For the Love of Democracy

Posted on July 24, 2019 in Countdown Vol 21 No 3: Under The Headlines

How many years does the average special interest group leader serve in prison for undermining our democracy with big money donations to politicians? Zero years, because special interest influence over politicians is 100% legal. But you know who was sentenced to 5 years in prison?  Crystal Mason, a Texas citizen and resident of Tarrant County, who is set to serve time for... trying to vote. Here’s what happened: In 2016, Mason cast a provisional ballot while she was on “federal supervised release,” a preliminary period out of federal prison for those who have completed their time...

The Umpteenth Attack on BDS

You know the story by now: Lawmakers eager to pander to Israel pass unconstitutional bills to suppress the right of American citizens to engage in political boycotts against Israel or its illegal settlements, then the courts strike them down over violations of the First Amendment (as they did in Texas, Arizona and Kansas), and then the pandering lawmakers tweak the bills to make them harder to challenge in court. Well, here we are again, with H.Res. 246, a bill that demonizes the BDS Campaign with a variety of false accusations, but which stops short of prescribing specific...

Detained and Abused

Late last month, Trump’s Twitter feed (the gift that keeps on giving) tipped off the country to immigration raids planned for later that week, which prompted us to post resources and analysis for those who might be impacted. This time, it seems the New York Times was the first to sound the alarm. Hopefully these raids don’t become a regular political tactic in the lead-up to the next election as a means to keep xenophobes clutching their pearls. But we cannot allow these raids to pull attention away from the systematic abuse...


If you turn the Capitol dome upside down you would have the likeness of what Congress has become, a crucible: an oversized, shiny ceramic cup. Peer inside and you will find a roaring-hot inferno of partisan rage. Ok, we are perhaps being dramatic but you understand the point. And the hyper-partisan environment has gotten in the way of good policy. At least on the issue of hate crime data collection and reporting, we are challenging that dynamic. Shortly before the July 4 recess, bipartisan legislation focused on hate crime reporting and data collection was...

The Cens-less Chaos Around the Census

If you’ve been on vacation at any point in the last two weeks, congrats, welcome back, and, wow, you’ve missed a number of census updates. Here’s a quick recap: SCOTUS denied the citizenship question a place on the census; President Trump threw a fit about the decision; the 2020 Census forms went to print without the citizenship question; Trump threw another fit and issued statements disputing whether the status of the question was settled; lower courts held hearings to determine the discrepancy between the president’s statements and that of the DoJ attorneys on the...

2020 Presidential Race Underway

Four years ago, we were overwhelmed trying to report on 17 Republican presidential candidates. But, damn it, the Democrats will not be outdone here, so they’re running… 26 candidates? Oh, two dropped out already? Oh, that’s really nice. Any chance a dozen more could drop out soon, please? There is one super interesting thing about this election though: Israel’s human rights record is part of the conversation. Last month, the New York Times asked all the Democratic candidates to reflect on Israel’s human rights performance, and the responses ranged from "not bad" to "OMG that’s so...

Countdown Vol 18 No. 7: For the Love of Democracy

Posted on July 27, 2018 in Countdown

DREAMers Countdown: It’s been 325 days since President Trump moved to end DACA. The courts did step in to block the move, but Congress has yet to provide a permanent fix.

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Countdown Vol 18 No 2: Moments That Make You Think

Posted on June 08, 2018 in Countdown

DREAMers Countdown: It’s been 275 days since President Trump moved to end DACA. The courts did step in to block the move, but Congress has yet to provide a permanent fix.

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