After the 2012 Presidential election – thank every deity it is over – you may recall that only a handful of states were crucial to the decision – Ohio! Florida! Virginia! The Democratic “blue” states – New York, California – were not in play, nor were the Republican “red” states such as Texas. Candidates didn’t campaign in those because of most states’ “winner-take-all” mechanism when it came to the Electoral College. All the electoral votes of a state would go to one candidate. (The upside is that I missed the vast majority of the political ads.)
So the recent Republican plan to change states from winner-takes-all, the way every state, except Maine and Nebraska, does it, to awarding electoral votes by Congressional District, seems to be more fair. And it would be, if Congressional boundary lines were drawn equitably.
But as Arthur@AmeriNZ noted Continue reading The Arthurian election reform article
That first Barack Obama Presidential campaign had that whole “HOPE” thing going. The impression that most impressed me from four years ago was that, even before he was actually inaugurated, how busy he was dealing with an economic disaster far greater than he possibly could have anticipated.
I should have known, though, that the honeymoon would be short-lived. Less than a week after he had officially become President, he was criticized, on FOX News, of course, that he hadn’t done enough for the economy. Then when he came out with the “bailout”, it was considered too large. (I remain convinced Continue reading The second Obama term
If you’re not from the United States, you may not be aware of the fact that the US is having its national election on Tuesday, November 6.
Approximately 1/3 of the US Senate is up for election. Senators are elected on a statewide basis for six-year terms.
All 435 members of the House of Representatives are up for election. The number of districts in each state is dependent on its population. The breakdown changes every 10 years, after the decennial Census. The results of the 2010 Census will alter the makeup of the House for the 2012 election. Continue reading N is for National Elections on November 6
Five burglars involved with break-in of the Democratic Party headquarters at the Watergate Hotel on June 17, 1972, were arrested; a couple more, involved in the operation, were also detained. The term used by President Richard Nixon’s Press Secretary, Ron Ziegler, to describe the event was “a third rate burglary attempt.” The seven were tried and convicted, President Richard Nixon was reelected in a landslide, and that was that. Except for the fact that two years later, the President was forced to resign in order to avoid almost certain impeachment. Continue reading W is for Watergate
I was, for a brief time, receiving, for free, this conservative magazine called Newsmax. The February 2012 issue has “How Grover [Norquist] Conquered Washington,” Norquist being the author of the “taxpayer Protection Pledge.” One of the features in that issue reported polls commissioned by the Hollywood Reporter about movies, and the other by Entertainment Weekly about television.
The reported premise is that Continue reading Our Viewing Tastes Are "Polls" Apart
I try not to write about politics too much, I really do, mostly so that *I* don’t make myself crazy. But a series of related events, which I would not have imagined would be part of the public discourse in the USA in 2012, ARE front page news.
First, the Republican-led Congress convened a panel of “experts”, most of whom railed against employer insurance plans covering birth control. Interestingly, they happened to be mostly a bunch of guys. The odd thing is that many of these same insurance plans with contraceptive coverage that the panel was railing against will cover Viagra and similar products that will be a sexual aid, even for (gasp!) unmarried men.
So some Democrats allowed Georgetown law student Sandra Fluke to testify from a different perspective, e.g., a woman’s, regarding women’s reproductive health care; LISTEN to her opening statement. Note that Fluke’s comments were primarily about use of contraceptives for other purposes, such as to avoid ovarian cysts. A windbag Continue reading WTF? Cavemen in America
I’m an old political science major. I appreciate differing points of view on the issues. I even solicit varying positions by reading a mix of publications. But what’s been going on in US politics is not that anymore. Reading this article, originally from the Guardian (UK), called The Right’s Stupidity Spreads, Enabled by a Too-Polite Left, I was particularly fascinated by this section:
Listen to what two former Republican ideologues, David Frum and Mike Lofgren, have been saying. Frum warns that “conservatives have built a whole alternative knowledge system, with its own facts, its own history, its own laws of economics”. The result is a “shift to ever more extreme, ever more fantasy-based ideology” which has “ominous real-world consequences for American society”.
Lofgren complains that “the crackpot outliers of two decades ago have become the vital center today”. Continue reading Not Letting the Truth Get in the Way
I remember reading in someone’s blog late last year, “Please give me someone else to vote for besides Barack Obama.” It was a plea to the US Republican party regarding the November 2012 Presidential election. So far, that wish has not come true. The Republican base’s fear of Mitt Romney, I believe, is well founded; his positions seem to follow the wind. The flaws of the rest of the field are too numerous, too exhausting to mention, but certainly including their collective racial polarization, Rick Perry’s sheer ignorance of even his own position on issues, and Newt Gingrich’s hubris.
This is not that I’m that enamored by the incumbent. There are all of the campaign promises he made that not only did not fulfill, he went 180. The recently-signed legislation which would deny suspected terrorists, including U.S. citizens seized within the nation’s borders, the right to trial and subject them to indefinite detention are among the elements that are terrifying to me. Continue reading There will be a Presidential inauguration one year from tomorrow
For seven years out of eight years (2002-2007, 2009), we had at least one live bat in our house. The problem seems to finally be solved by roof insulation and fixing some gaps between the roof and the main house structure. One of the telltale signs you have a bat, even if you don’t see it: guano, which means bat poop.
I was talking about some of the candidates for President with my wife, and I was divvying them up between those with whom I merely oppose politically and those who I called “guano crazy”. I don’t know if I had made up that phraseology, or stole it from someone unconsciously, but I’ve become rather fond of it.
The question: among those who have announced that they are running, which candidates do you consider guano crazy? Democracy for America is running a poll, asking, among the Republicans: Who do you think would make the worst President? When I took the poll a few days ago, Rick Perry had a clear plurality of the votes cast, with over 40% of the vote, followed by Michelle Bachmann (c. 25%), Mitt Romney, and Herman Cain.
I would consider Perry to be guano crazy. Continue reading Guano crazy candidates QUESTION
Labor Day of the year BEFORE the election, is the point at which the Presidential campaign is supposed to begin, although we’ve already had one candidate withdraw from the race already (Tim Pawlenty) and others teasing before declining (Donald Trump, Mike Huckabee). Then there are those who someone wants him to run but he said no (Chris Christie, Mitch Daniels, Paul Ryan) and one who is still teasing about running (the ubiquitous Sarah Palin). Continue reading If the Election Were Held Tomorrow QUESTION