Photo of the Day

From Yahoo!’s year in photos:

Looking Into the Past: World Trade Center Collapse, September 11, 2001

I do like this cool photo-in-photo thing.  If you haven’t seen these before, check out Dear Photograph.

Disenfranchising college students

It’s gotten a little less attention, but in addition to passing voter ID laws that disproportionately affect the poor and minorities (i.e., Democratic voters) to “protect” against the thoroughly non-existent problem of voter fraud, Republicans are doing the best that they can to make it harder for college students (i.e., read, likely Democratic voters) to vote as well.  A friend of the blogger and the blog, forwarded a tweet in response to an NYT Editorial on the issue that said, “a thousand dollars to anyone that can legitimately defend this behavior.”   Umm, depends on what you mean by “legitimate,” because he might owe $1000’s of dollars to many Republican state legislators.  Now, if you read legitimate to mean “with intellectual honesty and coherence” now then, I think his money is safe.  Here’s a bit from the Editorial:

Next fall, thousands of students on college campuses will attempt to register to vote and be turned away. Sorry, they will hear, you have an out-of-state driver’s license. Sorry, your college ID is not valid here. Sorry, we found out that you paid out-of-state tuition, so even though you do have a state driver’s license, you still can’t vote.

Political leaders should be encouraging young adults to participate in civic life, but many Republican state lawmakers are doing everything they can instead to prevent students from voting in the 2012 presidential election. Some have openly acknowledged doing so because students tend to be liberal…

It’s all part of a widespread Republican effort to restrict the voting rights of demographic groups that tend to vote Democratic. Blacks, Hispanics, the poor and the young, who are more likely to support President Obama, are disproportionately represented in the 21 million people without government IDs. On Friday, the Justice Department, finally taking action against these abuses, blocked the new voter ID law in South Carolina.

Republicans usually don’t want to acknowledge that their purpose is to turn away voters, especially when race is involved, so they invented an explanation, claiming that stricter ID laws are necessary to prevent voter fraud. In fact, there is almost no voter fraud in America to prevent.

This is appalling, completely against (small d) democracy, and just plain bad public policy (you really want to do all you can to encourage young people to take a more active role in democracy, as civic participation builds upon itself).  Of course, that’s never really stopped Republicans from doing something for short-term political gain.  Argh.

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