Thursday Open Thread


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  1. I can see Republican challenges in Wisconsin, Nevada, and maybe Arizona. Ought to be interesting.

    1. Gonna be hard to challenge votes out of Detroit. They tried recounting Detroit 4 years ago, and it was impossible: Their records were so screwed up it was simply impossible to do a recount.

      1. I live in one of those unsolicited ballots for all l mail in states and the system screwed up even for me and I somehow got two ballots. Absolutely nothing would prevent someone from taking one of these ballots, particularly from a nonvoter, filling it out however they want and dropping them into one of the thousands of unmonitored dropboxes. Even if you go in person, you don’t need an id. Its absolutely criminal that the election is coming down to this.

        1. Would you know their signature?

          1. Why would you have to? They're not allowed to toss the ballots on the basis of a signature mismatch anymore.

        2. No problem, Trump's got enough id for everyone.

    2. There will be lawsuits for AZ, NV, WI, MI and PA. To me, they are long shots at best....unless voter fraud is uncovered. If there is voter fraud, then all bets are off and we'll see a legal battle royale.

      My biggest takeaway. The country truly is divided, and we need to learn to manage that better. We have to learn how to get along better. If we managed to find ways to get along and accommodate contrasting political beliefs post Civil War, we can do it now.

      I don't think that happens in DC; it happens in our towns and cities.

      1. I'm curious : It's a safe bet Biden will try. There was an undercurrent of grumbling from my side thru the campaign that he'd attempt namby-pamby bipartisanship if president (as opposed to grinding his scum opponents into the dirt). How much of an effort I can't say, but he'll try - and the GOP will reject all his efforts.

        How will you see that? Politically, most people embrace congeniality & compromise as a general principle, but revert back to pure tribalism at every particular.

        1. grb...I'll assume you ask the question in good faith. So I will give you a good faith answer. Much of how Biden's outreach (assuming it comes) will be received depends on the next month. Why do I say that?

          We have just had an agonizingly close election. There are legitimate questions about voter fraud and ballot counting practices in some of the close states (listed above). If Biden adopts the position of, let's resolve the outstanding issues and let the process play out and he is eventually determined to be the winner he will enjoy acquiescence and legitimacy.

          Will Trump supporters be happy with the result? Of course not! But there will be no rioting in the streets of our major cities, or ridiculous public displays. They will accept the electoral results as legitimate, and immediately start planning for the 2022 and 2024 elections.

          Will they accept Biden's outreach, if it comes? The answer is yes, if the electoral result is perceived as legitimate and aboveboard, and their concerns are addressed.

          1. 1. My question was in very much good faith.
            2. What legitimate questions about voter fraud?

            1. See my OP. There are already three lawsuits. More are coming, I am sure. Frankly, I think they are long shots. But...we have a month to certify the electoral results and if we need to wait a week or two while the lawyers wrangle, that is 'Ok' (but not ideal).

              1. So, as with almost all things Trump, you can't believe his announcements. For example, they will announce lawsuits that aren't filed. Or they announce "new" lawsuits that are appeals of losses. Most of what you see is a lot of BS that doesn't have any real foundation in actual election law. Same with recounts; recounting states like Wisconsin (for example) will not provide enough votes to give a victory.

                That said, there are a couple that might be interesting:

                1. The delayed Pennsylvania suit. I think that, based on current law, the whole thing is bogus, but some of the Supreme Court has signaled a desire to re-write election law. Will they if it looks like Trump has lost regardless? Probably not! But this might have an impact on the margins (this is the postmark case that they denied the injunction, and then denied the expedited hearing on).

                2. "Pick off" lawsuits. This is what they are doing in Georgia, and could do in other areas if it is really close and it matters (Arizona, maybe, Nevada, etc.). Go after individual or tranches of ballots to try to get a few invalidated here and there; if the overall margin is in the hundreds or low thousands, if you pick off enough ballots, it might make a difference.

                But the main purpose of the lawsuits is PR and so-called "flooding the zone" (for people like Brett to be able to say that there was FRAUD!!11!!!!), not for strategic litigation.

