Monday, May 02, 2016
A group formed in music school
Parlour Tricks is a New York "pop" band with three harmonious women up front working on their moves as they sing "Bukowski"
Campaign without end, Amen
Most people think the Presidential campaign has already gone on too long, Tom Tomorrow shows us how long it feels like.
Spreading the True Word
Another lunatic fringe idea now thought normal
But make no mistake, it is still a lunatic fringe idea. Gop Teabaggers in Congress are now starting to call for a shutdown of the IRS. The purpose of this is to shift their tax burden onto the lower income groups but they disguise this with all manner of fancy fustian and bombast.
The Republican Study Committee, which counts over two-thirds of House of Representatives Republicans as its members, called recently for "the complete elimination of the IRS."Lots of talk and little thought are a hallmark of Conservatve/Bircher legislation so if this lunatic fringe idea ever passes beyond the gasbag stage, we are probably in for big trouble.
The committee's support for this idea, once confined to the fringes of conservative ideology, suggests it is more widely accepted on Capitol Hill than ever. But many in Washington, including some Republicans, have trouble taking it seriously.
Calls to abolish the IRS have not been well thought through, said Republican Representative Charles Boustany in an interview.
“Before we start making blanket statements about abolishing the IRS, I think it’s important to focus on what the tax code for the 21st century should look like," said Boustany, who does not belong to the 172-member study committee.
In an election year of dramatic rhetoric that is often short on details, the committee's proposal, released April 22 and echoing language from a March budget plan, is brief.
As part of a wider appeal for federal tax reform, the committee says simply: "This proposal takes the bold step of calling for the complete elimination of the IRS. Tax collection and enforcement activities would be moved to a new, smaller and more accountable department at the Treasury."
No further specifics were offered for how to replace an agency that is already part of Treasury, collected $3.3 trillion in revenue in 2015, and processed 240 million tax returns.
Something good comes from Der Trumpenfuehrer
And I didn't think I would ever write a header like that but there is good news that he is responsible for. Since the volcano of his racist spew has erupted, many immigrants in this country have accelerated their move towards citizenship.
Ospina has spent almost half his life in the U.S. after emigrating from his native Colombia, becoming eligible for citizenship in 1990. But with Donald Trump becoming a more likely presidential nominee by the day, Ospina decided to wait no more, rushing the paperwork required to become a citizen.Those who say their votes don't count should pay attention to these future citizens. They know that their voice is in their vote and that dear Mr Trump is driving all those new votes into the Democratic where they will replace the natural born voters who can't be bothered.
"Trump is dividing us as a country," said Ospina, owner of a small flooring and kitchen remodeling company. "He's so negative about immigrants. We've got to speak up."
Nationwide, immigrants like Ospina are among tens of thousands applying for naturalization in a year when immigration has taken center stage in the presidential campaign, especially in the race for the Republican nomination.
Trump, the GOP front-runner, has pledged to deport the estimated 11 million people living in the U.S. illegally. He's also vowed to bar Muslims from entering the country and threatened to cut off remittances that Mexican immigrants in the U.S. send back home. And he's called for building a border wall — among other proposals to deal with unlawful immigration, saying the federal government has failed to protect the border from people and drugs illegally entering the country.
That rhetoric, immigrant advocates and lawmakers say, is driving many foreign-born residents to seek citizenship.
"There is fear of a Trump presidency," said Maria Ponce of iAmerica Action, a Washington-based immigrant rights group that is teaming up with other organizations to help those seeking citizenship — part of a national campaign called "Stand Up To Hate." They've sponsored naturalization workshops from Washington state to Nebraska and Massachusetts.
Nationwide, naturalization applications are up 14 percent in the last six months of 2015 compared with the same period in 2014, according to the government.
And the pool of future U.S. citizens is large. Nearly 9 million legal permanent residents, or green-card holders, are eligible to become Americans. Of those, about 4 million are Hispanic.
Rep. Luis Gutiérrez, D-Ill., was featured in a public service announcement encouraging immigrants to become citizens so they can vote in November. He mocked Trump's slogan, suggesting it was really: "Make America Hate Again."
Bringing the cicadas up to speed
John Oliver explains the last 17 years to them in 3 minutes because they don't have much time left.
Regardless of what they say, the platform is the same
Sunday, May 01, 2016
Very neo-80's video
For the Australian band The Preatures singing "Manic Baby" from their EP Is This How You Feel?
