Comments for http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/06/constitutional_crisis.html http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/06/constitutional_crisis.html en-gb 30 Sat 20 Dec 2014 01:52:30 GMT+1 A feed of user comments from the page found at http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/06/constitutional_crisis.html need4reality http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/06/constitutional_crisis.html?page=98#comment65 They could start by officiating free and fair elections in Europe and Zimbabwe; and in return we will return the favour next year...It seems there is a shortage of many essentials:Energy, Food, Water, Democracy, Human rights...An unbiased observer could start to think the Minuscule Minority of super rich did not want us to have these things... Sat 14 Jun 2008 22:23:20 GMT+1 Ed Iglehart http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/06/constitutional_crisis.html?page=96#comment64 David,"demonstrates their inherent prejudice."Pots and kettles, methinks, and it's still IRRELEVANT! xxed Wed 11 Jun 2008 10:28:24 GMT+1 gavindjharper http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/06/constitutional_crisis.html?page=95#comment63 Looks like you got your news last night... Dem Dennis Kucinich introduces a 35 point motion to the house of representatives to impeach George Bush. He presents his case with such poise and rock-solid credibility. Tue 10 Jun 2008 05:42:16 GMT+1 claydiggs http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/06/constitutional_crisis.html?page=93#comment62 Speaking of the constitution.....And here I thought I knew everything about it!! But I just recently found this out....well, I probably learned it in 4th grade American History and forgot it, but anyway...now that the debate has started over who will be chosen for VP keep in mind that under the constitution the President and VP cannot be from the same state. That knocks Obama's buddy Durbin out of the picture. Just another checks and balances feature to stop a candidate from rewarding a cronie. Tue 10 Jun 2008 01:42:24 GMT+1 David Cunard http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/06/constitutional_crisis.html?page=92#comment61 If anyone's still following this issue . . . At #25, Ed commented on #23 Davehowden who had written "Maybe then Mr Obama should . . . defer to Mrs Clinton, who won more popular votes, but not delegates." His response contradicted that and I then wrote in #43 that "Even CNN conceded that Mrs Clinton had more "popular" votes than Mr Obama", indicating that Professor Ed is not necessarily correct - CNN has no need to be other than factual in the matter of arithmetic. #46 peterm99 and #47 WatermanA berate me for simply reporting what a large news organization says, to which said Professor screams IRRELEVANT (four times!) It would have been more appropriate to direct these comments to #23 (or CNN) rather than to myself. It's a pity that contributors don't read all the responses before making a further comment which only demonstrates their inherent prejudice. Tue 10 Jun 2008 00:22:15 GMT+1 zanewoodward http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/06/constitutional_crisis.html?page=90#comment60 Remember, however, that the US is not a democracy. We are a federalist republic, the point of the Electoral Collage is that the president is not the chief executive of the people, he is the chief executive of the States. The whole balanceing act of the American system is based on shared sovreignty of the 50 states and the federral government. If the people directly elected the President than the states would be left out of the process and that was deemed a greater loss to freedom than once in a while an election with the victor reciving a minority of votes. Remember, Lincoln won without anyone south of the Mason-Dixon line voting for him Mon 09 Jun 2008 15:50:47 GMT+1 SlashDashUnderscore http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/06/constitutional_crisis.html?page=89#comment59 Ed, if you're looking to register to vote in the election, good luck. At the moment, I am registering my grandfather to vote in Iowa, and he last voted for Truman.As regards the electoral college... it is pretty unfair, I agree. However, in Britain, we an even more unfair system, whereby the government comes from the biggest party in the legislature. With third- and fourth-party politics on the rise, but continuing under the system of first past the post, this can result in a party with 35% of the popular vote, but with about 55% of the seats, and with that kind of majority 100% of the power.Someone said that Nebraska and Maine will probably never split its electoral votes. Actually, there's a possibility that Obama may attract one of the Nebraska districts (although if I could, I would underline 'possibility' in red pen and flashing lights).It is certainly unfair, however, for some states to split their electoral college votes, and for others not to. If California were to split its votes, but if Texas or Florida were not to do so, the Republicans could be guaranteed with a permanent monopoly on the presidency, going against the spirit of democracy!