                1. There are some interesting issues, like are state SC declarations on state election law final, even if it seems like they are pulling policy out of their butt, like COVID considerations when the state legislatures dealt with it, or declined to, and had ample time?

                  Or if a state SC changes election rules based on the federal constitution, which gives state legislatures the power?

                  Unfortunately these cannot be explored properly in this environment.

                2. If it is BS, the cases will be dismissed; I don't see that as problematic at all. A petitioner alleges a violation of some law, brings suit, and the judge rules on the merits. Case closed. The country moves on.

                  But...that open and transparent process (bring suit, show evidence, ruling on merits) completely undercuts any illegitimacy arguments. The petitioners were heard. Their objections were dealt with in a judicial process.

                  To me, that is absolutely critical to avoid 4 more years of sore loser-ism.

                  1. "To me, that is absolutely critical to avoid 4 more years of sore loser-ism."

                    I wish that was the case. But of course it isn't! Look at the evidence.

                    Trump WON the last election, and we still had four years of ... what, sore winner-dom? Dark mutterings and conspiracies about fraud, and rants about how big his inauguration crowd was, and illegals voting, and so on.

                    And that was when he won. I'd like to say you are right, but nope. Even now, he is tweeting about how they need to bring lawsuits to make this an "open and transparent" process and need to STOP COUNTING THE VOTES until then. Do you know why these claims are BS?


                    Here. You can look at each state and see that, for example, partisan observers are allowed to monitor the process in the states that Trump is complaining about. Which is why you know that what he really wants is to A) create FUD and have his followers believe that there is FRAUD!!11!!!, and 2) try and get certain states to freeze the ballot counting while he is ahead in order to create an appearance of victory, despite not having it, and when he fails state that it was taken from him.

                    It is so very tiring.

                    1. We also had riots at his inauguration, the "resistance", a clique in the DOJ running a phony investigation of "Russian influence" which they knew wasn't real even when they were starting, impeachment on BS charges.

                      There was enough sore loserism to go around.

                    2. "We also had riots at his inauguration"

                      I mean, I have to wonder what reality you are in sometimes.

                      Was that why his crowd was so small? The riots?

                      But wait, his crowd was huge, right?

                      You realize, don't you, that you often speak in a sort of "right-wing" code that only makes sense if you are already familiar with the fevered swamp of QAnon and Breitbart and Hannity?

                    3. Brett : "..the DOJ running a phony investigation of “Russian influence” which they knew wasn’t real even when they were starting..."

                      It's a sign of weakness to believe something so obviously false. The DOJ Inspector General has already found there were substantial and justifiable grounds to open an investigation of the Trump campaign. Mueller had adequate reasons to continue it. Hell, Trump's campaign manager was giving regular secret briefings to a Russian spy. Trump was conducting secret business negotiations with Moscow during the presidential campaign and lying about it repeatedly. Trump's son reacted with glee (in writing) when told the Russian government would secretly help his daddy's campaign. And help they did - a systematic effort to aid Trump's election. There's no dispute about any of that : It's a bipartisan finding.

                      Your words are meaningless, Brett : Against every fact & devoid of substance.

                    4. Seriously, you're going to pretend Democrats didn't riot at his inauguration?

                      No, the reason his inauguration crowd was smaller was that,
                      1) Republicans have jobs they have to be at.
                      2) DC is heavily Democratic, so most of Obama's crowd could just walk there from home.

                      Mind, thugs attacking people trying to get to Trump's inauguration didn't help attendance. But it was mainly those two factors.

                    5. "The DOJ Inspector General has already found there were substantial and justifiable grounds to open an investigation of the Trump campaign. "

                      Right on that. The problem is that the case for the investigation collapsed almost instantly, but they kept it going for another year. A lot of information has come out since the IG ended his investigation, you know.

                      They had enough basis to initiate it, but then developed enough information that they should have almost immediately ended it.

                      It's no accident they had to lie to the FISA court to get those renewals, you know.

                    6. Brett Bellmore : The problem is that the case for the investigation collapsed almost instantly, but they kept it going for another year.