He still has a chance
Prosecutors would kill for a court this accomodating
In the last year the FISA court, which is charged with ensuring that the various secret agencies spying on American citizens stay with in the ever looser bounds of law, accepted every request for a secret warrant.
A secret court that oversees the US government's surveillance requests accepted every warrant that was submitted last year, according to new figures.12 rejected requests. Probably from the early days before the judges fully understood their roles is this peculiar sort of "justice".
The Washington DC.-based Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court received 1,457 requests from the National Security Agency and the Federal Bureau of Investigation to intercept phone calls and emails.
In long-standing fashion, the court did not reject a single warrant, entirely or in part.
The FBI also issued 48,642 national security letters, a subpoena-like power that compels a company to turn over data on national security grounds without informing the subject of the letter.
The memo said the majority of these demands sought data on foreigners, but almost one-in-five were requests for data on Americans.
The figures are reported annually by the Justice Dept. to members of Congress, but have yet to be formally released. Reuters first reported the soon-to-be-released figures.
The work of the court is shrouded in secrecy. Founded in 1978, the so-called FISA Court was tasked with processing government requests for surveillance against foreign targets. It was this court that approved a number of controversial programs, such as PRISM and the phone records collection program, which were later leaked by whistleblower Edward Snowden to journalists.
In the traditional manner
The current government is changing. Since the founding of the present nation of Iraq in 1921 every government that has ruled the country has, in the end, been overthrown. The present government has not yet been officially overthrown by the supporters of Moqtada al-Sadr, but they know who they need to listen to if they want to continue.
Supporters of Iraqi Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr announced their withdrawal from Baghdad’s fortified Green Zone on Sunday, packing up and leaving just a day after they stormed parliament and began a sit-in.It is the beginning and it remains to be seen how it will play out, but there has been a transfer of power. How soon will we see who now holds it?
Addressing the demonstrators, Akhlas al-Obaidi, a protest organizer, urged people to go home to give political decision-making a chance and to commemorate the death of 8th-century Imam Mousa al-Kadhim. She said they would return Friday to make a “major stand.”
Earlier in the day, the demonstrators had picnicked and chanted against politicians they deemed corrupt, while also enjoying what was for some their first sight of Baghdad’s most iconic landmarks. The Green Zone is home to parliament, ministries and embassies and has been sealed off by blast walls and checkpoints for 13 years.
Not far away, Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi held a meeting with the president, the parliamentary speaker and other party leaders to try to steer the country out of the political turmoil, which is threatening to unseat him. A statement released after their meeting said they planned “intense” meetings between political parties in the coming days to work on reforms. It also condemned the ransacking of parliament and ordered that the perpetrators be brought to justice.
The withdrawal of the protesters gives Abadi some breathing space, but he has struggled to implement any meaningful political changes despite months of trying. Sadr is demanding an end to a quota system set up after the 2003 U.S.-led invasion under which political positions are divided up based on sect and ethnicity. Abadi has tried to put in place a technocratic government, but his attempts to reshuffle his cabinet have been hampered by bickering in a split parliament.
Patience ran out Saturday as Sadr’s followers entered the parliament building. The cleric, who led an armed opposition against U.S. troops during the Iraq war, has a strong following on the street and described the events as the beginning of a “revolution.”
R.I.P. Daniel J. Berrigan
A Catholic priest that lived his religion for the greater glory of humanity.
Send money and keep back
Saturday, April 30, 2016
For International Jazz Day
Melody Gardot performing the Bill Withers classic, "Ain't No Sunshine"
Fire up a fattie
Today, April 29, is Willie Nelson's Birthday. The Red Headed Stranger is 83 years old and still counting.
The Home Gun Show Network
Amy Schumer really can sell on TV
Is a Cuban reptile eligible?
That Cuban Guy Cruz has his Carly
So one of the questions on the Republican side is who the most likely candidate for president will pick as his Vice President. The other question is will whoever he might pick actually agree to run with him.
It’s a time-honored tradition for politicians to deny any interest in the vice presidency. But this year, with the possibility of Donald J. Trump as the Republican nominee, they really mean it.Worse than running and losing with Trump, being seen within fifty feet of him is now the new poison in the Republican Party.
“Never,” said Chris Schrimpf, a spokesman for Gov. John Kasich of Ohio, who is still running against Mr. Trump. “No chance.”
“Hahahahahahahahaha,” wrote Sally Bradshaw, a senior adviser to Jeb Bush, when asked if he would consider it.
“Scott Walker has a visceral negative reaction to Trump’s character,” said Ed Goeas, a longtime adviser to the Wisconsin governor.
