How do we turn the country around?

BG9 said:

But the compact is based on the constitutional rule that a state legislature may assign electoral college voters irregardless of how their voters voted. This same rule can enable the compact or Republican legislatures to select electors who will vote for Trump, irregardless of their voters preference.

Exactly.  And just try to enforce that compact if a state votes for the candidate that lost the nationwide popular vote, and the legislature decides to follow their voters' preference.


BG9 said:


STANV said:
You are correct but Greenfield details exactly how it could play out. So rather than just saying "I told you so" what do you suggest?
I don't know what we can do. We can't change the constitution because that requires 3/4 of the states to assent. There are too many "red" states.
Remember, the Electoral College compact, where states will assign their electoral college votes to the winner of the popular vote even though the voters of a state voted for the loser? Liberals and progressives love it. And it makes sense.
But the compact is based on the constitutional rule that a state legislature may assign electoral college voters irregardless of how their voters voted. This same rule can enable the compact or Republican legislatures to select electors who will vote for Trump, irregardless of their voters preference.


FYI


See:  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Popular_Vote_Interstate_Compact

See: https://www.nationalpopularvote.com/

===============================================

https://i2i.org/why-the-national-public-vote-scheme-is-unconstitutional/

Why the “National Popular Vote” scheme is unconstitutional

February 4, 2019

Rob Natelson

The U.S. Supreme Court says each state legislature has “plenary” (complete) power to decide how its state’s presidential electors are chosen.

But suppose a state legislature decided to raise cash by selling its electors to the highest bidder. Do you think the Supreme Court would uphold such a measure?

If your answer is “no,” then you intuitively grasp a basic principle of constitutional law—one overlooked by those proposing the “National Popular Vote Compact” (NPV).

NPV is a plan to change how we elect our president. Under the plan, each state signs a compact to award all its electoral votes to the presidential candidate who wins the national popular vote. The compact comes into effect when states with a majority of presidential electors sign on.

In assessing the constitutionality of NPV, you have to consider some of its central features. First, NPV abandons the idea that presidential electors represent the people of their own states. Second, it discards an election system balanced among interests and values in favor of one recognizing only national popularity. That popularity need not be high: A state joining the NPV compact agrees to assign its electors to even the winner of a tiny plurality in a multi-candidate election.

Third, because NPV states would have a majority of votes in the Electoral College, NPV would effectively repeal the Constitution’s provision for run-off elections in the House of Representatives.

Fourth, NPV requires each state’s election officer to apply the vote tabulations certified by other state election officers—even if those tabulations are known to be fraudulent or erroneous.  Indeed, NPV would give state politicians powerful incentives to inflate, by fair means or foul, their vote totals relative to other states.

Don’t changes that sweeping require a constitutional amendment?

In answer to this question, NPV advocates point out that the Constitution seemingly gives state legislatures unlimited authority to decide how their electors are appointed. They further note that the Constitution recognizes the reserved power of states to make compacts with each other. Although the Constitution’s text requires that interstate compacts be approved by Congress, NPV advocates claim congressional approval of NPV is not necessary. They observe that in U.S. Steel v. Multistate Tax Comm’n (1978) the Supreme Court held that Congress must approve a compact only when the compact increases state power at the expense of federal power.

NPV advocates may be wrong about congressional approval. It is unclear that the justices would follow U.S. Steel’s ruling now. The Constitution’s language requiring congressional approval is crystal clear, and the court today is much more respectful of the Constitution’s text and historical meaning than it was in 1978. Moreover, you can make a good argument that U.S. Steel requires congressional approval for NPV because NPV would weaken federal institutions: It would (1) abolish the role of the U.S. House of Representatives in the electoral process and (2) alter the presidential election system without congressional involvement. Furthermore, even the U.S. Steel case suggested that compacts require congressional approval whenever they “impact . . . our federal structure.”

A more fundamental problem with NPV, however, is that with or without congressional approval it violates a central principle of constitutional law.

The Constitution recognizes two kinds of powers: (1) those reserved by the Tenth Amendment in the states by reason of state sovereignty (“reserved powers”) and (2) those created and granted by the Constitution itself (“delegated powers”). Reserved powers are, in James Madison’s words, “numerous and indefinite,” but delegated powers are “few and defined.”

A state’s power to enter into a compact with other states is reserved in nature, and it almost always involves other reserved powers, such as taxation and water use. Such was the compact examined by the Supreme Court in the U.S. Steel case.

As for delegated powers, the Constitution grants most of these to agents of the federal government. However, it also grants some to entities outside the federal government. Recipients include state legislatures, state governors, state and federal conventions, and presidential electors.

