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Racist white woman arrested after attacking Asian woman with umbrella on subway in viral video

At around 8:30 on Tuesday morning, Anna Luschinskaya, a 40-year-old white woman, unleashed a racist, violent tirade onto a young Asian woman (and subsequently, the people of color who intervened). It was caught on video. She has since been arrested, but her
Daily Kos

Racist white woman arrested after attacking Asian woman with umbrella on subway in viral video

At around 8:30 on Tuesday morning, Anna Luschinskaya, a 40-year-old white woman, unleashed a racist, violent tirade onto a young Asian woman (and subsequently, the people of color who intervened). It was caught on video. She has since been arrested, but her words and actions are nothing short of disturbing and haunting. The videos are still up on Twitter, but be warned that there is disturbing racist language, and violence:

ACLU threatens lawsuit after Florida GOP tries to delay implementing voting rights ballot initiative

In an ominous development for the fate of Florida's newly approved ballot measure to restore voting rights to those who've completed felony sentences, Republican Gov.-elect Ron DeSantis recently signaled he won't faithfully comply with the spirit of the amend
Daily Kos

ACLU threatens lawsuit after Florida GOP tries to delay implementing voting rights ballot initiative

In an ominous development for the fate of Florida's newly approved ballot measure to restore voting rights to those who've completed felony sentences, Republican Gov.-elect Ron DeSantis recently signaled he won't faithfully comply with the spirit of the amendment. DeSantis claims the law won’t go into effect until after the GOP-run legislature passes «implementing language» in the legislative session coming up in March. However, as the ACLU and other supporters have argued, the amendment's language should be self-executing on Jan. 8 and automatically restore voting rights to 1.4 million citizens who have served their sentences for felonies (excluding murder and sex crimes). Delaying the automatic restoration of rights until some time later this year could unconstitutionally disenfranchise voters in upcoming local elections, like the race for Tampa mayor in March. Furthermore, «implementing» legislation could give Republican opponents of the amendment—including DeSantis himself, as well as state Senate leader Bill Galvano—an excuse to undermine the law’s intent by adding further restrictions, like requiring the repayment of all court-related fines and fees. Such a requirement would effectively function as a poll tax that would continue to deprive many of their voting rights long after they served out their sentences. The ACLU's response to the news strongly suggests the organization will sue to force DeSantis and Florida officials to stop stalling and automatically restore voting rights. However, they may not get a welcome reception if their case ultimately makes it to Florida's Supreme Court, which seems a probable endgame. That's because DeSantis will get to appoint replacements for three liberal-leaning justices who face mandatory retirement just hours after he's sworn in as governor, which will flip the court to a six-to-one conservative majority. That's no guarantee a lawsuit will fail, but things remain very much in limbo.

Saturday midday open thread: ACA lives! Today is last day to enroll; Calif. mandates electric buses

What’s coming up on Sunday Kos: Yes, Trump cares about that Supreme Court double jeopardy case. A lot … by Rebecca Pilar Buckwalter Poza Feeling 'regrexit,' the UK needs a Brexit exit, by Sher Watts Spooner How to win in social media political group
Daily Kos

Saturday midday open thread: ACA lives! Today is last day to enroll; Calif. mandates electric buses

