Another week, another email from our U.S. representative, Steve Cohen.
He doesn’t feel that the South is mature enough to be freed from the unfair, unequal provisions of the Voting Rights Act:
Tuesday was, unfortunately, a bad day for America. The Supreme Court, in a narrow 5-4 decision, struck down a critical section of the landmark Voting Rights Act that protects the rights of all Americans to participate in the democratic process by voting. Until the ruling, state and local governments in areas with histories of racial discrimination were required to “preclear” changes in the voting laws with an independent authority. While the Court did not rule that protecting against minority voter suppression in this way was unconstitutional, they did eviscerate the government’s ability to effectively prevent it. Watch my remarks from Tuesday’s press conference on the Supreme Court’s ruling here (http://bit.ly/18eFZM3). Already, Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi is considering a new Voting Rights Act that would ensure access to the ballot box. Although the Republican majority has been reluctant to preserve voting rights, I will work with Leader Pelosi, Congressman John Lewis, Congressman John Conyers and other colleagues on the Judiciary Committee to protect your right to vote. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg wrote a scathing dissent from the Supreme Court decision.
But then again, the Supreme Court ruled properly, in his eyes, on the DOMA case:
I’m proud that I never voted for repressive laws like DOMA that take away rights from Americans.
With the court’s ruling, the federal government can no longer deny legally married same-sex couples the federal protections and responsibilities triggered by marriage including Social Security Survivor benefits, family and medical leave, benefits for service members’ spouses, and immigration rights.
Cohen was busy voting against our having much energy in the future:
This week, I voted against two bills on the House floor which would increase off-shore oil drilling along our nation’s coastline. In the same week that President Obama laid out a comprehensive plan to reduce carbon pollution, Republicans passed two bills that will increase the number of off-shore oil wells while doing nothing to prevent another BP oil spill or to reduce our reliance on oil.
Then he turned his attention to the energy in our cars:
On Tuesday, I hosted a demonstration on Capitol Hill of Griffin Incorporated’s Idle Reduction Technology. Griffin’s technology combines fuel usage reduction, environmental improvement, and reduced operations and maintenance costs. Griffin uses a hybrid-like system to run all necessary vehicle operations when parked. This means that a parked truck is fully operational but it does not generate environmentally detrimental emissions, productivity and safety are not affected, and costly wear and tear on the engine is significantly reduced. The addition of idle reduction technology via an inexpensive after-market installation could save millions of dollars for state and local emergency, police, and fire departments, all while improving safety and efficiency. I appreciate Dick Sweebe, a local partner of Griffin, for introducing me to this technology at a demonstration in Memphis.
Why do I think this smells of the unwanted Volt and other car technology or Solyndra or the other red herrings the Obama administration likes to promote? Who gets what from whom is a question reporters have forgotten to ask.