Tag Archives: Government

Hitting Ted Cruz in Iowa: General (Ret.) Wesley Clark … a repost from 2014


Earlier this year, over 100,000 veterans, military family members, and VoteVets supporters added their names to a letter calling on the Environmental Protection Agency to save the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS).
I added my signature, as well.
We understand the cost of our dependence on foreign oil is not just measured at the pump, or in the form of a changing climate, but also in the lives lost and changed through deployments to protect the flow of oil in the Middle East.
Because of tremendous response to the first few emails about the RFS, VoteVets decided to take the next step and hit Ted Cruz on the issue ahead of his visit to Iowa yesterday.
Cruz would dismantle the RFS, something many Iowa families depend on, and he constantly avoids talking about it while campaigning in the state.

So VoteVets took the issue right to him.
Look at the full page ad VoteVets took out in the Des Moines Register and contribute to keep the pressure on Ted Cruz as he campaigns to become our next president.

There’s still a long way to go in this campaign, but taking the fight to the potential presidential candidates like Ted Cruz who oppose developing renewable sources of fuel at home is the next step in our efforts.

Thank you for contributing,

General (Ret.) Wesley Clark
Advisor, VoteVets.org

World leaders condemn acts by Paul, Rubio, and those 47 traitors


















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Packing & Cracking ~~ a repost and reminder

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


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 old outdated complicit relationships that need to change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 … was that ever true or

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

So, what does Packing and Cracking mean to you …


~ 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

Purvi Patel could just be the beginning …

 Purvi Patel, who was sentenced to 20 years in prison for feticide and neglect of a dependent on Monday, at the St. Joseph County Courthouse in South Bend, Ind. Credit Robert Franklin/Associated Press, via South Bend Tribune
APRIL 1, 2015
The prosecution of Purvi Patel began in sorrow and ended in more sadness this week. Patel, a 33-year-old woman who lives in Indiana, was accused of feticide — specifically, illegally inducing her own abortion — and accused of having a baby whom she allowed to die. The facts supporting each count are murky, but a jury convicted Patel in February, and on Monday she was sentenced to 20 years in prison.

It’s tempting to simply look away from Patel’s case on the grounds that it is an outlier, however tragic. But it demonstrates how unsparing the criminal-justice system can be to women whose pregnancies end in (or otherwise involve) suspicious circumstances. If one lesson of the case is about the legal risk of inducing your own late-term abortion, another is about the peril of trying to get medical help when you are bleeding and in pain.

Last July, Patel went to an emergency room in South Bend, Ind., where she told the doctors she had a miscarriage. Asked what she had done with the fetal remains, she said the baby was stillborn and, not knowing what else to do, she put the body in a bag and left it in a Dumpster. The police were able to recover the body. Later, they also found text messages in which Patel told a friend about ordering pills to induce an abortion from a pharmacy in Hong Kong and about taking the medication. Three days later, she texted the same friend, “Just lost the baby.”

Patel was charged with felony child neglect and feticide, based on the supposed self-abortion. Asked by Slate’s Leon Neyfakh about the apparent contradiction between the charges, the St. Joseph County prosecutor, Ken Cotter, said that a person can be guilty of feticide under Indiana law for deliberately trying to end a pregnancy, even if the fetus survives. As Neyfakh points out, the Indiana feticide statute exempts legal abortions — but while the pills Patel took are available in the United States with a prescription, it’s against the law to order them online, as she apparently did. And so she was prosecuted for taking the medication as well as for letting her baby die after the self-abortion failed.

If this case were only about a woman who clearly gave birth to a live baby and then killed her child, it would be clear cut. There is a line between pregnancy and birth, and once it is crossed, the state has just as much at stake in protecting the life of a newborn as it does in protecting the life of anyone else. But the evidence that Patel’s baby was born alive is sharply contested. The pathologist who testified for the defense, Shaku Teas, said the baby was stillborn. Teas told the court the fetus was at 23 or 24 weeks gestation and that its lungs weren’t developed enough to breathe. (Here’s more support for this position.)

But the pathologist for the prosecution, Joseph Prahlow, testified that the fetus was further along than that — at 25 to 30 weeks gestation, which is past the point of viability — and was born alive. News reports from the trial emphasized Prahlow’s use of a “lung float test” in making his determination. The idea behind the test — which dates from the 17th century — is that if the lungs float in water, the baby took at least one breath. If they sink, then the fetus died before leaving the womb.

If that sounds like the old test for witchcraft — if an accused witch floated, she was judged guilty; if she sank, she was innocent — it’s also about as old and nearly as discredited. “The lung float test was disproven over 100 years ago as an indicator for live birth,” Gregory J. Davis, assistant state medical examiner for Kentucky and a professor of pathology and lab medicine at the University of Kentucky, told me. “It’s just not valid.”

When I called Prahlow, who is a professor of pathology and lab medicine at the Indiana University School of Medicine, South Bend, and a former president of the National Association of Medical Examiners, he conceded that “the lung float test, in and of itself, is unreliable.” Still, Prahlow argued, the lung test could “provide corroborating evidence, in light of additional findings.”

