I am sick and tired of hearing presidential candidates whine about the presidential nominating system. Yes, I am talking mainly about Trump during this current election in the GOP party, but to a lesser degree Sanders in pursuit of the Democratic nomination, and Clinton in the (distant) past of 2008 (The Daily Caller). Didn’t they know what they were getting themselves into when they ran for their respective party’s nomination? Continue reading
So much of politics is based on perception. In regards to race relations, the perception is that the Democrats are more color-conscious in their policies while Republicans are more color-blind in theirs; I know that this is an over simplification of each political party, but that’s the general consensus. When you consider just the lens of race in politics, those who are ethnic minorities generally support the Democrats more than Republicans, thus it seems that Democrats will then support them in legislation.
Because of those overriding perceptions, I think that what Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) was doing when speaking to Howard University (Slate), a Historically Black College, and at the University of California, Berkeley, (SFGate.com) a bastion of liberal politics, was Continue reading
My definition of a long shot: Any person, idea, or movement which has nearly every obstacle ahead of them imagined to complete a goal, yet still goes after it and completes it or some other unintentional and/or unstated goal. I’ve started thinking about these ‘long shots’ because of the Sochi 2014 Olympics currently going on.
Of course, there is the Jamaican bobsled team made (more) famous by the movie Cool Runnings. The fictionalized movie was based on the real 1988 4-man Jamaican bobsled team in Calgary, Canada. The team during these Olympics in Russia, however, was decided to just be a 2-man team due to the increased costs of 4 people. Even then, right before the Olympics, they still needed more than $30,000 for a lot of related costs; however, they not only reached that, but received almost $50,000 more than they needed which helped with some upgrades to the bobsled.
I was excited to see, because of my Filipino heritage, the only athlete from the Philippines to compete in these Winter Olympics, Michael Christian Martinez. He is the first Filipino Winter Olympian since the country sent “an Alpine skier to the 1992 Winter Games in Albertville, France” (New York Times) and the first figure skater. I really don’t know that much about him, but I’m just glad that he got the funding from his family and the government because winter sports are extremely expensive and it’s just a shame that more people are not able to at least try it out due to costs. And he didn’t do too bad, he got 19th place, so not bad at all.
I have usually thought of Congress as the most powerful branch, but most agree that title belongs to the Executive. (Also, the Legislative Branch is explained in Article I while the Executive is in Article II.) I always liked the fact that the aggregation, combination, and/or chaos of the House and the Senate is a good indicator of where the American people, for better or worse. Unfortunately, our electoral system usually biases/skews that representation due to redistricting, state size, or other factors. As it stands now, the Republican wave within the state houses and the governors’ mansions allowed them to unilaterally create districts to maximize the amount of Republicans for the upcoming decade, all else equal. (Look at USC’s Annenberg Center’s ReDistricting Game to get a fuller understanding of that particular process.) Of course Democrats did the same, but they really only had one state to make that difference in Illinois (Chicago Tribune). With the 2014 elections coming, no serious political analyst sees Democrats making a gain, especially in the midterm of the 2nd term of a President as evidenced in the below (President Clinton’s 2nd term was an exception to the rule).
The national news is sometimes so engrossing that we overlook the local and state news, especially in terms of politics. The Washington Post‘s article listing “The Best State Capitol Reporters in America” was a good way to recognize the work and focus that they do, from my home state in Sacramento, California, to my current residence in Indiana in Indianapolis. If you read this post, I urge you to subscribe or bookmark their websites and read their stories. There are some things that the national news does well on the political scene, but it is extremely difficult to sift through the stories of which may or may not be biased. More often than not, the state political reporters report the facts more than their opinions. On the national scale, there are so few “news-worthy” stories that the writers/reporters have to put their ‘spin’ on it to break out from the crowd. Continue reading
Turnout is, to put it bluntly, un-Americanly too low during the off off-year elections. An off-year election is defined when it happens during an odd-numbered year (i.e. this year). I would actually love it if elections for state-, county-, local- and special district- levels happened during the off-year because as it stands right now, all the media is sucked into the presidential race when it is actually the lower levels that have more of an impact on our lives. Unfortunately, this means that the public is even less interested and thus turnout decreases, sometimes precipitously, from the previous general presidential election. In my current state of residence of Indiana, all levels of government from townships to the federal level are being elected which squeezes out media coverage of the down-ballot races which I think does a disservice to all those positions and voters. Anyways, the following are some highlights of select races being decided during this week’s off-year general election:
I will just touch upon some aspects of the (partial) federal government shutdown in just this 1 post because in approximately 10 days when I blog again, I hope I am not writing about it again. Usually I try not to blog about the #1 thing in politics, but this shutdown has been building for weeks and is dominating the headlines in such a way that there’s no way to avoid it. I’d like to thank POLITICO for their in-depth coverage of all the facts and drama coming out of DC, because I still don’t know how they’re able to stand the hypocrisy, ridiculousness, and histrionics that occur on a constant basis.