Tag Archives: bridge

Dakota Access company bought up dozens of anti-pipeline URLs

This story was originally published by HuffPost and is reproduced here as part of the Climate Desk collaboration.

Texas-based pipeline giant Energy Transfer Partners went on a website-buying spree after months of fierce public protest over its Dakota Access Pipeline, nabbing dozens of URLs it expected pipeline opponents might use to target the company’s other projects.

The damage-control effort is related to several ongoing operations, including the company’s $4.2 billion Rover natural gas pipeline in Ohio, the $670 million Bayou Bridge Pipeline in Louisiana, and the Trans-Pecos and Comanche Trail pipelines in West Texas.

Energy Transfer Partners purchased at least 102 anti-pipeline websites between January and June 2017, according to a list compiled by the nonprofit Climate Investigations Center and shared with HuffPost.

Those domain names, purchased mostly through web hosting company GoDaddy, include addresses like “energytransfer.sucks,” “stopetppipelines.net,” “antiroverpipelinealliance.org,” “bayoubridgeresistance.com,” “gulfresidentsagainstbayoubridgepipeline.org,” “nocomanchetrailpipeline.org,” and “nowahatranspecospipeline.org.”

Energy Transfer Partners spokeswoman Alexis Daniel told HuffPost this website buying is “standard brand management practice for our company before we begin any major project in order to protect the brand of the project.”

“During the time we had multiple projects under construction or beginning construction, all of which have been successfully completed and are operating today,” Daniel said in an email.

She did not respond to questions about whether the effort was motivated by protests on the Standing Rock Indian Reservation in North Dakota or for how long the company plans to hold on to the sites.

Kert Davies, director of the Climate Investigations Center, called the company “paranoia incorporated.”

“Every one of ETPs recent pipeline projects has created major scandal and controversy across the country — from North Dakota to Pennsylvania to Louisiana,” Davies told HuffPost via email. “This preemptive GoDaddy website effort shows that ETP is pretty self conscious and paranoid about their social license. When a company buys the .sucks website for their own name, you know they have problems.”

Energy Transfer Partners created most of the anti-pipeline webpages on January 19, 2017, days after President Donald Trump — a former shareholder in the company — took office and a week before he signed an executive order to push the 1,172-mile Dakota Access project forward. The Obama administration had halted construction the month before in response to growing and at times violent Standing Rock protests.

The company secured a number of other URLs on February 23, 2017, the day law enforcement led what The Guardian described as a “military-style takeover” of the Standing Rock occupation and arrested holdout protesters. That day, Energy Transfer Partners submitted final edits to its permit application with state regulators in Ohio, with whom it had a cozy relationship, to begin construction of its Rover pipeline, as HuffPost previously reported.

Construction of the Rover pipeline began in March 2017. Within weeks, a pair of spills related to the project released more than 2 million gallons of drilling fluid into Ohio wetlands. That project became fully operational late last year.

Last month, after years of protest and legal challenges from property owners and environmentalists, Energy Transfer Partners announced the completion of the Bayou Bridge pipeline. The 160-mile crude oil line cuts through Louisiana’s Atchafalaya Basin, the largest swamp in the U.S., and ties into the Dakota Access Pipeline.

From its first day in office, the Trump administration, which has close ties to Energy Transfer Partners, has prioritized boosting domestic fossil fuel production in a quest for so-called “energy dominance,” rolling back numerous regulations to benefit the oil and gas industry. Trump signed a pair of executive orders earlier this month to speed up oil and natural gas pipeline construction.

Meanwhile, Democratic presidential candidates and current Senators Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders have vowed to ban new coal, oil, and natural gas leases on federal land if elected to the White House in 2020.

The United Nations warned in a report late last year that world governments have just 12 years to halve global carbon emissions to avoid catastrophic global warming that would bring $54 trillion in damages.

