Mississippi suit to cover all who lost voting rights, judge says

The Mississippi Constitution strips the ballot from people convicted of any of 10 felonies, including murder, forgery and bigamy. The attorney general later expanded that list to 22, adding crimes that include timber larceny and carjacking. The plaintiffs argue disenfranchisement violates the U.S. Constitution because it was adopted with the discriminatory intent of keeping African Americans from voting.

…African-Americans make up about 38 percent of Mississippi’s population and 36.5 percent of the state’s registered voters. Youngwood said 59 percent to 60 percent of people convicted of disenfranchising crimes in the state are black.

Some states automatically restore voting rights once someone gets out of prison, while others automatically restore rights once someone completes parole or probation. But Mississippi requires people to go through the arduous process of getting individual bills passed just for them with two-thirds approval by the Legislature, or getting a pardon from the governor.

Mississippi suit to cover all who lost voting rights, judge says



New California Gov. Gavin Newsom slams brakes on San Francisco-to-Los Angeles bullet train

When state voters approved the massive bullet-train plan in 2008, the project was envisioned to open in 2029 at a cost of $32 billion. But the California High-Speed Rail Authority last year pushed the completion date back by four years and said it would cost at least double.

Newsom on Tuesday blamed oversight failures and a lack of transparency, saying he wasn’t “interested in repeating the same old mistakes.”

He said he would name Lenny Mendonca, his economic development director, as the authority’s next chairman, with a mandate to “hold contractors and consultants accountable to explain how taxpayer dollars are spent” and to put all expenses online “for everybody to see.”

New California Gov. Gavin Newsom slams brakes on San Francisco-to-Los Angeles bullet train


Attacking plastic waste and single-use, throwaway culture

The reality is that much of the plastic tossed into bins ends up in landfills, or it gets shipped overseas to countries that lack infrastructure to deal with it properly.

…Plastic was never recycled at a high level, and it’s even worse since 2018, when China closed its doors to imported mixed plastic waste. U.S. recyclers have shifted exports to countries such as Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam and Thailand, but those countries lack the capacity to handle the volume we’re sending, which has brought them new environmental problems.

Moreover, despite our willingness to move plastic waste around the world, only about 9% of the plastic ever made has actually been recycled. We just keep making more of the stuff. If your bathtub was overflowing, you wouldn’t immediately reach for a mop — you’d first turn off the tap. That’s what we need to do with single-use plastics.

…It’s not that there isn’t still a role for recycling in efforts to reduce trash. Cans, bottles, paper and cardboard are highly recyclable.

But we need to be more realistic about the kinds of plastic that can be effectively collected, processed and then reused. Single-stream recycling, which co-mingles different materials for collection, is convenient, but it leads to increased contamination and thus lower quality recyclables.

Even with increased investment in sorting, recycling will never be able keep up with all of the new types of plastics on the market or the ever-increasing flow of plastic waste.

Berkeley isn’t just attacking plastic waste, it’s rejecting our entire throwaway culture – Los Angeles Times