Politics: November 2010 Archives

Clearing out my browser tabs and clearing my conscience of failing to write a blog post about each one:

Gabriel Malor, co-blogger at Ace of Spades HQ, will be on 1170 KFAQ with Pat Campbell at about 6:30 to discuss the CAIR lawsuit to stop Oklahoma's anti-sharia amendment.

Joe Miller is just a hat shy of looking like Bogart as Fred C. Dobbs in Treasure of the Sierra Madre (or the parody of the character in a Bugs Bunny cartoon): "Say, pardon me, but could you help out a fellow American who's down on his luck?" The stubble probably cost him the election. Either shave it off or grow it out to a respectable length. "Miami Vice" has been off the air for 20 years.

Tulsa Public Schools to consider eliminating schools: KRMG news story says the Tulsa district has 90 schools, same as the 1960s, but we have only half the students today that we did 40 years ago. The student population stat sounds right, but the school count can't possibly be the same: TPS has closed plenty of schools since peak baby-boomer enrollment, including more than a dozen I can think of off the top of my head: Mason High School; Bates, Lynn Lane, Lincoln, Lowell, Longfellow, Pershing, Revere, Franklin, Riley, Ross, Whittier (or Kendall -- they merged) Elementary Schools; Horace Mann Jr. High, Wright Jr. High (repurposed as an elementary). Did I miss any? I can't think of the name of the old elementary school near 45th and Peoria that now serves as home of the Tulsa Ballet.

Brandon Dutcher at Choice Remarks links to a HuffPo entry by John Thompson about the projected low number of graduates for African-American males in Oklahoma City Public Schools neighborhood high schools. Thompson calls this a crisis, but he uses too many qualifiers to exclude too many students who are being educated successfully in OKC public schools (e.g. students at charters like Harding High School, magnet school students, students in inner-suburban districts), and he fails to give us numbers as bases of comparison (how many total African American male students in neighborhood high schools are there?). Oh, and he's wrong to equate neighborhood schools with non-selective schools. Charter schools can't select their students, either. There's probably a story here, and it may be jaw-dropping, but it needs a teller who'll be more careful handling the numbers.

Thompson links to this interesting map of the OKC metro area showing population as color-coded dots - whites are red, African-Americans are blue, Asians are green, and Hispanics are orange. Each dot represents 25 people. Thompson says it shows racial segregation, and while it's true that there's a predominantly African-American area between the Santa Fe tracks and I-35 as well as a rural African-American area in NE Oklahoma County, and undoubtedly this reflects the official and unofficial segregation of earlier decades. But a look at the big version of the map shows blue dots scattered through out, alongside red, green, and orange.

Here's the Tulsa race and ethnicity map from the same set. Note how colorful the ORU campus is.

Cassy Fiano writes that feminist blogger Jessica Valenti is a big ol' chicken for refusing to participate in a panel discussion that includes just one conservative woman.

Sarah Palin to freshman Republican congressmen-elect:

Remember that some in the media will love you when you stray from the time-tested truths that built America into the most exceptional nation on earth. When the Left in the media pat you on the back, quickly reassess where you are and readjust, for the liberals' praise is a warning bell you must heed. Trust me on that.

Ed Morrissey recounts a Clarence Thomas anecdote about justices reacting to social pressures and remarks:

With that in mind, the freshman class should steel themselves that getting the job done right will mean few plaudits in the media in the short run, even fewer speaking invitations, and no medals or plaques from lobbyists and Academia. Their reward will be a more secure, less indebted, and fiscally restored United States of America, and the gratitude of a nation in the long run for restoring sanity and accountability. And frankly, that should be enough.
Warner Todd Huston reports that mainstream media's coverage of a crooked Maryland county politician has (once again) neglected to identify the crook's party affiliation.

Muslim extremists protest Armistice Day in London. And J. E. Dyer comments on the shifting of Britain's place in the world as the U. S. under Obama has distanced itself from the Special Relationship the two countries long enjoyed.

Tim Bayly writes about the new NIV's further slide away from scripture and toward political correctness.

"Zombie," a blogger known for documenting through photographs the nauseating obscenity of festivals and protests in the Bay Area, is documenting a political and geographical form of obscenity: The gerrymander, the deliberate drawing of district lines for political advantage.

The first of two recent posts -- Gerrymandering 101 -- explains what gerrymandering is, why it's done, and the different types of gerrymanders:

This essay explains in no uncertain terms how manipulating district boundaries can lead to a complete subversion of true representative government....

You may have wondered how America overall tends to prefer conservative policies (pollsters like to say "We're a center/right country") yet we often have a liberal or at least Democratic majority in the Congress. How can this be? Gerrymandering. It's so powerful that it has at times fundamentally altered the political slant of our government.

Zombie includes some simple but effective illustrations, explains how gerrymandering can backfire (as it did in the 2010 election), and notes an additional factor promoting the practice: the racial "packing" mandated by the Federal Voting Rights Act, which has created some of the most bizarre "map monsters," as Zombie calls them.

In part 2, we're given a look at the ten most gerrymandered U. S. House districts, with evocative names like "rabbit on a skateboard" and "water skier checking email on his Blackberry" plus a bonus set of 20 districts that shouldn't even be legal, as they are not contiguous (they use bizarre over-water boundaries to satisfy -- technically -- the contiguity requirement).

Zombie challenges Republicans, with the upper hand in the upcoming decennial redistricting, to do better than the Democrats in drawing compact, reasonable districts. In a representative government, voters choose their representatives. In gerrymander-land, elected officials choose their constituents. True representation begins with fairly drawn districts.

Oklahoma's congressional districts are pretty good by comparison, probably because they were a compromise between a Republican governor and a Democratic legislature. It's tough because the Oklahoma City and Tulsa's metro areas are each too big to fit in a single district, so some of each metro area has to be joined to more rural areas adjacent. The plan also took into consideration the location of Oklahoma's four principal military installations (Fort Sill, Vance, Tinker, and Altus AFBs) -- districts 3 and 4 each cover two of them. While the lines had to be drawn so that the districts had exactly the same population (+/- 1 person), they managed to stick close to county boundaries, which makes the districts simpler to understand.

What are your nominations for the most gerrymandered Oklahoma legislative districts? Leave a comment below.

My picks for the final congressional result:

House 276 R - 179 D (Republican net gain of 98.)

Senate 52 R - 48 D (Republican net gain of 11: Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Illinois, Indiana, Nevada, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin.)

Remember: You can still help be the wave. In Tulsa, you can be a sign waver or make get-out-the-vote (GOTV) phone calls. Call Jed at 580-239-2988 or Jason at 918-261-4309 to volunteer, or just stop by Tulsa County GOP HQ.

FreedomWorks would like your help making GOTV phone calls in key races across the country.

At the very least, you can personally contact 10 of your friends and encourage them to vote. It makes a difference.

Even though I'm in San Antonio on business for a bit, I still found one more thing to do to help. I went to Frederico Canseco HQ, along with about 50 other volunteers, and dialed almost 200 numbers this evening. It was fun, and it's always interesting (to me, at any rate) to learn about new campaign processes and technologies. Canseco is challenging a two-term Democrat incumbent, Ciro Rodriguez. You may remember the YouTube video of Rodriguez swatting a bunch of papers at a constituent. Canseco is favored to win.

About this Archive

This page is a archive of entries in the Politics category from November 2010.

Politics: October 2010 is the previous archive.

Politics: December 2010 is the next archive.

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