Texas Monthly: "Advocates for open carry legislation had spent the first day of the new session [Texas's Eighty-fourth Legislature] demonstrating outside before taking things indoors, targeting specific legislators at their offices. ... This image of an angry crowd bitterly clinging to their guns and a base understanding of the Constitution did little to inspire sympathy among the public, fellow gun rights groups, or, it would seem, our legislators—the very next day the House passed an amendment, 137-5, “to be able to install panic buttons and eject hostile members of the public from their offices.” Jeff Winkler looks at the history of violence at the Capitol. [more inside]
MapLight is a database that "looks at big industries and big interests, their elected beneficiaries and their votes." They also run Voter's Edge for personalized election information. Check out the contributions by vote on Net Neutrality and the Keystone XL pipeline. Maplight also contributes to the national law review. [more inside]
The Relación of Fray Ramón Pané famously records what one Hieronymite friar learned about the religious beliefs and healing practices of the Taíno between 1494 and 1496 (bilingual PDF with another translation and more introductory material), supposedly at the request of Christopher Columbus. Research published in 2006 on a "Lost document [that] reveals Columbus as a tyrant of the Caribbean" indicates that Pané was also a key witness in the trial of Columbus, partially responsible for sending Columbus home in chains, as depicted on the Columbus Doors of the U. S. Capitol building (detail).
""Each bathtub was carved in Italy from a single block of Carrara Marble. Three bathtubs were shipped from Genoa, Italy in July, 1859 and reached Baltimore in November of that year. The other three were shipped from Leghorn, Italy in September of 1859, and arrived in New York in January of 1860. The precise dates of the bathtubs' arrival and installation at the Capitol are uncertain, but the Senate Bathing Room is known to have been in operation as of February 23rd, 1860."Roman Mars's 99% Invisible design podcast [previously] explores the once-luxurious Senate bathtubs hidden among the boiler rooms in the basement of the U.S. Capitol. [more inside]
"What do reindeer, Christmas trees, eggnog and Hanukkah have in common? They’re all part of what our elected representatives have been saying around the holidays. Things get even crazier when their quotes are taken out of context and made into crafty, bizarre and occasionally touching holiday e-cards."
There is a constitutional crisis in Cheeseland. If you haven't been paying attention, WI governor Scott Walker and the Republican controlled Senate and Assembly passed a controversial bill and signed it. [more inside]
Wisconsin has had some record breaking protests in the past week, with hundreds occupying the capitol building full time, even setting up a small village, with support provided from around the world. Some even got married. [more inside]
Mystical Sites – U.S. Capitol : The US Capitol isn’t simply another governmental building. It is the spiritual center of the United States. Its structure, its art and its symbols all reveal the great importance of secret Fraternities in the shaping of the world most powerful government. [more inside]
Cowardice in Washington? Joan Ryan, of the SF Chronicle, takes congress to task for abandoning the capitol at the first sign of danger. Is hiding in a bunker 'letting the terrorists win?'
"We wish to dissent against the using of the Capitol rotunda and other governmental buildings for prayer meetings that focus on Christian or monotheistic ceremonies." Comments?