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1  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Per SCOTUS, initiative created redistricting commissions may be l'histoire on: Today at 10:17:06 am
The odds the Dems will draw a map such as sbane's, and Brown will sign off on it, are vanishingly small. It just isn't done that way, and neither the electorate, nor the incumbent Dems, will stand for it. Until the program crashed, it is pretty realistic without upsetting the apple cart too much to hold the Pubs down to one seat in Norcal, flushing Denholm and combining the other two Pub seats up there. It does require a nasty chop of Santa Rosa and a traveling CD over Napa to do it however. Basically Santa Rosa chops up about half of one of those seats, and Matsui's CD would take down about a quarter (taking Yuba County and the Dem part of Nevada County, and the balance (mostly Placer County), would move into the Pub sink seat. Then CA-03, the Garamendi seat, could be used to help eviscerate the Denholm seat, taking in Marin, the southern part of Napa, Yolo County, and then move into the Denholm seat.
2  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Should Staten Island be returned to Italy? on: March 05, 2015, 07:05:00 pm
Italy should pick up Rome, NY first. Man, the only thing that dump has in common with the other Rome is the name, and the fact that it has lots of Italians.  Smiley
3  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Per SCOTUS, initiative created redistricting commissions may be l'histoire on: March 05, 2015, 07:03:16 pm
BTW, the one I would REALLY like to get rid of is Rohrabacher. Is there a good way of doing that?

The map I am currently drawing gives him a district that voted for Obama by 11 points in 2008 (and Loretta Sanchez gets a 68% Hispanic district), although Brown lost by 7 in 2010. It's a swing seat, with a slight D lean. Of course he might just jump to the adjacent seat and take on Mimi Walters in the primary.

And I totally forgot about Valadao. There are about 4-5 easy pickups for the Democrats.

You are draining Hispanic percentages. That's the problem. Where is Valadao going to pick up more Democrats?  The Dems will pick up that seat anyway in time, and immediately if he vacates. It's trending Dem fast.
4  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: MI maps - muon2 scoring on: March 05, 2015, 04:21:00 pm
The change to protect the UCC pack in GR is expensive in erosity. Torie D had no macrocrop in  Kent and it had an erosity of 2 on the border between CD 2 and 3. The switch back to a macrochop ran the erosity on that border up to 14. Compare this chop in Kent to the one in Torie A which was also a macrochop, but was very rectangular and the border erosity was 9. This plan is more irregular than Torie A in Kent and the erosity is consistent with that.

This is a policy problem. By the way, I abandoned my thought that the cover rule only comes into play with whole county UCC severances. It won't work, as I will elucidate. The only way to protect UCC's adequately, is with a population based transference rule, or potentially a ban rule (maxi-pack rule is a requirement). Otherwise, UCC raids will tend to be rewarded, per the above, for example. When I have time (I don't know, buy hey I completed my assignments for the Columbia County DA, so I have my pro bono hours and then some, and can complete my application to become a NY lawyer), I will lay out the conundrums using Mike's "hideous" MI map, that chops the Detroit UCC to bits, while being rewarded for it. Tongue
5  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Per SCOTUS, initiative created redistricting commissions may be l'histoire on: March 05, 2015, 04:15:39 pm
On second look, restricting Republicans to just 10 seats in California won't be so hard to do. And even Jerry Brown won't stop the greedy democrats in the legislature if the SCOTUS delivers such a decision on party line.

What's the fourth seat?

There are so many things that could be done. Think very ugly. For instance, 1 and 4 could be merged, the rest cut into pieces and attached to coastal areas. I mean, by shifting 3 a bit south, you could both strengthen it and bring up 5 - tonnes of spare Dems there and in 2.  Meanwhile, Matsui´s district could be used to strengthen Bera - no problem there. So, choose between La Malfa and McClintock, if you like. Denham, of course, would go fast, and getting rid of Valadao will not be difficult either. Knight should be doable, no? So, 4 should work easily. The question is, can one do 7 or 8?

