ding dong (kylinrouge) wrote in talk_politics,
ding dong

Two-For: Gerrymandering and Benghazi

A couple right-wing myths running around. Let's dispel them, shall we?

I already posted this in a comment, but here it is again:

"Bit late, but it should be noted that there are actually several right-wing conspiracies about Benghazi that have been pushed since the tragic incident occurred (all of which have been or can be pretty well debunked):

1. Obama's administration apologized to the attackers even as the attacks were going on. This is not true; a message of this sort was sent from (I believe) the Egyptian embassy, but it was from the people actually inside the embassy during the attacks. It was not approved, dictated by, or sent by the Obama administration.

2. The administration's rationalization for the attacks was that they were prompted by a Youtube video that was designed to stir up anti-American sentiment. This was disproved in a couple of ways. First, the only actual Obama administration member to offer this opinion was Susan Rice (the fallout from which might well cost her any future promotions within the administration); and second, intelligence reports indicated that the video likely had nothing to do with the actual protests or attacks, as most of the people in Egypt and Libya likely never even saw it prior to the incidents.

3. Obama waited two weeks before he even branded the attacks as terrorism. Mitt Romney learned quite the painful lesson on that, when he tried to use this argument (likely gleaned from some right-wing blog or other) during the debates, and was publicly humiliated by both Obama and Candy Crowley for his patently false statement. A similar argument relies on being particularly pedantic and claiming that "acts of terror" is not the same as "terrorist acts".

4. Navy SEALs/Marines/GI Joe strikeforce/various chapters of the Adeptus Astartes/the Justice League were nearby, ready and waiting to go into action and could have been inside Libya in the blink of an eye, but Obama refused to let them enter Libya, and instead watched via drone camera from his throne of skulls as the ambassador and his staff were brutally murdered, sipping the blood of decent American folk from his silver chalice as he did so. Again, this is patently false; while there were military units in nearby countries, they were hours away from mobilizing and reaching anything inside Libya (to say nothing of the fact that sending in forces into a situation with zero intelligence on the ground would have resulted in far more needless deaths). Another problem with this theory is that it presumes most military units are just SWAT teams with bigger guns; anyone who's spent any amount of time in the service knows it takes quite a bit of time, resources, and logistics to mount any kind of serious military operation. Related to this is the theory that a couple of high-ranking military officers (General Carter Ham and Rear Admiral Charles Gaouette) were fired/arrested/resigned because they refused to obey Obama's order to stand down. This is ridiculous because A)if they refused such an order, why weren't the troops sent in, then; and B)a high-ranking military officer being fired or arrested is MAJOR, MAJOR news (in reality, both officers were reassigned to other duties).

5. Obama was afraid of Petraeus going in front of Congress next week and spilling the beans about the whole cover-up, so he had the FBI blackmail him with their knowledge of Petraeus' affair. Petraeus is a Real American Hero, so rather than lie for the Gay Nazi Muslim Commie Kenyan Socialist Athiest, he resigned instead. This story just broke, so this theory, while insane, hasn't been debunked just yet; however, it takes some rather acrobatic leaps of logic to arrive at its' conclusions. Unless something quite astonishing happens, I think it's fairly safe to assume that this theory is just as insane and untrue as the others. " -SA.com post.

I've been reading a lot on here about how the media should've pushed the Benghazi story in order to 'sink Obama', but I'm not seeing where the story is. There is none. This is drummed up nonsense. Having lost the election, the right is going into a frenzy latching onto anything they can. Actually, scratch that, they've been doing that from the start. Paling around with terrorists, anyone?

The latest bit about Patraeous is mind-boggling. I can't understand how anyone with a straight face can think the Obama administration planned this.

As for gerrymandering, I'm taking most of this info from the thread I read it in, but sometimes someone else's words are better than mine.

"D: 53,952,240 - 192
R: 53,402,643 - 233

The reason? In 2010 Republicans, fueled by Tea Party enthusiasm and a well-executed effort to GOTV, took apathetic Democrats by surprise by targeting and taking over several state General Assemblies. The following year, district maps were redrawn to match the 2010 census, and all of these Republican-controlled states were able to gerrymander their states to a degree possibly never seen before in history.

Gerrymandering has always existed, but now thanks to computer technology it is 10 times as effective as it was just decades ago. Additionally, the conservative Supreme Court ruled in Veith v Jubelirer 2004 that flagrantly partisan district maps were a-okay.

Boehner's mandate claim has circulated the media quite a bit, but there has been no talk about the circumstances under which Republicans maintained their House majority outside of a few left-leaning sites."

"If you add up those numbers you get:
Democrats: 2,218,572 - 4 seats
Republicans: 2,142,047 - 9 seats"

The image and numbers speak for themselves.

"Pennsylvania is probably the most impressive achievement for the Republicans. A state with a 5 point democratic majority is drawn such that Republicans control 11 of the state's 18 seats and maintain a permanent majority in the state legislature."

So what is the solution? It should be noted that even though the process hurts the Democrats as a whole, the individual House members who have safe seats have no personal reason to change the system. Why risk an easy re-election every two years? I'm trying to figure out why re-districting is handled by the same people being elected in those districts. Many states employ non-partisan means of districting, it's also possible to use mathematical formulas to divide the states based on population.

Another point of order is the 435 cap on the House. This is a completely arbitrary cap, although I don't know the ramifications of increasing it.

Source: http://forums.somethingawful.com/showthread.php?threadid=3516571

Tags: conspiracy, gop, libya, military, obama
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