Tuesday was another day in Trump’s America, which meant insanely stupid bluster and threats on Twitter, another country with a madman as leader (North Korea) threatening to attack the U.S. (and maybe actually being capable of it), and many people on Twitter wondering if the world would end soon.
So, you know, a typical Tuesday.
Of course we are all correct to worry that one of these two hothead heads of state will start a war. But I’m not all that worried; for all his bluster and macho BS talk, it’s not like Trump can just start a nuclear war on his own. There are lots and lots of layers of protection and checks before the U.S. launches nuclear weapons.
What I am worried about, and this is what I’ve worried about all along, is the stuff he and his government departments are doing that doesn’t get all the publicity. The stuff that he doesn’t Tweet about, that’s often where the most insidious, and awful stuff is.
For example, how about this: The Justice Dept., led by Trump frenemy (does he like Sessions today or not? I can’t tell) Jeff Sessions, has recently strongly backed the state of Ohio in a court case that would throw eligible voters off the rolls just because they hadn’t voted in the last few elections.
Let me say that again: The state of Ohio, and the U.S. Justice Dept., thinks it should be perfectly legal to eliminate and invalidate valid voters’ registration because they missed voting in a few elections.
I’m sorry. BUT ARE YOU FREAKING KIDDING ME????
The genesis of this issue stems from Ohio passing a law that allowed the state to drop voters from the rolls if they hadn’t voted in the past three elections. The courts struck down this law, saying it violated the National Voter Registration Act, and the case is now before the Supreme Court. The Justice Dept. filed a brief supporting the state’s position.
And oh yeah, Ohio is a hugely important state in Presidential elections, and according to this story Ohio has purged 2 million voters from 2011 to 2016, more than any other state, including 1.2 million for infrequent voting. (Let me stop right there. More than ONE MILLION voters have illegally been removed from the rolls because they didn’t vote enough. Not because they moved, or were felons, or anything like that.)
At least 144,000 voters in Ohio’s three largest counties, home to Cleveland, Columbus, and Cincinnati, were purged since the 2012 election, with voters in Democratic-leaning neighborhoods twice as likely to be removed as those in Republican-leaning ones, according to a Reuters analysis.
Absolutely despicable. Disgusting. But not surprising. For many years the data has shown that when fewer people vote in elections, Republican candidates win. So voter suppression, extreme gerrymandering and laws like this help keep voter turnout as low as possible.
The Supreme Court now has this case. That’s the court Merrick Garland should be on, but Neil Gorsuch is instead.
Worry about North Korea, sure. But the trampling of American’s voting rights should concern you equally.
**And now, a much-needed palatte cleanser. Once again I am blown away by a young person I’d never heard of, after their performance on “America’s Got Talent.”
Darci Lynne is a 12-year-old girl from Oklahoma. Shy and having trouble making friends, Darci’s mother got her a doll for her birthday two years ago. Darci decided to learn to become a ventriloquist, and this amazing performance is the result. (Thanks to loyal reader Sanford for sending me this clip.)
My jaw was on the floor the whole time. What a talented, sweet kid. (The performance starts at the 2:15.)
**And finally, this story, heard by me on NPR’s always-hilarious “Wait Wait, Don’t Tell Me” was just too good and weird to pass up.
From the UK’s Daily Mail newspaper: Scientists in Western Australia have observed large groups of dolphins engaging in what they described as ‘homosexual behaviour’ after the mating season finishes.
The team at the Mandurah Dolphin Research Project noticed that after mating season was over, the male Bottlenose dolphins were ‘mounting’ and ‘having genital contact’ with each other.
‘These dolphins, all but three of them juveniles, organised themselves in four subgroups in which they were observed engaging in socio-sexual behavior that included mounting and genital contact between individuals,’ Murdoch University’s Krista Nicholson told the Mandurah Mail.
All righty then! So many jokes I want to make here, but I think you’d probably like to make your own.
Oh, and if you think this whole story is here in the blog just so I’d have an excuse to run a clip of my favorite “Glee” line ever, well, you wouldn’t be wrong. Take us out, Brittany!