Sunday, March 29, 2015

Report of the Joint Committee on Reconstruction June 20 1866 < 1851-1875 < Documents < American History From Revolution To Reconstruction and beyond

The little noted Congressional Joint Committee on Reconstruction, reporting six months after ratification of the 13th Amendment, laid the foundation for the 14th Amendment. That history was told masterfully by Eric Foner [Reconstruction: America's Unfinished Revolution (1988)] and recently by Gerard N. Magliocca in his fine biography of its principal architect - American Founding Son - John Bingham and the Invention of the 14th Amendment. The project remains America's unfinished revolution, as recent reports - such as the Justice Department's on Ferguson, Missouri, demonstrate. - gwc.Report of the Joint Committee on Reconstruction June 20 1866 < 1851-1875 < Documents < American History From Revolution To Reconstruction and beyond

Report of the Joint Committee on Reconstruction June 20 1866 

 A claim for the immediate admission of senators and representatives from the so called Confederate States has been urged, which seems to your committee not to be founded either in reason or in law, and which cannot be passed without comment. Stated in a few words, it amounts to this: That inasmuch as the lately insurgent States had no legal right to separate themselves from the Union, they still retain their positions as States, and consequently the people thereof have a right to immediate representation in Congress without the imposition of any conditions whatever. . . . It has even been contended that until such admission all legislation affecting their interests is, if not unconstitutional, at least unjustifiable and oppressive. 

It is believed by your Committee that these propositions are not only wholly untenable, but, if admitted would tend to the destruction of the government.

It must not be forgotten that the people of these States, without justification or excuse, rose in insurrection against the United States. They deliberately abolished their State governments so far as the same connected them politically with the Union. . . . They opened hostilities and levied war against the government. They continued this war for four years with the most determined and malignant spirit. . . . Whether legally and constitutionally or not, they did, in fact, withdraw from the Union and made themselves subjects of another government of their own creation. And they only yielded when they were compelled by utter exhaustion to lay down their arms . . . expressing no regret, except that they had no longer the power to continue the desperate struggle****

***With such evidence before them, it is the opinion of your committee

  1. That the States lately in rebellion were, at the close of the war, disorganized communities, without civil government, and without constitutions or other forms, by virtue of which political relations could legally exist between them and the federal government.
  2. That Congress cannot be expected to recognize as valid the election of representatives from disorganized communities, which, from the very nature of the case, were unable to present their claim to representation under those established and recognized rules, the observance of which has been hitherto required.
  3. That Congress would not be justified in admitting such communities to a participation in the government of the country without first providing such constitutional or other guarantees as will tend to secure the civil rights of all citizens of the republic; a just equality of representation; protection against claims founded in rebellion and crime; a temporary restoration of the right of suffrage to those who had not actively participated in the efforts to destroy the Union and overthrow the government, and the exclusion from positions of public trust of, at least, a portion of those whose crimes have proved them to be enemies to the Union, and unworthy of public confidence."

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Saturday, March 28, 2015

Philadelphia Cops Shoot and Kill People at 6 Times the Rate of the NYPD | Mother Jones

49% of police shootings of unarmed civilians (Officer involved shootings - OIS) involved the misperception of an object as a gun.  Black cops were wrong more often than white cops.  This feeds my general sense that a thin-skinned pride, and a tough guy culture of violence are basic cultural weaknesses of many policemen regardless of race. - gwc

Philadelphia Cops Shoot and Kill People at 6 Times the Rate of the NYPD | Mother Jones:

"Philadelphia, a city with a vastly smaller population than that of New York City, has seen a much higher rate of police shootings in recent years. According to a new report published on Monday by the US Department of Justice, police violence disproportionately affects Philadelphia's black community, and officers don't receive consistent training on the department's deadly force policy.

The 174-page report results from an investigation the DOJ launched in 2013 at the request of Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey, during a time when officer-involved shootings, including fatal incidents, were on the rise, even as violent crimes and assaults against the police was on the decline. "Police carry baggage and lack legitimacy in some communities," Ramsey, who has been appointed to chair the Presidential Task Force on 21st Century Policing, recently told the New York Times. "And for us to change the paradigm, we have to understand why we are viewed in this way."  "

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Generics rule: Public Citizen Urges FDA to Resist Industry Pressure, Protect Patients

As the FDA wobbles under industry pressure and reopens the comment period on the rule that demands generic drug manufacturers warn of safety risks as soon as they learn of them, Public Citizen which petitioned for the rule change spoke at the hearing on March 26, 2015. - gwc

Public Citizen Press Room

This Week: Congressional Briefing and Public Meeting on Fate of FDA Generic Labeling Rule

Public Citizen Urges Agency to Resist Industry Pressure, Protect Patients

WHAT: Congressional briefing and public hearing regarding the fate of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) proposed rule to enable generic drug makers to update warning labels when they learn of new dangers. Dr. Michael Carome, director of Public Citizen’s Health Research Group, will participate in both events and urge the agency to resist pressure from the pharmaceutical industry to put profits above patient safety.

