Archive for US politics

voting inequalities in the US

Posted in Kids, pictures, Travel with tags , , , , , , , , , on July 8, 2020 by xi'an

“We’re the only advanced democracy that deliberately discourages people from voting.” Barack Obama

Following a poorly attended local election in France last weekend, over-interpreted by media and political analysts as usual, with poorer categories more likely to abstain, I reflected on the supplementary degree of voting inequality in the US, where active voter suppression and voting discrimination run uncontested by legislative and constitutional bodies. As it happens, even for federal elections, the election laws are state-based, voted by partisan state lawmakers and implemented by equally partisan officials.This means discriminating practices can become part of these laws, including different restrictions on acceptable forms of identification that poorer voters may be unable to purchase, restrictions on voter registration and in particular on active drives for minority registrations, discriminatory closures of voting (poll) places,  as e.g. a single voting place for 600,000 voters, meaning unreachable stations for those without transportation means and those housebound, abusive voter purges by local administrations, e.g., the Interstate Voter Registration Crosscheck System having 99% more chances to remove legitimate than illegitimate voters, lifelong felon disenfranchisement, including for citizens having completed their sentence, some places asking for on-the-spot proof of US citizenship, involving document poorer voters cannot access, mail-in voting discrimination, no worker protection for participating in the vote, which takes place during the week, grossly underfunded poll budgets, leading for instance to hour long polling queues and various mismanagement of the votes, the possibility for National Guard staffing poll stations, and the century long absurdity of gerrymandering, where something like 60 million Americans live in a place where the ruling party has received the minority of the votes in a state election. Not to mention the election by an electoral college of the president where the winner may lag by 3 million votes behind his contender… And running uncontested grossly misleading political adds


and it only gets worse [verbatim]

Posted in Kids, pictures, Travel with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 4, 2020 by xi'an

“When the looting starts, the shooting starts.” DT, 28 May

“Trump has long advocated for selling off the Postal Service and recently called it “a joke.”The New Yorker, 30 May

“The United States of America will be designating ANTIFA as a Terrorist Organization.” DT, 30 May

“Statt Öl ins Feuer zu gießen (…) Demokraten dürfen nie eskalieren – auch nicht durch Worte. Mit Gewalt zu drohen löst nur weitere Gewalt aus. Statt uns auseinander dividieren zu lassen. Heiko Maas, 3 June

“If a city or state refuses to take the actions necessary to defend the life and property of their residents, then I will deploy the United States military and quickly solve the problem for them..” DT, 1 June

“When you see these thugs being thrown into the back of a paddy wagon, you just see ’em thrown in, rough, I said, ‘Please don’t be too nice.’’” DT, 28 July 2017

and it only gets worse [verbatim]

Posted in Kids, Travel with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 21, 2020 by xi'an

“They always said nobody got treated worse than Lincoln. I believe I am treated worse.” DT, 03 May

“We’re on the other side of the medical aspect of this [pandemic.]J. Kushner, 29 April

““We will not see diseases like the coronavirus come here, we will not see terrorism come here, and isn’t that refreshing when contrasting it with the awful Presidency of President Obama?” K. McEnany, 25 February

“You all know what happened in 1917.” DT, 27 April

“Leadership may be hard to define, but in times of crisis it is easy to identify. As the pandemic has spread fear, disease and death, national leaders across the globe have been severely tested. Some have fallen short, sometimes dismally, but there are also those leaders who have risen to the moment, demonstrating resolve, courage, empathy, respect for science and elemental decency, and thereby dulling the impact of the disease on their people.” NYT editorial, 30 April

“In the past month alone, the [US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)] has dialled down regulations on automobile emissions and fuel efficiency put in place under former president Barack Obama; it has weakened rules on mercury and other pollutants emitted by power plants; and it has shied away from strengthening standards to reduce fine-particle air pollution. Nature, 28 April“

“It would have been bad even with the best of government. It has been an absolute chaotic disaster when that mindset — of ‘what’s in it for me’ and ‘to heck with everybody else’ — when that mindset is operationalized in our government.” Barack Obama, 09 May

““Trump’s constant antics are a danger to the American people. The current approach to science and expertise within the Trump administration is a shame on many levels. Trump’s talking nonsense risks misleading the public, and it distracts top scientists who spend emotional energy neutralizing the damage he causes when they should be tackling the virus (…) Many scientists were dreading that the president would be faced by a test just like coronavirus. “ John Holdren, 03 May

“Probably it was incompetence. Somebody was stupid.” DT [an expert in the field], 10 May

DT, 18 May

and it only gets worse [verbatim]

Posted in Books, Kids, pictures with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 18, 2020 by xi'an

“With the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, we have deep concerns whether America’s generosity has been put to the best use possible. The reality is that the WHO failed to adequately obtain, vet and share information in a timely and transparent fashion. If we cannot trust them, if this is what we will receive from the WHO, our country will be forced to find other ways to work with other nations to achieve public health goals.” DT, 14 April

“It is also not the time to reduce the resources for the operations of the World Health Organization or any other humanitarian organization in the fight against the virus.” Antonio Guterres, 14 April

“The president of the United States calls the shots. [State governors] can’t do anything without the approval of the president of the United States. When somebody’s the president of the United States, the authority is total.” DT, 13 April

“…the US Treasury has ordered Donald Trump’s name be printed on cheques to be sent to tens of millions of Americans affected by the coronavirus outbreak, a decision that will slow their delivery by several days.” The Washington Post, 15 April

“Very simple. If [both chambers of Congress] don’t act on getting these people approved that we need – we need them anyway, but we especially need them now because of the pandemic – we are going to do something that will be … something I’d prefer not doing, but which I should do and I will do if have to.” DT, 16 April

“It is vital to avoid the collapse of any country’s medical system – given the explosive impact that will have on death, suffering and wider contagion. At this crucial time, both for global public health reasons, and to support the rights and lives of millions of people in these countries, sectoral sanctions should be eased or suspended. In a context of global pandemic, impeding medical efforts in one country heightens the risk for all of us.” UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet, 24 March

coronavirus also hits reproduction rights!

Posted in Kids with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on March 27, 2020 by xi'an

“The [UK] Department of Health says reported changes to the abortion law, that would allow women to take both pills at home during the coronavirus outbreak, are not going ahead.” Independent, 23 March

“Texas and Ohio have included abortions among the nonessential surgeries and medical procedures that they are requiring to be delayed, saying they are trying to preserve precious protective equipment for health care workers and to make space for a potential flood of coronavirus patients.” The New York Times, 23 March

“Le ministre de la Santé, Olivier Véran, et la secrétaire d’Etat chargée de l’Égalité femmes-hommes, Marlène Schiappa, ont tenté lundi de rassurer : les IVG « sont considérées comme des interventions urgentes », et leur « continuité doit être assurée ». Le gouvernement veillera à ce que « le droit des femmes à disposer de leur corps ne soit pas remis en cause », ont-ils assuré.” Le Parisien, 23 March

“Lawmakers voted on Wednesday to liberalize New Zealand’s abortion law and allow unrestricted access during the first half of pregnancy, ending the country’s status as one of the few wealthy nations to limit the grounds for abortion during that period.” The New York Times, 18 March