Ryder Outlines Redistricting

John Ryder and Charlotte Bergmann

John Ryder gets some help from Charlotte Bergmann as he explains the population changes in the 2010 Census.


“My job is to make it fair and legal,” said John Ryder of  redistricting  the United States, the task he was assigned by the Republican Party.

The Memphis lawyer described his goals to members of the Midtown Republican Club Tuesday.

“Why do we do this?” he asked. “It’s painful, arduous and makes work for lawyers. Well, every ten years the Constitution says an actual enumeration of the people must be done. It says inhabitants, not citizens.

“Why do we have 435 members of Congress? It’s a very elaborate formula that was determined in 1938 when it was fixed at 435. The average congressional district now is 730,000 people, whereas it was 238,000 in 1938.

“After the November election the states that are losing representatives are theirs and the states gaining are ours.  In Texas, we gained 4, Florida 2, South Carolina and Georgia, 1 each as well as Arizona, Utah and Washington. New York lost 2, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Illinois, Iowa and Minnesota lost one as did Louisiana from Katrina. What actually happened there was a whole congressional district moved to Houston.

However, in Louisiana we got control of the state senate. Then a switch gave us control of the House. It’s the first time since the Civil War and we have the governorship there, too, he noted. Similarly, we have both the House and Senate in Minnesota – a first ever.

“We have more than 700 state legislators nationwide now,” Ryder said. “In the South, the Democrats have the Senate in Virginia and both houses in Mississippi and Arkansas. It’s a huge shift. In the 1990s we got 5 out of 232 seats. What this means is the Democrats are sure to sue us.”

So what will happen in redistricting?

Two rules must be followed, Ryder says. “First you make everyone equal. Second, you must preserve minority voting rights.  Of course, every member wants the district they have now. Every Republican wants a perfect Republican district with 70% Republican. But this is really a legislative process. It is really the legislature that determines what happens. We’re still getting census data. In Tennessee, the process for redistricting won’t start til this session is over.

“Mississippi, Louisiana and Virginia with go first because they have elections this year.

“Tennessee is about 57% Republican. We’re on a Republican trend right now. In 2008, McCain outperformed Bush in 2004 here.” While the state grew about 11% in population, Shelby County only grew 2%. That means the 9th district is 74,000 below what it needs to be. The 6th district is up 74,000. The 7th district is 53,000 over. The movement has been from west Tennessee to middle Tennessee,” he notes.

“‘Blest is he who lives in a corner ‘ is a maxim in elections,” Ryder said. “That means there will be a ripple effect across Tennessee. Ryder will have to work to adjust the changes.

“We don’t need to play games,” Ryder says, finding the trend in Republicans’ favor. “My goal is to make sure it’s all fair and legal.”

RNC Elections

John Ryder discussed the RNC elections, among many topics, at our Midtown Republican Club meeting Tuesday. Few Tennesseans are as knowledgeable about local and national politics as Ryder. As an RNC committeeman for Tennessee and longtime player in Republican politics in Memphis, his perspective is invaluable.

Ryder applauded the first actions of the new RNC chairman, Reince Priebus. “His first day in office, he fired the convention staff, which was a good move, then cut staff and paid off some of the huge debt the RNC has. I’m optimistic,” Ryder said. “I think he can raise money,” which was part of the problem outgoing chairman Michael Steele had.

“I like Steele. He’s a good spokesman and positive image,” he said, “but not a good manager. He wasn’t good at raising money. We are $23 million in debt, however.”

Ryder recounted Steele’s visit to last year’s Lincoln Day Dinner in Memphis.

“Afterwards I took him to Beale Street. He had a blast, even when drunks came up to him. At Blues City Cafe D’Army Bailey came over to him. He had heard he was coming and talked to him about the Civil Rights Museum. They had a good conversation.”

Can He Trump O?

If Donald Trump decides to run for president, which seems very likely, he won’t have a recognition problem. Probably most Americans know him through his “Apprentice” series, his building projects, his personal flamboyance and money.

