Re: His Plan to Improve the Economy does not cost Billions

1

I like to think "Aboutus" and "Contactus" are his children.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11- 1-10 8:51 PM
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His Gravity Buoyancy technology might violate first law of thermodynamics just a bit.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11- 1-10 9:05 PM
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upcoming events for the month of February

I would subscribe to this newsletter!


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 11- 1-10 9:25 PM
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2: It actually took me a couple of seconds to realize why they don't work. I was like, "Wait, obviously this doesn't work. Why doesn't it work? Oh, yeah."

(Because it takes that amount of energy to push that amount of water out of the way at the bottom of the column).


Posted by: Epoch | Link to this comment | 11- 1-10 9:56 PM
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He should have signed it Dr. Nacer Ayer.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11- 1-10 10:32 PM
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The "Horse-Power" link! The diagrams!

Cost of a multiplying cogged wheel with this diameter and specifications
$1Dollar
Cost of a matching cogged wheel with a radius of
$2 Dollars
Cost of a metal lever to support the horse
$3 Dollars

Give me a lever and a horse to move it with...


Posted by: persistently visible | Link to this comment | 11- 1-10 10:50 PM
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Oddly unmentioned: The cost of the horse. The assumption seems to be that everyone has one already.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 11- 1-10 10:55 PM
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4: More because this is already a fairly well known source of energy, cf. water towers.


Posted by: Jimmy Pongo | Link to this comment | 11- 1-10 11:00 PM
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Also you have to get the water up there some how. Unless you can manage this.


Posted by: Jimmy Pongo | Link to this comment | 11- 1-10 11:02 PM
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Also, were those diagrams done in MS Paint?


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 11- 1-10 11:06 PM
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Ok, I hadn't clicked trough to the perpetual motion machine before. There should be some web 2.0 way to draw a line across the the equilibrium point of the GravityBuoyPump and cause the quackery to collapse in on itself.

Gravity Buoy should totally be a superhero sidekick of some kind.


Posted by: Jimmy Pongo | Link to this comment | 11- 1-10 11:13 PM
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4 part 2:
Sorry, looking at the diagrams more closely, you're totally right. Except I'm right too, because, before we get to that point, there's nothing to keep water in the side bits and not the center thingie.

Otherwise, ingenious!


Posted by: Jimmy Pongo | Link to this comment | 11- 1-10 11:19 PM
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I think his "Eight Step" was basically the US plan in Iraq:

Eight Step: Install a brand new radio station to create regional Stability. Teach English.
Get airway rights and start broadcasting news to the local people. Once you have energy,
there is not limit to the amount of things you can do with it. Start broadcasting in both
English and the local language as strategic vision to teach English over the radio using
music and local culture. Also start training locals in trades and skills to reconstruct and
provide stability. Gather information using local population to get criminal terrorist and
weapons traffickers out of local markets.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 2:45 AM
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Off to vote. I have tried to find out information on the unenrolled candidate for my county's sheriff, but I can't find it, so it will be incumbent or blank for me.

I think it has to be blank. There are rumors in chat rooms that the current guy totaled a car while high and that his brother is a convicted child molester. Well, I'm not going to vote based on the latter, but the former sounds bad. Still, I can't find out anything about his opponent.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 4:51 AM
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rumors in chat rooms

I wouldn't base any vote off of rumors in chat rooms.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 5:13 AM
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I was going to vote for the apostropher until I read in some chat rooms about the shit that guy has been up to. jesus. even if his penis is only half that long only half of that stuff is true, he is totally unfit for public office.


Posted by: alameida | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 6:06 AM
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High? Pot? The sheriff?
But they did not choose the deputy?


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 6:19 AM
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I was just informed that our governor forced all the buses traveling to Glenn Beck's rally to stop at all the highways' weigh stations on the way there. And with our tax dollars!!


Posted by: Cryptc ned | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 6:21 AM
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Our past sheriff was so bad*, that I might believe chat room rumors about him. Not that we vote for sheriff today.

*Convicted of macing, which is something that I hadn't heard of before that case hit the papers. He would hand out promotions, good vacation time, and shitty jobs based on how much a deputy had contributed to his campaign.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 6:36 AM
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Only the 19th voter in this AM at ~45 minutes. A bit light. Mix is generally about 60/40 Dem Republican at that polling place.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 6:39 AM
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One of the items on the ballot this year was an amendment to the state constitution to bar anybody convicted of a felony from running for or serving as sheriff. I voted against it.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 7:00 AM
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Your sheriffs don't even carry guns.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 7:05 AM
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Certainly not the ones convicted of felonies.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 7:07 AM
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Not even one bullet that they have to keep in their pocket?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 7:10 AM
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Do other places' sheriffs actually do stuff? Our sheriff's office cops seem to mostly stand around the courtroom and then draw straws to see which ones are unlucky enough to have to serve the day's court notices.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 7:12 AM
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21: Hmm, that's an interesting one. I'm not sure how I would vote on that. The amendment has obvious appeal, especially given how easy it is for violent, corrupt assholes to get drawn into law enforcement. OTOH, the measure seems part and parcel of the general draconian attitude toward punishment we have in the US. I can easily see cases where it would wind up barring the most qualified candidate for the job.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 7:14 AM
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The sheriff runs the jail here, which is big business. Also, they lead the search for a man in tights who robs the rich to feed the poor. (We have the most fucked-up food bank ever.)


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 7:14 AM
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27 to 25.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 7:17 AM
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The Patent Office is not persuaded by at 10/747,431. It was abandoned five years ago. All the ones before that are not yet accessible to the public so they could also be abandoned.

That last application is a patent, though: 7,272,934.


Posted by: LizSpigot | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 7:21 AM
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a man in tights who robs the rich to feed the poor

Protip: it's either Russell Crowe, Cary Elwes, Kevin Costner, or a cartoon fox.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 7:22 AM
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I'm not sure how I would vote on that.

My vote mostly came down to the fact that I'd vote for almost any sheriff candidate with a felony drug conviction, just on principle.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 7:23 AM
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32

What about a felony TASERing some random dude that got him fired from a local police force or something?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 7:25 AM
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30: Russell Crowe was just here making some movie that I can't name right now. Pittsburgh is becoming a second class Toronto for the movies.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 7:27 AM
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32: I'd vote for his opponent. I just don't need my candidates pre-screened for me. Any felony ever in his life is way too big of a net.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 7:33 AM
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Or, I suppose, "her". There is currently only 1 female sheriff out of the 100 in NC, though it could possibly be 4 come January.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 7:38 AM
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36

His opponent is an unlicensed dentist from Mt. Airy running on a promise that he'll use tooth extraction to make it so that the Research Triangle doesn't get too smug about having people who can count to 32 with their tongues.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 7:50 AM
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Why do I expect grody grocery store Boo! cake that someone brought in to the coffee stand to taste like anything but grody grocery store Boo! cake?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 7:53 AM
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37: Did it have Boo-berries?


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 7:55 AM
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No booberries. Black and orange frosting, though.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 7:58 AM
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40

In my experience, grocery store cake frosting does not age very quickly and that alarms me at bit.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 7:58 AM
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If Thorn's out there, I'd be interested in her considered response to this.

|>


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 7:58 AM
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35: The guy I thought BG was talking about in 14 turns out to be a chick. Her main credentials seem to be domestic violence prosecutorial expertise and fucking with the ICE. I have seen no chatroom evidence that she was particularly high while driving any cars she may have totalled.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 7:58 AM
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42: Has she totaled many cars? Because I could see that as a plus. "I'm not a careful driver. I'm you."


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 8:00 AM
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44

Two Standpipe posts in one day!? What have we done to deserve this honor?

I wish I had some third party candidates to vote for. They wouldn't even have to be magical Gravity Buoy people, I'd be happy with some greens or socialists or whatnot.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 8:05 AM
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45

Mmm, greens.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 8:06 AM
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46

Mmm, greens.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 8:13 AM
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I have a green candidate for the House and the race isn't seriously contested by the Republican.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 8:15 AM
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I doubt if the Republicans have seriously contested a House race where I am in living memory.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 8:18 AM
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49

Well that was about the simplest ballot-filling-in I've ever done. D, D, D, D, D, D, D, D, D, D, No, No, No.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 8:20 AM
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50

Just like the SAT.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 8:22 AM
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In deference to d-squared's strongly held opinions, I didn't vote for the Democrats. Straight ticket WF, which of course is the same slate of candidates, but not the D column. Of course, that's what I always do, but this year it's all about protesting Gore's warmongering ways.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 8:24 AM
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My big diversion will be to vote for the Dem slate on the Working Families Party ticket. Last time I voted for the Socialist over Schumer because Schumer's (1) kind of a fuckwit and (2) certain to win anyway. I'll probably do that again.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 8:25 AM
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For a while I would vote for 'random anybody but the D' if any were listed on judicial elections as a sort of useless protest against Brooklyn machine's highest bidder policy for judicial nominations.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 8:26 AM
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I got to vote against the guy who had HURT Virginia in the past, according to the television ads, and hasn't Virginia had enough HURT? Yep, we sure can't handle anymore HURT.

So, I bet you can't guess what his last name was.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 8:35 AM
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55

What's the Unfogged consensus on voting in a place where you no longer live? I'm not talking about voting in two districts, of course, I know that's a no-no. Rather, suppose someone moved from a battleground state to a solidly red or blue state a month before the election. If they chose not to register in the new place until later and just voted by mail in the old place, would that be OK?

The details of that don't exactly match my current situation, but it's close enough. And if someone actually says that one thing or another is flat illegal it's not too late for me to change my plans accordingly.


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 8:46 AM
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If they chose not to register in the new place until later and just voted by mail in the old place, would that be OK?

Only if you use a #2 pencil.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 8:55 AM
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57

Flat illegal is hard to determine on this front. If you meant to return to your old residence (say, you're a college student, or in the military, or in long term travel for work), it'd be fine to vote absentee in your old state forever: if you mean to return there, that's your state of residence. But if your intent is to really have moved to the new state, and you're only voting absentee strategically, that's against the spirit of the relevant laws. On the third hand, its illegality can't be objectively determined without reading your mind.

So, it's really up to you.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 8:58 AM
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55. In the light of 57, go for it. High time somebody got their principles wet. Politics can be a bit dirty sometimes - live with it.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 9:00 AM
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59

Gravity Buoy should totally be a superhero sidekick of some kind.

Gravity Booty should totally be what astronauts plan to have when they return to Earth.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 9:02 AM
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60

If you meant to return to your old residence (say, you're a college student, or in the military, or in long term travel for work)...

Would that require having a residence to go back to? I mean, if you've moved out and no longer have any way to get mail back at the old state, would that be different than if the old state was where you had parents or something? I faced a similar situation in 2000 as I left Ohio three months before the election and moved to a much less contested state. As I had time to register in my new state, I didn't vote in Ohio even thought I had the ballot to mail.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 9:04 AM
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57: What if your move was sufficient to change your polling place but not sufficient to change your congressional district? I told someone recently that I thought it was technically illegal, since they do ask you to confirm your address when you vote, and you're giving them the old information. But I was speaking ex recto.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 9:07 AM
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I didn't vote in Ohio

So Bush's election* was your fault.

*For certain values of "election."


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 9:07 AM
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Gravity Booty should totally be what astronauts plan to have when they return to Earth.

I remember some SF book I read as a kid had a female protagonist who kept saying, "Zero G is better than a bra."


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 9:08 AM
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62: How would a Ralph Nader voter in Ohio have stopped Bush?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 9:09 AM
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60: You don't need to have a specific address to return to (although I admit I'm not sure how that works for races where locality within the state matters -- my guess is different states handle it differently). Career military can spend twenty years voting in a state they haven't been back to since they joined up.

61: In NYS, I think you tell them and they give you a paper ballot (or, whatever you call it now that all the ballots are paper). It gets counted, but you can't just vote normally.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 9:12 AM
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re: 59

That should totally be a George Clinton produced electro album.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 9:14 AM
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What's the Unfogged consensus on voting in a place where you no longer live?

Oh, FFS. Go for it. Jay-walking is illegal, as is going above the speed limit, but I trust none of us think this is a genuine reason to go precisely 65 on the interstate.

I agree that election laws are a matter of legitimate prima facie concern, because they potentially involve you imposing your political will on your fellow citizens, but once we fill in a bit of context it's immediately apparent how flimsy this characterization is. To wit: this obviously isn't a matter of you violating a set of norms that establishes a reasonably egalitarian distribution of political authority (such as the Trapnel Quasi-Athenian Random-Lot System!). What it is, instead, is you seizing a barely-imperceptible quantum more of political power than the order-of-magnitude-less-perceptible quantum the spirit of the law would allow you to have.

Being concerned about this, on democratic grounds, is like being worried that your trenchant comments on Unfogged are overly persuasive and hence represent an impermissibly inegalitarian arrogation of power.

I end as I began: oh, for fuck's sake.


Posted by: x. trapnel | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 9:17 AM
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65.1: Isn't the military a special case, along with civilians workers who go abroad for government work?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 9:17 AM
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69

This year I voted for the Green senatorial candidate in deference to dsquared because the D is a fruitcake and the R is an evil block of wood.

Also, by this time tomorrow, South Carolina is likely to have elected as governor a second-rate Sarah Palin who wants to out-source all the schools and universities to corporate sponsors and "faith-based organizations." I console myself with the fact that a significant fraction of the Lege dislikes her already and with a belief that she's high-handed enough to make the rest of them hate her before too long.


Posted by: Populuxe | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 9:24 AM
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68: There may be (probably are) some special procedures for the military, but the basic principle that you live (and can vote) in the state you plan to return to, regardless of how long you've been away, applies to everyone. (I'm 95% sure. I haven't looked this stuff up this year, but I'm pretty solid on it.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 9:25 AM
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a second-rate Sarah Palin

Haley believes a bunch of (standard deep south) crazy shit, but every time I've seen her in front of a camera, she comes off as easily several times smarter than Sarah Palin (ie, she's capable of answering questions off the cuff without resorting to word salad).


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 9:32 AM
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OT, posting the Negresses Vertes clip above got me on a French eighties pop youtube/wiki spree. On it I saw that Serge Gainsbourg called Catherine Ringer of Les Rita Mitsouko a slut and a pervert because she'd done some porn in her youth, including fetish porn. Quite apart from the ugliness, I'd think Gainsbourg calling anybody a slut or a pervert is a bit rich.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 9:32 AM
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barely-perceptible, rather. Whevs.

The question, as always, is whether there's something special about the law that justifies treating it as a shutting-down-debate reason for doing X or Y, rather than something that merely structures the options and consequences available to you. Election laws are one domain (along with getting on juries in cases where the laws are unjust) where getting this distinction right has particular importance, because when those who would otherwise do the right thing acquiesce in their own legal disenfranchisement, it's likely to lead to even greater distortion of the legal end-product.

You're clearly not in the realm of 'any chance of getting arrested for it,' so self-regarding reasons don't cut much ice here. So the question is whether our electoral laws are really so worthy of respect that a deviation of this sort, in spite of its otherwise contributing to Goodness, does so by impermissibly taking more than your fair share of power.

I don't think you need to be McManus to see any such claim as transparently ideological--in the old-fashioned, hiding-the-way-things-really-are sense--bullshit.


Posted by: x. trapnel | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 9:32 AM
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74

Here's a federal FAQ on voting for citizens living overseas. It looks as if the specific locality of where you're allowed to vote is determined by your last address. Which makes sense, I can't think of how else you could do it.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 9:33 AM
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75

I can't think of how else you could do it.

Take over the relevant foreign territories and make them states?


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 9:37 AM
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76

I can't think of how else you could do it.

The Brits for some reason won't allow me to vote in their elections. I'm a citizen and all, but I've never lived there. I'm not sure about whether my mom, who spent the first two years of her life in Scotland, can vote in either Brit or Scottish elections.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 9:42 AM
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74: But just moving to another state would be a different issue for somebody who wasn't in the military or a student?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 9:44 AM
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I can't think of how else you could do it.

Create a number of House seats for expats? How many expats (exc. the forces) are registered to vote?


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 9:46 AM
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77: No, I think it's exactly the same -- you can vote at your old address as long as you like, no matter why you're not living there, so long as you think of your old state as home and plan to return.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 9:48 AM
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re: 76

You can vote, there's a registration process for ex-pat British citizens who wish to vote by postal ballot.

I was surprised to find out recently that my Indian work colleagues* can vote in UK parliamentary elections. It's quite nice that some of the Commonwealth rights remain and aren't entirely vestigial.

* Indian citizens, not British people of Indian descent.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 9:50 AM
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I wonder how many NYS residents will have neglected to flip over their ballots to vote on the propositions. (My votes: No to term limits, yes to the goo-goo reforms.)


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 9:54 AM
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I was told I can't because since I've never lived there I don't have any constituency to vote in.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 9:54 AM
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How would a Ralph Nader voter in Ohio have stopped Bush?

I guess you're right. No matter how you look at it, it was your fault. (As I mentioned before, in 2000 I brokered a Nader trade between an Ohio voter and my sister in D.C.)


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 9:56 AM
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she's capable of answering questions off the cuff without resorting to word salad

She's capable of producing intelligible sentences, I'll give her that, even if they are mostly talking point mad-libs. But her performance during the gubernatorial debates made me wonder if she's capable of answering questions off the cuff for very long. Not that it mattered! Her numbers went up! Haley isn't the attention-whore that Palin is, either, and that goes a long way to making her seem less of an imbecile.


Posted by: Populuxe | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 9:57 AM
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I'm not sure about whether my mom, who spent the first two years of her life in Scotland, can vote in either Brit or Scottish elections.

Not Scottish elections: you have to be resident in Scotland to vote in a Scottish election, unless you're normally resident in Scotland but overseas with the armed forces at the time of the election.

I was surprised to find out recently that my Indian work colleagues* can vote in UK parliamentary elections. It's quite nice that some of the Commonwealth rights remain and aren't entirely vestigial.

Yes, Commonwealth and Irish citizens are entitled to vote in British elections. The reverse isn't true; you have to be a Canadian citizen to vote in Canada, for example. Commonwealth and Irish citizens are also eligible to serve in the British armed forces, and quite a lot of them do.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 10:09 AM
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Do other places' sheriffs actually do stuff?

Sheriffs in New Mexico do a lot, because they're the main law enforcement authority in the unincorporated parts of the state (i.e., the vast majority of the land area, containing a small percentage of the population). I have no idea what sheriffs do in New Jersey, which has no unincorporated land, but we apparently have them.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 10:20 AM
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I wish I had some third party candidates to vote for. They wouldn't even have to be magical Gravity Buoy people, I'd be happy with some greens or socialists or whatnot.

Huh, there are two minor-party candidates in the Congressional race here, one of whom is from the "Green Tea Patriots." Also, since there are apparently no Republicans in Highland Park, the opposition party in the municipal races is the "Highland Park Independents," who, based on their campaign literature, seem to basically be Republicans.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 10:23 AM
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I wish I could maintain Zenlike detachment, but I'm wavering today between hoping that all the polls are wrong and wishing that all the nutcases would be elected so that we could experience the McManusite dystopia. Drink o'clock will come early, I think.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 10:26 AM
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Sheriffs in New Mexico do a lot, because they're the main law enforcement authority in the unincorporated parts of the state

Same here in sunny SoCal. Orange County recently had a big sheriff scandal


Posted by: Tasseled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 10:32 AM
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67
Oh, FFS. Go for it. Jay-walking is illegal, as is going above the speed limit, but I trust none of us think this is a genuine reason to go precisely 65 on the interstate.

Heh, fair enough, don't worry. I was planning on doing it before I asked and nothing I've seen here has dissuaded me. I asked only to (a) make sure I wasn't stepping on the toes of the Unfogged hive mind somehow, and (b) double- or triple-check the "clearly not in the realm of 'any chance of getting arrested for it,'" part. (Yes, it's obviously unlikely from the start, but like I said, "double- or triple-check".)

Not like it matters anyway. Neither place has state or national elections that are strongly contested, as far as I know, and I haven't followed local politics too closely in either place. The election I've followed most closely this cycle is for a district 2,700 miles away from anywhere I've ever lived and that's because my girlfriend's job depends on it.


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 10:47 AM
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90: I stayed registered in your home state for several years, mostly so I could keep voting for Bernie Sanders.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 10:50 AM
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91: I tried to register in Baltimore so I could write in "Deion Sanders", because I felt bad that his NFL days were numbered.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 10:58 AM
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I tried to register in Kentucky so I would write it Colonel Sanders.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 11:01 AM
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s/b "could write in" but probably should have just left the whole thing alone.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 11:02 AM
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91: On the other hand, 2008 was the first time Virginia voted for a Democrat for president in over 40 years. Voting for Obama in a battleground state, especially one with a history like that, seemed like sufficient reason to stop voting in Vermont.


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 11:06 AM
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I tried to register in Bobsville, so I could write in Belt Sanders.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 11:12 AM
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But it turns out that isn't even a real place. I wonder what else TV has lied to me about.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 11:13 AM
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I asked only to (a) make sure I wasn't stepping on the toes of the Unfogged hive mind somehow

I should add that arguments structurally similar to those that debunk legal authority can be used to deflate any claims made about the authority of the Unfogged hivemind.


Posted by: x. trapnel | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 11:21 AM
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the toes of the Unfogged hive mind

I'm squicked out by minds that have toes.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 11:26 AM
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87 Huh, there are two minor-party candidates in the Congressional race here, one of whom is from the "Green Tea Patriots."

There actually was one minor-party Congressional candidate here, for the "Truth Vision Hope" party. His bold new idea is a 4-day, 40-hour work week.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 11:31 AM
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4-day, 40-hour work week
He has my vote.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 11:35 AM
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Apparently, the congressional district next door has a third-party challenger from something called the Modern Whig Party.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 12:27 PM
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Modern Whig Party

Get's my vote, honey


Posted by: RuPaul | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 12:40 PM
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I wonder how many NYS residents will have neglected to flip over their ballots to vote on the propositions.

When I voted at 8:30 am the poll workers were already asking people "hey, did you flip over the form to vote on the propositions?" Holy crappy design, though.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 12:41 PM
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104: When it comes to ballot design, you can't really make the definitive cock-up unless you do worse than Palm Beach, so you don't have the kind of "stay out of the news" motivation that keeps the usual bureaucratic pointless error in check.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 12:44 PM
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Holy crappy design, though.


Don't look at me, I didn't do it. Why does everyone keep looking at me?


Posted by: Palm Beach County Registrar of Voters | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 12:47 PM
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And pwned, the shame of it!


Posted by: Palm Beach County Registrar of Voters | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 12:49 PM
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Mara and I have our I Voted stickers on. I'm hoping the magic wand she brought will defeat Rand Paul. She certainly charmed all the little old ladies at the sign-in table.

41: I do, obviously, think transracial adoptions can work. I think it takesmeaningful work, thought, preparation, and commitment on the part of the parents involved. In the US, adoptive placements from foster care are supposed to be made without explicit regard to race-matching, though cultural issues can be considered. (And this is totally different for kids with any tribal affiliation, in which case the tribe can make decisions even if they overrule the birthparents' choices in placing a child for adoption.) My understanding of the status quo in the UK is that race-matching is still the norm. The drawback to that is that if minority kids are overrepresented in care (here, largely for reasons related to poverty and to institutionalized racism) there may not be enough matching families to make the matches possible. In the US, though, the largest demographic group adopting from foster care is older black women, so while there's a pereception in some circles that blacks don't adopt, reality doesn't reflect that.

I think if I'd been a single white woman when Mara arrived, I'm involved enough in progressive causes that I'd have thought through how to deal with questions about racism, etc. and she'd be getting basically the same level of care, though I'm incredibly grateful that I'm not a single parent of a toddler. However, despite how much she loves snuggling with me and chose me as the person to hold her during lunch and so on, seeing the way she's held Lee's hand in hers and nuzzled against Lee's hair makes it very obvious how much she values having someone who looks like her. If she does get to stay with us, I think being part of the majority race in her household will give her some meaningful experiences that no amount of enrichment could have given her. That doesn't mean I think a same-race match was the only appropriate option for her, but it does help in some ways. Everything about these placements is a balancing act.

Hope that helps! It only took me 45 minutes or something to type in between sopping up spilled water and singing along with nonsense songs and helping with climbing and sock removal and so on....


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 12:53 PM
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108 is awesome and sweet.


Posted by: donaquixote | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 1:21 PM
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I tried to comment earlier. I didn't vote on the basis of the rumor, but I couldn't get any info, so I left it blank. I assume that the incumbent will win.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 1:43 PM
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According to Matt Drudge-wannabe Will Folkes, warrants were issued this afternoon for the arrest of Robert Cahaly, campaign manager for Ken Ard, the SC Republican candidate for Lt. Governor, on charges of making illegal robo-calls. This follows an early morning arrest of his son on DUI charges.

And the dude will probably still win.


Posted by: Populuxe | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 1:45 PM
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109 is correct!

Especially awesome that little Mara was able to vote. Conway needs all the help he can get!


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 1:46 PM
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According to Matt Drudge-wannabe Will Folkes

Does he have a hat? (Legal robo-calls bug me. I don't want to consider how annoyed someone would be if the calls got to the point of illegality.)


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 1:48 PM
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113 was me.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 1:49 PM
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We've had some false flag calling. No arrests yet.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 2:00 PM
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Legal robo-calls bug me.

SC state law prohibits robo-calling except (more or less) in pursuit of a debt. Last year, a GOP caller was busted for robo-calling and traded jail for PTI. We'll see, I guess, if this guy skates or not.

Does he have a hat?

No, and he likes teh ladies (he claims to have hiked the Appalachian trail with probably-Governor-to-be Haley. And then they quarreled. And now they just glare at each other from across the room). And his headlines are a little less eye-bleedingly awful. Let's say he's The National Enquirer to Drudge's Weekly World News.


Posted by: Populuxe | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 2:22 PM
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Sheriffs in New Mexico do a lot, because they're the main law enforcement authority in the unincorporated parts of the state (i.e., the vast majority of the land area, containing a small percentage of the population). I have no idea what sheriffs do in New Jersey, which has no unincorporated land, but we apparently have them.

David Herbert Donald identified this as one of the signal differences between the political cultures of the "Shadow Nations" of North and South before the Civil War. North of Maryland, the town/township government was the principal point of contact between the citizen and the political system, counties were meaningless administrative units, and sheriffs were there to serve supoenas.

In the South, counties were (and still are, in many places) the fundamental particle of political order, and the sheriff is a position of considerable authority and prestige.


Posted by: KR | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 2:23 PM
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traded jail for PTI

Palomar Testbed Interferometer?


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 2:36 PM
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In the South, counties were (and still are, in many places) the fundamental particle of political order, and the sheriff is a position of considerable authority and prestige.

I gather that, for these purposes, Maryland counts as the South. One of the most difficult things for me to wrap my head around, having moved here from New England, is the County-centrism of politics. I've grasped by now, of course, that the County Executive is an extremely important position; and indeed there's a great deal of politicking around it, and to a slightly lesser extent, to the makeup of the County Council.

I can't say I can make heads or tails of the various funding and borrowing questions we're asked to vote on. Shall we borrow x amount for community colleges? Sure! For water treatment facility upgrades? Sure, I imagine we need that! For parks and recreation revamping? Well, I guess, I don't know, what do you mean? But probably. For these five other things?

There's remarkably little public discussion and local media coverage of such things given that the County-level is where it's at.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 2:42 PM
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I take it there is no critical mass for a poll watching drown your sorrows meetup in NY?


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 2:47 PM
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I can't make it, but Jackmormon sounded interested, so that'd be at least two. Is there really a necessary critical mass larger than that?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 2:52 PM
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Los Angeles County has approximately 100,000 employees and an approximately $20 billion annual budget, bigger than most states and than many countries. Yet you'd be hard pressed to find (well, outside of this blog) many local residents who can name the members of the board of supervisors.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 2:52 PM
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Is there really a necessary critical mass larger than that?

They need a chaperone, at minimum.


Posted by: KR | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 2:57 PM
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122. Let's see, there's Zev, the guy who is afraid to run for mayor, Gloria, the formerly cute chick who got fat, Mark, the guy who won't let the NFL come to LA, Don, who I don't have anything to say about and Mike who's name is one everything around here.

Representative government at its finest.


Posted by: Tasseled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 2:58 PM
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42: Not in Middlesex County.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 3:06 PM
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||
A cocktail for the Blume-Sifu anniversary party: made with bacon-infused bourbon!

(H/T Balloon Juice)

|>


Posted by: KR | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 3:07 PM
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125: Is that where Middles come from?


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 3:08 PM
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In the South, counties were (and still are, in many places) the fundamental particle of political order, and the sheriff is a position of considerable authority and prestige.

In metropolitan areas in the South, you have the absurdity of a city police department, plus a county sheriff's department with overlapping jurisdictions. This leads to fun and hijinks when the chief of police (a professional law enforcement official) and the sheriff (a politician) don't see eye-to-eye on enforcement priorities.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 3:14 PM
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David Herbert Donald identified this as one of the signal differences between the political cultures of the "Shadow Nations" of North and South before the Civil War. North of Maryland, the town/township government was the principal point of contact between the citizen and the political system, counties were meaningless administrative units, and sheriffs were there to serve supoenas.

In the South, counties were (and still are, in many places) the fundamental particle of political order, and the sheriff is a position of considerable authority and prestige.

It's a really striking difference, and it corresponds to various other differences in settlement patterns which, despite later developments in the direction of a urban/rural divide, were much more complicated in the antebellum period when both areas were overwhelmingly rural.

It's also interesting to see the way both systems were extended west. The Northern township-based system became standard in the Midwest and at least as far west as the Plains states. (I don't know if it extended any further into the Rockies or the PNW, but I don't think so.) The Southern county-based system became standard in the Southwest, which despite its geographical position was actually not all that influenced by the South in other ways. This may have been due mostly to functional considerations; population density was so low that setting up lots of units of local government in rural areas would have been kind of pointless.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 3:24 PM
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I don't think the Dakotas have townships like in the east. Or Kansas or Nebraska. I know we don't.

Actually, I'd be a little surprised if Illinois has it. That strikes me as pretty county-centric. But I'm not a scholar of Illinois local government.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 3:53 PM
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129.last: Where I was (plains state), the county was a far bigger deal the the township. Actual towns were a big deal, but the township wasn't the same thing or an important thing.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 3:55 PM
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Pwned. I was in Nebraska.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 3:56 PM
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In Illinois they have names at least. Here the townships are just cadastral units.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 4:02 PM
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I see that I live in 13N18W.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 4:05 PM
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13N19W. Shit.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 4:05 PM
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I considered asking if you had them up there, Charley. I think they're purely surveying units throughout the West, but I'm not sure where that starts. I'm pretty sure Kansas has named ones, and Moby seems to be saying that Nebraska does too; not sure about the Dakotas.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 4:10 PM
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Our townships had names, but they were just 36 square mile (or something) units on a grid plotted before white settlement. Very different from PA where some townships are basically towns the are sprawled a bit.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 4:14 PM
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Some googling reveals that the Plains states do have named ("civil") townships, which may or may not correspond to cadastral townships, but not every county in each state is divided into civil townships.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 4:28 PM
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Which makes them clearly transitional between the Midwest and West, which makes sense geographically and historically.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 4:29 PM
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North of Maryland, the town/township government was the principal point of contact between the citizen and the political system, counties were meaningless administrative units, and sheriffs were there to serve supoenas

And then there's Switzerland where the communes have veto power over naturalizations.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 4:30 PM
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The West starts from 20 to 80 miles west of US 281.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 4:31 PM
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That sounds about right.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 4:47 PM
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126: I made that bacon-infused bourbon. I think the recipe is a red herring designed to keep anyone else from making decent bacon bourbon; the fat separates immediately and very little flavor gets into the bourbon. I suspect - and next time I'll find out - that the cooked bacon needs to be in there as well to get a good flavor.


Posted by: Nathan Williams | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 4:50 PM
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||
The news that Rand Paul has won in KY is all it took for me to know that I don't have the stomach for following the returns tonight.
|>


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 5:00 PM
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144: Yep. I was like, "He's got a checkmark next to his already? What?"


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 5:01 PM
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which may or may not correspond to cadastral townships

I'm really digging "cadastral".


Posted by: Standpipe Bridgeplate | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 5:08 PM
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At least mcmanus will be happy. I can take comfort in that.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 5:09 PM
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I have bourbon and a recliner that I take comfort in.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 5:13 PM
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147: It's true. The teabaggers will stop hating gay folks and black folks and work to heavily regulate the banking system. We can all take comfort in that, I think.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 5:14 PM
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James Carville looks like evil Michael Stipe.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 5:14 PM
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Did you know "recliner" is almost a palindrome?

I confess I have begun the taking-comfort-in process.


Posted by: Standpipe Bridgeplate | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 5:15 PM
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This isn't really a special process so much as what I do when the boy goes to sleep early.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 5:18 PM
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Cadastral per aspera?


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 5:21 PM
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I'm really digging "cadastral".

Have you considered a career as a surveyor?


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 5:23 PM
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We are drowning our sorrows in Janelle Monae and picture books. Still, fuck!


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 5:24 PM
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If I were really tardy, I'd still have enough time to vote.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 5:25 PM
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Or an assessor?


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 5:26 PM
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I'm kind of wanting to go through Facebook and purge the "friends" who voted for Rand Paul, but that would be too much effort. Plus it would be kind of depressing.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 5:26 PM
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I'm drinking a mediocre white while slowly putting together a meal of good quality roast chicken with a mustard sauce on a basis of a red wine/meat broth/garlic/shallot/minced innards reduction. I figure the combo should work as proper sedation.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 5:27 PM
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Bow before me, puny mortals! My minions will soon control the levers of government, and all shall worship me and despair!


Posted by: Aqua Buddha | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 5:30 PM
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And time for another swig: OH-Sen Rob Portman 0% Lee Fisher 0%, Rob Portman is declared the winner.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 5:30 PM
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One of these days, Mark Shields' wattle is going to reach out and strangle David Brooks.


Posted by: Standpipe Bridgeplate | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 5:31 PM
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158: What? You don't want to get all the news from (sorta) libertarian paradise? I can't wait til he votes in support of war on Iran/Syria/Yemen/Saudi Arabia/Mars.

I committed my vote in the only race to the guy who was running against my incumbent red (!) congressman. This will have no effect other than my getting a 'I voted' sticker.

max
['Ugh.']


Posted by: max | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 5:32 PM
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162: Or maybe stretch out over his face and suffocate him like a cowl of death.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 5:34 PM
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Earlier today I talked to a Briton who is in favor of the British government's sweeping spending cuts. "At least they're still funding science," he said, "and our welfare state is really too large." "Asshole," I didn't say, but wanted to.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 5:39 PM
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No non-witches from DE in the Senate.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 5:40 PM
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155: I hear that Rand Paul is good on electrodagger rights, if bad on cyborg marriage.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 5:42 PM
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163: PA never gives me a sticker.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 5:52 PM
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Returns, shmeturns. Thorn got to vote with Mara today! And bask in the glow of Mara snuggling with Lee. Life is good.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 6:00 PM
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Some very special stupidity from a Facebook "friend":

While I'm sure intentions are good, some of the "voting righteousness" that I'm seeing here is troubling. Statements like "I voted. Did you?" are just reinforcing a problematic paradigm: the dualistic, us vs. them, "good" vs. "bad," Democrat vs. Rebublican (and on and on) model. I'm absolutely NOT saying "Don't Vote." But I am suggesting that we can commit to "doing our part" without promoting a "me vs. you" stance.

In comments, she's followed up with:

I've been seeing a lot of non-voters here on FB whom I fear are being passively "bullied" by some of this rhetoric. At the end of the day, there are a million ways to "serve" and to put one's energy and intentions out into the world-- voting isn't for everyone! While I deeply respect that, I'm troubled by all of these "liberals" who are only open to their notions of how change must come about. To be honest, I think the most important thing anyone can do in this world is to wake up-- to look at their "stuff" honestly, to own the shadow, and to grow into a more loving, compassionate human being. Pulling a lever doesn't require any kind of enlightened state. Why does voting get so much more "press"??

I am taking far too much pleasure in being kind of an asshole about it.


Posted by: emdash | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 6:09 PM
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Rand Paul is probably still an improvement over Jim Bunning, though.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 6:09 PM
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Let's play make me a drink! (At first typed that as "drunk".)
I have:
Tequilla (Cuervo gold)
Gin (Bombay Sapphire)
Vodka (Stoli)
Sour mix
triple sec
dry vermouth (bottle big enough to last ~500 years)
Jack Daniels
Knob creek whiskey
Bacardi white rum
Peach schnapps
Not much in the way of mixers, although I have limes & olives

Extra points for customizing it to the election results (eg, Margarita if Sharon Angle wins)


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 6:09 PM
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170: Own that shadow, emdash.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 6:11 PM
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144, 147: What's creepy is the extent to which that was my train of thought as well.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 6:12 PM
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Oh my earlier comment didn't post. I voted yes on question 4 (local to my town) to allow the Board of Selectmen to authorize up to 3 liquor stores. Right now we only have beer and wine stores. Until recently we were a dry town.

Didn't bother with the one about getting a rep to vote on a non-binding resolution about some sort of foreign policy.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 6:14 PM
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In deference to d-squared's strongly held opinions

You know, I checked back to see if he answered my -- very straightforward, I thought -- objection, and as far as I can tell he ignored it completely. Irksome.

69: I vaguely recall that race as allowing for an easy check-off of principles: Is sexist criticism still wrong when against a distasteful candidate? Yup! Does this person deserved to be voted for because she was treated unfairly? Heck no!

The Brits for some reason won't allow me to vote in their elections.

Oh yikes, this is somehow reminding me that the other day I stumbled upon a particularly ugly anti-immigrant video purporting to show "illegal" Brazilians voting in Brazil's elections in MA. It takes a really hateful mindset to decide that videotaping people lawfully voting in the elections of their lawful country and then posting it on the Internet with awful comments is a good use of your time.

the poll workers were already asking people "hey, did you flip over the form to vote on the propositions?"

Mine was saying, "Choose carefully and press firmly!" And there was a sign that said in yellow highlighting not to forget to press your "Cast Vote" button. I have to say, I really miss the huge mechanical lever of my youth. So much more reassuring (and yes, I know that's baloney).

117: David Herbert Donald identified this as one of the signal differences between the political cultures of the "Shadow Nations" of North and South before the Civil War.

That's fascinating. And another point in favor of (some parts of) Central PA as the South.

To teo's point, my experience with WA state is that it seems extremely county-based, but not entirely in that Southern way, at least in the western half of the state.

Los Angeles County has approximately 100,000 employees and an approximately $20 billion annual budget

Boy, would I have gotten that wrong. Like, an order of magnitude wrong.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 6:16 PM
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voting isn't for everyone!

Brilliant.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 6:17 PM
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I've been seeing a lot of non-voters here on FB whom I fear are being....

I feel like I've been seeing this error twice an hour for months.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 6:19 PM
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170: I am not a fun friend at election time, it's true, but my response to something like that would be something like, "Yeah, when I think about the American women who were jailed and beaten and force-fed during hunger strikes to be allowed the vote, I do get a little righteous about why people should show up at the polls."


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 6:20 PM
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172: you're not giving us much to work with. You're very close to being able to make a Long Island Iced Tea, very appropriate to Carl Paladino's approaching, well-lubricated defeat.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 6:20 PM
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Oh, hot damn. Manchin & Blumenthal won.

max
['Phew.']


Posted by: max | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 6:22 PM
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172: Drink the whiskey straight and don't make things harder than they need to be.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 6:23 PM
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McMahon body slammed.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 6:24 PM
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Linda McMahon BODYSLAMMED! OH NO, BLUMENTHAL'S GETTING THE CHAIR! OOH! RIGHT TO THE BACK OF THE HEAD! AND SHE'S STUCK IN THE BARBED WIRE! OH NO NOT THE GATOR PIT! THIS IS SOME UGLY WRESTLING.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 6:25 PM
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Foreign object!


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 6:25 PM
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184: See. Over-thinking means pwnage.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 6:27 PM
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Fun election-night drinking game for SP: sip Knob Creek all night and try not to think of Rand Paul, or a white bear.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 6:30 PM
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Boy, would I have gotten that wrong. Like, an order of magnitude wrong.

For context, LA County has a population of about 10 million people. It's the biggest county in the US by a huge margin. Cook County is second with about 5 million.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 6:30 PM
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Just missing the coke? I don't tend to keep anything bubbly around the house.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 6:30 PM
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No more masturbating to Tom Periello. Fuck.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 6:31 PM
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188: What is the largest in area? Some of the counties in Montana and Idaho are huge.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 6:32 PM
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And to expand on something that was kind of implicit in my earlier comment, part of the reason I think Western counties are more of a response to the physical geography than an example of direct influence from the South is that while they are functionally equivalent to Southern counties, they bear a very different relationship to the state in size and number. While Southern states have lots of little counties, most Western states have a few big ones. Thus, part of the reason LA County is so huge in population is that it's really big in area in a way that is not typical further east, where the counties containing big cities tend to not include their suburbs too.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 6:34 PM
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191: San Bernardino.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 6:34 PM
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Well I certainly got pwned back there.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 6:35 PM
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193: Interesting. I'm supposed to go flying in SB next spring.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 6:35 PM
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Coconino County AZ is second in area by a very small margin.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 6:35 PM
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Friends in Baltimore have been getting these phone calls.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 6:36 PM
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Interesting. I'm supposed to go flying in SB next spring.

I can't wait.


Posted by: Standpipe Bridgeplate | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 6:37 PM
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194: I thought you were just elaborating.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 6:38 PM
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So long, Alan Grayson.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 6:38 PM
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190: You are making that rule harder than needed.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 6:39 PM
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I'm sure Grayson has a cable news gig lined up.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 6:39 PM
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To be honest, I think the most important thing anyone can do in this world is to wake up-- to look at their "stuff" honestly, to own the shadow, and to grow into a more loving, compassionate human being.

God that's great.

Because I like to laugh at the NorCal crowd I've been getting a lot of amusement out of "an agenda of food justice."

http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-happy-meals-20101103,0,5438230.story

San Francisco's board of supervisors has voted, by a veto-proof margin, to ban most of McDonald's Happy Meals as they are now served in the restaurants..."We're part of a movement that is moving forward an agenda of food justice," said Supervisor Eric Mar, who sponsored the measure.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 6:39 PM
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Here's a county map of the US. Note the big change in size and shape between East and West.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 6:41 PM
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...to own the shadow....

Yeah, yeah, we all love A Wizard of Earthsea (not the SciFi Channel adaptation).


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 6:41 PM
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Feingold making it a race?


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 6:42 PM
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Here's a more legible one.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 6:42 PM
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moving forward an agenda of food justice

So hands against the wall and spread 'em, partially hydrogenated vegetable oil!


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 6:42 PM
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57

...On the third hand, its illegality can't be objectively determined without reading your mind.

Or perhaps your tax returns.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 6:49 PM
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For context, LA County has a population of about 10 million people.

Yeah, growing up there I think the enormity of it didn't really sink in until I was driving age. Something about seeing the county border sign way the fuck out near Claremont and realizing that from the coast to that line is a ridiculous number of people.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 6:52 PM
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I just checked out Kos. I hate that kind of rose tinted returns reporting. It's one thing to push people to volunteer and donate in the week leading up to Election Day by pointing out a number of low but not negligible chances of victory, but on this evening, fuck it I don't want any false hopes to be dashed a few hours later.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 6:58 PM
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voting isn't for everyone!

We can only hope this becomes the new Tea Party slogan.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 7:00 PM
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210: even though it's smaller, I find San Diego county even weirder. Start at the beach, drive through the suburbs, up through the snowy mountains, down the other side into the empty desert, okay drive for another half hour and there! You're at the county line.

Although the San Diego mountains don't compare to LA's. LA County: also extremely impressive in vertical dimension!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 7:01 PM
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Length as well as girth? Or is it the other way around. I've never been to LA but I remember seeing footage of what looked like honest to god mountains with snow in the background. Went online and it seems they've got 3kers in the inner suburbs.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 7:03 PM
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LA County: also extremely impressive in vertical dimension!

I've done the snow ski in the morning, ocean swim in the afternoon thing. Delightful.


Posted by: Tasseled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 7:03 PM
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but on this evening, fuck it I don't want any false hopes to be dashed a few hours later.

Cialis might work.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 7:04 PM
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Damn, I'm still marveling over 170.

Well, okay, that was 20 minutes ago. I must say that the stupidity of a number of interviewed voters on the radio is amazing. But . Well, okay.

I'm having a really hard time here struggling with my inner earnest regarding what we have to (try to) do in future to address these things. But . Okay.

A rest will be called for, I think. It's absolutely exhausting to try to think through how to reach people who just keep saying, "I just think we need more jobs, and less [sic] taxes, and enough is enough, we need a change, and that's all there is to it."


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 7:06 PM
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http://www.rwongphoto.com/blog/los-angeles-skyline-mount-baldy/


Posted by: Tasseled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 7:06 PM
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215 In Geneva, substituting lake for ocean, you could do that midsummer.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 7:06 PM
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Election judged. Got irritated by oldsters. Registered about 90 people. 900 or so voted. Got food poisoning. Went home early. No election next year. Should start some direct action collectives instead.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 7:11 PM
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Yay, Natilo! Feel better.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 7:18 PM
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220: The Upper Plains Society for the Heating of Undercooked Chicken (UP-SHUC).


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 7:18 PM
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And feel better, as Witt reminds me of my manners.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 7:19 PM
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Speaker Boehner! God help us all, it's going to be almost impossibly stupid two years.


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 7:19 PM
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Fucketyfuck Shea Porter seems to be toast. And by a landslide to and bizarre insult to injury. I'm not particularly surprised at that district going red in a red wave year, but by some crazy margin?


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 7:20 PM
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Not that that last two have been Pericles's Athens.


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 7:20 PM
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220: One of our oldsters -- a nice guy! -- was pretty clueless. He was in charge of looking everyone up in the book and he could never find anyone (I think he couldn't see). Finally, the person in question would have to flip the pages themselves and say, "Look, I'm right there."


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 7:20 PM
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I wonder if Perriello would consider sending me my money back.


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 7:21 PM
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Not that that last two have been Pericles's Athens.

Slavery and no rights for women?


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 7:22 PM
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229: Have you been to Kentucky lately?


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 7:24 PM
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228 A Dem in a red leaning district who managed to both be forthrightly progressive and competitive even in a year like this one? I don't see any reason to fault him.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 7:25 PM
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So I voted for a libertarian for tax commissioner just because I thought that outcome would be so hilariously bad.

I don't think that is how they intend for people to vote, but that one was too funny to resist.


Posted by: CJB | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 7:26 PM
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In other news: I have, in my dotage, discovered a taste for Almond Joys. I find that I can gum them into delicious little fragments of (fake) chocolaty (fake) coconut.


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 7:26 PM
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Barney Frank bitch-slaps Republican challenger!


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 7:26 PM
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230 The 2008 election season resulted in my first excursion into America outside of the NE, Chicago, NoCal, and NationalParkland.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 7:27 PM
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I blame Sifu for the inappropriateness of that comment. I made the long island iced tea but used IBC root beer instead of cola.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 7:27 PM
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231: I don't. He actually seems to have run an honorable and strong race. Still, I need the money to buy a Rand Paul Fathead to apply to my living room wall. The revolution is here!


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 7:29 PM
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Fuck. I don't actually want to turn on any TV coverage, do I? But looking at maps and/or tables on websites is giving me a headache.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 7:29 PM
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236: You have gin, dry vermouth, and olives, and you drank a Long Island iced tea? Made with root beer? You have no one to blame but yourself.


Posted by: Mr. Blandings | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 7:32 PM
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238: Read a book! Write a poem! Play a video game! Have sex with someone you love! Seriously, nothing you do now can change a thing. The die has been cast, so you might as well enjoy some Almond Joys this evening. Then tomorrow, after surveying the wreckage that is our federal government, you can try to figure out a few ways to make the world a better place.


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 7:33 PM
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217: A rest will be called for, I think. It's absolutely exhausting to try to think through how to reach people who just keep saying, "I just think we need more jobs, and less [sic] taxes, and enough is enough, we need a change, and that's all there is to it."

They're going to cut taxes, increase spending on Social Security, Medicare and Defense and they're going to cut the deficit!

If the interview I saw earlier with Marsha Blackburn is accurate, they're going to do this with across the board cuts in discretionary spending!

(Since the size of the deficit is the close to the same size as the amount of discretionary spending, I guess that means they're going to cut it all. So, adios DoEducation, and also Transportation and uh, well, all of them actually, except Defense. Hoo boy.)

max
['Sestak might survive.']


Posted by: max | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 7:34 PM
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It's a Tea Party year, none of those effete big city drinks like martinis allowed.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 7:34 PM
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I don't know what the fuck is going on in my congressional district. It should be solid Dem, I thought. 538 was saying it was like 98% probable to go to the Dem incumbent. But now with 40% of the vote in the Republican has a 7-point lead. I hope that's some weird artifact of the order they're counting precincts in or something.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 7:36 PM
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236: that's wonderful!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 7:36 PM
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I think this might be a terrible thing to admit, but while I deeply regret that Alan Grayson lost, there's a small part of me that wonders if the folks over at OpenLeft, folks who said, "Now that's what a real Democrat should look like! If only they were all like that we'd have huge majorities in Congress!" will rethink their certitude. Probably not. And probably there's no reason they should. I just sort of wonder, is all.


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 7:37 PM
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He has lost, but I find it uncomfortable to believe that anyone at all voted for Paladino. Are there so many mean old people demanding representation?


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 7:42 PM
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essear, I can't know this for sure, of course, but I bet those early returns in your district are no more meaningful than the leads currently enjoyed by Michael Bennet and Joe Sestak.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 7:44 PM
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246: 27% of the electorate is crazy. An additional 10-15% is angry and mean. Have an Almond Joy.


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 7:45 PM
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243: The county of my birth -- pretty Republican -- came in first and completely. The other counties in his district are still piddling in.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 7:45 PM
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Looks like MA is going to exempt liquor from the state sales tax.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 7:45 PM
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If it were a Senate race I could get it. In the end there isn't going to be much of a difference between the votes of a Sen. Lazio and a Sen. Paladino. But who the fuck wants that nut 'running' things in Albany. He's like some unholy stitch up creature made of the worst traits of Sarah Palin, Shel Silver, David Duke, and Larry Flynt.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 7:46 PM
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246: I'm surprised you're asking that. Paladino is a particular sort of mean, but there are many other sorts who are equally insupportable who are winning election. Something is wrong with the people, the electorate. And it's not just the economy.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 7:46 PM
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243: And here he is ahead.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 7:47 PM
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You guys, the virtually unknown former communications director to the current, universally unpopular, governor appears to be leading the race for governor with 55% reporting. I may need to start drinking.


Posted by: emdash | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 7:49 PM
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Also the ND Senate seat went from Dem->Rep which wasn't really surprising. The house race is currently neck and neck.

I'm drinking Manhattans.


Posted by: CJB | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 7:49 PM
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Honestly, it's mostly the economy. And that 40% of the country are pretty hardcore Republicans.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 7:50 PM
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250 Ummh, why? Of all the things you want to have a sales tax on, cigarettes, booze, and luxury items seem like the best candidates. And I say this as I'm sipping the first and inhaling the second.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 7:50 PM
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252: I hate the people for that and other reasons, but he seems unusually repulsive.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 7:50 PM
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27% of the electorate is crazy.

Funny, I'd never read about this before, but John Cole has seen fit this evening to link to the crazification factor. 27%


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 7:50 PM
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And clearly I've had too much of something. No, I am not drinking my cigarettes.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 7:50 PM
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254: Not the nice WASPy man I met at a cocktail party last summer?


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 7:51 PM
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253: Oh good. Still, that's pretty narrow....

Turned on real TV for a few minutes. ABC news people are gushing about Facebook and how "we can learn your opinions in real time!11!" Enough of that. I'm just going to stream a bunch of episodes of Weeds until I fall asleep.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 7:53 PM
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Hey, we may have Rand Paul, but we also have more counties than anyone else! Or at least so I was led to believe in gradeschool civics class.

Thanks for all the good wishes. I'm assuming stay-at-home parenting is easier if you start with a baby and work up from there, but boy am I hoping she doesn't wake at 4 am and need to be rocked for six hours again. (This is clearly an attachment issue. She's learned that caretakers go away, so when you find one you just don't let go, even if that adult is just trying to drop you in your bed where you'll actually be comfy. I understand and think the snuggling is actually good for me too, but not so much for my sleep habits. And on that note, Lee had her asleep on the couch for an hour or more before dropping her into bed and she's still fussing, poor thing. I can't tell whether Lee's gone for the rocking chair already or is just trying to rub her back since she's a belly sleeper. Seriously, this is one good-natured kid and sleepy desperation seems like about the worst thing we're up against at this point.)


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 7:53 PM
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248 to 257. Because the big liquor distributors thought it would be fun to sell more, cheaper booze, so they got a question on the ballot.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 7:55 PM
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Ummh, why?

I think "for" argument in the voter guide had something about how food isn't taxed, so why should we tax alcohol?


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 7:55 PM
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It's early still, but apparently the fascist sheriff of Ramsey County is already down by 20%. Unfortunately, the slighlty-less-fascist sheriff of Hennepin county was running unopposed, except for the spirited write-in campaign Kitten For Sheriff.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 7:55 PM
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261: I'm sure whoever it is, you've met the person, oud, but that's probably not relevant.

256: Honestly, it's mostly the economy. And that 40% of the country are pretty hardcore Republicans.

It's true that we shouldn't dismiss the voter turnout effect among Republicans. Possibly a lot of them just rarely voted in the past.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 7:56 PM
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263.1: Yeah, my fourth-grade teacher was weirdly proud of that.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 7:57 PM
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Deval Patrick- yes we, um, wait, what was his motto this time? Well, he won anyway.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 7:57 PM
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261: You travel in more rarified circles than I! But seriously, I don't want to have to go to work tomorrow and think about Governor Robitaille.


Posted by: emdash | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 7:59 PM
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269: "I should definitely figure out how to be good at this job pretty soon!"


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 8:00 PM
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Since it looks like our current Governor is going to be elected to the senate I guess we are going to have to have a special election for a new Governor.


Posted by: CJB | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 8:01 PM
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270: His dad was tight with my bff's grandfather. He has beautiful manners. (I am easily impressed, clearly.)


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 8:02 PM
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269, 271: Sometimes I miss living in the blessed Commonwealth, but this isn't one of those times.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 8:02 PM
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267: All apologies, parsley! I'll check on relevancy with you first next time!


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 8:03 PM
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At least the question to cut the MA sales tax in half went down in flames. Maybe now crazy libertarian lady will stop putting that and eliminating the state income tax on the ballot every two goddamn years.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 8:05 PM
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All the Congressional incumbents in NC have won except for NC-2, where the Dem incumbent is trailing 81,173-81,114 with 85% in.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 8:05 PM
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I have a hard time believing that Vitter got re-elected.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 8:06 PM
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Well, his campaign staff are really good at beating people.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 8:08 PM
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Rush Holt wins! (If that's ok.)


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 8:08 PM
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276: and anti-snob zoning lives! Across vast swathes of exurban Massachusetts residents shed an average of one half-tear per acre.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 8:09 PM
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280: that's hardly relevant to a discussion of the election.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 8:10 PM
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and anti-snob zoning lives!

What's this, now?


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 8:11 PM
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Shit, by estimates Toomey is going to overtake Sestak, but it will be close. Alabama wins.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 8:12 PM
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What's this, now?

Massachusetts has a special process for ensuring the provision of affordable housing, and there was a ballot question this year trying to get rid of it.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 8:13 PM
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277: I haven't done a count, but PA has had some flips. I think three D incumbents lost and others are close.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 8:13 PM
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From what I've heard the Massachusetts system works pretty well, at least compared to the completely insane system we have for the same purpose here in NJ, so it's good that it apparently survived.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 8:14 PM
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280: Rush is pretty cool. He bought me a Monopoly game from Japan once.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 8:15 PM
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283, 285: the short form is that towns without enough affordable housing are subject to state-level overriding of their zoning when it comes to permits for affordable development.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 8:15 PM
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287: it does. Mostly, towns have scrambled to work with affordable developers so the state doesn't end up getting involved. If there were actually a lot of overrides it might be uglier.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 8:16 PM
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284: Yeah, the rural precincts always report later. I can't count how many times as a child I went to bed thinking that a Dem candidate had won, only to wake up and hear it turned into a loss overnight.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 8:18 PM
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And now it looks like MA will continue to be 100% Dem congressional delegation and 100% Democrats in statewide office (with the possible exception of auditor which is too close to call.) Screw the rest of you.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 8:18 PM
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Maryland goes entirely the way it was expected, all Dem except for the 1st District House race just north of D.C., in which the Republican Andy Harris beat the incumbent, which is not a huge surprise, though it's a bummer.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 8:18 PM
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292: As UPS might say, "What can Brown do for you?"


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 8:19 PM
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Thankfully (and with apologies to offended parties) it looks like oudemia's friend's grandfather's friend has lost the lead. Although I suppose it would have been nice to have an impeccably mannered governor. Budget submission all accompanied by hand-lettered notes...


Posted by: emdash | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 8:19 PM
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Does UPS still use that slogan or did the fecal jokes get to them?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 8:20 PM
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284: I feared that would be the case. And I suspect the same will be true in Colorado. Fucking Western Slope. That said, I'll be much sorrier to see Sestak lose than Bennet.


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 8:20 PM
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I personally am glad that Massachusett's brief moment as the sole focus of Democratic electoral anguish is over.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 8:20 PM
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Feingold loses.

max
['Gah.']


Posted by: max | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 8:21 PM
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291: The only real hope for Sestak is Montgomery County is not very counted. Suburban but bluish. But margin is down to 8,000 votes. Fucking Lancaster County putting him over the top--breaking 2:1 for the asshole.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 8:22 PM
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222 lulzed me.


Posted by: Bave Dee | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 8:23 PM
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Corbett (R) wins governorship in PA.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 8:25 PM
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I don't get how Montco can have late returns; most voting is electronic.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 8:26 PM
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Pallone wins! I did my part.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 8:26 PM
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So here in MA we had three ballot questions. The first one repeals the state's tax on alcohol, which as far as I understand it is the sole source of state funding for substance-abuse treatment programs. It appears that this question will pass, and despite myself, I'm kind of gobsmacked by the evilness of the thing.


Posted by: Bave Dee | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 8:28 PM
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And it's Hair Club for billionaires and Rep Walter Mitty in the lead by a hair. Time for more wine.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 8:28 PM
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Does UPS still use that slogan or did the fecal jokes get to them?

I think they've pretty much switched to "Logistics." Logistics, logistics, logistics, let me show you them. The ads look like a clip from the end of Koyaanisqatsi.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 8:28 PM
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304: Yes! I sent my siblings and mother and friends haranguing messages all day to vote, so I will pat myself on the back as well.

295: I think he has it back again. (I wasn't gunning for him or anything, but he's better than Robitaille, surely.)


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 8:29 PM
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300: Yeah, I just heard from someone I trust that it looks grim. Not impossible just yet, but very, very unlikely for Sestak. That one is going to bum me out for a while. Toomey is such a horrible tool. Eh, whatever, I doubt the Republicans will outlaw Almond Joys.


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 8:29 PM
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Pwnd by 250, but I added value.


Posted by: Bave Dee | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 8:30 PM
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295: Oh, wait. Did you think that I meant Robitaille? No, no. Chafee.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 8:30 PM
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Isn't the tax already rolled into the labeled price at liquor stores? So they'll just pocket the 6.25% and keep prices the same. A win for the consumer!


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 8:30 PM
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ari, the extent of your enthusiasm for Almond Joys has me thinking it must be a euphemism of some sort.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 8:32 PM
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And the Repubs win the WI sen race.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 8:33 PM
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313 Hey, O'Donnell lost, why do you think Ari is so serene.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 8:34 PM
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LA County: also extremely impressive in vertical dimension!

Yes, highest elevation is just over 10,000 feet. Only thirteen states have higher elevations.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 8:35 PM
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312: presumably it'll come down once they realize that all the homeless people cut loose from substance abuse programs are price-comparison shopping.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 8:36 PM
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312: A Federalist Society classmate started to argue today at lunch that getting rid of alcohol taxes would help alcoholics and their families, because after all their problems really stem from lack of funds caused by high taxes. I stared him down, although he now claims he wasn't serious.


Posted by: Bave Dee | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 8:37 PM
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I'm self-medicating with geographic trivia. Wisconsin wears Michigan like a big fucking asshat.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 8:38 PM
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313: I wish. Honestly, it's just that there don't seem to be any horrible surprises brewing just yet. And there might be some unexpected happy outcomes. I mean, it's a lousy result. But it's the mid-terms and the economy sucks: the party in power was going to get spanked. That's the way it goes. So I choose to look on the bright side. Which means, absent maple donuts, that I'll focus on the huge supply of Almond Joys close at hand.


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 8:38 PM
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314 pwnd by max in 299.

I feel awful about the Senate race. All I can think of are the eight million meaningful ways this is going to hurt people I know and care about.

Maybe there'll be a silver lining and his constituent-affairs people will be sane and fair-minded. I never had to deal with Santorum's; Casey's are super-inexperienced, but at least well-meaning and rational.


Posted by: ttiW | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 8:39 PM
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319: Toomey ahead. That one will leave a mark. A mark that no Almond Joy can erase.


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 8:40 PM
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I stared him down, although he now claims he wasn't serious.

Don't they always.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 8:43 PM
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On the amusing side for those who read Balloon Juice, somebody pointed out that this is the first election since the nineties where the party John Cole supports is losing.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 8:44 PM
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I'll focus on the huge supply of Almond Joys close at hand.

Blume bought some barley tea from the Japanese store today, and it's just absolutely delicious. And we still have like eight billion roasted pumpkin seeds. Hooray!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 8:44 PM
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A mark that no Almond Joy can erase.

How about a Chocolate Jesus?


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 8:44 PM
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It appears that this question will pass, and despite myself, I'm kind of gobsmacked by the evilness of the thing.

I doubt if most of the people voting for this know about the substance-abuse treatment link. They just want to get a little drunker and forget what a fucked-up country they live in.

(I voted no.)


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 8:45 PM
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Maybe there'll be a silver lining and his constituent-affairs people will be sane and fair-minded.

He's a libertarian, right? What does he care about a bunch of losers who "need" "help"?


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 8:47 PM
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ITEM: California governorship
Bidding has now closed on this item. Unfortunately, you were not the winner. Try finding another similar item?


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 8:48 PM
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All I can think of are the eight million meaningful ways this is going to hurt people I know and care about.

Yeah.

- A Republican Mike Lee of Utah just said on the radio that he hopes to avoid a government shutdown, and thinks we can do that by cutting spending in order to avoid raising the debt ceiling.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 8:48 PM
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You know what else sucks? That Kasich will win in Ohio, that's what.


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 8:51 PM
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Barley tea is so great.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 8:51 PM
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A Republican Mike Lee of Utah just said on the radio that he hopes to avoid a government shutdown, and thinks we can do that by cutting spending in order to avoid raising the debt ceiling.

Note that this is the guy who defeated the extremely conservative long-time incumbent Republican Senator Bob Bennett in the primary for being insufficiently obstructionist and is now virtually guaranteed to win the general.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 8:51 PM
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331: That really fucking kills me.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 8:51 PM
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They won't fail to raise the debt ceiling. They're all rich bastards, do you think they'd risk having their investments crash by destroying the bond market?


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 8:53 PM
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Apparently, Perriello's office was broken into and door-knocker signs, instructing people where their polling places were, were distributed misleadingly. Fun times!

Ugh.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 8:53 PM
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The NJ ballot question did pass, so at least Christie now can't raid the unemployment and disability fund to plug holes in the budget the way he's doing with the ARC Tunnel money.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 8:53 PM
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Meg Whitman goes down in CA. It's not my state, but you know what? This makes me pretty happy.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 8:54 PM
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(I should add that I have no idea of the extent of the damage, and that n=1 but mine was correct, so.)


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 8:54 PM
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(I mean, he still might try, but at least now it's been firmly established that he's not supposed to.)


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 8:54 PM
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335: Well, I know. I have no idea what they think they're talking about when they say these things.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 8:55 PM
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Feingold loses.

Oh, this hurts, and I refuse to be placated by the promise of maple doughnuts (not that anyone's making any promises...Ari?). Fought for campaign finance reform; voted against the Patriot Act; and speaking personally (not that it's about me, not at all), probably the only senator who had my complete and unconditional respect. Well, fucketty. Also, his opponent (and now victor: argh.) is a complete dumbass who wears his ignorance (of public policy matters, e.g.) with pride, like a badge of merit or something.


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 8:56 PM
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It'll be nice to have Jerry back. Recent quote: "I know where the bodies are buried. I've buried a lot of them."

I'm watching thrilling early season Lakers-grizzlies NBA action. The hell with CNN.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 8:57 PM
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I was informed by Erick Erickson via CNN that the Tea Partiers are mad and will demand - insist! - that the Republicans do something about the budget. Their big first agenda item: earmarks.

No, really. Earmarks.

Supposedly also, the big R plan is to freeze discretionary spending and THEN raise the debt ceiling, saying it's all Obama's fault. Rand Paul has promised a filibuster of any attempt to raise the debt ceiling, of course.

Extra bonus fun: the CNBC poll of voters asked them what item they would cut, and 63% of them said military spending. ! The rest said social security and medicare.

max
['Apparently some people believe the devil has donned ice skates.']


Posted by: max | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 8:58 PM
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Can we please call CA and WA sen so I can go to sleep without the fear of waking up to find the Senate flipped too?


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 8:59 PM
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You know what annoys me? CA state propositions. They're like trick questions... most of them are seemingly good ideas that would wreck the state government, except for a few that are actually potentially good ideas that sound bad. Ugh.


Posted by: YK | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 9:00 PM
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248 to 257. Because the big liquor distributors loads of Irish voters in this state thought it would be fun to sell buy more, cheaper booze


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 9:00 PM
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No, really. Earmarks.

Whee, innumeracy!


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 9:01 PM
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Meg Whitman goes down in CA. It's not my state, but you know what? This makes me pretty happy.

This former Californian and former ebay employee endorses that happiness.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 9:03 PM
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ITEM: California governorship
Bidding has now closed on this item. Unfortunately, you were not the winner. Try finding another similar item?

Awesome.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 9:03 PM
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345: latimes is calling CA for Boxer, unsurprisingly. Looks like worst CEO in American history/Demon sheep perpetrator Fiorina is going down in flames, as expected.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 9:05 PM
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345: Murray's getting crushed in the returns so far. Fuck.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 9:06 PM
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I have a slogan for the night: Change We Can Bereave In.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 9:07 PM
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351: Fiorina and Whitman both losing is so, so sweet. Thanks, you wacky Californians.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 9:08 PM
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347: I'd have voted for it, probably. In my defense, I really like wine and PA's alcohol distribution/taxation system is really annoying.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 9:08 PM
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If Murray loses, and there are narrow Dem losses in PA, IL, NV, and CO, that's a 50-50 Senate. Wheeeee! Don't worry, I'm sure we can count on Joe Lieberman.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 9:08 PM
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the CNBC poll of voters asked them what item they would cut, and 63% of them said military spending.

Whoa, really?

I'm kind of afraid to look at the state legislative results; there are some really harmful bills that are bound to resurface in the next session and I want to believe they won't pass.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 9:09 PM
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Murray will win, Chicken Littles.


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 9:09 PM
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Murray's getting crushed in the returns so far. Fuck.

They seem to be almost entirely from the very conservative and sparsely populated eastern part of the state, though. It's way too early to give in to despair.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 9:09 PM
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Or is that "Chickens Little"?


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 9:09 PM
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352: Fortunately it's mostly the Idaho part of Washington that is reporting. Opposite of the order in PA.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 9:09 PM
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How the fuck did Florida elect a governor who paid a $1.7 BILLION fine for defrauding Medicare? Isn't that like the only government program that matters in Florida?


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 9:11 PM
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A googleAd tells me I can buy Brooklyn for 90% off! I'm wondering if that comes with a vote moving option. I'll even take a vote trade.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 9:12 PM
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358-361: Oh good. I was hoping someone who knew what they were talking about would correct me.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 9:12 PM
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362 Death Panels. The Democrats really should have eliminated the mandatory euthanasia provisions from HCR.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 9:13 PM
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And it looks like anybody who is into that sort of thing ca start masturbating to Sens. Toomey and Kirk.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 9:16 PM
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362: I see that he owned a health care company, which is reassuring in a way. At first I was picturing a guy walking into the clinic with a neck brace, some crutches, and a fake Medicare card.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 9:17 PM
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364: Just did some compares with county results in '04. She is running behind those results by a small to large amounts , but she won 55-43 then. Another nailbiter, I'm guessing. Problem is if the blue places like Seattle lag.

For instance, Sestak doomed in PA by my sorry area, only won 55-45 in Allegheny County, 10 points behind Casey in 2006 when he beat Santorum.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 9:18 PM
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Republicans just took both chambers of the NC General Assembly. They last time they controlled the State Senate was 1898.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 9:20 PM
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368: My area is just full of Sestak signs and there was only one Toomey sign when I went trick or treating. The problem must be out in the suburbs.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 9:21 PM
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367- That kind of cash buys you a whole lot of colonoscopies.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 9:21 PM
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Too bad about Bill White. He'd seemed to have a chance, for a while.

This ain't that bad. Still a lot better than just three years ago. I do wish I knew how Feingold screwed up so badly.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 9:22 PM
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357: Whoa, really?

Then they ran an email from somebody who said we should remove the military from friendly countries to save money. Then they ran another email from someone who said we should privatize social security and medicare for everyone under 45.

Reality seems to be a problem here.

Meanwhile on Fox we have Britt Hume saying that there's kind of a problem here, since the D's will control the Senate and the R's will control the house and Obama will still be President. 'Total gridlock' was the phrase used.

And Newt Gingrich wonders why all the moderate Democrats are losing. (And it's mostly moderate Democrats.)

max
['The voters have spoken... in tongues.']


Posted by: max | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 9:22 PM
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369: Ouch. I'm really sorry about that. Your job doesn't rely on public funding, does it?


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 9:23 PM
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I don't really want to know whether Sharron Angle is going to be a Senator, so it's goodnight.

Some ass named John Boehner is giving a speech about how we're witnessing "a repudiation of Washington." Dude, asshat, you are Washington! Good luck with that.

This is one of the most incredible con-jobs I've ever seen.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 9:24 PM
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How the fuck did Florida elect a governor who paid a $1.7 BILLION fine for defrauding Medicare? Isn't that like the only government program that matters in Florida?

Defrauding is actually a pretty populist move in Florida.


Posted by: Criminally Bulgur | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 9:24 PM
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374: Nope. Well, there's a lot of NIH-funded stuff, but them's the feds.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 9:26 PM
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I guess he could argue he singlehandedly cut the federal deficit by $1.7B that year.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 9:26 PM
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370: The problem must be out in the suburbs.

For sure on %s. but also looked and Allegheny turnout was down ~10% from 2006 while many of the Alabama counties were level.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 9:26 PM
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Boehner just actually choked up and cried a bit during his speech.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 9:26 PM
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Some ass named John Boehner

Um...


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 9:26 PM
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That's Mr. Speaker Ass John Boehner to you.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 9:27 PM
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we should remove the military from friendly countries to save money.

Oooh, good idea! We're friendly with Karzai, right? And Lee Myung-bak?*

*President of South Korea. Yes, I looked this up.

'The voters have spoken... in tongues.'

Oh dear. I think you are all too correct.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 9:28 PM
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Free Bibles for all! Free tanning beds for some!


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 9:30 PM
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Is there a realistic way for Harry Reid to win and still not be majority leader any more? Because I would like that.


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 9:30 PM
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Looking at more Washington counties and it looks very, very tight--she is running behind by about her margin of victory in '04. I fear light turnout among the grungerino-heavy areas are going to doom her.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 9:30 PM
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386: Stop toying with me!!


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 9:32 PM
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Zach Space, no more... to... whatever.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 9:32 PM
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385: You and Chuck Schumer.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 9:32 PM
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Or even Zack Space.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 9:32 PM
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I'm looking at the same numbers as JP, Kraab, and I think she'll win by a narrow margin. But maybe not! Better stock up on Almond Joys: "They're equally good in times of triumph and tragedy."


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 9:33 PM
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I think we're gonna be stuck with Harry Reid. The upside is, if he wins, the R's will have spent a boatload of money on nothing.

max
['Congrats to California on Governor Moonbeam 2.0.']


Posted by: max | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 9:34 PM
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Maybe I shouldn't canvass anymore. I canvassed in NH for John Edwards, I canvassed for Obama in Missouri, I canvassed just now in PA in Pat Murphy's district... OK, back in 2008 I also did PA and VA for Obama, but neither of those in the stretch.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 9:34 PM
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Free tanning beds for some!

I'll have you know that that tan is the product of prodigious numbers of hours spent on golf courses. Tanning beds, hmph.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 9:34 PM
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Screw your Almond Joys. Solace comes only from frozen Snickers bars.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 9:35 PM
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Just a few minutes until the polls start closing in Alaska! Then the real fun begins.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 9:36 PM
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Screw your Almond Joys.

That's not how they work. Especially not with Republicans in control of the House.


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 9:36 PM
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"We all either work for rich people, or we sell stuff to rich people. So just punishing rich people is as bad for the economy as punishing anyone."
Now bow down before your new master, slaves!


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 9:37 PM
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You and Chuck Schumer.

Gah. I think it's time for option C, Tanqueray Rangpur.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 9:37 PM
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I hate fucking Almond Joys.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 9:39 PM
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I'd think most people would prefer fucking Mounds.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 9:40 PM
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No more masturbating to the smooth sounds of John Hall (my parents' district.)


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 9:43 PM
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401: Sing it, JP. There's no joy in an Almond Joy. Too much coconut (which is great in some dishes, but with chocolate: blech!).


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 9:44 PM
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Solace comes only from frozen deep-fried Snickers bars.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 9:45 PM
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John "Dick" Roberts is running around a total boner right now. "It worked!"


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 9:45 PM
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with a total boner


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 9:49 PM
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I'm finding my mood far less despondent than in 2004. Convince me I'm an idiot?


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 9:49 PM
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So here in MA we had three ballot questions. The first one repeals the state's tax on alcohol, which as far as I understand it is the sole source of state funding for substance-abuse treatment programs. It appears that this question will pass, and despite myself, I'm kind of gobsmacked by the evilness of the thing.

Jesus. I made a dumb little joke to myself about humming Amy Winehouse as a polling place mnemonic when I read that people who do not suck were recommended to vote "No, no, no" on the three questions. The joke just got worse.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 9:49 PM
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I am sad about Feingold. Good guy. Also sad about Grayson, who was a bit of a nut but at least he gave the wingnut faction of the GOP a dose of their own medicine.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 9:50 PM
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Hmm, no cran-grape juice left for the gin. But hey, there's some orange-passion-guava stuff and "Mango Tango" my wife bought. Several shots of Tanq in a mug, various tropical juices...not bad.

Almond Joys are good times you haters.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 9:50 PM
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407: Nah, mid-terms are just that. I'm just going to have to absolutely firewall myself from Cable News, though.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 9:51 PM
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I'm finding my mood far less despondent than in 2004. Convince me I'm an idiot?

Nope, you're right. This is less horrible by quite a bit, I think not least because it was totally expected. That said, I really am bummed about Sestak and Strickland. And it looks like Bennet will lose, but I can't get too mournful about that one.


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 9:52 PM
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I'm just going to have to absolutely firewall myself from Cable News, though.

You should have done this long ago, friend. Still, this is the perfect opportunity to cut the cord. Come to think of it, I completely swore of televised news of all flavors in 2004. The Swiftboating was too much for me to take -- gah, it still angries up the blood to think about it.


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 9:54 PM
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407 Back in 2004 we had a bad congress, a not horrible but pretty mediocre economy, and a president who had taken us into a war based on what were now known as false premises and the war was going badly. We reelected the bastards in charge. This time things suck. Most of that is courtesy of the folks we, the people, voted into office back in 2004, but still, things are pretty goddamn bad and the Dems are in charge. The business elites have moved even further in the of a class-for-itself rather than just a class-in-itself. And the Dems are still in overall better shape than in 2004.

[I could just as easily make the case that you're completely wrong, but you, and perhaps more importantly me, are both in need of Positive Thoughts as we drift off too sleep.]


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 9:59 PM
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Going to sleep with Dayton maintaining his 7% lead on Emmer. Probably things will be worse when I wake up.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 9:59 PM
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Good thing we had that civility-restoring thing, at least.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 10:04 PM
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The town I went to high school in elected a gaywad mayor. For all I know he's a disaster, but it cheered me a little. And then I had half a bottle of vinho verde for the rest of the news. (I am a lightweight.) Oh also someone I apparently went to school with, who billed himself as "true conservative" lost for state legislature, so that's nice. Meanwhile RON FUCKING PAUL. So ok I wasn't using Kentucky anyway.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 10:04 PM
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Steve Pearce wins in NM-2, which is bad but not unexpected. Harry Teague was very conservative for a Democrat, and it was mostly impressive that a Democrat was able to win at all in such a conservative district.

Meanwhile, Martin Heinrich seems to be holding on in NM-1 with most of the votes in, which is good, but the margin is very slim so far.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 10:05 PM
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And Ben Ray Lujan cruises to victory in NM-3, but there was no question about that one.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 10:07 PM
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Not paying attention to returns other than through this thread has resulted in a much more relaxed evening than I would have had otherwise. That and this here bottle of wine, which I really should have let wait another year, but I neglected to pick up bourbon. I suppose the reefer didn't hurt, either.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 10:12 PM
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Our lone Dem rep kept his seat but he's a useless Blue Dog. Uh, a Dem unseated the Repub for county DA, so woooo or something suitably enthusiastic.

Oh yeah, OK banned sharia. I feel safer already.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 10:12 PM
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407: I'm finding my mood far less despondent than in 2004. Convince me I'm an idiot?

Nope. The Tea Party is not as powerful as it was made out to be, not by a long shot. This is the worst economy in a long time and the Republican wave turns out to be 1994 or maybe a bit less. Also, a bunch of Blue Dogs lost, the Blue Dogs recruited by Rahm Emmanuel. Lastly, the turnout in this midterm was normal - it's just that the older/conservative voters turned out (25% of all voters were over 65) and the younger/liberal/poorer voters didn't turn out.

And Ted Tancredo lost.

Have no doubt that it's bad, especially given the budget cuts we're probably going to get stuck with, but it's gridlocked bad, not Republican-in-control-of-all-branches bad.


Posted by: max | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 10:13 PM
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Martinez wins in the NM governor's race, which sucks but it's been apparent from the polls that this was the most likely outcome for a while. Nominating a Hispanic woman from Las Cruces was a brilliant move for the state GOP, which is usually pretty incompetent, so.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 10:14 PM
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Harry Reid won.

max
['Yay.']


Posted by: max | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 10:15 PM
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Ok, looks like the payday lenders are getting whacked. And rich out-of-state hunters. On the other hand, the non-existent (and yet fantasized about) tax on rich out-of-state mansion buyers is going down hard.

My state house race is close, but my guy is winning. Derek Skees, the teahadi fellow up north of here who claims to have been instructed by God to run (and apparently God forgot to tell him to leave his Confederate flag pins at home when he was out campaigning) is losing. It's early yet.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 10:17 PM
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It's insane that Reid won. Nevada is both a pretty conservative state and is currently a complete unbelievable basket case.

Coulda been so much worse. Looks just like an ordinary midterm.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 10:23 PM
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Brewer wins in Arizona.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 10:26 PM
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426: It is about the most urban state by % though.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 10:27 PM
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428: And they're all in a union.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 10:30 PM
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It's insane that Reid won.

What's insane is that the best they could come up with as an opponent was Angle. Lucky is better than good, as no doubt Feingold can attest to.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 10:30 PM
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Palin endorsements: 12-14 with 13 out.

The Tea Party kind of took it in the shorts here. It's the establishment Republicans taking the ground. It seems like the Tea Party did the best where you'd expect: in the South. You won't hear that tomorrow, but maybe the day after that.

max
['Hrmmm.']


Posted by: max | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 10:40 PM
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Well, yeah, it's pretty much exclusively due to Reid's opponent that he won. I think it's pretty safe tobsay that the tea party folks cost the Republicans the Senate, and didn't do much for them in the House.

Vegas is pretty unionized, but state politics are conservolibertarian to the point of insanity. I have a relative who teaches at U Nevada Reno, where they're talking seriously about just eliminating the University.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 10:41 PM
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talking seriously about just eliminating the University

To be fair, not the whole university, just most of it. And really, does Nevada need more than one state university? Well?


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 10:45 PM
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Vegas is pretty unionized, but state politics are conservolibertarian to the point of insanity.

Not unusually so compared to other Southwestern states, though. Look at Arizona. And Clark County has more than two-thirds of Nevada's population.

That said, Reid won Mineral County 855 to 822. I was not expecting that. He's lost all the other rural counties that have reported so far, of course, most by huge margins.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 10:50 PM
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And really, does Nevada need more than one state university? Well?

Their population is almost identical to ours, and UT does all right having both U of U and Utah State.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 10:56 PM
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So, is weed totes leagues in Cali yet, or what?


Posted by: Grower Not a Shower | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 10:57 PM
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Granted, UT has a real economy vs Casinoland in the Mojave, but come on, I'm sure college is a good thing for blackjack dealers.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 10:58 PM
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435: I was kidding. I think there should be a state university in every pot.


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 10:58 PM
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NM is smaller than either and has five state universities. Which, admittedly, is probably excessive.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 10:58 PM
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Clearly ari should move to NM.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 10:59 PM
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438 to 436.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 11:00 PM
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441 hits upon a brilliant idea for funding the ailing UC system. If only the supporters of Prop 19 had thought of it before the election.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 11:01 PM
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Isn't Oakland openly taxing pot? I thought that happened. I should google it rather than watching Veronica Mars.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 11:08 PM
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442: ari *does* teach at Cal's agricultural campus...


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 11:08 PM
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Arizona is bigger than NM, NV, and UT put together and has only three state universities.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 11:12 PM
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Murkowki leading in Alaska, and Bennet not out of it yet in Colorado.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 11:14 PM
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s


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 11:14 PM
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Buck's just barely ahead with almost all of the Western Slope and Plains counties reporting. Most of the precincts yet to report seem to be in the Denver suburbs.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 11:16 PM
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Arizona is bigger than NM, NV, and UT put together and has only three state universities.

Good thing too. Between the housing bust and their reliance on the Colorado for water I think AZ's long term prospects are not good.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 11:19 PM
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447: People with oft-misspelled last names worldwide understand, yourself included, I'm guessing.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 11:20 PM
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Between the housing bust and their reliance on the Colorado for water I think AZ's long term prospects are not good.

I agree, but I've had a hell of a time convincing people.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 11:20 PM
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450: Yep. Although mine's more often mispronounced than misspelled. I think I'd do okay as a write-in candidate.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 11:21 PM
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But who knows, maybe I'm just overly pessimistic. I'm drunk and my one visit to Phoenix was in the middle of summer when it's hard not to look around and think "why in the fuck are so many people living in this god forsaken locale?"


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 11:21 PM
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The same concerns about long-term viability apply to Nevada too, of course.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 11:23 PM
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I agree, but I've had a hell of a time convincing people.

I've run into that too, and drunkeness aside, I really find it hard to believe that AZ can maintain three times our population. Yeah, UT is a dry state but we don't rely on the Colorado and most of our population is concentrated along the base of a mountain range that gets hundreds of inches of snow every season.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 11:25 PM
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Indeed, I think Utah is among the best-positioned states in the West to deal with the coming changes. Small population and plenty of water.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 11:26 PM
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RE: 318

but thats pretty much the best argument for a welfare state.


Posted by: yoyo | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 11:33 PM
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Heinrich wins in NM-1. That's a relief.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 11:36 PM
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I'm finding it amusing to see "Total Write-In" take the lead in Alaska.

(Since I'm procrastinating on a paper and following the election I might as well comment. But that doesn't mean any worthwhile comments.)


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 11:42 PM
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Where are you finding local returns for CO, teo? Because a lot is riding which of the suburbs have yet to report. That said, unless it's Lakewood, to the immediate west of Denver, it's probably a lost cause.


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 11:44 PM
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The Colorado link at TPM takes me to the Des Moines Register. Thanks, Josh! That's very helpful.


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 11:47 PM
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I'm just looking at the county-level results on the NYT site. Denver itself and Jefferson County each have about 50% outstanding and Buck's ahead by about 10,000 votes AOTW.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 11:48 PM
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Meanwhile, all the Western Slope counties are at least 80% in, and most are at 100%. Similar for the Plains and the San Luis Valley. It really looks like it's all down to the Front Range at this point.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 11:51 PM
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I don't know enough about the local politics within the Denver area to tell what Bennet's chances really are at this point, of course. But that's where it looks like the action is.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 11:52 PM
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And now I should really go to bed, because it's super late here.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 11- 2-10 11:58 PM
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Links indicate that the Denver Post has a feed, but I can't get the page to load. This is probably good, as I have four pages or so to write.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 11- 3-10 12:01 AM
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Well, Prop 23 failed as expected. Which means that there is at least one big state in the union that will have cap and trade very soon. Looks like state level action plus EPA issuing regulations is the way forward on the climate issue.

Say a prayer for the proposition that would eliminate the 2/3 budget rule. It's doing better than expected and is ahead, but I expect to find it defeats when I wake up tomorrow.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 11- 3-10 12:03 AM
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Well, Prop 23 failed as expected. Which means that there is at least one big state in the union that will have cap and trade very soon. Looks like state level action plus EPA issuing regulations is the way forward on the climate issue.

Say a prayer for the proposition that would eliminate the 2/3 budget rule. It's doing better than expected and is ahead, but I expect to find it defeats when I wake up tomorrow.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 11- 3-10 12:03 AM
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Arapaho and Adams Counties should be close but will probably lean Bennet, Denver County should go to Bennet by a huge margin, so should Boulder County, Jefferson County should go for Bennet by 4 or 5 points, Larimer County should be a toss-up, and El Paso County should be a huge win for Buck. Beyond that, there aren't really enough votes left to count, or enough votes overall, for it to matter. Which is to say, I can't really imagine, if the Times map is accurate, how Bennet loses. I mean, 94% of the votes have been counted in Douglas County, and that's where Buck could have won the election. I guess Mesa County, on the Western Slope, still has some votes to count, but not enough that it will matter. Huh, I'm really surprised and somewhat pleased. That said, I'd love to trade a Bennet victory for a Strickland or Sestak victory.


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 11- 3-10 12:09 AM
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Say a prayer for the proposition that would eliminate the 2/3 budget rule.

Again, looking at local-level returns, it seems likely that it's going to pass. I'm stunned at how sane our state seems. Still, I had really looked forward to lighting up a huge joint in seminar tomorrow. Oh well, we can't have everything.


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 11- 3-10 12:11 AM
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Washington's income tax went down hard. Carry on living large on the backs of our poor. Most regressive tax structure in the nation for the win!


Posted by: F | Link to this comment | 11- 3-10 12:24 AM
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And the 2/3 requirement for new taxes passed and the tax on candy, soda, and bottled water was repealed. Let the Californication of Washington proceed.


Posted by: F | Link to this comment | 11- 3-10 12:32 AM
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The Chronicle says 25 will pass, but 26, which turns fees into taxes and makes them harder to raise, might pass too.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 11- 3-10 12:46 AM
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Not that anyone's still awake, but Bennet's back within a few hundred after being down as much as 7000.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 11- 3-10 1:17 AM
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473 has happened and is sadly hilarious to me.


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 11- 3-10 2:34 AM
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Patrick's winning and the failure of MA question 3 (which would have halved the sales tax) means that I likely have a job (S0merv///e, actually a paid internship, but at a higher hourly wage than I've ever made before) to come back to from the month-long honeymoon to India my wife and I are leaving on today. OTOH, if I didn't have that to come back to, we'd likely stay on the subcontinent for two months, so I'm somewhat ambidextrous on the matter.

A related question for any tax-heads out there: while sales taxes are regressive, they are less so as necessities are excluded. In MA, these necessities include groceries, clothing, books for school, and apparently alchohol. Anyone have any insight as to at what point sales taxes become flat or even progressive, if this can really happen at all?


Posted by: Alfrek Macsteinie | Link to this comment | 11- 3-10 4:24 AM
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Feingold lost: Fuck.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 11- 3-10 4:42 AM
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Fuck. Well, this is kinda scary. Higher ed is going to be on the chopping block now that the repugs have won both the MN house and senate. And we're doing another recount for the governor.

Time to get those guns, the forces of fascism are ascendant.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 11- 3-10 5:02 AM
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477. Yeah, as an outside observer, that was one of about three results I've seen which I found a bit upsetting.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 11- 3-10 5:04 AM
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474: Yeah, i think there may have been a temporary counting error, just before I went to bed, Buck surged and it was due to being ahead in Boulder County, which would be wrong--now he's up 5K and and boulder is 67-29 like good little DFHs. Also Washington state, WFT? Count your votes!


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11- 3-10 5:09 AM
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What Fucking Tardiness?


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11- 3-10 5:10 AM
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Anyone have any insight as to at what point sales taxes become flat or even progressive, if this can really happen at all?

Well, at some point they become a luxury consumption tax; there's definitely some level of exemptions at which the distributive effects go in the other direction. This probably happens in the real world in some very poor countries.


Posted by: dsquared | Link to this comment | 11- 3-10 5:25 AM
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And Pomeroy lost as well. So ND's tiny delegation went from 100% Dem to 2/3 Republican.

Also ND has 5 state Universities which I know is excessive, especially since 4 of them are within 150 miles of each other.


Posted by: CJB | Link to this comment | 11- 3-10 5:26 AM
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Shit 6 Universities I knew I was missing one.


Posted by: CJB | Link to this comment | 11- 3-10 5:28 AM
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Anyone have any insight as to at what point sales taxes become flat or even progressive, if this can really happen at all?

This would be a tricky but not impossible question to answer - all you need is a dataset of average spending by category for different income quintiles, and then it would be a question of putting it all into excel, turning the tax on different categories on and off, and watching the effect. For a trivial example, a sales tax that only applied to Jaguars would be extremely progressive.

You would have to go quite a long way towards the luxury-tax end of the scale, is my gut feeling: because poor people spend more of their income than rich people overall, and so will be disproportionately affected by an unexempted sales tax.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 11- 3-10 5:31 AM
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Also ND has 5 state Universities which I know is excessive, especially since 4 of them are within 150 miles of each other.

But North Dakota's tiny. Does this not mean that pretty well every adult in the state is either a faculty member, a student, or a Minuteman launch crew member?


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 11- 3-10 5:32 AM
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486. Or are the Universities like this one?


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 11- 3-10 5:37 AM
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re: 483/486

Scotland has, erm, depending how you count it, getting on for 15 or 16 universities, and with one or two exceptions, they are all well within 100 miles of each other.

Mind you that's for a much larger population [I was pretty amazed when I googled the number just now].


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 11- 3-10 5:38 AM
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A classmate of mine has just "liked" Chris Christie on Facebook.


Posted by: Bave Dee | Link to this comment | 11- 3-10 5:39 AM
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Does this not mean that pretty well every adult in the state is either a faculty member, a student, or a Minuteman launch crew member?

It means we have 1 state university for every 100,000 people.

If you take the staff+facutly+students of the two larger ones it is probably equal to about 5% of the total state population.


Posted by: CJB | Link to this comment | 11- 3-10 5:40 AM
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Ask him if he just "likes" him or is he "in like" with him.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11- 3-10 5:40 AM
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There are also 4 state colleges one private college and one private university in the state bring it up to 12 higher education offerings.


Posted by: CJB | Link to this comment | 11- 3-10 5:46 AM
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One state University per 100k population sounds generous but not silly. Are there private ones as well?

I have to confess I'm prejudiced in favour the University linked in 486, as it's the only academic institurion I know of that lists its cleaners on its web site.

They have a vacancy for a Professor of ICT if anybody's looking to emigrate after yesterday.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 11- 3-10 5:48 AM
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re: 493.last

Wonder how long it'd take me to learn Faroese? And acquire a taste for seagull eggs and whale meat ...


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 11- 3-10 5:49 AM
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I suppose Edinburgh has about the same number. One university for every 130,000 people (Edinburgh University, Heriot-Watt University, Napier University) plus all the other colleges - Stevenson, Telford, SAC, Queen Margaret, the Art College, etc. But those are all pretty small by US university standards.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 11- 3-10 6:00 AM
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re: 495

Yeah, ditto for Glasgow, with Glasgow Uni, Caledonian, Strathclyde, and the various vocational/further education/arts institutions[the School of Art, RSAMD, College of Printing, etc].


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 11- 3-10 6:03 AM
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||

http://www.antipope.org/charlie/blog-static/2010/11/conspiracy-theories.html

>

This is some bizarre shit.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 11- 3-10 6:03 AM
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So many schools in ND. And don't forget the University of Southern North Dakota at Hoople.


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 11- 3-10 6:10 AM
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This is one taxed jaguar.


Posted by: Alfrek Macsteinie | Link to this comment | 11- 3-10 6:13 AM
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497. Fuck. Speechless. (Clearly Lord James wasn't.) Was somebody pulling his ministerial plonker?


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 11- 3-10 6:21 AM
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500: He's 73 and had a stroke recently. I think that a gaga septuagenarian is easier to believe in than a mysterious foundation that has $30 billion in gold bullion to invest in Britain.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 11- 3-10 6:23 AM
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So, God seems to have pulled out a close win for Skees after all. My guy won, though. The state senate race where the most money was spent is a 1 vote margin right now. A recount will be done. Both houses pretty red, though.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 11- 3-10 6:24 AM
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501. Ah. Poor chap. If I had $30G to invest, Britain at the moment might not be top of my target list.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 11- 3-10 6:26 AM
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But North Dakota's tiny.

Well, it's bigger than England.

As for the population, because it's so sparse, the two big colleges (University of North Dakota and North Dakota State University) both ended up in cities on the eastern border of the state (that border being the Red River). The state being 340 miles east to west, these are not exactly convenient to a lot of people who need degrees to be part of the middle class, so other tiny universities have been formed from what were teachers' colleges.

UND: 14,000 students
NDSU: 14,000 students
next biggest: Minot State University, 3,000 students


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 11- 3-10 6:36 AM
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The bassoon-playing, McCain-voting barista just gave me a free shot of espresso, so maybe Republicans are feeling magnanimous this morning.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 11- 3-10 6:37 AM
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Of the 34 Democrats who voted against the health care bill in March, only 12 won reelection.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 11- 3-10 7:07 AM
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Too bad they won't have health insurance as of January.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 11- 3-10 7:16 AM
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507: No, I think most of those K Street lobbying firms have pretty decent health insurance plans, actually.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 11- 3-10 7:20 AM
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Iowa voters oust justices who made same-sex marriage legal


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 11- 3-10 7:24 AM
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509: And it took, basically, the entire national fag-bashing apparatus descending on IA for several months to do it. Who else in the country saw in any ads about judges?


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 11- 3-10 7:28 AM
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Since it's so easy to buy court decisions by buying elections of judges, it's surprising to me that there's usually so little money in these elections of judges. But when a big capitalist or a religious group decides to elect a judge, their contributions can do it pretty easily.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 11- 3-10 7:32 AM
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it's surprising to me that there's usually so little money in these elections of judges

Yeah, ND had a supreme court justice up for election and the candidate was running unopposed which seemed really odd.


Posted by: CJB | Link to this comment | 11- 3-10 7:43 AM
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In our contested Supreme Court race, the guy who identified conservative seems to have lost.

On the whole, though, I'm channeling my inner asshole this morning. So maybe means testing SS and restricting Medicare for people above poverty is a good idea after all. Give the people what they voted for. Good and hard.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 11- 3-10 7:47 AM
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Hey, CJB, what's the mood in ND about joining the Big Sky conference?


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 11- 3-10 7:48 AM
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How's that not forcing a vote on the tax cut extension thing working out for you, Dems?


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11- 3-10 7:57 AM
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Also like this "analysis" via Steve Benen: the lesson of the GOP's 2010 comeback is that if you're going to fail, fail so spectacularly that your successors can't possibly fix anything in time.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11- 3-10 8:04 AM
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They can still block any extension not on their terms. The tax cuts won't be extended unless Democrats vote for it.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11- 3-10 8:05 AM
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I can't see how the tax cut thing would have helped Dems. So let the Republicans include it in their first budget, and push them to put in defense cuts to pay for it.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 11- 3-10 8:15 AM
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So let the Republicans include it in their first budget, and push them to put in defense cuts to pay for it.

That's what you'd do because you're a decent and intelligent human being. Do you think there's a critical mass of Congressional Democrats who'd consider it?


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 11- 3-10 8:18 AM
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a critical mass of Congressional Democrats

That makes me picture them all riding bikes around the Mall.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11- 3-10 8:21 AM
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517: Pretty sure JPS is talking politics, not policy. It remains staggeringly stupid politics (i.e., standard Democratic foot-shooting).


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 11- 3-10 8:22 AM
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Because of our non-parliamentary system, at least this means there will be no legislation at all, instead of lots of bad legislation. However, that's also bad. And the national news is still determined by whatever our legislative giants are doing, so in a congress that has no interest in doing anything, the national news will be dominated by congress's nonstop subpoenas of prominent Democrats and hearings on corruption in the Democratic party.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 11- 3-10 8:25 AM
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I'm predicting a complete inability to pass any sort of budget (except defense supplementals!), so get ready for the government shutdown.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 11- 3-10 8:29 AM
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521 -- I don't see that it would have changed many races. If any. Would Minnick have been able to hang on to ID01 by voting against Obama, again? Probably not, but he would have tried. And Spratt? I don't know.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 11- 3-10 8:32 AM
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I'm predicting a complete inability to pass any sort of budget (except defense supplementals!), so get ready for the government shutdown.

With the composition of the House (I mean, look at the freaks who got elected! And look who they're beholden to!), I can't see how this is wrong. Also, I don't feel very well today. It turns out that washing down Almond Joys with paint thinner isn't as good an idea as Sifu Tweety suggested.


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 11- 3-10 8:32 AM
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There's only a shutdown if Obama vetoes something. Don't hold your breath,


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 11- 3-10 8:34 AM
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Obama would have to get a bill to veto. I'm skeptical of the House and Senate being able to pass a budget in the first place.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 11- 3-10 8:39 AM
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I think the most interesting question becomes what sort of messaging we'll see from the Obama administration. If "the bipartisan tone" lasts beyond the first week of the next session of Congress, that's going to be pretty hard to stomach.


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 11- 3-10 8:44 AM
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The NY Times keeps citing Rubio's win in FL as evidence of the Tea Party's influence in the Republican wave. But hasn't Rubio been gearing up to challenge Crist since before the real Tea Party movement got going?


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 11- 3-10 8:46 AM
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529 - Yes, and Rubio was the Speaker of the Florida House; it's not like he was a mope like O'Donnell or a backbencher like Angle.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 11- 3-10 8:49 AM
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531

526's terminal comma is excellent.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11- 3-10 8:49 AM
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Folks from New England, explain the NH results to me. Not the fact that the Repubs won, I'd expect that in a good Republican year, but the 24% margin. We had two well established pols running for an open seat in a swing state that has trended slightly Dem for the past three cycles. I would have expected a mid to high single digits margin for Ayotte, not a blowout.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 11- 3-10 8:52 AM
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the Tea Party's influence in the Republican wave

[Eye roll]. The TP candidates lost about as many races as they won. It tells me that the internecine battle going on within the GOP is more-or-less tied. But that would undercut the media's shiny new narrative.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 11- 3-10 8:58 AM
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523
I'm predicting a complete inability to pass any sort of budget (except defense supplementals!), so get ready for the government shutdown.

I think leading Republicans are evil enough to do that, but not stupid enough. They can follow simple cause and effect, or at least correlation and causation: Republicans caused a shutdown in the 1990s and lost seats in the following two elections.

So I think they'll produce budgets not quite so horrible that Obama won't sign them. We won't like them, and if 2012 were all that mattered (which it isn't) we would probably hope they actually were being even more intractable, but I would be surprised by a shutdown.


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 11- 3-10 8:59 AM
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532: I would imagine it has to do with turnout and the composition of the electorate; NH doesn't have a traditional democratic union and/or immigrant base, so there isn't really an in-state GOTV machine. The dem-leaning electorate tends to be both white collar and white and there are a huge number of registered independents (read: fickle and uninformed). That's what I would guess, but of course I'm talking out my ass. We are talking about a state that pays its legislators like two hundred dollars a year, or whatever.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11- 3-10 8:59 AM
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Republicans have a working majority in the Senate. If a spending bill can get out of the House, it'll get into conference with fairly modest changes. The Boehner House will be run like every other House in the last 2 decades: the leadership will more or less define the bills, and the Republican caucus will line up.

I'm not seeing the difficulty in getting stuff to the President.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 11- 3-10 8:59 AM
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536: I think that's probably right. But isn't there still the potential of moderate Dems like Ben Nelson and Evan Bayh playing their little games of needing something special so they'll vote for the budget? So Saiselgy's tweet about looking forward to not having to care about Ben Nelson for the next 2 years appears likely to be false.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 11- 3-10 9:05 AM
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250, 305: I feel compelled to mention the history of MA's question 1 (removing the sales tax on alcohol). Until August 2009, alcohol wasn't subject to the state sales tax; its exemption was removed at the same time that the state sales tax was raised from 5% to 6.25%. So while I think undoing it is bad, it's a reversion to a very recent status quo. Alcohol treatment programs now funded by the tax were similarly recently funded out of the general budget; I don't believe we've created $90 million worth of new treatment programs in the last year. So it's a mistake to see this as a hit to those programs particularly as opposed to a hit on the general budget (though the legislators who have to put together a budget package may make the same mistake).


Posted by: Nathan Williams | Link to this comment | 11- 3-10 9:05 AM
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I'm glad I was an informed voter.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11- 3-10 9:12 AM
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537: Definitely not Bayh. But Lieberman and Nelson are certainly going to be insufferable.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 11- 3-10 9:15 AM
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Was the front page in mourning for a few minutes there?


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 11- 3-10 9:19 AM
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523:The possible shutdown deserves more imagination spent on it. Every discussion I have seen focuses on political strategy and tactics without looking at the on the ground effects. Let's presume a shutdown that last several months. Let's presume Repubs play for keeps.

Gov't employees don't get paid. They get hungry, they default on credit cards and mortgages. Checks for SS, Medicare, EIDC etc don't go out. Old people, sick kids start dying. Bullets and fuel don't get bought for Afghanistan. Can Obama allow these things? Bully pulpit, scream & yell, country hates Republicans...all doesn't to the hungry child or soldier. Obama will have to act.

Obama will have to act.

Impoundment is unconstitutional. State-of-emergency and martial law?

Excellent and entirely justifiable grounds for impeachment.

Obama will probably cave. But Republicans can win the shutdown.

The other possibility is that Obama calls for the nation to come together to help out the needy during this dastardly engineered crisis. Help your neighbor, folks, show that Americans are good. It will be beautiful and inspiring. We will cry.

After it is over, Obama will say:"Look how well the private sector did. Do we really need all these social programs?"

We need to go a bit farther than "Republicans will look mean."


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 11- 3-10 9:25 AM
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||

Oh my god, Lloyd Doggett lost. I didn't realize he was in jeopardy of losing.

|>


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11- 3-10 9:27 AM
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Republicans can't win failure to pass a bill in the House. They won't lose sending a bill to the President -- unless they give him pills so poison he can't sign without becoming a complete eunuch. In which case, he'll consider it.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 11- 3-10 9:31 AM
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And so what if the country hates Republicans for two years.

After the Bush years, this election has shown that Republicans can do absolutely fucking anything and still get back into power.

So they will.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 11- 3-10 9:34 AM
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543: He did? Not according to this

http://www.myfoxaustin.com/dpp/top_stories/Lloyd-Doggett-Defeats-Campbell-20101102-ktbcw-apx


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 11- 3-10 9:34 AM
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Finally looked at OR results. Fuckwit former NBA guy is leading former governor in gubernatorial race, but as-yet-untallied votes are in Multnomah County, so it's not over. Dem incumbent congressional delegation reëlected, state senate still up for grabs, unfunded sentencing mandate passes, marijuana regulation measure fails. On balance, not as stupid as elsewhere, but still stupid. Can the Pacific coast states secede now please?


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 11- 3-10 9:37 AM
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Huh. Now I'm confused. This has him substantially trailing with 98% of the votes in.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11- 3-10 9:57 AM
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My girlfriend's job depends on a race which came down to a three-digit margin in votes, so it'll go to a recount. I don't particularly like Congressman in question, but (a) he's still a Democrat and his opponent is still a particularly nutty Republican, and (b) I like my girlfriend having a job, so we'll be in more than a bit of suspense for the next week or two.


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 11- 3-10 10:00 AM
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Not all bad news here "in the heart of it all."

All the Democratic candidates lost, but the library levy won by a landslide. Yeah for the library!


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 11- 3-10 10:10 AM
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548 -- It's good for Doggett that the 25th includes an additional 6 full counties, and part of a 7th (Travis).


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 11- 3-10 10:18 AM
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The Democrat won for head of my agency, which is good. My job wasn't going to be affected, but if the Republican had won management would have been laid waste and replaced with all new confused people.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11- 3-10 10:23 AM
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Old confused people are easier to outrun.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11- 3-10 10:32 AM
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I'm skeptical of the House and Senate being able to pass a budget in the first place.

The Senate Democrats couldn't tie their shoes when they had a 60 vote majority. Do you really believe that enough of them won't cave to some version of whatever Republicans want if Lucy promises she won't move the football this time?


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 11- 3-10 10:36 AM
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Not that it matters for anything, really, but is Washington planning to finish counting the votes or just leave it hanging for the next week or so?


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11- 3-10 10:37 AM
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Locally everything went fine. State-wide, not so much. Dayton will almost certainly eventually be the governor, but before then we'll have 6-9 months of lawyering and R voter fraud narrative manufacturing, along with either Pawlenty staying on or, more likely, Molnau stepping in as he leaves to run for president. Luckily the Rs don't control the MN Supreme Court.


Posted by: Jimmy Pongo | Link to this comment | 11- 3-10 10:40 AM
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replaced with all new confused people

I would think this would give more power to permanent staff, such as yourself. Well maybe not power, but discretion.


Posted by: Tasseled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 11- 3-10 10:41 AM
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but before then we'll have 6-9 months of lawyering and R voter fraud narrative manufacturing

Don't blame me, I voted for Lizard People.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 11- 3-10 10:42 AM
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558:
If only more brave people thought as you did, sir, they might be a viable third party.


Posted by: Jimmy Pongo | Link to this comment | 11- 3-10 10:44 AM
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557: It could work out that way. Or I could spend the next four years having to obey the orders of someone who doesn't know what they're doing at all. I'm just as happy not to find out how it was going to work out.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11- 3-10 10:45 AM
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Don't blame me, I voted for Lizard People.

We are suitably grateful, but we think you should be permitted your own little country after all this time.


Posted by: Elizabeth II | Link to this comment | 11- 3-10 10:46 AM
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560: I'm just glad your new "boss" seems so reasonable.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 11- 3-10 10:47 AM
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is Washington planning to finish counting the votes

Same here. We're on PNW time, apparently. The weather is absurdly nice, so we're all going to go ride our bikes and have a local, seasonal, sustainable lunch. Then maybe we can count the votes. What's your hurry, East Coast big shot?


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 11- 3-10 10:51 AM
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560. Or I could spend the next four years having to obey the orders of someone who doesn't know what they're doing at all.

That seems more than likely. The effect of the new regime on Mrs y is that two politicians who have diametrically opposed views on how to address the policy area she works in (and no funding in either case), are both demanding detailed plans for implementing their own scheme in apparent ignorance of one another.

This is pretty typical of new political orders.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 11- 3-10 10:51 AM
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562: Yeah, he seemed like the best of the lot out of the primary options, and certainly better than the alternative in the general. I'm on the bottom rung of the hierarchy, and on the dull (no exciting political headline opportunities) side of the office, so I should be fairly unaffected by the change at the top.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11- 3-10 10:54 AM
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550: I'm glad the library got its money! One of the kids in the ad is a friend of mine.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 11- 3-10 11:05 AM
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Republicans have a working majority in the Senate.

Could someone explain exactly how 49 Republican senators equals a "working majority", whereas 59 Democratic senators does not?


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 11- 3-10 11:23 AM
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49 plus Lieberman and Nelson? The assumption is that the 59 (or 57 by the same count) Democrats before this election were also a working majority, which I'd disagree with -- I'd call that a non-working majority.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11- 3-10 11:26 AM
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567
Could someone explain exactly how 49 Republican senators equals a "working majority", whereas 59 Democratic senators does not?

Republicans are conformists and/or authoritarian, and therefore have party unity. Democrats, as can be seen online as well as in Congress, prefer a style of management called a "circular firing squad".


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 11- 3-10 11:32 AM
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567: We're assuming that there are at least 10 other Democratic senators that are easily susceptible to Republican hypnosis.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 11- 3-10 11:34 AM
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I find it frustrating.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 11- 3-10 11:34 AM
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NYT: "Calling Election Results 'Humbling,' Obama Promises to Work With G.O.P." Fucking Christ. Somebody please step up for a primary challenge.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 11- 3-10 11:37 AM
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571: You must be paying attention.

It's probably best to focus on something else.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 11- 3-10 11:37 AM
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572: My gut reaction to this comment is to blame the NYT for spin to fit a narrative. Maybe reading a transcript would lead me to believe the same thing as reading that headline, but I doubt it. Sure, Obama will compromise more than I'd like, but a primary challenge making a positive difference? I'd be very surprised.


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 11- 3-10 11:42 AM
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572: What could he say? That the voters made dumb choices and he was going to ignore the election?


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 11- 3-10 11:44 AM
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Maybe reading a transcript would lead me to believe the same thing as reading that headline, but I doubt it.

Who needs a transcript? It's what he's been doing all along.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 11- 3-10 11:45 AM
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I took last night's results well, as I had expected them to be worse than the predictions (based on models underestimating right-wing enthusiasm), but I just realized I am not emotionally prepared to watch the Democrats capitulate for the next two years.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 11- 3-10 11:47 AM
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The NYT limerick guy did good --

Obama thinks he was intrusive,
The GOP was most abusive,
And the Billionaire lads
Who bought all the ads,
By name kept themselves quite elusive!


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 11- 3-10 11:47 AM
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579

I'm going to need something stronger than Almond Joys.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 11- 3-10 11:49 AM
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580

This was a bad week to give up sniffing glue.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11- 3-10 11:53 AM
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Can one freebase a mixture of almond paste and coconut milk?


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 11- 3-10 11:53 AM
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579: Fancy 70+ proof dark chocolate?


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 11- 3-10 11:53 AM
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583

Wouldn't 70 proof chocolate only be 35%?


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 11- 3-10 11:54 AM
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What could he say?

That the opposition has worked against the interest of the country as a whole and exploited fear and hardship for their own gain, that he and his party haven't fought hard enough for the principles and promises that people voted for, and that despite that, by overwhelming consensus the country is considerably better off than it would have been under a continuation of Republican policies. Just for starters. "Fuck You John Boehner" would be nice, too, and if he'd said it earlier it might have gotten a few more people to the polls.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 11- 3-10 11:56 AM
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Those RitterSport dark chocolate and marzipan bars are really good.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 11- 3-10 11:56 AM
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My gut reaction to this comment is to blame the NYT for spin to fit a narrative.

Amen. The headlines all of last night were incredibly annoying this way. "In referendum on Obama, liberal policies go down in flamez!!1!"


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 11- 3-10 11:59 AM
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Eh, I'm not sure about 584. Not that I disagree with the sentiment, but not the right moment. Now is the time to set the Republicans up for failure and look Presidential.

It's interesting that much of the electoral shift seems to be explained by the fact that seems to be that young people in swing areas stayed home this election, while old people, who hate Obama, came out to vote in droves.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 11- 3-10 12:01 PM
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Does anyone have a sense for how off the standard sociology election prediction model (the one that uses economic conditions and incumbency) was last night?


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 11- 3-10 12:02 PM
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Fifteen seats IIRC -- Democrats should have lost forty-five seats, but instead lost sixty.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11- 3-10 12:03 PM
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A primary challenge from the left? In the best of circumstances that's very unlikely to be viable; with a black incumbent it will at best flame out in the mid single digits and have no effect beyond providing plenty of flamewar fodder. At worst, it would create a huge long term disconnect between one of the core progressive base groups and the progressive movement.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 11- 3-10 12:03 PM
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584: I don't think your political instincts are all that great, Jesus. I'm reminded of what happened to your namesake all those years ago.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 11- 3-10 12:04 PM
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Yeah, Democratic turnout wasn't very good. Obama could equally well have blamed the losses on having disappointed the Democratic base for the last two years.


Posted by: YK | Link to this comment | 11- 3-10 12:06 PM
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589: I was then going to ask if there was any chance of people like saiselgY admitting that perhaps that model doesn't capture everything electorally relevant, but then I checked and saw this.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 11- 3-10 12:11 PM
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seems to be that young people in swing areas stayed home this election

Prop 19 for all 50 states? Not that it won, but I heard some talking head say it helped turnout, which helped Dems.


Posted by: Tasseled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 11- 3-10 12:12 PM
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old people, who hate Obama, came out to vote in droves

Yes, which makes the evil part of me REALLY REALLY REALLY want to gut Social Security and Medicare and then shrug my shoulders and say, "You creaky motherfuckers voted for it."


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 11- 3-10 12:17 PM
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591: My political instincts suck. I would be an utter failure as a politician. But wouldn't it be nice to have politicians who actually fight for justice? Such a dreamer, I know. So crucify me.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 11- 3-10 12:19 PM
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595: Amen. Even though I know the right would find a way to turn it to their advantage.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 11- 3-10 12:21 PM
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And the 2/3 requirement for new taxes passed and the tax on candy, soda, and bottled water was repealed. Let the Californication of Washington proceed.

Yeah. I expected the income tax and candy tax results, but I'm surprisingly frustrated that the 2/3 majority passed. The state is going to need to get revenue somehow.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 11- 3-10 12:22 PM
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594: That could work!


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 11- 3-10 12:25 PM
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Yeah, I'm curious to see how the new GOP majorities in the NC Assembly close the projected $4 billion dollar shortfall next year, given that they all promised they wouldn't raise taxes. It isn't like they've got anything left to cut out of the education budget (though I'll bet they don't count raising tuition and fees at the universities as tax hikes, so those are probably set to explode).


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 11- 3-10 12:27 PM
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598: That's astonishing, that that passed; I'd think that the history would establish that a 2/3 majority for tax increases is a bad idea. Don't the voters notice the smoke drifting up from down south as California burns?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11- 3-10 12:30 PM
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But wouldn't it be nice to have politicians who actually fight for justice?

Sort of. Except that they would always lose.

I hear Eugene Debs was a great guy.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 11- 3-10 12:30 PM
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595, 597: No, no, no. The key is to make the seniors believe that the Republicans will cut their social security and Medicare. Now, since these particular old people appear quite stupid, I'm not sure just how just to do that,.

There's a generational shift in old people that's interesting here, too. When I worked in politics (briefly, in the mid 1990s) old people were our great resource, and you could show up (and I did) in nursing homes, say things designed to frighten folks about Repubilcan rule, and pick up a bunch of absentee ballots. But the folks who were born circa 1910-1920 and grew to political consciousness during the depression are mostly gone, and you have people born in 1930-1940 with different political memories.

Also, I know we're not supposed to talk about this, but is it really surprising that people born in 1935 in, say, Virginia (or even Wisconsin) would have issues with a black president that younger people don't?


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 11- 3-10 12:31 PM
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Don't the voters notice

Was it on American Idol? Then no.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 11- 3-10 12:31 PM
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The key is to make the seniors believe that the Republicans will cut their social security and Medicare.

By letting them do exactly that.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 11- 3-10 12:32 PM
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Washington is a vote by mail state, but unlike Oregon, the ballots only have to be postmarked by election day. It could take a while.

I'm in serious "fuck you" mode. I believe in progressive social policy because I think it's good for everyone, not because I need it. So, the people who need progressive policy just voted against it. Well, fuck them. Let's see how people like austerity. No skin off my back.


Posted by: F | Link to this comment | 11- 3-10 12:34 PM
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Don't the voters notice the smoke drifting up from down south as California burns?

It's somewhat complicated but the short answer is clearly, "no."

I'm in serious "fuck you" mode. I believe in progressive social policy because I think it's good for everyone, not because I need it. So, the people who need progressive policy just voted against it. Well, fuck them. Let's see how people like austerity. No skin off my back.

I know too many people who work for state or local government to feel that way.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 11- 3-10 12:39 PM
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Wow, the election has turned you all into Republicans!

Oh, well, I'm sure you'll be over it by tomorrow at the latest.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 11- 3-10 12:40 PM
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607.last: Like me! It'd be really nice if the economy recovered enough that we could hire some people and get the printer near my office fixed or replaced. And start buying binder clips again. I miss binder clips.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11- 3-10 12:42 PM
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If "the people who need progressive policy" means poorer people, they probably did vote for it (or voted Democratic, in any event).


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 11- 3-10 12:42 PM
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In a way, I'm glad we've established "wreck the economy and make sure millions of people can't find work" is a viable opposition strategy.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 11- 3-10 12:43 PM
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611: In much the same way "allow the US to get attacked" is a viable Republican strategy.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 11- 3-10 12:44 PM
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609: I do feel bad for you, LB, attempting to practice law without binder clips. Maybe we should start a collection to buy you some.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 11- 3-10 12:47 PM
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unlike Oregon, the ballots only have to be postmarked by election day

Even having all the ballots in seems not to have helped much, since Multnomah County (where I am) appears to have over 68k ballots waiting to be counted, nearly the same number as they did four hours ago. Latest word is that the gubernatorial contest may come down to free throws, in which case we're good.*

*the Republican candidate has one of the all-time worst free-throw percentages in NBA history.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 11- 3-10 12:48 PM
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but is it really surprising that people born in 1935 in, say, Virginia (or even Wisconsin) would have issues with a black president that younger people don't?

Perhaps not surprising, but still abominable.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 11- 3-10 12:50 PM
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611: As someone put it this was the FoxNews election. My modest proposal: Pick a day--January 9, 2011, there I did it--publicize it widely and declare that after that date watching (or advertising on) FoxNews will be considered an act of bigotry. Publicize it enough that everyone knows that is what many people will consider it.

So mark your calendars and start talking it up--January 9th is Fox Bigotry D-Day.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11- 3-10 12:50 PM
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617

Those RitterSport dark chocolate and marzipan bars are really good.

RUM TRAUBEN NUSS


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 11- 3-10 12:52 PM
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615: But a fact of life--just one of many important reasons (such as progress in science) why a limited lifespan is such a societal good.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11- 3-10 12:53 PM
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619

Am I now objectively pro-death panel?


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11- 3-10 12:54 PM
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616: You just don't understand how much white people suffer from unjustified accusations of racism.

It's like another Holocaust!


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 11- 3-10 12:55 PM
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621

Does anyone know of an estimate of the change in voting percent per year due to demographic shift (assuming the various groups stay fairly constant in preference)?


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 11- 3-10 1:13 PM
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607, 608

Oh, it's irrational and I'll be over it soon. It's almost too painful to watch the decline of public higher education in this country. NC is one of the exceptions, but it's hard to imagine it'll stay that way for long.


Posted by: F | Link to this comment | 11- 3-10 1:24 PM
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623

Random thoughts (allowing for pwnage as I've only skimmed the thread):

1. Marco Rubio is being called a rising star because he clearly is and means to be. I'm surprised he didn't declare for the Presidency on the spot--actually he nearly did: (paraphrasing) "No matter what title I hold, I will always be a son of exiles." This sentence can only be explained by Presidential ambitions, though I'll confess I love the implied campaign slogan: "Rubio in 2016. SON OF EXILES!"

2. I understand why I can't get Robust to watch it, but truly O'Donnell's speech would make a horse laugh. My favorite bit: "There are so many more people who should be up on this stage!" I could have sworn I heard "...but I can't seem to find any of them, and my assistant's phone suddenly stopped working!"

3. I'm particularly peeved by exit polls being touted as definitive of what "voters want". Who can imagine that the electorate of 2012 will look at all like the electorate today? Sure, only 30-odd% of voters said that Obama didn't do enough--all the rest of the people who think that stayed home! More and more I think that we need to take institutional steps to boost turnout, like making Election Day a holiday or at least FFS voting on a Saturday.


Posted by: Rah | Link to this comment | 11- 3-10 1:34 PM
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More and more I think that we need to take institutional steps to boost turnout, like making Election Day a holiday or at least FFS voting on a Saturday.

So the people who can't be bothered to mail in an absentee ballot can vote? I don't know, I think we might be better off with less voters, not more. I voted after work, around 7 pm. There were not long lines and the whole process took about 10 minutes. No bombs, either.


Posted by: Tasseled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 11- 3-10 1:47 PM
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Except that they would always lose.

Vito Marcantonio!


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 11- 3-10 1:58 PM
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I don't know, I think we might be better off with less voters, not more.

Oh, good. I love cake.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11- 3-10 1:58 PM
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I love cake too, LB. I never knew we had so much in common!


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 11- 3-10 2:00 PM
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I hope mcmanus doesn't see 595, 605, and 606.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 11- 3-10 2:01 PM
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624: You have a point that voting outside Election Day has become easier (my own state has been very good on this). Nevertheless, volatility in turnout combined with information technology make it too easy for candidates to win by making the other candidate's base stay home.

I keep waiting for people to get so sick of polls that they stop working, but no luck yet; as it is, they're becoming self-fulfilling prophecies: "Everybody says Demographic A is getting what they want this time, so why should I bother?"

I should note that a long-time favored tactic in voter suppression is to make it very easy for favored groups to vote and a pain in the ass for others. Now that the GOP will be running my state's elections, I wouldn't be at all surprised to see this as a big problem in 2012.


Posted by: Rah | Link to this comment | 11- 3-10 2:07 PM
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629.last: Yeah, one of the problems with Strickland losing in Ohio + new Repub Secretary of State coming in.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11- 3-10 2:15 PM
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If the Oregon experience is anything to go by, vote by mail works well (as long as you don't need quick results in close races, apparently. WTF, Multnomah County?)


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 11- 3-10 2:15 PM
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Now that the GOP will be running my state's elections

Elaine Marshall is still Secretary of State, right? The GOP will be running the redistricting process, however, which is a first-line disaster.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 11- 3-10 2:17 PM
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Oh, good. I love cake.

Well it is hard for me to figure out why more uninformed voters would be preferable. But the more the merrier, I guess.


Posted by: Tasseled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 11- 3-10 2:18 PM
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628:I read all the comments on a couple dozen blogs.

It's not as though I'm shocked at generational warfare. I predicted it was Obama's plan somewhere around December 2007.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 11- 3-10 2:20 PM
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663: Far better than the negatively informed voters who watch Fox, for instance.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11- 3-10 2:21 PM
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If the Oregon experience is anything to go by, vote by mail works well

I've become a fan.

When it was first introduced in Washington I missed the ritual of election day, but I definitely like the opportunity to spend as much time looking at the ballot as you want. It makes it easier to remember to get information about the local races (not that I did too much of that this year. There was one judges race in which I just went off of what was in the voters' pamphlet, and I still don't know much about the two of them).


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 11- 3-10 2:32 PM
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Speaking of the exit polls, I don't want to over-interpret them, but one of the more striking things I've seen in the few I've looked at is the Mommy/Daddy gap.

For instance, Ohio Senate:
Do You Have Children Under 18?
Fisher /Portman
Fathers (16%) 29%/69%
Mothers (19%) 51%/ 47%

Of course there is a gender gap in general, but still.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11- 3-10 2:37 PM
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633. Yeah, I was wrong about GOP control of elections themselves--county election boards take a majority from the sitting governor's party, & Perdue is still a Democrat. I don't really understand the relative roles of the Sec. of State & State Board of Elections, but either way it shouldn't be too awful just yet...except for the redistricting.


Posted by: Rah | Link to this comment | 11- 3-10 2:37 PM
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Fisher /Portman

I just noticed this, but somebody should have been making nerd jokes about the female leads in the original vs. the crappy Star Wars movies.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11- 3-10 2:46 PM
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636: I became of voting by mail after the 2004 election debacle here.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 11- 3-10 2:49 PM
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636: I became of voting by mail after the 2004 election debacle here.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 11- 3-10 2:49 PM
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636: I became of voting by mail after the 2004 election debacle here.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 11- 3-10 2:49 PM
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642: Idiot.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 11- 3-10 2:51 PM
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Not that I can make a guess about the mommy/daddy gap in 637. I thought the gender gap was smaller for married women, which should at least correlated with mom-ness.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11- 3-10 2:53 PM
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638 to 632.

633: Oh, these days everyone's uninformed but me & thee (& sometimes, I'm not so sure about thee). My concern is unmotivated voters.


Posted by: Rah | Link to this comment | 11- 3-10 2:57 PM
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My concern is unmotivated voters.

If they are not motivated now, I have doubts that anything would motivate them at all. Free lottery tickets?


Posted by: Tasseled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 11- 3-10 3:08 PM
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People should have been making Eddie Fisher/Natalie Portman jokes, but I'm not sure how those jokes would run.


Posted by: beamish | Link to this comment | 11- 3-10 3:09 PM
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Hey I know: let's spend a couple of years telling everyone we know that individual votes don't matter, that politicians -- especially Democrats -- are no damn good, and that if we just hold out a little longer, there will be ponies for everyone. That's the missing motivational element.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 11- 3-10 3:12 PM
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You've been making some good points here and there, Charley, but maybe you should cut out the Oracular Voice of Correct Election Strategy act. It's not like the Democrats are trawling the comments sections at here and Crooked Timber for election advice.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 11- 3-10 3:42 PM
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CJB, further to 514, are you an alum of ND, and are you coming to the game on Nov 13?


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 11- 3-10 4:30 PM
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Wait, holy shit. I just learned that Wisconsin sent this dude who was on The Real World: Boston to Congress.

On the one hand, since at least Jesse Ventura it's been clear that nothing a politician does for a career is a disqualification for public office (other than serving as a public defender or giving out clean needles to junkies, I guess). Still, I cannot quite believe that we live in an America in which a The Real World castmember is a legislator.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 11- 3-10 4:30 PM
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Sez who?


Posted by: Opinionated Howard Dean | Link to this comment | 11- 3-10 4:30 PM
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649 -- (a) Tip of the Iceberg; (b) you shoot varmints wherever and whenever.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 11- 3-10 4:32 PM
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653.last: Not what the cops told me.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11- 3-10 4:35 PM
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651. Wow, he married Rachel, the super awful one from RW: San Francisco.


Posted by: jms | Link to this comment | 11- 3-10 4:52 PM
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Speaking of uninformed voters, it's been occurring to me with respect to Iowans having thrown out three judges who voted in favor of gay marriage: apparently the justices simply needed more "Yes" than "No" votes in order to continue in office. Which makes sense, sure.

But apparently all three were running unopposed, and I must say: might not a reasonable person have assumed that he or she need not vote Yea or Nay at all? I mean, they're running unopposed. It seems not entirely stupid, if one had no objection to said judges (and indeed wasn't particularly aware of any brouhaha over the matter), to have just skipped the question altogether, resulting in a dearth of Yes votes in the face of the No votes logged by those vicious homophobes voters who felt strongly that the justices should be ousted.

One hopes that the voter guide made clear the nature of the question being asked.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 11- 3-10 5:04 PM
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what's the mood in ND about joining the Big Sky conference?

We did what now?


Posted by: CJB | Link to this comment | 11- 3-10 5:14 PM
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I must say: might not a reasonable person have assumed that he or she need not vote Yea or Nay at all? I mean, they're running unopposed.

I grew up with that system and it was fairly clear. And better than other judicial selection methods I have seen. Lots of people ignored the judges retention votes, but that was because they didn't care. Other than one guy for an actual crime, I only saw one judge lose. He lost for a good reason and not on a misunderstanding.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11- 3-10 5:19 PM
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I grew up with that system and it was fairly clear.

I find it a bit foreign. Not just that judges are elected, but that they have to be affirmatively reapproved. It's structurally entirely different from the reelection of a Congressperson or Senator, right? In those cases, running unopposed means you automatically continue on in office; you can't be voted out unless someone is running against you.

Maryland does have this "continuance in office" thing as well, and I have to confess that I've never really noticed how odd the difference is, since I've never had reason to do anything other than vote "Yes" (with a bit of a shrug) about people I haven't had reason to find objectionable. I could very easily see quite a few people just skipping the question, though.

I'm imagining everyone who has no objection skipping the question, and one person voting No. You're out! Not that that's likely to happen, but it does seem an odd arrangement.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 11- 3-10 5:31 PM
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I've seen the graphs about how 18-29 went from 18% of the electorate to 10% and 65+ went way up, but how much of that was younger people not showing up vs. even more old people than usual showing up? (ie, what was turnout % by age group this election compared to last?)


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 11- 3-10 5:35 PM
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659: Unless I've misunderstood, the judges are appointed and then stand for retention. The idea is to make it so that a judge really was to makes a wave to have the vote be anything but a formality. Otherwise, the public is out of the picture on the grounds that they don't know enough to pick a judge.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11- 3-10 5:39 PM
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Election map weirdness, Jim Himes (D-CT) has a check mark next to his name while trailing by 0.6% with 87% reporting. Possibilities (a) NYT typo of one sort or another, (b) that 13% outstanding all comes from Bridgeport proper.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 11- 3-10 5:43 PM
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OK, some more results have trickled in from Washington and enough that it has been called for Murray (she is up 27K & 50.9-49.1 w/66% reporting.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11- 3-10 5:48 PM
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Mostly because they initially grossly underestimated returns from King County (slacker Seattle hipsters mailing them in on the last day).


Posted by: F | Link to this comment | 11- 3-10 5:50 PM
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663: Oops, not called yet; I misinterpreted the map. However, *I* call it for her.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11- 3-10 5:51 PM
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659 again: I checked and Iowa does use the Missouri Plan. It is very common, especially near Missouri. It isn't perfect, but it is certainly less vulnerable to manipulation than the way PA elects judges.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11- 3-10 5:52 PM
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660: Hm. I'd somehow assumed that the figures given were percentages of the 18-29 and 65+ demographics overall that turned out -- that is, I'd assumed those figures were what you're asking for. If they're not, well, very good question.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 11- 3-10 5:59 PM
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662: The last it looks like. Apparently there was a problem in Bridgeport where they ran out of ballots so they kept polls open and have not reported yet. So what is missing is apparently all of Bridgeport which is heavily Democratic.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11- 3-10 6:07 PM
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666: Time to eat here.

You know a great deal more about this than I do; I began thinking about it all of an hour ago. The Missouri Plan? You referred earlier to other judicial selection methods; I'll have to look things up to know what the range of options is around the country. Entirely new topic for me.

But dinner preparation now.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 11- 3-10 6:10 PM
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This video of Alvin Greene is so weird.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 11- 3-10 6:17 PM
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I'm imagining everyone who has no objection skipping the question, and one person voting No. You're out! Not that that's likely to happen, but it does seem an odd arrangement.

I think I read somewhere that this was the first time an Iowa judge had been removed since 1962, so in practice, it really doesn't work this way.

I always used to vote 'no' on retention questions like that, on the reasoning that any case where my vote was likely to be pivotal would be a case where the official in question had done something bad. Plus, me with my hating the rulers, that sort of thing. But obviously such heuristics don't always get it right.

There's some recent research showing a fairly severe election-year effect on sentencing severity (extra-punitive, obvs.) by judges who are up for re-election, in states where they do that. Ooh, here it is (scroll down). Apparently Kansas has both systems, and comparing the two, competitive elections -> more punitive sentencing. So this paper claims anyway.


Posted by: x. trapnel | Link to this comment | 11- 3-10 6:23 PM
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517, 518, 521, 524: Pretty sure JPS is talking politics, not policy.

I certainly was--both this election and longer term. And yes it is more of a symptom than a root cause, if your campaign strategy is rooted in applied pussitude the incremental effect of that vote will likely be marginal. But I will note that polls going into the election showed by a 2 to 1 margin that voters thought their taxes had gone up in the past 2 years, an here they had a winning issue that would have kept taxes in the headlines leading up to the election and would have helped Dems in several ways.

But also, my God, it was only one of the most debated and visible aspects of the presidential election (Joe the Plumber, redistributor ad nauseum etc.) and it might have gone some way to convincing some Democratic constituencies (young voters for instance) that they will actually stand for something and fight for it redounding to good effect in this election and future elections.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11- 3-10 6:26 PM
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Also: the NYTimes had a front-page thing on judicial elections two years ago, reproduced here; and here's a PDF table that surveys methods of judicial selection worldwide.

Exciting stuff.


Posted by: x. trapnel | Link to this comment | 11- 3-10 6:29 PM
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Looking at the Iowa results, there were less votes in the judge races than either Senate or Governor (but bigger drop off from Senate (1,100K total) to Governor (1,000K), than from Governor to the judge races (970K)). However, the "no votes were ~54% which gives counts which were almost half of the biggest total votes (Senate), so it probably was not a deciding effect.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11- 3-10 6:35 PM
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657 -- "We are excited to be joining the Big Sky Conference,'' said UND President Dr. Robert O. Kelley.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 11- 3-10 6:53 PM
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"This is the best of all possibilities for the University of North Dakota. We will be competing with some of our comparable peers in higher education - schools that look and perform like the University of North Dakota.''

. . .

In September, the league announced that Cal Poly and UC Davis would join as affiliate members for football.

I'd try to work in a Boy Named Sioux joke with the comparison, in higher education, between UND and UCD, but, well, I'll leave that to the Davisfolk.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 11- 3-10 6:58 PM
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671, 673: Thanks.

674: Yeah, I didn't really expect that it was a deciding factor given that there was apparently a really big hullaballoo in the state about the matter. Nonetheless it is often the case that voters who bother showing up to vote are often doing so with a handful of objectives in mind (Governor's race, Senate, perhaps a ballot initiative) and blow off the rest of the ballot.

I heard from a friend today that his son and daughter-in-law in PA didn't vote yesterday. They got an earful from my friend's wife (their mother, essentially); their explanation was that they just weren't "stoked". In PA! Pathetic. The son used to manage a soup kitchen or something. Just pathetic.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 11- 3-10 7:09 PM
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Maybe there wasn't much to be stoked about.

I think the most important thing anyone can do in this world is to wake up-- to look at their "stuff" honestly, to own the shadow, and to grow into a more loving, compassionate human being.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 11- 3-10 7:12 PM
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to look at their "stuff" honestly

In fact, you should take pictures of your "stuff" and email them to me.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 11- 3-10 7:18 PM
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Maybe there wasn't much to be stoked about.

Elections have to be run like rock concerts now.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 11- 3-10 7:18 PM
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Big Sky Conference

I realize this probably doesn't apply in Montana, but "Big Sky Conference" sounds like a euphemism for death.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11- 3-10 7:24 PM
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Elections have to be run like rock concerts now.

As opposed to before, when the electorate was incredibly well educated and deeply concerned about the issues.


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 11- 3-10 7:26 PM
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I don't like voting for judges. In Maryland, there were so many, and I didn't know as many people who knew them. Here, it's a lot easier. They are relatively few, and plenty of people have opinions.

Judicial election makes the law pretty unstable, though. Not because our judges are bought -- I really don't think they are -- but because voters are fickle. Our SC overruled a case (on retro-activity) last week that had been decided in 2008. Now, I think they got it right this time, but it's pretty tough for lawyers and judges to know what to do.

Here's the thumbnail on that one: a couple years ago, our SC decided that our state constitutional right of privacy is stronger than the 4th Amendment, and threw out a conviction based on an informant wearing a wire. Fine so far. Right after that a guy who had just been convicted, based on an informant with a wire, but had already appealed, tried to raise this issue. Sorry, too late, you didn't object at trial. (Although, of course, no one knew such an objection might work.) Last week's guy had been convicted, but not yet sentenced, when the SC privacy decision came down. He filed a motion for a new trial, which was denied based on the sorry-too-late appellate decision. Well, no, not sorry after all: the new rule, this week, is that raising the issue after conviction but before sentencing is still "at trial" for purposes of the preservation statute.

At least 2 justices -- including the chief -- are newly on the court.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 11- 3-10 7:28 PM
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On the veldt, we walked twenty miles to vote ... and liked it.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11- 3-10 7:30 PM
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681: You, Jesus, your mom and Mrs. Peabody from 2nd grade.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11- 3-10 7:38 PM
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Assuming that counted percentages hold for uncounted ballots (which may not be a great assumption), I have Murray hanging on with about a 35-45K vote victory in Washington (a lot of King left to count, but similar percentages left in the Idahoan counties). She is at 26K now (new counts are trickling in). Yes, I know it does not really matter--shut up.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11- 3-10 7:43 PM
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I think the most important thing anyone can do in this world is to wake up-- to look at their "stuff" honestly, to own the shadow, and to grow into a more loving, compassionate human being.

The being of gswift is Sorge.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 11- 3-10 7:44 PM
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Being mildly sick is weird. I spent the last several hours struggling to stay awake, then finally gave up and went to bed around 9. I had a brief nightmare about being made to do elaborate calculations on a blackboard in front of intimidating people, then woke up again, and am now not sleepy at all.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 11- 3-10 7:48 PM
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682: (a) The stakes seem fairly high these days; and (b) the particular non-voters in question are well-educated and 35 years old. They have no excuse, and needing to be "stoked" is, as I said, pathetic.

I'm not seeing your point. It's that citizens have always been non-participatory and uncaring, so it's fine if they continue to be so, and we shouldn't want anything else? No room for the notion that voting should be considered a responsibility rather than an option?

Meh. Voting isn't for everyone, after all.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 11- 3-10 7:49 PM
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Facebook needs to give me a way to "dislike" finding out that someone I had a modicum of respect for likes The Fountainhead.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 11- 3-10 7:50 PM
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Elections have to be run like rock concerts now.

I was thinking about candidates like Alvin Greene, O'Donnell, and even Palin today, and wondering what motivated someone to spend money and time and effort on a race they weren't even competent to run. And it occurred to me that running a race to become a celebrity, not necessarily to hold office, might seem like a pretty good investment for some people. I don't suppose this is something new to American politics, but it seems to have become something strange. Candidates like O'Donnell and Greene act like they're more interested in being reality TV stars than senators. (Greene passed out comic books starring himself at his election night party.)


Posted by: Populuxe | Link to this comment | 11- 3-10 7:53 PM
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I think Ari is just cautioning against romanticizing a glorious past in which elections weren't a lot like rock concerts.

Personally, I don't give a damn in the abstract -- at all -- whether or not people show up to vote. In fact, there are lots of people I would love to see never cast a ballot in any election ever. I do care about whether people I dislike get elected, so I'm happy to be mad at your friend's kids for making it easier for Republicans to get elected last night.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 11- 3-10 7:56 PM
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(Greene passed out comic books starring himself at his election night party.)

Starring himself as a character called "the Ultimate Warrior", which, um, wasn't that a professional wrestler?


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 11- 3-10 7:58 PM
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691: Palin's resignation of the governorship shortly after gaining national celebrity status is particularly interesting in this light.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 11- 3-10 8:03 PM
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In fact, you should take pictures of your "stuff" and email them to me.

Getting the lighting right is tricky, what with the giant shadow being cast, which is probably why I'm still having some trouble owning it.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 11- 3-10 8:04 PM
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693: Personally, I'm rooting for him to run again in six years, so that he might release the prequel, The Penultimate Warrior.


Posted by: Comic Book Guy | Link to this comment | 11- 3-10 8:04 PM
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661: In Illinois, appellate court judges are elected for 10-year terms, at which point they run for retention. (I think it's the same deal at all levels of the judiciary, but I must confess I'm not sure if the terms are the same.) Should s/he stay or should s/he go? Yes, or no? If a judge were not retained, there'd be a (probably-) contested election to fill the seat. But that almost never happens. The one judge I know of who was not retained lost the vote for retention as a trial court judge -- but in the same election was elected to the appellate court. Go figure. If a judge retires before the end of the 10-year term, the supreme court appoints a replacement to finish up that term and then an election is held when the term is up.

There are problems with voting for judges, no doubt. But there are problems with appointments, too.

689: They have no excuse, and needing to be "stoked" is, as I said, pathetic.

No room for the notion that abstention is also a way to voice one's political will? It seems to me that, perhaps, these educated 35-year-olds might have abstained on the principle that they couldn't in good conscience cast a vote for the Republican but were sending a message that, if the Democrats want their vote, the Democrats are going to have to work a little harder to earn it.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 11- 3-10 8:05 PM
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543: God, Heebie, don't scare me like that.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 11- 3-10 8:08 PM
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692.1: Right; I just didn't notice that I was romanticizing a glorious past. Just making an observation about what it takes to motivate people even when the stakes are already pretty high and cable news has been pretty shouty about all this for quite a while; I thought there'd been a fair amount of stoking going on, but apparently not.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 11- 3-10 8:08 PM
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686

I don't know which estimate of uncounted ballots you're using but it matters a lot. The Washington Secretary of State only thinks that about 175,000 King county ballots are uncounted, but King County says they are expecting 150,000 more on top of that.


Posted by: F | Link to this comment | 11- 3-10 8:08 PM
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689: They've almost always been high. And yet, voters have almost always needed to be exhorted. If you don't like it, you might want to consider forswearing democracy. It's kind of a crass, after all, what with allowing the people to make all sorts of decisions for themselves.

As for the rest of your comment, I don't really see how you're doing anything but putting words in my mouth, so I think I'll leave it.


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 11- 3-10 8:11 PM
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Also, Halford's got it right in 692.1.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 11- 3-10 8:13 PM
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cable news has been pretty shouty about all this for quite a while; I thought there'd been a fair amount of stoking going on, but apparently not

Some people aren't exactly stoked by shouty cable news.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 11- 3-10 8:20 PM
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699: and cable news has been pretty shouty about all this for quite a while; I thought there'd been a fair amount of stoking going on, but apparently not.

Yeah, but the viewership of cable news is like a couple of million. It just so happens that that couple of million are really really engaged and easily frightened apparently. Because they're old.

Unfortunately that also means that they have a massively disproportionate effect on politics. Politics is show business now.

At any rate, the midterm turnout was something like 40 million smaller than the 2008 turnout. Midterm turnout is always smaller. So the excuses almost don't matter; it's like so many lemmings. They only show up when the Presidency is at stake.

I don't think Parliamentary-style elections would be any better.

max
['Still, the D's failed to turn out about six million votes they should have turned out. I guess those are the people who think we should primary Obama from the left.']


Posted by: max | Link to this comment | 11- 3-10 8:21 PM
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Being mildly sick is a constant when school starts and the kids mix all the nice germs.weird.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11- 3-10 8:29 PM
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#694. It's a reverse Reagan; instead of celebrity being a stepping stone to politics, politics becomes a stepping stone to celebrity. (If I were David Brooks or Tom Friedman, I could get a lot of columns out of this observation, no doubt.)


Posted by: Populuxe | Link to this comment | 11- 3-10 8:34 PM
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697.last: I don't really want to rehearse this again at great length, but that strikes me as rather dunderheaded reasoning. There's no particular way for Democrats to discern that an abstention means that they have to do better, rather than that the abstainer is apathetic, doesn't care one way or the other, or has opted out altogether. So no, abstention is not a way to voice one's political will.

One way for a voter to signal that he or she is a likely voter but just needs incentive to vote for a particular party is to vote for a third-party candidate.

Meanwhile, I find it unconscionable, or else stupid, that someone might think that their declining to vote in an environment in which the opposing party is in a position to do a great deal of damage somehow avoids contributing to that damage.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 11- 3-10 8:42 PM
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One way for a voter to signal that he or she is a likely voter but just needs incentive to vote for a particular party is to vote for a third-party candidate.

I think a write-in for "Donald Duck" is traditional.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11- 3-10 9:02 PM
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No room for the notion that abstention is also a way to voice one's political will?

Widespread, organized non-voting can be a protest to delegitimize an election. Scattered "protest" non-votes in typically low-turnout elections like ours are indistinguishable from votes not cast because of apathy, laziness, lost ballots or whatever.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 11- 3-10 9:52 PM
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Jaroslaw Kaczynski has all the charisma and good looks of a middle aged version of your stereotypical computer nerd. An asshole nerd who comes off as just that. He lives a monastic life in a small apartment with his now dying mother to whom he is devoted. The only other thing other than politics that he cared about was his recently deceased brother. He's managed to be at the top level of Polish politics for a quarter century now. He's also a brilliant backroom politician and an excellent campaign manager for people other than himself.

On the other hand Donald Tusk, the current top dog in Polish politics, has got decent looks, is an excellent campaigner, a very good backroom politician and has no principles whatsoever. He is currently favored to be the first incumbent head of government to win reelection in the post-communist period. All the rest not only lost, but went down in landslides. Back when he had principles he proudly proclaimed his atheism and his utter contempt for national identity; all part of his Randroid youthful convictions - imagine an early Rand Paul, but one who had done multiple stints in jail for his beliefs while in between working grey market construction jobs that were too dangerous for anyone who wasn't blacklisted from legal employment. He now loudly proclaims his deep devotion to the nation, the Catholic Faith, and universal healthcare.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 11- 3-10 9:55 PM
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686: It matters, mostly because R/oss/i is a giant douchebag. The sooner he stops losing super-close recounted elections, wasting a ton of money and slandering everyone in state government, the better.


Posted by: Former Washingtonian | Link to this comment | 11- 4-10 1:10 AM
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And yet, voters have almost always needed to be exhorted. If you don't like it, you might want to consider forswearing democracy. It's kind of a crass, after all, what with allowing the people to make all sorts of decisions for themselves.

Well, no, voting for representatives is only one possible way of institutionalizing democracy; one could easily abolish the first while preserving the second. Indeed, some might say that abolishing the first is a necessary step to preserving democracy.


Posted by: x. trapnel | Link to this comment | 11- 4-10 1:11 AM
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Elections have always been run like rock concerts.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 11- 4-10 2:12 AM
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It's a reverse Reagan; instead of celebrity being a stepping stone to politics, politics becomes a stepping stone to celebrity

It used to be said that "politics is showbusiness for ugly people". This is manifestly not true. Witness the various countries that are electing actors, showgirls and pron stars to office. The only reason that ugly politicians are still in office, in the age of HDTV, is incumbency benefits. (Therefore we can see that term limits will lead to prettier politicians.)

Finance, rather, is politics for ugly people.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 11- 4-10 2:50 AM
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There's no particular way for Democrats to discern that an abstention means that they have to do better, rather than that the abstainer is apathetic, doesn't care one way or the other, or has opted out altogether.

The message was clear enough pre-election to elicit lectures from POTUS along the same lines as your lecture here. If voters who turned out in droves in 2008 are too "apathetic" to vote this year, then we have good indication that these voters can overcome their "apathy" if given good enough reason. Dems/progressives aren't going to get terribly far if they assume they only lost because (non)voters suck.

Meanwhile, I find it unconscionable, or else stupid, that someone might think that their declining to vote in an environment in which the opposing party is in a position to do a great deal of damage somehow avoids contributing to that damage

This begs the questions, of course, as to whether the opposing party really is in a position to do a great deal of damage and whether voting for the Dems avoids that damage. Again, it seems to me that Dems/progressives would do better to spend their energy developing and advancing that message rather than reprimanding people who didn't vote and declaring them bad people.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 11- 4-10 4:01 AM
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Bave, I did not know that you were in MA. Meetup!


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 11- 4-10 5:04 AM
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355: Look, they already had an excise tax beforehand on alcohol quantity. Then they instituted a regular old sales tax which meant that people buying more expensive wines had to pay more.

My job is going to get more unpleasant.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 11- 4-10 5:11 AM
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Looks like my classmate lost the treasurer's race in Arizona. I think he lost a Congressional race in California before that.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 11- 4-10 5:17 AM
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No skin off my back.

Not so for me.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 11- 4-10 5:32 AM
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700: I don't know which estimate of uncounted ballots you're using but it matters a lot.

Yes, I'm using the more conservative estimate. So am pretty confident that any "surprises" will be in her favor.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11- 4-10 6:34 AM
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Really, the only thing for it at this point is to get inebriated and listen to a lot of punk music.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 11- 4-10 6:46 AM
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715.2 -- It takes a special kind of courage to stand back and watch poor people get screwed over as a way of expressing displeasure with people not on the ballot. I don't vilify them for doing so. I only vilify them for pretending that they are not doing so.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 11- 4-10 6:57 AM
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722 -- But not today. I was just out taking garbage cans to the curb. It's 25F, the sun won't be up for nearly an hour, and there's not a cloud in the sky. Great looking morning. And the wife wants me to take the afternoon off and hike into some backcountry hot springs in Idaho. So, adios for now, friends.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 11- 4-10 7:08 AM
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Helpful rhetoric, that, CC.

Have you considered that perhaps they are expressing displeasure with the congressional Democrats on the ballots? Or that perhaps they've seen no convincing argument that their failure to vote will screw over poor people? Villify all you want, but perhaps contemp for those not yet on board is not the way to get them on board.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 11- 4-10 7:16 AM
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Is it plausible that people are staying away as a considered action rather than out of indifference? The poeple who are voting want benefits without taxes, and can't be bothered with details.

The nonvoters are more sensible, really?


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 11- 4-10 7:31 AM
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Isn't it obvious that it's all d-squared's fault?


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 11- 4-10 7:37 AM
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And yet, it's the poor people who have stayed away from the ballot, out of their obliviousness to the problems of poor people.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 11- 4-10 7:38 AM
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Have you considered that perhaps they are expressing displeasure with the congressional Democrats on the ballots?

I refuse to vote for many local offices out of displeasure with the candidates, but that might be a bit different because everybody knows who is going to win in nearly every case.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11- 4-10 7:47 AM
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I'm making no claims about the wisdom of not voting. In fact, I kinda think voting is a good idea. My point is more along the lines of get the log out of your own eye before you worry about the speck in your neighbor's. Instead of bitching and moaning about voter indifference, concentrate that energy on getting a message out that persuades those voters that there really is a difference.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 11- 4-10 7:50 AM
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Have you considered that perhaps they are expressing displeasure with the congressional Democrats on the ballots? Or that perhaps they've seen no convincing argument that their failure to vote will screw over poor people?

Not CC, but I'd say yes, I think a small but not insignificant minority have made a carefully considered decision not to vote.

Villify all you want, but perhaps contemp for those not yet on board is not the way to get them on board.

Perhaps, perhaps not. Have you considered that making sure that non voting is not salonfähig among the well educated strongly liberal or further left types like the ones who hang out here is actually a pretty effective tactic?


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 11- 4-10 7:55 AM
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The only reason that ugly politicians are still in office, in the age of HDTV, is incumbency benefits. ... Finance, rather, is politics for ugly people.

Name recognition is a good servant, but a harsh master. Also, the lower ranks of finance tend to be flush with pretty girls, who bring the average up decidedly.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 11- 4-10 7:56 AM
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730.2: considered and rejected. I don't know many educated lefties who take well to being villified as people who screw poor people.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 11- 4-10 8:07 AM
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Exactly my point. If you prefer, think sexist or homophobic jokes. No, the folks targeted as being sexist or homophobic are not going to take well to that, but they'll also be less likely to tell such jokes in the future.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 11- 4-10 8:21 AM
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I don't know many educated lefties who take well to being villified as people who screw poor people.

People who screw poor people are the luckiest people of all.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11- 4-10 8:24 AM
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OT: Some guy stood outside a downtown hotel, told a guest he was the valet, and got himself a free SUV. Why doesn't that happen more often?

Also, if you are going to try to get a car that way, don't stop and pick-up some guy from the street while still in sight of the owner. That raises suspicion much sooner than would otherwise be the case.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11- 4-10 8:28 AM
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You're right, of course, DK. I put people who think (a) it's not only remotely possible, but actually more likely than not that Gore would have invaded Iraq; (b) Nancy Pelosi is a bloodthirsty quisling for allowing appropriations for the Iraq war to come to a vote; or (c) the 2010 loss of the House is part of a devious plot by Obama to cut social security, as occupying the same level of persuadability as those who think (i) the earth is 6,000 or so years old; (ii) the God of their any known book wants me to kill hundreds of innocents, and will reward me handsomely in the afterlife for doing so; or (iii) tax cuts always return more revenue than they cost.

I don't expect my contempt to affect the beliefs of anyone in categories (i)-(iii). I do think, though, that in conversation, it's important not to act as if these beliefs are harmless, or within the range of acceptable opinions for decent people. In hopes not of persuading the unpersuadable, but of reaching the reachable.

When a rich self-made white guy from Texas went around saying that George HW Bush was a screw up not worth re-electing, it validated voting not only for Perot, but also for Clinton. Similarly, all those people in New York and California who went around in 2000 saying that there was no difference between Bush and Gore ended up validating voting for Nader in Florida and New Hampshire, and voting for Bush in West Virginia and Tennessee -- if there's no difference, who cares.

OK, now I really have to go. Have a great day.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 11- 4-10 9:21 AM
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If the intended effect of not voting is "somehow get the right people to run", then it is a massive fail. I believe the phrase "cutting off your nose to spite your face" is relevant. If the intended effect is to make yourself feel better, well "Mission Accomplished" I guess.


Posted by: F | Link to this comment | 11- 4-10 10:31 AM
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I put people who think (a) it's not only remotely possible, but actually more likely than not that Gore would have invaded Iraq; (b) Nancy Pelosi is a bloodthirsty quisling for allowing appropriations for the Iraq war to come to a vote; or (c) the 2010 loss of the House is part of a devious plot by Obama to cut social security, as occupying the same level of persuadability as those who think (i) the earth is 6,000 or so years old; (ii) the God of their any known book wants me to kill hundreds of innocents, and will reward me handsomely in the afterlife for doing so; or (iii) tax cuts always return more revenue than they cost.

I'm fine with that assessment. So, are you assuming everyone who failed to vote did so because they fall into one of those three categories? Because, truthfully? I would assume the people in those categories went to the polls and voted the way Fox News told them to. The comment to which I was responding -- It takes a special kind of courage to stand back and watch poor people get screwed over as a way of expressing displeasure with people not on the ballot. I don't vilify them for doing so. I only vilify them for pretending that they are not doing so. -- seemed to instead be targeting liberal- or progressive-leaning voters who didn't make it to the polls because they are disenchanted with the inaction of the Dems over (particularly, but hardly exclusively) the past 2 years. These are the voters who, in 2008, proved that they will rally if you promise them change they can believe in. The problem now being that they no longer believe. You want them to get active again? Quit blaming them for the Democrats' failures and start giving them reason to believe again. The Deomocrats didn't lose control of the House because voters suck. They lost control, by and large, because they suck.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 11- 4-10 10:34 AM
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If the intended effect of not voting is "somehow get the right people to run", then it is a massive fail. I believe the phrase "cutting off your nose to spite your face" is relevant. If the intended effect is to make yourself feel better, well "Mission Accomplished" I guess.

738.last to this as well. But, to reframe: If the intended effect of villifying non-voters is "somehow get them to show up and support you at the polls", then it is a massive fail. If the intended effect is to excuse Democratic candidates of their own responsibility for failing to motivate and mobilize support, well "Mission Accomplished" I guess.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 11- 4-10 10:39 AM
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c) the 2010 loss of the House is part of a devious plot by Obama to cut social security

Ok, let me try to explain. It goes back to the spring of 2009

1) The stimulus program, and there could be only one, was too small, and too focused on tax cuts instead of jobs programs. The largest part was Obama's tax cut for those under 250k.

2) The result was predictable and predicted (by Krugman and many others). High unemployment for the 2010 midterms. It was predictable. It was also entirely predictable who would be unemployed, young people, minorities, the lower middle class. There are many other policy decisions, Bernanke, no mortgage cramdown that also hurt the lower quintiles.

3) the above groups damaged by the lousy stimulus package are exactly the ones Obama and the Dems needed to turn out to do decently in the midterms.

4) So it was 100% predictable that Obama's economic policies guaranteed a bigger than usual Republican wave in 2010. 100%, and many of us, including Krugman, were predicting it in summer of 2009.

5) So the only question left:Is Obama a fucking idiot?
No, Obama is not an idiot. So the 100 % predictable result had to be intended.

6) We will see why it was intended in the next six months, I think.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 11- 4-10 10:45 AM
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I don't agree with a lot of the conclusions in this post (and there's pure crazy going on in the comments), but this part is spot-on:

Let me put it simply, what went wrong went wrong from the very top of the party. In both political and policy terms, the President of the United States, the head of the Democratic party, created this disaster.

Nothing tracks electoral success better than the economy. Barack Obama did not do what it took to pull the economy out of the doldrums. This is true both with regards to the stimulus, which was too small, too larded up with tax cuts and too ineffective and with regards to the Federal Reserve, where Obama's chosen chairman Ben Bernanke is about to drop stimulus (nicknamed Quantitative easing 2) on the economy after the election instead of doing it before the election. There was no economic reason not to do it months ago, when it would have helped both struggling Americans and Democrats.

Barack Obama took pains to let down or gratuitously harm virtually every major Democratic constituency. Whether it was increasing deportations of Hispanics, whether it was putting in a Presidential order against Federal money being used for abortions which was more restrictive than Rep. Stupak had demanded, whether it was wholesale violation of civil rights climaxing with the claim that he had the right to assassinate American citizens, whether it was trading away the public option to corporate interests then insisting for months he hadn't, whether it was not moving aggressively on card check (EFCA) for unions, or whether it was constantly stymying attempts to end Don't Ask, Don't Tell, Barack Obama was there making sure that whatever could be done to demoralize the base was done.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 11- 4-10 10:45 AM
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Why go elsewhere for pure crazy in comments?

But seriously, bob, did you not see any photos of the President yesterday? They were all crying out to be captioned "I has a sad."


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 11- 4-10 11:00 AM
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Because I can't get the "only a moron could doubt that Hillary Clinton is the true heir of Eugene Debs" crazy around here.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 11- 4-10 11:04 AM
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I am more or less sure that 80% or so of the things Di would like the "Democrats" (meaning who, exactly?) to have done to make them "not suck" would either have been (as a matter of politics, not policy) counterproductive or made no difference at all to the results.

The Congress could have pumped more money into the economy, which would have been good politics and very good policy. Not waiting until 2014 to phase in most of HCR would have been smart. And, in Illinois and a few other places, they could have run better candidates. But that's really about all. Expecting a wave of very young voters (notoriously fickle) to sustain you in a midterm election is a pipe dream.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 11- 4-10 11:05 AM
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Why the fuck did Obama and the Democrats go with Fox and Andrew Breitbart and destroy ACORN? ACORN could have, by itself, given us 5-10 House seats.

I am not the crazy one. I think I am surrounded by fucking crazy. Obama is not among them.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 11- 4-10 11:06 AM
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I don't agree with a lot of the conclusions in this post

Is there more than one conclusion in that post?

(Also, I'd be curious to know what exactly about the conclusion you disagree with. A damned-if-you-don't, damned-if-you-do general sense of hopelessness I would understand, but absent that the logic strikes me as spot-on.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 11- 4-10 11:06 AM
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742:I never listen or look at the guy, the best fricking bullshitter in the world. I don't play poker or pool with people who have state nicknames either.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 11- 4-10 11:08 AM
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Is there more than one conclusion in that post?

I guess not really. What I disagree with is that a primary challenge would accomplish anything except driving permanent wedges between fundamental parts of the base. Alienating black voters is about as brilliant a political strategy for the left as throwing abortion rights under the bus.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 11- 4-10 11:12 AM
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It sort of depends on which state, doesn't it? I would totally play pool with a "New Hampshire Fred."


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 11- 4-10 11:13 AM
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You'll still play pool with me and Puerto Rico Johnson, though, right?


Posted by: U.S. Virgin Islands Fats | Link to this comment | 11- 4-10 11:14 AM
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748: Didn't black voters support the non-black, more-left-wing candidate in this year's Alabama governor primary?


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 11- 4-10 11:15 AM
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Nothing tracks electoral success better than the economy. Barack Obama did not do what it took to pull the economy out of the doldrums. This is true both with regards to the stimulus, which was too small, too larded up with tax cuts and too ineffective and with regards to the Federal Reserve, where Obama's chosen chairman Ben Bernanke is about to drop stimulus (nicknamed Quantitative easing 2) on the economy after the election instead of doing it before the election. There was no economic reason not to do it months ago, when it would have helped both struggling Americans and Democrats.

I agree 100% with this.

Barack Obama took pains to let down or gratuitously harm virtually every major Democratic constituency. Whether it was increasing deportations of Hispanics, whether it was putting in a Presidential order against Federal money being used for abortions which was more restrictive than Rep. Stupak had demanded, whether it was wholesale violation of civil rights climaxing with the claim that he had the right to assassinate American citizens, whether it was trading away the public option to corporate interests then insisting for months he hadn't, whether it was not moving aggressively on card check (EFCA) for unions, or whether it was constantly stymying attempts to end Don't Ask, Don't Tell, Barack Obama was there making sure that whatever could be done to demoralize the base was done.

I think it is literally insane to blame a failure to push these kinds of base-pleasing measures for Tuesday night's loss. I agree as a policy matter that Obama should have pushed for each and every one of these things. But the story of last night is that a lot of Rahm-selected conservative democrats lost their seats in conservative or marginal districts. Thinking that pushing for EFCA or ending Don't Ask, Don't Tell would have helped to preserve a victory in those areas is nuts.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 11- 4-10 11:15 AM
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And, I've never read that blog before, but this post strikes me as even more spot-on:

The Democrats gained control of both Congress and the Presidency in 2008. They then pursued ineffective policies which didn't fix the economy. They increased deportations of Hispanics. They restricted abortion rights for women. They spat on gays repeatedly. They betrayed unions. They gutted civil rights, going even further than George W. Bush (who never said he had the right to assassinate Americans.) They saved bankers who then rewarded themselves with record bonuses and salaries while average American wages actually declined.
The base was demoralized, not because the Dems went too far left, but because they went too far right. The non-Democratic voters were angered because they elected Democrats to fix the goddamn economy and to not be George Bush, who they were sick of. Dems didn't do what they were elected to do.
That's why Dems are losing - because they demoralized their own base in a base election year, because they didn't fix the economy, and because they thought Americans wanted them to be George Bush, just a bit smarter.
This isn't a repudiation of liberalism or progressivism or socialism (Americans wouldn't recognize a socialist if he gave them real universal healthcare) it is a repudiation of a Democratic party which failed to fix the economy and which became identified with bailouts for the rich.
Anyone who doesn't understand this, is, forgive me, a complete idiot.

Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 11- 4-10 11:15 AM
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750: I'm in!


Posted by: Guam Red | Link to this comment | 11- 4-10 11:16 AM
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751: Blacks have always voted for white candidates (and at higher rates than white voters vote for the same candidates). That's not the same thing as trying to unseat the first black president.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 11- 4-10 11:19 AM
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I think it is literally insane to blame a failure to push these kinds of base-pleasing measures for Tuesday night's loss.

I don't know. This election got lost on turnout, if I understand what I'm reading correctly -- not a lot of people voted Obama in 08 and Tea Party in 10, the Obama voters just stayed home. And base-pleasing measures mean enthusiasm.

I wouldn't say it's solidly established that a better record on executive power/civil liberties/gay rights/union issues and so on and so forth would have flipped the election, but I bet it would have gotten more people doing GOTV work.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11- 4-10 11:20 AM
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What I disagree with is that a primary challenge would accomplish anything except driving permanent wedges between fundamental parts of the base. Alienating black voters is about as brilliant a political strategy for the left as throwing abortion rights under the bus.

Carol Moseley Braun!


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 11- 4-10 11:21 AM
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Right, but the main losses were in marginal or quite conservative House districts. You have to look at where the "base" you're looking for is coming from, and House elections differ in this respect from Senate or Presidential elections (i.e., it doesn't matter for a race in the Central Valley if voters in West Hollywood turn out in smaller numbers). The Illinois Senate race is about the only place where I could conceptually see the absence disillusioned voters from the left making a substantial difference; in Pennsylvania, the "base" (i.e., black people in Philly) turned out in droves, which is why the election was so close there.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 11- 4-10 11:24 AM
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Woah, I didn't notice. apo linked to Ian?

Harry Reid ...was amazing in Nevada. FDL has the demographics. If Harry could do it there, it could have been done many other places

I will leave with This Worse than you think.

Repubs will use the debt limit, and crashing the world economy, as a blackmail threat. They will do it.

But that is not the way to look at it. What will really happen is that Repubs get to look stark raving dangerous crazy, Obama will get to look sane and conciliatory, more in sorrow than anger, and the people will get fucked. Good cop/bad cop


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 11- 4-10 11:26 AM
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they gutted civil rights, going even further than George W. Bush (who never said he had the right to assassinate Americans.)

This is classic Glenn Greenwald holier-than-thou fuckwittism.

They spat on gays repeatedly.

And this is even more so.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11- 4-10 11:33 AM
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760 - No, I think he means that Obama gobbed on Pansy Division at a show in 1997 at the Lounge Ax.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 11- 4-10 11:35 AM
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What will really happen is that Repubs get to look stark raving dangerous crazy, Obama will get to look sane and conciliatory

I'm not sure if this is an accurate prediction, but it is a good description of Unfogged.

bob makes the rest of us look relatively sane. thanks, bob!


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 11- 4-10 11:35 AM
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761: I think I've seen Pansy Division at Lounge Ax -- certainly in Chicago. But Kurt Cobain was still alive when I saw them so it wasn't '97. ("Play Fugazi, play Repeater, River Phoenix, wearing Speedos -- yeah!")


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 11- 4-10 11:40 AM
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And this is even more so.

It certainly reflects the feelings of just about every (real-life) gay friend I have, who are mostly livid that pro-gay rulings have repeatedly been challenged by the current DoJ.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 11- 4-10 11:41 AM
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This is classic Glenn Greenwald holier-than-thou fuckwittism.

I'm not sure I know precisely what 'fuckwittism' means, so I'll ask directly: is there some sense in which you think the quoted statement is inaccurate?


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 11- 4-10 11:44 AM
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The base was demoralized, not because the Dems went too far left, but because they went too far right. The non-Democratic voters were angered because they elected Democrats to fix the goddamn economy and to not be George Bush, who they were sick of. Dems didn't do what they were elected to do.

This strikes me as methodologically tedious post hoc ergo propter hoc. Movements and leaders get lots of things wrong. Just because we advocates feel especially keenly certain of those things, we fall into the error of thinking those must be the root cause of every failure.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 11- 4-10 11:45 AM
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764: Not my experience.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11- 4-10 11:45 AM
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bob makes the rest of us look relatively sane. thanks, bob!

You have it backwards. But crazy makes the world go round.

Not true for all of unfogged, but I am the comparatively
faithless man.

Don't even believe in Yoko.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 11- 4-10 11:46 AM
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765: Leading into it with "they gutted civil rights, "

Fuck that shit. Forget anything that follows it, by prefacing it that way the writer reveals himself as not worth taking seriously on the subject.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11- 4-10 11:49 AM
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758: Turnout has two sides. If from day one Obama had spent part of every day railing against the financial industry, including introducing legislation that would require bankers to get notes from Elizabeth Warren before they can trade lunches, it would have defused some populist anger on the right and further stressed the Tea Party fractures in the Republican party.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 11- 4-10 11:50 AM
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Look, I'm not going to go as far as bob and argue that Obama helped Bush plan the 9-11 terrorist attacks, but there's something amazingly amiss about the extent to which the adminstration has let Republicans completely control the political narrative over the past 18 months. I think it really is (political) stupidity, rather than anything nefarious, but either way it's been hella demoralizing.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 11- 4-10 11:53 AM
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Don't even believe in Yoko.

I love the Plastic One reference.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 11- 4-10 11:54 AM
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772: "Plastic One" -- funny!

But it was supposed to say "Plastic Ono".


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 11- 4-10 11:55 AM
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770: This. Or some level of this, at least.

From exit polls: Who Do You Blame for Economic Problems?

Wall Street (35%) Democrat 42% Republican 56%


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11- 4-10 11:55 AM
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If from day one Obama had spent part of every day railing against the financial industry, including introducing legislation that would require bankers to get notes from Elizabeth Warren before they can trade lunches, it would have defused some populist anger on the right and further stressed the Tea Party fractures in the Republican party.

And I have a bridge I'd like to sell you . . . . Don't forget that the "tea party," such as it is (aka the remarketed Republican base) takes its foundational moment from when a commenter on CNBC complained about Obama's takeover of the financial services industry.

Seriously, I think the real lesson is that, with the exception of overall economic growth, specific policy decisions don't matter that much for voter response, so liberals might as well be liberal. Just don't expect it to help you much in winning elections.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 11- 4-10 11:55 AM
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769: sorry, genuine question, I still don't understand your objection. Would you have been happy with: "they failed to renunciate George W. Bush gutting of civil rights, and in some ways went even further than Bush (who never said he had the right to assassinate Americans.)"? Because that seems unimpeachable.

I guess we could debate whether or not just shortening all that to "they gutted civil rights" is a fair characterization of that, and I'd be perfectly open to the argument that's it's not completely fair, although I don't see how it could be characterized as so far off as to make the author not worth taking seriously on the subject.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 11- 4-10 11:59 AM
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The number of folks who'd be motivated by executive power type issues is tiny. Going after war crimes would be a vote loser. DADT would have no effect. Trying and failing on EFCA would also be a vote loser, and there wasn't a chance to get to sixty. Furthermore, pure base pleasing measures are dangerous, they also tend to either motivate the opposing base and/or turn off middle of the road voters.

758 Yes, and adding that the 'base' voters in PA that didn't turn out, are middle income suburbanites. Plus, the Dem base tends to turn out less in midterms than the Repub one. Finally, I agree with everyone that a bigger stimulus would have helped. But if the past ten years have taught me anything, it's that it wouldn't have changed the things the Ian Welsh's of the world are saying at all if he had played his cards perfectly and we'd lost two less senate seats and a dozen less ones in the House. They would still be blaming Obama and the evil corpocrats for the lack of ponies.

I mean for fucks sake, these are the folks who like to cite Grayson as their kind of model Democrat and are blaming Obama for his downfall. It doesn't get more rabble rousing base pleasing pleasure then him. He's in a slightly R leaning swing district. To preserve the House majority we needed to keep a good number of such districts; not all, but some to counteract Dem geographic concentration. Our rational base non-voters that Di and others are referring to here should have been turning out in droves for him to 'send a message'. The sent it all right, Grayson went down by eighteen points.

This may not be a 'center-right nation', but it sure as hell isn't a left wing one. With the current state of opinion in the US, we've got as much chance of pushing through our economic vision as the Repubs would have pushing their current one back forty years ago. It's taken a long, sustained effort of PR and incremental measures on the right's part to get to where we are.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 11- 4-10 11:59 AM
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I agree that the Tea Party began, and still largely is, a rebranding strategy, but that doesn't mean that there isn't genuine dissatisfaction on the right with bailouts.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 11- 4-10 12:00 PM
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778 to 775.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 11- 4-10 12:01 PM
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Or even, you know, some correct word instead of 'renunciate'.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 11- 4-10 12:01 PM
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I guess we could debate whether or not just shortening all that to "they gutted civil rights" is a fair characterization of that

Gee d'ya think, maybe?


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11- 4-10 12:02 PM
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The number of folks who'd be motivated by executive power type issues is tiny. Going after war crimes would be a vote loser.

Tiny, but the sort of person who volunteer. I worked for Obama in '08. I am now kind of ashamed of being associated with him, and spent the election season with my head in the sand pretending things weren't that bad. That sort of thing is how he lost the people who should have been rabidly whirlyeyed partisans on his side, and it's hard to whip up enthusiasm without any rabidly whirlyeyed partisans.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11- 4-10 12:04 PM
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I'll bet $15 that LB volunteers for Obama in 2012.

Midterms are different.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 11- 4-10 12:06 PM
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Don't forget that Obama basically squandered an entire year on "bipartisanship" before it dawned on the administration that the Republican party was a counter-productive force.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11- 4-10 12:07 PM
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781: so, really, my first paragraph in 776 is fine with you, but that version is beyond the pale? Huh. I don't know what to say, other than that strikes me as very odd.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 11- 4-10 12:08 PM
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783: I've apparently failed to convey how very lazy I am. I need wholehearted enthusiasm to get me going; the slightest moral qualm and I'm back on the couch with my shoes off.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11- 4-10 12:09 PM
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784: I don't see that he ever stopped wasting time on bipartisanship. That said, and in full awareness of the administration's shortcomings, I think pinning the midterm massacre on him is letting Congress, especially the Senate, off the hook.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 11- 4-10 12:12 PM
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Yeah, civil rights/executive privilege is a red herring. In WA, there was an initiative to amend the constitution to allow courts to refuse bail to prisoners accused of certain crimes. It passed 85-15. More than any of the tax measures, more than any of the candidates. People don't give a shit about obscure civil liberties issues if someone can point to a semi-plausible reason to limit them.


Posted by: F | Link to this comment | 11- 4-10 12:13 PM
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The one two of Bush I and Clintonomics had me feeling that way, and I had no strong politically aware memory of Reagan. Bush II cured that.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 11- 4-10 12:14 PM
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letting Congress, especially the Senate, off the hook

Pretty much exclusively the Senate. The House passed a ton of good legislation, just to see it die in the Senate.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 11- 4-10 12:17 PM
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The question is were there the fifty one votes needed to reform Senate procedural rules if Obama and Reid had pushed hard for them in Jan. 2009. If yes, it's on the Dem leadership, if not, then there's no way around making sure that the Liebermans and Nelsons are on board.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 11- 4-10 12:19 PM
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the midterm massacre

What, the 15 or so extra seats in the House that shouldn't have gone to the Republicans in an ordinary given the state of the economy and the fact that it was a midterm election? The maintenance of a solid majority in the Senate?

(Admittedly, this is unfair because the Congress and the President arguably could have done more to boost the economy. Still, it's just a fundamental error to think that somehow the election was some kind of shocking referendum on, and rejection of, all of Obama's policy decisions).

Don't forget that Obama basically squandered an entire year on "bipartisanship"

And House seats were lost mostly in areas where the marginal potential Democratic party voter is likely committed to bipartisanship. A more aggressive "destroy the Republicans" strategy is even more likely to have backfired. But, frankly, I don't think that people's feelings about bipartisanship had much to do with the election results, one way or the other.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 11- 4-10 12:21 PM
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790: Yeah, I thought about that after posting. Even the blue dogs in the House didn't keep them from passing decent legislation.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 11- 4-10 12:22 PM
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Holy Fuck urple! Take off your semantic-parsing lawyer hat and think like a human being. You don't get to fucking change the polemics after the fact. That is what has been said, and how it has said said and the context in which they said it. Thus have demagogues since time immemorial appealed to the emotions of the many.

Look, I agree that this one area (a subarea of civil rights) has easily been one of the most disappointing for this administration. But even in that area they have *not* surpassed the Bush administration.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11- 4-10 12:26 PM
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If yes, it's on the Dem leadership, if not, then there's no way around making sure that the Liebermans and Nelsons are on board.

It's come up before, and I know there were good reasons for not letting Republicans push every vote to filibuster, but the leadership treated the 60-vote Senate as a fait accompli without putting up a fight.

What, the 15 or so extra seats in the House that shouldn't have gone to the Republicans in an ordinary given the state of the economy and the fact that it was a midterm election?

The loss of House control, which is a big deal for the next couple of years regardless of how improbable or tenuous Democratic control of it was in the first place. As noted above, they passed better legislation than the Senate.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 11- 4-10 12:29 PM
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And House seats were lost mostly in areas where the marginal potential Democratic party voter is likely committed to bipartisanship. A more aggressive "destroy the Republicans" strategy is even more likely to have backfired.

The marginal potential Democratic party voter can't tell bipartisanship from a hole in the ground. Nothing could have backfired more than pandering to conservative Dems and Republicans.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11- 4-10 12:37 PM
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I agree with the sentiment that things like executive power don't influence many votes. But it seems like you're conflating criticisms that are really going to two separate issues:

(a) failure to diffuse center-right unease (*not* hard right craziness, which couldn't be diffused, isn't his fault, and probably on balance does more to help than to hurt), which in my view primarily a failure of consistent narrative, which, as I said upthread, has been almost completely lacking. Following the '08 campaign, I must admit this failure in particular has been a real shocker (to me).

(b) failure to throw many bones at all to the base, which wouldn't drive votes in the middle, but would get volunteers motivated, etc. This is where the DODT, executive power issues, etc. make a significant difference. And (this is nothing groundbreaking, but just to say it:) this *does* drive votes on election day. More of the base shows up, and--perhaps even more significantly--when people with doubts or questions hear passionate, stident criticism coming from one side and tepid, qualified support coming from the other, it helps sway their decision.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 11- 4-10 12:42 PM
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The only people who are "committed to bipartisanship" and actually notice when bipartisanship is taking place are people who spend hours a week reading political commentary and have spent time pondering whether Andrew Sullivan or somebody else should be considered the George Orwell of our day. People in general like "bipartisanship" because it's a word with positive connotations.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 11- 4-10 12:42 PM
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But even in that area they have *not* surpassed the Bush administration.

They surpassed the Bush administration in failing to live up to expectations. I expect gutting of the Constitution from Republicans. But Obama sold himself as better than that, and then wasn't.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 11- 4-10 12:44 PM
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Nothing could have backfired more than pandering to conservative Dems and Republicans.

Um, it was the conservative Dems who lost on Tuesday. In conservative or marginal districts. The districts in which Democrats lost in 2010 gave only 49% of their vote, on average, to Obama in 2008. I'm not really seeing how a pump-up-your-base strategy wins votes in those districts.

But maybe you're just saying that getting a bigger economic stimulus done earlier, thus boosting the overall economy, would have helped Democrats. If you're saying that, then I agree.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 11- 4-10 12:46 PM
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799: OK, per usual Bush and the Republicans get the benefit of the soft bigotry of low expectations.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11- 4-10 12:48 PM
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But even in that area they have *not* surpassed the Bush administration.

I disagree. Using the word as a verb, I agree that they haven't done more actual gutting themselves, but under their watch more of our civil liberties are now in fact gutted. They started at the bottom of the deep well dug by Bush, and insted of filling it back in they decided to dig a little bit deeper. Fuck that.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 11- 4-10 12:49 PM
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"Committed to bipartisanship" is inapt phrasing. But the bottom line is that the Democrats lost a lot of swing or marginal seats in conservative-ish places that often vote Republican, and kept places in which voters are strongly partisan Democrats. It's unclear to me how demonizing the Republicans is supposed to have been politically effective in winning those seats.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 11- 4-10 12:53 PM
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But maybe you're just saying that getting a bigger economic stimulus done earlier, thus boosting the overall economy, would have helped Democrats. If you're saying that, then I agree.

I do believe this. It's not what I was saying, quite. I gotta go teach, though.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11- 4-10 12:55 PM
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802- The line was implying that Obama was worse here because he was crossing lines that even Bush hadn't, which is the same sort of rhetoric as saying Gore would have invaded Iraq because of some stuff he said before 2000. It's a misleading way to put things, but , that said, it's also a pretty small matter to nitpick. The fact that Obama is merely continuing Bush policies rather than going places Bush wouldn't have is obviously no defense at all.


Posted by: persistently visible | Link to this comment | 11- 4-10 1:01 PM
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But the bottom line is that the Democrats lost a lot of swing or marginal seats in conservative-ish places that often vote Republican, and kept places in which voters are strongly partisan Democrats. It's unclear to me how demonizing the Republicans is supposed to have been politically effective in winning those seats.

Because many people in those districts supports Republicans because they don't understand how directly against their interests Republicans are. And they also don't understand that the reason the Democratic leadership wasn't able to effectively get a number of things done is because of Republican obstruction. People can tell the country is in deep shit, and they want leaders who are responsive to their problems and are at least working towards solutions. Mainstream voters don't want the government run by middle-schoolers, and yet the Republicans didn't even disguise the fact that they frequently obstructed government business solely in order to make it difficult for the Democrats to get anything done. They weren't offering solutions; they were just obstructing. And yet until very recently Obama gave them a complete pass on this (and countless related issues), all in the name of promoting "bipartisanship".


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 11- 4-10 1:01 PM
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I think the graphic in this post (which I assume you've all seen) is probably the start and finish of the argument. Americans aren't genetically distinct from the rest of humanity at a species level, and it certainly applies everywhere else.

The rest of the post seems about right too.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 11- 4-10 1:02 PM
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The line was implying that Obama was worse here because he was crossing lines that even Bush hadn't

He has!


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 11- 4-10 1:03 PM
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It's come up before, and I know there were good reasons for not letting Republicans push every vote to filibuster, but the leadership treated the 60-vote Senate as a fait accompli without putting up a fight.

I think this is totally fair. I really don't understand why the Obama administration didn't run again Republican misuses of the filibuster. I'd like to blame Rahm -- because he's a Jew -- but I have to think the fault is Obama's or Axelrod's.

The loss of House control, which is a big deal for the next couple of years regardless of how improbable or tenuous Democratic control of it was in the first place.

But, as others have noted, the House was almost certainly going to be lost no matter what. Midterms + a historically bad economy = bad things for the party in power. And now we're back to it all being Obama's fault because his economic advisers sold him on a half-assed stimulus. To which I say...maybe. And even then, even if I'm willing to posit a world improved by a perfect stimulus package, most (relatively left-leaning) economists will still admit, if pressed, that it's very hard to know where unemployment would be today. Better, they'll say, but better enough to keep the House in Democratic hands? So, who the fuck knows? Which is where these after-the-fact exercises always bog down for me.


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 11- 4-10 1:05 PM
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I understand that it has been conclusively demonstrated that the economy and incumbency are the dominant factors in recent elections. Is there some reason people are concluding that they are the only significant factors?


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 11- 4-10 1:05 PM
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"Committed to bipartisanship" is inapt phrasing. But the bottom line is that the Democrats lost a lot of swing or marginal seats in conservative-ish places that often vote Republican, and kept places in which voters are strongly partisan Democrats. It's unclear to me how demonizing the Republicans is supposed to have been politically effective in winning those seats.

Those "places that often vote Republican" contain Democratic base voters too. Some contain a lot of them. Those people were demoralized.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 11- 4-10 1:08 PM
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From the post linked in 807 --large and completely worthless tax cut component

Is this the consensus of opinion? I thought the consensus was that the "hidden" tax cuts were good policy, but poor politics.



Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 11- 4-10 1:08 PM
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Also, I'll suggest again as I have in the past: these assessments of the Obama administration often seem to hinge on how badly one wanted to see a Democratic administration exact some sort of revenge against the Republican party. For people like me, people who would have enjoyed revenge but only without any attendant political or policy costs, Obama still seems to get a pass on some serious missteps. But for people who really wanted Obama to kick John Boehner or Mitch McConell in the nuts on national tv, people who had real revenge fantasies that went up in smoke over the past two years, Obama's such an unrelenting disappointment that his every new act proves that he's beyond redemption.


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 11- 4-10 1:09 PM
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In fairness, 813 ignores the fact that many of the people who really wanted revenge -- and I'd include Apo in this group -- believed that revenge would have born political fruit.


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 11- 4-10 1:10 PM
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I thought the consensus was that the "hidden" tax cuts were good policy, but poor politics.

The "hidden" tax cuts were good policy relative to other tax cuts, but bad policy relative to other options for stimulus dollars.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 11- 4-10 1:11 PM
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813: That analysis might describe some people here, but it has nothing to do with why I held my nose and voted for Obama.
As I said then (here, and other places, repeatedly) I voted for Obama in the hope that having him in place instead of McCain would provide some useful breathing room for the most immiserated members of our society, and for the people around the world who suffer the consequences of US-led imperial capitalist hegemony.
I really couldn't care less about what insults get traded inside the Beltway -- I haven't watched a Sunday pundit show in years and years. I was hoping that, instead of focusing on scoring those little coups, the Obama administration could work quietly to use the power of the executive branch to roll back some of the worst excesses of the preceding 30 years of greed and terror, and maybe direct a bit of money to some important federal programs that could actually make things better.
And I'm not saying none of that has happened. But it's still been a damn sight less of it than could have happened. From the continuing use of the Justice Department to harass and disrupt leftwing political organizing, to the fake withdrawal in Iraq, to the heavily compromised health care "reform" legislation (remember when "reform" meant breaking up huge monopolies?), it looks like any good Obama has done has been extremely minimal and slow to appear.
Of course, that's kinda what I expected would happen all along, but I voted my hopes, not my fears, so that was pretty awesome.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 11- 4-10 1:18 PM
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811 Baron Hill lost by ten points, I don't see how anything Obama could have done would have improved the results to that extent. TX 23, maybe, maybe not. That's the type of place and candidate that I think would have seen significantly smaller losses if Obama had played his cards perfectly. But some of those congresscritters would still have ended up losing.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 11- 4-10 1:19 PM
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809.2:1934 House of Representative Elections

+9 Democrats
+7 Progressives


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 11- 4-10 1:20 PM
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814: It surprises me that apo doesn't get that Obama has a special burden as the first black president. He's the Jackie Robinson of Presidents.
He's not allowed to kick white people in the nuts on national TV.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 11- 4-10 1:20 PM
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believed that revenge would have born political fruit

I believe that looking weak is a self-fulfilling prophecy in American politics. Especially for Democrats, as it reinforces a pre-existing narrative.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 11- 4-10 1:24 PM
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to the fake withdrawal in Iraq

Explain. The full results won't be in until a year from now, but that's one of the campaign promises I've been a little surprised to see him sticking to. So far he's done exactly what he said he would in the general, and his plan for next year goes further than what he was saying in the primaries in the sense of offering an actual relatively short term timetable. Did you think his actions on Iraq would run to the left of what he promised when trying to appeal to the base in the primaries? Civil liberties on the other hand have been a godawful disappointment. I just don't think that hurt the Democrats in the midterms.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 11- 4-10 1:25 PM
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Part of my heartbreak is that Pelosi and the House performed fucking miracles, and could have done even more.

Pelosi right after the inauguration wanted the very first item to be the immediate repeal of the Bush tax cuts. Not only would that have set a great tone and cheered the base, but it would have provided trillions of dollars to work with.

Obama said no way.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 11- 4-10 1:26 PM
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818 GDP growth for 1934 was 10.8%. That's a lot of swirly horned ponies to expect for 2010.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 11- 4-10 1:27 PM
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821: I'm extremely dubious about the Iraq thing. From my vantage, it looks like some kind of Vietnam-in-reverse-and-then-forward-again deal. Obama's drawdown preserves the option for any future president (or Obama himself) to either renew the war later (remember how we used to be friends with Saddam Hussein, and then we weren't?) or simply to use the Iraq forces as bait for bringing about a war with Iran, Syria or one of the former-Soviet Central Asian republics.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 11- 4-10 1:33 PM
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But some of those congresscritters would still have ended up losing.

Right. Which is part of why I was objecting to comments like: They have no excuse, and needing to be "stoked" is, as I said, pathetic and It takes a special kind of courage to stand back and watch poor people get screwed over as a way of expressing displeasure with people not on the ballot.

It's all well and good to speak of the responsibility to vote. But if you want people to vote, there's also a responsibility to "stoke" them. The failure of a consistent narrative, as raised by urple, supra, is really at the heart of it.


Posted by: DK | Link to this comment | 11- 4-10 1:34 PM
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822: If Pelosi loses her leadership position I'm going to be consumed by impotent rage. I mean, even more consumed.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 11- 4-10 1:34 PM
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818

The economy was already recovering noticeably in 1934 (unemployment down and GDP up).


Posted by: F | Link to this comment | 11- 4-10 1:34 PM
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Puch!


Posted by: F | Link to this comment | 11- 4-10 1:35 PM
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I mean, "war in Iraq" might have been an end in itself for GWB, since I think he really is that stupid, but it certainly wasn't for his minders. Iraq was just the target of opportunity. We're doing the Afghanistan thing now, maybe in 10 years it will be something in Turkey to do with the Kurds, or backing Israel in another war with its neighbors, or going all out in Pakistan or whatever. The important thing is to keep up the ideological fervor around maintaining control over access to fossil fuels in the region.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 11- 4-10 1:36 PM
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813:"Once you eliminate the catastrophic, what remains must be necessary, however difficult." ...Gregory House


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 11- 4-10 1:37 PM
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And I think we still have ~50K troops in Iraq, right?


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 11- 4-10 1:40 PM
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All politics aside, I really wonder how much differently the election would have gone if there wasn't a widespread consensus (and I really think it's hugely widespread, across the political spectrum) that government spending during a recession is irresponsible. Even people I talk to who vote Democrat seem to think that belt-tightening is not a bad idea. If everyone in America read and mulled over this crystal-clear Krugman post, would things have gone differently?


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 11- 4-10 1:41 PM
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How much are we still paying the Christian Dominionist mercenaries formerly known as Blackwater?


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 11- 4-10 1:43 PM
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TX-23 is a weird district, but I can guarantee that a run to the left designed to pump up liberal voters wouldn't have helped much. If the Republicans had run a non-Hispanic candidate, maybe.

As Teraz says, Hill lost by 10 points. Where is the liberal base-pumping that could conceivably make up that gap?

(In both districts, and in others, one could imagine a world in which very precisely targeted policies could have helped out Obama or the Dems in specific areas. But there's absolutely zero evidence that pursuing Republicans more aggressively -- in tone or in substance -- would have helped in winning marginal seats).

Note what I'm not saying: I don't think that the early rhetoric of "bipartisanship" was particularly effective strategy, either. I just don't think it matters that much for electoral results, and that a failure of base-pumping did not cause the loss of the House.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 11- 4-10 1:51 PM
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But if you want people to vote, there's also a responsibility to "stoke" them.

What would you have done that you think would have made a difference?


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 11- 4-10 2:03 PM
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I believe that looking weak is a self-fulfilling prophecy in American politics. Especially for Democrats, as it reinforces a pre-existing narrative.

Zackly. And brazen lying while you're acting tough will get you far. I heard a few seconds of Mitch McConnell's recent remarks earlier today, and while it's obvious he's a vicious, insane cunt who should make the most committed atheist want to believe in hell, I wish the narrative allowed the D leadership that kind of chutzpah.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 11- 4-10 2:32 PM
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What would you have done that you think would have made a difference?

Damned if I know. If I had run, however, and had suffered a defeat, that's exactly the question I would want to really think long and hard about rather than simply throwing up my hands and blaming apathetic voters.

[analogyban] There something of a Nice Guy feel to this discussion: "Voters just don't like Nice Parties like us." [/analogyban]


Posted by: DK | Link to this comment | 11- 4-10 2:48 PM
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836: Yeah, let the record show that I agree with every word of this. But I'm not entirely sure the narrative does allow it. Because the (relatively) reality-based party has certain costs. Who knew?


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 11- 4-10 3:05 PM
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Clearly we've gone from the Margin of Despair to the Margin of Destupid.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 11- 4-10 3:09 PM
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840

Stirling Newberry explains it all to you, again, one more time.

Last night, the old half of the poor, voted to kill the younger half of the poor. The next targets on the list, are the public service unions, social security for younger people, and jobs.

The Democratic Party needed Obama himself to come out and kick his own base, repeatedly. That base, once kicked, stayed down. With the results seen in the election. The old voted, and largely as they have voted for the last 10 years: in favor of gray fascism. The young did not vote. In only two years, Obama had lost them

Just a sample, to trick y'all into reading about int'l monetary economics. Because as Keynes explained wayback from "Economic Consequences of the Coming Peace" to "General Theory of Money, Interest, and Employment" ...aww never mind.

I just liked "Obama, an odious and small man, of small mind and narrow energies, was defeated by a party even more odious and smaller minded, but of devoted energies."

I love this guy, and I don't love much. Or maybe I lie.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 11- 4-10 3:44 PM
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I mean, what can this old fart do? Gimme a stark choice between my retirement and your kids educations, all I can do is choose to burn it all fucking down.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 11- 4-10 3:48 PM
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I take 841 back. 840 may be the sharpest, clearest piece Stirling has ever written. Stunning. I hate spoilers, but here is the sobering ending. Read the whole fucking thing

Instead with a clarity that history now affords, the there is a simple ruler against which every party can be measured: do nothing for those, who do not promise to do enough. If you vote out of fear, then you will live in fear. A coward not only dies a thousand deaths, he loses a thousand elections. The future will have great contempt for this age, whatever future that may be, and which ever language it is written in. But we are not inhabitants of some distant future, fury and contempt are luxuries we do not have, because they are bought with the currency of distance, which we do not have.

Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 11- 4-10 3:57 PM
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The future will have great contempt for this age, whatever future that may be


The long run is a misleading guide to current affairs. In the long run we are all dead.


Posted by: John Maynard Keynes | Link to this comment | 11- 4-10 4:10 PM
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TX-23 is a weird district, but I can guarantee that a run to the left designed to pump up liberal voters wouldn't have helped much. If the Republicans had run a non-Hispanic candidate, maybe.

I don't mean "a run to the left designed to pump up liberal voters", if by that you mean a bunch of leftist media messaging. What about a substantive run to the left by the government itself, like for instance, not such an increase in deportations? During a time that illegal migrants are already leaving on their own accord faster than they're arriving?


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 11- 4-10 4:13 PM
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I apologize for caricaturing the opposing position with the dismissive phrase "a bunch of".


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 11- 4-10 4:14 PM
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Di, I do have to wonder whether you feel that there's any point at which a citizen's decision to vote is his or her own responsibility.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 11- 4-10 5:11 PM
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Another chunk of King County came in and Murray now up 52K (~doubled her lead). The new votes are trending even more her direction than the prior % in King, so I am even more confident that she has it.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11- 4-10 5:16 PM
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842 Tacitus is ghosting for Stirling now?


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 11- 4-10 5:19 PM
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In the long run we are all dead.

If not in the run, immediately after the run.


Posted by: Pheidippides | Link to this comment | 11- 4-10 5:20 PM
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According to some guys at GMU, election turnout rates for 2010 are higher than those of 2006 and 2002 (41.5 vs 40.5, 39.5). So any narrative about turnout has to rely more heavily on enhanced turnout among more conservative voters than on lower turnout among liberal voters.


Posted by: F | Link to this comment | 11- 4-10 5:58 PM
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Stirling Newberry challenges Glenn Greenwald's eternally returning prolixity without shame. I could forgive frank fascism more readily than such labored prose.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 11- 4-10 5:59 PM
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Greenwald at least provides a good deal of hard substance along with the ranting and excessive length. I can find him extremely annoying at times, but I think it's great that someone like him is around and visible. Back when I read him regularly, I sometimes got the impression that Stirling felt himself to be some sort of progressive second coming of Spengler. The rare occasional stuff I've seen in the past couple years has only reinforced that.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 11- 4-10 6:06 PM
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850: And that enhanced turnout among conservative voters can be directly attributed to Fox News. Liberals* can't match that, regardless of how cohesive and compelling their narrative is. As long as we're relying on stoking up and firing up in order to get voters to the polls, this is a doomed scenario for Democrats; which is why I advocate a bit more emphasis on voting as a sheer civic responsibility. The default which seems to be in place now -- that voting is something citizens must be inspired to do, as though their role is entirely passive absent stoking -- is deeply problematic.

* I'm still slightly puzzled by Apo's statement upthread that he's not a liberal. I imagine a great deal is packed into "liberal" there, though.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 11- 4-10 6:28 PM
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I don't think I buy this turnout explanation.

It's worth noting that the changes in midterm election turnout are small. And the difference between a midterm and presidential election is huge (about 50% higher for president). But overall gains and losses by D do not correlate highly with turnout (in just the midterms there are huge gains by R in 1994, and huge gains by D in 2002). There's also a significant correlation of low turnout with states that are Republican. None of these things seem to correlate highly with a hypothesis that turnout by D voters matters much.

For this year, okay, so let's assume that all of the new voters are new R voters. That means a shift of 3% towards R. But the shift towards R in this election was much higher than that (between 5 and 10%, probably closer to 10). And the assumption that all new voters are R is obviously an overestimation.

Anyway, none of this rules out the hypothesis that tons of Ds stayed home while tons of Rs came out to vote, but it doesn't seem like a good explanation to me.


Posted by: F | Link to this comment | 11- 4-10 6:49 PM
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I was wondering that too. Apo has said that before.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 11- 4-10 6:50 PM
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854: Have you seen this? Many of the districts where Democratic incumbents lost voted for McCain in '08. It's not clear that you need much of anything happening in the last two years to explain most of the result.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 11- 4-10 7:03 PM
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I'm still slightly puzzled by Apo's statement upthread that he's not a liberal.

It's fair to say I'm a cultural liberal, I guess. In the American context, I consider liberals allies and, given the demographics, that's the group you have to work with to have any hope of moving things forward at all. I'm way to the left of them on economics, would nationalize a big bunch of industries, am essentially isolationist on foreign policy, and think we ought to tax the living fuck out of churches. So I don't make a very good liberal.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 11- 4-10 7:22 PM
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You guys are depressing. I've been enjoying the post-election time by correcting all my conservative acquaintances' cheering of the historical significance of the result. "Actually, it's not at all an historical aberration, and allow me to point you to these several examples of midterms where the party in power lost seats."

Deflating the cheer of conservatives. It works! (And it's way more productive than arguing about how the Democrats might ever figure out how to be an effective party.)


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 11- 4-10 7:26 PM
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If you tax fuck, they will make less of it.


Posted by: Standpipe Bridgeplate | Link to this comment | 11- 4-10 7:27 PM
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(And it's way more productive than arguing about how the Democrats might ever figure out how to be an effective party.)

With that kind of an attitude, the Democrats might never figure out how to be an effective party.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11- 4-10 7:28 PM
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would nationalize a big bunch of industries

Which ones? If it's healthcare and weapons, I'm more or less fine with that, though I think proper laws, regulations, and elite policy preferences are much more important. You can have the military industrial complex from hell just as easily in nationalized form as in private ownership. If it's consumer goods or finance, god no.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 11- 4-10 7:34 PM
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You can have the military industrial complex from hell just as easily in nationalized form as in private ownership.

The Soviets had fun with that.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11- 4-10 7:36 PM
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I had forgotten how much I like Prokofiev's 2nd and 3rd piano concertos. I like them a lot.


Posted by: Standpipe Bridgeplate | Link to this comment | 11- 4-10 7:36 PM
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857: Thanks for the clarification. I thought that's probably what you meant. I do shy away from the equation of "liberal" with 'free' market capitalism, global free trade, and corporate-friendly economic policy, because I think that hands too much to the redefinition of liberalism that, oh, Clinton had a good hand in. I'm not quite willing to let "liberal" become a dirty word in that way; that's what it's come to stand for at this point, but I don't like being squeezed in this way into repudiating a political perspective that doesn't incorporate those things necessarily.

Nonetheless, fair enough.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 11- 4-10 7:37 PM
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Which ones? If it's healthcare and weapons

Those, definitely. All the resource extraction ones on the first round.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 11- 4-10 7:44 PM
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Stirling felt himself to be some sort of progressive second coming of Spengler.

And what's wrong with Spengler?

1) I'm a little more used to that kind of thing because of the era I'm attracted to, and the politics. Lenin, Luxemburg, Veblen, Hilferding, John Atkinson Hobson "...seeing imperialism as a result of the maldistribution of wealth in a capitalist society that created a desire to spread markets in search of profit."

Ok? It was Reagan's tax policies that led to the Iraq war II? For a exemplary thesis, not a final conclusion.

I also see more of Stirling's tone of analysis in Post-Keynesians, with their theories of endogenous money and temporal analyses. I think we have lost touch with "political economy" as a mode of analysis.
It will look grandiose compared to the grubbing of quants and DSGE wonks.

Stirling does political economy.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 11- 4-10 7:56 PM
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Stirling does political economy.

I suppose Rule 34 means that it had to happen, but I don't think I want to see it.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11- 4-10 8:00 PM
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Lifting this from a comment at Balloon Juice:

Preliminary analysis says a 41.5% turn-out with the GOP supporters, across the board, turning out at higher percentages than Democratic Party supporters who reverted to the mean. This, in turn, suggests this election was decided in 2000 when the GOP captured state legislatures and were, thus, in control of drawing Congressional district boundaries, i.e. gerrymandering. Supporting evidence for this can be found in the failure of the GOP to capture the Senate.
With a 58.5% of potential voters inert, the Democratic vote reverting to the mean, and a successful mobilization of the GOP vote, within a political structure favorable to the GOP, it's not surprising the GOP was as successful as it was.

Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 11- 4-10 8:01 PM
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864: Well, it's not much of a useful word any more. It means something different in America than it means everywhere else, and in America, it's used to cover an impossibly varied and not-philosophically-coherent group. And then to the right wing here, the word encompasses an entirely different set of beliefs including killing and eating babies on live television and radical Islam.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 11- 4-10 8:07 PM
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Supporting evidence for this can be found in the failure of the GOP to capture the Senate.

I agree that redistricting is important, but I wouldn't make much of the failure to capture the Senate. First, only 1/3 of it is contested each election. It is, by the design of the founders so revered by the Tea Party, nearly impossible to flip in a single election if you were down as far as they were. The Dems took two elections to really complete their current Senate majority. Second, I think the GOP might have just barely captured the Senate (at least to a tie) if they had marginally fewer crazy primary voters Nevada and Delaware.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11- 4-10 8:09 PM
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Breaking! Mid-terms leave progressives cranky and argumentative.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11- 4-10 8:10 PM
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870:The numbers are horrible for Democrats in the Senate elections of 2012, which might be why there are rumors of four Democrats switching parties this time. This is their chance at a chairmanship.

We will have a Republican Senate in 2013.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 11- 4-10 8:14 PM
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Democrats actually did worse in the Senate than in the House. Assuming Murray and Bennet survive, they won 12 of 37 (32%) Senate races. They won about 44% or so of the House races.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 11- 4-10 8:15 PM
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871: Everybody else is calm and ready to roll up their respective sleeves, though, as they caution one another not to be mean.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 11- 4-10 8:19 PM
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874: I'm wearing a vest without a shirt.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11- 4-10 8:26 PM
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876

The hard work of securing support for, and implementing, progressive policies will be made easier by the application of horses power and columns of water.


Posted by: Standpipe Bridgeplate | Link to this comment | 11- 4-10 8:27 PM
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872: That's some special rumor mill you've got access to.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11- 4-10 8:28 PM
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874: I am perversely enjoying the fucking lunatic lies coming out of the mouths of Boehner and McConnell et al against the backdrop of the pedophilic mainstream press bleating the need for cooperation and "bipartisanship" on the part of the Dems.

Republican Victory 2010: the coalition of the confused and the vicious.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11- 4-10 8:30 PM
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I do believe Standpipe's got it. Jesus Christ.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 11- 4-10 8:32 PM
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880

If Standpipe Bridgeplate has Jesus Christ, we should tax the living fuck out of Standpipe Bridgeplate.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 11- 4-10 8:34 PM
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877:Baucus, Landrieux, Nelson, Tester?

With the House gone Taliban, exactly how will Baucus get his pork passed? He is looking at two years of hell, followed by a Repub takeover in 2012.

Or they can switch parties and be richly rewarded after Repubs kill the filibuster at the start of the session.

Four makes 50, so Joe Lieberman will independently caucus with his true friends.

Yeah, it's a stretch. But it looks rational.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 11- 4-10 8:37 PM
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You guys are depressing.

This made me laugh: AMERICA EXERCISES RIGHT TO PUNCH ITSELF IN THE NUTS


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 11- 4-10 8:39 PM
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878: Boehner and McConnell are setting the stage for the 2012 narrative: the agenda is ultimately set by the executive branch, and ye people of these United States, we cannot do your bidding unless and until you give us the Presidency.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 11- 4-10 8:42 PM
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879: I do believe Standpipe's got it.

Yes, we've forgotten the original post. Obama was already on the Tenth Step.

Tenth Step: Give back to the society. Train the local altruistic youth and bring free medical services to the communities. One of the best ways to promote human values is thru the medical services.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11- 4-10 8:47 PM
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881: Did Byrd have any trouble getting his pork past when he was in opposition? Stevens?

The Senate is different than the House. The majority matters less. Someone may switch, but it is rare for a reason. You may see some switching before the election to try to save a seat, but that's at least passably fair.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11- 4-10 8:47 PM
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722

It takes a special kind of courage to stand back and watch poor people get screwed over as a way of expressing displeasure with people not on the ballot. I don't vilify them for doing so. I only vilify them for pretending that they are not doing so.

I didn't notice anyone claiming that nonvoters are being couragous just that perhaps they aren't actually history's greatest monsters.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 11- 4-10 8:52 PM
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882: You know, Obama has really nice teeth. Do you think he has those, uh, I forget what they're called -- shiny things, like caps? Uh, sheers? Shimmers?


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 11- 4-10 8:54 PM
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Di, I do have to wonder whether you feel that there's any point at which a citizen's decision to vote is his or her own responsibility

Um, yes. I believe very strongly that the decision to vote is an individual's personal responsibility. We all make our own decisions about whether to vote, whom to vote for, whether or not to pound the pavement to turn out the vote.

My point, as noted above, is that the wailing and gnashing of teeth over whether other people out there failed to vote is misguided, at best. I don't for a second believe that anything useful will be accomplished by lecturing people about how irresponsible they are. Show, don't tell -- if non-participation bothers you, show people why it is an important responsibility rather than lamenting that they are pathetic.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 11- 4-10 8:54 PM
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||

Speaking of the economy, I was head-hunted today for a job, which seems like a good opportunity to learn some new, marketable computer-related skills, make more money (something like 25% more), travel more, and use and enhance some foreign-language skills.

Not sure if I'll jump at it (there's a whole list of potential drawbacks), but it's certainly quite flattering to be sought after. And in this economy, no less.

Okay, okay. End of personal gloat session.

|>


Posted by: Th. Jefferson | Link to this comment | 11- 4-10 9:05 PM
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889: I hate to put it this way, Di, but it was a blog comment, or a series of them. I haven't lectured anyone in real life about voting, and I don't intend to. I might, though, discuss the matter with them, and have a fairly strong opinion on it.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 11- 4-10 9:13 PM
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770

Turnout has two sides. If from day one Obama had spent part of every day railing against the financial industry, including introducing legislation that would require bankers to get notes from Elizabeth Warren before they can trade lunches, it would have defused some populist anger on the right and further stressed the Tea Party fractures in the Republican party.

The Bush administration managed to put some people in jail after Enron and Worldcom collapsed. How come the Obama adminstration hasn't done anything comparable?


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 11- 4-10 9:25 PM
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890: I may be more inclined to vote because the first time I voted it was a primary and the Democratic nomination for governor was decided by two votes (wiki says that, my memory is that it was a couple dozen).

The winner: Ben Nelson. And now you know the rest of the story.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11- 4-10 9:25 PM
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882: You know, Obama has really nice teeth. Do you think he has those, uh, I forget what they're called -- shiny things, like caps? Uh, sheers? Shimmers?

You are thinking of "veneers".


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 11- 4-10 10:03 PM
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894

Yes, thanks. Could not recall the name.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 11- 4-10 10:15 PM
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895

894: TFA, parsimon. It's not just reading them. You must remember them, too.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 11- 4-10 10:18 PM
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I had a weird moment at first where I thought maybe parsimon was suggesting the president wears a grill.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 11- 4-10 10:19 PM
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995: Oh, pff. Yeah, right.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 11- 4-10 10:31 PM
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898

A comment from the future!


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 11- 4-10 10:33 PM
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899

This calls for celebration.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 11- 4-10 10:35 PM
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900

0.9(DecaKobe)!


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 11- 4-10 10:35 PM
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901

I was head-hunted today for a job, which seems like a good opportunity to learn some new, marketable computer-related skills, make more money (something like 25% more), travel more, and use and enhance some foreign-language skills.

It's with Blackwater!

Dress code smart casual, Oakleys to be worn.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 11- 5-10 3:31 AM
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902

We have no idea what you're on about, ajay.


Posted by: Xe, LLC | Link to this comment | 11- 5-10 5:21 AM
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903

Does anywhere in the US have anything like Section 106 of the Representation of the People Act?

This makes it an offence to publish "any false statement of fact in relation to the candidate's personal character or conduct" to prevent them being elected - unless they believed it was true and had "reasonable grounds" to do so.
Might be useful, and, I'd think, First Amendment compliant if libel laws are.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 11- 5-10 6:55 AM
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903: Basically no, we just have libel law. Although that's not so different: when dealing with a politician, the law would require the false statement to have been made either with knowledge of its falsity or with "reckless disregard" as to its truth. In practice that's probably not far from requiring "reasonable grounds" for believing the statement was true.

The big difference is just that yours is a criminal offence (I'm guessing?), whereas here the plaintiff (politician) must prove monetary damages, which is generally going to be extraordinary difficult. I think about a third of the states have criminal defamation statutes, but there's nothing at the federal level (and I suspect prosecutors in those states would generally be very hesitant to bring defamation charges against anyone for statements made about a politician, no matter how reckless).


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 11- 5-10 7:10 AM
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.903: Libel laws don't really apply to elected officials in the U.S. I mean, technically, you can libel a politician. (I prefer to slander them myself as it takes much less effort.) But no politician will sue because they won't win. They have to prove you were wrong* and that you were being a huge asshole deliberately**. The plaintiff bears the burden of proof and ties go to the defendant.

*Which is easy to skirt in politics because you can claim to be giving only your opinion.
**Somebody who is a lawyer probably knows the legal term. I think the word "malicious" is in there somehow.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11- 5-10 7:12 AM
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906

pwned by somebody who knows the legalese.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11- 5-10 7:13 AM
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907

I think the word "malicious" is in there somehow.

Yeah, the standard jargon is "actual malice", but that just means the statement must have been made either with knowledge of its falsity or with reckless disregard as to its truth.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 11- 5-10 7:16 AM
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908

Governor Cosby eats kittens for breakfast.


Posted by: Opinionated John Peter Zenger | Link to this comment | 11- 5-10 7:23 AM
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909

And not kittens from the shelter. He steals them from houses with small children.


Posted by: Opinionated John Peter Zenger | Link to this comment | 11- 5-10 7:24 AM
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910

904.2 -- Unless the statement is defamation per se.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 11- 5-10 7:30 AM
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911

Like 909.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 11- 5-10 7:32 AM
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912

Is 909 a crime involving moral turpitude? I don't really remember what that phrase means...


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 11- 5-10 7:34 AM
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913

The big difference is just that yours is a criminal offence

Yes, I'm pretty sure RoPA is criminal law. If that means the egregious Woolas goes down, I for one will open something fizzy. But as American electioneering appears to rely increasingly on unwarranted character assassination, I was thinking you could do with a similar recourse.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 11- 5-10 7:34 AM
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914

912: It's just a cat, you hippie bleeding heart.


Posted by: Opinionated John Peter Zenger | Link to this comment | 11- 5-10 7:36 AM
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915

914 should have been from me.


Posted by: Opinionated Gov. Cosby | Link to this comment | 11- 5-10 7:38 AM
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916

915. We did wonder about that


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 11- 5-10 7:40 AM
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917

Hey, hey, hey! I love eating cats with my Jello Pudding Pops!


Posted by: Opinionated Gov. Bill Cosby | Link to this comment | 11- 5-10 8:04 AM
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918

Yes, I'm pretty sure RoPA is criminal law.

And RoPS involves Zambian-Finnish extradition.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 11- 5-10 8:17 AM
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919

905: "Leaving a trail of slime wherever he goes...."


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 11- 5-10 8:24 AM
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920

890: My mistake. I thought blog comments occurred in real life.