(It should also be pointed out that the Founding Fathers presumed that most of the states would chose electors through their legislatures, and it was only by the time of Jackson that most electors were elected directly)./-_ Mon 09 Jun 2008 15:04:43 GMT+1 AnonymousCalifornian http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/06/constitutional_crisis.html?page=87#comment58 Will just sort of second OldSouth's point. The United States is the United STATES, not a single, big blob country. In theory, each states is its own nation, its own country. The states in the United States of America are supposed to be the same type of state that the UK, Thailand, Malawi, etc. is. They just happen to be the American states which have a Union with other American states. This idea has gotten much of its life beaten out of it, particularly by the War Between the States (the 'Civil War'). And even if it is primarily based on romantic principles, such as the above concept, personally support the so-called Unit Rule by which all of a state's votes are given to the candidate which the state--as a whole--choosing. This by a conservative Californian who is aware that that would entail all of California's 55 votes (or more in the future) being given to the Democrats, even though the Republican presidential candidate usually wins around 45% of California's popular vote. California, as with other states, is a single unit. It should vote as a single unit..... even if that vote is insane :-)' Mon 09 Jun 2008 13:23:25 GMT+1 mary gravitt http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/06/constitutional_crisis.html?page=86#comment57 I want to talk about the Fascism that has reenter Europe first in Italy with the re-election of Balesconi and now in Greece with the torturing of immigrants.There have been pogroms commited against Gypsies as well as others in Italy yet the EU is mute.Perhaps when Africa become a Pioneer Hybrid and ADM custormer growing GMO food it will then break all ties with Europe and its migrant workers will stay home. This of course mean that the EU will be cut off from a major source of light sweet crude.And if we ever are to have world peace there must be comunication between world leaders. The Pope refused to speak with the President of Iran yet will give Bush a second audience. This is the same Pope that objects to Turkey being admitted to the EU.Plenty to talk about. Sun 08 Jun 2008 19:17:44 GMT+1 jacksforge http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/06/constitutional_crisis.html?page=84#comment56 55. At 3:12 pm on 08 Jun 2008, SunshinePlus wrote:Will the Bush administration stage another bogus emergency to stay in power around election time?that's the same theory my wife has.he might try but will the army let him.If the elections were held the result known then there would be no stoppoing the change over .the army might turn on the commander in chief if they thought it wise.(oh no they wouldn't) Sun 08 Jun 2008 18:52:30 GMT+1 Ed Iglehart http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/06/constitutional_crisis.html?page=83#comment55 SunshinePlus,shades of Maggie Thatcher and the Falklands. I truly hope not!Where is Obama going to get the money to fund the New America?Easy!Salaam/Shalom/Shanthi/Dorood/Peaceed Sun 08 Jun 2008 15:19:42 GMT+1 SunshinePlus http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/06/constitutional_crisis.html?page=81#comment54 Will the Bush administration stage another bogus emergency to stay in power around election time? Sun 08 Jun 2008 14:12:18 GMT+1 Ed Iglehart http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/06/constitutional_crisis.html?page=80#comment53 Saintlymark,Apropos of your observations, Obama Maps a Nationwide Push in G.O.P. StrongholdsThe man and his team are a class act. No question about itSummary if you can't be bothered to register with the NYT site.For the first time in several decades, I'm truly proud of my country, and I don't give a ---- what anyone thinks about that statement. I am, and always have been a patriot.Salaam/Shalom/Shanthi/Dorood/Peaceed Sun 08 Jun 2008 13:40:00 GMT+1 Ed Iglehart http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/06/constitutional_crisis.html?page=78#comment52 PeterAtJet,Good comment. The b;lock allocation is the main problem and should be addressed, if at all possible."The Electors, chosen by any means each state thought fit, were to use their best judgement when casting their votes."This understanding left me hoping for a better resolution of the Florida debacle in 2000. Sadly, my faith in the "best judgement" of the electors was misplaced.I agree that political parties are pernicious.Salaam, etc.ed Sun 08 Jun 2008 13:16:53 GMT+1 saintlymark http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/06/constitutional_crisis.html?page=77#comment51 Although very mathematically possible, the reality of winning the popular vote by a big margin but failing to win the electoral college is actually nigh on impossible. It would mean that voters in a few big states were looking for something very different from most of the rest of the country. What the electoral college does do is mean that candidates do have to worry about all regions. The democratic Parties '50% plus 1' strategy has failed in the last two elections really because of this. Candidates have to get support from across the country, not just look at a few particular key states (thats a bit of a myth!) One reason Obama stands a better chance than Kerry and Gore stood is that he will campaign in seemingly unlikely places, and gain some states he is not supposed to win (Virginia would be a possibilty, but also some of the largely African American states, such as Mississipi or Alabama.) Sun 08 Jun 2008 10:34:30 GMT+1 