… I was a mugwump. We, the mugwumps, a little company made up of the unenslaved of both parties, the very best men to be found in the two great parties–that was our idea of it–voted sixty thousand strong for Mr. Cleveland in New York and elected him.

– Mark Twain, “Chapters from My Autobiography.–VII," North American Review, December 7, 1906

~Mark Twain, “Chapters from My Autobiography.–VII," North American Review, December 7, 1906


After voting in favor of discrimination twice last week, House Republicans voted against their Energy and Water appropriations bill, defeating the bill because it included an amendment that would ban federal contractors from discriminating against LGBT employees of federal contractors. ‘

Via Steny H, the DemocratIC Whip. (Both parties use The Amendment Bomb but it’s still somewhat surprising whenever the minority party gets away with it, as exampled here.)



Edward Nero, the Baltimore officer who arrested Freddie Gray and put him in a police van without a seat belt, was found not guilty of second-degree assault, reckless endangerment, and misconduct in office by Judge Barry Williams on Monday morning.

Nero was one of three officers who apprehended Gray during a bike patrol in April 2015. The officers say they chased Gray down when he spotted them and started to run away. According to the police narrative, Gray was eventually caught and found with an illegal knife. Police said the arrest that followed was made “without force or incident.” But one witness said Gray’s body was folded like origami during the arrest, and videos show Nero and a second officer dragging Gray, who appeared unable to walk on his own, to a police van.

Neither officer put a seat belt on Gray, paving the way for him to be “thrown around the wagon like a pinball,” according to Deputy State’s Attorney Janice Bledsoe. During his rough ride, Gray suffered ahigh-energy injury to the neck and spine.

Videos of the arrest, and Gray’s death seven days later, sparked days-long protests and standoffs with the police.

Prosecutors hinged their case on Nero’s fatal error. They also claimed that Gray’s arrest constituted assault, because it was made without probable cause — an argument that Williams scrutinized during closing arguments.

Defense attorneys said that Gray was resisting arrest, so securing him was “impossible.” They also claimed Nero was not trained to put seat belts on detainees. In reality, BPD policy requires officers to strap in detainees, but unofficial rough rides like the one that killed Gray are common in the city. Police regularly toss detainees into vehicles without strapping them in and then proceed to drive recklessly, leaving riders paralyzed.

Nero was the second officer to go to trial for Gray’s death. In December, William Porter’s trial ended with a hung jury.

That sentence, “ Police regularly toss detainees into vehicles without strapping them in and then proceed to drive recklessly, leaving riders paralyzed.” One would hope such claims as “LEAVING RIDERS PARALYZED” might be cited so readers would know how many? How MANY?  (The closest link I could find makes no such assertion, that RIDERS ARE LEFT PARALYZED, but does confirm NO SEATBELTS ARE USED, often, by Baltimore Police.) http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/freddie-gray/bs-md-seatbelts-police-vans-20150508-story.html

BREAKING: Officer Involved In Freddie Gray Death Found Not Guilty On All Counts


As we recently wrote, “… She embodies the tactics that have eroded the ability of Democrats to once again be the party of the working class. As Democratic National Committee chair she has opened the floodgates for Big Money, brought lobbyists into the inner circle and oiled all the moving parts of the revolving door that twirls between government service and cushy jobs in the world of corporate influence.”

Democrats Can’t Unite Unless Wasserman Schultz Goes! – BillMoyers.com