What Do You Really Know About The Electoral College?

The Electoral College actually elects the next president of the United States, not the popular vote. Here are some facts about the Electoral College:

* There are 538 members of the Electoral College, allotted to each of the 50 states and the District of Columbia based on their representation in the U.S. Congress. The smallest states have three members while the largest state, California, has 55. Washington, D.C., which has no representation in Congress, has three, the same as the smallest state.

It takes 270 electoral votes to win election. The electors are pledged to one candidate or the other but there is no federal law requiring them to vote that way. There have been several incidents in which a “faithless elector” has voted for someone other than the major candidates.

* In 48 states and the district, the candidate who wins the popular vote wins all of the state’s electors. Nebraska and Maine have a proportional system of awarding electors.

* Electors, who are picked by the respective political parties, make two selections — for president and for vice president. They may not vote for two candidates from their own state.

* Because a candidate could run up a big vote count in some states but lose others by narrow margins, the winner of the popular vote might not have the most electoral votes. The Electoral College has three times picked the candidate who lost the popular vote — Republicans Rutherford Hayes in 1876, Benjamin Harrison in 1888 and George W. Bush in 2000.

* The Electoral College meets in each state to cast its votes on a Monday early in December after the November popular election. The votes are then tallied in a joint session of Congress on January 6 of the following year.

* If no candidate receives a majority of the electoral votes, the House of Representatives chooses among the top three candidates with each state having only one vote. If no vice presidential candidate receives a majority, the Senate decides between the top two candidates.

* The House has twice decided the outcome of the presidential race — in the 1800 and 1824 elections. The Senate decided the vice presidency once, in the 1836 election.

* This unique system was the result of a compromise by the writers of the U.S. Constitution in the 18th century between those who wanted direct popular election and those who wanted state legislatures to decide. One fear was that at a time before political parties, the popular vote would be diluted by voting for an unwieldy amount of candidates.

There you go sports fans, absolutely everything that you never wanted to know about the Electoral College.  IMO, it is still an out-dated system that needs to be eliminated.

Obama Has Enough Enemies!

It’s been a long time since the self-proclaimed black leader did anything useful, but Jackson has now – quite unintentionally – turned a bright spotlight on Barack Obama’s traditional views of parenthood. With his crude remarks several days ago, Jackson raised public awareness of an aspect of Obama’s beliefs that would have received little news media attention otherwise.

The news cycle has been filled not only with Jackson’s apology, but also with commentary over what Obama said to provoke Jackson’s outrage. Now, many more Americans have been exposed to Obama’s completely conventional, commonsense beliefs that fathers should be actively involved in their children’s lives and that parents ought to encourage educational excellence.

Jackson’s meltdown notwithstanding, Obama’s tough love – like Bill Cosby’s – is generally well-received by black audiences. Many black Americans have observed the decline of the family with alarm, just as many other Americans have. The Chicago Sun-Times reported that the congregation at the Apostolic Church of God met Obama’s remarks with “cheers of agreement.”

Jackson’s did accomplish one thing…it got more attention on the message of Obama that has been lost in the media.  A media that bills itself as a issue oriented report, but seldom touches on many issues.  This situation did that for them.

SAG UpDate #3

Amid the town’s growing consensus that the Screen Actors Guild is not going to strike, SAG is staying in stall mode. The guild offered no response to the congloms’ latest effort to dial up the pressure by warning that they may have to scale back their final offer if the economy worsens.

SAG has remained unswayed by such moves. Guild leaders haven’t moved toward a strike authorization amid signs they would probably not be able to achieve the required 75% support level to stage a walkout.

SAG’s leaders are expected to reiterate today their insistence that they still want to negotiate further on the majors’ final offer — even though the companies pulled the plug June 30 when SAG’s feature-primetime contract expired.

The stalemate’s likely to persist for several more weeks at least. The two sides can’t even agree on how to characterize the current situation.

