...how does one start a Whole New Congress Movement? We could start with rallies in or marches to the public squares of major cities all asking people to commit to throw their Senators and Representatives out of office in the next election.

We need to throw a scare into our Senators and Representatives.

Tags: Congressmen, Senators

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I'd really like the Republicans to explain why it's so important to deny Americans healthcare when if they are concerned about spending, they could simply look at the military hyperspending, Medicare abuse, the "black budget" (spying, etc.), farm subsidies, and other areas where spending is more questionable.

Of course, their seldom-stated concern is that Obamacare is socialism and will turn the country into one with a majority population of government dependents.

Would you believe that since Texas Representative Wendy Davis has thrown her hat into the Gubernatorial ring, Texas has created a website, the motto of which is, "Keep Texas Red" - don't you have to imagine that Ultra-Right-Wing Conservative, Eugene McCarthy, is doing pirrouettes in his grave?

Yeah, I've wondered why blue states are liberal and red states are conservative, and when I read the Wikipedia article on the topic, I came away with the impression that it just happened and no thought was put into it.

Setting the "Communist" thing aside, it still doesn't apply to any analogy I can think of - for example, blue, a cool color, is considered by most to be a much more conservative color than red.

The Wikipedia article matches my recollections from the 1980s fairly well.  I even remember that crack from 1980 about the suburban swimming pool.  Since I do, I can counter the oft-made but baseless assertion that the "challenging" party was always colored red.

Polls are showing that the GOP is losing political ground to such an extent that they may lose their ownership of the House of Representatives. From an article in HuffingtonPost.com:

Shutting down the government may end up costing Republicans control of the House of Representatives.

A series of polls released Sunday show just how damaging the shutdown has been for the GOP. The liberal-leaning Public Policy Polling compiled two dozen surveys, commissioned and paid for by MoveOn.org Political Action, from House districts around the country, taken from Oct. 2 through Oct. 4. Sample sizes were between 600 and 700 voters in each district.

If they lose control of The House, Obama could pretty much get whatever he wants, and of course they don't want that. The Tea Party is ripping the GOP apart, and I couldn't be happier.

For added perspective: House Democrats got 1.36 million more votes than House Republicans in 2012. Democrats won 49.15% of the vote, Republicans got 48.03%, and other candidates got 2.81%. Yet Democrats have just 46.21% of seats, leaving Republicans in control with 234 seats and Democrats with 201.

Why is that? Gerrymandering. The GOP had the power to re-draw five times as many Congressional districts as Democrats did in 2010, and they redraw them they did: around white conservatives most likely to vote Republican.

Now House Democrats have to win 55 percent of all House votes cast nationwide in order to win back a majority of seats. Mind you, that's just the national average. In some states the situation is even more unbalanced:

Take my home state of Ohio, for example. Cuyahoga County is basically Cleveland and most of its proximate suburbs. It has a huge proportion of black voters. Note that its size is nearly the same as some of the congressional districts in the rural and mostly white center of the state. Congressional districts probably should be designed so that each contains approximately the same number of voters, and yet Cuyahoga County's population is about 1,250,000. Ashland County is about the same physical size, but its population is about 52,000. And this is probably not the most outrageous example. I just didn't have time for a serious search.

"redraw them they did: around white conservatives"

You used words like this before. I understood that gerrymandering means ensuring all "your" districts are won by a 51% margin and all your opponents districts are won be 99% majority. Do I misunderstand?

You used words like this before. I understood that gerrymandering means ensuring all "your" districts are won by a 51% margin and all your opponents districts are won be 99% majority. Do I misunderstand?

Yes, that's the basic idea. You re-draw the lines around voting districts to give yourself an advantage and give the other party a disadvantage.

Here is an example showing how the U.S. congressional districts covering Travis County, Texas (outlined in red) were gerrymandered in 2004. The Republicans had a  majority in the Texas legislature so they redistricted to dilute the voting power of the heavily Democratic county: they parcelled its residents out into other (heavily Republican) districts where they would be outvoted.

The motive behind gerrymandering is to redraw districts to favor one's party. The origin of the term is interesting.

When mapped, one of the contorted districts in the Boston area was said to resemble the shape of a salamander. The term was a portmanteau of the governor's last name and the word salamander. (from a Wikipedia article)


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