Re: Perspective

1

If things go well: In 2020, dirtbag leftists will demand we all vote Green, because the Dems Didn't. Even. Try. to pass Medicare-for-All.

If things go badly: Shitlord will still be an incredible incompetent who hires incredible incompetent, and this will continue to limit what he can do to fuck us all.

--> That last one is for real. The Nazis actually understood how to run a state (b/c they co-opted the conservatives pretty much completely). They understood that they needed to keep their base fed, clothed, and housed. And that that took priority over rearmament and genocide. They weren't complete imbeciles (like Shitler and his feculent horde) at governing. When Rick Perry is your standout good government type, you -really- got a problem.


Posted by: Chet Murthy | Link to this comment | 11- 4-18 8:06 PM
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The problem I see that 25% of the population wants to destroy America, or democracy in America, and there's nothing really anybody can do in the long run to stop them unless they get tired of it or change their mind.

I may not have understood the assignment.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11- 4-18 8:25 PM
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It's "pizza or kill and eat you" all over again. At least now I understand that pizza can lose.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11- 4-18 8:27 PM
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The problem is it's a lot more than 25%


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 11- 4-18 8:40 PM
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1.3:
1. The Nazis never took care of anyone's welfare. They set about rearmament instantly, to the extent of rationing bread, for their own voters, in peacetime.
2. The Nazis were terrible at running a state, in peace and war. The willing service of technocrats doesn't compensate for obedience to a random collection of gangsters and lunatics, as the Trump administration is busy demonstrating.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 11- 4-18 10:39 PM
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I actually sent a whole post doing exactly what the OP asks but realistically no-one will comment in any other thread anyway, so I'll just chuck it in here.

This is just to remind you, before the next bout of midterm navel-gazing [as if you'd do anything else, ha!], that Republicans are only the beginnings of our problems.

This year, Beijing took steps to propagate its model abroad by conducting large-scale trainings [sic] of foreign officials, providing technology to authoritarian governments, and demanding that international companies abide by its content regulations even when operating outside of China. These trends present an existential threat to the future of the open internet and prospects for greater democracy around the globe.
[...]
Xi Jinping publicly outlined his plan to transform China into a "cyber superpower." He offered up the country's model of governance -- including its management of the internet -- as "a new option for other countries and nations that want to speed up their development while preserving their independence."
[...]
US companies like Delta, United, and American Airlines acceded to Chinese demands to list Taiwan as a part of China on their websites.
[...]
Chinese officials have held trainings [sic] and seminars on new media or information management with representatives from 36 out of the 65 countries covered in this survey.
[...]
While it is not always clear what transpires during such seminars, a training [sic] for Vietnamese officials in April 2017 was followed in 2018 by the introduction of a cybersecurity law that closely mimics China's own law. Increased activity by Chinese companies and officials in Africa similarly preceded the passage of restrictive cybercrime and media laws in Uganda and Tanzania over the past year.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 11- 4-18 10:53 PM
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So, taking a break from watching assorted clips of Godfather II or Heaven's Gate on Youtube, I watched a late Bush era parody; War, Inc. It must have seemed over the top 10 years ago. Now it seems all too realistic. On the other hand, it's kind of obvious how much of what we're living through is just an extension of what we had then.

I guess I don't have much of a point here.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 11- 5-18 12:03 AM
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5: Mossy, you've read Adam Tooze's _Wages of Destruction_, right? I saw a comment that led me to believe that, in the archives. Tooze discussed these subjects at length at several places in that book. That the Nazis -did- take steps at several points to divert money from rearmament towards food (specifically edible oils are metioned), clothing (there's a detailed description here -- including starting up new synthetics plants specifically to reduce the need for imports of feedstocks for clothing), and housing. Yes, later in the war they were pretty bloody incompetent. Yes, from early on they had massive problems sustaining the rearmament drive, b/c Germany was starved for foreign exchange required to keep the economy going. And no, I don't mean that the Nazis' base lived high off the hog [though higher-rank officials (Nazi and otherwise) did for sure]. It's true that as the war wore on, they instituted more and more central planning, with the inevitable inefficiencies (this is described in detail in the section on agriculture as well as production of submarines, IIRC). But this doesn't change the central fact that several times the Nazi regime diverted funds from rearmament to these domestic concerns. By contrast, Shitler can't even manage to pay some attention to any of: the opioid crisis (affecting his base), trade war retaliation affecting his farmers, proper implementation of import tariffs to not affect domestic manufacturers of end-user goods (as opposed to feedstocks).

A pithy way of putting it might be: The Nazis realized they needed a healthy and compliant base population to staff their war machine, and they set about making sure they had one. Our New Model Nazis don't even get that right -- as I noted, in several areas, Shitler's feculent apparatchiks are just not paying attention to the broad mass of white people, most of whom are poor [b/c most Americans are poor and getting poorer].

