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 will be one of those times in which I want you to do as I say, not as I do. Continue reading
Just this past week, Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) passed away, and after a millisecond about remembering his life, we talked about the politics surrounding his death more than the accomplishments during his life. The media and the parties were debating what Gov. Chris Christie should do (to help them). With a special election held concurrent Continue reading
The running joke has been that the Senate is where all bills go to die. In this instance, the Senate’s Gang of Eight has come up with a bill that has already passed the Judiciary Committee and is now on the floor. No one likes the bill, including me. Does that mean it’s a good compromise? Continue reading
With the election (basically) done, it’s really interesting how party label does not always determine which party the leader will be. The New York Senate‘s leadership is always unknown, as written by the article by Tim Storey (The Thicket | “Leadership Intrigue”). There always seem to be some rogue Democrats threatening (and actually) caucusing with the Republicans, but it seems that there might be a 3rd caucus. (Wow, so much drama.) I don’t know if they’re standing up for their principles or just being power-hungry, but I’m pretty sure it’s mostly the latter. This is almost as exciting as when Kent Williams became Speaker of the House of the Tennessee legislature (The Tennessean | “How Kent Williams…” & Nashville Business Journal | “Tennessee Legislature…”).
The national legislature (US Congress) is another matter. Basically, the status quo rules with only minor changes in the lower rungs of the leadership of both houses (Politico | “Senate Leadership…”). Yawn.
Sorry for the short blog post. I just got back to CA from IN for the Thanksgiving Break and am trying to recuperate from jet lag and such and also reverting back to my super-objective news mode for a little bit.
- State GOP backs former House Speaker Kent Williams’ opponent (knoxnews.com)
- The Obligatory Kent Williams Post (dancleary.typepad.com)
- Leadership intrigue…and more cool maps (ncsl.typepad.com)
- Notable Statewide Results (naivepolitico.wordpress.com)
- ‘Super-majority’ for GOP assured in Legislature (knoxnews.com)
- GOP gains superiority in Tennessee legislature (timesfreepress.com)
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