Fight against gerrymandering moves to states

❝ The movement to take politics out of setting legislative district boundaries seemed to suffer a grievous, and perhaps even mortal, blow this spring when the Supreme Court passed up three chances to declare partisan gerrymandering unconstitutional.

But it turns out that reports of its death are exaggerated. As federal courts dither over how to resolve the issue, activists have begun tackling it state by state at the grass roots.

❝ It is remarkable that five states are holding ballot measures on the issue in a single year; only five had taken them up over the entire preceding decade…

Just as unusual is how little opposition the measures are meeting, at least so far. Beyond Michigan, where the state Chamber of Commerce and the Republican attorney general are trying to block the anti-gerrymandering initiative, organized resistance to the proposals has been scant.

The usual drill in the past only involved upstarts, independents, progressives. Leaders of the two old parties figured they get to take turns screwing over one or another portion of the electorate – keeping themselves in power beyond the acceptance of few accomplishments actually useful to peoples’ needs. Instead of kissing corporate butt.

Useful article.

Kingdom of Fear

We have become a Nazi monster in the eyes of the whole world, a nation of bullies and bastards who would rather kill than live peacefully. We are not just Whores for power and oil, but killer whores with hate and fear in our hearts. We are human scum, and that is how history will judge us. No redeeming social value. Just whores. Get out of our way, or we’ll kill you.

Who does vote for these dishonest shitheads? Who among us can be happy and proud of having all this innocent blood on our hands? Who are these swine?”

Hunter S. Thompson in 2004, “Kingdom of Fear: Loathsome Secrets of a Star-crossed Child in the Final Days of the American Century”

At the narrowest analysis, these voters are ignorant – or bigoted – or both. I’m not certain what is to be accomplished by wider examination.

The mass of American eligible voters is better than this. And the fight is to protect their rights and access to voting. We already know who is trying to prevent universal suffrage.

Congress needs to ‘get off its ass’ and take action on gun violence

❝ Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) called for Congress to “get off its ass and do something” about gun violence after the deadly Las Vegas mass shooting that left at least 58 people dead.

Murphy, who emerged as a leading figure in the push for gun control legislation after the deadly mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in his state of Connecticut, said it was “positively infuriating” that Congress had failed to pass laws to stop gun violence.

❝ “Nowhere but America do horrific large-scale mass shootings happen with this degree of regularity. Last night’s massacre may go down as the deadliest in our nation’s history, but already this year there have been more mass shootings than days in the year…”

“This must stop. It is positively infuriating that my colleagues in Congress are so afraid of the gun industry that they pretend there aren’t public policy responses to this epidemic. There are, and the thoughts and prayers of politicians are cruelly hollow if they are paired with continued legislative indifference.”
“It’s time for Congress to get off its ass and do something,” Murphy said.

❝ Murphy has been a major proponent for legislation on gun control in the Senate. He held an hours-long filibuster on the Senate floor in June 2016 to protest the body’s inaction on gun control legislation.

He also introduced a bill that same month that would expand background checks for most gun sales in the wake of the deadly mass shooting at Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Fla., but the legislation failed to pass.

As someone who has owned guns for about 60 years, I agree with Senator Murphy. Except I would have interjected their “dead ass” and “get to work”. Take it back to the day Barack Obama was elected and Mitch McConnell promised Congress would accomplish nothing – if he could stop it.

He got to where he could do that. No Republicans had the guts to oppose him or the more fascist-minded crew from the Tea Party. Now, of that institution is dedicated to opposing the will of the people. Whether supporting gerrymandered districts to guarantee elections for the few over the many or refusing electoral reform which would put candidates getting the most votes into office…Republicans and conservative Democrats are united in their phony 2-Party democracy in pushing back against progress.

North Carolina Republicans wasted nearly 5 million taxpayer dollar$ trying to stop voting rights

NC racist laws
AP

North Carolina’s Republican governor and Republican-controlled legislature spent more taxpayer money defending their voter ID law — which was recently struck down as unconstitutional — than the state spent hiring outside lawyers over the previous decade.

New data reveals state leaders spent nearly 5 million dollars since 2011 defending a voting law that “bears the mark of intentional discrimination,” according to the federal court that ruled against the state in July…

Before passing the law, the court found, the legislature studied the voting habits of African Americans, and “with almost surgical precision” got rid of the voting accommodations they depended on the most. As the vast majority of black voters in the state — as well as the nation — lean Democrat, the civil rights groups that challenged the law characterized it as Republicans’ attempt to maintain political power.

“It shows the North Carolina Republicans are afraid of free and fair elections and being accountable to the voters for their actions.”…

I’m not certain who deserves the most contempt: Criminally bigoted politicians spending taxpayer dollar$ in an effort to return the South to racist voting laws, voters who return these scumbags to office – or the corrupt conservatives in our nation’s Supreme Court who opened the door to racist voter suppression through the sophistry of “post-racial” hypocrisy.

They all deserve to be forced out of positions of power. That will take a mighty movement. One that requires a broader, deeper political coalition than we have experienced in this land since the 20th Century Civil Rights movement, opposition to the VietNam war.

An important victory for voting rights in Virginia — Republican gerrymandering turned back

The U.S. Supreme Court threw out a challenge to a judge-drawn voting map that might help Democrats pick up a seat from Virginia in the U.S. House.

The unanimous ruling Monday said the state’s Republican congressional delegation couldn’t press an appeal seeking to reinstate an earlier map drawn by the state legislature. That map helped Republicans capture eight of Virginia’s 11 U.S. congressional districts in the 2012 and 2014 elections.

In ordering the new map, a lower court said race played too much of a role when the legislature drew the boundaries for the 3rd District, held by Democratic Representative Bobby Scott. Mapmakers consolidated black, mostly Democratic voters into Scott’s district so that it stretched from north of Richmond southeast to Norfolk, about 100 miles away. That improved Republican prospects in neighboring districts.

Virginia’s Democratic Attorney General Mark Herring didn’t appeal that ruling, but the state’s Republican representatives took the matter to the Supreme Court.

NSS.

The case is part of the fallout from a 2013 Supreme Court ruling that invalidated a key part of the Voting Rights Act. The ruling undercut the requirement that all or parts of 15 states get federal approval before changing their voting rules.

Those fifteen states have a record of bigotry, a history of preventing minority voters from having a voice. In states like Virginia, Republicans have added an additional chunk of cowardice, fear of democracy, trying to keep young people – especially college students – from voting.