What’s coming up on Sunday Kos: Yes, Trump cares about that Supreme Court double jeopardy case. A lot … by Rebecca Pilar Buckwalter Poza Feeling 'regrexit,' the UK needs a Brexit exit, by Sher Watts Spooner How to win in social media political groups, by David Akadjian What Trump doesn't know about the Border, Immigration and Humanity is Everything, by Frank Vyan Walton Here's a new way to visualize how much ground we gained in the House, by David Jarman Cut and gut: How Republicans helped the rich raid the U.S. Treasury, by Jon Perr Progressives: Be careful of the comfort of placating the privileged at the expense of the afflicted, by Egberto Willies Progressive prosecutors are not 'cops.' They are needed to enact criminal justice reform, by Denise Oliver Velez Dear Republicans, we need to talk ... by Mark E Andersen Republican sore loser power grabs corrode our democracy so badly because they have no limits, by Ian Reifowitz • Open enrollment in the Affordable Care Act ends in most states today: You may have heard or read that a federal judge has ruled that the ACA is unconstitutional. While he did so rule, the ACA will remain in force as the case is appealed. So you can still enroll if you haven’t already. But today is your last cahnce if you need health insurance! Free help is available. Answers to your questions about signing up and trained professionals who can talk you through your options are just a phone call or click away. Call 1-800-318-2596 or visit localhelp.healthcare.gov to make a one-on-one appointment now. • California Air Resources Board mandates all new city buses must be electric by 2029: All mass transit fleets must convert by 2040. This great move is the kind of change that could be a model for other states and also could spur the develop of technology that boosts widespread electrification of trucks, Currently, 132 of California’s 12,000 mass transit buses produce zero greenhouse gas emissions. The switchover means more jobs too. Today, four companies in California manufacture electric buses—BYD, Proterra, Gillig, and Motiv.  MIDDAY TWEET xOh yes by the unstoppable ⁦@CharlesPPierce⁩: ‘New York Times' Falsely Suggests Everyone Missed Rise of Right-Wing Extremism Because They Did https://t.co/ybYze3oXEj— Virginia Heffernan (@page88) December 15, 2018 • Some progress being made as climate talks in Poland wrap up: What’s at issue now is how the 196 nations that have signed the Paris Climate Agreement will cut carbon, how they will verify everybody is sticking to what they say they will do, and helping to fund climate programs and policies in the poorer nations. «It was never going to be great, not least because the US is playing a laggard role, but I think we can get a decent outcome, if it's framed in the right way,» said Alden Meyer from the Union of Concerned Scientists. Earlier, the former president of the Maldives, and now their lead negotiator, Mohamed Nasheed, made an impassioned plea for urgent progress on cutting carbon.  «It's just madness for us to allow global CO2 levels (in the atmosphere) to go beyond 450 parts per million, and temperatures to shoot past 1.5 degrees,» he told a press briefing on Thursday. «That can still be prevented. If we come together on the basis of the emergency facing us, we can do it. • Planned Parenthood files lawsuit against Idaho abortion law: The law requires that all abortions must be performed by physicians and not nurse practitioners and other advanced practice clinicians. Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest and the Hawaiian Islands sued Friday, asserting that the law is “out of step with the State’s treatment of comparable health services and medically unjustified.” The suit claims the law “significantly constrains when and where abortions are available” for women in Idaho, which results in expensive travel costs and delayed access to care. The argument being made is that this imposes an “undue burden” on women seeking abortions, that being language from the 1992 Supreme Court ruling in Planned Parenthood v. Casey. A number of lower court rulings have since determined what kind of restrictions constitute undue burden imposed in various states. • On this date 128 years ago, Tatanka Iyotake, known to non-Lakota as Sitting Bull, was shot to death after the U.S. military sent Indian police to arrest him. (»Sitting Bull« obscures the real meaning of his name which is Sitting *Buffalo* Bull.) A couple of weeks later, a detachment of the U.S. 7th Cavalry massacred some 300 Miniconjou Lakota under Chief Big Foot. • Using bioplastic, “Marie” is the first life-size, 3D-printed human: She’s 5’1” tall and weighs 15 pounds and has a reservoir for 36 gallons of water. And, by the way, she’s purple because “purple was on sale,” according to a press release from Louisiana State University, where engineering study Meagan Moore created “Marie” to test radiation dosing for cancer treatment. Monday through Friday you can catch the Kagro in the Morning Show 9 AM ET by dropping in here, or you can download the Stitcher app (found in the app stores or at Stitcher.com), and find a live stream there, by searching for »Netroots Radio.” LINK TO DAILY KOS STORE

Paris is burning — and London too: World War IV and the crisis of democracy

These events are not disconnected, and not as far away as they look. The crisis of democracy just got hotter
Salon: in-depth news, politics, business, technology & culture Salon

Paris is burning — and London too: World War IV and the crisis of democracy

These events are not disconnected, and not as far away as they look. The crisis of democracy just got hotter

Don’t let the Oscars go host-less: There are better ways to revive a struggling awards show

