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The United States of American colours | Ticker VIEWS

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The changing face of Americans of colour may mean the Democrats will romp into dominance in Washington in the future – but not the immediate future

Article 1, Section 2 of the United States Constitution provides:

“The House of Representatives shall be composed of Members chosen every second Year by the People of the several States …  Representatives and direct Taxes shall be apportioned among the several States … according to their respective Numbers … The actual Enumeration shall be made  … every subsequent Term of ten Years…

Australia had its census last week and is conducted every 5 years.  In the United States it is done every 10 years and, as the Constitution outlines, the results determine how many Members of Congress each State can have, and how the population numbers affect the flow of taxes and dollars to and from Washington.

The census is decisive in determining the makeup of the House of Representatives in Congress – how many seats each State has, and which party controls each seat.

The 2020 census revealed some shockers – not only in trend but in quantum

The United States is fast becoming the United States of Americans of colour.  As has been often noted, demography is destiny, and America’s future is undergoing profound change.

  • The White population shrunk for the first time since the first census in 1790. Whites dropped by 5 million people, declining from 63.7% in 2010 to 57.8% in 2020.
  • The majority (52.7%) of those under 18 are now people of colour.
  • Hispanic population has doubled since 1990 and is now 18.7%.
  • Asian Americans also doubled over the same period, to 6.1%.
  • The Black population is steady at 12.1%

The United States is headed to be a majority-minority country by 2045

By 2060, today’s Hispanic and Asian communities are expected to double.

As Alan Abramowitz, a leading political scientist at Emory University in Georgia, which is ground zero in the struggle for voting rights in America, said last week:

“It appears to me that the demographic trends that we have been seeing develop over the past few decades and expecting to continue have accelerated. The size of the decline in the white population is stunning. The increase in the size of the multi-racial population is equally stunning. The United States is becoming more and more of a multi-racial, multi-ethnic society. The Trumpsters cannot be happy about this.”

In raw political terms, the population shifts mean that Republican-leaning Texas, Florida, North Carolina and Montana will gain 4 seats in Congress and Electoral College votes; while Democratic-leaning New York, California, Michigan and Illinois will lose a seat each. There are shifts in some other states. But it looks like a net gain of perhaps 6 seats for Republicans even as the White vote is in big-time decline.

Alan Abramowitz says that the US is more diverse than ever

As Larry Sabato of the University of Virginia has noted, “Of course it [the census] may fuel far-right anger rather than resignation”

Sabato is right.  These political dynamics will absolutely grip the state legislatures that draw the lines for their House electorates.  And here, the Republicans have a decided edge for now. 

Aa an Associated Press analysis reported, “The GOP will control redistricting in 20 states accounting for 187 U.S. House seats, including the growing states of Texas, Florida, Georgia and North Carolina, where the governor is a Democrat, but the legislature has complete control of drawing new electoral lines. Democrats will control redistricting in just eight states accounting for 75 seats, including New York and Illinois, where the loss of a seat in each gives them a chance to squeeze out Republican incumbents.”

The bottom line:  The redistribution of House seats driven by the census means that Republicans have added momentum going into the midterm elections for control of the House of Representatives

Today’s Democratic majority of just 4 seats in the House can be easily erased by the drawing of lines in Texas, Florida, Georgia and the Carolinas.

This means that whatever legislation President Biden wants to get enacted must get enacted now, in this Congress, where the Democrats control both the House and Senate.  And that means Democrats must stick together and not let passions for “left” or “moderate” perfection in legislation frustrate passage of the Biden agenda.

Because they likely will not have another chance before the 2024 presidential election. But here’s the kicker:  The more concentrated White vote in states that have been Republican in the past two presidential elections means that the Electoral College is still skewed to Republicans, even as their share of the popular vote for president is expected to decline. 

Bruce Wolpe is a Ticker News US political contributor. He’s a Senior Fellow at the US Studies Centre and has worked with Democrats in Congress during President Barack Obama's first term, and on the staff of Prime Minister Julia Gillard. He has also served as the former PM's chief of staff.

