Here are this week’s full results.
See you next week!
Just sort of randomly.
Well, let's see how this all plays out in the coming weeks and months. We still have a lot of time ahead of us, with a lot of possible happenings.
Sean Trende makes an excellent point – and one that I’ve believed is correct for many years now. The Founders were right when they sought to keep the ratio of representatives to constituents intentionally low.
Even setting aside abstract ideals, increasing the size of the House could bring numerous benefits:
First, a bigger House would diminish the impact of malapportionment that comes with single-member states. A certain amount of malapportionment is inherent in House redistricting, but as the number of single-member states grows, this effect becomes more and more pronounced. The largest single-member state, Montana, requires a representative to take on over 1 million constituents. On the other hand, the smallest state, Wyoming, only has 582,000 constituents.
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Second, increasing the size of the House could diminish the impact of gerrymandering. While the commonly voiced concerns about the evils of gerrymandering are overstated, they aren’t entirely without basis. Moreover, the perception of impropriety is important, and there’s something inherently untoward surrounding legislators drawing districts that resemble Rorschach inkblots rather than compact units that draw together communities of interest.
Third, increasing the size of the House would make majority-minority districts easier to maintain. As I noted in my last piece for the Crystal Ball, as states shed districts it becomes increasingly difficult to draw compact groupings with populations that are made up predominately of members of minority groups.
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Fourth, increasing the size of the House would improve rural representation. It’s striking to go through early Almanacs of American Politics and observe how many districts were based in small towns or even entirely rural areas. But as America has become more urban and as district size has increased, that has gradually eroded.
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Fifth, though this is difficult to measure and hence more speculative, increasing the size of the House could help mend some of the detachment that is felt between Washington and the states. Campaigns would be less expensive, so politicians would have to spend less time fundraising, and representatives would have fewer constituents to answer to, allowing for more personalized representation. It may even be that smaller constituencies allow for the election of more ideologically diverse members. Indeed, there is some correlation between the size of state legislative chambers and the number of third-party/independent candidates elected.
Trende suggests two possibilities that would reduce the size of districts. One set the maximum district size as equivalent to the population of the smallest state (currently Wyoming, with a population of 540,000) and increase the House from 435 to 547 (with growth or shrinkage happening every decade, depending upon the Census numbers) and the other (a guarantee of two representatives per state) would move the size of the house to about 1100. I personally like the first option, but see merit in both. But either way, we need to shrink the size of districts to a point where we can actually connect with our representatives in a meaningful way.
Three Juarez men who were allegedly partying with, and driving around town with a cadaver were arrested early Wednesday by Juarez police. Elián Hernández Palacios, 26; Roberto Israel Muñiz Padroz, 26; and José Ángel Hernández Poblano, 25, were arrested and charged with failure to give assistance and attempted bribery.
According to police, the three men were traveling at a high rate speed in a vehicle when they were stopped around 3:45 a.m., at the intersections of Privada Sanders and Ramón Alcázar streets, located in the San Antonio neighborhood, in downtown Juárez.
Two of the men allegedly tried to bribe officers with 800 pesos, or about $60, to avoid being arrested and continue their course "because they were out partying," police said.
During a search of the vehicle, officers found a dead man in his early 20s in the back seat.
The men told the officers their friend might have died from partying too much. They said the four of them had been partying for several days, using alcohol and drugs.
Dude -- Bernie's dead, dude!
The Boston public school system, as it prepared to make condoms available to students at all its high schools last fall, received what seemed like the perfect donation from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health: 40,000 free condoms.
But now the system is pulling the donated contraceptives from its schools after some parents raised questions about whether the messages and images on the wrappers are appropriate for teenagers, even as they voiced support for the condom-distribution policy. The wrappers featured such messages as “One lucky lady,” “hump one,” and “tasty one,” which was accompanied by picture of a shark preying on a small fish.
