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lokisnow

U.S. Politics: Next-ennials vs stamps

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I didn't know the US/Mexico border as about 2,000 miles long. The article says Spain does have a border near the Sahara in Ceuta and Melilla on the Morocco Mediterranean coast.. \

 

It's a generous assessment of "near." The Sahara is hundreds of miles from there (there's a big question mark over where the Sahara ends, with some placing Morocco entirely outside of the Sahara and others having the Sahara extend some way into its south-eastern territory, but certainly al ong way from Ceuta and Melilla).

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But it could be economically beneficial if Spain offered to fund the construction, and pay locals for to patrol the wall to countries that are struggling economically. I would suggest putting the wall through Mauritania, Mali, Niger, Chad, and Sudan. There would be several years of construction employment across those 5 countries, and then  an indefinite length of time employing thousands of people 24/7 as border patrol. As well as needing to put communications, roading, power, water, waste etc infrastructure in place. It could be the start of the greening of the Sahara.

 

Spain isn't in the best of financial health and even if it was, I don't think they'd consider it necessary. Why build a wall when you have a massive - and free! - water barrier already in existence?

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8 hours ago, DMC said:

Yeah I was just thinking that myself - considering those are the most extremely gerrymandered Democratic states, I suppose that is a concern (ironically).

Maryland is really not that mystifying- its is a case where the local politics are probably more critical than the national ones.  Hogan has a 69% approval rating in a state that voted 60% for Clinton.  The Democrat's hold a veto-proof majority.  He's seen as a pragmatic check more than anything since the best he can hope for is to pass bipartisan legislation or stop legislation where a 1/3 of the democrats also disagree with the proposal.

To my understanding redistricting is also not an issue since the maps are drawn by the legislature, which has more than enough Democrats to not only pass the map but (as mentioned above) can also override a possible veto. 

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41 minutes ago, Martell Spy said:

Do you think political consequences should have the exact same standard as as if he was accused of a crime?

I assume you mean "as for a criminal trial," right?

So, no. "Beyond a reasonable doubt" is a very high standard of proof. I'd probably be content with the civil case standard "preponderance of the evidence."

The problem here is that, as far as I can tell, the evidence is entirely circumstancial. Basically Kavanaugh (and Judge) seem to have been "the kind of guys" who would likely rape young(er) women at parties. And it seems demonstrable that they had the opportunity to assault Ford (though it's unclear whether this has in fact been demonstrated yet for Kavanaugh himself).
Is this really enough? I'm honestly not sure. Because by that standard, most people could be credibly accused of a serious crime. The guy who smoked pot in college could be credibly accused of dealing drugs (including hard drugs), the guy who always got into fights could be credibly accused of having eventually killed somebody, the guy who would always hook up with girls while drunk could be credibly accused of rape... etc.
So I dunno. I'm well aware that I'm playing devil's advocate here. I just can't help thinking about the way such accusations could easily be manufactured in the future. I'm sure I'm not the only one.

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57 minutes ago, Rippounet said:

@fionwe1987Then we are all in agreement. I got the feeling that people seemed to say that the mere accusation should disqualify Kavanaugh from being appointed, which is what I disagreed with.

Based on your other posts on this subject, we still don't seem to be in agreement, actually.

Here's how I see it:

The accusation is credible, because:

1. of her mentioning it more than half a decade ago, before any motive like stopping Kavanaugh's nomination can enter the picture

2. of her listing Mark Judge, Kavanuagh's friend, and known conservative writer as a witness.

These aspects raise it above the Pizzagate level accusations. I'd add willingness to take the polygraph (though not the results of it) to the list, but it doesn't count as highly to me, but it is apparently common law enforcement standard in the US to count the willingness for something.

To me, and to Blasey Ford and the Democrats, this means there is reason for the Judiciary committee request further investigation, as her accusations are credible, and giving the Senators additional evidence for or against these allegations will help them decide whether this man deserves his elevation to the Supreme Court.

Should the GOP refuse to do this, or should Kavanaugh object to an investigation, I would be perfectly comfortable calling for a pause in the nomination process, and would think Dems were in the right if they did so.

