Tuesday, 25 June 2013

The Voting Act Story

What the Supreme Court did today....over the 1965 Voting Rights Act....takes a bit of reading and understanding.  You can toss about half of the stuff that journalists said during the day....off to the side.  CNN around noon....had one top-notch expert, but the other dozen folks I saw at different times during the day....didn't really want to lay out facts.

So this is it.  We had a problem with voting in America in the early 1960s.  It'd been going on for decades.  So this act was created to fix the problem.

We have this one general rule about voting in America.....the states arrange their own voting mechanism.  The federal government can dictate the age of voters, and who can vote, and there's some rules about the candidates for President and Vice-President.  Other than that....it's a state-run mechanism.

The Voting Rights Law basically said that nine states, and a number of counties in other states.....were shameful and needed the federal government to supervise their entire apparatus.  This group of states?  Alabama (except for Pinson, don't ask), Alaska, Arizona, Georgia (except for Sandy Springs), Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina, Texas, except for Jefferson County Drainage District Number Seven and NW Austin Municipal Utility District Number One, Virginia (except for 24 different counties), and then we fall to fall states where several individual counties were mentioned.

Every time that you wanted to change the voting districts....in these affected areas....you had to ask permission.  Every time that you wanted to make people do something slightly different....like voter-ID....you had to deal with the federal government.

Throughout the 1960s, 1970s and probably the 1980s....this probably made sense.

Were we ever to come to a conclusion?  No.  It would be brought up to Congress and the Senate, but neither were able to grab onto the topic and determine that we could discuss an end-point.

So the Senate said today.....there is a necessity for the mechanism....but this method that was used in picking the places to apply it?   It doesn't work and Congress needs to revisit this.

Of course, this quickly got the Attorney General up and peppy.....you just can't start changing the rules now and forget about the federal government.  Needless to say.....that's exactly what the Supreme Court ruled.  Unless the House and Senate can agree on this.....to have a new method of determining who needs to be watched and monitored.....it's a done deal.

The odds of the House and Senate working on this in 2013?  Zero.  There will be talk, but when you come to pick individual states and accuse them....it's bound to hurt the Democratic nature in those states suggested.  And the possiblity of new states.....like counties in all fifty states being picked?  Well....to make everyone happy....we might slide over to pick one or two counties in every single state.  Fixing the problem?  No....but it's the only way that you'd make fifty states happy.

What is going to happen for the remainder of 2013?  Voter-ID is likely to come up as a topic in all of the affected states.  If the state doesn't want to discuss the topic....counties will move on their own.

The Attorney General bringing cases up to stop voter ID?  Very likely.  But expect the Supreme Court to stop it.  This all leads to twenty-odd states by 2016.....having voter-ID.  An influence on the 2016 election?  Yes.....with no doubt.

So, don't get confused with the CNN experts.  Ask questions.  Read up on what the act was originally, and where we are today.  And remember.....racism in the south.....might be less of a problem....than in some New England areas, or Illinois.

Found Out Via the Media

“I want to say right away that we have nothing to do with Snowden, or with his attitude to the American legal system, or with his movements around the world. He chose his own route, and we found out about it – like most people here – from the media.”

-- Comments by Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov yesterday

You have to appreciate the humor from Lavrov....they've taken President Obama's standard comment "...found out via the media" and used it for their own purposes.

The Russians know precisely what they've got.  They can allow Snowden to settle into the Moscow airport and spend weeks there.  I'm guessing that Putin is trying hard to recruit Snowden into staying and enjoying the freedom to roam and speak as he wishes in Russia.

The US State Department?  They are standing there and realizing that it's all a public relations disaster in the making.  They can't twist any statement now.....the international press covers this mess and it all makes the administration look like idiots.