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When Republicans “re-district” everyone loses–especially in large states such as Texas

May 30, 2013 in Texas and Texans, Women's Rights

As most realize,in the process of setting electoral districts, gerrymandering is a practice that attempts to establish a political advantage for a particular party or group by manipulating district boundaries to create partisan advantaged districts. And this is what Rick Perry is in the throes of doing–gerrymandering.

What many don’t realize is that this is not a good idea for any voter, regardless their party–especially in states as large and diverse as Texas.Because Texas is such a large state, it has a highly varied topography. The state has ten climatic regions and 11 different ecological regions. The topography types vary from mountainous to forested hill country to coast plains and prairies in the interior.

Below is a map showing economic regions of Texas.  Voters living in the economic regions of Northwest Texas are not going to have the same priority issues as the voters living in the Metroplex, for one example.  Yet gerrymandering could result in districts being drawn that traverse several economic regions.  In a state as large as Texas, this means that many voters issues will not be fairly represented–regardless the party–if for no other reason than the elected official cannot possibly stretch themselves that thin to even learn about all the varied needs.  Furthermore many of the interests from region to region, regardless the party, are conflicting.

Furthermore, Perry’s Gerrymandering Is Likely an Exercise in Futility for His Party who Continue to Cling to the Demographics of Yesterday

Perhaps none of this matters–Gerrymander or Not–because the Republican Party continue to ignore the largest and fastest  growing demographic of all:  No it is not the Latino demographic.  It’s single women and they do show up and vote.

They continue to play to the white male and the married, stay-at-home female–both of which are shrinking demographics.

The one outstanding difference between the Democrats and the Republicans is that the Democrats have passed legislation for women while the Republicans support legislation that is anti-woman.  If the Republicans continue down that path, they will continue to lose more and more elections.

Perry can gerrymander until all the cows come home and are milked for all the good it will do the Republicans.  We currently have 34% of our population who are white male.  As for the women, the Republicans seem to fail to notice that the overwhelming majority of women are not married–much less stay at home moms with rich husbands.   Of course these women care about equal pay laws, child care, women’s health, etc.–all the issues that the Republican leadership are famous for ignoring and even bashing.  DUH.

Furthermore, single women are a MUCH larger demographic than the white male demographic. Unlike white males who along with the NRA, are fixated on 2nd Amendment rights, single women are not.  Ask most moms raising two kids where gun rights rank in their list of priorities and take it from there because your priorities as a politician should be closer to those priorities than the NRA or the white male–if you are smart and care about winning.

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    Ask Mitt, Rove, McConnell, Cantor, Limbaugh and Boehner to explain what happened in California

    November 17, 2012 in 2012 Elections, Economy, Nation

    Robert Scheer asked some very interesting questions yesterday about the outcome of the election in California in an article he wrote, “The Land of Milk and Honey Once More.”

    Scheer:  How is it that the state that incubated the presidencies of Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan is now so deep blue Democrat that Mitt Romney hardly bothered to campaign there? Why did voters, including huge majorities in the state’s two wealthiest counties, approve a tax on high-income earners to increase funding for public education?

    Scheer:  Not only did President Obama garner almost 60 percent of the vote there, but the Democrats who already controlled all branches of the state’s government gained a two-thirds supermajority in both houses of the state Legislature, the first time one party has done so since 1933, when the Republicans were in power. The Democrats have not managed such a feat since 1883.

    Limbaugh and other racist pundits who attribute Obama’s win to people who “want stuff” will have a hard time explaining how the measures to raise corporate taxes on businesses based out of state and raise income taxes on the wealthiest residents passed 63% in San Mateo and in Marin County where annual income rank in the top 20 of all U.S. counties, the margin was even higher at 68.2% compared to 31.8% statewide average.  Brown and black voters are barely present in these two counties.

    The Sacramento Bee put it this way: “California’s new electorate is multiracial, younger, more liberal, not very religious and less likely to be married with children.  The long reign of older white voters is coming to an end.”

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      The 113th Congress is a Congress of Firsts

      November 17, 2012 in 2012 Elections, Headlines, Nation

      Though Congress remains whiter, older, and more male than the nation as a whole, the incoming class will be the most diverse in history.  ThinkProgress reports that the 113th Congress will be the most diverse in US History.  Twenty-four of those newly elected to Congress are women compared to 20 men.  Five of the 54 new faces are LGBT.  10 of them are Latino. 4 are African American.  6 of them are Asian American.  We also have our first Hindu representative and our first Buddhist Senator.

      VIEW THE INFOGRAPHIC HERE

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        Losers don’t get to dictate.

