Re: Guest Post - Voter ID racism

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Also,

In contrast to the debacle in Montana that we discussed last week, this study doesn't raise any ethical flags for me.

For me, this study is not in the same ballpark.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11- 3-14 10:43 AM
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the lack of traction here of political discussions about tomorrow's election.

I'm just so deeply depressed about electoral politics generally that I have a hell of time staying focused on it. I made myself give money in a couple of state legislature races, but I can't get excited about anything.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11- 3-14 10:44 AM
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I was going to get excited about the election, but on Sunday I went to buy some beer and they gave me a free t-shirt for the type of beer I bought (Duquesne Lager, $18 for 30 cans). It's sort of cheap looking (they only sprang for one color printing), but it still pushed the election right out of my mind.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11- 3-14 10:47 AM
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I mean Duquesne Pilsner, not lager. I'm confusing it with Yuengling.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11- 3-14 10:49 AM
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I'm just worried about my state election, and I don't think that most people here care about that one.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 11- 3-14 10:54 AM
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I am super-depressed about the mid-terms. I don't know why I feel more despair now than I did when W. was President and things were actively worse. I guess I feel like it is ridiculously hard to counter policies and politicians that clearly are only harming the country.


Posted by: Miranda | Link to this comment | 11- 3-14 10:57 AM
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I don't feel as bad as I did when W. was president. That actively made my day-to-day activities tinged for the worse, whereas the current state is easier for me to compartmentalize.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11- 3-14 10:59 AM
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I was still smoking when W was president. Nicotine really takes the edge off nerves and anxiety.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11- 3-14 11:00 AM
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Oh, when W. was president, I felt like I could get all het up about fighting the Man, and so on. Now, it feels like there is literally no hope that anything significantly good will ever happen politically.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11- 3-14 11:01 AM
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I'm obsessively following stuff via twitter to no end but time-wasting and frustration. The few times I've said anything about it seems even more pointless than usual. It's all so fucking nuts. Just really fucking nuts. We're a nation with most of the nuclear weapons for God's sake. If a random Daily Kos diarist had said the things during the Bush admin that Joni Ernst has ("my guns protect me against government agents taking away my rights" and "Obama is a dictator") it would be on Fox news. Instead, it's "look at the nice lady from Iowa wining with niceness."

I blame Chuck Todd. And the American people.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11- 3-14 11:06 AM
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winning


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11- 3-14 11:06 AM
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My line. Back off.


Posted by: Opinionated Charlie Sheen | Link to this comment | 11- 3-14 11:07 AM
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I should maybe look around for a sample ballot and see if there's anything to vote on besides governor.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11- 3-14 11:07 AM
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Huh. I'm the opposite. Back then it seemed so extraordinarily futile to fight the man, because all the momentum and sheer numbers of people seemed to be on the side of evil. It all just made me want to go back to bed.

Some of it might have been that I was 22/26 when W. was elected and re-elected, and having my innocence rudely shattered. It was pretty easy to be mostly oblivious during Clinton years, and assume things were gradually getting better.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11- 3-14 11:08 AM
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Nope. Everything else is uncontested.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11- 3-14 11:09 AM
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13: I actually managed to fail to realize that my boss was up for re-election this year. It's not particularly close, so there isn't any office chatter about it, but I should have remembered that we're in synch with the gubernatorial elections.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11- 3-14 11:09 AM
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If officials serve in the same cabinet for long enough, their periods synch.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11- 3-14 11:10 AM
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One more for 2. I am afraid that I now believe that the problem is basically the voters. Actually also for 8.

I stopped smoking when I broke my neck in April. I know that it's a bad habit, I like being able to tell my kid that I'm not smoking. I haven't yet woken up thinking or saying I need a smoke first thing, but that brief shot of complete nicotine reorientation and jangly serenity would sure be nice.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 11- 3-14 11:11 AM
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Wait. You broke your neck? That seems very serious.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11- 3-14 11:13 AM
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Nicotine really takes the edge off nerves and anxiety caused by nicotine withdrawal.

FTFY.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 11- 3-14 11:18 AM
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I am afraid that I now believe that the problem is basically the voters.

This.

If I randomly overhear another state employee saying that Charlie Baker seems like a pretty good guy--"He's got some good ideas, you know?"--I'm going to throw something.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 11- 3-14 11:18 AM
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20: Nope. I believe it was correct as written.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11- 3-14 11:20 AM
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19,20. Have recovered almost complete range of motoin, still up to a forehead butt, except am too big for most guys. Come by any time so that I can explain how you are wrong, GY.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 11- 3-14 11:23 AM
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Wot 19 sed.

In electoral good news, over here we have avoided a UKIP Police Commissioner. The fact that this counts as good news says it all.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 11- 3-14 11:24 AM
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We had a party GOTV event yesterday afternoon; Sen Tester and Gov Bullock were both pretty emphatic about how they'd been written off by all the pundits on the eve of the election, but had nonetheless eked out narrow victories because of superior GOTV. I had a nice chat with Justice Wheat about what the rules were in urging people to vote for him (we didn't talk about Stanford), and then went door knocking with my state house rep.

You know, I think I found at least 5 votes.

OK, I think we're all braced for disappointing results. What I find all the more depressing is the certainty that our totally worthless journalistic establishment is going to be awash in 'rejection of Obama' stories when what is going to happen tomorrow is exactly what happens when a significant number of members of one coalition only vote in presidential years. (And you can factor in Senate changes in 1986 and 2006 as well.) The sun is going to rise in the east tomorrow, but our rooster-brained scribes will spend 3 months finding various kinds of significance in it.

Tonight, we're calling people in the county who (a) have not voted yet; (b) voted in 2012; and (c) were registered but did not vote in 2010. Oh, we're only calling people we think are on our side, of course. It's not all that many people, and so a dozen or so of us can make a pretty big dent.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 11- 3-14 11:29 AM
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25.3: Right, Obama and his plummeting approval rating:

I can safely say Obama is only president in U.S. history whose approval rating dropped a single digit over a ten-month stretch and it was described as having "plummeted."


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11- 3-14 11:33 AM
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||

I only just learned last night that Brits are saying "spag bol", not "spag bowl".

|>


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 11- 3-14 11:35 AM
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Why were you at a British orgy?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11- 3-14 11:36 AM
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28 is actually asking, "Why wasn't I invited?"


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 11- 3-14 11:40 AM
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I talked to my parents about the election yesterday. They're in deep doom-and-gloom territory, sure that McConnell will win in their state, that Republicans will retake the Senate, that we'll probably end up in another war soon, that Jeb Bush will be our next president, and that the ACA will be completely scrapped. I felt like the optimist for once, being willing to go along with them on the first two steps but not the rest.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 11- 3-14 11:41 AM
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I think the first three may be right. Four doesn't seem possible.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11- 3-14 11:42 AM
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They tell me I just don't understand how violently most of the country hates Hillary Clinton. Which may be true, except that their "most" is based on land area rather than electoral votes.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 11- 3-14 11:44 AM
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I can't believe in Jeb Bush as a plausible candidate -- what, would W. be out there stumping for him? That doesn't make me particularly happy -- it's not as if he's any worse, particularly, than any other Republican, so I don't feel safer thinking "Well, whatever happens, at least the president won't be a member of the Bush family."