One outraged mother took to Twitter Tuesday night, posting a picture of some of the condoms along with this request: “looking for BPS administrators to explain why this packaging is OK.” She also e-mailed the governor and the mayor.
“Right idea, wrong execution,” the mother, Stephanie Bode Ward, said in an interview Wednesday, blaming the state. “I so fully support condoms in the schools, and it was incredibly courageous for BPS to adopt the policy.”
Because giving high school kids condoms doesn’t convey the message that having sex is acceptable, I guess.
Don’t you just love neologisms designed to make a bad idea sound great?
They call it "de-growth," but it would be better described as "insanity." The advocates of this plan want to literally "de-grow" the economy back to what they believe is a "sustainable" level.
"There's no such thing as sustainable growth, not in a country like the U.S.," Worldwatch senior fellow Erik Assadourian told Sierra Magazine. "We have to de-grow our economy, which is obviously not a popular stance to take in a culture that celebrates growth in all forms."
Someone should tell Mr. Assadourian there's a good reason why his stance is not a popular: People don't want to be poor and live shorter, unhealthier lives.
Now granted, Obama’s economic policies have led to a lot of “de-growth”, but even life in the Great Dem-Pression isn’t backwards enough for these folks. Personally, I’ll stay with my current lifestyle rather than going “back to the future” and living a more primitive lifestyle.
A debate Tuesday over a bill to ban abortions after a fetal heartbeat is detected turned to race after Rep. Mary Sue McClurkin, R-Indian Springs, compared her bill to Brown vs. the Board of Education.
But during the debate, Rep. Alvin Holmes, D-Montgomery, said that his Republican colleagues would support abortion if their daughters were impregnated by black men.
"Ninety-nine percent of the all of the white people in here are going to raise their hand that they are against abortion," he said. "On the other hand, 99 percent of the whites who are sitting in here now, if their daughter got pregnant by a black man, they are going to make their daughter have an abortion."
Of course, this is the same racist piece of crap who not long ago came out against interracial marriage being practiced by an African-American federal judge and deemed that judge, Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, to be an “Uncle Tom” because he is married to a white woman. So I guess I’m a bit confused – shouldn’t he be supporting the abortion of such children? Shouldn’t he be rejecting the product of such a relationship being President of the United States?
We all know, of course, that liberal racists like Holmes are rarely consistent in their public expressions of racism – except, of course, for their regular projection of their pathological views on to their political opponents. That’s just one more part of the psychopathology.
And for the record – having been involved in pro-life activities to one degree or another for most of the last 30 years, I can tell you that I've seen quite the opposite. And speaking just for myself, this pro-life conservative Republican would not force my daughter to have an abortion if the father were a black man. I wouldn’t even do so if that black man were as despicable a human being as Alvin Holmes – though I would do everything in my power to ensure that my daughter managed to have Holmes denied all contact with the child so as to preserve that child from the toxic views that Holmes spews so readily.
In Miami, the first lady, dressed in a black patterned wrap-style dress, spoke to nearly a dozen enrollees and application counselors individually, high-fiving some for getting insurance, asking how long the process took (about 20 minutes for individuals and up to 45 minutes for a family). She encouraged counselors to stay busy and enroll as many people as possible.
“You’re changing lives. You realize that. … Keep it up,” she said, affectionately squeezing counselor Suze Diogene’s shoulder.
Before leaving, the first lady reflected on her time serving on the board of a community health center in Chicago, where she said she saw firsthand how primary care “can make a difference in the life of a community and a family.”
“These places are not easy places to run, but you are doing God’s work.”
God’s work? With government funds? And mandatory participation for all Americans? Sounds like a definite case of establishment of the cult of Obama as an official national religion.
In a strongly worded letter to House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio), the Congressional Black Caucus called for Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) to be stripped of his House committee chairmanship after he abruptly ended a hearing Wednesday morning over the objection of Democrats in the room.
