At long last we bring you Episode #3 in The Adventures of Donny Rico, a clever deep dive into the methods used by Chevron in its desperate and unethical campaign to turn the tables on the very victims it poisoned in Ecuador’s rainforest.
Take it from Donny: it’s no secret that Chevron has spent millions upon millions of dollars in an abusive “scorched earth” legal strategy to attack not only the villagers and their representatives who have held the company accountable in Ecuador, but virtually anyone who supports them. This is part of a decades-long legal strategy to delay paying for a clean-up, to deny the facts and simply to try to crush the opposition which has been gaining the upper hand yet again.
In 2012, campaigns and political organizations spent almost $7 billion dollars to get their message out — almost as much as the United States spent that year on the post-war effort in Iraq.
And as we steel ourselves for another onslaught of campaigns ads competing for our attention on our televisions, computers, and phones, you gotta wonder how anyone can cut through that amount of noise.
The answer: veterans can.
We are the messengers we need in the coming debate about how the current Congress — led by elected officials like Mitch McConnell — have let down veterans.
In the coming weeks, VoteVets is going to escalate its current ad campaign highlighting Senator McConnell’s repeated efforts to block VA health care improvements.
Mitch McConnell says the “denial of care to our veterans is a national disgrace.”
But he’s blocked a tax credit encouraging employers to hire veterans, blocked funding to improve veterans health care, blocked giving veterans in-state tuition across the country, and blocked job training programs for veterans.
That’s the disgrace.
Your $5 contribution will make sure Kentucky’s veterans get that message this fall.
Thanks for standing with VoteVets in this effort. It’s important.
All the best,
General (Ret.) Wesley Clark
One Year After The Supreme Court Gutted The Voting Rights Act, We Need A Fix
50 years ago, the heroic participants of “Freedom Summer” paved the way for the national advancement of civil rights, including the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act one year later.
A year ago today, in a 5-to-4 ruling on Shelby County v. Holder, the Supreme Court invalidated a key provision of the Voting Rights Act. Jurisdictions with histories of racial discrimination subject to “preclearance,” or special review by the Justice Department or a federal court before enforcing any new voting laws, were now free to legislate as the wished. At the time, Think Progress’s Ian Millhiser wrote, “Although today’s opinion ostensibly would permit Congress to revive the preclearance regime by enacting a new formula that complies with today’s decision, that would require a functioning Congress — so the likely impact of today’s decision is that many areas that were unable to enact voter suppression laws under the Voting Rights Act will now be able to put those laws into effect.”
And that is precisely what ended up happening. Just 48 hours after the landmark decision, six of the nine states that had been covered in their entirety under the law’s “preclearance” formula had already taken steps toward restricting voting.
Though the conservative Justices may disagree, voting discrimination is not largely a thing of the past. Since 2010, nearly two-thirds of the states previously covered under Section 5 of the VRA, nine of fifteen, have passed new voting restrictions:
And between 2000 and June 2013, there were 148 Section 5 objections or other VRA violations recorded in 29 states, mostly concentrated in the South.
Meanwhile, Congress — which voted to renew the Voting Rights Act in 1970, 1975, 1982, and 2006, each time with increasingly larger margins — has yet to fix it this time around. The Senate has introduced the Voting Rights Amendment Act, and held a hearing on it today. In the House, it has languished. House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte apparently thinks that a fix to the Supreme Court’s Shelby decision is not needed.
BOTTOM LINE: Last year, the Supreme Court ruled that we no longer need the Voting Rights Act. Today offers a good opportunity to remind them, and the legislators dragging their feet in Congress, that we do. States continue to pass laws designed to erect barriers to voting and suppress voter turnout, often targeted disproportionately at minority communities. There may no longer be literacy tests or poll taxes, but the modern voting restrictions are just as insidious and we need strong federal protections to prevent states from enacting them.
by Mercy For Animals Canada | 60,771 supporters
I am an undercover investigator with Mercy For Animals Canada, and for eight weeks I worked at a calf factory farm that supplies veal to many major grocery retailers in Canada. Nothing could have prepared me for the horrors I witnessed. I saw…