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TomCADem's Journal
TomCADem's Journal
February 17, 2015

Georgia Republicans look to cut early voting again

Source: MSNBC

Georgia Republicans look set to significantly cut their state’s early voting period — the latest fallout from the Supreme Court’s crippling of the Voting Rights Act.

A legislative committee voted on party lines last week to advance a bill that would shorten Georgia’s early voting period to 12 days, from a current maximum of 21 days. It would also bar counties from offering more than four hours of voting on weekends. The state’s early voting period was already cut dramatically just four years ago.

The new move comes after a 2014 election in which 44% of voters — disproportionately minorities — cast their ballot early. Many counties, responding to popular demand, offered Sunday voting for the first time.

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Republicans control Georgia’s government. And if the early voting cuts pass, as expected, the federal government will be powerless to stop them, thanks to the Supreme Court’s 2013 Shelby County ruling. Until then, most southern states, including Georgia, had to get new voting laws approved by the Justice Department before they could go into effect. Since that requirement was neutered, numerous southern states and localities have moved ahead with restrictive voting laws.

Read more: http://www.msnbc.com/msnbc/georgia-republicans-look-cut-early-voting-again

February 17, 2015

Calls increase for Ginsburg to recuse herself in same-sex marriage case

Source: MSNBC

As the nation awaits a Supreme Court hearing that many believe will establish a constitutional right for gay and lesbian couples to legally wed, a growing number of conservatives are calling for one of the most liberal justices on the bench to recuse herself.

The National Organization for Marriage (NOM) on Friday became the latest anti-gay group to demand that Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg bow out of the upcoming hearing on marriage equality. Essentially, the group’s argument is that because the 81-year-old justice has already made her opinion on same-sex marriage clear, she should not be allowed to offer it in what will likely be a landmark civil rights case. But Ginsburg, legal experts note, is far from the only justice to hint at what that case will bring.

Both Ginsburg, and Justice Elena Kagan — another member of the high court’s liberal wing — have presided at weddings for same-sex couples. And in an interview with Bloomberg Business last Wednesday, Ginsburg said that it “would not take a large adjustment” for Americans to get used to nationwide marriage equality.

Those remarks were arguably based on facts. The number of voters who support same-sex marriage has steadily risen in recent years, according to Gallup, with 55% of poll respondents stating last May that they believed marriage between same-sex couples should be recognized as valid by the law.

Read more: http://www.msnbc.com/msnbc/calls-increase-ginsburg-recuse-herself-same-sex-marriage-case

Scalia can go duck hunting with Cheney, and there is no problem with Clarance Thomas's wife being an active member of the Tea Party. But, I guess a different set of rules applies to right wing men, then women who many would consider to be left of center at best.
February 7, 2015

Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback to cut $45 million in public-school funding

Source: MSNBC

Kansas Republican Gov. Sam Brownback’s aggressive tax cuts have come back to haunt him. In the latest move to make up for a massive state deficit caused by his economic policy, Brownback plans to cut nearly $45 million in funding for public schools and higher education in his state by March.

Brownback shared his plans for the current budget cycle on Thursday ahead of a Senate vote on a bill aimed at eradicating a $344 million deficit projected for the end of June. More than half of the money would be taken from funding for K-12 schools, and take place as soon as March 7, The Associated Press reported. The cut would also affect Kansas colleges and universities. Top Republicans said lawmakers need to agree on a solution to fix the budget by Feb. 13 to make sure the state pays its bills on time through the summer months.

Brownback spent his first term slashing taxes for the rich, promising it would lead to boom times for everyone else. Brownback’s “real live experiment” was supposed to lift Kansas out of the recession and into economic prosperity. The tax breaks instead led to debt downgrades, weak growth, and left the state finances in shambles. The Republican-led legislature in his state previously celebrated his massive tax cuts, but his action landed the state’s budget in shambles when it didn’t boost the economy like he’d hoped.

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The governor, along with the state legislature, cut budgets for schools so much in the past that the Kansas Supreme Court last year declared school funding levels unconstitutional.

Read more: http://www.msnbc.com/msnbc/kansas-gov-sam-brownback-cut-45-million-public-school-funding

Welcome to Kansas, the right wing, supply side utopia.

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