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).
This month has been the first this year, at least it seems to be, in which both the national and my adopted state’s (Indiana’s) legislatures are now out-of-session. Of course, there are many political scandals and breaking news throughout the country such as Continue reading
Removing Alaska, Texas is the largest state in area. Removing California, Texas is the most populated. Texas is just plain big. It has the largest number of counties within its borders. It is the only state whose flag can be flown at the same level as the United States’. “Everything is bigger in Texas” seems to be true in many respects, and it will be soon true on the national scene of politics.
There are many pro and con reasons for instituting term limits for politicians. It seems to work well on the executive side with most governorships having some sort of term limits. I’m still up in the air whether just the 2-term limit is too short, but Virginia’s 1-term is definitely too short; the governor, even if they’re so good, does not have a chance continue that work. A president for two terms seems to have worked out well. (The two-term presidency was informally instituted by George Washington by tradition and formalized after FDR’s 4 terms in office.) Continue reading
There was some exciting news in the various states other than the presidential election, especially for the other 40+ states that were already in the bank for either Romney or Obama. The top 5 results from this past November 6, 2012, election that I think are significant for the political direction of each of the states. Continue reading
Spending my first 10 days in Indiana, I am already surprised at how many things are different than California. In California, there are calorie counts of everything you order on a restaurant, but I am now guessing in Indiana (having being used to CA). There are many different designs of license plates in IN, but CA’s are 99% of white background with red cursive “California” writing. With the pocket book, taxes are simply cheaper in Indiana: ~7% vs. ~9% in CA. Living in a college town, I don’t necessarily think of IN as a “red state“, but I do know that I’m no longer living in a state which thinks lowly of Republicans.
With that being said, Continue reading
Sorry, I’ve been away for so long…Over the past 4 months, I have finished my last quarter at UCLA as a double major with a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Scandinavian Languages and Cultures & Political Science and have enrolled at Indiana University – Bloomington for my Masters in Public Affairs (with concentrations in Public Financial Management & State and Local Government).
To summarize politically, Mitt Romney has (nearly) won the Republican nomination and California has (successfully?) completed its new round of elections with independently drawn districts and the top-two primary. The Howard-Berman race in the San Fernando Valley is the most closely watched in the nation, but there are also a lot of other Dem-Dem and Rep-Rep contests to be battled in the November general elections. Future posts will be more skewed towards the MidWest (and Indiana in particular) and less about California, but still some.