Tag Archives: congress

Candidates Draw Straws for Seat After Electoral Tie in Mississippi

Turns out that in the event of an electoral tie, where equal votes are cast for both candidates – some state allow a coin toss or drawing a straw to decide the matter. It is a lot less expensive than holding an entire new election. Perhaps an Act of God, or just sheer luck will save the state from going down the rabbit hole like Kansas and Louisiana with failed conservative economic policy. Mississippi is already the poorest state in the Union…At least the Rethugs don’t get to turn it into a 3rd world hell hole….Yet.

Democrat Wins Mississippi House Race After Drawing Straw

Candidates Tullos (l) and Eaton (2nd from l) Drawing Strawa

Sometimes American politics is about ideas, powered by Jeffersons and Adamses and Reagans. Sometimes it is about strategy, with races determined by the chess-match machinations of Axelrods and Roves.

But every once in a while, the fate of governments is determined by a considerably less eminent character, one usually found lurking in back-alley craps games and on the Vegas strip: Lady Luck.

In Mississippi on Friday, luck smiled on a Democratic state representative, Blaine Eaton II, who had been forced, by state law, to draw straws for his seat after his race for re-election ended in a tie. On Friday afternoon, in a short, strange ceremony here presided over by Gov. Phil Bryant and Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann, Mr. Eaton and his Republican challenger, Mark Tullos, each removed a box from a bag. Mr. Eaton opened his box to reveal a long green straw.

And with that, a mathematically improbable tie for the House District 79 seat — each candidate had received exactly 4,589 votes — had been broken, though not by the voters.

Moments after winning, Mr. Eaton, who raises cattle and grows timber and soybeans, attributed his win to a farmer’s luck. “There’s always happiness in a good crop year,” he said.

An attorney for Mr. Tullos said that a challenge had been filed with the State House of Representatives. Mr. Tullos, a lawyer, declined to comment but had said he planned a challenge if he lost the draw. He had cited concerns about the way a county election board handled nine paper “affidavit ballots” filed by voters who believed their names were erroneously left off the voter rolls.

Resorting to a game of chance to break an electoral tie is common in many states, and coin tosses are often used to settle smaller local races. But in few instances had the pot as rich as this: If Mr. Tullos had won, his fellow Republicans would have gain a three-fifths supermajority in the State House of Representatives, the threshold required to pass revenue-related bills.

At stake, potentially, was hundreds of millions of dollars in tax revenue. The three-fifths requirement has allowed the Democratic minority to block Republican tax-cut proposals in the past on the grounds that Mississippi needs the revenue to finance schools and other services. Republicans, who also control the State Senate and governor’s mansion, say the cuts, including a proposal to phase out the state’s corporate franchise tax, will jump-start the economy and promote job growth….Read the Rest Here


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NRA Supports Selling Terrorists Guns

The whackjobs over at the NRA have truly gone off the deep end. If you are a terrorist…You can buy a gun in America! In fact, you can walk into a gun show, and by as many as you want.

Daily News Compares NRA To Jihadists On Front Page

The New York Daily News used its front page Wednesday to lash out at the National Rifle Association in a big way, comparing the powerful pro-gun group’s lobbying efforts to a “SICK JIHAD.”

“Over 2,000 suspects on terror watch list have legally bought firearms in the U.S. because gun nuts are blocking law that would end this madness,” the front page screamed.

The corresponding story — an editorial written by the paper’s staff — rips into the NRA and its “cowardly” supporters in Congress for blocking passage of the Denying Firearms and Explosives to Dangerous Terrorists Act, a bipartisan bill introduced in February by Sen. Diane Feinstein (D-Caf.) and Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.):

Setting a new record for lethal insanity, Washington’s pro-gun absolutists insist that suspected terrorists must have an unfettered right to buy assault weapons rivaling those wielded by ISIS in Paris.

These members of Congress are radical fundamentalists of the Second Amendment kind, their extremism so intense that they stifle legislation aimed at denying weapons to potentially violent radicals while at the same time declaring that Syrian refugees, even toddlers, are security threats.

