Donald Trump delighted with 9-11 attacks because now his building is tallest in NYC

Amid the shock and horror of 9-11-2001 when Americans watched the Twin Towers crumble before their eyes, Trump took a moment to brag about the grandeur of Trump-owned 40 Wall Street, now the “tallest” building in New York City.

“40 Wall Street,” he said, referring to his 71-story building blocks away from the now-collapsed twin towers, “actually was the second-tallest building in downtown Manhattan, and it was actually, before the World Trade Center, was the tallest—and then, when they built the World Trade Center, it became known as the second-tallest. And now it’s the tallest.”

Because that’s what a normal person would be thinking in the aftermath of the deaths of 3,000 people — “My building is now the tallest!!”

Ivanka Trump has pulled this shit before . . . since she was a little girl . . . and she still acts like a little girl

During a debt ceiling and disaster relief meeting Wednesday between President Donald Trump and congressional leaders, first lady-daughter Ivanka Trump pulled one of her patented Oval Office pop-ins and, according to CNN, Republican leaders were “visibly annoyed by Ivanka’s presence.”

Some of us have been visibly annoyed by Ivanka’s presence for the last 18 months or more, but thanks, guys, for catching up.

By now we are all used to what CNN calls the “Ivanka Drive-By.” (Let that sink in for a minute, will you? Can you imagine the collective spasms the Fox News dog-whistle brigade would have had if any member of Obama’s family had cultivated a White House habit cutely nicknamed a “drive-by?”) It’s her irritating and highly calculated practice of interrupting meetings, including high-profile media interviews, just to say hi to Big Daddy. Fans of the cult classic film “The Room” must feel a twinge of recognition at these distracting pop-ins, with Trump blathering on, making about as much sense as Tommy Wiseau ranting on his rooftop, before turning the mood on a dime with a casual, “Oh hi Ivanka.”

I’ll give Maggie Haberman $5 to throw a plastic spoon at Ivanka next time she pulls this move.

CNN connects the contemporary Oval Office Drive-By with a habit Ivanka first cultivated back when she was 10 years old and a student at Manhattan’s Chapin School:

Hiding in a janitor’s closet during recess, she would dial her dad, who would put her on speakerphone with whomever happened to be in his office.

“It was colleagues, it was titans of industry, it was heads of countries. He’d always tell everyone in the room how great a daughter I was and say cute things and ask me about a test I took,” Trump told CNN chief political analyst Gloria Borger in an interview.

Raise your hand if you’re completely creeped out that a woman in her mid-30s — indeed, a White House employee and a CEO of her own company — is still calling her father collect, so to speak, to “say cute things” in front of important people. On its face, Ivanka’s habit looks repulsively needy and juvenile — we sent this simpering fool to have a conversation with Angela Merkel? — but it would be a mistake to read this as an indulgence Trump performs for his daughter’s benefit. The Ivanka Drive-By is more likely a strategic tool — and not for the obvious reason.

It’s true that Ivanka has long served as Trump’s shiniest shield against criticism—even Hillary Clinton had to choke out a grudging admiration for his children, though she has to at least see Don Jr. and Eric for who they are, “Road House” goons in nicer shoes — and so at first the Ivanka Drive-By looks simply like Trump is showing off a nice piece of property he developed. Look at how elegant, how expensive, how code-compliant his daughter (or hotel, or office building, or wife!) is, how well her grooming and ability to agree a subject with its verb reflects upon him, the creator of this project! Surely he can’t really be three sacks of decaying flies stacked inside a trench coat if he can father such a respectable lady-daughter?!

But while Trump is always obvious, he’s not dumb when it comes to exploiting the obvious weaknesses of toxic masculinity. Remember how he demolished the Republican field of contenders during the primaries using his innate fluency with this language, while simultaneously winning in the eyes of his supporters, who understand it on a gut level as well. As Anna North points out in a Vox analysis of the advantage Nancy Pelosi enjoys over her peers, Trump’s go-to power plays always work best against other men.

Ivanka doesn’t materialize in the doorway like Bloody Mary in ballet flats to make Trump look like a better man. Good lord, when has he ever cared about looking like a better man? A better theory is that her little snippet of choreography is designed to help Trump use men’s own fears of humiliation against them. Ivanka’s presence subliminally disarms his male opponents — and isn’t everyone who’s not related to Trump an opponent? — because a real man, our culture tells us, doesn’t make another man look small in front of his children. He can bank on many men, since they are humans, defaulting to a “do unto others” approach that he wouldn’t touch with Stephen Miller’s cold dead finger.

