FROM Hans von Spakovsky
Where Should Democracy Draw the Line? The Constitution requires that the boundaries of congressional districts be re-drawn every 10 years, according to the latest census. In 2010, Republicans won control of legislatures all over the country—and those GOP lawmakers then collectively increased their Party’s power in Congress. When President Obama re-visited the Illinois Capitol in Springfield this week, he said it’s time for a change. The President’s talking about what’s called Gerrymandering, a practice as old as the nation itself.
The War over Voter ID Heats Up In 16 states, Republican-dominated legislatures have tightened access to the polls. Pennsylvania has become the ninth to require Photo ID's. But the Obama Justice Department says these and other restrictions could deprive large numbers of citizens of their right to vote. We hear a heated debate: Are such restrictions designed to combat voter fraud or keep some Democrats away from the polls?
Republicans, Democrats and Voter ID In 16 states, Repubican-dominated legislatures have tightened access to the polls. Pennsylvania's become the ninth state to require voters to provide photo identification, and Virginia — another swing state — could be next. Republicans say they're trying to combat rampant fraud in the electoral process. But Democrats and the Obama Justice Department say there's little evidence of a problem. They insist that new voter ID laws are designed to make it harder for Democrats to cast their ballots, including minorities and especially Hispanics. We look at an issue as old as democracy. Could it be decisive in this year's presidential election?
Will New Voter ID Laws Protect the Polls or Suppress Turnout? Republicans now control legislatures in more than half the states and, in many they're passing laws requiring voters to bring state-issued photo-identification to the polls. Are they really trying to prevent voter fraud or keep supporters of Barack Obama away from the polls? Do Democrats have real proof that minorities, old people and college students can't produce state-issued picture ID's? We hear a debate that's raging in state legislatures across the country.
Election Fraud, Voter ID and Gerrymandering Red-State Republicans are enacting laws to require voters to identify themselves at the polls with picture-identification not everybody has access to. Democrats claim the GOP is trying to rig next year's elections by depriving minorities, old people and college students from exercising the right to vote. Republicans claim that voter fraud threatens the integrity of elections, while Democrats call that a myth. Does either side have persuasive evidence? Also, which party will benefit most from redrawing Congressional district boundaries?
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.
"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."
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.