On the flip side, some doubt he is a true Republican or serious about matters outside of his personal finances.

Because questions about him recently surfaced on Rush Limbaugh’s show, Trump was Rush’s guest this afternoon.

Rush described him as having “that good old American can do spirit, backed up by his can do actions.” He queried him on several topics and Trump did not demure.

First off, Rush asked him about his contributions to Democrats, including Rahm Emanuel. Trump explained that his brother,  Ari Emanuel, is his agent and a friend. He noticed that no Republican opposed Rahm in the Chicago mayoral race. He has contributed to other Democrats where the Democrat was unopposed because he wasn’t hurting the GOP and “does business in many blue states.”

He pounced on one of his favorite themes, our China policy. “We have stupid leaders here,” Trump said. “The Chinese laugh at us behind our back. They can’t believe they are getting away with what they do.” For Trump, the answer is easy. “I would slap a 25% tax on all their products. I wouldn’t give the president of China a five star dinner. I don’t give a five star dinner to someone who’s ripping me off.”  Trump cited that recent Boeing deal China made. “They are taking our technology and opening their own plants. Watch what happens in a few years to Boeing. The Chinese will only buy from their own companies.”

Trump has other examples of what he would do. “With the danger of oil at $100 a barrel causing another recession, I don’t understand why we have troops in Saudi Arabia. We’re protecting them but they (the Saudis) don’t pay anything for it.” Similarly, he says, South Korea enjoys our military protection and we get nothing in return. Trump would change that.

The Donald decries our world status. “We’re not respected anymore.”

He also says another problem is “that we don’t have any common sense anymore.”

Talking of the presidency, Trump says he has set up a website, www.shouldtrumprun.com. Moments after he said that I went to the website. It was so jammed service was unavailable.

Think what you will about Trump, but I have to admire that he is not shying  from the fight. Some of our Republican candidates are. Pence and Christie, for instance, want to wait out the election until 2016. American needs them now. We have to have some candidate with enough fire in the belly to tackle Obama and the fawning media. Trump is not afraid to take any of them on.

Ode to O

Rahm Emanuel said “Never let a good crisis go to waste.” President Obama never lets a public event go to waste. He inserted himself at the Superbowl and last night at the Oscars.  The Mideast can be boiling over, the economy plunging and strife breaking out across states, but the President found time to titillate Tinseltown.

Does he think we just can’t get enough of him? I’ve had enough of him and I bet most Americans agree with me.

Still, it was shocking that a president would stoop as low as the Academy Awards. He introduced the Best Song category. On tape, he mentioned that his favorite (because even this is all about him) movie song is “As Time Goes By” from Casablanca. He probably wouldn’t like these lyrics, though:

You must remember this,

A win is just a win, a high is just a high

The fundamental truths apply

Your pollsters lie.

And when the people boo

Believe it is at you

On that you can rely.

No matter what the future brings

As your time goes by.

Media and love songs

Never out of date

Libs full of passion

Jealousy and hate

Country needs Republicans

To give you a checkmate

In ’12 we will retry.

It’s still the same old story,

Left, right, law, God and glory

A case of do or die

The right will surely still survive

As you go by.

Shirley, You Jest

If you read the newspaper’s big headline in the Local News section this morning, you would think that Shirley Sherrod is a saint.

The former Agriculture Department official was in church giving her sob story account of how bad old Andrew Breitbart used her own words on  videotape against her. She  highlighted her career fighting against racism and poverty, fighting for the civil rights of the poor and blacks, dodging hate mail and unfairness; relying on the Lord to get her through.

Made you want to go put up a statue of her somewhere or rename a street.

However, the truth is somewhat different.

Brietbart learned a different account  from Rep. Steve King (R-Ia). “Shirley Sherrod and her husband, Charles, along with their decades long defunct communal farm, New Communities Inc., were set to receive over a whopping $13 million   in the Pigford settlement, the largest amount of money allocated in the history of the Pigford settlement.”