You boys keeping the VRA in mind?  Where are the Dem areas around the Valadao CD? The Matsui CD will need to be used to help ax Denholm, and buttress Bera. And in in order to cut down the the two Pub CD's east and north of Sacto, the map would need to get really ugly I suspect. I don't think it will happen. The Central Coast is not that Dem, and Monterey County is VRA territory. And the Dem incumbents won't stand for it to boot. I suspect 2 Pub seats is the realistic number (some Dem psephological guru quoted at RRH agrees with me). Most of the surplus Dems will be used to buttress Dem marginal seats, and even that will require a lot of subunit chopping, that in and of itself is controversial. The City of Sacto for example will need to be chopped. Time for some maps!  Tongue
6  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Per SCOTUS, initiative created redistricting commissions may be l'histoire on: March 05, 2015, 12:11:54 pm
On second look, restricting Republicans to just 10 seats in California won't be so hard to do. And even Jerry Brown won't stop the greedy democrats in the legislature if the SCOTUS delivers such a decision on party line.

What's the fourth seat?
7  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Ben Carson: Prison makes people go gay on: March 04, 2015, 04:58:46 pm
precisely because it is anti-freedom, from the party that claims to be freedom's champion. It's disgusting really.

Republicans onnly want freedom for wealthy, straight white people, you know. You just don't notice it because you are wealthy and white.

That is a rather uncharitable characterization of me. Sad
8  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Per SCOTUS, initiative created redistricting commissions may be l'histoire on: March 04, 2015, 04:56:00 pm
Does this have a real chance of getting struck down?

About 2 to 1 odds is my guess. The only hope for the Commission is that Kennedy, after pounding them in oral argument, might reflect and think better of it all. But then Kennedy was a militant when it came to killing off Obamacare. His moderate reputation is waning. Breyer said nothing by the way in oral argument. That is not a good sign either. He's not afraid of talking if he thinks there is a point to be made that serves the cause of his wing of the Court.
9  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Per SCOTUS, initiative created redistricting commissions may be l'histoire on: March 04, 2015, 12:06:07 pm
Beyond parody.

If you characterize all of this that way, I wonder then how you would characterize this? What words are left to describe it?  Smiley
10  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Ben Carson: Prison makes people go gay on: March 04, 2015, 11:15:00 am
is he wrong?  otherwise self-styled heterosexuals will find sexual release with other men if no women are available.  I'm sure my solution to this "problem" would be quite different from Carson.

there's also a problem with categorizing people into groups based on their sexuality.  I identify as a heterosexual but can find men attractive, in certain ways at certain times.  a gay friend of mine has had positive sexual experiences with women.  and so on.


 'homosexual' and 'heterosexual' are not static identities, strictly speaking.

Carson I think is suggesting that after prison, where women are again available, ex-cons continue to do men, when they had not prior to being incarcerated.

it's not impossible that that's true.  however, if this constitutes a problem, wouldn't the best path to take be a massive reduction in prison populaion?  or at least an expansion of furloughs/conjugal visits?

There is a good case to be made that we have too many folks incarcerated. The risk of their going gay is not one of them.  Being gay is not a problem!  Smiley
11  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Per SCOTUS, initiative created redistricting commissions may be l'histoire on: March 04, 2015, 11:09:24 am
What is the constitutional rationale behind this? It seems utterly nonsensical to me.

The text of the Constitution, that specifically states that it is the state legislatures that draw the lines, rather than merely referring to the states as having that power.

I assume you refer to Article 1, Section 4: "The Times, Places and Manner of holding Elections for Senators and Representatives, shall be prescribed in each State by the Legislature thereof; but the Congress may at any time by Law make or alter such Regulations, except as to the Places of chusing Senators."

First of all, one could make the argument that, in States where popular initiatives are recognized, the people itself constitutes one branch of the "legislature". Since the US Constitution contains no precise definition of the term, the legislature has to mean "those who hold legislative power". If the State Constitution recognizes a right for the people to legislate directly through initiatives or referendums, then the people voting for these initiatives are functionally equivalent to elected representatives voting on a bill.

If the power to alter electoral regulation is vested in the holders of legislative power in a given State, then it follows that citizens have the same right as their representatives to enact electoral regulations. Secondly, the exercise of the power must always come with the possibility to delegate such power to a different body. If the people, in their quality of legislators, resolve to grant their redistricting power to a nonpartisan commission, they are merely exercising their Constitutional right to its full extent.

