Posts Tagged ‘Maryland’

2011 Michigan Redistricting: Gerrymanderliscious

June 22, 2011

Well, it’s been quite a while since my last post, but I figured this topic is important enough to warrant a return to the blogging world (even if it’s a brief return).  The Michigan Legislature recently released their maps for the 2011 redistricting.  For reference, here are links to the current boundaries:

Now, those were created by the 2001 Legislature, which was controlled by Republicans, and signed into law under Republican Governor John Engler.

They’re not bad, and look pretty good.  This year, it seems as if the Republican members of the Legislature have gotten a little more ambitious, and a little more creative.  So let’s take a look at what they’ve proposed.  Here are links to PDFs of all 3 maps, and I’ve copied the images below, where I’ll analyze them:

This first map is the proposed Congressional districts:

And here’s a zoomed in image of the Metro-Detroit area:

I’ll admit – I cringed when I saw the 14th district, and the 11th district isn’t exactly pretty either.  They’ve got some awkward separations, like putting Farmington Hills in the 14th, but keeping Farmington in the 11th; putting Bloomfield Hills in the 11th, while placing Bloomfield Township in the 9th; Southfield Township is placed in the 9th, while Southfield City ends up in the 14th; Clawson is split up; and Rochester Hills is split up.

In an attempt to squeeze Democratic Congressmen Sander Levin and Gary Peters into the same district and force a primary between the two, saving the Republicans from losing a seat, the map has turned into something I like to call gerrymanderliscious.

But it gets even more creative as we move on to the Michigan Senate map:

And again, a zoomed in view of the Metro-Detroit area:

For the most part, this one isn’t too bad until you get to the Metro-Detroit area. District 1 is incredibly awkward, as is District 6. But the really weird ones are 14 and 25.  You can’t see it on my uploaded images, but if you view the original map at 100% zoom, you can see that Springfield Township and Waterford Township just barely overlap for the 14th to be contiguous.  As for the 25th district, I’m guessing they’ve just connected them along a strip of County Line Road, but I’m not positive.

So that brings us to the state House of Representatives:

And again, a zoomed in view of Metro-Detroit:

And a zoomed in view of Grand Rapids and the southwest corner of the state:

The House map isn’t too bad, other than more awkward county splits than I’m really comfortable with. The Grand Rapids area looks pretty decent, although 86 is a bit wacky. And Metro-Detroit looks pretty good with the exception of the 13th.

So, by far, my biggest complaints are with the Congressional map, but what was really sad was the Republicans claims that they had to draw the lines like that to abide by the Voting Rights Act, which mandates 2 majority minority districts for Michigan.  That’s just nonsense.  There are plenty of ways to draw the lines so that you have decent looking districts that obey the VRA.

Obviously Democrats Sander Levin and Gary Peters weren’t happy with the maps, but even Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson is unhappy with the map, because as of the current proposal, Oakland County, the second most populous county in Michigan, would be represented by people who all live outside of the county.

Now, gerrymandering can be a lot of fun; I enjoyed playing around and making this little beauty for Maryland:

Photobucket

But when it comes to ACTUALLY redistricting, our legislature shouldn’t be drawing crap like this for partisan gain. Doing so takes the focus off of the good things the Republicans have done in Michigan and tells voters, “We know you voted for us in 2010, but we don’t trust you for the next 10 years, so we’re gonna cheat to win.”

Am I advocating that the legislature adopts a plan where we have 14 districts and each one is competitive at a 50-50 level?  Absolutely not; that’d be ridiculous.  The GOP won in a landslide in 2010, so it’s expected that the maps will favor us, but there’s no need to mangle the maps the way they’ve done.  That’s just petty politics, and when the people of Michigan see that, it gives them a bad image of the party.

Results for the Republican National Committee Election: Michael Steele Wins

January 30, 2009

Michael Steele has just won the race for Republican National Committee Chairman.

The votes were as follows:

Mike Duncan: 52 votes
Michael Steele: 46 votes
Katon Dawson: 28 votes
Saul Anuzis: 22 votes
Ken Blackwell: 20 votes

2nd round (numbers in parenthesis indicate: votes gained or lost from last round / votes gained or lost since first round):

Mike Duncan: 48 votes (-3/-3)
Michael Steele: 48 votes (+2/+2)
Katon Dawson: 29 votes (+1/+1)
Saul Anuzis: 24 votes (+2/+2)
Ken Blackwell: 19 votes (-1/-1)

3rd round:

Mike Duncan: 44 votes (-4/-8)
Michael Steele: 51 votes (+3/+5)
Katon Dawson: 34 votes (+5/+6)
Saul Anuzis: 24 votes (0/+2)
Ken Blackwell: 15 votes (-4/-5)

Mike Duncan dropped out.

4th round of voting:

Mike Duncan: (-44/-52)
Michael Steele: 60 votes (+9/+14)
Katon Dawson: 62 votes (+28/+34)
Saul Anuzis:  31 votes (+7/+9)
Ken Blackwell: 15 votes (0/-5)

Blackwell dropped out and endorsed Steele.

5th round of voting:

Mike Duncan: (-/-52)
Michael Steele: 79 votes (+19/+33)
Katon Dawson:  69 votes (+7/+41)
Saul Anuzis:  20 votes (-11/-2)
Ken Blackwell: (-15/-20)

Anuzis dropped out:

Mike Duncan: (-/-52)
Michael Steele: 91 votes (+12/+45)
Katon Dawson:  77 votes (+8/+49)
Saul Anuzis:  (-20/-22)
Ken Blackwell: (-/-20)

Congratulations to Michael Steele, the new chairman of the Republican National Committee!