Prahlow enumerated those findings to me as he had to the Patel jury: The weight of the lungs and the other organs, the inflation of the lungs and the air sacs, the presence of blood in the lung vessels and the “relative maturity” of the lungs. Put these findings together, along with a lack of blood in the baby’s body, and “I can’t come up with any other explanation other than that this baby was born alive,” Prahlow said.

But Davis was unconvinced. He said that while he knows and respects Prahlow, his conclusion was “dead wrong.” Prahlow’s list of findings are still “totally nonspecific” as to whether Patel’s baby died in utero or after being born, Davis said. “Or even if we agree hypothetically that the baby took a breath, that doesn’t mean Ms. Patel did anything wrong. What if she was scared and bleeding herself, and she didn’t clamp the cord in time, because she didn’t know how, and the baby died?”

To Davis, the forensics in this case can’t determine whether Patel was culpable any more than looking at a body that fell from a high building can determine whether the fall was a suicide, an accident or a homicide. “Sometimes the only answer you can give as a scientist is ‘I don’t know,’” he said.

Whatever happened to Patel and her baby at the point of delivery, it’s hard to imagine that either the prosecution or the judge at sentencing would have come down as hard on her if they weren’t sure she’d tried to induce her own illegal abortion. And this is where Patel’s case moves from a fight over birth to a fight over pregnancy.

This is the first case I can find in which a state-level feticide law has been successfully used to punish a woman for trying to have an abortion. Women have been charged with other crimes after taking abortion pills without a prescription, but the feticide charge appears to be Indiana’s idea. It could spread, though: About 38 states have fetal homicide laws in place.

The common justification for these measures is that they protect pregnant women against unscrupulous abortion providers or abusive partners. Indiana’s feticide law was intended to apply to the knowing or intentional termination of another’s pregnancy, its history shows. Abortion opponents, who support feticide laws, have given repeated assurances that their aim is not to put pregnant women in prison. “We do not think women should be criminalized,” Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the anti-abortion group Susan B. Anthony List told NPR in 2012 after a woman in Idaho was prosecuted for a self-induced abortion, also with pills she ordered online. “Criminal sanctions or any kind of sanctions are appropriate for abortionists and not for women.”

Nevertheless, prosecutions like these are growing more frequent. In Indiana, before Purvi Patel, there was Bei Bei Shuai, a Chinese immigrant who tried to commit suicide while pregnant and was also charged with feticide. The charges against Shuai were dropped in 2013 after she pleaded guilty to a lesser charge and spent a year in custody. In Iowa, Christine Taylor faced charges for attempted fetal homicide after falling down the stairs, going to the hospital and being reported for trying to end her pregnancy.

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The charges in Taylor’s case were dropped, too. But in an Op-Ed in The Times last year, Lynn M. Paltrow, executive director of National Advocates for Pregnant Women, and Jeanne Flavin, a sociology professor at Fordham University, detailed similar cases. A study they conducted, surveying cases since 1973, turned up hundreds of arrests of women for actions taken during their own pregnancies that the authorities deemed harmful to their fetuses.

Many of the cases involved women who took drugs like cocaine and methamphetamines during pregnancy. But they also included women who refused cesarean sections their doctors recommended — and, lately, women who took abortion pills they ordered online. Last September, I wrote about a mother in Pennsylvania, Jennifer Whalen, who went to prison for helping her 16-year-old daughter do that, even though it was a first-trimester abortion and the girl came to no harm. (Whalen has since been released.)

Patel’s case stands out, for the draconian length of the sentence she received, and for the disturbing image of a baby left in a Dumpster. But it is also part of a pattern. “This case shows how easy it is to sweep up women who’ve had miscarriages and stillbirths into a criminal justice framework,” Paltrow told me. For her, the key question is how to ensure that fewer women become as desperate as Patel must have been about her pregnancy. “Do you think these cases will be less rare if you terrify people and make them criminals?” she said.

Correction: April 2, 2015
An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated that the text of Indiana’s law included the phrase “another’s pregnancy.” That phrase arose from legal interpretations of the statute, but it is not in the statute itself

Harvard students attempt to take 1964 Louisiana Literacy test, fail

Originally posted on theGrio:

A video showing Harvard students trying to pass a 1964 Louisiana Literacy test was released on Monday to bring awareness to barriers to voting in the past.

The video was launched just prior to Tuesday’s elections, and brought light to racism and classism in voting practices in the American South during the 1960s.

The video currently has over 27,000 views.

The video’s description indicated that the challenge was inspired by the fact that “Exactly 50 years ago, states in the American South issued this exact test to any voter who could not ‘prove a fifth grade education.’

Unsurprisingly, the only people who ever saw this test were blacks and, to a lesser extent, poor whites trying to vote in the South. In order to pass, voters needed to answer all 30 questions correctly in 10 minutes. Just one question wrong was grounds for disenfranchisement.”

Not a single student at…

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