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The latest election news, for those who have not been aggressively following every development related to the 2010 Senate races, is that Republican George Voinovich is going to be retiring. That makes four Republicans who have already announced their retirements, including from the very swingable states of Florida, Missouri, and now Ohio. This is a great chance to see if Democrats can gain Senate seats for the third election cycle in a row. Not losing any seats in the last two is unprecedented on its own, but gaining in three consecutive cycles like this would simply be amazing. It would be especially awesome because it means the few remaining members of the Republican caucus would probably be engaged in the game show below with the same level of accomplishments:
As the premier musical blogger on this site, I feel like it is my duty to present this SNL skit. Broadway really is facing severe economic problems in these times, but the way that it was made fun of was really damned hilarious. And yes, I do have all of these musicals on my iPod. This is absolutely hilarious:
I knew of Mike Rogers for several years as simply the Congressman from the Lansing area, who got into Congress in the closest race in the country in 2002. I didn’t know that much about him until I came to Michigan and heard of the evils of Rogers Law. For those who do not know, it has been ably covered on the blog here and others, along with just our general mocking of him.
Now, Mike Rogers has decided to run for governor. It’s all unofficial right now, but his statement is couched in the terms that politicians always use when they are being coy. He is running. The two senate seats are full for the next while and there’s a lot of Republicans who are ambitious and want to run. It will be a brutal primary with Hoekstra, Land, Cox, Miller, and Rogers all likely competing. Basically , it should be fun. This will be our big chance to help take out Mike Rogers and get him back for how difficult he has made student voting over the last several years. I look forward to it.
I came across an interesting article a couple of weeks ago, which has some interesting implications for us here at the University of Michigan.
The article, is about the University of California public school system which wants to be able to set different tuition levels at each school within the UC system, staying within a range of 25% of what it is set at now.
The first thing I got from this was how damned cheap it is. For an instate student, tuition is only $6,571, while an in-state student here at U of M pays either 11 or 12 thousand dollars.
The second thing I thought was that this was an eminently sensible idea. It is instituted here in Michigan as tuition at UM-Flint is only 7500 dollars a year. This is because there is a difference in quality between the Ann Arbor Campus and the Flint campus. Denying that difference and the vastly increased demand for the Ann Arbor campus, is engaging in an act of fantasy. Economics would say that entrance into the top schools, like Ann Arbor and Cal-Berkley and UCLA, is a scarce resource and ought to be rationed through the controlling mechanism of price. This doesn’t really work, as education is different from most other goods in that it is necessary for getting ahead in today’s economy and thus benefits all. This is why we have our system of public education in the first place. Thus, I think that the compromise sought by the UC chancellors makes sense. Every public school in Michigan is available for between 6 and 12 thousand dollars a year in tuition, an affordable portion for the quality of education received and economic opportunity gained. Instituting something similar in California, a state that is bordering on the brink of bankruptcy, seems to make sense.
Apparently, Jeb Bush has decided not to run for the Florida Senate seat that will be opening up in 2010.
I feel like I speak for all of us when I say that I don’t want to see another Bush elected to public office again and I want to never hear from them again as well. We all know what happened over the last eight years and suffice to say, any trace remnant of that is unacceptable.
With that having been said, there is a precedent for a comeback. Richard Nixon resigned in 1974. In 2008, Attorney General Jay Nixon of Missouri, a Democrat, was elected Governor. Thus, a politician with the last name Bush can be elected if and only if, they are 1. A Democrat and 2. A period of at least 34 years has passed. Precedent is highly important here and is very worth following.
One of my favorite political topics to talk about and write about here on the blog is gerrymandering. It is an act of brazen political dominance that can ensure victories, create defeats, and control the future from a little room in a state legislature somewhere. It can create massive advantages for the incumbent party, as in Maryland where
Democrats have a 7-1 advantage in seats, in a state that is Democratic, but not that much. It goes very much the other way in Florida where Republicans control 15 of the 25 seats, even with the Democrats having netted three seats in the last two elections, in a state that Obama won and is very closely split politically.
The problem with gerrymandering, put very simply, is arrogance. Those who wish to maximize seats for their party need to worry about the potential for going too far. If they put aside too many 51% districts for their party, the other party can take over those seats, undoing the advantage that the redistricting party was trying to get in the first place. Thus, Pennsylvania.
Pennsylvania is a cool state. The most common description for the state’s politics is Pittsburgh and Philadelphia with Alabama in the middle. The two cities are highly Democratic. Pittsburgh’s is a more blue-collar and industrial kind, while Philadelphia has a large African-American population. This leaves the main swing area of the state as the Philadelphia suburbs.
More after the jump… (more…)
In our national debates over health care and its much needed reform, a key perspective is missing. Doctors are the ones on the ground actually administering care and dealing with real health care issues. The best story I have read on the issue in a while is here. Go read it. I know it’s a little long, but it’s Winter Break and you’re not doing anything anyways.
That article makes so much sense that it’s absurd. Why do we accept so many different insurance companies with different standards? Why is the cost of overhead more than 2.5 times as much in America as it is in Canada? Why do we pay thousands of dollars more per person in a country where 47 million people are uninsured. This is a system that can’t stand and insurance companies don’t really deserve a role in any future construction of it.