powermeerkat http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/06/constitutional_crisis.html?page=75#comment50 "Even CNN conceded that Mrs Clinton had more "popular" votes than Mr Obama. "Well, we'll never find out a truth, 'cause Mrs. Bill Clinton did not give a interview to BBC. :-) Sun 08 Jun 2008 07:35:42 GMT+1 Peter http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/06/constitutional_crisis.html?page=74#comment49 "The beauty of the electoral college is that it guarantees that states like California and New York, with heavy populations in their cities, don't dominate an election."Not really. The smaller states may get one or two more electoral votes each, but that's it. It's the block allocation that makes a difference, and that actually enhances the value of the big states, and has effectively confined the say to the big battleground states. Voters in solid blue or red states might as well stay at home.The original intent was rather different. The Electors, chosen by any means each state thought fit, were to use their best judgement when casting their votes. The popular will was considered to be uninformed and therefore unreliable. Political parties were thought to be pernicious.That didn't last long of course, once political parties got to work. Sun 08 Jun 2008 06:29:05 GMT+1 DENNISJRWORLD http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/06/constitutional_crisis.html?page=72#comment48 What is the press going to talk about durign the summer.... Sun 08 Jun 2008 04:31:03 GMT+1 Ed Iglehart http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/06/constitutional_crisis.html?page=71#comment47 David,"Even CNN conceded that Mrs Clinton had more "popular" votes than Mr Obama. "Well that's it, then. If CNN says it, it must be true.The "Popular vote" is IRRELEVANT! And it's also IMPOSSIBLE to determine what it is in a system containing both caucus states, some of which don't even report popular votes, and states with primaries.IRRELEVANT IRRELEVANT IRRELEVANT - Got it yet?Salaam, etc.ed Sat 07 Jun 2008 23:49:44 GMT+1 watermanaquarius http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/06/constitutional_crisis.html?page=69#comment46 DavidIf you want me to say it ok,- Hillary did win the "popular" vote, in her eyes CNNs' and those of her supporters.The unfortunate thing for your argument is that in those same eyes Obama won many many more of the "unpopular" vote, making him the winner.Let HER go David, She is damaging your health. You have done all a true supporter can. Sat 07 Jun 2008 20:39:01 GMT+1 peterm99 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/06/constitutional_crisis.html?page=68#comment45 re: 43 David_CunardThis is getting tiresome.The fact that the rules of the Dem party dictate that candidate selection be based on delegate votes notwithstanding, the popular vote count misconception needs to have a wooden stake driven through the heart.Clinton wins the popular vote only if Michigan votes are included. Michigan had only Clinton's name on the ballot.Counting those votes as legitimate is entirely equivalent to the rewriting of history books to indicate that Joe Stalin was the most popular head of state ever since he always received in excess of 99 per cent of the vote. Sat 07 Jun 2008 20:09:11 GMT+1 Gary_A_Hill http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/06/constitutional_crisis.html?page=66#comment44 tittoplisamich (#22), I agree that politics should take a back seat to baseball in the summer. It used to be that we could pay little attention to politics until after the World Series, but unfortunately moving that event from September to October ruined it. Sat 07 Jun 2008 18:08:16 GMT+1 Joann53 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/06/constitutional_crisis.html?page=65#comment43 Clever, Justin.I am always amazed how folks in the UK think the electoral college is 'unfair'.The beauty of the electoral college is that it guarantees that states like California and New York, with heavy populations in their cities, don't dominate an election.States like Montana, or Nevada as examples, are big in terms of space, but small in terms of population. Hence, the electoral college guarantees states like these equal representation.It's extremely clever and needs to stay in place. I wouldn't want everything determined from L.A. or NYC.Now, as to short term obsession, who are the vice presidential running mates going to be? Sat 07 Jun 2008 17:52:49 GMT+1 David Cunard http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/06/constitutional_crisis.html?page=63#comment42 Ed - Even CNN conceded that Mrs Clinton had more "popular" votes than Mr Obama. Although she's suspended her campaign and acknowledged that her opponent won, you're like a dog with a bone trying to prove that Obama was always ahead. Get over it - and check with the US Embassy in Grosvenor Square whether you can reinstate your voting privileges. Thirty-six years absent shouldn't make any difference, unless you have voted in Scotland, which would disbar you. Sat 07 Jun 2008 17:31:56 GMT+1 jacksforge http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/06/constitutional_crisis.html?page=62#comment41 Funny how some that jsut spent the last 2 months screaming "stupid dems should be like the gop all or nothing election no stpid electoral system how dumb,how stupid how dem.. those dems are so stupid.Now electoral great(got us two elections)electoral the right way electoral smart.You guys are real