The events come as the pharmaceutical industry is pressuring the FDA to weaken an essential patient safety rule.

The FDA’s proposed rule – issued in November 2013 in response to a Public Citizen petition (PDF) – would give generics manufacturers the ability to update labeling regarding newly discovered risks without obtaining prior approval from the FDA – much as brand-name manufacturers have been able to do for nearly 30 years. Under current rules, generic manufacturers are not permitted to update warnings to reflect new safety information unless instructed to do so by the FDA.

The proposed rule would protect patients by ensuring they have updated safety information as soon as possible, but the generics industry has been lobbying aggressively against the rule, arguing that it would raise generic prices.

Although the comment period on the proposed rule originally closed on March 13, 2014, the FDA has taken the unusual step of soliciting additional comments and holding Friday’s public hearing on an industry counterproposal.

At the events, experts will discuss the FDA’s proposal, an alternative industry proposal, the true cost of the regulation and the effects on consumers when generic labels cannot be updated in a timely fashion.
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Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Oklahoma U racist chanter "I'm deeply sorry"

This appears to me to be a genuine apology.  - gwc
Oklahoma Frat Member: I'm 'Deeply Sorry' For Singing Racist Chant  Talking Points Memo
Parker Rice
I am deeply sorry for what I did Saturday night. It was wrong and reckless. I made a horrible mistake by joining into the singing and encouraging others to do the same. On Monday, I withdrew from the university, and sadly, at this moment our family is not able to be in our home because of threatening calls as well as frightening talk on social media.
I know everyone wants to know why or how this happened. I admit it likely was fueled by alcohol consumed at the house before the bus trip, but that’s not an excuse. Yes, the song was taught to us, but that too doesn’t work as an explanation. It’s more important to acknowledge what I did and what I didn’t do. I didn’t say no, and I clearly dismissed an important value I learned at my beloved high school, Dallas Jesuit. We were taught to be ‘Men for Others.’ I failed in that regard, and in those moments, I also completely ignored the core values and ethics I learned from my parents and others.
At this point, all I can do is be thoughtful and prayerful about my next steps, but I am also concerned about the fraternity friends still on campus. Apparently, they are feeling unsafe and some have been harassed by others. Hopefully, the university will protect them.
For me, this is a devastating lesson and I am seeking guidance on how I can learn from this and make sure it never happens again. My goal for the long-term is to be a man who has the heart and the courage to reject racism wherever I see or experience it in the future.
Thank you for your consideration of my deepest apologies for what I did.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

I see your mandamus and raise you a class action // Howard Wasserman//Prawfsblog

PrawfsBlawg: I see your mandamus and raise you a class action:

by Prof. Howard Wasserman

"In response to last week's Writ of Mandamus by the Supreme Court of Alabama, the plaintiffs in Strawser have moved to amend the complaint to add some new plaintiffs and one new probate-judge defendant and to have the entire thing certified as a plaintiff and defendant class action. (H/T: Lyle Denniston).

 If successful, the move will allow Judge Granade to enjoin every probate judge to issue a license to every same-sex couple in the state.

It also seems to set-up a direct conflict between orders of a state supreme court and a lower federal court, although that may be more illusory than real. The arguments surrounding the mandamus recognize that the mandamus only controlled judges not under a federal injunction requiring them to issue licenses; recall that Judge Don Davis (at the time the only probate judge subject to an injunction) was ordered to show that he was under the injunction, presumably to be released from the mandamus. By those terms, if a class injunction issues, every probate judge should be given an opportunity to make that showing, after which the mandamus should give way.

Posted by Howard Wasserman on March 9, 2015 at 09:31 AM"

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Saturday, March 7, 2015

Obama at Selma: "We Know the March is Not Over Yet"

OTHERWISE: Barack Obama at Selma: The March is Not Over Yet:
In perhaps his greatest speech Barack Obama at Selma today celebrated the civil rights movement and the turning point that was Selma, linking it memorably to other great moments in American history:
"There are places, and moments in America where this nation’s destiny has been decided. Many are sites of war – Concord and Lexington, Appomattox and Gettysburg. Others are sites that symbolize the daring of America’s character – Independence Hall and Seneca Falls, Kitty Hawk and Cape Canaveral.
Selma is such a place.
In one afternoon fifty years ago, so much of our turbulent history – the stain of slavery and anguish of civil war; the yoke of segregation and tyranny of Jim Crow; the death of four little girls in Birmingham, and the dream of a Baptist preacher – met on this bridge.It was not a clash of armies, but a clash of wills; a contest to determine the meaning of America.And because of men and women like John Lewis, Joseph Lowery, Hosea Williams, Amelia Boynton, Diane Nash, Ralph Abernathy, C.T. Vivian, Andrew Young, Fred Shuttlesworth, Dr. King, and so many more, the idea of a just America, a fair America, an inclusive America, a generous America – that idea ultimately triumphed."
Read the complete text 

