And so begins the Obamaian Era

November 5, 2008 at 1:11 am (Political Ponderings)

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More on the Electoral College

November 4, 2008 at 9:48 pm (Political Ponderings)

Electoral College: Thought you were voting for president? Think again.

Well, since I’m in an election kinda mood I thought I’d babble on a little bit about how it actually works, since a whole lot of people don’t really know.

See, the misconception is this – that when you go into the poll, and you put a mark down for Obama, or McCain, or Barr, or whoever it is that you want for President, that you’re actually voting for President.

That is, unfortunately, not the case.
Say hello the the Electoral College System.

In a nutshell, the way it works is this:

Each state has a set number of elected representatives, equal to the number of Senators and Representatives that state has in congress.
Here in my home state of Illinois, we have 21 of them.

When you, for example, mark down “Obama” on your ballot, rather than saying “I want Obama for President,” what you’re really saying is “I want Obama’s representatives to be the representatives in Illinois.”
You’re actually voting for them, not for President.

Why does it matter, you may ask?

Two main reasons, which may or may not be seen as a big deal (probably depending on if it causes your guy to lose or not):

1) As seen in one of my previous posts, the number of electoral votes can be way out of sync with the number of votes from the actual population. Reason being that states with larger populations get way more seats in congress. As a result it’s very possible that, even though if you were to do a count of everyone’s votes, one candidate won – he may still lose because those votes weren’t in the right states.

2) As previously stated, you don’t vote for President, these representatives do. Now, when you vote in a Democratic representative, you expect that he’s going to vote the way the citizens are voting and vote for the Democratic President. But guess what – there’s nobody holding a gun to his head. He may get some wild bug up his arse and decide to vote for somebody else anyway. It’s certainly happened before.

And there you have it: Why, when you get right down to it, your vote is pretty much worthless 😛

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Why the electoral college system sucks: current example

November 4, 2008 at 9:08 pm (Political Ponderings)

The Electoral College, and why you vote may not actually count for much

So as I write this, current on-the-fly election results as reported by Google News indicate the following:

Popular (as in counting everyone individually) vote:

McCain slightly winning:
McCain: 50%
Obama: 49%

Electoral College votes:

Obama: 103
McCain: 34

Yup – although there’s actually only 1% difference in the number of votes, Obama is leading by a crapload (currently about 77%) thanks to the electoral college system.
I think I may go into more detail about how this works once I’m done putting a few finishing touches on a paper that’s due for school in the morning 😛

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Voted!

November 4, 2008 at 8:18 pm (Political Ponderings)

So today I “did my civic duty” and stopped to vote before heading to work.
I went in at about 8:30a, in hopes that I’d miss some of the crowd since theoretically a whole bunch of people should be at work.
Well, if that’s the case, I’d hate to see what it was like around 6pm – I had to stand in line for over half an hour as it was.
I actually get pretty excited to vote – it was an exhilerating experience, and many people all seemed to be in good spirits – didn’t mind chatting with others in line at all.

Yes, I voted for Bob Barr.
And for a whole lot of Republicans. There’s such a run to elect Democrats right now that I’m really concerned that there will be a serious imbalance. From what I can recall the only Democrat I voted for was for one of the judges, and that was because of a personal recommendation from someone who’s actually dealt with that judge.
There were a lot of judges where the vote was basically “Should they stay? Yes/No” – I was really tempted to hit No on the whole lot of them, but I decided in the end to be nice since I didn’t really know anything about them.

And yes, I voted Yes for firearms concealed carry.

Interesting tidbit I just heard over the radio from ABC news: regardless of how “energized” they were supposed to be, apparently (based on early exit polls) young voters (aka under 30) again decided that couldn’t be bothered to actually get off their asses to vote this year – so far comprising of only 17% of voters – exactly the same as in 2004. I’m curious if the fact that one of Obama’s primary support groups can’t be bothered to get off their asses will cause him any problems.

***As I type this, just in: Obama wins Illinois. Color. Me. Shocked. .. *cough*

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Listening to the prez debate…

October 7, 2008 at 9:33 pm (Political Ponderings)

And I think it’s helped solidify my voting decision:

I just ordered a bumper sticker too.

God both of those guys annoy the crap out of me.

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Hours Later: Bailout Plan May Qualify for Epic Fail

October 4, 2008 at 10:39 am (Political Ponderings)

Color me surprised. Not.

