Vote for Shenna Bellows … #Midterm2014Matters


Republican Senator Susan Collins has a dirty secret.

Collins voted to shut down the government over Obamacare. Twice. She voted against raising the minimum wage and the Paycheck Fairness Act but supports building the Keystone XL Pipeline and spying on Americans without a warrant.

Sen. Collins likes to pretend that she’s an old-school moderate, but one look at her actual voting record tells a different story. When the stakes are high, the dirty secret is, Susan Collins votes with the Tea Party every single time.

Here’s the thing: This November, we can defeat Senator Collins — and help save the Senate from GOP control.

Enter Shenna Bellows, the former director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Maine, who is running to unseat Collins this November. Shenna has deep Maine roots and a long history of fighting for justice, and she’s been proud to fight alongside progressives like Elizabeth Warren on issues of economic security.

Shenna Bellows is the perfect candidate to finally get rid of Susan Collins and save the Senate from GOP control — that’s why Democracy for America endorsed her and why we’re excited to share with you the fantastic new 30-second ad Shenna is now airing in Maine.

Click here to watch Shenna’s inspiring new TV ad, then pitch in $3 to help this Elizabeth Warren Democrat defeat Susan Collins and save the Senate.


Susan Collins has consistently missed the mark when it comes to the greatest challenge of our time: income inequality. She was instrumental in killing a federal minimum wage hike and she has been a consistent opponent of expanding the right to collectively bargain.

That’s why Shenna Bellows is the perfect antidote to Collins’ bland, pro-corporate Republicanism.

Recently, Salon called Shenna “America’s most progressive Senate nominee” — and her positions back that statement up, from supporting higher wages and getting money out of politics to cracking down on big banks.

That’s why Shenna reminds us of Elizabeth Warren — and why we need your support to get her elected. Check out her excellent ad and donate $3 to keep it on the air.

Thanks for helping us send more true progressives to Washington.

- Charles

Charles Chamberlain, Executive Director
Democracy for America

A Threat To Women And Workers


By

What you Need To Know About Today’s Supreme Court Rulings

The Supreme Court issued two important rulings this morning: one that makes it harder for women to exercise their right to choose, and a second that effectively eliminates a President’s ability to make recess appointments and could imperil unions down the road as a consequence. The remaining decisions this session are expected to come next Monday, including Hobby Lobby (can owners of a for-profit, secular corporation impose their religious beliefs on their employees?) and Harris v. Quinn (are public sector unions’ fair share fees that ensure all employees, regardless of whether they are members of the union, receive the collectively bargained-for benefits constitutional?)

The decisions today were both handed down unanimously by the High Court. Here’s more on what the implications are for each:

McCullen v. Coakley

The decision: The Court struck down a Massachusetts’ law establishing a 35-foot buffer zone around abortion providers, ruling in favor of anti-choice protesters who argued that being required to stay that far away from clinic entrances is a violation of their freedom of speech. The decision rolls back a proactive policy intended to safeguard women’s access to reproductive health care in the face of persistent harassment and intimidation from abortion opponents.

The argument: The Justices argue that the 35-foot zone in the Massachusetts law restricts “access to ‘public way[s]‘ and ‘sidewalk[s],’ places that have traditionally been open for speech ac­tivities.” Therefore, the opinion states, the law burdens “substantially more speech than necessary to achieve the Commonwealth’s asserted interests.” The justices do not categorically deny the right for states to set up buffer zones protecting abortion clinics, but do effectively remove the Massachusetts law and threaten other similar safety measures around the country.

The implications: The decision is a blow to women. Since 1993, eight clinic workers have been murdered. There have been 6,400 reported acts of violence against abortion providers since 1977. According to the National Abortion Federation (NAF), which closely tracks threats and violence against abortion providers across the country, buffer zones have had a measurable impact improving safety in the areas where they’re in place.

BOTTOM LINE: The Supreme Court itself has a buffer zone around it’s 252-by-98-foot plaza, preventing protesters from demonstrating too close to the entrance. Surely it can see the need for abortion clinics, the subject of frequent and sometimes violent intimidation from their opponents, to have a reasonable buffer zone as well.

National Labor Relations Board v. Noel Canning

The decision: The Court effectively eliminated the president’s power to make recess appointments in all but the most unusual circumstances. It limits the president’s constitutional duty to appoint leaders that keep our country working for all Americans, from making sure our elections are fair to protecting workers’ and consumer rights.

The argument: Prior to Noel Canning, a federal appeals court — the highest legal authority to weigh in on the question — confirmed that a president does indeed have the power to make recess appointments. Specifically, it ruled that sham sessions known as “pro forma” sessions held by the Senate every three days in order to defeat a president’s attempts to make these appointments were in fact not enough to stop him. Every single justice on the Supreme Court, however, disagreed with that ruling and voted against recess appointments today, although the Court split 5-4 on rationale. Five justices, overturning the appeals court, opined that these “pro forma” sessions were in fact enough to block a president from making recess appointments because “the Senate is in session when it says it is.” The four conservative justices went even further, with an opinion that could have retroactively invalidated thousands of recess appointments made by presidents past if it had garnered just one more vote.