Or, as Senator Lindsey Graham put it, “That’s like buying a ticket on the Titanic.”
A remarkable range of leading Republicans, including Gov. Nikki Haley of South Carolina and Senator Jeff Flake of Arizona, have been emphatic publicly or with their advisers and allies that they do not want to be considered as Mr. Trump’s running mate. The recoiling amounts to a rare rebuke for a front-runner: Politicians usually signal that they are not interested politely through back channels, or submit to the selection process, if only to burnish their national profiles.
But Mr. Trump has a singular track record of picking fights with obvious potential running mates like Senator Marco Rubio of Florida, who has indicated a lack of interest in the vice presidency generally and has yet to reconcile with Mr. Trump publicly. Ms. Haley and another potential pick, Gov. Susana Martinez of New Mexico, have sharply criticized Mr. Trump at recent party gatherings and do not want to be associated with his sometimes-angry tone, according to advisers and close associates who have spoken with these Republicans.
Several Republican consultants said their clients were concerned that Mr. Trump’s unusually high unfavorable ratings with all voters and his unpopularity among women and Hispanics could doom him as a general election candidate and damage their own future political prospects if they were on his ticket.
It's Been A While Since We Had That New Country Smell
Bill Maher rips into our penchant for 'fixing' what should be replaced.
Friday, April 29, 2016
A pop song in the 60's
Turns into a sexy song in the hands of Joan Osborne. The Classics IV song "Spooky"
What he calls "man"
They meant well but they screwed up
So the Pentagon, in its brass plated wisdom, will punish 16 people for the bombing of the Doctors Without Borders hospital in Kunduz, Shitholeistan. According to the Pentagon they will all get an administrative "whack on the pee-pee" for it.
Mistakes by the crew flying an AC-130 gunship, compounded by equipment and procedural failures, led to the devastating attack on a Doctors Without Borders hospital in northern Afghanistan last year, and 16 American military personnel, including a general officer, have been punished for their roles in the strike, the Defense Department announced on Friday.The punishment to be meted out is more likely a response to the embarrassment of missing the real target by such a wide margin than it is for hitting a hospital. The MSF people should know better than to work anywhere near US Forces.
The punishments for the attack on Oct. 3 in Kunduz, which killed 42 people, will be “administrative actions” only, and were not more severe because the attack was determined to be unintentional. The punishments include suspension and removal from command as well as letters of reprimand, which can seriously damage a career. But none of the service members being disciplined will face criminal charges.
The new top officer of the military’s Central Command, Gen. Joseph L. Votel, made the announcement during a Pentagon news conference. He said the military had conducted “a thorough investigation” that was “painstaking” in seeking an “accurate account” of what occurred.
Its conclusion was that the crew members of the gunship who fired on the hospital “did not know they were striking a medical facility” and that the attack on the hospital was the result of human errors compounded by “process and equipment failures.”
The AC-130, whose assignment was to support an American Special Forces team that was working with Afghan forces, came under fire from a surface-to-air missile, General Votel said, and received incorrect coordinates for the source of the attack. Its crew, communicating with ground forces, came to believe that the hospital basically matched the description of a Taliban-controlled building about a quarter of a mile away, and fired at the hospital.
The crew of the gunship did not get all the information it should have received about “no strike areas” that included the hospital, which was categorized as a protected facility.
Someone always finds a way
And North Carolina's crying need for this device has been answered.
More Republican abuse of power
It could be said that almost all the Republican actions have been an abuse of power since the inauguration of Barack Obama. One thing is certain, it has now become as casual and accepted as racism was 100 years ago. One example is the nomination of the Secretary of the Army, a non controversial selection, that is being blocked by that paragon of pettiness, Pat Roberts of Kansas. And his reason? President Obama wants to close Guantanamo and Pat is scared shitless he might put some of those super-human terrist critters in Fort Leavenworth.
Arizona Sen. John McCain pleaded with a fellow Republican, Kansas Sen. Pat Roberts, on the Senate floor Thursday to withdraw his objection and allow a vote on Eric Fanning to be Secretary of the Army.It is to be noted that the Republicans have moved beyond using his being gay as a sticking point. But there is always some irrelevant point that the GOP can use to stop the proper functioning of government. And as Sen. McCain rightly puts, it is an abuse of power.
But Roberts wouldn’t budge, again citing his opposition to President Barack Obama’s proposal to close the Guantanamo Bay prison and transfer its detainees to U.S. sites, including, potentially, Fort Leavenworth in Kansas.