Also: yes they were gangsters, but not towards their base (until the very end). As Eric Johnson (I think it was) wrote, the massive and totalitarian police state was only deployed against "undesirables", and not against "loyal German citizens", and those citizens knew it. This comes thru really clearly in the interviews and analysis -- that those "loyal citizens" were OK with the totalitarianism, b/c they felt and knew that it would never be directed at them. Prosecutorial discretion was employed to make sure that wayward citizens didn't get punished, even when "undesirables" were brutally punished for equivalent "crimes". [quotations b/c of course I don't agree with these characterizations] A relevant comparison might be between the way that every black family has to have "the talk" with their (esp male) kids, but no white family does.


Posted by: Chet Murthy | Link to this comment | 11- 5-18 1:56 AM
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Another relevant point is that the Nazis were preparing for an actual war, and many of them had had experience of the previous one. So they knew how important it was to get things right at least in a limited sphere, and they knew the cost of failure. Neither is true of the present US regime. Losing every war since Korea has (with the exception of the 1991 Gulf War) has done nothing but hurt the country's feelings. Losing Vietnam did lasting damage in the homeland, because it was fought by conscripts, but that has been largely written out of history. And, you know, if one had a choice, I think it would have been preferable to be American and not Vietnamese in that period.

The consequence is that the Trump gang has no experience of failure, no real war to prepare for, and thus no brake on incompetence and waste.


Posted by: NW | Link to this comment | 11- 5-18 2:53 AM
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6: shit, I lost track of something you sent in? How long ago?


Posted by: heebie | Link to this comment | 11- 5-18 5:59 AM
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Yesterday my time.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 11- 5-18 6:03 AM
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Oh, ok. I just hadn't caught up then and impulsively threw this up.


Posted by: heebie | Link to this comment | 11- 5-18 6:09 AM
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3: Even in the worst reality, so long as we're not actually dead or in camps or completely destitute, we'll still be able to buy pizza. If your dietary restrictions allow it, pizza is great.

6: I've been worried about this since I've heard about that stupid Taiwan-in-country-dropdowns thing. This is how the CCP will control large portions of international capitalism. China is big enough now that most companies won't stick to their principles (imagine for the sake of argument companies have principles) like Google did, once upon a time, in 2010. On the other hand, states that aren't very democratic will have an impetus to continue down that road; we don't have democracy, and look where it got us!

9: I'll have you know that we had a stunning victory in Grenada. More seriously, Vietnam and the draft have not been written out of history.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 11- 5-18 6:17 AM
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3: Even in the worst reality, so long as we're not actually dead or in camps or completely destitute, we'll still be able to buy pizza. If your dietary restrictions allow it, pizza is great.

6: I've been worried about this since I've heard about that stupid Taiwan-in-country-dropdowns thing. This is how the CCP will control large portions of international capitalism. China is big enough now that most companies won't stick to their principles (imagine for the sake of argument companies have principles) like Google did, once upon a time, in 2010. On the other hand, states that aren't very democratic will have an impetus to continue down that road; we don't have democracy, and look where it got us!

9: I'll have you know that we had a stunning victory in Grenada. More seriously, Vietnam and the draft have not been written out of history.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 11- 5-18 6:17 AM
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Traitorous "Post" button!


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 11- 5-18 6:17 AM
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14.last is right. Trump gets lots of votes shouting for people to assault antifa because the people voting for him wish they could have beaten Vietnam War protestors and such. At least that's what I think is going on.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11- 5-18 6:22 AM
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It's all one culture war.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11- 5-18 6:29 AM
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Also, technically the Korean War is still on and I think there is a nontrivial chance Trump could lose it for us yet.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11- 5-18 6:32 AM
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16: Right, and let's not forget the work that "and such" does in that sentence. Trump supporters want to beat up civil rights protesters, too.

The closer you get to the Vietnam/civil rights generation, the more likely you are to support Trump. You want optimism in the face of calamity? This data suggests that, no matter how Tuesday's election goes, a lot of Trump voters will be dead soon.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 11- 5-18 6:41 AM
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And if you want pessimism in the face of good news on Tuesday, remember that the media is going to continue to suck. The news informs us today that the vote-supressing secretary of state of Georgia is investigating the Democrats for attempted election hacking. But don't worry, both sides are represented in these stories: the true and the false -- even if the truth is given lower billing.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 11- 5-18 6:46 AM
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There is hope. The Washington Examiner tweeted that Trump is going to hell. The


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11- 5-18 7:23 AM
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They got Moby. It's over.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 11- 5-18 7:24 AM
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Stupid phone.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11- 5-18 7:26 AM
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12: No problem.
I'm ok calling Korea an American win.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 11- 5-18 7:41 AM
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And no-one said otherwise. Never mind.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 11- 5-18 7:48 AM
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We didn't lose, but the safer course would have been too start a nuclear war with China.


Posted by: Opinionated MacArthur | Link to this comment | 11- 5-18 7:51 AM
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Best part of worst case: No matter how many seats we lose, it won't hurt us where it matters, because it won't hurt our relationships with the people we love: our parents, spouses/significant others, children, friends . . .

Worst part of best case: No matter how many seats we win, it won't help us where it matters, because it won't help our relationships with the people we love: our parents, spouses/significant others, children, friends . . .


