Former Sen. Harris Wofford, a Pennsylvania Democrat who served from 1991 until he was defeated by Rick Santorum in the 1994 GOP wave, died Monday at the age of 92. Wofford, whom the New Republic dubbed “The Man Who Was Everywhere” in a must-read 2014 profile by Jason Zengerle, had a very long career in public service despite only spending a few years in elected office. Among many other things, he was an early supporter of Martin Luther King Jr. and an aide on John F. Kennedy’s 1960 presidential campaign. He even helped convince JFK to defy his campaign advisors and call Coretta Scott King after her husband was arrested, a politically risky move that probably tipped the election towards Kennedy. Wofford was born in upstate New York into a wealthy family of transplanted Southerners, and at the age of 11, he accompanied his grandmother on a six-month tour around the world. In perhaps the first example of Wofford’s Forrest Gump-like presence at major historical events, he personally witnessed Italian dictator Benito Mussolini declaring that he was withdrawing Italy from the League of Nations, an announcement that Wofford later recounted was followed by “a fascist torchlight parade.” However, it was his stop in India, where Wofford saw and became fascinated by Mahatma Gandhi and his nonviolence movement, that would most impact his future. Wofford would later say that he returned from the trip as a “know-it-all foreign policy expert.” In high school, Wofford founded a group called Student Federalists that called for united world government. The organization would grow to include 30 chapters, and when he was only 18, Newsweek published an article predicting he would be president. The Student Federalists would later transform into the group that is now known as Citizens for Global Solutions. Wofford went on to serve stateside in the Army Air Corps during World War II and later enrolled in graduate school at the University of Chicago. In 1948, he married fellow student Clare Lindgren, and the two traveled throughout India and Pakistan, which had just gained their independence from the British Empire and where Wofford studied the recently murdered Gandhi and civil disobedience. Wofford would later recount that Gandhi’s disciples asked him about the nascent civil rights movement back in America, a movement that he would soon become immersed in.
On Tuesday, the federal court that last year struck down 11 Republican-drawn state House districts in Virginia for unconstitutionally diminishing the power of black voters ordered the adoption of a replacement map to remedy the GOP’s now-invalid gerrymander. The court’s map is similar to the Democratic plaintiffs' proposals and makes changes to more than two dozen of the chamber’s 100 districts, since many of those adjacent to the illegal districts need to be redrawn as well. As a result, this map would give black voters greater clout in several districts, consequently making several Republican-held seats considerably bluer ahead of this November's elections. In fact, as you can see in the map at the top of this post (see here for a larger version), Hillary Clinton won 56 districts to just 44 for Donald Trump, a big jump from Clinton’s 51-49 advantage under the old lines. In the House, Republicans are clinging to a 51-49 edge. As the map below demonstrates, none of these 49 Democratic incumbents would hold Trump seats (currently one does). On the flip side, seven Republicans would be placed into Clinton districts, compared to just three right now: Tim Hugo (HD-40), Kirk Cox (HD-66), Chris Jones (HD-76), Christopher Stolle (HD-83), Gordon Helsel (HD-91), David Yancey (HD-94), and Robert Bloxom (HD-100). Click to enlarge In a fitting twist, Cox is the state House speaker, and his district would flip from backing Trump heavily to voting for Clinton by a 50-46 margin. And as analyst Chaz Nuttycombe notes, Jones was the architect of the GOP’s original map that the courts struck down, while Yancey infamously won re-election in 2017 thanks to a tiebreaker that never should have happened in the first place. Democrats could therefore enjoy a whole lot of karma on their way toward winning their first majority in more than 20 years.
A Kent County, Michigan, sheriff’s office has announced that it will no longer hold detainees to hand over to deportation agents unless they have an order signed by a judge or magistrate, after the sheriff’s office transferred a U.S.-born Marine veteran to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) for deportation last month. Lance corporal and tank crewman Jilmar Ramos-Gomez, who has post-traumatic stress disorder after serving in Afghanistan, had been held by the Kent County Sheriff’s Office, “accused of trespassing and damaging a fire alarm at a Grand Rapids hospital.” But as he was set to be released, “authorities then contacted ICE because it believed the incident may have been a possible act of terrorism, according to a statement released by the police department.” ICE claims that the Michigan-born man told them that he was undocumented, but ICE lies, and quite frequently. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) believes it was more of a case of good old-fashioned racism. “”If his name is John Smith, ICE isn’t interviewing him,’ Miriam Aukerman, a senior attorney with the ACLU of Michigan, told BuzzFeed News.” The veteran was held for three days before being released to family, and is now reportedly getting mental health care. Under a barrage of public blowback, the sheriff’s office will now limit cooperation with ICE—which it should have done from the start—by honoring only judicial warrants (PSA: if ICE agents show up to your home with warrant in hand but its not signed by a judge, ’ICE is not allowed to enter or search your home’”). “The basic probable cause standard used in every other area of law enforcement will now be applied to ICE, at least in Kent County,” noted WOOD TV. «Jilmar’s case,” Aukerman continued, “shows that blindly turning people over to ICE based on ICE’s error-ridden detainer system is a recipe for disaster. We call on local law enforcement across the country to follow the lead of the Kent County Sheriff, and ensure that no one gets held for ICE unless a judge signs off. We also call on ICE—which has refused to do an investigation—to do so.»
