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February 25, 2013 6:11 PM Day’s End and Night Watch

By Ed Kilgore

Kinda got wrapped up researching past presidential primary elections and got behind schedule. Here are some final news/views items of the day:

* Italian elections produce Euro-shaking, global market-bumming gridlock, and pivotal role for anti-politician (and comedian! and blogger!) Beppe Grillo.

* WaPo’s Greg Sargent reports electoral-vote-rigging schemes alive not only in Pennsylvania, but also in Michigan. Time to get out the wooden stakes.

* At TAP, Dean Baker makes the definitive brief case for ignoring budget deficits until the economy fully recovers.

* At Ten Miles Square, Seth Masket offers reality check to one of House of Cards’ dramatic congressional scenarios.

* At College Guide, Daniel Luzer reports rare good news on education front: high school graduation rates on track to hit 90% by 2020.

And in non-political news:

* Well, never heard this at one of those NGA meetings I attended for years: Dr. Oz tells governors to have sex at least twice a week. Stow that away in your damage control files, gubernatorial staffers!

To close the day, here are The Pretty Things performing “Sickle Clowns” in 1971. Straight-up rock/blues, and no mimes!

Selah.

Ed Kilgore is a contributing writer to the Washington Monthly. He is managing editor for The Democratic Strategist and a senior fellow at the Progressive Policy Institute. Find him on Twitter: @ed_kilgore.

Comments

  • TulsaTime on February 25, 2013 9:48 PM:

    With the continual cuts in education, graduation rates in the 90% range mean nothing. We are well back into the days of near universal graudation, with the exception of those dead, in jail, dropped out, or intensive care.

    Educational integrity is a thing of the past, with all administrative entities ready to 'help' with students grades, primarily for sports eligibility, but for just about anything else too. No one thinks Jack should have to miss going to State because of one little scandal, and that teacher had it in for him since the start of the year anyway.

  • max on February 26, 2013 6:08 AM:

    * Italian elections produce Euro-shaking, global market-bumming gridlock, and pivotal role for anti-politician (and comedian! and blogger!) Beppe Grillo.

    It's not gridlock, not American-style. Either the center-left and Berlusconi form a national unity coalition (since Grillo refuses to join a coalition) or they go back to elections. It might be that with the politicians in Grillo's coalition in the Senate that either the center-left or the right has a de facto working majority in the Senate. So we're back to some coalition.

    The uncertainty here is not about who is going to govern (it's Bersani + somebody else) but how they're going to govern. Are they going to give Berlin the bird or not?

    * WaPo’s Greg Sargent reports electoral-vote-rigging schemes alive not only in Pennsylvania, but also in Michigan. Time to get out the wooden stakes.

    PA was talking about proportional division. Proportional division in either form (EVs apportioned by statewide vote, or House EVs apportioned by statewide vote with the Senate EVs winner take all) is OK. We won't die. Allocation by congressional district is deciding based on land, and that bakes in any gerrymandering. Bad and no good.

    OK, after doing the calculation - with proportional division of House EVs, Obama would have gotten either 11 or 12 EVs out of twenty, depending on how they round. With the new scheme (votes given to winner of each House district a la Nebraska), Obama would have gotten *seven* EVs out of 20. (True proportional allocation - all EVs allocated according to statewide vote - would be 11 for O, 9 for Romney, assuming winner rounds up.)

    Michigan works the same way: True proportional - 9 for O, 7 for Romney.
    Proportional House - 10 for O, 6 for Romney.
    By House district - 7 for O, 9 for Romney.

    The thing is, is if one or two blue states switch to proportional, and the D's win in 2016 with 51+% of the vote, it doesn't matter. If a bunch of blue states switch to proportional, it might matter. In either case if red states switch it washes it out. If it goes to being by congressional seats, it starts to matter a lot because you win a state and still not get even a majority of EVs due to gerrymandering, and flipping red states doesn't help so much.

    UPDATE: Erick Erickson pretty much goes DefCon3 on McDonnell and the Republican legislators who voted for the transportation bill.

    'Read his lips: no new taxes'. Since the American people don't want to cut spending and they want to tax rich people that means... they've lost and they're going to stick to their guns. Woo.

    max
    ['No nothin' for nobody.']

  • Sgt. Gym Bunny on February 26, 2013 8:54 AM:

    "Dr. Oz tells governors to have sex at least twice a week."

    I hope that bit of advice is with the understanding that it's with their legitimate significant other. I don't think I believe in the likelihood that politicians are suffering from inaccessibility to the ill-na-na...