April 28, Taos NM.
These Sustainable Homes Are Made From Trash, But They’re Absolutely Stunning
These Sustainable Homes Are Made From Trash, But They're Absolutely Stunning
Posted by Bring Me on Saturday, April 28, 2018
April 28, Taos NM.
These Sustainable Homes Are Made From Trash, But They’re Absolutely Stunning
These Sustainable Homes Are Made From Trash, But They're Absolutely Stunning
Posted by Bring Me on Saturday, April 28, 2018
President Trump has told 6.5 lies per day since taking office
President Trump has told 6.5 lies per day since taking office
Posted by NowThis Politics on Tuesday, May 1, 2018
By Ryan Sit March 16, 2018
The number of children killed by gunfire in the U.S. since the 2012 mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, surpasses the total of American soldiers killed in overseas combat since 9/11, according to a Department of Defense report.
The report accounts for total deaths in the five military operations since the war on terror began following the September 11, 2001 attacks through 10 a.m. EST Thursday, March 15. Over 17 years of combat, the U.S. has lost 6,929 soldiers. Including Department of Defense civilians killed overseas, that number grows to 6,950.
In the five years and three months since the December 14, 2012 massacre at Sandy Hook in Newtown, Connecticut, when 20-year-old Adam Lanza killed 20 first graders and six adults with an AR-15-style rifle, about 7,000 children have died by gunfire. Though the exact figure is unclear, it rivals the tally of U.S. military deaths overseas—in 11 fewer years.
An analysis of gun-related deaths among children and a new report by the Department of Defense shows that more kids have been killed by gunfire since the Sandy Hook massacre than the number of U.S. soldiers killed overseas since 9/11.DAVID MCNEW/GETTY IMAGES
On Tuesday, a global activist group placed 7,000 pairs of empty shoes outside the Capitol building—one pair for each child killed by a gun since Sandy Hook. The group, Avaaz, arrived at that figure based of an American Academy of Pediatrics report, which said about 1,300 children are killed by guns every year.
At that rate, the number of children killed by guns since Newtown would be about 6,825. But an analysis by the fact-checking site Snopes of the the Center for Disease Control and Prevention data—which the American Academy Pediatrics cited in its report—found that this figure may be low.
According to Snopes, a review of deaths for children 17 or younger for years 2013 to 2016 (2017 was not yet available), found 5,683 firearms-related deaths, or an average of 1,421 per year. Extrapolated over the five-year and three-month period, the tally is about 7,460, Snopes found.
March 14, 2018
This girl is a shining star!
This girl is a shining star!
Posted by Power of Positivity on Wednesday, March 14, 2018
John Hanno January 20, 2018
The self imposed burden Republi-cons are saddled with, their mis-educated and anti-fact base of supporters they fawn over and rely on to remain relevant, is shrinking and becoming ever more extreme. Almost 60,000 of these elderly voters die every month. They proclaim to represent an alternative to the Grand Old Party – the Eisenhower / Rockefeller Republicans, an alternative “Alt Right” doctrine. What they really expound, is an ultimate “Ult Right” ideology. This new, poorly educated Republiban, immune to critical thinking, is much older and almost exclusively white and Christian. They profess racial purity, nativism, intolerance to humanism or secularism or other religions, exhibit a reckless aversion to history and science and exalt a single minded worship of wealth and exclusivity. Their moral compass has flipped true North.
Having drifted so far from traditional conservative principles, they’ve clearly forfeited any traditional fiscal argument, and with it, the cudgel routinely used to browbeat Democrats trying to help the poor or bolster America’s crumbling middle-class social and monetary infrastructures.
To embellish millionaires and billionaires and thriving multi-national corporations and their investors, who’ve all prospered like never before, with generous tax cuts that balloon the national debt, is not fiscally conservative. To prescribe their tax cut scam as a stimulus to an already thriving economy is not fiscally conservative and might achieve just the opposite. To work day and night for years, to cripple the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, which finally slowed escalating insurance premiums and our national healthcare burden, is not fiscally conservative.
To wontonly repeal bipartisan regulations, implemented after decades of debate and evaluation, to guard against the monumental and costly remedies required to correct catastrophic environmental and fiscal disasters, is not fiscally conservative. These Republibaners disregard sound climate science and years of bipartisan environmental legislation culminating in Republican president Nixon signing the bill establishing the Environmental Protection Agency on December 2, 1970.