Here’s a copy of the speech he gave right after he won:

Done Ranting,

Ranting Republican
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Live Results of the Republican National Committee Chairman Election

January 30, 2009

I am currently watching the election for Republican National Committee Chairman.  Currently, the RNC members are voting.

UPDATE (11:40 A.M. EST): They are now going up and depositing their ballots (just like “kindergarten graduation” according to the Co-Chair, Jo Ann Davidson, from Ohio).

UPDATE (11:44 A.M. EST): We’re a little over half-way through the ballots being cast.

UPDATE (11:49 A.M. EST): We’re now done with the voting.  The ballots are now being counted.

UPDATE (12:05 P.M. EST): They’re annnouncing the results.

UPDATE (12:09 P.M. EST): Here are the results of the first round of voting:

Mike Duncan: 52 votes
Michael Steele: 46 votes
Katon Dawson: 28 votes
Saul Anuzis: 22 votes
Ken Blackwell: 20 votes

With no candidates having reached 85 votes (a simple majority), another round of voting will occur.  The committee is in a 15 minute recess.

UPDATE (12:33 P.M. EST): Calling the roll again.

UPDATE (12:42 P.M. EST): I lied – they’re voting now.  Almost done casting the ballots.

UPDATE (12:45 P.M. EST): The ballots are now being counted.

UPDATE (12:59 P.M. EST): The following are the results for the second roud of balloting (numbers in parenthesis indicate: votes gained or lost from last round / votes gained or lost since first round):

Mike Duncan: 48 votes (-3/-3)
Michael Steele: 48 votes (+2/+2)
Katon Dawson: 29 votes (+1/+1)
Saul Anuzis: 24 votes (+2/+2)
Ken Blackwell: 19 votes (-1/-1)

UPDATE (1:12 P.M. EST): OK, I guess it’s some time for some analysis.  It’s pretty safe to say (in my opinion) that Duncan is done.  He had to rely on the first couple of rounds to get really close, and he didn’t.  He’ll have a huge drop-off over the next 2 rounds of balloting.  I really don’t know where his people will go, but I’m guessing that  it’ll probably go to Saul Anuzis and Katon Dawson.  Maybe a few will go to Blackwell, but I think people may not “waste” their votes on him since he’s at the bottom right now, but who knows.

UPDATE (1:31 P.M. EST): They just finished the third round of voting and are now counting up the ballots.

UPDATE (1:42 P.M. EST): third round of voting:

Mike Duncan: 44 votes (-4/-8)
Michael Steele: 51 votes (+3/+5)
Katon Dawson: 34 votes (+5/+6)
Saul Anuzis: 24 votes (0/+2)
Ken Blackwell: 15 votes (-1/-5)

Blackwell and Duncan are done.  I’m surprised that more people went for Steele here.  It looks like Anuzis is done, but Dawson could be in this depending on who drops out and when.

UPDATE (1:51 P.M. EST): OK, time for more discussion – I think Blackwell will drop by round 6 of balloting, and that should give Steele enough votes to push him over the edge.  I think Steele’s biggest competition now is Dawson, but I think Steele’s got it.

UPDATE (2:13 P.M. EST): A friend just passed on to me rumors that a deal may be in the works right now.

UPDATE (2:13 P.M. EST): Mike Duncan is speaking – about to drop?

UPDATE (2: 17 P.M. EST): Duncan just dropped out and is now thanking his campaign staff.

UPDATE (2:19 P.M. EST): There was a motion for a recess, but i was voted down by a voice vote.  Voting has now started.

UPDATE (2:22 P.M. EST): Apparently the co-chair had trouble actually getting a ballot from the teller or whoever was passing them out, so there was a little bit of a funny moment just now as she tried to get that.

UPDATE (2:24 P.M. EST): They’re now calling the roll and depositing the ballots in the box.

UPDATE (2:49 P.M. EST): 4th round of voting:

Mike Duncan: (-44/-52)
Michael Steele: 60 votes (+9/+14)
Katon Dawson: 62 votes (+28/+34)
Saul Anuzis: 31 votes (+7/+9)
Ken Blackwell: 15 votes (0/-5)

Wow – I really didn’t expect Dawson to get that many votes.  Steele may NOT have this in the bag yet.  I do expect Blackwell to drop soon, and that may push Steele over the top, but if Blackwell stays in, Dawson may get there first.

UPDATE (2:59 P.M. EST): Blackwell isn’t expected to stay in past the 5th round of balloting, so if he drops 1 round early, and all of his 15 go to Steele, Steele would have it.  If stays in for a while, I think Dawson may get it.

UPDATE (3:01 P.M. EST): Blackwell is about to speak.

UPDATE (3:03 P.M. EST): They found Ken Blackwell (he had been missing), and he IS in fact about to address the committee.

UPDATE (3:09 P.M. EST): “I cannot change … this electorate, nor would I want to.”  He’s talking about us being the party of Lincoln.  He’s talking about choosing the “path of conviction over the path of convenience.”  “I withdraw my name … and put my support fully behind … I believe that the next chairman must inspire hope … create opportunity and must have the leadership opportunity … to first pull us together and then pull Americans together. … Great nations don’t come from governments … but from people. … I put my full support behind Michael Steele.”

OH YEAH BABY!  CALLED IT!

Alright, the voting has now begun.

