Fun Facts about the Electoral College

In my early post, I ran a couple what if scenarios.  Ethan Flax’s article discusses some of the answers to my question in his article.  Below I have copied some of his article.

What if no one gets a majority of the Electoral College’s votes?

If no candidate can grab a majority (currently 270) of the Electoral College’s votes, the House of Representatives meets immediately to pick the new president.

In this situation, each state’s Congressmen get together and pick a candidate among the top three vote getters in the Electoral College balloting.

Each state’s delegation then casts one vote. This process keeps going on indefinitely until a single candidate receives a majority of the states’ votes.

The House of Representatives has picked two presidents: Thomas Jefferson in 1800 and

John Quincy Adams in 1824.Since electors also ballots for Vice President, the same situation can arise with that office. In these cases, the Senate immediately goes into session to pick a Vice President, although each Senator has his own vote.

The Senate votes until a candidate receives a majority of the cast votes. This sort of contingent election has happened just once.

In 1836 Martin Van Buren’s running mate, Richard M. Johnson needed 148 votes to win the Vice Presidency, but Virginia’s electors refused to vote for him.

As a result, he ended up stuck with 147 votes, and the Senate had to hold a contingent election, where Johnson cruised by Whig candidate Francis P. Granger.

Can the electors change their mind?

They can, but they then become what are known as “faithless electors.”

Technically, states make their electors pledge to vote in a certain way, and 24 states have laws that punish electors who decide to get cute and switch things up.

However, with a few exceptions like Michigan and Minnesota, votes cast by faithless electors still count in the final tally.

What happens if a president-elect dies?

The national election takes place Tuesday, but the Electoral College won’t formally meet to cast their votes until December 15.

If a candidate dies or becomes otherwise unfit to take office in the interim, a thorny issue pops up.

Some states, like Virginia, legally bind their electors to vote for the candidate whose name was on the general election ballot. Other states, though, are more flexible and would allow their electors to vote for the ticket’s vice-presidential candidate or other agreed-upon candidate.

Luckily, this scenario has never happened with an election winner.

In 1872, though, Democrat Horace Greeley died just over three weeks after Ulysses S. Grant thumped him in the election.

Because the Electoral College still had to meet to elect Grant, electors who would have voted for Greeley simply spread their 66 votes among other Democratic candidates.

As a result, Thomas Andrews Hendricks actually came in second in the election with 42 electoral votes despite not campaigning for the presidency; he was busy successfully running for Governor of Indiana.

Three electors actually voted for Greeley even though he was dead, which probably tells you all you need to know about the health of the Democratic Party during Reconstruction.

If the President elect dies after the Electoral College’s voting but before the inauguration, the Twentieth Amendment states that the Vice President elect becomes President.

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What if Obama was born In Kenya?

What if Obama wins the election and it is determined that Obama is not a a native born US citizen?  Would Joe Biden become the next US President?

One more what if scenario.  What if the electoral vote is split and we have a tie. There is always a possibility that with 538 electors, there could be a tie with 269 votes for Obama and 269 votes for McCain. The vote would turn to Congress, with the House of Representatives voting for President and the Senate voting for Vice President.  Let’s say that the House votes for Obama for President and then the Senate votes for Palin for Vice President.  Later it comes out, that there is proof that Obama is not a native born US citizen, then would Sarah Palin be our US President?

Why doesn’t Obama submit his birth certificate to the public?  This would resolve the whole issue, if he is a native born US citizen.  It would be a tragedy, if the US elected a person who does not meet the requirement to be the president of the United States.  If Obama is elected president how could he swear to uphold the Constitution, if he is in violation of Article 2? 

Why take a chance on voting for Obama, if he is not a natural born US citizen?  Use your vote wisely, vote for John Mcain this Tuesday.  If you want to vote for Obama, then wait till Wednesday.  :>

Porter Ranch & Sylmar Fires

Wow, it has been awhile since our last major fire in the LA Area.  The winds have picked up, the leaves are finally falling off the trees, and fall is finally here in Los Angeles area.  It seeems like we went from hot weather to cold to warm again. 

