The Constitution has never required electors to vote for any particular candidates. They were always free to vote their conscience. The question in Colorado revolved around whether the state can control the electors. The Federal Appeals Court ruled that they could not…that interfering with the choices of the electors was clearly unconstitutional. It was ever such but seldom came up in practice.

But that might all be changed now and there is going to be room for renewed shenanigans around the Electoral College vote in the future. Beyond the recent history of the winner of the popular vote losing the presidency in the Electoral College…we now have another reason to consider changing how we elect our president.

A federal appeals court ruled Tuesday evening that Colorado’s presidential electors do not have to back the candidate who wins the state’s popular vote.

The decision could have significant consequences for future presidential contests and is likely headed to the Supreme Court. 

The 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver ruled in a 2-1 decision against the Colorado secretary of state in a case stemming from the 2016 presidential race.

At the time, three of the Centennial State’s nine electors tried to vote for candidates other than Democrat Hillary Clinton, who had won the state’s popular vote.

The appeals court ruled that the Constitution provides “presidential electors the right to cast a vote for president and vice president with discretion. And the state does not possess countervailing authority to remove an elector and to cancel his vote in response to the exercise of that Constitutional right.”

btw: I may be a little dense here…but how would an electoral vote for Kasich instead of Clinton prevent a Trump victory?

The case before the appeals court revolved around a dispute over the decision of then-Secretary of State Wayne Williams to order the three electors to back Clinton. 

Michael Baca, one of the electors, declined, instead opting to back then-Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R) as part of an attempt to deny Donald Trump a victory.

We’ll see…but why only those few? Aren’t partially disabled Vets also at risk of living with onerous and burdensome debt?

full disclosure: I am the son of a now deceased WWII veteran who was 60% disabled.

I really don’t think we need impeachment anymore. Between Greenland and AOC and Israel and retweeting nonsense…the president is completely unhinged:

and for those who would like to review the 25th:

Amendment XXV
Section 1.
In case of the removal of the President from office or of his death or resignation, the Vice President shall become President.

Section 2.
Whenever there is a vacancy in the office of the Vice President, the President shall nominate a Vice President who shall take office upon confirmation by a majority vote of both Houses of Congress.

Section 3.
Whenever the President transmits to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives his written declaration that he is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, and until he transmits to them a written declaration to the contrary, such powers and duties shall be discharged by the Vice President as Acting President.

Section 4.
Whenever the Vice President and a majority of either the principal officers of the executive departments or of such other body as Congress may by law provide, transmit to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives their written declaration that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, the Vice President shall immediately assume the powers and duties of the office as Acting President.

Thereafter, when the President transmits to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives his written declaration that no inability exists, he shall resume the powers and duties of his office unless the Vice President and a majority of either the principal officers of the executive department or of such other body as Congress may by law provide, transmit within four days to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives their written declaration that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office. Thereupon Congress shall decide the issue, assembling within forty-eight hours for that purpose if not in session. If the Congress, within twenty-one days after receipt of the latter written declaration, or, if Congress is not in session, within twenty-one days after Congress is required to assemble, determines by two-thirds vote of both Houses that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, the Vice President shall continue to discharge the same as Acting President; otherwise, the President shall resume the powers and duties of his office.

I don’t quite get it. Either the president is America First or he isn’t. The disloyalty shown here is the president being disloyal to the United States…and disrespecting Americans of Jewish faith who thanks to our Constitution get not only freedom of religion but freedom of speech.

From the Blogging Blue Twitter feed:

Aaah…the economic news has been all over the place of late. Great Economy, Best Ever. Recession coming between now and 2021. The Fed should lower rates to beef up the economy. Tariffs are getting the job done. Delaying tariffs to avoid impacting Christmas sales. Best stock market ever. Fake news is pushing the recession story…no such thing.

You know…you’ve seen it. But this past week there has been media gossip about the Trump regime wanting to implement cuts to payroll taxes. It is being considered…no it’s not…it’s needed to spike the economy (which we have heard repeatedly is doing great…you now…best ever!).

But right after White House staff denied that payroll tax cuts weren’t being considered…the president said…well yes they are!

President Donald Trump undercut his aides on Tuesday, saying he has “been thinking about” the prospect of a payroll tax cut, just hours after one of his main spokespeople denied such a move was under consideration.

“Payroll tax is something that we think about, and a lot of people would like to see that,” Trump told reporters in the Oval Office, sitting alongside Romanian President Klaus Iohannis.

“I’ve been thinking about payroll taxes for a long time,” Trump added. “Whether or not we do it now or not is — it’s not being done because of recession.”

Hogan Gidley, the White House’s principal deputy press secretary, told Fox News earlier Tuesday that Trump is generally “looking at tax cuts again,” but insisted a payroll tax cut was not on the table.

Payroll taxes were reduced during the economic recovery efforts of the Obama administration…as the president fought his way out of the Great Recession left behind by George W Bush. They included temporary reductions in the taxes collected from wage earners to fund Social Security and Medicare. They were a desperate, eleventh hour measure to add liquidity to the consumer markets.

We don’t need that kind of infusion in 2019. As the president has said:

…the economy is “doing fantastically” and dismissed warnings of a possible recession, remarking that the word is an “inappropriate” term that “certain people and the media are trying to build up because they’d love to see a recession.”

So why would such tax cuts be implemented? It’s a simple end run to reduce the trust funds that fund Social Security and Medicare. If you can’t bludgeon them to death…a death by a thousand cuts? Run the sucker out of money so we have to cut benefits or shut it down? I wouldn’t put it past Trump for a split second. Or am I thinking too hard and this is a simple election year ploy?

btw: once again, why is the president talking about domestic policy while sitting alongside Romanian President Klaus Iohannis?

