The Vultures are Circling

After the results of the 2010 Census were released, Missouri lost enough population to lose a US House seat. The Missouri Legislature is working to create new boundaries and it doesn’t look good for some democrats.

Here is the current Missouri Congressional District map
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The proposed map below that covers St.Louis and the surrounding area is quite different. If the proposed map below is confirmed, guess who gets it it his shorts? Carnahan currently “represents” the 3rd Congressional District. Lacy Clay holds the 1st District. It’s not Clay whose district just disappeared.

First Mo. congressional redistricting maps released

This view shows the St. Louis-area districts in more detail (Digital copies of the maps were not available at press time). 

Marshall Griffin, St. Louis Public Radio
The two districts in question above are for democrats Russ Carnahan and Lacy Clay. Missouri would be well rid of both and Cleaver in KC but I doubt that will happen. Clay and Cleaver are in “safe” districts, St. Louis and Kansas City respectively. Carnahan, on the other hand, could quite well be toast. The way the new proposed boundaries lie, Carnahan has to run either against Clay or against a strong republican, Representative Jo Ann Emerson.

Carnahan tried to make a deal and was rebuffed by both Clay and Cleaver. Apparently both seem to think Carnahan is a loser (well, duh!) and they are ignoring his efforts.

Detente for Missouri Democrats

Two weeks ago, a frustrated Russ Carnahan (right) approached Lacy Clay. | AP Photos Close

By JONATHAN ALLEN | 4/19/11 12:20 PM EDT 

Rep. Russ Carnahan has all but agreed to avoid a primary fight against Rep. Lacy Clay if, as expected, the two Democrats are drawn into the same district by the Missouri legislature.
But for detente to occur, there had to be hostilities.

Two weeks ago, a frustrated Carnahan approached Clay on the House floor. Carnahan had been hoping to get Clay and fellow Missouri Democratic Rep. Emanuel Cleave to pressure Gov. Jay Nixon to veto a Republican remapping of the state’s congressional districts. Not only had Clay and Cleaver declined to help, they had stopped taking Carnahan’s calls on the matter.

“[F—-] you,” Carnahan said, according to a source who heard the obscenity. Then, with sarcasm, he added “Thanks for your help.”

It’s easy to see why Clay and Cleaver aren’t rushing to fall on their swords for Carnahan. The maps under discussion would strengthen Cleaver in his Kansas City-based district, and the new district that would be drawn from the current seats of Clay and Carnahan, who is white, would have a heavily African-American electorate. All of that, of course, is dependent upon the Missouri Senate and House coming to agreement on a plan — a big “if,” given that the Republicans in the state’s congressional delegation converged on Jefferson City on Monday to try to help hash out a deal between the warring chambers.
Carnahan’s best hope — and the fear of everyone else in the Missouri delegation — is that the heavily Republican Legislature will deadlock and an appellate court will draw the lines.

For Democrats, the bad blood runs deeper than the hot-tempered floor exchange. Given Carnahan’s flirtation with a primary run against Clay, some black Democrats were furious when party leaders put Carnahan on a list of targeted incumbents who are given extra campaign help. But, after a meeting of the Missouri Democrats with House Democratic Leader Nancy PelosiSteve Israel (D-N.Y.), most folks are convinced Carnahan won’t run a kamikaze mission against Clay. Instead, one insider told POLITICO, Democratic leaders want Carnahan to run in a Republican-tilting district next door. (D-Calif.) and Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman. 

For the full article, go here: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0411/53415.html#ixzz1K4z2VB3DThe image is still in my mind, the buzzards have landed and Russ Carnahan is on the menu as the first course.

Awwww, poor boy. Tsk, tsk.

Shrinking Cities

The preliminary census data is out and a trend spotted in earlier censuses was confirmed.  People are fleeing cities in droves.  