Posted by: unimaginative | Link to this comment | 11- 5-18 8:12 AM
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I think that's wrong. I'm so nerves and not very pleasant to be around. I will be much nicer to people if the Democrats take the House and enough statehouses to undo some gerrymandering.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11- 5-18 8:15 AM
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Best of the worst: One way or another, this will all be determined in 36 hours and we can move on to something else.

Worst of the worst: that something else may be really, really bad.

Best of the worst: the Mueller report will probably drop soon, no matter what, right?

Worst of the worst: and be muffled, smothered, and suffocated out of existence in short order.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11- 5-18 8:54 AM
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@6 and re "US companies like Delta, United, and American Airlines acceded to Chinese demands to list Taiwan as a part of China on their websites."

Not sure how much this has changed from a Taiwanese perspective recently, but I have an understanding that at least historically both Taiwan and China would demand this (as they each viewed themselves as the legitimate government of a unified China).

The example I remember was of international calls - where the specs were written in a such a way that TaiwaneseChina and ChinaTaiwan calls had to be treated by each jurisdiction as a 'national call' for some purposes and an 'international call' for others.


Posted by: chris s | Link to this comment | 11- 5-18 8:57 AM
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Worst of the best: The 2020 primary campaign unofficially begins on Wednesday. Can't say I'm looking forward to Democrats turning on one another and endlessly re-litigating the 2016 primaries for the next 2 years.


Posted by: MattD | Link to this comment | 11- 5-18 8:59 AM
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Kathleen Belew's book on white supremacist movements after the Vietnam War has been getting a lot of press and I'm curious to read it. (Link is to more links.)


Posted by: lurid keyaki | Link to this comment | 11- 5-18 9:01 AM
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Can't say I'm looking forward to Democrats turning on one another and endlessly re-litigating the 2016 primaries for the next 2 years.

Looking forward to? If you visit the right corners of the internet, they never stopped.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 11- 5-18 9:07 AM
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9: The consequence is that the Trump gang has no experience of failure, no real war to prepare for, and thus no brake on incompetence and waste.

I think there is almost a reverse "economic anxiety" aspect to the 2016 victory; for the upper middle class fuckwits the economy was going along well enough that they could indulge their xenophobic racism and misogyny with the clownish dictator wannabe. Rake in some quick bucks from a presumed tax cut and resulting stock market ruse (which was of course rising anyway) and assume adults would take over at some time if things went to shit. As it was I think the tax cut was so regressive that it did not catch fore with that many folks, but my lurking disquiet about a possible really bad outcome tomorrow is that it will be the suburban/ex-urban fuckheads sticking R because they fear the market will go down otherwise.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11- 5-18 9:15 AM
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resulting stock market ruse

Nicely done.


Posted by: Kreskin | Link to this comment | 11- 5-18 9:21 AM
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Unintentionally I assure you.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11- 5-18 9:30 AM
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I sure hope the Florida felon disenfranchisement repeal passes.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11- 5-18 9:30 AM
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37: Me too. It worries me that I'm pinning so much of my hopes on Florida. But if that passes (and if Gillum becomes Governor), it'll be electorally an unrecognizably different place.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 11- 5-18 9:35 AM
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I was cheered a bit today by the person who put up a picture of a young black woman in a MAGA hat and was getting money from shitheads because she said her parents disowned her and she needed help.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11- 5-18 9:43 AM
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37: Me three, because then I could believe again that it's possible for good things to happen in my loony home state.

Although, for sheer personal gratification, I'm counting on Gillum and Abrams to win so that my cracker-ass racist relatives in Florida and Georgia can all sulk about having black governors in office for the next 4-8 years. (In all seriousness, I don't know about Georgia politics, but Florida could *really* use a break from Republican control for a while)


Posted by: Swope FM | Link to this comment | 11- 5-18 9:52 AM
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39: I was similarly "cheered" when a woman pictured and quoted in yet another NYTimes Trump supporter piece ( Rachell Marks, 59, who works in car sales in Billings, Mont., said she would continue to support Mr. Trump because she believed he told the truth.) turns out to have been previously convicted of scamming the elderly.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11- 5-18 10:04 AM
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Now that's perspective.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 11- 5-18 10:13 AM
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30: That remains the legal position (the alternative being war with the PRC), but Taiwan hasn't actually pushed that line for a long time. Official documents are all Republic of China (Taiwan), or increasingly Taiwan (Republic of China). Whereas the PRC pushes its line ever more forcefully.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 11- 5-18 10:20 AM
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To the op: last weekend's solidarity with trans folx demo here spanned 40 blocks, with at least 3,000 people participating. So that was good.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 11- 5-18 10:23 AM
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32 cont'd: Sample discussion from Vox:

It helps to explain how I came to this project. I was researching truth and reconciliation commissions and came upon one in the aftermath of an incident in Greensboro, North Carolina, in 1979, where a caravan of neo-Nazis and Klan gunmen opened fire on a leftist demonstration and killed five people, four of whom were card-carrying members of the Communist Workers Party. One of the shooters said at the truth commission in 2005 that he killed communists in Vietnam, so "why shouldn't I kill communists here?"
This represented a profound shift to me. It's a collapse of all kinds of different distinctions that we like to think about. It collapses war and home. It collapses enemy and fellow civilian. It collapses different kinds of enemies, and it also collapses time. There's no peacetime and wartime; it's perpetual war. And the more I researched this movement, the more ideas like this kept emerging.