The Alliance of Motion Picture & Television Producers has told SAG explicitly the final offer is a take-it-or-leave-it proposition that won’t be revised. SAG continues to insist that its refusal to accept the AMPTP deal does not amount to a rejection; furthermore, it contends that its presentation of counterproposals constitutes bargaining despite the AMPTP’s denials.

Professor’s Classroom

Good Morning class….first, I would like to ask how easy do the question have to be before some actually pays attention?

Today’s quiz is so simple my dog could answer it.

What were the Democrats called who supported the federal government’s policies during the Civil War?

You may begin and good Googling.

Today In Labor History

14 July

The Great Uprising nationwide railway strike begins in Martinsburg, W.Va. after railroad workers are hit with their second pay cut in a year. In the following days, strike riots spread across the U.S. The next week, federal troops were called out to force an end to the strike – 1877

Woody Guthrie, writer of “This Land is Your Land” and “Union Maid,” born in Okemah, Okla. – 1912

talian immigrants and anarchists Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti are convicted in Massachusetts of murder and payroll robbery – unfairly, most historians agree – after a two-month trial, and are eventually executed. Fifty years after their deaths the state’s governor issued a proclamation saying they had been treated unfairly and that “any disgrace should be forever removed from their names.” – 1921

More On A Mediterranean Union

French President Nicolas Sarkozy urged the disparate and conflicted countries around the Mediterranean Sea on Sunday to make peace as European rivals did in the 20th century, as he launched an unprecedented Union for the Mediterranean.

“The European and the Mediterranean dreams are inseparable,” Sarkozy told leaders from more than 40 nations in Europe, the Middle East and North Africa. “We will succeed together; we will fail together.”

The union Sarkozy championed as a pillar of his presidency brought together around one table for the first time dignitaries such rival nations as Israel and Syria, Algeria and Morocco, Turkey and Greece.

Coping with age-old enmities involving their peoples and others along the Mediterranean shores will be a central challenge to the new union encompassing some 800 million people.

A draft declaration obtained by The Associated Press shows that summit participants will announce “objectives of achieving peace, stability and security” in the region. The six firm measures it names include a region-wide solar energy project, a cross-Mediterranean student exchange program and a plan to clean up the polluted sea.

The draft declaration says the Union for the Mediterranean is to be operational by the end of this year, and unlike any previous body, it will be jointly run by all its members. It will have a dual presidency, held jointly for rotating terms by one country within the European Union and one country on the Mediterranean shore.

The draft also speaks of democratic principles, human rights and fundamental freedoms — values Western critics have accused such union members as Syria of violating.

The new union is to include at least 43 nations, nearly all of which sent a president or prime minister to the summit. Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi objected to the whole idea and refused to come

THis was proposed in the 90’s I believe by Turkey, but for some reason it was not a popular proposal, but now it is.  I ask why?  Is there already enough organizations on the market?

Genocide Charges For Pres. Of Sudan

It is about flipping time!

The chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court is expected Monday to charge Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir with crimes against humanity for allegedly directing the campaign of rape and murder that has plagued the Darfur region for five years.

The charges, which would come as the result of an investigation requested by the United Nations Security Council, could also complicate U.N. peacekeeping missions in Sudan. Critics have long said such prosecutions risk inciting additional violence, though many human-rights groups support them.

Getting Mr. Bashir to trial in The Hague won’t be easy because the court has no police force. Countries would be obliged to turn him over, but the U.N. peacekeeping missions in the region aren’t charged with apprehending fugitives.

An ICC indictment would restrict Mr. Bashir’s travel and could “curtail his ability to commit more crimes,” says Dismas Nkunda, chairman of the aid-group coalition Darfur Consortium in Kampala, Uganda. But he also says that Mr. Bashir has the financial and political means to stay put and ignore the court. Sudan, like the U.S., hasn’t signed up to the ICC.

Thousands of Sudanese rallied in support of Mr. Bashir Sunday, snarling traffic in the Sudan capital, Khartoum. A statement from the ruling party, carried on state television, called the expected indictment “irresponsible, cheap political blackmail” that would bring “more violence and blood” to Darfur, according to wire-service reports.