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Member since: Fri Sep 17, 2004, 03:59 PM
Number of posts: 50,967

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BREAKING: Federal Court Strikes Down One Of The Most Aggressive Gerrymanders In The Country

Source: Think Progress

One of the most aggressive gerrymanders in the country is unconstitutional, according to a divided three-judge panel in Virginia. In 2012, President Barack Obama defeated Republican Mitt Romney by three points in the state of Virginia. Nevertheless, Republicans control eight of the state’s eleven congressional districts. Yet, according to an opinion by Judge Allyson Duncan, a George W. Bush appointee, the maps that produced this result are unconstitutional and the legislature must “act within the next legislative session to draw a new congressional district plan.”

Although this will permit the 2014 elections to be run under the old maps, new maps must be in place by 2016 (assuming, of course, that this decision is not reversed on appeal). As Virginia currently has a Democratic governor, Gov. Terry McAuliffe will be able to veto any plan which is unfair to his fellow Democrats, while the GOP-controlled legislature will no doubt push for a map that serves Republican interests. Because the current maps favor Republicans so strongly, however, the likely result will be maps that are much more favorable to Democrats.

The flaw in the current maps arises from the state’s Third Congressional District, currently represented by Rep. Bobby Scott (D-VA). In a professed effort to comply with the Voting Rights Act’s requirement that new congressional maps do not cause a ‘‘retrogression in the position of racial minorities with respect to their effective exercise of the electoral franchise,” (a requirement that has since been neutered by the Supreme Court,) the new maps packed an additional 44,711 African American voters into Rep. Scott’s district — thus preventing these black voters from influencing elections in other districts. This decision, according to the court, was not allowed.

Read more: http://thinkprogress.org/justice/2014/10/07/3577120/breaking-federal-court-declares-virginias-congressional-maps-unconstitutional/


Link to Decision Here:

Gays Ruin Marriage...

Chicken Little

While 95 percent of Americans eat meat and poultry, few have heard of a chemical called peracetic acid, for instance, used to douse chicken carcasses as they go down the line at the slaughterhouse. The chemical bath is necessary because the birds live in a crowded barn on top of their own feces, and pathogens can follow them into the processing


The one on the left is a breed from 1957. The middle one is a 1978 breed. And the one on the right is a commercial 2005 breed called the Ross 308 broiler. They’re all the same age. …


Chicken farmers are in no position to change the meat industry. They know the companies hold power over them, and are loathe to push back. It seems that the same dynamics hold true in Washington, where lawmakers are working hand in hand with the nation’s biggest meatpackers.

On April 30th, the US House of Representatives held a public hearing to investigate the health of the nation’s meat industry. The hearing was advertised beforehand and streamed live over the Internet. What wasn’t advertised or broadcast was the party the night before.

The Agriculture Committee hearing room is located in a building across the street from the Capitol, and a balcony off one side has a wonderful view of the dome and the Washington Mall beyond. On the evening of April 29th, this is where one of the nation’s biggest meat lobbying groups threw a party for members of the House Committee. Appropriately, the North American Meat Association decided to have a barbecue. The group moved a large buffet table into the middle of the hearing room and heaped it high with brisket, macaroni, and other makings of a classic feast. There was an open bar nearby, and the room was packed and noisy. Lobbyists and congressional staffers filled their plates and grabbed their drinks and mingled on the balcony. At the end of the night, the buffet table and bar were removed, the floor was cleaned up, and the furniture was arranged for the next day’s event.

The congressional hearing itself was less interesting than the party. Representatives went through a kind of Kabuki act, questioning the meat lobbyists and company representatives sitting in front of them in a way that seemed clumsily scripted. No one seemed interested in asking about monopolies, tournament systems, or competition. They wanted to know, again, how much the meat industry was being hurt by the federal mandate to produce ethanol. And just how much, again, did the industry detest a new rule that would require them to label meat imported from overseas as such?

much more:

See, America CAN Evolve


ISIS in Washington - America’s Soundtrack of Hysteria

ISIS in Washington
America’s Soundtrack of Hysteria

By Tom Engelhardt

Terror-phobia, after all, leaves you feeling helpless and in need of protection. The only reasonable response to it is support for whatever actions your government takes to keep you "safe."


Two Saturdays ago, a friend and I were heading into the Phillips Museum in Washington, D.C., to catch a show of neo-Impressionist art when we ran into someone he knew, heading out. I was introduced and the usual chitchat ensued. At some point, she asked me, “Do you live here?”

“No,” I replied, “I’m from New York.”

She smiled, responded that it, too, was a fine place to live, then hesitated just a beat before adding in a quiet, friendly voice: “Given ISIS, maybe neither city is such a great place to be right now.” Goodbyes were promptly said and we entered the museum.

All of this passed so quickly that I didn’t begin rolling her comment around in my head until we were looking at the sublime pointillist paintings of Georges Seurat and his associates. Only then did I think: ISIS, a danger in New York? ISIS, a danger in Washington? And I had the urge to bolt down the stairs, catch up to her, and say: whatever you do, don’t step off the curb. That’s where danger lies in American life. ISIS, not so much.


