BUT IF WE MAKE ACCESS TO THE BALLOT EASIER, DEMOCRATIC UNICORNS WILL STEAL OUR ELECTIONS! Today Michael Waldman and Justin Levitt have a really terrific piece about the GOP's voter fraud fraud. The scam is advanced by the common method of "generalizing from apocryphal anecdotes": Allegations of voter fraud -- someone sneaking into the polls to cast an illicit vote -- have been pushed in recent years by partisans seeking to justify proof-of-citizenship and other restrictive ID requirements as a condition of voting. Scare stories abound on the Internet and on editorial pages, and they quickly become accepted wisdom. But the notion of widespread voter fraud, as these prosecutors found out, is itself a fraud. Firing a prosecutor for failing to find wide voter fraud is like firing a park ranger for failing to find Sasquatch. Where fraud exists, of course, it should be prosecuted and punished. (And politicians have been stuffing ballot boxes and buying votes since senators wore togas;...
BE CAREFUL, EVERYONE, OR SHE"LL TAUNT YOU A SECOND TIME! I don't think there's much more to say about Ann Althouse 's bizarre tirade against our colleague. However, just as I'm sure Ann (Friedman) was surprised to learn a few months ago that her other blog is "sexed up with pictures of women in bras," Garance may be amused to hear the account of the diavlog that Althouse is giving in her comments: "You know, sometimes human beings show emotion. It's not such a big deal. I was being taunted , I said I intended to stand my ground, and then I did." Taunted? If anyone can cite an example of Garance doing any such thing from the transcript , I'll buy you a TAP subscription myself. Not only is this a ludicrous fiction, it's quite remarkable how restrained Garance was during the unprovoked meltdown. -- Scott Lemieux
PRISON REFORM AND THE PLRA. I strongly recommend reading this post about the Prison Litigation Reform Act , which makes it more difficult for prisoners to sue and reduces the scope of potential litigation in ways that enable appalling prison conditions to continue. This is particularly problematic because (due to prisoners' evident lack of political clout) prison reform has always been a litigation-driven exercise, as Feeley and Rubin have explained in great detail. Limiting prisoners' right to sue in this manner is effectively the equivalent of sanctioning substantial amounts of abuse; hopefully Congress will amend some of the bad effects of PLRA. The SAVE coalition has a list or recommendations with other useful resources here . -- Scott Lemieux
JUDGMENT . Matt is right about this . In addition to the fact that it's contrary to progressive interests to have Penn advising people, there's the additional issue of what it says about Clinton's priorities that she would hire him in the first place. Clinton wants her head pollster to be somebody whose specialty is giving catchy names to wholly arbitrary groups of affluent people as a justification for throwing progressive policy initiatives under the bus. This says something important about her judgment, and what it says is obviously not good. -- Scott Lemieux
ONE LIFE. I also agree with Ezra about this . There is, of course, no "correct" choice for dealing with a such a tragedy, and had Edwards dropped out of the race to take care of his wife it would be entirely beyond criticism. But the same, I think, is true of the choice they did make. As I've said elsewhere, I certainly would not want my hypothetical spouse to give up her lifelong ambition because I got sick. Good luck to them both. --Scott Lemieux