They disregard milestones of American environmental calamity and redemption, including Rachel Carson’s 1962 book Silent Spring, exposing widespread pesticide poisoning of man and nature; and Congress passing the 1969 National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), charging the government to “become the protector of earth, air, land and water.” The law declared Congress’s intentions to “create and maintain conditions under which man and nature can exist in productive harmony, and “assure for all Americans safe, healthful, productive, aesthetically and culturally pleasing surroundings.
New York City before EPA
New York Harbor 1970
The law also compelled all federal agencies to submit reports (Environmental Impact Statements, EIS’s) for all projects bearing on the environment, and also directed the President to prepare annual Environmental Quality Reports for Congress. When President Nixon signed the bill on New Years Day 1970, he said: “he had become further convinced that the 1970’s absolutely must be the years when America pays its debt to the past by reclaiming the purity of it’s air, it’s waters and our living environment.” “It is literally now or never.”
In short, America’s environment had become a giant shit-hole.
Highlighting this new focus in his State of the Union a few weeks later, Nixon “proclaimed the new decade a period of environmental transformation.” Nixon’s first Environmental Quality Report to Congress on February 10th, contained 37-points. Included in this report, he requested $4 billion for improvements to water treatment facilities. He asked for national air quality standards, a program to lower motor vehicle emissions and federally funded research on reducing automobile pollution. He also ordered a clean-up of federal facilities that contributed to the pollution of the air and water. He sought legislation to end the dumping of wastes into the Great Lakes. He proposed a tax on lead in gasoline. He sent congress a plan on strengthening safeguards on the transportation of oil over the seas. He instituted a National Contingency Plan for remediation of oil spills.
First Earth Day 1970
Public protest and demonstrations on Earth Day 1970 and the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1970 were the turning points in America’s environmental consciousness – the realization that air and water pollution must be a national priority; and also the impetus for the creation of the EPA and Nixon’s confirming signature on December 2, 1970. And the scores of toxic super-fund sites discovered throughout the 1980’s, supercharged efforts to begin healing our environment.
The Cuyahoga River Ignites. Cleavland, Ohio – 1969.
But every one of these environmental programs and more, are under siege, face elimination or reductions by our current, non-conservative and toxic, fossil fuel pandering Republi-con president, the Republi-con controlled congress and Environmental Protection Agency destroyer in charge, Scott Pruitt.
Los Angeles Air Pollution
They’ve quickly rolled back the latest automobile CAFE standards implemented by the Obama administration. This administrations relentless attacks on environmental regulations, began during their first few days in power, with trump reversing President Obama’s rejection of the Dakota Access Pipeline completion, without waiting for the Congressionally mandated Environmental Impact Statement. trump also quickly reversed President Obama by approving the Keystone XL pipeline without a full and comprehensive environmental impact study.
Scott Pruitt, who’s vigorously tried to dismantle environmental regulations and downsize the agency, has also attempted to undermine environmental enforcement actions by the Justice Department. He removed critical climate change and global warming information on the agencies website and ordered employees to not use those words or speak on those issues. Coupled with the attacks on President Obama’s Clean Water Act, the opening of America’s oceans and wilderness areas to oil exploration, and the trump administrations plans to hand over America’s public lands and National Monuments and Parks to fossil fuel and mining interests, these anti-conservatives will single-handedly attempt to reverse much of the progress made since the early days of the environmental movement.
No National Park or Monument or section of public land, set aside over the centuries by past presidents, is safe from these evildoers. Many of the regulations and protections proposed and passed for our environment and public lands were both Republican and conservative bipartisan initiatives. But this administration is not interested in protecting Americans, their environment or their National treasures, only in paying back their omnipotent campaign donors like the Koch brothers.
How far has this Ult Right, alternative reality, alternative fact collection of anti-conservatives, drifted from the Grand Old Party? The 1956 Republican Party Platform is but a distant memory.
Americans overwhelmingly believe in entitlement programs like Social Security and Medicare, believe health care is a right, not a privilege, believe in the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) and Medicaid for those who need it, believe in protecting our environment – our air and water, believe in sensible regulations, want work place protections for workers, believe Dreamers should be protected and offered a path to citizenship, want our National Parks and Monuments preserved, not exploited for private corporate gain and believe in a fair tax system, not one heavily favoring the rich and politically connected.
These Ult Right, flag waving Republi-con pseudo Constitutional purists don’t believe in responsible governance or, for that matter, in government at all, don’t believe in entitlement programs or welfare, don’t believe in fair play or a level playing field, couldn’t care less about America’s ballooning income inequality, don’t really believe in Democratic principles and honestly believe political compromise in any form is just total capitulation.
