Monday, December 13, 2010

HOT5 Daily 12/13/2010

1. "If radical Islamic bombers ever become competent, the West could have a problem" Yes. In general we've been very lucky since 9/11. 

Representative Sample: When those who would kill you declare war on you as these killers have, you have two choices – fight the war or surrender. You can’t decide not to participate. It doesn’t work that way

2. "The Top 10 Economic Myths of 2010" Missed some, but a pretty good list.. 

Representative Sample: Like a magician creating an illusion, the news media, Treasury Department and General Motors pulled one over on taxpayers in early 2010, or at least they tried to. The bailed-out auto company issued a highly misleading advertisement claiming, "We have repaid our government loan, in full with interest, five year ahead of the original schedule."

3. "The Progressive Assault on the Electoral College" The left's dislike for the electoral college and continuing desire to destroy federalism is yet another indication that we need to keep it.  

Representative Sample: The Electoral College was a way to protect the voice of small states from the tyranny of the majority. What the progressives want to do is to follow up what they did with the seventeenth amendment. Instead of having fifty-one election districts for president, represented by the states and the District of Columbia, they want to have one election district consisting of the entire nation. Why not then abolish the state boundaries and the states themselves?

4. "Clausewitz vs. Sun Tzu" Links to an interesting article/debate. 

Representative Sample: The US military could use more Sun Tzu; it is far more Clausewitzian in the perspective of the officer corps than it is “Sun Tzuite”, but the armed services are not the Children of Clausewitz. Not even the US Army. We’d probably be better off if the American military was more thoroughly one or the other in terms of strategic culture than the industrial age, bureaucratic, ad hoc, legacy thinking non-strategic hodgepode that currently prevails.

5. "Video: Metrodome Roof Collapses" If you aren't a football fan and somehow missed this, check it out. It would have been very bad had this happened during a game.

Representative Sample: It's a video.

To submit a blog post for HOT5 Daily, please e-mail me at Put HOT5 in the subject.


  1. The National Popular Vote bill would guarantee the Presidency to the candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states (and DC).

    The bill preserves the Electoral College, while assuring that every vote is equal and that every voter will matter in every state in every presidential election.

    Every vote, everywhere, would be politically relevant and equal in presidential elections. Every vote, everywhere would be counted for and directly assist the candidate for whom it was cast. Candidates would need to care about voters across the nation, not just undecided voters in a handful of swing states.

    The current winner-take-all laws (i.e., awarding all of a state’s electoral votes to the candidate who receives the most popular votes in each state) used by 48 of the 50 states, insure that candidates will not care about more than 2/3rds of the voters-- voters in 19 of the 22 smallest and medium-small states, and big states like California, Georgia, New York, and Texas. 2012 campaigning would be even more obscenely exclusive than 2008 and 2004. Candidates have no reason to poll, visit, advertise, organize, campaign, or care about the voter concerns in the dozens of states where they are safely ahead or hopelessly behind. Voter turnout in the "battleground" states has been 67%, while turnout in the "spectator" states was 61%. Policies important to the citizens of ‘flyover’ states are not as highly prioritized as policies important to ‘battleground’ states when it comes to governing.

    The bill would take effect only when enacted, in identical form, by states possessing a majority of the electoral votes-- enough electoral votes to elect a President (270 of 538). When the bill comes into effect, all the electoral votes from those states would be awarded to the presidential candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states (and DC).

    The Electoral College that we have today was not designed, anticipated, or favored by the Founding Fathers but, instead, is the product of decades of evolutionary change precipitated by the emergence of political parties and enactment by 48 states of winner-take-all laws, not mentioned, much less endorsed, in the Constitution.

    The bill uses the power given to each state by the Founding Fathers in the Constitution to change how they award their electoral votes for president. Historically, virtually all of the major changes in the method of electing the President, including ending the requirement that only men who owned substantial property could vote and 48 current state-by-state winner-take-all laws, have come about by state legislative action.

