Wow.

So Virginia’s Senate Republicans just pushed through a new redistricting plan today while a Democratic Senator (active in the civil rights movement) was still out of the capital due to the inauguration.

This left the otherwise balanced chamber with 20R-19D, key because the Republican Lieutenant Governor who would otherwise decide tiebreakers is mulling a run as an independent for Governor this year, and is thus unreliable.

The bill, which is not yet available online due to the abruptness of it all, is purported to gerrymander out at least one Democratic Senator. Ironically, the Senator in question (Creigh Deeds) has been one of the most vocal proponents of a bipartisan/nonpartisan redistricting method over the past decade.

This would come into effect for the 2015 elections, the approximate midway point between traditional redistricting intervals, and when many weakly gerrymandered districts start to lose their potency against natural demographic changes.

Gotta love the Commonwealth.

Edit: While I have mixed feelings on Ben Tribbett, he’s likely going to be one of the first places to get news on what the new map looks like.

No Time to Waste

punditspodium:

Unless legislators develop a detailed plan for setting up a state-run health benefits exchange in the next two months, the federal government likely will step in to design and run one to ensure that Virginians get access to comprehensive, affordable and secure health insurance choices, according to a new report released Wednesday by The Commonwealth Institute for Fiscal Analysis.

The full report, No Time to Waste, is here.

Given the makeup of both chambers in Virginia at the moment, I think it is actually in our interest to continue stalling on this one.

politicalprof:

My personal favorite of their claims is that — in their claiming, not mine — that I (meaning Politicalprof and people like me) are “sovereign citizens.” What this means in practice is that since people like me — white, male and property owning — were legally entitled to be citizens of the US before the US Constitution was created, we are “sovereign” — e.g., superior — to the Constitution. This means that I — meaning Politicalprof and people like me — have the personal right to reject or nullify laws that seem to us to intrude on our freedom since, obviously, we would never have consented to such laws in 1787. I am sovereign over the federal government, which cannot take away my rights as I define them.

I have met some of these people. This is a thing they actually believe. The worst is watching the few that have wives (or 14th Amendment citizens), and the wive’s expressions as these white men make such distinctions.