Although felons, domestic abusers, drug addicts and others are prohibited from buying firearms in the U.S., those on the FBI’s consolidated terrorist watch list are not currently disallowed from doing so. According to the Government Accountability Office, people on the watch list purchased guns 2,043 times between 2004 and 2014. …Read the rest Here

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Posted by on November 19, 2015 in Domestic terrorism


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When Things Are So Bad…Even the Morons in Congress Get it

Street Hijacking by nefarious Tow Companies. The problem is endemic in the DC area, and I am sure shared by other cities. So bad in fact – even the do-nothing Congress is taking it on…

Had a friend who owned one of the first Porsche Bi-Turbo Carreras in the US back in the 70’s. A local towing company couldn’t resist the sight of an expensive car, whose owner would pay megabucks to get it back. They hooked it up via the bumper hook and towed it away – doing about $25,000 in damage to the suspension and steering. He sued, and eventually won – which was a driving reason behind conversion to the bed type tow trucks in the area. Through the years, I have seen more than one car damaged or destroyed by the local city tow contractors.

Predatory towing companies are about to get a beat down from Congress

The terrible reign of the parking lot pirates may be about to end.
And you won’t believe which swashbucklers are eager to rescue the nation from the metal jaws of predatory towing companies.


Yep. Our normally dysfunctional House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed a transportation bill Thursday morning that — among tons of other things — lets local governments go after the tow truck operators who have picked many families’ pockets.

You know which tow truck operators I mean, right? The hated kind.

The ones who snag your car during the three minutes you ran into CVS to pick up a prescription.

The ones who make millions of dollars baiting deserted parking lots and using spotters at all hours of the night to tow you away.

The ones who hold your car hostage for more than $100 in towing and impound fees.

The ones who hooked a car with kids inside in April.

The ones who have towed cars with dogs inside.

The ones who get taken to court and rarely pay more than a $125 fine when a judge finds that they improperly and illegally seized — and damaged — your car.

Yeah, those guys.

They have no mercy, and their victims can be anybody.

Um, everybody, actually.

“Lots of members of Congress were excited about it,” said Rep. Don Beyer (D-Va.), who co-authored the amendment with Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.). “Getting towed is a very non-partisan experience.”

Van Hollen knows the experience too well.

“I was at a hole-in-the-wall restaurant, literally ran in for takeout,” he explained. His car was towed in “less than 90 seconds,” he said.

In his neck of the woods, Montgomery County, that tow will add at least $150 onto whatever errand you were trying to run. Expensive moo shu.

Van Hollen said these kinds of tow guys have turned it “into a science,” with an empty parking lot becoming a “cash cow.” It’s one of the biggest complaints his office gets.

“We didn’t have trouble signing up people,” said Van Hollen, who has been trying to thwart the parking lot pirates for years and may finally be successful with this bill.

Of course, it was Congress that gave the pirates their opening years ago.

A loophole in a 1994 federal law forbade local jurisdictions from doing anything to regulate these guys.

So they saw the opportunity and created a cottage industry of spying on people on empty lots and towing them minutes after they leave their car.

ESPN reporter Britt McHenry had her car towed while she was eating dinner in Clarendon. She was famously caught on video ripping into the cashier when she went to pay them off to get her car back. She was suspended by ESPN for a week.

I was just as angry a couple of years ago when they hooked us after we pulled up near a condo in Clarendon to load a piece of furniture into our minivan.

It was less than 10 minutes, flashers on, sign on the windshield explaining we’re loading and will be right back. It was late at night in front of a dry cleaner that was closed. And it was gone, sparks flying as the undercarriage slammed on the ground and the truck fishtailed away.

Mind you, these aren’t the merciless guys who tow your car parked in a no-parking lane on one of the District’s main streets one minute into rush hour.

Those guys are brutal, but they serve a purpose. One illegally parked car can be like metal cholesterol, clogging up a city’s thoroughfares for blocks and blocks.

The parking lot pirates? A lot less noble.

They lurk in cars and tow your vehicle even if you’re a customer of one business, then walk 200 feet to use the ATM at another. Show them your receipt, they won’t care.

The online complaints about them are outrageous.

One guy was towed exactly one minute after his gym closed. Another was towed because a condo placard was on the left side of the dashboard instead of on the right. And another was towed even though she was parked perfectly legally. And that was just this week.

