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Monday, October 16, 2017

OTP 16 October 2017: Sorry, Yankee fans: Trump’s claim that he can ensure victory simply isn’t true

As is sometimes the case with Trump’s tweet’s, his claims don’t hold up. We identified 14 games that Trump has attended since 1988, including two preseason games and the game above. Of those 14 games, the Yankees won eight and lost six — 57 percent of the time during seasons when the Yankees won 60 percent of their games overall.

In other words — Trump might be a jinx.

(As always, views expressed in the article lede and comments are the views of the individual commenters and the submitter of the article and do not represent the views of Baseball Think Factory or its owner.)

Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: October 16, 2017 at 07:49 AM | 1967 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: astros, playoffs, politics, yankees

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   201. BDC Posted: October 16, 2017 at 03:38 PM (#5555165)
None of the folks now complaining made a peep during the decades when Democrats were the chief beneficiaries of partisan gerrymandering

Actually I was quite critical of the famous Democratic shenanigans in Texas in 2003, when their state senators fled to Oklahoma to avoid redistricting, so that they could try to hang onto an unjustified Congressional-delegation majority. But we didn't have OTP then :-D
   202. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: October 16, 2017 at 03:39 PM (#5555166)
People who make extra-legal threats are unstable to begin with. You may wish to gamble your wife's safety on the reasonableness of such people but I would not.
Eh. My wife has life insurance.
   203. There are no words... (Met Fan Charlie) Posted: October 16, 2017 at 03:42 PM (#5555168)
200

Walls’ bombshell left open the possibility that Menendez could escape the most serious allegations against him, possibly even allowing him to remain in office.


Oh, the Pinelands and the Vinelands
Seaside Heights, Margate
You can have Manhattan, I love our Garden State
Oh, I've been to many places
Seen pictures of the rest
But of all the places I can think of
I love Jersey best...


-- Bucky Pizzarelli
   204. The Yankee Clapper Posted: October 16, 2017 at 03:45 PM (#5555170)
Well, there's probably not that much new money is coming it these days - Clinton Foundation won't give back the $250K from Harvey Weinstein.
   205. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: October 16, 2017 at 03:49 PM (#5555174)
You don't seem to understand that much of the "packing" of Democrats who live in large urban areas or college towns is unavoidable

Funny guy. Unavoidable. Heh.
Your ignorance based on the fact that you read an article about a made-up formula is not really a joking matter. What Clapper is saying, correctly, is that drawing districts without any consideration of partisan politics will lead to a similar outcome. It's obviously not literally unavoidable; you could assign every voter to a non-geographically defined district by random lottery, and you wouldn't have (on average) any disparities. But that's not what we're discussing. It's unavoidable unless you want to repeal the VRA and abandon traditional nonpartisan districting parameters, like preserving existing political boundaries and striving for compact districts.
   206. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: October 16, 2017 at 03:52 PM (#5555176)
Oddly enough, Beck was - and I think remains - a NeverTrumper..... which makes him something of an odd duck - i.e., an actually authentic nutjob.
Beck, like Evan McMullin, is Mormon; the staunchest opponents of Trump in the GOP were Jews and Mormons. (Hence, McMullin's Jew/Mormon ticket.)
   207. Blanks for Nothing, Larvell Posted: October 16, 2017 at 03:53 PM (#5555177)
Market indices are not "the real world".


This is not just an LOL, but a full-on, keyboard-threatening soda spit.

Huh?
   208. Sleepy's not going to blame himself Posted: October 16, 2017 at 03:53 PM (#5555180)
Well, there's probably not that much new money is coming it these days - Clinton Foundation won't give back the $250K from Harvey Weinstein.
I imagine the money-refunder position was one of the very first ones downsized after the election.
   209. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: October 16, 2017 at 03:55 PM (#5555181)
Well, there's probably not that much new money is coming it these days - Clinton Foundation won't give back the $250K from Harvey Weinstein.
I've never understood the notion that one should return money received from a bad person. (Especially for a charity doing so.) This came up when Ron Paul was running for president, too. If X is a bad person, then why would we want X to have more money? Take it from him, and use it for something good.
   210. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: October 16, 2017 at 03:58 PM (#5555183)
I've never understood the notion that one should return money received from a bad person. (Especially for a charity doing so.) This came up when Ron Paul was running for president, too. If X is a bad person, then why would we want X to have more money? Take it from him, and use it for something good.


Yeah, really. Maybe you don't keep it yourself, but I'm sure Doctors Without Borders or Habitat for Humanity or whomever could do something good with an extra $250k.
   211. The Yankee Clapper Posted: October 16, 2017 at 03:59 PM (#5555185)
Actually I was quite critical of the famous Democratic shenanigans in Texas in 2003, when their state senators fled to Oklahoma to avoid redistricting, so that they could try to hang onto an unjustified Congressional-delegation majority. But we didn't have OTP then :-D

Well, good for BDC, especially for not being swayed by Democrats whining that the GOP chose to redistrict mid-decade rather than let the Democrats' gerrymander continue. Even more props if BDC laughed off the claim that the old plan must be "fair" since it was drawn by the Texas courts, when it was in fact largely based on the previous heavily-gerrymandered map. Much of the mainstream media coverage reflected the Dems partisan whining, and ignored that the GOP had been getting ~ 60% of the statewide House vote without getting a majority of the seats.
   212. Nero Wolfe, Indeed Posted: October 16, 2017 at 04:01 PM (#5555186)
The sad part about the gerrymandering is with today's technology, it should be easy to make "compact, contiguous districts" by most anyone with a reasonable grasp on technology. I only have an AA, and I'd bet I could do it (given, of course, the proper tools).

As far as which districts ended up going to which party, I'd be happy to let the chips fall where they may.
   213. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: October 16, 2017 at 04:02 PM (#5555187)
I don't keep all that close track of this thread. Has anybody brought up the Republican Congressional candidate (from Florida, naturally) who gave a televised interview about being taken on board an alien spacecraft? Because that seems like it might be fun to talk about.
   214. Blanks for Nothing, Larvell Posted: October 16, 2017 at 04:02 PM (#5555188)
US consumer confidence reaches a post-January 2004 high in October.

But Donald Trump's press secretary contradicted something the Secretary of Defense said!!! CHAOS!!!

Or is the consumer confidence index not the "real world," either?

   215. Rickey! the first of his name Posted: October 16, 2017 at 04:04 PM (#5555190)
I've never understood the notion that one should return money received from a bad person. (Especially for a charity doing so.)


It's literally empty virtue signaling. Actually less than empty. It's negative value, in that it returns money to a known bad actor in order to tell everyone else that you really don't like that guy. Harvey Weinstein's money spends. Spend it on good things rather than sending back to him to spend on bicycle locks for young starlets.
   216. Nose army. Beef diaper? (CoB) Posted: October 16, 2017 at 04:05 PM (#5555191)
This doesn't seem a positive development ...


US military commanders are scrambling to stop a conflict escalating between two forces they arm and train, after the Iraqi army seized the contested, oil-rich city of Kirkuk, from Kurdish peshmerga.

The Pentagon sought to play down the scale of clashes between the two sides, after forces loyal to the central government in Baghdad rapidly took over nearly all the city on Monday, and Kurdish forces abandoned their positions, retreating to nearby oilfields. Video footage showed streams of Kurdish refugees leaving Kirkuk in cars.

Baghdad’s move came three weeks after a referendum on Kurdish independence included the ethnically diverse oil city – a contentious move that Baghdad viewed as an effective annexation.

The peshmerga withdrawal delivered decisive military and political gains to Baghdad and a devastating blow to the Kurdish region’s de facto president, Massoud Barzani, who had staked much of his legacy on the referendum and aimed to use it as a stepping stone to consolidate Kurdish autonomy.

Col Robert Manning, a Pentagon spokesman, described the takeover, as “coordinated movements, not attacks” and said an exchange of fire that is reported to have resulted in several casualties was “an isolated incident”.

“We have not seen levels of violences suggested in some of the media reports,” Manning said, urging both parties to focus on the “common threat” of the Islamic State. “This is certainly not helpful and again we encourage both sides to not fight each other.”

He added that US commanders in the region were active in trying to mediate between the two sides in the city.


Graun
   217. Rickey! the first of his name Posted: October 16, 2017 at 04:06 PM (#5555192)
Well, good for BDC, especially for not being swayed by Democrats whining that the GOP chose to redistrict mid-decade rather than let the Democrats' gerrymander continue.


Now is a good time to restate out loud that there is literally nothing the GOP could do that Clapper would not defend. Literally nothing. They could nominate Harvey Weinstein party chair and tomorrow Clapper would be telling us about how that's actually good and it's the Democrats who did something bad one time in the 80s.
   218. TDF didn't lie, he just didn't remember Posted: October 16, 2017 at 04:06 PM (#5555193)
You don't seem to understand that much of the "packing" of Democrats who live in large urban areas or college towns is unavoidable, as evidenced by it also happening when Democrats draw the lines. Sure, the effect is increased somewhat when Republicans draw the lines, and mitigated a bit when Democrats do, but only so much can be done. Again, see Chicago. And even TDF admits that he's talking about a 1-district statewide advantage here. None of the folks now complaining made a peep during the decades when Democrats were the chief beneficiaries of partisan gerrymandering, so pardon me for thinking their current whining is unrelated to any actual principle, just lamenting a loss of power.
Clapper skips right over the fact that we were discussing the effects of gerrymandering, and that I was citing just one particularly egregious example that showed that gerrymandering was used to create R districts where none should exist. My original post was a direct reply to this quote:
Democrats tend to be more urban, so you have huge blocks of voters in one district (see New York, or Philly) It would be gerrymandering to split them up
And as I showed, that's exactly what the gerrymandering is doing in Detroit - splitting up the D votes to create a R district.

