#Mid-terms Matter ~~ Packing & Cracking


Elbridge Gerry (1744–1814), American statesman

Elbridge Gerry (1744–1814), American statesman (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

1st posted over a year ago 4/2013

Time for the DOJ to deal with this nonsense! old outdated complicit relationships that need to change

It is time to take Republicans onto the floor of Congress and wipe up the floor with their ideologies.

just another rant …

The things on my mind while Congress continues to take a few days here there … on vacation … a congressional recess

 Hopefully members of Congress have heard their constituents voices about Gun Safety, understand that  ACA is the law of the land,  respect Women and their reproductive rights, find courage to end governmental shutdowns, find the compassion to implement save or reform Paycheck Fairness, Immigration and Medicaid just to name a few. Lest we forget that Republican Governors continue to pass, ridiculous Family Values bills while squashing social service programs for the poor.

I also hope the constant racial comments by people voted into Public Office, which, sadly is slurped up by people who seem to be listening and following like lemmings  not only affects people of colour ends. It shows the World how primitive we truly are while our constitution, civil and human right achievements seem like documents and sensibilities with absolutely no value or power.  The public needs to stay informed; elections suffice it to say have consequences. The fact is midterm elections are just as important as the National Elections, especially in years when gerrymandering or as they say ,when redistricting goes into full effect which lumps, separates, destroys diverse communities and robs some of their voting rights allowing more extreme tea party members onto the Congressional floor.

~~ Nativegrl77

The information below is a history and timeline regarding the Census and Gerrymandering or Packing & Cracking

In December 1975, the Congress passed Public Law (P.L.) 94-171. This law requires the Census Bureau to make special preparations to provide redistricting data to the 50 states no later than April 1 of the year following a census (so April 1, 2011, for the 2010 Census). P.L. 94-171 specifies that within 1 year of Census Day, the Census Bureau must send each state the small-area data the state will need to redraw districts for the state legislature.

P.L. 94-171 sets up a voluntary program between the Census Bureau and those states that wish to receive population tabulations for voting districts and other state-specified geographic areas.

Under this program, those responsible for the legislative apportionment or redistricting of each state may devise a plan identifying the voting districts for which they want the specific tabulations and submit it to the Census Bureau.

Beginning in 2005, the Redistricting Data Office of the Census Bureau met with state officials in 46 states. These meetings explained the timeline and programs available for the 2010 Census, providing states the time to prepare and allocate resources in advance of the census. The states also provided the Census Bureau with valuable feedback on census program planning.

The 2010 Census Redistricting Data Program is a five-phase program. During Phase 1 (2005–2006), the Census Bureau collected state legislative district boundaries and associated updates to tabulate legislative districts. This phase also included an aggressive 2010 Census communications plan, with visits to state capitals, to make sure the states were informed and prepared for the upcoming census.

Phase 2 (2008–2010) consisted of the Voting District/Block Boundary Suggestion Project (VTD/BBSP) in which states received TIGER/Line® shapefiles and the MAF/TIGER Partnership Software (MTPS) to electronically collect voting district boundaries, feature updates, suggested block boundaries, and corrected state legislative district boundaries. Both Phase 1 and Phase 2 are voluntary programs that include a step where the state verifies the submitted data.

Phase 3 constitutes the delivery of the data for the 2010 Census. The Census Bureau will deliver the geographic and data products to the majority and minority leadership in the state legislatures, the governors, and any designated P.L. 94-171 liaisons. Once bipartisan receipt of the data is confirmed, the data will be made available online to the public within 24 hours through the American FactFinder. For this census, the P.L. 94-171 data will include population counts for small areas within each state, as well as housing occupied/vacancy counts.

After the Census Bureau provides the data, the states will begin their redistricting. States are responsible for delineating their own congressional and legislative boundaries and their legislatures. Legislatures, secretaries of state, governors, and/or redistricting commissions carry out the process.  

Go to www.census.gov for the complete article …

Republicans on the floor of Congress continue to stall, block, scale down bills, and or add nasty amendments no one could vote for in good faith while providing misinformation and misinterpretation to the public any chance they can. We the People, cannot afford to vote for politicians who put Political Party and Money over doing the People’s business; though Republicans would have the public believe it is in our best interest. We must remember that Speaker Boehner said, his main concern was jobs jobs jobs among other things… the question is how many jobs bills did Republicans bring to the floor, how many Senate jobs bills were rejected and how many awful amendments were attached. Yes, this voter is biased, but I don’t think it’s in the best interest of Americans to side with the party of no; people need to make the effort to listen to what and how bills are handled by Republicans.