UPDATE (3:10 P.M. EST): The roll is now being called.

UPDATE (3:26 P.M. EST): Steele is on the phone.

UPDATE (3:35 P.M. EST): 5th round:

Mike Duncan: (-/-52)
Michael Steele: 79 votes (+19/+33)
Katon Dawson:  69 votes (+7/+41)
Saul Anuzis:  20 votes (-11/-2)
Ken Blackwell: (-15/-20

Saul is withdrawing, but no endorsement!  This is gonna get interesting.

UPDATE (3:40 P.M. EST): Alright, time for some analysis.  I honestly think this race is over.  Steele only needs 6 more votes, and Saul had 20 available, so as long as Steele gets 30% of Saul’s supporters, he wins.  I don’t see Dawson winning this one, although he has come a LOT farther than anybody thought, and he has been doing really good in gathering support from dropped candidates.  He’s received no endorsements so far, but he’s gained the most from the first ballot to the current ballot (the second number in the parentheses).  They should be coming back in 3 minutes, so hopefully we’ll have a chair by around 4:00.

UPDATE (3:45 P.M. EST): The Proxy Committee report has been approved and the seargent at arms is distributing the ballots.  This should be the last ballot.

UPDATE (3:47 P.M. EST): You have to figure that Keith Butler (MI) will go for Steele, so that means that Steele would only need 5 additional delegates after Butler.

UPDATE (3:49 P.M. EST): The roll is now being called.  We’re almost half-way through the roll call.

UPDATE (3:58 P.M. EST): The ballots are now being counted.

UPDATE (4:05 P.M. EST): Here are the results of the 6th and final balloting round:

Mike Duncan: (-/-52)
Michael Steele: 91 votes (+12/+45)
Katon Dawson:  77 votes (+8/+49)
Saul Anuzis:  (-20/-22)
Ken Blackwell: (-/-20)

Congratulations to Michael Steele, the new chairman of the Republican National Committee!

UPDATE (4:11 P.M. EST): Steele is now speaking.  He’s saying “it’s time for something different, and we’re going to bring it to them. … We’re going to bring this party … to every community. … To those of you who wish to obstruct, get ready to get knocked over. … I want to thank all of you especially. … I never thought this day would come. … I would like to especially thank my friends in the territories … who will help grow this party in a way that we have never seen before. … To my friends in the Northeast: get ready baby, it’s time to turn it on. … We’re gonna win again in the Northeast.  We’re gonna continue to win in the South.  We’re gonna win in a new storm in the Midwest.  We’re gonna get to the West and lock it down there too. … I cannot do this by myself. … This is about empowering you. … We stand proud, as the conservative party of he United States, and we will work hard to make sure those values … that made us the party of Lincoln … are part of thoe issues. … So, my first official act, as your new chairman, is to end this speech right now, because we have a few more races to do. … God bless you.  God bless our party.  Thank you.”

UPDATE (12:46 A.M. EST 2-1/09): Here’s a video of Michael Steele’s acceptance speech.  It’s a great speech, so take the time to watch it:

And with that, I’m done with my coverage – I have to go drop off a lab report for my physics class!

Done Ranting,

Ranting Republican
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ACLU Director: Bush Was “Very worst President for civil liberties”

January 13, 2009

A couple days ago on the Colbert Report, Steven Colbert interviewed American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) Director Anthony Romero.  In the interview, Romero said that Bush was the “very worst President for civil liberties,” and later that he was “the worst President in 8 long years.”  Perhaps he meant “for 8 long years,” since he was the only President in the past 8 years, so Romero’s statement really didn’t make sense.  (Sorry this is up a few days late – I lost me entire draft that I wrote the 1st time, and that took a few hours to do.)  Anyway, watch the video, and I’ll discuss his statements below.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

So, what do I think about Romero’s statements?  I think his high school American history teacher would be ashamed of him.

Now, I’m not arguing that President Bush has been a champion of civil liberties.  I think he overstepped his powers, and I think the Republican Party (and some of the Democratic Party) stood by and let him.  And now, the Republican Party is paying for it, and this country will be paying for it for years to come.  Still, I don’t think that Bush did it just for fun.  He had legitimate reasons, but I think he went too far at times.  Anyway, let’s look at 4 Presidents who I think did much worse for civil liberties than Bush has:

John Adams

Why John Adams?  The Alien and Sedition Acts, that’s why:

First, we have the Alien Friends Act (officially titled “An Act Concerning Aliens”) (we’re going to leave the Naturalization Act out of this discussion since it isn’t relevant, but technically was the first one to be passed).  Let’s take a look at the first 2 sections of the bill:

An Act concerning Aliens.

SECTION 1. Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That it shall be lawful for the President of the United States at any time during the continnuance of this act, to order all such aliens as he shall judge dangerous to the peace and safety of the United States, or shall have reasonable grounds to suspect are concerned in any treasonable or secret machinations against the government thereof, to depart out of the territory of the United States, within such time as shall be expressed in such order, which order shall be served on such alien by delivering him a copy thereof, or leaving the same at his usual abode, and returned to the office of the Secretary of State, by the marshal or other person to whom the same shall be directed.  And in case any alien, so ordered to depart, shall be found at large within the United States after the time limited in such order for his departure, and not having obtained a license from the President to reside therein, or having obtained such license shall not have conformed thereto, every such alien shall, on conviction thereof, be imprisoned for a term not exceeding three years, and shall never after be admitted to become a citizen of the United States.  Provided always, and be it further enacted, that if any alien so ordered to depart shall prove to the satisfaction of the President, by evidence to be taken before such person or persons as the President shall direct, who are for that purpose hereby authorized to administer oaths, that no injury or danger to the United States will arise from suffering such alien to reside therein, the President may grant a license to such alien to remain within the United States for such time as he shall judge proper, and at such place as he may designate.  And the president may also require of such alien to enter into a bond to the United States, in such penal sum as he may direct, with one or more sufficient sureties to the satisfaction of the person authorized by the President to take the same, conditioned for the good behavior of such alien during his residence in the United States, and not violating his license, which license the President may revoke, whenever he shall think proper.