I just realized my original post didn't include my link to Michigan's districts. Here it is. In addition to the Detroit area districts I mentioned, you'll also notice the district that includes Flint and Saginaw - the other district in the state that's 62% D. And I'll repeat - that district, and the ones around Detroit, are the only ones in the state that are even a little irregularly shaped.
Ohio had 13 GOP House seats after the 1994 election, long before the current lines were drawn. The GOP also had 12 House seats in Ohio from 2003-2007. Not that hard to do.
Clapper should know that the shenanigans in Ohio lead to a complete revision of its Redistricting Commission (there was only 1 Democrat on the last one) and also to a potential revision of the rules the Commission uses.
   219. PepTech Posted: October 16, 2017 at 04:06 PM (#5555194)
SBB, what would you say about the idea that IFF the markets are an indicator of executive competence, THEN Bill Clinton is the GOAT?
   220. Rickey! the first of his name Posted: October 16, 2017 at 04:07 PM (#5555195)
US military commanders are scrambling to stop a conflict escalating between two forces they arm and train, after the Iraqi army seized the contested, oil-rich city of Kirkuk, from Kurdish peshmerga.


I'll reach out to Jason and see how this is Obama's fault and what we need to do in order to invade Iran because of it.
   221. Rickey! the first of his name Posted: October 16, 2017 at 04:08 PM (#5555197)
Clapper skips right over...


...literally anything that isn't a talking point for GOP partisan spin.
   222. Ishmael Posted: October 16, 2017 at 04:10 PM (#5555199)
I just read a discussion from August on the Pea Soup ethics blog's NDPR forum that you might find interesting, on Fritz Allhoff’s book Terrorism, Ticking Time-Bombs, and Torture. Allhof defends torture in limited cases (such as ticking time-bombs) from a consequentialist perspective. The format is that the author shows up in the comments to enter into a back and forth with the commenters, so you have to read the comments.

Fritz Allhoff’s book presents a careful and thoughtful defense of the limited use of torture in certain situations. His defense is in part motivated by the challenges of contemporary, post-9/11 terrorism. It is narrowly focused on the ethics of torture, conceived of apart from policy and law. And he addresses common criticisms of torture. In all, it is a forceful defense of torture, one that should be taken seriously by all interested in the debates about the topic.

Some of the back and forth is very interesting. Allhoff is careful not to depend upon any particular institutional use of torture, but I think that's always going to be the key to any successful moral case for torture in the real world. More so from a consequentialist perspective, because the standard rebuttal to a consequentialist defense of torture is to widen the set of consequences we should consider to include the erosion of institutional norms.
   223. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: October 16, 2017 at 04:12 PM (#5555201)
Your ignorance based on the fact that you read an article about a made-up formula is not really a joking matter. What Clapper is saying, correctly, is that drawing districts without any consideration of partisan politics will lead to a similar outcome. It's obviously not literally unavoidable; you could assign every voter to a non-geographically defined district by random lottery, and you wouldn't have (on average) any disparities. But that's not what we're discussing. It's unavoidable unless you want to repeal the VRA and abandon traditional nonpartisan districting parameters, like preserving existing political boundaries and striving for compact districts.


Sigh. This is really dumb David.

(1) "Made-up formula"? Unlike all those non-made-up formulas? Seriously? Wasted votes are hardly made up anyway, and in fact Clapper even referenced the idea. And of course this "made-up" formula is a real thing and is in front of the SCOTUS.

(2) "Drawing districts without regard ..." Yeah, you and Clapper should go on the comedy circuit together. Drawing districts is a political exercise and politics always has and always will be a part of it. It is not an exercise in geometry or even formulas (even those which are mysteriously not "made-up" - whatever that means).

(3) "It's unavoidable unless ..." yeah this is still not true. No one is talking about eliminating politics form the exercise or eliminating wasted votes. The VRA doesn't need to be repealed and no single district is in danger of having to change if the forces that be really want to keep it. Since - once again for those who refuse to get the idea - the current SCOTUS case is not about single districts. It is about the cumulative effects of all the districts in a state. If a certain district is required that must have a number of wasted votes, that's fine, so long as - within tolerances - the cumulative wasted votes in a state don't mysteriously tilt partisan in EITHER direction.
   224. Sleepy's not going to blame himself Posted: October 16, 2017 at 04:13 PM (#5555202)
The sad part about the gerrymandering is with today's technology, it should be easy to make "compact, contiguous districts" by most anyone with a reasonable grasp on technology. I only have an AA, and I'd bet I could do it (given, of course, the proper tools).
it's been done. Here's a visualization of what it would look like.

Much nicer, from an aesthetic standpoint.
   225. Sleepy's not going to blame himself Posted: October 16, 2017 at 04:21 PM (#5555203)
Larry Flynt’s ad in the Sunday edition of The Washington Post is hard to miss.

For one, it takes up a full page. And there are no pictures — just bold, all-caps text dominating the top third of the page:

“$10 MILLION FOR INFORMATION LEADING TO THE IMPEACHMENT AND REMOVAL FROM OFFICE OF DONALD J. TRUMP.”

...

“Just because you pay for it does not mean it’s not any good,” Flynt said. “I don’t think you can live as recklessly as Trump has for 30 years and not leave some baggage along the way . . . I can't think of something more patriotic to do than to try to get to get this moron out of office.”
lol.
   226. Zonk Tormundbane Posted: October 16, 2017 at 04:23 PM (#5555206)
The sad part about the gerrymandering is with today's technology, it should be easy to make "compact, contiguous districts" by most anyone with a reasonable grasp on technology. I only have an AA, and I'd bet I could do it (given, of course, the proper tools).


The problem is that "compact, contiguous" is kind of a silly standard in some cases... I.e., there are instances where I think some snakeiness is non-partisan appropriate -- i.e., transportation hubs/lines and rivers/larger bodies of water do tend to cause an elongated district to be economically and culturally appropriate. Just looking at the Great Lakes region, for example - you'd generally be doing the constituents a better service by drawing elongated districts that hug the the shoreline of the great lakes. Sure - you can certainly find stretches that are more touristy while some might be more industrial/shipping, but sometimes the snake is proper.

In any case, I've said before that I'd gladly support sunsetting the VRA in exchange for a wholly nationalized non-partisan redistricting process. I'm all for drawing up districts strictly in a manner that creates congressional seats that make the most sense for the constituency.

The devil's in the details, of course -- which means "non-partisan redistricting" should become a digital exercise, not one that relies on some committee.
   227. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: October 16, 2017 at 04:27 PM (#5555209)
Trump allies worry that losing the House means impeachment

Top White House aides, lawmakers, donors and political consultants are privately asking whether President Donald Trump realizes that losing the House next year could put his presidency in peril.

In more than a dozen interviews, Republicans inside and outside the White House told CNN conversations are ramping up behind the scenes about whether Trump fully grasps that his feuds with members of his own party and shortage of legislative achievements could soon put the fate of his presidency at risk.


And yes I am still against impeaching GOP President Trump. As unqualified as I think he is, he won. And we have learned nothing of sufficient import to be worthy of overturning the election results in such a fashion. Impeachment and then conviction is an extreme measure that should be undertaken with due caution.
   228. The Yankee Clapper Posted: October 16, 2017 at 04:28 PM (#5555210)
U.S. District Judge William Walls stunned federal prosecutors last week when he expressed doubts over whether the Justice Department’s bribery charges against Menendez should move forward in light of the Supreme Court’s 2016 decision throwing out the conviction of former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell. That ruling impacted the legal definition of bribery, including the “string of benefits” theory used by prosecutors to charge Menendez.

That report now seems a bit premature, if not wrong. Despite any earlier comments, the Judge let all 18 counts go to the jury:
But after questioning on Wednesday whether the McDonnell decision did away with the theory, Walls — after reading dozens of pages of briefs by the prosecution and defense — decided on Monday it had not.

“This court concludes that a rational jury could determine that the defendants entered into a quid pro quo agreement,” Walls said. As a result of Walls' ruling, all 18 counts will go before a jury.

Haven't followed the case that closely, but most of the facts don't seem in dispute. The government says that the private plane trips, posh villas, swanky hotels, and fancy parties with young women were bribes by Salomon Melgin, a rich non-constituent seeking to have Senator Menendez intervene on his behalf with various government agencies, which he did. The defense says nonsense, they're just great friends, motivated by their high regard for each other. Don't know if a jury will buy a defense that embraces that level of favor-seeking & favoritism, but Menendez getting off might be the worst result for Democrats. He wants to run again, and might not be sufficiently damaged to be denied the nomination if acquitted, even if he's weakened for the general election. It's New Jersey, so I'm not sure how inured the voters are to such shenanigans.
   229. Hot Wheeling American Posted: October 16, 2017 at 04:34 PM (#5555211)
Haven't followed...don't seem...Don't know...might be...might not be....not sure
   230. Ray (RDP) Posted: October 16, 2017 at 04:37 PM (#5555214)
I don't keep all that close track of this thread. Has anybody brought up the Republican Congressional candidate (from Florida, naturally) who gave a televised interview about being taken on board an alien spacecraft? Because that seems like it might be fun to talk about.