Amid the waves of fear and continual headlines about terror plots, we, the people, have now largely been relegated to the role of so many frightened spectators when it comes to our government and its actions.
Welcome to the Terrordome.


Dear George: "Take it somewhere else, buster" From the Former Mrs. Will



Take it somewhere else, buster"

One might be surprised to read, in other words, that in the 1980s, while
still married to his first wife, Will was romantically linked to Lally
Weymouth, daughter of Washington Post owner Katharine Graham, according to Washingtonian magazine (1/87). When Will moved out on his wife and children, he found his office furniture dumped on his front lawn with a note reading, "Take it somewhere else, buster". Though the lamentable lack of shame in U.S. society is a common theme in Will's writing, shame, like other principles he touts, seems to be for other people.
(Salon, 2/12/98).


"We're the ones who gave ya'll the freedoms that you have..."

It's been 67 years since Jackie Robinson broke the color line and yet ...
by digby

On Monday night, mostly white St. Louis Cardinals fans clashed with a group of mostly black protesters peacefully demanding justice for slain teenager Michael Brown...

At one point, an older white man starts yelling at the protesters, shouting, “That’s right! If they’d be working, we wouldn’t have this problem!” Then, the Cardinals fans begin chanting “Let’s go Cardinals!” which morphs into “Let’s go Darren!” referring to Darren Wilson, the police officer who fatally shot Brown.

Later on in the video, a woman shouts, “We’re the ones who gave all y’all the freedoms that you have!”

Pretty much says it all.

You can see the video here.


In their article on the video, Deadspin helped annotate where some of the most egregious parts of the video take place.

**We start off with a bang. At about the 22-second mark, an old white Cardinals fan begins telling the protesters—all of whom appear to be black—that they need to get jobs. He looks right in the camera, proudly, and says, "That's right! If they'd be working, we wouldn't have this problem!"
**At about the 1:30 mark, the crowd of Cardinals fans begin drowning out the protesters' chants with a "Let's go Cardinals!" chant. Well, they could be saying worse things...

**At the 2:40 mark, they start saying much worse things. The "Let's go Cardinals!" chant has turned into a "Let's go Darren!" chant. Cool.

**At 8:10 one of the Cardinals fans calls one of the protesters a "crack head" and tells him he needs to go see a dentist.

**At 8:50 the "Let's go Cardinals" chant starts up again.

**At 9:05 one of the Cardinals fans starts telling one of the protesters that if he ever "saw him in the street" he would "look at the ground." They argue for a bit about who would and would not whip whose ass.

**At about 10:25 a small blonde lady starts yelling at the protesters: "We're the ones who gave all y'all the freedoms that you have!"

**At about 12:14 an older female Cardinals fan begins telling the man holding the camera, who claims he is a former Marine, that she doesn't believe he is a veteran. The conversation does not go well for her.

**At 14:54, the Cardinals fans start in on a very loud "USA! USA! USA!" chant.

**At 16:07, another Cardinals fan begins yelling at the protesters, telling them that they need to get jobs.

**At 16:43, a female Cardinals fan begins chanting "Africa! Africa! Africa!" at the protesters.

**At 17:10 a Cardinals fans tells the protesters that they need to remove their hats and pull up their pants.




Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) said Monday that he plans to introduce a constitutional amendment barring the federal government or the courts from overturning state marriage laws.

Citing the Supreme Court's "tragic and indefensible" refusal to take up same-sex marriage cases—essentially legalizing same-sex marriage in another 11 states—Cruz announced the proposal in a statement. He said he has already introduced legislation in the Senate to "protect the authority of state legislatures to define marriage," because "marriage is a question for the states."

"And that is why, when Congress returns to session, I will be introducing a constitutional amendment to prevent the federal government or the courts from attacking or striking down state marriage laws," the potential 2016 GOP presidential contender announced.

MORE lols:

"Take my hand, not my life"

TUE OCT 07, 2014 AT 09:19 AM PDT
Jesus Wept
by Horace Boothroyd III

See in the background at center left? That is a shopping cart containing someones worldly possessions. The location these terrorists intent on frightening women and children chose is surrounded by motels of those of us use as shelter from the street. In every direction you find the leavings of the possessions of the economically displaced. You can not help know the homeless are abundant here. Piles of clothes crumpled and wrinkled into a ball after being carried in a trash bag. Discarded in order to lighten the load. A bottle of hairspray. Piles of brushes and combs. Shoes discarded here and there. These artifacts are everywhere. The tales of desperation and loss evident by their presence.

But these "Christians" choose to sit on their rears all day and harass those seeking medical care.


Seattle to Celebrate Indigenous Peoples' Day On Columbus Day

The Seattle City Council has voted to celebrate Indigenous Peoples' Day on the same day as the federally recognized holiday, Columbus Day.

The resolution that passed unanimously Monday honors the contributions and culture of Native Americans and the indigenous community in Seattle. Indigenous Peoples' Day will be celebrated on the second Monday in October.


"This action will allow us to bring into current present day our valuable and rich history, and it's there for future generations to learn," said Fawn Sharp, president of the Quinault Indian Nation on the Olympic Peninsula. She is also president of the Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians.

"Nobody discovered Seattle, Washington," she said to a round of applause.

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