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Posts Tagged ‘Washington Post’

My mechanic told me “I couldn’t fix your brakes, so I made your horn louder.”
  —  Steven Wright
[Without any significant accomplishments (which the majority of Americans actually supported) during his first two years as President, #IncompetentDonald chose to use the mid-term elections campaign to spread hate and fear.  The results were a (not surprising) repudiation of the President where the number of Americans voting against Republicans increased from three million votes (Trump vs. Hilary popular vote loss count) to over six million (nationwide total – see image below) in the House and twelve million (nationwide total) in the Senate.  It is only the fact that Republicans outnumber Democrats in States with smaller populations which has allowed them to retain control of the Senate.  In the United States, each State gets two Senators irrespective of the State’s population.  The House, on the other hand, gets Districts assigned based on populations with a minimum of one.  Some of the States with smaller populations (Alaska, Delaware, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Vermont and Wyoming) only have one Representative (called “at large”) with their “District” being the entire State.  The Senate is “inherently” less “democratic” for the nation by design.  Additionally, by only having one-third of its members up for re-election in any given election, it is also “inherently” more moderating (i.e. “conservative”) in representing the overall population of both the State and the nation.  (The Senate is the “brake” in this metaphor.)  Because the entire House of Representatives is up for re-election each election period, the House tends to reflect the political swings in the electorate more quickly and more radically – direction and degree – when the country is shouting “Stop” or “Speed-up”.  (The House is the “horn”.)

Image showing Democratic nationwide vote difference in 2018

Democratic nationwide vote difference in 2018

Of course, the comparison of vote totals above – numbers for President, House and Senate – are comparing apples to oranges to bananas.  And / but, they also do NOT take into account the significant gerrymandering done as of the 2010 census, which heavily tilted the House Districts in favor of the Republicans.  This makes the wins by the Democrats even MORE impressive!  It remains to be seen if those changes will remain when we go back into a Presidential turnout.  It also highlights the importance of Democrats working at the State level to regain control of as many State governorships and legislatures as possible heading into the next (2020) census and subsequent House redistricting.  The number of seats is controlled at the Federal level, but the actual redrawing of the Districts is done by the individual States.
This last part, the census and the redistricting is why it is vitally important for the electorate (the voters) to stay active during the run-up to 2020 (the census) and then immediately after through 2022, when the redistricting will normally occur.  In other words, you (voters seeking to make a progressive difference) can’t go to sleep between now and 2022 or the Republicans can continue and increase their relative positions through 2032.   By the way, the gerrymander is not (by any means) unique to the Republicans.  The Democrats have also used it to protect their seats.  The difference is the modern day use of computers to track voters and then specifically target the isolation of opposition voters to maximize their count while minimizing their effect.  For example, one State (Pennsylvania) had 51% of the vote (Democrats), but seated 5 out of 18 Districts (28% of the House seats) in 2012 because Republicans controlled the State legislature.  So, a word to the wise…  If you want to keep the house after 2020, stay awake and stay active!
Finally, for an excellent explanation of Gerrymandering, please read the linked article:  “This is the best explanation of gerrymandering you will ever see“, which appeared in the Washington Post a few years back.  I re-read it every year to remind myself of what is at stake.  —  KMAB]
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On This Day In:
2017 He Says, It Says
2016 Marriage Advice
2015 To James (and ‘Tasha)
2014 Ssshhush, You Are Not Alone
2013 So I Chose Living…
2012 For However Short A Time…
2011 Take A Deep Breath And Continue (Or Not)
2010 Tootsie-Roll Day

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JOSH:   “Tell me democracy doesn’t have a sense of humor.  …What do you say about a government that goes out of its way to protect even citizens that try to destroy it?
TOBY:  “God bless America.”
SAM: “God bless America.”
C.J.:  “God bless America.”
DONNA: “God bless America.”
JOSH:  “God bless America.”
From the TV series: “THE WEST WING”
Episode: “THE MIDTERMS”
Season 2, Episode 3, Airdate: 18 Oct 2000
Written by: AARON SORKIN
Directed by: ALEX GRAVES
 
[All views expressed are my own and do NOT represent the official position or opinion of any government agency – local, state or federal.
I am a Federal employee.  Today is the first day of the fiscal year.  I have been furloughed because a small group of political fanatics have commandeered one of the nation’s two main political parties.  As such, this group of fanatics have paralyzed one half (the House of Representatives) of our legislative branch (Congress), which forms one third of our Federal government.
Now, you will frequently hear about how “the people” voted for a majority of the Representatives in the House and that’s why the country is against Obamacare.  In fact, what happened was Republicans took advantage of an off-year election (one where the President isn’t on the ticket) to take control of the House in 2010.  This coincided with a similar dominance in many state legislatures and governorships.  Now, House re-districting occurs every ten years following the national census (last held in 2010).  Re-districting is normally controlled by the powers that be in the individual states.  The result of the state take-overs (Republican) and the census re-districting was the ability to “gerrymander” their House districts so that even if they lost the vote in their statewide elections in 2012, they would retain the majority of House districts in their states.  The practical result of this political maneuver was although Democrats outvoted Republicans for House seats by almost 500,000 votes nationwide, the Republicans retained more seats in the House.  For a clear explanation of how a political party can be out-voted but still retain the majority of House seats in the state , please click on the following link:
The House of Representatives – or how to win when you actually lost –  dtd 8 November 2012; Washington Post article explaining how the Republicans “really” managed to maintain control of the House in 2012.  (For the record, the actual title of this article is: “How redistricting could keep the House red for a decade
I’m also including four links to prior posts of mine related to national politics:
  dtd 2 October 2010 explanation of budget faults.
  dtd  29 November 2010  Republican fear tactics in politics, limited government and the role of government agencies in a “free” marketplace.
  dtd 1 December 2010  Grading President Obama on various policies including health care, the economy and negotiating with Republicans.
  dtd 26 June 2011 Comments on Pat Robertson’s statement that Republicans have committed economic treason.
It is difficult to sort the wheat from the chaff when discussing politics these days.  This is all the more true because one side (the Republicans) is willing to tell the big lie repeatedly to promote its political agenda, and the other side (the Democrats) is too polite to just say “that’s a lie!” publicly to their opponents face.  One tool I use for evaluating political positions is to go back and see if what someone had to say about something proved either prophetic or correct (or both).  With the hind-sight of two-to-three years, I hope you (dear readers) will take the time to view some of these earlier posts and let me know if we’ve heard this song before.  And whether we (the American public) are about to sit through another encore…
Regardless of whether or not you agree with me, please contact your Federal representatives (Senate and House, Democrat and Republican) and let them know how you feel about the government shutdown and why.  This is no time to stand on the sidelines!
—  KMAB]
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On This Day In:
2012 More Mature Than I Thought
2011 Outlaw’s Music
Can Do!

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With all the recent verbal and written (and sometimes physical) attacks on government employees in general and Federal employees in particular, I wanted to offer up a link I found on the Washington Post site: Federal Players – Profiles of little known federal workers who have left a big impact.
These are some of our “TRUE” American patriots.  Read about them and the next time you hear someone criticize YOUR Federal workforce, you’ll have something to respond with.
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