Justice Department Sues Georgia Over GOP Voting Restrictions

A prosecutor in Georgia is reportedly in the early stages of investigating Donald Trump for attempting to overturn the election results in the state
Attorney General Merrick Garland has announced the Justice Department will sue the state of Georgia over new voting laws that allegedly discriminate against Black voters
(image via Depositphotos)

U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland has announced the Department of Justice is suing the state of Georgia over its recently passed voting restrictions,

According to the DOJ, the new law passed earlier this year was “enacted with the purpose of denying or abridging the right of Black Georgians to vote.”

From Axios:

It’s the first major action the Biden administration has taken in response to the wave of voting restrictions that Republican-led states have sought to impose in the wake of President Biden’s election.

In a major policy speech earlier this month, Garland pledged to make voting rights a top priority, doubling the number of enforcement staff dedicated to protecting the right to vote.

The lawsuit is being overseen by Kristen Clarke, the head of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division, Associate Attorney General Vanita Gupta, and Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Pamela Karlan.

Garland also announced Friday that DOJ is launching a task force to investigate and respond to threats against election officials.

Anti-Masker Pulls Gun, Shoots Cashier Dead When Asked To Wear Face Mask

An anti-masker in Georgia became irate when asked to wear a face mask in a grocery store to the point he pulled a gun and shot the cashier dead.

An anti-masker in Georgia became irate when asked to wear a face mask in a grocery store to the point he pulled a gun and shot the cashier dead.
An anti-mask nut who got into an argument with a cashier at a grocery store in DeKalb County, Georgia, pulled out a gun and shot the cashier dead.

Via 11Alive:

A spokesperson said a DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office reserve unit deputy was injured during the shooting at the Big Bear Supermarket near South DeKalb Mall off Candler Road.

“Although details are not complete, authorities say that the male suspect was involved in a dispute with a young woman before he began firing at her inside the store,” the spokesperson for the sheriff’s office said.

DeKalb County Sheriff Melody Maddox said the dispute, which was with a cashier, started over wearing a mask inside the store. An 11Alive reporter said there is a sign on the door that says masks are required for service.

Maddox later confirmed additional details in a press conference held Monday afternoon.

“The subject pulled out a weapon and shot cashier at the location,” Maddox said. “The individual is deceased.”

The deputy who intervened shot the suspect, who was taken to a local hospital for treatment. The deputy also sustained two bullet wounds and was taken to Atlanta Medical Center.

MLB Announces All-Star Game Moved To Colorado

Logo for Major League Baseball

Logo for Major League Baseball
Major League Baseball has announced it will hold its annual All-Star Game in Denver, Colorado, after Georgia changed its voting laws in March which could potentially restrict voting access for people of color.

Of course, MLB has the right to hold its game anywhere it wants in an environment that it deems appropriate.

But Republicans are still mad at MLB for pulling its game from the Peach State, so they are now trying to compare Georgia’s new voting laws to those in Colorado.

One issue Repubs tried to press today was that Georgia now allows for 17 early voting days while Colorado has 15 early voting days. They also point to the idea that Colorado has a voter ID requirement as does Georgia.

But… it’s not that simple.

Colorado’s voter ID law for in-person voting (sometimes referred to as “non-strict”) allows for a variety of IDs including ones without photos. If voters don’t have ID on them at the time of voting, they can cast a provisional ballot and elections officials are charged with verifying their eligibility.

But Georgia’s in-person ID requirement is a “strict” law, requiring photo ID. And if a voter doesn’t have one with them at the polls, they can cast a provisional ballot, but the voter has to show a photo ID at a county registrar’s office within three days.

More importantly, though, Colorado votes almost universally via mail-in ballot.

All registered voters there receive an absentee ballot and almost 99% of voters there cast their votes via mail. So, the in-person ID requirement – and the number of early in-person voting days – is practically moot since the vast majority of ballots are cast by mail.

Also, as White House press secretary Jen Psaki noted today when asked about the “comparisons” by Fox News’s Peter Doocy, Colorado allows citizens to register to vote on election days which Georgia does not.