We need and must move into the 21st Century if we plan to get back on track and to do so Republicans must accept that PBO won a second term, has earned the right to govern … Americans … 53% of us said YES to his ideas, policies and desire to move forward.

However …

Instead, POTUS continues to spend time on cleaning up the crap the House of Bush left …Sadly,  we will never ever know exactly what all Barack Obama had planned for our country,but if you dissect the moves the votes the actions of Republican members of Congress … you might think hmmm was this the intent?

Contrary to what went on in both Chambers of Congress, it is obvious that this is NOT what President Elect Barack Obama had in mind when he ran for office ~~ Think about it,  Republican leaders met& decided to be the Party of NO. POTUS either gets no reporting on his accomplishments or has to battle with the Media and it hasn’t been POTUS friendly reporting! I ask folks to contrast&compare it to the primaries because the media gained the reputation of having a love fest with Obama … that ended asap

For your information, wiki states, “Gerrymandering is effective because of the wasted vote effect.

So, what does Packing and Cracking mean to you …

~~ Nativegrl77

~ Packing opposition voters into districts (concentrate as many voters of one type -( maybe party&race ) means they already win and by …

~ Cracking the remainder among districts where they are moved into the minority (increasing votes for eventual losers), the number of wasted votes among the opposition can be maximized. Similarly, with supporters holding narrow margins in the unpacked districts, the number of wasted votes among supporters is minimized.

The Etymology

First printed in March 1812, the political cartoon above was drawn in reaction to the state senate electoral districts drawn by the Massachusetts legislature to favour the Democratic-Republican Party candidates of Governor Elbridge Gerry over the Federalists.

The caricature satirises the bizarre shape of a district in Essex County, Massachusetts as a dragon-like “monster.”

Federalist newspapers editors and others at the time likened the district shape to a salamander, and the word gerrymander was a blend of that word and Governor Gerry‘s last name.

Resources: www.Census.gov
 and Wiki
Voters who believe in Equality in all its forms …
We Must Stand & Stay in LINE
Mid-term Elections Matter
~~ Nativegrl77
written 4/7/2013

Voting is a Right NOT a Privilege ~~ 50 yrs ~~ The Struggle continues


Time to pass the VRA … update redistricting rules and make it easier for ALL Americans to VOTE

Dear @ChiefJusticeRoberts

Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” -George Santayana

 

On March 7, 1965, hundreds of brave unarmed nonviolent women and men dared to March for African Americans right to vote.

The fact is that less than 1% of eligible Blacks could vote or register to vote.

People organized a Peaceful Protest March from Selma to the state capitol in Montgomery. However, as those protesters crossed the Edmund Pettus Bridge to Montgomery. The police, some riding horses were ready for violence decided to engage in excessive use of force, which included brutally beating protesters with billy clubs, others sprayed water as well as tear gas at these kids, while journalists and photographers witnessed.

The brutal reaction by the police was not only caught on tape it forced then President Johnson, who was once against civil rights programs as a Senator to call on Congress for equal voting rights for all on March 15.

SelmaMarch

The Voting Act of 1965 was signed into law on August 6; is a landmark piece of national legislation in the United States that outlawed discriminatory voting practices that had been responsible for the widespread disenfranchisement of African Americans in the U.S.

A day that started out peacefully quickly descended into an awful ugly March of death for the right to vote called ,”Bloody Sunday”.

Now, some 48 years later, a new “Jim Crow” era has emerged with a major step backward in the fight for civil and voting rights. There are conservative states targeting not only African Americans but also Senior citizens, first time voters, early voting, Students, low income, immigrants and the undocumented though Republicans call them (illegals) Dreamers. In addition, Governors from RedStates are allowing election officials to purge voters, people without birth certificates were given limited or completely denied access to the voting booth failing to meet new voter ID regulations in time and were treated like possible (illegals). This  is the 21st Century; we should be on a progressive path toward equality for all not one that will re-engage folks in the act of racism or exclusion leading to suppressing participation in the election process. This year, new stricter voter ID legislation is pending in thirty-one states. This includes, voter ID proposals in thirteen states with proposals to strengthen existing voter ID laws in ten states, and eight states that will amend the new voter ID laws passed in 2011.

We need to push back  on all attempts to suppress the right to Vote.

With so much at stake, it is time to stop sitting on the sidelines. If we are going to succeed, Conservative lawmakers NEED to hear our Voices.

We cannot let the naysayers turn back the clock on Voting Rights or the next generation.

