8 votes

Weekly US politics news and updates thread - week of August 29

This thread is posted weekly - please try to post all relevant US political content in here, such as news, updates, opinion articles, etc. Extremely significant events may warrant a separate topic, but almost all should be posted in here.

This is an inherently political thread; please try to avoid antagonistic arguments and bickering matches. Comment threads that devolve into unproductive arguments may be removed so that the overall topic is able to continue.

7 comments

  1. [2]
    cmccabe
    Link
    Mary Peltola: First Alaskan Native elected to Congress as Sarah Palin loses In Ranked-Choice election https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-62747378 I only wish this article had more discussion...

    Mary Peltola: First Alaskan Native elected to Congress as Sarah Palin loses In Ranked-Choice election
    https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-62747378

    I only wish this article had more discussion of the ranked-choice election process. It was the first time this has been used in Alaska.

    12 votes
    1. skybrian
      Link Parent
      After Peltola win in Alaska, a debate erupts over ranked-choice voting (Washington Post) The way I see it is that two Republicans split the Republican vote in Alaska, which would normally be fatal...

      After Peltola win in Alaska, a debate erupts over ranked-choice voting (Washington Post)

      Peltola led after first-choice votes were counted in the special election. Palin, in second, made up ground but still didn’t overtake Peltola after the backup choices of Begich, who finished third, were factored in. (The fourth finalist ended his campaign before the election, leaving just three on the ballot.)

      About half of Begich’s first choice voters ranked Palin second. But nearly 30 percent chose Peltola second, while 21 percent ranked neither Peltola nor Palin — an outcome referred to as “ballot exhaustion.”

      The 11,222 exhausted Begich ballots amounted to more than double Peltola’s final margin over Palin.

      The way I see it is that two Republicans split the Republican vote in Alaska, which would normally be fatal to their chances. With ranked-choice voting, it turned out to still be fatal, because many Begich voters wouldn't support Palin. So, first-past-the-post and ranked-choice voting agree on the winner.

      But I wonder if that would have worked the other way too? Suppose we arbitrarily eliminate Palin first. Did enough of her supporters put Begich as their second choice to win, or would they still have lost?

      Or, another hypothetical, would Republican voters have rallied behind one candidate if it weren't a ranked choice election? (Unknowable, but it seems unlikely?)

      5 votes
  2. kfwyre
    Link
    Back to school in DeSantis’s Florida, as teachers look over their shoulders (New York Times) Normally I’d just pull an overview quote, but I want to highlight a particular part this time. As a...

    Back to school in DeSantis’s Florida, as teachers look over their shoulders (New York Times)

    Normally I’d just pull an overview quote, but I want to highlight a particular part this time. As a queer teacher myself, my heart broke when I read this:

    Rebecca McDermott, who teaches gifted classes for elementary students in Duval County, said she has heard students use the term “gay” to insult one another. In the past, she said she typically intervened and asked students to reflect on what the term meant.

    “A lot of times they didn’t know,” said Ms. McDermott, who is gay and raising two children with her wife. “It’s just something they’ve heard.”

    Now, she wonders if it is best to steer clear. She has mentally practiced what she might say this year: “We’re not here to talk about that. We are here to learn. Let’s move on.”

    Every queer person knows this feeling: when we face discrimination and we have to quietly bite our own tongues and swallow assaults on our own dignity because it’s safer than speaking up.

    Furthermore, she’s consciously choosing to not safeguard her students. As a teacher, I can guarantee you that is eating her up inside.

    I don’t begrudge her for that response, by the way. Not in the slightest. This situation is not her fault, and her caution is almost assuredly warranted. I don’t know the particulars of Florida, but it’s not uncommon in the US for teachers who lose their jobs to also lose their licensure and pensions.

    She’s biting her tongue not because she doesn’t care: she’s biting it because she wants to hold onto her livelihood and everything she’s worked for.

    She shouldn’t have to be in this situation. Not at all.

    10 votes
  3. kfwyre
    Link
    Ginni Thomas urged Wisconsin lawmakers to overturn 2020 election, emails show (CBS News) (emphasis mine)

    Ginni Thomas urged Wisconsin lawmakers to overturn 2020 election, emails show (CBS News)

    Ginni Thomas, a conservative activist and wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, sent emails to at least two Wisconsin Republican legislators just days after the 2020 election urging them to overturn President Biden's victory and nominate an alternative slate of electors who would back Donald Trump.

    (emphasis mine)

    10 votes
  4. [2]
    AugustusFerdinand
    Link
    Senator Ted Cruz has emerged as one of the biggest critics of President Joe Biden's student loan forgiveness plan and now he and other Texas Republicans are reportedly exploring legal options to...
    6 votes