by John Walters

Electoral College Dropout

On election night 2012, a man you know well tweeted, “The Electoral College is a disaster for a democracy.”

Yes, that man was Donald Trump (yes, there’s always a tweet). Mr. Trump was concerned that Mitt Romney would win more popular votes than incumbent Barack Obama but lose the presidency. As it turned out, he won neither.

In this essay for The New York Times, author Jesse Wegman argues that the most insidious aspect of the Electoral College is the “winner-take-all” rule for each state. Say two states have the same number of electors, such as Arizona and Indiana, each of which has 11. Say Donald Trump gets 49.9% of the vote in Arizona and he gets 99.9% of the votes in Indiana. At the end of voting, he and Joe Biden are dead even in those two states.

Doesn’t seem fair, does it? As Legman writes, ” I still cannot fathom why, in a representative democracy based on the principle that all votes are equal, the person who wins the most votes can — and does, repeatedly — lose the most consequential election in the land.”

Wegman also warns that soon, maybe in 2024 or 2028, Texas and its 38 electoral votes will turn blue. When that happens, you’ll probably hear Republicans whining about the Electoral College being a disaster again.

Baseball’s Not Backsliding

Mookie of the Year: Betts leads the Dodgers in HR and RBI…

Let’s check in on the four teams that made it to the 2019 league championship series: 1) the New York Yankees just lost their fifth game in a row and 15th of their last 20 and are now 21-21 (yes, they’ve been without their top two hitters during this stretch, but still). 2) the Houston Astros are barely better at 22-21, 3) the world champion Washington Nationals are in last place, and the Los Angeles Dodgers… are 31-12 and have baseball’s best record.

The Dodgers are baseball’s best story outside of 1) the San Diego Padres, a perennially moribund franchise who have the game’s most exciting young player (Fernando Tatis, Jr.) and we have to give credit to their return to the brown-and-yellow unis and 2) Cleveland Indian ace Shane Bieber, who is 7-0 and leads the majors in both ERA (1.25) and strikeouts. It’s too bad he won’t be given the chance to do this over a full season, as opposed to a third of a regular season.

About Face

In case you’re wondering, the best record %-wise by a pitcher in the past 40 years belongs to Greg Maddux, who went 19-2 for the Braves in 1995. More interestingly, at least to us, is the best W-L single-season % in the past 100 years: It belongs to 5’8″ Roy Face of the 1959 Pittsburgh Pirates, who went 18-1 that season while only pitching 93 1/3 innings. Whereas Maddux was a first-ball HOF’er, Face finished with a career 104-95 record and would have as many losing seasons (7) as he did winning seasons.

If you read about Face, he was a reliever, a progenitor of the modern closer. He was also a carpenter during the offseason and did it full-time upon retirement. Roy Face is still alive.

Obama Envy

Granted, former Donald Trump personal lawyer Michael Cohen has a book he’s trying to sell and he’s probably a little unhappy for taking the fall for the Stormy Daniels fling. Acknowledging all that, everything he tells Rachel Maddow above, from last night’s interview, rings true. This is a man who had very intimate knowledge of the president for more than a decade. You think he doesn’t know who Donald Trump is? Of course he does.

In case you don’t watch/listen all the way to the end, here is where Cohen lays down his hand: “[Trump’s] hatred for Barack Obama is plain and simple: he’s black, he went to Harvard Law, he graduated at the top of his class, he’s, you know, incredibly articulate… he’s all the things that Donald Trump wants to be, and he just can’t handle it.”

“He’s, you know, incredibly articulate” is quite the telling quote.

A Hike Without Football

(Watchman Trail, Zion National Park, Utah)

One of our favorite blogs,, is out with “Five U.S. Hikes For People Who Hate Hiking.” Or love hiking, we should add.

One is in Alaska, another in Hawaii, and the other three are all within a three-hour (four, tops) drive from Las Vegas.


A favorite moment yesterday was serving a senior citizen clad in an “Only You Can Prevent Socialism” t-shirt with a “Vote Trump” tag below it. I wanted to ask him how his Medicare and Social Security was working for him.

5 thoughts on “IT’S ALL HAPPENING!

  1. I’d approve of more thediscover stories here. Thinking about heading West for a few months in the winter to do a lot of hiking.

  2. I’ve argued against the f*ckin Electoral College with EVERY Social Studies & US History teacher & professor since I was a freshman in high school. Since I graduated with a degree in history, that’s a LOT of arguing. 🙂 At the time, there hadn’t been a President who had not won both the popular & EC vote since the 1800s (I think, may have been early 1900s) & the teachers/profs ALL said it “WOULD NEVER HAPPEN AGAIN”. I kept demanding to know why not & insisting it was just a DEMOCRACY TICKING TIME BOMB. And whooooo was right?!

    And yes, I realized more than 30 years ago that the EC makes a MOCKERY of the whole idea of “every vote counting”. I’ve tracked how the counties in my state have voted in the Presidential election since I was a kid & once the internet came along, I didn’t have to wait weeks to get the data. Usually by the next morning, you can now access the county breakout & since the early 80s when more than half of our counties turned Republican, my state has been an example where a vote from those counties do NOT count in Presidential elections. This is because the 5 most populous counties dwarf all the other counties’ populations & these 5 counties almost overwhelmingly vote Democrat. For many years, I thought this made MD unique but about 12 years ago, I started looking at the county breakdowns of other states & it’s the same in several – many if not most urban/educated areas vote Democrat but rural vote GOP. If the population in the urban areas dwarf the rural (as in MD), the state’s electoral votes go to the Democrat. (See CA, where many counties actually voted for Trump but most of the largest, LA for ex, voted Dem & thus, ALL elect votes went to Hilary).

    And of course, the idea that if someone wins a state by .01% yet gets ALL the electoral votes is just OUTRAGEOUS & again negates the idea of “all votes counting”.

    The Founding ‘Fathers’ had little faith in the populace’s intelligence & were afraid they could be “hoodwinked” into voting for a demagogue & the Electoral College was to prevent that. Well, FAIL. Of course at the time, only white, male landowners could vote, so you have to wonder if they believed in “democracy” at all! Who exactly did they think should/could vote & govern? Why the handful of men just like themSELVES.

    Another mistake by the “FF” is 2 senators for every state! I guess they thought the population would more evenly settle across the continent but that did not happen. So now, for example, we have a state with 39 million with 2 senators & a state with 600K with 2 senators. How does that make sense? My “fix” is to reduce to just ONE U.S. Senator all states with populations less than 2 million (number would increase along with country’s population). Either that or make the Senate like the House of Lords in England – no real power! Oh sure, the HOUSE is supposed to be the bastion of “representatives” & yet the REAL power is in the Senate! Inane.

    What else do you need me to ‘fix’? 😉

  3. Almost forgot – wow, the #1 NBA seed (Bucks) OUT OF THE PLAYOFFS in just the 2nd round! I didn’t watch any of their Bubble games but I do keep track of who wins/loses & I know Giannis hurt his ankle & couldn’t play in last night’s game but what about the 1st 3 games against the Heat? Had he been injured earlier? Other Bucks injured? Heck, almost all in the NBA media (pre-Playoffs) picked either the Bucks or the Clippers (some voted for Lakers) to win it all. I guess Milwaukee is just not “bubblelicious”. Ironic.

    I’m assuming the NBA won’t start “next season” until mid-January at the earliest. But maybe 4-8 teams will quarantine for 7-10 days before Xmas & play special games on Xmas Day? Have you read/heard anything about their plans?

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