No On State Question 776

Image of Tina Kelly

Even the normally conservative Tulsa World has come out against State Question 776, which does nothing more than what most people say will “enshrine” the death penalty in the Oklahoma Constitution as a symbolic gesture.

Here’s the newspaper’s insightful editorial opposing the ballot question. The main point of the editorial is that the proposed constitutional amendment adds nothing new to established law and that no one can be sure what the unintended consequences could be if the measure passes.

In fact, it could even delay or end executions here as its legality is later determined by courts.

SQ 776 would put language in the state constitution that basically says Oklahoma has the right to execute people however it wants—boil them, flay them, shoot them, hang them, electrocute them, gas them—as long as it doesn’t violate the U.S. Constitution. The measure was placed on the ballot by legislators following two gruesome lethal-injection executions that have been described as “botched” and because drugs used in the process are becoming more difficult to obtain.

Here’s the ballot language.

As the World notes, “Whenever the state messes with its death penalty law, it creates a new set of issues for inmates and their lawyers to test in court.”

That’s for sure. The measure would have absolutely no effect on the legality of the death penalty here yet would open the door for all types of legal challenges for people condemned to death. I can’t in good conscience support the sweeping and heinous language in the measure and its general violent, barbaric undertones, but, really, if this makes it into the state constitution it might well end the death penalty here.

(Click "Read more" to continue reading.)


Inhofe Throws All In With Crazy Trump

It’s no surprise the extremist, right-wing U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe is unequivocal in his support for GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump, but it doesn’t make it any easier for rational, intelligent people to live here.

Inhofe, an ultra-conservative Republican, recently joined Trump’s National Security Advisory Council, according to media reports, and our 81-year-old Senator is giving the candidate his great advice:

Mine was an effort to try to simplify the issues, so that they're easy and he doesn't have to get into the weeds...we'll find out if it works.

Of course, keeping Trump out of the “weeds” and urging him to “simplify the issues” is ultimately ambiguous and the local corporate media here won’t challenge Inhofe on a comment like this, but I guess what Inhofe means is that Trump needs to stop saying all the crazy and stupid stuff that he says and speak in more nuanced sound bites. But, as we all know, this is crazy trying to stop crazy.

We have a global warming denier and anti-LGBTQ homophobe trying to stop a serial sexual harasser of women and a compulsive liar from going ballistic in the media. Good luck with that.

(Click "Read more" to continue reading.)


Once Again The Oklahoman Editorial Board Takes Immoral, Cowardly Position

Let the historical record show that when this country faced a real, viable fascist threat from a despicable, racist, sexist, lying wannabe dictator in waiting, The Oklahoman, our state’s largest newspaper, declined to speak up for freedom.

The newspaper’s non-endorsement of a presidential candidate in the Nov. 8 election in a Sunday editorial, and its relentless and unfounded criticism of Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, taken together represent a cowardly, immoral act that should shock and rattle any rational human being living here.

Traditionally conservative newspapers across the country—The Cincinnati Enquirer and The Arizona Republic, among many others—have come out for Clinton because their ownership and their staff know the risk the country and world faces if Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump becomes president, but The Oklahoman can only ask us to pray.

Here’s the gist of the newspaper’s non-endorsement of anyone for president this year:

Our advice: By all means vote on Nov. 8, then pray for this country.

That was the last line of a sexist, hateful editorial that essentially railed against Clinton but then between the lines indicated it wasn’t openly endorsing Trump either. The editorial first noted, “One nominee, Republican Donald Trump, is the wildest of wild cards” and that . . . “he's prone to repeated crude and offensive behavior” but then it used its next seven paragraphs to beat up on Clinton on minor issues and ideology. It’s difficult not to see the extended Clinton criticism as an implicit endorsement of Trump.

(Click "Read more" to continue reading.)