Ratings are down, and the plan to save the show — Kevin Hart — is a bust. But going without an emcee is a mistake
Salon: in-depth news, politics, business, technology & culture Salon

Don’t let the Oscars go host-less: There are better ways to revive a struggling awards show

Ratings are down, and the plan to save the show — Kevin Hart — is a bust. But going without an emcee is a mistake

View from the left: Prosecutors are going to obliterate Trump and his massive criminal enterprise

Taken together, colluding with Russians and engaging in a conspiracy to silence women in order to steal the election would be plenty illegal and impeachable offenses. Yet they are just the beginning of the long drawn out nightmare that has begun to beset Dona
Daily Kos

View from the left: Prosecutors are going to obliterate Trump and his massive criminal enterprise

Taken together, colluding with Russians and engaging in a conspiracy to silence women in order to steal the election would be plenty illegal and impeachable offenses. Yet they are just the beginning of the long drawn out nightmare that has begun to beset Donald Trump. We saw a virtual torrent of headlines this week related to Trump's longtime fixer and lawyer Michael Cohen, his chief media maker David Pecker who oversees the National Enquirer property among others, an elaborate hush-money scheme to squelch negative press, false testimony to Congress run through the White House, a Russian agent who infiltrated GOP circles and made contact with Trump, and the Trump inaugural committee falling under federal scrutiny for misusing funds, some« of which went to Trump's own businesses. At the heart of every one of those salacious and potentially illegal scandals is Trump himself.  And yet despite the velocity and volume of the seedy Trump revelations bearing down on America, this week's reports haven't even begun to capture the scope of the criminality that will ultimately define Trump, his presidency, and the empire he built. As former federal prosecutor and NBC legal analyst Daniel Goldman explained on Thursday, collusion appears to be moving to the back burner in terms of the universe of criminality surrounding Trump—which isn't to suggest that collusion didn't transpire. »This might really be a much larger scheme related to sanctions and a massive cover up of really unparalleled proportions,” Goldman explained Thursday on MSNBC. “When you look at Michael Cohen coordinating with the White House to lie to Congress and you look at Michael Flynn lying about his transition contacts related to sanctions to Russia,« Goldman said, »it all starts at the top and trickles down and that's how criminal conspiracies work." But actually, that's just one bucket of problems for Trump—the one that relates more urgently to his political survival and presidency. The other bucket is the work of his life—his family business, the Trump Organization. And that got a wakeup call this week when incoming New York Attorney General Letitia James gave her first interview and outlined an investigatory agenda that will dissect every area of Trump's Manhattan-based business: Trump's real estate holdings, the June 2016 Trump Tower meeting with Russians, any government subsidies Trump has received, any violations of the emoluments clause through his New York businesses, the Trump Foundation, and really any and everything else investigators turn up as they inspect every single foundational rock of Trump's decades-long professional life in the Empire State.

Medical executive facing manslaughter charges in Flint water case given lucrative state job

Less than a week after a judge ruled that Michigan’s chief medical executive will face trial in connection to a Legionnaires’ disease outbreak that led to the death of 12 people, the state’s health department has created an “advisory physician” job
Daily Kos

Medical executive facing manslaughter charges in Flint water case given lucrative state job

Less than a week after a judge ruled that Michigan’s chief medical executive will face trial in connection to a Legionnaires’ disease outbreak that led to the death of 12 people, the state’s health department has created an “advisory physician” job for the embattled doctor, paying nearly $180,000 a year. According to a Detroit News report, creating the civil service position for Dr. Eden Wells will make it harder for the incoming Democratic administration to fire her for her alleged role in covering up an outbreak of the pneumonia-like Legionnaires’ disease at McLaren Hospital. Experts say the outbreak is tied to the 2014 switch to Flint River water under an emergency manager appointed by Republican Gov. Rick Snyder. Wells stands accused of involuntary manslaughter, obstruction of justice, and lying to a law enforcement officer. She is the second member of Snyder’s cabinet to face involuntary manslaughter charges in the Legionnaires’ outbreak; Health and Human Services director Nick Lyon was charged in August. Wells was initially charged with obstruction of justice and lying to a police officer last June. She is also alleged to have forbidden a county health department from notifying the public, interfered with the work of university researchers, and lied about when she learned of the outbreak, according to the Associated Press. Like Wells, Lyon remains on the job pending the outcome of his case, even though Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette has called on both of them to resign. Wells’s new civil service position will begin Jan. 1, but there’s no word on what Lyon will do once new Democratic Gov.-elect Gretchen Whitmer takes office. Since the beginning of Wells’s legal troubles, her attorneys have claimed that she wasn’t informed of the 2014-15 Legionnaires’ epidemic until either September or October 2015—months before Snyder’s administration alerted the public. Her team also claims that Wells “had no ‘legal duty’ to alert residents” to the danger. Flint’s mayor, who had commended 67th District Judge William Crawford for his decision to charge Wells with involuntary manslaughter—calling it a “good judicial decision” in a statement issued to the press—was decidedly less happy with the Snyder administration’s decision to reward Wells with the new job.

