With the nationwide Ebola death toll already up to one and possibly headed even higher, it’s no surprise most other news has been overshadowed.

Even so, it’s worth noting that:

1. What many have long sought to portray as our greatest domestic threat — the deficit — has been averted.   (See below.)  THIS IS HUGE.

And that:

2. What many have long sought to portray as the greatest threat to our democracy — voter identity fraud — has also been averted (by virtue of its not having significantly existed in the first place — or so concludes the conservative judge who ruled the other way until he reviewed the facts.  See below.)  THIS TOO IS HUGE.

And all on the watch of Barack Obama, the best economic president of modern times, according to Forbes.

So have a great weekend.


Or keep reading if you want the details.

The Deficit Is Down and the Deficit Hawks Are Furious
By Dean Baker

Last week, the Congressional Budget Office reported that the deficit for the 2014 fiscal year that just ended was $460 billion, considerably lower than they had previously projected. This puts the deficit at 2.7 percent of GDP.  At that level, the size of the debt relative to the economy is actually falling.

Not only is the deficit down sharply from its levels of 2009 and 2010, when it was near 10 percent of GDP, it is below the levels that even the deficit hawks had targeted back in those years.  . . .

The way to reduce the deficit still further is to boost the economy by revitalizing our crumbling infrastructure; boost the economy by hiking the minimum wage; and boost the economy by passing the Senate’s bipartisan immigration bill . . . thereby initiating a virtuous cycle that would lead to higher wages, higher tax receipts, lower safety-net payments, and reduced deficits.  Kind of like the virtuous cycle we had under Bill Clinton.  (Remember?)  All that stands in the way are the Republicans in Congress.  Please vote.

Which I hope you will be able to do without having to get ID you may not have.

Judge Pens Plea to SCOTUS to Overturn His Own Landmark Voter ID Ruling
By Ernest A. Canning and Brad Friedman

. . .Joined by four other Seventh Circuit jurists last week, Posner has now written an extraordinarily powerful and compelling dissent [PDF] in Wisconsin’s photo ID voting case. The previously missing evidence is now in, as the judge meticulously details in the opinion. GOP claims that photo ID restrictions are needed to combat “voter fraud,” he writes, are “a mere fig leaf for efforts to disenfranchise voters likely to vote for the political party that does not control the state government . . .”

There is only one motivation for imposing burdens on voting that are ostensibly designed to discourage voter-impersonation fraud, if there is no actual danger of such fraud, and that is to discourage voting by persons likely to vote against the party responsible for imposing the burdens.

Posner’s carefully crafted dissent does more than establish why the US Supreme Court should sustain the district court’s finding that Wisconsin’s photo ID law is both unconstitutional and a violation of the Voting Rights Act. It obliterates the factual premise that had served as a pillar upon which his, and subsequently the Supreme Court’s, decision in Crawford were based.

Polling place photo ID laws do not promote voter confidence in the integrity of elections, as Posner and the Crawford Supreme Court plurality had erroneously assumed. The assertion that they do was a “mistake” – Posner’s mistake! – and he now admits as much, with the support of devastating new data from recent studies to back him up.

His powerful new dissent amounts to more than just a response to the Wisconsin GOP’s new photo ID voting law. It is an elegant plea that the US Supreme Court right a grievous wrong that he was personally responsible for. Posner presents an astonishing, airtight case for ruling that all “strict photo ID laws,” which, as he demonstrates, have only been enacted in states sporting GOP-controlled legislatures, must now be struck down as unconstitutional. . . .

Click here to watch Chris Hayes’ report.

Ralph Nader gave us George W. Bush who gave us the Supreme Court that gave us Citizens United and McCutcheon which gave the Koch brothers even more power over Congress and overturned key provisions of the Voting Rights Act, which allowed Republicans to make it harder for poor people and young people to vote — which is good, in their view, because young people and poor people tend to vote for Democrats, and Democrats (let’s call a spade a spade) favor policies for the middle class and those struggling to enter it, while the Koch brothers are in the top .000001%.  So I say again: Please vote.

And, again, have a great weekend.



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