If Ivanka’s massive political face-plants are any indication of her professional acumen, this has likely been her most mission-critical duty from the beginning, both at the Trump Organization and in the White House. She can play around with her piddly lady projects all she wants, but in the president’s eyes she’s probably still that 10-year-old girl interrupting meetings so he can size up who acts softer toward him when she’s in the room and use that “weakness” against them. (Trump himself lacks a moral code, of course, so this technique would never work in reverse.)

No wonder she’s earned the nickname “Princess Royal” in Washington. Ivanka may keep trying to position herself as the voice of #WomenWhoWork, but as long as she plays along with these skits that cast her as a child so in awe of what her father does all day in his important office — witness the creepy “Daddy, can I go with you?” stunt they pulled at his tax reform speech in North Dakota on Wednesday, in which Ivanka basically pulled a drive-by on an entire state — she’ll be actively strengthening the conservative mindset that women are all basically children, mentally and emotionally. That has systemic, legal ramifications across the board in our lives, from health care access to workplace equality to how sexual assault laws are enforced and prosecuted. Donald and Ivanka are free to indulge in whatever weird daddy-daughter dance they want in the privacy of their own gold tower, of course, but the White House is a place for adults. If Ivanka wants to continue to pretend to care about women, she needs to leave the little girl act at home where it belongs.

Trump’s response to Hurricane Irma: Cut taxes!!!!

Do you need further proof that Donald Trump is a drooling idiot?

As Hurricane Irma sweeps up the western Florida coast, the Trump “administration” will be wasting no time in demanding … “dramatic tax cuts.”

“We will discussing our plan for dramatic tax cuts and tax reform. And I think now with what’s happened with the hurricane, I’m going to ask for a speed-up,” Trump said at the opening of a cabinet meeting at Camp David. “I wanted a speed-up anyway but now we need it even more so.”

 

We often joke that the Republican plan for every occasion is to simply demand tax cuts.

  • In the midst of war? Cutting taxes on the wealthy will ease the pain.
  • Health insurance spiraling out of control? Tax cuts for the wealthy will cure what ails.
  • Rampant unemployment? Tax cuts for the wealthy will bring back the jobs.
  • Multiple hurricanes lash the Gulf Coast?  Cut taxes!!

US Attorney General Alfred E. Neumann threatens the entire NSC staff

What? Me worry?

Attorney General Alfred E. Neumann is reportedly mulling mass polygraph testing of the entire National Security Council staff in an effort to weed out and punish leakers, said Axios.com on Sunday.

Neumann has floated the idea to multiple members of President Donald Trump’s administration and has been considering the mass testing for months.

Political reporter Jonathan Swan said, “Neumann’s  idea is to do a one-time, one-issue, polygraph test of everyone on the NSC staff. Interrogators would sit down with every single NSC staffer (there’s more than 100 of them), and ask them, individually, what they know about the leaks of transcripts of the president’s phone calls with foreign leaders.”

Scientists have cast doubt on the polygraph as a so-called “lie detector” and said that the machines can be inaccurate, but Neumann is reportedly less concerned with finding the actual alleged leakers than to “scare them out of leaking again.”

The former Alabama senator likes the idea of starting with the foreign leader call transcripts because there is a comparatively “small universe” of people who would have access to those materials.

 Neumann is reportedly furious that he is unable to tamp down leaks to the media nor track the leakers. Swan wrote that the very nature of the leaks poses a problem for sessions in that they are coming from intelligence professionals who are “skilled at covering their digital tracks.”

 

Republicans are frustrated . . . and that’s a good thing

Perhaps he was not being sincere. Or perhaps he is not the wonk he is forever portrayed as.

Speaker Paul Ryan predicted in January that tax reform, Obamacare repeal and a border wall would all be done by now. Instead, Obamacare repeal may be completely dead at month’s end, there are just broad strokes on tax reform and many Republicans oppose the border wall being pushed by their own president.

“Obamacare repeal” was always going to be a fiasco, from the first day onwards; the reason that Republicans have yet to come up with a palatable “plan” for doing so despite spending many years of effort obsessing over it is because the act of stripping millions of American citizens from their health insurance is a tough sell even in the best of circumstances, and a near-impossible sell when the only thing you offer them in return is that the fabulously wealthy will, yet again, make out like bandits in the exchange. The border wall has been the stuff of xenophobe pipe dreams for years, and has never amounted to more than cynical ploy to throw money at the supposed problem until the xenophobes pronounce themselves momentarily satiated—which will never and can never happen.