A rogue federal judge in Texas is trying to take down the ACA. Here's why he'll fail

Even the Trump administration asked the Texas federal district court to wait until open enrollment’s cutoff before ruling on the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act. Unfortunately, the judge hearing the case, though a George W. Bush appointee, is
Daily Kos

A rogue federal judge in Texas is trying to take down the ACA. Here's why he'll fail

Even the Trump administration asked the Texas federal district court to wait until open enrollment’s cutoff before ruling on the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act. Unfortunately, the judge hearing the case, though a George W. Bush appointee, is just as hyper-partisan as any of President Trump’s picks. Judge Reed O’Connor issued a ruling declaringthe ACA as a whole to be unconstitutional one day before the Dec. 15 enrollment deadline. According to O’Connor, the Supreme Court found the ACA was unconstitutional in 2015, under the Interstate Commerce Clause, which permits the federal government to regulate commerce among and between states. Chief Justice John Roberts & Co. only let it stand because the individual mandate’s penalty could be read as an exercise of Congress’s Tax Power. Since Republicans struck that penalty in 2017, he reasons, the ACA is no longer constitutional. O’Connor was the choice of Bush, whose aggressively partisan judicial nominations paved the way for Trump’s. He has gone out of his way to rule against and normalize discrimination against LGBT people as a matter of “religious liberty.” O’Connor’s also ruled the Indian Child Welfare Act unconstitutional. (It’s not). Conservatives knew they could count on him. Even better, from their perspective, they knew that if they brought this case in the Northern District of Texas they could count on his being the one to hear the case—O’Connor is his district’s only active federal trial judge. He didn’t disappoint. He even dropped conservative buzzwords in his ruling referring to the health care fight as “inflaming emotions and testing civility.”

Floridians passed an amendment to restore felons' voting rights, but the GOP's fighting it

The same election that put governor-elect Ron DeSantis in office put an end to the state’s retrograde policy of making felons apply for their voting rights to be restored—or, at least, it should have. Voters passed Amendment 4 by an enormous margin, but
Daily Kos

Floridians passed an amendment to restore felons' voting rights, but the GOP's fighting it

The same election that put governor-elect Ron DeSantis in office put an end to the state’s retrograde policy of making felons apply for their voting rights to be restored—or, at least, it should have. Voters passed Amendment 4 by an enormous margin, but DeSantis has already announced his intention to delay and narrow its benefits. Amendment 4 specified that non-violent felons should have their rights restored. It was meant to be self-implementing, or automatic. Instead of accepting Floridians’ vote, Republicans are going to continue their war on voting rights, which has been anything but subtle. Outgoing Gov. Rick Scott used his prerogative to restore voting rights twice as frequently for white felons. Scott’s not the first Florida governor to selectively restore voting rights, but his Republican-to-Democrat rights-restoration numbers are the worst since 1971. DeSantis claims that Amendment 4 must be implemented via legislation. If that were true, Republicans would be able to walk the ball until March’s legislative session even though multiple counties have elections scheduled between now and then. Then there’s the likelihood—which DeSantis has already hinted at—that Republicans would produce a bill that limits as strictly as possible the people to which Amendment 4 applies. How could they do this? They could determine as few offenses as possible qualify as “non-violent.” More than likely, the self-implementing versus must-have-legislation fight will take Amendment 4 to the courts. Let’s hope Florida’s judges have more integrity than DeSantis and his ilk.

“Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” is a beautiful, bold, overstuffed melodrama

The new Spider-Man movie is a love letter to its own franchise. That’s not entirely a good thing
Salon: in-depth news, politics, business, technology & culture Salon

“Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” is a beautiful, bold, overstuffed melodrama

The new Spider-Man movie is a love letter to its own franchise. That’s not entirely a good thing

Donald Trump set to make his mark on U.S. state-run media. No, not Fox News.

The United States’s official international propaganda arm, the United States Agency for Global Media, could get even more nakedly propagandistic under Donald Trump. Already the Trump era has seen TV Martí, which targets Cuba, run a segment describing Geo
Daily Kos

Donald Trump set to make his mark on U.S. state-run media. No, not Fox News.

The United States’s official international propaganda arm, the United States Agency for Global Media, could get even more nakedly propagandistic under Donald Trump. Already the Trump era has seen TV Martí, which targets Cuba, run a segment describing George Soros as “a nonbelieving Jew of flexible morals.” It could get much worse as Trump installs his own appointees: Mr. Trump’s nominee as chief executive of the global government media agency is Michael Pack, who runs a conservative filmmaking business out of his house in suburban Washington. He declined to be interviewed. [...] Among those working in the Cuba office, for example, is Jeffrey Shapiro, a former Breitbart News writer who played a prominent role in a politically charged battle over the agency’s direction this year.  Just great. And so in line with Trump’s ambitions for the U.S. media environment, too.

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke leaving at year's end. Will he depart on the horse he rode in on?

The swaggering guy who commanded his staff to fly an obscure Department of Interior flag with a bison seal every time he was in the office, a guy who ordered the minting of Interior coins with his name on them, a guy who spent tax money on questionable pr
Daily Kos

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke leaving at year's end. Will he depart on the horse he rode in on?

The swaggering guy who commanded his staff to fly an obscure Department of Interior flag with a bison seal every time he was in the office, a guy who ordered the minting of Interior coins with his name on them, a guy who spent tax money on questionable private jet travel together with his wife, a guy who has been involved in a Halliburton development plan for his tiny hometown, a guy who rode roughshod over ethical rules to become the subject of 18 investigations for mixing private and public business and other lapses, will depart his post at the end of this year.  The announcement came this morning the way Donald Trump loves to deliver them: via Twitter. “Secretary of the Interior @RyanZinke will be leaving the Administration at the end of the year after having served for a period of almost two years. Ryan has accomplished much during his tenure and I want to thank him for his service to our Nation.”  xWildlife across the US upon hearing of Zinke's departure. #ByeZinke pic.twitter.com/9gheiUkjgI— Sierra Club (@SierraClub) December 15, 2018 One service Zinke has definitely accomplished during his tenure is his deep kowtow to the extractive industries. With his reviews recommending the shrinking of Bears Ears and Grand Staircase national monuments established or expanded by President Obama, and the opening of additional millions of acres of public lands to drilling and mining, Zinke made happy many conservative state officials and the oil and gas industry. But this upset western conservationists who had supported his 2008 Montana Senate race upset and his 2014 race for Congress. In those days, however, he looked to be that modern rarity, a green-leaning Republican who had the best environmental record of any of his GOP colleagues. But once in Washington, he quickly adopted Donald Trump’s “energy dominance” agenda. Jimmy Tobias at The Guardian has produced an excellent investigative piece on Zinke.

The EPA airbrushed away 6 million cars to make your gas mileage worse

The idea that making cars cheaper will lead to fewer cars on the road is “inconsistent with basic economic theory”
Salon: in-depth news, politics, business, technology & culture Salon

The EPA airbrushed away 6 million cars to make your gas mileage worse

The idea that making cars cheaper will lead to fewer cars on the road is “inconsistent with basic economic theory”

Education Department forced to cancel $150 million in student debt from for-profit college scams

These will be long overdue happy holidays for around 15,000 students scammed by for-profit colleges that have since closed: a court battle has forced the Department of Education to cancel $150 million in student loan debt. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos ha
Daily Kos