This Ult Right only lauds our founding fathers, their Democratic blueprints – our Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution, if it suits their political agenda. They tout States Rights when the Federal Government finds it necessary to step into the fray to protect American’s rights, as they did during the Civil Rights movement in the South. But then extol Federal supremacy, when Progressive States find it necessary to protect their citizens from Federal malfeasance like the trump administrations attacks on environmental and workplace regulations and policies; or when cities or States attempt any sensible gun regulations.
Their latest vitriol is directed at the First Amendment. Republican Senator Jeff Flake took to the floor of the U.S. Senate this week to call out trump for constantly referring to the media as “enemies of the people,” and to defend the U.S. Constitution.
Sen. Flake opened with the Declaration of Independence, by saying Thomas Jefferson wrote, “We Hold These Truths to Be Self Evident”. He said trump infamously uses words spoken by Josef Stalin to describe his enemies. He said: “it bears noting that so fraught with malice, the phrase “enemy of the people,” that even Nikita Khrushchev forbade its use, telling the Soviet Communist Party, that the phrase was introduced by Stalin for the purpose of “annihilating such individuals who disagreed with the supreme leader.”
He also quoted a John F. Kennedy speech for the 20th anniversary of The Voice Of America. “We are not afraid to entrust the American people with unpleasant facts, foreign ideas, alien philosophies and competitive values. For a nation that is afraid to let it’s people judge the truth and falsehoods in an open market, is a nation afraid of its people. He said a free press is not the enemy of the people. Despotism is the enemy of the people and a free press is the despots enemy. He referred to George Orwell’s book 1984 and said Orwell warned: “The further a society drifts from the truth, the more it will hate those who speak it.”
Based on the number of lies trump has told (over 2,000 since entering the White House) and the fairy tales that his cabinet, the Republican controlled congress and his supporters have applauded, excused and disregarded, the GOP is in for a whole bunch of hate, especially from the trump voters who were hoodwinked and who may come to their senses before the 2018 mid-term elections.
The Republi-con “family values platform”, arguably always a false identity, has been blown apart. To support a president who’s so far removed from Christian doctrine and the virtues and teachings of Jesus Christ, is not family values. And wayward Evangelicals have cast their lot with a devilish messiah who may deliver them unto oblivion. The latest blasphemy exhibited by prominent Evangelical leaders was exposed by the Wall Street Journal this week. To excuse and justify the $130,000 payment to a porn star to cover up a year long affair while trump was married to Melania and just after she gave birth to their son is the height of hypocrisy. These same religious popinjays spent years preachifying about Bill Clinton’s indiscretions.
trump’s attempts at reimaging, this pandering political party of the rich and powerful and multi-national, connected corporations, with a phony populist agenda, is laughable, if it weren’t so destructive. Supporting the Koch Brothers anti-labor ALEC legislative agenda breaks every promise he made to desperate rust belt workers during the election. And for con-man-in-chief trump to offer false hope to out of work steel workers and coal miners shackled to a dying industry is beyond cruel.
trump has no core set of beliefs, no modicum of integrity; he cares for no one but himself. His egocentric self obsession is boundless. He only admires people who’ve amassed fortunes, no matter how they attained that wealth, and dismisses and devalues anyone who labors for a paycheck.
Nothing is normal, or traditional or conservative about this president, his Ult Right administration or the Republi-con controlled congress. Those who’ve attempted to normalize trump’s un-presidential antics, his immoral character flaws, his obsession with undermining everything President Obama accomplished, his unfailing allegiance to Vladimir Putin and the Russians, his infatuation with autocratic despots and anti-democratic fiat, and his self dealing and conflicted and criminal business ethics – will regret, like the dozens of folks already expelled from his administration, any association with this trump travesty.
America will survive trump but the GOP and the Christian Right may not.
By Mark Sumner January 10, 2018
The transcript of Fusion GPS founder Glenn Simpson testifying before the Senate Judiciary Committee released to the public by Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) is both the entire congressional investigation in brief, and a revealing insight into why Republicans have been so anxious to keep this information under lock and key.
Every question asked by Republicans in the meeting—every single question—focused on trying to find information they could use to demean and defame the witness. They wanted to paint Fusion GPS as a “Democratic operation.” They were determined to turn Christopher Steele’s visit to the FBI into a partisan act. They used every moment of their time to find something Fusion had done wrong, or that Steele had done wrong … some way that both the company and the information they had gathered could be dismissed. In a day-long interview that was supposed to further the investigation into connections between the Trump campaign and Russian officials, no Republican expressed the slightest interest in that topic.
