Virginia is for lovers... of election rigging!

Virginia is now poised to be the first state to move legislation forward, which will rig the Electoral College to benefit Republican presidential candidates in the future. On Wednesday, legislation to dole out Electoral College votes based on gerrymandered Congressional districts, instead of the current winner-take-all system, advanced out of a state Senate subcommittee. It now heads to full committee, where it will likely be approved, before heading to the full state Senate, which is controlled by Republicans.

So, Republicans have actually taken rigging the next presidential election seriously, with efforts also underway in Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Ohio to do the same thing. Progressives must counter with an equally aggressive push for a national popular vote. Nine states have already passed National Popular Vote laws, which commit their electors to vote for whichever candidate wins the national popular vote, even if that candidate lost the state Electoral College vote.

Those nine states that have passed national popular vote laws - including California, Maryland, and Illinois - account for 132 electoral votes among them, nearly half of the 270 needed in the Electoral College to win the White House. If this trend continues, and enough states sign up to bring their combined Electoral College votes to 270, then the Electoral College, which Republicans are currently trying to rig, dies just like that. Let’s get active and fight fire with fire.


pjsemail1's picture
pjsemail1 10 years 19 weeks ago

Why can't all federal election districts be restricted to Postal Zip codes only?

Kend's picture
Kend 10 years 19 weeks ago

Is there anyone one that can explain to me what a "electoral college" is? I need the "for dummies version" I tried googling it and It still doesn't make any sense to me. I also find it a little weird that you have a Federal election but there is different rules in different states, am I understanding that right. And why do you need a whole week to vote? Here it is one day.

pjsemail1's picture
pjsemail1 10 years 19 weeks ago

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed. (nothing about OWNING it or the ammunition for it)

When I was a member of a “well regulated Militia” (US Army), during Basic Training, I was issued a weapon (M-14), but with NO ammunition. We KEPT our weapon in a gun rack, at night, during meals and class rooms. The only time we had ammunition is when we were at the rifle range, and then it was three cartridges at a time.

After Basic, my issued weapon was turned in and that was the last time I saw it. After that I was sent to two AIT for my MOS training. My first training station, the only time I had a weapon was when I had guard duty (for one night), but it didn’t have any ammunition to go with (armed with and empty weapon). At my second training school I was issued a weapon (the first and only time I had an M-16) only long enough to qualify with it (couple hours) because I had orders to go to Vietnam. In Vietnam I was issued an M-14 plus 5 clips (100 rounds). It was required that we carried it from our living quarters to our work station and if we were leaving the base. My weapon was kept in a gun rack, most days, for 22 hours out of 24 and I was in a War zone.

My point, the second Amendment says “to KEEP and bear Arms”, and nothing about owning a weapon or the ammunition for the weapon (Arms). A “well regulated Militia” (the one I was in) regulated when, where and how we KEPT our weapon (which we did NOT own). The “regulation” also regulated when, where and if we had ammunition for the weapon.

ken ware's picture
ken ware 10 years 19 weeks ago

Kend - The Electoral College consists of people who are chosen by each party (Dem.'s and Repub.'s) and these Electors or people generally vote for the Party that wins the popular vote in each State. The candidate that gets the majority of the popular vote, they receive the total number of Electoral votes from that state. Generally all States except Maine and Nebraska, which is based on a proportional basis, basically vote the candidate with the most popular votes. There are 538 Electoral votes in total and a candidate must have at least 270 votes to win the election. The Electors from the party with the most popular votes cast their votes for the candidate they represent. The Electors are not bound to vote for the candidate of their party, but I have never heard of an instance where they cast their electoral vote for the opposing party. Basically Americans leave the actual decision to who is elected president in the hands of the Electors in the Electoral College. That is why a candidate can lose the popular vote by the people and win the Electoral Vote to become President. In the beginning of this country the white landowners came up with this model to elect the president, because they did not trust the less educated masses to make the right decision. That is why people say "we", meaning the individual voter does not actually elect the President of the United States. Crazy I know, but that is it in a simple explanation. And if I got anything wrong please feel free to correct me, this is the best I could do to explain it to Kend. Our elections also take only one day to vote, but to verify the Electoral Vote takes longer for some reason. Also the number of Electoral Votes are based on the number of people who reside in each state. More people equals more Elctoral Votes for that State. After reading Thom's Blog it looks like I may have it wrong concerning the Electoral Vote! Now I get what he is saying. Instead of the Electoral Votes going to the winner with the most popular votes state wide, the Republicans want the Electoral votes to be divided up in each State and be counted on how each district votes and therefore they, the Repbulinuts can win, not based on the winner of the total votes statewide but on the votes from the districts they have gerrymandered in their favor by redistricting the districts to allow them to retain a larger Republican vote in that district. And if they get away with it, those of you who are Democrats, will get screwed future elections! Those crooks will do anything to win, even if it prevents the system we have used for fair elections to go by the wayside! And I do not vote Democrat and it pisses me off!