Continued – 

Dakota Access company bought up dozens of anti-pipeline URLs

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Endless Universe – Paul J. Steinhardt & Neil Turok


Endless Universe
Beyond the Big Bang
Paul J. Steinhardt & Neil Turok

Genre: Science & Nature

Price: $1.99

Publish Date: May 29, 2007

Publisher: Crown/Archetype

Seller: Penguin Random House LLC

Two world-renowned scientists present an audacious new vision of the cosmos that “steals the thunder from the Big Bang theory.” — Wall Street Journal The Big Bang theory—widely regarded as the leading explanation for the origin of the universe—posits that space and time sprang into being about 14 billion years ago in a hot, expanding fireball of nearly infinite density. Over the last three decades the theory has been repeatedly revised to address such issues as how galaxies and stars first formed and why the expansion of the universe is speeding up today. Furthermore, an explanation has yet to be found for what caused the Big Bang in the first place. In Endless Universe , Paul J. Steinhardt and Neil Turok, both distinguished theoretical physicists, present a bold new cosmology. Steinhardt and Turok “contend that what we think of as the moment of creation was simply part of an infinite cycle of titanic collisions between our universe and a parallel world” ( Discover ). They recount the remarkable developments in astronomy, particle physics, and superstring theory that form the basis for their groundbreaking “Cyclic Universe” theory. According to this theory, the Big Bang was not the beginning of time but the bridge to a past filled with endlessly repeating cycles of evolution, each accompanied by the creation of new matter and the formation of new galaxies, stars, and planets. Endless Universe provides answers to longstanding problems with the Big Bang model, while offering a provocative new view of both the past and the future of the cosmos.  It is a “theory that could solve the cosmic mystery” ( USA Today ).


Endless Universe – Paul J. Steinhardt & Neil Turok

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Scott Pruitt introduced anti-abortion bills giving men ‘property rights’ over fetuses

This story was originally published by HuffPost and is reproduced here as part of the Climate Desk collaboration.

In 1999, Scott Pruitt, then an Oklahoma state senator, introduced a bill to grant men “property rights” over unborn fetuses, requiring women to obtain the would-be father’s permission before aborting a pregnancy.

Pruitt, now the embattled administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, submitted the legislation again in 2005.

The bill, which did not pass either time, faded from Pruitt’s political legacy. But the legislation merits new examination as the EPA chief faces down an avalanche of corruption accusations. As HuffPost previously reported, Pruitt’s support from right-wing evangelical Christians, a group that largely opposes abortion, has helped him keep his job amid calls from droves of Democrats and a handful of Republicans to fire the administrator.

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And while his current role atop the EPA does not give him any official control over abortion policy, he has appeared alongside President Donald Trump in meetings with evangelical leaders, and his draconian history on the issue is of a piece with the administration. In one of Trump’s first acts after taking office, he reinstated and expanded the Reagan-era “global gag rule,” withholding federal funding from charities and aid organizations that counsel women on family planning options that include abortion. Last week, the White House proposed a new “domestic gag rule” that would strip Planned Parenthood of funding.

“It’s not surprising that another member of Trump’s inner circle is hostile to women,” said Dawn Huckelbridge, a senior director at the progressive super PAC American Bridge, which opposes Pruitt and supports abortion rights. “But framing a fetus as a man’s property is a new low.”

American Bridge resurfaced the legislation and shared it with HuffPost. The EPA did not respond to a request for comment.

Pruitt has spent his 15 months at the EPA pushing to keep government out of the private sector. He’s sought to radically deregulate the fossil fuel and chemical industries, clear the way for companies to produce more asthma-triggering pollution, allow deadly chemicals to remain on the market, and revise restrictions on teenage workers handling dangerous pesticides.

By contrast, the bill from his time as a state legislator stated that “it is the responsibility of the state to ensure that no person shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law,” referring to a “fetus” as “property” that has been “jointly created by both father and mother.”

The legislation would have barred doctors from performing abortions without signed statements of permission from the father, or evidence that the man could not be located “after diligent effort.” If the pregnancy resulted from rape, the woman would be required to show “such assault has been reported to a law enforcement agency having the requisite jurisdiction.”

Doctors who performed the procedure without that documentation would have risked losing their medical licenses, been “civilly liable to the father of the aborted child for any damages caused thereby,” and had to pay punitive fines of $5,000.

In a statement to The Associated Press in 1999, Pruitt said a pregnant woman who were to obtain an abortion without meeting the bill’s criteria would face legal consequences. “She’ll be held accountable for it,” Pruitt said.

Pruitt also sought to restrict abortion in other ways. In 2001,when the legislature was considering a bill to require that pregnant minors show parental permission before obtaining an abortion, he introduced an amendment to define a “fetus” as “any individual human organism from fertilization until birth.”

The timing of the bills came nearly a decade after the Supreme Court issued its landmark decision in Planned Parenthood v. Casey, in which it ruled that provisions requiring a woman to obtain her husband’s permission for an abortion were unconstitutional.