Instead, surfacing any information related to Trump’s activities in Russia was left to Democrats. Not that Democrats didn’t spend a good portion of their time tying to illuminate the motives behind Fusion’s actions. They did. Democrats also walked carefully through the information that made Christopher Steele feel that he had to go to the FBI. But they also spent time on the topic that was supposed to be the point of the hearing.
By the end of the transcript, a few things were clear: Even before they hired Christopher Steele, Fusion GPS was well aware of Trump’s numerous connections to crime bosses in Russia and in former Soviet states. Steele was hired, not to generate information, but to fill in the gaps around relationships that were already obvious from the public record and Trump’s own statements.
And almost from the moment he began investigating, Steele came across a flood of confirmation—information that included deliberate efforts on the part of the Russian government to influence the United States election. Information so disturbing that Steele felt it was requisite on him, as a professional with decades of experience in intelligence, to take what he had learned to American authorities and inform them of a grave and growing danger. When he did, Steele was relieved to find that the FBI was already on the topic and taking it seriously, thanks to information that originated inside Trump’s campaign.
Most of all, the transcript revealed just why Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) was so determined to keep it hidden. Because the clear words on the page made it obvious that the criminal charges leveled at Steele by Grassley and Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) went beyond political showboating and into the realm of egregious obstruction. The transcript makes it dead clear that Republicans have no interest in finding the truth, or in protecting the nation.
The transcripts revealed the reasons that Republicans have been so determined to dismiss the “Steele dossier” and the other information put together by Fusion GPS. They did so because the information collected by Fusion confirmed what investigations at the Financial Times made public months ago—Donald Trump was deeply involved with Russian mobsters, who were largely responsible for his finances. In fact, much of Trump’s claimed wealth was simply inexplicable, apparently unmoored from any legitimate source. Donald Trump, successful real estate tycoon, was a fiction.
Steele’s network of contacts and years of relationship-building, along with his entry into Russia at a point where the connection between Trump and this international criminal underground had not yet become a topic of general discussion, allowed him to gather a great deal of information quickly. That information made it clear that the Russian government was determined to assist Trump, if for no other reason than to harm Hillary Clinton. It also became clear from the outset that Trump’s activities in Russia had opened him to potential blackmail, putting an American presidential candidate under the thumb of Russian operatives both fiscally and personally.
Christopher Steele and the partners at Fusion GPS weren’t cackling together over vague, salacious rumors and spinning out tales of Trump’s wild nights in Moscow. They were confronted by a mountain of evidence that showed Trump was both financially dependent on, and personally compromised by, Russian oligarchs with connections both to criminal families—and to the corrupt Russian government.
What we learned from the release of the transcripts only confirmed what we’ve seen in public hearings: Republicans are doing everything they can to protect Trump, even if that means attacking people who only did their best to uncover the truth. Republicans are even willing to press criminal charges against a man who put himself at personal risk and brought what he had learned to the attention of the FBI because what he found was such a threat to America, and possibly to the world.
What the transcripts reveal is that, in investigating connections between Donald Trump and corrupt governments overseas, Fusion GPS demonstrated that the government right here in the United States is equally corrupt. Equally willing to trade truth for power. Equally ready to condemn those whose only crime is uncovering information which those in charge want thoroughly buried.
The information collected by Fusion GPS is an indictment of Donald Trump as a front man for mobsters and corrupt governments whose crooked dealing and personal excesses left him open to easy manipulation.
But the Fusion GPS transcripts are an indictment of the Republican Party, as an entity that has lost any concern for the nation, fairness, or the facts—an entity addicted to power by any means, and willing to use that power to close the mouths of those they view as threats.
President Trump lied almost TWO THOUSAND times in his first year as president
Posted by NowThis Politics on Tuesday, January 2, 2018
GOP senator says tax cuts must be followed by ‘structural changes to Social Security and Medicare’
Peter Weber November 30, 2017
Senate Republicans started the clock for a final vote on their tax plan Wednesday evening, but among the unresolved demands from GOP waverers is a provision to prevent the bill from adding up to $1.5 trillion to the federal deficit over 10 years. No serious analysis has suggested the growth from slashing taxes for corporations and other businesses would make up that shortfall, and Republicans haven’t offered any evidence. At a Politico Playbook forum on Wednesday, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) said that cutting taxes needs to be followed by cutting spending on popular federal programs.
