South

Likely Changes In Electoral Votes And Congressional Seats As Result Of 2020 Census Figures

We are two years away from the 2020 Census, which will determine:

Electoral Vote Changes for 15 or 16 states
Congressional Seat Changes for 15 or 16 states
Federal Funding of Domestic Programs for all states

With Donald Trump’s attempt to cut population growth in the Census by putting fear into undocumented immigrants filling out the Census forms, it could affect all of the above.

As things now stand, 6 states are certain to gain electoral votes and Congressional seats, while 9 other states lose electoral votes by 2024, and Congressional seats by the 2022 midterm elections.

Interestingly, California, which has regularly gained multiple seats for decades, has not grown enough in comparison to the total population of the entire nation, so will for the first time ever gain no seats at all. Of course, with many undocumented immigrants, more than any other state, there is a theoretical possibility that California could, conceivably, lose a seat if enough of this group do not fill out Census forms.

The state of Virginia also has not grown enough, just like California, so is unlikely to gain a new electoral vote or Congressional seat.

Texas will likely gain 3 electoral votes and seats, while Florida will gain 2, and with Arizona, Colorado, North Carolina, and Oregon all gaining one each. All these states are in the Sun Belt, except Oregon in the Pacific Northwest.

So a total of 9 seats and electoral votes will be gained by a total of 6 states, which means those 9 seats will come from 9 different states, with 7 coming from the Northeast (Rhode Island, New York, Pennsylvania) and Midwest (Ohio, Michigan Minnesota, Illinois), and two from the South (West Virginia, Alabama).

It is also possible with changes in population in the next three years, that an additional seat could be lost by Illinois, and gained by Montana in the Pacific Northwest, which has lost a seat before, and might gain it back.

So at a maximum, 16 states will see their electoral votes and Congressional seats change, 7 gaining as a maximum and 9 losing as a maximum. The other 34 states will have no change at all.

Also, with Rhode Island about to lose a seat, it will be left with only one Representative At Large, joining Alaska, Wyoming, North Dakota, South Dakota, Vermont and Delaware, assuming Montana gains a seat. Otherwise, the total number of states with only one House seat would grow from 7 to 8.

50 Years Since MLK Assassination, And In Many Ways, Not Much Progress In Race Relations In America

It has been 50 years since the assassination of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in Memphis, Tennessee.

His death ended the most active and accomplished period of the civil rights movement, which occurred during the administration of Lyndon B. Johnson.

No one ever came forth with the charisma and following of Dr. King, to succeed him.

As we look back a half century, we can say that the African American community saw great advances in education and attainment of the middle class by a growing percentage of their population.

We also saw political gains by the African American community, including what many thought was the most triumphant moment of all–the election of the first African American President, Barack Obama.

But looking back now, one can say that the Obama election brought the truth out of the ugly woodwork–that racism is still very much alive and thriving, and not just in the South, but nationwide.

We see young and middle age African American boys and men, in particular, being victimized by police across the nation at alarming rates, and a large percentage who are not killed being subjected to unequal justice and long periods in prison.

The violence in the cities is over the top, and yet nothing has been done to overcome the danger of growing up in an environment where those who just wish to advance themselves out of poverty are often the victims of people of the same color.

The dream of Dr. King that everyone would be judged by the content of their character, rather than their skin color, has not been fulfilled, and we have a long road toward true racial equality in all areas of life, including economic advancement, which was badly damaged by the Great Recession, more for African Americans than for the working class whites, who are still appealed to by right wingers and Donald Trump to see African Americans as the enemy.

The American Presidency And Racism Nothing New, But Donald Trump’s Comment Way Beyond The Pale, And Should Force His Resignation!

The American Presidency and racism is nothing new, but Donald Trump’s comment about Haiti and the continent of Africa being a “shit hole” is way beyond the pale, and should force his resignation as a moral and ethical disgrace!

We know that nine of the first 12 Presidents were slave owners.

