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Georgia GOP Tries To Curtail Black Voting

Majority-black Georgia county fires consultant who wants to close two-thirds of its polling places. WaPo: “Officials in Randolph County, Ga., have fired the consultant whose proposal to close two-thirds of the polling places in this majority black county was blasted by voting rights activists. The move comes ahead of a scheduled Friday vote on the plan to close seven of nine polling places, requiring some residents in the rural county to travel up to 10 miles to vote at their new precincts. Residents and activists were concerned because Randolph County and other rural areas around the state have a history of enacting laws and policies that made it harder for black people to register and vote. Malone also raised suspicion because he was on a list of consultants recommended by the secretary of state’s office. He made a campaign contribution to Brian Kemp, the Republican nominee for governor, who also is secretary of state and the Georgia’s top elections official. Malone also said at a meeting with angry Randolph County residents that Kemp had told him to look for opportunities to consolidate polling places around the state.”

Banking Committee Advances Unqualified CFPB Nominee

Senate Banking Committee approves CFPB nominee Kraninger. NPR: “On a close and party line vote, the Senate Banking Committee approved Kathleen Kraninger’s nomination to lead the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau on Thursday. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has been politically charged since its inception eight years ago. Republicans have argued the independent agency wielded too much power while Democrats argue it’s one of the few consumer safeguards against abuse by banks, credit card companies and payday lenders. Kraninger’s nomination has stirred up those debates and more. As associate director of the White House’s Office of Management and Budget, Kraninger played a role in the Trump administration’s response to Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico and in separating immigrant children from their parents. Democrats, including Massachusetts Elizabeth Warren criticized Kraninger’s lack of experience as well as her failure to answer questions about her role in the controversial policies she implemented at the budget office. ‘Either she wasn’t involved in child separations or the failed Puerto Rico recovery, which means she doesn’t have the management experience that she claims to have, or she was involved, which means the Senate would be voting to promote someone who was responsible for two of the worst humanitarian catastrophes in recent history,’ said Senator Elizabeth Warren at the hearing.”

WH Blocks Bill To Protect Elections

White House blocks bill that would protect elections. Yahoo News: “A bill that would have significantly bolstered the nation’s defenses against electoral interference has been held up in the Senate at the behest of the White House, which opposed the proposed legislation, according to congressional sources. The Secure Elections Act, introduced by Sen. James Lankford, R-Okla., in December 2017, had co-sponsorship from two of the Senate’s most prominent liberals, Kamala Harris, D-Calif., and Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., as well as from conservative stalwart Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., and consummate centrist Susan Collins, R-Me. Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., was set to conduct a markup of the bill on Wednesday morning in the Senate Rules Committee, which he chairs. The bill had widespread support, including from some of the committee’s Republican members, and was expected to come to a full Senate vote in October. But then the chairman’s mark, as the critical step is known, was canceled, and no explanation was given.”

ICE Handcuffs, Jails Detained Kids On 18th Birthdays

ICE officers handcuffed, jailed detained kids on their 18th birthdays. Miami New Times: “When one of his abusive mother’s gangbanger friends held a gun to his chest and threatened to pull the trigger, Nolbiz Orellana knew he’d die in Honduras. So this past January, the then-17-year-old made the harrowing journey to the U.S.-Mexico border, crossed over, and asked for asylum. Instead of releasing him to his relatives in Nebraska, though, the feds sent him to the Homestead Temporary Shelter for Unaccompanied Children. Orellana spent three months in the remote South Miami-Dade facility until April 8 — his birthday. That’s when Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents showed up at the children’s shelter, slapped handcuffs on Orellana’s wrists, chained them to his waist, and shackled his legs together. The agents drove Orellana to the Broward Transitional Center, an infamous immigration jail in Pompano Beach, where he was thrown into a cell with men twice his age. Orellana’s saga isn’t just shocking — it’s also illegal, say Miami immigration attorneys who have succeeded in forcing ICE to release several other 18-year-olds in recent months. Even worse, they say what happened to the Honduran refugee seems to have become ICE’s national policy. ‘When they turn 18, it’s basically, ‘Happy birthday,’ and then they slap on handcuffs and take them off to adult detention centers,’ says Lisa Lehner, an attorney with the nonprofit Americans for Immigrant Justice who is representing Orellana. Since April, at least 14 children at the Homestead center have been handcuffed on their 18th birthdays and taken to a jail cell in Broward, Lehner says. And at least one of those kids had been separated from his father under the Trump administration’s since-abandoned policy to rip apart families that crossed the border together.”

Trump Embraces White South African Farmers

Trump’s peculiar sympathy for white South Africans. The Atlantic: “Donald Trump, who generally admires dictators and ignores their victims, has finally found a human-rights issue he cares about: the plight of white South Africans. On Wednesday, he tweeted a demand that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo ‘closely study’ the South African government’s ‘seizing [of] land from white farmers.’ Despite the many graver human-rights problems plaguing Africa, Trump has somehow seized upon one affecting white people. Yes, there are legitimate critiques of the ruling African National Congress’s recent decision to support the expropriation of white-owned farmland without compensation. But claiming that Trump’s concern for white South Africans supposedly menaced by black people has nothing to do with his well-documented history of racism is like saying his focuson the murder of Mollie Tibbetts has nothing to do with the fact that she is white and her alleged killer is Latino. It long ago ceased being an argument that can be made in good faith. “

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