Roberts said the White House called him Thursday to try to work out a solution but wouldn’t promise to take Fort Leavenworth off the list.
Obama nominated Fanning in September, and McCain’s committee voted to confirm him last month. If confirmed by the full Senate, Fanning would be the first openly gay secretary of any branch of the military.
At times getting impatient with Roberts, McCain said Fanning was “eminently qualified” and that he had “nothing to do” with he president’s policy on Guantanamo.
McCain, a Navy veteran and former prisoner of war, said Roberts’ action was “not the appropriate use of senatorial privilege” and “a distortion” of the Senate’s duty to advise and consent.
“If we inaugurate a practice here of holding nominees over an issue that is not related to those nominees,” McCain said, “we are abusing our power and authority as United States senators.”
Simple Solution to a Non-Existent Problem
Thursday, April 28, 2016
One from the 60's that still plays well
From South Africa, Four Jacks And A Jill do "Master Jack"
Trump The Calendar
R.I.P. Uziel Silna
You screwed the NBA really good when they thought they had got you. Well Done Ozzie Silna!
Doctors In The Bullseye
Doctors Without Borders is a charity of medical professionals who provide medical treatment in crisis areas to all who need it. And once again it becomes the target of one of the belligerents for reasons never stated but hardly accidental.
Syria’s divided city of Aleppo plunged back into the kind of all-out war not seen in months on Thursday, witnesses and health workers said, as they reeled from government airstrikes that demolished a hospital in the insurgent-held side and from retaliatory mortar assaults by rebels on the government-held side.Perhaps only hopeless dreamers believe that you can retain some humanity in a war, even a civil war.
At least 27 people, including three children and six staff members, were reported killed in the strike on the hospital, which turned it into a smoking pile of rubble on Wednesday night. At least eight people, mostly civilians, were killed in the mortar attacks on government-controlled areas, said officials at a hospital where casualties were streaming in at midday on Thursday...
The location of Al Quds hospital, the destroyed facility on the rebel side of the city, was well known, and the hospital was assisted by the international charity Doctors Without Borders. “This devastating attack has destroyed a vital hospital in Aleppo, and the main referral center for pediatric care in the area,” the head of the charity’s Syria mission, Muskilda Zancada, said in a statement. “Where is the outrage among those with the power and obligation to stop this carnage?”
Two hospitals in the town of Maarat al-Noaman to the east, including one working with Doctors Without Borders, were hit on the same day earlier this year, each by multiple strikes. Groups such as Physicians for Human Rights have tracked what they call a pattern of deliberate targeting of health services by government forces.
Witnesses contended that the same appeared to be true in the strike on Al Quds hospital, in the neighborhood of Sukkari.
“Those were multiple airstrikes targeting the same area with less than two-minute gaps,” Adnan Hadad, an opposition journalist, said shortly after returning from the scene.
The International Committee of the Red Cross called on all parties to stop indiscriminate attacks and to avoid harming civilians, or Aleppo would face what it called a new humanitarian disaster...
The hospital was hit when it was already full of victims from government shelling, Hadi Abdullah, an opposition journalist, reported in a video from the scene, in which a medical worker said that three of his colleagues had been killed.
The Once Brave Palmetto Bug State
Which once upon a time had the courage to start a war with the industrial northern states over a failed business model, now is scared shitless at the idea that a handful of prisoners may be held in South Carolina.
South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley came to Washington, D.C., on Thursday with one clear message – keep Guantanamo detainees out of South Carolina, and if you need extra money to keep the prison open I’ll help you find it.Where they once stood up to a blockade and faced the Wrath of Sherman, now they cower in fear at the thought of al-Qaeda and ISIS driving their Toyotas across the Atlantic to attack South Carolina and free a handful of now worthless schmucks. Well Done South Carolina!
“You could pay the state of South Carolina to host these terrorists, and we wouldn’t take them. For any amount of money,” she said in her testimony before a House Homeland Security subcommittee on the local impact of transferring prisoners from the facility in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
President Barack Obama in February released his plan to shutter the prison, including measures that would transfer 30 to 60 detainees, many of whom have never been charged with a crime, from Guantánamo to an unidentified high-security prison in the United States.
Haley told the committee that the Pentagon reached out last summer to tell her they were scouting the U.S. Naval Consolidated Brig in Hanahan, S.C., as a possible site to transfer the detainees. The facility lies five miles from North Charleston.
