Tag Archives: United States Congress

a message from Rep. John Lewis ~Reinstate Voting Rights Protections


I’m deeply saddened.

If Congress doesn’t act, this will be the first election in 50 years without critical protections from the Voting Rights Act.

the right to vote is precious… even sacred.

That’s why in 1963, I marched on Washington with Martin Luther King for the right to vote.

That’s why in 1965, I gave a little blood on that bridge in Selma, Alabama for the right to vote.

Folks marched for this. Folks fought for this. And some even died for the right to vote.

But today, the vital protections in the Voting Rights Act have been gutted by the conservative Justices on the Supreme Court.

Will you stand with me to demand basic voter protections be reinstated?

Voting is the most powerful non-violent tool we have in a democratic society. And we’ve got to use it!

Will you demand that Republicans fix the Voting Rights Act?

Thanks,

Congressman John Lewis

Advertisements

Packing & Cracking ~gerrymander~ a repost and reminder


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

just another rant … 

Time to deal with old outdated complicit relationships that need to change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.

The things that are on my mind while Congress continues to take a few days here there … called a congressional recess? seriously

The information below is a history and time line regarding the Census and Gerrymandering or Packing & Cracking rules

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 …

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

So, what does Packing and Cracking mean to you as a voter? …

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

~ 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 satirizes 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-term2018ElectionsMatter
~~ Nativegrl77
written 4/7/2013
 

in the pursuit of change … GUN REFORM


 All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.

Edmund Burke

repost …

 another day another shooting!!!

we need folks to push for Gun Reform

 

As more Americans watch, wait and wonder when Congress will take a stand on gun control, more say there is absolutely no reason a civilian should own or have access to an assault weapon. The fact is assault weapons; the standard infantry combat choice for most modern armies has no place in a civil society.  Police already have trouble protecting and serving our communities against illegal (hand) guns, legislation that broadly regulates the firearms industry (ammunition) and firearms owners let alone automatic weapons solely made and meant to kill people quickly.

We have also been asking for some time now, at what point will our (rational, sane & educated) members of Congress, the firearm industry(ammunition) and gun owners stand up speak up or out over the current stalemate to move gun laws into the 21st Century. The NRA has clung on to power by holding an archaic law over the heads of Americans, as well as being a thorn in all our sides, spending millions lobbying for gun rights while controlling votes in Congress.

The Second Amendment, states: “A well-regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a Free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

Is it possible that this amendment is in dire need of a revaluation for the lives of our citizens in this 21st Century with all the new guns& weapons now available.

In 1994, Congress added a background check system to strengthen our existing laws to keep guns out of the hands of felons, drug abusers, and the mentally ill.

In 2004, Congress let the assault weapons ban expire. It is time to recognize and change the flaws in the background check system that have been exposed again and again over the years, in the massacres at Columbine, Virginia Tech, Arizona, Michigan, Washington state ,Colorado, Indiana, Portland, China, Chicago, Newtown CT,DC ,LAX airport, families all over this country, Young Black Males and some White males

If not now when, is a good question.

written 7/26/12

Is talk cheap ~ or just the talker


elephant talk
elephant talk (Photo credit: gin_able)

just another rant …another 2017 Republican budget is out in the airwaves …again!

Americans, bombarded with a whole lot of crazy talk lately. While some of us may gasp at most or all of what members of Congress are throwing out at us; no doubt it should open the eyes of all those trying to decide which side of the aisle and or what side of history they want to people to read about. It is clear to me.

They say talk is cheap but until you actually listen and read between the lines or walls of words do you find out what exactly is in any budget designed by Ryan Budget.  While some say rep.Paul Ryan is a dapper smooth talker they forget that Americans have heard his failed budget plans at least 4 times, somebody should let him know that renaming it will not do a thing to sell it. The fact is no matter what you call it … the Paul Ryan pathway to prosperity only seems to accept and cover the wealthy. In fact, Mr. Ryan seems to promise to save Medicare by closing loopholes and of course cuts spending by trillions. The problem is, if you read the real words or talking points it will be off the backs of Seniors, Minorities, low income and the poor.  It still amazes me that the Republican Party of No is so callous to think Americans don’t see Mr.1% in full effect, but then again cheap words can mask the most blatant of realities.

