The Wisconsin voting rights case before the Supreme Court has been cast as the definitive test of whether partisan gerrymandering is permitted by the Constitution. But a closer look at the case and others like it shows that race remains an integral element of redistricting disputes, even when the intent of those involved was to give…
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The boy in the box was naked, wrapped in a plaid blanket, and was thought to be between 3 and 7 years old, per initial investigations. The cause of death was determined to be blunt force trauma and according to now retired detective sergeant Bob Kuhlmeier, "he appeared to be cleaned and freshly groomed with a haircut."
Setting out to to determine the identity of the young boy, police ran a check on his fingerprints, but did not come up with a match. They canvased the area with fliers for years, doing their due diligence to give the unidentified child's name back so he may have a proper burial, but consistently came upon dead ends. Until now.
On Wednesday afternoon, Philadelphia police issued a statement saying that DNA and genealogical information have led to a positive ID on "The Boy in the Box," and will be providing an update on the case as soon as next week.
According to CBS News, workers at the Ivy Hill Cemetery where the boy's remains were laid to rest under a headstone reading "America's Unknown Child" were tearful upon hearing that his actual name will be known for the first time in more than six decades.
"To have a name on that stone, that's what everybody has been wishing forever," Ivy Hill's Linda Tamburri said in a quote to CBS. "I'm just glad I'm here to actually know I'll see that little boy's name on the stone."
"I think it's wonderful," Dave Drysdale, cemetery secretary and treasurer at Ivy Hill, said. "I just wish that the police officers and all the people involved who long passed away were still here to see it because that was one of their goals and a couple of them said 'I hope they live long enough to see a name put on there.'"
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As detailed in the feature by All That's Interesting, there were many wild theories about "The Boy in the Box" case. In 1960, a psychic tipped off an employee of the medical examiner's office that the boy came from an orphanage. When police followed up on the lead they found a style of blanket at the orphanage in question that matched the one the dead boy was wrapped in, but nothing panned out from that lead. Later, a woman who called herself "M" claimed that "the boy had been purchased by her abusive mother," who bashed his head against the wall after he vomited up some baked beans she'd fed him. Police latched on to this as baked beans had been found in the contents of the dead boy's stomach but, again, the lead went nowhere.
Philadelphia Police Captain Jason Smith told NBC Philadelphia on Wednesday that while he can't discuss the identity of the boy prior to next week's news conference, he harkened back to a statement given to the news outlet in 2021 in which he said "identifying the boy was just the beginning."
"The investigation will start all over again and then we'll start searching for a suspect," Smith said.
It’s “a dagger at the heart of democracy” and there’s no easy answer for how to solve it, Clinton said.
“If you live in a world of disinformation and you have no idea who to believe or who to trust, by definition a democracy can’t work because a democracy requires at least a minimum of discussion, debate, listening to one another and maybe trying to reach principled compromise to get something accomplished,” she said.
As the 2016 Democratic presidential candidate, Clinton said she learned a lot of lessons about disinformation and said she didn’t know what was happening online until it was too late.
One example is Pizzagate, a conspiracy theory that Clinton was part of a child trafficking ring that operated out of a Washington, D.C., pizza parlor. A North Carolina man who believed the story, drove to the restaurant to investigate, where he fired an assault rifle. While no one was injured, he was sentenced to four years in prison.
People combatting disinformation need “to understand better how to deprogram people” who believe false information like this, Clinton said.
“We know the big lie works if you repeat it enough, and social media is the big lie on steroids if you’re selling a big lie,” she said. “And so we have to do a lot more to fight back however we can.”
Angie Maxwell, a political science professor and director of the University of Arkansas’ Diane D. Blair Center for Southern Politics and Society, moderated Wednesday’s discussion.
The lecture was presented in conjunction with We the People: The Radical Notion of Democracy, an exhibition that features historical documents like original prints of the U.S. Constitution and the Declaration of Independence alongside works of art.
The United States is still debating what “we the people” means and who it includes, but those arguments are healthy because there’s been a constant pressure to expand the meaning of “we the people,” Clinton said. But there’s also been resistance to that expansion.
“We have seen the kind of pushback that has resulted in all sorts of claims about elections that were without basis in fact or evidence, but motivated by a deep fear of expanding ‘we the people’ to include all of us,” she said.