Frasier already covered this in the episode The Candidate, in which Frasier and Niles back Phil Patterson for Congress, only to later realize that Patterson has been haunted by a secret:

Frasier: You know, it's funny how the more you bottle things up
inside, the bigger they seem to be.
Phil: Well, I've never told anybody this before, but... okay, here
goes. Six years ago... I was abducted by aliens.

Frasier, shocked, slowly turns his head to face Phil.
He is completely stunned.

Frasier: Aliens...?
Phil: They transported me up to their spaceship for a kind of
conference. They're very concerned about what we're doing to
our planet. [Frasier stares at Phil] Hey, you were right.
Now that I've said it out loud, it doesn't seem like that
big a deal.
Frasier: [far away] No...

Cut to the studio.

Frasier gives her a look as Bulldog bursts in.

Bulldog: Greetings, losers! Have you heard the great news?
Frasier: What, one of your overpaid idols passed his urine test?
Bulldog: Yeah, laugh all you can. Word's out about your pal Patterson
and those aliens of his.
Frasier: Oh, my God!
Roz: What aliens?
Bulldog: It's all over TV!
Frasier: How did they find out?!
Bulldog: What, are you kidding? You can't keep something like this
quiet. Every station in town is serving his bleeding heart
up on a platter.
Frasier: Isn't that just like the media? The day before the election
they find one tiny flaw in a man and they try to ruin his
career! Well, you know what? I have my own conduit to the
public's ear. I'm not letting Phil go down without a fight!
[he storms into his booth]
Roz: What aliens?
Bulldog: Turns out Patterson's got a couple of illegal aliens from
Guatemala working in his house. No greencards, no documents,
no chance!

He exits.

Frasier: [on air] Hello, Seattle. I'm back. This is Dr. Frasier Crane
and I have just learned during the commercial break that it
has become public knowledge that Phil Patterson, candidate
for Congress, believes in aliens from outer space!!

Roz looks up, stunned.

Frasier: Not only does he believe in them, he believes he has met with
them. That he was beamed aboard their spaceship for a little
interplanetary t�te-�-t�te. [Roz shakes her head at him to
stop] Shocked? Well, all right. [Roz knocks on the glass, he
ignores her] But I say, let's ask ourselves these questions.
Has this...

Roz pounds on the glass and slashes a finger across her throat.
He waves her off and continues.

Frasier: ...harmless delusion, most likely brought on by overwork and
sleep deprivation, adversely affected his voting record in
any way? I ask you, and I say no! What great leader doesn't
have his quirks? Ronald Reagan saw an astrologist! General
Patton believed in reincarnation! Even J. Edgar Hoover let
his slip show once in a while!

Roz gives up and begins to pluck her eyebrows again.

Frasier: People, we're talking about a great leader here! We shouldn't
concern ourselves with these minor eccentricities. What's
important - what really counts - is what's in here... I'm
pointing at my chest now.

Roz rolls her eyes and buries her face in her hands as the scene
fades out.

Cut to Frasier's apartment.

Announcer: The results from the last precinct are in. Holden Thorpe
has been elected to Congress, garnering a whopping ninety-
two percent of the vote.

Martin laughs and claps.

Daphne: Well, at least Mr. Patterson got eight percent.
Martin: Yeah, well, they must have been counting absentee votes from
the planet Krypton!

He laughs, Frasier looks miserable.

Daphne: Oh, come on now, Dr. Crane. It wasn't all your fault. I'm
sure having those Guatemalans in his home would have cost
him some votes anyway. [exits]
Frasier: Those Guatemalans were exchange students! Phil was giving
them free room and board as a goodwill gesture between
countries.

   231. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: October 16, 2017 at 04:38 PM (#5555215)
And yes I am still against impeaching GOP President Trump. As unqualified as I think he is, he won.

AFAIC Trump's only formally legitimate and deserving of no more respect than Harvey Weinstein, but in the real world replacing him with an even worse ideologue like Pence would be like trading the 2003 Tigers for the 1962 Mets. Trump at least has the virtue of incompetence, and given the Republican plans for the country, the more incompetence the better.
   232. Ray (RDP) Posted: October 16, 2017 at 04:44 PM (#5555221)
Anyway, as to aliens (sorry for the Frasier diversion), Carolla made the point last week that in the 70s there was a new alien sighting seemingly every week. But now that everyone is walking around with a camera........ no pictures or video of these aliens.
   233. Blanks for Nothing, Larvell Posted: October 16, 2017 at 04:45 PM (#5555222)
Trump at least has the virtue of incompetence


Which is why the markets and confidence indices are booming, one imagines.
   234. The Yankee Clapper Posted: October 16, 2017 at 04:54 PM (#5555225)
Wasted votes are hardly made up anyway, and in fact Clapper even referenced the idea. And of course this "made-up" formula is a real thing and is in front of the SCOTUS.

As was made clear to all but Bitter Mouse, apparently, far more wasted votes are caused by Democratic voters being concentrated in a relatively few large urban areas and college towns than gerrymandering. The tool Bitter Mouse embraces just measures wasted votes, so it's a poor remedy for gerrymandering.

Gerrymandering is literally almost as old as the Constitution, so I don't find it likely that it suddenly became unconstitutional when Democrats finally got the short end of the stick. It's a non-justiciable issue that courts are poorly equipped to handle. In a county split 60%-40% between two political parties, how should the line be drawn for it's two hypothetical legislative seats? North-South, producing 2 districts favoring the majority party, or East-West, creating one district favoring the majority party with the other favoring the minority party? The latter is closer to the population split, but the former creates a more cohesive governing majority. Does the Constitution favor either? Really? Your typical redistricting plan is about a thousand times more complex than that hypothetical, and bringing the judiciary into the political swamp hardly solves the problem.

Now, if a state wants to enact requirements for compact, contiguous districts that reflect existing political boundaries where possible, fine, and I'd probably even vote for such a measure. The GOP wouldn't be significantly harmed by such measures, at least not in the current electoral climate. However, I don't see any provision of the Constitution that requires such measures.
   235. Ray (RDP) Posted: October 16, 2017 at 04:58 PM (#5555226)
During Sunday Night Football between the New York Giants and Denver Broncos, NBC broadcaster Al Michaels cracked a joke comparing the Giants to Harvey Weinstein.

“Let’s face it, The Giants are coming off a worse week than Harvey Weinstein, and they’re up by 14,” Michaels quipped.


Followed by Chris Collinsworth in the Billy Bush role.

Followed by Michaels later apologizing.

The joke was inappropriate -- and, more critically, was unfunny -- but can we not just roll our eyes and move on? Do we have to now stop on every hill and throw slings and arrows at the person until he apologizes?
   236. BrianBrianson Posted: October 16, 2017 at 05:00 PM (#5555227)
While that's the case, I don't think even SBB's trollery would lead to post 64.


Wait, is Satan Says really not just SBB's taking a new moniker? Like - the guy not self-identifying as a masterbater~isn't the resident troll?
   237. Nose army. Beef diaper? (CoB) Posted: October 16, 2017 at 05:02 PM (#5555229)
It's Perros.
   238. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: October 16, 2017 at 05:03 PM (#5555231)
Wait, is Satan Says really not just SBB's taking a new moniker?
"Satan Says" is OJ. (edit: who was formerly known as Perros.)
   239. Count Posted: October 16, 2017 at 05:04 PM (#5555232)
Sotomayor raised the right question (ignore the clickbaity headline and style for this article):

The highlight of the hour came when Justice Sonia Sotomayor posed a very simple inquiry that cut to the core of the case: "Could you tell me what the value is to democracy from political gerrymandering? How does that help our system of government?"

Sotomayor's question arrived after the justices had debated abstract principles of law (and math) for nearly half an hour. Kennedy and the liberals had already laid out their constitutional case against partisan gerrymandering: When Republicans draw district lines designed to dilute the power of Democratic votes, they are punishing Democratic voters for associating with, and expressing support for, the Democratic Party. (The same goes, naturally, for Democrats drawing district lines to dilute the power of Republican votes.)

This viewpoint-based burden on the right to vote clearly infringes upon the freedom of expression and association protected by the First Amendment. Given that the First Amendment is the cornerstone of self-governance, political redistricting would seem to pose a grievous threat to representative democracy, entrenching undemocratic legislative majorities by penalizing voters who openly support the minority party.

It can be easy to get lost in the technicalities of constitutional doctrine, or the putative gobbledygook of gerrymandering math, and lose sight of the broader principle at stake. Sotomayor, though, has never been one to lose sight of first principles.