                      Let's focus on one area : Trump hires a campaign head who is deeply in debt to Ukrainian oligarchs tied to the Kremlin and Moscow intelligence. This campaign head offers to work for free, and then repeatedly meets privately with someone U.S. intelligence lists as a Russian spy. They exchange messages using an encryption program that have never been decoded.

                      This is while Russian Intelligence is helping Trump's campaign. This is a fact that emerged during Mueller's investigation - after you claim everything was wrapped-up and any investigation has to be considered illegitimate. So was that fact legitimate ground for concern or not, Brett? Your argument is garbage. Why do you continue to promote a lie?

                    7. "Hell, Trump’s campaign manager was giving regular secret briefings to a Russian spy."

                      Which makes me want to ask why didn't the FBI warn Trump about Manafort when he was hired?

                      Manafort was fired on August 19, 2016, less than a month after the GOP convention, and more than 2 1/2 months before the general election.

                      And the Russian "Spy" was Konstantin Kilimnik, a Manafort associate who was also meeting with Alan Purcell, the chief political officer at the Kiev embassy from 2014 to 2017, who was Kilimnik's handler in the US Embassy in Ukraine.

                      I don't know if Kilimnik was working for the CIA, KGB, both or neither. But the FBI said he was a "sensitive" US source who met regularly with the State department.

        2. Continued divided government. It's all copacetic as little will happen.

          1. A 50-50 Senate would not constitute divided government.

            At this moment, Democrats have a better chance at 50 Senate seats than Republicans have with respect to the White House.

            1. Yeah .... no.

              Look, I'm confident that Biden won.

              I don't think that there will be a 50/50 Senate.

              So more of this. I think that polarization and partisanship have become Orwell's boot in the face of the American people, forever.

              Until we get rid of this system and move to something. Parliamentary, maybe. Anything but this.

              1. I think there will be a 51-49 Senate and (sometime in January maybe) Susan Collins will pull a Jim Jeffords (from nearby Vermont, 2001, remember?) and cross the aisle. That will give Democrats control, with V.P. Harris there to break any ties.

                Collins has clearly been chafing under McConnell's leadership, her state is turning blue, New England Republicans are a dying breed anyway (she and Jeffords were about the last ones), she doesn't have to worry about incurring Trump's wrath any more, the Republican base considers her a RINO anyway, she will move from being the least influential Senator in the Republican caucus to the most powerful one in the Democratic caucus (because Democrats will always need that 50th vote), and she has six years to mend any fences back in Maine, during which she can make deals in the Senate that bring home all kinds of bacon.

                1. I could see that happening, yeah. It's not certain to happen, though.

                2. Its going to be 52-48

                  You think she will forget all the name calling and bad treatment after Kav?. Good luck.

                  She has nothing to fear about any elections after easily winning this time.

                  1. You counting on Georgia, Bob from Ohio?

                    So did Donald Trump.

                    1. The voters seem to like divided government, so yeah I think we will keep the Senate.

                      And it's not yet even certain the Democrats have retained the house so far the Dems have clinched 210 seats which is 8 short of a majority. But they will probably squeak by with a 4-6 seat cushion, down from 35.

                      That's not what victory smells like.

                      And I think far more likely than a Collins switch is a moderate caucus, with Senators like Romney, Collins, Manchin, Murkowski, Sinema, King, Donnally that will be a Gang of 5(6?8?2?). All it would take is 2 moderates to stop any excesses from either side.

                      And I doubt there are the votes even if the Dems get to 50 to do away with the filibuster.

                    2. Victory is having one more vote than the bigots and obsolete goobers.

                3. There also has been some talk about a Biden appointment of a Republican senator from a state in which a Democratic governor would appoint a replacement.

                  I sense that a Collins switch may be at least as likely as the 'removal by appointment.'

                  But if the Senate number is 50-48 with two runoffs pending, the best chance at a Democratic Senate (50 plus Vice President Harris) would involve winning in Georgia during January, in my judgment.

                  1. the best chance at a Democratic Senate (50 plus Vice President Harris) would involve winning in Georgia during January,

                    So the best chances of a Democratic Senate involves motivating "lazy" (Obama's word, not mine) voters in Georgia to show up to the polling booth TWICE in less than 3 months...that's a lot to ask of Democrats!

