An Algorithm Could End Gerrymandering

June 26, 2017

We know gerrymandering is a problem. The Supreme Court has long recognized the potential for abuse in legislative redistricting. But what is an objective measure to rule of fairness? Wendy Tam Cho of the University of Illinois proposes a “Computational Method for Identifying Extreme Redistricting Plans.” You can read Professor Cho’s complete paper here.

What’s your state’s redistricting law? Find out here.

Related:

“Why the Supreme Court’s decision to review Wisconsin’s gerrymandering is such a big deal,” Christopher Ingraham, Washington Post

“Gerrymandering Case Echoes in Inkblot-Like Districts Across the U.S.,” Michael Cooper, New York Times

“Where Gerrymandering Is Containing City Power,” Brentin Mock, CityLab

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Hackensack

June 25, 2017

“Hackensack,” composed by Thelonious Monk, performed by saxophone giants John Coltrane and Stan Getz with Oscar Peterson (piano), Paul Chambers (bass), and Jimmy Cobb (drums). Germany, 1960.

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Fools

June 25, 2017

“Fools,” written and performed by Diane Birch, along with Daryl Hall and friends. From an episode of the Live From Daryl’s House webcast.

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Salvation Is Free

June 25, 2017

“Salvation Is Free,” Carleen Anderson.

Carleen Anderson website
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Another Love Like Mine

June 24, 2017

“Another Love Like Mine,” written by Bosco Mann (Gabriel Roth), performed by Saun & Starr.

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Helden

June 24, 2017

“Helden (Heroes),” von David Bowie. Wunderbar!

David Bowie website

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A Century of Animation

June 24, 2017

Historic animation highlights 1833 – 1990, courtesy of The Solomon Society.

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Civil Rights Cases To Be Scaled Back Under Betsy DeVos

June 23, 2017

Civil Rights Cases To Be Scaled Back Under Betsy DeVos

“The Department of Education is scaling back investigations into civil rights violations at the nation’s public schools and universities, easing off mandates imposed by the Obama administration that the new leadership says have bogged down the agency.

According to an internal memo issued by Candice E. Jackson, the acting head of the department’s office for civil rights, requirements that investigators broaden their inquiries to identify systemic issues and whole classes of victims will be scaled back. Also, regional offices will no longer be required to alert department officials in Washington of all highly sensitive complaints on issues such as the disproportionate disciplining of minority students and the mishandling of sexual assaults on college campuses.

The new directives are the first steps taken under Education Secretary Betsy DeVos to reshape her agency’s approach to civil rights enforcement, which was bolstered while President Barack Obama was in office. The efforts during Mr. Obama’s administration resulted in far-reaching investigations and resolutions that required schools and colleges to overhaul policies addressing a number of civil rights concerns.”

“Education Dept. Says It Will Scale Back Civil Rights Investigations,” Eric L. Green, New York Times

Candice E. Jackson, appointed by Secretary DeVos to run Education’s Civil Rights office, first gained notoriety as a Stanford student when she complained that she had suffered discrimination because she is white. Who better to reverse Civil Rights progress than someone who claimed “reverse discrimination?”

Update:

“Government Watchdog Will Investigate Trump Administration on Civil Rights,” Elena Gooray, Pacific Standard

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Image (“Civil Rights Office Renamed”) by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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John Oliver on Gerrymandering

June 22, 2017

The Rule of Law: He who rules makes the law. Legislators often reshape voting districts to keep their parties in political power. John Oliver explains.

Related:

“Why the Supreme Court’s decision to review Wisconsin’s gerrymandering is such a big deal,” Christopher Ingraham, Washington Post

“Gerrymandering Case Echoes in Inkblot-Like Districts Across the U.S.,” Michael Cooper, New York Times

“Where Gerrymandering Is Containing City Power,” Brentin Mock, CityLab

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The White House Lawyers Up

June 21, 2017

The White House Lawyers Up

President Trump hired a lawyer to help him with Trump-Russia investigations. In fact, he hired a whole bunch of lawyers. His vice president and son-in-law are hiring lawyers. Even the president’s lawyer has hired a lawyer.

Though four top law firms turned down the chance to represent Team Trump, this administration is creating lots of high paying jobs for DC lawyers.

Job Creation. Another campaign promise met.

More:

“White-collar lawyers see opportunity in Trump scandals,” Darren Samuelsohn and Andrew Restuccia, Politico

Update:

“Sessions Hires Attorney as Russia Probe Expands,” Daily Beast

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Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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