An electric electoral conundrum in Omaha
It’s a tight race. President Obama has maintained the lead but surprisingly, for an incumbent, not by very much. Conservatives have wistfully hoped that there would be some watermark that would propel Mitt Romney into the lead but it has never materialized. In fact, it seems that every time Romney opens his mouth he does more damage to his campaign than any external criticism.
But most pollsters and our own Godparent site Five Thirty Eight at the New York Times list several states as swing states that Mitt Romney has to win in order to get to 270 electoral votes. Nate has calculated the ‘tipping point’ state or the state Romney must win in order to have a chance at victory. We here at 538Refugees have called Virginia as the tipping point state but as the race tightens before November that state could be Ohio.
Of course there are a number of potential outcomes that could play out including an electoral tie. For example if Mitt Romney wins Ohio and Michigan but not Iowa the electoral count would be 269 to 269. In the event of a tie the House of Representatives would call the winner as Aaron Burr found out in 1800 when the outgoing House voted Thomas Jefferson into office. For the sake of argument we’ll consider a tie a Romney victory based upon the make-up of the House of Representatives.
Underlying such a scenario is an oft overlooked electoral vote. Continue reading
I like Tacos. Did you know you can pull your car up to this place and order tacos and then drive up to the window and they have them ready for you?
538Refugees predicted back in April why Marco Rubio would be the VP pick because of Romney’s lagging support amongst the latino/hispanic community. There was also the perception that it wouldn’t hurt Romney’s chances to carry the swing state of Florida despite evidence to the contrary that shows that historically VP picks rarely result in the home state guarantee.
Romney, of course, hasn’t helped himself in the matter by publicly declaring that he would reject the DREAM Act. Whether hispanics think immigration is a priority issue or not, it’s got to speak volumes to them about how a Romney administration values their cohort.
Then came the Obama administration’s historic announcement this past Friday and the ensuing maelstrom of criticism that its timing was merely for political gain. Well, yeah. But not for the reasons Republicans think. Continue reading
Excuse me, sir. It’s not the time for questions!
(Note: That translation may be a butchered Internet search but hopefully it gets the point across)
President Obama just delivered a proclamation that amounts to an abbreviated version of the DREAM Act that Republicans in Congress refused to pass. The House passed with most Republicans abstaining but even with a 55 vote majority, Senate Republicans blocked the DREAM Act with a filibuster.
The DREAM Act was a bi-partisan bill that Republicans actually favoured. It was designed to provide guidelines for immigrants who were in the country through no fault of there own to help them become legal immigrants. It was not an amnesty program but it would keep people who had been brought to this country when they were babies, grew up and went to school here, and even served in the military from being deported to a country they had never known and perhaps didn’t even speak the language.
So the President directed the Department of Homeland Security to create a means to provide temporary relief to those people who live under fear of deportation until such a time as Congress decides what to do about the immigration issue. Continue reading
After a year long backlash against Republican Governor Scott Walker the results are in. Walker and his Lt. Governor will retain their seats. Of the four other Republicans on the recall ballot, only one was ousted by Democrats. Former Senator John Lehman reclaimed his Senate seat in the 21st District from Senator Van Wanggaard by less than a mere 1,000 votes. Both parties are calling this a victory since Lehman’s win gives control of the Senate back to the Democrats which will effectively stop Walker’s legislative onslaught of measures designed to usurp unions and gain complete control of Wisconsin’s legislature for corporations.
Republicans are claiming victory by just not losing. But that pyrrhic victory came at a price. Continue reading
Love is blind, justice was peeking.
There is a tenant in criminal law that proclaims that it is better to let one guilty man go free than it is to convict ten innocent men. That is the core of our legal system. Innocent until proven guilty. Everyone deserves an impartial judgement of their peers regardless of the heinousness of the crime. The burden of proof does not fall upon the accused. It falls upon the state. No punitive action may be taken until the state proves beyond reasonable doubt that the accused actually performed the deed in question.
This is a good philosophy. It keeps the government from becoming a tyranny that arbitrarily and capriciously renders judgement based upon its own purposes. Anything else results in something other and more sinister than a democracy.
Voter fraud; the act of voting under false pretense either as posing as a non-citizen, another person, or voting more than once, is a concern and election offices in states take great pains to prevent it from happening. Continue reading
An hommage to Sheperd Fairey
We tiny humans are a curious evolutionary accident. In nature, many species bear their offspring and those animals have mere seconds to get on their feet and start running with the herd. Otherwise, they are dinner for some other type of animal lurking nearby. But human babies require years of nursing and attention of at least one parent before they can function on their own and even a decade or more before they can operate as autonomous individuals in their cohort. This would seem to be an evolutionary disadvantage save for the fact that humans have evolved as tribes that protect mothers and newborns from predators.
But one thing most species have in common is fear. Being distrustful of things has probably ensured our survival. It’s why most of us stand back from the edge of the cliff. Pain is also a factor. We learn from painful experiences not to do certain things. Our fear of experiencing that pain again helps us avoid those things that are potentially harmful to us. That little warning voice coming from the amygdala in our brains has probably ensured our survival as a species.
There are also some negative effects as well. Racism is likely a fearful response towards people who do not look like you. That may have been useful long ago to protect your tribe from pillagers but that trait isn’t terribly useful now even though we recently waged a world war based on a philosophy of a ‘master race’ and in our own country over whether people with dark skin were less than human. Fear is indeed a powerful motivator.
Fear works in religion as well. Continue reading