                    1. The good news is that, every day, a bunch of cranky old Republicans take their intolerance and ignorance to the grave in Georgia and are replaced by better, younger Americans in that electorate. That, and a strong ground game to motivate Georgia's betters, seems likely to match the vestigial Confederacy-lover vote in Georgia.

                    2. So your best shot at victory is a significant portion of Republicans dying between now and the Georgia runoff election in about 2 months?

                      Setting aside that idea for a moment--the idea that the Republican base will die out has been thoroughly destroyed by this election. Trump's support among every minority group has either stayed static or increased since 2016.

                      Hispanics in general have gone from 70/30 D/R to more like 65/35 D/R, and Cubans were basically 35/65 D/R this election.

                      Asians have also shifted toward Trump.

                      Even black support for Trump ticked up a few percentage points.

                      Seems like the country's becoming more progressive, only without you.

              2. Whether the Senate ends up 50-50, unlikely, I suspect, or 51 -49, possible, or 52-48. What role do you think the "President of the Senate" could exercise? Do we have any idea what would happen to Senate business if Harris (assuming a Biden win) were to show up? I guess it depends on the rules of the Senate and to what extent they grant authority to the majority leader as opposed to the "President of the Senate."

                I remember this inchoate question from back when I was a Republican and a Republican president was facing a senate of the opposing party. At the time, some Republicans suggested that the VP could influence senate business. Would be fun to watch.

                Nostalgic, I am, for the days when the artifice of the Republican party was not transparent bollocks.

  2. I'm beginning to wonder if Democrats actually wanted Republicans to think the election was stolen. I can't think what they'd have done differently if they wanted that.

    1. I am sending President Trump the following letter:

      Dear President Trump:

      As my contribution to good governance, I will be happy to come help you pack in January.

      1. Oh man that is a zinger!!!! He is really going to hurt when he reads that letter. The wit! The sarcasm! It is worthy of some sort of prize!

      2. Dear Mr. Krychek:

        I thought you'd like to know that some a$$hole is sending out annoying letters and signing your name to them.



      3. He won't be in the White House in January. He will pardon his family and probably Rudy and then resign so Pence can pardon him.

        1. That would be pointless, as Presidential pardons don't protect you against state prosecution, and the Harris/Biden administration would have very strong reasons not to break the corrupt tradition that each administration holds the prior harmless, and then expects the next to extend the same favor.

          If he really thought the threat of prosecution was serious, he'd have to move to a country without an extradition treaty. Nowhere in the US would be safe.

    2. How so? Everyone knew what was coming. The voting guide I printed out Monday predicted it to a tee : Most states count their early stuff early & then release after the polls close. Those returns would tilt blue, since that's more typically how Democrats vote. We saw that in Florida, Iowa, and Ohio (for example). Then the numbers would tilt red as the Election Day returns came in, because that's more typically how Republicans vote. Then the numbers would tilt back blue with the remaining mail-in & absentee.

      That's for the states that count early. Pennsylvania doesn't and its GOP-led legislature refused calls to do so. GOP-led counties said they wouldn't touch mail-in / absentee ballots until after the Election Day vote was in. At least one said they wouldn't count a single one until Wednesday. Maybe they wanted people to think the election was stolen?

      PS : Pennsylvania's a given, but when does Biden go over the top in Georgia and is there any hope for North Carolina?

      1. I'm not talking about the shifts, I'm talking about all the last minute changes to election laws. In many cases, last minute decisions to violate election laws, as in states like Pennsylvania. Deadlines waived. Ballot security waived. Poll watchers kicked out. Opacity instead of transparency.

        Here we were, polarization and distrust at levels not seen since the run up to the Civil war, and they went out of their way to turn the election into this dumpster fire we're watching now.

        It didn't have to be that way, it was engineered to be a dumpster fire.

        1. Brett, there is nothing under the blue sky that the Democrats could have done that would have prevented Trump and his supporters from claiming that any election they lost was a stolen election. That being the case, why bother pandering to them? Let them claim it's stolen; that's what they were going to do anyway.

