The 10 Gallon Liberal

Democracy gets a gerrymander, gun info and Swiss madness

Can't win fairly now? Change the rules! Republicans hope to gerrymander the Electoral College to prevent Democratic presidential victories. The idea is to switch to proportional allocation of electoral votes at a state level, but only in states that tend to vote Democratic. The others would remain all-or-nothing, giving Republicans a massive advantage. The example of choice is Virginia--Obama won all 13 votes there. Under the new scheme, Romney would have won 9 of those 13, but carried Republican-leaning states with the entirety of their electoral votes.

If every state did the same simultaneously, all would be well. This way? Well, good luck if you're a Democratic presidential candidate. Talk about putting party ahead of country.

Erosion of democracy is, these days, something that unfolds like a chemical reaction, or like a mad Swiss Goldbergian process (see below and an earlier post on Goldbergian Europe here), not like a military invasion.

Thing 2: In furtherance of the ongoing gun debate around these parts, some incredibly interesting articles--

1) Here's a claim you hate to hear, no matter your position on gun laws: National Journal says mental health improvements would do very little to stop mass shootings.

2) Mother Jones' study of 30 years' worth of mass shootings, complete with map and graphs of weapons used. Turns out that shootings are not at all limited to states with tight gun restrictions, and that the weapons of choice are most often semi-automatic handguns, the vast majority obtained legally.

3) An older New York Times study of shootings going back to 1949.

If your brain needs a rest after such dark reading, just enjoy the Swiss madness:

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