SEC 2. And be it further enacted, That it shall be lawful for the President of the United States, whenever he may deem it necessary for the public safety, to order to be removed out of the territory thereof, any alien who may or shall be in prison in pursuance of this act; and to cause to be arrested and sent out of the United States such of those aliens as shall have been ordered to depart therefrom and shall not have obtained a license as aforesaid, in all cases where, in the opinion of the President, the public safety requires a speedy removal.  And if any alien so removed or sent out of the United States by the President shall voluntarily return thereto, unless by permission of the President of the United States, such alien on conviction thereof, shall be imprisoned so long as, in the opinion of the President, the public safety may require.

APPROVED, June 25, 1798.

Alright, now we have the Alien Enemies Act (officially titled “An Act Respecting Alien Enemies”):

An Act Respecting Alien Enemies

SECTION 1. Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That whenever there shall be a declared war between the United States and any foreign nation or government, or any invasion or predatory incursion shall be perpetrated, attempted, or threatened against the territory of the United States, by any foreign nation or government, and the President of the United States shall make public proclamation of the event, all natives, citizens, denizens, or subjects of the hostile nation or government, being males of the age of fourteen years and upwards, who shall be within the United States, and not actually naturalized, shall be liable to be apprehended, restrained, secured and removed, as alien enemies. And the President of the United States shall be, and he is hereby authorized, in any event, as aforesaid, by his proclamation thereof, or other public act, to direct the conduct to be observed, on the part of the United States, towards the aliens who shall become liable, as aforesaid; the manner and degree of the restraint to which they shall be subject, and in what cases, and upon what security their residence shall be permitted, and to provide for the removal of those, who, not being permitted to reside within the United States, shall refuse or neglect to depart therefrom; and to establish any other regulations which shall be found necessary in the premises and for the public safety: Provided, that aliens resident within the United States, who shall become liable as enemies, in the manner aforesaid, and who shall not be chargeable with actual hostility, or other crime against the public safety, shall be allowed, for the recovery, disposal, and removal of their goods and effects, and for their departure, the full time which is, or shall be stipulated by any treaty, where any shall have been between the United States, and the hostile nation or government, of which they shall be natives, citizens, denizens or subjects: and where no such treaty shall have existed, the President of the United States may ascertain and declare such reasonable time as may be consistent with the public safety, and according to the dictates of humanity and national hospitality.

SEC. 2. And be it further enacted, That after any proclamation shall be made as aforesaid, it shall be the duty of the several courts of the United States, and of each state, having criminal jurisdiction, and of the several judges and justices of the courts of the United States, and they shall be, and are hereby respectively, authorized upon complaint, against any alien or alien enemies, as aforesaid, who shall be resident and at large within such jurisdiction or district, to the danger of the public peace or safety, and contrary to the tenor or intent of such proclamation, or other regulations which the President of the United States shall and may establish in the premises, to cause such alien or aliens to be duly apprehended and convened before such court, judge or justice; and after a full examination and hearing on such complaint. and sufficient cause therefor appearing, shall and may order such alien or aliens to be removed out of the territory of the United States, or to give sureties of their good behaviour, or to be otherwise restrained, conformably to the proclamation or regulations which shall and may be established as aforesaid, and may imprison, or otherwise secure such alien or aliens, until the order which shall and may be made, as aforesaid, shall be performed.

SEC. 3. And be it further enacted, That it shall be the duty of the marshal of the district in which any alien enemy shall be apprehended, who by the President of the United States, or by order of any court, judge or justice, as aforesaid, shall be required to depart, and to be removed, as aforesaid, to provide therefor, and to execute such order, by himself or his deputy, or other discreet person or persons to be employed by him, by causing a removal of such alien out of the territory of the United States; and for such removal the marshal shall have the warrant of the President of the United States, or of the court, judge or justice ordering the same, as the case may be.

APPROVED, July 6, 1798.

And lastly we have the Sedition Act (officially entitled “An Act for the Punishment of Certain Crimes against the United States”):

An Act in addition to the act, entitled “An act for the punishment of certain crimes against the United States.”

SECTION 1. Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America, in Congress assembled, That if any persons shall unlawfully combine or conspire together, with intent to oppose any measure or measures of the government of the United States, which are or shall be directed by proper authority, or to impede the operation of any law of the United States, or to intimidate or prevent any person holding a place or office in or under the government of the United States, from undertaking, performing or executing his trust or duty, and if any person or persons, with intent as aforesaid, shall counsel, advise or attempt to procure any insurrection, riot, unlawful assembly, or combination, whether such conspiracy, threatening, counsel, advice, or attempt shall have the proposed effect or not, he or they shall be deemed guilty of a high misdemeanor, and on conviction, before any court of the United States having jurisdiction thereof, shall be punished by a fine not exceeding five thousand dollars, and by imprisonment during a term not less than six months nor exceeding five years; and further, at the discretion of the court may be ho]den to find sureties for his good behaviour in such sum, and for such time, as the said court may direct.