Nikolodeonx's picture
Nikolodeonx 10 years 19 weeks ago

Election rigging in Virginia....Frightening absonding with Democracy that is left of the country's broken political system. This should be illegal or at least criminal to even suggest that a state can hand over its majority of of votes when a minority of voters loses the popular vote. The Electoral College is vstly unfair to the majority of the states now. SO abolish it and elect by popular vote results.

dowdotica's picture
dowdotica 10 years 19 weeks ago

niiiiice! well put, but try to sell it to a zealot!

loismason's picture
loismason 10 years 19 weeks ago

Brilliant. Let's do it.

equinerome 10 years 19 weeks ago

Thanks so much Thom for launching this effort. I am a PCO and an active Democrat and I will talk to my state legislators and press my Dem colleagues to do the same so that we can make this a priority issue.

Old Blue 10 years 19 weeks ago

The Electoral College is an example of an institution that has outlived its usefulness and has been morphed into a mechanism to influence the outcome of elections. But beyond what Thom has said, there are other, deeper problems in our system that also need to be addressed. The two party system is a setup for more of the same. We really need a runoff system in which any number of candidates can go through several passes to achieve a true consensus of the voters. Public campaign financing would also be nice. Follow the money, folks. Observe who comes out against this kind of reform, to whom they're connected, and you'll instantly see who's interested in what's right for the country and who is representing the special interests.

shayes's picture
shayes 10 years 19 weeks ago

Today when Thom was talking about getting rid of the electoral college entirely, and replacing it with the popular vote he laid it out simplistically. So when we were watching Al Sharpton tonight, he had on Ed Rendell from Pennsylvania and a representative from Ohio, Ed brought up the popular vote like Thom did and he seemed to say that they could do it emphatically. It might be interesting for Thom to contact Ed and get him to come on and discuss this issue.

PhilipHenderson's picture
PhilipHenderson 10 years 19 weeks ago

Republicans detest the democratic process. They have no shame. I suspect as more Americans get to know how they behave that this version of the Republican Party will have fewer and fewer members. They are sowing the seeds for their own elimination as a major political organization. I believe that most Americans love democracy. They will not want to be affiliated with the crazies who have taken over this Party. In California there are already as many people registered as Declined to State as there are in the Republican Party. Even in my town of Irvine, a rich city in the middle of Republican Orange County, there are as many people in the Democratic, Republican and DTS so no party has the advantage in registration. Declined to State is the fastest growing designation in IRvine.

Gregory Wonderwheel's picture
Gregory Wonderwheel 10 years 19 weeks ago

Sorry Thom, but on this one I have to disagree. I think you are taking a too partisan view of this. As a member of the Green Parrty I welcome this move and as long as we have an Electoral College system I would like to see all states have the electors chosen proportionally. While I might not choose this way of doing it over other options, I would choose this way of doing it over no change at all. As soon as one of the really conservative rural districts picks a Libertarian or Constitutional Party candidate in a narrow three-way contest, the Republicans will realize their mistake and run to the Statehouse and change it back to the way it was. The current winner-take-all system is a blockade to the alternative parties and maintains the lock on the two-party dictatorship.

