Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Political posters


The Clinton Foundation

To conservative voters

Donald Trump's discrimination

Fox News propaganda 

Social Security taxes hit the poorest people the hardest

Hillary Clinton - a woman of firsts

Donald Trump the candidate

Republicans want your vote

Respect the rights granted under the Bill of Rights

Republicans are like drug addicts

Trump is a con man

News and opinion pieces in brief

The bat-shit crazies and the haters

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

One in seven congressional districts lacks one of the two major parties on the November ballot (stephen Wolf) · Friday, August 26, 2016, 6:03 pm

America likes to pride itself as a beacon of democracy, but our dirty little secret is just how undemocratic our electoral system actually is. As shown on the map above, fifteen percent of the country’s congressional districts lack one of the two major parties on this fall’s ballot (a larger version of this map is here). That means voters in one out of every seven districts won’t even have a nominal choice between Democrats and Republicans, let alone vote in a genuinely competitive race. But it’s not an uncommon occurrence because both parties frequently fail to recruit even a token candidate in districts that heavily favor the opposing party, and in some states it can cost thousands of dollars just to get on the ballot.

Yet it shows that our electoral system of winner-take-all, single-member districts is fundamentally flawed. Even when both major parties field candidates, most of them are little more than sacrificial lambs. Daily Kos Elections currently rates just 51 of 435 races, or 12 percent, as potentially competitive this year. Most congressional election outcomes are effectively already decided long before most Americans cast their ballots. Gerrymandering exacerbates this problem, but most districts are uncompetitive, even in states where redistricting is carried out on a nonpartisan basis. And “top-two” primaries in states like California routinely produce same-party runoffs where participation falls.

It shouldn’t have to be this way. It’s simply undemocratic that roughly one in seven voters won’t even get to make a symbolic choice between the two major parties, and that the vast remainder face an election where the outcome was never remotely in doubt. Competition is a fundamental aspect of true electoral democracy, and we need to reform our electoral system to ensure that every voter has the opportunity to make a meaningful choice.

Most democracies use proportional representation, where parties win seats in proportion to their share of the popular vote, usually allowing for more than two dominant parties. There are many ways to achieve proportional representation. Germany and New Zealand, for instance, allow voters to vote both for a local representative for their own districts and also to cast ballots for party “lists” that elect several hundred representatives on a national basis. Every voter, therefore, has the opportunity to participate in relatively competitive elections for the national seats, and the existence of those same seats undermines any attempts at gerrymandering.

The bigger picture in the political scene

Robert Reich

I got a call tonight from a friend in Washington who knows more about political polling than anyone in America. He was almost breathless with excitement.

“It’s gonna be a landslide,” he said.

“In which direction?” I joked.

“Hillary’s going to win in places we haven’t won in years – Georgia, Nevada, Arizona. She’ll take the entire West, the whole East Coast. Trump is sinking like a stone.”

“So do we get the Senate back?”

“You bet.”

“Sixty votes?”

“No, but a nice majority.”

“And the House?”

“We won’t win it back, but Democrats will get 14 of the 30 they need. So still a Republican majority, but far weakened.”

“And what about the states?”

He paused. “The states?”

“Any good news there?”

“No. The GOP will remains in control in most states.”

“So the only part of government that will change hands is the U.S. Senate, and not even by enough to overcome a filibuster?”

“Yes,” he said, as if I had taken the air out of his balloon.

“And what about all the people who’ll be voting for Trump?”

“What about them?” he asked, cautiously.

“After Trump loses, they’ll still be out there, right?”

“Of course.”

“And they’ll be madder than hell, poisoned with Trump’s venom. They’ll be a ready-made constituency for the next demagogue.”

“Bob?” he asked.


“Remind me never to phone you again.”

“Sorry,” I said.

The world's richest charity case—how Trump takes far more from charity than he gives (mark Sumner) · Thursday, August 25, 2016, 7:37 pm

Donald Trump promises a lot of charitable donations, but a Washington Post investigation found that over a seven-year period, Trump donated a maximum of $10,000. Though Trump did spend $12,000 getting the Trump Foundation to buy him football souvenirs using other people’s money.

But just because Trump doesn’t give to charity doesn’t mean he can’t take credit for millions going to charity.

One of the largest and most popular venues for these events is Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago club, where money is raised each year for charities like the American Heart Association.

Trump has pointed to the money raised at the club as evidence of his own philanthropy, telling CNBC in 2011, “I believe there is more money in that club for charity than any other place in Florida. I mean, the place has been amazing, the kind of money we raise on a weekly basis, and I just believe that you have to give back and if you don’t give back, you’re not being honest with yourself.”

Trump uses his facilities to raise millions for charity. Which sounds lovely. Except it’s not as if Trump is donating use of his locations …

As the owner of Mar-a-lago, Trump brings in millions of dollars in revenue for his company by hosting these major charity events each year. … The fees for services provided by Mar-a-Lago — the venue, food, and drinks — can comprise more than half the total price for the major events.

Donald Trump is telling the truth when he brags about how Mar-a-lago is used to raising millions for charity. What he’s not saying is that, rather than being a donor to those charities, he’s one of the biggest beneficiaries.

Re-post of a favorite: Stars died so you could live.

Re-post of a favorite: If only we could more people to see the truth of things.

Five OBG posts: Reliving the W years

Elect Trump and you can have more of THIS stupid shit, maybe even worse.

Religiously speaking

Since religion exists only in the mind, you can make up any belief you want.

Regressive Left? Haven't heard that one before. What I DO know is that all religious rules are stupid.

Another stupid religious person and another stupid religious law.

Atheist billboard 

Eternal damnation is eternally stupid.

ALL religions are nuts.

Know your gun nuts...

Gun violence in America. Fight for gun control.