Chris Heges: Scum vs. Scum

Hedges begins with the Senate race in New Jersey (whose Republican and Democratic candidates are basis of the “scum vs. scum” title). An excerpt:

You cannot use the word “liberty” when your government, as ours does, watches you 24 hours a day and stores all of your personal information in government computers in perpetuity. You cannot use the word “liberty” when you are the most photographed and monitored population in human history. You cannot use the word “liberty” when it is impossible to vote against the interests of Goldman Sachs or General Dynamics. You cannot use the word “liberty” when the state empowers militarized police to use indiscriminate lethal force against unarmed citizens in the streets of American cities. You cannot use the word “liberty” when 2.3 million citizens, mostly poor people of color, are held in the largest prison system on earth. This is the relationship between a master and a slave. The choice is between whom we want to clamp on our chains—a jailer who mouths politically correct bromides or a racist, Christian fascist. Either way we are shackled.

Truthdig

Republicans Attacking Voters

Republicans have long tried to deprive voters of their voting rights–focusing on people they think are likely to vote for Democrats (blacks, Hispanics, low-income).

Perhaps one of the worst attackers of voting is Chris Koback of Kansas. Kobach has been spreading lies about “voter fraud” for years.

Second place surely goes to Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp.

In a particularly disturbing case, Olivia Pearson, a grandmother and lifelong resident of Coffee County, Ga., found herself on trial this year on charges of felony voter fraud. It began six years ago, on the first day of early voting in Georgia, when a black woman named Diewanna Robinson went to cast her ballot. Ms. Robinson, then 21, had never voted before and didn’t know how to operate the electronic voting machine, reported Buzzfeed. She asked Ms. Pearson, more than 30 years her senior, for help. Ms. Robinson would later testify that Ms. Pearson informed her where the card went in the machine and told her to “just go through and make my own selections on who I wanted to vote for.” Ms. Pearson walked away before Ms. Robinson started voting.

Almost four years later, Ms. Pearson received a letter from District Attorney George Barnhill’s office, informing her that she was facing felony charges for improperly assisting Ms. Robinson. The city councilwoman and community leader was arrested and booked. She had never been in trouble with the law, but now she found herself facing up to 15 years in prison.

NY Times