“Imagine my surprise,” she said. “Not only was it against federal law (…) but why would anyone want to put terrorists in Charleston?”
Obama said his plan would save American taxpayers more than $300 million in the first 10 years after implementation and as much as $1.7 billion over two decades. Haley said that saving federal dollars does not justify the risk.
“I come from a state where we balance our budget – I promise we can help you find the $85 million elsewhere to cut,” she said.
Moving detainees to a different zip code just shifts the target and creates imminent danger for nearby communities, Haley said. The South Carolina delegation has argued for months that this is especially a concern for the Charleston location, a national tourist destination with a metropolitan population of almost 700,000.
Restating the obvious
Wednesday, April 27, 2016
They can sing them and write them
And the trio of Matraca Berg, Gretchen Peters and Suzy Bogguss encompass some of the finest signing and writing talent in Nashville. "You And Tequila" was written Berg and Deanna Carter. A ladylike drinking song.
Step 2 - Underpants Gnomes Business Plan
The Cicadas are coming! The Cicadas are coming!
And if you are in one of the prime areas for the emergence of this years brood, the warm summer days will be filled with the buzz of male cicadas trying to get laid after 17 years underground.(And you think your life is hard)
Although adult cicadas are harmless to people, they can cause some damage to shade and fruit trees, Mr. Hoover said. They can also cause a mess and discomfort for humans.And kids will be finding shed casings of their former life, harmless but perhaps icky to people afraid of nature.
In addition to the eerie noise cicadas emit, they leave behind casings that can coat decks and patios, prompting some homeowners in the past to get power washers to remove them. If you have a phobia about insects, this will be a time of high anxiety. Dog owners have discovered the undigested remnants of the insects from the upset stomachs of their pets.
But for some other animals, such as birds and fish, the emergence of the periodical cicada means a bumper crop of food. Trout, bass and carp “will literally gorge themselves” on the adult insects, Mr. Hoover said.
The lead-up to cicadas’ emergence is a prolonged, low-key process. Cicada nymphs spend 17 years underground, where they “await an undetermined signal for emergence,” Mr. Hoover said.
A combination of soil temperatures reaching 64 degrees and light rain seems to trigger their ascension, he said. The nymphs climb trees and within an hour, they shed their skins and become adults.
Ten days later, the mating begins. Each female lays up to 400 eggs in the twigs of more than 75 species of trees.
Nymphs hatch in six to eight weeks and then drop to the soil for a period longer than four presidential administrations before they re-emerge and the cycle continues.
Send the lunch pail to a museum
The idea, and the hope, that any political candidate can bring about a manufacturing resurgence in this country is just another "snipe hunt". Worldwide thanks to automation and increased productivity, manufacturing of all kinds is declining.
In America’s factories, jobs are inevitably disappearing, too. But despite the political rhetoric, the problem is not mainly globalization. Manufacturing jobs are on the decline in factories around the world.There may still be pockets of manufacturing sprouting up here and there but overall it is a field that needs less people every year. And when you take away the means to work without taking away the need to work you create a huge problem that does not lend itself to old solutions.
“The observation is uncontroversial,” said Joseph Stiglitz, the Nobel-winning economist at Columbia University. “Global employment in manufacturing is going down because productivity increases are exceeding increases in demand for manufactured products by a significant amount.”
The consequences of this dynamic are often misunderstood, not least by politicians offering slogans to fix them.
No matter how high the tariffs Mr. Trump wants to raise to encircle the American economy, he will not be able to produce a manufacturing renaissance at home. Neither would changing tax rules to limit corporate flight from the United States, as Mrs. Clinton proposes.
“The likelihood that we will get a manufacturing recovery is close to nil,” Professor Stiglitz said. “We are more likely to have a smaller share of a shrinking pie.”
Look at it this way: Over the course of the 20th century, farm employment in the United States dropped to 2 percent of the work force from 41 percent, even as output soared. Since 1950, manufacturing’s share has shrunk to 8.5 percent of nonfarm jobs, from 24 percent. It still has a ways to go.
The shrinking of manufacturing employment is global. In other words, strategies to restore manufacturing jobs in one country will amount to destroying them in another, in a worldwide zero-sum game.
The loss of such jobs has created plenty of problems in the United States. For the countless workers living in less developed reaches of the world, though, it adds up to a potential disaster.
But it looks so cool!