On the other hand, if someone tomorrow alleges that 36 years ago, Kavanaugh was abducted by aliens, and sent back brainwashed to serve Republicans to cause the end of the world, I would not find the accusation credible. I'd find it perfectly acceptable for Republicans to dismiss the claim and proceed with the nomination as scheduled (though my other issues with Kavanaugh and the rushed nomination would continue).

 

I hope the difference is clear. You seem to think that because this is an allegation from 35 years ago, there is no way for it to be credible. That is nonsense.

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The only thing you're saying here is that without evidence to base it on, the credibility of an accusation depends on your personal worldview and ideas to begin with.

No, I am not. That is your spin on it. I'm saying that accusations, like hypotheses, can be labeled credible/reasonable without direct evidence. The credibility of an accusation merely measures whether it is plausible, and is not easily dismissed by an alternate explanation. A credible accusation is not a proven accusation. In fact, assessing the credibility of an accusation is the first step to deciding whether you want to make the effort to prove it by gathering evidence. Clearly, this accusation passes that test.

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Uneducated, stupid, or crazy people, will see stupid or crazy theories as credible. Or theories that fit their political side's narrative...

Nope, sorry. That is about their belief, and in such cases, these people don't just believe the accusation is credible, but that it is proven

A good example to help you understand this would be the credible fear test asylum seekers have to pass. Showing their fear is credible is not proof. It is merely stating their case, telling their story, and convincing the judge that on the face of it, the story is plausible. All this does is prevents them from being deported till their case is processed, which is when evidence gathering beings properly. 

Now, if you already have evidence, like a newspaper report about a death threat directed at you, that helps with the credibility, but it isn't required. On the flip side, if you come from England, say, and claim the Government wants to sell you to aliens for experimentation, then the credibility of your fear will be questioned, because of its implausibility.

But Blasey Ford's story is not implausible. She was in the rough geography of Kavanaugh. He was indeed known to drink, as was his friend. And there's actual evidence that she didn't make this up last week under Diane Feinstein's coaching to derail the nomination. Thus, credible, and thus, worthy of investigation.

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5 minutes ago, horangi said:

To my understanding redistricting is also not an issue since the maps are drawn by the legislature, which has more than enough Democrats to not only pass the map but (as mentioned above) can also override a possible veto.

Good point - and this is true of Massachusetts as well - but vetoed plans usually go to the courts.  I can't recall a plan becoming law solely based off a veto override, which on a quick glance is reflected here in the links for the past three cycles.

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14 minutes ago, Rippounet said:

 

So I dunno. I'm well aware that I'm playing devil's advocate here. I just can't help thinking about the way such accusations could easily be manufactured in the future. I'm sure I'm not the only one.

Sure, all you need to manufacture one of these charges is to find someone with all the correct life connections who managed to tell their therapist about something years in advance of the accusation, is a credible and respected person in their personal life, and is willing to put themselves and their family in jeopardy and subject herself to character assassination by leveling such an accusation.

Easy peasy!

The devil doesn't need any more advocates in sexual assault cases.

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2 minutes ago, DanteGabriel said:

The devil doesn't need any more advocates in sexual assault cases.

I'm going to print this on a t-shirt! :D

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27 minutes ago, Rippounet said:

I assume you mean "as for a criminal trial," right?

So, no. "Beyond a reasonable doubt" is a very high standard of proof. I'd probably be content with the civil case standard "preponderance of the evidence."

The problem here is that, as far as I can tell, the evidence is entirely circumstancial. Basically Kavanaugh (and Judge) seem to have been "the kind of guys" who would likely rape young(er) women at parties. And it seems demonstrable that they had the opportunity to assault Ford (though it's unclear whether this has in fact been demonstrated yet for Kavanaugh himself).
Is this really enough? I'm honestly not sure. Because by that standard, most people could be credibly accused of a serious crime. The guy who smoked pot in college could be credibly accused of dealing drugs (including hard drugs), the guy who always got into fights could be credibly accused of having eventually killed somebody, the guy who would always hook up with girls while drunk could be credibly accused of rape... etc.
So I dunno. I'm well aware that I'm playing devil's advocate here. I just can't help thinking about the way such accusations could easily be manufactured in the future. I'm sure I'm not the only one.

