sraun: portrait (Default)
Some people campaign for abolishing the Electoral College in favor of a straight popular vote. The most common reason I've heard for this is because it will get rid of swing states where most of the campaigning will happen, and get more widely spread attention.

I believe this is false. The top nine states by population - CA, TX, NY, FL, IL, PA, OH, MI & GA - contain approximately 50% of the US population. If you add in the next eight states - NC, NJ, VA, WA, MA, IN, AZ & TN - you're up to about 69% of the total US population. So, 17 states have over two-thirds of the US population. (BTW, TN is last state that individually has at least 2% of the total US population.) The bottom 33 states have 21% of the US population - how much attention are those 33 states going to get?

Without the electoral college, the vast majority of campaigning - and campaign promising! - is going to be in those top 17 states, mostly in the top 9. Abolishing the Electoral College would just re-define the swing states to be those top nine states, permanently.

There's an interest set of maps at http://www-personal.umich.edu/~mejn/election/2012/ - they include a map where the states are sized proportional to population, and proportional to electoral college votes.
sraun: I Voted (voted)
[livejournal.com profile] iraunink and I voted in our primary this morning. She was voter number 9, I was voter number 10.
sraun: I Voted (voted)
I got home from work, and [livejournal.com profile] iraunink and I went off to our polling place and voted. ([livejournal.com profile] naomikritzer - thanks for the wonderful write-ups!)

Then we came home, and I made lamb chops with Maiden Rock Apples Grandaddy's Apple 2-Pepper Chutney. It was really good!

I should try and make it an early-to-bed night - I had some insomnia last night, and will be up late tomorrow night.
sraun: I Voted (voted)
I got permission to be late to work - I was at the polling place at 7am, and out by 7:10am.

Yes, I did vote against the BET thing.
sraun: Sheep Head - used for memes (meme)
Gakked from [livejournal.com profile] adina_atl who got it from [livejournal.com profile] the_blue_fenix

I propose a US health care meme which might help put faces on how screwed up the current system is.

If you are a US citizen and could never under any circumstances afford private health insurance, copy this meme to your LJ. Even if you have health care through work now, write as if your one-layoff-away-from-losing-it has happened and you're facing the job of getting insurance on your own.

If you have friends or family members who are in the same boat and are not on LJ, feel free to mention them too. I suggest thumbnail descriptions which include no names or identifying information, in the interests of privacy.


My wife and I both have chronic health conditions. The last time I check, the face value of our monthly medications was nearly the cost of a monthly COBRA payment. Without health insurance, we'd both be in pretty bad shape pretty quickly. From what I was told the last time I was unemployed, the monthly premium for private insurance for the two of us would cost more than our monthly mortgage payment - if we could get coverage at all, one of my chronic conditions raises huge alarms any time an insurance company hears the word.

I'm working at a job right now that I don't like, and has some aspects that are ... interfering significantly with my ability to properly manage my health.

I realized recently that consulting / contracting would be a good career for me. Except for the fact that I could never make enough money to cover the private insurance, and my skill set is such that I'm unlikely to be picked up by a consulting firm in a position to get covered by their corporate health insurance. As I understand it, there is a requirement (either federal, state of MN or state of SD) that requires temp agencies to make health insurance available to their temps - I got to look at this once. It was a joke - the maximum monthly pay-out was no more than the monthly premium, and it had no medicine coverage.

My brother went to work as contract trucker in Iraq. There was no corporate health insurance available for his wife and high-school age daughter (who has Type I Diabetes) - he thought his wife would be able to find cost-effect private insurance. At least cheaper than the ~$1000/month COBRA. She tried, and failed. They took the COBRA. I don't know what they're doing now - the COBRA coverage should be reaching its end right about now.
sraun: I Voted (voted)
I have voted )
sraun: portrait (Default)
Copy this sentence into your livejournal if you're in a non-same-sex marriage, and you don't want it "protected" by the bigots who think that gay marriage hurts it somehow.
sraun: portrait (Default)
OK, I think most of the gamers on my list read [livejournal.com profile] muskrat_john, and I think I saw a pointer to it somewhere else ([livejournal.com profile] supergee maybe?) - but for those of you who haven't heard about it yet - Ziggurat Con is asking for contributions. Stuff only, no money.

Cutting and pasting from [livejournal.com profile] muskrat_john:
Ziggurat Con, being held June 9 from 1200 to 2100 hours at Camp Adder/Tallil Airbase, in Iraq, is open to all allied military personnel and civilian contractors in Iraq.

This is the first gaming convention EVER to be held in a War Zone.


I hope I can come up with a way to provide some support.
sraun: portrait (Default)
The American Family Association is having a 'tell American Businesses how you feel about corporations that support the "homosexual agenda". It's at http://www.afa.net/petitions/businesses/businesses.asp.

When I filled it out, the numbers were:

Be more likely to do business with that company. 1,019
Be less likely to do business with that company. 52,707
It would not affect my buying decision. 915
sraun: portrait (Default)
Anyone have pointers to sites making predictions for the State Legislatures? In specific, I'm wondering which party is likely to end up in control of the Minnesota Legislature after this election.
sraun: portrait (Default)
Warning: this is a pro-choice and <admiration>'Ooh, that's sneaky'</admiration> (in the engineering sense) post.

Planned Parenthood of Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota is sponsoring Pledge a Protestor! It's seems the anti-abortion folks are having a special vigil protest outside their St. Paul clinic on Good Friday. So, to make the situation lose-lose for the anti-abortion folks, Planned Parenthood is having a fund-raiser - 'give us (amount) for every protestor'. The more protestors, the more money PP gets.

I love it.
sraun: portrait (Default)
At what point do profits become excessive? We have laws against usurious interest rates - does this mean that there is a point at which private profit becomes a public hazard? If so, where is it?

(Prompted by Bush optimistic about fuel supply, which would lower my opinion of the man if it were possible.)
sraun: portrait (Default)
Post this sentence in your journal:
You, Mr. President, are a mendacious, smirking, gravy-sucking pig.

From assorted people on my friends list

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