“He doesn’t agree with the court’s not viewing women as property and also doesn’t believe in the intellectual concept that women should have agency over their own reproductive choices,” said Leslie McGorman, deputy director at the advocacy group NARAL Pro-Choice America. “Frankly there’s not a whole lot more to tell except that he is the guy who his record indicates he is.”

“He carries that lack of concern for the greater good throughout all of the things he’s done in his career,” she added, referring to his rollback of environmental safeguards.

Until 2017, Pruitt served on the board of trustees at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky, an institution that has said “a wife is to submit herself graciously” to her husband. Around the time he first introduced the abortion bill, in 1999, Pruitt served on the board of the MEND Medical Clinic and Pregnancy Resource Center. Its current executive director, Forrest Cowan, has said unwed mothers have been “failed” by a “boyfriend, who values his own selfish gratification over responsibility, and her father, who should have had her back.”

Pruitt’s crusade against abortion rights continued after he left the state senate to become Oklahoma’s attorney general. When a district court found a law requiring women to undergo an ultrasound before an abortion to be unconstitutional, Pruitt appealed the decision to the Oklahoma Supreme Court. After losing there, he unsuccessfully petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court to take the case.

In 2012, The Tulsa World excoriated Pruitt in an editorial for wasting “more taxpayer money … on this misguided effort to control doctor-patient interaction and the practice of medicine — but only when women are concerned.”

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Scott Pruitt introduced anti-abortion bills giving men ‘property rights’ over fetuses

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Sean Spicer Runs Away from Press Briefing Without Answering Questions

Mother Jones

Sean Spicer’s tenure as White House press secretary has been rife with endless gaffes, back-flip defenses of his boss, and a highly combative relationship with the reporters he has to face daily.

On Tuesday, it appeared as though Spicer may finally have had enough. Here he is ditching his own press briefing, while stunned reporters erupt in cries for him to answer their questions:

The soundtrack for a presidency.

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Sean Spicer Runs Away from Press Briefing Without Answering Questions

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Kwame Alexander’s Resistance Reading

Mother Jones

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Courtesy of Kwame Alexander

We asked a range of authors, artists, and poets to suggest the books that bring them solace or understanding in this age of political rancor. Two dozen or so responded. Here are the thoughts of Kwame Alexander, whose novel-in-verse The Crossover won the 2015 Newbery Medal, the highest honor in young people’s literature.

Latest book: Solo (with Mary Rand Hess; out August 1)
Also known for: The Crossover
Recommended reading: Literature is instant access to humanity. It’s the one art form that allows us to walk in someone else’s shoes for a while and experience lives we might not otherwise understand. It also allows us to find mirrors of ourselves, of our best selves, in times when we feel alone and unsure of the world. And right now the world feels a little crazy. Books are these worlds within a world—safe places to tramp in anxious times and return gently to our own living world, more aware, more fulfilled and hopefully more inspired and courageous. And that is why Mary Rand Hess and I set out to write books like Solo, taking readers on a character’s life-changing journey for the sake of the experience, for the sake of humanity. This is rock and roll and redemption, baby! These are the journeys that run deep, and the ships we take come early and often. We can take as many ships as we like, as often as we like. We only need to choose the right ones.

There are so many incredible books that speak to our times, stories that take place in the past, present, and future. Stories that connect us to our ancestors or people who lived like our ancestors, or to the people who paved the way for our world today—stories like The Underground Railroad, All The Light We Cannot See, Freedom Over Me, March. Stories for adults, teens, and children. Stories that grab hold of us and show us all the pain and beauty that races through and weaves between covers—books like Speak, Pax, Brown Girl Dreaming, Radiant Child, Bridge to Terabithia, As Brave as You, The Chronicles of Narnia, The Tale of Despereaux. Selected Poetry of Nikki Giovanni (and Langston Hughes and Pablo Neruda). The Crossover and The Playbook (you know I had to mention those, right?) and so many more. Books that will stick with us, comfort us, and strengthen us, long after we’ve read them. Books that will connect us to each other.

P.S. Read Rumi!

So far in this series: Kwame Alexander, Margaret Atwood, W. Kamau Bell, and T Cooper. (New posts daily.)

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Kwame Alexander’s Resistance Reading

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Trump’s Pick for Budget Director Isn’t Sure the Government Should Fund Scientific Research

Mother Jones

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Mick Mulvaney, the ultra-conservative South Carolina congressman whom Donald Trump has tapped to be his budget director, has questioned whether the federal government should spend any money on scientific research.

