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The thread we hijacked is getting crowded, so we're moving over here. Keep chatting in the comments.

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Ted Cruz was born to an American mother in Calgary, Alberta. He was an American citizen at birth and never had to go through the naturalization process. The "natural born citizen" requirement was established in Article II of the constitution, and is a term that refers to all people who gain the right of citizenship by birth, either by being born to American parents, or by being born on American soil. It does not refer exclusively to people who gained citizenship through jus soli, which was not even explicitly established in America until roughly 80 years after the original drafting of the Constitution.

I dislike Ted Cruz as much as the next liberal, but when you call him "Calgary Cruz" or imply that he isn't eligible to run for President, you don't come off as clever, you come off as ignorant of the law and a little bit nativist. Please stop.

Edit: So a bunch of people are asking for sources for my assertion. I thought it was fairly self evident, but the Congressional Research Service looked into it in 2011 and decided I was right:

The weight of legal and historical authority indicates that the term “natural born” citizen would mean a person who is entitled to U.S. citizenship “by birth” or “at birth,” either by being born “in” the United States and under its jurisdiction, even those born to alien parents; by being born abroad to U.S. citizen-parents; or by being born in other situations meeting legal requirements for U.S. citizenship “at birth.”

The result of Washington's bipartisan redistricting commission was an embarrassment for Democrats. The Democratic negotiators fairly clearly sacrificed the interests of the party to give our incumbents safer districts than they needed and make Denny Heck a very happy man. To do so, they unnecessarily sacrificed the Dem-leaning swing district in eastern King County and even turned the seat of Jay Inslee, who was running for Governor, into a swing seat.

But what if we had done slightly better in 2010, and Denny Heck and Suzan DelBene had won their races? This diary is my attempt to draw a map that the commission might have produced while trying to protect 7 Democratic incumbents. I used the following criteria while drawing the map:
1. Give all incumbents safe districts (52% Murray or greater for Democrats, 51% McCain or greater for Republicans)
2. Wherever possible, maintain the geographic bases of the incumbents in their districts.
3. Give Republicans a substantially safer 3rd district than they'd get under a court map to get them to play along.
4. Draw a map that isn't too messy for the commissioners to pass it with straight faces.

This diary has been posted to DK Elections, an official Daily Kos sub-site. Please read the DKE Mission Statement. DKE's focus is on electoral politics rather than policy. Welcome aboard!

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Sun Dec 09, 2012 at 11:20 AM PST

Drawing a Democratic Florida

by BeloitDem

Florida is a state where Democrats are fairly naturally packed, and where Republicans currently hold 17 seats in Congress to Democrat's 10. Because if this, I decided to try to draw a fairly aggressive Democratic Gerrymander. I feel that I did about as good a job as you can do without looking like something drawn by North Carolina Republicans or sawolf, and that this is something a Democratic Trifecta might actually pass. The result should be 15 Democratic seats, 9 Republican seats, and 3 swing seats. It probably isn't FDF compliant, however, I will assert that it is VRA compliant.

Details below the fold. All racial numbers refer to voting age population rather than total population, and the presidential numbers are the 2008 two party vote.

This diary has been posted to DK Elections, an official Daily Kos sub-site. Please read the DKE Mission Statement. DKE's focus is on electoral politics rather than policy. Welcome aboard!

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Sat Nov 24, 2012 at 01:58 PM PST

Cleanish 10-4 Democratic Michigan

by BeloitDem


Detroit Area:

This map is basically an improvement off a old map I drew here, and more or less represents about the strongest gerrymander I think we could get under a Democratic trifecta. I decided to ignore the county splits thing for this version since that's only statutory and easy to get around. Of course, we're unlikely to get a Democratic trifecta in the next decade and would be better off trying to get an independent redistricting commission via ballot initiative, but the map shows what a huge difference there is between the 10 seat's we'd have under a Democratic triefecta and the 5 seats we have under the current Republican one and what it's costing us in the house. 10-4 describes what I think would happen if the map was enacted now. In the long term, it would have 3 Republican vote sinks, 8 seats that are more or less safe for Democrats, and 3 seats that range from tossup to lean D. The 2006 average numbers correspond to a 5 point Republican win statewide, which is a ridiculously pessimistic scenario (as the state is D+4) and probably the absolute floor for Democrats in federal races. Details below the fold.

This diary has been posted to DK Elections, an official Daily Kos sub-site. Please read the DKE Mission Statement. DKE's focus is on electoral politics rather than policy. Welcome aboard!


Would Mike Rogers hold on in the new MI-7?

14%4 votes
14%4 votes
70%19 votes

| 27 votes | Vote | Results

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Tue Nov 20, 2012 at 02:17 PM PST

Marriage equality: Where next?

by BeloitDem

We had some great victories for marriage equality this November, with three states voting to legalize it and a fourth voting down a constitutional ban. Furthermore, the Supreme Court is likely to hear a case on marriage equality in the next couple of years. However, we shouldn't give up the fight for equality on the state level. To this end, I did an analysis of the path to legalization in every state Obama won this year, and divided them into three categories below the fold.

Top Targets represent our best chances for legalization and are places where we should push for legalization in the next couple of years. Reach Targets are places where legalization is very possible within the decade, but there are nevertheless substantial barriers to passage. Long Term Targets are places where there are institutional barriers to passage that are unfortunately probably insurmountable before 2020 without a Supreme Court ruling, although the way public opinion has been going on this issue, who knows.

(Continue reading below the fold.)


Which state is most like to legalize marriage equality by 2014?

15%996 votes
18%1196 votes
1%80 votes
7%468 votes
1%109 votes
9%609 votes
42%2724 votes
2%145 votes

| 6335 votes | Vote | Results

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Sun Dec 25, 2011 at 10:27 AM PST

Wyoming Rule: Michigan and Ohio

by BeloitDem

So yeah, I'm slipping some. I've been fiddling around with DRA, although the Michigan Map came from a couple of months ago. As with my previous Wyoming rule diaries (WI, IN, MN) these are strictly community of interest based maps.

The Michigan map is is 8D-6R-4 swing, and the Ohio map is a 7D-7R-6 swing.

Details below the fold.

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Sun Nov 06, 2011 at 08:28 PM PST

8-3-3 Democratic Michigan

by BeloitDem

This map started out as an exercise in trying to draw a district for Gretchen Whitmer (who is awesome, but the way) to run for congress in. I turned into an attempt to drawn a semi-clean statewide map. The map comes out to about 8-3-3, and no district has more than 2 split counties.

Detroit Closeup:

Details below the fold:

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I know anyone who's messed around with DRA a lot knows that there are certain patterns in gerrymanders that can be seen across different maps. The other day I was wondering if it were possible to codify the different types of districts that you see in Democratic and Republican maps. What I discovered is that it is much easier to codify the decision making options available to partisan mapmakers than it is to codify the different types of districts it results in due to varying demographics between states. While I may at some point later attempt a diary that semi-comprehensively lists the different types of districts, below the fold is my best attempt at distilling the theoretical decision making process of partisan mapmaking. Any feedback is welcome. Sorry if it's a bit too theoretical.

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