Hillary wins popular vote; Trump wins proportional electoral college — maybe

As both Democrats, some Republicans and backers of third-party candidates look for ways to tweak the Electoral College for a different outcome to the 2016 presidential election, at least one picture is muddy. In particular, there is controversy over who, if anyone, would win the election if each states electors were divided proportionally according to…

Democracy watch, Nov. 2015: Two steps forward [ME, WA], one huge step back [NJ]

This November, people who care about enhancing democratic principles have a few things to feel good about. But, in the toxic political environment that passes for “democracy” these days, no good deed goes unpunished. So, there’s bad news, too. Here’s the rundown: Maine’s Clean Elections Initiative On the hopeful side, Maine voters have approved Question…

Screw the poor: Not expanding Medicaid cost red states $2 billion in 2015

Squandering $2 billion dollars in essentially free money is not what anyone would call “fiscal conservatism.” But that’s exactly what the phony fiscal conservatives in Republican-dominated state legislatures have done this year, according to Kevin Drum, of Mother Jones. This spectacular hypocrisy is the result of their obstinate, obstructionist, nihilistic, knee-jerk hate for all things…

NFL stadiums vs. the public welfare

Assigned reading for today: Huffpost article on the pros and cons of publicly subsidizing wealthy NFL team owners’ desire for new stadiums. Along with other stuck-in-the mud cities, the article cites otherwise impoverished St. Louis’ current pathetic efforts to retain a NFL team (any NFL team). The money quote: If the benefits aren’t flowing to…

The First Church of Cannabis, and other unintended consequences

Indianapolis hosted the 100th Anniversary Convention for Kiwanis International these past few days. As is the norm, I represented my Valley Park [Missouri] club. At the convention, an organization which didn’t allow women members until the Reagan administration voted in their first woman president, and insured that the second woman president is just a year…

Kansas raises taxes…reluctantly and nastily

Kansas Governor Sam Brownback [R]—who started the whole mess—knows it. The Republican dominated Kansas legislature—who gleefully made it happen—knows it, too. The radical, right-wing economic experiment in tax reduction that they imposed on Kansas citizens has failed—miserably, ignominiously, publicly—to do what its theoreticians promised it would do: magically stimulate the Kansas economy through that good-old,…