Re: Gerrymandering

1

Nobody learned from Texas that the way to handle this for optimal hilarity is to have all the Democrats go stay in some hotel across state lines when it's time for a vote on it.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 11-10-12 11:34 AM
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And this is why Ohio SOS Husted (and others) are proposing the scheme of allocating electoral votes within states by congressional district (as NE and ME do).


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11-10-12 11:42 AM
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Didn't Wisconsin learn that? I thought they fled dramatically too.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11-10-12 11:43 AM
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What would happen if we had representatives by, by gonfaloon? If having 1/438th of the populace pick you as their first choice Rep put you in the House, no matter where everybody lived? More wierdo representation, or less?


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 11-10-12 11:51 AM
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Watersheds are the way to go, although gerrymandering with a backhoe would be just possible. Dynamite. Am I voting in Hetch Hetchy?


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 11-10-12 11:53 AM
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@2

Even conservatives on TNR thought that was a stupid and sleazy idea, which is saying something.


Posted by: Britta | Link to this comment | 11-10-12 11:55 AM
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1: There actually is good Texas election news. We broke the R's supermajorities in the state house and state Senate, so they actually need some Dems to show up for quorum.

The Dems who fled in 2003 were known as the Killer D's. My brother has a deck of Killer D playing cards.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 11-10-12 12:02 PM
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2, 6: The Ohio congressional districts were just gerrymandered to hell by the Republicans before this election. It only makes sense for a Republican to want to reuse those borders.

If you are going to award electoral votes proportionately, why not just go with a straight percentage of the electorate? Why place a bizarre, unfair state-level map within the bizarre, unfair national map?


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 11-10-12 12:17 PM
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5: Mokelumne?


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 11-10-12 12:23 PM
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The D's holing up in a hotel really were a strategic retreat rather than a flight.

Gonfaloons for all! I look forward to the WoW Representative.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 11-10-12 12:23 PM
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Berkeley and the Pardee neighbors obviously are entangled by interest, even though we'd look crazy gerrymandered on a spatial map. I like it.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 11-10-12 12:26 PM
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The split of the presidential vote by House district is pretty helpful in showing the extent of gerrymandering (although it confounds with winner-take-all). For recent elections, it would be

2000: Gore 207, Bush 228 (Gore has 47.6%, vs. 48.4% of popular vote)
2004: Kerry 180, Bush 255 (Kerry has 41.4%, vs. 48.3%)
2008: Obama 242, McCain 193 (Obama has 55.6%, vs 52.9%)


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 11-10-12 12:55 PM
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MMP guys. Way of the future.


Posted by: Keir | Link to this comment | 11-10-12 2:20 PM
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Sam Wang predicts the Republican gerrymandering advantage may be as much as 5% of the popular vote here: http://election.princeton.edu/2012/11/09/the-new-house-with-less-democracy/#more-8865

Of course, Obama appears to have had an electoral college advantage of a few percentage points as well. No idea if that will remain true for the next Democratic candidate.


Posted by: Yawnoc | Link to this comment | 11-10-12 4:49 PM
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Sometimes it blows my mind how crap American democracy is.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 11-10-12 5:37 PM
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So what hotel did everyone stay in? I hope it was nice.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 11-10-12 5:46 PM
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And this is why Ohio SOS Husted (and others) are proposing the scheme of allocating electoral votes within states by congressional district (as NE and ME do).

PA's legislature threatened to do this, which could have tipped a closer Presidential race to Romney, but it got shot down...by the state's Republican Congressional delegation, which was not eager to see the Obama turnout operation set up shop in their districts.


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 11-11-12 8:41 AM
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PA is horrible for incumbent protection on both sides. That is, it is great a protecting incumbents.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-11-12 8:54 AM
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+t.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-11-12 8:55 AM
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Long cridecoeur from Ian Welsh to the left blogosphere

A lot more people are going to suffer and die due to policies which are evil. Part of what makes that happen are the people who know better and lie, part of that is due to the people who convince themselves that evil is necessary because it is in their interests. They are not the most responsible, no. But they are responsible.

And I really did think better of so many of them.

Become more than your background, more than a function of the incentives placed in front of you. See the evil you yourself do, your society does, and stop needing to feel good about yourself.

Stop being someone else's dog.

Whatever, dude.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 11-11-12 9:16 AM
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Hawaii is old enough for the first time to take interest when I'm sorting hand-me-downs and to say "Hey, why is all the most beautiful stuff going back in that box?" (Read "most heinously sparkly/pink/animal print/seductive/etc")

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Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11-11-12 11:25 AM
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17: Right. How'd I forget that?


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11-11-12 11:46 AM
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Drugs?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-11-12 12:00 PM
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Can't remember.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11-11-12 12:21 PM
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23 to 21.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 11-11-12 12:29 PM
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15: it helps (or maybe not) if you remember that it's not set up to be a democracy.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 11-11-12 12:57 PM
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I ``deem'' this a crappy democracy! !!! ! !!


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 11-11-12 1:07 PM
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it helps (or maybe not) if you remember that it's not set up to be a democracy.

Yes, when complaining about the many problems with the American system it's important to keep in mind that that system is in fact working exactly as it was intended to: the people have a certain amount of input, but power is firmly in the hands of the elites, and it's very difficult to change the status quo.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 11-11-12 1:48 PM
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Hey VW, you're not the only Jew with a limp on this blog anymore! We should trade muscle relaxant recommendations.
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Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 11-11-12 1:52 PM
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There's a Jew with a limp on the blog at the bottom of the sea.
There's a Jew with a limp on the blog at the bottom of the sea.
There's a Jeeeeeeeeeewwwwww, there's a Jeeeeeeeewwwwwwwwww,
There's a Jew with a limp on the blog at the bottom of the sea.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11-11-12 2:11 PM
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This is getting uncomfortably close to "Throw the Jew down the well."


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11-11-12 2:36 PM
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How do you think Josh and VW got their limps?


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 11-11-12 2:41 PM
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Easy to hurt yourself carrying a Jew, Especially one that's struggling.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11-11-12 3:01 PM
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A crappy democracy, if you can keep it.


Posted by: ben "i'm not presidential, you fool" franklin | Link to this comment | 11-11-12 3:07 PM
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29: what did you do to yourself? Flying cross-country? Or feats of strength gone awry?


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 11-11-12 3:11 PM
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36

We should trade muscle relaxant recommendations.

A beej is pretty relaxing.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 11-11-12 3:22 PM
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35: If carrying a full laundry basket up a flight of stairs counts as a feat of strength, then the latter. (Technically it was probably the carrying it off-center that did it.) I'd forgotten what it felt like to have my back give out on me when trying to do something simple like, say, stand up from the couch.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 11-11-12 3:46 PM
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37: was the laundry basket filled with something heavy? Human skulls? Ingots of gold? Or just laundry? And do you have weakness? Or just pain? If the former, tough it out, marine. If the latter, get an MRI, stat. (Says the guy who waited a bit longer to go to the doctor and then to get an MRI than would have been ideal and is now having spinal surgery tomorrow.)


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 11-11-12 3:51 PM
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Oops, I reversed those symptoms and recommendations. Pain isn't a big deal, I've learned (except for those who are in pain -- and fuck them). Weakness, though, often means that a nerve is getting compressed. And it turns out that nerves don't like to be compressed, so much so that they can die of frustration! Anyway, if you're feeling any weakness, panic. Otherwise, Valium and Flexeril are both delicious, especially when washed down with good red wine.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 11-11-12 3:53 PM
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40

And yes, medical advice over the Internet, especially when offered by a historian, is the best thing ever.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 11-11-12 3:54 PM
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41

And yes, medical advice over the Internet, especially when offered by a historian, is the best a thing ever of the past.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11-11-12 3:56 PM
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42

Eh, this is a reaggravation of an old injury; I partially herniated a disc in my back in college. I've got a couple of exercises from back then that make it better in the short term, but if it's not better by tomorrow you can be damn sure I'll be at the doctor's office.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 11-11-12 4:03 PM
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43

42: we should negotiate a group rate!


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 11-11-12 4:05 PM
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44

But holy shit, sorry to hear about the surgery! Hope it goes well.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 11-11-12 4:06 PM
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44: eh, the procedure shouldn't be life-threatening. And I really do think the limp can, if need be, work for me over the long term.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 11-11-12 4:08 PM
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I too hope your surgery goes well, VW.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 11-11-12 4:13 PM
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How to fake a limp.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11-11-12 4:40 PM
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Good luck with the surgery. I mean, there's still time to tough it out with grit and bourbon like a cowboy.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 11-11-12 5:22 PM
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Good luck with the surgery. I hope your doctor was reading medical research where the analysis was conducted by somebody using an appropriate method.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-11-12 5:48 PM
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I think grits and bourbon is more of a southern thing.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 11-11-12 5:48 PM
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51

Always feast or famine.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 11-11-12 5:50 PM
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52

(|| |>)


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 11-11-12 5:51 PM
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53
You know that divorced fortysomething female neighbor of yours? The one who's not half as bright as she thinks she is, and doesn't know much about Libya or the national debt, but watches Katie Couric's new show and just kind of didn't like Romney because she, well, just kind of didn't like him? America is now her country. It's Dingbatville.

Nice.


Posted by: heebie-heebie | Link to this comment | 11-11-12 5:55 PM
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53: I know I'm looking forward to the young conservative rock musician's cri de couer, Exile in Dingbatville.