confused. Sat 07 Jun 2008 17:30:48 GMT+1 jacksforge http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/06/constitutional_crisis.html?page=60#comment40 McCain is a natural born citizen as required by the U.S. Constitution. There is no requirement that a president be born within the geographic boundaries of the United States. I doubt being birthed by a Jackal is natural:)Oh no that would be Hillary,maybe they are twins, that is why they seem to get on , have a bond .Oh and why does she not just stand down as opposed to "suspend" . again she plays her cards like a poker player with mirror shades on. Sat 07 Jun 2008 17:24:31 GMT+1 jacksforge http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/06/constitutional_crisis.html?page=59#comment39 After all a miss is as good as a mile. Sat 07 Jun 2008 17:20:31 GMT+1 jacksforge http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/06/constitutional_crisis.html?page=57#comment38 3. At 11:59 pm on 06 Jun 2008, Healy2012 wrote:If you want to discuss a real constitutional crisis look to the fact that John McCain was not born in America!!!sweet panama. well thats it he's out. BY LAW right. or I hear by anounce my candidacy for the position of US president. Sat 07 Jun 2008 17:20:07 GMT+1 Adrian_Evitts http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/06/constitutional_crisis.html?page=56#comment37 How very bizarre ...!As I was a trundlin' westward on a train a couple of days ago, thoughts of a constitutional nature suddenly popped into my head, although in relation to certain unfinished business - not the electoral college.I hope that the result in this US election will be decisive, however measured, if the result is to heal a divided nation.The unfinished business is going to take a while to finish, and dispatched via snail mail, I hope, to an address which becomes clear. Sat 07 Jun 2008 17:05:48 GMT+1 Ed Iglehart http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/06/constitutional_crisis.html?page=54#comment36 Justin is on live feed at the Hillary speech herexxed Sat 07 Jun 2008 16:08:32 GMT+1 Ed Iglehart http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/06/constitutional_crisis.html?page=53#comment35 David,Certainly even you know better about the status of names on the Michigan ballot Vs the Florida ballot than you pretend.My response in #25 was, as though you hadn't noticed, a correction of a a constantly re-surfacing myth regarding the (irrelevant) popular vote.Salaam, etc.ed Sat 07 Jun 2008 15:58:33 GMT+1 Ed Iglehart http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/06/constitutional_crisis.html?page=51#comment34 And the official headshot, official genuine smile;-)ed Sat 07 Jun 2008 15:47:16 GMT+1 David Cunard http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/06/constitutional_crisis.html?page=50#comment33 #25 Ed "IGNORES the fact that Obama wasn't on the ballot in Michigan" - he could have been, just as he was in Florida but he took his name out of consideration. Your continued Hillary-bashing is, as you once wrote of my support for her, is "becoming tedious." I really think you should practice what you preach and "Let it go." Sat 07 Jun 2008 15:41:30 GMT+1 hudsontyler http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/06/constitutional_crisis.html?page=48#comment32 It would be absurd for Obama to win the Democratic nomination with fewer votes than Clinton and then protest if he lost in the same fashion to Mccain. Although we are talking about politicians and absurdity is par for the course. I suppose it's only a crisis when the media doesn't get what it wants. Sat 07 Jun 2008 15:24:18 GMT+1 Ed Iglehart http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/06/constitutional_crisis.html?page=46#comment31 And some more cartoons, not exclusively about HRC;-)ed Sat 07 Jun 2008 15:22:23 GMT+1 Ed Iglehart http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/06/constitutional_crisis.html?page=45#comment30 For lovers of political cartoons, Some Hillary-bashing;-)ed Sat 07 Jun 2008 15:19:46 GMT+1 Reuben34g http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/06/constitutional_crisis.html?page=43#comment29 The electoral college works as it was designed. The popular vote doesn't matter because we live in a republic, not a direct democracy.The checks and balances designed into our government keep it from becoming mob rule, so the notions of millions of idiots are prevented from becoming poorly written law by a few, carefully selected individuals.If the constitution of the United States could be changed on a whim, it could also be eliminated easily, allowing our government to quickly become an authoritarian dictatorship, and then the people would have no choice at all.John McCain is a natural born citizen of the United States because he was born to United States citizens in panama when it was a territorial possession of the United States.And Barack Obama, even though his father was never a United States citizen, was born to an an American mother, in the State of Hawaii.There is still no constitutional crisis. Sat 07 Jun 2008 14:41:09 GMT+1 Ed Iglehart http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/06/constitutional_crisis.html?page=42#comment28 Trueandy, Namaste I agree with you on social malaise, and that it is beyond politics. I also respect your 'religious' take on such matters, and far from rejecting it would extend it to all the great traditions of wisdom, all of which advise respect, but not necessarily