Monday, May 15, 2017

Last Call For Some Rare Good NC News

It looks like the Supreme Court has declined to hear North Carolina's case to reinstate its voter suppression law that the 4th Circuit found unconstitutional last year, which means the legislation is dead and buried...for now.

The Supreme Court is letting stand a lower court opinion from last summer that struck down North Carolina's voter ID law. 
The law was challenged by civil rights groups and the Obama administration, which argued that the law's photo ID requirement had a disparate impact on minority voters. 
The North Carolina General Assembly had urged the court to review a lower court decision that held the law targeted "African-Americans with almost surgical precision." The Supreme Court declined to weigh in, but Chief Justice John Roberts wrote separately to stress that the denial should not be read as an endorsement of the lower court's decision.
The case was complicated by the fact that after the election, North Carolina's new governor, Democrat Roy Cooper, moved to dismiss the appeal that was first filed when Republican Pat McCrory was governor, while lawyers for the General Assembly urged the court to move forward. 
"Given the blizzard of filings over who is and who is not authorized to seek review in the court under North Carolina law, it is important to recall our frequent admonition that the denial of writ of certiorari imports no expression of opinion on the merits," Roberts wrote in a statement. 
It would have taken four justices to take up the case, but Roberts' separate statement reflects the fact that the court saw a procedural obstacle and will instead likely wait for another similar case to come to the court before giving any more guidance on the divisive issue of identification for voters at the polls. 
Last summer, before the election, the justices signaled they were closely divided when they split 4-4 on a request to allow the provision of the law to go into effect for the election. 
The Supreme Court's order meant provisions of the law -- concerning a tightening in voter ID requirements, cutbacks on early voting and the preregistration of 16-year-olds -- remained off the books for November's election. 
"Today's announcement is good news for North Carolina voters," Cooper said in a statement. "We need to be making it easier to vote, not harder -- and the court found this law sought to discriminate against African-American voters with 'surgical precision.' I will continue to work to protect the right of every legal, registered North Carolinian to participate in our democratic process."

The key here is Chief Justice Roberts saying that SCOTUS will pass on the case because there's too many thorny procedural issues here, which means the Roberts Court does want to tackle Voter ID laws and voter suppression, just not with North Carolina's version of the law.  My guess is we'll see the Texas version be the one that Roberts and Co. decide to take up.

It's a win for NC voters certainly, but that win may be short-lived if the Roberts Court looks to make a national precedent for voting before November 2018.

We'll see.

But He Won't Cut My Programs, The Trump Voter Said

Paul Ryan and the House GOP have the green light from Trump to burn down the federal safety net system, and the damage is going to be horrific.

House Republicans just voted to slash hundreds of billions of dollars in health care for the poor as part of their Obamacare replacement. Now, they’re weighing a plan to take the scalpel to programs that provide meals to needy kids and housing and education assistance for low-income families. 
President Donald Trump’s refusal to overhaul Social Security and Medicare — and his pricey wish-list for infrastructure, a border wall and tax cuts — is sending House budget writers scouring for pennies in politically sensitive places: safety-net programs for the most vulnerable.

Under enormous internal pressure to quickly balance the budget, Republicans are considering slashing more than $400 billion in spending through a process to evade Democratic filibusters in the Senate, multiple sources told POLITICO
The proposal, which would be part of the House Budget Committee's fiscal 2018 budget, won't specify which programs would get the ax; instead it will instruct committees to figure out what to cut to reach the savings. But among the programs most likely on the chopping block, the sources say, are food stamps, welfare, income assistance for the disabled and perhaps even veterans benefits. 
If enacted, such a plan to curb safety-net programs — all while juicing the Pentagon’s budget and slicing corporate tax rates — would amount to the biggest shift in federal spending priorities in decades. 
Atop that, GOP budget writers will also likely include Speaker Paul Ryan’s (R-Wis.) proposal to essentially privatize Medicare in their fiscal 2018 budget, despite Trump’s unwavering rejection of the idea. While that proposal is more symbolic and won’t become law under this budget, it’s just another thorny issue that will have Democrats again accusing Republicans of “pushing Granny off the cliff.”

Granny will have a softer landing after the her fall, there will already be a lot of bodies down there for her to land on.  Bottom line: Republicans are expecting to be able to use budget reconciliation to make draconian austerity cuts, but hey as long as it's those people who suffer the most, Trump voters will happily go along with the plan.

This was always coming, and Trump voters knew it deep down.  They just figured Trump wouldn't hurt them personally.  When that happens, well he can just blame someone else.  The GOP victimhood complex is fascinating, isn't it?

Fear Of A Non-White Planet

The latest electoral sop term to placate Trump voters comes to us from The Nation, who finds that the number one reason people voted for Emperor Caligulorange is "fear of diversity".  I guess the Nation pays by the word coming up with three words when a simple "racism" would do.

In previous analyses of Trump’s support during the primaries, we showed that racial resentment played a larger role in the 2016 election than economic concerns. Recently released survey data allows us to ascertain in what ways Trump’s general election support compares to previous elections. The data also give us the opportunity to focus in on those voters who switched from Obama in 2012 to Trump in 2016, and compare them to those voters who did not support Trump in 2016 but voted for Romney in 2012. 
We find that opinions about how increasing racial diversity will affect American society had much more impact on support for Trump during the 2016 election compared to support for the Republican candidates in the two previous presidential elections. We also find that individuals with high levels of racial resentment were more likely to switch from Obama to Trump, but those with low racial resentment and more positive views about rising diversity voted for Romney but not Trump. 
In short, our analysis indicates that Donald Trump successfully leveraged existing resentment towards African Americans in combination with emerging fears of increased racial diversity in America to reshape the presidential electorate, strongly attracting nativists towards Trump and pushing some more affluent and highly educated people with more cosmopolitan views to support Hillary Clinton. Racial identity and attitudes have further displaced class as the central battleground of American politics.

Well no kidding, racists voted for Trump.

To test how views on diversity affected voting during the 2016 election, we created a model that controls for age, race, education, income, gender, party identification, concern about rising immigration, racial resentment, and worries about personal finances. In order to provide some historical context for how Trump reshaped the electorate, we also modeled voting for Mitt Romney in 2012 and John McCain in 2008. 
The results, displayed in the chart below, show that probability of support for Trump increases sharply with negative views on rising diversity, and positive views towards diversity decrease the probability of voting for Trump. Interestingly, these attitudes have no significant effect on probability of voting for Romney or McCain. 
While race and racial attitudes have been and continue to play an important role in support for Republican presidential candidates, fears about growing racial diversity appear to be uniquely important to support for Trump compared to previous Republican candidates. Although our analysis does not speak to whether these attitudes were primed by Trump’s campaign, or whether he capitalized on emergent attitudes and rode them to victory, it seems clear that they will play a key role in the future of the Republican Party.

Trump: number one with racists because he made racism acceptable again, and he won a narrow victory because of it.  I could have told you that living here in Northern Kentucky.

Still, the lesson remains that the GOP has fully embraced racism now, and whether or not you hold Trump's awful views on "the blacks" and "the Mexicans" remains irrelevant: people who voted for the GOP and for Trump specifically are okay with a leader who represents them having those views.

We now have a party and country led by people who accept that as a acceptable quality in their politicians, period.  I don't care about why you voted for the racist. you still voted for the racist.

End rant.


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