I'm definitely in the permanent grim mood I remember around 2001-03


Posted by: lurid keyaki | Link to this comment | 11- 5-18 10:23 AM
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40: did I already know that we shared a loony home state? I'm not sure!


Posted by: heebie | Link to this comment | 11- 5-18 10:24 AM
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Oops. 45.last was meant to cosign 28 in some form, but the nerves make me hit "post" early.


Posted by: lurid keyaki | Link to this comment | 11- 5-18 10:25 AM
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28: I know. I'm having a real hard time being civil and pleasant. By tomorrow night, some of this limbo will be resolved.

37: My brother is working for that and for currently incarcerated people to be able to vote. CA's Secretary of State came to an Indivisible meeting and I made sure to ask him how to make that happen. I wanted to him to hear it from a very square looking white lady. The Indivisible meetings in general are fun for that. I enjoy watching the 60 year-old umc white biddies elbow past each other on their race to the far left.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 11- 5-18 10:37 AM
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I had a student ask me if it cost money to vote.

It's such an incredibly reasonable question - it costs money to get your driver's license, to get permits, to do anything that requires paperwork unless it's specifically exempt because there's historical context. At the same time, there sure is historical context.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11- 5-18 11:42 AM
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46: I'm not sure either... I remember that you've lived in Gainesville (I think?) but if asked I couldn't say where you were raised. And I don't know if I've ever confessed to being a Floridian here before. It's not information I'm quick to divulge.

But if they pass the voting for ex-cons, I really will have to start trash-talking FL less. That geographic-penis full of yahoos really will have done good.


Posted by: Swope FM | Link to this comment | 11- 5-18 11:43 AM
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Almost whatever happens tomorrow, California will almost certainly be investing a big new bolus of money into affordable housing, including 20,000 units for the homeless.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 11- 5-18 12:12 PM
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The biggest asshole in Maine is moving to Florida.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11- 5-18 12:14 PM
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I think they need to look up "Downeast."


Posted by: Kreskin | Link to this comment | 11- 5-18 12:18 PM
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51: As much as I think your proposition system is awful, it seems like California passes ten amazing laws for every batshit awful one. So kudos to yinz.

Still, money is much more useful when it's in non-bolus form.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 11- 5-18 12:32 PM
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When do you assholes actually vote? Will you blow up the world before I wake up?


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 11- 5-18 12:36 PM
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Tomorrow (for us) is election day, so at some point on Wednesday for you the smoke will clear...


Posted by: lurid keyaki | Link to this comment | 11- 5-18 12:38 PM
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Tomorrow, the 6th. Polls here end at 07/11/2018 01:00 UTC; add fiveish hours for teo and DaveLHI.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 11- 5-18 12:38 PM
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I think some places (parts of California, maybe?) will take days to count all the votes.


Posted by: Kreskin | Link to this comment | 11- 5-18 12:40 PM
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So yes, if I sleep long enough.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 11- 5-18 12:40 PM
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I'm doing voter protection again, after 10 years away, and they're sending me to a satellite office set up for a Native nation. Have to be onsite from 6:30 am to well after 8 pm.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 11- 5-18 12:50 PM
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Good luck.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11- 5-18 12:53 PM
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The earliest polls close at 6 pm Eastern Time in Kentucky and parts of Indiana. The latest close at 8 pm local time in Alaska, which is midnight Eastern for most of the state and 1 am Eastern for the furthest parts of the Aleutian Chain.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 11- 5-18 12:57 PM
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I read an article a month or so ago about how being unable to figure out vote-by-mail (as in, not knowing where to buy stamps) was one obstacle to early or absentee voting. I forget whether I saw that at the other place and brought it here or vice versa. I find that depressing regardless of who wins tomorrow. The idea that any significant number of people are otherwise capable of voting but can't figure out this very basic part of adulthood was mind-boggling. It might be literally the only time I have ever found myself complaining about modern young people as a class.

Something to be cheerful about even if Democrats do badly tomorrow... bureaucracy is slow enough that Republicans can't actually institute a dictatorship as fast as they'd like to? People had a lot of gloomy predictions two years ago and they haven't all come true yet? The simplicity and moral clarity of increased certainty that things really are going to hell, I guess. Despair is liberating.


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 11- 5-18 1:00 PM
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Power to you Charlie.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 11- 5-18 1:02 PM
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6 pm Eastern Time in Kentucky and parts of Indiana

I'm surprised this didn't get any press as being voter suppression. Kentucky doesn't have early voting or no-excuse absentee voting. (Indiana has early voting, as does Hawaii, the only other state where polls close at six.)