So let’s see – a racially segregated organization (the CBC refuses to admit non-black members, even if they represent districts that are majority black) is attacking a minority (Arab Christian) committee chairman for doing what committee chairmen routinely do – end hearings when the business is done. This is clearly an action motivated by animus on this group which should not even be acknowledged by decent, non-racist Americans.
Should have posted these Saturday, but have been on a blogging hiatus due to illness, a car accident, and last-minute political activism.
He refused to endorse Sen. John Cornyn (R-Tex.) during the primary, but once it was over, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) singled him out for congratulations.
"Congratulations to every Republican who won the primary last night. Three, in particular, deserve special mention," Cruz wrote Wednesday on Facebook, before mentioning Attorney General Greg Abbott (a candidate for governor), Cornyn, and George P. Bush (candidate for land commissioner).
"John is a friend, and a good man. He's earned considerable respect in the Senate. We have not agreed on everything, but we have agreed on the vast majority of issues. Together, we're a strong and effective team for Texas," Cruz wrote, later adding that he is "proud" to endorse Cornyn.
Now I had no problem with Ted Cruz not making an endorsement in the primary race – something he has refrained from doing in any Senate primary with a GOP incumbent seeking reelection. Had Cruz endorsed Cornyn a month ago, the question would have been to what degree Cornyn was supported by Texas Republicans and to what degree his renomination was a result of Cruz’s popularity. Having now won a substantial victory, Cruz’s endorsement stands along-side the endorsement that Texas Republicans gave him and burnishes his credentials as a true conservative.
And to those who argue that Cornyn supporters are nothing but a bunch of RINOs – are you ready to eat those words, or are you ready to put Ted Cruz in the RINO category?
Oh, that’s right – when the incompetent black guy got elected because of the color of his skin.
"I'm old-fashioned enough to believe that harshly criticizing the commander in chief during dangerous international crises, whether it's with the likes of [former Iraq President] Saddam Hussein or [Russian President] Vladimir Putin, that provides comfort to nation states who choose to be our enemies," Scarborough, a former Republican Florida Congressman, told MSNBC's "Morning Joe."
Scarborough claims he always believed that – but he has not always practiced that. Guess this is just because he knows who signs his paycheck.
And where are all the left-wingers who denounced such attacks on dissenters during the Bush years? They are conspicuously silent because they have spent the last five years denouncing anyone who criticized Obama from the right as a racist.
“Some people say I’m a young man in a hurry. Guess what? They’re right. We’ve got urgent problems and I am in a hurry to solve them,” Cotton said when he announced his Senate bid.
The quick rise has won him an attack ad from Pryor, who says that Cotton has “blind ambition” and a sense of entitlement that will turn voters off, even considering his military background.
“There’s a lot of people in the Senate that didn’t serve in the military,” Pryor told NBC News. “Obviously in the Senate we have all types of different people, all kinds of different folks that have come from all types of different backgrounds—and I think that’s part of that sense of entitlement that he gives off is that, almost like, I served my country, let me into the Senate. But that’s not how it works in Arkansas.”
Wow – the arrogance of that Tom Cotton, suggesting that his military service is a qualification for serving in the Senate. Doesn’t he know he is supposed to get there the same way that Pryor did? You know, inheriting the seat from his daddy without any qualifications he did not get independent of being his father’s son.
Tom Cotton is an honorable man who has a vision that is not “more of the same” like Mark Pryor stands for. The people of Arkansas would do well to remember Pryor’s disrespect for military service and his own sense of entitlement because of his elitist bloodlines – and then make a wise choice.
A 15-year-old transgender teen admitted to police Tuesday that he made up a story about being sexually assaulted a day earlier in the boys bathroom at Hercules Middle High School, authorities said.
The boy acknowledged making the false report - which raised alarm at the school and around the Bay Area - after investigators told him that the evidence gathered in the case didn't corroborate his story, said Hercules police Detective Connie Van Putten.