It's a rather tough road to travel to successfully assert that the term "the Legislature," refers not to an elected body, but rather is more inclusive to also the people of the state as a whole  who in some sense hold legislative power via enacting referenda. There would be no need to refer to "the Legislature," if what was intended was that the States can draw the lines via any lawful means, they could have just said "shall be prescribed by each state ... ." The fact that the term "Legislature" is capitalized does not help either.

The Framers probably could not conceive the idea of direct popular government at the State level (something which only began during the Progressive Era), so I doubt they would have bothered to make that distinction explicit.

Nonetheless, Merriam-Webster defines "legislature" as "a group of people with the power to make or change laws". Nowhere is it specified that this group has to be elected.

Nobody thinks legislature means the people as a whole, as opposed to a selected elected group, and you still have the capitalization issue.
12  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Per SCOTUS, initiative created redistricting commissions may be l'historie on: March 04, 2015, 11:07:09 am
There is a simple fix available to states with independent commissions. Follow IA's lead and send plans to the legislature for an up or down vote. In IA the bureau that drafts the bills is given the task of drawing the legislative and congressional maps following statutory criteria. The bureau sends the plans to the legislature for an up or down vote without amendment. If the plan fails it goes back to bureau for another try, perhaps guided by comments the legislature is permitted to send with their rejection. The process is repeated up to three times. If the third plan is rejected, then the matter goes to the courts.

In commission states, just replace the bill drafting bureau with the commission, but otherwise follow that procedure. The legislature stays in the process with the final say on the map.

But in Iowa, didn't the legislature create the structure in the first instance? I am not sure an initiative based law not passed by the legislature, that just has the legislature involved at the end with a mere veto power to send it to the courts, will pass muster, assuming SCOTUS strikes down the AZ structure.

I think that will be a question many will be looking at the opinion to determine. There are lots of initiative-based election laws in states that could be impacted based on the questions from the liberal justices. If the ruling stays narrow to the act of redistricting and overturns AZ, will it be because it was by initiative or because it was a plan without legislative approval. The legislature need not be the sole approver of the plan since most states require the Gov's signature on the redistricting bill. It seems to me that initiatives may still be able to dictate the manner in which the legislature performs its redistricting function, even if they can't strip that function entirely.

Yes, except the Legislature can override the Governor's veto, and indeed that is the way any law gets enacted by a State. So that argument I don't think adds much. So, a total preclusion of the Legislature passing what it wants, albeit perhaps with a supra majority, remains questionable. I suppose  referenda could perhaps require that if the Legislature does not hew to certain parameters, then there needs be a supra majority to pass the redistricting law - even before it gets to the Governor's desk. That might be the best analogy to the tracking of the current regime. And that in practice in most cases would get where one wants to go, except in states where one party typically holds the requisite supra majority in the Legislature.
13  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Ben Carson: Prison makes people go gay on: March 04, 2015, 10:58:44 am
is he wrong?  otherwise self-styled heterosexuals will find sexual release with other men if no women are available.  I'm sure my solution to this "problem" would be quite different from Carson.

there's also a problem with categorizing people into groups based on their sexuality.  I identify as a heterosexual but can find men attractive, in certain ways at certain times.  a gay friend of mine has had positive sexual experiences with women.  and so on.


 'homosexual' and 'heterosexual' are not static identities, strictly speaking.

Carson I think is suggesting that after prison, where women are again available, ex-cons continue to do men, when they had not prior to being incarcerated.
14  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Are there any certified geniuses posting on Atlas? on: March 04, 2015, 10:25:44 am
Snowstalker.
15  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Per SCOTUS, initiative created redistricting commissions may be l'histoire on: March 04, 2015, 10:24:15 am
What is the constitutional rationale behind this? It seems utterly nonsensical to me.

The text of the Constitution, that specifically states that it is the state legislatures that draw the lines, rather than merely referring to the states as having that power.

I assume you refer to Article 1, Section 4: "The Times, Places and Manner of holding Elections for Senators and Representatives, shall be prescribed in each State by the Legislature thereof; but the Congress may at any time by Law make or alter such Regulations, except as to the Places of chusing Senators."