Credit markets to Washington: Bailout isn’t enough
Friday October 3, 6:24 pm ET
By Madlen Read, AP Business Writer
After House OKs bailout, credit markets tighten on fears the plan isn’t enough to help economy

NEW YORK (AP) — The credit markets finally got a bailout bill, but the stranglehold hasn’t let up — a troubling sign that lenders and investors believe the package will only be a baby step in the long road to economic recovery.

The credit markets, where companies go to get cash loans, have seized up since the bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. and in anticipation of the $700 billion plan initially voted down by the House. The House passed a revised version of it Friday following the Senate’s approval earlier this week, but anxiety about its effectiveness kept demand for Treasury bills high and nearly nonexistent for other types of debt.

After the House’s vote Friday afternoon, the yield on the three-month Treasury bill slipped to 0.50 percent from 0.70 percent late Thursday. There has been no decrease in demand for T-bills, seen as the safest assets around, even though they are offering extremely low returns. The discount rate on the three-month was 0.47 percent.

The stock market sank after the House passed the plan, sending investors back into longer-term Treasurys.

(Source)

Yup – the bill got passed, and the market didn’t care – it went down anyway. But hey at least I, you, our kids, and our grandkids get the privilege of paying for absolutely nothing…

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Bailout Bill Passes: I Hope You Like Pork

October 3, 2008 at 7:59 pm (Political Ponderings)

So in the latest thing congress has done to tick me off, the bailout bill was passed today, and I (and you) now get pay about two year’s salary in order to keep banks from failing that SHOULD BE ALLOWED TO FAIL. That’s the way business and capitalism are supposed to work. If you make good, smart decisions, your business will succeed. If you make really stupid decisions, your business fails, and you go out of business.

These mega-banks made really, amazingly stupid decisions. They made tons and tons of loans to people who should not have been qualified to get those loans. And then had the gall to act all surprised when those people stopped making their payments.

And now that banks started going under, the media started slamming the airwaves with reports of how “less people are able to get credit now compared to this time last year.”
Yeah.. that’s because this time last year was when they were making loans to people with shitty credit. The fact that they now can’t get those loans is the way it should be.

But, feeding us a huge line of bullshit about how letting a few large banks fail will cause the destruction of the planet, congress voted earlier this week on a bill to hand out $700 Billion of our money to these banks. It failed.

But, being the determined little socialist-wannabes they are, the bill was padded with $110 Billion worth of earmarks and pork barrel spending in an attempt to sweeten the deal enough to get senators to sign on.
It worked – today the bill passed with a vote of 263-171, and includes such earmarked gems as the following:

Sec. 503. Exemption from excise tax for certain wooden arrows designed for use by children

Sec. 317. Seven-year cost recovery period for motorsports racing track facility

Sec. 308. Increase in limit on cover over of rum excise tax to Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands

Sec 502. Provisions related to film and television productions

Sec. 325. Extension and modification of duty suspension on wool products; wool research fund; wool duty refunds

Sec. 211. Transportation fringe benefit to bicycle commuters

Yes – Not only do you, your children, and likely your grandchildren get to pay banks a reward for their Epic Failures, you also get to help pay for government subsidies to arrow factories and race tracks – because those, I’m sure, are among the cornerstones of the US economy that need to be bolstered.

I am so frikkin’ tee’d off about this right now.

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The VP debate: yet more reason to vote for neither

October 3, 2008 at 7:18 pm (Political Ponderings)

So last night VP candidates Biden and Palin had a “debate.”
Really it was more of a series of taking turns giving pre-written speeches, but whatever.

Now, Biden I don’t really care about. Obama is not getting my vote.
McCain probably was getting my vote until he brought on Palin.
The woman is just so far out of her league that it’s pathetic – every time she interviews I just want to cringe.
It’s kind of like – have you ever had a class where the teacher spring a surprise essay quiz on you, and you were required to write like a page worth of essay… but you either didn’t study well or didn’t remember much, so you just put down the couple of tidbits that you could actually remember, and then filled in the rest of the page either with bullshit fluff you pulled outta yer arse, or went off on unrelated tangents, in hopes that whoever graded it wouldn’t notice that you didn’t really know what the hell you were talking about?
Yeah – that’s the way Palin answers every question she gets asked, and she did it again through the entire debate.

Yes, I’d like the “bringing politics back to the average guy” schtick.. if she could convince me she had even the slightest clue what she was doing. So far, she’s been completely unsuccessful. Bah.

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