          1. Even assuming that's true, it's the difference between only the lunatics believing it, and vast numbers of people believing it.

            Trust is an important part of elections, and Democrats went out of their way to attack every part of election administration that trust relies on.

            1. "Trust is an important part of elections, and Democrats went out of their way to attack every part of election administration that trust relies on."

              There is something almost Orwellian about this. You realize that Trump has spent years (and your party, even more years) baselessly hyping and amplifying voter fraud claims. Lying about voter fraud (cue up Trump's endless "I won the popular vote; it's all illegals; something something buses"). Spending years undermining trust in THIS election.

              Then specifically attacking the very types of ballots that he knew were more likely to be used by Democrats, and exhorting his followers to use a different type; we even say the exact nature of this play out in different jurisdictions depending on how they count votes with the exact type of shifts that were predicted (such as Florida and Michigan).

              And you have the unmitigated gall to claim that this is the fault of the Democrats? This is why the country is broken; it's like the blue/gold dress, or the Yanny/Laurel. Except, much like the dress, there is an underlying reality, not just fever dreams and tweets.

              1. You're the ones who went to court to get orders for election laws to be violated. Attacked voter ID, insisted that as many people as possible vote by the means most vulnerable to fraud, had ballots mailed to people who didn't request them.

                So, yes, I'm blaming Democrats. We could have run this as a perfectly normal election, with only the most minimal accommodations. There was no need to change everything.

                And I'm betting that Democrats are going to try to lock in all the changes, too.

                1. Just to recap-

                  The GOP spends years undermining the electoral process.

                  Then Trump, specifically, spends his entire Presidency attacking the electoral process. He creates commissions to uncover said fraud (none is found, of course). In the leadup to the election, he repeatedly (and falsely) stokes fears of a stolen election. He uses his bully pulpit to not just undermine the trust people put in the process, but to specifically attack the way we carry out elections, even when it the way we have always done elections (see, for example, the process of mailing in ballots) in order to rile up his supporters. He continues to falsely claim that elections are decided on "election night" when anyone with half a brain (not really his core group) knows that this isn't how elections are actually decided ... what with different states, different standards, and certifying v. unofficial results.

                  But this is impressive. After this type of scorched-earth campaign, including what Trump continues to do NOW, that's some impressive lyin' to yourself.

                  1. Fresh News :

                    (1) Georgia is now under 2,500 votes difference and the extent Biden has to win the remaining uncounted votes keeps shrinking - being now down to approximately 58%. I'm pretty Sure Joe Biden wins the state of Georgia,

                    2. It's bizarre, but the Democratic challenger for the U.S. Senate seat in Alaska says he's confident of victory, despite being down 30pts in the current numbers. Only 170K votes have been counted in the state so far, and 50% of the estimated vote remains.

                    3. Donald Trump gave a speech that had to humiliate every single person who mistakenly voted for him. Besides his non-stop lying and contempt for the country's good, the man was simply pathetic. It was like passing a gory car wreck on the road : The spectacle was gross & ugly - but you couldn't help but watch.

                2. Changing a national election from mostly-in-person to mostly-absentee on the fly, in the space of a few months is not, in fact, a small shift, and it requires major accommodations. Democrats have made them wherever possible. Republicans have generally resisted those accommodations and tried to make absentee voting as hard as possible, reasoning that their voters have been primed to (a) think the virus is no big deal and (b) think mail-in ballots are suspicious. That's what's going on here. And a lot of the accommodations Democrats are seeking to make--like allowing the counting of ballots postmarked by Election Day but received within a specific window after that--have no connection to fraud in any sane mind; if I'm going to go to the incredible extremes of somehow forging a whole bunch of ballots, I'm probably going to be sufficiently with-it to get them in on time. Note how Trump and his lackeys inveigh against this without explaining why anyone should care, other than "ballots should be counted on Election Night," which has never been any sort of requirement.

                  I think the Republican Party's ongoing efforts to make voting as hard as possible for people who aren't planning to vote Republican--which have *no* Democratic analogue--do a lot more to erode trust than the accommodations you're describing.

