Two entirely unrelated stories

Stacking the deck at the Civil Rights Commission; blackface, or something like it, at Homeland Security.

Published November 6, 2007 4:06PM (EST)

From the Boston Globe: The Bush administration managed to get around the statutory requirement that no more than four members of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights be members of any one political party when two sitting Republican members changed their party affiliations to "independent" just before the president appointed two more Republicans to the panel in 2004.

From the Associated Press: Julie Myers, the not-exactly-over-qualified chief of Immigration and Customs Enforcement for the Department of Homeland Security, has apologized for giving a "most original costume" award to an employee whose Halloween costume featured prison stripes, dreadlocks and dark makeup. A spokeswoman for ICE helpfully clarifies that the employee wasn't wearing blackface but rather makeup that was darker than his actual skin color.

By Tim Grieve

Tim Grieve is a senior writer and the author of Salon's War Room blog.

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