Divinity.You may find the thoughts here of interest. The author is a believer, like myself, but not restricted to Christianity alone.Salaam/Shalom/Shanthi/Dorood/Peaceed Sat 07 Jun 2008 14:27:57 GMT+1 trustworthysami http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/06/constitutional_crisis.html?page=40#comment27 well americans have 2 choices:one is try to remove the fact that popular vote doesnt win to victory if you have less electorates...or they can keep using the system whereby the person with the highest number of electorates wins.....however people will be pissed off if obama wins by 1 million people....the system in this case is ridicolous Sat 07 Jun 2008 14:23:33 GMT+1 trueandy http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/06/constitutional_crisis.html?page=39#comment26 I agree with several others who have posted their frustration with so much discussion of politics. There is certainly no shortage of brief sensationalism within such juicy, albeit trivial information.It seems clear that a far greater crisis than economic downturn, energy crises, or global warming is upon western societies.What has become of integrity in our societies and cultures: all the way from the heads of state down to school children? What is the cause of the collapsing family unit across our lands? Why is crime not decreasing, but growing and becoming more heinous by the day? And without getting into another political discussion, why do we no longer expect high integrity and statesmanship from our leaders, but instead look for smooth talking; why are we not surprised and appaled by scandal?It seems obvious that something far below the surface is missing, is being ignored. Could it be a complete loss of accountability to our Creator? I realize that this is not at all a popular stand to take. But what will it take in our world, in our individual nations, on our own streets for us to get over our discomfort with accountability to the Creator of the universe? If we honestly look at all of the problems facing us, we will clearly see that He is the only solution, and that if we return to Him, there will be no judgment, but instead, that His loving arms are waiting to take us up and heal us, no matter how deep the wounds.But to dismiss such truth will continue to usher our society, our world - our individual lives toward demise.This is a very valuable discussion that must be held - if anyone is brave enough. Sat 07 Jun 2008 14:13:02 GMT+1 claydiggs http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/06/constitutional_crisis.html?page=37#comment25 I must add to my previous comment from yesterday....I don't know if the two states that I mentioned who do share votes porportionally are shining examples of splitting up votes in the Electoral College. Maine is very, very, blue and Nebraska is very, very red. So to gauge the efficacy of this argument we must try it on 1. More politically diverse states and 2. Larger states. And to be quite honest I am too tired and lazy at the moment to Google. I don't know if either state has split their vote in previous elections. Does anyone know? Anyone? Bueller? Sat 07 Jun 2008 13:32:12 GMT+1 Ed Iglehart http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/06/constitutional_crisis.html?page=36#comment24 Davehowden,"Mrs Clinton, who won more popular votes"This statement is only possible to make if one counts only the primary states and ignores the caucus states, and then IGNORES the fact that Obama wasn't on the ballot in Michigan and thus gets ZERO votes in Michigan, while a significant portion of the Michigan electorate voted "uncommitted" (anyone BUT Clinton).Otherwise, by all reasonable measures, Obama won the popular vote as well as the delegate count. Let it go.Salaam, etc.ed Sat 07 Jun 2008 12:53:50 GMT+1 proxieme http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/06/constitutional_crisis.html?page=34#comment23 tiptop - You could always turn off your TV and go to the internet and/or radio for your news.That's what I've done, and I've got to say that it's a lot easier to keep the blaring inanity out of my house without the great, unseeing eye continually prattling about in the background. Sat 07 Jun 2008 12:52:43 GMT+1 davehowden http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/06/constitutional_crisis.html?page=33#comment22 The article suggests that Mr Obama, if he won the popular vote, would be justified in arguing that this matters more than the electoral college.Maybe then Mr Obama should concede this point in the nomination for the Democratic party and defer to Mrs Clinton, who won more popular votes, but not delegates from the DNC's own electoral college? Sat 07 Jun 2008 12:08:28 GMT+1 tiptoplisamich http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/06/constitutional_crisis.html?page=31#comment21 Obsession for the summer?How about a complete and total break from US politics? An uncompromising embargo on political ads, political speeches, political mud-slinging and scandals...PLEASE!!We've been going at this with non-stop news coverage since the very first drama-induced state primary. The stage is now set, the candidates in place---there can be no living being in the US who is not familiar with his/her choice for the November election. Quite honestly, I'm sick of the US news networks which cover nothing about what's going on in the world; instead we've been "treated" to a year's worth of mind-numbing 24/7 coverage about Ron Paul's groupies, John