Going a bit more meta, my general belief is that the attitudes we harbor, even if we openly express them only privately among fake internet friends, tend to nevertheless be apparent in "real life." And it's worth looking at these attitudes honestly, to own the shadow, and to grow into a more loving, compassionate human being.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 11- 5-10 8:48 AM
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921

BREAKING Cameron sells BBC to Murdoch


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 11- 5-10 8:53 AM
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922

920 is horrible and degenerate.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 11- 5-10 8:58 AM
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923

I do have a reputation to maintain.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 11- 5-10 9:02 AM
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924

Via 921:

With a lumberjack chopping down a tree and hands united in a circle, this exhilarating post-election postcard comes to a thrilling end.

hahahahahahaha EYESTAB.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 11- 5-10 9:18 AM
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925

920: Probably right, which explains why nobody ever asks me to watch their cat when they travel.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11- 5-10 9:19 AM
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What's with Josh Marshall's little non-argument about prop 19? It seems weird for a thoughtful person to write a post that basically says "I'm irrationally uncomfortable with it, so I don't think it should happen!"


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 11- 5-10 9:23 AM
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With a lumberjack chopping down a tree and hands united in a circle, this exhilarating post-election postcard comes to a thrilling end.

Presumably Americans are able to take lumberjacks seriously, rather than being compelled to think of them in Monty Python terms.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 11- 5-10 9:26 AM
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921: seriously, if you can't sense the irony in phrases like "this exhilarating post-election postcard comes to a thrilling end" then you need to seek help. That BBC piece is not a Palin puff.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 11- 5-10 9:27 AM
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which explains why nobody ever asks me to watch their cat when they travel.

It's nothing personal. The compounded costs of plane tickets, room, and board for both you and the cat would get pretty spendy pretty quickly. Fluffy will simply have to manage to do Europe by herself this year.


Posted by: Wealthy Owner of Cat | Link to this comment | 11- 5-10 9:29 AM
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That BBC piece is not a Palin puff.

Oh, I didn't take it to be. I'm just eyestabby over the flaggy, lumberjacky aspects as described, which lumberjack made me thing of the Brawny™ paper towel guy, not the Monty Python sketch.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 11- 5-10 9:32 AM
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930: no, fairly sure you didn't, but it was posted with the words "Cameron sells BBC to Murdoch" which I think is a bit off.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 11- 5-10 9:35 AM
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929: And no one would believe that you were only hired to carry her luggage.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11- 5-10 9:37 AM
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||
Virginia is for lovers, but West Virginia is for, well, something.
|>


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 11- 5-10 9:47 AM
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920: To be honest, my 846 (i.e. I do have to wonder whether you feel that there's any point at which a citizen's decision to vote is his or her own responsibility) wasn't directed to those of your comments exhorting us to be compassionate and loving toward those who choose not to vote, which amount to not much more than "Nobody likes a scold."

It was directed to those comments suggesting that if someone doesn't vote, it's the politician's fault. Like this comment:

825: It's all well and good to speak of the responsibility to vote. But if you want people to vote, there's also a responsibility to "stoke" them.

We could go on endlessly about how we determine when enough stoking has gone on, such that the burden of responsibility has now shifted from the politician to the voter him/herself. What I reject is the suggestion you seemed to be making that IF a citizen doesn't vote, THEN the politician didn't do enough to stoke him/her.

This seems like a peculiar infantilization of the potential voter, and while it's frankly the attitude held by a lot of citizens, I'm not willing to accept that it's understandable and just dandy.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 11- 5-10 10:07 AM
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Personally, when I want to send the message "You're not as bad as the other guy, but I'd really like you to be a lot better than you are" to a politician or political party, I vote in general elections, but don't do anything else - no letters to the editor, no earnest blog posts or comments, no giving money, no volunteering or canvassing or anything else like that. Election Day is a day for a binary choice, and if a more nuanced message would ever be understood the way you want it at all, it would happen weeks too late; the only way to send a message like that is in the weeks and months before Election Day.

The "strategic apathy" Di is condoning seems... OK, maybe not morally wrong, I wouldn't defend that proposition strongly, but certainly ineffective and stupid.


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 11- 5-10 10:15 AM
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We could go on endlessly about how we determine when enough stoking has gone on, such that the burden of responsibility has now shifted from the politician to the voter him/herself.

I'm not sure why you think the "burden of responsibility" is a unitary thing that shifts between the voter and the politician. I have no opinion on how much stoking a politician must do to satisfy whatever moral participatory obligation you have in mind. Pragmatically, if you haven't done enough, as a politician, to get a plurality of the votes, well, then you haven't done enough.

The "strategic apathy" Di is condoning

Say what now? What Di is suggesting is that blaming a political defeat on low turnout and voter apathy is counterproductive, self-congratulatory, and, well okay, pathetic. The fact is, Cyrus, if you cast your one vote and do nothing more, pragmatically speaking you are barely any more effective than someone who sat home and didn't vote. None of us really thinks our one little vote by itself makes a difference, right? If you persuade two other people, who persuade two other people and so on, then we're getting somewhere. But spending 5 minutes coloring in a couple of ovals on a ballot? Yeah, sorry, your civic contribution isn't fabulously superior to the guy who sat home.

In conclusion, I'm rubber and you're glue.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 11- 5-10 10:32 AM
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Strategic non-voters should expect to be greeted as liberators, with sweets and flowers.

The election of GWB was the direct and predictable outcome of not voting for Gore. (And/or validating non-voting by others). The Citizens United decision, among many other things, is a direct and foreseeable result of GWB's election. The invasion of Iraq may not have been as foreseeable, but it's certainly a direct consequence. Denial of these things is self-delusion.

Pretense that these consequences are necessary steps in the creation of some greater good is belied by the complete failure of the proponents of the strategy to undertake any meaningful action that might bring about the change they say they wanted.

Nothing good will come to Illinois for having chosen Kirk. Nothing good will come to the people who's 'strategy' involved letting Kirk win in hopes of a better offer somehow someday.

Nonetheless, the strategic non-voter's capacity for self-delusion will overcome any ability to be shown anything about the consequences of his/her choice.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 11- 5-10 10:35 AM
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NOT expect.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 11- 5-10 10:36 AM
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The same of course applies, absent effective sanctions, to tax evasion by the moderately wealthy or driving while moderately drunk and a whole host of other anti-social behaviours. Either we go the route of countries that have a voting mandate (don't vote, pay a hefty fine), or we do our best to enforce voting as a social norm.

933 Uncharacteristically for apo, he posted that one in the wrong thread.

927 et. al. I plead skimming while insufficiently caffeinated.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 11- 5-10 10:38 AM
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939.2: You think the Comfort Food thread would be more appropriate?


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 11- 5-10 10:51 AM
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Comfort food thread would have been better.

But, who amongst us hasnt had those words uttered to them or felt that way?


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 11- 5-10 10:57 AM
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I think Charley is neglecting the benefits of electing Republicans. After all, W demonstrated to the public the true evil of the Republicans, and the subsequent backlash has led to our current era of Progressive dominance.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 11- 5-10 10:59 AM
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Yes, bravo, the strawman "strategic non-voter" argument has been beaten to a pulp. We all agree that not-voting is not an effective means of accomplishing much of anything. Comity.

But you know what? A lot of those people who didn't vote for Gore in 2000 don't particularly care about Citizen's United. Some of them may still think Iraq was unfortunate but necessary. Plenty of them don't really have a problem with Gitmo or the Patriot Act and so on.

Some of that is willful self-delusion, I'm sure. Some of it is simply being mis- or ill-informed. Some of the people who didn't bother to vote might well have voted for Bush if they had gone to the polls. Some did go to the polls and cast their symbolic votes for Nader -- which, of course, we also vilify.

Blaming non-voters for an electoral defeat strikes me as a bunch of defensive projection -- look! there's someone to bear all the fault! Bitching about how stupid people are for not recognizing the importance of voting seems less useful, IM(not-so-terribly)HO, than figuring out how to effectively communicate with non-voters about why and how their participation matters. And no, I don't think writing non-voters off as delusional fuckwits counts as effective communication.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 11- 5-10 11:00 AM
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But, who amongst us hasnt had those words uttered to them or felt that way?

[raises hand]


Posted by: Wealthy Owner of Cat | Link to this comment | 11- 5-10 11:04 AM
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936: I'm not sure why you think the "burden of responsibility" is a unitary thing that shifts between the voter and the politician.

I got it from your comment here:

715: If voters who turned out in droves in 2008 are too "apathetic" to vote this year, then we have good indication that these voters can overcome their "apathy" if given good enough reason.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 11- 5-10 11:05 AM
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945: Then you are reading that incorrectly. The point was that articulating a message that potential voters feel they can believe in is more effective at overcoming apathy than, as you put it, being a scold. The responsibility of the voter as separate from the responsibility of the candidates.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 11- 5-10 11:15 AM
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943.1: That strawman "strategic non-voter" argument was your strawman, by the way, offered at 697 and again in passing at 724.

I have to say, though, this: Blaming non-voters for an electoral defeat strikes me as a bunch of defensive projection is rather a distortion of the things that have been said on this thread. Somehow you've gone from my initial complaint about a couple of well-educated 35-year-olds who weren't stoked enough to vote, through Charley's admittedly spirited upset over such persons, to the notion that the entirety of the defeat is being blamed on these non-voters.

Whereas in fact the thread has walked through numerous other strongly influential factors and issues in play. I don't understand why you want to dismiss non-voters altogether as a component.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 11- 5-10 11:22 AM
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One guy wanted to put the SS surplus in a lockbox, the other wanted to give it to the rich in the form of tax cuts, and then cut SS when the inevitable shortfall was discovered. Knowing this and pretending these two are the same seems to me to be one definition of fuckwit.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 11- 5-10 11:27 AM
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Blaming non-voters for an electoral defeat strikes me as a bunch of defensive projection -- look! there's someone to bear all the fault!

It's not about bearing all the fault so much as it is a question of recognizing that there is no real non-participation. A choice will be made, and voters play a part in that whether they like it or not, and whether they choose to participate or not. Opere et omissione.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 11- 5-10 11:30 AM
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If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice.

Looking at the lyrics in general to that song...why is libertarian anti-religion posturing more terrifying than blind faith?


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 11- 5-10 11:33 AM
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946
The point was that articulating a message that potential voters feel they can believe in is more effective at overcoming apathy than, as you put it, being a scold.

In which comment does anyone here say that it's an either/or choice - articulate inspiring messages or scold, nothing in between?


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 11- 5-10 11:33 AM
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Let me be even plainer: Why not simply say, in response to my recounting of the 35-year-old non-voters mentioned in 677.last: Oh, that is unfortunate. Well, here's hoping that their mother/mother-in-law's discussion with them about it encourages them to vote in 2012, whether they feel stoked or not.

Why not say that?


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 11- 5-10 11:33 AM
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As I keep saying, the solution is simple. Put me in charge.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 11- 5-10 11:35 AM
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A strange game. The only winning move is not to play. How about a nice game of chess?


Posted by: Joshua | Link to this comment | 11- 5-10 11:35 AM
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The point was that articulating a message that potential voters feel they can believe in is more effective at overcoming apathy than, as you put it, being a scold.

My point was that shaming might not be such an ineffective strategy with strongly politically aware liberal non-voters. That and my firm belief that not being willing to spend the half hour to vote once every two years if you're politically aware deserves shaming.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 11- 5-10 11:36 AM
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On the question of divergence between online and in-person conduct, I should point out that my comments here over the last several months have been notably short on 'fucking Rahms' -- feel free to imply one into any comment you wish.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 11- 5-10 11:38 AM
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Part of the problem is that people who urge others to vote Democratic can't really form much of a positive message, and warnings that non-voting will aid evil can easily be interpreted as scolding.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 11- 5-10 11:40 AM
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854: For this year, okay, so let's assume that all of the new voters are new R voters. That means a shift of 3% towards R. But the shift towards R in this election was much higher than that (between 5 and 10%, probably closer to 10). And the assumption that all new voters are R is obviously an overestimation.

The number I saw was that McCain voters comprised 52% of the electorate this time around and 44% of the electorate consisted of Obama voters. That's a reversal of the previous numbers. Additionally, the relative size of D groups all shrank (the poor, blacks, hispanics). Unions voters went from 28% to 22%. There were also about 3-4% of the voters who didn't vote last time at all, and they came out heavily Republican. (I suspect those were mostly Republicans who were discouraged during the last election.)

Meanwhile, 7% of McCain voters went for D's this time and 13% of Obama voters went to the R's. (An alternate figure I've seen has about 10% of Obama voters being R's this time.) Moderates shrank as a group, but whether they stayed home or decided they were actually conservatives is hard to tell.

There was a distinct shift amoungst whites, Catholics, women and older voters. But there was still a massive falloff in turnout from 2008 (as usual) and a slight increase from 2006. If the 2008 electorate has been of the same composition as the 2010 electorate, Obama would have lost fairly heavily, even without the shifts.

Amoungst the people who shifted, a majority of them don't seem to be in favor of anything the Republicans want to do, they just seem to be pissed off at Washington, particularly about the economy. A majority of them also don't want any cuts in government spending.

Turnout doesn't explain it all (whites in the South were starting to polarize against Obama as soon as he got elected) so much, as the economy seems to explain who turned out and who didn't. And a bunch of our people just didn't turn out and a bunch of theirs did.

Outside of the economy and the falloff in turnout, there actually doesn't seem to be much in the way of clear trends. McCain was in trouble over the economy (and much else) and he lost. Obama was in trouble over the economy and he lost, namely in the Midwest. So there's that. Also, white people in the South don't much like a black President and because of that they seem to have decided they don't much like white southern democrats (since a bunch of Democrats lost in McCain districts), and that seems to explain a good chunk of the trend in the South.

No other real trends seem to have popped out. It's certainly not an ideological shift, if the polling is correct. People want something other than what they've got because the economy sucks, oh, and Republican voters don't like Democrats, but you knew that.

At any rate, the 2012 electorate won't look like the 2010 electorate at all, so Obama is in better shape than it appears at the moment. He's simply got to win back a chunk of white voters, which he probably will unless the economy really tanks.

max
['This is what happens when the voters speak in tongues.']


Posted by: max | Link to this comment | 11- 5-10 11:43 AM
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I don't understand why you want to dismiss non-voters altogether as a component.

I'm not Di, but I'll bite: she's dismissing the idea that strategic nonvoters were a component, because they weren't. Politically engaged people vote, and voted on Tuesday just like they always do. The number of politically engaged, informed liberals who just decided to "stay home" because they were sick of the compromised ineffectiveness of the Democratic party are truly at the fringe of the party, and were statistical nonfactors.

Beyond that, she's saying she's not dismissing non-voters as a component; she's arguing that non-voters were a very critical component, and that the goddamn democrats should have done a better goddamn job crafting an appealing message to give the goddamn nonvoters some goddamn reason to vote. She's also saying that focusing on that failure, and how it can be fixed, is what's important going forward, not sitting around whining about the goddamn people who didn't really see much good reason to get out there and vote.

I don't believe that Republican voters are better citizens than Democratic voters; I think the Republican party did a much better job motivating its base in this election. And I think blaming the people for their own lack of motivation is fucking pathetic. As is blaming Fox News, or Rush Limbaugh, or anyone other than the goddamn people running the Democratic party.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 11- 5-10 11:45 AM
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My point was that shaming might not be such an ineffective strategy with strongly politically aware liberal non-voters

Is there evidence that a meaningful number of these people decided not to vote?


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 11- 5-10 11:48 AM
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947.1: While that's a misreading of 697 and 724, I think it's an understandable one. I would have thought that my admittedly rather repetitive comments further along in the thread had made clear, though, that I was never taking a position that not-voting was brilliant political strategy.

As for whether the discussion was purely about your two 35-year old friends, I certainly didn't read it that way. If all we're discussing is whether your two, specific friends are dunderheads, well, hey, I'll take you at your word that they are. The dumb jerks.

Yep, the thread has walked through a lot of other factors. I don't particularly disagree with any of that analysis. I do particularly disagree with the strong condemnation as pathetic, dunderheaded, stupid, etc. of voters who were not persuaded that it made sense to vote (or to vote the way we'd have liked them to). Particularly where (as F pointed out above) overall turnout seems to have been better this year than in prior midterm elections.

As for dismissing non-voters as a component, I am not suggesting that. I am suggesting that, considering that increasing turnout could have a meaningful impact, maybe it would be good to look at reasons, other than the moral depravity of non-voters, that people don't make it to the polls.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 11- 5-10 11:51 AM
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As I keep saying, the solution is simple. Put me in charge

Make sure you have a good succession plan in place. Sometimes the transfer of power gets a little messy.


Posted by: Gaius Julius Caesar | Link to this comment | 11- 5-10 11:54 AM
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959: Yes, that pretty much covers what I meant to say. 960, too.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 11- 5-10 11:58 AM
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Politically engaged people vote, and voted on Tuesday just like they always do. The number of politically engaged, informed liberals who just decided to "stay home" because they were sick of the compromised ineffectiveness of the Democratic party are truly at the fringe of the party, and were statistical nonfactors.

Ding ding ding ding.

This analysis, though, suggests that there's very little Democrats can do (one way or the other) in terms of either policy or messaging to win elections. Boosting the overall economy works, as does running appealing candidates, as does having strong local machines (of which Harry Reid is an example). As does creating a once in a lifetime sense of urgency that brought young people to the polls (as in 2008). Most other things don't, and making strongly partisan appeals to your base ("bitch slapping Republicans") doesn't work, though it might be desirable for other reasons.

There will be more voters in 2012, just because it's a Presidential election. And I'm still betting $15 that LB volunteers.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 11- 5-10 12:00 PM
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Let me be even plainer: Why not simply say, in response to my recounting of the 35-year-old non-voters mentioned in 677.last: Oh, that is unfortunate. Well, here's hoping that their mother/mother-in-law's discussion with them about it encourages them to vote in 2012, whether they feel stoked or not.
Why not say that?

Because I never responded to 677.last?

But, let me ask you the same question. Why, in 677.last, did *you* not simply says "Well, here's hoping that their mother/mother-in-law's discussion with them about it encourages them to vote in 2012"? You chose to take it that step further and tell us you've judged these friends to be "pathetic," and that is what I chose to respond to.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 11- 5-10 12:03 PM
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Vocal strategic non-voters validate people who are non-voters for other reasons, so you have to apply a multiplier. Even then, though, I'm not saying (and don't believe my comments can be read to say -- but if they can, I repudiate them) that this was material in the national picture in 2010. It was in 2000, and might well be again in 2012.

Obviously, it would be better if Dem politicians could think of ways to get voters to vote. I don't think one can discount the role of Rush et al., and their fellow travelers in the lamestream media (even a blind chicken gets the corn sometimes) in this: the disinformation machine is quite powerful, and it is very hard to be heard over it. Especially because the primary conduits for the Dem messages have their own agendas.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 11- 5-10 12:05 PM
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And I'm still betting $15 that LB volunteers

Ok, Halford, you're on.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 11- 5-10 12:07 PM
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This analysis, though, suggests that there's very little Democrats can do (one way or the other) in terms of either policy or messaging to win elections.

It does suggest that engaging new, or previously disengaged, voters would help. Pander to the young people, perhaps. Campaign on things like student loan forgiveness that might be particularly significant to recent grads in this economy. Campaign on the my-lawn-is-your-law-young-whippersnapper platform. Whatever kids these days are into.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 11- 5-10 12:08 PM
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965.last: Because "That's just pathetic" is, I'm pretty sure, what their mother/mother-in-law told them. She might have added some things about what was at stake.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 11- 5-10 12:11 PM
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968: We tried weed in California. Don't kids today like weed?


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 11- 5-10 12:12 PM
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969: So, to clarify, you are saying that the commentary about how pathetic they were was the mother/MIL's, not yours?

I heard from a friend today that his son and daughter-in-law in PA didn't vote yesterday. They got an earful from my friend's wife (their mother, essentially); their explanation was that they just weren't "stoked". In PA! Pathetic. The son used to manage a soup kitchen or something. Just pathetic.
In any event, if that's the case, I'm responding to this other woman, not you, but my opinion stands.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 11- 5-10 12:15 PM
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970 -- Barbara Boxer and Jerry Brown might say that it worked.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 11- 5-10 12:15 PM
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I mean, to change the subject only a tiny little bit, it's genuinely shocking to me that we have an economy that we've known for a year now desperately needs more spending and--with a Democratic majority!--we can't get Congress to spend any money. If there's anything you ought to be able to count on in Congress, it's a propensity to spend money on goodies for constituents. And yet it's just been "common knowledge' that "the votes aren't there" for additional stimulus. No need to force an actual vote on the issue. Personally, I can't think of any reason in the world why it might have been useful to be draw up a bill full of popular spending initiatves, and then force the Republicans to either give in or vote them down (and then campaign on how they not only aren't interested in stimulating the economy, but they also voted down ponies for all the children in the district).


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 11- 5-10 12:18 PM
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Oh, shit! The election was this week?


Posted by: California Pothead | Link to this comment | 11- 5-10 12:18 PM
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I agree with 973. I think politicians forgot the first rule of politics, which is: use your power to pay off voters. And in this particular period, it's actually good policy!


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 11- 5-10 12:21 PM
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MSNBC just suspended Olberman without pay for donating money to Dem candidates. Apparently this might suggest partisan partiality. A few things come to mind:

a) Clearly nobody could have guessed that Olberman wasn't a swing voter without this stunning evidence.

b)But if that's the policy, why the fuck do it.

c)Cue serious people tut-tutting about Olberman's unethical behaviour and how it means he isn't a Real Journalist. Note their long impassioned campaign against anybody who works for Fox or the WSJ on the same grounds.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 11- 5-10 12:24 PM
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973 Ben Nelson would like a word with you. I can't stand the guy, but his bid for a massive amount of pork for his state in return for an HCR vote was apparently very badly received by NE voters. That suggests to me that this might have not been a good year for campaigning on handing out lots of federal dollars.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 11- 5-10 12:28 PM
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971: For christ's sake, Di, I'm saying that I feel that their failure to vote was pathetic and obnoxious, and that their mother and father agreed and were chagrined, and the mother told them so -- no doubt not in aggressive, but rather in shocked, tones. As in, "You're kidding. You didn't vote? Why?! Good grief."

I don't care what your opinion on this specific matter is.

Obviously the energized 2008 voters who weren't energized enough to turn out again in 2010 are an issue. Perhaps they'll be engaged in 2012. Apparently we have to throw people a bone in order to get them to feel that any of it matters.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 11- 5-10 12:28 PM
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975: IOKIYAJoeScarborough (Ganked from Kos):

Update: Hey, Phil -- What about this?

SCARBOROUGH, JOE PENSACOLA,FL 32503 MSNBC/HOST 3/31/06 $2,100 Kitts, Derrick (R)
SCARBOROUGH, JOE PENSACOLA,FL 32503 MSNBC/HOST 3/31/06 $2,100 Kitts, Derrick (R)

It's okay if you're Joe Scarborough I guess. --Jed

Update: Here's how NBC explained Scarborough's donation to Kitts:

Joe Scarborough, host of the "Morning Joe" talk show and the evening newscast "Scarborough Country," $4,200 in March 2006 to Derrick Kitts, Republican candidate for the House from Oregon. ... A spokesperson for NBC, Jeremy Gaines, replied to questions sent to Scarborough. "Yes, he did make a donation to Derrick Kitts. Kitts is an old friend of Joe's. Joe hosts an opinion program and is not a news reporter."


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 11- 5-10 12:30 PM
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MSNBC just suspended Olberman without pay for donating money to Dem candidates

Oh, shit.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 11- 5-10 12:31 PM
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979: Also, Pat Buchanan.
Joe hosts an opinion program and is not a news reporter.
Nice of them to declare Olbermann's statements as "not opinion".


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 11- 5-10 12:36 PM
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978: For Christ's sake, Pars, your snark to me about why I didn't just say, "gosh, golly, that's unfortunate" applies exactly the same to you. I didn't simply say "that's unfortunate" because I was expressing an opinion. You know, just like you are.

You think their non-voting was "pathetic and obnoxious." I feel the same way about your commentary about their failure to vote.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 11- 5-10 12:40 PM
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978, 982: Well, I think it's wonderful how both of you are so unapathetic!


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 11- 5-10 12:44 PM
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Thanks, peep! I thrive an positive reinforcement.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 11- 5-10 12:48 PM
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985

Ben Nelson would like a word with you. I can't stand the guy, but his bid for a massive amount of pork for his state in return for an HCR vote was apparently very badly received by NE voters.

Bad analogy. His deal was easily characterized as vote buying--a simple trade of a vote (on a bill he didn't seem to like) in exchange for goodies for his state. That seems entirely different from voting for a stimulus bill that needed to help the economy, which happens to mean popular things get done in your state as well. AND the 'benefits" he was getting weren't even very personal to anyone (an item in the state budget, basically, not a benefit people could see or feel directly), AND wouldn't even kick in until three years in the future. AND it didn't even make it into the final bill, so it's hardly a good example of people being upset as a politician for all the goodies he brought home--it's arguably closer to an example of being upset at him for being ineffective at bringing home goodies (although it's not a good example of that either).


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 11- 5-10 12:52 PM
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986

But the actual stimulus bill wasn't popular, right? I guess I can dig up polling data. But I think most Americans think it actively hurt the economy. See my 832 above. I think you're attributing far too much sanity to the American people, urple.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 11- 5-10 1:00 PM
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987

Polling: more Americans think the stimulus hurt than helped; most oppose further stimulus spending.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 11- 5-10 1:06 PM
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988

Hooray for Rasmussen. Gallup: 60% wanted additional government spending to create jobs and stimulate the economy in June 2010. I suppose this tells us the mushy middle likes Keynesian spending unless you call it "stimulus."


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 11- 5-10 1:10 PM
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989

People may think that the stimulus bill hurt the economy. But you know what people like? The new, refurbished Congressman Blue Dog Bridge. The expanded Congressman Blue Dog Park. The Congressman Blue Dog job retraining center that puts their friends to work. The subsidized federal loan to their small business. Etc. etc. I don't think anyone cares about spending in the abstract; they care about spending that fails to deliver goodies to them.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 11- 5-10 1:10 PM
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986, 987: I think this might have worked like when a doctor starts giving a patient medicine before the patient has many symptoms. The patient starts to feel worse and blames it on the medicine.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 11- 5-10 1:13 PM
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991

And, yes, a few months after the stimulus 57% thought it had no effect or negative effects; only 13% said more should have been spent.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 11- 5-10 1:13 PM
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992

And 989 was not intended to encourage Congressman Blue to construct a dog park. That would just be wasteful.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 11- 5-10 1:13 PM
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993

988: Interesting. Here's a very recent Gallup poll that shows more Americans wanting a new stimulus bill to be the top priority than wanting a cut in spending to be the highest priority. But, apparently, only because half of the crazies think repealing the healthcare act is more important than cutting spending.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 11- 5-10 1:27 PM
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994

992:We're staying home in protest!


Posted by: bob's dogs | Link to this comment | 11- 5-10 1:28 PM
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995

This close to 1000, it seems irresponsible not to get-out-the-comments and push this over the finish line.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 11- 5-10 1:40 PM
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996

I dunno, Di. I'm just not feeling "stoked".


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 11- 5-10 1:42 PM
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997

Fuck that. The goal should be to keep this thread at EXACTLY 999 comments. Whoever goes over the line is the loser.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 11- 5-10 1:43 PM
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998

I'll take my chances.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 11- 5-10 1:43 PM
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999

995 -- No, I'm going to hold off, until I'm assured that the thread will go exactly as I wish it would.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 11- 5-10 1:44 PM
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1000

Kobe!


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 11- 5-10 1:44 PM
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1001

Yay, I lost!


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 11- 5-10 1:45 PM
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1002

Pathetic!


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 11- 5-10 1:45 PM
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1003

Kobe's never going to score 1000 points, Stanley. He's never even going to score 100 points--that joke made sense in 2006, but doesn't anymore.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 11- 5-10 1:46 PM
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1004

Charley wins. Stanley, with his obsessive Kobe-ism, loses badly, and gets the results he deserves.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 11- 5-10 1:47 PM
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1005

OK, I love you Stanley, but the Kobe joke, which, tbh, never made much sense in the first place (should be "Wilt!"), is so far past its expiration that it reminds me of the Odwalla bottle I let sit in a sunny window of my grad school apartment for a month and a half while I was out of town.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 11- 5-10 1:48 PM
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1006

Mission Accomplished.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 11- 5-10 1:55 PM
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1007

I never knew the "Kobe" thing was about scoring 100 points. I thught it was a combination of the universally popular "First!" tradition and Mutombo.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 11- 5-10 2:01 PM
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1008

Someone on my Facebook feed recently posted a picture he took of Mutombo giving a talk about the Congo. It was all I could do not to interrupt the serious discussion of real issues with "WHO WANTS TO SEX MUTOMBO?"


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 11- 5-10 2:05 PM
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1009

Way to dispirit the base, urple & Halford.


Posted by: persistently visible | Link to this comment | 11- 5-10 2:11 PM
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1010

RTFA, ned.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 11- 5-10 2:12 PM
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1011

Never change, Stanley.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11- 5-10 2:15 PM
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1005: It's the Will Ferrell school of comedy -- you take a joke that's not funny to begin with, but you keep on working it and working it and it's still not funny, but it's too late to turn back so you keep on and on and on and...


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 11- 5-10 2:19 PM
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1013

Yeah, having learned the origins of the Kobe! joke, if I learn nothing else today, I will have learned enough.


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 11- 5-10 2:21 PM
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1014

Will Ferrell's supposed to be funny? That changes everything. I thought those were dark art films about the inherent absurdity and tragedy of the human condition.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 11- 5-10 2:40 PM
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1015

Peyton!


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 11- 5-10 2:45 PM
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1016

Canute!


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11- 5-10 2:53 PM
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1017

Hasenpfeffer Incorporated?


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 11- 5-10 2:56 PM
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1018

1012:

Or the Family Guy!


Posted by: F | Link to this comment | 11- 5-10 3:11 PM
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1019

Harrison!


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 11- 5-10 3:14 PM
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1020

1019: Will he play in chains and ankle-weights? It would only be fair.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11- 5-10 3:26 PM
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1021

1020: To get back to the original threadjack, it occurs to me that Diana Moon Glampers* is a good Republican everyvoter in 2010.


*Or actually her husband.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11- 5-10 4:06 PM
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1022

Giana Dloon Mampers?


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 11- 5-10 4:25 PM
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1023

968

... Pander to the young people, perhaps ...

Smart politicians prefer to pander to people who vote. Instead of claiming (in essence) that the lurkers support them in email perhaps the Democrats should try coming up with policies that the people who do vote (like me) will support.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 11- 5-10 7:58 PM
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1024

... only you can make this thread go to a thousand.


Posted by: Econolicious at -2^10, | Link to this comment | 11- 6-10 10:06 AM
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