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 11- 5-18 1:06 PM
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60: Protect with all righteousness, CharleyCarp.

I feel like we all made a deal after 2016. We wouldn't immediately take up pitchforks and torches because we were going to give THE SYSTEM on more chance, because all the procedural fuckers told me that we couldn't have a coup and storm the barricades because that would somehow be worse. So we're trying it this way. But if things go badly tomorrow, then I will be completely free to disregard all those fuckers who say, but let's wait until 2020 because that might really work!


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 11- 5-18 1:08 PM
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66.2: I was not part of this deal. No one felt there was any need to negotiate with me.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 11- 5-18 1:16 PM
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But what exactly do you do differently when you pick up pitchforks and torches?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11- 5-18 1:21 PM
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I march up the hill with the rest of the mob and I skewer some of the people who live in the castle and then I set fire to the place.

I dunno. Work for CA secession, like I want to do anyway.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 11- 5-18 1:23 PM
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I made no such deal. I didn't take up torches and pitchforks after 2016 because I didn't want to get killed (or thrown in jail or lose my job without a better one lined up, as appropriate depending on details). As shitty as the state of politics is/was, my life is/was OK personally and that has continued. Call me a coward or unprincipled if you want but I don't value my principles more than my life as I know it, especially not when completely fucking up my life would make absolutely no difference in the grand scheme of things and quite possibly could make things worse.

If tomorrow's elections go badly, feel free to ruin your own life. I don't care.


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 11- 5-18 1:24 PM
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68: I'm pretty sure I wind up burning myself. Maybe I trip as I'm trying to run away from the fire and wind up with the pitchfork in my butt. I'm a genius at unintentional slapstick.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 11- 5-18 1:24 PM
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Living here, it is hard to know where to direct my pitchfork and torch. But I keep thinking that people who live where it matters should, like, occupy buildings or hold a general strike or stand between Brett Kavanaugh and the Supreme Court or something. A tax strike?


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 11- 5-18 1:25 PM
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70 before 69. To soften it, I wouldn't necessarily equate working towards California secession with ruining your life, but then, I also wouldn't equate working towards California secession with taking up torches and pitchforks.


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 11- 5-18 1:26 PM
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There are plenty of federal buildings in California if you want to literally smash stuff and don't care if you get arrested or shot.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 11- 5-18 1:30 PM
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Statistically speaking, there's a 57% chance that an American billionaire will finally go to prison, by being elected governor of Illinois.


Posted by: Todd | Link to this comment | 11- 5-18 1:33 PM
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heebie et al, did you read this latest from Maciej Ceglowski? Any thoughts? (It's not all that long.) He is pessimistic.


Posted by: lurid keyaki | Link to this comment | 11- 5-18 1:33 PM
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Well, the deal has one day left to run. Then we'll know whether THE SYSTEM worked.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 11- 5-18 1:33 PM
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76: Interesting.
This gap between the treatment of politics as sport, and the reality of politics as an elemental struggle for power, is to me the salient feature of the 2018 election.
Very vague thoughts based on vague (possibly wrong) memories of Florentine city politics. The way factions (not political parties in the modern sense) worked was by patronage: you supported your faction (by strongarming or voting in committees or whatever, they didn't have elected offices) and in return you got paid (or expected to get paid), in cash or favors or honors or just obligations owed. The little dogs helped the bigger dogs grab meat in expectation of scraps. My point here is that the leaders were as a rule the rich, and everyone knew from whom favors flowed, and everyone knew the stakes. The body politic was tiny and most of the factions were familial, so the favors could be really specific.
In modern America that seems almost to be inverted: the politicians come begging for money and help, and offer in exchange generic, not individual promises*. ISTM the implicit assumption is that the voters kind of have all they need already, the politicians are just offering some fine tuning**. But this conceals the reality that favors flow from the state (far more so than in Florence); favors are legislated and bureaucratized, not personal, but they're still there, though it's easy for the comfortable to forget***.
In Ceglowski's analogy, Americans think they are watching the game, where Florentines knew they were playing.
*Even if platforms are really detailed, the only citizens likely to drill down are specialists paid by the rich, who remember what the stakes are.
**Of course this more egalitarian and less corrupt, and a Florentine system can't be created in a society as big as a modern state. (I said it was vague.)
***And made easier by the Republican (neoliberal!) preference for policy by tax exemption rather than direct subsidy.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 11- 5-18 2:35 PM
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I'm writing this the day before the election, so it's possible that Beto, Hegar and Bryce will win. I hope they win! But I worry about a dynamic that rewards charismatic candidates who appeal to faraway donors, rather than effective candidates who can win local elections. The two will not be the same.

(People who remember my previous life might see an echo of the 'investor storytime' dynamic in Silicon Valley, where startups have learned to optimize for investor persuasion rather than revenue.)