They’ve been doing this for years.

The late musician Steve Goodman sang about the notorious Chicago towing company with similar tactics back in the 1970s in “Lincoln Park Pirates,” made famous by columnist Mike Royko:

“We plunder the streets of your town

Be it Edsel or Chevy

There’s no car too heavy

And one one can make us shut down.”…



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Posted by on November 8, 2015 in Domestic terrorism


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Police Chief Support for Smarter Sentencing Act

The US System of incarceration as a system of political and racial control has failed. To begin to straighten the mess out, President Obama has proposed “The Smarter Sentencing Act”.


A New Approach to Criminal-Justice Reform

As the Smarter Sentencing Act nears its vote, a new group of police chiefs and prosecutors hopes to influence the debate.

Criminal-justice reform is taking a significant step forward this week. On Wednesday, more than 130 police chiefs and prosecutors announced a new organization with the goal of curtailing mass incarceration. President Obama willhost a discussion with its members and the Marshall Project on Thursday, while the Senate Judiciary Committee plans to vote on the Smarter Sentencing Act, which hopes to reform mandatory-minimum sentencing and the federal prison system.

The group, Law Enforcement Leaders to Reduce Crime and Incarceration, is a project by the Brennan Center for Justice, a nonpartisan policy institute that specializes in legal and criminal-justice issues. The new group’s membership includes NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton, Cook County District Attorney Anita Alvarez, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, and Philadelphia police commissioner Charles Ramsey.

“We know firsthand that more incarceration does not keep our country safe,” Garry McCarthy and Ronal Serpas, the group’s co-chairs, wrote in a USA Todayop-ed on Wednesday. “Our experience and research show that good crime control policy is not about locking up everyone. It’s about locking up the right people.”

The group’s four main issues draw upon many of the themes that have animated criminal-justice reform. They note that “more than 50 percent of prison and jail inmates have a diagnosed mental illness, and 65 percent of prisoners meet medical criteria for substance abuse and addiction,” citing successful efforts to rework the system in Miami’s courts. They praise California’s Proposition 47, which reduced a broad swath of nonviolent drug crimes from felonies to misdemeanors, as well as sentencing reforms in Georgia, Kentucky, and New York. And they cite the need for closer relationships between law-enforcement agencies and the communities they serve…

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Posted by on October 23, 2015 in BlackLivesMatter


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The Tea Party “gun toting Bible thumping … freak, bi-sexual porn addicted sex deviant” and the “Tramp”

Things are really getting Kinky in the Tea Party Delegation to Michigan’s Congress. When an anti Gay Marriage, male Tea Party Congressman gets caught having an affair with a female, bible thumping Tea Party “harlot” what to do?

Come out with a memo apologizing for getting caught with a gay male escort!


Michigan Expels Republican Lawmaker Cindy Gamrat Over Sex Scandal, Cover-Up

One socially conservative Michigan lawmaker was expelled from office and another resigned early Friday after they were embroiled in scandal over their extramarital affair and an attempt to hide it with a strange fictional email.

Republican Rep. Cindy Gamrat became just the fourth legislator to be kicked out in state history shortly after 4 a.m. An hour earlier, GOP Rep. Todd Courser resigned, effective immediately, when it became clear majority Republicans had secured votes from enough Democrats for his expulsion in exchange for the House asking the attorney general and state police to investigate the lawmakers.

Both were immediately escorted out of the chamber.

The self described deviants

“I put everybody through a whole bunch — across the state, my own family, the constituents, the people in this room,” Courser told reporters. “Whether it was the third vote or the fourth vote or the fifth vote, they were going to eventually get me.”

Gamrat, who was tossed on a 91-12 vote, declined comment while leaving the Capitol.

“I have done everything I can to redeem the situation,” she said shortly before in her speech asking for a censure, which would have let her stay on the job with restrictions. “I am sincerely sorry for what it’s caused.”

Courser, 43, of Lapeer in Michigan’s Thumb region, admitted sending an “outlandish” phony email to GOP activists and others in May claiming he was caught with a male prostitute. The email was intended to make his affair with the 42-year-old Gamrat appear less believable if it were exposed by an anonymous blackmailer who Courser said was demanding his resignation.