Tuesday, April 26, 2016
Harmonious Singings Of Sweet Sisters
Joseph sings "Sweet Dreams" with a background of Casper The Friendly Ghost
Under Der Trumpenfuehrer
The power of public shame
The other day some Okie deputies from Muskogee County stopped a Burmese immigrant working with a Christian-Burmese band to raise money for a Karen school back in Burma, for a broken taillight. A semi-legal dog inspired drug search turned up $53,000 raised by the band, the deputies seized the money and charged Eh Wah with drug crimes despite not drugs or incriminating paraphenalia being found. The DA then eagerly sought to steal the money under the cover of a civil forfeiture. The the story went public.
On Monday, I wrote about a strange civil forfeiture case out of Oklahoma, in which Muskogee County sheriff's deputies seized over $53,000 in cash from a Burmese Christian rock band, a church in Omaha and an orphanage in Thailand following a traffic stop over a busted tail light.Yes, it is amazing how facts change when you shine a light on what is happening. No one as yet is calling DA Loge and the deputies a bunch of thieving bastards. Perhaps that is because no one yet has looked at how many civil forfeitures he has done.
After the story was published, Muskogee County District Attorney Orvil Loge decided to dismiss both the civil case (the cash seizure) and a criminal charge of "acquir[ing] proceeds from drug activity" against the principal defendant, Eh Wah, after reviewing the evidence and speaking with the officers involved.
"I looked at the case and met with the officers and determined that we would not be able to meet the burden of proof in the criminal case and in the civil case," Loge said in an interview. He also cited the press coverage of the story and said that his office has heard from "a lot of citizens" who were upset about the details of the case.
Eh Wah was acting as the volunteer tour manager for the Klo and Kweh Music Team, a group from Burma. They were touring the United States to raise money for a Christian liberal arts school in Burma and an orphanage in Thailand. They collected their concert proceeds in cash, which they entrusted to Eh Wah to manage and safeguard.
Eh Wah was pulled over for a broken tail light in February by Muskogee County sheriff's deputies, who said a drug-sniffing dog alerted on the car. When the deputies searched the car, they found all $53,000 that the band had raised. They didn't like Eh Wah's explanation for why he had it, citing inconsistencies in his responses to police questions. So they seized the cash and eventually charged him with a drug felony, even though they found no drugs or paraphernalia in the car or in his possession.
In an interview, Loge, the district attorney, said the officers had enough probable cause to take the cash.
"In this case, the question was did they have probable cause to act? And in my opinion they did," he said. But he added, "Once you file cases and facts come to light, things change. That's the way our justice system is designed, and you have to let the wheel of justice turn and act — and that's what we did."
The value of activist judges
As everybody knows, their value is revealed when they bend and twist the laws to make rulings that you approve of. In North Carolina, those who want to keep the pesky coloreds and poors from voting appear to have gotten their wish in the latest ruling from a Bush appointed activist judge in the North Carolina District Court.
A federal judge on Monday upheld sweeping Republican-backed changes to election rules, including a voter identification provision, that civil rights groups say unfairly targeted African-Americans and other minorities. The ruling could have serious political repercussions in a state that is closely contested in presidential elections.Needless to say, North Carolina Gov. Pat "Pee-Pee" McCrory is delighted by the ruling as it now makes his re-election possible, he hopes.
The opinion, by Judge Thomas D. Schroeder of Federal District Court in Winston-Salem, upheld the repeal of a provision that allowed people to register and vote on the same day. It also upheld a seven-day reduction in the early-voting period; the end of preregistration, which allowed some people to sign up before their 18th birthdays; and the repeal of a provision that allowed for the counting of ballots cast outside voters’ home precinct.
It also left intact North Carolina’s voter identification requirement, which legislators softened last year to permit residents to cast ballots, even if they lack the required documentation, if they submit affidavits.
The ruling could have significant repercussions in North Carolina, a state that Barack Obama barely won in 2008, and that the Republican Mitt Romney barely won four years later.
The United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, which sits in Richmond, Va., will be the first to consider an appeal, which the law’s opponents said they would pursue. If the Fourth Circuit or the Supreme Court does not intervene, the changes will be in force when voters go to the polls this autumn. North Carolina voters will also elect a governor in what is expected to be one of this year’s most competitive state races.
The ruling is an early signal of how federal judges might regard changes and challenges to voting laws in the aftermath of a 2013 Supreme Court decision that effectively eliminated a portion of the Voting Rights Act that had forced nine states, mostly in the South, to obtain advance federal approval before changing their election laws.
Planning to vote GOP this year
Samantha Bee explains the
A woman goes to a shooting range
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