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December 02, 2005



How did the Texas judges approve it anyway? (I blinked & missed it.)

A very banal thought: this is just what they did with RU 483. Ignore the experts. Let the hacks decide.

Not a surprise, but I thought it merited mention.

Wasn't this the very same redistricting process for which the Dems in TX state legislature fled to prevent a quorum?

Shameless. Republicans are absolutely shameless in their bald-faced theft of democracy.

you mean ru 486, the morning after pill?

somewhat on that note, I've been meaning to write a more thought-out post elsewhere about a recent column by Zena Werb, a cell biologist at Univ. California, San Francisco and president of the American Society for Cell Biology (one of the nation's largest and most active scientific societies, with about 10,000 members usually attending its annual meeting -- which happens to be next week) in the ASCB monthly newsletter. PDF of her column is here and is called "Keeping Politics and Religion Out of Science."

J. Robert Oppenheimer’s loyalty was questioned and he was stripped of his security clearance because he dared question the morality of dropping atom bombs.

In the Soviet Union in the early part of the twentieth century, Trofim Lysenko decreed that the Lamarckian model of inheritance, which holds that acquired traits are heritable, was fact, and made Mendelian genetics unacceptable for investigation by Soviet biologists. Those who held “harmful” ideas were banished to Siberia or killed.

One would think that we had learned the lessons of these disasters. Yet today the highest levels of the U.S. government wantonly politicize science. In the case of global warming, politicians delete the results that don’t fit their political agenda. ...

In this media age with ever-increasing access to knowledge, it is surprising that the public is still so ill informed and poorly educated about science. Are we, as a culture, so lazy and self-indulgent that this valuable access to knowledge in our information age is largely used for games and pornography? ...

We must be unrelenting in challenging political manipulation of scientific data. We need to do this publicly and in large numbers. And we must support the scientists who find themselves in a firestorm of criticism and controversy because they have the courage to challenge powerful lobbies with minority views that threaten the democracy of scientific inquiry.

There is some other material in there about compartmentalization of conflicting ideas, which I think is wrong, but that is getting really off-topic for a re-districting thread.

Unfortunately if we begin to make a list of all the times experts in every field have been overruled by experts in political campaigning, and each add one every day, we will not find ourselves scratching our heads for more examples until sometime after Christmas.

You never fail to impress, Dem in CT. Keep up the fine work.

I think it was Plan B. That is different from RU 486. The issue was whether it should be sold over the counter.

The only Plan B the GOP approve is Zyklon B for Democrats.

Well, I'm gonna look around for the opinions on the suit filed by the Texas Democrats, but if I had to venture a guess as to why the courts upheld the redistricting, I'd say that they were probably relying on the "decision of the Justice Department" not to challenge it. That gives it a presumption of validity that the plaintiffs would have to overcome.

In other words, the court relies on the presumption that the Justice Department's decisions aren't "arbitrary and capricious," or just flat-out corrupt, and therefore ordinarily affords great weight to their decision to approve -- or in this case, not reject -- the plan. Then, all the GOP had to do was show up, remind the court of the rules created by precedent in such cases -- i.e., that the plaintiff has the burden of demonstrating the shortcomings of the plan in a way that would overcome the weight given to the DoJ's determination -- and then wait to collect on this self-fulfilling prophesy.

It's yet another demonstration of the fact that under the Bush "administration," we effectively have no government.

Thanks, Heretik. You've been very kind in linking to us regularly.

Kagro, we have a government (and a President) of the voters who elected them. And this ain't politics as usual. I can't remember under Nixon or Reagan a deliberate attempt to disenfranchise anyone who didn't vote for them the way these thieves and rascals do it. If this doesn't give the lie to 'uniter, not a divider' I don't know what does.

Kagro, thanks for that explanation. Please do let us know if you glean anything from the Texas panel's decision. As I understand it, the next step was already coming anyway as the constitutionality of the redistricting plan has been appealed to the US Supreme Court. Naively, it seems that in light of these revelations about the justice dept lawyers' opinions, I would hope the Supreme Court would somehow kick the case back to the Texas panel for reconsideration without the Supremes issuing a decision on it themselves. Is that likely, or possible, or what's your prediction? (and in an ideal world, what would you want to have happen next in the courts?)

Under this "administration," we effectively have no government.

Yeah, but you gotta admit we have a helluva Partei, um, Party.

Yeah, you know I realized I wrote 483 later today when I referred to 486? And that really I meant Plan B.

But thanks for the corrections. I clearly need it, when I post before coffee.

So, if the courts do ultimately rule that the redistricting plan was illegal, does that mean we get to review every law passed after the extra Texas Republicans were elected to Congress under the redistricting? You know, the way criminal cases are reviewed after it's discovered that evidence was tainted by, say, an expert testifier who is found to have routinely lied?

MB, no, of course not. And to top it all off, they'll probably want to press charges against whoever leaked the memo, and we'll all have to re-explain what a real whistleblower is and why they should be protected from prosecution.

There is a clear pattern here. A couple of weeks ago:

A team of Justice Department lawyers and analysts who reviewed a Georgia voter-identification law recommended rejecting it because it was likely to discriminate against black voters, but they were overruled the next day by higher-ranking officials at Justice, according to department documents.
I mentioned it here.

Kinsley on same.

I'm sorry, but did Kinsley suffer a hernia during his photo session or something? They didn't have another exposure on the roll? What?

Working at the WaPo with Woodward and Tina Brown takes its toll, apparently.

Assuming that DeLay is convicted in the Texas suit regarding laundring of Corporate donations to the benefit of Texas Republican Legislators, I believe the Texas Democrats who brought the initial redistricting suit might have cause to go back into court and re-open their case on the grounds that the redistricting was the fruit of a Criminal Conspiracy. They might be able to introduce, as evidence, the misrepresentation of the legal opinion from DOJ should it re-open. Of course all this will depend on the skill of Ronnie Earl in getting a conviction -- but that could be the next step post trial.

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