Five Truths About Voter Suppression

by Connor Maxwell and Danielle Root – The United States has a troubled history of voter suppression. Prior to the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, many states used policies such as poll taxes and literacy tests to prevent African-Americans from voting. Even after the voting barriers of the Jim Crow era were removed more than 50 years ago, some lawmakers continue to pursue policies that would undermine our nation’s progress. Under the guise of tackling voter fraud, 14 states adopted measures to restrict voting ahead of the 2016 election. These measures, including strict voter ID requirements and reductions in early voting opportunities and polling places, created barriers for tens of thousands of low-income citizens and citizens of color. Alarmingly, five of the 14 states have a history of racial discrimination in voting and previously had to seek federal approval before changing their voting laws and procedures. Even though...

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10 Falsehoods That Netanyahu Told During His Appearance At CAP

by IGOR VOLSKY, AVIVA SHEN, JACK JENKINS, VICTORIA FLEISCHER, TARA CULP-RESSLER – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke with Center for American Progress head Neera Tanden on Tuesday as part of his latest visit to the United States, during which he’s attempting to appeal to both conservatives and progressives. In a wide-ranging forum, the hawkish prime minister invoked several of his favorite claims about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Netanyahu is known to have distorted facts in the past, from rewriting the history of the Holocaust to grossly overstating Iran’s nuclear capacity. ThinkProgress, an editorially independent news site affiliated with the Center for American Progress, fact-checked his discussion with Tanden and found a number of false claims. 1. Settlements aren’t a core issue affecting the peace process. CLAIM: Netanyahu claimed that the settlements are not a “core issue” in the stalled peace talks. He defended the statement by dating the violence between Arabs...

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More Money, More Problems

by Michele L. Jawando and Billy Corriher – Fleeting Victories for Diversity on the Bench As America winds down its celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Selma-to-Montgomery March and the Voting Rights Act of 1965, the country continues to reflect on the progress made toward racial and political equality. One cannot help but recognize the crucial role the judiciary played and continues to play in achieving this progress, whether it was the U.S. Supreme Court declaring “separate is not equal,” as it did in Brown v. Board of Education, or the more recent decision in Shelby County v. Holder, which struck down a key provision of the Voting Rights Act. While the role of the federal judiciary and the decisions it metes out are often examined, far less focus and study is directed to the role of state courts and their impact and influence on ordinary citizens. Even less is known about who sits on these courts and their backgrounds, both...

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Kochs put a Happy Face on Free Enterprise

Consider the Source: Free-Market System Leads to Well-being By Chris Young, Center for Public Integrity– Editor’s note: This story is one in a continuing series on Washington, D.C.’s information industry. The series seeks to illuminate the sometimes-misleading methods used by special interest groups to gain support for their agendas from government and average Americans. When Arthur C. Brooks stepped on stage in December, the influential conservative’s mission was simple, yet ambitious: “If I do my job,” Brooks began his speech, “in the next few minutes I’m going to give you the secret to happiness.” Standing before large block letters that spelled “H-A-P-P-I-N-E-S-S,” the charismatic president of the American Enterprise Institute, a conservative think tank, explained how genetics, major life events and choices all contribute to one’s well-being. Brooks mentioned the importance of forging close relationships with family, promoted charitable giving and emphasized that “money doesn’t buy happiness.” Nearing the end of...

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Beyond Marriage: Advocates Call on Obama Administration to Combat LGBTQ Criminalization

By Mike Ludwig, Truthout | Report – The movement to legalize same-sex marriage across the country is probably the most visible, if not successful, political effort on the mainstream Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer (LGBTQ) agenda. With the help of celebrity endorsements and courtroom dramas, same-sex marriage is basking in the media’s limelight as the opinion polls and legal opinions continue tipping in its favor. After all, what’s not to like about a picture of two middle-aged women holding hands and reciting vows on the front page of the newspaper? But there are plenty of LGBTQ people who never make the front page of the paper, even if the telling of their stories could mean the difference between freedom and years of dangerous imprisonment, or even life and death. Despite the media hype, marriage equality is not the top issue on every agenda in the LGBTQ world. Many...

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