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 11-11-12 6:06 PM
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That dude's advice for Christian conservatives to tune out of politics may prove to be portentious. Forty years ago, evangelicals ("born again Christians" as they called themselves back then) eschewed politics. The idea that they would paper over theological differences to forge an electoral coalition with Catholics and (gasp!) Mormons would have been laughable. We could see at least a substantial minority of evangelicals revert to prior form, especially as the GOP outside the South starts to shade its opposition to abortion and gay marriage.


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 11-11-12 6:16 PM
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55: that would be extremely wonderful, but given the degree to which the party apparatus has captured evangelical leaders it seems implausible.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-11-12 6:21 PM
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57

Apparently God cares a lot about Benghazi.

And apparently Mitt Romney is the nigger of Liberal Fascism.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11-11-12 6:24 PM
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Apparently!


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11-11-12 6:24 PM
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It's also not true that 40 years ago fundamentalists eschewed politics. As I think I've said before, a very good friend of mine is finishing a book that documents evangelicals as prime movers in the anti-New Deal politics of the late 40s and 50s. Their coalition building, not surprisingly, predated "In God We Trust" and whatnot.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 11-11-12 6:27 PM
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I just tried to google information on evangelical participation in anti-communism in the '50s but couldn't come up with much.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-11-12 6:53 PM
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You should consult a historian or, failing that, take a bunch a horse tranquilizers to get into the mindset.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-11-12 6:55 PM
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45: Good luck with it anyway. No matter how romantic you think it looks, limping isn't all that much fun in the long term.


Posted by: Biohazard | Link to this comment | 11-11-12 6:58 PM
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61: a horse-torian!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-11-12 6:58 PM
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It's an important part of the history of the n-n-n-neigh-tion


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11-11-12 7:01 PM
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Thanks for the kind words, everyone. All things being equal, I'd rather skip the spinal surgery. Still, it's not likely to kill me, and assuming the procedure does what it's supposed to do (a 50/50 proposition, I'm told by my doc), I'll regain most of the function in my leg. But even if that doesn't happen, I'm lucky that I'm not a roofer or something. I mean, I can make a living while limping. And the thing is, this kind of thing happens in middle age. I'm also lucky to have good insurance.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 11-11-12 7:13 PM
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60: this book is really going to be a big deal. He's a good writer, he's at the right place to get a lot of attention for whatever he writes, and the material he's found is unreal.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 11-11-12 7:14 PM
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There's probably more out there but I'll wait for the book.

"Graham's "big break" came in the 1940s, when publishing magnate William Randolph Hearst got wind of Graham's then-recurring theme that the Cold War was a showdown between good and evil, and that communists were Satan-worshippers. "Either communism must die or Christianity must die," Graham famously preached, and Hearst sent a memo to all of his papers' editors, ordering them to "puff Graham". Prior to that, Graham had been just another traveling evangelist, holding meetings in half-empty tents."


Posted by: Biohazard | Link to this comment | 11-11-12 7:39 PM
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Oh yeah, found that.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-11-12 7:40 PM
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And knew that. And I think the Birchers had pretty strong evangelical links, maybe?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-11-12 7:40 PM
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It looks like Josh Marshall has reluctantly abandoned his skepticism about the GOP self-unskewing stories.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 11-11-12 10:10 PM
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I find myself torn between wanting to believe they are as deluded as they appear and being suspicious that they are covering for an aborted attempt at election stealing. The dilemmas I face.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 11-11-12 10:25 PM
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From the piece linked in 70: Qui Bono?

ARGHHH


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 11-11-12 10:55 PM
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I noticed that too.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 11-11-12 10:55 PM
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From the piece linked in 70: Qui Bono? ARGHHH

What's wrong with that?

"Qui Bono?"
"Nonne est Bono cantator, in cohorte musicorum Hiberniorum V.II?"


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 11-12-12 3:12 AM
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I haz bin in my pound-shop Nate Silver mode, and I think someone needs to fix the National Democratic Congressional Committee: http://www.harrowell.org.uk/blog/2012/11/11/the-smart-money-and-the-dumb-money-in-the-us-elections/


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 11-12-12 3:49 AM
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75: I'm not sure how to get a handle on it without some kind of prior, but it would seem that a potential confounding factor would be the degree to which an organization took on longshots or not. Pouring money into easily won races is another form of incompetence and one which has at times been a source of ill will within both parties.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11-12-12 5:29 AM
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True, but surely an important part of being an effective political funder is selecting races that are winnable. There's an interesting discussion to be had as to what the probability distribution looks like - which would answer the question "swing-state ultra focus or 50 state strategy?".

The naive optimisation is to rank the races by how close they are, and throw all the money at the top X marginals where X is the number you need to pick up to get a majority. Obviously, the enemy are likely to know this and act accordingly. This is basically what happens in UK general elections. If the drop-off in p(win) with a bigger gap isn't as quick as all that, though, it might be worth going with a broad front strategy.