Take Missouri for example.  St. Louis is now the 3RD largest city in the state.  According the 2010 census figures, St. Louis has a population of 319,000.  St. Louis is unique in that the city and county have the same borders.  In comparison, Kansas City has a population of 460,000 and St. Charles, once a St. Louis suburb, has a population of 365,000.  St. Charles is now the 2ND largest city in Missouri.

St. Louis isn’t alone.  Chicago’s population has shrunk to 1920s levels. In 1950, Chicago had a population 3.6million. By 2010, its population has fallen to 2.7million.

There are many theories why this shrinkage has occurred.  All of them have, in some aspect, population flight away from the urban city government, high crime, high taxes, poor services, and governmental corruption. What is surprising in Chicago is that it isn’t white flight of people fleeing Chicago, it’s BLACK flight!

The exodus took a big chunk out of the city’s black population in particular, shrinking it to 887,608 from 1,065,009, according to William Frey, a demographer at the Brookings Institution think tank in Washington. “The black decline is really powering the city loss,” Mr. Frey said, calling it “part of the great reverse migration to the South.” 
There’s been shrinkage here in Kansas City as I posted in March of last year in a post, “Darwin Lives! KC School District Evolution in Action.”  
The bare facts are that the enrollment today is the same as that in the district in EIGHTEEN EIGHTY-NINE! The same number of students as were in the district 121 years ago!

How had this come about? There are many versions and responses to that question. The core reason is that parents, over the last forty years, left the district. They fled the district for the suburbs and further out. They fled the governmental intrusion, the union takeover, the liberal agendas aimed to improve attendance by emphasizing “self esteem” and other social theories that all failed to accomplish the basic goal, the basic reason for the district’s reason for being—educating the children.

Our cities are shrinking but the overall population of the country is increasing.  Where is this occurring?  I’m not sure but I saw this blurb on Drudge over the weekend.

February 24, 2011

Texas demographer: ‘It’s basically over for Anglos’

Looking at population projections for Texas, demographer Steve Murdock concludes: “It’s basically over for Anglos.”
Two of every three Texas children are now non-Anglo and the trend line will become even more pronounced in the future, said Murdock, former U.S. Census Bureau director and now director of the Hobby Center for the Study of Texas at Rice University.
Today’s Texas population can be divided into two groups, he said. One is an old and aging Anglo and the other is young and minority. Between  2000 and 2040, the state’s public school enrollment will see a 15 percent decline in Anglo children while Hispanic children will make up a 213 percent increase, he said.
I’ve often wondered if our country would still exist in a hundred years and if it did, what would it look like?  I think we’re see trends.

The Day Before

I’ve been thinking about what to post today.  Tomorrow is Election Day. What could I say that would prepare folks for tomorrow, to encourage them to get out and vote. 

Instead, I bring you this editorial from the Investor’s Business Daily.  Food for thought. 