Edwards' haircuts, Hillary's choice of pantsuit, the perceived evils of Mitt Romney's church, the (gasp) fact that Huckabee pastored a church, and breathless all day countdown coverage of eminent results from primaries such as Puerto Rico and South Dakota (no offense meant to the good voters there, but unfortunately you were two of the last primaries and by that stage not even the flashing countdown clock at the corner of the screen could keep me tuned in).Make it stop, even if for a brief time such as the rest of the month of June. Please, please, make it stop.An alternative??? Anything else! The Chicago Cubs haven't won a baseball world series in 100 years, and are now on pace (best record in majors) to get back to the Big Game. Even if you aren't a Cubs' fan, I ask you how many more times will you watch Rev Wright's speeches? Obama's cutsie little kids? McCain's cliff-hanging possibilities for VP choice? Wall to wall coverage of Hillary for VP---will she or won't she????? At least baseball (or saving the whales or knitting or gardening or adopting a puppy or driving a hybrid vehicle--your choice) is a positive inducement to remind our politicians/news networks that we have better things to do with the hours in our days.By the way, thank you BBC America---at least we in the US have ONE television station that provides news coverage of the events happening in the world. And talk about obsession---my teenagers are glued to BBC's Robin Hood (ahh, another alternative!) Sat 07 Jun 2008 11:50:10 GMT+1 Ed Iglehart http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/06/constitutional_crisis.html?page=30#comment20 Never mind Constitutional crises, what about The Economy?Spring MassacreBy ALAN ABELSON Investors toss aside their rose-colored glasses and the market crashes. Jobs do a vanishing act.REPUBLICANS FALL IN LINE, DEMOCRATS FALL IN LOVE. "That old quip, as more than one observer has taken gleeful note, neatly describes the stark difference in how the two parties chose their nominee for the presidency in this year's run-up to the election. A seemingly eternal process that, we earnestly trust, has finally breathed its last...Once John McCain racked up a decent lead in the early primaries, his bumptious bunch of challengers folded and the party, true to form, dutifully fell in line (there were, as always, a few grumblers, but that's what makes America great)...The Democrats, meanwhile, were split down the middle, cleaved into two fervent factions, each imbued with great passion for either Obama or Hillary. As that canny humorist Finley Peter Dunne remarked back at the start of the last century-but the insight couldn't be more relevant than it is right now-what especially distinguishes the Democratic Party is that it's not on speaking terms with itself....Whether those fiery passions still burn hot come November just might decide the way the election goes. We've thought for some time that McCain had a good shot at beating whoever was still standing after the brawl was over; that it turns out to be Obama hasn't changed our view one whit....You would think, of course, that with Iraq still troubling to most of the electorate, Dubya's popularity sinking like a stone, the economy wobbly, the credit crunch and its ugly devastations still very much with us, housing resembling nothing so much as the aftermath of a cyclone, jobs starting to go up in smoke big time and inflation picking the pockets of the populace, this election should be a cakewalk for Obama. But then you have to stop and consider: Given even a sliver of opportunity, against all odds, the Democrats, being Democrats, just might contrive to blow it.Full articleInteresting times...xxed Sat 07 Jun 2008 11:41:58 GMT+1 obamccain http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/06/constitutional_crisis.html?page=28#comment19 #17: I think under the present system, meerkats have waaaay too much power - so much so that it has gone to their little furry heads! Sat 07 Jun 2008 11:28:30 GMT+1 Ed Iglehart http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/06/constitutional_crisis.html?page=27#comment18 An experiment in perceptionPay attention!;-)ed Sat 07 Jun 2008 11:04:40 GMT+1 Ed Iglehart http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/06/constitutional_crisis.html?page=25#comment17 OldSouth,"We are the United STATES, not a huge country with large counties......The Electoral College assures that every voice is heard, and that a correct result from the election."I agree on the importance of the first point, and look forward to the day when the 48 'all-or-nothing states, in their separate wisdoms, decide to join the wiser 2 in proportional (or district) allocation of electors. The electoral college, we must remember, was also an arrangement of days in which, even in the much smaller USA of the time, communication was limited to the fastest horse.ynda20, I hope not, but "all wars are resource wars." AND it would suit those who sell fear over hope., and profit from war.Salaam/Shalom/Shanthi/Dorood/Peaceed Sat 07 Jun 2008 10:25:36 GMT+1 powermeerkat http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/06/constitutional_crisis.html?page=24#comment16 "If you want to discuss a real constitutional crisis look to the fact that John McCain was not born in America!!!" [#3]When Arnold Schwarzenegger waa running for California governor 1st time LA Times wrote:"Beware of politicians born in Austria", which was of course refering to certain Adolf H.My