Voter ID law a huge threat in PA

In case you’ve wondered how much damage voter suppression laws might do to Democratic candidates:

The number of Pennsylvanians who might not have the photo identification necessary to vote this November has more than doubled: at least 1,636,168 registered voters, or 20 percent of Pennsylvania voters, may not have valid PennDOT-issued ID, according to new data obtained by City Paper. In Philadelphia, an enormous 437,237 people, or 43 percent of city voters, may not possess the valid PennDOT ID necessary to vote under the state’s controversial new law…

The bar

My friend just took the Oregon bar exam yesterday. It wasn’t made any easier by the fact that she was having another MS episode (from the stress) and lost most of her vision, but she took the damned thing anyway and from her description, I’m pretty sure she passed.

It’s a funny thing about adult students. They’re always in a panic, insisting that they did terribly and will flunk out. And you know, I don’t know even one who did.

But anyway, it’s been a long haul. She spent a good 18 months obsessing over the LSATs (ah yes, I remember it well!), explained to me why she’d never, ever get into an Ivy League law school (she just graduated from Cornell) and then when she got in, she kept telling me she thought she flunked her exams.

So let’s hear it for the middle-aged students! Yay!

The trifecta

A rigged economy, a broken political system and ongoing climate change. Together, these realities spell potential disaster for anyone who isn’t a one-percenter:

The US government acknowledged for the first time on Wednesday that the drought now covering two-thirds of the country will lead to significantly higher food prices.

The catastrophe in the Corn Belt, which has seen crops decimated by extreme heat and prolonged drought, will have ripple effects throughout the food system, the Department of Agriculture said in its food price outlook…

On the plus side, maybe the coming spike in food prices will trigger widespread support for an alternative to politics as usual, meaning the two-party system.

Right. Dream on, Odd Man.

The austerity results are in

Who could have known that cutting government spending during a major recession would slow the economy?

LONDON—The U.K.’s economy suffered a much larger contraction than expected in the second quarter, heightening questions about the pace and effectiveness of the government’s austerity program and fueling the broader debate across Europe about how to tackle the Continent’s economic woes.


The deteriorating British economy is likely to intensify the debate both within the U.K. and other debt-laden countries in the West about cuts versus stimulus, amid increasing evidence that austerity is proving a major drag on growth.


“In the growth versus austerity debate it will boost the growth camp and the argument that it isn’t the right time for the deep austerity measures,” said Vicky Redwood, chief U.K. economist at Capital Economics. “It will put pressure on governments to ease their own austerity measures.”


With the U.K. in a double-dip recession that is its worst in 50 years, the data also add to pressure on Treasury chief George Osborne, who faces calls to ease the pace of measures that critics say are stifling growth.

“Critics ‘say’ are stifling growth? These are the policies that were followed, and the economy slowed. Why does the media insist that this is a matter of debate?

Obama the bold: Criminals shouldn’t have AK-47s

On gun control, as on most issues, Mitt Romney is a double-talking liar who contradicts his own prior views. Even if he personally believed in laws against civilian access to assault weapons, he would toe the NRA line out of fear that the offending the gun-nut lobby might have grim consequences for him on Election Day. Wouldn’t it be refreshing, and inspiring, if Barack Obama’s stated views on gun control were in striking contrast to those of Mittens?

But they’re not, of course:

President Barack Obama on Wednesday night vowed to do everything he could to prevent “not just of gun violence but violence at every level” in the wake of the Colorado theater mass shooting.

“I think we recognize the traditions of gun ownership that passed on from generation to generation, that hunting and shooting are part of a cherished national heritage,” he said in New Orleans at the Urban League Convention.

“But I also believe that a lot of gun owners would agree that AK-47s belong in the hands of soldiers, not in the hands of criminals. That they belong on the battlefield of war, not on the streets of our cities.”

This is as close as Obama is likely to come to calling for stricter gun control laws. Another profile in courage of our commander-in-chief.

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