— The White House (@whitehouse) June 14, 2012
Michigan Republicans passed three bills yesterday to make voting harder. In particular, the legislation makes it harder to run a voter-registration drive.
As has been their custom this year, House Republicans passed the legislation under immediate effect over the objections of the minority Democrats. That means the legislation could become law this year instead of waiting until 2013. Using immediate effect, Republicans could make it harder to vote in the November election. Under the state Constitution, immediate effect requires a two-thirds super-majority — in the House, that’s 73 votes.
Democratic Representative Jeff Irwin forwarded the cellphone video above from one of the votes, on Senate Bill 0754. As you can see from the House website, it passed with 66 votes, well shy of 73.
[maddowblog/Laura Conaway/13 june 2012]
Michigan lawmakers have voted in favour of key parts of anti-abortion laws that pro-choice campaigners claim could shut down most abortion clinics in the state. The state’s House of Representatives voted by 70 to 39 in favour of the main new piece of proposed legislation on Wednesday, with two more bills still awaiting votes. The law is now set to move to the state’s Senate in September and is likely to put Michigan are the forefront of America’s battle over abortion rights. The move has been described as one of the most hardline recent attempts at passing anti-abortion legislation in America and its backers have been accused of rushing the process forward without adequate public hearings.
[guardian.co.uk/Paul Harris in New York/13 June 2012]
Suppress The Vote:
• The Republican-led Michigan House passed several measures Tuesday aimed at tightening state election laws that backers say would protect against voter fraud and critics counter would create obstacles to voting.
MILWAUKEE, Wisconsin — Last year, nearly a dozen new states passed voter ID laws. These laws may have prevented the nine cases of voter impersonation that occurred between 2000 and 2007, but the Brennan Center estimates they could collectively disenfranchise more than three million people this year. In other words, for each case of voter impersonation these laws prevent, nearly 350,000 citizens may lose their right to vote.
[thinkprogress/Scott Keyes/13 Jun 2012]
You can’t make this stuff up:
In an interview with conservative radio host Neal Boortz, GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney floated an unusual profit-making opportunity for himself if he becomes president — paying himself a higher salary if he performs well in the White House. In Romney’s words, “I do believe in linking my incentives and my commitment to the accomplishment of specific goals . . . . I wish we had that happen throughout government — where people recognized they are not going to get rewarded in substantial ways unless they are able to achieve the objectives that they were elected to carry out.”
This is not a new proposal, however. It was actually proposed in 1992 by billionaire presidential candidate Ross Perot — or at least by someone pretending to be Perot. In a 1992 Saturday Night Live skit, Perot impersonator Dana Carvey outlined something very similar to the Romney plan for presidential compensation.
[thinkprogress/Ian Millhiser/13 june 2012]
• Mitt Romney Trashes a Woman’s Cafe, Then Pisses Her Off Further With His Half-Assed Apology
CORNYN: “In short, you’ve violated the public trust in my view and, by failing and refusing to perform the duties of your office, it’s more with sorrow than regret, than with anger, that I would say that you leave me no alternative but to join those who call upon you to resign your office.”
HOLDER: “With all due respect, senator, there is so much that is factually wrong with the premises that you started your statement with, it’s almost breathtaking in its inaccuracy.”
…“If you want to talk about Fast and Furious, I’m the attorney general that put an end to the misguided tactics that were used in Fast and Furious. An attorney general whom I suppose you would hold in higher regard was briefed on these kinds of tactics in an operation called ‘Wide Receiver’ and did nothing to stop them. Nothing. Three hundred guns, at least, ‘walked’ in that instance.
“I’m also the attorney general who called on an inspector general to look into this matter, to investigate this matter. I’m also the attorney general who made personnel changes at ATF and in the U.S. Attorneys office that was involved, have overseen the changes of processes and procedures within ATF to make sure that this doesn’t happen ever again.
“So I don’t have any intention of resigning.”
…“I am willing to sit down and talk about the provision of more materials. I have sent letters in that regard, the deputy attorney general has sent letters in that regard, and have not had responses. Which leads me to believe that the desire here is not for an accommodation but for a political point-making.”
[newscorpse/Mark/13 Jun 2012]
HOUSTON (AP) — A retired Houston-area firefighter faces up to life in prison after a jury convicted him of murder for gunning down his unarmed neighbor during a dispute over a noisy house party. Raul Rodriguez, 47, argued he was within his rights under Texas’ version of a stand-your-ground law when he killed Kelly Danaher in 2010. The trial’s punishment phase, which will include further testimony, was scheduled to begin Thursday. Rodriguez was angry about the noise coming from Danaher’s home, where the family was having a birthday party for Danaher’s wife and young daughter. Rodriguez went to the home and got into an argument with Danaher, a 36-year-old elementary school teacher, and two other men who were at the party. In a 22-minute video he recorded the night of the shooting, Rodriguez can be heard telling a police dispatcher “my life is in danger now” and “these people are going to go try and kill me.” He then said “I’m standing my ground here,” and shot Danaher after somebody appeared to grab his camera. The two other men were wounded.
[Associated Press/JUAN A. LOZANO/14 Jun 2012]