The scope of delegated powers is “defined” by the Constitution’s language, construed in light of its underlying purpose and its historical context. If state lawmakers or officers try to employ a delegated power in a way not sanctioned by its purpose and scope, the courts intervene.

For example, the courts often have voided efforts to exercise delegated powers in the constitutional amendment process in ways inconsistent with purpose or historical understanding. This is true even if the attempt superficially complies with the Constitution’s text.

Like a state legislature’s authority to act in the amendment process, its power to decide how electors are appointed is a delegated one. In exercising it, the legislature must comply with the overall purpose of the presidential election system and the historical understandings surrounding it. For example, the Founders, including those who approved the 12th amendment, designed the system to serve multiple interests, not merely candidate popularity. And they conceived of an elector as a person who acted on behalf of the people of his state—much like a legislator, but with more limited functions.

In deciding how electors are appointed, state lawmakers may choose among a range of procedures. But they have a constitutional duty to choose a method consistent with the electoral system’s purpose and design. Attempting to convert electors into agents of other states—like selling them to the highest bidder—would be an unconstitutional breach of public trust.




drummerboy said:


lord_pabulum said:

Mitch McConnell rules the world.
That's funny
 
It's really, really not.
He remade the Supreme Court all by himself. As he's remaking the American judiciary.
Name me one other American who will have a more lasting effect over the next 30-50 years.

  Your world view is quite limited then.


If I remember correctly in the case of Dred Scott v. Sanford the Supreme Court said Congress lacked the power to prohibit slavery in any territory or newly created State.

 https://www.britannica.com/event/Dred-Scott-decision

The result was rather ugly.


lord_pabulum said:


drummerboy said:


lord_pabulum said:

Mitch McConnell rules the world.
That's funny
 
It's really, really not.
He remade the Supreme Court all by himself. As he's remaking the American judiciary.
Name me one other American who will have a more lasting effect over the next 30-50 years.

  Your world view is quite limited then.

 let's have your counterexample.


If people really want to make things better, they need to understand and accept the limits of centralizing power over large groups of people.   There is a global rejection of the neo-liberal center going on right now.  Most notably you can see it in England, France, and the United States.  

If we want things to get better, we need to look at our foreign policy and understand that we have an almost spotless record of turning a sub-optimal situation into an unmitigated disaster.  We should understand the ramifications of this and how this affects the west domestically in a myriad of ways. 

Furthermore, we should allow people to control their own lives as much as possible.  We should be careful about telling people what the can or cannot put into their bodies, who they can associate with, what they should do with their wages, etc. 

We should understand that the closer you get to the individual, the better informed you can be about the needs and wants of each individual that makes up our society.  As you approach the individual, the likelihood increases that you will make good decisions on their behalf. 

The first step is understanding this.  That is the easy part. Reworking our system to reflect the above, given all of the entrenched interests, will be very very difficult. 


terp said:
If people really want to make things better, they need to understand and accept the limits of centralizing power over large groups of people.   There is a global rejection of the neo-liberal center going on right now.  Most notably you can see it in England, France, and the United States. 

You can no more reject globalism than you can reject climate change.  It is happening and will affect you whether you want it to or not and the groups that will prosper are the largest cohesive groups.


You can have globalism without centralized power.  If anything these large centralized powers just slow down the process. 


terp said:
You can have globalism without centralized power.  If anything these large centralized powers just slow down the process. 

Ah, the "all government should be local" fantasy.

Well, China is the textbook example of a country that is run with a "large centralized" government. Yet they are running circles around us, so it cannot be that bad.

Also the fact that every little township needs to have its own local government means that every little township ends up with its own Police Department, School District, Fire Department, etc. which is highly inefficient (high property taxes), which is the reason we are actually merging FD between Maplewood and South Orange for instance.


We could start by impeaching. Show us some guts, Democratic leaders. Stop pussyfooting.

A brutal advert:


basil said:

Well, China is the textbook example of a country that is run with a "large centralized" government. Yet they are running circles around us, so it cannot be that bad.

Ummm ...


Concerns over "centralizing power" is too abstract for me. What I do know is that one political party in this country dramatically increased access to health care for millions and is showing appetite to push even further in that direction, while the other party has made rolling back access and blocking further progress here a top priority.

One party has a foreign policy that raises some very real and difficult moral concerns over whether "targeted violence" can ever really be targeted and even if so, still creates too much instability and blowback, whereas the other blows past such concerns and has given us the invasion of Iraq, torture of prisoners, and is spoiling for war with Iran.