The self-smear email called Courser a “bi-sexual porn addicted sex deviant” and “gun toting Bible thumping … freak” and Gamrat a “tramp.”

Gamrat, from Plainwell in the southwestern part of the state, said she discussed the plot with Courser but did not know the email’s sexually explicit content before it was sent.

On Thursday, a special House committee recommended the expulsion of both legislators. But the full chamber then deadlocked for hours, as more than two dozen Democrats refused to vote.

They attacked the “sham” investigation as rushed and self-serving. They questioned why two “whistleblower” aides to Courser and Gamrat were allowed to be fired by GOP leadership, since the speaker’s office had known of problems in the lawmakers’ combined office.

The House was six votes short of the two-thirds supermajority needed under the state constitution. More than two dozen minority Democrats initially abstained from voting and criticized the process.

In calling for both legislators’ expulsion, Rep. Ed McBroom, a Republican from Vulcan in the Upper Peninsula who chaired the disciplinary panel, said: “These two members have obliterated the public trust. They’ve obliterated the trust of their colleagues. And each day that they continue here they reduce the public trust in this institution.”

The scandal unfolded last month after a staffer the couple shared was fired in July. Ben Graham gave The Detroit News a secret audio recording of Courser demanding that he send the email to “inoculate the herd,” an apparent reference to Courser’s supporters. While Graham refused and the email was likely legal, the plot was unethical, according to a House Business Office probe that alleged dishonesty, misconduct and misuse of public resources extending beyond the affair and fictional email.

State police are investigating the alleged blackmail and this week obtained a warrant for records from a phone company related to a prepaid, or “burner,” phone from which Courser said he received threatening text messages.


Geez, whatever happened to just ‘fessing up and copping a plea?

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Posted by on September 11, 2015 in Stupid Tea Bagger Tricks


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Julian Bond 1940-2015

Another of the giants of the Civil Rights Movement has died…

Julian Bond, Former N.A.A.C.P. Chairman and Civil Rights Leader, Dies at 75

JUlian Bond in his SNCC Days

Julian Bond, a former chairman of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, a charismatic figure of the 1960s civil rights movement, a lightning rod of the anti-Vietnam War campaign and a lifelong champion of equal rights for minorities, died on Saturday night, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center. He was 75.

Mr. Bond died in Fort Walton Beach, Fla., after a brief illness, the center said in a statementSunday morning.

He was one of the original leaders of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, while he was a student at Morehouse College in Atlanta.

He moved from the militancy of the student group to the top leadership of the establishmentarian N.A.A.C.P. Along the way, he was a writer, poet, television commentator, lecturer, college teacher, and persistent opponent of the stubborn remnants of white supremacy.

He also served for 20 years in the Georgia Legislature, mostly in conspicuous isolation from white colleagues who saw him as an interloper and a rabble-rouser.

Mr. Bond’s wit, cool personality and youthful face became familiar to millions of television viewers during the 1960s and 1970s. He attracted adjectives — dashing, handsome, urbane — the way some people attract money.

On the strength of his personality and quick intellect, he moved to the center of the civil rights action in Atlanta, the unofficial capital of the movement, at the height of the struggle for racial equality in the early 1960s.

Moving beyond demonstrations, he became a founder, with Morris Dees, of the Southern Poverty Law Center, a legal advocacy organization in Montgomery, Ala. Mr. Bond was its president from 1971 to 1979 and remained on its board for the rest of his life.

When he was elected to the Georgia House of Representatives in 1965 — along with seven other black members — furious white members of the House refused to let him take his seat, accusing him of disloyalty. He was already well known because of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee’s stand against the United States’ involvement in the Vietnam War.

That touched off a national drama that ended in 1966, when the Supreme Court in a unanimous decision ordered the legislature to seat him, saying it had denied him freedom of speech.

He went on to serve 20 years in the two houses of the legislature. As a lawmaker, he sponsored bills to establish a sickle cell anemia testing program and to provide low-interest home loans to low-income Georgians. He also helped create a majority-black congressional district in Atlanta.