If confirmed by the Senate to lead the Office of Management and Budget, Mulvaney, a deficit hawk who recently spoke before a chapter of the right-wing-fringe John Birch Society, would be in charge of crafting Trump’s budget and overseeing the functioning of federal agencies. One thing he seems to believe the budget and the agencies should not be funding is research into diseases like the Zika virus.

Two weeks before Congress finally passed more than $1 billion to fight the spread of Zika and its effects, Mulvaney questioned whether the government should fund any scientific research. “Do we need government-funded research at all,” he wrote in a Facebook post on September 9 unearthed by the Democratic opposition research group American Bridge. Mulvaney appears to have deleted his Facebook page since then.

In the post, he justified his position on government-funded research by questioning the scientific consensus that Zika causes the birth defect microcephaly. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) concluded in April that the Zika virus causes microcephaly and other defects. But Mulvaney wrote:

And before you inundate me with pictures of children with birth defects, consider this:

Brazil’s microcephaly epidemic continues to pose a mystery — if Zika is the culprit, why are there no similar epidemics in countries also hit hard by the virus? In Brazil, the microcephaly rate soared with more than 1,500 confirmed cases. But in Colombia, a recent study of nearly 12,000 pregnant women infected with Zika found zero microcephaly cases. If Zika is to blame for microcephaly, where are the missing cases? According to a new report from the New England Complex Systems Institute (NECSI), the number of missing cases in Colombia and elsewhere raises serious questions about the assumed connection between Zika and microcephaly.

According to the New York Times, the relatively low rate of microcephaly in Colombia has indeed puzzled some researchers, who point to the fact that many women likely delayed pregnancy or had abortions when testing revealed the birth defect. But that doesn’t change the scientific consensus linking Zika to microcephaly.

Here’s the full post from Mulvaney:

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Trump’s Pick for Budget Director Isn’t Sure the Government Should Fund Scientific Research

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Before Trump University, There Was the Trump Institute. Here’s How Donald Trump Learned the Hustle.

Mother Jones

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A couple of months ago Ars Technica ran a story about one of Donald Trump’s penny-ante moneymakers from the aughts: the Trump Institute. It all started when a pair of journalism grad students, Joe Mullin and Jonathan Kaminsky, became fixated on a late-night infomercial for the National Grant Conferences:

Why did the NGC infomercial captivate us?…It wasn’t the enthusiastic couple who founded NGC, Mike and Irene Milin, proclaiming that numerous government grants were there for the taking. No, we couldn’t stop watching because NGC just felt so sleazy.

….Intrigued, we spent the better part of a year researching NGC, its claims, and its founders’ pasts. We ultimately found that NGC—with several seminar teams circling the country and clearing tens of millions of dollars each year in sales—and its memberships produced no money for any of the customers we interviewed.

….Trump wanted a piece of the action, so he struck a licensing deal with the Milins in 2006. The couple created the “Trump Institute,” using much of the same pitch material and some of the same pitchmen.

Today the New York Times picks up on the story:

As with Trump University, the Trump Institute promised falsely that its teachers would be handpicked by Mr. Trump. Mr. Trump did little, interviews show, besides appear in an infomercial — one that promised customers access to his vast accumulated knowledge. “I put all of my concepts that have worked so well for me, new and old, into our seminar,” he said in the 2005 video, adding, “I’m teaching what I’ve learned.”

Reality fell far short. In fact…extensive portions of the materials that students received after forking over their seminar fees, supposedly containing Mr. Trump’s special wisdom, had been plagiarized from an obscure real estate manual published a decade earlier.

Together, the exaggerated claims about his own role, the checkered pasts of the people with whom he went into business and the theft of intellectual property at the venture’s heart all illustrate the fiction underpinning so many of Mr. Trump’s licensing businesses: Putting his name on products and services — and collecting fees — was often where his actual involvement began and ended.

….Asked about the plagiarism, which was discovered by the Democratic “super PAC” American Bridge, the editor of the Trump Institute publication, Susan G. Parker, denied responsibility….Ms. Parker, a lawyer and legal writer in Briarcliff Manor, N.Y., said that far from being handpicked by Mr. Trump, she had been hired to write the book after responding to a Craigslist ad. She said she never spoke to Mr. Trump, let alone received guidance from him on what to write. She said she drew on her own knowledge of real estate and a speed-reading of Mr. Trump’s books.