Donald Trump presented his new NASA administrator with a bit of a conundrum: an unlimited check if he could plant the flag on Mars—by 2020. New York Magazine reports that Trump was conducting a publicity call to astronauts aboard the International Space Station when his mind began to wander. Not only did Trump step out on his call to the space (a televised call) to make a quick trip to the bathroom, he also developed an on-the-spot “fantasy” of putting men on Mars before the end of his first term. The incident, from the new book Team of Vipers about life in the Trump White House, threatened to derail every priority at NASA and set the nation on a new space race whose only goal was satisfying Trump’s vanity. During the call, Trump asked one of the astronauts about Mars, and was reminded that he had himself just signed a directive that set a date in the 2030s for human missions to the red planet. Trump, astonished to learn what he had already put his name to, was unhappy with this. Instead he replied that he wanted to make it happen “in my first term or at worst in my second term.” The administrator attempted to explain to Trump the extreme distance—over 200 times farther than the Moon, even when the Earth and Mars are at their closest approach—and NASA’s lack of any vehicle that could sustain astronauts for the time and conditions that would be required. But Trump had an answer. Trump: But what if I gave you all the money you could ever need to do it? What if we sent NASA’s budget through the roof, but focused entirely on that instead of whatever else you’re doing now. Could it work then? it was a crazy thing for Trump to do. However, the honest answer to that question is … maybe. Depending on just what it means to put humans on Mars.
While House Democrats fight to reopen the federal government, the new Democratic governors elected across the country are working to move their states forward—a particularly big job for those who flipped seats in November, and even more so for those still contending with Republican-controlled state legislatures. A Democratic Governors Association round-up offers some highlights: In Maine, Gov. Janet Mills finally expanded Medicaid after former Gov. Paul LePage had repeatedly vetoed Medicaid expansion, even blocking it after voters approved it in 2017. Already more than 500 Mainers have gotten covered. In Wisconsin, while Republican legislators are standing in the way of Gov. Tony Evers’ push on Medicaid expansion, Evers signed an order that “instructs three state agencies to develop plans and offer recommendations on how to protect insurance coverage for people with preexisting conditions, make health plans more affordable and accessible, create insurance literacy curriculum for students and require insurers to be transparent about health plan costs, coverage and benefits.” Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed an executive order promoting equal pay for women and men working for the state. Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly reinstated employment non-discrimination protections for LGBT state employees that former Gov. Sam Brownback had ended, because of course he did. And Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak is taking aim at sexual harassment with a new task force. Undoing Republican damage will be the work of years if not generations, but it’s good to get the job started.
The government shutdown has federal workers lining up at food banks to get by while their paychecks aren’t coming. Whether they’re off the job or required to work without pay, people need to eat. In Washington, D.C., the Capital Area Food Bank offered pop-up sites for federal workers Saturday morning, giving food to 1,140 people—people who’d mostly been accustomed to donating money to food banks, not getting food from them. “For many, many years, I sent in donations to the Capital Area Food Bank,” one older woman told a volunteer as she picked up food. “This is the first time I’ve had to ask for help.” Hundreds of Coast Guard families visited food banks in Jacksonville Beach, Florida, and Novato, California, while in some locations, FBI field offices are setting up their own food banks where employees who are able to donate can leave food for coworkers who need it. The FBI has also seen an increase in workers asking permission to do outside work—they aren’t allowed to take just any job. Chef José Andrés has opened a kitchen offering free lunches to federal workers in Washington, D.C., and has served thousands of meals per day.
A host of global factors such as concerns over global growth, US government shutdown and US-China trade talks are likely to guide the market movement today
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The Google homepage is most likely the first tab you open every morning, but here are some amazing facts that you may not know about the search engine.