Education Department forced to cancel $150 million in student debt from for-profit college scams

These will be long overdue happy holidays for around 15,000 students scammed by for-profit colleges that have since closed: a court battle has forced the Department of Education to cancel $150 million in student loan debt. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos had tried to stop an Obama-era policy protecting students from the worst abuses of for-profit colleges, but as has so often been the case, a federal judge got in the way of some of the worst the Trump administration wanted to do. While this is news for 15,000 people to celebrate, it’s “a good first step, but it’s not good enough,” said Sen. Patty Murray, the ranking Democrat on the Senate Education Committee. Murray called on DeVos to “abandon her attempts to rewrite the borrower defense rule to let for-profit colleges off the hook and instead fully implement the current rule and provide relief to more than 100,000 borrowers who were cheated out of their education and savings.” It’s important to remember that the $150 million in loans aren’t being canceled because DeVos saw the light or the Trump administration wanted to do anything good for anyone. As Murray said, “It’s disappointing that it took a court order to get Secretary DeVos to begin providing debt relief to students left in the lurch by predatory for-profit colleges.” Disappointing … or some stronger word. Still, in the Trump era, partial relief forced by a court order while the administration looks for ways to keep helping predatory big business over people trying to get an education definitely makes the good news list.

Trump campaign guy finally loses Veterans Affairs post after being unable to find anything to do

If you don't remember the name Peter O'Rourke, don't feel too bad about it. He went from a Trump campaign press guy to a posh spot in the Department of Veterans Affairs, and by «posh spot» we mean he jumped from scandal to scandal as Team Trump di
Daily Kos

Trump campaign guy finally loses Veterans Affairs post after being unable to find anything to do

If you don't remember the name Peter O'Rourke, don't feel too bad about it. He went from a Trump campaign press guy to a posh spot in the Department of Veterans Affairs, and by «posh spot» we mean he jumped from scandal to scandal as Team Trump did their apparent level best to bring the whole department down around their ears. He was made the head of a new «Office of Accountability and Whistleblower Protection» that appears to have been mostly used as a tool to purge low-level employees. He soon switched to becoming Trump's chosen VA secretary David Shulkin's chief of staff, after Shulkin's prior chief of staff resigned; after Shulkin was tossed from the job (for, he says, opposing Team Trump's agenda of privatization) O'Rourke became the new acting secretary, a pretty good gig for a campaign flack; after Trump's next nominee, White House doctor Ronny Jackson, went down in flames O'Rourke became new pick Robert Wilkie's «senior adviser,» with no apparent duties and an apparently dwindling motivation to show up for work. He has now been canned, ending one of the weirder, more scandal-adjacent tenures of Team Trump's tattered tenure, and that is saying something. O’Rourke was rarely in his office at VA headquarters in Washington, according to four people with knowledge of the arrangement, and by last week White House officials had grown concerned that O’Rourke was getting paid but not working, creating a perception problem in a corner of the government where the president has promised greater accountability. Just to be clear on this, the VA has suffered from widespread vacancies and despair-related retirements, there appears to be no end to department scandals and the agency is currently being pilloried for botching up G.I. Bill benefits so badly that some veterans may never see their full promised payments. O'Rourke's defense, however, was to say that «there were times I didn't have a lot to do.» Self-motivated, he is not. Anyhoo, he has been asked to resign by the aforementioned Wilkie, finally, but according to the Washington Post O’Rourke holds no hard feelings and apparently looks forward to working for Donald in some future capacity, presuming Donald stays out of prison and once again needs a campaign-trail press guy. Consider that swamp drained. Bye.