Police found no injuries to the boy's head, face or hands, Van Putten said.
But here’s the paragraph that makes the problem clear.
The student, who identifies as male, had reported being shoved into a bathroom stall by three male juveniles he didn't recognize at about 11 a.m. Monday and physically and sexually assaulted, police said. The student was hospitalized, but has since returned home.
For those of you who are now confused, let’s be clear – the “boy” is not a boy at all. She is a girl, complete with all the lady parts a proper classification implies. She likes to dress as a boy, pretend she is a boy, and insists that others go along with her pretense – but the reality is that genetically and physiologically the student is female. And like it or not – and whether it is appropriate or not – allowing a female to freely use a communal men’s room creates some problems and the possibility of the sort of attack this cross-dressing girl claimed happened. No wonder the school and the police took the claim seriously despite the lack of evidence to support the student’s report.
So let’s say it – this girl is welcome to feel any way she wants. But in a school setting, don’t the safety concerns outweigh her demand that the school accommodate her fantasy? After all, if the foreseeable risk of violence by Hispanic students if other students wear an American flag shirt on Cinco de Mayo justifies the suspension of the patriotic students’ civil rights, doesn’t the threat of assault of a girl in the men’s room justify requiring that she actually use the proper toilet facilities?
Oh, and by the way – the fact that the student has recanted has led to the closing of a hate-crime investigation. I’m offended there – this girl in boy’s clothing has committed a hate crime against the male students at the school with her false accusation. File the appropriate charges against her.
After the primary on Tuesday, we have precinct conventions. I'm proposing the following resoultions:
RESOLUTION AFFIRMING THE 2012 REPUBLICAN PARTY OF TEXAS PLATFORM
WHEREAS the Republican Party of Texas adopted its platform at the 2012 state convention, and
WHEREAS it is necessary that there be a starting point for the development of the 2014 party platform,
BE IT RESOLVED THAT Precinct________________________ affirms and adopts the 2012 platform as the baseline for the 2014 platform, limited only by the adoption of additional resolutions by the precinct convention that may add an additional plank or contradict an existing plank.
SUPPORT FOR ELECTORAL INTEGRITY
WHEREAS the Republican Party has long taken the lead in fighting for the integrity of the electoral process, and
WHEREAS the 2012 Republican Party of Texas platform opposes conflicts of interest in the form of attempting to influence votes by appointed or elected officials on behalf of paying clients, and
WHEREAS the 2012 Republican Party Platform calls upon "every citizen. . . to preserve the integrity of the vote", and
WHEREAS we recognize that the appearance of impropriety is itself a form of impropriety, and such appearances in campaign and electoral practices undermine the confidence of voters in the integrity of our electoral system,
BE IT RESOLVED THAT Precinct ________________ condemns the practice of "pay to play" endorsements, in which supposedly independent individuals, groups, or organizations request, solicit or require any fee, payment, or contribution as a condition of making or publicizing said endorsement;
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED THAT Precinct ___________________ opposes the practice of groups, clubs, or organizations requiring candidates for office to pay a sum of money as a condition of being placed on the ballot for any straw poll, whether this is called a fee, contribution, sponsorship, or any other name;
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED THAT PRECINCT ____________________ urges all elected or appointed officials of the Harris County Republican Party, Republican Party of Texas, Republican National Committee and any affiliated or associated club or organization to refrain from offering endorsements of any primary candidate when the candidate is a paying client.
