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Member since: Sun Aug 7, 2016, 10:01 PM
Number of posts: 126

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US high court refuses to reinstate North Carolina voter ID

Source: The News & Observer

By GARY ROBERTSON Associated Press

A divided U.S. Supreme Court refused Wednesday to reinstate North Carolina’s voter identification requirement and keep just 10 days of early in-person voting. The court rejected a request by Gov. Pat McCrory and other state officials to delay a lower court ruling that found the state law was tainted by racial discrimination.

The decision – a victory for voting rights groups and President Barack Obama’s Justice Department – means voters won’t have to show one of several qualifying photo IDs when casting ballots in the presidential battleground state. Early voting also reverts to 17 days, to begin Oct. 20.

The 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals struck down several parts of the law last month, saying they were approved by Republican legislators with intentional bias against black voters in mind. Lawyers for McCrory and the state officials – some hired by GOP legislative leaders who championed the 2013 law – disagreed with the 4th Circuit ruling and wanted a delay while they draft an appeal on legal arguments they want the Supreme Court to consider.

The high court divided 4-4 on most of the challenged provisions, with the four more conservative justices supporting the state’s bid to enforce them in the upcoming election. The split illustrates again how closely divided the Supreme Court is on voting rights and how the outcome of the presidential election essentially will determine the direction of the court.


Read more here: http://www.newsobserver.com/news/nation-world/national/article99078422.html#storylink=cpy

Read more: http://www.newsobserver.com/news/nation-world/national/article99078422.html

So very happy to hear this!

The Inaugural Poem under a Trump Presidency

Ploughshares at Emerson College
Dean Rader

If Mr. Trump were to win the November election, all sorts of interesting questions arise: Would he ask someone to write and read an inaugural poem? Would the writer have to get the poem cleared by Trump and Trump staffers? Would Chachi be there? Most interesting of all, though, is this: would the poet accept the invitation.


Jennifer L. Knox dives into the deep irony of the request. She contrasts the Republican nominee’s reliance on cliché, triumphalism, and disregard with poetry’s resistance toward those values—and she does it by way of poetry itself. Here is her poem:

This is a Terrific Poem About Me Being Elected President of the United States. It’s Called, “Color Me Tomorrow, Today.” (shrugs) That’s Weird, But It’s Really a Terrific Poem, Folks. The Best.

“Gird your loins, small handed men!”
I like that (crowd hoots). “Strike up a wench-
pithy polka to which…” (eyes dart left,
makes stink face) “…teeeyou wheech…”
(makes fey gesture with his tiny hand,
crowd goes bananas) It’s a poem, folks!
(crowd haws) OK, back to the poem:
“For every goodly human in this football
stadium here today, I sayeth unto thee…”
(eye roll) It’s like the frickin’ Bible (yee-haws)
“I am scared of new words and mirrors” ?
“I am a trapped raccoon man” ?
What is this shit? (hands poem to giant
glowing hairless toxic waste baby in front row,
baby eats the poem, glows brighter) Lookit that!
(points, crowd applauds, caws, makes lawn mower/
machine gun sounds). Now that’s the power
of poetry, folks! (President ascends on wires).

great read at:

New Hillary ad ("Hat, outsourced"). Unlisted video.

Good one! Not sure if this has been posted already.

Side note: the video's status is Unlisted. Not sure why the HRC campaign would do that. Wonder if that's why the view count is low.

Unlisted means your video will not come up in search results or on your channel. Only those who know the link can view it.

University of Chicago Tells Incoming Students: Don't Expect Safe Spaces or Trigger Warnings

In their letter to incoming students:

Our commitment to academic freedom means that we do not support so called ‘trigger warnings,’ we do not cancel invited speakers because their topics might prove controversial, and we do not condone the creation of intellectual ‘safe spaces’ where individuals can retreat from ideas and perspectives at odds with their own.

I'm quite glad to hear it.


Thirty years of Graceland: How Paul Simon and the South African music industry created a masterpiece

Paul Simon's "Graceland" was released 30 years ago today.

"J. Brooks Spector remembers the impact of Simon’s music and the moment when their paths crossed in South Africa."


Orlando hospitals won't bill survivors of Pulse nightclub shooting

Source: CNN

After a gunman killed 49 people at an Orlando gay nightclub in June, survivors of the massacre faced a new nightmare: mounting medical bills.

Orlando Health and Florida Hospital hope to provide some relief to the survivors, and say they will not bill victims of the Pulse nightclub shooting.

The hospitals said Wednesday that survivors of the massacre will not have to pay for their medical expenses, which add up to millions of dollars.

"Orlando Health has not sent any hospital or medical bills directly to Pulse patients and we don't intend to pursue reimbursement of medical costs from them," said Sabrina Childress, a spokeswoman for Orlando Health.


Read more: http://www.cnn.com/2016/08/25/health/florida-hospitals-orlando-shooting-no-bills/

An Arkansas Judge Sent A Cancer Patient To ‘Debtors’ Prison’ Over A Few Bounced Checks

Source: Huffington Post

WASHINGTON ― Lee Robertson’s trouble began in late 2009, when he was undergoing his first stint of chemotherapy to battle the pancreatic cancer that had made it impossible for him to work. In the course of two weeks, Robertson wrote 11 checks at stores near his home for small amounts ranging from $5 to $41.

Robertson started off owing a few stores about $200. Six years and seven arrests later, in a closed courtroom in Sherwood District Court in Arkansas, Judge Milas “Butch” Hale sentenced the cancer patient to 90 days in jail. His crime? Owing the court $3,054.51.

That was last month. Robertson, 44, is now one of the plaintiffs in a class action federal civil rights lawsuit filed this week by the Arkansas Civil Liberties Union and the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law. The suit aims to take on what has been described as a “modern-day debtors’ prison” in the city of Sherwood. Similar practices exist in courts around the country, including in several cities in St. Louis County, which received attention for their debt collection practices following the unrest in Ferguson, Missouri, two years ago. Groups like Equal Justice Under Law, ArchCity Defenders, the Southern Poverty Law Center, the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law and the American Civil Liberties Union have been mounting challenges to unconstitutional court practices in many parts of the nation.

In Sherwood, the “Hot Check Division” of the municipal court is drawing scrutiny. While the division is supposed to be part of the municipal court, the city has marketed the division to the business community in Pulaski County, according to the lawsuit. Sherwood lists the division as a “department” on its website, and calls the court’s work a “service” for merchants ― one that issues “over 35,000 warrants annually” on charges in connection with bad checks. The court collected nearly $12 million in five years.


Read more: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/debtors-prison-arkansas_us_57bdd1b8e4b0c6301ca0e56c

And: "He’s not alone. Nikki Petree, 40, was charged for bouncing a single check for $28.93, according to the lawsuit. She has been arrested in connection with that charge on at least seven occasions, and been jailed for more than 25 days. She’s paid at least $640 to the city."
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