Her question on Tuesday was simple but devastatingly effective. Erin E. Murphy, the attorney representing Wisconsin's (very gerrymandered) State Senate, had no good answer for Sotomayor. "I don't think that … districting for partisan advantage has no positive values," Murphy began hesitantly. She continued:

I would point you to, for instance, Justice Breyer's dissenting opinion in [2004's Vieth v. Jubelirer] which has an extensive discussion of how it can actually do good things for our system to have districts drawn in a way that makes it easier for voters to understand who … the legislature is. It produces values in terms of accountability that are valuable so that the people understand who isn't and who is in power.
"I really don't understand what that means," Sotomayor responded.
Neither do I, since Breyer's Vieth dissent says pretty much the opposite of what Murphy claims. (When "the minority's hold on power is purely the result of partisan manipulation," Breyer wrote, the legislature has engaged in "a serious, and remediable, abuse, namely … unjustified entrenchment.") As legal analyst Mike Sacks noted on Twitter, Murphy is an excellent attorney; if "such a simple question renders her into word salad, there's a problem."

Sotomayor then drilled down and posed an even sharper follow-up question to Murphy: "It's OK to stack the decks so that for 10 years—or an indefinite period of time—one party, even though it gets a minority of votes, can get … the majority of seats?"* Murphy's response:

With all due respect, you know, I would certainly dispute the premise that the decks are stacked here. At the end of the day, what matters is how people vote in elections and that's what's going to determine the outcomes, as it has in Wisconsin where the Republicans have won majorities because they've actually won the majority of the vote in most of the elections over the past four years.
While the words in this paragraph did have the benefit of cohering into intelligible English sentences, Murphy's answer again made no sense.
In 2014, Wisconsin Republicans received 52 percent of the vote and won 63 out of 99 seats in the State Assembly. In 2016, they won the same percentage of the statewide vote and captured 64 seats.

   240. The Yankee Clapper Posted: October 16, 2017 at 05:05 PM (#5555233)
I don't keep all that close track of this thread. Has anybody brought up the Republican Congressional candidate (from Florida, naturally) who gave a televised interview about being taken on board an alien spacecraft? Because that seems like it might be fun to talk about.

What's the point of posting this in such a misleading manner? She's not the Republican nominee, just an obscure candidate for the nomination running against much more well known and better financed individuals. The UFO interview came years before her candidacy, FWIW, it's not like it's part of her platform. She's extremely unlikely to win. One can easily find equally foolish folks on the left, but I usually don't waste everybody's time by posting about them.
   241. TDF didn't lie, he just didn't remember Posted: October 16, 2017 at 05:10 PM (#5555238)
As was made clear to all but Bitter Mouse, apparently, far more wasted votes are caused by Democratic voters being concentrated in a relatively few large urban areas and college towns than gerrymandering.
Which would make sense if we divided congressional districts by "towns" or "square miles" instead of "residents".
Gerrymandering is literally almost as old as the Constitution, so I don't find it likely that it suddenly became unconstitutional when Democrats finally got the short end of the stick.
1. True, but the very term "gerrymander" is derogatory. 2. No one that I know of is saying that it's unconstitutional per se. However,
It's a non-justiciable issue that courts are poorly equipped to handle.
Certain laws have been passed to reinforce the idea of "one person, one vote" that many of the schemes seem to undermine.
In a county split 60%-40% between two political parties, how should the line be drawn for it's two hypothetical legislative seats? North-South, producing 2 districts favoring the majority party, or East-West, creating one district favoring the majority party with the other favoring the minority party? The latter is closer to the population split, but the former creates a more cohesive governing majority. Does the Constitution favor either? Really? Your typical redistricting plan is about a thousand times more complex than that hypothetical, and bringing the judiciary into the political swamp hardly solves the problem.
Again, Clapper ignores that we don't allot representatives by county, but by number of residents.

EDIT:
Now, if a state wants to enact requirements for compact, contiguous districts that reflect existing political boundaries where possible, fine, and I'd probably even vote for such a measure. The GOP wouldn't be significantly harmed by such measures, at least not in the current electoral climate.
Well, if they "reflect existing political boundaries", no wonder you'd support them, given the advantages statehouse GOP legislatures built in to said boundaries.
   242. Ray (RDP) Posted: October 16, 2017 at 05:16 PM (#5555240)
Maybe already posted here (?), but does this not ring true as something Trump would do/say?

President Trump routinely mocks Vice President Pence’s staunch Christian faith and once joked that there was no point in asking him about gay rights because “he wants to hang them all,” The New Yorker reported.

   243. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: October 16, 2017 at 05:22 PM (#5555246)
Now, if a state wants to enact requirements for compact, contiguous districts that reflect existing political boundaries where possible, fine, and I'd probably even vote for such a measure. The GOP wouldn't be significantly harmed by such measures, at least not in the current electoral climate.

Well, if they "reflect existing political boundaries", no wonder you'd support them, given the advantages statehouse GOP legislatures built in to said boundaries.
You misunderstand. Those are districts. "Political boundaries" in this context refers to cities, counties, towns, etc.
   244. Morty Causa Posted: October 16, 2017 at 05:24 PM (#5555247)
Gerrymandering is literally almost as old as the Constitution, so I don't find it likely that it suddenly became unconstitutional when Democrats finally got the short end of the stick. It's a non-justiciable issue that courts are poorly equipped to handle. In a county split 60%-40% between two political parties, how should the line be drawn for it's two hypothetical legislative seats? North-South, producing 2 districts favoring the majority party, or East-West, creating one district favoring the majority party with the other favoring the minority party? The latter is closer to the population split, but the former creates a more cohesive governing majority. Does the Constitution favor either? Really? Your typical redistricting plan is about a thousand times more complex than that hypothetical, and bringing the judiciary into the political swamp hardly solves the problem.

Now, if a state wants to enact requirements for compact, contiguous districts that reflect existing political boundaries where possible, fine, and I'd probably even vote for such a measure. The GOP wouldn't be significantly harmed by such measures, at least not in the current electoral climate. However, I don't see any provision of the Constitution that requires such measures.


How would Baker v. Carr and Reynolds v. Sims fit into this? Or would they?
   245. PepTech Posted: October 16, 2017 at 05:29 PM (#5555248)
Wait, is Satan Says really not just SBB's taking a new moniker?
SBB is currently using the Larvell Blanks handle.

I think the over/under on OJ/perros changing his handle is about four days. SBB stuck with Sugar Bear for a long time, but has jumped around a couple times recently. I don't know of YC, RDP, or TGF ever changing their handles. Apart from cosmetics (like CoB recently trading his butter dish for a nose, or Mouse mellowing out his bitterness) the only other big handle change of note was zonk -> covfefe.
   246. Satan Says Posted: October 16, 2017 at 05:29 PM (#5555249)

As I am the only poster here who recommends total anonymous posting, I'll just say that we shouldn't be tracking ass holes; we should be responding to the substance of the posts (or ignoring them because you think they don't have substance).

A non-starter. This is social media for a niche demographic for which a grand is apparently ashtray money.
   247. Ray (RDP) Posted: October 16, 2017 at 05:35 PM (#5555252)
Apparently predatory loans do exist. The Daily Mail managed to find one:

Predatory loan: Harvey Weinstein helped pay Bill Clinton's legal bills after he was forced to settle sexual harassment suit for $850K when he lied about Monica Lewinsky affair

Harvey Weinstein donated the maximum amount of $10K to Bill Clinton's legal defense fund during his Monica Lewinsky scandal

Clinton ultimately used $850K of his $2.2 million defense fund to settle the lawsuit brought against him by Jones

Weinstein got incredible access to the First Family as a result, with Hillary attending a screening of his film 'Shakespeare in Love' in December 2008

The Clintons were also silent about the allegations against Weinstein while Hillary and Chelsea made no public support of the victims for almost a week
   248. Hot Wheeling American Posted: October 16, 2017 at 05:35 PM (#5555253)
the only other big handle change of note was zonk -> covfefe


I'm Team Zonk, baby, but the immediate jump to take advantage of that meme has...not aged well (and didn't by the end of that weekend).

For evergreen names, can't go wrong with a Keefe reference.
   249. Nero Wolfe, Indeed Posted: October 16, 2017 at 05:37 PM (#5555254)
The idea that gerrymandering is ineffective and that compact, contiguous districts would yield close to the same result is laughable. If this were true, why not just shoot straight and keep from taking the heat for obviously bending the districts to the outcome you want?
   250. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: October 16, 2017 at 05:41 PM (#5555255)
Sotomayor raised the right question (ignore the clickbaity headline and style for this article):
Heh. That was such terrible analysis in the quoted excerpt -- describing Sotomayor as keeping sight of first principles is laugh-out-loud absurd -- that I instantly knew who must have written it. But then I moused over the link, and it was Business Insider rather than Slate, so I assumed I must have been mistaken. But clicking on the link, I see that I was right: Slate's inexplicably awful choice for a legal analyst. Someone who has never practiced law (and hadn't even graduated from law school when he got the gig), and makes his predecessor Dahlia Lithwick look like Joseph Story. And it's no surprise that he therefore is completely wrong about Breyer's dissent in Vieth. This is what he said (apologies for the extended quote, but at least it's not protected by copyright), which Murphy was obviously referring to:
I start with a fundamental principle. “We the People,” who “ordain[ed] and establish[ed]” the American Constitution, sought to create and to protect a workable form of government that is in its “ ‘principles, structure, and whole mass,’ ” basically democratic. G. Wood, The Creation of the American Republic, 1776—1787, p. 595 (1969) (quoting W. Murray, Political Sketches, Inscribed to His Excellency John Adams 5 (1787)). See also, e.g., A. Meiklejohn, Free Speech and Its Relation to Self-Government 14—15 (1948). In a modern Nation of close to 300 million people, the workable democracy that the Constitution foresees must mean more than a guaranteed opportunity to elect legislators representing equally populous electoral districts. Reynolds v. Sims, 377 U.S. 533, 568 (1964); Kirkpatrick v. Preisler, 394 U.S. 526, 530—531 (1969); Karcher v. Daggett, 462 U.S. 725, 730 (1983). There must also be a method for transforming the will of the majority into effective government.