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11- 3-14 11:46 AM
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26 is shocking to me - I totally believed that his poll numbers were actually at an all-time low, etc. WTF.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11- 3-14 11:47 AM
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I hate Hillary Clinton and I'm thinking of donating to her.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11- 3-14 11:47 AM
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I really can't believe there's no one looking really plausible for 2016 on the Dem side other than Hillary. That seems really messed up to me.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11- 3-14 11:48 AM
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What makes Jeb implausible?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11- 3-14 11:48 AM
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LB gets it right in 9. I would be surprised if the Republicans don't try to find further ways to cripple the ACA, making it function worse and feeding its unpopularity.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 11- 3-14 11:49 AM
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37 to 36 or 33.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11- 3-14 11:49 AM
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34: Me too. Remarkably consistent, despite the best efforts of the media.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 11- 3-14 11:50 AM
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What I find discouraging is that the current setup of republicans have the house and state governments, while democrats win the presidency, and the senate moves back and forth depending on whether the last election was a midterm seems pretty stable. So nothing productive is going to happen for at least 10 years or so. Basically there's nothing to do but wait for more old people to die.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in." (9) | Link to this comment | 11- 3-14 11:51 AM
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The governors and state government situation is truly depressing. Why aren't there gerrymandering court cases going on?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11- 3-14 11:53 AM
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30: My Mom and I had our doom and gloom talk late last night. My despair is less linked to current policy issues and /or outcomes, but what a clearly deranged electorate could be led to. Fearful privilege is a very dangerous state. Your pessimistic imagination is the limit.

In my bad moments I think that sometime in the next 50 years we'll do something as a nation that will land American Exceptionalism in a similar neighborhood to as National Socialism.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11- 3-14 11:53 AM
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By which I mean "...that I would have heard about on my FB feed?"


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11- 3-14 11:53 AM
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Godwin can suck my dick.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11- 3-14 11:53 AM
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They tell me I just don't understand how violently most of the country hates Hillary Clinton.

Doesn't matter. In the unlikely even that the Dems nominate someone other than Hillary in 2016, the people who hate Hillary will find reasons to hate that person just as much. I recall that in 2008, the established base of Hillary-hatred was one argument in favor of choosing Obama, who, as a relative newcomer to the national scene, did not have the established base of haters on the other side. We all know how fast that changed. Haters gonna hate.


Posted by: MAE | Link to this comment | 11- 3-14 11:54 AM
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24: Was there a Labour candidate too? Who got in?


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 11- 3-14 11:55 AM
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+t


Posted by: MAE | Link to this comment | 11- 3-14 11:56 AM
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Basically there's nothing to do but wait for more old people to die.

Can I still do research studies on them? Pass the time for both of us.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11- 3-14 11:56 AM
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I blame the media more than the electorate. I feel like there are a vast number of people out there who correctly get they're being fed a can of lies, but can't figure out what to distinguish as truth.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11- 3-14 11:58 AM
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find further ways to cripple the ACA, making it function worse and feeding its unpopularity

Speaking of which, the Supreme Court revealed this morning that it was punting on whether or not to grant review in one of the challenges to subsidies in states with federal exchanges. Too soon for panic, but really not a good sign, it should have been an easy deny at this point, and almost all grants these days are preceded by at least one punt.


Posted by: potchkeh | Link to this comment | 11- 3-14 11:59 AM
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Can I still do research studies on them?

"Research studies"? When did we stop calling it "masturbation"?


Posted by: MAE | Link to this comment | 11- 3-14 11:59 AM
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21: He might have one or two. But then he talks about ending welfare dependency, and I know that at his core he's bad. Worse than Weld. Maybe because he's more competent in a lot of ways.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 11- 3-14 12:00 PM
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The New Jersey Senate race is fun for me this year. I first got involved in electoral politics in high school in 1978, when Bill Bradley was running for Senate. The Republican candidate that year was Clifford Case, a young crank whose main issue was returning to the gold standard. this year, Clifford Case is running again! And he still believes in the gold standard! And he's going to lose big time! Cory Booker is kind of a jerk, but he'll follow the mainstream Democratic line, and what more can we hope for.


Posted by: unimaginative | Link to this comment | 11- 3-14 12:02 PM
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37: His father and brother are generally recognized as kind of embarrassing even by their own party, aren't they? I haven't heard an approving mention of W. since 08; all the Obama-hatred in the world, but no one seems to be missing W.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11- 3-14 12:03 PM
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He might have one or two.

Well, or with the one person I've talked to more in depth about the topic, I'm pretty sure the actual implementation of Baker's ideas that this guy likes wouldn't be what he's imagining. I guess I'm just shocked at the lack of political sophistication in a large number of state employees.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 11- 3-14 12:05 PM
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Yeah, I don't really have any idea how Jeb would play nationwide. Just how well-liked he was in Florida.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11- 3-14 12:05 PM
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Back in the Bush days, at least there was some hope that things could be improved by kicking the sonofabitch and his cronies out of office.

Obama, on the other hand, probably represents the best Americans are going to be able to do for the foreseeable future. Hillary's upside is that she could conceivably be as good as Obama.

Hillary's downside is so unspeakable that people don't even want to talk about it: She might not be able to beat whatever ham sandwich the Republicans throw up against her.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 11- 3-14 12:06 PM
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43.2: Unsurprisingly, I'm right there with you. I expect the economy to continue to grind down everyone but a select few.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 11- 3-14 12:07 PM
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Hillary's upside is that she could conceivably be as good as Obama.

Well, yeah. And if she had two years with a Democratic congress, damage would be temporarily stopped!

Hillary's downside is so unspeakable that people don't even want to talk about it: She might not be able to beat whatever ham sandwich the Republicans throw up against her.

Nah, that's not a real concern. The real concern is that she'd be to the right of Obama.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11- 3-14 12:08 PM
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50: But that depresses me no end. Because it doesn't seem to be limited to the US. My FMIL in Canada seems to be unsure whether climate change is real, because she has no scientific education and isn't good at evaluating which sources are reliable using other measures, like where they get their money from. So, she hated their Fox News, but she also doesn't like the CBC.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 11- 3-14 12:08 PM
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58: Yup. That sounds just about right.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11- 3-14 12:08 PM
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I still think demographics means the Republicans are dead in national elections regardless of the candidates put forth, but the Democrats seem eager to test this.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 11- 3-14 12:10 PM
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She might not be able to beat whatever ham sandwich the Republicans throw up against her.

Hillary should get a boost in the polls when the grand jury indicts the ham sandwich.


Posted by: MAE | Link to this comment | 11- 3-14 12:10 PM
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41 is exactly right.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11- 3-14 12:11 PM
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I have lost confidence in what happens when the old people die, though. I don't know what I expect, but I don't confidently expect anything good.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11- 3-14 12:12 PM
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56: Oh yeah, I totally agree. It's just that occasionally I lull myself into thinking that it won't be that bad if he wins; he ran Harvard Vanguard, and they're not evil; he's right about the discrepancy in pricing across hospitals, and then I remember the comments he's made about public housing and I shudder. I also worry a lot that he'll use a push for price transparency as a way of pushing forward high-deductible health plans.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 11- 3-14 12:13 PM
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My recent electoral depression was brought on by the poll that a large majority of voters recognize that the deck is stacked in favor of the wealthy and inequality is a major issue, followed by a not-quite-as-large majority saying the Republicans are the better party to deal with this issue.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 11- 3-14 12:13 PM
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66: Have you tried religion?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11- 3-14 12:14 PM
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I really do think Obama and the Democrats made an historically bad decision in 2008 to cede populism to the right.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 11- 3-14 12:15 PM
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67 - President Cruz, elected on a platform of "supporting ethics in gaming journalism".


Posted by: Tom Scudder | Link to this comment | 11- 3-14 12:15 PM
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Whoops, 71 to 66, not 67.


Posted by: Tom Scudder | Link to this comment | 11- 3-14 12:15 PM
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I really do think Obama and the Democrats made an historically bad decision in 2008 to cede populism to the right.

Wait, how did they cede populism to the right in 2008?


Posted by: MAE | Link to this comment | 11- 3-14 12:18 PM
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no one seems to be missing W.

Au contraire! I've seen this in my Facebook feed a couple of times.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 11- 3-14 12:19 PM
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63. So you've missed all the articles about how the millennials are turning Republican?


Posted by: DaveLMA | Link to this comment | 11- 3-14 12:23 PM
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Even if Dems pull a good turnout and hold the Senate, all we'll hear from the Narrative is that they must have rigged the election and that's why we need tighter voter ID laws.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 11- 3-14 12:25 PM
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It's pretty closely split, but more people say Obama is a worse president than GWB than say he is a better president than GWB.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 11- 3-14 12:25 PM
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And yet if there must be a Republican, isn't Jeb more or less the best of a really bad lot?

I can see why no one wants to take on Clinton: she'll have all the money and all the endorsements, and, really, what's someone else going to stand for that has a better chance of winning the general?

Look at the senate map for 2016: Dem control is a pretty good bet.

I'd say we're already in another war, and we seem to be losing.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 11- 3-14 12:26 PM
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77: Give it five years.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11- 3-14 12:31 PM
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I mean, nobody is saying 77 exactly here, but a lot of people are saying they're more depressed now than they were during W.'s term.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11- 3-14 12:31 PM
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And yet if there must be a Republican, isn't Jeb more or less the best of a really bad lot?

I think so, although I'd be worried if a moderate Republican had a shot at the presidency. But he'll be great for the in-fighting!


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11- 3-14 12:32 PM
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Here is where I say that I think Obama has been the best president of my lifetime. But I still hate everything and everybody.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11- 3-14 12:34 PM
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82.2 probably because of 82.1.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11- 3-14 12:35 PM
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I'm finally at lunch and have time to comment. Thanks for posting, h-g!

I'm in the odd position of feeling happier and more serene that many of the issues that I have spent the last 10+ years advocating for are experiencing unprecedented public traction, and gloomily expecting bad things tomorrow.

In particular, I think that whatever happens with the Senate, Obama will have a harder time getting another Sotomayor through and we'll end up with another Kagan, or worse.

And I think PA will end up with a governor who will do some good (or at least not-bad) things in the executive branch, but has shown zero ability or inclination to do do the kind of deal-making he needs to to get anything through the legislature.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 11- 3-14 12:36 PM
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Also, to my original point, ahem, I was naively surprised that the results were so notable. I guess I was thinking that the sheer boring mundane task of answering consistent mail would result in more-or-less equal responses. HA.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 11- 3-14 12:38 PM
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Plus, having a bearded governor will put us ahead of the game if the hipsters do take over.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11- 3-14 12:38 PM
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73: Their fundamentally conservative, status quo restoring response to the recession constrasted poorly with the Tea Party's rhetoric.
75: Huh?


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 11- 3-14 12:39 PM
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A bearded governor who still, 11 months into the campaign, has not learned to stop talking about his MIT PhD. Dude. I don't care what the rest of your life has taught you, this is not a selling point.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 11- 3-14 12:40 PM
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It just screams "Couldn't get into Berkley."


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11- 3-14 12:41 PM
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In my hopeful moments I think that Hillary sweeps in with good coat tails. And I think people tend to lay too much on the personality and beliefs of individual actors like the President and not enough on the political landscape and context in which they serve. I believe there were much better potential Bill Clinton and Obama terms which is why legitimization was pursued so vigorously in both cases (with massive boosts from the media).


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11- 3-14 12:43 PM
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66: I have lost confidence in what happens when the old people die, though. I don't know what I expect, but I don't confidently expect anything good.

The demographic picture on this is definitely complicated. It comes down to rate of death among generally conservative old people offset against the trends of younger cohorts.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11- 3-14 12:47 PM
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Even now, do the Democrats have any sort of coherent policy response to inequality and the lowering of living standards for half the country? Have they identified any causes?


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 11- 3-14 12:48 PM
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92 gets it right.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 11- 3-14 12:53 PM
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Latest Ernst is that Obama is not a dictator but rather is "apathetic."

We have an apathetic president," Ernst said to a crowd, according to The Washington Post's Ben Terris. After her speech she said Obama "is just standing back and letting things happen, he is reactive rather than proactive."

Ernst added "with Ebola, he's been very hands off." And that's where the back-and-forth started with Pierce, a sports-writer-turned-commentator media personality and who is the author of four books, including "Idiot America." With Ernst, he asked her what Obama should have done differently.

"What should he have done about Ebola?" Pierce said. "One person in America has Ebola."

"OK, you're the press, you're giving me your opinion," Ernst responded.

"It's not an opinion, only one person in America has it," Pierce said.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11- 3-14 12:55 PM
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consistent s/b constituent. I blame autocorrect, even though it's not enabled on this computer.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 11- 3-14 12:57 PM
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In my bad moments I think that sometime in the next 50 years we'll do something as a nation that will land American Exceptionalism in a similar neighborhood to as National Socialism.

Every time I think we've hit bottom, we find a new bottom. There's no telling where this is going to end.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 11- 3-14 1:13 PM
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Every time I think we've hit bottom, we find a new bottom. There's no telling where this is going to end.

It doesn't end—it's bottoms all the way down.


Posted by: MAE | Link to this comment | 11- 3-14 1:18 PM
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Every time I think we've hit bottom, we find a new bottom. There's no telling where this is going to end.

This just isn't true. There are good reasons to be more depressed today than eight years ago - change has been absurdly centrist - but legislation over the past six years has been undeniably to the left of where it was the eight years prior.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11- 3-14 1:19 PM
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It doesn't end--it's bottoms all the way down.

A long line of assholes.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11- 3-14 1:19 PM
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American centipede.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 11- 3-14 1:27 PM
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I predict 54 Republican seats in the Senate.