Gregory Wonderwheel's picture
Gregory Wonderwheel 10 years 19 weeks ago

A nationwide popular vote is only a change for the better IF IT HAS RANKED CHOICE VOTING. Otherwise, a nationwide popular vote will just make the winner-take-all system even more of an obstacle to breaking open the two-party dictatorship.

ScottFromOz 10 years 19 weeks ago

This is the progression of the Bush Jr / Rove 1,000 year Reich. Rove set out to rig the system such that Republicans would control the country for a thousand years and so far they're getting away with it. Using elected power to entrench dictatorial power is what we've come to expect from tinpot 3rd world countries, NOT the United States.

It just goes to show that for Republicans, fairness and the spirit of the founding fathers is optional when it comes to winning elections. "It's not how you play the game. Winning is all that matters."

Gregory Wonderwheel's picture
Gregory Wonderwheel 10 years 19 weeks ago

Kend, the system was set up when travel was by horse, carriage or on foot which explains the timing. Also, they thought it was good for two different reasons. One it allowed the people to pick representatives in their home states and the representative would go to the capital and vote in person. They did not have the communication mechanisms for communicating the vote. Second they didn't trust the rabble of the general populace and so they wanted the elites who would be elected as the electors to do the actual voting not the people, and also the apportionment was skewed to protect the less populace states and give them more say than a one-person one-vote system. Very confusing but even though it made some sense in 1783, it makes no sense today, but ever since then the tradition has become more important than the reality.

SteveS's picture
SteveS 10 years 19 weeks ago

I would favor either doing away with the electoral college and going solely with the popular vote or having the congressional districts drawn by non-partisan officials.

Mark Saulys's picture
Mark Saulys 10 years 19 weeks ago

It comes from a time when the states were more like independant nations joined in a union of convenience so, although the electoral votes are largely alotted according to population, each state also has a certain minnimum regardless of size to show the fact that all the states are also equal partners.

ken ware's picture
ken ware 10 years 19 weeks ago

I agree with your argument about bearing arms by the militia and how they are controlled in the military. In California as in most states you have the National Guard for the Army and during the time the Guard is on active duty they are issued their weapons during training exercises and they are not always issued live ammo. When there is a natural disaster or a civilian disturbance like a riot is taking place the Guard is called in to assist the local police and they are issued their weapons to control the disturbance. But, for the vast majority of the time the National Guard's weapons are locked up tight in the Armory. The National Guard is the modern day example of the Militia as stated in the Constitution. So in reality the modern day militias are only issued their weapons when they are called into service for a national disaster or other form of discord among the civilian population. They are not issued arms to take home with them, so the notion that it is every person’s right to bear arms in their homes does not follow the reality of a modern day militia. But trying to convince someone who thinks they will have to defend themselves against the tyranny of the Federal Government will be a very interesting to observe in today culture of weapon hoarding.

ken ware's picture
ken ware 10 years 19 weeks ago

The Republicans are not the only Party that uses Gerrymandering to create a more favorable district for the State elections. Here in California the Democrats have done the same thing Hartmann admonishes the Republicans of doing. We have a Democrat Governor, a Democrat Senate and a Democrat Assembly. And it has been shown where the Democrats have Gerrymandered districts to accomplish their control of State politics.

I have been accused of being too angry or forceful in some of my comments. DID anyone notice Hartmann's reaction to the Libertarian guest he had on today. He actually resorted to name calling and trying to yell over the voice of his guest. He lost it for a while there, so I guess it can happen to anyone who is passionate about the issue they are debating or making comments on!

2950-10K's picture
2950-10K 10 years 19 weeks ago

It all makes sense, the Progressives are pushing for national popular vote laws which are consistent with majority rule, a basic principle of democracy. On the other hand the Republicans are pushing for continuation of rigging elections, consistent with their basic principle of rule by a small group of ruthless billionaires.

