Thursday Evening Open Thread: Still Good Stuff Happening!



And finaly…

Proud to Be A Democrat: Concerning Heidi Heitkamp

North Dakota’s 2017 voter law ID was challenged by Native residents who alleged that the law disproportionately blocked Native Americans from voting. In April, a federal district court judge blocked large portions of the law as discriminatory against Native voters. “The State has acknowledged that Native American communities often lack residential street addresses,” Judge Daniel Hovland wrote. “Nevertheless, under current State law an individual who does not have a ‘current residential street address’ will never be qualified to vote.” According to the website of the Native American Rights Fund, which represents the plaintiffs, many native residents lack residential street addresses because “the U.S. postal service does not provide residential delivery in these rural Indian communities.”As a result, tribal IDs use P.O. boxes, which are not sufficient under North Dakota’s new law—a specification that seems designed to disenfranchise native voters. Hovland’s ruling was in place during the primaries this spring.

But in September, the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals allowed the law to go into effect. The Supreme Court upheld that ruling Tuesday. In her dissent, Ginsburg argued that the Supreme Court’s order was at odds with one of the top court’s most frequently invoked doctrines on election law: not to change the rules right before an election. By allowing a different set of ID rules in the general election from in the primary, Ginsburg warned, the court was risking widespread confusion and disenfranchisement…

Ginsburg noted that according to the factual record of the case, about 20 percent of voters likely to try to cast a ballot in the midterms will lack the required identification. Another “approximately18,000 North Dakota residents also lack supplemental documentation sufficient to permit them to vote without a qualifying ID,” she noted.

But very few among that 20% will be elderly white people who’ve lived at the same address for decades, so the chances of losing Repub votes is much smaller!

Per the Washington Post:

RUTLAND, N.D. — … One day after the [Kavanaugh] vote, she was back among North Dakotans, wearing a dark sweatshirt against the chill as she led a group of about 100 supporters during the parade for Uffda Day, a Scandinavian heritage festival held each year in this town of fewer than 200 residents.

“I knew this was going to be a difficult vote,” she said in an interview. “I just hope I have the chance to explain why.”…
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All Hail Queen Saga, the First of Her Name!

From The Local Sweden:

UPDATED: An eight-year-old Swedish-American girl came across an exciting find swimming at her local lake, when she pulled an ancient sword from its depths.

“It’s not every day that one steps on a sword in the lake!” Mikael Nordström from Jönköpings Läns Museum said when explaining the significance of the find.

But that’s exactly what happened to Saga Vanecek, who found the relic at the Vidöstern lake in Tånnö, Småland earlier this summer.

“I was outside in the water, throwing sticks and stones and stuff to see how far they skip, and then I found some kind of stick,” Saga told The Local.

“I picked it up and was going to drop it back in the water, but it had a handle, and I saw that it was a little bit pointy at the end and all rusty. I held it up in the air and I said ‘Daddy, I found a sword!’ When he saw that it bent and was rusty, he came running up and took it,” she continued.

It was initially reported that the sword was at least 1,000 years old, but the museum later contacted The Local to clarify that they believe it may be even older, estimated to date back to the 5th or 6th century AD, pre-Viking Age. The find has prompted huge interest from archaeologists and historians.

“It’s about 85 centimentres long, and there is also preserved wood and metal around it,” explained Mikael Nordström from the museum. “We are very keen to see the conservation staff do their work and see more of the details of the sword.”

Anyone hoping to see the sword will have to wait at least a year, Nordström told The Local, explainig: “The conservation process takes quite a long time because it’s a complicated environment with wood and leather, so they have several steps to make sure it’s preserved for the future.”


Open thread!

Monday Morning Open Thread: Interesting Times

Just ran into a motto for our current moment: A smooth sea never made a skilled sailor.

GOP Stupid Venality / Venal Stupidity Open Thread: Doing Themselves No Favors

Schmidt’s a professional Republican operative, albeit one who found his bottom with the current Oval Office Occupancy. Just saying.

I was old and politically conscious enough to be furious during the Clarence Thomas SCOTUS hearings. One of the things I remember most from those days was not just the rage of so many women, but the shock among men — decent & otherwise — who’d always assumed that the women in their lives hadn’t complained about stuff we were just beginning to call ‘sexual harrasment’ because such things hadn’t happened to the women they knew personally. Plenty of ordinary guys heard for the first time from their wives / mothers / daughters: I was too ashamed to tell you. I hoped if I never talked about it, I could forget. I needed that job too badly to quit. If I’d told you at the time, I thought you’d have tried to kill the guy, and why make you suffer the way I already was?…

And we didn’t have social media! This entire Kavanaugh shitshow has been Thomas Mk.2 — Revenge of the Unheard.

[Trigger warning: Some of the details in this story made me tear up… and I’m one of the Lucky Ones, the ones who *don’t* have any horror stories to share]

Thursday’s hearing of the Senate’s Judiciary Committee — called to investigate Ford’s allegations of sexual assault against Kavanaugh, the Supreme Court nominee — transfixed Americans like few events in recent history.

People listened on cellphone speakers in subway cars and doctors’ waiting rooms. The New York Stock Exchange got quiet. The Capitol’s hallways emptied. At the Department of Housing and Urban Development, so many people watched Ford’s testimony from their desks that the IT department warned they could overwhelm the network.

What they saw was a drama in two vastly different parts.

The second part — Kavanaugh’s emotional defense of his innocence and his reputation — was highly unusual in the staid history of Supreme Court hearings. It could have helped save his nomination or helped derail it, depending on how a few GOP senators react.

The first part — Ford’s testimony about the alleged assault, and the shadow it cast on her life — had a different resonance. People cried in airplane seats. They called into C-SPAN to tell their own stories of sexual assault…

“16A: Crying. 14B: Crying. 17C: Weeping,” Ron Lieber, a New York Times columnist, wrote on Twitter from a flight headed from New York to Salt Lake City, listing the reactions as passengers watched the hearing on seat-back televisions. “I am one of the criers.”…

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