OTHERWISE: BP gives up attempt to remove Patrick Juneau as spill claims administrator

OTHERWISE: BP gives up attempt to remove Patrick Juneau as spill claims administrator:

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Obama, at Selma Memorial, Says, ‘We Know the March Is Not Over Yet’ -

Obama, at Selma Memorial, Says, ‘We Know the March Is Not Over Yet’ -

by Peter Baker and Richard Fausset

ELMA, Ala. — As a new generation struggles over race and power in America, President Obama and a host of political figures from both parties came here on Saturday, to the site of one of the most searing days of the civil rights era, to reflect on how far the country has come and how far it still has to go.

Fifty years after peaceful protesters trying to cross a bridge were beaten by police officers with billy clubs, shocking the nation and leading to passage of the landmark Voting Rights Act of 1965, the nation’s first African-American president led a bipartisan, multiracial testimonial to the pioneers whose courage helped pave the way for his own election to the highest office of the land.

But coming just days after Mr. Obama’s Justice Department excoriated the police department of Ferguson, Mo., as a hotbed of racist oppression, even as it cleared a white officer in the killing of an unarmed black teenager, the anniversary seemed more than a commemoration of long-ago events on a black-and-white newsreel. Instead, it provided a moment to measure the country’s far narrower, and yet stubbornly persistent, divide in black-and-white reality***
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Assignment America: Selma -

Assignment America: Selma -

by Gay Talese  March 6, 2015

" IN downtown Selma last week, as I retraced the route I had taken 50 years ago while following hundreds of civil rights marchers across the Edmund Pettus Bridge and onto a highway blocked by hostile white lawmen who would soon create “Bloody Sunday,” my attention was drawn to the vigorous activities of a middle-aged black man who was holding a shovel and digging holes in the dirt between the curb and sidewalk of Broad Street, which leads to the bridge. Then he began planting pansies, azalea bushes and small juniper trees that he hauled from the back of a 1997 Ford truck parked nearby that belongs to Steavie’s Landscape Design and Construction company.  “I’m not Steavie,” he said after I had watched him for a while, and finally approached with what he might have assumed were troublesome questions.

Security agents and other out-of-town suits had been wandering around the area in preparation for President Obama’s arrival this weekend for the Bridge Crossing Jubilee. But the landscaper probably decided that I was too old to cause much trouble (I think of myself as a youthful 83); and so he relaxed, and, while leaning on his shovel and extending an ungloved hand, he said, “I’m Steavie’s brother.”

He explained that he and a few of his friends were assisting Steavie in a city-sponsored endeavor to beautify Selma’s downtown area. “We only had eight days to do the job,” he said, conceding that lining the sidewalks with flowers and bushes in a city of limited resources and many vacant storefronts was a lot to ask of Steavie’s landscaping enterprise.

During my four-block stroll along Broad Street from City Hall down to the bridge ramp, I counted 15 unoccupied locations."...

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Friday, March 6, 2015

Republicans for Same Sex Marriage | GOPLifer

Republicans for Same Sex Marriage | GOPLifer:

by Christ Ladd

"This is what the GOP might look like when the culture wars finally end.

 Republicans in Massachusetts have openly backed same sex marriage, joining an amicus brief filed by former RNC Chair and Bush Administration official Ken Mehlman.

Almost all of the party’s major figures in Massachusetts have signed the brief including new Governor Charlie Baker. Also signing the brief are Maine Senator Susan Collins and Republican donor David Koch.

 The brief makes the conservative case for same sex marriage rights, citing a laundry list of favorite conservative cases and authors. This quote from Barry Goldwater’s Conscience of a Conservative is particularly biting:

“The Conservative is the first to understand that the practice of freedom requires the establishment of order: it is impossible for one man to be free if another is able to deny him the exercise of his freedom. … He knows that the utmost vigilance and care are required to keep political power within its proper bounds.”

 A few other excerpts:

 The governmental bans at is-issue here rest on similarly ungrounded, archaic, and obsolete beliefs—however sincerely, strongly, or long held—and thus the Fourteenth Amendment requires recognition of the bans’ invalidity.

This Court has repeatedly made clear that although legislators and voters may generally exercise power over certain subjects—including many contentious social issues—the government’s power is limited when it comes to injurious incursions upon the freedom of minorities."

 No one at any point in this decades-long debate has been able to describe any credible harm that might rise from same sex marriage. Cut through all the bullshit, and the argument against same sex marriage is absolutely singular – “my religious convictions dictate that homosexuality is wrong.” That’s it."

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