Unfortunately some Senate Democrats sided with the Republican principle of rule by the rich today, which is what failure to reform the filibuster equates to. The Senate might as well be honest with we the people......just go ahead and crown one of the Kochs King of the United States and give the Teabaggers something real to revolt about.

megalomaniac's picture
megalomaniac 10 years 19 weeks ago

Hear ye, hear ye, the public court of opinion is now in session. Wow, just saw Thom Hartmann in full Throttle, with the guest Libertarian. It was something watching the debate get heated and animated to a crescendo that was not the same as usual for Thom. Thom was at the edge of breathing fire. LOL. From my view this libertarian stuff is very queer.

Using the Merriam Webster definition; absorbed or interested to an extreme or unreasonable degree: obsessed. Not the sexual stuff.

Here these characters that call themselves Libertarians however from my view they are like parasites. First and foremost a libertarian is dodging the elements of being a citizen. To be an American citizen means allegiance to the Constitution and pledge to the flag. The Constitution basically says the government is committed to raise taxes. And we must pay them.

As a citizen we recognized we must pay them. Otherwise that citizen fails the basic pledge and commitment. What Libertarians are saying is they do not want to be a citizen. Therefore America should require by authority for those individuals to leave the country. To complete the Libertarian manifest of “ you are on your own”, to withdraw from residence in giving up allegiance to one's native country and commitment to the Constitution. To be Banished is justified and inorder.

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 10 years 19 weeks ago

Hi Ken. You sure are right, rage happens. It can happen to anyone. Even the best of us. Good to have you back buddy! You've been missed!

rbd171's picture
rbd171 10 years 19 weeks ago

gerrymandering by anyone is wrong, the electorial college is no longer necessary, popular vote serves our democracy well... i am getting so tired of the fight between right and wrong...

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 10 years 19 weeks ago

According to "2950-10K": "The Senate might as well be honest with we the people...... just go ahead and crown one of the Kochs King of the United States and give the Teabaggers something real to revolt about." And I couldn't have said it better!

I have always had a problem with the hypocrisy in American politics. It was the Vietnam War that opened my eyes. I have not recited the Pledge of Allegiance since I was fifteen years old. Not only do I refuse to speak those words; I won't even stand up for this insipid ritual. I don't care if I'm the only one in a crowded room who remains seated.

My husband must have been on the same wavelength, because he also opted out of the Pledge while still in high school. We both got chastised and threatened by our teachers for non-compliance, but to no avail. - Aliceinwonderland

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 10 years 19 weeks ago

I've also heard from good sources that the one of the main primary reasons for the existence of the electoral college is to ostracize the average citizen from the voting process. Back then the vast majority of people were considered uneducated and irresponsible. Their opinions were not considered valid; and, in fact were considered to be a threat to the community if factored into government. The electoral college was a means to insure that only wealthy land owners would have a say in how the country was governed. Only land owners had a stake, education, and vestment in the best interest of the community. Back then, only land owners were allowed to vote, and all other citizens knew their place.

ken ware's picture
ken ware 10 years 19 weeks ago

Alice in Wonderland - You must be jumping for joy and excited over the news that Obama has decided to allow women to participate in combat with male troops. I believe it was a political decision not a military decision. In order for women to enter the ranks of combat troops in the Marines and Army, one of two things will have to happen.

1. They will have to allow women to have a different set of physical requirements to pass basic and advanced combat training. No women at this point in time or a very small percentage of women have been able to pass these physical tests of strength and endurance that the male recruits are required to pass.

2. Or they will have to lower the standards for everyone that they presently now have, to allow women to pass the same physical and endurance tests as the male recruits.

I believe Obama made this decision not as a President, but more likely as a Blackman who hates any sign of discrimination, even if the discrimination is there to adhere to a higher standard of readiness and ability for the fighting combat troops in the Military. If a woman can pass the rigorous requirements now in place and there are no changes put into place to ensure that women can perform up to the same standards, then I agree they should be allowed to fight in combat situations. But there are still other issues the military will have to deal with if women are accepting into combat situations where they are required to be combat ready 24/7 and that issue deals with the hormonal changes women experience every month, as well as housing and sexual assaults. There were 800 reported cases of sexual assaults in the Military last year and that accounts for only those reported to the command. If I say anything more I will be seen as a sexist who dislikes women, which could not be farther from the truth in my regards of the female gender.