Tax “reform” is forever popular, though. Americans have long loved tax “reform” even when the “reform” is aimed at rungs of the economic ladder far above ones they themselves will ever reach. For Paul Ryan to come up with a tax “reform” plan that even the wordsmiths of the Republican marketing team can’t put a shine to is remarkable even for him.

Needless to say, the entire party is unhappy with, well, themselves. The burn-it-downers are fairly irate that there’s not more burn-it-all-downing going on:

“If we get to December and we’ve not repealed and replaced Obamacare, we’ve not built the wall, we’ve not done tax reform, let me just tell you it is not going to be pretty,” said House Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows (R-N.C.). 

While those attempting to pass themselves off as moderates don’t really give a damn what gets burned down or in what order, so long as the match is struck somewhere.

“I’m extremely worried,” said Sen. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), an ally of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), who’s urging him to cancel an October recess to get more accomplished. “My gosh, why were we not here in August doing all of this?”

 

The danger is, of course, that as the year rumbles onward and the governing caucus continues to look more and more incompetent, they will lash out with even more radical, even less thought-out plans until something sticks.   God only knows what bullshit the GOP will come up with then.  If the nation can survive until the 2018 mid-terms, perhaps we can save ourselves.

This is dangerous. CIA director is a biblethumper who is forcing his bizarre “faith” on the agency

According to an investigation by Foreign Policy into changes in the intelligence community under President Donald Trump, the CIA has set aside plans to diversify and has become more white and more Christian under new director Mike Pompeo.

Noting the Pompeo, a former Republican congressman from Kansas,  is a self-professed evangelical, the report states that the new director once claimed, Islamist terrorists will “continue to press against us until we make sure that we pray and stand and fight and make sure that we know that Jesus Christ is our savior is truly the only solution for our world.”

Insiders — many of whom are afraid to come forward — say Pompeo’s religious beliefs are becoming part of CIA dogma to the dismay of longtime employees.

“According to four sources familiar with the matter, Pompeo, who attends weekly Bible studies held in government buildings, referenced God and Christianity repeatedly in his first all-hands speech and in a recent trip report while traveling overseas,” the report states, adding that since taking over, Pompeo has also set about establishing a chaplaincy on the CIA campus.

A spokesperson for the CIA defended the move, saying, “Director Pompeo is a man of faith. The idea that he should not practice his faith because he is Director of CIA is absurd.”

According to Michael Weinstein, founder of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, he is being flooded with complaints about the creeping evangelical Christianity that is beginning to pervade the intelligence agency.

Weinstein notes that insiders are afraid to speak up, stating, “They don’t typically file formal complaints within the government. But certain things are making them especially uncomfortable, such as officials signing off with the phrase ‘have a blessed day.’ That’s something “straight out of The Handmaid’s Tale.”

“In the intelligence community, we see supervisors wanting to hold Bible studies during duty hours [and] inviting lower-ranking individuals to their homes for Bible studies,” Weinstein  continued. “Our clients at CIA feel extremely isolated in a way they have not felt before.”

NO!! Republicans are NOT the party of civil rights.

With Republicans having trouble with minorities, some like to point out that Republicans have  a long history of standing up for civil rights compared to Democrats. Democrats, for example, were less likely to vote for the civil rights bills of the 1950s and 1960s. Democrats were more likely to filibuster. Yet, a closer look at the voting coalitions suggests a more complicated picture that ultimately explains why Republicans are not the party of civil rights.

Let’s use the 1964 Civil Rights Act as our focal point. It was arguably the most important of the many civil rights bills passed in the middle part of the 20th century. It outlawed many types of racial and sexual discrimination, including access to hotels, restaurants, and theaters. In the words of Vice President Biden, it was a big “f-ing deal”.

When we look at the party vote in both houses of Congress, it fits the historical pattern. Republicans are more in favor of the bill:

Civil Rights support by party

80% of Republicans in the House and Senate voted for the bill. Less than 70% of Democrats did. Indeed, Minority Leader Republican Everett Dirksen led the fight to end the filibuster. Meanwhile, Democrats such as Richard Russell of Georgia and Strom Thurmond of South Carolina tried as hard as they could to sustain a filibuster.