Now, perhaps NDCC has to provide at least some support for the guy running in Dog Fuck County, Mississippi out of party solidarity and in the interests of developing candidates and maintaining a token presence. But I don't know enough qualitatively about it to speak to that.

UK political parties certainly do have a career-path where you're expected to show loyalty and determination by standing in a no-hope race or two and taking one for the team, before the party managers put you forward for a real chance.


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 11-12-12 5:48 AM
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51: He's right about Toure being a confused hipster, but I only wish he were right that this is now Rachel Maddow and Jeremiah Wright's country, but it really doesn't feel like they have a mandate. (Though Lee is looking for a new church and I get to weigh in since Mara is my kid too, and "God damn America" was the first item on my list. She hasn't found that kind yet.)

72: It's been fixed, though there's no edit note or anything. Perhaps you're just that powerful.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 11-12-12 6:56 AM
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Wouldn't smart money just be money that was distributed the most to close races, falling rapidly with increased certainty in outcome? Maybe the links cover this. (I read them last night as I was falling asleep. They were interesting, but I'm going to have to reread.)


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 11-12-12 7:33 AM
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It's probably too noisy, but conceivably one could use such a peak (if it exists) to check for skews in expected results. Maybe after correcting for incumbency.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 11-12-12 7:35 AM
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The ecfectiveness ofthe money would be a separate, harder to evaluate issue.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 11-12-12 7:38 AM
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Empire's New Clothes, Passavant article, who is really fucking good

The exercise of sovereign power in a state of exception cannot be described, as Agamben does, as power unmediated by law or as a suspension of law. But neither can this exercise of power be described, as Hardt and Negri do, as still a juridical act but one completely abstracted from a social order. Both of these analyses are two sides of the same coin, one that posits the possibility of an absolute separation between law and society. Such a model of the relationship between law and society maintains, for good or ill, the concept of an abstract or purely formalistic law uncontaminated by social impurities as well as the possibility of a social order (or power) unmediated by law. Hardt and Negri, then, accept Agamben's analytic but reverse its ethical charge, as this social order unmediated by law becomes a space where biopolitical life in the constituent form of the multitude can produce an absolute democracy outside of law. Both Agamben and Hardt and Negri neglect, however, Schmitt's insight that law and its social situation must always exist in relation to each other. If we accept the latter analytic, one in which law and society are mutually imbricated and mutually constitutive, then law and its social subjects will be seen as existing in a mutually articulated relationship until the end of their joint time. Forms of law will imply their social subjects by the modes of being that they enable or make interdict. And a social subject cannot exist without its law to represent it for what it "is" and to distinguish it from other modes of being. Reciprocally, law cannot exist without its subjects who will recognize a given claim as (their) law.

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Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 11-12-12 9:27 AM
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Autocorrect really let me down in 81.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 11-12-12 9:57 AM
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66: is what is wrong is the sickness of the American Left today. Jesus Christ, right, outing Bill Graham's Secret History will shame the right and change the world. Absurd and nostalgic.

Although provisionally I am willing to accept "Act Local, Think Global" I vastly prefer "Act Global Think Global" as in when the Good Guys are done in Aleppo we can ask for hints.

We are Empire and WTF does the Republican Religious Right have to do with Spain, Libya, or Thailand?
Pointless bullshit for political otakus.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 11-12-12 10:01 AM
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We're going to need a bigger book.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-12-12 10:06 AM
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84: Historians are allowed to think that a book that will rewrite the way historians view American history is a big deal.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 11-12-12 10:32 AM
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42 to 36!


Posted by: Awl | Link to this comment | 11-12-12 10:34 AM
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43! 43! 43 to 36!

You'd think I'd learn to preview by now.


Posted by: Awl | Link to this comment | 11-12-12 10:34 AM
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I've been catching up on threads from the weekend, and there was a surprising amount of news.

My sympathies Josh and VW, and congratulations to clew (from the other thread).

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Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 11-12-12 10:47 AM
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Here is a great historian.
Jairus Banaji, very empirical and date driven Marxist, specializes (?) in 19th century Indian agriculture and the "transition problem". This one-hour state-of-Marxian-science video lecture 2012 connects the 19th century opium trade to the GFC of 2007-2008. Refutes Hilferding on banking capital as merge of finance and industry.

I took four pages of notes. Basically, two of my takes from Banaji are that the era of Fordism was an exception and not general Capitalism. Organized wage-labor (factories, unions) and industrial capital were the exception not the rule. Precariat labour and finance capital are the rule. These cannot be organized, regulated, or held within borders. Communisation.

"The circulation of capital subsumes labor power which subsumes the means of production."

Almost the opposite of the classic formula.

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Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 11-12-12 11:33 AM
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