Katie Riley gives you a cheat sheet on the American political news of the week
1. Supreme Court upholds Texas voter ID law, allows to be used for midterms in 2 weeks (as a result of which, John Oliver gets creative):
The decision of a lower court judge to strike down a voter identification bill was reversed by the Supreme Court in an unusual Saturday morning decision this past week. The law – which could disenfranchise up to 600,000 mostly black and hispanic voters in Texas this November – was called an ‘unconstitutional burden on the right to vote’ by the lower court judge and an imposition of an ‘unconstitutional poll tax’ by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg in her dissent. Although this decision is quite tragic for, you know, democracy, civil rights, blah, blah, blah, there’s a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel of oppression. His name: John Oliver. His vehicle of brilliance: dogs. The outcome: no words.
Read and watch: An explanation of the law and the SCOTUS decision. Then, watch John Oliver illustrate audio of the Supreme Court arguments about the Texas law with… dogs.
2. Republican Governor gets caught breaking from the ‘Repeal all of Obamacare at all costs’ doctrine:
Gov. John Kasich of Ohio is one of the nine Republican governors who have, because of Obamacare, expanded Medicaid within their states. The Republican, who’s running for reelection this year, was quoted by the Associated Press this week as saying the repeal of Obamacare is “not gonna happen.” He immediately sent a correction to the wire service, saying he still supported the repeal of Obamacare, just not the repeal of its section mandating Medicaid expansion. Freudian slip or confused blunder? Either way, it was a huge divergence from the Obamacare-is-the-worst-thing-to-happen-to-this-country-since-King-George-and-if-we-do-not-get-rid-of-it-we-will-all-perish-via-inferno-of-medical-waste party line we’re used to hearing.
Read and watch: Obamacare? Medicaid? Medicaid expansion? If all of these sound like bandage brands to you, read this explainer of the mammoth law. Then, get to know John Kasich a little bit more (because why not?) by watching his somewhat infamous ‘I got a feeling’ speech at the 2012 Republican National Convention.
3. A titan of political journalism has died:
This past Tuesday, 21st October, Ben Bradlee, the legendary editor of the Washington Post, died at the age of 93. Although the word ‘legendary’ is often thrown around casually nowadays, using it to describe Bradlee is no hyperbole. As the editor of the Washington Post during Watergate and the Pentagon Papers, he truly helped revolutionise political journalism, particularly with his constant challenging of his reporters which changed the traditional editor-staff model. In 1977, Jason Robards won an Oscar in the Best Supporting Actor category for portraying Bradlee in All the President’s Men. On the day he died, his name was still on the post’s masthead as ‘Vice President at-large’.
Read: About the man, via the Washington Post.
Read, tear-up, watch: Two of the Washington Post’s heartfelt tributes to Bradlee, first the Editorial Board’s and then long-time columnist Richard Cohen’s. Then, watch Jason Robards’ Academy Award-winning portrayal of Bradlee in All the President’s Men, via the Telegraph.
4. Shootings at Canada’s Parliament Hill:
Two shootings occurred back-to-back in Canada’s capital of Ottawa on Wednesday morning this week. The first, at a war memorial, resulted in the death of an on-duty Canadian solider. The second, at Canada’s equivalent of Westminster, Parliament Hill, ended with the death of the 32 year-old shooter, Michael Joseph Hall (aka Michael Zehaf-Bibeau). It’s still unclear whether or not Hall was the shooter in both incidents, although the Canadian government has called the incidents ‘acts of terrorism’.
(Of course, we know that Canada is not a ‘state’ in ‘the states’. But, if the UK is like America’s best friend, Canada is like the kid who lives next door and you become good friends with because they’re always there. It’s also worth pointing out that, along with Britain, Israel, and Puerto Rico, Canada is often rather derogatorily referred to as the ‘51st state’.)
Read and watch: Read about the details of the shootings and then watch a video of the incident inside parliament, via msnbc.com.
5. Monica Lewinsky joins Twitter to talk about Internet bullying, instantly gets bullied:
— Monica Lewinsky (@MonicaLewinsky) October 20, 2014
To be honest, there’s very little to say besides this is a thing that happened.
Read and watch: Read about Ms Lewinsky’s introduction to Twitter, and then watch her talk about cyber-bulling, via Forbes.
Enjoy: For some reason, creating social media accounts for people from either fantasy or historical universes has become a trend recently. (Not that I’m complaining.) Boston.com got a bit creative with Monica Lewinsky’s Twitter stream circa the 1990s…