SEC. 2. And be it farther enacted, That if any person shall write, print, utter or publish, or shall cause or procure to be written, printed, uttered or published, or shall knowingly and willingly assist or aid in writing, printing, uttering or publishing any false, scandalous and malicious writing or writings against the government of the United States, or either house of the Congress of the United States, or the President of the United States, with intent to defame the said government, or either house of the said Congress, or the said President, or to bring them, or either of them, into contempt or disrepute; or to excite against them, or either or any of them, the hatred of the good people of the United States, or to stir up sedition within the United States, or to excite any unlawful combinations therein, for opposing or resisting any law of the United States, or any act of the President of the United States, done in pursuance of any such law, or of the powers in him vested by the constitution of the United States, or to resist, oppose, or defeat any such law or act, or to aid, encourage or abet any hostile designs of any foreign nation against United States, their people or government, then such person, being thereof convicted before any court of the United States having jurisdiction thereof, shall be punished by a fine not exceeding two thousand dollars, and by imprisonment not exceeding two years.

SEC. 3. And be it further enacted and declared, That if any person shall be prosecuted under this act, for the writing or publishing any libel aforesaid, it shall be lawful for the defendant, upon the trial of the cause, to give in evidence in his defence, the truth of the matter contained in Republication charged as a libel. And the jury who shall try the cause, shall have a right to determine the law and the fact, under the direction of the court, as in other cases.

SEC. 4. And be it further enacted, That this act shall continue and be in force until the third day of March, one thousand eight hundred and one, and no longer: Provided, that the expiration of the act shall not prevent or defeat a prosecution and punishment of any offence against the law, during the time it shall be in force.

APPROVED, July 14, 1798.

Alright, CLEARLY the things that Bush has done against civil rights (as outlined in the interview above – things like Guantanamo, wiretapping, etc…) weren’t as bad as what Adams did.  If Bush were to follow what Adams had done, we’d be deporting Iraqis and Afghans left and right.  We’d probably be deporting the French and Germans who are speaking out against the war too.  And I’m guessing that CBS and Dan Rather would be in jail for around 2 years and would be paying around $2,000 for that false report that CBS did a few years ago.

Now, on to our next civil rights violating President:

Abraham Lincoln

President Lincoln had 18,000 rebel leaders arrested and held in military prisons without trials.  Let’s look at the specific case of Maryland cavalry Lieutenant John Merryman (he assisted in kicking Union troops out of the area after a riot broke out as the Union forces were changing trains at  a station) in the case Ex parte Merryman, 17 F. Cas. 144 (1861):

Lincoln wrote a letter to General Winfield Scott on April 27, 1861, allowing Scott to suspend the writ of habeas corpus within the vicinity of the “military line”.  Originally, this was kept a secret, but by May of 1861, several members of the Maryland legislature had been arrested without grounds or stated charges.

Merryman said that this was illegal and took his case to the U.S. Circuit Court, and the judge at the time was Supreme Court Chief Justice Roger B. Taney.  Taney sided against Lincoln, but Lincoln decided that he would just ignore the ruling.  It is then rumored that Lincoln may have quickly issued and then retracted an arrest warrant for Taney, but the historical accurateness of this claim is disputed.  Anyway, several other cases similar to the Merryman case went before federal judges, but Lincoln ignored all of them.  Eventually Congress suspended the writ of habeas corpus.

Now, compare this to Bush.  Bush hasn’t arrested 18,000 American citizens, and he hasn’t ignored nearly as many court rulings as Lincoln had either.

On to the next President:

Woodrow Wilson

President Wilson signed into law the following  2 bills: the Espionage Act of 1917 and the Sedition Act of 1918.  Let’s take a look at those real quick.  First, we have an excerpt from the Espionage Act of 1917:

Section 3

Whoever, when the United States is at war, shall wilfully make or convey false reports or false statements with intent to interfere with the operation or success of the military or naval forces of the United States or to promote the success of its enemies and whoever when the United States is at war, shall wilfully cause or attempt to cause insubordination, disloyalty, mutiny, refusal of duty, in the military or naval forces of the United States, or shall wilfully obstruct the recruiting or enlistment service of the United States, to the injury of the service or of the United States, shall be punished by a fine of not more than $10,000 or imprisonment for not more than twenty years, or both.

Section 4

If two or more persons conspire to violate the provisions of section two or three of this title, and one or more of such persons does any act to effect the object of the conspiracy, each of the parties to such conspiracy shall be punished as in said sections provided in the case of the doing of the act the accomplishment of which is the object of such conspiracy. Except as above provided conspiracies to commit offences under this title shall be punished as provided by section thirty-seven of the Act to codify, revise, and amend the penal laws of the United States approved March fourth, nineteen hundred and nine.