As you might expect from me, I, like many officers that were interviewed do not agree with the President’s decision and feel it will lead to a lower quality of readiness and will have affects down the road on our military that have not been addressed by this decision by the Commander in Chief of the Military. Only time will tell if we are correct or we are wrong.

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 10 years 19 weeks ago

I feel the same way Aliceinwonderland. I had a problem with the "Pledge of Allegiance" as well. (OH MY GOD, PLEASE SKIP THIS POST KEN) LOL Here I go again. Before you get mad, I'M SORRY!!

But personally, I have always felt that requiring children to swear an oath of ANY KIND, before the age of 21, and involuntarily, was MASS CHILD ABUSE!

Sorry again Ken, I stand by that one. Despite the fact that I fly our flag in my home and carry my fathers military honors flag in my car with me.

I also feel that swearing an oath of allegiance to any inanimate object is in violation of the first Commandment.

I think we too readily confuse the flag for what it stands for.

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 10 years 19 weeks ago

No Ken, I am not "jumping for joy". I do not believe there is any place for war in a civilized world. Aside from that, I think your comment about Obama making policy decisions as a "Blackman" rather than as President are presumptuous at best.

As for women being combat-worthy, today I heard Randy Rhodes give a long list of countries that already have women serving in combat; a list that includes Germany, Israel and (if my memory serves me) Canada. This is nothing new.

Your opinion on this issue is consistent with your general attitude on gender issues. As for the prevalence of sexual assaults in the military... well, it only goes to show that gender hatred is still alive and well in the Twenty First Century.

By the way... years ago I watched a movie about a female stunt artist who happened to also be accomplished in martial arts; karate, if I remember correctly. One night when she was checking into a motel, some guy eavesdropped on her while she was assigned a room. Later that night he broke into her room while she was sleeping and pounced on his intended prey. She awoke to find this stranger on top of her holding a knife at her throat. She kicked the holy crap out of him, and minute later he was lying in a heap on the floor. I still get goose bumps thinking about that rapist wannabe who got what he deserved! After this gal was done with him, the police hauled him off to the slammer where he belonged. - Aliceinwonderland

ken ware's picture
ken ware 10 years 19 weeks ago

Alice - I respect your choice of not wanting to take a pledge to the flag. We are all from different mindsets and from my High Schools days I have always been active in the process of political science and the activities of the government. I supported the War in Vietnam and I still believe we originally believed there was a necessity to stop the progress of Communism in the Far East. I was willing to serve in the capacity the military gave me. I have no problem with people disagreeing with the War; I only have problems with the citizens of this country using the men and women who served their country as targets of their hated of the government. In my eyes these men and women served a noble cause and should be respected for their sacrifices. From the cooks who fed our troops to the officers who flew missions to support our people in country, they all deserve our respect. I do not ask nor expect people to agree with the policy, but I do expect them to acknowledge that these warriors performed an honorable mission when asked to do so by our government. And for someone as No Fraud to say there were no situations where our servicemen and women were spat on is not only insulting, but comes from a person who did not serve during those difficult years, is not acceptable to me as a veteran of war. We are allowed to have different opinions because we live in a land that allows us to do so without persecution. As I have aged, I see how the government has been corrupted by the money and power that controls Washington. But, I do remember a time when corruption was less apparent and when individual citizens could and did make a difference in our society for the good of the whole. As the next generation of my family comes into this world, I too fear democracy has been sold to the highest bidder and it may take political and physical action by the citizens of our nation to restore dignity and honesty to our political system. I hope we will not have to rely on physical actions to restore our nation to what it once was and can be again, but if that is the only avenue left open to us I hope we are victorious in the end.

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 10 years 19 weeks ago

How the electorial college works...YouTube video...

The Trouble with the electoral college...YouTube video...

What if the electoral college is tied...YouTube video...