“I analyze this very differently than most,” Rubio said. “Many argue that you can’t cut taxes because it will drive up the deficit. But we have to do two things. We have to generate economic growth which generates revenue, while reducing spending. That will mean instituting structural changes to Social Security and Medicare for the future.” He suggested reducing benefits and raising the retirement age for future retirees, so people can prepare for the changes. “Tax reform is the economic component of this equation,” Rubio said. “When more people are working, there are more taxpayers and more revenue, but that alone won’t be enough. You are still going to have a debt problem in the absence of spending cuts.”
The broadly unpopular tax bill — rushed through with almost no debate or expert testimony and zero Democratic input — would have wide-ranging and uncertain effects on all Americans. As AARP noted, the legislation already includes $25 billion in automatic Medicare cuts for next year alone, along with $111 billion in other cuts to federal programs, and it would either raise taxes or keep them the same for 6.3 million Americans 65 or older in 2019 and 10.8 million by 2027. President Trump, who is pushing the legislation hard, promised during the campaign he would not change Medicare, Medicaid, or Social Security. You can watch Rubio’s interview at Politico. Peter Weber
Dan Charles, Heard on Morning Addition August 3, 2017
The teal blue area along the Louisiana coastline represents a “dead zone” of oxygen-depleted water. Resulting from nitrogen and phosphorus pollution in the Mississippi River, it can potentially hurt fisheries. NASA/Getty Images
It has become a rite of summer. Every year, a “dead zone” appears in the Gulf of Mexico. It’s an area where water doesn’t have enough oxygen for fish to survive. And every year, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration commissions scientists to venture out into the Gulf to measure it.
This week, NOAA announced that this year’s dead zone is the biggest one ever measured. It covers 8,776 square miles — an area the size of New Jersey. And it’s adding fuel to a debate over whether state and federal governments are doing enough to cut pollution that comes from farms.
The debate actually goes back many years, at least to 1985, when Don Scavia was a scientist at the NOAA. He and his colleagues asked some scientists, for the first time, to go look for a dead zone in the Gulf.
“We expected it to be there,” Scavia recalls. They expected to find it because they knew that the Mississippi River delivers a heavy load of nutrient pollution, specifically nitrogen and phosphorus, into the Gulf.
Every year, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration tasks scientists with measuring the dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico. This year’s map, based on that data, shows a zone the collective size of New Jersey. Courtesy of NOAA
“Most of the nitrogen and phosphorus that drives this problem comes from the Upper Midwest,” Scavia says. “It’s coming from agriculture.”
Farmers use those nutrients on fields as fertilizer. Rain washes them into nearby streams and rivers. And when they reach the Gulf of Mexico, those nutrients unleash blooms of algae, which then die and decompose. That is what uses up the oxygen in a thick layer of water at the bottom of the Gulf, in a band that follows the coastline.
“Fish that can swim will move out of the way. Organisms that are living on the bottom, that the fish feed on, can’t move, and they often die,” says Scavia, who now is a professor of environment and sustainability at the University of Michigan.
The record-breaking dead zone this year is the result of unusually heavy rains in the Midwest, which flushed a lot of nutrients into the Gulf.
The dead zone is invisible from the surface of the ocean. Scientists lower instruments into the water to measure oxygen levels near the bottom. But Scavia describes it as a kind of hidden environmental disaster. “You know, it’s 8,000 square miles of no oxygen. That can’t be good!” he says. Potentially, it could have huge economic costs as well, because it imperils Louisiana’s shrimp industry.
Federal and state agencies have promised to take action against the dead zone. As part of their “action plan” to shrink it, they’re encouraging Midwestern farmers to try to keep nutrients from washing away by doing such things as planting wide grassy strips along streams to trap fertilizer runoff.
Scavia, however, recently published a blog post calling these voluntary measures inadequate. In a separate scientific paper, he also calculated that meeting the government’s goal for a smaller dead zone will require dramatic cuts in nutrient pollution from farms.
Scavia argues that the Gulf should get the same kind of protection as the Chesapeake Bay, on the East Coast. The Chesapeake has had a similar dead zone problem. In 2010, though, despite fierce objections from farmers, the federal government set mandatory limits on nutrient pollution entering the bay. State governments spent billions of dollars to meet those targets. Now pollution in the bay is down, and some wildlife in the Chesapeake is starting to recover.
