Gehrke isn’t saying which states the project might initially target. He says he’d like to see the plan implemented in every state, not just the ones where clever redistricting has given Republicans an edge, and he justifies it in policy, not political terms.
A presidential voting system where the electoral college was apportioned by congressional district might not be perfectly fair, he says, but it would be better than what we have now. It would bring democracy closer to the people, force presidential candidates to address the concerns of a more varied swath of the American populace, and give more clout to rural areas that are too often ignored.
Read more. [Image: Reuters]
[Images: National Center for Education Statistics]
The NBA’s most fascinating backcourt is not in Miami, where Dwyane Wade is joined by pedestrian point guard Mario Chalmers. It’s not in Brooklyn, despite the billboards throughout New York featuring Deron Williams and Joe Johnson. It’s not even in Los Angeles, where Steve Nash and Kobe Bryant have five NBA titles and three MVPs between them (but have played a combined 2,315 games and more than 78,000 minutes).
No, the backcourt tandem to watch this year is in Houston, where Jeremy Lin and James Harden enter the season with a lot to prove. Those two kids, with a combined age of 47, are setting out to show their former teams and the rest of the league that they are worth every penny of their contracts and then some. And one of them just happens to be among the biggest breakout stars/cultural icons the NBA has ever seen.
Read more. [Images: AP]
Miller has been making wall paintings from piped frosting since 2001; more recently, she’s experimented with pieces that use hardened sugar tiles. For the piped graffiti, she employs a recipe for Royal Icing, otherwise known as the glue that cements gingerbread houses. The saccharine goo is made with “meringue powder, water, and powdered sugar,” Miller says. “It dries really hard, almost like plaster.”
The artist hasn’t been fooling around with frosting for more than a decade to prep for Ace of Cakes. The art contains a subtext that’s as bitter as gall: She wants us to remember the era when European powers enslaved a huge chunk of Africa to sustain their precious New World sugar plantations. During a 300-year span that began in the 16th century, “white gold” became so treasured that it accounted for a third of Europe’s whole economy; more than 10 million African slaves made the horrific “Middle Passage” to the Americas to help feed the beast.
Read more. [Images: Shelley Miller]
A stunning 93 percent of front-page election news stories are written by white reporters.
[Image: 4th Estate]
Thirty years ago, the Republican National Committee was accused of violating the Voting Rights Act and ordered to cease its “ballot security” efforts. Now an organization called True the Vote wants to pick up where the RNC left off, by building a nationwide army to root out voter fraud—or, some would say, to suppress voter turnout.
Read more. [Image: John Ritter]
The creation of a new congressional district, or the loss of an old one, affects every district around it, necessitating new maps. Even states not adding or losing congressional representatives need new district maps that reflect the population shifts within their borders, so that residents are equally represented no matter where they live. This ritual carving and paring of the United States into 435 sovereign units, known as redistricting, was intended by the Framers solely to keep democracy’s electoral scales balanced. Instead, redistricting today has become the most insidious practice in American politics—a way, as the opportunistic machinations following the 2010 census make evident, for our elected leaders to entrench themselves in 435 impregnable garrisons from which they can maintain political power while avoiding demographic realities.
For the past four decades, it is what Tom Hofeller has done for a living.
Read more. [Image: Peter Arkle]