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John Oliver is at it again, deeply analyzing a boring political concept in a smart, interesting — and funny — way. This time, he explains Gerrymandering, the nefarious practice of manipulating district boundaries for political advantage, named after Massachusetts Governor Elbridge Gerry. If anyone is interested in delving deeper, you can read the new book by David Daley called “Ratf**ked: the true story behind the secret plan to steal America’s democracy.”
John Oliver explains special districts on “Last Week Tonight.” These units of government are local government bodies designed to collect taxes dealing with one specific service, like water, parks or sewage. But they are “ghost” entities with little or no oversight and are largely unknown to the public. Hilariously informative!
Voting is one of our basic rights in the US — though you might not know it from the tragically low turnouts in US elections. Some of that can be blamed on voter apathy, but much can also be blamed on voter ID laws put in place to suppress voter turnout of especially African American and Latino voters. There are currently 33 states with [[Voter ID laws in the United States]]. It should be noted that many voter ID laws were rejected as discriminatory under the Voting Rights Act — which was struck down by the Supreme Court in 2012.
In the video below, John Oliver does his homework and shows the hypocrisy and cynicism of voter ID laws.
While most of us focus of tomorrow’s midterm election and the control of the U.S. Senate, John Oliver is looking at the places where most laws are really made these days. And it’s not in gridlocked Washington — it’s in the state legislatures. I’m really glad Oliver has raised this issue as well as the work of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC).
“All those conspiracy theories about a shadow government are actually true,” Oliver said. “Only, it’s not a group of billionaires meeting in a mountain lair in Zurich. It’s a bunch of pasty bureaucrats meeting in a windowless committee room in Lansing, Michigan.”
John Oliver is doing great — and hilarious — journalistic work. In this segment, he not only takes on the serious issue of why the Supreme Court doesn’t allow video cameras during oral arguments (Scalia’s argument against cameras is just lame excuse given the way C-SPAN currently covers Congress), but gives other news outlets the tools to cover the Supreme Court in a hilarious way that will hopefully cause the Supreme Court to change its stance on video cameras out of embarrassment.
Real Animals, Fake Paws Footage: