John Dingell is a Poster Child for Term Limits

Longest Serving Congressperson John DingellOn December 12, John Dingell cast the final vote of his 59 consecutive-years congressional career.[1]Washington Post. John Dingell, longest serving congressman, fractures hip in fall. December 13, 2014. http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-politics/wp/2014/12/13/john-dingell-longest-serving-congressman-fractures-hip-in-fall/ Born in 1926, the 88 year old replaced his father as the representative of Michigan’s 15th district in 1955.[2]Detroit Free Press. John Dingell: His life and career. September 7, 2014. http://www.freep.com/article/20140907/NEWS05/309070082/John-Dingell-His-life-career His second wife, 61 year old Deborah Dingell, will be replacing him in in January.

Dingell is the longest serving (consecutive and nonconsecutive) member of Congress, beating out both Representative Jamie L. Whitten (D-MS) and Senator Robert Byrd (D-WV) by more than five years.[3]United States Senate. Longest Serving Senators. July 29, 2014. https://www.senate.gov/senators/Biographical/longest_serving.htm[4]Washington Post. Dingell Is Longest-Serving House Member. February 9, 2009. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/02/10/AR2009021003338.html By the end of his wife’s first term in the 114th Congress, the Dingell family will have been representing an area around Detroit, Michigan for 86 years. Talk about an oligarchy.

It is disconcerting that so many vote simply by inertia. Left or Right, no politician should make two lifetimes out of one office. (The man was there for Roosevelt’s “Day of Infamy” Pearl Harbor speech for Christ’s sake.[5]National Journal. Dingell Recounts Up-Close View of ‘Day of Infamy’ Speech. December 6, 2013. http://www.nationaljournal.com/congress/dingell-recounts-up-close-view-of-day-of-infamy-speech-20131206) At some point, these people become so out of touch with what is going on that most simply become representatives of their party rather than their constituents.

I think a Constitutional amendment mandating Congressional term limits would be one of the greatest things we could do for this country. Two terms for Senate and five for the House, and no lobby work before or after holding office. These people are supposed to be representatives of the people. How can they be a representative if they live their whole life in D.C.?

Longest Serving Members of Congress (as of 2014)