        November 15, 2012 in 2012 Elections, Nation, Politics, The Rich

        The day after Americans voted to reject Mitt Romney’s plan to reduce the deficit on the back of the middle class, Johnny and Mitch insisted that Congress must reduce the deficit on the back of the middle class.

        Sorry fellows, but losers don’t dictate the terms of armistice.

        Not only did voters choose President Obama and his fiscal plan, but they also said in exit interviews that those Bush tax cuts for the rich have gotta go. Here’s what an infamous number – 47 percent – told the exit pollsters about the rich: Anyone earning more than a quarter million should pay more taxes. An additional 13 percent said everyone’s taxes should be raised.

        Furthermore citizens in several states voted to increase their own taxes. Residents of California and Arkansas, San Antonio and Austin voted to pay more in taxes for specific purposes such as education and infrastructure. In Oregon and Florida, voters rejected limits on and elimination of certain taxes.

        SOURCE:  Leo Gerard, United Steelworkers Presidents

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          Perhaps the USA should take a look at other Democracies

          November 14, 2012 in Nation

          BRAZIL

          At first, the democratic government of Brazil looks a lot like that of the USA: The Brazilian Federation is the “indissoluble union” of three distinct political entities: the States, the Municipalities and the Federal District. The Union, the states and the Federal District, and the municipalities, are the “spheres of government.” The Federation is set on five fundamental principles: ] sovereignty, citizenship, dignity of human beings, the social values of labour and freedom of enterprise, and political pluralism. The classic tripartite branches of government (executive, legislative, and judicial under the checks and balances system), is formally established by the Constitution.  The executive and legislative are organized independently in all three spheres of government, while the judiciary is organized only at the federal and state/Federal District spheres.

          But then there are some striking differences between the government of Brazil and that of the USA. All members of the executive and legislative branches are directly elected (unlike the USA with its electoral college). Judges and other judicial officials are appointed after passing entry exams. (Passing an entry exam might be a better way to determine a judges qualifications than choosing them according to Party politics,)   For most of its democratic history, Brazil has had a multi-party system, proportional representation (Here in the USA we only have two major parties). Voting is compulsory for the literate between 18 and 70 years old and optional for illiterates and those between 16 and 70. (Voting in the USA is not compulsory.  However Brazil is not the only Democratic nation that forces its electorate to vote.  Australia is another country that requires its citizens to vote.

          Together with several smaller parties, four political parties stand out: Workers’ Party (PT), Brazilian Social Democracy Party (PSDB), Brazilian Democratic Movement Party (PMDB), and Democrats (DEM). Fifteen political parties are represented in Congress.  In the USA, we only have two parties represented.  In the Senate we only have two Independents.  All the rest are Democrat or Republican.  In the House we have no Independents.

          AUSTRALIA
          The Australian Parliament is bicameral, consisting of the Queen, a 76-member Senate and a 150-member House of Representatives. Twelve Senators from each state are elected for six-year terms, using proportional representation and the single transferable vote (known in Australia as “preferential voting”: with half elected every three years.

          Australia has a mild two-party system with two dominant political groupings in the Australian political system, the Australian Labor Party, and the Liberal/National Coalition. Federally, the lower house currently has seven of 150 non-major party MPs, while the upper house has eleven of 76.  Australian Greens currently have one seat in the House of Representatives and 9 in their Senate.  The Democratic Labor Party, another minor party, has 1 seat in the House of Representatives.  Thus in Australia, 23 seats in their government are held by minor party candidates.

          _______________________________________________________

          A CASE CAN BE MADE FOR COMPULSORY VOTING

          Compulsory voting is a system in which electors are obliged to vote in elections or attend a polling place on voting day. If an eligible voter does not attend a polling place, he or she may be subject to punitive measures such as fines, community service, or perhaps imprisonment if fines are unpaid or community service is not performed.

          If voters do not want to support any given choice, they may cast spoilt votes or blank votes. According to compulsory voting supporters, this is preferred to not voting at all because it ensures there is no possibility that the person has been intimidated or prevented from voting should they wish. In certain jurisdictions, voters have the option to vote none of the above if they do not support any of the candidates to indicate clear dissatisfaction with the candidate list rather than simple apathy at the whole process.

          A result of this setup is that it is therefore more difficult for extremist or special interest groups to vote themselves into power or to influence mainstream candidates. Under a non-compulsory voting system, if fewer people vote then it is easier for smaller sectional interests and lobby groups to motivate a small section of the people to the polls and thereby control the outcome of the political process. The outcome of an election where voting is compulsory reflects more of the will of the people (Who do I want to lead the country?) rather than reflecting who was more able to convince people to take time out of their day to cast a vote (Do I even want to vote today?).