The push and pull that results in progress sometimes and regression at others is “an inherent, central struggle in the American journey,” Clinton said.
For example, members of the LGBTQ community are still fighting for inclusion, as exemplified by ongoing legal challenges across the country. A trial against Arkansas’ first-in-the-nation ban on gender-affirming health care for transgender youth resumed this week.
In Washington, the Senate approved legislation Tuesday to enshrine same-sex and interracial marriage in federal law. The House approved the original bill but must vote again after the addition of religious liberty protections by the Senate.
“As comforting as it is to see what the Congress did yesterday on a bipartisan vote in both houses, it’s not over,” Clinton said.
That’s because social and cultural movements rooted in privacy, autonomy and individual decision-making run counter to what many people, including several members of the Supreme Court, want to see, she said.
In June, the court overturned Roe v. Wade, which guaranteed a constitutional right to abortion. The court issued what Clinton called “a very badly argued, badly reasoned opinion” in which Justice Samuel Alito argues the right to an abortion is not included in the U.S. Constitution.
“It is troubling to me that the court took that position, obliterating basically the right to privacy because the right to privacy, yeah it’s not mentioned in the constitution, but neither are AR-15s,” Clinton said.
Despite all the challenges, Clinton said she believes democracy will “absolutely” survive.
“I think we saw some good examples of that in this midterm election in lots of places, and it didn’t happen by accident,” she said. “People were willing to run, people were willing to stand up and speak out.”
‘Committed to it’
A number of Arkansas’ Democratic legislators and former candidates were in the audience Wednesday, including Chris Jones, the party’s gubernatorial candidate who lost to Republican Sarah Huckabee Sanders in November.
“It was really good to hear her put our sort of contemporary situation into historical context with a view toward what we can actually do,” he said after the lecture.
Upon spotting Jones after Clinton’s lecture, several audience members lined up to shake the former candidate’s hand and take photos. He mingled with the crowd for about 20 minutes and the impromptu scene felt similar to some of his campaign rallies.
As for what comes, Jones said he’s not sure.
“The race is over, but the commitment continues,” he said. “I’m in Arkansas, we’re committed to it. She gave some good wisdom and advice on what one can do to make sure we move the agenda forward.”
One thing Clinton urged people not to do is avoid the political process just because it’s hard.
“I don’t think any political defeats or victories are permanent,” she said. “They become permanent if you don’t contest them, if you don’t speak out, if you don’t make a case, if you don’t try to be part of a smart, effective opposition and if you don’t also pay attention to what the people you’d like to represent are interested in.”
Video of Clinton’s lecture is available in its entirety at www.crystalbridges.org.
Arkansas Advocate is part of States Newsroom, a network of news bureaus supported by grants and a coalition of donors as a 501c(3) public charity. Arkansas Advocate maintains editorial independence. Contact Editor Sonny Albarado for questions: firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow Arkansas Advocate on Facebook and Twitter.
The state’s popular and term-limited chief executive stopped short of announcing a 2024 bid for the White House and he insisted that he has not made any decisions about his future. But his twin fundraisers at Maryland Live! Casino and Hotel in Hanover, one of them a glittery reception, appeared crafted to push open the door of possibilities at least a little.
“I think you all know that I do care very deeply about this country and I’ve never been more concerned about the direction of our nation,” Hogan declared. “What I can tell you tonight is that I am not about to give up on the Republican Party or on America.”
The crowd of perhaps 1,200 people roared its approval.
Hogan entered the hall following the most glowing introduction imaginable.
“Please welcome America’ most popular governor and the most successful governor in Maryland’s history, Gov. Larry Hogan,” an announcer shouted.
Wearing a wireless mic as he wandered the stage, with what appeared to be a TelePrompter-style device positioned before him, Hogan played up his long history as an underdog.
The Hogan hype machine was in overdrive, his brief remarks sandwiched between two slick videos touting the governor’s leadership abilities: The first traced the now-familiar arc of the last eight years — “the 43 consecutive tax increases” enacted by his predecessor; the takeover of the government response to the unrest in Baltimore following the death of Freddie Gray; a successful and very public battle against an often-fatal form of cancer; his by-most-accounts stellar response to the COVID-19 pandemic; the use of Maryland National Guard personnel to help quell the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol; and his emergence as a leading GOP critic of President Trump.