How are we expected to get to the civil case standard? Republicans hold all the power and have decided this will be dealt with in one session in one day. They don't want to get to the bottom of anything. They are even hiding the black-out drunk witness because he is so embarrassing for them.

Also, the stakes are enormous. This person will decide laws that effect how the sexual harassment is treated. 

Surely, you think we should at least spend more than one day on this? And if this worst happens to this guy, it just means he won't be granted one of the two most powerful jobs in the U.S. He's not going to prison.

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Heard another version of the "roughhousing" defense. Conservative talk show host says that Kavanaugh is accused of passionately kissing someone. You could hear the smirk in his voice as he said it. Conservatism has become a cult of rape apologists.

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Report: Putin Is Stoking Trump’s ‘Deep State’ Fever Dream

http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2018/09/report-putin-is-feeding-trumps-deep-state-fever-dream.html

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The public is left then to rely on leaks, like the one that said Trump and Putin discussed arms control at their summit in Finland. And the one published today in the Washington Post as a part of an except of Greg Miller’s book The Apprentice. It suggests that one thing Putin tells Trump when they speak is that the White House is full of disloyal people who Trump can’t trust.

A trained intelligence operative, Putin understood the power of playing to someone’s insecurities and ego. On cue, he reciprocated with frequent praise for the president he had sought to install in the White House.

In phone conversations with Trump, Putin would whisper conspiratorially, telling the U.S. president that it wasn’t their fault that they could not consummate the relationship that each had sought. Instead, Putin sought to reinforce Trump’s belief that he was being undermined by a secret government cabal, a bureaucratic “deep state.”

“It’s not us. We get it,” Putin would tell Trump, according to White House aides. “It’s the subordinates fighting against our friendship.”

 

 

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11 minutes ago, fionwe1987 said:

I hope the difference is clear. You seem to think that because this is an allegation from 35 years ago, there is no way for it to be credible.

What I'm saying is that without any actual evidence, credibility will necessarily be subjective.
 

Now I REALLY didn't want to actually go into details, but after a brief google search:

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The accusation is credible, because:
1. of her mentioning it more than half a decade ago, before any motive like stopping Kavanaugh's nomination can enter the picture
2. of her listing Mark Judge, Kavanuagh's friend, and known conservative writer as a witness. 

Well actually... 2. is pretty much of a problem... See, Judge published Wasted: Tales of a Gen-X Drunk in 1997. Basically, everyone's known for twenty years that his memories of parties he attended as a teenager are unreliable.
He's both the best and the worst possible person to name as a possible witness.

Even 1. may not be that great either. Apparently the therapist's notes mention four boys, not two, and make no mention of Kavanaugh specifically. It's Ford's husband who confirms that bit... from a conversation back in 2012. Except she was apparently thinking of the possibility of Kavanaugh being nominated to the SCOTUS some day...

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Ford said she told no one of the incident in any detail until 2012, when she was in couples therapy with her husband. The therapist’s notes, portions of which were provided by Ford and reviewed by The Washington Post, do not mention Kavanaugh’s name but say she reported that she was attacked by students “from an elitist boys’ school” who went on to become “highly respected and high-ranking members of society in Washington.” The notes say four boys were involved, a discrepancy Ford says was an error on the therapist’s part. Ford said there were four boys at the party but only two in the room.  

Notes from an individual therapy session the following year, when she was being treated for what she says have been long-term effects of the incident, show Ford described a “rape attempt” in her late teens. 

In an interview, her husband, Russell Ford, said that in the 2012 sessions, she recounted being trapped in a room with two drunken boys, one of whom pinned her to a bed, molested her and prevented her from screaming. He said he recalled that his wife used Kavanaugh’s last name and voiced concern that Kavanaugh — then a federal judge — might one day be nominated to the Supreme Court.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/investigations/california-professor-writer-of-confidential-brett-kavanaugh-letter-speaks-out-about-her-allegation-of-sexual-assault/2018/09/16/46982194-b846-11e8-94eb-3bd52dfe917b_story.html?utm_term=.a8a2b56d5a14

 

So... Credible? Yes, I'd still say it's credible. Objectively credible? No, definitely not. I'm originally inclined to believe Ford, but since you force me to take the contrary position I'll say that this story is not bulletproof.