                  1. say nothing of a Trump-appointed postmaster general making changes that slow down mail delivery, promising to reverse their changes when criticized, not doing so, defying federal court orders to sweep mail facilities for stranded ballots, and potentially leaving hundreds of thousands of ballots uncounted. Yes, an excellent way to build trust from the other side! Democrats, please take notes on how to conduct an election on the up-and-up.

                    1. I am sure Brett is equally outraged with this "coincidence" that resulted in hundreds of thousands of completed ballots not being delivered in time to count. But, happily, none of this changed the outcome. The good of the country demands a classy concession speech as every prior loser has given for the past 40 years, at least. But will we get that? And Brett will continue to blame the Democrats for not just giving Republicans everything they want and point to Democrats' failure to unilaterally disarm as evidence that they are stoking division.

                      Meanwhile, Trump and his acolytes, by which I mean bootlickers, have been undermining trust in the integrity of our elections since before the 2016 election. They must stop this madness. Can someone besides Mitt (and Jeff Flake) on the GOP side of the aisle actually put the country first?

                      Ben Sasse is dead to me. Rather than calming things, he stokes further division by headlining his statement with "Voter fraud is poison to self-government." So are unfounded allegations that an election was "STOLEN". If he actually cared about the country half as much as his own political ambitions, he would call that out for the corrosive nonsense it is.

                      And the usual suspects continue to bootlick in the hope that maybe they too can ride the unhinged hate of the demented right to the White House. (Lindsay, Cruz, Cotton, etc.).

            2. Brett. Listen to me.

              You are one of the lunatics.

              The lines you're spinning about how the Democrats are "stealing" the election are drawn straight from the fumes of the right-wing mediasphere. You need to diversify what you're reading and consuming, because it's clear from this side of the sanity line that you're spinning into a conspiracy-muddled worldview.

              Democrats weren't the ones who blocked attempts to develop a sane and uniform late-voting regime that could balance concerns over voter fraud with public health concerns about people showing up to vote. Democrats didn't come up with bizarre legal rules, like allowing mailed ballots to count if they were postmarked by Election Day, while also needing to be received by the end of Election Day. Democrats are not the ones who tried to convince Republican voters to mistrust mailed-in ballots, creating a disparate effect as ballots are being counted, as we're seeing now.

              What Republicans are attempting now is a Project Veritas fishing expedition - seeking to stop any ongoing counts while they try to drum up the case that something far more insidious is afoot. They have to do this because otherwise there is no evidence that anything insidious is afoot. All they're looking for is a handful of ballots in the wrong place, at the wrong time - like the infamous nine ballots for Trump dumped in the trash somewhere - to try to blow up this election.

              Meanwhile - where is all of their anger over the ballots in USPS warehouses? Legally valid vote, submitted in time to be processed, and simply not delivered by the USPS, notwithstanding a court order? Tens, maybe hundreds of thousands of votes, that may never be counted, due to USPS incompetence and/or foot-dragging. And you're screaming over access to camera feeds?

              1. No, Democrats just changed the rules on the fly, often by having judges order existing laws violated. Their excuses for what they did don't change what they did.

                Democrats changed the election into a game of Calvinball. Not Republicans.

                I'm fully expecting at this point that Biden is going to "win", because Democrats have been cheating in ways that admit no remedy short of holding the election over, which the Court is NOT going to order.

                But "winning" this way is going to poison American politics for at least a generation.

                You might find it worth it if you do capture the Senate; You'll be in a position to entrench yourselves against any threat short of insurrection. But this will have absolutely been a dirty win, and Republicans are NOT going to forget it.

                1. The only rules that the Democrats "changed on the fly" - and many of those attempted rule changes were thrown out by the courts due to Republican challenges - made voting easier for people. Extended deadlines for mail-in ballots. Lowered thresholds for voting absentee. That made it easier for Democrats and Republicans to vote. So what's the problem?