This Court has explained that political parties play a necessary role in that transformation. At a minimum, they help voters assign responsibility for current circumstances, thereby enabling those voters, through their votes for individual candidates, to express satisfaction or dissatisfaction with the political status quo. Those voters can either vote to support that status quo or vote to “throw the rascals out.” See generally McConnell v. Federal Election Comm’n, 540 U.S. ___ (2003) (slip op., at 81); California Democratic Party v. Jones, 530 U.S. 567, 574 (2000); Colorado Republican Federal Campaign Comm. v. Federal Election Comm’n, 518 U.S. 604, 615—616 (1996). A party-based political system that satisfies this minimal condition encourages democratic responsibility. It facilitates the transformation of the voters’ will into a government that reflects that will.

Why do I refer to these elementary constitutional principles? Because I believe they can help courts identify at least one abuse at issue in this case. To understand how that is so, one should begin by asking why single-member electoral districts are the norm, why the Constitution does not insist that the membership of legislatures better reflect different political views held by different groups of voters. History, of course, is part of the answer, but it does not tell the entire story. The answer also lies in the fact that a single-member-district system helps to assure certain democratic objectives better than many “more representative” (i.e., proportional) electoral systems. Of course, single-member districts mean that only parties with candidates who finish “first past the post” will elect legislators. That fact means in turn that a party with a bare majority of votes or even a plurality of votes will often obtain a large legislative majority, perhaps freezing out smaller parties. But single-member districts thereby diminish the need for coalition governments. And that fact makes it easier for voters to identify which party is responsible for government decisionmaking (and which rascals to throw out), while simultaneously providing greater legislative stability. Cf. C. Mershon, The Costs of Coalition: Coalition Theories and Italian Governments, 90 Am. Pol. Sci. Rev. 534 (1996) (noting that from 1946 to 1992, under proportional systems “almost no [Italian] government stayed in office more than a few years, and many governments collapsed after only a few months”); Hermens, Representation and Proportional Representation, in Choosing an Electoral System: Issues and Alternatives 15, 24 (A. Lijphart & B. Grofman eds. 1984) (describing the “political paralysis which had become the hallmark of the Fourth Republic” under proportional representation). See also Duverger, Which is the Best Electoral System? in Choosing an Electoral System, supra, at 31, 32 (arguing that proportional systems “preven[t] the citizens from expressing a clear choice for a governmental team,” and that nonproportional systems allow voters to “choose governments with the capacity to make decisions”). This is not to say that single-member districts are preferable; it is simply to say that single-member-district systems and more-directly-representational systems reflect different conclusions about the proper balance of different elements of a workable democratic government.

If single-member districts are the norm, however, then political considerations will likely play an important, and proper, role in the drawing of district boundaries. In part, that is because politicians, unlike nonpartisan observers, normally understand how “the location and shape of districts” determine “the political complexion of the area.” Gaffney v. Cummings, 412 U.S. 735, 753 (1973). It is precisely because politicians are best able to predict the effects of boundary changes that the districts they design usually make some political sense. See, e.g., Persily, In Defense of Foxes Guarding Henhouses: The Case for Judicial Acquiescence to Incumbent-Protecting Gerrymanders, 116 Harv. L. Rev. 649, 678, and nn. 94—95 (2002) (recounting the author’s experience as a neutral court-appointed boundary drawer, in which the plan he helped draw moved an uninhabited swamp from one district to another, thereby inadvertently disrupting environmental projects that were important to the politician representing the swamp’s former district).

More important for present purposes, the role of political considerations reflects a surprising mathematical fact. Given a fairly large state population with a fairly large congressional delegation, districts assigned so as to be perfectly random in respect to politics would translate a small shift in political sentiment, say a shift from 51% Republican to 49% Republican, into a seismic shift in the makeup of the legislative delegation, say from 100% Republican to 100% Democrat. See M. Altman, Modeling the Effect of Mandatory District Compactness on Partisan Gerrymanders, 17 Pol. Geography 989, 1002 (1998) (suggesting that, where the state population is large enough, even randomly selected compact districts will generally elect no politicians from the party that wins fewer votes statewide). Any such exaggeration of tiny electoral changes–virtually wiping out legislative representation of the minority party–would itself seem highly undemocratic.

Given the resulting need for single-member districts with nonrandom boundaries, it is not surprising that “traditional” districting principles have rarely, if ever, been politically neutral. Rather, because, in recent political memory, Democrats have often been concentrated in cities while Republicans have often been concentrated in suburbs and sometimes rural areas, geographically drawn boundaries have tended to “pac[k]” the former. See ante, at 20—21 (plurality opinion) (citing Davis v. Bandemer, 478 U.S. 109, 159 (1986) (O’Connor, J., concurring in judgment)); Lowenstein & Steinberg, The Quest for Legislative Districting in the Public Interest: Elusive or Illusory? 33 UCLA L. Rev. 1, 9 (1985) (explaining that the “ ‘formal’ criteria … do not live up to their advance billing as ‘fair’ or ‘neutral’ ”). Neighborhood or community-based boundaries, seeking to group Irish, Jewish, or African-American voters, often did the same. All this is well known to politicians, who use their knowledge about the effects of the “neutral” criteria to partisan advantage when drawing electoral maps. And were it not so, the iron laws of mathematics would have worked their extraordinary volatility-enhancing will.

This is to say that traditional or historically-based boundaries are not, and should not be, “politics free.” Rather, those boundaries represent a series of compromises of principle–among the virtues of, for example, close representation of voter views, ease of identifying “government” and “opposition” parties, and stability in government. They also represent an uneasy truce, sanctioned by tradition, among different parties seeking political advantage.

As I have said, reference back to these underlying considerations helps to explain why the legislature’s use of political boundary drawing considerations ordinarily does not violate the Constitution’s Equal Protection Clause. The reason lies not simply in the difficulty of identifying abuse or finding an appropriate judicial remedy. The reason is more fundamental: Ordinarily, there simply is no abuse. The use of purely political boundary-drawing factors, even where harmful to the members of one party, will often nonetheless find justification in other desirable democratic ends, such as maintaining relatively stable legislatures in which a minority party retains significant representation.
The half-quote by Stern of Breyer is dishonest. What Breyer said was this: "At the same time, these considerations can help identify at least one circumstance where use of purely political boundary-drawing factors can amount to a serious, and remediable, abuse, namely the unjustified use of political factors to entrench a minority in power. By entrenchment I mean a situation in which a party that enjoys only minority support among the populace has nonetheless contrived to take, and hold, legislative power. By unjustified entrenchment I mean that the minority’s hold on power is purely the result of partisan manipulation and not other factors." (Emphasis added.). But that of course has nothing to do with Wisconsin, in which -- as Stern himself notes (and you quote) -- Republicans were a majority, not a minority.
   251. The Yankee Clapper Posted: October 16, 2017 at 05:42 PM (#5555256)
As was made clear to all but Bitter Mouse, apparently, far more wasted votes are caused by Democratic voters being concentrated in a relatively few large urban areas and college towns than gerrymandering.

Which would make sense if we divided congressional districts by "towns" or "square miles" instead of "residents".

This beyond idiocy even for BBTF-OTP. Of course, Congressional Districts, and state legislative districts, are made up of "residents". Nothing I said called that into the slightest question. The problem for the Democrats is that too many of them choose to reside in a relatively few large urban areas and college towns, producing some districts that they usually win by large majorities while leaving them far less competitive elsewhere. They could escape this predicament by tailoring their policy positions to appeal more to non-urban voters; they choose not to do so.
   252. Shredder Posted: October 16, 2017 at 05:49 PM (#5555259)
A former White House official on Monday called President Donald Trump’s claim that former President Barack Obama did not call the families of fallen soldiers “unequivocally wrong.”...

“The traditional way, if you look at President Obama and other presidents, most of them didn’t make calls. A lot of them didn’t make calls,” he said.

In an email to TPM, a former Obama White House official strongly disputed Trump’s claim.
I think Dems really need to cut Trump some slack on this one. Sure, he claimed Obama didn't make calls, which is pretty clearly a lie. But he also said that "most of them" didn't make calls which is probably true, or nearly true. I can say, with absolute certainty, that no president ever called to console a grieving family prior to 1880, and that's like 20 or 21 of our 45 presidents. You can probably add Garfield to that list. Then he had a bunch of guys who weren't in office during wars and such, so I'm comfortable saying "most" of them didn't. Or at least almost most of them.
   253. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: October 16, 2017 at 05:56 PM (#5555263)
and striving for compact districts.


Like this one?

or this one?

or this?
   254. Sleepy's not going to blame himself Posted: October 16, 2017 at 06:09 PM (#5555266)
Weinstein got incredible access to the First Family as a result, with Hillary attending a screening of his film 'Shakespeare in Love' in December 2008
I guess maybe she was a bit busy in 1998, and so didn't see the first-run, but I wonder where they found a screening of a 10-year old "Shakespeare in love" at in 2008. Maybe the Retrodome?