Total tenureUninterruptedNameParty affiliationTotal tenure timeUninterrupted timeReason for leaving
11John Dingell (H)Democratic Party59 years, 0 days59 years, 0 daysRetired
22Robert Byrd (H,S)Democratic Party57 years, 176 days57 years, 176 daysDied
33Carl Hayden (H,S)Democratic Party56 years, 319 days56 years, 319 daysRetired
44Daniel Inouye (H,S)Democratic Party53 years, 118 days53 years, 118 daysDied
55Jamie L. Whitten (H)Democratic Party53 years, 60 days53 years, 60 daysRetired
66Carl Vinson (H)Democratic Party50 years, 61 days50 years, 61 daysRetired
77John Conyers (H)Democratic Party49 years, 344 days49 years, 344 days
88Emanuel Celler (H)Democratic Party49 years, 305 days49 years, 305 daysLost renomination
99Sam Rayburn (H)Democratic Party48 years, 257 days48 years, 257 daysDied
10-Sidney R. Yates (H,I)Democratic Party48 years, 0 daysn/aRetired
1112Strom Thurmond (S,I)Republican Party47 years, 159 days46 years, 57 daysRetired
1210Wright Patman (H)Democratic Party47 years, 3 days47 years, 3 daysDied
1311Ted Kennedy (S)Democratic Party46 years, 292 days46 years, 292 daysDied
14-Joseph Gurney Cannon (H,I)Republican Party46 years, 0 daysn/aRetired
1513Adolph J. Sabath (H)Democratic Party45 years, 247 days45 years, 247 daysDied
1614J. Lister Hill (H,S)Democratic Party45 years, 142 days45 years, 142 daysRetired
1715George H. Mahon (H)Democratic Party44 years, 0 days44 years, 0 daysRetired
1816Warren Magnuson (H,S)Democratic Party44 years, 0 days44 years, 0 daysDefeated
1917Charles Edward Bennett (H)Democratic Party44 years, 0 days44 years, 0 daysRetired
2018Charles B. Rangel (H)Democratic Party43 years, 344 days43 years, 344 days
2119Justin Smith Morrill (H,S)Republican Party43 years, 299 days43 years, 299 daysDied
22-William B. Allison (H,S,I)Republican Party43 years, 152 daysn/aDied
2320Charles Melvin Price (H)Democratic Party43 years, 110 days43 years, 110 daysDied
2421Bill Young (H)Republican Party42 years, 288 days42 years, 288 daysDied
2522Henry M. Jackson (H,S)Democratic Party42 years, 241 days42 years, 241 daysDied
26-Carter Glass (H,S,I)Democratic Party42 years, 157 daysn/aDied
2723John William McCormack (H)Democratic Party42 years, 58 days42 years, 58 daysRetired
2824John Sparkman (H,S)Democratic Party42 years, 0 days42 years, 0 daysRetired
2925William R. Poage (H)Democratic Party42 years, 0 days42 years, 0 daysRetired
3026Jack Brooks (H)Democratic Party42 years, 0 days42 years, 0 daysDefeated
3127Thad Cochran (H,S)Republican Party41 years, 344 days41 years, 344 days
3228Robert L. Doughton (H)Democratic Party41 years, 305 days41 years, 305 daysRetired
3329Joseph William Martin, Jr. (H)Republican Party41 years, 305 days41 years, 305 daysLost renomination
3430Don Young (H)Republican Party41 years, 282 days41 years, 282 days
3531Dave Obey (H)Democratic Party41 years, 276 days41 years, 276 daysRetired
3632Clarence Cannon (H)Democratic Party41 years, 69 days41 years, 69 daysRetired
3733John C. Stennis (S)Democratic Party41 years, 59 days41 years, 59 daysRetired
3834Kenneth McKellar (H,S)Democratic Party41 years, 30 days41 years, 30 daysLost renomination
3935William Huston Natcher (H)Democratic Party40 years, 240 days40 years, 240 daysDied
40-Claude Pepper (H,S,I)Democratic Party40 years, 207 daysn/aDied
4136William P. Frye (H,S)Republican Party40 years, 157 days40 years, 157 daysDied
4237Ted Stevens (S)Republican Party40 years, 10 days40 years, 10 daysDefeated
4338Carl Curtis (H,S)Republican Party40 years, 0 days40 years, 0 daysRetired
4439Peter W. Rodino (H)Democratic Party40 years, 0 days40 years, 0 daysRetired
4540Pete Stark (H)Democratic Party40 years, 0 days40 years, 0 daysDefeated
46-Jennings Randolph (H,S,I)Democratic Party39 years, 364 daysn/aRetired
47-Eugene Hale (H,S,I)Republican Party39 years, 363 daysn/aRetired
4841Leslie C. Arends (H)Republican Party39 years, 362 days39 years, 362 daysRetired
4942Daniel A. Reed (H)Republican Party39 years, 352 days39 years, 352 daysDied
5043Patrick Leahy (S)Democratic Party39 years, 344 days39 years, 344 days
5144Chuck Grassley (H,S)Republican Party39 years, 344 days39 years, 344 days