          Ten countries enforce compulsory voting:

          Argentine, Australia, Brazil, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ecuador, Luxembourg, Nauru, Peru, Singaport, Uruguay and Schaffhausen (a canton in Switzerland).

          _____________________________________________________

          No other democracy on the planet limits itself to an either/or party system as does the USA.  Perhaps it’s time that our government allowed other candidates a voice–particularly on the Presidential platform.  Just imagine how differently the debates might have looked if Jill Stein, the Green Party candidate has been allowed to debate Obama and Romney on a national stage.  Just imagine if instead of having a pre-arranged list of topics chosen by corporate sponsors who donate to the Presidential Commission on Debates, each of  the candidates chose a topic that none of the others knew about before the debate and these topics were each debated.  Now that would be a debate–a real debate on real topics.  Presidential debates in the USA are nothing more than a canned farce–more fitting for a banana republic than a democracy.

          ________________________________________________

          MY RECOMMENDATIONS FOR IMPROVING THE DEMOCRACY OF THE USA

          1. Compulsory Voting
          2. Elimination of the corporate sponsored Commission for Presidential Debates
          3. All Presidential Debates must include all candidates who are on the ballot in at least 30 states.
          4. All  elections for Federal Office (President, Vice President, U.S. House and U.S. Senate) are managed by the US Federal government.  This is possible under the current laws of the land.  There would not even have to be a vote on it.  States do not have jurisdiction over federal elections.  Up until now the Federal offices have been put on state ballots, but this is not required by law.  Check it out.  The Feds cannot mess with State elections beyond enforcing the Voters Rights Act of 1964, but they could hold a separate Federal election if the leaders decided to do so.  Considering the voter suppression carried out in states with Republican governors this year, it would be an excellent idea to separate State from Federal elections.

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            Finally it’s out in the open and people are not sugar-coating it: The Republican Base are Racists.

            November 13, 2012 in Nation, Racism

             ”Oh but I have good friends who are black, etc.”    The fact remains:  The Republican base are racists and they have been so since 1964 when Lyndon Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and they flocked like rats deserting the ship to the Republican tent.

            In September of 2005, as thousands of black Americans were dealing with the aftermath of Katrina which makes Sandy look like a Sunday School picnic by comparison, on his radio call-in show, former Reagan Secretary of Education, William Bennett made the following comment, “… you could abort every black baby in this country and your crime rate would go down. That would be an impossible, ridiculous, and morally reprehensible thing to do, but your crime rate would go down.”

            After making the point that exterminating blacks would be a most effective crime-fighting tool, he quickly added, ”That would be an impossible, ridiculous and morally reprehensible thing to do, but your crime rate would go down.” [Much in the same way that members of the party today make the most awful of racist comments then quickly add "but I'm not racist.  I have good friends who are black."  Uh huh.]

            Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid [the man Jeb Bush loves to denigrate] publicly chastised Bennett for his remarks.

            The truth is that the Republicans picked up where the Democrats left off in 1964. Tired of losing elections to Democrats the GOP flung open the gates of its party to white voters who were mad at the Democratic Party for its Civil Rights support.  The Democrats revolted against racism over 40 years ago.  They threw down that banner of hate and the GOP grabbed it and have been waving it every since–up to and through the election of 2012.

            Ronald Reagan, the demigod of the Republicans, opposed the Civil Rights Act and the Voting Rights Acts and he showed his own disdain of black people by repeating his mythological tale of the Welfare Queen.

            Now with the white racist vote is shrinking, the Republicans have gotten more drastic with their voter suppression tactics.  In 2004 Jeb Bush called out the state police to try to intimidate black voters in Orlando, Florida.  Then today we see all kinds of voter suppression.  for example Republicans in Georgia have established what amounts to a poll tax.  They require people wihtout a driver’s license to pay $20 for a voter ID card.  This should be contested as it violates the Voting Rights Act.  No American should be made to pay any kind of a fee in order to vote.

            It poses an interesting dilemma for the GOP.   If they denounce racism and stop with the wink wink racism–which they will have to do of they want to win any share of the minority vote because people of color can smell that manure from a mile away–they will alienate their base.  Either way they lose.  I predict that the Republican Party will wander around in the desert for about 40 years just like the Democrats did.

            It’s ironic.  We may soon have a party of one–but it won’t be the Republican Party.  Already, after this election we have no less than three state legislatures with a Democratic supermajority in their state legislatures.  Arizona lost their Republican supermajority this election.

