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Land Shark

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Member since: Thu Dec 30, 2004, 05:48 PM
Number of posts: 6,344

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"Constitutional Responsibility" Means Senate Defeats Nominee But House Decides Prez

Today the Repubs say they will stop Trump "by any means necessary" whether he has delegates or not, via floor votes. To heck with democracy! Apparently the Constitution is on their side, with Lopez-Torres v. NEW YORK BD OF ELECTIONS holding that candidates need not get a "fair shot" and have no right to a fair process.

If they screw Trump they may or may not get Trump's promised riots, bit we will get an independent run by Trump. And if we get an independent run by Trump, it is entirely possible.or even fairly likely that trump.could veer somewhat more left and pick up, say, Democratic states - just a couple or a few. Enough to make it hard to get a pure majority.

Without a real majority, the Republican House of Representatives picks our next president, on a one state one vote basis per the 12th amendment. That means a losing Republican is president.

So if everyone is going to go against the Republicans purported invite to be more.democratic and let the voters decide SCOTUS opening, in favor of lobbying to DO THE SENATE'S CONSTITUTIONAL RESPONSIBILITY, the Republicans easiky dodge the bullet by voting down every nominee. So easy for them.

But come November, if there is a three way race we are in danger of having the House pick the President because of the 12th amendment. So HARD for us -- because we would be hypocrites to oppose the House it if we urge the Senate this Particular way.

And if that hapoens, how will all the Democrats who screamed for the Senate to do their constitutional responsibility object to the House doing their constitutional responsibility and installing a Republican who most likely lost the popular vote AND lost the elector college and even lost their own party's primary elections as the next PRESIDENT??

It is simple for the Republicans to vote down a nominee, while dedicating ourselves to constitutional responsibility could mean the least popular Republican is in stalled as the next President.

I do not guarantee no candidate with a majority. I don't think replies that attempt to say it won't happen are particularly necessary. I'm just saying that there is a Constitutional sinkhole if no one gets a majority and everybody should be aware of that gaping hole in democracy so we don't accidently fall into it.

Under the circumstances where the likelihood of 3 major candidates rises every day, it is dumb to get everyone rushing to commit themselves to "constitutional responsibility" of the Senate unless we can show why the Senate has to do its responsibility but the House doesn't. "CONSTITUTIONAL RESPONSIBILITY" DOESN'T GIVE US ANYTHING, JUST A VOTE, BUT IT MAY GIVE THE REPUBLICANS THE WHITE HOUSE AFTER WE BEAT THEM.

On Trump, there is "No Virtue in Silence:" Someday we will be asked what we did in this Moment

Lawrence O'Donnell brings us the powerful thought of Elizabeth Warren, combines it with Edward R. MURROW, and builds to a powerful conclusion:

On Trump, someday we will be asked what we said and did during this historic moment. Will our answers be good? Please watch this video!

[link:http://www.msnbc.com/the-last-word/watch/on-trump-protests-no-virtue-in-silence-644549699686| http://www.msnbc.com/the-last-word/watch/on-trump-protests-no-virtue-in-silence-644549699686

Three delegate contests post-Chicago, TRUMP EPIC FAILS in all three. Coverage?

Results of the Rep. GUAM delegate election Saturday (9 delegates total): 1 Cruz, 8 uncommitted

Results of Rep. Wyoming Caucus (12 delegates): Cruz 9 delegates, Rubio 1 delegate, uncommitted 1 delegate, Trump 1 delegate. (Wyoming awards more delegates later)

Results in Rep. Washington, D.C. (19 delegates): Rubio 10 delegates, Kasich 9 delegates.


CRUZ: 10
TRUMP: 1[ /B]

So out of three contests post-Chicago, Trump only got one out of 40 delegates, which is a new low for him. Yet, the media claims to be against Trump but it still presents this as a Cruz or Rubio victory without even mentioning Trump. This allows Trump to go into Tuesday as strong as possible and stronger than he deserves.

