The Keystone Pipeline votes: who voted how?
Nov18

The Keystone Pipeline votes: who voted how?

If you see a headline saying that the Senate defeated the Keystone XL Pipeline project by one vote, your mind might imagine a 51-49 tally. You’d be wrong. The Senate roll-call vote today that suspended action on the Keystone XL Pipeline was a 59-41 vote on ending the Democratic filibuster. The bill under filibuster (according to the Senate Democrats website), S. 2280, was introduced May 1 (Sen. John Hoeven, R-ND) and would have...

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As the clock ticks in Missouri, the KKK rises from the shadows
Nov17

As the clock ticks in Missouri, the KKK rises from the shadows

While Anonymous deals the KKK digital blows A grand jury in St. Louis County, MO, has been hearing testimony for months regarding the August 9 shooting death of Michael Brown, 18, by Officer Darren Wilson of the Ferguson police force. A shooting that took place in less than 90 seconds. As the clock ticks closer to a grand jury decision, the Traditionalist American Knights of the Ku Klux Klan (KKK) have become more visible, with flyers...

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This is our government’s war on privacy
Nov14

This is our government’s war on privacy

It’s becoming increasingly evident that governments see our phones as personal tracking devices. Read on for a new slant on these words: dirtbox and stingray. *** Boeing is at the center of the latest Department of Justice privacy story that broke in the Wall Street Journal ($) Thursday. The claim: the DOJ, via its US Marshals Service, has been using airplanes to secretly collect cellphone data from phones on the ground since...

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When being pregnant means the mother’s civil rights are MIA
Nov09

When being pregnant means the mother’s civil rights are MIA

Anti-abortionist rejection of Roe v Wade (22 January 1973) has given way to a flurry of “personhood” legislative proposals at the state level and very public and political attacks on Planned Parenthood at the local, state and national level. But the real action in a woman’s right to agency over her body may be taking place in the shadows, decisions made by (mostly) male judges under the guise of Lady Liberty. Last year, two...

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“My name is the symbol of my identity”
Nov07

“My name is the symbol of my identity”

It’s a factoid that should raise eyebrows: as recently as 1982, a married woman forfeited her right to vote unless she took her husband’s name. You may think we’ve come a long way since the Dark Ages. Think again. *** In 1855 she couldn’t vote, but that year Lucy Stone became the first woman in the U.S. to keep her surname after marriage. Stone’s rationale for not taking the name of her husband, Henry Blackwell: “My name is the symbol...

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Mid-term reversals are not the norm, but an oppositional Congress is
Nov05

Mid-term reversals are not the norm, but an oppositional Congress is

You might hear pundits say mid-term reversals are common. Not so much. It did happen in 2006 (Bush) and 1994 (Clinton) and 1986 (Reagan). We’re talking once per decade. But in 2002 (Reagan), the White House picked up the Senate; it flipped the other way. From 1955 – 1981, the Senate was solid D, regardless of the White House incumbent. Contrary to popular belief, most of the time (in modern political history) Congress and...

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Widespread election problems more than malfunctioning computers
Nov04

Widespread election problems more than malfunctioning computers

[Updated] The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, the nation’s largest nonpartisan voter protection coalition, received far more complaints of problems at the polls than they received in 2010. For the first time, calls came in from every state. Mid-Tuesday morning in Seattle, I noticed that the NY Secretary of State website was unresponsive after I was unable to access it all when trying to determine polling locations: NY...

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Georgia voters have clear choice: good ol’ boy politics or new slate
Nov03

Georgia voters have clear choice: good ol’ boy politics or new slate

Georgia voters have the power to kick corruption in the face in two key, statewide races on Tuesday. We tend to talk about political corruption as the triad of bribery, cronyism and nepotism. In this age of Citizens United, I’m adding deliberate misrepresentation in media. Deal v Carter In 2010, the U.S. Representative Nathan Deal (R) resigned from Congress on March 21, 2010, “just minutes before the ethics committee faced...

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A history lesson for Tom Cotton (and voters in Arkansas)
Nov03

A history lesson for Tom Cotton (and voters in Arkansas)

As campaign whoppers go, it wins the most chutzpah award. When President Obama hijacked the farm bill, turned it into a food stamp bill… I voted no. That’s U.S. Rep. Tom Cotton (R) talking, and he’s running for U.S. Senate against incumbent Mark Pryor (D). When this campaign ad was released in September, fact checkers came down hard on the freshman Congressman. Cotton had the distinction of being the only member of...

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More voting fraud FUD, a researcher backtracks, and surprising facts about suffrage
Oct30

More voting fraud FUD, a researcher backtracks, and surprising facts about suffrage

As I reported earlier this week, forcing voters to show a photo ID at the polls is a GOP boogyman, a “solution” to a non-existent problem. Now comes two researchers — Jesse Richman and David Earnest — from Old Dominion University, who claim that “6.4 percent of non-citizens voted in 2008 and 2.2 percent of non-citizens voted in 2010.” Their Washington Post blog post has more than 3,300 comments, has...