Also, as someone who got wasted almost every weekend for ten years, if there were only four dudes at that party, it shouldn't be completely impossible to figure out who they were and where that party was held, even 38 years later. That kind of small party usually follows clear patterns, i.e. they are usually organized by close friends, or at least people who hang out together, at someone's parents' house, with the same person(s) usually buying the booze (the legal age to buy alcohol in Maryland is 21).

3 minutes ago, Martell Spy said:

Surely, you think we should at least spend more than one day on this?

Me? Sure. That would be ideal.

But let's not be naive about this. Whether Ford is credible or not, Democrats will seek to use her to delay Kavanaugh's confirmation until the midterms. They already are.

And apparently, Ford herself wants an FBI investigation as a prelude to her testifying in front of the Senate. Which basically is the same as demanding that Kavanaugh's confirmation be dependent on the Republicans keeping control of the Senate in the midterms.

As you say, the stakes are enormous.

 

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24 minutes ago, Rippounet said:

What I'm saying is that without any actual evidence, credibility will necessarily be subjective.
 

Now I REALLY didn't want to actually go into details, but after a brief google search:

Well actually... 2. is pretty much of a problem... See, Judge published Wasted: Tales of a Gen-X Drunk in 1997. Basically, everyone's known for twenty years that his memories of parties he attended as a teenager are unreliable.
He's both the best and the worst possible person to name as a possible witness.

Even 1. may not be that great either. Apparently the therapist's notes mention four boys, not two, and make no mention of Kavanaugh specifically. It's Ford's husband who confirms that bit... from a conversation back in 2012. Except she was apparently thinking of the possibility of Kavanaugh being nominated to the SCOTUS some day...

So... Credible? Yes, I'd still say it's credible. Objectively credible? No, definitely not. I'm originally inclined to believe Ford, but since you force me to take the contrary position I'll say that this story is not bulletproof.

Also, as someone who got wasted almost every weekend for ten years, if there were only four dudes at that party, it shouldn't be completely impossible to figure out who they were and where that party was held, even 38 years later. That kind of small party usually follows clear patterns, i.e. they are usually organized by close friends, or at least people who hang out together, at someone's parents' house, with the same person(s) usually buying the booze (the legal age to buy alcohol in Maryland is 21).

Me? Sure. That would be ideal.

But let's not be naive about this. Whether Ford is credible or not, Democrats will seek to use her to delay Kavanaugh's confirmation until the midterms. They already are.

And apparently, Ford herself wants an FBI investigation as a prelude to her testifying in front of the Senate. Which basically is the same as demanding that Kavanaugh's confirmation be dependent on the Republicans keeping control of the Senate in the midterms.

As you say, the stakes are enormous.

 

I'm glad we agree that more than one day should be spent on this.

We don't know that the Democrats would attempt to use Ford to delay the confirmation if she wasn't credible, since that did not happen. Also that implies that Democrats don't care a whit about sexual assault, which I do not agree with. 

I don't think that the Kavanaugh nomination necessarily needs to be held up over the midterms. I do think it needs to be investigated at least a few weeks and discussed. And I don't know that the FBI is necessarily the ones to do the job. I think the Senate should do it. The Senate is an awful place to do this, but it's really the only place, since it is the body in charge of the nomination. 

And if the Republican Senate leaders are not willing to do that, then they should simply withdraw Kavanaugh now. They can still get their pick. If they are not willing to do one of these things though, they are just not taking this seriously. And it's a really bad look when they already have the pussy-grabber in chief behind this. 

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3 hours ago, DanteGabriel said:

You're more willing to believe in the honesty and integrity of North Korea's dictator than you are of Christine Blasey Ford. Ye gods.

Partisanship is a helluva drug.

