• comment on a post Fallout over 3 years ago

    Prop. 20 didn't just take redisctricting away from the legislature. It also imposed some very pro-GOP requirements on how the districts are drawn.

    If, as I expect, the GOP gains CA seats because Prop. 20 concentrates urban minorities into 90% Dem districts, it will spread to every other state where the GOP would benefit from similar changes.

    I view Prop. 20 as the second leg (after voter suppression) of the GOP strategy to cope with the rising % of minority voters.

    The Democrats aren't even on the playing field opposing the GOP efforts.

    Here's some of the Prop. 20 text on how the district lines must be drawn. The pink text is added by Prop. 20:

    (4) The geographic integrity of any city, county, city and county, local neighborhood, or local community of interest shall be respected in a manner that minimizes their division to the extent possible without violating the requirements of any of the preceding subdivisions. A community of interest is a contiguous population which shares common social and economic interests that should be included within a single district for purposes of its effective and fair representation. Examples of such shared interests are those common to an urban area, a rural area, an industrial area, or an agricultural area, and those common to areas in which the people share similar living standards, use the same transportation facilities, have similar work opportunities, or have access to the same media of communication relevant to the election process. Communities of interest shall not include relationships with political parties, incumbents, or political candidates.

    Note the addition of "local" and the explicit inclusion of "similar living standards" as part of what defines a "community of interest". Those phrases mean that, even within a large metropolitan area, Prop. 20 further concentrates urban poor voters into districts.

  • Districts approved by the committee must make sure to combine communities of interest and be geographically compact (i.e. their shapes should look somewhat normal).

    That's a perfect excuse for concentrating urban Democrats into 90+% Democratic districts and distributing the remaining Democracts into a lot of 60-40 Republican districts.

    The poster complains that, under the current method of redistricting, the districts rarely switch parties. I believe that Prop. 20 would result in Republican gains in the first couple election cycles, after which switching would once again become rare.

    A far better criteria for redistricting would be this: to maximize the number of competitive districts.

    Prop. 20 as written is just an excuse to take redistricting out of the hands of the majority party, assign it to an unelected committee selected god-knows-how, and force implementation of rules that will replace gerrymanders with ghettos.

    On top of that, it has a difficult approval process that could result in the redistricting being performed by special masters appointed by the Ca Supreme Court:

    If the commission does not approve a final map by at least the requisite votes or if voters disapprove a certified final map in a referendum, the Secretary of State shall immediately petition the California Supreme Court for an order directing the appointment of special masters to adjust the boundary lines of that map in accordance with the redistricting criteria and requirements set forth in subdivisions (d), (e), and (f). Upon its approval of the masters’ map, the court shall certify the resulting map to the Secretary of State, which map shall constitute the certified final map for the subject type of district.

    How is that democratic?

    I'm a strong no on Prop. 20. It doesn't do what it says, and doesn't admit to what it will end up doing.

    As an aside, I'm trying hard not to be offended by the poster's closing paragraphs, where he thinks it is a travesty to have Compton's poor minorities and Huntington Beach's wealthy whites in a single Congressional district. Haven't we suffered enough from representatives who care only about the interests of one group or the other? Wouldn't it be better to have representatives who are answerable to diverse districts that more closely resemble the state or country as a whole?

    I'm all in favor of making districts more competitive. I'm not in favor of processes that herd us into narrow interest groups so that the map of voting districts doesn't have so many dreadful shapes.

  • comment on a post Americans with Disabilities Act anniversary thread over 3 years ago

    The accessibility guidelines for curbs, doors and entrances have allowed my wheelchair-bound friend to take her son to the park, to preschool or to a coffee shop. Before the ADA, a mother in her situation would have been unable to enjoy those things.

    Almost any parent who has ever pushed a stroller has benefited from the ADA.

    I've expressed many a silent thanks for the curb cutouts and the ramps.

  • comment on a post A Garlic Milkshake Recipe for John Boehner over 4 years ago

    Below the fold a garlic milkshake recipe for Congressman Boehner. Drink up John, you know it will be good for you!

    If you are trying to convince Boehner to ingest garlic, it would be more effective to say something like: Contrary to what the Bible says, scientists have shown that garlic is not healthy for vampires.