And here’s an excerpt from the Sedition Act of 1918:

Section 3
Whoever, when the United States is at war, shall willfully make or convey false reports or false statements with intent to interfere with the operation or success of the military or naval forces of the United States, or to promote the success of its enemies, or shall willfully make or convey false reports or false statements, or say or do anything except by way of bona fide and not disloyal advice to an investor or investors, with intent to obstruct the sale by the United States of bonds or other securities of the United States or the making of loans by or to the United States, and whoever when the United States is at war, shall willfully cause or attempt to cause, or incite or attempt to incite, insubordination, disloyalty, mutiny, or refusal of duty, in the military or naval forces of the United States, or shall willfully obstruct or attempt to obstruct the recruiting or enlistment services of the United States, and whoever, when the United States is at war, shall willfully utter, print, write or publish any disloyal, profane, scurrilous, or abusive language about the form of government of the United States or the Constitution of the United States, or the military or naval forces of the United States, or the flag of the United States, or the uniform of the Army or Navy of the United States into contempt, scorn, contumely, or disrepute, or shall willfully utter, print, write, or publish any language intended to incite, provoke, or encourage resistance to the United States, or to promote the cause of its enemies, or shall willfully display the flag of any foreign enemy, or shall willfully by utterance, writing, printing, publication, or language spoken, urge, incite, or advocate any curtailment of production in this country of any thing or things, product or products, necessary or essential to the prosecution of the war in which the United States may be engaged, with intent by such curtailment to cripple or hinder the United States in the prosecution of war, and whoever shall willfully advocate, teach, defend, or suggest the doing of any of the acts or things in this section enumerated, and whoever shall by word or act support or favor the cause of any country with which the United States is at war or by word or act oppose the cause of the United States therein, shall be punished by a fine of not more than $10,000 or the imprisonment for not more than twenty years, or both: Provided, That any employee or official of the United States Government who commits any disloyal act or utters any unpatriotic or disloyal language, or who, in an abusive and violent manner criticizes the Army or Navy or the flag of the United States shall be at once dismissed from the service..

Section 4
When the United States is at war, the Postmaster General may, upon evidence satisfactory to him that any person or concern is using the mails in violation of any of the provisions of this Act, instruct the postmaster at any post office at which mail is received addressed to such person or concern to return to the postmaster at the office at which they were originally mailed all letters or other matter so addressed, with the words “Mail to this address undeliverable under Espionage Act” plainly written or stamped upon the outside thereof, and all such letters or other matter so returned to such postmasters shall be by them returned to the senders thereof under such regulations as the Postmaster General may prescribe.

Under these acts, a man was put on trial over his statements about not wanting to buy Liberty Bonds.  In addition to that, over 50 American newspapers had their mailing privileges stripped, and all German-language or German-American newspapers had their mailing privileges removed.

In addition to these 2 acts, Wilson also allowed the American Protective League to assist law enforcement agencies.  The APL was formed by Chicago businessman A.M. Briggs, under the permission of U.S. Attorney General Thomas Gregory.  The group was given government-issued badges and they officially “organized with the Approval and operating under the direction of the U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Investigation.”  The APL was a group of 250,000 people spread across 600 cities who helped crack down on those who were believed to be helping the Germans or opposing the U.S. government.  The group illegally detained U.S. citizens who were members of labor and pacifist movements.

Again, this is nothing close to what George Bush has done.  If Bush were following the epionage and sedition acts, CBS executives and Dan Rather would have been fined and put in jail for running  that false story about President Bush’s Air National Guard service.  Instead, Rather kept his job (for a while) without any criminal charges being filed.  Clearly Wilson was worse than Bush when it comes to civil liberties.

And that leads us to our last liberty looter:

Franklin Delano Roosevelt

Perhaps the most infamous (probably because it’s the most recent) violation of civil liberties was FDR’s Executive Order 9066, which was the executive order for the internment of Japanese Americans and Japanese nationals.  Here’s a copy of Executive Order 9066:

Executive Order No. 9066

The President

Executive Order

Authorizing the Secretary of War to Prescribe Military Areas

Whereas the successful prosecution of the war requires every possible protection against espionage and against sabotage to national-defense material, national-defense premises, and national-defense utilities as defined in Section 4, Act of April 20, 1918, 40 Stat. 533, as amended by the Act of November 30, 1940, 54 Stat. 1220, and the Act of August 21, 1941, 55 Stat. 655 (U.S.C., Title 50, Sec. 104);

Now, therefore, by virtue of the authority vested in me as President of the United States, and Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy, I hereby authorize and direct the Secretary of War, and the Military Commanders whom he may from time to time designate, whenever he or any designated Commander deems such action necessary or desirable, to prescribe military areas in such places and of such extent as he or the appropriate Military Commander may determine, from which any or all persons may be excluded, and with respect to which, the right of any person to enter, remain in, or leave shall be subject to whatever restrictions the Secretary of War or the appropriate Military Commander may impose in his discretion. The Secretary of War is hereby authorized to provide for residents of any such area who are excluded therefrom, such transportation, food, shelter, and other accommodations as may be necessary, in the judgment of the Secretary of War or the said Military Commander, and until other arrangements are made, to accomplish the purpose of this order. The designation of military areas in any region or locality shall supersede designations of prohibited and restricted areas by the Attorney General under the Proclamations of December 7 and 8, 1941, and shall supersede the responsibility and authority of the Attorney General under the said Proclamations in respect of such prohibited and restricted areas.

I hereby further authorize and direct the Secretary of War and the said Military Commanders to take such other steps as he or the appropriate Military Commander may deem advisable to enforce compliance with the restrictions applicable to each Military area hereinabove authorized to be designated, including the use of Federal troops and other Federal Agencies, with authority to accept assistance of state and local agencies.

I hereby further authorize and direct all Executive Departments, independent establishments and other Federal Agencies, to assist the Secretary of War or the said Military Commanders in carrying out this Executive Order, including the furnishing of medical aid, hospitalization, food, clothing, transportation, use of land, shelter, and other supplies, equipment, utilities, facilities, and services.