Of course, it was also Democrats who helped usher the bill through the House, Senate, and ultimately a Democratic president who signed it into law. The bill wouldn’t have passed without the support of Majority Leader Mike Mansfield of Montana, a Democrat. Majority Whip Hubert Humphrey, who basically split the Democratic party in two with his 1948 Democratic National Convention speech calling for equal rights for all, kept tabs on individual members to ensure the bill had the numbers to overcome the filibuster.

Put another way, party affiliation seems to be somewhat predictive, but something seems to be missing. So, what factor did best predicting voting?

You don’t need to know too much history to understand that the South from the civil war to the Civil Rights Act of 1964 tended to be opposed to minority rights. This factor was separate from party identification or ideology. We can easily control for this variable by breaking up the voting by those states that were part of the confederacy and those that were not.

Civil Rights votes by region

You can see that geography was far more predictive of voting coalitions on the Civil Rights than party affiliation. What linked Dirksen and Mansfield was the fact that they weren’t from the south. In fact, 90% of members of Congress from states (or territories) that were part of the Union voted in favor of the act, while less than 10% of members of Congress from the old Confederate states voted for it. This 80pt difference between regions is far greater than the 15pt difference between parties.

But what happens when we control for both party affiliation and region? As Sean Trende noted earlier this year, “sometimes relationships become apparent only after you control for other factors”.

Civil Rights party region

In this case, it becomes clear that Democrats in the north and the south were more likely to vote for the bill than Republicans in the north and south respectively. This difference in both houses is statistically significant with over 95% confidence. It just so happened southerners made up a larger percentage of the Democratic than Republican caucus, which created the initial impression than Republicans were more in favor of the act.

Nearly 100% of Union state Democrats supported the 1964 Civil Rights Act compared to 85% of Republicans. None of the southern Republicans voted for the bill, while a small percentage of southern Democrats did.

The same pattern holds true when looking at ideology instead of party affiliation. The folks over at Voteview.com, who created DW-nominate scores to measure the ideology of congressmen and senators, found that the more liberal a congressman or senator was the more likely he would vote for the Civil Rights Act of 1964, once one controlled for a factor closely linked to geography.

That’s why Strom Thurmond left the Democratic party soon after the Civil Right Act passed. He recognized that of the two parties, it was the Republican party that was more hospitable to his message. The Republican candidate for president in 1964, Barry Goldwater, was one of the few non-Confederate state senators to vote against the bill. He carried his home state of Arizona and swept the deep southern states – a first for a Republican ever.

Now, it wasn’t that the Civil Rights Act was what turned the South against the Democrats or minorities against Republicans. Those patterns, as Trende showed, had been developing for a while. It was, however, a manifestation of these growing coalitions. The South gradually became home to the conservative party, while the north became home to the liberal party.

Today, the transformation is nearly complete. President Obama carried only 18% of former Confederate states, while taking 62% of non-Confederate states in 2012. Only 27% of southern senators are Democrats, while 62% of Union state senators are Democrats. And 29% of southern members in the House are Democrats compared to 54% in states or territories that were part of the Union.

Thus, it seems to me that minorities have a pretty good idea of what they are doing when joining the Democratic party. They recognize that the Democratic party of today looks and sounds a lot more like the Democratic party of the North that with near unity passed the Civil Rights Bill of 1964 than the southern Democrats of the era who blocked it, and today would, like Strom Thurmond, likely be Republicans.

Why do people vote for Republicans?

The Republican Party has a lot of support from “working class” Americans.  This is strange in view of the fact that Republican policies not only do nothing to help people who work for a living, their policies actually hurt working people.

The GOP-controlled House and Senate budgets not only drastically cut spending on education, retirement, environment, road and bridges, job creation, health care, food stamps, and other social welfare programs; but it gives the Pentagon a blank check, and includes tax cuts for the rich and corporations while raising taxes for lower-income Americans.

Poll after poll report that a majority of Americans want Congress to invest in education, road and bridges, jobs, climate change, immigration, healthcare reform, retirement security, safety nets for the poor and vulnerable, and raise taxes on those who can easily afford to pay a fairer share.

Astoundingly, congressional Republicans not only oppose every one of those goals, but their budget proposals, if enacted, would undeniably make life harder for average Americans, millions of whom would slide down the economic ladder toward poverty.

So — why do the people who are hurt by Republican policies still vote for Republicans?

Simple.

People do not vote with their brains.  They vote with their emotions.  Republican voters — most of whom are actually hurt by Republican policies — still vote for Republicans because they believe by electing Republicans:

  • Gay people will be pushed back into the closet
  • Black people will be pushed to the back of the bus and out of the voting booth
  • Women will get back in the kitchen
  • Dark-skinned people with funny accents will be rounded up and deported
  • Straight white men will be back in charge

And why do people believe these things?  Because they have their own Jesus.