Is America Really A 50-50 Nation? Not Even Close, New Polling Finds

Here’s a well-kept secret: Americans are in overwhelming agreement on social issues. Here’s a not-so-well-kept secret. Many in the media and politics have absolutely no idea.
We are told that in America today, partisanship has never been so bad, that it threatens our nation’s unity. At the same time, we’ve been told we should keep our faith, our values and our morality to ourselves, and that our public spaces, traditions and celebrations must remain devoid of God and Christianity.
Now there’s proof that the truth is actually quite different. That proof is in the form of a new book being released on Nov. 2 by Doubleday. In “Beyond a House Divided: The Moral Consensus Ignored by Washington, Wall Street and the Media,” the leader of the Knights of Columbus, Carl Anderson, shows how recent polling conclusively reveals that the culture wars are being won by those with traditional values.
Those of us who believe in God, have successful marriages, oppose abortions in most instances, want less government than more, think the government and media are part of the problem, and are supportive of religion in the public square are not a minority.
We’re not just a majority either. We are part of the quiet consensus at work in this country — if only those in the media and Washington, D.C., were paying attention.
The truth is that Americans are a people guided and sustained by morality and faith, and want those values reflected both in their institutions and political leadership.
The idea that we are a nation divided is a convenient myth for the merchants of division. For them — the politicians and pundits alike who would tear down this country’s traditional values — the goal is reshaping the nation according to their own ideology, not the values of the American people. They have convinced many in this country that political correctness is the norm, when it’s actually the opinion of a very few Americans.
The media don’t seem to get it. As we read report after report about our polarized nation, the fact is that the true divide in American life is a divide between the vast majority of Americans and a political and cultural elite who no longer share the same moral or cultural outlook as the people to whom they report.
Moral Consensus
What America needs is the ability to move forward based on areas of profound moral consensus, not the special interests or top-down government solutions.
Americans agree that the country is not simply in the midst of a financial crisis, but a moral one as well. According to the data cited by Anderson, nearly three-quarters of Americans feel the moral compass of the country is pointing in the wrong direction. In the same breath, more than 80% of Americans agree that politicians are moving the country in the wrong direction.
The news media scarcely fared better, with nearly seven in 10 Americans saying the media are a negative influence on the moral fabric of the country. Also morally harmful, according to most Americans, is the entertainment industry.
Americans are having a crisis of confidence in our institutions, and it’s about something far beyond our wallets.
The mainstream media outlets tell us that traditional values are found only among a “backward” fringe element. Actually, such values are more likely yours, those of your neighbor and of your community. They’re just not shared by the media or Washington elites.
Consider the following specifics from Anderson’s book:
We hear about a nearly 50-50 split on abortion. But in fact, when asked not whether they are pro-life or pro-choice but at what point of pregnancy abortion should be allowed, Americans are clear. About 80% would limit abortion to the first three months at most. Well over half would limit it to rape or incest or to save the life of the mother. Young people and women are even more likely to respond this way.
We also hear that same-sex marriage has divided us 50-50. Put another option on the table — civil unions — and support for same-sex marriage plummets to a third.
And to believe the media you would think the whole country was clamoring to remove all religious symbolism from the public square. Not so. By three to one — 75% to 25% — Americans are more concerned about the First Amendment’s protection of religious freedom than they are interested in scrubbing every government building or school of religious symbolism.
Americans — Anderson points out — overwhelmingly want less government, don’t think the government can fix the economy and think executives ought to take the personal and moral responsibility necessary to fix things.
According to the research, Americans most trust volunteers and charities — the sorts of civic institutions Alexis de Tocqueville lauded as fundamental to American democracy and culture. And by more than 3-to-1 over any other answer, we think a return to traditional values is the best path to fixing our country’s problems.
Come November, it seems likely that the quiet consensus will be heard loud and clear. The anti-incumbent sentiment around the nation is about more than economic issues. Sure, “it’s the economy, stupid” — but even on economic issues, there is a moral component that people want to see accounted for.
It’s also about right and wrong, and a sense that common-sense values no longer matter in Washington, D.C. It is the conviction that personal responsibility and not government regulation is the answer to our fiscal crisis.
It is the sense that traditional values, not a radically secular political correctness, are the unifying principles of American life that will heal the divisions in our society. It is the fact that these truths have been forgotten and ignored in Washington that has led to this anti-incumbent revolution.
Without Consent
There is a huge consensus, and part of it is — as the book points out — that we don’t think our politicians are ruling with the consent of the governed. One could say we want representative democracy, not oligarchy.
The new blood that the wave of anti-incumbent sentiment seems likely to send to Washington will thrive if it learns this simple lesson: the American people want leaders with traditional moral values. We don’t trust the current generation of politicians. Few of us adhere to the doctrine of political correctness.
The next generation of elected officials can succeed if they take Anderson’s advice and begin governing with this consensus in mind. If those about to be elected can do that, a consensus might well say that Nov. 2 brought exactly the sort of change we can believe in — and that would be good for all of us.
• Jones served as grass-roots director for Sen. Sam Brownback’s 2008 presidential campaign. He works today as a human rights advocate and film producer.