Politics

Enfranchising ex-felons in Florida; sequencing the DNA of all known species

Today’s comic by Ruben Bolling is Voting, an American choice:

• Have problems or questions about voting? Call the nonpartisan hotline:

There are thousands of trained nonpartisan volunteers staffing these hotlines—open now through election day—to answer questions and help address any problems voters have.

English 866-OUR-VOTE (866-687-8683)
Spanish 888-VE-Y-VOTA (888-839-8682)
Arabic 844-YALLA-US (844-925-5287)
Chinese, Vietnamese, Korean, Bengali, Hindi, Urdu and Tagalog 888-API-VOTE (888-274-8683) –
American Sign Language video call number: 301-818-VOTE (301-818-8683)
SMS (text message) hotline (English): text OUR VOTE to 97779

Bogus texts and doctored emails all part of the midterm misinformation being spread in outreach to voters.

Kentucky officials say sales of KKK and Nazi memorabilia at a gun show won’t happen again: Joe Gerth, a columnist at the Louisville Courier-Journal, was taken aback last Saturday when he encountered a Ku Klux Klan robe, Christmas tree ornaments with swastikas, and other Nazi-themed items. He had actually gone to the National Gun Day show at the Kentucky Exposition Center to find out if gun dealers there had any concerns about their firearms getting into the wrong hands given the racist shooting of two black people at a Kroger store earlier that week. Gerth tweeted that he was appalled at what he found. Kentucky events and convention officials said they were “horrified” to learn about these items being offered for sale. The Kentucky State Fair Board chairman said he and others will be drafting a policy to prevent such sales in the future. The fact is, at gun shows throughout the country, there are commonly a few sellers of Nazi stuff: medals, daggers, pins.

MIDDAY TWEET

twitter-content=”<blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">The media spent years repeating the disgusting racist lie that President Obama was not born in the U.S. <br><br>He never once called them the enemy of the people.</p>— Kaili Joy Gray (@KailiJoy) <a href="https://twitter.com/KailiJoy/status/1057966089504743424?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">November 1, 2018</a></blockquote> ”>

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The media spent years repeating the disgusting racist lie that President Obama was not born in the U.S.

He never once called them the enemy of the people.

— Kaili Joy Gray (@KailiJoy) November 1, 2018

Turns out that former mob boss James “Whitey” Bulger didn’t die of old age: He was whacked, beaten to death by inmates who pushed him in his wheelchair out of view of surveillance cameras at the United States Penitentiary, Hazelton before pounding him so hard with a classic lock-in-a-sock attack that he was unrecognizable. Captured after 16 years as a fugitive, Bulger was convicted in 2011 of 11 of the murders he was originally charged with committing and sentenced to life in prison. He may very well have been murdered because he became an FBI informant in 1975 and was even tipped off in 1994 by his FBI handler that he would soon be arrested. That’s when he disappeared. At least two men involved in previous Mafia murders are housed at Hazelton.

• Earth BioGenome Project gets started on mapping the genome of 1.5 million plants, animals, and fungi:

Last year, a small group of researchers unveiled their plans to sequence the DNA of every species on Earth in the next 10 years. The daunting task, known as the Earth BioGenome Project, would actually only include eukaryotic species (so plants, animals, and fungi—no bacteria), but is still a mammoth undertaking that would require mapping the genomes of more than 1.5 million species. As of Thursday, they’ve officially begun. […]

The Earth BioGenome Project was first publicly proposed at a meeting in 2017, and since then, there’s been a lot of planning and goal-setting. The group published a more detailed outline of the project this summer, but there hasn’t been a lot of action when it comes to actually cataloging the DNA of millions of species. The project aims to provide valuable data that can be used to discover new drugs, slow aging, create biomaterials, and improve conservation efforts. With the announcement of the UK project, more countries and regions will start rolling out simultaneous efforts in the months and years to come.

Floridians may approve a huge enfranchisement by giving felons the right to vote:

Republican efforts to purge voter rolls of likely Democratic voters have sparked a national movement to ensure the right to vote. In Florida, a remarkable citizen initiative is poised to succeed, which will restore the right to vote to over 1.4 million Floridians — people previously convicted of felonies. If it passes, Florida’s Amendment 4 will be the largest voter enfranchisement since women were granted the right to vote in 1920.

Across the United States, more than 6.1 million people with felony convictions are not allowed to vote. Florida, along with three other states — Iowa, Kentucky and Virginia — bars ex-felons from voting for life. In Florida, 1 in 5 African-Americans in Florida and 10 percent of the state’s adult population can’t vote because of a criminal record.

On today’s Kagro in the Morning show, Greg Dworkin reports record early voting is drawing to a close, alongside the Republicans’ most racist closing “argument” ever. What’s up with the relative quiet from Muller? And from Giuliani? Indicting a sitting president: Is it just another norm?




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