Thank You for Taking Action

     Takeaction2

Clothes : Can they be ethical


beaseedforchangestickersGREENjust another rant …

First posted ~ November of 2012

Second hand or flea market shopping has been in the news a lot lately, but as folks join the movement to keep material out of landfills or reduce our eco-footprint some push buy made in the US of A others believe reusing is best. However, the idea of wearing toxic fashions let alone recycling it is a disturbing thought given what we know and at the end of the day, it always seems to go back to making that dollar dollar

There are a few who do 2ndhand because of financial issues, some wear it for personal reasons  and even more are on that path toward total sustainable living, but as a whole 2nd hand, up-cycling or Eco-friendly seem like great names but being ethically stylish? I guess that means intentionally buying, wearing, devoting your dollar dollars to sustainably made only. The fact is …it is a lot tougher than folks think. Have you looked at your labels? The dictionary states that being ethical means acting in an ethical manner from an ethical point of view.  Again, the fact is being “ethically stylish” is almost a mission impossible.

Before you say she needs more education don’t get me wrong because I definitely get being “ethically stylish,” “acting with intent” but when store buyers, the fashion industry and whatnot go out of their way to use cheap labor or toxic material, being ethical demands that the industry cooperate. Unfortunately, this fight is just beginning. I have bought and overpaid for a dress or two; tried buying American made only as well, but found myself buying because of the cute factor first then finding out later that it was not made in the US of A or out of sustainable material, which definitely offends the “ethically stylish “code.  The fact is fashion corporations decided outsourcing was more cost effective, cheap material maybe not sustainable meant more for the money;  remember when big name models, entertainment folks and designers were caught using sweatshops. I know Levis are made both in the US as well as imported, believe me 501’s are my favorite but the prices can be insane though more sustainable. I buy them.

Lately, I have to say hearing the fashion industry in all its forms, say they are selling or being more ethically stylish is frustrating.  There are reports of companies and brands, which sell USA, made, but may among others in the industry possibly be using toxic materials, which made the giant move toward 100% Organic, Natural or Sustainable take several giant steps backward.  We need to buy and sell local, but again, almost a mission impossible as” Made in America” is not only more expensive the labels are far and few these days , the material is often blended with stuff we cannot pronounce . The history of the fashion industry and American Made is definitely a love hate thing as designers and stars back in the day were wearing fabulous clothes rarely found on the racks, only to find out they were actually getting their clothes made by sweat shops, in some well-known and unknown countries …  and sustainable; probably not.

Yes, “Made in the USA” faded out to a blank whiteboard and the NYC garment district was but a memory for quite a while. There were some great “Where and what are they doing now” shows with older “go to” fashion designers, clothiers stating the fabric just is not the same nor are the people. The opportunity to make more clothes with cheap labor & material seemed to have become addictive and the image of what was going on in those countries is not good.   Fashion will always be a work in progress, but learning that unfair labor practices and or that companies are producing great looking garments, but possibly using toxic material in 2013 is sad given all that has happened to the industry over the last fifteen years or so.

Thus, making it tough to be ethical let alone wear fashion that is ethically stylish or sustainable.

I believe in reuse reclaim repurpose redecorate  and reduce … which keeps most material out of landfills

http://www.bonanza.com/booths/BeaSeedforChange

FYI … this was written back in November of 2012

Remembering the BP Oil Spill ~~~


Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Site

Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Site (Photo credit: Green Fire Productions)

just another rant ..,

In memory of the BP oil spill … A day just like today,  the sun came up and the light of day gave way to a whole lot of life, but on 4/20, the morning light showed just how bad the BP oil spill disaster was, uncovering an event that will forever affect the Gulf Coast. As the media pushes, viewers begin to listen because they have questions, the media thinks they have solutions and the answers to how each Political Party will handle the disaster that is BP. They will talk about the BP oil spill and the damage to marine wildlife and habitat, the economy, the health of the people, those who worked and fought the oil as well as the local government weather and each other to save the Gulf Coast.

We all need to Remember the eleven people who died.

I still wonder just how much the Republican Party of No knows about the lack of preparedness drilling oil companies seem to be engaged in.

The BP oil disaster … proof of our need for rules regulations and while some oil companies rely and exist on short cuts and deregulation; Congress, specifically those from oil Country have avoided legislation that would make sure it does not happen again. Republicans did not seem fazed by the oil disaster whatsoever, screamed for more drilling though eleven people died, no heads rolled and no one did any jail time. It was the worse spill in our history yet Congress has swept it under the depths of the ocean that clearly needs man’s help. I have a riddle …what happens when a big corporation might knowingly try to save money by betting on worst-case scenario. Well, we do not know how many other narrow escapes there were or why they simply chose not to have high-tech equipment already in place or a multi-billion dollar plan B, but luck ran out and somebody’s risk analysis tool failed.

