There have been some interesting developments here in America in the aftermath of the Parkland killings – the kind of events that sometime get buried in the news cycle or relegated to a mention on page ten of your local paper. Some may turn out to be important in the current political climate.
Yesterday I posted about the “bot army” and how the right has used Twitter bots to amplify its conspiracy theories, creating the necessary “frenzy” on social media which then drives more main stream media to pick up the “story” and discuss it as if there were a shred of truth or evidence to support – giving the tale a credibility it does not deserve.
An example occurred this week with many Twitter users on the right characterizing students who survived Parkland and are speaking out for gun control as “actors” with a “leftist agenda” – not really “students” who were shot at or saw friends die.
Well turns out the right is screaming today as overnight Twitter closed down thousands of accounts it viewed as “bots” – not real people or the multiple accounts of the same person. Conservative “personalities” are bitching over having lost thousands of “followers” – shrinking the size of their megaphones. Tsk tsk.
Like they really didn’t know all those “followers” weren’t real people!
Any REAL person whose Twitter account was closed need only contact the twits, prove they are not a computer and will have their account re-instated. Valid phone numbers must also be supplied (this helps track users with multiple accounts masquerading as more than one person) – presumably a different phone number for each account.
Meanwhile on Wednesday a coalition including a former Massachusetts governor filed lawsuits challenging how four U.S. states allocate their Electoral College votes in presidential elections.
You are aware (Americans should be!) that 3 times in our history we have elected a President who lost the popular vote. It has happened twice in the last 20 years – Al Gore beat George W. Bush but lost in the Supreme Court and the Trumpster lost by 3 million votes to Hillary Clinton but won the election in the Electoral College.
The Electoral College process was established in the Constitution as a compromise between electing a president by a vote in Congress and by popular vote of citizens.
The lawsuits were filed in federal courts in Massachusetts and California, states that went for Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton in 2016, and South Carolina and Texas, where a majority of votes went to Republican U.S. President Donald Trump.
The lawsuits challenge the winner-take-all system used in those states to select electors who cast votes for president and vice president in the Electoral College after a presidential election. Forty-four other states and the District of Columbia also use that system.
Among those leading the litigation is David Boies, a prominent lawyer who represented Gore in the U.S. Supreme Court case that settled the disputed 2000 election in favor of Bush.
“Under the winner-take-all system, U.S. citizens have been denied their constitutional right to an equal vote in Presidential elections,” Boies wrote.”
While it is impossible to eliminate the Electoral College from the Constitutional process it has been proposed in the past that the votes of the Electors be cast proportionally to the vote in each state which would theoretically result in the election of the candidate with the most popular votes.
It will be interesting to see how this case develops.
Meanwhile in Pennsylvania, the State Supreme Court threw out the hyper-gerrymandered Congressional Districts map drawn up by the Republican controlled legislature. Despite being a “swing” state, Democrats control only 5 of Pennsylvania’s 18 Congressional districts. The Court found that the map had been drawn to marginalize Democratic votes. Eventually, the Court imposed it’s own map; Republicans vowed to appeal to the U. S. Supreme Court.
Republicans’ legal options for challenging the new maps are limited. The U.S. Supreme Court already rejected one challenge to the Pennsylvania court’s ruling, and Republicans are on uncertain legal ground when it comes to any new challenge in federal court.
Its another interesting case to follow with potential national implications..
Finally in Odds and Ends there was a meeting in Sunrise, just outside of Fort Lauderdale last night attended by seven thousand angry voters wanting stricter gun control ….and Senator Marco Rubio.
It is going to be interesting to follow the repercussions of the Parkland murders. The NRA was railing this morning at CPAC about “hardening schools” and “creeping socialism” among America’s youth – tools of the “leftist agenda” to take away your AR – 15. Rubio was exposed last night in front of 7,000 demanding action for what he is – an empty suit.
There is a difference here that only Floridians can sense.
Parkland in Broward County is not just some country hick town; an easily forgettable fly-over place inhabited by nobodies. Parkland is a place which people move into so their children can attend some of the finest public schools in Florida.
It is a place of white kids and money. Broward County has lots of money living in it. It is a place used to being heard. And it has the largest concentration of Jewish families in the state. The people of Broward will not take any bullshit when it comes to guns and schools.
If the reception Rubio got last night from 7,000 people who got in their cars and drove to Sunrise was any indication, it is going to be an interesting ride.