At some point, I think we have to accept that the American people get the kind of government they deserve. We're stupid and lazy, to the extent that people are actively picking out pockets but we don't turn around to see who they are, because it's too much work.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 11- 3-14 1:28 PM
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98: On a national level, sure. Locally, not so much. NC and Wisconsin, in particular, have been essentially broken by GOP legislatures, and I don't see any way that will change before 2021. That's a lot of damage to undo.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 11- 3-14 1:37 PM
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No, true, the state legislature thing is an ongoing horror show.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11- 3-14 1:42 PM
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have any sort of coherent policy response to inequality and the lowering of living standards for half the country
Vote Democrat, we won't actively make things worse, or if we do, we'll make things worse slower than the other guys.
Fits on a bumper sticker if you use a small font.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 11- 3-14 1:54 PM
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102 was me.

Meanwhile, nationally, I'm not actually convinced that Obama has accomplished anything substantial* other than ACA. Not that he didn't get other things done, but e.g. Ledbetter is weak tea, and Republicans under Bush got things at least as substantive passed in the other direction. I'm not especially convinced that the last 14 years have been a net win for the left of center in Washington. Are we better off than we were 34 years ago? Probably not.

To be clear, I'm not blaming Obama for any of this, which is the whole reason it's so depressing: I'm seeing us as being in a structural decline, with nothing to arrest it.

*the two big failures I'd identify as climate change and card check (or anything else to advance union power). Dodd-Frank isn't great, but at least it moved the ball somewhat in the right direction. Oh, and the judiciary is a fucking mess. If HRC enters office with a favorable Senate and a list of judges a mile long, I'll rate her as higher than Obama pretty much no matter what.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 11- 3-14 2:00 PM
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Lately I've been reading that Obama has swung the judiciary pretty significantly, especially at the circuit level.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 11- 3-14 2:05 PM
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Vote Democrat, we won't actively make things worse, or if we do, we'll make things worse slower than the other guys.

All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to fail to go out and vote for the lesser evil.


Posted by: MAE | Link to this comment | 11- 3-14 2:05 PM
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106 is correct, quite a few circuits have flipped in terms of which party appointed a majority of judges. Though it sure took long enough, and of course these judges by and large aren't nearly as far left as the Reagan/Bush cohorts were right. But still, it's a very welcome shift.

Relatedly, this from 84:

Obama will have a harder time getting another Sotomayor through and we'll end up with another Kagan, or worse

is really puzzling to me. Kagan and Sotomayor are, for all practical purposes, as closely aligned as any pair of the four left-of-center Justices; and when they're not on the same side it's not inevitably Sotomayor who's on the side of the angels (see e.g. Knox v. SEIU). I mean, I'd love to see Justices to the left of both Kagan and Sotomayor, but I don't get the implication that while another Sotomayor would be great, another Kagan would be a setback.


Posted by: potchkeh | Link to this comment | 11- 3-14 2:21 PM
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I was wondering that too, actually. What did my classmate decide that you're unhappy with?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11- 3-14 2:24 PM
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Making fondant the National Cake Frosting.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 11- 3-14 2:42 PM
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||
On the other hand, the sky can still be interesting in unexpected ways. A beautiful example of something I had never heard of before, a Fallstreak Hole.
|>


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11- 3-14 2:44 PM
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106 makes me feel a bit better, but as noted in 108.1, it's more counteracting than undoing the Reagan/Bush damage. One thing I recall in particular is that the average age of an Obama appointee is (was?) several years older than the average Bush appointee.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 11- 3-14 2:44 PM
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NC and Wisconsin, in particular, have been essentially broken by GOP legislatures

No matter how bad you think things are in NC, they're probably worse. I never believed North Carolina would elect a General Assembly this malevolent but oh my god.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 11- 3-14 3:07 PM
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One of the most depressing truisms is that it takes so long, so slow, and so much effort to build up social fabric, and it's so quickly and easily destroyed. I hate people.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11- 3-14 3:22 PM
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114: Oh, heebie, if you really hated people, you wouldn't care. So, what I'm saying is that you have to learn to hate better.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 11- 3-14 3:25 PM
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Now you see that evil will always triumph because good is dumb.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 11- 3-14 3:28 PM
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I actually don't think NC has the worst state legislature in the country (not even close), but it seems inarguable that they've had the most dramatic worsening of a state legislature. The whirlwind shift from relatively sane to batshit has really been something to watch. Other states have had decades (or more) to get used to legislatures full of lunatics who just spend their time shitting on everything.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 11- 3-14 3:39 PM
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I think I've posted some variant of comment 117 at least six times in this blog. I'm not really sure why.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 11- 3-14 3:47 PM
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In California, we have two votes of some import. One is Prop 47 which is a gentle easing off the carceral throttle (and which cool website my friend designed). The other is Torlakson-Tuck for the state superintendent of education, which is notable for being a pretty straight up referendum on corporate ed reform (Tuck=reformer) as well as one of those Dem vs Dem battles via the "jungle primary" in which there's still significant differences between the candidates.

In LA County we also have a tight race between a terrific progressive lesbian who was on TV in the 60s and a Kennedy stuffed suit.


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 11- 3-14 3:57 PM
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|| Stewart v. RLOGPM As some other guy put it,the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice. |>


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 11- 3-14 4:24 PM
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I actually don't think NC has the worst state legislature in the country (not even close), but it seems inarguable that they've had the most dramatic worsening of a state legislature. The whirlwind shift from relatively sane to batshit has really been something to watch. Other states have had decades (or more) to get used to legislatures full of lunatics who just spend their time shitting on everything.

It's basically the Russia of US states. People in Russia get upset that those of us in the Western world are "hypocritically" more unhappy with their kleptocratic fascism and state-supported racist lynch mobs than the kleptocratic fascism and state-supported racist lynch mobs of other countries. It's because you have chosen to now have a lot MORE state-supported racist lynch mobs than you did 15 years ago, whereas they were never any better and may be slightly improving.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 11- 3-14 4:50 PM
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Even now, do the Democrats have any sort of coherent policy response to inequality and the lowering of living standards for half the country? Have they identified any causes?

I believe their plan is for more people to get bachelor's degrees. This will be accomplished by slightly tweaking the incentives.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 11- 3-14 5:06 PM
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After all, what room is left for public policy now that Alan Greenspan can set the employment rate.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 11- 3-14 6:36 PM
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So, after calling people for about 90 minutes, I got a busy signal. I'm not sure when I last heard a busy signal -- years, maybe.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 11- 3-14 6:55 PM
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123: How so?


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 11- 3-14 6:59 PM
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92: Even now, do the Democrats have any sort of coherent policy response to inequality and the lowering of living standards for half the country? Have they identified any causes?

Raise the minimum wage? Make health insurance more affordable? Raise taxes on the wealthy in order to keep funding for social programs as robust as possible given this political climate? Fight voter suppression tooth and nail (via the DOJ, chiefly).

I'm frankly puzzled by the question: Democrats have identified numerous causes, and are advocating for them when and where they can. It's always going to be incremental; were you hoping for a single magic bullet?


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 11- 3-14 7:09 PM
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This just isn't true. There are good reasons to be more depressed today than eight years ago - change has been absurdly centrist - but legislation over the past six years has been undeniably to the left of where it was the eight years prior.

Sure, we're in a backlash phase against lunacy, and the backlash has taken us to where we are now, which in some very, very important ways is an improvement over GW Bush.

But that view fails to take into account the Big Picture - a picture that Paul Krugman, of all people, failed to reckon with in his Rolling Stone piece calling Obama one of the most consequential presidents in modern history.

Somehow, Krugman manages to ignore the fact that GW Bush was a significantly more consequential president than Obama.

Biden was 100% correct that ACA was a big fucking deal. Nonetheless, I'd argue that Iraq was a bigger deal than Obamacare, and Bush had many successes on that scale. The financial crash was an enormous fucking deal, and Obama still hasn't set that right.

You might argue that the financial meltdown, or the destruction of New Orleans, or torture, or the institution of massive surveillance weren't successes. But in every case, GW Bush changed the facts on the ground in ways that Obama has been unable (or, in some cases, unwilling) to roll back.

And the Republicans? They completely understand the logic of the negative feedback loop we are in. They responded to the financial crisis by unanimously proposing that the US default on its debt! The shitty economy that the conservatives caused and perpetuated plays politically against liberals. Jeb Bush may indeed be tainted by his association with GW, but only because GW and his cronies have trained the electorate to believe that GW and Jeb aren't sufficiently fucking crazy.

The non-insane right will tell you, correctly, that the Republicans were never going to actually allow a default. But Weimar Germany also had non-insane conservatives who thought they had the situation under control. As the wise man said, Fuck Godwin.

The US is in an extraordinarily dangerous point in history. I think the odds still favor the US waking up and coming to its senses over the long haul - heck, even Germany turned out okay in the end, right? - but first we have to hit bottom, and there's no particular reason to believe that has happened. If the next financial crisis happens in the Obama or Hillary administrations, look out below!


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 11- 3-14 7:09 PM
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126: only the first one of those has been mentioned in any campaigns, though,


Posted by: cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 11- 3-14 7:14 PM
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Failed joke. The Democrats have been pushing college degrees as a solution to a stagnant middle class for a long time, and it used to be paired with the belief that the Great Moderation was proof that the Fed could essentially dictate the state of the economy. So long as the Maestro kept the labor market tight most problems would work themselves out.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 11- 3-14 7:17 PM
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Anyway, voter suppression is conceivably the most serious problem at hand at the moment. It's working in Texas. It doesn't matter what happens demographically if students and people of color are kept from voting.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 11- 3-14 7:21 PM
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127.last: That or an actual pandemic.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11- 3-14 7:22 PM
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I happened to sit through a local and national news broadcast this evening due to inertia, fatigue and semi-sickness (bad cold). no wonder everyone is so fucking weird--what a strange scary disjointed world they present. Although by the time Andrea Mitchell was on lamenting the candidates were simply feeding the base (you know the few who actually talk about things like the minimum wage I erupted into a frothing rant and had to leave the room.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11- 3-14 7:35 PM
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Weimar Germany is far too dramatic a model. I think we'll just continue sliding towards Russian style kleptocratic oligarchy.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 11- 3-14 7:39 PM
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Democrats have identified numerous causes, and are advocating for them when and where they can.
Can you give an example? Honest question.
Raising the minimum wage is not a serious policy response to inequality. It should be done but it's only a possibility because it will have negligible costs and benefits.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 11- 3-14 7:42 PM
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I think that Obamacare counts as a serious policy response to inequality.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11- 3-14 7:44 PM
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Rather hopeful article on North Carolina from Bill Moyers and Mother Jones.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 11- 3-14 7:54 PM
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Raising the minimum wage is not a serious policy response to inequality. It should be done but it's only a possibility because it will have negligible costs and benefits.

I'm bewildered by this. It will have negligible benefits?

I must not be understanding what you mean by "a serious policy response". Sure, the benefits accruing to Wall St. should be reined in. We've sadly gotten ourselves to the point that our economy is somewhat captured by them -- and that's, well, a fucked situation.

How about, say, ending or curtailing farm subsidies? The farm bill is a mishmash of farm subsidies and food stamps. That's a fucking mess. How about ending or curtailing oil industry subsidies? What counts as a serious policy response for you?

What about doing away with, or at least moderating, preferential tax treatment for capital gains? Ditch the 15% deal.

These are all things that Democrats have advocated -- though you're right that you don't hear much about it during a midterm election. Suggesting that Democrats don't have any ideas, though, seems bonkers to me.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 11- 3-14 8:04 PM
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136: Heh, yeah, I saw that a short while ago when checking on the results (so far) of current voter suppression laws.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 11- 3-14 8:05 PM
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How am I supposed to figure out how to vote in non-partisan elections? If only some Stanford professors would send me some ideology rankings...

I guess it ultimately doesn't matter, all the judges are probably going to get re-approved easily.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 11- 3-14 8:37 PM
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You're not helping my superego to drag my ass out of bed and vote before work in the morning.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11- 3-14 8:43 PM
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I only have three elections to vote in, only one of which has more than one candidate the guy I'm voting for is up by 12 points in recent polls.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11- 3-14 8:45 PM
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Looks like Mark Massa is a republican political operative, while Loretta Rush is an actual judge. So even though they're both Republican appointees, I suppose the thing to do is to vote no on Mass and yes on Rush? It's really not easy to find easily digestible descriptions of them.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 11- 3-14 8:45 PM
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I guess it ultimately doesn't matter, all the judges are probably going to get re-approved easily.

Not necessarily. Check to see if anyone has bought $1000000 worth of ads explaining that one of the judges coddles child molesters and people with tattoos on their faces.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 11- 3-14 9:04 PM
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Fortunately, Tom Wolf and Google just combined forces to give me an ad saying he will lose if I stay home. They know me and my guilt-avoidance motivational structure.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11- 3-14 9:09 PM
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Man, I cannot wait for this election to be over. I've missed most of the most annoying advertising and polling because I don't have a TV or an in-state phone number, so it's mostly just that the suspense is killing me.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 11- 3-14 10:02 PM
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But teo, will you at least get a Yup'ik "I voted" sticker?


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 11- 4-14 4:19 AM
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144. Read that as Tom Wolfe, and thought it was the best argument for spending the day in bed I'd ever seen.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 11- 4-14 4:24 AM
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Dedicated volunteer: "Would you like a Democratic ballot card?"

Me: "There are only three races, two of which are uncontested."

DV: "What am I going to do with all these cards?"


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11- 4-14 6:19 AM
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145: + 'even'


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11- 4-14 6:20 AM
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I had four things to vote for. For the first time in my life, I had personally met every person I voted for.

Voter #36. But it was early.

Some of the youngest poll workers I have ever seen. Also the first Asian ones in a long time, maybe ever.