There's a lot of things I'm worried about, but the system seems too chaotic to worry too much about this.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11- 5-18 2:41 PM
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That was to 76.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11- 5-18 2:42 PM
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79: ISTR CharleyCarp saying things similar to that quote.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 11- 5-18 2:44 PM
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I can see it being a concern in theory, and I'm sure it does play out that way some places some times. But let's wait and see who actually wins and loses tomorrow before drawing any conclusions about what works and doesn't.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 11- 5-18 3:00 PM
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On the Ceglowski piece in general, I think he makes some good points about parts of the process that could be improved, but the overall tone of gloom seems weird for someone who has done a lot to help in this election and probably will see some of it succeed.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 11- 5-18 3:03 PM
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78: obligatory self plug for the board game I have designed based on exactly that.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 11- 5-18 3:22 PM
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83: I don't think you get why people are pessimistic or optimistic, especially right before an event -- it's largely a function of personality, and not a reasoned judgement. While waiting for the results from a cancer biopsy, half the people will cope by steeling themselves for the worst, while half will assume that it will all work out.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 11- 5-18 3:28 PM
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Which one keeps the cancer away?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11- 5-18 3:34 PM
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85: I mean, I do get it. I'm just on the optimist side and fundamentally don't understand the pessimists.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 11- 5-18 3:43 PM
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Let's burn down the observatory so this never happens again!


Posted by: Simpsons meteor mob | Link to this comment | 11- 5-18 3:45 PM
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I had to check Ceglowski's feed to make sure he didn't mean the Senate. The House seems too close for pessimism or optimism, though in a free and fair election I'd be optimistic.

But who knows what people beyond the reach of anything but highly targeted social media are thinking. I wonder how many categories of people are probably missing from the polling models these days.

The big thing I'm guarding against for my self is any optimism based on sheer turnout and especially early vote turnout numbers.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 11- 5-18 4:03 PM
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Oh, man, it's going to rain all day tomorrow, high of 40. Republican weather.

I don't remember the remarks to which MC is referring, but I definitely think appealing to coastal funders and appealing to a specific electorate can employ different talents. There are lots of different funders, though, and they're reasonably sophisticated players, so I'm not sure we're really seeing much mismatch between local and national charisma in the field. Maybe in specific races.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 11- 5-18 4:08 PM
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Although, I guess the Republican primary for our Senate race would be an example: the guy Bannon endorsed and who's so awful you'd think his election was just to prove that merit had nothing whatsoever to do with anything, won the primary and just might win the general. Over a well respected judge, in the primary, and over a pretty well liked incumbent in the general. The ultimate problem wasn't the money, though, or that outsiders wanted the outsider. It's that enough people are totally drunk on Trumpism to pick the Zero.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 11- 5-18 4:14 PM
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Living here, it is hard to know where to direct my pitchfork and torch.

The first answer that leaps to mind would be Peter Thiel.

Work for CA secession, like I want to do anyway.

Out of curiosity -- you've talked about the appeal of secession before, you've also talked about the significance of anthropomorphic climate change as an ongoing crisis, do you think CA secession would help or hurt international attempts to address climate change?


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 11- 5-18 4:41 PM
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I understand that Putin has a budget for Calexit programs.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 11- 5-18 4:50 PM
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92: Nuclear winter, civil war violence resulting in depopulation, ethnic cleansing of occupied California, all options with real climate impacts.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 11- 5-18 4:51 PM
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Another answer would be gerrymandering, no reason for IL or NY to send Republicans to Congress.


Posted by: BA | Link to this comment | 11- 5-18 4:53 PM
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The first answer that leaps to mind would be Peter Thiel.

There's a long line of answers behind him without even leaving the peninsula. You can take your pitchforks on the train!

occupied California

Exactly. I don't find the Calexit talk terribly amusing.


Posted by: lurid keyaki | Link to this comment | 11- 5-18 5:09 PM
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I don't know anything about Ceglowski, but he seems wrong about both politics and sports. In politics, he has discovered that an individual's vote doesn't matter in non-swing jurisdictions. But that's silly, because he fails to recognize that for the same reason, and individual's vote doesn't matter in swing districts either.

In sports, he fails to take into account all of the ways that fans actually matter to the outcome of games. Teams with larger fan bases generally do better than teams that lack them, for example. And any gambler knows that a game is affected by whether or not it is played in front of home fans.

Assuming futility is the approach of losers.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 11- 5-18 5:11 PM
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Re: optimism vs. pessimism, to large extent it's a matter of personality and mental health, sure. Pessimism is related to depression.

As for this election, as of this minute 538.com gives Democrats a 7 in 8 chance of taking the House and a 1 in 5 chance of taking the Senate. That site isn't always right but it does a lot better than most other sources. I don't have a link handy but I think both of these are actually better than a week ago. I have no problem believing that Democrats will probably win the House and still being pessimistic about the state of the country as a whole.


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 11- 5-18 5:32 PM
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I just can't bring myself to blithely endorse pessimism. In the end I don't think it will be meaningfully better than anything else as either tactics or strategy, and there's significant downside risk built in.