5245Tom Harkin (H,S)Democratic Party39 years, 344 days39 years, 344 days
5346George Miller (H)Democratic Party39 years, 344 days39 years, 344 days
5447Henry Waxman (H)Democratic Party39 years, 344 days39 years, 344 days
5548George William Norris (H,S)Republican Party39 years, 305 days39 years, 305 daysDefeated
5649John Taber (H)Republican Party39 years, 305 days39 years, 305 daysRetired
5750William M. Colmer (H)Democratic Party39 years, 305 days39 years, 305 daysRetired
5851Max Baucus (H,S)Democratic Party39 years, 34 days39 years, 34 daysAppointed Ambassador to China
59-Samuel Smith (H,S,I)Democratic Party39 years, 9 daysn/aRetired
60-John Little McClellan (H,S,I)Democratic Party38 years, 329 daysn/aDied
6152Morris Sheppard (H,S)Democratic Party38 years, 145 days38 years, 145 daysDied
6253Ernest Hollings (S)Democratic Party38 years, 55 days38 years, 55 daysRetired
6354Ed Markey (H,S)Democratic Party38 years, 41 days38 years, 41 days
6455Richard Russell, Jr. (S)Democratic Party38 years, 9 days38 years, 9 daysDied
65-John Sherman (H,S,I)Republican Party38 years, 4 daysn/aAppointed Secretary of the Treasury &
-Appointed Secretary of State
6656Russell B. Long (S)Democratic Party38 years, 3 days38 years, 3 daysRetired
6757Frederick H. Gillett (H,S)Republican Party38 years, 0 days38 years, 0 daysRetired
6858Wilbur Mills (H)Democratic Party38 years, 0 days38 years, 0 daysRetired
6959Dante Fascell (H)Democratic Party38 years, 0 days38 years, 0 daysRetired
7060Robert H. Michel (H)Republican Party38 years, 0 days38 years, 0 daysRetired
7161Orrin Hatch (S)Republican Party37 years, 344 days37 years, 344 days
7262Barbara Mikulski (H,S)Democratic Party37 years, 344 days37 years, 344 days
7363Nick Rahall (H)Democratic Party37 years, 344 days37 years, 344 daysDefeated
74-Robert Crosser (H,I)Democratic Party37 years, 305 daysn/aLost renomination
75-Robert L. F. Sikes (H,I)Democratic Party37 years, 290 daysn/aRetired
7664Nathaniel Macon (H,S)Democratic-Republican Party37 years, 255 days37 years, 255 daysResigned
7765Henry Cabot Lodge (H,S)Republican Party37 years, 250 days37 years, 250 daysDied
78-Alben W. Barkley (H,S,I)Democratic Party37 years, 74 daysn/aElected Vice President
7966Henry B. Gonzalez (H)Democratic Party37 years, 60 days37 years, 60 daysRetired
80-Francis E. Warren (S,I)Republican Party37 years, 6 daysn/aDied
81-James Eastland (S,I)Democratic Party36 years, 83 daysn/aResigned
8267Joe Biden (S)Democratic Party36 years, 12 days36 years, 12 daysElected Vice President
8368John Murtha (H)Democratic Party36 years, 3 days36 years, 3 daysDied
8469Henry L. Dawes (H,S)Republican Party36 years, 0 days36 years, 0 daysRetired
8570Felix Edward Hébert (H)Democratic Party36 years, 0 days36 years, 0 daysRetired
8671Edward Boland (H)Democratic Party36 years, 0 days36 years, 0 daysRetired
8772William Broomfield (H)Republican Party36 years, 0 days36 years, 0 daysRetired
8873Dan Rostenkowski (H)Democratic Party36 years, 0 days36 years, 0 daysDefeated
8974Neal Edward Smith (H)Democratic Party36 years, 0 days36 years, 0 daysDefeated
9075Claiborne Pell (S)Democratic Party36 years, 0 days36 years, 0 daysRetired
9176Joseph M. McDade (H)Republican Party36 years, 0 days36 years, 0 daysRetired
9277Paul Sarbanes (H,S)Democratic Party36 years, 0 days36 years, 0 daysRetired
9378Pete Domenici (S)Republican Party36 years, 0 days36 years, 0 daysRetired
9479Ralph Regula (H)Republican Party36 years, 0 days36 years, 0 daysRetired
9580Christopher Dodd (H,S)Democratic Party36 years, 0 days36 years, 0 daysRetired
9681Jim Oberstar (H)Democratic Party36 years, 0 days36 years, 0 daysDefeated
9782Richard Lugar (S)Republican Party36 years, 0 days36 years, 0 daysLost renomination
9883Daniel Akaka (H,S)Democratic Party36 years, 0 days36 years, 0 daysRetired
9984Norm Dicks (H)Democratic Party36 years, 0 days36 years, 0 daysRetired
10085Dale Kildee (H)Democratic Party36 years, 0 days36 years, 0 daysRetired
101-Shelby Moore Cullom (H,S,I)Republican Party36 years, 0 daysn/aRetired
102-Henry Allen Cooper (H,I)Republican Party36 years, 0 daysn/aDefeated & Died