There was mass confusion among inexperienced poll workers about voter ID, but luckily the Chinese dude straightened the white lady and the Infian dude out before I had to say anything.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 11- 4-14 6:28 AM
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Also: quoting the United Daughters of the Confedracy in a news article? REALLY? Can't we just shun them?

http://m.timesdispatch.com/entertainment-life/four-children-of-civil-war-soldiers-still-live-in-virginia/article_2af45d6c-0523-5075-8d44-c7b2b0af04f2.html?mode=jqm


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 11- 4-14 6:35 AM
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I have to print out a ballot so that I make sure that I know which way is yes and which way is no in advance. I need to remember to vote "yes" on the gambling question, because I want the gambling law repealed.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 11- 4-14 6:56 AM
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With all the caveats about how they are not markers of how most people's economic lives are going, but as evidence of how Washington really is "wired for Republicans" try to imagine the election narrative with a Republican president and the Dow Jones where it is, debt down as much as it is not to mention gas prices. Even with ISIS And Ebola, to which I'm sure there'd have been some kind of aggressive official posturing. Bush in Hazmat suit or some such.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11- 4-14 7:07 AM
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The items in 126.1 may be modest, but they are things that do help actual people. I'll add infrastructure spending.

But maybe our despair has made us all about heightening the contradictions here now; just barely glimpsing the true nature of the world as bob has so ably laid it out for us.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11- 4-14 7:12 AM
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152- No Yes Yes Yes


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 11- 4-14 7:13 AM
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155: Does that count as enthusiastic consent?


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 11- 4-14 7:16 AM
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Built in a half hour to vote, no lines but needed every minute. Only serious close race is Governor, but a long ballot, requiring a cheat sheet. Usual experience of smiling or head shaking at dim-bulb classmates on the judicial retention ballot, decisions about bs ballot initiatives.

Greeted in the Pedway on my way into the building by Sen. Durbin and Atty Genl. Lisa Madigan.

Finally had the "Stroll" conversation, my wife had pulled up a parody video. I find I hear much more if I play dumb, with only vague notions of what something might be about.

Wife and daughter both resemble[d] Ms. Tenhour in features, coloring, hair and figure. Both acknowledged phenomenon and wide range of feelings and situations.

Both ambivalent about video and reaction. Daughter, committed to urban teaching and living in A-A neighbor, raised race/class issues aired at this blog. Wife bemused by urgency, priority and heat, by the stridency that threatens to foreclose the possibility of understanding and solidarity.


Posted by: idp | Link to this comment | 11- 4-14 7:17 AM
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10.2 to the rest of my comments in this thread.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11- 4-14 7:21 AM
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meaning the second sentence: The few times I've said anything about it seems even more pointless than usual.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11- 4-14 7:22 AM
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155: I was almost going to vote no for the bottle bill, because I'm lazy about redeeming bottles and just recycle them. I'm hoping that the money will actually be used for cleanup.

Is there any reason for me to vote anything other than straight Dem? The Globe endorsed the Republican for auditor, and it does sort of sound like the current auditor is not doing enough audits, and the Republican is a professional auditor.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 11- 4-14 7:35 AM
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I was almost going to vote no for the bottle bill, because I'm lazy about redeeming bottles and just recycle them.

Sure, I do too. But if it encourages any more recycling I am for it. And the money I don't claim goes either to the bottle pickers who roam the streets on trash day or the city when they separate it out of my recycling. I have no problem with that.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 11- 4-14 7:45 AM
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161: Yeah, I'm planning on voting for it. I will be happier if the money does not just go into the General Fund.

Do you have any thoughts on the auditor's race?


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 11- 4-14 7:51 AM
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An auditor's race is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're going to get.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11- 4-14 7:55 AM
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Absolutely none.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 11- 4-14 7:55 AM
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Speaking of auditor, there's an interesting point some are debating about the Oakland city auditor race: one candidate has a history as a watchdog, writing opeds and reports privately, and has a big list of weighty targets for audit (which make sense offhand). The other is new to elections, with good enough experience and most of the endorsements, but says she will only designate targets based on a general audit after entering office.

So is it better for an auditor to have definite ideas about what contracts and actions need investigating _before_ entering office, or for them to be more impartial about targets? Myself, I think having followed the issues for some time is likely to make someone more effective, and such studied impartiality could be a screen to keep the various institutions off the hook.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 11- 4-14 7:58 AM
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The gambling question was the only one where I was unsure how I wanted to vote. Also, I was very amused to have the option of voting "Pirate" in one race.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 11- 4-14 8:00 AM
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165: I don't know. Here's my question.

Apparently we had a total hack, and it's been professionalized by the new person. She (a Dem) has been doing about 70 audits a year, but, according to the Globe, she should be doing about 125. It's described as a managerial position, and the current person sees the role as a financial consultant to state government. The Republican is an accountant who worked for Shawmut Bank as an auditor and was a brokerage manager for John Hancock (not sure how the latter relates to being an auditor).


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 11- 4-14 8:04 AM
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I had an impulsive moment of protest voting. I really can't stand Cuomo. Normally I'd vote for him on the WFP line, so they get to keep their place on the ballot, but I just couldn't actually do it, so I voted for some Green named Howie who I knew nothing about.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11- 4-14 8:12 AM
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LB's experience voting.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 11- 4-14 8:15 AM
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If I couldn't vote for people I can't stand, I'd have real trouble voting.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11- 4-14 8:16 AM
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Oh, I'd suck it up and vote the lesser of two evils in a plausibly contested race. There aren't a lot of those in my voting life, so I feel free to vote whimsically when the spirit moves me.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11- 4-14 8:17 AM
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Ha. I couldn't bring myself to vote for the Dem machine/party candidate in my Congressional race. Legacy candidate who will return us to having a 100% male representation in Congress.

He's basically fine on the issues that he'll have anything to do with, but on general principle I just couldn't do it. Gerrymandered district so he'll win anyway. There wasn't a good protest candidate, so I just didn't cast a vote for that race.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 11- 4-14 8:32 AM
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I swallowed my technocracy and voted for leftism over possibly more competent liberalism for mayor - Siegel and Kaplan, the former, as choices 1 and 2, and Schaaf, the latter, as 3.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 11- 4-14 8:36 AM
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Also, I was very amused to have the option of voting "Pirate" in one race.

Yes! A friend alerted Tweety this morning to the Pirate candidate on the ballot. I looked her up this morning, and she seems like she'd be fine. It's just her against a pretty well entrenched Democrat incumbent, so I may vote Pirate just for fun.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 11- 4-14 8:37 AM
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There are at least two polling places closer to my house than the one for my precinct. Hrumph.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 11- 4-14 8:38 AM
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166: Gambling was the one that I was clearest on from the get-go. Well, the gas-tax indexing was always a no-brainer.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 11- 4-14 8:46 AM
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I said this in the other place, but the girls were delighted to vote in the kids election for someone named Alison who looked like a cheerful elementary school teacher in her photo on the ballot. They have never met anyone named M/tch, so I should really thank our local M/tch for not coming around and making the name more appealing for them.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 11- 4-14 8:49 AM
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162. My understanding is that unclaimed deposits are to be spent on environmental stuff, not go to the General Fund.

155. The NYYY mnemonic (mantra?) has popped up a lot; I got the impression the League of Women Voters started it. There was also a surprise non-binding "instruct our legislators" article in my district (town? congressional district? geological area?) favoring marijuana decriminalization, or legalization, or anyway something sensible. I voted for it.