question is: how low liberal Lefties/pool-side pinkos can stoop?BTW. I distinctly remember them saying that if "W" were re-elected the'd all emmigrate to Canada.And yet, last time I checked they've been all still residing in Beverly Hills, Marin County and NY's Manhattan.So what happened? Housing crisis?Inquring minds want to know. Sat 07 Jun 2008 09:34:24 GMT+1 ynda20 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/06/constitutional_crisis.html?page=22#comment15 Oil going towards $150 and the bbc reporting that Israel may attack Iran. Isn't it more likely that the planet will be plunged into a massive Middle Eastern war before the elections? Sat 07 Jun 2008 07:12:31 GMT+1 OldSouth http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/06/constitutional_crisis.html?page=21#comment14 The Electoral College is one of the wisest decisions our founders ever made, and serves as a great restraint against despotism.The Democrats hate it, because it stands between them and the power they crave.We are the United STATES, not a huge country with large counties.We vote as states, and the Presidential candidate must be credible to the citizens of the states, large and small, urban and rural. The differences in culture between even adjacent states, such as Tennessee and Arkansas, are significant. Differences between Maine and Texas, for instance, are enormous. The Electoral College assures that every voice is heard, and that a correct result from the election. Sat 07 Jun 2008 05:26:43 GMT+1 sanshoku http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/06/constitutional_crisis.html?page=19#comment13 I've hated the Electoral College for a long time now. I hope this Nelson guy is able to get it through. It's probably not going to happen, though. The oil prices are just a naturally escalating phenomenon... you can't blame anything on Bush. It's the problem of us Americans on the street. There's going to be a crash soon. Sat 07 Jun 2008 02:46:48 GMT+1 claydiggs http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/06/constitutional_crisis.html?page=18#comment12 The Electoral College is an imperfect solution due to our widely varying degrees of population density. One-third of our population lives in only 4 states (I think everyone on this forum knows which 4 they are). That leaves 46 states with the rest of the population. The theory goes that without the Electoral College the whole nation would bow and be submissive to the needs, wants, whims, etc. of the so-called "big states". People like me who live in Wyoming, the least populated state, of course like the fact of the Electoral College and the fact the we have 2 senators just like everyone else, even though for every 1 Wyomingite there are roughly 74 Californians. But that is another debate. We don't know how our presidential elections would work without the Electoral College unless we did away with it. But a better suggestion would be to do what Nebraska and Maine do. These are the only two states that can split their Electoral College votes. The other 48 states have an "all or nothing" situation. Being able to split votes is probably the most practical solution I believe. Keep in mind there have been other fine messes with our presidential elections over the past 2 centuries. Residents of Washington, DC didn't get the right to vote for president until the 23rd amendment was ratified in 1961. If you want an even screwier constitutional dilema consider the fact the Puerto Ricans IN Puerto Rico cannot vote for president becasuse, obviously, Puerto Rico is not a state. But if a Puerto Rican moves to a US state than can vote for president as they are citizens of the USA. Weird stuff, that constitution can be!! Sat 07 Jun 2008 02:03:00 GMT+1 Bryn-UK http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/06/constitutional_crisis.html?page=16#comment11 What has happened to the link to your blog on the Americas page? It should be pride of place.Whatever the primaries business - isn't it time you said something about the half-witted vandal who has wrecked the US economy? Never mind destroying our post-war values of non-aggression (for which those men in Normandy died) and the lives of thousands of Iraqis.This administration has been an abomination. It spat on the memory of those who died fighting fascism by justifying a war of aggression using their name.Call a spade a spade and forget the bias-shrieking banshees. Sat 07 Jun 2008 01:46:53 GMT+1 rupertornelius http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/06/constitutional_crisis.html?page=15#comment10 #9: Even Mitt Romney was running on the idea that Washington was broken (and he was going to fix it...apparently). Shows how out of touch you are. Sat 07 Jun 2008 01:42:59 GMT+1 Grrrlie http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/06/constitutional_crisis.html?page=13#comment9 Or, one could argue that the electoral college was set up to guarantee that the "great unwashed" i.e. the general public would always have their majority opinions undermined by the dictates of the USA ruling class.That would be my take on the subject, in the present day, as well. Sat 07 Jun 2008 01:32:26 GMT+1 MarcusAureliusII http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/06/constitutional_crisis.html?page=12#comment8 The electoral college system was one more ingenius invention of America's founding fathers which struck a balance between the states having representation based on population in the House and being