Free Markets, Free People

Daily Archives: October 20, 2010

Legislative Seat Counter

It’s getting close to election time, so once again, it’s time for me to release the 2010 version if Legislative Seat Counter shockwave app. The interface looks like the screen shot below.

The app will run in your browser, or you can download the SWF file  it and run it locally in your computers flash player.  The file can be found here: CongressSeats

Oh, and while we’re at it, even though it’s a couple of years early, you can also play with the 2012 Electoral Vote Calculator, too. Just remember, this will have to be revised once the 2010 census updates the electoral votes of each state: PresidentialElection

Early voting numbers may spell Harry Reid’s electoral doom

Sharon Angle might not be anyone’s choice for Senator if she were running against anyone else, but apparently when the opponent is the much loved Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, she’ll do just fine:

In Reno’s Washoe County and Las Vegas’s Clark County, Republican turnout was disproportionately high over the first three voting days, according to local election officials. The two counties together make up 86 percent of the state’s voter population.

[...]

Some 47 percent of early voters in the bellwether Washoe County so far have been Republicans, while 40 percent have been Democrats, according to the Washoe County Registrar. Nearly 11,000 people had voted in Washoe over the first three days of early voting, which began Saturday.

Voter registration in the county is evenly split, 39 percent to 39 percent. The disproportionate turnout is a concrete indication of the Republican enthusiasm that is expected to portend a nationwide GOP wave.

Early voting is often an indicator of how a race will go on election day as it tends to demonstrate which side has, as the article notes, the most enthusiasm about the election. Right now the numbers are pointing to a decided advantage for the GOP.

Well, you say, that’s a heavily Republican county. What about turnout in a heavily Democratic one? The news is pretty much the same:

In Clark County, which is heavily Democratic, more Democrats than Republicans have voted, but Republicans are outperforming their share of the electorate.

Out of the nearly 47,000 votes cast in Clark County, 46 percent were Democrats, 39 percent Republicans, according to the Clark County Election Department. But while Democrats make up 46 percent of the county’s registered voters, Republicans constitute just 33 percent.

Harry Reid, the best argument going for not using seniority as a basis for picking your leaders, may end up being a statistic. Perhaps his loss will push unemployment back up over 10%. It would be a fitting end for a politician who has done much to "lead" us into the mess we now suffer.

I know its early and yes, I know he could eek out a win, but I’m just feeling it in my bones. Angle will be a junior Senator with little power and someone Nevadans can get rid of in 6 years if she turns out like I think she will. But I think they’re realizing that in relative terms, she’s a small price to pay for getting rid of Harry Reid.

I say, “Amen” to that.

~McQ

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Homeland Security’s arbitrary law enforcement

Apparently if you don’t like the law and you’re the Homeland Security Department – you know, the department charged with ensuring your safety – you can just quietly refuse to do your job.  Judicial Watch clues us in:

A month after the Department of Homeland Security launched a covert program to dismiss pending deportations there’s been an increase of more than 700% in the number of cases that have been dropped by the government in one of the nation’s busiest immigration court systems.

In August Homeland Security officials quietly began to systematically dismiss the pending removal of illegal immigrants, even when expulsion was virtually guaranteed or the aliens had a criminal record. The move, first reported by Texas’s largest newspaper, stunned the legal profession and baffled immigration attorneys who said it was “absolutely fantastic” for their illegal alien clients.

Instead of enforcing the law, they’ve decided to interpret it as they wish and to modify the criteria for expulsion to whatever they arbitrarily decide

However, EOIR’s liaison with the American Immigration Lawyers Association, Raed Gonzalez, said he was briefed on the guidelines in August directly by DHS’ deputy chief counsel in Houston and described a broader set of internal criteria.

Government attorneys in Houston were instructed to exercise prosecutorial discretion on a case-by-case basis for illegal immigrants who have lived in the U.S. for at least two years and have no serious criminal history, Gonzalez said.

To qualify for dismissal, defendants also must have no felony record or any misdemeanor convictions involving DWI, sex crimes or domestic violence, he said.

Now before some nimrod who never reads the blog beams in and claims I’m “anti-immigration”, let’s be clear.  No, I’m not.  But we have a proper and legal way of immigrating into this country and an improper and illegal way of doing so.  The government’s job is to enforce the law and its priority should be the protection of the rights of its citizens.  Decisions to arbitrarily enforce law or not enforce it at all shouldn’t be within the ability of the government’s enforcement agencies to decide.  We have a process for that – it’s called legislation. 

As I recall, law enforcement agencies require oaths of their agents to “enforce the law”.  Not to “internally” decide to modify them to suit their tastes or a political agenda.

I understand the “system” is broken.  But “clearing a backlog” by dismissing cases against law breakers on whatever grounds simply encourages more of the illegal behavior they’ve displayed.  If there’s really no risk in flaunting the law, there’s no reason not to engage in the behavior that breaks it.

Obviously the immigration system needs to be overhauled and immigration brought into the 21st century with a speedier and less costly process that better serves all. 

But that is a separate issue from the subject of this post.  It is dangerous and destructive to have government agencies who have been charged with enforcing the law to be internally deciding what if any of the law they will enforce.  It’s just another example of the government not serving the needs of those it is Constitutionally charged with protecting.  It has, however, become almost a trademark of this administration.

~McQ

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