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Gerrymander No More

Supreme Court strikes down North Carolina’s GOP-drawn maps for racial gerrymandering. DailyKOS: “In a major victory for voting rights on Monday, the Supreme Court affirmed a lower court ruling issued last year that had struck down 28 of North Carolina’s 170 state legislative districts on the grounds that Republicans had unconstitutionally used race in drawing these maps in the first place. These lines will now have to be redrawn, and new elections will be held under them, most likely next year or possibly even later this year. When that happens, Democrats could finally break the GOP’s years-long veto-proof supermajorities in the legislature, which Republicans have used to run roughshod over democratic norms and impose a radical conservative agenda on an evenly divided swing state.”

Russians hacked U.S. voting systems maker days before election. The Intercept: “Russian military intelligence executed a cyberattack on at least one U.S. voting software supplier and sent spear-phishing emails to more than 100 local election officials just days before last November’s presidential election, according to a highly classified intelligence report obtained by The Intercept. The top-secret National Security Agency document… analyzes intelligence very recently acquired by the agency about a months-long Russian intelligence cyber effort against elements of the U.S. election and voting infrastructure.”

Infrastructure Scams

Trump Announces Plan To Privatize Air Traffic Control. NPR: “President Trump announced Monday a plan to privatize the nation’s air traffic control system – a move that would remove the job of tracking and guiding airplanes from the purview of the Federal Aviation Administration… Guided by legislation that has been proposed in the past by House Transportation Committee chairman Bill Shuster, a private, nonprofit corporation would be created to operate, manage and control air traffic control nationwide, similar to what Canada does. The FAA would still have some oversight capacity, but a board made up mostly of representatives of the major airlines would govern this corporation.”

Trump’s infrastructure bait-and-switch. DailyKOS: “It’s a federal cut. By ‘spend a trillion dollars,’ casino-man Trump and his hired-on business buddies mean they’ll be spending zero new dollars, they’ll demand states and cities make up that difference or blame them afterward for not doing so, and they’ll be selling off as much of the rest of that ‘infrastructure’ as they can, from air traffic control to highways, to Donald Trump’s banking and construction buddies. The actual plan still doesn’t exist yet, only the ‘contours,’ but he’ll be introducing it anyway because like the tax ‘plan’ and the healthcare ‘plan,’ including details would only make the plan look even more farcical and implausible than the one-sheet-of-paper version.”

Liars and Influencers

EPA chief exaggerates growth of coal jobs by tens of thousands. ThinkProgress: “The EPA chief’s biggest fib was probably his statement, made on multiple shows on Sunday, that the coal industry has grown by 50,000 job over the last few months. No data exists from government or industry sources to back up the claim that the industry has seen such a dramatic surge in coal mining jobs over this time period. In fact, the average number of coal mining jobs increased by only 586, or about 1.1 percent during the first three months of 2017.”

Financial disclosures of 349 Trump appointees reveal conflicts. ProPublica: “We have been collecting disclosure forms that lay out Trump administration officials’ financial holdings and employment backgrounds… they are from White House staffers, President Trump’s Cabinet and from the hundreds of members of so-called beachhead teams that the administration has installed with little notice at federal agencies. The disclosures are crucial to understanding potential conflicts. Many lobbyists and political consultants now work at the agencies they sought to influence.”

More From

The Unpleasant Impact of an Unserious Budget. Josh Hoxie: “Trump’s budget means certain pain for most families and big tax cuts for the wealthiest few. But even stranger is that it relies on a set of assumptions that present a fantastical approach to simple arithmetic.”

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