Saturday, November 26, 2016

More Election Drama

Trump won the electoral college votes. So he was declared the winner. Hillary won the popular votes. Still she accepted and conceded defeat.
During the election debates, Trump said if elected he would investigate Hillary’s email server problem and the Clinton Foundation and put her in jail. After winning the election Trump said he will not investigate Clinton and he has other important things to do.
And now comes the drama. An independent candidate who also ran for President of the United States, Jill Stein, has started a process for recounting the votes in 3 States – Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and Michigan. All 3 states were won by Trump by a narrow margin. It will cost her money to do that. She has appealed to the “Trump haters” and raised about $7 million.
What is her reason to ask for a recount? She said she suspects the voting machines were hacked. I have never heard a more ridiculous thing in a long time. I am not a computer expert. Some of my readers are computer experts. So please tell me if I am wrong. Voting machines are not connected to the internet. If so, how is it possible to “hack”?
At first, Hillary Clinton said she will have nothing to do with the recount. Now her campaign says it will take part in the recount effort.
So what I suspect will happen? Trump is not a good guy. He is a vicious guy. I have a feeling he is going to re-open the Clinton investigation – email server and Clinton Foundation. (For those who are not familiar with the US Presidential powers, let me say one thing. In the US, when a President is elected, they are electing a “dictator” for a 4 year term. He/she is that powerful.)
There is already a rumor going around that about 3 million non-citizen illegal immigrants voted for Hillary Clinton, majority of them in California. May be Trump supporters want to have a recount in every state in this country.
Pure entertainment if you are not personally involved. At least, this will be resolved in a few days/weeks. Unlike India.
Mr. P. Chidambaram contested the Lok Sabha election in 2009. His opponent was declared the winner. After 30 minutes, the election authorities changed the results declaring Mr. Chidambaram as the winner. The votes that were tabulated to Mr. Chidambaram was given to his opponent and vice versa. The authorities said that the computer operator made an error in posting. The opponent claimed his votes were illegally transferred to the credit of Mr. Chidambaram, thereby tilting the result in Chidambaram's favor.
The opponent filed a case in the court. Mr. Chidambaram became Finance Minister. New Lok Sabha elections came in 2014. Now it is 2016, almost 2017. That 2009 election case is still going on in the courts.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

POTUS Election - Electoral College

There are 231,566,622 eligible voters in the United States. 135,135,298 voters cast their ballots in this year’s presidential election.
Hillary Clinton received 63,390,669 votes. Donald Trump received 61,820,845 votes. That means Hillary Clinton received 1.5 million more popular votes than Trump. So logic says since Clinton received more popular votes, she should be declared as the winner. Right?
Wrong.  United States always does things differently. Just like Rajnikanth’s “en vazhi thani vazhi” (my path is a unique/separate path).
U.S. President is not elected by popular votes. There is something called “Electoral College Vote”. Total number of electoral college votes are 538. Whoever gets 270 electoral college votes will be declared the winner. Electoral College Votes are distributed to each state based on their population. In fact it is the number of Senators plus the number of House of Representatives for each state. Since California is the most populous state, it gets 55 votes. New York 29. Texas 38. Florida 29. Montana 3. North Dakota 3. And so on and so forth.
In a given state, if a candidate wins the popular vote, he/she gets all the electoral college votes. It is winner take all. Even if the candidate wins by one popular vote, he/she gets all the electoral college votes.
For example, Hillary Clinton won the popular vote in California. Therefore, she got all the 55 electoral college votes. Same way, Trump won the popular vote in Florida. So he got all the 29 electoral college votes. Under this counting rule, Trump has 290 electoral college votes against a needed 270 votes. Therefore, he is declared as the winner. Hillary has got only 228 electoral college votes. (Two states have not declared results. Too close to call.)
How come Clinton won the popular vote and did not win the electoral college vote? It is because which ever states Clinton won, she won by a huge margin of popular votes. Which ever states Trump won, he  won by a narrow margin of popular votes.  But Trump won more states than Clinton.
Therefore popular vote does not matter in electing the President of the United States. It is the electoral college votes that count. And, there are 540 electoral college voters.
OK. How these electoral college voters are selected? Before the start of the election, each candidate will give a list of names of electoral college voters of their choice (from their own party) for each state. (In some states, it is thru intra-party election.). It is a package deal. When you vote for a candidate for President, you automatically vote for his /her choice of Vice President and his/her choice of electoral college voters.
They will assemble on December 19 and vote for the candidate to be President of the United States.  Usually, they don’t change their votes.  All of Trump’s electoral college votes will vote for Trump.  Same for Clinton.
A funny thing is happening this year.  Die hard Clinton fanatics are asking Trump’s electoral college voters not to vote for him on December 19.   I think this is their desperate attempt.  You fought hard.  You lost. Just let it go and get ready for 2020.  When Obama was elected in 2008, many white people did not like that.  But they never asked Obama’s electoral college voters not to vote for him.
Many people,  including Mr. Trump, do not like this electoral college system.  Unless they make a constitutional amendment, it is here to stay.  It is not that easy to make a constitutional amendment in the United States.
Why the founding fathers established an electoral college system to pick the President of the United States as opposed to a direct popular vote?  That is another long confusing story.  My head swirls.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