  • comment on a post Elections and Judicial Integrity over 5 years ago


    This was a clear cut case of the radical left majority on the court jealously knocking down one of America's fine entrepreneurs.

    We should be praising a businessman who can get a $50 million payback on a $3 million investment.

    The bright line rule should be based on ROI. If there isn't at least a 30% annual rate of return, then the case is a waste of time and the judge involved should recuse.

  • comment on a post is investing in the stock market a good deal? over 5 years ago

    They more than doubled the rate of return over the period: http://www.thefinancialhelpcenter.com/St ock-Market-Pics/mini-Dividend.jpg

  • Approved 16-1?

    Ah, so that would mean the controversial committee vote to allow the full Senate to consider her nomination.

  • When this thread plays out, it will be time to discuss the 2006 polling and so on.

  • I'll let Sen. Ensign himself answer that one:

    Ensign supports Bush plan
    BRENDAN RILEY
    ASSOCIATED PRESS
    Posted: 2/22/2007

    U.S. Sen. John Ensign, R-Nev., echoed Bush administration leaders in saying Wednesday that Britain's decision to start withdrawing troops from Iraq is good news.

    While some Democrats see Britain's move as a sign of a crumbling U.S. coalition, Ensign said in a brief interview, "I think it's a pretty good thing. We're being successful in certain areas so they were able to draw down."

    Ensign's only pissed about the AG firing in Nevada because the old AG was his guy.

  • Clarification: my agreement is not with the post, but with the critical comment by John DE.

    I should have made my comment in reply to John's comment.

  • comment on a post Is McCain Even Less Popular than Bush Among Indies? over 7 years ago

    You could have chosen to read the results as indicating reduced opposition to McCain.

    Opposition dropped from 61% for "Bush" to just 49% for "McCain" - a 19.7% decrease.

    Support dropped from 35% for "Bush" to 30% for "McCain" - a 14.3% increase.

    So, opposition decreases when the plan is McCain's rather than Bush's. Well, not really. Rounding error alone could erase the difference.

    It is evidence mostly of uncertainty among Independents about what the hell McCain's plan is. The question as worded, in fact, is not describing McCain's plan. He's for (at the moment, at least) more than 20,000, not "as many as 20,000".

    At best, the poll results provide evidence that Independents aren't getting giddy about anything and everything that has the McCain label.

  • comment on a post Kentucky and Indiana over 7 years ago

    I don't have anything better.

    washingtonpost.com has the KY-03 at just 1% of precincts vs. 15% at CNN.

  • comment on a post A Quick Review of The Situation In The House over 7 years ago


    CA-50 in the tossup category? I'm dubious.

    If we win in that district, we will win 55 seats nationwide, and we aren't going to do that.

    The district is heavily Republican, Bilbray (R) handily won the special election to replace Cunningham, Busby (D) hasn't been putting much effort into campaigning, and we have an umremarkable candidate well behind in the race for Governor.

  • comment on a post Microtargeting with MySpace over 7 years ago

    It boggles my mind when I find campaigns, including the DNC's field campaign, that don't register people to vote

    Campaign web sites also should make it easy for people to request absentee ballots.

    I had to ask the Francine Busby campaign (CA-50) to post links and info on its web site before the special election.

  • "this is the most the clear-cut, winning political issue for Democrats in a generation"

    Exactly.

    I'm sure I'm not the only reader eager for the Democratic party to gain Congressional investigative power.

    If we do get that power in the upcoming election, the Republicans will do their best to discredit them as the partisan wrangling that ignores the country's needs and disgusts voters.

    War profiteering is a perfect initial topic of investigation. The narratives that could come out of that..."while Halliburton's CEO was raking in megamillions from his company's Iraq war profits, the Administration cut funding for research to heal brain injuries like those suffered by GI Joe Monroe of Canton, Ohio."

    The key, IMO, is to tie the waste and the fraud to the impact on the troops:
    ---Misbehaving contractors = increases in attacks on our troops.
    ---Lack of accountability = troops eating food that a supermarket would be throwing in the dumpster.
    ---Fraudulent billing for services never performed = troops dying from lack of funding for upgraded body armor.
    ---Etc. Etc.

    If such hearings prove popular with the public, it would be much easier to steamroll GOP opposition to expansion into the many other unexamined deeds of the Bush administration and its pals.

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