                  Compare that to what Republicans did. One ballot box per county in Texas. Trying to get votes discarded even after they'd been legally submitted in accordance with state electoral board instructions. Never mind all of the BS they pulled over shackling the USPS during the middle of an election that would be conducted substantially through the mail. Republican politicians and officials are responsible for hundreds of thousands of legally-submitted ballots not being counted, across the country. Now they're arguing that vote counts should be halted until they can install thugs to intimidate vote-counters.

                  So, summing up - both Democrats and Republicans have "changed rules on the fly." The difference is that Democrats have changed the rules to make it easier to vote, while Republicans have changed the rules in ways deliberately calculated to throw away votes after it's too late to do anything about it. So, who is trying to "steal the election," exactly?

                  You know what Republicans are going to forget, awful quick? Any allegiance they ever had to Trump. I'd be perfectly happy if Biden spent his first 100 days of being obstructed by McConnell opening the doors on everything that Trump has been hiding from us over the past four years. I can't wait to see you to try to squirm out of your association with that scoundrel.

                  1. Making it "easier" to vote also means that people end up voting who are unmotivated and lazy. People more likely to be Democrats. Why should there not be at least some modicum of effort required to vote?

                    1. Or, indeed, why not require there to be at least some modicum of education, or land-owning?

                      The point of having an election is to gauge the will of the people. A system that disregards the will of people who we've deemed (for some reason) to be too lazy to be worth counting is one that does not do this.

                      I don't view elections as some sort of sports game, where adding hurdles to clear - voter ID, voting on a workday during business hours, no same-day registration, etc. - just makes it, I dunno, sportier. I view them as an important way of ensuring that our government remains responsive to the will of the people and so "legitimate" in the eyes of the people. So, we should endeavor that our elections reflect people's sentiment as closely as possible. Rules restricting ballot access are not necessarily a problem, provided that they apply equally across sentiments and political leanings - i.e., they should "harm" or "hurt" Democrats and Republicans equally. But when you cook the rules to effect a particular result - as Republicans are fond of doing, and Democrats fond of un-doing - you corrupt and delegitimize the process.

                      I think voting should be one of the easiest things we do, as citizens, subject to reasonable restrictions designed to protect against voter fraud.

                    2. I support IQ, wealth, literacy, and civic tests, so, we're starting from a different premise.

                    3. I support IQ, wealth, literacy, and civic tests, so, we’re starting from a different premise.

                      Why would you support tests that you would likely fail?

                    4. YOU'RE SO FUNNY!

                2. judges order existing laws violated.

                  You keep saying this.

                  In PA the State Supreme court ruled that the procedures in place violated the state Constitution. The state Constitution is part of "existing laws."

                  And no, Mr. Conspiracy-monger, "the Democrats" didn't tell the court what to do, any more than "the Democrats" rioted at trump's inauguration.

                  1. Yeah, "violated the state Constitution," in the same sense that the "penumbras and emanations" of the Due Process clause create a "right" to bugger another dude in the tuchis.

                    1. No, the Equal Protection Clause did that. Same with gay marriage.

                      What you're thinking is that the Due Process Clause created a "right" to bugger whomever you like, whether married or not, using contraception if you like. I take it you think states should be able to criminalize casual sex?

                    2. No, the Equal Protection Clause created the right to "marry" the guy you're buggering. The Due Process Clause created the buggery "right."

                      And from a Constitutional stand point, yes.

                    3. Due Process Clause for buggery, Equal Protection Clause for same-sex buggery.

                      And bold take on the criminalization of casual sex. You must not get much of it.

          2. Maybe they should try NOT stealing the election. That would be a good place to start...

            1. It's fascinating, isn't it?

              The GOP over-performed its projections, by quite a bit.
              The GOP clearly and obviously lost the "national vote" (in other words, more American voted for a Democratic candidate than a Republican one).

              ...but despite that, all we hear now are howls from the GOP about fraud. About a stolen election. You would think the Democrats would be demanding inspections of voting machines, and records, to ensure there was no hacking or large-scale fraud in key states because of certain discrepancies, but Democrats (by and large, there will always be some exception, usually on twitter, because that where morons like our President congregate) trust in the electoral process.

              ...for now. The trouble with one side constantly undermining the trust in the system, is eventually it begins to have a corrosive effect on everybody.