President Obama is willing to change direction on issues when the facts and or evidence show themselves. The moratorium President Obama put in place was a move coming from a President who has common sense. The BP oil disaster, led to major delays and or cancellation of offshore drilling and this clearly upset Republican members of Congress. Yet, given the latest information, maybe they should be more accountable for pushing for less regulation, less time waiting for permits more space for drilling; like that, 84,000 acres BP is or will lease to Ohio; which happens to be Boehner country. It is with great sadness folks on the right talk about drilling, like that old cliché … for us by us. FYI – it will take at least ten years to produce enough of our own to make a slight difference; in the meanwhile we should be implementing a full range of things including wind and solar but Republican oil seems to be more important. Yes, there are jobs, jobs, jobs in that there oil but betting against the odds puts more than an oil platform at risk which cannot be said enough times . A human error

I have to say the first reports of the explosion and then word that everything was okay made me wonder …common sense tells you okay the well is underground; it could bleed out, up or both. This spill, the worse ever is a warning to change the rules regulations, the way the clean-up process works with all equipment close or at least get an emergency plan in place. Safety first, seems like common sense at work though not too lucrative.  I am no expert, but emergency equipment should always be available immediately. However,  I saw nothing but boats watching, waiting for the leak to show and spread.

I haven’t heard much lately, but folks want to know what exactly is the status of the wildlife, those eyeless, clawless oddly deformed shellfish or fish with open sores some gulf coast fishermen may have caught though the FDA said “no worries,”  we all wonder how much pollution they theirs or we are being subjected to.

Women’s Rights : past present future … it’s everyday


“Who controls the past controls the future. Who controls the present controls the past.”

George Orwell

oh yeah, it’s a rant …

keepabortionlegal

a repost

So, we are in the 21st Century, Women have a constitutional right to have an abortion yet folks like Rep.Trent Franks act as if they know what is best for all Women, just think about that . Why is he throwing ALL Women into to one basket? The fact is Women lead very different lives make individual decisions every minute … duh and an abortion is just one of several health care issues Women may have to encounter.  The best solutions are Birth Control in all its forms as well as safe affordable legal constitutional right to abortion. I find it beyond offensive to hear Republicans infer that an abortion is chosen carelessly and for those who seem to think birth control in all its forms is a federal or states right issue actually use it as a Republican political football.  The fact is that Republicans with Women in their lives forget that their position pushes up against 98% of those who use birth control.  They need to stop and focus on Jobs, Immigration, ending any idea of Shutdowns, Climate Change among just a few. I say until republicans come to their senses, which honestly doesn’t look at all possible, vote for the Democratic Party that supports upward mobility as well as the middle lower classes and the poor = equality

I came across an article by Dave Thompson from The Denver Post. It appears as though the mission to demean control and or shutter a Woman’s right to choose is alive and well as North Dakota‘s Senate successfully passed what is called the” heart beat” bill, my first response was … say Wha?  We have just entered the twilight zone or maybe daylight savings has caused some chaos in North Dakota but then I read on and found that…

“Senators also approved a second bill that bans abortions based solely on genetic abnormalities, the first state ban of its kind if signed into law. The bill would also ban abortions based on the gender of the fetus, which would make North Dakota the fourth state to ban sex-selection based abortions.”  All on Friday!

Call N.D. Republican Governor, Jack Dalrymple and ask him why ? 701 328 2200  ask him why assume Women are ill-equipped, silly, naïve or would put up with abortion bans without a fight

for the complete article click on the link below

Read more: North Dakota Senate approves “heartbeat” abortion ban – The Denver Post

Hey, whatever happened to taking” liberty” under the Bill of Rights and “freedom” under Civil Liberties seriously – and both could be at risk

On Sunday, January 22, 2012, President Obama released a statement letting Women know that he is reaffirming his promise to protect a woman’s right to choose.    Announcing that  “After evaluating comments, we have decided to add an additional element to the final rule  Nonprofit employers who, based on religious beliefs, do not currently provide contraceptive coverage in their insurance plan, will be provided an additional year, until August 1, 2013, to comply with the new law. Employers wishing to take advantage of the additional year must certify that they qualify for the delayed implementation. This additional year will allow these organizations more time and flexibility to adapt to this new rule. We intend to require employers that do not offer coverage of contraceptive services to provide notice to employees, which will also state that contraceptive services are available at sites such as community health centers, public clinics, and hospitals with income-based support. We will continue to work closely with religious groups during this transitional period to discuss their concerns.”

