GOP Voter Suppression Targets Minorities Nationwide
Republican voter suppression efforts are targeting minorities. NPR: "Since the 2010 elections, 24 states have implemented new restrictions on voting. Alabama now requires a photo ID to cast a ballot. Other states such as Ohio and Georgia have enacted "use it or lose it" laws, which strike voters from registration rolls if they have not participated in an election within a prescribed period of time. Mother Jones journalist Ari Berman, author of Give Us the Ballot, says that many of the restrictions are part of a broader Republican strategy to tighten access to the ballot — an effort that was bolstered in 2013 by the Supreme Court's Shelby County v. Holder ruling. '[That] decision,' Berman explains, 'said that those states with the longest histories of discrimination no longer had to approve their voting changes with the federal government.' You're seeing a national effort by the Republican Party to try to restrict voting rights, and it's playing out in states all across the country. As a result, Berman says, "You're seeing a national effort by the Republican Party to try to restrict voting rights, and it's playing out in states all across the country.'"
Trump Intimidates Voters With Threats
Trump threatens democracy with one of the most naked attempts' to suppress voters in modern times. Common Dreams: "After President Donald Trump fired off a hysterical tweet this weekend warning of mass 'voter fraud'—a right-wing bogeyman for which there is virtually zero evidence—and threatening violators with severe punishment, the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law condemned the president for deploying Jim Crow-era scare tactics to suppress minority voter turnout just two weeks before the midterm elections. 'President Trump’s statement regarding vote fraud is one of the most naked attempts to promote voter suppression that we have seen in modern time,' Kristen Clarke, president and executive director of the Lawyers’ Committee, said in a statement following Trump’s tweet, in which he declared that 'all levels of government and law enforcement are watching carefully' for violations."
Minnesota Races Embody National Battle For Congress
Minnesota is at the crossroads of a divided America. Bloomberg: "From the Iron Range in the north to soybean farms in the south, the defining dynamics of this year’s U.S. congressional elections are playing out in four Minnesota House races that both parties view as bellwethers for the midterm election. Democrats are counting on anti-Trump sentiment in the affluent, well-educated suburbs around Minneapolis to knock out two GOP incumbents. Republicans have an edge in contests for two open seats in rural districts that voted for President Donald Trump by 15 and 16 points but had been held by Democrats. The shift in Minnesota, and across the country, has been fueled by eroding Democratic support among non-college-educated blue collar workers and growing support among college-educated suburban voters. That dynamic played out in the 2016 presidential election, when Trump outperformed his predecessor with blue collar white Americans, while Democrat Hillary Clinton gained with college-educated white Americans. Democrat Dean Phillips, a businessman running against Paulsen, is challenging the incumbent’s nice-guy persona, criticizing his votes to repeal the Affordable Care Act and pass last year’s tax overhaul. He’s campaigning on making health care affordable and getting money out of politics, and he’s rejecting donations from corporate political action committees, lobbyists and members of Congress. 'This country now is facing a divide between rural communities and urban communities that is unprecedented, and it really is the basis for our political divisions,' Phillips said in an interview. 'Which by definition makes the suburbs the bridge.'"
Idaho Goes Wild For Paulette Jordan
In Deep Red Idaho, Voters Are Fanatic About Democrat Paulette Jordan. HuffPost: "Here in deep red Idaho, people across party lines are fanatic about this progressive, 38-year-old Native American woman vying for the state’s top seat. And it’s totally bizarre. 'I like her honesty and character and authenticity,' gushed Tri Robinson, a conservative Republican and evangelical pastor in Boise who hosted a fundraiser for Jordan. 'She cares about what we care about. She cares about the poor. She cares about climate change.' 'I liked her before and I like her more now,' said Judy, a retiree who lives in Sweet and requested that she be identified only by first name. 'I’ve never been to a town hall until now. I vote. I’m independent. What I like is that when you ask her a question, she doesn’t beat around the bush. She just answers the question.' The enthusiasm gap between Jordan and her opponent, 64-year-old multimillionaire Lt. Gov. Brad Little (R), was obvious after their last debate. The self-described undecided voters in attendance swarmed her for photos and questions as he quietly slipped out. One veteran waited in line for 15 minutes to meet her and promptly ripped a sticker off of his shirt bearing Little’s name, saying he is voting for her instead. What the hell is going on with you, Idaho?"
Trump Leads Global Rise of Right-Wing Strongmen
There’s a growing international alliance of right-wing demagogues. Common Dreams: "Steve Bannon said as he left the White House that the shackles were off his hands. He was no longer imprisoned by propriety. He wanted to be in the trenches, building his white supremacist, fascist international. Bannon calls his group The Movement. One of Bolsonaro’s sons said that Bannon has advised his father’s campaign, that Bannon—in sum—has drawn Bolsonaro into The Movement. Bolsonaro hastily denied this claim. To be linked to Bannon is not an advantage. Nor to Bannon’s fascist international directly. Nothing Bolsonaro says is varnished. He called people from the African continent, from Haiti and from the Arab-speaking world the 'scum of humanity.' Bolsonaro’s moral geography mirrors that of Donald Trump, who called many of these places 'shithole countries.'"
White Nationalists Seek Influence Over Border Patrol
Border Patrol union endorses extremist video featuring White Nationalists. The Intercept: "The National Border Patrol Council, the union representing Border Patrol agents across the country, is featured in a new video that includes white nationalists and anti-Muslim extremists. The video, titled “Killing Free Speech,” was endorsed by the union and recently shown by agents at a private screening in San Diego. The video is also expected to be shown in Texas, Los Angeles, and Washington, D.C., according to union representative Terence Shigg, president of the San Diego chapter of the NBPC. The nearly hour-and-half-long video refers to Democrats as “dark and evil” and features a bevy of American and European far-right, anti-Muslim white nationalists who make a correlation between gang rapes, Islam, and immigration. The documentary also features members of the Proud Boys, a hate group designated by the Southern Poverty Law Center, that often aligns with white nationalists and are known for being misogynists and anti-Muslim."