Very sad that they tore that place down. Some of my favorite showings of the Big Lebowski happened there. And one very weird Princess Bride singalong.
   255. Shredder Posted: October 16, 2017 at 06:10 PM (#5555267)
The problem for the Democrats is that too many of them choose to reside in a relatively few large urban areas and college towns, producing some districts that they usually win by large majorities while leaving them far less competitive elsewhere.
You have yet to explain why the reverse doesn't also hold. Clearly urban districts will be smaller geographically than rural districts, but you haven't demonstrated that rural areas wouldn't be equally homogeneous for Republicans per square mile, or acre, or whatever in those rural districts. I mean, you're essentially arguing "we're not gerrymandering! Not our fault dems all move to the city." Your argument only holds if Dems pack themselves into cities at a greater percentage vis a vis Rs than is true for Rs living in the country. It may or may not be, but you've certainly ignored that side of the argument. If Cities are 80% D and rural areas are only 60% R, then you may have a point. You haven't even attempted to make that argument.


   256. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: October 16, 2017 at 06:16 PM (#5555270)
Speaking of handle changes, who is "Hot Wheeling American"?
   257. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: October 16, 2017 at 06:17 PM (#5555272)
I think Dems really need to cut Trump some slack on this one. Sure, he claimed Obama didn't make calls, which is pretty clearly a lie. But he also said that "most of them" didn't make calls which is probably true, or nearly true. I can say, with absolute certainty, that no president ever called to console a grieving family prior to 1880, and that's like 20 or 21 of our 45 presidents. You can probably add Garfield to that list. Then he had a bunch of guys who weren't in office during wars and such, so I'm comfortable saying "most" of them didn't. Or at least almost most of them.


I'm pretty sure that Trump has called a higher percentage of families of soldiers who died in combat than FRD or Wilson did.
   258. PepTech Posted: October 16, 2017 at 06:32 PM (#5555282)
Speaking of handle changes, who is "Hot Wheeling American"?
We have no reason to believe anything anyone says, I suppose, but #248 would seem to indicate that it's Zonk.
   259. Ray (RDP) Posted: October 16, 2017 at 06:33 PM (#5555285)
Speaking of handle changes, who is "Hot Wheeling American"?


Paul Walker.
   260. Ray (RDP) Posted: October 16, 2017 at 06:39 PM (#5555286)
How powerful was Harvey Weinstein? Almost no one has been thanked at the Oscars more

Harvey Weinstein is one of the most praised people in Hollywood. That might explain why it took him so long to be outed for allegedly sexually harassing or abusing more than a dozen women.

The disgraced film producer was personally thanked or praised by name in at least 34 Academy Awards acceptance speeches from 1993 through 2016, based on a Quartz analysis of speeches through 1966 that were archived by the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences*. That’s as much as God—and more than almost any other individual in the industry [Spielberg].

https://qz.com/1101213/harvey-weinstein-is-one-of-the-most-thanked-people-in-oscars-history/
   261. Count Posted: October 16, 2017 at 06:41 PM (#5555288)
The half-quote by Stern of Breyer is dishonest. What Breyer said was this: "At the same time, these considerations can help identify at least one circumstance where use of purely political boundary-drawing factors can amount to a serious, and remediable, abuse, namely the unjustified use of political factors to entrench a minority in power. By entrenchment I mean a situation in which a party that enjoys only minority support among the populace has nonetheless contrived to take, and hold, legislative power. By unjustified entrenchment I mean that the minority’s hold on power is purely the result of partisan manipulation and not other factors." (Emphasis added.). But that of course has nothing to do with Wisconsin, in which -- as Stern himself notes (and you quote) -- Republicans were a majority, not a minority.


I'm not very familiar with Stern so won't fight you on his articles more broadly. Here is Breyer's dissent. You're right that he did posit some benefits from political gerrymandering, though I would say his examples are pretty weak. Here is Breyer on entrenchment:

At the same time, these considerations can help identify at least one circumstance where use of purely political boundary-drawing factors can amount to a serious, and remediable, abuse, namely the unjustified use of political factors to entrench a minority in power. By entrenchment I mean a situation in which a party that enjoys only minority support among the populace has nonetheless contrived to take, and hold, legislative power. By unjustified entrenchment I mean that the minority’s hold on power is purely the result of partisan manipulation and not other factors. These “other” factors that could lead to “justified” (albeit temporary) minority entrenchment include sheer happenstance, the existence of more than two major parties, the unique constitutional requirements of certain representational bodies such as the Senate, or reliance on traditional (geographic, communities of interest, etc.) districting criteria.

The democratic harm of unjustified entrenchment is obvious. As this Court has written in respect to popularly-based electoral districts:

“Logically, in a society ostensibly grounded on representative government, it would seem reasonable that a majority of the people of a State could elect a majority of that State’s legislators. To conclude differently, and to sanction minority control of state legislative bodies, would appear to deny majority rights in a way that far surpasses any possible denial of minority rights that might otherwise be thought to result. Since legislatures are responsible for enacting laws by which all citizens are to be governed, they should be bodies which are collectively responsive to the popular will.” Reynolds, 377 U.S., at 565.

Where unjustified entrenchment takes place, voters find it far more difficult to remove those responsible for a government they do not want; and these democratic values are dishonored.

The need for legislative stability cannot justify entrenchment, for stability is compatible with a system in which the loss of majority support implies a loss of power. The need to secure minority representation in the legislature cannot justify entrenchment, for minority party representation is also compatible with a system in which the loss of minority support implies a loss of representation. Constitutionally specified principles of representation, such as that of two Senators per State, cannot justify entrenchment where the House of Representatives or similar state legislative body is at issue. Unless some other justification can be found in particular circumstances, political gerrymandering that so entrenches a minority party in power violates basic democratic norms and lacks countervailing justification. For this reason, whether political gerrymandering does, or does not, violate the Constitution in other instances, gerrymandering that leads to entrenchment amounts to an abuse that violates the Constitution’s Equal Protection Clause.


Interestingly gerrymandering can very easily (if it hasn't already) produced a situation in which the minority party is in control of the House as a whole even if in no or few states has gerrymandering led directly to minority party entrenchment. In any event I suspect Breyer would be troubled by Wisconsin, where a slim majority in the statewide vote led to a much larger disparity in the state house. If the GOP in Wisconsin had gotten 49% of the vote and two less seats with the same map would that trigger constitutional scrutiny?
   262. Random Transaction Generator Posted: October 16, 2017 at 07:02 PM (#5555299)
The disgraced film producer was personally thanked or praised by name in at least 34 Academy Awards acceptance speeches from 1993 through 2016,


I'm not sure why this is something shocking/surprising/titillating. His movies won a lot of awards, right?
   263. Zonk Tormundbane Posted: October 16, 2017 at 07:05 PM (#5555301)
We have no reason to believe anything anyone says, I suppose, but #248 would seem to indicate that it's Zonk.


I assure you that if I were to take up sock puppetry, I'd do something much more clever with it....
   264. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: October 16, 2017 at 07:16 PM (#5555315)
The disgraced film producer was personally thanked or praised by name in at least 34 Academy Awards acceptance speeches from 1993 through 2016,

I'm not sure why this is something shocking/surprising/titillating. His movies won a lot of awards, right?



58 of them. With 34 thank you's, the logical inference can only be that Weinstein sexually assaulted the other 24 winners.
   265. Joe Bivens Will Take a Steaming Dump Posted: October 16, 2017 at 07:18 PM (#5555317)
Interesting comment from Greg Popovich posted on Deadspin not ten minutes ago.
   266. Ray (RDP) Posted: October 16, 2017 at 07:26 PM (#5555321)
The disgraced film producer was personally thanked or praised by name in at least 34 Academy Awards acceptance speeches from 1993 through 2016,

I'm not sure why this is something shocking/surprising/titillating. His movies won a lot of awards, right?


I'm not sure why we wouldn't wonder why he was praised so many times. He sexually assaulted a lot of women, didn't he?
   267. TDF didn't lie, he just didn't remember Posted: October 16, 2017 at 07:27 PM (#5555322)
The problem for the Democrats is that too many of them choose to reside in a relatively few large urban areas and college towns, producing some districts that they usually win by large majorities while leaving them far less competitive elsewhere. They could escape this predicament by tailoring their policy positions to appeal more to non-urban voters; they choose not to do so.
This is laughable, even for Clapper. So Democrats should broaden their appeal by abandoning their base?

And how does the Democrat's decision to "reside in a relatively few large urban areas and college towns" produce districts like these? I count 4 districts that you could argue are "compact and contiguous" - out of 16.
   268. Joe Bivens Will Take a Steaming Dump Posted: October 16, 2017 at 07:44 PM (#5555326)
I agree with you, Ray, re:Weinstein.