First of all, one could make the argument that, in States where popular initiatives are recognized, the people itself constitutes one branch of the "legislature". Since the US Constitution contains no precise definition of the term, the legislature has to mean "those who hold legislative power". If the State Constitution recognizes a right for the people to legislate directly through initiatives or referendums, then the people voting for these initiatives are functionally equivalent to elected representatives voting on a bill.

If the power to alter electoral regulation is vested in the holders of legislative power in a given State, then it follows that citizens have the same right as their representatives to enact electoral regulations. Secondly, the exercise of the power must always come with the possibility to delegate such power to a different body. If the people, in their quality of legislators, resolve to grant their redistricting power to a nonpartisan commission, they are merely exercising their Constitutional right to its full extent.

It's a rather tough road to travel to successfully assert that the term "the Legislature," refers not to an elected body, but rather is more inclusive to also the people of the state as a whole  who in some sense hold legislative power via enacting referenda. There would be no need to refer to "the Legislature," if what was intended was that the States can draw the lines via any lawful means, they could have just said "shall be prescribed by each state ... ." The fact that the term "Legislature" is capitalized does not help either.
16  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Per SCOTUS, initiative created redistricting commissions may be l'histoire on: March 04, 2015, 09:32:42 am
What is the constitutional rationale behind this? It seems utterly nonsensical to me.

The text of the Constitution, that specifically states that it is the state legislatures that draw the lines, rather than merely referring to the states as having that power.
17  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Ben Carson: Prison makes people go gay on: March 04, 2015, 09:28:18 am
Thanks Ben for sharing. Now I know why I am gay. I spent a night in jail on a DUI rap! Who knew?

In my own view, on this being gay is a choice canard (it really isn't a choice in most instances, but whatever), just why is it that even if it were a choice, that choice should be discriminated against merely because it is a choice? Isn't freedom, at least where it is not causing harm to others, all about facilitating choices, and empowering them?  What am I missing here?  Yes, I know in this gay friendly haven, that is this Forum, that asking these questions is preaching to the choir, but I always found this tangent, which the anti SSM folks think is their trump card, a particularly offensive and ersatz trump card myself, precisely because it is anti-freedom, from the party that claims to be freedom's champion. It's disgusting really.
18  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Getting old........ on: March 04, 2015, 08:31:12 am
May not be on here much any more.... God damn hands can barely type
Thanks for keeping me young......
clarence

Hey, hang in there man. I don't want to assume the status as the Forum's uber-old!:)  Maybe you might try that software that types for you, while you talk, converting your verbal words to text. I'm told it's pretty good these days. It would be useful for you not just here, but in sending emails and so forth. Best, Steve
19  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Per SCOTUS, initiative created redistricting commissions may be l'historie on: March 04, 2015, 08:15:04 am
There is a simple fix available to states with independent commissions. Follow IA's lead and send plans to the legislature for an up or down vote. In IA the bureau that drafts the bills is given the task of drawing the legislative and congressional maps following statutory criteria. The bureau sends the plans to the legislature for an up or down vote without amendment. If the plan fails it goes back to bureau for another try, perhaps guided by comments the legislature is permitted to send with their rejection. The process is repeated up to three times. If the third plan is rejected, then the matter goes to the courts.

In commission states, just replace the bill drafting bureau with the commission, but otherwise follow that procedure. The legislature stays in the process with the final say on the map.

But in Iowa, didn't the legislature create the structure in the first instance? I am not sure an initiative based law not passed by the legislature, that just has the legislature involved at the end with a mere veto power to send it to the courts, will pass muster, assuming SCOTUS strikes down the AZ structure.
20  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Per SCOTUS, initiative created redistricting commissions may be l'historie on: March 04, 2015, 08:09:01 am
The problem for the Dems is that the Pub redoubts are a long way away from the Dem concentrations, and San Diego does not have enough Dems to go after the remaining Pubs CD's in that area (plus one seat is an Hispanic seat, so those voters are "trapped"). LA cannot go after the Pub districts in Orange County really, again because the adjacent districts are Hispanic, plus Long Beach, which isn't that Dem. There are Pubs in the NE corner of the state that will be hard to get at, because Sacto isn't that Dem. The Central Valley is already gerrymandered in favor of the Dems due to the Hispanic districts, and the central coast is not that Dem. The exception to this is the Denholm seat, that with some erosity can move some Alameda County Dems into it, plus include Stockton. It will be hard to get at the Victorville CD, because the CD's in the San Garbriel Valley are Hispanic districts (plus one Asian one, also not that Dem). I can see getting rid of the Pub district in the Antelope Valley by moving some San Fernando Valley Dems into it from the non Hispanic San Fernando Valley CD (Brad Sherman's), and probably doing in the Shasta County based Pub district, by attacking it from Santa Rosa County (the other Dem areas up there are already used to keep the the CD that has Vallejo and Napa in it Dem, and it is has no Dems to spare to give away).  