One party has struggled with how to balance border security with humanity, while the other party has no such struggle because they believe in neither border security nor in humanity, but rather take cruelty and xenophobia against immigrants as goals in their own right.

One party seeks to make it harder to own deadly weapons while the other responds to millions of suicides, murders, and mass shootings with "thoughts and prayers" and a call to pass the ammunition.

One party supports women's bodily autonomy, and one is barreling forward to gut Roe.

I don't know how any of this fits into "centralizing power" exactly, but I know that who wins elections makes a difference in which of these concrete differences get advanced.


basil said:
Ah, the "all government should be local" fantasy.
Well, China is the textbook example of a country that is run with a "large centralized" government. Yet they are running circles around us, so it cannot be that bad.
Also the fact that every little township needs to have its own local government means that every little township ends up with its own Police Department, School District, Fire Department, etc. which is highly inefficient (high property taxes), which is the reason we are actually merging FD between Maplewood and South Orange for instance.

 If China is so great, move there.  I said nothing about how each township needs to govern anything. Local governments can try different models.  People can vote with their feet.  You would hope successful models would be copied.   At least in this way people can be heard. 


PVW said:
Concerns over "centralizing power" is too abstract for me. What I do know is that one political party in this country dramatically increased access to health care for millions and is showing appetite to push even further in that direction, while the other party has made rolling back access and blocking further progress here a top priority.
One party has a foreign policy that raises some very real and difficult moral concerns over whether "targeted violence" can ever really be targeted and even if so, still creates too much instability and blowback, whereas the other blows past such concerns and has given us the invasion of Iraq, torture of prisoners, and is spoiling for war with Iran.
One party has struggled with how to balance border security with humanity, while the other party has no such struggle because they believe in neither border security nor in humanity, but rather take cruelty and xenophobia against immigrants as goals in their own right.
One party seeks to make it harder to own deadly weapons while the other responds to millions of suicides, murders, and mass shootings with "thoughts and prayers" and a call to pass the ammunition.
One party supports women's bodily autonomy, and one is barreling forward to gut Roe.

I don't know how any of this fits into "centralizing power" exactly, but I know that who wins elections makes a difference in which of these concrete differences get advanced.

Foreign Policy was an unmitigated disaster under Barack Obama.  There is slave trade in Libya because of him.  Syria is a disaster because of him.   Much of the migrant crisis is due to his policies.  And apparently those are the good guys. 

I'm not sure how kind our border security was prior to Trump.    Regarding guns, I think much of that is cultural and there are people who feel differently than those who live on the coasts.  

Again, if you think things would be fixed if we just elected people from 1 party, things should have been pretty awesome during the Obama administration and HRC should have won by a landslide.  That didn't happen IIRC.


BG9 said:
We could start by impeaching. Show us some guts, Democratic leaders. Stop pussyfooting.
A brutal advert:


 They forgot to mention how he worked with Putin to rig the election. 


terp said:

If China is so great, move there.  

In other words, basil, vote with your feet. It couldn’t be easier.

(Grandma, the relative who watches the kids while you’re at work? Put her in a suitcase and GO. The house that suits you all right but won’t fetch much? Just list it on Airbnb and BE FREE.) 


PVW said:
Concerns over "centralizing power" is too abstract for me. What I do know is that one political party in this country dramatically increased access to health care for millions and is showing appetite to push even further in that direction, while the other party has made rolling back access and blocking further progress here a top priority.

I heard that 19th-century charity hospitals are due for a comeback.


DaveSchmidt said:
In other words, basil, vote with your feet. It couldn’t be easier.
(Grandma, the relative who watches the kids while you’re at work? Put her in a suitcase and GO. The house that suits you all right but won’t fetch much? Just list it on Airbnb and BE FREE.) 

 Seems cruel to treat grandma like that.  I hope Basil isn't Muslim.  After all, you have to take large central governments with all of their trappings.


DaveSchmidt said:


basil said:

Well, China is the textbook example of a country that is run with a "large centralized" government. Yet they are running circles around us, so it cannot be that bad.
Ummm ...

China has its problems, like all countries.

However, new infrastructure, they are head and shoulders above us:

Since 2003, China has poured more cement every two years than the US managed in the entire 20th century. Even after a dip in recent years, China uses almost half the world’s concrete. The construction sector – roads, bridges, railways, urban development and other concrete-and-steel projects – accounted for one-third of the expansion of the Chinese economy in 2017.

https://www.theguardian.com/cities/2019/feb/28/the-grey-wall-of-china-inside-the-worlds-concrete-superpower

While they build, we talk. But then talk is cheap.


