On Thursday, a federal district court struck down 34 of Michigan's congressional and state legislative districts, ruling that Republican gerrymandering had violated the First and 14th Amendment rights of Democratic voters. The court ordered that the invalidated districts must be redrawn by Aug. 1, which should leave enough time for any appeals to be resolved quickly enough so that new maps could be implemented for the 2020 elections. Notably, the court also ordered special elections for the affected districts in the state Senate, since the chamber otherwise isn't up for election until 2022, after the next regular round of redistricting. Michigan is a top contender for the most insidious Republican gerrymandering of any state in the country. Republicans have won legislative majorities despite losing the popular vote in six of the last nine elections since the 2000 census—a stretch of time during which they’ve had exclusive control of redistricting. While Democrats elected Gretchen Whitmer as governor, swept every statewide office, and broke through the GOP’s congressional gerrymander by flipping two seats in 2018, Republicans nevertheless held on to narrow majorities in both legislative chambers. Michigan voters also approved a ballot initiative to end gerrymandering last year by creating an independent redistricting commission, but that commission won't redraw the lines until 2022. Republican gerrymandering helped thwart Democrats from winning full control of state government in 2018 for the first time since the early 1980s, but if this ruling survives, Democrats would have a strong chance of winning power in 2020. However, there's a strong chance that this ruling will be overturned thanks to the partisan Republican majority on the Supreme Court. The high court will soon rule in two key cases over gerrymandering in Maryland and North Carolina, and it has never before ruled in favor of plaintiffs seeking to overturn maps on the basis of unfair partisan advantage. Whether or not this Michigan ruling survives will hinge on the outcome of those two cases, which are expected to see rulings issued in June.
Trump celebrates on Twitter as SCOTUS reportedly poised to approve Census citizenship question
It’s absolutely not unusual for the White House to push back against requests from Congress. Scrabbling to the edge of Article I and Article II powers has been an issue since the Washington administration, and there’s a good argument to be made that the blurriness of the line is intentional. Not only were the boundaries of the executive and legislative branches built as a compromise by people concerned that nailing those lines down too firmly might threaten support for an already fragile agreement, but they were also defined vaguely enough to handle issues from recording tapes to Twitter accounts. It shouldn’t be surprising that almost every administration, including those of Barack Obama and Bill Clinton, has bumped heads with Congress over where the limits of executive power are. But that doesn’t mean that what Donald Trump is doing is in any way normal. As the New York Times reports, Trump “is definitely building a wall—but it is between the White House and the House of Representatives.” That “wall” is Trump blocking every document requested by the House, and ordering every member of his staff, even those who have received subpoenas, to lock their lips. That absolute denial didn’t start with the Mueller report; it started as soon as Democrats took control of the House. However, since Attorney General William Barr reaffirmed his position that Trump can do no wrong in the eyes of the DOJ, Trump has been adamant about enforcing his ban on any information reaching Congress. Trump’s D.C. wall means that not only can Congress not follow up on the items Mueller left to it on questions of obstruction—and still-open issues of potential conspiracy—but that normal day-to-day oversight functions are also at a standstill. Congress’ ability to look in on what’s happening at the EPA, the IRS, the Interior Department, is entirely on hold as Trump clamps down. Trump’s announcement that the White House will be “fighting all the subpoenas” isn’t a constitutional crisis on the horizon. It’s a crisis already underway. That crisis was kicked into a higher gear this week when Barr showed that he wasn’t just willing to give Trump a pass on obstruction, but was also willing to support Trump’s play by prohibiting any testimony from Justice Department official John Gore. Gore’s appearance had nothing to do with Mueller. Nothing to do with Trump’s 2016 campaign. And blocking his appearance is an absolute signal that Trump intends to redraw the boundary line of what he controls, all the way around Capitol Hill.
French President Emmanuel Macron vowed an ‘intractable’ fight against ‘political Islam,’ which he said seeks secession from the French Republic. His comments left many puzzled about his goals. Read Full Article at RT.com
Ukraine’s parliament has passed a law requiring the use of the Ukrainian language in almost all aspects of public life. While the move aims to solidify national identity, it could disenfranchise the country’s Russian speakers. Read Full Article at RT.com
French President Emmanuel Macron has offered another 5 billion euros worth of tax cuts and government reforms as a way to appease Yellow Vest protesters but insists the French must “work more” in turn. Read Full Article at RT.com
Its European launch is expected to take place in late February, but the unveiling date is still unknown.
Your PC needs protection against malware, and free antivirus software may be enough. Here's what to get for Windows 10, and what's worth paying extra for.
The company says it's had one of its best quarters yet.
Facebook «unintentionally» harvested the email contacts of about 1.5 million users.
Looks like the rumor turned out to be true.