We know that Andrew Jackson slaughtered native Americans, and forced thousands to Oklahoma, the disgraceful “Trail of Tears”, and condemned abolitionists and worked to prevent their literature from going through the US Mail.

We know that John Tyler and James K. Polk worked to expand slavery territory.

We know that Andrew Johnson was a white supremacist in a disgraceful way.

We know that Theodore Roosevelt was critical of the mass migration of Catholics and Jews (the “New Immigration”) to America, and did not care about racial discrimination in the South.

We know that Woodrow Wilson was a white supremacist, who segregated the nation’s capital by executive order and refused to give any honors for military service to African Americans, and looked at Japan and China as inferior nations.

We know that Franklin D. Roosevelt failed to take adequate action against the Holocaust that killed millions of Jews and others in World War II, and failed to move against racial discrimination, although his wife Eleanor did speak up and take whatever actions she could, as First Lady.

We know that Richard Nixon was antisemitic, and said biased statements against Jews and African Americans on the Watergate Tapes, which were recorded in the Oval Office.

We know there were other actions by Presidents which showed reluctance or refusal to take action against racism and antisemitism.

But Donald Trump, by his public utterance yesterday, and so many other statements and actions before he became President, and since he became President, is the most vile racist of them all, including his wish to deport tens of thousands of Haitians, Salvadorans, and Hondurans, and his lack of concern about the horrible damage done to Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands during the hurricane season.

For that, Donald Trump will go down as the bottom of the list of all of our Presidents, and we MUST work to get him out of office before he does much more damage beyond what he has done!

Rural America Under Attack By Republicans And Donald Trump, Undermining Their Future

It is ironic that Donald Trump has declared war on Rural America, the part of the nation which put him over the top in the Electoral College.

Rural America is dying, as its portion of the national population is rapidly declining, but they still have enough impact that they could help to put Donald Trump over the top, with the hope that his pledges to revive dying industries would occur, such as the coal industry in Appalachia.

Now these rural citizens are discovering that the so called Trump Health Care plan will cut their medical benefits dramatically, and close down rural hospitals, and therefore, insure many more deaths over time, all due to the obsession with destroying ObamaCare, rather than work to improve it.

Trump’s promotion of the race and religion cards skillfully manipulates the rural citizens of the South, Midwest and the Great Plains, and Mountain West to vote Republican, while their state legislatures continue to favor the elite wealthy, and cut back on education, health care, and protection of the elderly, sick, and disabled.

Donald Trump and his party are the most right wing they have ever been, and they are further undermining the future of Rural America, but only when the citizens finally understand what is happening, will there be any chance of bringing Rural America forward into the 21st century, while Trump and the Republicans are preventing any progress toward a more unified America.

Is it any wonder why more and more young people are fleeing the rural areas of the nation toward the urban areas, which have rejected the right wing philosophy of the GOP?

The hope is that over time the Republican Party will finally pay for its sins against Americans who are too naive and ill informed to recognize it in the present.

Donald Trump Declares War On Chicago, California, Sanctuary Cities, Undocumented Immigrants, And Common Decency, Empathy And Compassion!

Donald Trump, in just three weeks in office, has declared war on Chicago, California, Sanctuary Cities, Undocumented Immigrants, and common decency, empathy, and compassion.

He has acted as if he can send troops to Chicago to deal with the crime problem there, forgetting that the Mayor of Chicago and the Illinois Governor have ultimate authority over problems in Chicago. The only time when Presidents have sent in the National Guard over the desires of the state Governor was in the South during the Civil Rights Era, when the Governor of Arkansas, Orval Faubus, refused to promote safety for black students at Little Rock Central High School in 1957 (Dwight D. Eisenhower), and when the Governors of Mississippi (Ross Barnett) and of Alabama (George Wallace) refused to obey integration orders for the state universities in 1962 and 1963 (John F. Kennedy).