In a nutshell, Trump sought out a couple of late-night hustlers who had already been in trouble with the law, taped an infomercial for them, and then pocketed the licensing fee. (They were the “best in the business,” said the Trump executive who brokered the deal.) Later, having learned the hustle, Trump ended his contract with the Milins and opened up Trump University. He had learned all he needed and was ready to start pushing the hard-sell conference business on his own. Seven years later, he’s perfected the hustle even further, so now he’s running for president. You’re welcome.

Read this article – 

Before Trump University, There Was the Trump Institute. Here’s How Donald Trump Learned the Hustle.

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Watch a burning house float away in an epic flood

Rain of Terror

Watch a burning house float away in an epic flood

By on Jun 24, 2016Share

West Virginia’s deadly deluge just took a turn for the apocalyptic. A burning building was swept down a creek after significant flooding in the small town of White Sulphur Springs.

The video leaves us with a major cliffhanger: What happened after the house hit the bridge?

We don’t know — but we do know that a storm dumped up to nine inches of rain on parts of West Virginia (eight inches on White Sulphur Springs) during a 24-hour period leading up to Thursday night, which set the stage for this alarming vision. The floods prompted a state of emergency in several counties around the state and caused at least four deaths.

From Paris to Houston, we’ve witnessed more than the world’s fair share of formidable floods in recent months, from the devastating to the truly surreal. Case in point: Earlier this week, a D.C. subway station escalator essentially turned into a waterfall after extensive rainfall in the area. Though it’s hard to pin the blame for any one extreme weather event on climate change, a shifting climate means heavier deluges in some areas and longer dry spells in others. Looks like West Virginia is getting a whole lot of the former.

Hey, can we at least take a raincheck for the apocalypse?

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Watch a burning house float away in an epic flood

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Donald Trump, Skinflint

Mother Jones

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While I was busy over the weekend renovating the hub of my blogging empire, Donald Trump made his first-ever visit to the September 11 Memorial Museum in New York City. While there, he donated $100,000 to the museum:

Reporters who were invited late on Friday to join Mr. Trump for the museum visit, which was not on his schedule, were kept in a media van as he entered the museum. An aide said he would speak with reporters afterward, but Mr. Trump then decided against it. His aides sent out a photo of the Trumps inside the museum about 90 minutes later, along with a statement saying that the rebuilding of ground zero was “what ‘New York values’ are really about.”

The donation check was from Mr. Trump’s foundation, not from him personally. He had been approached over the years by people trying to raise money for the museum, but he never did, until Saturday.

Goodness. When did Trump become so media shy? Maybe it was because he knew the Washington Post was going to drop a story the next day about his repeated claim that he’s given over $100 million to charity in the past five years:

To back up that claim, Trump’s campaign compiled a list of his contributions—4,844 of them, filling 93 pages. But, in that massive list, one thing was missing. Not a single one of those donations was actually a personal gift of Trump’s own money.

Instead, according to a Washington Post analysis, many of the gifts that Trump cited to prove his generosity were free rounds of golf, given away by his courses for charity auctions and raffles.

…Many of the gifts on the list came from the charity that bears his name, the Donald J. Trump Foundation, which didn’t receive a personal check from Trump from 2009 through 2014, according to the most recent public tax filings. Its work is largely funded by others, although Trump decides where the gifts go.

…The most expensive charitable contributions on Trump’s list, by contrast, dealt with transactions related to real estate.
For one, Trump counted $63.8 million of unspecified “conservation easements.”…In California, for example, Trump agreed to an easement that prevented him from building homes on a plot of land near a golf course.

Generally speaking, I’m not keen on judging politicians by how much of their income they devote to charity. But Trump is in a different class. He claims to be worth $10 billion, and he claims to be an extremely generous guy. In fact, he’s a skinflint. His company’s CFO—who seems to double as Trump’s personal financial advisor—says that Trump really has made a lot of personal charitable contributions, but “we want to keep them quiet. He doesn’t want other charities to see it. Then it becomes like a feeding frenzy.”

Uh huh. I will leave the credibility of that statement as an exercise for the reader. Speaking for myself, I think it’s no coincidence that Trump’s two primary residences are near the Brooklyn Bridge and the Florida swamps.

Link – 

Donald Trump, Skinflint

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On the Selma Anniversary, These North Carolina Activists Will March Backward

Mother Jones

Activists, politicians, and luminaries from across the nation will flock to Selma, Alabama, this weekend to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the nonviolent voting-rights march that was undermined by police-sanctioned attacks, presaging the passage, six months later, of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. But this year’s events, which include a reenactment of the fateful march across the Edmund Pettus Bridge, are shaping up to have a more activist edge than past commemorations.

