S/SW blog philosophy -

I credit favorite writers and public opinion makers.

A lifelong Democrat, my comments on Congress, the judiciary and the presidency are regular features.

My observations and commentary are on people and events in politics that affect the USA or the rest of the world, and stand for the interests of peace, security and justice.

Friday, June 27, 2008

What laws apply?

Many of us are cautiously watching the Electoral College numbers. Some would even like to change the law that mandates that votes be counted this way. The buzz out there, if you listen closely, is that Senator Obama might win the popular vote but lose the election. Shades of Gore; shades of Hillary Clinton and the Democratic Primaries! I did my own count, using fairly good predictions, that yielded these figures. For Obama there are 96 possible from "likely Democratic" States. For McCain there are 141 from "Likely Republican" states. I arbitrarily gave Obama 181 votes from "battleground" states, yielding a total of 277 total. That is a margin of only 7. My husband, the optimist, predicts that Obama will win 342 electoral votes. I hope he is right.

For Obama to win, everything will have to go perfectly in the actual mechanics of the November election. From The Democratic Strategist's Ed Kilgore headlines: "Remember Election Reform?" To quote his opening and closing:

As we look forward to another presidential election in the autumn--one that could be very close--political observers are beginning to wake up to the fact that relatively little has been done to reform the creaking, state-controlled, crazy-quilt system of election administration whose shortcomings were so graphically demonstrated in 2000.

In the wake of the 2000 fiasco, Congress enacted the Help American Vote Act (HAVA), but the reform machinery it put it place, the bipartisan Election Assistance Commission, has spent much of its brief existence wandering in the political wilderness.

. . . In my own opinion, the obsession of many Democrats with electronic voting systems--how votes are counted--has distracted attention from the more pervasive problem of how voters exercise their right to cast ballots in the first place. Thus, we are heading into another national election in which it will be largely up to private groups to police illegitimate state and local practices, including selective purges of voting rolls, capricious last-minute changes in polling sites, the deliberate underdeployment and understaffing of precincts, and minority voter intimidation.

We'd better get ready for all that, without any help from Washington.

Can this be true? What laws apply? My blog friend, betmo, says it was only a matter of time, and sent me this link. "Blackwater Brings Sharia Law to America!" from Josh Marshall at TPM. The lawsuit involves a plane crash in Afghanistan that took 6 lives. To quote:

I think we may have the first case of a defendant actually asking a US federal judge to apply Sharia law, not American law, to a case.

And the defendant is Blackwater.

I am visiting my family of origin in Wyoming. Therefore blog posting may be much more sporadic. But I will be tuned in to the web as much as possible, given technology and circumstances.

This day in history: Constitutional Convention, June 27, 1787: N.H. legislature selected delegates to Constitutional Convention.

View my current slide show about the Bush years -- "Millennium" -- at the bottom of this column.

My “creativity and dreaming” post today is at Making Good Mondays.

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