    The bill has been endorsed or voted for by 1,922 state legislators (in 50 states) who have sponsored and/or cast recorded votes in favor of the bill.

    In Gallup polls since 1944, only about 20% of the public has supported the current system of awarding all of a state's electoral votes to the presidential candidate who receives the most votes in each separate state (with about 70% opposed and about 10% undecided). The recent Washington Post, Kaiser Family Foundation, and Harvard University poll shows 72% support for direct nationwide election of the President. Support for a national popular vote is strong in virtually every state, partisan, and demographic group surveyed in recent polls.

    The National Popular Vote bill has passed 31 state legislative chambers, in 21 small, medium-small, medium, and large states, including one house in AR (6), CT (7), DE (3), DC (3), ME (4), MI (17), NV (5), NM (5), NY (31), NC (15), and OR (7), and both houses in CA (55), CO (9), HI (4), IL (21), NJ (15), MD (10), MA(12), RI (4), VT (3), and WA (11). The bill has been enacted by DC, HI, IL, NJ, MD, MA, and WA. These 7 states possess 76 electoral votes -- 28% of the 270 necessary to bring the law into effect.

  2. The concept of a national popular vote for President is far from being politically "radioactive" in small states, because the small states recognize they are the most disadvantaged group of states under the current system.

    Support for a national popular vote is strong in virtually every state, partisan, and demographic group surveyed in recent polls in smaller states (3 to 5 electoral votes): AK – 70%, DC – 76%, DE --75%, ME -- 77%, NE -- 74%, NH --69%, NV -- 72%, NM -- 76%, RI -- 74%, and VT -- 75%.

    The small states are the most disadvantaged group of states under the current system of electing the President. Political clout comes from being a closely divided battleground state, not the two-vote bonus. The reason for this is the state-by-state winner-take-all method (not mentioned in the U.S. Constitution, but enacted by 48 states), under which all of a state's electoral votes are awarded to the candidate who gets the most votes in each separate state.

    12 of the 13 smallest states (3-4 electoral votes) are almost invariably non-competitive, and ignored, in presidential elections. Six regularly vote Republican (Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, North Dakota, and South Dakota),, and six regularly vote Democratic (Rhode Island, Delaware, Hawaii, Vermont, Maine, and DC) in presidential elections. So despite the fact that these 12 states together possess 40 electoral votes, because they are not closely divided battleground states, none of these 12 states get visits, advertising or polling or policy considerations by presidential candidates.

    These 12 states together contain 11 million people. Because of the two electoral-vote bonus that each state receives, the 12 non-competitive small states have 40 electoral votes. However, the two-vote bonus is an entirely illusory advantage to the small states. Ohio has 11 million people and has "only" 20 electoral votes. As we all know, the 11 million people in Ohio are the center of attention in presidential campaigns, while the 11 million people in the 12 non-competitive small states are utterly irrelevant. Nationwide election of the President would make each of the voters in the 12 smallest states as important as an Ohio voter.

    The National Popular Vote bill concerns how votes are tallied, not how much power state governments possess relative to the national government. The powers of state governments are neither increased nor decreased based on whether presidential electors are selected along the state boundary lines, along district lines (as has been the case in Maine and Nebraska), or national lines.

    In the 13 smallest states, the National Popular Vote bill already has been approved by nine state legislative chambers, including one house in, Delaware, the District of Columbia, and Maine and both houses in Hawaii, Rhode Island, and Vermont. It has been enacted by the District of Columbia and Hawaii.

  3. Saul Anuzis, former Chairman of the Michigan Republican Party for five years and a candidate for chairman of the Republican National Committee, supports the National Popular Vote plan as the fairest way to make sure every vote matters, and also as a way to help Conservative Republican candidates. This is not a partisan issue and the NPV plan would not help either party over the other.