I am not going to go into great detail on who in Wisconsin supports Donald Trump…I’ll let the article speak for itself. It gets into breakdowns of college/non-college, rural/urban, gender, religious/not, etc. So if you are a policy wonk, you’ll love it. Here’s the intro though so you can get an idea of where it’s going to go:

Older blue-collar whites.

If there is a stereotypical “Trump demographic,” that is it.

Yet in the very blue-collar battleground of Wisconsin, President Donald Trump has a slightly negative approval rating among these voters since he took office.

That kind of complicates the stereotype, doesn’t it?

Ever since Trump’s election more than three years ago, his white, working-class political base has been the object of study and fascination in the political world, especially in the key blue-collar battlegrounds that swung the election — Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania.
“Blue-collar white” has become shorthand for the Trump vote.

But as voluminous polling on Trump in Wisconsin makes clear, white blue-collar voters are far from a uniform bloc.

While they were the primary force behind Trump’s 2016 victory in this state, they have been very divided over his performance in office.

Since he entered the White House, Trump’s approval rating with blue-collar whites of all ages in Wisconsin is only slightly more positive than negative: 50% approve, 45% disapprove, combining more than three years of surveys by the Marquette University Law School. That is a little worse than Trump’s numbers with this same demographic group in national polls.

The Marquette polling shows Trump’s standing among non-college whites varies dramatically by gender, age, marital status and religion – many of the chief dividing lines in modern politics.

Ok…now I am going to get picky and complain about journalism in America. Did you catch it?

Ever since Trump’s election more than three years ago,

emphasis mine

I know I am getting older and not always doing the math in my head as well as before…but I think November 2016 was less that three years ago. C’mon Craig Gilbert…C’mon Milwaukee Journal Sentinel…and JSOnline! Somebody edit this stuff. Am I supposed to trust your more complicated statistics after you blew simple subtraction?

Not that long ago, when many towns and cities had competing daily newspapers, one would be conservative and the other liberal…and were often specifically GOP or Democratic leaning. I believe in those days, The Milwaukee Sentinel (the morning paper) was Republican in nature while The Milwaukee Journal (the evening paper) supported Democrats. Later as papers disappeared or consolidated…they tended to move to neutral political stances…partly because that was the trend and partly to appeal to audiences across the board.

Well, with the advent of the internet and the decline in local print media, we are returning to that era…web sites that mimic print in their coverage or styles…are returning to holding a political bias of one stripe or another. And after having that field mostly to themselves, the right is now starting to see competition from new liberal voices. The irony? Media is coming full circle…partly because of the current economics of journalism…but also as a result of the continued splintering of the populace.

This was discussed a bit in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel this morning. I’d like to share a few highlights with you…and the link is just above…but it is behind their firewall and only available to subscribers.

As battleground Wisconsin heads into an epic presidential race, liberal groups are taking a cue from the right and establishing online outlets that aim to help their side and hurt their opponents.

At least three groups have set in motion plans to offer articles on politics with a perspective from the left, similar to a path conservatives established in Wisconsin years ago.

Like their counterparts on the right, the liberal groups aren’t detailing the sources of their money in many cases.

The Wisconsin Examiner launched last month as part of an initiative focusing on state affairs. Its funding comes from the Hopewell Fund, which bankrolls a host of liberal efforts and keeps its donors confidential.

Coming soon is a website by For What It’s Worth Media, which is affiliated with the Democratic digital advertising group Acronym.
And liberal super PAC American Bridge is focusing on Wisconsin and other swing states with its American Ledger site as part of a $50 million plan to bash President Donald Trump.

With the renewed rise of outlets that lean left or right, the country now has a “hybrid system,” said Michael Wagner, a journalism professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

“What’s good about that is some organizations are upfront about their points of view,” he said. “What’s bad about that is not everyone is, and it’s really hard to tell the difference.”

Wagner said there is a risk readers will think they’re getting information from an unbiased source when they’re not.

“There’s always a worry that people who are just trying to learn what’s going on out there in the world run across a source that’s explicitly ideological without saying so and think that that is a legitimate mainstream news source that doesn’t have a set of political goals,” he said.

For years, Right Wisconsin and the MacIver Institute have catered to Republicans in Wisconsin. More recently, the Center Square has popped up. That site is run by the conservative Franklin News Foundation — previously known as the Franklin Center for Government and Public Integrity — which operated the conservative Wisconsin Reporter until it shut down in 2017.

Brett Healy, president of the MacIver Institute, said it’s not surprising that liberal groups are beginning to launch their own sites.

“This is not meant to be a criticism of you guys, or mainstream media, it’s just the world that we live in. More and more people are looking to nontraditional sources of information,” Healy said. “It’s the way that things are going. So I’m not surprised that there are more outlets coming online to fill that demand.”

MacIver doesn’t make public who funds it, although the conservative Bradley Foundation has disclosed giving hundreds of thousands of dollars to the group.

“I think it will be difficult for the public to determine what to trust, and the citizenry needs access to reliable information to make informed decisions for our democracy to flourish,” Hall ( Andy Hall, executive director of the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism) said. “News consumers — the people who see, hear and read news coverage — also have a growing responsibility to critically assess what’s being presented to them.”

What’s truly sad here is that we can find private secret money for pointed and biased reporting but not enough funds are available to maintain neutral and unbiased journalism in America.

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The Philadelphia shooting stand off resulted in 6 police officers being wounded while dozens of others sought to contain and capture the shooter…which they did after 4 hours of the stand off and negotiations with the suspect.

So the myth about the good guy with a gun resolving a mass shooting situation? It’s just a myth.

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We don’t want to limit gun ownership because it will impact law abiding gun owners. But the shooters in El Paso and Dayton both acquired their guns legally…so a ban on assault type weapons? Just might be the prudent course of action.

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