I am a couple of cities over from the fire but you can defineately see and smell the smoke.  There have been some interesting picture off the internet.  LA Times website has a cool photo.  It seems like the winds died down out here, I hope the fire does not continue to flare up.

Lithuania wins first ever U18 European Championship for Women

FIBA Europe reports in an article that the Lithuanian girls beat Russia to capture their first U18 European Championship.  The final outcome of the game was 63 -57.

Any time Lithuania wins a tournament in basketball, it is time to celebrate.  It is even better that it was against Russia.  I enjoy the fact that Lithuania continues to dominate at basketball internationally. 

I enjoy the fact that the players who play for Lithuania are Lithuanians.  I noticed some countries have players who are not natural citizens.  They are made citizens so they can play for their national team.  For example, on the German Olympic team, Chris Kaman, was made a citizen so he could play for their team during the 2008 Olympics. 

Go Lithuania!!!!!!!!!!

Can USA Basketball capture gold in 2008 Olympics?

Lebron James has guaranteed that the US will capture the gold medal for basketball in the Olympics.  This is a bold statement coming from an NBA player who has yet to win an NBA title.  This US Olympic Basketball team is a great collaboration of NBA talent.  It comes down not to talent as the US learned at the last Olympics in Athens but it comes down to how well they can play international basketball. 

 

 

 

I think the US Men’s Olympic basketball team will compete for a medal.  Will they get a gold medal, silver medal, or bronze medal?  Who knows.  I am still standing by Lithuania to win a gold medal.  I think it would be great if Lithuania played the USA in the final game to determine who gets the gold and silver medals.

 

GO Lithuania!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Dark Knight Movie Review (2008)

Wow, we got out to see a movie.  My wife met another mom in her mom’s group that lives down the street.  I am very grateful to get out, just me and my wife.  I miss the kids but getting out the two of us is great.

I looked over the movies playing this weekend and I did not see a great selection out there.  Fortunately my wife went out with a couple of girlfriends to see Mama Mia. 

It was an easy choice to go see The Dark Knight.  I grew up collecting comic books and I like seeing many of the comic books I collected on the big screen.  I have not been disappointed in any of the Batman movies that have hit the big screen yet.  The only Batman movie, I have not seen, is Batman Returns.

——–My Review of The Dark Knight——-

 Batman raises the stakes in his war on crime. With the help of Lieutenant Jim Gordon and District Attorney Harvey Dent, Batman sets out to dismantle the remaining criminal organizations that plague the city streets. The partnership proves to be effective, but they soon find themselves prey to a reign of chaos unleashed by a rising criminal mastermind known to the terrified citizens of Gotham as The Joker.

The movie is quite long at 152 minutes but it flowed very well.  I was never bored with the storyline and I did enjoyed how the story was woven together.  I liked how the role of the Joker was a criminal mastermind and everything was going according to his plan.  This movie is definitely action packed and quite fun.

Warning to parents with kids.  This movie is dark and paints a grime picture.  I don’t recommend it to parents with younger kids.  I think that the Dark Knight has a few scenes that are a very violent for a PG-13 movie.  I  remember the comic book graphic novel was also a  bit violent too.  Don’t expect a happy ending in the Dark Knight either.  The ending does not sit well with me and I will talk about that in the next paragraph if you do not want to read about any spoilers.

Spoiler Alert!!!! I was waiting the entire movie for Two-Face to appear.  When he finally appeared, it was a bit move graphic than I expected.  I could understand what drove Two-Face/Harvey for revenge after the death of .  i was surprised that they killed off Two Face so quickly, I had expected him to return later but in the world of Batman, there are many villains left to return with a sequel.  I hated the fact that instead of letting Harvey/Two-Face take responsibility for his action, Batman and Commissioner Gordon decide to blame everything on Batman. It was Batman’s stupid logic to blame for this.  Actually I blame the writers on this one.    I also wished that Alfred would have given the letter from Racheal to Bruce Wayne/Batman instead of keeping it from him.  I wonder how that could of played out in the end script?   I also hated the fact that Batman uses the sonar technology to pinpoint the Joker.  I felt that the Joker definitely won in this movie.   Batman bent a couple rules instead of using his wits.  Of course, it is OK to bend the rules as long as the intention behind it is good.  What does this movie teach morally? The acting was good. 