(Table via Wikipedia)

(Featured image by Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy )

References   [ + ]

83 Percent of Whites are Not Killed by Other Whites

White MurderI have been seeing a lot of people quoting the statistic that 83 percent of whites are killed by other whites; a response to many conservatives pointing out that 91 percent of blacks are killed by blacks. Well, I am here to tell you that this “white on white” statistic is not exactly correct.

Many on the internet are disseminating like parrots outdated 2011 FBI statistics. Probably one of the most ridiculous is Matthew Yglesias over on Vox, who was too lazy to look up the information or even to update the preamble to the statistic — “2011, the most recent year for which data is available” — which most likely originated with James Robbins’ Rare article in 2013. The Vox article is from August of this year, for which 2012 data was the most recent available.

He goes on to also say in a pull quote: “There are many countries where white people murder each other at a much lower rate than you see here in the United States.” And cites the United Kingdom as one such country, yet doesn’t include a single reference. I did not waste time hunting down white-on-white murder rates for all the countries; but I was quickly able to find it for England and Wales.[1]Ministry of Justice. Statistics on Race and the Criminal Justice System 2012. National Statistics Gov.uk. https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/statistics-on-race-and-the-criminal-justice-system-2012 These two make up 89 percent of the population for the United Kingdom in 2011.[2]Office for National Statistics. Census Data. 2011. http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/guide-method/census/2011/census-data/index.html

Homicides by Race for England and Wales (2011)

White OffenderBlack Offender
White Victim89.7%5.9%
Black Victim16%74.4%

Last I checked, 83 was still less 89.7 percent.

Considering that Scotland and Northern Ireland have an even higher percentage of whites, I am confident that including them would not significantly change the white-on-white statistic below what is found in the United States. It seems that Mr.  Yglesias simply likes to make up other statistics that fit his bias and attempt to pass them off as fact.

Back to the United States. The reason I say that the 83 percent white-on-white homicide rate is not true is because pre-2013 FBI crime statistics did not separate Caucasian whites from Hispanics. While it is true that both Caucasian-on-Caucasian and Hispanic-on-Hispanic murder rates were 82.9 percent in 2011, some U.S. Hispanic  populations are disproportionately violent.[3]Centraltendencies. Racial Composition of America’s Safest and Most Dangerous Cities. May 27, 2008. http://centraltendencies.com/2008/05/racial-composition-of-dangerous-cities/ That means the actual rate for Caucasians should be lower.

Starting 2013, the FBI began tracking ethnicity in its yearly crime reports.[4]Fox News Latino. FBI To Categorize ‘Latinos’ In Crime Statistics. June 28, 2013. http://latino.foxnews.com/latino/news/2013/06/28/fbi-to-categorize-latinos-in-crime-statistics/ After pulling identified Hispanics out of homicide data for whites, the numbers changed a bit.

Homicides by Race for United States (2013)

White OffenderBlack Offender
White Victim81.8%16.9%
Black Victim4.5%90.1%

Of the 3,005 white race homicide victims for 2013, 588 were known to be Hispanic. And of the 3,005 offenders for white victims, 532 were known to be Hispanic. Subtracting known Hispanic victims and offenders from white totals makes the number of white victims 2,417, and offenders 1,977. Including what we know of the ethnicity of victims and offenders, it decreases the rate of white-on-white homicides from 83.5 to 81.8 percent for 2013 — a 2 percent difference. If that 2 percent was also true for 2011, then white-on-white murders would have been 81 percent rounded.