Prior to the 2016 election, Eddie Lee Holloway Jr., a 58-year-old African-American man, moved from Illinois to Wisconsin, which implemented a strict voter-ID law for the first time in 2016. He brought his expired Illinois photo ID, birth certificate, and Social Security card to get a photo ID for voting in Wisconsin, but the DMV in Milwaukee rejected his application because the name on his birth certificate read “Eddie Junior Holloway,” the result of a clerical error when it was issued. Holloway ended up making seven trips to different public agencies in two states and spent over $200 in an attempt to correct his birth certificate, but he was never able to obtain a voter ID in Wisconsin. Before the election, his lawyer for the ACLU told me Holloway was so disgusted he left Wisconsin for Illinois.
By Ari Berman
Holloway’s story was sadly familiar in 2016. According to federal court records, 300,000 registered voters, 9 percent of the electorate, lacked strict forms of voter ID in Wisconsin. A new study by Priorities USA, shared exclusively with The Nation, shows that strict voter-ID laws, in Wisconsin and other states, led to a significant reduction in voter turnout in 2016, with a disproportionate impact on African-American and Democratic-leaning voters. Wisconsin’s voter-ID law reduced turnout by 200,000 votes, according to the new analysis. Donald Trump won the state by only 22,748 votes.
The study compared turnout in states that adopted strict voter-ID laws between 2012 and 2016, like Wisconsin, to states that did not.
While states with no change to voter identification laws witnessed an average increased turnout of +1.3% from 2012 to 2016, Wisconsin’s turnout (where voter ID laws changed to strict) dropped by -3.3%. If turnout had instead increased by the national no-change average, we estimate that over 200,000 more voters would have voted in Wisconsin in 2016.
This reduction in turnout particularly hurt Hillary Clinton’s campaign.
The lost voters skewed more African-American and more Democrat. For example, Wisconsin’s 2016 electorate was 6.1% more Republican, and 5.7% less Democrat, than the group of ‘lost voters’. Furthermore, the WI electorate was 3.7% more White and 3.8% less African American than the group of ‘lost voters.’ This analysis suggests that the 200,000 lost voters would have both been more racially diverse and have voted more Democratic.
(Priorities USA is a progressive advocacy group and Super PAC that supported Clinton in 2016 and Barack Obama in 2012. The study was conducted by Civis Analytics, a data science firm founded by the chief analytics officer for Obama’s reelection campaign in 2012.)
Though Wisconsin saw the most dramatic reduction in turnout among voter-ID states, it was reflective of a worrisome broader national trend.
In states where the voter identification laws did not change between ’12 and ’16, turnout was up +1.3%. In states where ID laws changed to non-strict (AL, NH, RI) turnout increased less, and was only up by +0.7%. In states where ID laws changed to strict (MS, VA, WI) turnout actually decreased by – 1.7%.
The drop in turnout in these six states led to 400,000 fewer votes relative to turnout in states where ID laws did not change. In Mississippi, Virginia, and Wisconsin, strict voter-ID laws had an especially pronounced negative impact on African-American voters.
In counties where African Americans make up less than 10% of the population AND there were no changes to voter ID laws, 2016 turnout was up +1.9% from 2012, but in similar <10% African American counties where ID laws changed to be strict, total turnout decreased by -0.7%. In counties where African Americans make up more than 40% of the population, however, 2016 turnout was down -2.2% from 2012 in states where ID laws did not change, but down -5 points in states where ID laws changed to be strict.
The study also compared turnout in Wisconsin to Minnesota, which has very similar demographics but no voter-ID law, and found “turnout in African-American counties dropped off at significantly higher levels than in their Minnesota-counterparts.”
It’s important to note that this study was conducted by a Democratic Party–affiliated group and has not been peer-reviewed or gone through the typical academic vetting process. While some studies have shown big reductions in turnout among minority voters because of voter-ID laws, others have not. But the Priorities USA study is consistent with a 2014 study by the Government Accountability Office, which found that strict voter-ID laws in Kansas and Tennessee reduced turnout by 2 percent, enough to swing a close election, with the largest drop-off among newly registered voters, young voters, and voters of color.
This study provides more evidence for the claim that voter-ID laws are designed not to stop voter impersonation fraud, which is virtually nonexistent, but to make it harder for certain communities to vote. This matters greatly today, because 87 bills to restrict access to the ballot have been introduced in 29 states this year, including voter-ID laws in 19 states. Arkansas and Iowa have already passed strict voter-ID laws in 2017.
“Americans’ fundamental right to vote is under attack by Republican governors and state legislatures around the country,” said Guy Cecil, Chairman of Priorities USA. “Under the false pretense of combating voter fraud, Republicans are passing laws that make it more difficult and time-consuming for average citizens to participate in the democratic process.”