There have been changes to the announcement above as well as big changes to health care for women … in a good way and more to come. If you don’t know,  please know that because of the new health care law women can now look forward to less discrimination and you do not have to be poor to benefit … can I just say that again, women will NOT be discriminated against anymore.  We know some in the insurance field, doctors and or hospitals will try to beat the system, but the law is there to refer to now and covers All Americans not just some. It is hard for me to believe pro-lifers do not understand that every part of a woman’s health is subject to being penalized and that includes reproductive health care, which includes a wide range of health care issues.  It is bad enough that lawmakers actually would subject women to demeaning practices like undergo a transvaginal scope; make them wait 72hrs, but to make doctors liable for jail time too.  I have to say that among other ridiculous laws that need a vote in Congress, The Hyde Amendment requires a vote every year …   the Hyde Amendment is a legislative provision barring the use of certain federal funds to pay for abortions with exceptions for incest and rape.[1] It is not a permanent law, rather it is a “rider” that, in various forms, has been routinely attached to annual appropriations bills since 1976. The Hyde Amendment applies only to funds allocated by the annual appropriations bill for the Department of Health and Human Services. It primarily affects Medicaid. wiki

I also admit that it pisses me off that the latest group of people in office are still getting away with saying one thing and do another which includes forcing their “family values” platform/ideology on what I thought were free Americans. What year is it again?  If the Republican Tea Party truly wants smaller government, they should stop trying to control women, their bodies and or change laws for the sake of that “family values” platform that is definitely the epitome of big government and an invasion of privacy.Npelosiwomenshc

The right seems to be aligning their demands for stricter abortion laws one state at a time. I cannot be the only one tired of the “Do as we say Not as we do Political Party of NO. It has my blood boiling. Now, Tea publicans running for President and some media folks are saying it is time to move on from nasty politics. I say if you want to become President of the US of A give Americans full disclosure. Women need to know if you support unnecessary procedures like a transvaginal scope  … Yet; the same people accuse President Obama of withholding information from the public or being un-American get offended when asked to provide personal information.  We are their constituents; we all deserve to know how these people will vote on issues of religion, race, gender, and or abortion. The beliefs of members of Congress dictate to how the vote will affect our constitutional rights. If you were listening, for three years conservative politicians, some conservadems ramping up of vitriolic “family values” rhetoric pushing the discussion of women’s rights, religion, race and gender preference up to the surface to rile their base. It is obvious now that Republican Governors had a plan to take the rhetoric a step further by passing anti-abortion legislation all over the country in fact as stated by NWLC – “Ninety-two. That’s the number of anti-abortion measures passed into law across the U.S. in 2011. In addition, in case you are wondering, yes, that is a record — in fact; it is over 2.5 times the previous record. “

Bad enough that in the year 2014, Women must continue to fight for our rights let alone safe affordable access to reproductive health care. Now, as we move into 2015 with the 114th  Congress controlled by Republicans who decided to vote on a right to reproductive rights on the anniversary of Roe V Wade. I can’t write what I am thinking about this right now.  This is incredible since there are more female members of Congress, approximately 101, yes, mostly tea party members who say they are fiscally conservative, want less government in their (our) lives.  Yet, topics like abortion, stem cell research/experiments and religious freedom have them not just flustered but have their undies in a bunch about abortion funding and seem to be moving to have abortion outlawed altogether if possible. I could not vote for a woman who feels I am not qualified, mature enough or have no right to choose no matter what side of the political aisle they sit. The fact is, women who choose to have an abortion, do so with trepidation not just because they are heartless but out of viable options or the fetus is not viable or at risk or both mom and fetus are at risk and FYI the decision is discussed with a counselor/doctor. The choice to have an abortion is not an easy one and offering a safe procedure is better than having a woman or women desperate enough to take actions that could put her life at risk- is moral …it’s the right thing to do. The idea that any member of Congress would want to control a woman’s body is ludicrous at best and again, the epitome of BIG Government because they should accept The Hyde – Amendment as the law. It makes me want to scream hey, stay out of our lives we are in the 21st Century. The Tea publican ideology clearly barbaric; spews old school dogma and not only crosses the line, has solidified a need, a call for an unprecedented effort for a grassroots movement to keep our Democracy safe

If you live under a Republican controlled State and need or know someone in need of safe affordable healthcare with limited funds, your life has got to be beyond difficult.    Now, imagine the impact that repealing, replacing and eliminating access would have on ALL our families, friend’s or co-workers. Let alone the idea that some Republicans want to go back to a time when women and people of colour had no rights; seen but  not heard and yes it sounds silly but before you laugh, take some time and listen to Tea publicans running for office closely.

Just when I thought we were all moving into the 21st century … sigh

Resource : wiki on 1) 1