News Day, written by Mary Turck, analyzes, summarizes, links to, and comments on reports from news media around the world, with particular attention to immigration, education, and journalism. Fragments, also written by Mary Turck, has fiction, poetry and some creative non-fiction.
Mary Turck edited TC Daily Planet, www.tcdailyplanet.net, from 2007-2014, and edited the award-winning Connection to the Americas and AMERICAS.ORG, in its pre-2008 version. She is also a recovering attorney and the author of many books for young people (and a few for adults), mostly focusing on historical and social issues.
In Minnesota, Republican Kim Crockett is running for Secretary of State on a Big Lie platform. She calls the 2020 election “lawless,” “illegitimate” and “rigged.” She wants to severely restrict absentee and mail voting, saying that postal workers cannot be trusted to deliver ballots.
Her lies about elections put her squarely in the ranks of Republicans running on the Big Lie platform this year—and she’s running for the statewide office that has the most to do with election integrity.
Originally published in the Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder. “This is the first of MSR’s “Elections Under Attack” series that looks at four threats to our elections growing out of the Big Lie that the former president won the 2020 election. Articles in the series look at each of these threats to democratic elections in the United States, with an emphasis on Minnesota. Next week: Part II: Sabotaging the election process. In coming weeks: Part III: Threats to election officials; Part IV: Attacking voting rights.“
Across the country, right-wing proponents of the Big Lie have launched attacks against voting rights, election processes, and election officials. Besides these ongoing attacks, dozens of Big Lie candidates are running for key state offices that will give them control of election machinery.
The Inflation Reduction Act gives the IRS $80 billion in new funding to upgrade and, among other things, to hire 87,000 new agents. The country desperately needs that investment to compensate for massive budget cuts to the IRS over the past decade, to update antiquated technology, and to enable the agency to go after über-wealthy billionaires and transnational corporations who have successfully evaded or outright refused to pay taxes for years.
The scare stories are totally false. In actual fact, the new funding follows a decade of defunding. The IRS enforcement budget was cut by more than 25 percent from 2012 to 2020, and the agency lost almost 6,000 agents. With less money and fewer agents, the IRS conducted fewer audits overall, and collected far less money, only $11 billion in 2019, compared to $28 billion in 2010.
Question #1: Did the FBI “raid” Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence?
Answer: No. The FBI executed a search warrant. A search warrant is issued by a judge. In order to get a search warrant, the prosecutor must demonstrate probable cause to believe two things: that a crime has been committed and that evidence of the crime will be found on the premises to be searched.
Trump said there was no difference between Watergate and the FBI actions. That is arrant nonsense. Watergate was a burglary committed by criminals who clandestinely broke into offices in the dead of night. At Mar-a-Lago, the FBI executed a search warrant openly and in the full light of day, pursuant to a legal court order.
Dear Mr. President: Please do NOT go to Saudi Arabia. A presidential appearance there gives aId and comfort to Mohammed Bin Salman, who is implicated in the brutal murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. You have called Saudi Arabia a pariah state. It is. It should be. Please–stand up for human rights and do not visit Saudi Arabia. Respectfully, Mary Turck
Nor is that the only reason to steer clear of a visit to Saudi Arabia. Fifteen of the nineteen 9/11 hijackers were Saudis, and 9/11 families continue to call for accountability on the part of Saudi Arabia. Some families are suing Saudi Arabia for damages. Terry Strada, widow of Tom Strada, wrote to President Biden on behalf of the 9/11 Families United organization:
“Please stand where no other President since 9/11 has stood, with the September 11 community in our pursuit for justice, and prioritize a full and complete discussion of the Saudis’ continued denial of their complicity in the attacks.
“We strongly suspect that you recognize the wisdom and justice in this request, and that you understand and support our efforts, but we need to see the actions, not just the words …”
“J. Michael Butler, a history professor at Flagler College in St. Augustine, was scheduled to give a presentation Saturday to Osceola County School District teachers called ‘The Long Civil Rights Movement,’ which postulates that the civil rights movement preceded and post-dated Martin Luther King Jr. by decades.”
From civil rights history to graphic novels, just about any teaching or even reading about Black history and experience can be targeted. Jerry Craft wrote two graphic novels based on his own growing-up experience as an African-American kid in a mostly-white school. New Kid won the 2020 Newbery Medal, the Coretta Scott King Author Award, and the Kirkus Prize—and got banned in Texas.
