Treason?

Dear Mr. Trump: “Treason” is when someone acts against the interests of the United States … NOT when they act against the interests of the President. All those people who work in the government? They took an oath to the Constitution of the United States, NOT to the President.

Sometimes, acting against the interests of the President is the patriotic thing to do.

treason thing.

A partial fix to the Electoral College: The Wyoming Rule

We currently have 435 members of the House of Representatives.

Nowhere in the Constitution is there a mention of how many members of the House there should be. The number grew over the years as the population increased and then, in 1929, Congress set the limit at 435 and there it has stayed.

Just a quick primer: Every ten years there is a census and the country is then divided up into 435 districts of as equal a population as possible. Every ten years, some states get new House members (California, Texas and Florida mostly) and some states lose them (Ohio and Pennsylvania among them) as the population grows and moves to warmer climates.

wyoming-welcome-sign

This sign has more representation than a voter in California

Here’s the big problem: You can’t divide across state lines, and you can’t have less than one representative per state. So we end up with some states with only one House member in a district much smaller than the average district.

Wyoming is the least populous state. There are more people living in Washington, DC than in all of Wyoming. Wyoming gets one representative who represents all 500,000 or so of their residents. Meanwhile, the rest of the country divides up the best it can.

It gets worse when you consider the Electoral College. Each state gets one elector for each representative they have in Congress plus two for each Senator. This means Wyoming’s three electors represent about 188,000 people but each elector in California has to represent 677,000. Why should one state’s elector have more power than another state’s?

Well, the easiest solution is just to get rid of the Electoral College (of course) but that requires a Constitutional amendment needing 75% of the states to approve, and guess which states would be against that? Yep. The smaller states who also, not coincidentally, are mostly all Republican. They like the Electoral College because it’s helped them get two popular-vote-losing Presidents into the White House within the past 16 years.

So many are now arguing for Congress to change the number of representatives using the “Wyoming Plan.”

Basically, you would take the smallest district (which is currently Wyoming) and use that as a bottom, meaning all other districts in the country would need to be as close to that size as possible.

This would add an extra 13 seats to California (the largest gainer). Texas would get 9, New York 7 and Pennsylvania 5. 

We’d end up with a House membership of 546 instead of 435, and that’s not unreasonable for a country with a population as large as ours. And you wouldn’t need an amendment — just a majority of Congress to pass the law.

Just one more reason for you to vote Democratic in November.

Abigail (2005 – 2018)

It is always difficult to say goodbye to a family member.

This afternoon, I was at my desk, working on my latest book, when I heard Abigail behind me. She liked to sleep in the hidden cubbyhole under our bed, and, as an old and overweight cat, she had health problems and would cough and hack up hairballs and such.  This time, the sound was different — and then it just stopped.Abigail

(I had to go back and rewrite that paragraph when I realized I had written it in the present tense.)

“Abby?” I said in my talking-to-cats voice. “Are you all right?” When she didn’t respond, I got nervous. This didn’t feel right. I pulled out my phone, turned on the flashlight, and peered under the bed. She was there, but not moving. I didn’t see her breathing. I reached in to touch her and her eyes were open and her tongue was out.

“Heidi!” I screamed. “Get up here now!”

Heidi came upstairs to see what I was so upset about, and soon we were both crying. We checked for a heartbeat or breathing and found nothing. We placed her in a box and took her to our vet — not because we thought anything could be done, but because we knew they could humanely have her cremated.

It’s never easy. We’ve outlived a number of cats over the years, and as anyone who has ever had a beloved pet knows, it is like losing a family member. We’re childless by choice, so we spoil our cats instead.

As we left the vets, Heidi said, “Let’s go look at kittens.” I reminded her that we still had three other cats to keep us company, but she was so sad, so I went along. We drove to the local no-kill animal shelter where we have adopted some of our previous family members.

Now we have two more — sisters from the same litter. 8 weeks old. No names yet. They’re currently in the downstairs bathroom, allowing them to get used to the area and the smells before we expand their world and let them meet their new housemates. Meanwhile, I fed the other three and mistakenly called one “Abigail.” So it’s not like adopting kittens makes you forget your past cats.

Heidi has no problem in becoming the crazy cat lady, and I guess I’m happy for our extended family.