December 21st, 2010

Let the gerrymandering commence.

Because state lawmakers control the once-a-decade redrawing of congressional maps in most states, that puts Republicans in a position to decide the boundaries of about 194 House districts, more than double the number they controlled last cycle. Instead of popping the champagne corks, though, some GOP leaders are warning about the perils of too much cartographical authority.


When the census results come out today, Texas will probably get at least three new Congressional seats, maybe four. Texas Republicans control both houses of the state legislature and the governorship, but Texas has nothing in its constitution or statutes about congressional redistricting, which means it must comply with the Voting Rights Act's mandate to ensure minorities will have representation.

Tom DeLay engineered the last redistricting in the state. Tom has other issues he's dealing with currently (hoping his prospective roommate isn't named "Mongo").

Redistricting is inherently political, but the census is going to make it hard for Republican redistricting officials to create more GOP districts without unbalancing their incumbents' voter base. The state GOP is stressing the importance of equal population in each district, while Democratic leaders will push to make sure the new influx of hispanic voters get their own districts in the Rio Grande valley and Dallas areas.

How important do you think "minority districts" are, and do you believe the Republican Party will revive their defunct 'outreach program' to attract hispanic voters for 2012?
me in front.

Alternative history - What if Napoleon had won ?

The Duke of Wellington himself said that Waterloo was "A close run thing". I make him right.

The rain the night before the battle made it harder for napoleon to get his cannons into position. When they did commence firing, the effect on the British line was mitigated by the cannonballs sinking into the mud instead of bouncing along as usual.

And around the late afternoon, Blucher arrived in the nick of time with Hanovarian reinforcements. Granted that the Iron Duke made good use of the reverse slopes and was a master tactician, but he also had a good run of luck that day. What if...?
What if history had been very different? Not just at Waterloo, but at other times and places? What if Napoleon had managed to conquer Europe?

Now, this may seem almost heretical to some, but would the ordinary people of England have been worse off as a result? Might they have even been better off without the dubious 'benefits' of the British Empire?

Oh, the British aristocracy did very well out of the way events turned out. I am not so concerned about them. What about the workers? Had Napoleon made the French system of law the standard across Europe, would we be any the worse for it? If there had been a European union in Napoleon's day, might we have avoided two world wars?

What exactly did the British working class gain as a result of all those military victories over the French? Well, we got cheap tea and sugar, and pretty flags to wave - but the lions share of the money went into the pockets of the rich upper classes. Might not ordinary people like myself been better off with Napoleon in charge, I wonder?

America by Thought Control: Sarah Palin's Pseudo-liberality

One of our guys remarked that Sarah Palin's Tea Party promotion book should be called, "America by Tart." Although I appreciate the humor behind the jab, I seriously doubt the Palin cult would share in the joke. Even though I cannot share Palin's egocentric admiration for American exceptionalism, I sympathize with her plight of being a victim of her environment. She demonstrates the potential for growth despite the fear she shows toward higher understanding.

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Constitutional Warning Label

Palin fails to comprehend the idea of putting a warning label on the Constitution for adult content. One of her admirers sent her a copy of the Constitution that warned parents that the language inside could be found offensive. Palin has never encountered the emotional reaction that children have when they encounter what they perceive as racist or sexist language. She fails to see that one of the personal liberties "enshrined" in the Constitution is the liberty to subjugate fellow human beings.
me in front.

Public service announcement..

I have just been asked to call Child Protection Services, concerning this case of a young 11 year old living in America.
Sadly, I don't know the number, and frankly, I feel it's a case of 'mission accomplished' - I mean, why do we need to bother the authorities here?

The facts are these:-
An 11 yr old hears 3 youths trying to break into her home while her parents are out. They used a crowbar to get the back door open, and she hears them coming.
The brave little girl goes upstairs and finds momma's gun, she loads it and comes back down to confront the three intruders, who flee the house and are soon picked up by local cops.

Well, those are the facts. Here is the link to the story>

Now, my take on it is that these parents should be proud of their daughter and the way she acted. But some people on this forum may disagree.

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Godzilla, default

I'd expect this from the party of Vitter and Craig:

In tune with the GOP's earlier vote against motherhood and apple pie comes this instance, where the GOP prefers pedophilia to abortions. While one of those is not like the other, being in several cases integral to a woman's survival and certainly integral to women's rights, it certainly is interesting about the extent to which the Republicans will go to enforce their grab-back of theoconservatism without regard for when one squick cancels out another.

On Thursday night, hours before passing the tax cut compromise, House Republicans thwarted a bill that aimed to protect girls around the world from being coerced into child marriage. They opposed it because, they claimed, it might fund abortions.

The bill's sponsor, Rep. Betty McCollum (D-MN), was blindsided. After the Child Marriage Protection Act passed the Senate with zero objection on Dec. 1 -- a rare feat these days -- it didn't seem like there was much to worry about.

But just before the vote began, Republican leadership blasted out a "whip alert" to GOP staffers with a message: Vote no. The alert claimed the bill cost too much and that a competing bill, introduced just the day before, would be better.

"There are also concerns that funding will be directed to NGOs that promote and perform abortion and efforts to combat child marriage could be usurped as a way to overturn pro-life laws," the alert read.

And so the bill, which needed a two-thirds vote to pass under the suspended rules, failed. Even some congressmen who sponsored the bill voted no.


But then these are the guys who have illicit gay sex in public restrooms and sleep with whores in diapers and on their fourth or fifth marriages while adhering to the words of a man who said anyone who remarries after divorce is committing adultery and liable to Gehenna. So I suppose shameless hypocrisy is par for the course. Of course this is also the Noun-Verb-9/11 party that won't vote for benefits for 9/11 Survivors.


China Vs English

The Chinese government is starting a crackdown on the use of English words in the Chinese media claiming that their use sullies the Chinese language.

Frankly, this is clearly trying to be a genie back in the bottle. Certainly media run by the state and the media in general will fall in line since they don't really have a choice. But for the ordinary person on the street I doubt anything will really change and I'm sure than young people in China, an increasing number of whom have some reasonable degree of English skill, will continue on as they and might even make greater use of English just to give the government the finger.

No one really listens to the Académie française so I doubt that in the end the Chinese are going to be able to stop English from "dirtying" Chinese. It all just reeks of old men trying to hold back the tide on things they don't really understand. History has shown that language is too fluid to be controlled like that.
Christmas - Peanuts - Linus - Blankey

Lindsay Graham (South Carolina - R) to be outed

Gay rights activist Mike Rodgers has announced he will out Senator Lindsay Graham within the next few days. Wonkette is reporting that Rodgers has some rather incriminating photographic evidence. Mike Rodgers has a 100 percent track record for outing closeted homosexual politicians that vote against gay rights measures, including AIDS funding, adoption of children by gay parents, extension of rights (including repeal of DADT). Senator Graham received a zero rating from the Human Rights Campaign for the period 1995-2008, and recently promised President Obama his vote on the new arms control treaty, if the administration would back off on pushing a repeal of DADT. Rodgers was featured in a documentary Outrage about outing closeted public figures. As one person interviewed in the documentary states "They been chasing us for years; we're going to chase back."

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