There's a quote from Courtney Love from 1993 (saw it on Deadspin) where she gives this advice: Don't go alone to meet with Weinstein. So it wasn't a secret. Hollywood looked the other way, no doubt.
   269. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: October 16, 2017 at 07:45 PM (#5555327)
We have no reason to believe anything anyone says, I suppose, but #248 would seem to indicate that it's Zonk.
I think you've misread it.
   270. Avoid running at all times.-S. Paige Posted: October 16, 2017 at 07:52 PM (#5555334)
Popovich for President
   271. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: October 16, 2017 at 07:56 PM (#5555338)
There's a quote from Courtney Love from 1993 (saw it on Deadspin) where she gives this advice: Don't go alone to meet with Weinstein. So it wasn't a secret. Hollywood looked the other way, no doubt.
You say "it" wasn't a secret -- but what's the "it"? That Weinstein was a boor? Or that Weinstein was a rapist?
   272. Joe Bivens Will Take a Steaming Dump Posted: October 16, 2017 at 07:58 PM (#5555339)
270....several people posted that over there. I was one of them.
   273. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: October 16, 2017 at 07:59 PM (#5555341)
Popovich:

I’ve been amazed and disappointed by so much of what this President had said, and his approach to running this country, which seems to be one of just a never ending divisiveness. But his comments today about those who have lost loved ones in times of war and his lies that previous presidents Obama and Bush never contacted their families, is so beyond the pale, I almost don’t have the words.

This man in the Oval Office is a soulless coward who thinks that he can only become large by belittling others. This has of course been a common practice of his, but to do it in this manner–and to lie about how previous Presidents responded to the deaths of soldiers–is as low as it gets. We have a pathological liar in the White House: unfit intellectually, emotionally, and psychologically to hold this office and the whole world knows it, especially those around him every day. The people who work with this President should be ashamed because they know it better than anyone just how unfit he is, and yet they choose to do nothing about it. This is their shame most of all.
   274. Joe Bivens Will Take a Steaming Dump Posted: October 16, 2017 at 08:00 PM (#5555342)
David stop being a lawyer for two seconds here. The implication is that Weinstein would at the very least do something creepy to a young attractive woman going to meet him alone. The human David knows this. The attorney David wants to argue.
   275. greenback wears sandals on his head Posted: October 16, 2017 at 08:01 PM (#5555345)
The people who work with this President should be ashamed because they know it better than anyone just how unfit he is, and yet they choose to do nothing about it. This is their shame most of all.

I don't agree with this from Popovich. Putting the ####### moron in the White House might be the greatest threat to the republic since Gettysburg. One reasonable way to avoid a constitutional crisis that dwarfs Watergate is to do pretty much what everyone else in Washington has done, namely nothing. We're just about to 9 months, with 39 to go.
   276. The Yankee Clapper Posted: October 16, 2017 at 08:05 PM (#5555346)
The problem for the Democrats is that too many of them choose to reside in a relatively few large urban areas and college towns, producing some districts that they usually win by large majorities while leaving them far less competitive elsewhere.

You have yet to explain why the reverse doesn't also hold. Clearly urban districts will be smaller geographically than rural districts, but you haven't demonstrated that rural areas wouldn't be equally homogeneous for Republicans per square mile, or acre, or whatever in those rural districts. I mean, you're essentially arguing "we're not gerrymandering! Not our fault dems all move to the city." Your argument only holds if Dems pack themselves into cities at a greater percentage vis a vis Rs than is true for Rs living in the country. It may or may not be, but you've certainly ignored that side of the argument. If Cities are 80% D and rural areas are only 60% R, then you may have a point. You haven't even attempted to make that argument.

The reverse isn't true because that's just not how the population is distributed. You really shouldn't need me to provide every data point for the discussion, particularly ones that are well known to those who normally venture into such territory. I've linked to similar material before, and as is often the case Michael Barone explains it best:
But clustering works against Democrats in the House. According to figures compiled by Polidata Inc. for National Journal and “The Almanac of American Politics” (of which I am a co-author), Mr. Obama won 80% or more of the vote in 27 congressional districts and between 70% and 79% in 34 more. Mr. Romney won 80% in only one district and between 70% and 79% in 18 more. That left enough Republican votes spread around in the other 355 districts to enable Mr. Romney to carry 226 congressional districts to Obama’s 209.

All of the Democrats’ House popular-vote margin came from the 36 black-dominated and 31 Hispanic-dominated districts. Democrats carried the popular vote in black-dominated districts 80%-17% in 2012.

You can find similar data for 2016. There really isn't any question about the over concentration of Democratic voters in a relatively few large urban areas & college towns. Appealing mostly to those voters has produced some 80%-20%, or thereabouts, victories, while losing many more races by 58%-42% or similar margins. Complaining about gerrymandering isn't going to fix the Dems larger problem.
   277. Lassus Posted: October 16, 2017 at 08:16 PM (#5555354)
We have no reason to believe anything anyone says, I suppose, but #248 would seem to indicate that it's Zonk.

I really, REALLY don't think that zonk cares enough to have two separate accounts.
   278. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: October 16, 2017 at 08:26 PM (#5555361)
But clustering works against Democrats in the House. According to figures compiled by Polidata Inc. for National Journal and “The Almanac of American Politics” (of which I am a co-author), Mr. Obama won 80% or more of the vote in 27 congressional districts and between 70% and 79% in 34 more. Mr. Romney won 80% in only one district and between 70% and 79% in 18 more. That left enough Republican votes spread around in the other 355 districts to enable Mr. Romney to carry 226 congressional districts to Obama’s 209.

All of the Democrats’ House popular-vote margin came from the 36 black-dominated and 31 Hispanic-dominated districts. Democrats carried the popular vote in black-dominated districts 80%-17% in 2012.

You can find similar data for 2016.


The proliferation of unopposed races messes this up somewhat. Don't know if either side has an advantage in unopposed races, but for example, TX 13 (panhandle), TX 11 (Midland), and TX 19 (Lubbock) would have likely gone in the high 70s to 80s R had there been a D opponent. TX 4, 5, 8, 32, and 36 were also unopposed R wins. Most of those were 75% + the last time there was a contested election. In contrast, there were only 2 uncontested D wins.

If you are interested in parsing this out rather than scoring cheap rhetoorical points, you should count uncontested wins as 70-80% blowouts.
   279. greenback wears sandals on his head Posted: October 16, 2017 at 08:28 PM (#5555364)
I really, REALLY don't think that zonk cares enough to have two separate accounts.

For eleven years.
   280. Blanks for Nothing, Larvell Posted: October 16, 2017 at 08:28 PM (#5555365)
But his comments today about those who have lost loved ones in times of war and his lies that previous presidents Obama and Bush never contacted their families, is so beyond the pale, I almost don’t have the words.


Let me guess -- Trump didn't actually say that, right?
   281. Shredder Posted: October 16, 2017 at 08:29 PM (#5555367)
You can find similar data for 2016. There really isn't any question about the over concentration of Democratic voters in a relatively few large urban areas & college towns.
No one is arguing the opposite. This still doesn't make the point you think it's making. Unless you somehow believe that district borders need to somehow run concurrent with municipal boundaries. But you're conservative hack quoting another conservative hack, so I'm not surprised that neither of you seem to understand that you're simply arguing for the proposition that the current boundaries are drawn unfairly, not that there's nothing to be done about it.
   282. Jay Z Posted: October 16, 2017 at 08:36 PM (#5555374)
This is laughable, even for Clapper. So Democrats should broaden their appeal by abandoning their base?

And how does the Democrat's decision to "reside in a relatively few large urban areas and college towns" produce districts like these? I count 4 districts that you could argue are "compact and contiguous" - out of 16.


Ohio is awful. Anyone who claims gerrymandering isn't occurring there has no credibility.

Remember than gerrymandering came from a district that looked like a salamander. Districts that narrow and get wider again, lots of little pockets or nodules sticking out, that's gerrymandering, that's bad.

There should be a rule that existing political boundaries (wards, cities, counties) and straight lines should be followed whenever possible. That could be enforced by a computer program.

Wisconsin is not as bad as Ohio, but it's gotten worse. District 3 is a gerrymander. Lots of crap going on around Milwaukee, one +25 Dem district, lots of little fingers here and there, +5 and +8 Republican districts outside the enforce Dem ghetto.

Congress is not about tokenism. Draw the lines straight and the chips fall where they may. No race, particular area, is entitled to representation. One representative per area, work it out amongst yourselves. If African Americans were equally distributed around the country, 10% in each district, if that meant none were elected, so be it. I don't want tokens.

Ghettoization of districts is bad for the republic and democracy. All voters are the same. Some aren't "the other" to be sequestered off into their own districts. Draw the lines straight.
   283. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: October 16, 2017 at 08:37 PM (#5555378)
For those of you who follow Twitter, you ought to track this ongoing Dan Drezner tweet thread: I'll believe that Trump is growing into the presidency when his staff stops talking about him like a toddler. Most days, he adds at least one new tweet to the thread, finding an article in which Trump's supporters, allies, or staff describe their attempts to manage Trump. Today's entry is rather tame, but cites a Politico article -- Trump gives his own performance a Trump-sized endorsement -- in which "Friends say President Donald Trump has grown frustrated that his greatness is not widely understood, that his critics are fierce and on TV every morning, that his poll numbers are both low and 'fake,' and that his White House is caricatured as adrift." It basically portrays Trump as providing his own version of Hillary's "Why aren't I 50 points ahead?" speech.

The Politico piece does, however, have the truest statement ever uttered by Donald J. Trump:
Senate Republicans, Trump said, had let him down and hurt his agenda.

“I’m not going to blame myself, I’ll be honest,” the president said.
Emphasis very much added.
   284. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: October 16, 2017 at 08:40 PM (#5555380)
Let me guess -- Trump didn't actually say that, right?