Posted by: lurid keyaki | Link to this comment | 11- 5-18 5:47 PM
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A Democratic House is going to bring the ongoing crisis to a new, particularly dangerous phase. What does Trump do if he is obligated to release his tax returns? It's easy to imagine him saying, "How many divisions has the House got?" Except, of course, in a dumber way and without the historical allusion.

Trump has pretty much had his way all along, but it's possible that lying, racism and weasel-talk have limits in an environment of genuine checks and balances. When your national security advisor is John Bolton, what sort of advice do you suppose Trump is going to be getting when impeachment talk heats up?


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 11- 5-18 5:49 PM
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I'm not going to read the article, but surely the election of Trump is the best evidence ever that voting isn't futile. A whole bunch of people voted for the guy even though everyone knew he wouldn't win -- some non-trivial number *because* everyone knew he wouldn't win -- and guess what: it was enough.

Guess what else: in places like Montana, Trump won by a lot, but our Democratic governor won too. Futility is worse than meaningless in a case like that: it's positively misleading.

Like the morons who used to say stupid shit like 'other than judicial appointments, there's no reason to favor D over R' as if judicial appointments were not everywhere and always sufficient reason to keep Rs out of power is every place they seek it.

I don't think Trump has had his way in several areas: the Wall most prominently. On health care, for example, he didn't get the big win, but has had to fool around at the edges. It may be -- and probably is -- that this is because they tried for health care before tax cuts, or maybe there was just no way the RINOs could oppose tax cuts. But there's a reason Trump has been trying to find stuff he can do on his own without Congress. Because even with majorities, it's still not enough.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 11- 5-18 6:13 PM
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98: 7/8 is higher than 6/7 which was the norm for the past couple of weeks, but in percentage terms it's just 88% vs. 85%. Not a huge difference.

On the other hand, 85% was already a peak from when they started in August, and 88% is a new high. 88% today is up from 86% yesterday. So if you believe in last-minute Comeyesque swings, that might conceivably be a sign of such.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 11- 5-18 6:58 PM
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How annoyed are people at campaign texts? I feel it might be the least intrusive outreach that exists, as long as you just get one per campaign.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 11- 5-18 7:09 PM
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I finally gave money this cycle, instead of just figuring whatever my wife gives is probably enough. I never knew there could be so many emails.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11- 5-18 7:11 PM
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I'd rather get a phone call, if only because I'm used to screening calls because telemarketers. The texts haven't been as frequent as I feared but there's enough chance that I get a text from someone not in my contacts (usually work-related) that I need to pay attention to that I look at them sooner than I'd check a call.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 11- 5-18 7:13 PM
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I also go an email urging me to vote from Eric Trump. Is there anybody, even Republican, who will do something because Eric Trump asks them?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11- 5-18 7:24 PM
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Tragically, yes.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 11- 5-18 8:24 PM
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Somehow they've managed to link my mobile number to my daughter's registration so I'm getting texts encouraging her to vote. She already voted in California where she now lives. Told one of the texters, but the next two didn't get that message.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 11- 5-18 8:26 PM
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I don't see where people are getting "it's all futility" from 76.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 11- 5-18 8:54 PM
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Yep, I'm going back through the 2016 election threads. Nice (grim) work, togolosh. I feel at least ten years older.


Posted by: lurid keyaki | Link to this comment | 11- 5-18 9:43 PM
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Indiana has early voting, as does Hawaii, the only other state where polls close at six.

Hawaii also makes Election Day a holiday for public workers and various other unionized sorts.


Posted by: DaveLHI | Link to this comment | 11- 5-18 11:07 PM
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100: "A Democratic House is going to bring the ongoing crisis to a new, particularly dangerous phase. What does Trump do if he is obligated to release his tax returns? It's easy to imagine him saying, 'How many divisions has the House got?' Except, of course, in a dumber way and without the historical allusion."

The House has all the monies. If the House wants to play rough, the White House budget goes to zero, the ICE budget goes to zero, the Air Force One budget goes to zero (possibly a little tricky targeting that precisely in appropriations, but still), hell, the presidential iPhone budget goes to zero. If the House doesn't want to pay for them, the Pentagon doesn't have any divisions. Ze. Ro.


Posted by: Doug | Link to this comment | 11- 5-18 11:15 PM
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87: It counteracts anxiety. You worry less about the outcome if you assume the worst.

86: Neither. Jokes cause cancer. Moby is essentially 100% tumor at this point.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 11- 6-18 1:53 AM
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"but the overall tone of gloom seems weird for someone who has done a lot to help in this election and probably will see some of it succeed."