Some black leaders, such as North Carolina NAACP president Rev. Doctor William Barber II, will use the day to highlight the assault on black voting rights in the wake of a 2013 Supreme Court decision that rolled back a key provision of the Voting Rights Act. Rather than make it across the bridge, Barber and his delegation plan to turn around and march back toward Selma.

“For the last fifty years we’ve been walking across that bridge to celebrate how the civil rights leaders pushed us forward. This year, we have to turn around,” he told me. This change in routine, he says, is a response to the politicians who “will come down to Selma and give all these platitudes and talk about how they love the people of the past, but won’t ensure a Voting Rights Act that meets the test of history today.” And that “is a step backward.”

Prior to the Supreme Court ruling, the VRA required nine historically racist states, including North Carolina, along with several counties, to get permission from the Department of Justice before modifying their voting laws. It paid off. In 2012, for instance, North Carolina ranked 11th out of 50 states in voter turnout, with 65 percent of registered voters casting a ballot.

But the gains, ironically enough, helped influence the court’s decision in the case of Shelby County v. Holder. Writing for the majority, Chief Justice John Roberts Jr. held that it was unconstitutional to single out just a few states for these voting requirements, especially after all this time—”nearly 50 years later,” he wrote, “things have changed dramatically.”

They can change back, too. In her dissent, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg likened the majority’s reasoning to throwing away an umbrella in a rainstorm because you are not getting wet.

Prescient words: Freed from DOJ oversight, several of those states quickly reversed course, enacting a deluge of new, restrictive voting laws. Within two months of the ruling, North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory signed a package of legislation that was, for anyone who favors access to the ballot box, a nightmare: Same day registration? Gone. Pre-registration for for 16- and 17-year-olds? Also gone. A shorter early registration period? Check. Extended voting hours when voting demand exceeds the availability of voting machines? Nixed. The ability to vote in a precinct outside of where one resides? Nope. Then there’s the most contested provision: the requirement for voters to present a state-approved ID starting in 2016. Without a valid driver’s license, state ID card, US military ID, veteran card, or passport, North Carolina voters are out of luck.

“Voting should not difficult. It should not be something that we have to jump over hurdles to do,” says Donita Judge, a senior attorney at the Advancement Project, a civil rights nonprofit. She and her colleagues promptly sued the state over the new voting restrictions. A number of other groups, including the League of Women Voters, has joined the lawsuit, which is set for a trial in July.

A similar lawsuit filed by the DOJ not long after prompted sneers from Gov. McCrory: “I believe if showing a voter ID is good enough and fair enough for our own president in Illinois, then it’s good enough for the people in North Carolina.” The package, he said, is “common sense reform” aimed at curbing voter fraud and maintaining democratic integrity. Never mind that, between 2000 and 2010, there were 47,000 reported UFO sightings, but only 13 credible cases of someone trying to impersonate a voter. “It’s a red herring. It’s been proven time and time again that there is very minimal voting fraud,” Judge says. “What we do have is politicians manipulating elections—it’s more election fraud then voting fraud.”

Indeed, the sorts of restrictions North Carolina has put in place have been shown time and again to have a disproportionate impact on minority voters. The Advancement Project notes that black turnout leaped from 42 percent in 2000 to 69 percent in 2012 after same-day registration and early voting were implemented. (Granted, there wasn’t an electable black guy running in 2000.) But in 2013, Democracy North Carolina released a report showing that 34 percent of the state’s registered black voters lacked a state-issued ID—overall, 318,000 registered voters lack one, according to data from the state board of elections.

“When people can’t vote, they lack the ability to choose who represents them and therefore who has their best interest at heart, but they also lack the ability to weigh in on important issues, like the criminal justice system,” Judge says. “If you can’t vote, you’re not going to end up on juries, so you don’t have a voice.”

Hence the backward march. “Fifty years ago, they didn’t settle in the face of death, in the face of the Klan, in the face of accepted police brutality. And if they didn’t accept then, we can’t accept now,” Rev. Barber explains. “If they died for us to have these rights, there is no way in the world we can be afraid of the Koch Brothers, of the Tea Party, of regressive politicians.”

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On the Selma Anniversary, These North Carolina Activists Will March Backward

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