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This Week: Voting Rights Watch 2012. Plus: HBO's 'Treme'. | The Nation

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Katrina vanden Heuvel

Katrina vanden Heuvel

Politics, current affairs and riffs and reflections on the news.

This Week: Voting Rights Watch 2012. Plus: HBO's 'Treme'.

VOTING & THE FIGHT FOR DEMOCRACY. This week’s cover story highlights Voting Rights Watch 2012, a collaboration between The Nation and Colorlines.com. Lead reporter Brentin Mock investigates how a Florida group is exploiting confusing information surrounding voting rights for ex-felons in his piece, “Has Florida Created a Trap at the Polls for Ex-Felons”? The problem is widespread—Mock reports that “there are thousands of people unaware of their right to vote because of the state’s negligence in reaching them, and an untold number more receiving conflicting information from the county about their voter eligibility.” Be sure to catch Mock on MSNBC’s Melissa Harris-Perry today to hear more on Voting Rights Watch. And take a moment to visit our Take Action blog to find out what you can do to work to enfranchise former felons.

THE 1% COURT. With the Supreme Court starting its fall session on Monday, we’ll be continuing to talk about The Nation’s special issue on “The 1 Percent Court” as we head into the election. I was honored to narrate a documentary just released by Alliance for Justice (AFJ) called Unequal Justice: The Relentless Rise of the 1% Court that explores how the Court frequently serves the interests of the 1 percent. On Wednesday, I’ll be participating in a discussion at NYU School of Law hosted by AFJ—we’ll get the conversation going by watching clips from the film. Visit AFJ’s website to register for that event and to find out how to host a free screening of this special documentary.

THE NATION & HBO’S TREME. If you’re watching the new season of David Simon’s “Treme” like I am, you’ve noticed the character L.P. Everett, a reporter investigating a story that might sound familiar. This season follows the work of real-life investigative reporter A.C. Thompson, who revealed how vigilante shootings and police violence flourished in New Orleans in the days after Hurricane Katrina. Thompson’s coverage in The Nation sparked a federal civil rights investigation and resulted in the conviction of three police officers in connection with the death of Henry Glover, a 31-year-old New Orleans man. We’ll be following the L.P. Everett storyline and hope the character continues to reflect the tenacity of Thompson’s great work—a two-year investigation supported by the Investigative Fund at The Nation Institute that began with precious little evidence to go on. Read A.C. Thompson’s pieces from 2008, “Katrina’s Hidden Race War” and “Body of Evidence,” and go to a video about the story here.

NFL REFEREES. Union labor was front and center this week as the NFL faced pressure to end the referee lockout after the debacle following the touchdown call on Monday night football. After a deal was reached to end the lockout, Nation sports editor Dave Zirin noted the significance of a “high-def, prime-time lesson” on the importance of skilled, unionized labor. “People who care about stable jobs with benefits and reversing the tide of inequality in the United States should seize this moment,” writes Zirin. For more, watch Zirin on Democracy Now! as he explains how the NFL referee dispute highlights the problem of class in the US.

UNITED STATES OF ALEC. Last summer The Nation partnered with the Center for Media and Democracy and published a widely read and influential special issue on ALEC (American Legislative Exchange Council) after obtaining more than 800 secret documents revealing the inner workings of the extremist organization. This weekend “Moyers & Company” presents a report on the role of ALEC which will highlight the work of the The Nation and the Center for Media and Democracy’s “ALEC Exposed” project. Revisit that special issue here to find out more on the priorities of ALEC’s corporate board and billionaire benefactors.

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