The second was more of a look ahead to Hogan’s desire to remain relevant in the conversation about the nation’s political future. It featured quick but not so subtle footage of Hogan at the Iowa State Fair last summer and of the late President Reagan, a personal hero of Hogan’s, on a TV screen, saluting.
“This is just the beginning,” the second video concluded, in the most tantalizing messaging of the evening.
Moments later, the first song the band played after Hogan and his wife Yumi and Lt. Gov. Boyd Rutherford (R) and his wife Monica waved to the crowd, was Sam and Dave’s iconic “Hold on, I’m Coming” — another not so subtle message. Confetti fell from both sides of the stage.
Although he has governed alongside a General Assembly where Democrats were routinely able to override his policy vetoes, Hogan has enjoyed historically high job-approval ratings since taking office. Voters in a reliably blue state gave him substantial victories in 2014 and 2018 and may well have awarded him a third term if state law allowed it.
Hogan told supporters that the style of leadership he has used in Annapolis could easily be replicated elsewhere. “If we can do that here in Maryland, then there’s no place in America where these very same principles would not succeed,” he said.
Hogan’s remarks come at a time of increased national visibility for the one-time real estate developer. He has travelled the country, hitting early presidential nominating states like Iowa and New Hampshire, giving speeches, and contributing to political campaigns. The host of an issues and ideas forum in Annapolis on Wednesday morning, Hogan has emerged as a fixture on Sunday morning talk shows.
The two events held at Live! on Wednesday — a “VIP” reception and a larger “celebration” of his governorship — were intended to raise funds for his political organizations, An American United and a relatively new federal political action committee called Better Path Forward PAC.
By Hogan’s reckoning, there were 1,700 people present, though the crowd size seemed a little smaller. David Weinman, who heads An America United, said the governor has raised about $1.2 million for the two entities since announcing the Wednesday night fundraising events earlier in the fall.
Hogan later told reporters that his supporters have given him and his team “1.2 million reasons” to consider launching a national campaign.
The crowd was a mix of business leaders, Hogan administration officials past and present, the remnants of the Hogan wing of the Maryland Republican Party, some Democrats, the usual Maryland political hangers-on, and the few Annapolis lobbyists with personal ties to Hogan or who still have reason to pay tribute (most of the transactional Annapolis lobbying crowd has already moved on to Gov.-elect Wes Moore, a Democrat). As is often the case at Hogan events, it was a more racially diverse crowd than most Republican leaders attract.
Hogan’s videos show that more than eight years after his first electoral victory, and 7 1/2 years after the unrest in Baltimore, Hogan is still campaigning against former Gov. Martin O’Malley (D) for the state of the Maryland economy when he left office, and former Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake (D), who, as Hogan describes it, was prepared to be lenient with potential rioters.
Jaymi Sterling, Hogan’s step-daughter, who was just elected state’s attorney in St. Mary’s County, figured prominently in the first video, talking about how “relatable” her dad is to everyday Marylanders. It’s clear that Sterling’s political success is a source of great pride for Hogan. And it’s equally clear that she could be a rising star in the state GOP, depending on what direction party leaders decide to take following the wipeout of Del. Dan Cox (R-Frederick), the Trump-endorsed candidate, in the gubernatorial election.
Hogan continues to be one of the few elected Republicans in the U.S. willing to openly criticize the former president.
After making his way through hundreds of well-wishers, Hogan moved to the back of the room for what’s known as a press gaggle. The music from the very talented R&B band was deafening, and bodyguards formed a semi- circle behind Hogan’s back, cutting off access for many of the reporters straining to hear what he was trying to say.
While a handful of Maryland political reporters were effectively shut out of the conversation, standing in close proximity to Hogan, and absorbing the governor’s every word, was Robert Costa, the CBS news national political reporter formerly of The Washington Post and National Review. It seemed a fitting metaphor for Hogan’s political and media strategy for the future.
“We need to stop talking about Donald Trump,” he told reporters Wednesday night. “The party and the country need to move on from him.”