He has shown signs of trying to cut off funds to California and its university system, because of a confrontational demonstration against a hate mongering right wing extremist troublemaker at the University of California, Berkeley.

He has said he will cut off all funding to Sanctuary Cities across the nation that are out to protect undocumented immigrants, who now are being arrested and deported at record rates, breaking up families, and threatening DREAM kids with the possibility of being deported to a nation they have no memory of, since they came to this nation when very young, and had no choice in where they migrated to.

There is no debate that any felon, any criminal element–drug dealers, gangs, those who have committed major crimes–should and must be deported, but the simple act of people coming here for a better life, escaping persecution and violence in many nations, and those who overstay their visas, should not be included in the deportation.

And many do not understand or realize that millions of undocumented immigrants are making real contributions to our economy, and are not breaking the law, and are not criminal elements, and the breaking up of families and deportation of children is, in itself, a horrible criminal act by the US government.

How about cracking down on native born Americans who are felons, commit the vast number of terrorist acts in this country, and use their Christian faith as a justification for their bloodshed and violence?

Donald Trump and his administration lacks any sense of common decency, empathy or compassion.

Major Historic Splits In Democratic Party

The Democratic Party has existed for 188 years, since the election Of Andrew Jackson in 1828.

In that nearly two centuries, there have been major splits and divisions:

In 1860, the party split, and the Northern Democrats. the official party, nominated Illinois Senator Stephen Douglas for President, while Vice President John C. Breckinridge was the nominee of Southern Democrats.

In 1896,  the “Gold Democrats” refused to back the party nominee, the  “silver tongued orator”, thirty six year old William Jennings Bryan, who promoted “free silver”, and drew support from the rural states in the Midwest and Great Plains and Mountain West, and kept the South loyal to the party.

In 1948, Southern Democrats broke from the convention that nominated Harry Truman for a full term, and ran South Carolina Governor Strom Thurmond as the States Rights (Dixiecrats) candidate.

In 1968, Alabama Governor George C. Wallace formed the American Independent Party, and ran against Democratic nominee Hubert Humphrey.

Notice that it was the South that caused three of the four splits, with the result being Douglas and Humphrey losing because of the split, while Truman won despite Thurmond’s opposition.

The other time, it was the rural West that revolved against the “Eastern Establishment”, represented by Wall Street, but Bryan, nominated three times for President, was unable to win the Presidency, although he helped to shape the Progressive Era with some of his reform ideas.

 

Republican Party, The Party Of Conservatives Abraham Lincoln And Ronald Reagan: Really, Lincoln A Conservative?

As the Republican Party is imploding, we are hearing Florida Senator Marco Rubio and others talk about how Donald Trump is not a conservative, like Abraham Lincoln and Ronald Reagan, and that Trump cannot be allowed to inherit their conservatism.

Really?  Abraham Lincoln  a conservative?  Give us all a break!

Lincoln was NOT a conservative, as he challenged the Establishment of his time in so many ways, including opposing any expansion of slavery!

Lincoln waged war on the South, to prevent their successful secession from the Union, and that is NOT conservatism!

Lincoln moved to promote freedom of the slaves, via the Emancipation Proclamation and the 13th Amendment, and that is NOT conservatism!

Lincoln promoted a major national government commitment to a transcontinental railroad, and that is NOT conservatism!

Lincoln promoted creation of a national banking system; a national currency; the first federal income tax; the first land grant colleges; the Department of Agriculture added to the Presidential cabinet; the Homestead Act; and set up the first military draft; and all of this list is NOT conservatism!

Lincoln was a Liberal, a Progressive, who believed in the use of Presidential power and authority!

Lincoln became the inspiration for another Republican President, Theodore Roosevelt, who is condemned by conservatives, because he believed, as Lincoln did, in in expansion of federal authority, and assertion of Presidential authority and Social Justice, a la Abraham Lincoln!