Can you imagine if Bernie, or even Hillary, got only one delegate in three contests on the same day with a respectable 40 delegates in play.
They would definitely be talk about candidate weakness, whether justified or not. I don't see that talk about Trump, does anybody?

I am not saying that Trump has no arguments that these areas are not his strengths, blah blah blah, but why isn't anybody arguing the other side in the media?

Personally I think the media supports Trump much more than they let on, and they are especially keen to divide up the otherwise powerful potential anti-TPP alliance between Sanders and Trump supporters on the basis of racial tensions.

Why do people act like primaries are winner take all, when they are not?

Shouldn't ideas of winning and losing be directly related to the actual rules of Delegates awarded by the votes?

People on both sides claim entire states in their column when it just isn't so. Except maybe Vermont.

How Establishment Repubs LOSE popular vote, LOSE electoral college, & STILL WIN THE PRESIDENCY, 2016

Establishment Republicans like Republican officeholders in Washington, DC, are probably the most hated political group in the country, hated even by their own Republican grassroots. It's therefore the year of the Outsider.

But barring something bordering on divine intervention, establishment Republicans in the House of Representatives will choose the next President, because no candidate will be likely to get a majority in the electoral college. Thus, under the 12th amendment this throws the election to the House of Representatives for an immediate vote, with each state's delegation getting one vote.

For the sake of this analysis, I'm going to assume a couple things that are pretty reasonable, but, if they don't turn out to be true, would change my analysis. First, I'm assuming Trump does well tonight in Super Tuesday and is on a near glide path to the Republican Nomination. I am also assuming what has been publicly threatened already also comes true: Establishment Republicans drop Trump "like a hot rock" and submit a third party candidate. Finally, there is one further semi-assumption. The third party candidate would need to win at least one electoral college elector in order to be in the top three vote-getters, because the House is restricted to voting amongst the top 3 vote getters.

There is a way to virtually guarantee that a third party Republican establishment candidate gets at least one or more electoral college votes. Remember McPherson v. Blacker? It was the basis on which the US Supreme Court vacated the Palm Beach canvassing board case in the first of its three major 2000 election rulings related to Bush v. Gore. (the other two being the stay of the recount, and the Bush v. Gore opinion itself). McPherson v. Blacker is an 1800s US Supreme Court case that held in prominent dicta that states have "plenary power" to choose the method of selecting electors for the Presidency. It is the basis upon which Bush v. Gore (in Scalia's opinion) recites that there is no constitutional right to vote FOR PRESIDENT.

NOTE: One should add that this is true only from a perspective well ahead of the election, but once a presidential election is in progress, one can certainly sue for violation of their constitutional right to vote if they are prevented from voting in a presidential election. But beforehand, a legislature could dispense with elections for the presidency entirely, and appoint a list of electors instead. Or do any manner of other things, like provide for proportional representation, or representation by whoever wins congressional districts.

As you can see from the following December 2012 article, Republicans have threatened to use Republican control of state legislatures in states like Michigan, Pennsylvania and other states to change allocation of presidential electors to congressional district. https://web.archive.org/web/20130108131314/http://nationaljournal.com/columns/on-the-trail/the-gop-s-electoral-college-scheme-20121217

And McPherson v. Blacker would back that threat up:

The Constitution does not provide that the appointment of electors shall be by popular vote, nor that the electors shall be voted for upon a general ticket, nor that the majority of those who exercise the elective franchise can alone choose the electors. It recognizes that the people act through their representatives in the legislature, and leaves it to the legislature exclusively to define the method of effecting the object.

So if a Republican third party candidate can get one or more electoral votes, and there is no majority winner in the electoral college, the currently Republican House (not currently expected to change) would decide who is the next President on a one state/one vote basis. And the problem is, as the link above points out, that if states like Pennsylvania had been awarded on a congressional district basis, Romney would have won Pennsylvania as well as a majority of the congressional districts in Michigan.

