Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Technical Error Roundup

This one might be a bit more haphazard than most, as it incorporates some election night celebration. As for the title, my laptop had its hard drive replaced, and in the middle of doing so my wireless card somehow snapped. So that has to get fixed too.

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My comment to this post set of a twitter war between myself and the Republican Jewish Committee, centered around my observation that if disliking Bibi means hating Israel, then disliking Obama means hating America. Why do Republicans hate America so much, anyway?

Occupy movement inspires unions to get bolder.

Andre Berto is dropping his belt to pursue a rematch against Victor Ortiz, which may pave the way for a match between Randall Bailey (42-7, 36 KOs) and Carson Jones (32-8-2, 22 KOs) to claim the vacant belt. I like both guys, but I'm a particularly fervent Jones fan, so I approve. Bailey is average at best in all dimensions of the sport save one: concussive, brutal, devastating, one-punch power. So it should be good.

Though Blacks are far more likely to be imprisoned for it, it's White kids who actually are more likely to use drugs.

Mostly a good election night for Team Blue: Maine voters reinstated same-day voter registration, Ohio voters tossed Gov. John Kasich's (R) anti-union law, Mississippi(!) voters decisively rejected a "personhood amendment" that would declare life begins at conception, and won massive victories in most Kentucky statewide races as well as an Iowa State Senate election that preserves their control of the chamber. Also, one of the chief xenophobes in the Arizona State Senate, Senate President Russell Pearce, was successfully recalled by another (more moderate) Republican.

On the negative side, the Virginia state Senate will likely flip by an agonizingly small margin (86 votes in the pivotal race) and Mississippi approved a voter ID law (and elected a new GOP governor -- no shock there).

UPDATE: Another bit of good news: Dems have retaken the Wake County (NC) school board. That's a big deal: Wake County had been one of integration's few true success stories, and the GOP board that swept to power last cycle was looking to undo that.


Christopher Meyer said...

It's been pretty under-reported that the Republicans narrowly took over the Mississippi house as well (thereby giving them control over the trifecta). With that check eliminated, I would expect to see anti-immigrant measures like we've seen in Arizona, Alabama, and Georgia. And who knows what else.

MS (unlike VA) also hasn't completed their redistricting yet. Pre-election, there were mixed reports as to whether it would be the new legislature or the courts that would draw the new map. Now that the Republicans won, I'm assuming they'll opt to gerrymander it themselves, so that probably means the MS legislature is lost indefinitely. If they could've held just a little bit longer they might've been able to secure a map that would give them a fighting chance at a comeback.

David Schraub said...

Mississippi Democrats usually aren't anything to scream about anyway, and frankly, Mississippi is a GOP state. A fairly districted Mississippi will have a pretty stable GOP majority.

Christopher Meyer said...

I'm a huge proponent of the 50-state strategy, so I want to defend the significance of MS redistricting a bit. Although the GOP would have very likely taken over with a fair redistricting, the difference between a fair redistricting and a GOP gerrymander is still likely to be ~10% of the seats, maybe more depending on how aggressive they are.

1) The check was weak, but it still counted. True, most of the white Dems would count as conservative Republicans elsewhere, but the black Dems still held sway over the agenda, still limited some of the more extreme excesses. Now MS will move to the top of the pack in innovative craziness. That matters both in terms of the substantive of effects of the extra-crazy policies, and in terms of the Overton window, shifting what counts as "moderate" to the right.

2) Margins matter for the Dems' bench. That really matters quite a lot; politicians who manage to establish careers in the state legislature can move on to other places. Even while Dems have been in precipitous decline in the South, they still have quite a strong residual bench in some places. Until last year, the Dems held 3 out of 4 of the House seats in MS, two of them deep deep red. Travis Childers upset a Republican in a special election in 2008 in a R+14 district. Those successes are much less likely as the bench withers away, and while Dems like Childers are nothing great, they could very well make the difference for majority control. They also move on to non-governmental areas of society (corporations, non-profits, universities, etc.) with enhanced influence. Some of them might not be the type of people we'd like to see have enhanced influence, but they need to be evaluated in terms of the Republican alternatives.

3) Margins matter on committees. Individual members, even in the minority, have a substantial impact on the details and distribution of resources that don't get into the spotlight.

4) Margins matter for veto overrides & constitutional amendments. Constitutional amendments take 2/3 of the legislature + majority popular vote.