Explaining the Trump/Republican winsby Edd DoerrWhen 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.
THE SENATE MUST REJECT THE NOMINATION OF JEFF SESSIONS TO BE ATTORNEY GENERAL OF THE UNITED STATESThe 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.
What would Count as Evidence against Theism or Biblical Inerrancy?This year (2017), for the first time, Bob Jones University closed in honor of the birthday of Martin Luther King Jr. The University’s long history of anti-Black racism is well-known, so this must be considered as at least a small step forward. (They did not even accept Blacks to the school until the 1970s and banned interracial dating until at least the year 2000.)However, when religionists change their views, it never occurs to most of them that the changes they embrace mean that they – and their God –were wrong. Yet they profess to embrace a perfect, omniscient God that never makes mistakes. What’s up with that?The usual rationalization is that they “misinterpreted” Scripture, but finally got it right. Others maintain that God finally touched their hearts and changed them for the better. They never seem to notice that God does not change their hearts and minds until after the rest of society has moved ahead. This, of course, means that they are simply coming late to the party. It makes their God look like a slacker.(Read More)