This order shall not be construed as modifying or limiting in any way the authority heretofore granted under Executive Order No. 8972, dated December 12, 1941, nor shall it be construed as limiting or modifying the duty and responsibility of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, with respect to the investigation of alleged acts of sabotage or the duty and responsibility of the Attorney General and the Department of Justice under the Proclamations of December 7 and 8, 1941, prescribing regulations for the conduct and control of alien enemies, except as such duty and responsibility is superseded by the designation of military areas hereunder.

Franklin D. Roosevelt

The White House,

February 19, 1942.

Under that order, somewhere around 120,000 people were held in internment camps after the attack on Pearl Harbor, 62% of which were American citizens.  Compare this to Bush, who has held around 800 people in Guantanamo.  And those people weren’t even American citizens!

The point that I’m trying to make in all of this is NOT that I justify Bush’s actions.  I think he has overstepped his Constitutional bounds, with the wiretapping and his signing statements.  But to say that he’s the WORST President for civil liberties is just insulting to American history.  I would be ashamed to be Romero’s American history teacher right now, because clearly, he has forgotten some very important parts.  Looking back 20 or so years from now, the history books will be kinder to Bush.  I don’t think he’s anywhere near perfect, but he’s certainly hasn’t violated civil liberties as much as the 4 Presidents that I’ve just listed.

Done Ranting,

Ranting Republican
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Some Black Republicans May Vote for Obama Because of Race

June 17, 2008

So, a few days ago, the Associated Press came out with a story about some black Republicans selling out their beliefs just to “VOTE FOR A BLACK MAN!!!”  Personally, I think this is despicable and racist, and it would be just as bad as Jesse Jackson voting for Alan Keyes just to get a black man elected.

How are we supposed to fulfill the “goal” of electing an African American, ending race, if we’re VOTING BASED ON  RACE?!?!  It just appalls me that these people are so shallow.

Here’s  some quotes:

Black conservative talk show host, Armstrong Williams, who has never voted for a single Democrat his whole life, told AP, “I don’t necessarily like his policies; I don’t like much that he advocates, but for the first time in my life, history thrusts me to really seriously think about it.  I can honestly say I have no idea who I’m going to pull that lever for in November.  And to me, that’s incredible.  Among black conservatives.  They tell me privately, it would be very hard to vote against him in November.”

That’s ridiculous.  I would never just vote for the white guy just because he’s white.  I’ll vote for a person because I agree with them.  Whether they’re white, black, Asian, Hispanic, or any other race!

Williams went on to say that his  82-year-old mother, who has also never voted for a Democrat, will vote for Obama, “She is so proud of Senator Barack Obama, and she has made it clear to all of us that she’s voting for him in November.  That is historic.  Every time I call her, she asks, ‘How’s Obama doing?’  They feel as if they are a part of this.  Because she said, given the history of this country, she never thought she’d ever live to see this moment.”

And that’s so sad.  An 82-year-old selling out her beliefs just to vote for somebody based on the color of his skin.

J.C. Watts, a former Oklahoma Congressman said that he’s still a Republican, but thinks that the party often neglects blacks and that the Democrats reach out to them.  “And Obama highlights that even more.  Republicans often seem indifferent to those things,” Watts said.  He also told reporters that he thinks Obama will focus on poverty and urban policy.

Writer, and actor on “The Cosby Show,” Joseph C. Phillips began calling himself an “Obamacan” or an Obama Republican earlier this year, but since then has begun to question his support for Obama.  He told AP, “I am wondering if this is the time where we get over the hump, where an Obama victory will finally, at long last, move us beyond some of the old conversations about race.  That possibly, just possibly, this great country can finally be forgiven for its original sin, or find some absolution.  We have to not judge him based on his race, but on his desirability as a political candidate.  And based on that, I have a lot of disagreements with him on a lot of issues.  I go back and forth.”

At least he realizes that voting for Obama to end racism in politics would be ironic, but that makes him look even more ridiculous when he says that he still might do it.

John McWhorter, a senior fellow at the conservative Manhattan Institute and New York Sun columnist (who calls himself a moderate), says that Obama’s victory in the Democratic primary “proves that while there still is some racism in the United States, there is not enough to matter in any serious manner.  This is a watershed moment.  Obama is probably more to the left than I would prefer on a lot of issues.  But this issue of getting past race for real is such a wedge issue for me.  And he is so intelligent, and I think he would be a perfectly competent president, that I’m for him.  I want him to get in because, in a way, it will put me out of a job.”

Again – who cares if a black man EVER gets elected President.  And who cares if we ONLY have black men elected President for the rest of the lifetime of this country.  Vote for somebody based on issues, not on skin color.

Former Massachusetts Senator, moderate black Republican, Edward Brooke said that he is “extremely proud and confident and joyful” at how well Obama is doing.  He called Obama “a worthy bearer of the torch,” in reference to his nomination.  He told the AP that race won’t be a factor in who he votes for, and went on to say, “This is the most important election in our history.  And with the world in the condition that it is, I think we’ve got to get the best person we can get.”

One black Republican, the former Maryland Lt. Governor and failed Senatorial candidate in 2006, Michael Steele, says that “come November, I will do everything in my power to defeat him.  I think people who try to put this sort of messianic mantle on Barack’s nomination are a little bit misguided.”

I always liked him!

Another black Republican, James T. Harris, a radio talk show host in Milwaukee, told the AP that he opposes Obama “with love in my heart.  We are of the same generation.  He’s African American and I’m an American of African descent.  We both have lovely wives and beautiful children.  Other than that, we’ve got nothing in common.  I hope he loses every state.”