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              Need more reasons for never supporting the GOP? Here’s one: Republicans lie about “Support Our Troops”

              November 12, 2012 in Nation

              For a decade, Republicans have been screaming at Americans to “support our troops.” But, they don’t support our troops. Their constant chanting was originally code to support the Republican administration and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. American civilians sent millions of packages of everything from soap to towels to shaving lotion for the troops because Congress didn’t provide many of the basic necessities. And now the Republicans have blocked the Veterans Job Corps bill in the Senate. That bill would have provided $1 billion over five years to hire 20,000 recent veterans by giving them priority in jobs as first responders. It would also have provided career advisers for the veterans. That bill would have helped not just veterans, but all Americans by strengthening fire, police, and first aid/paramedic assistance. The vote in the senate was 58–40 to pass that bill. But, typical of Republican obstructionism, it failed. Although there was a clear majority, the bill failed because the Republicans used a technicality in Senate rules to force a higher standard–requiring 60 votes, not a simple majority, to pass the appropriation. Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) led the opposition to the bill because he claimed it was reckless spending.  However, the bill was fully funded solely by increasing tax collections from Medicare providers who were delinquent in paying taxes, and by requiring persons applying for passports to be current in paying taxes. Pay the delinquent taxes and be eligible for further Medicare payments and passports. Seemed simple enough. Conclusion?  Republicans are liars who really don’t give a damn about our veterans except when it’s election time.  And even then, all they offer up is their lying rhetoric.  MORE Tell you friends about these liars.  They want to “conserve” all right.  They want to conserve all our nations treasures for themselves because they don’t know the difference between an “entitlement” and feeling entitled.  Entitlements are earned but many of the wealthy don’t know the first thing about earned entitlements such as Social Security because most of them have received  handouts their entire lives from their parents.  They were born on third base and many of them (Mitt Romney included) act as if they hit a home run with bases loaded all by themselves.  And Trump?  He is the worst of them all with his egomaniacal delusions of being “self-made”.  Like Romney, Trump is not half the business man he claims to be. Like Romney, if his multimillionaire father and father’s friends had not been around to bail him out of business deals gone south, Trump would be a WalMart greeter today–provided he didn’t wear that ridiculous toupee.  I still cannot get over how the Republican leadership was so out of touch with the 21st century they ran a plutocrat for Presidents–especially with all the Occupy demonstrations that raised people’s awareness to the disparity of wealth in this nation.

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                Good News from Wisconsin

                November 20, 2011 in Wisconsin

                Recall Walker Rally at Capitol Draws 25,000 to 30,000

                Huge crowds show up Saturday as recall organizers announce they’ve collected more than 100,000 signatures on petitions.  “As of (Friday) night — the fourth day of signature collection, more than 105,000 Wisconsin residents have already signed their name to a petition to recall Scott Walker,” said Heather DuBois Bourenane, a volunteer withUnited Wisconsin, the group spearheading the recall effort. “Across the state, people are talking with their friends, family and neighbors about Walker’s destruction and are doing all they can to end his days as governor.”

                Organizers need to collect 540,000 signatures by Jan. 17 to force a recall election.

                GO WISCONSIN!  YOU ARE AN INSPIRATION TO US ALL!

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                  Michigan Republican’s claims of the poor flocking to Michigan for welfare don’t hold water

                  September 8, 2011 in Michigan

                  Gov, Rick Snyder signed a bill into law this week that Republicans claim is “just what’s needed to stop the stampede of unemployed people pouring into Michigan from other states with less-generous welfare benefits.

                  The bill was sponsored by Republican Ken Horn who claimed that Michigan was “. . .losing hardworking families and taxpayers and gaining people who were moving here for out entitlement programs.”  Michigan now has a four-year limit on cash assistance that takes place on Oct 1.

                  ___________________________________________________

                  IfLizWereQueen

                  Of course, as usual, facts are ignored in the race to denigrate and blame the poor for the economic woes that have in fact been created with the wealthiest among us.

                  Census migration data confirms that between 2008 and 2009 43,778 people with incomes of less than $15,00 moved to Michigan from other states BUT:  another 63,689 in the same income range left Michigan.  Thus a net loss of almost 20,000 of these “moochers.”

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                    Maine to decide Thursday Sept 8 regarding Voter Referendum in November

                    September 8, 2011 in Maine

                    AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — Maine election officials must decide whether enough voters’ signatures have been turned in to force a people’s veto referendum this November on voting rights.

                    Secretary of State Charlie Summers is to announce Thursday whether supporters of an effort to preserve election day voter registration turned in enough signatures to force a fall referendum.

                    They said a month ago they had collected more than 68,000 signatures, well over the 57,277 needed to place the question on the ballot. Officials have been reviewing the petitions in the meantime.

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