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Explaining the Trump/Republican wins by Edd Doerr When all the November 8 votes are tallied it will be seen that Hillary Clinton won the popular vote for President by over 1 million and that Democrats won  more votes than Republicans in the races for the Senate and House. Trump won the electoral college  vote because the rustbelt states of Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin tipped slightly to  him. Why? Perhaps the best explanation for these 3 states is found in the article, “Illness as indicator” (Link Here), in the November 19 issue of the respected newsweekly The Economist. “The best single predictor” is share of the county votes that switched from Romney in 2012 to Trump in 2016. And the best single indicator there is “an index of public- health statistics.” Pollster Patrick Ruffini drew on data from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington on “county level data on life expectancy and the prevalence of obesity, diabetes, heavy drinking and regular physical activity (or lack thereof).” Conclusion: “The data suggest that the ill may have been particularly susceptible to Mr Trump’s message.” And: “The better physical shape a county’s residents are, the worse Mr Trump did than Mr Romney.” Ironically, it is these less healthy voters who will be harmed most if Obamacare, Medicare and Medicaid are cut back under a Trump administration and GOP controlled congress.   Clinton’s popular vote win was upset by the electoral college system embedded in the Constitution, which may have made some sense in 1787 but today seriously thwarts democracy. Now for the congressional mess.   Senate. Since each state has two senators, the sparsely populated states like Idaho, Wyoming, Montana and Alaska get the same number senators as such heavily populated states as California, Texas, New York and Florida. So a voter in Wyoming counts for far more than one from California.  Advantage: Republicans. Loser: American democracy.   House. While a majority of voters preferred Democrats over Republicans,  gerrymandering and increasing voter suppression have given a decided shift toward rural and conservative white voters. Advantage: Republican. Loser: American democracy.   On balance these various underminings of democracy make it harder for majorities to cope with anthropogenic climate change and world overpopulation, and the increasing threats to women’s rights of conscience on reproductive matters, public education, church-state separation, and religious liberty (all of which have occupied  me full time for over 50 years). We have a lot of work to do, and Americans of all persuasions will need to work together. We can also hope that some congressional Republicans will put their country’s welfare first.
Toni Van Pelt interviewed on First Coast Connect radio show hosted by Melissa Ross. Listen Now 
Dear Members of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions: This is submitted on behalf of The Institute for Science and Human Values, a tax-exempt non-profit organization that promotes the well- being of society, the guarantee of various rights, including those of women, racial, ethnic, and other minorities, and supports education, health care, gainful employment, and other social benefits. We ask you to vote against the confirmation of Andrew Puzder as Secretary of Labor because we do not believe that Mr. Puzder will adequately discharge the primary duty of that post, which is to protect the rights of workers.  Grounds for that belief are based on his anti-employee public record.
Toni Van Pelt
THE SENATE MUST REJECT THE NOMINATION OF JEFF SESSIONS TO BE ATTORNEY GENERAL OF THE UNITED STATES The Attorney General is one of the most important positions in the entire Federal government.  The Justice Department has the responsibility to vigorously enforce some of our nation’s most critical laws; to protect the rights and liberties of all Americans; and to serve as an essential independent check on the excesses of an Administration.  The Attorney General is the People’s Lawyer, not the President’s lawyer. Throughout his career in public office, Jeff Sessions has failed to demonstrate the convictions, record, or personal integrity required to inspire confidence that he can properly perform these essential functions.  He has repeatedly shown that he is unfit to serve as Attorney General of the United States SESSIONS’ WOEFUL RECORD ON CIVIL AND HUMAN RIGHTS DEMONSTRATES HIS INABILITY TO PROTECT AMERICANS’ CIVIL RIGHTS AND LIBERTIES AND TO DEFEND THEM AGAINST GOVERNMENT EXCESS.
BEYOND MERE RELIGIOUS HYPOCRISY TO POWER AND TREACHERY That religious conservatives are the biggest hypocrites on the planet should come as no surprise to anyone that pays attention to what they say and do. However, they are not merely hypocritical. They are increasingly powerful and downright dangerous! Religious conservatives have the ear of President Trump and seem to be able to make him do their bidding. He seems to feel indebted to them for helping make his highly improbable ascent to the White House a reality. Earlier this month, Trump attended a private service at St. John’s Episcopal Church in Washington, D.C. In attendance were James Dobson, founder and head of Focus on the Family, Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council and other highly influential leaders of the Christian right. (Read More)