 

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1 hour ago, DMC said:

Good point - and this is true of Massachusetts as well - but vetoed plans usually go to the courts.  I can't recall a plan becoming law solely based off a veto override, which on a quick glance is reflected here in the links for the past three cycles. 

Thanks for the link!  It looks like it might have happened in Missouri in 2011, but I couldnt find a clean set of events post-veto override to see whether the same map was approved by the courts or they approved some other compromise. 

In the last redistricting, Maryland put the map to a referendum despite it passing within the legislature (and O'Malley as gov), and then it survived the legal challenges up through the SC.  Point taken though, in a purely calculated sense, there is a small, but possible chance that a legal battle could lead to the Democrats losing a single seat with no chance of gaining any.  Its a pretty convoluted situation though and doesnt make for much of a campaign ad as it might in a state where the map authoring authority is up for grabs. 

Honestly, based on the ads i've heard it would be actually hard to tell who is from which party if you strip away the names- both platforms stress (simplistically) tax cuts, free college education, transportation infrastructure spending, environmental protection, opioid crisis, criminal justice reform, and not with Trump.  :huh:

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9 hours ago, Rippounet said:

It's a common complaint, but one that I believe is misguided. I don't know much about NYC specifically but I can say with confidence that people seriously underestimate the cost of quality public services.

You'd think so, but they compared, for example, the cost of subway construction and maintenance to other large modern cities (London, Paris, etc.) and NYC is absurdly expensive. And even so it wouldn't be so bad if they were providing quality public services -- but they're not. Compared to other expensive and inexpensive cities I've lived at in Europe and in the US, NYC ranges from mediocre to awful. It's just that there's a great deal of money here so the parasites are out in force. The same is true of many other places in the US.

9 hours ago, Rippounet said:

But again, I think this is a consequence of neo-liberalism, not a cause. It is neo-liberalism that has thrown mistrust on public services and taxation by claiming that taxes are "too high" and that people "don't get enough" in return for them. Philosophically speaking it is claiming that "economic freedom" is more important than socialized services and that taxation is illegitimate ("theft").
The strategy here has been well described: attack public services, cut the budgets (supposedly to cut taxes), lower quality, claim the quality no longer warrants the levels of taxation, cut the budgets again... repeat.

And this is a wonderful example of you regurgitating neo-liberal propaganda despite claiming to hate it. You mistake consequences for causes because of your lack of historical perspective: you have completely internalized the assault on the legitimacy and cost-efficiency of public services without seriously stopping to think about where it comes from. At this point you have become an efficient foot soldier for neo-liberalism, all the more so because you pretend to oppose it.

It is not impossible to determine that the services being provided are severely overpriced and usually bad without having internalized anything -- one can do it simply by comparison to other places.

9 hours ago, Rippounet said:

As @OldGimletEye said, I am not sure you truly understand what neo-liberalism is. The twin pillars of neo-liberalism are less regulation and less taxation (or at least less progressive taxation), resulting in unbridled free market capitalism and increased inequality (/inequalities).

...

Starting from there, the only way in which Clinton was "neo-liberal" was her support of free trade. In pretty much any other way she was an opponent of neo-liberalism. She campaigned against austerity and deregulation among other things.
Trump, of course, is the very reverse. That much should be more than obvious by now.

You are using the definition of neo-liberalism from the late 1980s and by that definition, she was indeed not much of a neo-liberal. However, the definition you use become completely untenable circa 2008 -- there's a limit to how much hypocrisy even the most gullible and indoctrinated will tolerate and arguing for massive government bailouts while simultaneously insisting that the government not try to influence the market is beyond that limit. The definition I came of age with is not one of unbridled free market capitalism (which would at least rule out bailouts), but one in which politicians are in cahoots with the corporations that finance them and while the neoliberals still fight against some regulations and taxation as they did before, they are perfectly happy with others (e.g. the regulation of intellectual property). Hillary Clinton was practically the embodiment of this and several post-election articles said as much (example).

10 hours ago, Rippounet said:

Again, neo-liberalist pilosophy at its finest (or worst).