He did, at least about Obama. But when pressed further, he sort of kind of walked it back, as in "Well, I don't really know. It's what people tell me."

Trump then took a moment to compare himself favorably to former presidents, saying he likes to call families “when I’m able to do it.”

“The traditional way, if you look at President Obama and other presidents ― most of them didn’t make calls. A lot of them didn’t make calls. I like to call when it’s appropriate, when I think I’m able to do it,” Trump said. “They have made the ultimate sacrifice, so generally I would say that I like to call. I’m going to be calling them. I want a little time to pass.”


then later:

Later in the press conference, a reporter pressed Trump on his claim about Obama. Trump backtracked a bit, saying: “I don’t know if he did. I was told that he didn’t often. And a lot of presidents don’t.”

“President Obama, I think, probably did sometimes. Maybe sometimes he didn’t. I don’t know. That’s what I was told. All I can do is ask my generals,” he added. “Other presidents did not call. They’d write letters. Some presidents didn’t do anything. But I like the combination. When I can, I like the combination of a call and also a letter.”

Trump didn’t then specify which presidents supposedly never called service members’ families.





   285. Random Transaction Generator Posted: October 16, 2017 at 08:42 PM (#5555382)
I'm not sure why we wouldn't wonder why he was praised so many times. He sexually assaulted a lot of women, didn't he?


What percentage of those award winners are people that didn't know anything, or had no run in with him, or are men who assume it's just "rumours", or are people in the business that have no connection to stars (like makeup, effects, costumes, cinematography, etc)?

Weinstein was a terrible person who did terrible things to lots of women, but I'm going to assume his assaults account for a SMALL percentage of everyone in Hollywood. Even if you were to extend it one or two degrees (tell a friend who tells a friend), it's still pretty small (unless we find out he assaulted hundreds of women).

It's like terrible clergymen who assaulted children. While certain people knew about it, there were hundreds and thousands of people who didn't who might have been connected in some way to the churches where it happened.
   286. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: October 16, 2017 at 08:43 PM (#5555386)
Senate Republicans, Trump said, had let him down and hurt his agenda.

“I’m not going to blame myself, I’ll be honest,” the president said.

Emphasis very much added.


I was going to comment on that. "I'll be honest" is a phrase one uses when one is about to fess up to, or comment on something that reflects negatively on the speaker. "I'll be honest, I share some of the blame" is an example of how it is normally used. "I'll be honest, I did nothing wrong" is not.
   287. Blanks for Nothing, Larvell Posted: October 16, 2017 at 08:47 PM (#5555390)
“President Obama, I think, probably did sometimes.


Yeah ... as predicted. I seek no credit for the prediction, since it takes no great foresight.

This kind of exaggeration plays well in the echo chamber, for certain. Beyond, not so much.
   288. The Yankee Clapper Posted: October 16, 2017 at 08:48 PM (#5555395)
No is arguing the opposite. This still doesn't make the point you think it's making. Unless you somehow believe that district borders need to somehow run concurrent with municipal boundaries. But you're conservative hack quoting another conservative hack, so I'm not surprised that neither of you seem to understand that you're simply arguing for the proposition that the current boundaries are drawn unfairly, not that there's nothing to be done about it.

This is stupid, even for Shredder. First he questions whether the data existed, and now he claims it doesn't show what it shows. The discussion was about gerrymandering, and no normal definition of gerrymandering includes compact, contiguous Districts that conform to existing political boundaries. It is not gerrymandering when entire neighborhoods or parts of a municipality are included in the same Congressional District. Harlem is not gerrymandered because it produces 80% or 90% Democratic Congressional Districts. What Shredder apparently wants is gerrymandering to offset the Democrats over concentration in large urban areas - proving my point that there are no principles here, just a desire for Dems to reclaim lost political power. But even Shredder's pro-Democratic gerrymandering is almost impossible to do. Democrats controlled the last Illinois redistricting, and certainly weren't uninterested in aiding their party, but even their plan had far more Democratic "wasted" votes in Chicago than the GOP had downstate.
   289. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: October 16, 2017 at 08:53 PM (#5555400)
Congress is not about tokenism. Draw the lines straight and the chips fall where they may. No race, particular area, is entitled to representation. One representative per area, work it out amongst yourselves. If African Americans were equally distributed around the country, 10% in each district, if that meant none were elected, so be it. I don't want tokens.
Well... that's nice for you, but now you've just got to convince 70 million Democrats of that proposition. Your proposal might increase Democratic representation in Congress, but it would significantly reduce the size of the Congressional Black and Hispanic Caucuses. Black and hispanic legislators have no incentive to go along with that, and whites (Democrat and Republican) who don't want to be called racist have no incentive to, either. Look at the outrage over the Supreme Court's Shelby County decision, which merely held that If you're going to single out certain jurisdictions for special scrutiny, those jurisdictions should not be chosen on 50-year-old data. Can you imagine the hysterics -- I'm sure Andy can demonstrate to help you out if you can't -- if the Court actually held that district lines had to be drawn without any consideration of race?
   290. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: October 16, 2017 at 08:53 PM (#5555401)
Yeah ... as predicted.


Lest surprising post ever.
   291. Shredder Posted: October 16, 2017 at 08:53 PM (#5555403)
“I don’t know if he did. I was told that he didn’t often. And a lot of presidents don’t.”
Whenever you catch yourself talking about "a lot of presidents" in the present tense, you should just stop. There are only six of them. You can't have "a lot" of anything when only six of those things exist. Especially when you are one of them and you're talking about the five that aren't you. Sheesh, Trump's almost as dumb as Clapper.
   292. Joe Bivens Will Take a Steaming Dump Posted: October 16, 2017 at 08:54 PM (#5555404)
As predicted? Trump babbled on, contradicted gimself, doubled down, backtracked...the guy is a CON MAN, you fool. He would love to have his comments unquestioned. It's only when he's questioned that he goes into the "I didn't mean what I just said" routine. And you eat it up. Sad.
   293. Hot Wheeling American Posted: October 16, 2017 at 08:55 PM (#5555405)
Speaking of handle changes, who is "Hot Wheeling American"?


The third hunkiest upper west sider posting on BBTF. Previous handle was FattyCow-related. Didn't think my occasional tweet link drive-bys warranted a note about handle change, but then I hadn't gone meta before (just ask me about my ignore list!!).
   294. BDC Posted: October 16, 2017 at 09:04 PM (#5555409)
They could escape this predicament by tailoring their policy positions to appeal more to non-urban voters; they choose not to do so

The warrant behind this very-oft-repeated suggestion is that the entire purpose of politics is to score wins for the letter after your name. But a lot of voters – and a lot of candidates, many of them grass-roots right-wing Republicans – see politics as a way of expressing your policy preferences.

You can certainly argue "you'd have more success turning your preferences into policy if you won some elections," but phrasing it as "you'd have more success turning your preferences into policy if you had different preferences" doesn't make much sense, except I suppose as a tautology.
   295. Blanks for Nothing, Larvell Posted: October 16, 2017 at 09:08 PM (#5555413)
Lest surprising post ever.


No one outside the echo chamber believes you anymore.

   296. The Yankee Clapper Posted: October 16, 2017 at 09:23 PM (#5555432)
They could escape this predicament by tailoring their policy positions to appeal more to non-urban voters; they choose not to do so.

The warrant behind this very-oft-repeated suggestion is that the entire purpose of politics is to score wins for the letter after your name. But a lot of voters – and a lot of candidates, many of them grass-roots right-wing Republicans – see politics as a way of expressing your policy preferences.

You can certainly argue "you'd have more success turning your preferences into policy if you won some elections," but phrasing it as "you'd have more success turning your preferences into policy if you had different preferences" doesn't make much sense, except I suppose as a tautology.


Well, sure no one is required to compromise or abandon core principles, but if you're losing elections and refuse to change unpopular views, blaming the voters or the electoral system won't get you much.
   297. Greg K Posted: October 16, 2017 at 09:24 PM (#5555434)
A friend of mine posted a collection of sexual harassment/attempted sexual manipulation stories from her career as a art director in the film industry. It's an impressive list for someone that can't have been in the industry much more than ten to fifteen years.

I wonder if the film industry is more prone to that kind of behaviour, or I just badly under-estimate the amount of sexual harassment out there in all fields.

I'm guessing it's a bit of both.
   298. BDC Posted: October 16, 2017 at 09:33 PM (#5555450)
blaming the voters or the electoral system won't get you much

I agree that blaming the voters is pointless. If you got the votes, you should make the policies.

Blaming the electoral system … it depends. Would I be allowed to blame the system if I lived in North Korea? Mississippi in the 1950s? The pre-Reform-Bill UK? Electoral systems can always be made more responsive and representative, and that should be a continuous goal, even if you live in a system that is a lot better than North Korea.
   299. Joe Bivens Will Take a Steaming Dump Posted: October 16, 2017 at 10:02 PM (#5555475)
That guy who was released by the Taliban, with his family, when told Trump was POTUS:

"GTFOOH!" And i quote.
   300. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: October 16, 2017 at 10:07 PM (#5555478)
I agree that blaming the voters is pointless. If you got the votes, you should make the policies.

I'm more inclined to blame the non-voters, especially the ones who whine about everything.
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