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West Virginia
  • Migration Madness 2010: Racial Profiling Tournament Brackets

    Arizona's recent bid to lead as America's biggest racial profiler has already received backing from Michigan, Alabama, Florida, Nebraska, and the Northern Mariana Islands, among others. But now seven of Mexico's fellow Latin American countries have followed its lead with motions in supports of lawsuits challenging Arizona's immigration enforcement law SP1070

    Bolivia, Colombia, El Salvador, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Paraguay and Peru filed separate, nearly identical motions to join Mexico's legal brief supporting the lawsuit filed by U.S. civil rights and other advocacy groups….

    Mexico says the law would lead to racial profiling and hinder trade, tourism and the fight against drug trafficking.

    You know what that means, don't you? It's time for Migration Madness, the tournament in which political entities slug it out in the headlines for the title — no, the legal right, actually — to have or not have Constitutionally unsound racial profiling implemented within the United States.

    And, no that we know which governing bodies have qualified, we can finally draw up the tournament seedings, which are based upon several factors, including country ranking, win-loss war record, ethnicity, and whether or not I think a country had a funny name. Continue after the jump to see how it shakes out…

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    Tags: Alabama, Arizona, Bolivia, Colombia, El Salvador, Florida, Guatemala, Immigration, Michigan, Mike Cox, Nebraska, Nicaragua, Northern Mariana Islands, Paraguay, Pennsylvania, Peru, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, West Virginia
  • Sen. Robert Byrd Is Having a Complicated History of Race Relations with the Angels Now

    Sen. Robert Byrd (D-WV) — who, after 51 years, is the longest serving Senator in U.S. history — died last night at the age of 92.

    Why must God take them so young?

    Mr. Byrd's perspective on the world changed over the years. He filibustered against the 1964 Civil Rights Act and supported the Vietnam War only to come to back civil rights measures and criticize the Iraq war. Rating his voting record in 1964, Americans for Democratic Action, the liberal lobbying group, found that his views and the organization’s were aligned only 16 percent of the time. In 2005, he got an A.D.A. rating of 95.

    Mr. Byrd’s political life could be traced to his early involvement with the Ku Klux Klan, an association that almost thwarted his career and clouded it intermittently for years afterward… Mr. Byrd insisted that his klavern had never conducted white-supremacist marches or engaged in racial violence. He said in his autobiography that he had joined the Klan because he shared its anti-Communist creed and wanted to be associated with the leading people in his part of West Virginia. He conceded, however, that he also "reflected the fears and prejudices" of the time.

    His opponents used his Klan membership against him during his first run for the House of Representatives in 1952; Democratic leaders urged him to drop out of the race. But he stayed in and won, then spent decades apologizing for what he called a "sad mistake."

    Hey, look, I don't mean to be controversial or anything, but I'm not a huge fan of the Ku Klux Klan or the white supremacist movement or  racism in general. I'm sorry, it's just the way I was brought up. That said, I feel like being a West Virginian bigot and joining the Klan back in the '40s was probably just being a West Virginian back in the '40s. You probably walked out your front door, tripped over a twig and landed in the Klan.

    One thing that I liked about Byrd was that he served as a living fossil of what the Democratic Party used to be. A constant reminder that, at one time in the not-so-distant past, they were the party of institutionalized racism.

    Now that he's gone, I guess we'll just have to count on Mississippi Republican House candidate Bill Marcy to remind us.

    Tags: Civil Rights, House of Representatives, Ku Klux Klan, Racism, Robert Byrd, Senate, West Virginia
  • Another Reason Why Joe Lieberman Isn't the VP Right Now

    It turns out that there was an actual legal reason why John McCain couldn't choose Joe Lieberman has his running mate last fall.

    "Five states have sore loser statutes … [making] it very difficult for someone who's not a member of the Republican Party to become the vice presidential nominee if they only switch parties to become a Republican shortly before the convention,' Culvahouse said in public remarks at the Republican National Lawyers Association annual meeting aired on C-SPAN.

    Culvahouse specifically noted the example of West Virginia, a state Republicans have relied on in recent elections, saying "the constitutionality of that statute has already been litigated in West Virginia."

    Of course, the fact that he's disliked by Democrats and Republicans alike might have been a factor as well.

    Tags: Joe Lieberman, John McCain, Senate, West Virginia
  • West Virginia Knocks Down Anti-Gay Amendment

    It must be pretty embarrassing for California, when even West Virginia has a better track record with gay rights than it does…

    An evangelical group has pressed lawmakers this session to have marriage defined as between one woman and one man.

    But the resolution needed to put the issue before voters has stalled in committee. That prompted Monday's move by Republican delegates to force it to the full House.

    Delegates voted 67-30 to reject the attempt.

    I guess it's possible that West Virginians' aversion to defining marriage as being "between one woman and one man" has less to do with gay rights than it does with farm animal rights.

    Tags: California, Christianity, LGBT, Marriage Equality, Religion, West Virginia