MLB Pulls All-Star Game From Georgia Over Voting Law

Major League Baseball has pulled its All-Star game from Georgia over the state's recent voter suppression law
Major League Baseball is making it known the organization is NOT having Georgia’s new voter suppression law.

From the New York Times:

In a firm rebuke of Georgia’s new elections law, Major League Baseball said Friday that it had abandoned its plan to play this summer’s All-Star Game in Atlanta.

The decision by the baseball commissioner, Rob Manfred, came after days of pressure from civil rights groups and the Major League Baseball Players Association.

In a statement, Manfred said that after conversations with teams, players, former stars and players union officials he had concluded that “the best way to demonstrate our values as a sport is by relocating this year’s All-Star Game and MLB Draft.”

Earlier this week, President Biden voiced his support for MLB moving the midsummer showcase in light of the new voting law’s disproportionate impact on people of color.

News Round-Up: March 25, 2021

Joe Jonas of the Jonas Brothers
Joe Jonas (image via Instagram)

Some news items you might have missed:

Socialite Life: Joe Jonas (above), of the Jonas Brothers, has NOT been a gym slug during the pandemic. All props to him and his many abs on display in this selfie from Instagram.

Edge Media: Police officers in the virulently anti-LGBTQ country of Chechnya arrested 20 relatives of two gay brothers who had fled persecution in the Russian province.

Laughing Squid: The Melodica Bros created this truly beguiling and compelling cover version of the traditionally upbeat anthem “Y.M.C.A” by the Village People. This version features a change from major to minor, a slower tempo, and a quiet performance that included an acoustic guitar and a double bass. I love reinvention when well-done.

The Advocate: Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson signed a bill into law today that will bar transgender student athletes from competing under their gender identity. In a statement, Hutchinson said that female athletes “should not have to compete in a sport against a student of the male sex when the sport is designed for women’s competition.”

CNN: The Republican-controlled Georgia legislature quickly passed a sweeping elections law that substantially reduces voter access. The Georgia bill would limit drop boxes, make giving food or drinks to a voter a crime, & grant state officials broad rights, including the ability to replace local election officials.

Variety: Late-night host and comedian Jay Leno has issued an apology for decades of jokes told over his career targeting Asian communities.

News Round-Up: February 15, 2021

Fitness trainer Adrian Aguilar handles a wild Covidiot with amazing calm (screen captures)

Some  news items you might have missed:

LGBTQ Nation: The Mississippi state Senate passed a bill to ban transgender girls and women from competing in school sports by a vote of 34-9 late last week. Nine senators voted “present” or did not vote at all.

Instinct Magazine: I admit I’m not the biggest expert on RuPaul’s Drag Race, but watch Denali walk away with this lip-sync battle. Poor Kahmora was stuck in a tight dress and couldn’t bring much to the battle.

Washington Blade: Following President Biden’s reversal of the transgender military ban, trans service members welcome the opportunity to serve openly.

Calendars:  A new calendar, On Fire: The Firefighters of France, is a sexy homage to firefighters, spotlighting the proud members of fire squads from all over France, who have discarded their helmets and gear to flash their best smiles and flex their muscles.

Photographer Fred Goudon honors firefighters in a new calendar out February 16

AP: Dr. Anthony Fauci has been awarded $1 million by the Israel-based Dan David Foundation for “defending science” and advocating for vaccines now being administered worldwide to fight the coronavirus pandemic.

Washington Post: An Atlanta-area prosecutor plans to scrutinize a post-Election Day phone call between Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.) and Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger as part of a criminal investigation into whether Donald Trump broke Georgia laws while trying to reverse his defeat in the state.

Kenneth-in-the-212: Talk about COVID nutjobs… fitness trainer (and Broadway veteran) Adrian Aguilar (top photos) had this wiiiiiiiild encounter with a male ‘Karen’ in Chicago when he asked the guy (later identified as Austin Tony Myers) to mask up per current pandemic guidelines.

The guy goes nutso, starts poking a very calm Aguilar, and trying to escalate things even further. The police were called, and Myers tried to say HE had been assaulted. But with several gym members recording the encounter plus security cameras, officers eventually (the incident lasted hours) arrested Myers for assault and trespassing. You can read the full account here.