I don't find it weird at all. There are 13 candidates left on MC's Great Slate (for those who haven't been following: he put together a slate of first-time, outsider progressive candidates running in districts the DNC was writing off as hopeless, and raised a ton of money for them -- $5m as of a week ago, more now. His explanation/restrospective is here). Because these races were all consciously targeted as longshots, most of the Slate will probably lose. Suppose 5 win, which would really be fantastic. That still means Maciej has to see 8 of 'his' candidates lose -- people he's personally visited, canvassed with, donated to, identified with (this project seems to have basically been his life since early 2017). And not just lose: lose to moral monsters who are fine with Trump and everything he represents. That's going to be tough; it's understandable to feel gloomy. Also, a related but more general mechanism: being on the ground for a year and a half in red districts has probably given MC a ton of incredibly depressing exposure to the fact that many, many, many Americans are just fine with Trumpism. The IA-4 race, for example: Scholten has a real chance of beating Steve King today, and god I hope he does, but the polls have still been showing King ahead, even with Trump's trade war doing tons of damage to Iowa farmers, even with national media attention making it impossible to ignore or deny King's open white supremacy any longer. Having to actually go around and talk to Steve King-supporting people for 18 months would probably make me suicidal; my faith in democracy would absolutely not survive contact with The People (which is why I avoid them).


Posted by: X. Trapnel | Link to this comment | 11- 6-18 2:37 AM
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Assuming that Trump and his minions get kicked out in 2020, the hardest thing going forward is the knowledge that The People are basically fine with it. The human race is worthless. There's the 0.2% who will protest children being kept in cages, and the other 99.8% who deserve to be stuck in cages.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 11- 6-18 3:02 AM
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114: I actually find that blog post considerably less gloomy than MC's usual Twitter persona of professional post-soviet cynicism, which may suggest that activism as a means of managing one's emotions is working for him. As a paid up member of team robot dessicated calculating machine of course I don't agree with that, but then, as a cynic I welcome anything that riles up team D vs team R.


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 11- 6-18 4:20 AM
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6% cheap suit.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11- 6-18 5:53 AM
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Thanks for 114, that's helpful context (and nicely empathetic).


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 11- 6-18 8:43 AM
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Basically my entire feed elsewhere is anarchists explaining to other anarchists why it is important that anarchists vote in this election.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 11- 6-18 9:11 AM
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God bless them.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11- 6-18 9:23 AM
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I am so fucking tense right now, it feels bizarre that we're all acting like it's a regular day. Time to teach!


Posted by: heebie | Link to this comment | 11- 6-18 9:26 AM
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We're having a pretty amazing turnout. People are energized here.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 11- 6-18 9:29 AM
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For obvious reasons, people are taking this election personally, but they're mostly upbeat about it.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 11- 6-18 9:33 AM
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I was bragging about my equanimity this morning to lourdes, but my guts apparently did not get the memo. I'm commuting more or less by choice, so I don't curl up in bed but have the option of going out to the Cuban place for lunch or getting one of those spicy chai-ppuccinos or taking the bus to Menlo Park to pry the big Facebook thumb loose and flip it upside-down.

Can a hypothetical Puerto Rican who moved to Florida within the last year register to vote in Florida?


Posted by: lurid keyaki | Link to this comment | 11- 6-18 10:14 AM
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No, but a real one can.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11- 6-18 10:18 AM
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I'm dealing with my nerves by being useless.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11- 6-18 10:21 AM
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I am so fucking tense right now, it feels bizarre that we're all acting like it's a regular day.

This has more-or-less been my mood for two years now. I'm barely noticing the change today.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 11- 6-18 10:23 AM
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Watching from a distance, I'm forced to say that this sort of thing makes it difficult to take the whole process seriously:

Maricopa County, Arizona, has a history of staggering Election Day dysfunctions, but this was a new one even for them: a polling place that failed to open because the property went into foreclosure overnight.

Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 11- 6-18 10:27 AM
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Steady but not overwhelming turnout at the suburban Pitt district I am working at. Projected midway between 2014 & 2016 turnout. A 56% Trump district .


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11- 6-18 10:27 AM
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A polling place in Squirrel Hill didn't open on time this morning, apparently because someone was sick. Which seems like a shitty way to run things.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11- 6-18 10:31 AM
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It sounded like things were messed up at the library. If the judge of elections isn't there to open everything goes to shit since the election workers won't have the materials. (Ours likes to show up late. We barely opened on time.)

A widow of one of the victims voted with us. So damn sad. But our judge is a good guy and walked her home.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 11- 6-18 10:40 AM
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Heard about that out here. A precinct judge went into the hospital ladt night. They have some of the key materials to get the machines started in their posession.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11- 6-18 10:41 AM
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I saw this story about (at least one) voting place in Squirrel Hill using an alternate "I Voted" sticker which seemed like a nice way to use the ritual of civic engagement as a gesture of civic solidarity.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 11- 6-18 10:52 AM
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133: the local dems are giving those out outside ours. I'm glad. I did buy a roll of the generic ones and have been giving them out, because man people like stickers.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 11- 6-18 10:59 AM
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I don't want to step on your latest post heebie but can we get a new election thread going? I'm on fucking pins and needles here.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 11- 6-18 11:34 AM
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Oh, sure.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11- 6-18 11:37 AM
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133: Not quite "Fuck Trump," but still gets the point across.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 11- 6-18 11:53 AM
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I like the sticker, but I admit it reminds me strongly of Love's Travel Stop.


Posted by: Kreskin | Link to this comment | 11- 6-18 12:10 PM
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