No one is going anywhere in the Capital of the Free Market World today since schools and governments and many businesses are closed and most of our vehicles are walled by two and three foot high barriers of snow removed from the center of our streets.  And while I did shovel the sidewalk in front of my house yesterday (it’s required by law and you can be fined if you don’t) I’m not looking forward to releasing my Subaru from its frozen prison.  Maybe tomorrow.  Or Wednesday.  Of course the big problem is that after you’ve shoveled out in order to restock supplies at Safeway, when you return home it’s 1000% certain that your nicely cleared curb space will have been taken by someone else. 

 I suspect that there will be a few million folks “working from home” and “telecommuting” today.  METRO, that is METRORAIL, is back in partial service today on the underground portion of the system.  Meh.  I guess it’s better than nothing.  And for more BREAKING NEWS, the DC region had its Fourth biggest blizzard (now called “Snowzilla”) in our history despite the fact that there is still some controversy over measurement methods.  Yawn!  Our two airports, Washington National (NEVER its official “Reagan” National for us long time DC residents since that man hated us and our uber-liberal ways and we pretty much returned the sentiment.) and Dulles International out in suburban Virginia are open.  But with 10,000 flights cancelled over the weekend and the airlines pulling their planes out to snow free parts of the country, I’m not sure exactly who’s going to be going where. 

I walked around the corner early this morning to the 7-11 to get the Washington Post since my home delivery person failed to show up again.  (It’s okay. I forgive you.) Things are beginning to look a lot less attractive outside with all the plowing and shoveling spreading dirty, nasty, once-pristine snow everywhere.  Also, me and a taxi driver helped a women in a walker navigate the un-shoveled sidewalk in front of the DaVita Dialysis Center over on 8th Street.  Come on people.  Get it together okay?  Sheeesh. 

On the front page of WashPo this morning among all the “Snowzilla” articles, is one article entitled “Voter-ID Law Goes To Trial in North Carolina.”   Its’ here:  NC VOTER ID CASE

It begins with the story of one Rosanell Eaton from Louisburg, North Carolina.  She is 94 years old.  Seventy years ago she travelled with her mother two hours in a mule-drawn wagon to register to vote at the county courthouse.  “What are you here for little lady?” she recalls a man in the courthouse asking her.   She told him she was there to register to vote and the man instructed here to recite the preamble to the Constitution.  “Don’t’ miss a word” he instructed her, “and speak the preamble of the Constitution of the United States of America.”  Well, she did, despite this illegal Jim Crow test in order to register, and she has voted in every single election since then.

Until now.  Now, as a result of North Carolina’s newly minted Jim Crow Voter-ID Law (AKA “voter suppression law”) passed by the Republican North Carolina State Legislature, Rosanell Eaton has driven to her closest Department of Motor Vehicle office, a distance of 200 miles, 10 times attempting to fulfill the requirements of the new Jim Crow Voter-ID Suppression law.  While right wingers endlessly maintain “So What’s the Problem of Requiring A Picture ID In Order To Vote?” Ms. Eaton’s story illustrates why what right wingers see as a breeze, can be fraught with unexpected difficulties over and above long, frequent trips to the DMV.  You see, at 94 years old, and a Black woman, and given the cavalier, less than precise approach that White public officials have treated such folks since the Civil War, Ms. Eaton’s name is spelled differently on her driver’s license and did not match – off by one letter – the spelling of her name on her current, non-photo, voter ID registration.   Then, too, there is the issue that her birthdate on her Social Security Card (1923) didn’t match the birthdate on her birth certificate (1921). 

So despite having voted in every election for 70 years, despite having successfully passed a literacy test you and I could not, and despite 10 trips in an effort to comply with North Carolina’s Voter-ID law, apparently state officials are still exercising the greatest of caution towards this 94 year old woman so that she does not commit fraud.  Really?  Wow!  I’m betting that Syrian refugees aren’t subjected to such vigorous and through investigations.  

And here’s the reason why North Carolina and 30 other states have recently passed such unconstitutional voter suppression laws:

Four years ago, North Carolina went from one of the lowest ranked states in voter turnout to one of the highest by increasing voter participation efforts through expanding same day registrations, expanding early voting, and the counting of provisional ballots.  All good efforts, right?  Well, this was the result:

“Turnout among North Carolina’s African American voters skyrocketed from 41.9% in 2000 to 68.5% in 2012.” 

BINGO!  Thus the rationale for newly enacted NC’s Voter-ID law.

Bottom line?  This is one of the Red State Republican’s efforts to diminish voter turnout among every minority group, save the White Red Neck group.   I’ve researched this voter fraud issue fairly extensively, and every single study I’ve come across concludes that Voters pretending to be someone else when they arrive at their polling places is simply non-existent.  Voter fraud?  Yes, but most often this occurs among election officials and not your ordinary 94 year old African American female.    A group of Voter-ID-fraud suppressed North Carolinians and the U. S. Department of Justice have sued the sate over the Voter–ID law.  Let’s hope the Supreme Court has a bit more insight into this insidious practice than they did when they struck down that section of the Voting Rights Act in Shelby County vs. Holder that would have required Federal review and approval of any changes to North Carolina voting regulations. 

PS:  Just trekked to the CVS near Eastern Market.  Pretty easy.  Most folks have shoveled a pathway in front of their houses.  Only real problem was at a couple of intersections where plows had piled up snow.  Pennsylvania Avenue was totally clear down to the asphalt.  Happened to overhear a remark by some old White guy – obviously from out of town – complaining about how lax the District’s response was – is – to the Fourth worst blizzard in our history.  I almost stopped to tell him that in having lived through six of the city’s top ten blizzards, the District Government’s response to this one has been far and away the best.  (Confirmed by two of my neighbors who are also long time DC residents.) 

But then I thought, why?  He doesn’t like DC?  Fine; just go back where you came from.  We don’t like haters here. 

Have a good day!


Popular posts from this blog