What the Dems can do is make all the marginal Dem seats safe, plus I think take three Pub seats, but more likely two since I don't think they will be too keen to append Santa Rosa County to Shasta. So in addition to doing in the Denholm CD as described above, just weaken the Antelope Valley CD to make it lean Dem by sending some Brad Sherman Dems into it, and removing some more Pubs from Lancaster into the Pub Kern County sink CD, and make CA-07 (the Bera CD), and CA-52 (the Peters seat), safe, and jiggle the lines some to make the Costa seat around Fresno safer, and move Malibu and Topanga to CA-26 to move that seat more out of the marginal Dem category.

So the Pubs get two seats in AZ, and the Dems two in CA. It's a wash. Maybe the Pubs can squeeze one more seat out of Florida, maybe two (make more Pub the Graham and Murphy seats), but it won't be easy, and I tend to doubt they will go there.
21  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Per SCOTUS, initiative created redistricting commissions may be l'historie on: March 03, 2015, 07:42:17 pm

SD can't be in play with but one seat, and this only obtains to Congressional seats, not state legislative ones, as I understand it. SCOTUS isn't going to get into who gets to vote laws, with what kind of identification.
22  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Per SCOTUS, initiative created redistricting commissions may be l'historie on: March 03, 2015, 07:40:06 pm
Yeah, I'm not even sure why the AZGOP did this in the first place. Are they that pissed off at Colleen Mathis that they'd be willing to throw the entire party under the bus?

Isn't it the case though, that IA-style commissions may still be constitutional, considering that they've still got some legislative input?

Iowa is a legislature created commission (as opposed to initiative created by the voters without legislative input), as to which the Legislature has some input in any case. It's Constitutionally safe. Ditto for all Court drawn maps, ala NY and MN.
23  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Per SCOTUS, initiative created redistricting commissions may be l'historie on: March 03, 2015, 07:39:06 pm
Roguemapper at RRH is finalizing a 48D 5R map of CA.

The pressure from national Democrats would be too much for the CA Dems not to go for as many seats at they can.

Read some more at RRH. It isn't realistic, and isn't going to happen. But hey, draw a map yourself!
24  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: UK General Election - May 7th 2015 on: March 03, 2015, 07:36:23 pm
Regarding Wales, I remember Cameron at PM questioning time, noting that the Wales had a lot of underpopulated constituencies (almost all Labor strongholds that have seen a population drain as the coal mines shut down), and they needed to be culled for "fairness" sake. Were they, or did the Lib Dems just say no, or did Cameron decide to back off, or what?
25  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Per SCOTUS, initiative created redistricting commissions may be l'histoire on: March 03, 2015, 07:24:55 pm
Read all about it here.

If so, the Pubs get to gerrymander AZ, and bye bye two Dem seats. However, if so inclined, the Dems in CA can retaliate. Sure, they can shore up all the marginal Dem seats, but how many more can they get that seem realistic, without discommoding incumbents, or violating the VRA? I can see Denholm going, and maybe one NorCal seat, and maybe the Antelope Valley seat (tougher that one), but I am not sure how much more is practically possible (that marginal seat around Bakersfield, is already surrounded by very Pub areas, and subject to the VRA), and I suspect Jerry Brown may say just say chill. The current map is already something of a Dem gerrymander, and the Dems have held most of the marginal seats already. The Pubs just struck out in the last election.

I am not sure any other states have independent commissions, in which the legislature had no hand, so those will all survive. Well other than Florida, come to think of it. Probably not too much potential for Pub gains there either.

So this Board may become more active!  Tongue
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