The implications: The impact of this ruling goes beyond a legal technicality. President Obama took the risk of making recess appointments in the first place to fill a minimum number of seats on the National Labor Relations Board, a government agency with exclusive authority to enforce much of federal labor law. NLRB members serve five year terms, and unless at least three seats on the board are occupied, it is powerless to act. Therefore, the fullest impact of this decision will likely be felt in 2018, when the five year terms of the NLRB’s current slate of members expire. Even if the president at that time supports allowing federal labor law to function in 2018, he or she will be unable to keep the NLRB functioning if a majority of the Senate is determined to shut down federal labor protections.

More broadly, the decision underscores the importance of the Senate’s action last November to allow executive nominees to receive an up or down confirmation vote. Without last year’s change to the Senate rules, today’s decision would have empowered a small, but vocal minority, to use arcane procedure to block the government from being able to function properly.

BOTTOM LINE: In a technical ruling, the Supreme Court took away the president’s power to make recess appointments. While today’s court decision will have little immediate impact, its long-term effects remain unclear and could threaten the rights of workers across the country if the NLRB is dismantled. The House and Senate must find new ways to ensure that the politics of obstruction and shutdown do not limit the ability of our nation to function properly.

Stay tuned for more Court decisions on Monday. If you are in the Washington, D.C. area, RSVP to join a rally hosted by NARAL in front of the Supreme Court that morning.

#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 … everywhere ~ off …

 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 that 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 ~ 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 over doing the People’s business; though Republicans would have the public believe it is in our best interest.  Remember 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 last how many awful amendments were attached. Yes, 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.

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

When Sunday Shows Ignore The News


 John Whitehouse, MMFASome other things I’ve read this week: Andrew Crumey on how myths live on in our language, Audrey Quinn and Jackie Roche on how climate change contributes to Syria’s conflict, Megan Finnerty on indigenous people fighting stereotypes, and Derrick Clifton on a T-shirt that debunksLGBT myths.John Whitehouse
Twitter: @existentialfish

Wait What?

AblowShortly before the United States qualified for the elimination round at the World Cup, A Fox News host lashed out at supporters of the team, saying that he was suspicious that the World Cup craze was just a distraction form President Obama: http://mm4a.org/1my8muT

When Sunday Shows Ignore The News

Sunday ShowsThe Sunday shows have hosted countless discussions of the attack on the American diplomatic facility in Benghazi. But when the alleged ringleader was captured, not one of the Sunday shows mentioned it: http://mm4a.org/1itGokp
Related: When faced with long-debunked Benghazi myths, David Gregory said nothing: http://mm4a.org/1lJOGDu

Right-Wing Radio Enraged

Ingraham Hannity Limbaugh BeckWhen Thad Cochran won the Mississippi Republican primary for Senate over tea party darling Chris McDaniel by appealing to African-Americans and Democrats, right-wing radio hosts were enranged, with Limbaugh even calling Cochran’s supporters “black Uncle Tom voters.” http://mm4a.org/1v6ZLzY

FEATURED VIDEO

MacCallumAs the Hobby Lobby decision grew near, Fox’s deceit went into overdrive: a Fox anchor actually told four lies about the case in just 17 seconds. http://mm4a.org/1v6ZMny

BEHIND BOEHNER

BoehnerSpeaker of the House John Boehner announced plans to sue President Obama. Boehner is taking this step because of the pressure from the fringe right-wing media: http://mm4a.org/1iwxqmu

THIS IS CNN!?

JonesWhy did CNN repeat a conspiracy theory started by Alex Jones that said that the U.S. government is paying to escort child migrants across the border? http://mm4a.org/1pOdZGj

IMAGE OF THE WEEK

CNBC
A CNBC Chyron About “Wealth Problems”

Pssst.


Hey –

I’ve got some inside info for you

The NRA’s lobbyists have finally made their move. They’ve emailed their activists a whole pile of lies to spread to their friends and families to scare and confuse them — and try to stop Washington from voting Yes on 594.

It’s some pretty crazy, tinfoil hat, conspiracy theory stuff — and pretty much exactly what we expected from these lobbyist types. But still, I was a little surprised at just how shrill and desperate the tone was.

Every tired, old cliché that the gun lobby has used for years to stop any reasonable reform was in there: from a paranoid registration conspiracy to a bunch of delusional fears not about what 594 actually does — but what it might lead to. Reading their email, it seems like they just hit “copy” and “paste” from whatever playbook they get from their lobbying headquarters in Washington, D.C.

And that’s why I need your help. We have to build up our rapid-reaction fund now to counter these lies, or we’ll never be able to win this fall.

Contribute $3 today, and help us build our rapid-reaction fund before our June 30 fundraising deadline!

Help us fight the lies!

Now, polling shows most gun owners are ready to vote Yes on 594 — but this pile of lies is designed to trick NRA members into thinking that the same easy, commonsense reform that is already saving lives in states like Colorado is some kind of crazy plot.

And nobody knows better what a bunch of hooey that is than the NRA lobbyist that is peddling it to their members — and soon to regular voters in Washington.

They know better, but they still are still trying to trick gun owners into thinking that simply extending our existing background check system to all gun sales is an evil scheme to steal their guns. It would be laughable if we didn’t know that these crazy rantings may be enough to scare someone into voting against 594.

We need to spread the truth — and we need your help to do that.

Contribute $3 today to our rapid-reaction fund by the June 30 deadline, and help us spread the truth about 594!

Now that we know for sure that they’re not going to hold back on the lies, we really need to get in gear.

Thanks for helping us fight these lobbyists’ lies,

Zach Silk
Campaign Manager
Yes on 594