In the congress of 2014, it only took one to filibuster The Middle and Lower classes leaving them to suffer on the way toward that conservative mission to cut slash and burn public service jobs while handing out tax breaks. It’s now 2017 and while voters voted against their best interests …again!

We all need to ask when the light will be bright enough to see this Republican budget is a reworked failure …

If you have heard  Mitch McConnell or Rep.Paul Ryan talk about budgets lately,  you know the mission is still the same …. the talk is still cheap and at the expense of the middle/lower classes.

~ Nativergrl77

Toxic plastic found in the world’s favorite fish ~ repost reminder


Mediterranean Sea Tuna. Photo: PBS / Elena Grecucci

By John R. Platt
7 May 2015

(Takepart) – For the first time, plastic particles have been found in the stomachs of tuna and other fish that are a staple of the human diet.

More than 18 percent of sampled bluefin, albacore, and swordfish caught in the Mediterranean Sea and tested in 2012 and 2013 carried levels of plastic pollution in their bodies, according to a study published in the journal Marine Pollution Bulletin.

All three species migrate between the Mediterranean and the Atlantic Ocean, so these plastic particles could make their way onto the plates of American consumers. The plastics found in the fish contained phthalates, nonylphenol, bisphenol A, brominated flame retardants, and other chemicals that previous research has linked to endocrine disruption, low reproductive rates, and other health risks.

A 2010 study by French and Belgian marine biologists estimated that 250 billion pieces of microscopic plastic were floating in the Mediterranean. A 2014 expedition by Gabriel Gorsky of Pierre-et-Marie Curie University found that “there is not one parcel of the Mediterranean Sea that is devoid of plastic or plastic fragments.” Another study published last year estimated that all of the world’s oceans combined carry more than 5 trillion pieces of plastic pollution.

The current study of large pelagic fish (which live in the open sea, away from the shores or the bottom of the ocean) examined 56 swordfish, 36 bluefin, and 31 albacore that had been caught in the Mediterranean. Of those fish, seven swordfish, 11 bluefin, and four albacore contained plastics in their stomachs.

The plastics varied in size from large pieces more than 25 millimeters wide to microplastics smaller than 5 millimeters. The swordfish were more likely to have ingested large fragments of plastic, while the albacore ingested mostly microplastics.

Most of the pieces were white or transparent, while some “yellowish” plastics were found in the stomachs of the swordfish and bluefin.

As large, “top of the food chain” predators, the fish could have picked up plastic that had first been eaten by smaller fish; a study published last year found that Mediterranean bogue, an important prey species for swordfish, ingest large quantities of microplastics. The researchers, from the Institute for Environmental Protection and Research in Italy, wrote that other plastics could have been ingested while the tuna chased schools of prey fish into shallow waters, where floating plastics are more abundant. [more]

Toxic Plastic Found in the World’s Favorite Fish


ABSTRACT: This study focuses, for the first time, on the presence of plastic debris in the stomach contents of large pelagic fish (Xiphias gladius, Thunnus thynnus and Thunnus alalunga) caught in the Mediterranean Sea between 2012 and 2013. Results highlighted the ingestion of plastics in the 18.2% of samples. The plastics ingested were microplastics (<5 mm), mesoplastics (5–25 mm) and macroplastics (>25 mm).

These preliminary results represent an important initial phase in exploring two main ecotoxicological aspects: (a) the assessment of the presence and impact of plastic debris on these large pelagic fish, and (b) the potential effects related to the transfer of contaminants on human health.

First evidence of presence of plastic debris in stomach of large pelagic fish in the Mediterranean Sea

Source: http://www.desdemonadespair.net/2015/05/toxic-plastic-found-in-worlds-favorite.html