Kris Kobach is a greater threat than North Korea

Kansan Kris Kobach is a man who wears many hats. He’s running for governor in Kansas, he’s a paid columnist at white supremacist lovin’ Breitbart, he’s the architect of the most racist law in modern American history, he is actively and aggressively working to deport DACA enrollees and their families, he is the Kansas secretary of state (worst in the nation) and last, but not least, Kobach leads Trump’s so-called “election integrity” commission, a sham commission that is nothing more than a large scale effort to suppress the vote nationwide, taking away people’s Constitutional right to vote—something he’s done very effectively in Kansas.

Yesterday, Kobach offered up his latest paid column at Breitbart and made the incredible claim that there were roughly 5,313 potentially illegal voters in New Hampshire during the 2016 election, enough to “steal” four electoral votes and cost the GOP a seat in the U.S. Senate. Here’s the gist of his argument. You can Google if you want to see the source, but let’s not reward that craptastic site with a click, mmkay?

According to statistics released by the Speaker of the New Hampshire House of Representatives, on the date of the general election in November 2016, there were 6,540 same-day registrants who registered to vote in New Hampshire using an out-of-state driver’s license to prove their identity. In and of itself, that doesn’t prove that any fraud occurred – theoretically, each of those individuals could have been someone who recently moved to the State and had not yet had time to get a New Hampshire driver’s license. According to New Hampshire law, a new resident has 60 days to obtain a New Hampshire driver’s license.

So if those 6,540 voters were bona fide New Hampshire residents, they would get their driver’s license no later than January 7, 2017. However, the numbers tell a very different story. It turns out that, as of August 30, 2017 – nearly ten months after the election – only 1,014 of the 6,540 same-day registrants who registered with an out-of-state license had obtained a New Hampshire driver’s license. The other 5,526 individuals never obtained a New Hampshire driver’s license. And, of those 5,526, only 213 registered a vehicle in New Hampshire.

So 5,313 of those voters neither obtained a New Hampshire driver’s license nor registered a vehicle in New Hampshire. They have not followed the legal requirements for residents regarding driver’s licenses, and it appears that they are not actually residing in New Hampshire. It seems that they never were bona fide residents of the State.

Every single way you slice this, Kobach is wrong. Dead wrong.

  Let’s start with this important point from Dale Ho, the director of the ACLU’s Voting Rights Project who pointed out that, under NH law, someone who moves in from out of state can use their out-of-state driver’s license as ID to vote.

Right off the bat, Kobach’s premise that these 5,000+ voters broke the law is completely false and was widely ridiculed by voting rights experts like Ari Berman, who pointed out that Kobach’s claim was a lie.

Dave Weigel of the Washington Post took it a step further and contacted some of the allegedly illegal voters. In less than an hour, he confirmed that these were in fact college students:

Patrick Derenze, 22, said that he voted with a New York ID, and was unaware of any New Hampshire law that required voters to change their licenses after voting.

“I was a student at Saint Anselm College in Manchester until I graduated this past May, and because I spent most of my time in the state I felt it was right I vote there instead of my native state of New York,” Derenze said.

Alexander J. Rounaghi, 19, used his California ID to vote while studying at Dartmouth. “I lived in New Hampshire then, and I’ll live there again when I’m back from summer vacation,” he explained.

Jonah Cohen, 20, was also studying at Dartmouth when he used his New York ID to vote in New Hampshire’s 2016 election. “I’ve since transferred to Columbia, so I won’t be voting in New Hampshire anymore, but I haven’t changed my registration yet,” he explained. “I did not end up getting a N.H. license, but I never needed one to vote.”

Here’s why Kris Kobach is quite possibly the most dangerous threat to our democratic process as we know it. He’s creating doubt about those 5,000 legal voters in New Hampshire. As he points out, this is enough to swing the election in New Hampshire. He’s been cutting his teeth on massive voter suppression and election swinging in Kansas. In the 2014 election, he found a way to put an astonishing 35,000 voters on a suspended voter list by saying they had not proved they were citizens of the United States:

And if you look at that suspended voter list in Kansas, which at some points in time has had over 35,000 voters on it, over half of the voters are under 35 and nearly all are first-time registrants ’cause, as I said, it only applies to people who are trying to register after 2013. So these are much more likely to be younger people and much more likely to be new registrants.