My polling place was busy at 8am, and I was voter 161.


Posted by: DaveLMA | Link to this comment | 11- 4-14 9:12 AM
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And my town is voting on adopting the CPA. I had no idea that we hadn't already done that.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 11- 4-14 9:21 AM
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I wouldn't adopt an accountant. They're really boring as far as kids go.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11- 4-14 9:24 AM
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Our local mantra on the measures this year (some ambitious ones like raising the minimum wage, others picayune like changing a legacy pension system that covers 22 people, but all good) was "Don't guess, vote yes".


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 11- 4-14 9:29 AM
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175: There are at least two polling places closer to my house than the one for my precinct.

For 27 years now I pass a polling place ~1/2 mile from my house on my way to one 2 miles distant.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11- 4-14 9:29 AM
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If I knew how to golf and wasn't worried about breaking windows, I could hit my polling place with a golf ball while standing in my driveway.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11- 4-14 9:35 AM
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180: Community Preservation Act


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 11- 4-14 9:39 AM
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176: How was sick days not a no-brainer? Was there a subtle thing I overlooked?


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 11- 4-14 9:48 AM
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I think at one point I was actually a registered Pirate.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 11- 4-14 9:54 AM
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Did you have a letter of marque and reprisal?


Posted by: MAE | Link to this comment | 11- 4-14 9:56 AM
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I'm going to forget context and assume you had a letter of marque and reprisal.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11- 4-14 9:56 AM
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I think being a registered Pirate is called holding a Letter of Marque.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 11- 4-14 9:57 AM
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Avast, yea pwner-dog.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11- 4-14 9:57 AM
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187-89: I love this place so much.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11- 4-14 9:57 AM
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No, if I had a letter of marque that would have made me a Registered Privateer.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 11- 4-14 9:59 AM
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191 gets it exactly right.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 11- 4-14 10:00 AM
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Article I, Section 8 of the United States Constitution actually gives Congress the power to grant letters of marque and reprisal. Yet another area where this do-nothing Congress has been neglecting its duties.


Posted by: MAE | Link to this comment | 11- 4-14 10:04 AM
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I have a friend who made the serious suggestion that the only US response to 9/11 should have been to issue letters of marque and reprisal against Bin Laden and his top lieutenants, along with large rewards. At the time I thought he was nuts, but I don't really see how it would have been worse than the actual US response of shitting our collective pants and wiping our ass on the constitution.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 11- 4-14 10:07 AM
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Article I, Section 8 of the United States Constitution actually gives Congress the power to grant letters of marque and reprisal.

I recall that, when the Somali Pirates were a thing, some Libertarian idiots were making the argument that we should use letters of marqe to hire some privateers to go after them.

I'm sure that would have ended well. I'm not clear on why it was considered a better option than using the Navy that we already paid for.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 11- 4-14 10:09 AM
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togolosh is friends with Ron Paul?


Posted by: potchkeh | Link to this comment | 11- 4-14 10:10 AM
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197: Yeah the guy was a glibertarian, so no real surprise there.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 11- 4-14 10:14 AM
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We have a constitutional amendment on the ballot to change the title of the state auditor. To Comm'r of Securities & Insurance. No change in duties (which don't include auditing anything, and do include regulating insurance and securities). I voted no.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 11- 4-14 10:29 AM
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I just watched a video of the state auditor candidates, and I am so tempted to vote for the Green candidate. The Republican is a major activist/hack, and the Democrat wants to use it as a springboard and seems to want to change the job itself. Plus, I don't want to hear about how they took away the food stamps from people who were cheating the system.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 11- 4-14 10:35 AM
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The problem with issuing letters of marque and reprisal in response to 9/11 is that in practice they'd simply have handed them out in bulk to Erik Prince, and the outcome would have been more or less the same.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 11- 4-14 10:35 AM
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185: I'm voting for sick days too. I try to evaluate things that try to do things more thoroughly than I do when I reject stuff. The gas tax is a simple and easy thing to implement which should be indexed to inflation, and I'm just voting against a stupid initiative. None of them were hard decisions.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 11- 4-14 10:38 AM
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I knew that a 19th century treaty had mostly abolished privateering, but I didn't realize that the US never signed it (though we have adopted it as formal policy).


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 11- 4-14 10:59 AM
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194, 195 - Despite being a non-glibertarian, I think I argued shortly after the fact was to use Article I, Section 8 -- the in which Congress is granted the power to "define and punish piracies and felonies committed on the high seas, and offenses against the law of nations" -- against Al Qaeda, and it still makes more sense to me as a mechanism to combat organized non-state actors than declaring war against Those People Over There.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 11- 4-14 11:31 AM
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How was sick days not a no-brainer? Was there a subtle thing I overlooked?

Well you know, Charlie Baker says that it's not flexible or small-business-friendly enough.



Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 11- 4-14 12:37 PM
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I always forget how different the voting experience is for most of you, because here it's entirely by mail. I haven't voted at a polling place for 15 years.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 11- 4-14 12:48 PM
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How do you tell if someone is black or Hispanic via the mail?


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11- 4-14 1:10 PM
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Their weird names, silly.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 11- 4-14 1:12 PM
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Voting by mail still gives me the creeps. I have come to accept that it's okay, because I can see that it makes access easier, and people I respect aren't bothered by it. But that's not a secret ballot, and I bet the non-secrecy has at least some effect.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11- 4-14 1:13 PM
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An interesting stat on how "unrepresentative" the Class 2 Senate group has become (tonight's crop).

2012 Electoral votes for state w/Senate races tonight:
Romney 165
Obama 130

Electoral votes in states not choosing a Senator tonight.
Romney 41
Obama 202


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11- 4-14 1:15 PM
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In conclusion a Senate majority tonight represents a mandate for total repeal of Obamacare ...

Not to mention impeachment.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11- 4-14 1:16 PM
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My friend is posting online that she was given the wrong ballot, and the pollsters are now acknowledging that they may have given the wrong ballot to lots of people. And the ballot that she was supposed to get included the lone central Texas Democrat in congress, Lloyd Doggett, whereas the one she received had a bunch of uncontested Republicans running for office.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11- 4-14 1:16 PM
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We had a constitutional amendment on the ballot this year, and I hadn't heard one peep about it until the day before I went to (early) vote. Apparently NC is the only state in the union that doesn't allow a defendant to waive a jury trial and just have a judge hear it instead. So that's on the ballot.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 11- 4-14 1:17 PM
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Interesting link in 91. What's with the preferences of those born in 1955, vs. 1956 or 1954? All of a sudden, that one year seems to skew significantly Republican compared with the surrounding cohorts. Perhaps it's just a small sample size effect?


Posted by: Dave W. | Link to this comment | 11- 4-14 1:18 PM
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214: Yes, noticed that since I am one of those years. Does make me concerned about sample size. Overall "pattern" through time is similar IIRC, but it is like the baseline is shifted.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11- 4-14 1:20 PM
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The overall thing is rate rate of production of new Repub/conservatives via aging versus the dying off of existing ones.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11- 4-14 1:25 PM
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Sounds like a differential equation.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11- 4-14 1:26 PM
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I was going to say that that is how all of the cool cool kids are saying "2nd derivative": these days but I actually meant just the "rate."


