You know what would be a terrible, horrible, no-good, very bad thing for the country? If Washington DC, the only part of the continental United States that currently gets no actual say in the legislative branch of government, got full statehood and/or congressional representation. One congressman has the facts to prove it! This is because he made them up himself.

Rep. Andy Harris (R-MD But The Shithole Part) is clearly very smart and in no way an ambulatory dickfungus. Harris knows things like "duly-elected self-rule" and "the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness" are for suckers. He proved such in 2014, when he led the congressional charge to thwart DC's dastardly attempts to actually govern themselves by telling city residents nuh-uh, they can't have the decriminalization of marijuana even though 65 percent of them voted in favor of it. This was possible because Congress is allowed to tell DC to go fuck itself any time DC does something Congress doesn't like.

Hilariously, DC responded by adopting the legal doctrine of non, fuckum tu, whereby the city more or less used procedural trickery to give Congress a big ole middle finger and just went ahead and decriminalized pot anyway. For this, Harris has said he thinks DC Mayor Muriel Bowser should be prosecuted, which is a totally sane and reasonable response to a government attempting to carry out the will of its people.

At a recent town hall meeting, Harris again explained why DC residents being allowed to govern themselves like actual Americans would be so very terrible. According to Andy Harris, it's because a lot of them are black people:

In a confrontation with marijuana legalization activist Adam Eidinger, Harris told Eidinger that he did not “think [D.C.] ought to be a state because they make irresponsible decisions like legalizing marijuana when the African-American unemployment rate is 40 percent and the African-American graduation rate from high school is 12 percent.”

See?! Harris knows numbers facts! You can't argue with numbers facts!

Unless they are made-up numbers facts.

Harris might want to brush up on his facts. The actual unemployment rate for African Americans in Washington, D.C. is 13.6 percent. The high school graduation rate for African American students in Washington, D.C. is 59.7 percent.

"Oh come on, ThinkProgress! What's the difference? Forty percentage points is probably within the margin of error, anyway!" says Andy Harris, probably. (Andy Harris has no idea what that term means.)

We have to give Harris credit (no, we don't) for coming up with such a nakedly racist, condescending pile of lies to justify why he so deeply hates democracy and America and apple pie and your sweet Aunt Mildred. The boilerplate terrible argument against DC statehood usually runs something along the lines of "the founding fathers wanted DC to be politically neutral ground, and they always had such great ideas, like the whole 'black people are 3/5 of a human' thing." Harris, meanwhile, is treading new ground with his revolutionary "LOL THE DUMB BLACK PEOPLES AMIRITE" tack. Terrible, regressive, racist ground, but new ground nevertheless.

We're sure Republicans' persistent opposition to DC statehood has nothing at all to do with the fact that DC votes Democrat in every single national and mayoral election. Heaven forfend.


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Well, goddamn it, a wonderful person we'd never heard of until last night is dead. Lyra McKee was 29, an investigative journalist who specialized in looking at the legacy of "the Troubles" in Northern Ireland. She was murdered by someone shooting at police during rioting in Derry, or perhaps Londonderry, depending on who you want to piss off by using either name for the city. The rioting broke out after police "started carrying out searches in the area because of concerns that militant republicans were storing firearms and explosives" in advance of attacks planned to mark the anniversary of the 1916 Easter Rising. Police are blaming the violence and McKee's death on the "New Irish Republican Army," a radical republican group formed a few years ago from several smaller groups. Despite the name, the group has no ties to the old Provisional Irish Republican Army, which renounced violence and disarmed in 2005 following the 1998 Good Friday Agreement, which was supposed to have brought peace to Northern Ireland, and kind of did, at least much of the time.

McKee is being remembered by colleagues and readers as a promising journalist who was expected to go far. A year ago, McKee signed a two-book deal with Faber & Faber; the first of the books, The Lost Boys, an investigation of eight young men who disappeared in Belfast during the Troubles in the '60s and '70s, will be published next year. A 2016 Forbes profile said "McKee's passion is to dig into topics that others don't care about." For instance, CNN reports, McKee spent five years investigating a story about the only rape crisis center in Northern Ireland and its long struggle to regain funding after the government eliminated it.

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