DaveSchmidt said:


basil said:

Well, China is the textbook example of a country that is run with a "large centralized" government. Yet they are running circles around us, so it cannot be that bad.
Ummm ...

Of course China is not all great, but they are a good example of why certain (not all) government should be centralized (economic policy, fiscal policy, defense, foreign relations, etc.)


DaveSchmidt said:


I heard that 19th-century charity hospitals are due for a comeback.

That's usually terp's bailiwick.


drummerboy said:
That's usually terp's bailiwick.

 One of many! ;-)  Considering the health spending trajectory, private charity might not be the worst outcome. 


BG9 said:







DaveSchmidt said:


basil said:

Well, China is the textbook example of a country that is run with a "large centralized" government. Yet they are running circles around us, so it cannot be that bad.
Ummm ...
China has its problems, like all countries.
However, new infrastructure, they are head and shoulders above us:
Since 2003, China has poured more cement every two years than the US managed in the entire 20th century. Even after a dip in recent years, China uses almost half the world’s concrete. The construction sector – roads, bridges, railways, urban development and other concrete-and-steel projects – accounted for one-third of the expansion of the Chinese economy in 2017.
https://www.theguardian.com/cities/2019/feb/28/the-grey-wall-of-china-inside-the-worlds-concrete-superpower
While they build, we talk. But then talk is cheap.

BG9,  You commented as follows: "new infrastructure, [China is] head and shoulders above us."  Your comment sounds like a variant on "he made the trains run on time."  However, China's efficiency comes at great cost.  I have placed links to some of these costs below.


Millions in Uighur reeducation camps:  https://www.nbcnews.com/nightly-news/video/estimated-one-million-uighur-muslims-vanish-into-chinese-re-education-camps-1373688899675

China's peasants (from areas outside major cities) are treated as illegal aliens in their own country:  https://www.scmp.com/video/china/2185289/life-gets-harder-beijings-migrant-workers-city-tries-limit-its-population-growth


Average Chinese citizens protesting environmental horrors are beaen by the police on a regular basis:  https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/qkkw3m/china-s-anti-pollution-protests-get-violent


Link to Herb Block Mussolini cartoon:  https://www.loc.gov/exhibits/herblock/psychopathic-ward.html


basil said:


DaveSchmidt said:

basil said:

Well, China is the textbook example of a country that is run with a "large centralized" government. Yet they are running circles around us, so it cannot be that bad.
Ummm ...
Of course China is not all great, but they are a good example of why certain (not all) government should be centralized (economic policy, fiscal policy, defense, foreign relations, etc.)

We currently have numerous financial institutions that are too-big-to-fail despite lessons learned in 2008.  In my mind, further financial centralization (whether on a national or international basis) just creates more too-big-to-fail financial institutions.

I instead support following:

i.) levying a tax on all banks with assets in excess of $200 billion (or some other number that we can agree upon);

ii.) provide federal incentives to small banks and cause the US government to consider using these smaller banks; and

iii.) reinstitute Glass-Steagall.


PS Wells Fargo has assets currently of approximately 1.9 trillion dollars.  Yes, WF would need to be charged a  too-big-to-fail under "i" above.





tjohn said:


terp said:
If people really want to make things better, they need to understand and accept the limits of centralizing power over large groups of people.   There is a global rejection of the neo-liberal center going on right now.  Most notably you can see it in England, France, and the United States. 
You can no more reject globalism than you can reject climate change.  It is happening and will affect you whether you want it to or not and the groups that will prosper are the largest cohesive groups.

 I think that the devil is in the detail.  What globalism means to you might be significantly different from what it meant/means to David Rockefeller, Henry Kissinger, Jean-Claude Juncker or Guy Verhofstadt.


How do you define globalism?



BG9 said:

China has its problems, like all countries.
However, new infrastructure, they are head and shoulders above us:
Since 2003, China has poured more cement every two years than the US managed in the entire 20th century. Even after a dip in recent years, China uses almost half the world’s concrete. The construction sector – roads, bridges, railways, urban development and other concrete-and-steel projects – accounted for one-third of the expansion of the Chinese economy in 2017.
https://www.theguardian.com/cities/2019/feb/28/the-grey-wall-of-china-inside-the-worlds-concrete-superpower
While they build, we talk. But then talk is cheap.

China's "top down" approach leads to what are called "ghost cities", developed areas with no people there.  

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Under-occupied_developments_in_China


drummerboy said:
DaveSchmidt said:

I heard that 19th-century charity hospitals are due for a comeback.
That's usually terp's bailiwick.

Where do you think I heard it?



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