February 23, 2018

TGIF 2/23/18

Yay! Another week in the books...

The week that saw Pennsylvania get handed redistricting maps, drawn by an expert from Stanford University, based on the 2016 presidential election vote.  Why were new maps needed?  Well, the old maps were determined to be a 'partisan gerrymander' and in violation of the law, and the governor (a Dem) and the state legislative leaders (Reps, natch) couldn't get it figured out on their own, so down came the new version.
The court's new map largely undid the Republican gerrymander, creating 10 Republican-leaning and eight Democratic-leaning House seats, as estimated using 2016 presidential election returns. Outside experts who were not involved with the case praised the new map, calling it "fairer" and "much more competitive" than the old one. 
The new map is a better reflection both of the composition of the state's electorate which tends to be divided evenly between Democrats and Republicans, and of the traditional redistricting criteria used to draw maps in Pennsylvania and elsewhere.
So, naturally, the justices on the state Supreme Court that made the ruling need to be impeached, because, oh for Pete's sake, because the Republicans stand to lose as many as three seats because of the redistricting.

The week that saw the Florida House declare pornography a public health crisis, and require that "In God We Trust" be placed conspicuously in every school in the state. According to the bill's sponsor, Rep. Kimberly Daniels (a Democrat),
It is not a secret that we have some gun issues that need to be addressed. But the real thing that needs to be addressed are issues of the heart.
The week that saw the president chime in officially, and give full control of his son-in-law's security clearance to General Kelly, his personal general, who will do the right thing, we're sure.
That will be up to General Kelly. General Kelly respects Jared a lot, and General Kelly will make that call -- I won't make that call. I will let the general, who's right here, make that call... I will let General Kelly make that decision and he's going to do what's right for the country. And  have no doubt that he will make the right decision. 
Or, he'll be fired, of course.

And finally, the week that say every teacher in West Virginia go on strike. Even after the state's governor signed wage increases of 2% this year and 1% for next year two fiscal years.

Wages and benefits are the issues; the salary increases are not enough to cover the increases in their health insurance, according to the teachers. And, a promised freeze of health insurance premiums for sixteen months wasn't enough to keep the teachers on the job, where the average starting salary is less than $32,500 and the average salary is $44,700. 

Which isn't a lot of money, in the overall scheme of things - especially if we end up asking teachers to be law enforcement officers too.


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