Additionally, it is important to note 57 percent of the victims’ and 51 percent of the offenders’ ethnicity is not known. Further identification of ethnicity almost certainly would have a more downward effect on the Caucasian white-on-white rate.[5]Crime in the United States 2013. Expanded Homicide Data Table 6 — Race, Ethnicity, and Sex of Victim by Race, Ethnicity, and Sex of Offender, 2013. FBI Uniform Crime Reports. http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/crime-in-the-u.s/2013/crime-in-the-u.s.-2013/offenses-known-to-law-enforcement/expanded-homicide/expanded_homicide_data_table_6_murder_race_and_sex_of_vicitm_by_race_and_sex_of_offender_2013.xls

The black-on-black homicide rate decreased by 0.75 percent from 2011 to 2013.

Still, these numbers complicate the issue too much for me as they do not account for population proportions. I think the most revealing and significant statistic for black vs. white homicides is that blacks committed murders at 6 times the rate of whites and Hispanics aged 5+ for 2013.[6]U.S. Census. National Characteristics: Vintage 2013. 2013. http://www.census.gov/popest/data/national/asrh/2013/index.html[7]Crime in the United States 2013. Expanded Homicide Data Table 6 — Race, Ethnicity, and Sex of Victim by Race, Ethnicity, and Sex of Offender, 2013. FBI Uniform Crime Reports. http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/crime-in-the-u.s/2013/crime-in-the-u.s.-2013/offenses-known-to-law-enforcement/expanded-homicide/expanded_homicide_data_table_6_murder_race_and_sex_of_vicitm_by_race_and_sex_of_offender_2013.xls That is alarming.

References   [ + ]

How to Fix Double Clicking Razer Naga Mouse (with pictures)

Razer Naga Epic

Are you having problems with your Razer mouse double clicking on single clicks and multiple double clicks? (Or any mouse for that matter?) Happened to me after about a year and a half worth of use. It is a fairly common problem with some pretty easy fixes that will extend … [Continue reading]

Voter Suppression in Mississippi: A 2014 Fantasia

Blacks protest right to vote outside White House in 1965

There have been a lot of Chicken Littles running around screaming about voter identification leading to disfranchisement and outright suppression. Well, the first voter ID election has passed for Mississippi, so is it the Jim Crow era again? Before I get to that, I want … [Continue reading]

Automakers Establish Industry-Wide Privacy Policy, But Where is the NSA Clause?

Obama visiting General Motors

Nineteen automakers have signed a customer privacy agreement and sent it off to the U.S. Federal Trade Commission. They want to assuage us of any fears and underline their commitment to the government that they will protect the personal information their vehicles collect, … [Continue reading]

Flashback: Obama on Executive Orders and Immigration

9803341034_04df9712ec_Undocumented-Leaders-Handcuff

Since the Republicans had their wave, ebbing, blowout, or whatever it is being called, President Obama has doubled down on his threat -- now a promise -- to undertake a significant amount of immigration reform unilaterally by using executive power. Sunday, on Face the … [Continue reading]

Remember Mississippi Forgotten, Cochran Reaps Conservative Support on Election Day

Thad Cochran

What the heck happened to #Remembermississippi!? After all the treachery from the old guard Mississippi GOP. After all the race hustling and outright lies perpetrated in fliers, radio, and robocalling. And after all the hoopla about "making Barbour & Co. think twice … [Continue reading]

There Was a Hidden Face in the Trinity Test Explosion

Trinity-Test-Fireball-25ms-mod

Everyone remember the Trinity test of 1945? The dawn of the atomic age, when the first nuclear device The Gadget was detonated in the deserts of New Mexico. It was identical in design to the bomb that would kill 66,000 and injure 69,000 in Hiroshima just three weeks … [Continue reading]