Bengaluru-based wealth management firm Minance banks on innovation and strong customer relations to drive growth.
Leaked images show a purported Galaxy S10 with a «Blockchain KeyStore.»
Sunil Nagaraj, who’d studied computer science as an undergrad at UNC Chapel Hill, landed a pretty nice gig after deciding to pursue an MBA at Harvard Business School. He wound up working as a principal for Bessemer Venture Partners, a top-tier venture firm with locations around the world. Nagaraj helped source a number of deals […]
If your company uses a VPN and/or a mobile device management service to give you access to its intranet and internal web apps, then you know how annoying those are. AWS today launched a new product, Amazon WorkLink, that promises to make this process significantly easier. WorkLink is a fully managed service that, for $5 […]
It’s a dark day to work in media. On the heels of news that TechCrunch parent company Verizon Media Group (formerly Oath) would lay off roughly 800 workers, BuzzFeed has announced its own substantial staffing cuts. And though they were anticipated, Gannett also made substantial cuts to newsrooms around the US on Wednesday. In a memo […]
The freezing waters underneath Antarctic ice shelves and the underside of the ice itself are of great interest to scientists... but who wants to go down there? Leave it to the robots. They won't complain! And indeed, a pair of autonomous subs have been nosing around the ice for a full year now, producing data unlike any other expedition ever has.
Sequoia India is going deep into early-stage investing after it announced an accelerator program, Surge, which is focused on fledging startups in India and Southeast Asia, the two regions that it covers. It’s been nearly six months since Sequoia India closed its newest $695 million fund — its fifth since its establishment 12 years ago […]
PHOENIX (AP) - The Phoenix City Council on Wednesday night approved a $230 million renovation plan for their downtown arena that will keep the NBA's Phoenix Suns in the city until at least 2037 with an option to extend it to 2042. The plan was approved by a 6-2 vote ...
Despite its oftentimes villainous portrayal in fiction, artificial intelligence isn’t the threat that humanity might have feared. On the contrary, it’s proved to be extremely helpful. Now anyone can realize its full potential […] The post Join the AI Revolution With This Training Bundle On Sale for 95 Percent Off appeared first on Geek.com.
WASHINGTON (AP) - At this time of year, John Sprinkle and his wife would normally be planning their summer vacation. Not now. Sprinkle, a furloughed federal employee, is about to miss his second paycheck since the partial government shutdown began just before Christmas. With no end in sight to the ...
BEVERLY SHORES, Ind. (AP) - The National Park Service is teaming up with two partners to renovate five historic beach homes at the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore and rent them out as vacation properties. The Park Service, Indiana Landmarks and the Dunes National Park Association hope to refurbish the homes ...
Fake news activity will be reduced on Facebook soon: The social media platform is enforcing new initiatives that aim to prevent pages from posting false content. On Wednesday, Facebook in a press release […] The post Facebook’s New Page Initiatives Aim to Crack Down on Fake News appeared first on Geek.com.
A volunteer at an Ohio zoo is recovering after an orangutan reached through a barrier in its mesh enclosure, bit her arm, and somehow detached her thumb. Officials at the Toledo Zoo said […] The post Orangutan at Ohio Zoo Bites Volunteer, Detaches Her Thumb appeared first on Geek.com.
Top-ranked Tennessee rallies, beats Vanderbilt 88-83 in OT
Armoni Brooks scored 17 points, Corey Davis Jr. added 12 and No. 17 Houston hit 16 3-pointers while beating East Carolina 94-50
Yeboah, Latimer spark Stony Brook past Albany 67-66 in OT
Charlie Brown Jr. had 31 points and 14 rebounds, and Saint Joseph's rallied late to beat Richmond 74-70
Landon Donovan signs with MASL's San Diego Sockers
The Indiana Pacers may have lost Victor Oladipo for the season. Oladipo suffered a nasty knee injury in the second quarter of the Pacers’ game against the Toronto Raptors on Wednesday night and had to be taken off the court on a stretcher. The Pacers acknowledged on Twitter that Oladipo had suffered a “serious” knee injury and said he would undergo an MRI on Thursday. For now, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski is reporting that a preliminary examination left the Pacers fearing that Oladipo will need season-ending knee surgery. This would be an awful blow to the Pacers. Indiana entered play on Wednesday 31-15 and third in the Eastern Conference standings. They’ve had strong play from several players like Bojan Bogdanovic, Myles Turner, Domantas Sabonis, Thaddeus Young and Darren Collison, but the true leader of the team is Oladipo.