    By state (electoral college votes), by political affiliation, support for a national popular vote in recent polls has been:

    Alaska (3)- 78% among (Democrats), 66% among (Republicans), 70% among Nonpartisan voters, 82% among Alaska Independent Party voters, and 69% among others.
    Arkansas (6)- 88% (D), 71% (R), and 79% (Independents).
    California (55)– 76% (D), 61% (R), and 74% (I)
    Colorado (9)- 79% (D), 56% (R), and 70% (I).
    Connecticut (7)- 80% (D), 67% (R), and 71% others
    Delaware (3)- 79% (D), 69% (R), and 76% (I)
    District of Columbia (3)- 80% (D), 48% (R), and 74% of (I)
    Idaho(4) - 84% (D), 75% (R), and 75% others
    Florida (27)- 88% (D), 68% (R), and 76% others
    Iowa (7)- 82% (D), 63% (R), and 77% others
    Kentucky (8)- 88% (D), 71% (R), and 70% (I)
    Maine (4) - 85% (D), 70% (R), and 73% others
    Massachusetts (12)- 86% (D), 54% (R), and 68% others
    Michigan (17)- 78% (D), 68% (R), and 73% (I)
    Minnesota (10)- 84% (D), 69% (R), and 68% others
    Mississippi (6)- 79% (D), 75% (R), and 75% Others
    Nebraska (5)- 79% (D), 70% (R), and 75% Others
    Nevada (5)- 80% (D), 66% (R), and 68% Others
    New Hampshire (4)- 80% (D), 57% (R), and 69% (I)
    New Mexico (5)- 84% (D), 64% (R), and 68% (I)
    New York (31) - 86% (D), 66% (R), 78% Independence Party members, 50% Conservative Party members, 100% Working Families Party members, and 7% Others
    North Carolina (15)- 75% liberal (D), 78% moderate (D), 76% conservative (D), 89% liberal (R), 62% moderate (R) , 70% conservative (R), and 80% (I)
    Ohio (20)- 81% (D), 65% (R), and 61% Others
    Oklahoma (7)- 84% (D), 75% (R), and 75% others
    Oregon (7)- 82% (D), 70% (R), and 72% (I)
    Pennsylvania (21)- 87% (D), 68% (R), and 76% (I)
    Rhode Island (4)- 86% liberal (D), 85% moderate (D), 60% conservative (D), 71% liberal (R), 63% moderate (R), 35% conservative (R), and 78% (I),
    South Dakota (3)- 84% (D), 67% (R), and 75% others
    Utah (5)- 82% (D), 66% (R), and 75% others
    Vermont (3)- 86% (D); 61% (R), and 74% Others
    Virginia (13)- 79% liberal (D), 86% moderate (D), 79% conservative (D), 76% liberal (R), 63% moderate (R), and 54% conservative (R), and 79% Others
    Washington (11)- 88% (D), 65% (R), and 73% others
    West Virginia (5)- 87% (D), 75% (R), and 73% others
    Wisconsin (10)- 81% (D), 63% (R), and 67% (I)

  4. There's no need to change a system that has worked so well for so long. It's possible that it might bring some of the positive changes you assert, but I'm skeptical. I'm firmly in the it's not broken, doesn't need to be fixed, and the supposed fixes will probably cause unintended negative consequences camp.

  5. Talk to Republicans in reliably blue states and Democrats in reliably red states. Most voters don't care whether their presidential candidate wins or loses in their state . . . they care whether he/she wins the White House. Voters want to know, that even if they were on the losing side, their vote actually was counted and mattered to their candidate.

  6. "Talk to Republicans in reliably blue states"

    You are talking to one. I'm a Republican in New Jersey.

    "Voters want to know, that even if they were on the losing side, their vote actually was counted and mattered to their candidate. "

    Your vote still gets counted even if you are in a state dominated by the other party. If you are on the losing side of the election, it doesn't really matter whether you lost as a result of a national popular vote, or because of electoral college votes. Either way you lost. In any case, having people feel better about their vote isn't a good reason to change an unbroken system in my opinion.