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NEWS WORTH READING

VertGrnLine Obama is proposing a $10-a-barrel oil tax, but GOP says it’s ‘dead on arrival’ (latimes.com)
Federal Budget / Republicans
>Not only is the tax on oil DOA, but the entire new budget the administration is delivering to Congress on Tuesday is going to be treated with disdain, with the legislative body not even inviting department heads to testify on the proposals.
VertGrnLine Cop who shot Quintonio LeGrier and neighbor sues teen’s estate, claiming trauma (chicagotribune.com)
Police Brutality / Black Lives Matter
>Is this a new low for the Chicago PD? They don’t seem to think so. Article says the lawsuit could be an effort to “win back the public’s trust.” The grieving family thinks it’s lousy.
VertGrnLine Iowa Democratic Party reviewing results in caucuses (cnn.com)
Iowa Caucus / Elections 2016
>With Bernie Sanders losing by less than a point to Hillary Clinton, there are questions about whether coin flips were used to settle disputed delegates to the state and national convention. That method is only allowed for county conventions delegates.
VertGrnLine Twitter Steps Up Efforts to Thwart Terrorists’ Tweets (nytimes.com)
ISIS propaganda / Technology
>The social media organization says it has suspended 125,000 accounts related to terrorism since last summer. Social anthropologists and government agencies want to make certain they don’t delete them before they can learn something from the 140 character communiques.
VertGrnLine Barack Obama: Why we must rethink solitary confinement (washingtonpost.com)
Criminal Justice Reform / Prisons
>In an op-ed, POTUS laments the cruelty of solitary confinement, and its lasting effects, particularly with juveniles. He says he will sign actions to reform rules for solitary in federal prisons, and hopes states will take note and follow his lead.

FRESH CUTS

When it comes to voting, it’s not all about that base

By Tony Webster from Portland, Oregon, United States (Voting Day (phone) // Day -056) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Senior citizens and college students, Wall Street bankers and the religious right, Southerners and African Americans, industrial magnates and union workers: if you’re in one of those groups, and a handful of others, chances are either Republicans or Democrats think they can already count on your vote on election day. They call those monoliths the base, the reliable support upon which the party can build their outreach during any given election. They count on their respective bases not just for their principled, philosophical allegiance, but also for their vote.

There is an often repeated meme in American politics, and that is the more people who show up at the polls, the greater the chances that Democrats will win. The past two elections – the 2014 midterms and the 2015 so-called “off year” elections, last Tuesday – bare that out, if only . In both cases, only about thirty percent of registered voters bothered to show up and cast a ballot. In both cases, the Republicans scored major victories at the state and national level.

Some blame the low turnout on voter apathy. But it’s not just apathy. Apathetics know there’s an election, but don’t care. This is a case of voter ignorance, where American citizens are blissfully unaware of both the fact there was an election and the stakes in that election.
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DNC rules change leaves Lessig out of 2016 Democrat debates, forced to leave the race

from You Tube

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Ghosts in the machine – the GOP enters the spectrum of invisible light

Spectrum element by D-Kuru/Wikimedia Commons

OTHER RECENT ESSAYS

2016candidatesdance

Love and electability – the candidates come a-courting

U.S. Capitol undergoing its first full restoration in 150 years. (From the Architect of the U.S. Capitol)

The dismantling of the House GOP is constructive for all of us

Two dimensions of otherness’ – the Syrian refugee crisis migrates to America

Alice_drink_me-bottle

Will the power of impassioned politicians work down-ticket?

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On the Video

Saturday Night Live lampoons the First Democratic Debate, with Larry David as Bernie Sanders (NBC)

A song for Rowan County, Kentucky, clerk, Kim Davis

From @storycorps, a young man recounts to his mom about the night he was nearly murdered by police: “Traffic Stop” (Story Corps)

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