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 10 years 19 weeks ago

On women in combat...they'll be going after children next!

ken ware's picture
ken ware 10 years 19 weeks ago

Alice - As I have stated, if a woman can accomplish to pass the same rigorous regimen as men, then they should be given a shot. As the Secretary of Defense stated in his press conference, there will be no change to the requirements of performance by the Military. And the PBS report also mentioned that a retired general believed this is just another social experiment and there have been many that have failed in the past. As far as my gender bias, I raised my daughter as a single parent and supported her through college, her certification as a teacher and her time while she earned her Master’s degree. I have always told her I would support her in any decisions she makes about her future and her life. Whether it is as a teacher of our children or a Marine. I would have supported her decision. So you can stow away your remarks about how I view the female gender. I have not encountered any other parent who has supported their daughter emotionally and physically as I have and I take a great deal of pride in this. So if you’re implying in your remarks that I am gender bias your wrong. Even the Secretary of Defense said, “if the women are qualified and meet the requirements they will be accepted". And I believe that has been the jest of my remarks when it comes to women serving in combat roles. Have a good night

ken ware's picture
ken ware 10 years 19 weeks ago

Palindromedary - Very funny! You do have a sense of humor!

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 10 years 19 weeks ago

Palindromedary, indeed you are very funny! Unfortunately you are probably very correct as well. Historically, that's exactly what Hitler did. Whoops! There I go again! Sorry, Ken!

Ken, quite frankly, you make me feel like I'm walking on egg shells! Not very productive for this forum!

Kend's picture
Kend 10 years 19 weeks ago

Thanks guys I get it and yes it does sound like it isn't needed anymore. You all did a great job explaining it. Here we are still a member of the commonwealth, we still have some stupid things we do as well. Although most of it is ceremonial.

ken ware's picture
ken ware 10 years 19 weeks ago

DeAnneMarc - I respect your opinion. You, like Alice are apparently intelligent, and you both express your points of view with sincerity. We all have different perspectives on what happens in the World. It is almost scary, but I think I have developed a habit of making comments on Hartmann's Blog! I must be getting old and in need of the stimulation of being controversial!

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 10 years 19 weeks ago

Thanks Ken! I deeply appreciate that!

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 10 years 19 weeks ago

You are so right Aliceinwonderland. Randy Rhodes knows what she is talking about, having served herself.

Besides I agree most wholeheartedly with your controlling metaphor, " I do not believe there is any place for war in a civilized world. "

Perhaps one most unfortunate step in achieving this ends in the modern world would be making combat accessible to women and children. Certainly women and children are eligible to be victims; why not combatants as well?

Certaily, out of all the personal physical confrontations I have been evolved in, the only times I've had my rear handed to me was in a fight with a woman. Their combat potential is totally underestimated in my humble opinion.

Personally, I'd prefer to stand toe to toe with Hulk Hogan or Mike Tyson than with any lady during that "special" time of the month. I hope you don't take that the wrong way because I'm quite serious. The idea that they may be packing weapons of mass destruction does not swag my fears one bit!

Certainly, if such a Warrior Princess was on my side, I can certainly say I feel safer.

Perhaps I only endorse such progress is because I think that sending our ladies and children into battle is the only way we as a country will realize that what you initially said is true, "I do not believe there is any place for war in a civilized world." When you get down to it, Alice, that is the bottom line isn't it?

David Abbot's picture
David Abbot 10 years 19 weeks ago

Yeah, Thom called that libertarian a piker. I think Thom was being nice. I would have called that guy something else.

If I had a radio show I would have a rule: one person talks for two minutes (or whatever), and then the other talks for the same amount of time. If either of us talks longer than that amount of time, his microphone gets turned off. No one gets to just yell louder and longer, thereby preventing any chance of a fair exchange of points of view.

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 10 years 19 weeks ago

Agreed David Abbot! However, I might submit that an opponent yelling incoherently over someone only supports that other persons point of view. Only when the incoherent person is supported by a base of people whose base fears are being exploited does such a strategy pay off.