He left the State Senate in 1986 after six terms to run for that seat in the United States House. He lost a bitter contest to his old friend John Lewis, a fellow founder of S.N.C.C. and its longtime chairman. The two men, for all their earlier closeness in the rights movement, represented opposite poles of African-American life in the South: Mr. Lewis was the son of an sharecropper; Mr. Bond was the son of a college president.

Horace Julian Bond was born Jan. 14, 1940, in Nashville, Tenn. His father, Horace Mann Bond, moved the family to Pennsylvania five years later, when he became the first African-American president of his alma mater, Lincoln University.

Julian Bond’s great-grandmother Jane Bond was the slave mistress of a Kentucky farmer. Julian’s grandfather James Bond, one of Jane Bond’s sons, was educated at Berea and Oberlin Colleges and became a clergyman. His son Horace Mann Bond expected his own son Julian to follow in his footsteps as an educator, but the young man was attracted instead to journalism and political activism.

At Morehouse College, he plunged into extracurricular activities, but paid less attention to his studies. The civil rights movement provided a good excuse to drop out of college in 1961. He returned in the early 1970s to complete his English degree.

Dozens of his friends went to jail during his time with S.N.C.C. But he was arrested only once. In 1960, after word of student sit-ins at lunch counters in Greensboro, N.C., spread across the South, Mr. Bond and a few of his friends at Morehouse organized protests against segregated public facilities in Atlanta. He was arrested when he led a sit-in at the City Hall cafeteria.

Mr. Bond devoted most of the 1960s to the protest movement and activist politics, including campaigns to register black voters.

He prospered on the lecture circuit the rest of his life. He became a regular commentator in print and on television, including as host of “America’s Black Forum,” then the oldest black-owned show in television syndication.

In later years, he taught at Harvard, Williams, Drexel and the University of Pennsylvania.

He is survived by his second wife, Pamela Sue Horowitz, a retired lawyer, and five children, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center.

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Posted by on August 16, 2015 in Giant Negros


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Running On Empty – Republicans Support Failed Garner Prosecutor to Run For Office

Racism isn’t just a problem in the South – it seems to be a problem wherever Republicans congregate. Daniel Donovan whose most recent “failure to prosecute” in the Eric Garner choking death, has propelled his image with Republicans in NY as “their man” to defend the white right. Strong support, especially from loudmouth racists like Rudi Guliani recalls an earlier time when politicians joined the KKK as a sign to racist voters they were “true patriots”. These folks will support, encourage and defend murder…As long as the victim is black and the murderer is white through any means necessary including ripping up the law. Donovan, like his counterpart in the Ferguson case, plotted and intended to throw the case… And for that Republicans in his area are willing to defend him.

Daniel Donovan, Prosecutor Who Failed To Indict Eric Garner’s Killer, Running For Congress

Accessory to murder…

Staten Island District Attorney Daniel Donovan, who gained national attention for failing to bring an indictment against the police officer who killed Eric Garner, said Friday that he will run for Congress to fill the seat vacated by Rep. Michael Grimm (R-N.Y.).

In a statement, Donovan said that since he first announced that he was “seriously considering” a congressional bid in the 11th District, he has received an outpouring of support.

“Last week I announced that I would seriously consider running for the vacant Congressional seat in the 11th Congressional District of New York,” said Donovan. “I made that announcement after a 24 hour period in which my phone never stopped ringing with expressions of enthusiastic support from elected officials, party leaders, and residents of Staten Island and Brooklyn. … In the week since my last announcement the enthusiasm for my candidacy has only broadened and intensified, with expressions of support also from beyond the two boroughs.”

Donovan has received strong public support from New York Republicans, such as former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, and is considered the frontrunner for the GOP nomination. In response, however, some Republicans began warning that Donovan was an unwise choice, due to his role in the Garner case.

Garner, an unarmed African-American man, died on July 17 in Staten Island after police officer Daniel Pantaleo put him in a chokehold and pushed him to the ground in order to arrest him for selling untaxed cigarettes. Garner repeatedly said “I can’t breathe” before he died.

Although the scene was captured on video by a bystander, a Staten Island grand jury decided on Dec. 3 not to indict the police officer, sparking nationwide protests. A significant amount of ire has been directed at Donovan for not pushing harder to get an indictment.

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Posted by on January 11, 2015 in Domestic terrorism


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