representative Van Taylor (R-Plano, 3rd CD) was in a three-way primary race until news of an affair got out.

Taylor, a former Marine and Iraq war combat veteran, was considered one of the Texas delegation’s most conservative members when he was elected in 2018. But he has been sharply criticized by the party’s right-wing for voting to certify the 2020 election results and supporting a commission to investigate the Jan. 6 insurrection at the Capitol.

One of Taylor’s opponents was Keith Self.

Self is an Army veteran and graduate of the U.S. Military Academy. He has claimed Taylor drifted from his conservative roots in the GOP-dominant district. He was among those who heavily criticized Taylor’s votes on the election result and insurrection investigation and Taylor’s vote to remove Confederate statues from the Capitol.

The third candidate was Suzanne Harp. She is the Vice President of Strategic Accounts in a middle-market M&A firm in Richardson, Texas. She is the sole female among the thirty-one executives in her department.

When Suzanne Harp learned of Taylor’s affair, she informed two right-wing websites, which publicized the affair. Harp said that the revelations, which she engineered, were “deeply concerning, and I’m praying for all involved. . . . Politics should build up our families, our communities, and our political parties. This story breaks my heart, both as a wife and as an American. Politics should never tear these sacred institutions apart.”

Update:  In the March, 2022, five-way Republican primary, Taylor got only 48.7% of the vote and Self got 26.5%. When Taylor withdrew, the runoff was cancelled. Self will face the Democratic candidate in the heavily-Republican district in November.

Source: Republican Congressman From Texas Drops Reelection Bid After Admitting He Had Affair | HuffPost Latest News

How the GOP used a “two Santa Clauses” tactic to con America for nearly 40 years

First, this is a must-read on how a GOP economic strategy has crippled the Democrats for decades. How the GOP used a two Santa Clauses tactic to con America for nearly 40 years

Now, check out this story about how Russia is dumping its holdings of U.S. debt (“Treasuries” — T-Bills, T-Notes, T-Bonds, and TIPS). There are various theories as to why Russia is doing it, ranging from the benign (restructuring their portfolio) to the retaliatory (because of U.S. sanctions). But the Bitemaster sees something more sinister.

When there are more buyers of debt instruments, the lender can lower the interest rate it offers. When Russia gets out of the market, there are fewer buyers and the interest rate the U.S.Treasury has to pay goes up.

Which is just what has happened. So far, the cost to the U.S. is tiny: only a couple billion dollars. But if other countries follow, it could have long-term effects on the U.S. economy. And that is what I think is the plan behind Russia’s move.

And that could move voters towards the Democrats — except that the Democrats will be totally hamstrung by the gigantic national debt they would inherit from the Republicans.

Win or lose, the Dems are bleeped.