Cashless businesses shut out poor people. A proposed New York City law would ban that

Nearly 7 percent of households don’t have a bank account, and 19 percent more are “underbanked.” These are not people who can walk into a cashless business and whip out a credit card or do Apple Pay. That makes the rise of cashless businesses a problem
Daily Kos

Cashless businesses shut out poor people. A proposed New York City law would ban that

Nearly 7 percent of households don’t have a bank account, and 19 percent more are “underbanked.” These are not people who can walk into a cashless business and whip out a credit card or do Apple Pay. That makes the rise of cashless businesses a problem, a problem that New York City Council Member Ritchie Torres wants to address by requiring certain businesses in the city to accept cash, the New York Times’ Ginia Bellafante reported recently. It’s not just about discrimination against poor people, either—this disproportionately affects people of color, because people without traditional bank accounts and credit cards tend to be nonwhite: “It is bad enough that the poor are already so stigmatized, and now we are stigmatizing them even further for the way they consume goods and services,” Mr. Torres told me. “I talk a lot about effective discrimination. But this amounts to intentional discrimination, because these businesses that don’t accept cash know exactly who they are keeping out.” For some of us, going cashless is a convenience. It’s important to remember who suffers when our convenience becomes an exclusionary way of doing business.

Voting Rights Roundup: Wisconsin's Scott Walker signs law grabbing power from Democratic successor

Leading Off ● Wisconsin: On Friday, outgoing Republican Gov. Scott Walker signed into law a power grab that strips powers from the Democrat who beat him last month, Gov.-elect Tony Evers. Using their gerrymandered majorities in a lame-duck session, Wiscons
Daily Kos

Voting Rights Roundup: Wisconsin's Scott Walker signs law grabbing power from Democratic successor

Leading Off ● Wisconsin: On Friday, outgoing Republican Gov. Scott Walker signed into law a power grab that strips powers from the Democrat who beat him last month, Gov.-elect Tony Evers. Using their gerrymandered majorities in a lame-duck session, Wisconsin Republicans pursued a direct assault on one of the most fundamental principles of democracy: the peaceful transfer of power following electoral defeat. And since those very same gerrymanders helped Republicans maintain a solid grip on the legislature in 2018, Democrats can't just repeal these measures next year.​ Campaign Action ​The GOP's scheme includes taking away key powers from Evers and Democratic Attorney General-elect Josh Kaul and slashing the availability of in-person early voting from six weeks in some places to just two weeks statewide, although they did drop a proposal to tamper with the date of the 2020 presidential primary in an effort to boost their chances of preserving their state Supreme Court majority. A federal court struck down the GOP's previous attempt to cut early voting and restrict it to just one location per jurisdiction, but an appeal in that case is still pending. Specifically, Republicans have stripped Evers of the power to appoint members to important boards and state agencies, stopped him from increasing accountability over the way the state doles out tax breaks and incentives to businesses, and prevented him from banning guns in the state capitol. Furthermore, they've empowered the GOP legislative majority to intervene in lawsuits now that Evers and Kaul are unlikely to defend the state when other GOP power grabs, like gerrymandering or voter suppression, are challenged. That would ensure they have standing to sue or appeal in any case they don’t like—and make the taxpayers pay their legal bills. Relatedly, they also aim to curtail Kaul’s discretion over how to spend money from court settlements. This power grab is the final act in Walker's years-long quest to undermine democracy in Wisconsin, leaving a legacy that includes extreme gerrymandering, voter ID and other voter suppression measures, and the dismantling of nonpartisan election administration agency and campaign finance restrictions. Wisconsin Republicans have joined their brethren in North Carolina in showing total disdain for the will of the majority that showed up at the ballot box to oppose them, and naturally, they only passed these last measures after losing an election. Had Walker won, needless to say, none of these bills would have ever seen the light of day. Democrats are already planning to sue, making two upcoming elections for the state Supreme Court even more critical. If progressives hold the seat of a retiring liberal justice in April 2019 and defeat one of Walker's appointees the following year, they would gain a four-to-three majority on the court. The courts sharply curbed the North Carolina GOP's lame-duck power grabs after Democrat Roy Cooper won the 2016 governor's race in the Tar Heel State, so progressives could see a similar outcome if they can alter the makeup of Wisconsin's Supreme Court.

Paul Ryan’s disgraceful last act: Providing cover for Trump on Yemen war

Just as Republicans find some spine on foreign policy, Paul Ryan bids farewell to D.C. by doing Trump’s bidding
Salon: in-depth news, politics, business, technology & culture Salon

Paul Ryan’s disgraceful last act: Providing cover for Trump on Yemen war

Just as Republicans find some spine on foreign policy, Paul Ryan bids farewell to D.C. by doing Trump’s bidding

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