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11- 4-14 1:29 PM
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But that's not a secret ballot

The way it works here, your ballot comes with two envelopes. You fill it out, seal it in the secrecy envelope (which has no identifying information), and then put that in the mailing envelope, which you sign on the back. When it arrives at the county elections office, someone checks your signature against your registration info, opens the mailing envelope and then tosses the secrecy envelope in with all the others, to be opened when the polls close. Easy-peasy.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 11- 4-14 1:29 PM
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I share LB's concern. While voting by mail could be secret, it doesn't need to be. You could have an abusive spouse or an evil employer or something. Or just a guy buying votes. They can verify what you put on the ballot before it is sealed. If someone wanted to buy my vote (see Ebay), he or she could not verify that I kept up my end.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11- 4-14 1:32 PM
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Anyway, there were certainly reasons why the Australian ballot was adopted.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11- 4-14 1:40 PM
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What Moby said. It's that it isn't secret from your friends, family, church, and employer unless you defend it.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11- 4-14 1:43 PM
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If voter fraud was an issue, I'm sure the Republicans would have raised the issue with absentee ballots.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11- 4-14 1:43 PM
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They have raised the issue in other types of elections. It's one of their objections to Card Check.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11- 4-14 1:45 PM
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223: You're being sarcastic, right? Because a number of states make it hard to request one. In some states you have to be out of town in order to qualify.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 11- 4-14 1:45 PM
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210: I've seen the map for that factoid, but shouldn't that disproportion also be present to some extent in the people elected from the same states in 2008?

In other words, it accounts for those ~33 states being more Republican generally, but not necessarily for any swing those states generate.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 11- 4-14 1:48 PM
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220: I kind of feel like regular voting isn't as secret as it ought to be. I saw a husband and wife at the polls today. You could, probably look over the little cubicle at my polling place if you were taller than I am and wanted to. You could certainly look at it as you walked over to check in before putting it in the machine. Hell, I saw how someone voted on one of the questions as we were waiting to put them in the machine.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 11- 4-14 1:48 PM
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I've voted absentee in just about every election since the 2004 fiasco. I do share LB & Moby's concerns though. I especially see a lot of potential for abuse in senior homes.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 11- 4-14 1:48 PM
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220: Legitimate concerns, but in the absence of any evidence of cases of coercion, I'm not worried. On the plus side, it has greatly increased turnout. A combination of vote-by-mail with polling places offering same-day registration would be ideal.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 11- 4-14 1:49 PM
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Yes. The plus side of voting-by-mail looks bigger than the downside in the current environment. Especially when some of the secret ballot states use sort of dubious electronic machines. It's just not a secret ballot.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11- 4-14 1:52 PM
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228: If you're going to abuse people in senior homes, you should probably just go all in and take money from their bank accounts.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11- 4-14 1:53 PM
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Especially when some of the secret ballot states use sort of dubious electronic machines.

Exactly. To me, that's the far greater threat.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 11- 4-14 1:55 PM
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I just read an article somewhere about how voting machines are on their way out, mostly because states don't want to pay to maintain them, and the first generation of machines is reaching the end of their lifespan. Good riddance.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11- 4-14 1:57 PM
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You could certainly look at it as you walked over to check in before putting it in the machine.

They don't give you the privacy sleeves? I've gotten those everywhere I've ever voted.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 11- 4-14 2:01 PM
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233: So, are they going to save even more money by cancelling all the elections? Or are they going to have volunteers count the votes?


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 11- 4-14 2:02 PM
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They were primarily going back to paper ballots. Let me see if I can find the article.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11- 4-14 2:03 PM
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Maybe this?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11- 4-14 2:04 PM
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I was always given a privacy sleeve but it was never clear what to do with it- does the sleeve go in the machine? Does it interface somehow so the machine sucks the ballot out and leaves you holding the empty sleeve? Then a couple years ago they gave up and just hand out ballots. The guy manning the machine saw that I voted yes on 2,3,4 which I'm sure is a shock for someone working a polling place in the People's Republic.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 11- 4-14 2:10 PM
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I miss the big steampunk machines NY used to have. I mean, they could probably have been rigged six ways from Sunday, I just liked them esthetically, with the big red lever that made the ka-chunk noise as it recorded your vote.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11- 4-14 2:11 PM
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We get a ballot and sleeve and a little cardboard privacy alcove to fill out the ballot in, and then you walk to the optical machine with your ballot in the sleeve and feed the ballot to the machine (after taking it out of the sleeve). It seems pretty private, although if there were people standing closer to the machine it wouldn't be.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11- 4-14 2:13 PM
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does the sleeve go in the machine?

Not more on car fucking.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11- 4-14 2:18 PM
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The privacy sleeves we have are just a bit shorter than the ballot so that a couple inches of the top stick out, but not any of the marked portions, and you can feed the ballot in while holding the sleeve. Someone standing next to you could maybe see some marks going by in those couple of inches of space, but it seems unlikely.


Posted by: Nathan Williams | Link to this comment | 11- 4-14 2:20 PM
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236. We fill out paper ballots in the SAT-style "fill in the oval" way, and then insert them in a vote-counting machine that also stores the ballots inside. Filling in the little ovals isn't that hard*.

Better than the touchscreen machines, but no hand-counting needed.

* The booths are stand-up and the ovals are small. I don't know what help they have for people who don't have good fine motor control or really poor vision or are wheelchair-bound, and we have a lot of elderly people at my polling place, as there is senior housing right across the street.


Posted by: DaveLMA | Link to this comment | 11- 4-14 2:21 PM
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239: I remember one of those from when I was a little kid, upstate. So cool. Not only was the machinery great, but you got to operate it behind a curtain all secret-like.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 11- 4-14 2:26 PM
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We're getting 40%-45% voter turnout here. It's not enough to make me hopeful, but it's nice!


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 11- 4-14 3:17 PM
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234: Nope. No privacy sleeves.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 11- 4-14 3:20 PM
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I really like the precision of hand counting. It was great to hear the counts for the Scottish referendum where they even announced the number of spoiled ballots, e.g, those where people voted both yes and no.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 11- 4-14 3:22 PM
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Hand counting isn't very precise, in any sort of data collection. The bubble form readers are super reliable and much much harder to monkey with because of the verifiable paper audit trail.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 11- 4-14 3:36 PM
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Harder than the electronic voting machines, that is.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 11- 4-14 3:37 PM
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248 gets it right. There is simply no good reason to use any voting technology other than optical scan paper ballots.


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 11- 4-14 3:45 PM
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I had three double sided ballot cards, all double sided, roughly legal size, and a privacy sleeve closer to letter size. The sleeve was tall enough to cover the vertical span of the marked sections of the ballot, but not wide enough: some of the lines we connect to vote were visible, although it would have been hard to tell at a glance what votes they were without familiarizing oneself with the ballot layout.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 11- 4-14 4:00 PM
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