U.S. Presidential Election

Donald Trump has been elected as the 45th President of the United States of America. Here are my observations.
Let me tell you this to start with. I am not a supporter of Trump. Both candidates are not qualified. I thought Trump is better of the two evils. So I wanted him to win.
In US, all the television networks (Except Fox News) are left wing liberals. Same goes for all the newspapers. Therefore, they behaved like a propaganda machine for Hillary Clinton. Whenever there is bad news about Hillary, they downplayed it. Good news about her, they gave prominent headlines. Same way, good news about Trump, they downplayed it. Bad news about him, they gave prominent headlines.
The only network supporting Trump, Fox News, behaved like his propaganda machine.
I read 4 newspapers a day. When I read an article, I give more importance to the comments rather than the article. Nowadays American journalists do not report the news. They write their own opinion and push their hidden agenda. Comments reflect what the general public really thinks.
Whatever Trump said during his campaign are all election year political rhetoric. He cannot implement all he said he would do. There are checks and balances. The U.S. Senate will not allow him to do whatever he wants.
The most unlucky is Hillary Clinton. She lost the chance to become the first female President of the United States of America. Her Email server problem is still looming over her head. Another problem is with the Clinton Foundation. Mr. Trump, during the campaign, has said he will appoint a special prosecutor to investigate her, if elected.
But President Obama, before leaving the office on January 20, 2017, with a stroke of a pen, can pardon Hillary Clinton, for any crimes committed by her related to her emails and her foundation.
Will Obama pardon Hillary Clinton?  I think he will.
In my opinion, Hillary should have picked Sanders as her Vice President. That pair would have won very easily. The current Vice President, Joe Biden, was asked to compete among the democrats to be their nominee for President. But Biden blinked and did not enter the race. If Biden was the democratic candidate in lieu of Hillary, I think Trump would have (I am quoting an Indian term here) lost his deposit.
Looks like Richard Verma, US Ambassador to India, will be packing his bags soon and go back to USA.
PS: Counting the votes in a Presidential election is very complicated. Even most of the Americans do not understand this.  This topic will be my next post.

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Arrogant or Ignorant

I was checking on some of my older posts and happened to read the following:

“I saw in Chennai that many North Indian workers speak Tamil or try to speak Tamil with sincere effort. However, a few of these North Indian workers insist on speaking Hindi only. If this is their attitude towards language they will not survive in the working world for very long.”

I’m going to chalk this one up to the IGNORANT category.

California Love – somebody please cue up the Tupac and Doctor Dre song.

California is the place I have lived at for most of my entire adult life. California is a state in the USA and I have lived in an area known as the San Francisco Bay Area (which is part of California).

Whenever anyone asks a person from the San Francisco Bay Area, “Hey, where are you from?” The response will simply say “I’m from the Bay Area”. The person who asked the question should automatically assume this person is from the San Francisco Bay Area based on that response.

That attitude and answer makes people from Green Bay, Wisconsin…and Tampa Bay, Florida…well…jealous. You see they also consider themselves as “Bay Area” people. However, it’s widely accepted that when someone says they’re from the Bay Area…that means the San Francisco Bay Area. Not Green BAY or Tampa BAY.

I’ll chalk this one up to the ARROGANT category.

And oh by the way…if you ask me where I’m from…you know my answer, “I’m from the Bay Area.” Yep, guilty as charged. ARROGANT SG is here. I admit it.

Oh it doesn’t end there for CALIFORNIA DREAMIN’ – somebody please cue up The Mamas and The Papas song.

When a resident of California is travelling in a foreign country, a person may ask…”Excuse me. Where are you from?” A Californian will never respond by saying “I’m from the USA.” He/She will answer, “I’m from California.

” Huh? What? Exsqueeze Me?

Is California not part of the USA? Can’t you just say America or the US? NOPE! You see we’re from California. And you Mr. Foreigner…who I’m talking to at a bazaar in Egypt or you Mrs. Foreigner…sitting in a café 50 miles outside of Istanbul, I know you’ve heard of California. I know you know California. So I’m responding with the name of my state.

In fact…who doesn’t know California? Everyone does…right? WRONG!

Gonna have to chalk this one up to the ARROGANT category.

Once again, me too, guilty as charged. ARROGANT SG has arrived in your nation, and if you don’t know what a California is or where a California is…well that’s your problem pal.

On a sidenote…did you notice how I snuck in 50 “miles” outside of Istanbul. Yeah right, like the metric system followers know what the hell a mile is. We are the only industrialized country that refuse to adopt to metric system.

So now please tell all of your friends and relatives, when they visit a foreign country. Please represent your state. 100 kilometers outside of Nairobi. Hey, where are you from? I am from Uttarakhand.

PS: I have a very intelligent blogger friend from Uttarakhand and she is a travel enthusiast.