Establishment Republicans don't need to win the popular vote, or even the electoral college, in order to install a President opposed by the vast majority of the American people. All they need is to divide up the electoral college, and have 26 states that, after the coming elections, have a majority of their congressional districts electing republicans. They can let the other 24 be 100% blue, for these purposes, and it won't change anything about the Presidency.

This could even mean that the Dems regain control of the House but STILL CAN'T STOP establishment republicans from installing their favored candidate.

1. Ya think the Republicans will run a third party candidate for President?

2. Ya think the Republicans, with the Supreme Court now also on the line, will STOP TRYING TO CHANGE electoral college rules, given they tried last time?

3. Ya think the Republicans control enough state legislatures to cram through electoral college changes before November to give a Republican third party candidate at least one electoral college vote, and make it difficult or impossible for anyone else to get a clear majority of the electoral college, so the Presidency is decided by the 12th amendment and the House of Representatives?

4. Ya think Republicans would obstruct the presidential process like they've obstructed the Supreme Court process?

5. Ya think Republicans hope that a Supreme Court vacancy will drive up turnout enough to make it unnecessary to pull out the knife and change the electoral college in some states?

Yeah, I think so, too.

Now, let's see if Trump wins tonight. And then we shall see the Constitution pitted against the will of the People by the Republicans. Again.

Florida Election software Flips Vote: Losers Certified as Winners

Election officials always say "human error" is to blame, not computers. But Palm Beach County Supervisor of Elections Susan Bucher refuses to be silent about her concerns for elections including the upcoming presidential election. Bucher said: “You know the first thing that they tell you is you’re going to scare the voters,” Bucher said. “Well you know what… we’re scared too.”

Palm Beach County Supervisor of Elections Susan Bucher is scared because her office discovered, and then proved, that a software error flipped vote totals between candidates, assigning losing candidate's the vote totals of the winning candidate. See http://miami.cbslocal.com/2012/10/09/cbs4-investigates-palm-beach-countys-2012-ballot-debacle/ Winners of at least two local races from March had previously been announced and certified, but had to be reversed because of the software problem.

Bucher is concerned that many problems will not be detected by the required audits, and that the presidential election could be affected. Id.

“The company didn’t own up to it real quickly and neither did the state. And we had to prove that it was a software error and we did so.”

Bucher said its time to hold Florida accountable– the State of Florida tests and certifies the voting machines for the state. Florida is one of just a handful of states that opted out of the federal program that certifies voting machines… deciding to do it on its own. Bucher said she is not confident in the system and would love to change the system she uses. She also said that the pickings are slim when it comes to finding a better choice.

“What we’re finding out, is that there are problems with almost every system in the United States,” said Bucher. Id.

Supervisor of Elections Bucher was also recently in the national news for being one of ten counties to discover apparently fraudulent voter registration forms (many filled out with similar handwriting) that had been submitted by the Florida' GOP's GOTV effort. Many of these registration forms, as outlined by the LA Times, were "slamming" - changing voters' addresses or party registration and other details without their knowledge (creating problems for these voters at the polls, and likely disfranchising them in a way that escapes exit poll detection).

Many on DU have known that audits don't catch all errors, and in any case arrive too late (the elections with the wrong winner certified were way back in March of this year, and just announced in the media locally in Florida yesterday). Bush v. Gore helps ensure that the clock will run out of time (in the Supreme Court's view) to conduct hand recounts because they must be done statewide and are interrupted by legal challenges. As a practical matter, the vote counts must be done right the first time, and software is a totally unreliable way to do this.

What's news here is that a prominent elections official is admitting what has been known by activists for a long time, and further admitting that she's scared, and not wanting to hide the truth from voters.

RW meta-Talking Point: Those Who Pay Get to Control (Limbaugh, et al) is a Framing Trap

Is the provision of any financial assistance (say, for contraceptives) a COMPLETE WAIVER OF PRIVACY?