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 10 years 19 weeks ago

Well, one might think I was trying to be funny but think about it...they now essentially are saying that they are giving women the opportunity to go to battle right along with the men...equal opportunity right? But is that the real reason? Or is it that our government has been such a bad and aggressive government that they, once more as in Vietnam, are not winning hearts and minds right here at home. Maybe recruiters are having a much harder time suckering new recruits. And it has been much worse than Nam because the troops in the Middle East have had to pull several tours...while in Nam they usually only pulled one. Maybe no one wants to join the military any more and maybe that's why they need anyone they can get...women...children? And that's why they had to force soldiers to do multiple tours.. Just wait till they lower the age for joining the military...they'll use some selling point like they did in "giving women the opportunity" like it was some grand equalization ploy. They just need the cannon fodder and they don't care how they get it. Besides it being a political ploy.

Yes, there are some women who can be pretty tough..but it's not the norm. You can occasionally find an example (as Aliceinwonderland gave about the martial arts woman in a motel beating up a potential rapist) but most women are not material for competing against most men in combat...especially hand to hand combat. In fact, they could very easily be a liability on the battlefield. Again, yes, there are exceptions to the norm. And what kind of woman would want to go into battle kill people? What kind of a man?

But also, as Ken stated, and I've also read this..that rape in the military is a really, really big problem..something like over 800 rapes? When women are there, in a constant life threatening situation, how can you really expect all men to act in a manner that would be the same as if other men were there instead?

Some men may make fatefully wrong decisions, in just trying to protect the woman soldier. Or have natural sexual feelings that can translate into something that may not have happened if that soldier was a man.

I am constantly seeing things on TV or the movies that show women, even frail women, being able to physically fend off attacking men....really big muscular men. I always preposterous! But, many people who watch these TV programs and movies...perhaps impressionable people who can't seem to grasp reality, form very unreliable and unreasonable ideas about what is possible and what is not.

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 10 years 19 weeks ago

I can't even understand what the conversation is about when people talk over one another...say like in the panel discussions that Thom has...I usually just don't even watch them...what's the point. They should put each person in a soundproof box with a mic that is controlled externally and each person given a few minutes to say his/her piece and they cut off their mic at a very precise time limit. No exceptions.

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 10 years 19 weeks ago

Kudos Palindromedary!

Excellent points.

However, you fail to mention the problem isn't women or children in combat, the problem is combat. The task at hand is eliminating violent confrontation, not resupplying replacement for those casualties incurred.

Stay on course! Aliceinwonderland was right, there is no place for war in a civilized society!

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 10 years 19 weeks ago

My apologize everyone. I wish I could stay here all night. However, once again the Sand Man beacons. I will happily answer any comments tomorrow afternoon when I get home. Till then I bid you all a Good Night!

David Abbot's picture
David Abbot 10 years 19 weeks ago

You say that, DAnneMarc, because you are mature enough to see it that way. But from a shouting match, people who are on the borderline between being republicans and being rational, won't get any of the facts that they need in order to help them vote for a sane government.

Plus, that libertarian clearly enjoyed the shouting match and enjoyed irritating Thom. All the more reason, I say, to cut that sucker's microphone off after two minutes, so Thom can talk facts.

I have had extensive discussions with a few regular people who claimed to be republicans and libertarians. A friend spent a month in Ohio going door to door for Obama. And our experiences echo Thom's: when people who think they are republicans or libertarians are presented with the actual, factual differences between the progressive, democrat, republican, and libertarian positions, it usually turns out that at heart they are democrats or progressives.

Most republicans and libertarians are not village idiots, or psychopaths who enjoy other peoples' suffering. In fact most of them are decent people who have been sound-byted, fear-mongered, and hypnotized into believing that they are republicans or libertarians. They just need to hear the truth.

I really like the courtroom format, where the only time one side can interrupt the other is on procedural grounds. In that format, the jury gets to hear both sides' positions in full. Which is the only way for them to arrive at an informed opinion.

And when the public hears the libertarian side fully and Thom's side fully, most of them are going to say, "Yeah, if I have $500,000 in medical expenses, I'll just email that libertarian and he'll send me a check for the full amount. And if he can't give me the full amount, Ron Paul will make up the difference, I just know he will. And right after that, pigs will fly. And the moon is made of green cheese, the check is in the mail, and a few others that I can't repeat in polite company."

