FROM Kevin Kennedy
Are America's Elections Free and Fair? In America, the right to vote is supposedly sacred, but conflicting laws and shady practices cast doubt on the fairness and accuracy of many elections. Electronic voting machines are the latest cause for concern about technological snafus, ill-trained poll workers, and opportunities for partisan manipulation. Using computer software, Texas Republicans and California Democrats have drawn district boundaries that virtually guarantee who wins and who loses. After the vote-count debacle in Florida, which decided the year 2000 presidential election, Congress passed HAVA , the Help America Vote Act. What's happened to election reform?
"Tough on crime" rhetoric sees a revival at Sessions' DOJ The pendulum swings between treatment-focused approaches to drug abuse and tough law enforcement. Now, after years of Obama-era "reforms," President Trump’s Attorney General, Jeff Sessions wants local police freed from federal restrictions to fight another "war on drugs."
The flight bumping heard around 'round the world Recent video of a passenger forcibly removed from a United Airlines plane is a worst-case example of what's happened since consolidation into just four US-based carriers. Management seems to be tone-deaf to a decline in service — and even abuse — of passengers.
Mixed Messages from US diplomats on the new hard line on Syria Since President Trump's surprise retaliation against Syria's use of chemical weapons, Bashar al-Assad has used the same airport to launch conventional attacks on his own people. It's not clear what the US, its allies — or Vladimir Putin's Russia -- plan to do now.
Why Don't Facts Matter? "Fake News" may have a long history, but social media and 21st Century politics have brought it front and center. One reason for its appeal and its power is the tendency of so many people to cling to their beliefs — even when confronted with contradictory evidence. Today, another look at the Emotional States of America.