Electoral College for Kindergartners

Jeff Parker


I live in Florida, a swing State, and evidently a swing County, Flagler. The News Journal, our local paper, recently reported an Associated Press pre-election analysis that points fingers at 106 communities in nine states. Bullseye, voters living in Flagler County got real influence.

Remember the Chad uproar of the 2000 Bush/Gore election, the nation held hostage for a month, while volunteers inspected ballot tickets.

George W. Bush Al Gore
Party Republican Democratic
Home state Texas Tennessee
Running mate Dick Cheney Joe Lieberman
Electoral vote 271 266
States carried 30 20 + DC
Popular vote 50,456,002 50,999,897
Percentage 47.9% 48.4%

Bush won 271 electoral votes, Gore 266, because of the twenty-five(2000 census) votes in question. Gore lost the election by 4 electoral votes. The chads spiced up the questionable  recount vote. Gore would have won 291 to Bush 246, so we know the significance  of Florida swinging.

Thirty states went to Bush; Gore, twenty; plus, the District of Columbia. However, Gore won the popular vote by five tenths of one percent, 50,999,897 to Bush, 50,456,002.

Does this make sense? Not to me either.

I went online to refresh my knowledge of the Electoral College, and by the way, there is no campus.

Each state is allocated a number of electoral votes equal to the number of members it has in the U.S. Congress.

The most recent Huffington Post   a “snapshot of where the presidential race stands based on hundreds of state-wide and national opinion polls, filtered through a poll tracking model and updated throughout the day.” On October 29th the polls  indicated the electoral vote distribution below:

Barack ObamaBarack Obama  277

(217 Strong Obama + 60 Leans Obama)

Mitt RomneyMitt Romney 206

(15 Leans Romney + 191Strong)

The graph shows five tossup states; Colorado 9 , New Hampshire 4, Virginia 13, North Carolina 15 and Florida 29, a total of seventy electoral votes. Polls have confidence Obama will win New Hampshire, Colorado and Virginia, and that Romney will win North Carolina.  In Florida the polls are split 48% to 48% with a 10% greater confidence Romney will win.
It takes an amendment to the U.S. Constitution to change the electoral college and popularity does not count.
The way Florida swings needs watching.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            …just saying

Betty Blasé and New Horizons

Aging & Attitude

“I’ve become blasé,” said a woman at the New Horizons Brunch for new members, ending our conversation that threatened to become passionate. She smiled, and took a step back to distance herself from me. She wore ‘big-girl’ shoes with a large fake rhinestone separating her first two toes.

“Blasé what a wonderful word,” I respond, but fail to keep her engaged. The crowded breakfast nook engulfs her lack of interest. Soft wrinkles languish her face, her tone aloof as she snaps her neck to suggest she was not always apathetic, it is an acquired skill.

She wears it well like a sophisticated article of clothing, dance attire.  I want to be blasé. Blasé could be  equivalent to Botox or Juvederm injections and cheaper.  Her skin glows.

My mind escapes to a fantasy world and I morph into Betty Blasé, a new and improved self.  When motorists drive in my trunk during the day, I flip the rearview mirror to ‘night-vision’, instead of yelling, “wrap yourself around a tree, see if I care,” and as they speed by, adjust the air conditioning, calmly.

I feel in control of my emotions and straighten my back to stand a little taller. The room is decorated in damask lined drapes hung high upon the wall and sparkling glass tables.

Surely, I can learn indifference when the Bagger in Publix double wraps my chicken in plastic after I hand him cloth and painstakingly explained the chicken gets naked next to my eggs and butter at home in our refrigerator.

Several New Horizon members drift towards the front door ready to leave.  I promise myself the next time a group of kids covered with tattoos and reeking of profanity pass by I will NOT mumble, “You kiss your mother with that mouth?”

I exchange goodbyes with the host and mosey towards my car thinking, it is conceivable to yawn at newspaper stories debating those guilty of pet abuse; Obama, who ate dog or Romney, who transported Seamus, a pet, crated on a car roof.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Just Saying


Uncle Sam Shenanigans

Aging & Attitude

Uncle Sam Shenanigans

(Conversation between Uncle Sam and Mr. Working Middle Class)

“You know Mr. Working Middle Class, Congress is going to raise your taxes.”

“No way Uncle Sam, you’re kidding, right?”

“Am I a Kidder?  On Fox Sunday News, Democratic Senator Dick Durbin said, ‘I can’t believe, that at a time when working families in this country are struggling paycheck to paycheck, when we need them to have the resources to buy things in our economy, to create wealth and profitability and more jobs, that the Republican position is they’ll raise the payroll tax on working families? I think that just defies logic.’

“Me too, I already pay enough income tax.”

“No, they’re leaving income tax alone. Payroll tax, well really Social Security Payroll tax, FICA, you pay half and your employer pays the other half, Social Security Entitlement.”

“Social Security Entitlement, don’t you mean Social Security Benefits that I’m entitled to because I gave you money from my pay; and my employer matched that amount, to invest for my retirement and health care.”

“Right, only I didn’t invest all of it, but let’s stay focused on the Republicans. It’s not a real tax increase, call it a take back, or take away….your pay will be less because you can’t get the tax break you got. Don’t look so puzzled, payroll taxes were reduced by 2% for a year so working people could buy more stuff and stimulate the economy, create jobs. It’s time to start paying your full share again. Republicans, simply don’t want a lower rate extended.”

“Oh, I get it. Just like Bush gave the wealthy tax breaks and now it’s time for them to start paying their full share again.”

“Yes, only Republicans are smarter, they’ll never pay the 3.25% surtax on income over one million proposed by the Democrats to cover the deficit created by your 2% break. And nobody will notice when they extend their tax breaks, again.”

“Republicans have a better plan?”

“Yuppie, Republicans want to pay with cuts elsewhere. House Speaker, John Boehner recommends:

  • Freeze Federal Employee’s pay until 2015
  • Reduce bureaucracy by 200,000 jobs through attrition
  • Raise Medicare premiums for the wealthy
  • Deny unemployment benefits and food stamps for incomes over seven figures”

“Won’t that increase employment? People earning one million dollars are eligible for unemployment and food stamps?”

“Get real, the wealthy live paycheck to paycheck too.”

“Neither of these bills will pass.”

“You got that right, Mr. Working Middle Class.”

“What’s Congress going to do?”

“It’s an election year, extend the 2%, and borrow to cover the deficit. Don’t be so concerned with the wealthy.”

“You got to be kidding me.”

“Do I look like a Kidder?”

                                                                Just Saying