That is why it is two Liberals, two Progressives, Lincoln and TR, on Mount Rushmore, because they were NOT conservatives!

 

August 28—Emmett Till Murder, 1955; March On Washington, 1963!

60 years ago today, one of the most outrageous racial crimes  in American history occurred in Mississippi, when 14 year old African American Emmett Till of Chicago, visiting relatives, flirted with a white woman, and was murdered by a mob of whites, infuriated at his behavior.  They tortured him, beat him to a pulp, and shot him, and dragged his body, one of the worst examples of lynching that went on for many decades in the South, without any accountability.

Eight years later, we had the March on Washington, by a quarter of a million people of all races, and the momentous and historic “I Have A Dream” speech by the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr, calling for civil rights laws, which would come to pass in 1964 and 1965, but with King being assassinated in 1968.

These two anniversaries should sober us on the unfinished work on race relations, which is so evident in 2015, with the racial divide still massive despite progress from the time of Emmett Till!

The Confederate Flag Controversy: Should It Go Further To Monuments, Statues, And Other Memories Of The “Lost Cause” of the Civil War? NO!

The battle over the Confederate flag being on public property in South Carolina has caused many people to say that ALL Confederate memorials everywhere in the South should be removed!

This would include statues and monuments to Confederate leaders, such as Robert E. Lee, Jefferson Davis, Alexander Stephens, and other Confederate political and military leaders. Some say all schools, streets, highways, and other public places should have their names changed. And some would argue that such Confederate history should be removed from museums in the South and elsewhere!

This is totally CRAZY, and this author wishes to make clear his total opposition to such suggestions! This comes from a blogger who DOES believe the Confederate Flag should be removed from public property, as stated recently on this blog!

We cannot wipe out history, and the story of the Confederacy and the troops who died for the Confederacy, should not be wiped out, as that is setting up a false record of the American past.

We can honor Robert E. Lee and other Confederate leaders as men who did what they felt was right, but which we might disagree with today.

If we try to distort the reality of history, we are doing precisely what Nazi Germany, the Soviet Union, and other totalitarian nations and governments have worked to do—to distort the historical record and not teach the parts that are disturbing and embarrassing!

Americans NEED to know the true history that led to the Civil War; the horrors of slavery; the sufferings of troops on both sides of the war!

We need to learn about the motivations, and the trials and tribulations of those who led the rebellion!

We need to know the whole story, not a sanitized version of only the winning side of the Civil War!

We cannot take away the sense of honor and the loyalty felt by millions of Southerners and others who look at the Confederate States of America as a “glorious cause”!

Just remember, the “moral side” won the Civil War, but let those on the losing side keep their dignity and their history and their monuments and statues and other memorials!

Just be sure that the truth of history is taught to the younger generation, while commemorating the full story of the most significant event in American history!

Oregon Sets A Higher Standard: Making Voter Registration And Participation Easier, As Other States Make Voter Registration More Difficult!

The state of Oregon has set a new and higher standard by making voter registration and participation easier, at a time when other states make voter registration more difficult.

Already allowing all Oregonians to vote by mail, now everyone in Oregon who owns a motor vehicle or has a drivers license will be offered the chance to register to vote automatically, although they have the ability to opt out for 21 days after registration.

But if they do not opt out, they will receive a voter ballot, and can participate in our democratic system of government, although, of course, they can choose not to vote.

The point is that at a time when states are making it more difficult to register and to vote, and lines are long at many voting places, discouraging many from voting, Oregon is putting other states to shame, particularly those in the South and Great Plains, Republican states that work to undermine democracy and do not trust people as being legitimate to have a right to vote.

Oregon was the first state, along with Wisconsin, to set up direct primaries in state elections a century ago, and now Wisconsin has been moving against democracy under Governor Scott Walker.

But Oregon continues to be a paragon of virtue in the concept of encouraging and promoting direct democracy.

So kudos to Oregon as a model for other states, it is hoped, in the future!