I don't know if you're aware of this, DAnneMarc, but I am an inventor. I created a device that makes a very loud fart sound every time a libertarian lies. A simple circuit, really- just a few resisters, diodes, capacitors, and transistors, an encoded chip, an antenna, a speaker, and a special blessing from Mojo Mamma's House of Hexes, down in bayou country. But the damn thing never quit farting. I had to bury it in my back yard. And even now, years later, on quiet nights the neighbors call me and say, "Dude. You gotta change your diet."

ken ware's picture
ken ware 10 years 19 weeks ago

Alice & DeAnnemarc- I do not understand the reasoning behind the statement that war has no place in a civilized society. How do you propose we defend ourselves if we are attacked or our embassy is attacked? Do we just ignore the incident and hope it does not happen again. We live in a world where threats to our society happen daily. I cannot follow the logic in your comments, as if war and threats to our world do not exist. Do you believe that someday the world we become a utopia and war and aggression will disappear?

Palindromedary - One of the reasons why Obama changed the rules of who can serve in a combat scenario is that several women have sued the government so they can serve in combat and he is just pre-empting the decision from the court case. And this president needs to take credit for the military allowing women to fight in combat. He has failed at everything else he has tried and this gives him the chance to distract people so this reality of his failures will temporarily fade to the background.

ken ware's picture
ken ware 10 years 19 weeks ago

Comment deleted after thinking things over. Apparently agressiveness is okay if you host a show and go into a rage, but not exceptable when you make comments!!

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 10 years 19 weeks ago

DAnneMarc: Yes, of course, you are correct! I certainly agree with that! I say the only time war is ever, ever justified is if the US was ever attacked and we were fighting on our own soil to defend ourselves against an attacking enemy. I suspect you may even differ with that.

Some think "Well, we 'were' attacked on 9/11". But, I believe that it was mostly an inside job. How much money and lives could have been saved by those who were in positions of responsibility , the President, our 3 letter orgs, if they had only acted to protect us by...even shutting down airports on that day...there's ample evidence that many knew what was about to happen. Why did the authorities confuse that period with a war-games drill that was so similar to what actually happened....making many people think the real thing was a drill? But who eventually benefited? Those who gained the power over us that they didn't have before!

That name on this youtube web site: "Alfreda Francis Bikowski" is, I am given to understand, the CIA officer that is depicted in the movie ZeroDarkThirty portrayed by Jessica Chastain. Although in the movie, it depicts her as being a relentless and smart CIA officer whose goal was to get Usama bin reality, according to what I've read about her, she was in on a number of screw ups that embarrassed the Agency...including taking it upon herself to personally ogle over a torture session of KSM (Khaled Shaik Mohammed) which she was not authorized to do. Then, after UBL was killed and dumped in the sea, she was ticked off that others in her section were getting praised for getting UBL so she wrote emails to her coworkers trying to take all the credit. You can actually see her peaking between other people standing in the back of the crowded room when Hilliary Clinton and Leon Panetta and Obama watched the video of the killing of Usama bin Laden. She's very short.

MontanaMuleGal's picture
MontanaMuleGal 10 years 19 weeks ago

Here you go again, Thom, framing the "battle" of the two parties in the US's two-party system.

The Dems are not yer 1930s FDR or yer 1960s JFK Dems. Please quit trying to fool the public — or the few, but loyal, readers of this blog — that the two-party system is alive and well!

Magginkatz's picture
Magginkatz 10 years 19 weeks ago

The answer to this election rigging is to get rid of the electoral college which is a bad joke as far as I'm concerned. As for the gerrymandering it seems that common sense would dictate that the districts be created by the counties instead of wandering all over to benefit one party or another. I realize that large cities like NY, Miami, LA, etc., might have to be divided into a number of 'blocks' for state elections and for House of Represenatives.......... but this whole mess needs simplification.

What would it take to get rid of the electoral college?

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