equal in the Senate. The electoral college is partway between them, the number of electors a state has being equal to its number of House members and Senate members (always 2.) This was a critical element in the formation of the United States and it would be madness to tinker with it. Where I come from we have a saying; if it ain't broke, don't fix it. Sat 07 Jun 2008 01:10:00 GMT+1 gunsandreligion http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/06/constitutional_crisis.html?page=10#comment7 Justin, don't worry, some more politicaldirt will surface. It's just like steam-cleaninga carpet, more dirt always emerges. Sat 07 Jun 2008 01:03:30 GMT+1 Ed Iglehart http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/06/constitutional_crisis.html?page=9#comment6 Gary,I agree with you on both points and thank you for their clarity.Meanwhile, Climate Change will have to wait., and we can expect a recession while we twiddle our thumbs.;-)ed"Growth for its own sake is the ideology of the cancer cell."~~ Edward Abbey Sat 07 Jun 2008 00:13:35 GMT+1 Gary_A_Hill http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/06/constitutional_crisis.html?page=7#comment5 Healy2012 (#3), McCain is a natural born citizen as required by the U.S. Constitution. There is no requirement that a president be born within the geographic boundaries of the United States. This matter was settled when McCain first announced for the office in (I think) 2000. Sat 07 Jun 2008 00:00:38 GMT+1 Gary_A_Hill http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/06/constitutional_crisis.html?page=6#comment4 To begin with, that the electoral vote and the popular vote sometimes do not agree is not a crisis. It rarely occurs, and when it does it is only when the popular vote is close anyway. The 2000 vote was unusual in being litigated, and this happened only because of the closeness of the vote in Florida and certain "irregularities" there. The controversy actually reached the Congress, which is the ultimate judge of presidential elections, not the Supreme Court, and the Senate wisely defused the potential "crisis" by unanimously refusing to join several Representatives in challenging the credentials of the Florida electors.There are potential difficulties with a popular vote system as well, but this is too complicated a subject to go into here.Any move to abolish the electoral college system will fail, because it gives small states an advantage by virtue of the two electoral votes corresponding to a state's representation in the Senate. There are enough small states that no constitutional amendment for removing this bias could be ratified.A better plan would be to abolish the Unit Rule, by which all of a state's electoral votes are given to the winner of the state. This rule is implemented by the states individually, and can be dropped in any state. Only one or two have done so, and they are small (therefore insignificant) states. Large states like the advantage it gives them.There is currently an effort in California, where I reside, to abolish the unit rule. This is not because many people like the fact that it would bring the electoral and popular votes into closer agreement, however. The Republicans proposed it because they do not believe they can win the electoral votes without it; the Democrats oppose it, because they want all of the electoral votes for themselves.I am an independent, and I like the electoral college well enough, but not the unit rule. I would abolish the unit rule in every state by constitutional amendment, but not the two-vote bias.Thank uou, Mr. Webb, for opening a substantive topic for discussion. Fri 06 Jun 2008 23:57:49 GMT+1 rupertornelius http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/06/constitutional_crisis.html?page=4#comment3 Constitutional crisis? They do say Americans have an obesity problem. I suggest plenty of ambulatory exercise and greater fruit and veg intake. Fri 06 Jun 2008 23:46:57 GMT+1 Healy2012 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/06/constitutional_crisis.html?page=3#comment2 If you want to discuss a real constitutional crisis look to the fact that John McCain was not born in America!!! Fri 06 Jun 2008 22:59:31 GMT+1 David Cunard http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/06/constitutional_crisis.html?page=1#comment1 A bogus problem since the Constitution could not be amended in so short a time. As #1 notes, the economy is going to be the major subject; "regular" gas/petrol is seen today at $4.76 and "premium' a couple of cents under $5.00 - and that's way out in the suburbs, not Beverly Hills. A radio commentator mentioned that fuel had risen well over 200% during this Presidency; there's only so much the American driver will tolerate. Much is made of the British "love affair" with their cars, but Americans have been in love far longer with bigger, grander vehicles; something has to give - and that something is likely to be the presidency together with many of the seats held by Republicans elsewhere. I can't see that the votes in the Electoral College will be affected. Fri 06 Jun 2008 22:50:31 GMT+1 powermeerkat http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/06/constitutional_crisis.html?page=0#comment0 Justion, forget 'bout Hillarious Osama.Oil is going to hit $150.00/p/b in a couple of weeks and US may enter into a bona fide recession.Which may affect an attitude of US electorat in November more than anything else. Fri 06 Jun 2008 22:27:56 GMT+1