Aside from Limbaugh's patent offensiveness, this is the "argument" he is making when he suggests posting sex tapes online for all (taxpayers) to see if the government pays for a woman's contraception. Of course, there are lots of medical records and procedures one would not want posted online for legitimate privacy reasons.

Similarly, FoxNews recently queried if parents should not be allowed to view the text messages of their teenagers IF THE PARENTS PAY FOR the cell phone service. But. it seems that the authority and right to know what one's children are doing comes from the status of being a parent, not from PAYING for a cell phone service. Does Fox really mean to suggest that kids with their own income or job may never be supervised by their parents?

Other examples could be given, but the meta-talking point is "those who pay, get to control."

It's easy to push back on that in the context of private medical and sexual matters, but unless we are careful doing so just lands us into the trap of supporting a principle of non-accountability to taxpayers, which implicates everything from overbroad FOIA denials to black ops and secret government programs. Just as with contraception, information of a "sensitive, private or embarrassing nature" should arguably NOT be open to public view, for the same reasons the tapes of sexual activities arguably made possible by government funding should not be aired.

I think the RW talking point writers would be happy to abandon the current Limbaugh position in favor of the likely progressive response: Just because taxpayers pay for something, doesn't mean taxpayers have a right to know. (citing contraceptives as one example)

These Republicans may think they can win with the Limbaugh feint either way (and that's why they tried it in the first place). Given that progressives can reasonably be expected to push back on Limbaugh, right wingers may be expecting a form of victory no matter what happens, and even if it costs Rush a few advertisers. Note how they can at least try to have their cake and eat it too, because one or both of the following is likely to be the apparent outcome of this otherwise ridiculous episode:

1. Denying/deterring Health care (we shouldn't have the government pay for health care, because it's a waiver of privacy)

2. Protecting government unaccountability and secrecy (just because the taxpayer pays, doesn't mean that embarrassing information should be posted on the internet. i.e. there is no taxpayer right to know)

Right wingers are smart enough to know that what flies under the radar and is largely or totally unexamined intellectually is the most powerful "persuader" or reinforcement. This "under the radar" concept, or subintelligitur, in this case is that Paying gives one the right to know.

But when progressives push back on this issue and argue for limits on the right of taxpayers to know how their tax money is spent (such as the case of contraception), republicans will be happy to seize on that "point of agreement" and apply it elsewhere, such as protecting the Bush administration's activities from coming to any further light. The argument then will be that paying taxes does not establish ANY kind of a right to know about embarrassing uses of that tax money.

This is worth thinking about, at least. I'm sure that for Rush Limbaugh it is not simply the testimony of Ms. Fluke that motivates both his ire and his willingness to go out on a limb. But in case it's really just as simple as that, that won't stop the fallout from this issue being used to hurt progressive causes in other contexts, such as those mentioned above.

Why the American People hate Congress (at a glance, via one graphic)

[h3]The American People hate Congress for being out of touch, and the fact that 40% of the House and Senate are from the top 1%, and 80% are from the top 10% in terms of wealth, pretty much is the one fact that comes closest to saying it all. [/h3] Of course, truly saying it all might require a book, or at least several discussion threads here.


See More at: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-fix/post/why-people-hate-congress-in-one-chart/2011/12/28/gIQA1IyUMP_blog.html

On Edit: WaPost now states (noticed by B2G below) that this graphic actually represents American wealth as if it represented seats in Congress on a one dollar, one vote basis. Those are not the actual words of the correction but it's my take of the gist of it. As noted by me in the thread below, and as I'm in the process of confirming, an actual graphic showing the wealth of members of US congress would be equally or more dramatic than the one above, in the sense that a lower percentage would be in the blue.lower income category.

The actual WaPo amendment states "This post initially used a chart that included data that we and others misunderstood. It did not reflect the wealth of Congress, but instead the wealth of the country, described according to percentages of seats in Congress. The Fix regrets the error.)"
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