The changes come almost six months after the historic Google walkout.
Overexploitation and population collapse pose significant threats to marine fish stocks across the globe. While certain fish populations have already collapsed, research indicates that nearly one third of fisheries worldwide are currently impacted by overharvesting.
As the impacts of climate change escalate, ecosystems will likely undergo events that will disrupt entire populations. In marine ecosystems, anthropogenic warming has subjected organisms to elevated temperatures, oxygen loss, and acidification. The increased frequency and severity of catastrophic events may inhibit a population's ability to recover and, in turn, may spur collapse.
A new study examined APS at the cellular level and found that two drugs reduced development of blood clots in mice affected with the condition.
The rumored IPO plans of $4 billion spinning brand Peloton marks the rise of a wave of interactive fitness startups like Mirror, Tonal, Hydrow, and At Home 360 that combine a monthly subscription to recorded and/or live video classes with workout hardware. There’s opportunity beyond this initial “Peloton for X” model, however, when you look at […]
The Markup appears to be facing a staff revolt — and its financial backers may be reconsidering their support — following the firing of editor-in-chief Julia Angwin. When the site was announced last fall, it was backed by $20 million from Craigslist founder Craig Newmark, with additional funding from the John S. and James L. […]
Have you ever wanted to hear a concerto for piano and harp, in the style of Mozart by way of Katy Perry? Well, why not? Because now you can, with OpenAI's latest (and blessedly not potentially catastrophic) creation, MuseNet. This machine learning model produces never-before-heard music basic on its knowledge of artists and a few bars to fake it with.
HELENA, Mont. (AP) - The Latest on the Montana legislative session (all times local): 1:45 p.m. A Montana legislative committee has rejected efforts to include funding for preschool in the state budget over the next two years. The four Republicans on the committee voted against the proposal Thursday while two ...
There’s this line that gets tossed around by directors who have made “highbrow” horror films (you know, the kind released by A24 and Annapurna that purport to rely heavily on atmosphere over schlocky […] The post Vintage Shelf: There’s More to ‘The Hunger’ Than Just Sex, Vampires, and Bowie appeared first on Geek.com.
Pikachu is going where no kitty has gone before: The tabby cat, who recently passed away from feline diabetes, will be launched to space for the first time and receive the ultimate cosmic […] The post A Cremated Cat Will Be ‘Buried’ in Space for the First Time appeared first on Geek.com.
Mr. Trash Wheel, a floating mechanism with large round eyes affixed to its hood, was installed on a tributary leading to the Baltimore Harbor in 2014. Since then, the trash-scooping object has intercepted 638,594 plastic bags, 1,000,000 styrofoam containers, 150 miles of cigarette butts, and one ball python. Using the power of the sun, the semi-autonomous machine rakes litter out of the water and up a slow but sturdy conveyer belt. The belt is strong enough to hoist mattresses, trees, and kegs from the water and into a dumpster located on a separate barge for recycling and disposal. More
New York City-based ReThink Food is on a mission to tackle the enormous problem of food waste. They want the public to know that there are options beyond the compost pile or landfill. […] The post Brewery Turns Recycled Grains and Cocktail Waste Into a Crafty Sour Beer appeared first on Geek.com.
There have been eleven main Mortal Kombat games. Can you believe it? The 90s were that long ago. Since then the fighting game has become a gory institution as colorful ninjas and sorcerers […] The post ‘Mortal Kombat 11’ Kharacter Guide: Johnny Cage appeared first on Geek.com.
The former Wyant Group Raceway 2016 Pro Truck and 2018 Sportsman champion debuted with the series last July in the doubleheader at her home track and also at nearby Edmonton (Alberta) International Raceway. She will return to compete in those events later this year as well as adding the season finale at Jukasa Motor Speedway.“I’m very proud of what my team accomplished last season,” said ...Keep reading
Another IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship race is in the books for 2019. Despite being one of the shortest races of the year, Long Beach packs a lot of action into just 100 minutes. There were a couple of incidents during the race and action all throughout. Even though we started fifth, finishing second was still a surprise because you never know what hand Long Beach is going to deal ...Keep reading
On today's Whitlogue, Jason Whitlock discusses top QB prospect Kyler Murray. Hear why Whitlock thinks that Murray doesn't want the responsibility that comes with being the face of an NFL franchise.
Jordan Smith of England carded a bogey-free 7-under 66 on Thursday to take a one-shot lead after the first round of the Trophee Hassan II
Zack Greinke, 2 Arizona relievers allow 5 hits in 5-0 victory over Pittsburgh Pirates that secures 4-game sweep for Diamondbacks
Sevilla has routed last-place Rayo Vallecano 5-0 in the Spanish league to stay in contention for the final Champions League spot