By that reasoning, no disadvantaged groups can ever fight to redress inequality or unfairness because the advantaged groups will fight back to defend their interests.
What you call "fighting fire with fire" is what used to be called being reactionary.

And of course, in your case, you deny the hardships of minorities to begin with. You oppose social progress by saying that there is no need for it. It helps atomize society into individuals who have to compete with each other.

More and more people believe that they're the ones who are disadvantaged and it is not obvious who is right. Academia has its position, but fewer and fewer people trust them anymore. I personally do not -- the people who do studies on these subjects sometimes can't even do math and always can't do science (i.e. this level of quality would never be accepted in any discipline where the results are expected to be used for something that must work). I do not oppose social progress and I certainly don't believe or say that there is no need for it; I merely disagree on the direction it must take for society to improve.

10 hours ago, Rippounet said:

I said "in the long-run."

Trump is the embodiment of ethno-nationalist neo-liberalism, with a large spoonful of authoritarianism in the mix*.  Which, from an economic standpoint, is just more of the same.
OTOH Ocasio-Cortez represents universalist-nationalism and democratic-socialism. Demographics alone makes her victory inevitable sometime around 2050. Maybe even 2030 if the nazi fearmongers are to be believed. ^^

It is difficult to extrapolate that far ahead. For example, you are making certain tacit assumptions regarding demographics which may or may not be warranted (imagine what could happen if the fearmongers truly come to power). Also, I think you are greatly overestimating Ocasio-Cortez.

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The Kavanaugh Accusation Is Dangerous for the Pro-Life Movement

Repealing Roe will be a hollow victory if the anti-abortion cause is hitched to a party that’s seen as anti-woman.

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/09/19/opinion/christine-blasey-ford-kavanaugh-senate-hearing.html?action=click&module=Opinion&pgtype=Homepage

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Trumpified conservatism, though, will necessarily struggle to acknowledge any of this, because of what it would suggest about Trump’s own fitness for his office. And such a conservatism — much-more-heavily male than the Reagan or Bush G.O.P., organized around the fears and grievances of prominent men, and seemingly indifferent to the legitimacy of certain kinds of female anger — will end up defining all its constituent parts, all its causes and concerns, as subordinate to the defense of male impunity.

This includes the pro-life movement. Even if it wins its long-desired victory at the high court and more anti-abortion legislation becomes possible, a pro-life cause joined to a party that can’t win female votes and seems to have no time for women will never be able to achieve those legislative goals, or at least never outside a very few, very conservative states. And having that long-awaited victory accomplished by a male judicial appointee confirmed under a cloud of #MeToo suspicion seems like a good way to cement a perception that’s fatal to the pro-life movement’s larger purposes — the perception that you can’t be pro-woman and pro-life.

 

 

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48 minutes ago, horangi said:

It looks like it might have happened in Missouri in 2011, but I couldnt find a clean set of events post-veto override to see whether the same map was approved by the courts or they approved some other compromise.

Yeah I tried to look into the Missouri case but that page needs to be heavily edited - it's hard to gather what's what (particularly, the lawsuit over the redistricting of the state legislature is interspersed with info on the redistricting plan for the US House).  But it does appear by the end the Missouri SC upheld the original plan:

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On May 25, the Missouri Supreme Court upheld the state's new congressional districts. The map generated controversy by pairing William Lacy Clay (D) and Russ Carnahan (D). Plaintiffs argued that the maps violated the Missouri Constitution's compactness requirement

 

 

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Bloomberg running as a Democrat?  Please.  Not that I hate the guy, but he's so milquetoast, former GOP, third-way-ish, fix-the-debt-ish...maybe sense the moment a little better? 

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3 minutes ago, Triskjavikson said:

Bloomberg running as a Democrat?  Please.  Not that I hate the guy, but he's so milquetoast, former GOP, third-way-ish, fix-the-debt-ish...maybe sense the moment a little better?

The Bloomberg rumors arrive every four years like clockwork.  My general disposition is simply to roll my eyes - until I remember I used to do the same about the perpetual Trump rumors.  But you're right - Bloomberg doesn't fit as the voice of the current Democratic party.

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