If you don’t know about the Pigford settlement, basically it involves reparations to black farmers that has been abused to the tune of taxpayer millions, Breitbart has it all at biggovernment.com. Look up Pigford Shakedown or Google it.

As for the blogger being responsible for Sherrod’s firing by the Obama administration, former San Francisco mayor Willie Brown commented in the San Francisco Chronicle.

“As an old pro, though, I know that you don’t fire someone without at least hearing their side of the story unless you want them gone in the first place. This woman has been a thorn in the side of the Agriculture Department for years. She was part of a class action lawsuit against the Department on behalf of black farmers in the South. For years, she has been operating a community activist organization not unlike ACORN. I think there were those in the Agriculture department who objected to her being hired in the first place.”

Sherrod seems have gone to the Pigford trough repeatedly.

Today’s Peek at the Economy

The weekly jobless claims were down to 391,000 from a revised 413,000 last week. While that’s better, the durable goods number, although up 2.7, was disappointing according to pundits. If you take out transportation, the number was down 3.6. If you take out non defense orders and go to capital good orders, it was a dismal minus  6.9.

An economist on CNBC bemoaned that people are leaving the dollar in droves. The past three days have seen people going to gold, silver and the Swiss franc.

Jerry Webman of Oppenheimer Funds said that “the expansion is unsustainable unless it begins to work into the employment …unless we begin to hire people we’re going to get more bad political decisions. We’re not going to get the self sustaining, virtuous cycle that we’ve been enjoying so far.”

My own personal barometer, Joseph A. Bank, ran an ad yesterday offering $1,000 in merchandise with the purchase of a suit. That wouldn’t indicate a greatly improved economy.

Obama and Libya

If you’ve wondered why President Obama waited nine days to comment on the Libya situation and then didn’t even mention Qaddafi by name, World Net Daily supplies some answers.

Reporter Aaron Klein traces it back to our favorite hate filled preacher, Jeremiah Wright, pastor of Obama at Trinity Church. Seems Qaddafi financed Wright’s buddy, Louis Farrakhan, the Nation of Islam founder. Wright and Farrakhan were quite cozy. Farrakhan spoke at Trinity many times and the two of them went off to visit Qaddafi in 1984. As a result, Farrakhan got a $5 million interest free loan from the Libyan leader in 1985, according to Klein.

In addition, Qaddafi encouraged Farrakhan’s Million Man March, attended by Wright and Obama. Farrakhan later received a $250,000 Qaddafi Human Rights award.

Even David Axelrod is intertwined with these people. He sat on the board of  Father Pfleger’s St. Sabina church. The infamous Father  also embraced Farrakhan and hosted him at his church.

With that much money and influence spread around, no wonder Obama has avoided much condemnation of Libya and Qaddafi. Yesterday he suggested the U.S. might use – oh, horrors! – sanctions against Libya. What comes next, the strongly worded letter in his files?

Meanwhile, Obama quickly  backed  the Egyptians in their revolt against a dictator we considered an ally.  Go figure.

A Different Take on Rahm

Rahm Emanuel’s victory in Chicago’s mayoral election yesterday may have had a different denouement than Washington pundits like to think.

According to Ulsterman at Newsflavor.com, Rahm has found Obama clueless. Emanuel didn’t feel the president was handling the Affordable Care Act well,  depending solely on the media to help it towards public acceptance.  Soon he came into conflict with special advisor Valerie Jarrett and Michelle Obama. Sources recount how Emanuel was alarmed with the shut out he was getting from Jarrett and the First Lady. He’d ask Obama a question only to see the president shoot a look at Jarrett, wondering what she thought and marginalizing his opinions.

His view is shared by Nancy Pelosi who referred to Obama as an F-ing moron in the story. Pelosi and Emanuel know things that resulted in her maintaining her minority leader status and landing him in the Chi town top spot. Take a look at the story on Newsflavor.com. The Ulsterman Report: Rahm Emanuel and the Jarrett White House. He promises part 2 soon.