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August 29, 2014 7:45 AM

August 29, 2014 7:26 AM

A couple of big mainstream Republican groups commissioned a major report on the party’s prospects with women, and the astonishing result is that the ladies just aren’t that into Republicans…. [F]emale voters view the party as “intolerant,” “lacking in compassion” and “stuck in the past.”…. Women are “barely receptive” to Republicans’ policies, and the party does “especially poorly” with women in the Northeast and Midwest, according to an internal Crossroads GPS and American Action Network report obtained by POLITICO. It was presented to a small number of senior aides this month on Capitol Hill, according to multiple sources involved.

It’s election season, which means that Republicans are once again heavily invested in convincing women, minorities, senior citizens, the sick, the poor, and the uneducated (etc., etc., ad infinitum, ad nauseum) that the GOP really DOES care about them. Sure, they care- until they cast their votes, at which time they can go fornicate themselves.

I marvel at the Republican propensity for commissioning studies and surveys that always seem to tell them what anyone who hasn’t been sedated for the past 30 years already knows. Women just aren’t that into Republicans? Wow…who could have seen that coming, eh? And how can Republicans convince marginalized demographic groups to believe (at least until they can vote) that the GOP is SO much more than the party of wealthy White Socially Conservative Christian males?

Why are Republicans having so much trouble convincing the ladies that they really DO have their best interests at heart? Perhaps it’s the efforts of red state legislatures to regulate lady parts far more rigorously than guns. Being a human being in possession of a vagina in a red state means that “small government” is code for “small enough to fit in your lady parts.” For reasons that Republicans clearly don’t comprehend, women don’t appreciate being told they can’t control their bodies…because that’s the exclusive domain of Conservative men.

Wait…you mean women are able to think for themselves? Don’t they need a man to help them get through life??

Who would have thought that condescension, sexism, and misogyny wouldn’t test well with female focus groups??

August 29, 2014 7:06 AM

August 29, 2014 6:59 AM

In 1977, a Texas man named Jerry Hartfield was convicted of murder. His conviction was tossed out three years later because the process used to select his jury was unconstitutional. Yet Hartfield was neither freed from prison nor given a new trial. Last April, a Texas trial judge held that he must remain in prison, despite the fact that the sole legal basis for his detention was overturned nearly 34 years ago, because Hartfield did not actively seek a new trial.

Hartfield is intellectually disabled. His IQ is estimated to be only 51.

On Thursday, Hartfield’s case grew even more similar to a Franz Kafka novel with a Texas Court of Appeals decision refusing to grant him relief.

The holding of the appeals court’s decision is that Hartfield erred by filing what is known as a “pretrial habeas” petition, when the appropriate remedy “for an alleged violation of one’s constitutional right to a speedy trial” is “a pretrial motion to set aside the charging instrument on speedy-trial grounds.” The reason why this highly legalistic distinction matters is that, while a denial of a pretrial habeas petition can sometimes be appealed immediately, “the denial of a speedy-trial pretrial motion to quash an indictment may be appealed only after conviction and sentencing.”

So, in case all of that is not clear. Hartfield asked a court to order him freed because his speedy trial rights were violated by the fact that Texas imprisoned him for more than three decades without trial. Yet a Texas appeals court just told him that it is powerless to help him until after his criminal trial for an offense Texas refused to try him on for over 30 years.

Texas, for what it is worth, finally began to set the process in motion to retry Hartfield earlier this year, though it is unclear how they plan to put a case together against Hartfield nearly four decades after his alleged crime. According to the New York Daily News, “the murder weapon, a pick-axe, has been lost and witnesses have died.”

Hartfield, for his part, claims that he is innocent and that he was originally convicted based on a false confession.

August 29, 2014 6:49 AM

August 28, 2014 8:33 AM

August 28, 2014 8:18 AM

A dedicated coalition of volunteers and faith groups have banded together at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in downtown McAllen to create an oasis of relief for the ever-increasing number of immigrant families crossing the border between the U.S. and Mexico. Lawmakers spar daily over howor even if — to bolster programs to address the recent surge of immigrants, in the tens of thousands, coming across the border. But for Americans in towns like McAllen, which sits about five miles from the border, the immigration crisis is already a part of daily life — and so are efforts to care for immigrants.

I devote a good deal of energy, brain cells, and column inches to those whose Christianity is anything but Christ-like. I’ve long since grown tired of those who use their “faith” as a club with which to bludgeon those they deem “less than” and unworthy of entry into the Kingdom of God…which they, of course, have a golden ticket for. If you’ve read my writing for any length of time, you know I’ve no use for those who use their self-ascribed piety and righteousness to marginalize those not “enlightened” enough to share their “Kill ‘em all, let God sort ‘em out” flavor of Christianity.

I recognize that there are those, most likely a silent majority, who endeavor to lead Christ-like lives. They live their faith as best they can, they care for those less fortunate, and they don’t judge others who happen not to share their beliefs. In the interest of perspective and fairness, I do from time to time feel the need to spotlight those whose faith leads them to work toward making the world a better place. Tomorrow, I’ll be back to shining a light on those who can’t be bothered to lift a finger to aid those in need but are quick to condemn them for their circumstances. Today I feel the need to applaud a group of people who’ve decided to do the right things for the right reasons.

Few places live this country’s immigration crisis in the way McAllen, TX, does. A dusty border town with little more to offer than heat, humidity, and killer Mexican food, McAllen is on the front lines of America’s illegal immigration crisis. In Washington, immigration is a political issue with significant implications for the established power structure. In McAllen, the problem has hundreds, even thousand of faces, each with their own story of misery and suffering they want desperately to leave behind. We’re not talking about people risking their lives to cross our southern border because they can’t ever get a tee time at the Tegucigalpa Country Club. These are people desperate for opportunity because they have no hope of providing for their families if they remain at home. Because of this desperation, many thousands willingly risk their lives (and many will die enroute) to enter America illegally. That doesn’t make them criminals or terrorists; it merely spotlights the depths of their willingness and ability to endure unimaginable suffering in the quest for a better life.

August 28, 2014 6:22 AM

August 28, 2014 2:23 AM

Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) warned this week that refugees — who he called “undocumented Democrats” — fleeing violence in Central America could be bringing diseases like Ebola into the United States.

“This administration doesn’t have the desire, doesn’t have the will to actually stop it,” Gohmert told radio host Tim Constantine on Wednesday. “Because they see people coming across as undocumented Democrats. And so, they want to keep the surge of people coming in illegally, even though it includes a big spike in Other-Than-Mexicans, OTMs as we call them.”

“It includes a spike in people from countries where terrorism abounds,” he continued. “We have people coming in from countries where Ebola is located.”

“And, gee, since they’re coming across our border, and you know, they don’t get checked, and most of them don’t get really thoroughly checked, they could be coming in with disease that we simply do not need.”

The Texas Republican insisted that he was not “fear mongering.”

“It’s silly not to be more careful,” he said.

August 28, 2014 1:21 AM

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