Samuel Alito — Chip Somodevilla/Getty
❝ If we had a fair Supreme Court not driven by partisanship in its most political cases, Thursday’s blockbuster revelation in the census case would lead the court to unanimously rule in Department of Commerce v. New York to exclude the controversial citizenship question from the decennial survey. Those newly revealed documents show that the Trump administration’s purpose in putting the citizenship question on the upcoming census was not its stated one to help Hispanic voters under the Voting Rights Act, but rather to create policy that would be “a disadvantage to the Democrats” and “advantageous to Republicans and non-Hispanic Whites…”
…It’s difficult to produce a greater smoking gun than explicitly saying you are hoping to help the GOP by increasing white voting power. But this revelation, coming from the hard drive of a deceased Republican political operative and made available to Common Cause by his estranged daughter, is ironically more likely to lead the Republican-appointed conservative justices on the Supreme Court to allow the administration to include the question that would help states dilute the power of Hispanic voters…
❝ As I explained in Slate back in March, the U.S. government is defending the inclusion of a question about citizenship for the first time since the 1950 census as needed to provide accurate demographic information to the Department of Justice to help it protect Latinos in Voting Rights Act lawsuits. Two lower courts had found that Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross insisted on including the citizenship question for undisclosed reasons and that the DOJ voting rights claim was a mere pretext. Republicans have again lined up in favor of including the question, which Democrats oppose as likely to inhibit a complete and accurate count of all persons in the United States as explicitly demanded by the Constitution, leading to lower representation in Democratic-leaning areas and fewer federal resources based on population.
All of this may be the first open display of what passes for conservative in today’s Republican Party. The remaining hard-liners will stick with the fake president and his protozoan fascist brain trust through every attempt to drag the United States back to the level of civil war rationales for “keeping down” everyone but “acceptable” white folks.
Photo courtesy of Ka’Shawn Baldwin
❝ An Illinois man starts a new job Tuesday and he has a police officer to thank for getting him to his interview.
Ka’Shawn Baldwin, of East St. Louis, was pulled over Wednesday in Cahokia by officer Roger Gemoules for allegedly having expired license plates. Baldwin also did not have a valid driver’s license…
❝ “The routine thing is to tow the car and take the person to jail who is driving the car,” Baldwin said.
He told the officer that he did not have any other way to get to his interview at an area FedEx facility and that’s why he was driving illegally.
❝ Gemoules explained to Baldwin that the car could not be driven any further.
With no other option, Baldwin then asked the officer if he would give him a ride to his interview. To his surprise, Baldwin said Gemoules followed him home where he parked the car and took him to his interview.
❝ Gemoules said he could tell Baldwin really wanted the job.
“He was polite when I pulled him over and he seemed like a good young man, so I wanted to give him a chance,” Gemoules told NBC affiliate KSDK in St. Louis. “I knew if I gave him a bunch of tickets and towed his car, it would be tough to recover from.”
RTFA for more of the details. And, yes, as often as we have to blog about some creepy racist cop there are folks with a badge who are ahead of that curveball. Gotta get the right one is all. 🙂
❝ Happy 4/20, everyone! Now that pot is legal in 33 states and counting, it’s a pretty heady moment for stoner culture. Fans of cannabis can celebrate 4/20 openly and in style in more places than ever before. And even if you’re not in a state that legalized pot, there’s a still a pretty good chance that the cops won’t hassle you as you spend 4/20 doing your thing.
❝ Sorry to bring you down, but that’s the harsh reality. If you love pot AND you’re white, everything is totally awesome these days. In 2017, 81% of cannabis executives were white. Meanwhile, even in states where pot is legal, and even though Black people and white people use pot at similar rates, Black people are still arrested way more often than whites. We love 4/20 and we love legalization, but that’s not OK.
That’s not enough.
RTFA for facts and ideas. No rest without justice.
❝ The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development said it’s charging Facebook Inc. with allegedly violating the Fair Housing Act by restricting who can view housing-related ads.
❝ “Facebook is discriminating against people based upon who they are and where they live,” HUD Secretary Ben Carson said. “Using a computer to limit a person’s housing choices can be just as discriminatory as slamming a door in someone’s face.”
The social network allowed those advertising housing to exclude people it classified as parents; non-American-born; non-Christian; interested in accessibility and Hispanic culture; as well as other group’s deemed protected classes, according to HUD.
Facebook responded by saying, “Gee-whiz. We’re trying to reduce the bigotry in our ads. We’re just too busy counting our money to catch up with stuff like that.”
OK. That really isn’t what they said; but, it might as well be. Self-pitying whining about cost and time constraints from a company that rolls in money faster than they can stack it into boxcars ain’t cutting much ice with the few honorable folks remaining in federal government.
Hundreds of people gathered outside a mosque in Wellington, New Zealand, and locked arms to form a human chain, in a symbolic act of protection of the Muslim community during Friday prayer.
The move came as New Zealanders mourn the 50 victims of mass shootings at two Christchurch mosques on March 15, in a national day of reflection to mark a week since the terror attack.
Christchurch newspaper The Press had the word ‘salam’ (peace) in Arabic script in its front page, along with the names of the victims of the attack…
“The atmosphere was sad, quiet, but determined. Many women wore headscarves,” Sue Teodoro, who was at the vigil, told CNN. “Many people cried openly. It was incredibly moving. People were determined that the community should pray without fear today.”
A loving example of a nation without fear, absent the reactionary power of a gun lobby owning the majority power of their government. Unarmed, standing up to defend a part of their community under attack by fools and fascist bigots.