SUPPORT FOR CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION
WHEREAS the Executive Branch of the federal government has gathered unto itself powers not granted it by the Constitution of the United States, and
WHEREAS the Judicial Branch of the federal government has repeatedly misinterpreted the Constitution of the United States in areas such the definition of interstate commerce, private property rights, abortion, homosexual marriage, the death penalty and myriad other areas, and
WHEREAS the Legislative Branch of the Federal government has exceeded the limits placed on it by the Constitution and legislated in areas outside the realm of the powers delegated to it in Article I, and
WHEREAS it is unlikely that the Legislative Branch of the federal government will submit to the states proposed constitutional amendments that will limit federal power to its proper scope, and
WHEREAS Article V of the Constitution of the United States provides for a convention for proposing amendments to be called at the request of the states,
BE IT RESOLVED THAT Precinct ______________________ supports the calling of a convention of the states for the purpose of drafting proposed amendments to the United States Constitution needed to restore the proper balance between the states and the federal government;
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED THAT Precinct _____________________ urges that the amendments proposed by said convention be submitted to state ratification conventions elected by the people for the purpose of ratifying or rejecting said amendments,
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED THAT Precinct _____________________ urges the dropping of the 2012 RPT platform plank opposing an Article V convention.
SUPPORT FOR INTITIATIVE, REFERENDUM, AND RECALL
WHEREAS the people are the ultimate source of government sovereignty and power;, and
WHEREAS from time to time elected officials fail to give proper deference to the desire and demand of the people for passage of certain legislation, and
WHEREAS the conduct of some elected officials becomes, at times, offensive to the people who have elected them,
BE IT THEREFORE RESOLVED THAT Precinct __________________ supports the amending of the Texas constitution to allow for the people to petition for the direct adoption of legislation and constitutional amendments at the ballot box (initiative and referendum);
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED THAT Precinct __________________ supports the amending of the Texas constitution to allow for the recall of any elected official in the state of Texas for misconduct while in office or failure to properly represent their constituents;
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED THAT Precinct _____________________ urges the dropping of the 2012 RPT platform plank opposing initiative and referendum.
Feel free to use these in your precinct, and to suggest others in the comment section.
I don't usually make endorsements for races I can't vote in, but I'm going to make an exception here and make an endorsement in a race on the other side of Harris County. However, this incident leads me to question the fitness of the incumbent, Debbie Riddle, for any office.
Tuesday took a much different turn however, and when the incumbent – both she and I were at the Champion Life Centre at 3031 FM 2920 – approached a member of my staff who was placing signs at the location and began yelling at him, I walked over to diffuse the situation.
What ensued sickens me.
I politely said, “Mrs. Riddle,” to which she replied “Don’t talk to me, you think you’re in the Middle East. You don’t put signs up like that in America.”
Stunned, although not necessarily surprised, she continued her insensitive remarks, “You’re a thief and a crook running for state rep. You need to go back to your country and run a campaign. You can’t put signs up like that in America.”
Last time I checked, there was no American rule that you can put political signs up on only one side of a driveway -- but if that were the extent of Riddle's attacks on her opponent, I'd let that comment slide as a one-off. Unfortunately, I've since heard from multiple sources that Riddle is spreading false claims about her opponent's religion Noun is a Maronite -- a member of one of the Eastern Rite Catholic churches that are in union with Rome. Riddles has repeatedly insinuated that Noun is a Muslim in an effort to appeal to less than savory sentiments on the part of a segment of the electorate. That violates the spirit (though not the letter) of the Constitution's ban on tests for religious office.
We live in a nation and a state where we forbid religious tests for office. And while any voter may choose to make a candidate's religion a factor in his/her decision to vote for or against that candidate, it is unseemly for any candidate to explicitly appeal to such prejudice. [In 1960, John F. Kennedy] came to Houston and offered a forthright vision of America that stands in sharp contrast to th[is] sort of religious bigotry and division. . . -- "I believe in an America where. . . no man is denied public office merely because his religion differs from. . . the people who might elect him."
Debbie Riddle has rejected that principle -- I therefore reject Debbie Riddle, and endorse Tony Noun for Representative in HD150. He is clearly a better American than his opponent -- and Texas needs true patriots who have a deeper understanding and appreciation of what this country is about than Debbie Riddle has. I urge those who have not yet done so to cast their ballot for Tony Noun.