Now – that’s an attitude I like to see!

I hope that black Republicans don’t sell out their beliefs just because of race, and I also hope that people don’t vote for McCain out of racism either.  Sadly, I think both will happen.  I know right here in Wayne County, we have 2 VERY racist cities, Taylor and Wyandotte, and although Detroit will help Obama, he may lose a lot of support in those 2 cities (Taylor is a pretty big city and is a Democratic stronghold in the county).

Let’s move past race and vote on the issues!

Done Ranting,

Ranting Republican
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Republican Results for the Potomac Primaries

February 18, 2008

OK, apparently I have an error somewher in McCain’s numbers, so take the chart with a grain of salt – it’s almost 3:00 A.M., and I’m dead tired, so I’ll fix this later.

Here are the results from the Potomac Primaries, Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, D.C.  The gray colors indicate candidates who have dropped out:

Date State Candidate Votes % Delegates RNC Delegates Total Delegates Delegate Count
12-Feb Washington, D.C. Huckabee 984 16.75% 0 0 0 219
  Romney 354 6.03% 0 0 0 293
  Thompson 0.00% 0 0 0 0
  McCain 3,967 67.55% 16 0 16 810
  Paul 477 8.12% 0 0 0 16
  Giuliani 91 1.55% 0 0 0 0
  Hunter 0.00% 0 0 0 0
   
  Maryland Huckabee 88,937 28.67% 0 0 0
  Romney 21,294 6.86% 0 0 0
  Thompson 2,832 0.91% 0 0 0
  McCain 170,273 54.88% 34 0 34
  Paul 18,501 5.96% 0 0 0
  Giuliani 4,276 1.38% 0 0 0
  Hunter 512 0.17% 0 0 0
  Keyes 3,258 1.05% 0 0 0
  Tancredo 358 0.12% 0 0 0
   
  Virginia Huckabee 198,787 40.78% 0 0 0
**2450 of 2454 precinctts** Romney 17,500 3.59% 0 0 0
  Thompson 3,368 0.69% 0 0 0
  McCain 243,981 50.05% 60 3 63
  Paul 21,867 4.49% 0 0 0
  Giuliani 1,975 0.41% 0 0 0
    Hunter   0.00% 0 0 0

And here’s a chart of the delegate count after those primaries:

Republican Delegate Count after Potomac Primaries

Next I’ll do the Democrats and then a summary of  both parties.

Done Reporting,

Ranting Republican
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Maryland Primary Results as of 12:00 A.M.: Obama & McCain Win

February 13, 2008

Here are the results of the Maryland primaries as of midnight with 58% of the precincts reporting:

For the Democrats:

  1. Obama 279,699 61%
  2. Clinton 167,545 36%
  3. Uncommitted 5,875 1%

And for the Republicans:

  1. McCain 94,578 55% 13 delegates
  2. Huckabee 52,050 30%
  3. Romney 10,592 6%
  4. Paul 9,504 6%

Done Reporting,

Ranting Republican
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Maryland Primary Update for 10:30 P.M.: Obama & McCain Win

February 12, 2008

Here are the results for Maryland as of 10:30 P.M. with 10% of the precincts reporting:

The Democrats:

  1. Obama 53,763 62%
  2. Clinton 30,378 35%
  3. Uncommitted 1,126 1%

And the Republicans:

  1. McCain 15,775 55% 13 delegates
  2. Huckabee 8,529 30%
  3. Paul 1,773 6%
  4. Romney 1,747 6%

The results are coming in very slowly, and I have homework to do, so if the percent reporting doesn’t rise above 20-25%, I probably won’t post for another hour.

Done Reporting,

Ranting Republican
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Maryland & Washington, D.C. Primary Updates for 10:00 P.M.

February 12, 2008

With 89% of the precincts reporting for Washington, D.C., here are the results (my last update for D.C. until my summary of the night):

The Democrats:

  1. Obama 77,432 76%
  2. Clinton 24,563 24%
  3. Uncommitted 262 0%

And the Republicans:

  1. McCain 3,425 67% 16 delegates
  2. Huckabee 874 17%
  3. Paul 437 8%
  4. Romney 308 6%

In Maryland, with 3% of the precincts reporting:

The Democrats:

  1. Obama 14,010 62%
  2. Clinton 8,007 35%
  3. Uncommitted 283 1%

The Republicans:

  1. McCain 5,394 57% 13 delegates
  2. Huckabee 2,994 32%
  3. Romney 413 4%
  4. Paul 347 4%

Done Reporting,

Ranting Republican
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Maryland & Washington, D.C. Primary Updates as of 9:45 P.M.

February 12, 2008

For Washington, D.C.:

The Democrats with 49% of the precincts reporting:

  1. Obama 40,890 76%
  2. Clinton 12,532 24%
  3. Uncommitted 143 0%

And the Republicans with 49% reporting:

  1. McCain 1,684 67% 16 delegates
  2. Huckabee 418 17%
  3. Paul 230 9%
  4. Romney 161 6%

And the Maryland primary:

For the Democrats with 0% reporting:

  1. Obama 279 48%
  2. Clinton 239 41%
  3. Uncommitted 32 5%

And the Republicans with 0% reporting:

  1. McCain 356 62% 13 delegates
  2. Huckabee 107 19%
  3. Romney 57 10%
  4. Paul 27 5%

Done Reporting,

Ranting Republican
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