Wednesday watch: Supreme Court v. the American Voter

Republicans who have seen their base dwindle have focused in recent years on egregious attacks on voting rights designed to disenfranchise poor and minority voters. While they claim they are protecting the integrity of elections, voter fraud has not been proven to be an actual problem, and in moments of candor they have more or less admitted the real reason behind these laws.

This will be the first election since the Supreme Court struck down provisions of the historic Voting Rights Act. This op-doc from the New York Times shows how this decision happened and just what is at stake for voters and for our democracy at large.

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Weekend reading

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Why does Hollywood keep deleting women’s faces from posters?

A “staggering number” of vets end up homeless after experiencing sexual violence in the military.

Airlines in the US are still kicking Muslim passengers off their planes for no reason.

You have to  drive an hour for a rape kit in rural America.

From Occupy to Black Lives Matter: how nonviolent resistance is shaping the 2016 elections.

Bitch Media talks to Phoebe Robinson about hilarious new podcast 2 Dope Queens.

Alicia Garza of Black Lives Matter pays tribute to Prince.

Weekend reading

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If you care about electing women, don’t focus only on Hillary.

Donald Trump hates women.

There is no truly anti-racist presidential candidate.

Meet Shine Squad, a group of women shining a light on sexism in progressive spaces.

Prison zine “Tenacious” offers female prisoners a chance to speak out.

New York City wants to give homeless women and students free tampons and pads.

Black people twice as likely to be arrested for pot in Colorado and Washington–where it’s legal.

 

The danger of courting white swing voters

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It must be pretty sweet to be a white swing voter. Political campaigns blow millions of dollars catering to your every whim. Politicians ask what you think before they step out on a major policy program, despite the fact that your views aren’t representative of the majority of Americans. The changing demographics of this country mean it’s well past time to stop obsessing over a shrinking population that’s out of sync with the right direction for this country. Continuing to cater to those voters can have dire consequences, in politics and more importantly in policies that deeply impact people’s lives. Continue reading “The danger of courting white swing voters”

Politicians, take note

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I’ve heard more times than I’d care to that the US is a center-right country, and that’s why progressives aren’t winning as much as we would like. This analysis has infected the political class, and a self-reinforcing cycle ensues in which politicians are afraid to take any kind of risk because they expect blowback. Kevin Drum at Mother Jones highlighted an interesting study that calls these assumptions into question [emphasis mine]: Continue reading “Politicians, take note”

Democrats: stop catering to white men

photo via theatlantic.com
photo via theatlantic.com

One of the only things worse than seeing right-wing Republicans sweep an election is seeing Democrats take that drubbing and interpret it as an indication that they need to act more like Republicans. Which is why I wanted to yell “hallelujah!” when I read these comments from Dannel Malloy, the governor of Connecticut and the person poised to take over the Democratic Governors Association:  Continue reading “Democrats: stop catering to white men”

Don’t give up on voting just yet

Voter photobombing Mitch McConnell, via abcnews.com
Voter photobombing Mitch McConnell, via abcnews.com

Last week was rough for progressives, to put it mildly. Some reactionary, frightening candidates were able to win competitive races and take over the Senate. Key governorships were lost. Of course, this is all cyclical to a degree, as Jon Stewart pointed out by pulling up some 2-year-old footage about the “bloodbath” endured by Republicans. There are many conversations to be had about what our side could have done better in various races. In the meantime, people will face real consequences, whether they’re young immigrants who are waiting for their chance to become citizens or low-income people who desperately need the Medicaid expansion that Republican governors refuse to implement. It can be incredibly disheartening to people who poured time and money into this year’s elections, and made their voices heard at the ballot box. Some people want to throw their hands up at a process that seems to have been coopted by the Koch brothers and their friends. Amidst the deluge of bad news, we can’t lose sight of the real, meaningful impact we still managed to have this election.

Continue reading “Don’t give up on voting just yet”

Weekend reading

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The Mayor of Minneapolis poses with a black volunteer and the media says they were flashing gang signs. Definitely not racist.

Comedian Tig Notaro surprises and impresses again by performing part of a set topless, post-mastectomy.

Elon James White shows perfectly how catcalls aren’t just compliments with #DudesGreetingDudes.

I love this guy and I hate Florida laws.

How California’s effort to tackle abortion stigma is working.

Gillian Anderson plays a refreshing character who doesn’t strive for likability in The Fall (which I’ve recommended before).

11 big firsts from the midterm elections.

If anything can cheer you up after this past week, it’s this supercut of Amy Poehler’s amazing freestyle rap battles on Comedy Bang! Bang!

Weekend reading

VOTE on November 4! Click here to find your polling place.

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Ruth Baby Ginsburg wins Halloween.

Bitch magazine gives you 7 (more) reasons to vote Tuesday.

How abortion rights could slip away in a Republican Senate.

On the troubling racial dynamics of the viral catcalling video.

Funny or Die puts white male privilege on display in this spot-on parody of that catcalling video.

A piece worth revisiting in the context of the catcalling conversation: Lindy West on how and when you can compliment women.

Jessica Valenti on real equality meaning women can make stupid mistakes just like men can.

The New York Times has a new video series spotlighting comedians of color.

What’s at stake in this election

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It’s midterm election season, which means an onslaught of frantic emails and late night TV jokes about how no one cares about the midterm elections. Without a presidential race at the top of the ticket (though frighteningly we’re already having the 2016 conversation), a lot of people are content to let this one pass them by. As with most elections, there’s a lot at stake, and the results will directly impact our lives. I could go on about control of the Senate, extremely close gubernatorial races and state legislatures that have passed everything from Stand Your Ground to draconian voter ID laws. For the sake of brevity, I’m going to focus on some of the issues on the ballot around the country, and opportunities we have to beat back offensive laws or proactively be more bold than our governments are willing to be on their own.

Continue reading “What’s at stake in this election”