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Three Is A Tragic Number

flag in flagThere are clearly three different kinds of elections in this country now.

The Electoral, wherein we choose our president.

The Gerrymander, which decides our Congressmen.

The Popular, which determines our Senators.

We all know about the problems/benefits of the Electoral College but what you may not realize is that many voting districts are gerrymandered to the point where the election outcomes for the next eight years are locked in stone.

For example, President Obama took Pennsylvania by five points in the popular vote of 2012, that's a lot, but Democrats only got five of the 18 congressional seats. The same thing happened in Ohio and Virginia. That's because Republicans, who won heavily in the mid-terms, redrew the voting lines and condensed the Democrats into small areas of the state. For example, here's Pennsylvania's congressional districts:

Republicans can count on these results until 2020 when the lines can be redrawn, but as long as they're the majority in the state legislatures that's not going to happen. And since they draw the district lines they're deciding who wins in the future. 

We accept gerrymandering because we like the idea that it protects minority populations, but that just gives unscrupulous politicians the tools they need to make the voting process a joke. I think it's no longer worth the trade-off.

As for Senators, it's harder to gerrymander a whole state into two parts so they're generally chosen by the popular vote. That's why Democrats currently own a 53-45 advantage in the Senate. (Throw in two blue-leaning Independents and it's a 55-45 advantage for the good guys.)

You're probably thinking that there has to a better way to draw congressional lines, and there IS! It's called the Shortest-Splitline Method and here's a video to show you how it works.

As for the Electoral College, it's becoming moot. The Hispanic population is growing so fast that Texas will soon become a Blue state, and when that happens it's game over for the GOP's White House aspirations for a LONG time to come.


Addendum: Mother Jones offers a more detailed look at this same, sordid story.


Uncle Lefty's Saturnalian Shopping Tips

Looking for something special for that special someone this holiday season? Well, Uncle Lefty's here to help. I've scoured Amazon for the most expensive gifts they offer and here's today's impractical discovery.

datastroyerDatastroyer Model 1000 Disintegrator

Meet the Rolls Royce of document shredders. No, I don't mean you can balance an egg on its idling engine. I mean grab a melon-baller and start harvesting your organs because it's the only way you'll ever afford one of these babies as it'll set you back over $120,000 dollars... or a heart, two kidneys, and a pancreas on the German market. In return you'll get 14,000 pounds of screaming, data-shredding satisfaction. And if the recipient complains you can tell them where to bloody well shove themselves.


end rant

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Today's Google Chow.

He: Wow. Look at the smile. I must be better than I thought. I wonder what she's thinking.

She: Obama won.

Overturn Citizens United