Friday, August 19, 2011

Yay! California joins the national popular vote for president movement

Internal Monologue has long been an advocate of this:
A national movement aimed at sidelining the Electoral College in presidential elections got a big boost Monday when Gov. Jerry Brown signed legislation adding California to the list of states supporting the drive.

Brown's signature makes California the ninth state to sign on to the effort, which would hand the electoral votes of all participating states to the presidential candidate who wins the most votes nationwide. Currently, California's 55 electoral votes go to the person who wins the most votes in the state.

Note that this law only kicks in if states with a majority of the electoral college votes have a similar law.

The Electoral College is a national embarrassment and needs to be sidelined. It is a vestige of anti-democratic forces that have no legitimate place in today's polity. This is a great way to get around the EC without amending the Constitution. The latter would be very difficult to do, because states that are over-represented would be very reluctant to relinquish their unfair share of power.

The Electoral College is one of the political institutions that privileges rural, conservative interests over urban, progressive ones, because low-population states get proportionally more power in the EC than high power ones. If laws like this had been in effect in 2000, Al Gore would have defeated George Bush, regardless of how the small amount of contested votes in Florida were handled.

I do hope other states join us. It's good to hear some political good news for once!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

You know patent law is screwed up...

...when Google pays $12.5 billion dollars for Motorola, primarily to use its portfolio of patents in lawsuit wars.

This is a lame-ass state of affairs and doesn't benefit anyone except lawyers and patent trolls.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Invest in children

The basic point of this TED talk is that at-risk children are woefully under-capitalized in our society. Early childhood intervention provides the public a fantastic rate of return that any venture capitalist would jump on immediately. This is exactly the sort of thing that will help our society be strong, and unfortunately it's exactly the sort of thing that gets cut, because the constituents lack political power.