I felt that Christian Bale makes a good Batman but still fails at Bruce Wayne.  I am not sure if I should blame the writers for this or not.  I really enjoy watching Christian Bale in the role of Batman.  Heath Ledger did quite a job at playing the Joker but i still think that Jack Nicholson did the best. It is weird watching this movie knowing it was Heath’s last performance.  He did do a good job as the Joker.   Aaron Eckhart did a great job as Harvey Dent/Two-Face.  I felt bad for his character and how he became Two-Face but i knew it was coming.  To be honest, I wished Katie Holmes came back for this movie but instead Maggie Gyllenhaal took over the role.  Maggie did a good job playing the role of Rachel but I really missed Katie.    Gary Oldman does a great job as Lt. Gordon.  I was very upset when i thought he was dead but I did not know how they were going to get away with that.  They did get me with faking his death.  I also love the roles of Morgan Freeman as Lucius Fox and Micheal Caine as Alfred.

Overall the movie was not bad.  I enjoyed the action and liked the storyline. I don’t like the direction they took Batman but the title explains it all, The Dark Knight.  I hate the outcome of the movie, Batman is no longer a hero but he is on the run.  The fact is he should be the hero but the two morally sound figures in the world of Batman, Commissioner Gordon and Batman, decide to hide the truth from the people.  Batman’s stupid logic wins over Commissioner Gordon and the public is fooled to believe in a lie.  Good Bye Batman, hello Dark Knight.  I am definitely going to miss my superhero friend, Batman.

Kung Fu Panda Review

I had the opportunity to go out with the family to see Kung Fu Panda.  This was not a movie i was looking forward to but I am always up to get out with the kids on the weekend.  I have a 2 year old and a 4 year old.  We were not sure how are two year old would do.  I knew my dour year old would sit through most of it.

 Overall the movie is cute.  Just imagine watching a Kung Fu movie in a cartoon format.  Here is the basic plot.

Po loves to play with action figures of the legendary Furious Five—Tigress, Crane, Mantis, Viper and Monkey. He dreams of being in their ranks as a true deliverer of kung fu awesomeness. But, alas, he is only a chubby, stumble-footed and easily winded panda, not a lightning-fast, disciplined martial artist. So he’s stuck in the family noodle business.

When word goes out that a Dragon Warrior will be chosen to fulfill legend and defend the Jade Kingdom from the dreaded martial arts master Tai Lung, Po can’t contain his excitement. With a great deal of effort he lugs his considerable heft up the hundreds of steps to the Jade Palace to see who will land the great honor.

Turns out, he lands it—after accidentally crashing the tryout party.

Nobody can believe it. Especially not the Furious Five and their kung fu master Shifu. But since the enemy is already on his way, they have to do something. If Tai Lung gets his hands on the lauded Dragon Scroll, he will surely be powerful enough to rule the world. Po must do whatever it takes to face the fearsome and treacherous foe. Uh … right after lunch, that is. ”

Overall the movie is fun.  My two year old was not into the movie that much.  My four year old got up a few times to go to the bathroom and since he saw his sister walking around, he want to do the same thing but he ended up watching 75% of the movie.  I asked him if he liked the movie and he gave me an enthusiastic yes!  What I saw of the movie, I enjoyed.  I would recommend taking your kids.  From personal experiences, I know my kids will copy what other kids do.  If they see someone else up, then they will do the same.  My son is older and better now.  i would take him to most kid’s movie.  My daughter I will probally wait another half year. 

So I would give Kung Fu Panda 4 1/2 out of 5 stars.  I would recommend it to anyone with kids or without.  In regards to taking the kids to the theater, it really depends on the kid.  It can be hit or miss, so beware.  The first time I took my son to see a movie (Cars), he watched about 10 minutes of the movie and walked out.  I would say this is definitely one of the best kid’s movie of 2008.