GROSS: So why do critics of this law perceive it to have a built in political bias?

BERMAN: Well, if you look at what the law is doing is it’s basically freezing the existing electorate in place by making it harder for new registrants to be able to register to vote. So freezing the electorate in place in a state like Kansas benefits Republicans ’cause Republicans were already in control there. Younger voters in Kansas who are much more likely to be impacted by this law are more likely to be Democratic voters, they’re more likely to be independent-leaning or unaffiliated voters.

They’re less likely to be core Republican voters who might cast a ballot for someone like Kris Kobach.

Boom. That’s the goal. In the case of the 2014 election, Sam Brownback defeated Democrat Paul Davis by roughly 33,000 votes. There is no evidence Davis could’ve pulled out a victory even without Kobach’s voter suppression scheme, but you can see how dangerous Kobach’s schemes could be nationwide. His proof-of-citizenship law even prevented organizations who traditionally work to register voters from even making an effort:

The law made it almost impossible for groups like the League of Women Voters to register voters in Kansas. After the proof-of-citizenship law went into effect in 2013, almost all the local chapters of the League of Women Voters had to suspend their operation because, as I said earlier, people were not carrying around birth certificates or passports or naturalization papers with them when the League of Women Voters was trying to do registration drives outside a farmer’s market.

And moreover, the League of Women Voters didn’t want to have to handle this highly sensitive information. So for example, the Wichita chapter of the League of Women Voters registered 4,000 voters in 2012. But after the proof-of-citizenship law went into effect, they only registered 400 voters in 2014. And that was just one example of the kind of impact this law had.

In 2016, he attempted to prevent 17,000 Kansans from voting by creating a “dual voting system.” In short, Kobach and his Republican enablers in Kansas tried to create the strictest voting requirements in the country, each citizen would be required to prove they are U.S. citizens. When that bucked up against federal law, they said, okay! The voters on his list could vote in federal elections but not be able to cast a valid vote in their own state of Kansas. A Kansas judge stopped Kobach in his tracks:

A Shawnee County judge has ruled that 17,500 voters can have their votes counted in state and local races as well as federal ones in Tuesday’s Kansas primary election.

“Losing one’s vote is an irreparable harm in my opinion,” Judge Larry Hendricks said in his ruling Friday.

The judge noted these 17,500 voters were in danger of losing their Constitutional right to vote:

Hendricks said Friday that Kobach lacks the authority to create a dual voting system. He issued a temporary order blocking the rule, ensuring that all of these voters’ votes will be counted.

Hendricks said the state does have an interest in preventing non-citizens from voting, but that those interests “do not outweigh the rights” of the “overwhelming number of U.S. citizens that will lose the constitutional right to vote” under Kobach’s rule.

Kobach also runs the Interstate Voter Registration Crosscheck (IVRC) program, a database meant to identify people who may be registered in multiple states. Crosscheck conveniently flags names more common among minority communities:

We had Mark Swedlund, a database expert whose clients include eBay and American Express, look at the data from Georgia and Virginia, and he was shocked by Crosscheck’s “childish methodology.” He added, “God forbid your name is Garcia, of which there are 858,000 in the U.S., and your first name is Joseph or Jose. You’re probably suspected of voting in 27 states.”

Swedlund’s statistical analysis found that African-American, Latino and Asian names predominate, a simple result of the Crosscheck matching process, which spews out little more than a bunch of common names. No surprise: The U.S. Census data shows that minorities are overrepresented in 85 of 100 of the most common last names. If your name is Washington, there’s an 89 percent chance you’re African-American. If your last name is Hernandez, there’s a 94 percent chance you’re Hispanic. If your name is Kim, there’s a 95 percent chance you’re Asian.

This inherent bias results in an astonishing one in six Hispanics, one in seven Asian-Americans and one in nine African-Americans in Crosscheck states landing on the list. Was the program designed to target voters of color? “I’m a data guy,” Swedlund says. “I can’t tell you what the intent was. I can only tell you what the outcome is. And the outcome is discriminatory against minorities.”

And this is the man Donald Trump selected to lead his “election integrity” commission. Make no mistake about it, Kris Kobach is dangerous. His sole purpose, his life’s work, is suppressing minority votes in Kansas and across the country. He simply has to be stopped. The 2018 midterm election will be a critical test of our democracy. It will be an all hands on deck effort to register voters, get out the vote and fight Kobach’s unconstitutional voter suppression challenges in every corner and county in this country. No exaggeration, the future of our nation truly depends on it.