World

Judge sides with Trump in Mar-a-Lago investigation

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A United States Federal Judge has sided with former President Donald Trump amid the ongoing Mar-a-Lago investigation

In a move that will likely come as a relief to Donald Trump, a federal judge has ruled that the former president does not have to provide a sworn declaration regarding claims the FBI “planted” evidence in his Mar-a-Lago resort.

Previously, Trump had been required to provide the declaration as part of the review process for the investigation.

But Judge Aileen Cannon, who is overseeing the Mar-a-Lago investigation, has now pushed back several key deadlines, extending the final date of completion from November to December.

“There shall be no separate requirement on Plaintiff at this stage, prior to the review of any of the Seized Materials, to lodge ex ante final objections to the accuracy of Defendant’s Inventory, its descriptions, or its contents.”

Judge Aileen cannon
Judge Aileen Cannon & Donald Trump

This means that Trump will not have to confirm, under oath, his recent claims the FBI manufactured evidence against him

These are assertions which could be used against him if he is charged with any crimes.

Trump’s lawyers had argued that the president should not be required to provide a declaration, and it seems Judge Cannon has sided with them.

For now, Trump will not have to put his claims on the record.

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World

Ian carves path of utter destruction

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After devastating Florida, Hurricane Ian is headed for Carolinas, Georgia

A grim picture of Hurricane Ian’s horrific wreckage emerged Thursday, as millions of people in Florida faced destroyed homes, completely flooded streets and power outages.

The storm’s power turned out to be worse than many had predicted.

Unfortunately, families who did not evacuate have been left stranded as rising water tore through their homes.

So far, hundreds have been rescued from floodwaters, and emergency crews are still struggling to reach some of the most devastated areas.

According to the National Hurricane Center, a storm surge of 12-18 feet hit as destructive waves struck the coast.

Officials say the hurricane knocked out power to more than 2.6 million customers, mainly in southwest and central Florida.

Meanwhile, the Florida Division of Emergency Management (FDEM) says that the next 72 hours will certainly be the most critical when it comes to rescue missions.

President Biden said there were ‘early reports of what may be substantial loss of life’ saying, that the numbers are still unclear but there are early reports of fatalities.

The President added, “water rescue is critical—Coast Guard deployed 16 rescue helicopter, six fixed wing aircraft and 18-rescue boats and crews. That’s just one element of the many federal search and rescue teams that were pre-staged in Florida.”

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis detailed the state’s “monumental effort” to help aid recovery and eventually rebuild.

“Those were really difficult images to see but we’re committed to restoring the infrastructure as needed. That is not going to be an overnight task. That is going to require a lot of love and care—it’s going to require a lot of resources, but we’re going to do it because we understand how important it is.”

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Climate Change

Hurricane Ian could be Florida’s deadliest storm

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Hurricane Ian could be Florida’s deadliest storm as it continues north towards South Carolina

U.S. President Joe Biden says Hurricane Ian could be the deadliest storm in the region’s history, with early reports suggesting substantial loss of life.

Biden spoke at an afternoon briefing at the headquarters of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (Fema).

Ian made landfall on Wednesday local time near the city of Fort Myers. It has led to severe flooding, high winds and storm surges.

Several areas remain submerged, and more than 2.5 million homes are without power.

Many residents are trapped in their homes and unable to escape. Search and rescue teams are working around the clock to provide assistance where they can.

5,000 Florida National Guard troops and 2,000 Guardsman from surrounding states have been deployed.

Eight teams with 800 members are carrying out search and rescue operations.

More than 200 public shelters have now been opened, housing around 34,000 people.

The National Hurricane Centre has downgraded Ian to a tropical storm for now but warns it will likely become a hurricane again later.

The entire coast of South Carolina is just the latest region to be placed on high alert as the storm continues north on its path of destruction.

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