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Voter fraud: the GOP’s mythical boogieman
Oct28

Voter fraud: the GOP’s mythical boogieman

Over the course of the last decade, states have begun implementing strict voter identification requirements, starting with Arkansas’s strict non-photo ID requirement in 2004. In 2005, Indiana became the first state to require voters provide a government-issued photo ID as a condition to voting. The law was upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court in 2008, despite there being “no evidence” of a voter fraud problem. The issue has been...

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Everything you need to know to understand #GamerGate
Oct20

Everything you need to know to understand #GamerGate

The hashtag #GamerGate went mainstream in the past week, with commentary and reporting at the Boston Globe, CBS, CNN, Entertainment Weekly, TIME, The Guardian, the Washington Post. Simple summaries are hard to craft: #GamerGate is complicated hashtag that grew out of a discussion of game industry journalism and morphed into death threats against women. I’m not a gamer, and I’ve resisted writing about this mess; the first I...

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What would you do if you were groped in public?
Oct17

What would you do if you were groped in public?

In the shadow of #gamergate*, here’s a refreshing story of empowerment and focused anger. And another way your smartphone is your friend. Nude photos, rape threats, mass shooting scares: Welcome to the disturbing chaos of #Gamergate http://t.co/4Hd5ZgLz5r pic.twitter.com/5SfMKCD0M6 — Mother Jones (@MotherJones) October 16, 2014 Imagine you’re walking down a city street, minding your own business. You notice a guy following...

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Second Texas health care worker tests positive for Ebola
Oct15

Second Texas health care worker tests positive for Ebola

A second health care worker who cared for Ebola victim Thomas Eric Duncan in Texas has tested positive for the virus, according to the Texas Department of State Health Services. The preliminary Ebola test was run late Tuesday at the state public health laboratory in Austin, and results were received at about midnight.   From MSNBC: The CDC described the latest case involving a health care worker as a “serious...

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U.S. mum on aging Iraq chemical weapons, making our soldiers victims
Oct15

U.S. mum on aging Iraq chemical weapons, making our soldiers victims

The U.S. military systematically withheld information about caches of chemical weapons in Iraq from 2003-2011. U.S. soldiers and Iraqi police were harmed as a result. Moreover, military doctors dismissed claims of exposure and mistreated those exposed to mustard gas. From the New York Times: In five of six incidents in which troops were wounded by chemical agents, the munitions appeared to have been designed in the United States,...

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Voter fraud FUD from NRO
Oct13

Voter fraud FUD from NRO

The tweet made me do a double-take, followed by a click: Braced for Voter Fraud in Colorado (John Fund / National Review) http://t.co/mJevbn48IE http://t.co/nYHOMckfDM — memeorandum (@memeorandum) October 13, 2014 Living in a state that has had 100% vote by mail for four general elections, I coughed a bit as I read the long-winded objections (FUD = fear, uncertainty and doubt) to Colorado’s new VBM system. Let’s see...

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A weekend of resistance in Ferguson
Oct13

A weekend of resistance in Ferguson

It’s been two months since Michael Brown, 18, was shot and killed by Darren Wilson, 28, in Ferguson, MO. We’ve covered this story here at TMV as it has unfolded. Check out the weekend’s action and news in this Storify. [View the story "A weekend of resistance: #FergusonOctober" on...

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Microsoft CEO tells women that their salary rests on karma, then retracts
Oct10

Microsoft CEO tells women that their salary rests on karma, then retracts

At the Grace Hopper celebration of women in computing, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella gave this bit of career advise to the assembled audience of 8,000 women: “It’s not really about asking for a raise, but knowing and having faith that the system will give you the right raise” … because “all HR systems are long-term efficient, short-term inefficient.” Satya Nadella, 8 October 2014 Grace Hopper conference As you might...

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There is no new eyewitness report about Jesus
Oct08

There is no new eyewitness report about Jesus

Satire, clueless sharing, and digital literacy Once-upon-a-time, satire was (pretty) clearly marked: think Mad Magazine, for example. Then along came The Onion. Today there are innumerable satirical news sites, some that make it very clear that they are farcical – such as having a statement on each page saying “satire!” —  and some that do not. This is a post about one that does not hit readers on the head that...

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Happy 90th birthday, President Carter
Oct01

Happy 90th birthday, President Carter

On this day in 1924, James Earl Carter was born in Plains, Georgia, making today the 90th birthday of our nation’s 39th president (1977-81) and Georgia’s 76th governor (1971-75). Foreign policy accomplishments included returning the Panama Canal to Panama, the Camp David Peace Accords between Egypt and Israel, and the SALT II treaty with the Soviet Union. In addition, under his leadership the US normalized diplomatic...

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