The Florida legislature is considering legislation to block any teaching about race that would cause discomfort to anyone. They mean, of course, discomfort to any white people. When it comes to racism, Black people do not need a history class to feel discomfort.
The Freedom to Vote: John R. Lewis Act, passed by House of Representatives on January 13, is held hostage today by the Senate filibuster threat—a disgraceful tactic that has repeatedly blocked voting rights, civil rights, and anti-lynching legislation for more than a century.
One hundred years ago, in 1922, a filibuster killed the Dyer Anti-Lynching Bill. In 1934, the Costigan-Wagner anti-lynching bill failed, as “southern senators threatened to filibuster and the Democratic leadership refused to take up the bill for full debate.” The bill was brought up again in 1935 and again blocked by a filibuster. In the next Congress, 58 anti-lynching bills were introduced, and one was passed by the House. Again, it was killed by a six-week filibuster of southern Democrats and Republicans. Notably, Republicans said they supported the bill but refused to vote for cloture. President Roosevelt backed away from the bill, saying, “If I come out for the anti-lynching bill now, they will block every bill I ask Congress to pass to keep America from collapsing. I just can’t take that chance.” The final effort to pass an anti-lynching bill in 1939 also failed, with Senators giving in to the mere threat of a filibuster. In 2019, the Emmett Till Anti-Lynching Act was blocked by a threat of a filibuster by a single Senator, Rand Paul. The bill was re-introduced in December 2021. That’s right: all the way to the present day, the filibuster has blocked federal anti-lynching legislation.
“Kathy spotted the long line of voters as she pulled into the Christian City Welcome Center about 3:30 p.m., ready to cast her ballot in the June 9 primary election.
“Hundreds of people were waiting in the heat and rain outside the lush, tree-lined complex in Union City, an Atlanta suburb with 22,400 residents, nearly 88% of them Black. She briefly considered not casting a ballot at all, but decided to stay.
“By the time she got inside more than five hours later, the polls had officially closed and the electronic scanners were shut down. Poll workers told her she’d have to cast a provisional ballot, but they promised that her vote would be counted. …
“By the time the last voter finally got inside the welcome center to cast a ballot, it was the next day, June 10.”
Kathy’s story, reported by NPR in June 2020, shows the future of voting in the United States, unless Congress acts now. Closure of polling places in Black neighborhoods and removal of voting machines to create long lines are just two of the tactics targeting Black voters, Indigenous voters, poor voters, and Democratic voters. Those tactics disenfranchise voters. In June 2020, “the average wait time after 7 p.m. across Georgia was 51 minutes in polling places that were 90% or more nonwhite, but only six minutes in polling places that were 90% white.”
We as a nation desperately need the Freedom to Vote: John R. Lewis Act, which was passed by the House of Representatives on January 13, and is held hostage today by the Senate filibuster threat.
In Minnesota, Republican Kim Crockett is running for Secretary of State on a Big Lie platform. She calls the 2020 election “lawless,” “illegitimate” and “rigged.” She wants to severely restrict absentee and mail voting, saying that postal workers cannot be trusted to deliver ballots. Her lies about elections put her squarely in the ranks of […]
The Inflation Reduction Act gives the IRS $80 billion in new funding to upgrade and, among other things, to hire 87,000 new agents. The country desperately needs that investment to compensate for massive budget cuts to the IRS over the past decade, to update antiquated technology, and to enable the agency to go after über-wealthy […]
Question #1: Did the FBI “raid” Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence? Answer: No. The FBI executed a search warrant. A search warrant is issued by a judge. In order to get a search warrant, the prosecutor must demonstrate probable cause to believe two things: that a crime has been committed and that evidence of the crime will be […]
I sent this email to the White House tonight: Dear Mr. President:Please do NOT go to Saudi Arabia. A presidential appearance there gives aId and comfort to Mohammed Bin Salman, who is implicated in the brutal murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. You have called Saudi Arabia a pariah state. It is. It should be.Please–stand up […]
In Tennessee, a school board banned the teaching of the Pulitzer Prize-winning graphic novel, Maus. That novel teaches about the Holocaust. It is based on the experience of the author’s parents. They survived Auschwitz concentration camp. His mother later killed herself. The McMinn County Board of Education thinks the novel is disturbing and too adult for high […]