              1. How many Americans voted for Biden if you exclude those who would not have been citizens had the 1965 Immigration and Nationality Act not been passed?

                1. Weren't you one complaining about following the law? Your moronic question just reveals what we know: The law (as you see it) is sacrosanct when it makes your preferred outcome more likely, but any law that makes your preferred outcome less likely is illegitimate. You are what is wrong with the country right now.

                  1. Americans never asked to be replaced with third worlders and their progeny.

                  2. Americans mostly are relatively poor economic/religious migrants and their progeny.

          3. Brett, there is nothing under the blue sky that the Democrats could have done that would have prevented Trump and his supporters from claiming that any election they lost was a stolen election. That being the case, why bother pandering to them? Let them claim it’s stolen; that’s what they were going to do anyway

            And vice versa. We just spend 4 years with a continuous assault under that theory.

            As Trump started it, along with blowback for "lock her up!", I shed no tears, but just lament it has come to this.

            1. I don't recall hearing the Democrats claim fraud or a stolen election. Voter suppression, yes.

          4. I can guess a couple things:

            Not stop counting votes in democrat centers

            Not block Republican observers

            Not magically keep finding votes uncharacteristically skewed towards Biden in these same stopped areas well after the election ended

            Not withhold obvious state calls because it would give Trump a lead

            1. They're not "finding" anything. The votes are being counted. As they're in populous areas, they take longer to count than in sparsely populated areas, and thus the count isn't done as quickly. This isn't complicated.

              What "obvious" state calls for Trump have been withheld?

              1. FOX News really did the world a solid by calling Arizona for Biden before anybody else.

              2. Give me a break. You have 10x more people you should have 10x as many counters/centers. Cut and paste the results from each into excel. Boom. Not exactly a jump from arithmetic to calculus here. There is no excuse to hide behind.

                1. You also have the problem that bluer areas disproportionately voted by mail, and processing mailed ballots takes a lot longer than processing in-person votes.

                2. Give me a break. You have 10x more people you should have 10x as many counters/centers.

                  You're right! They should. Except Republicans have tended to oppose funding this sort of thing...

                  Republicans have no one to blame but themselves for the present moment. They could have negotiated a clear, national standard, that makes for present circumstances, and implemented it uniformly. Expanded mail-in voting due to COVID; revise security measures so that they ensure people vote legally without being so complicated that they taint an undue number of ballots; expand early voting to spread out the risk of in-person voting; permit mail-in ballots to be counted if received after Election Day, provided they are postmarked on or before Election Day and received with a certain reasonable window afterwards; fund and direct the USPS to prioritize delivery of ballots; use ballot boxes to collect ballots; and so on.

                  Instead, it became a state-by-state fight, where at every step Republicans tried to make it as hard as possible to vote. They clearly calculated that Democrats afraid of COVID would be disinclined to vote in person, while Republicans (disproportionately infected by and indifferent to COVID) would not be, so they extolled the value of voting in person and blocked even reasonable attempts to conduct an election by mail. They wouldn't even let election boards start counting before Election Day! How much sense does that make?

                3. You are aware that Republicans blocked steps that would have allowed timely counting of mail-in ballots. Those ballots just had to sit there in places like Pennsylvania. They probably knew the narrative they would try to sell, knew their choice would create a red mirage, and so intentionally went about creating the situation that you now use as evidence of shenanigans. it's brilliant, if evil. But you shouldn't be so stupid as to fall for it.

              3. Well it was obvious that Trump won Florida solidly hours before it was eventually called.

                But I think the hooplah about who calls races and when is overrated, despite what the NY Times thinks the media's opinion on who won a race is informative, but not authorities.

                Just as a candidate conceding a race is meaningless, Stacy Abrams still hasn't conceded a race she lost by 50,000 votes, and she still isn't governor.

          5. Just like there is nothing the GOP can do to keep the Democrats from screaming voter suppression when the GOP wins.

            I am open to the possibility that there was enough voter fraud that might have tipped Georgia and Pennsylvania, but Arizona and Nevada had sufficient margins for to make Biden's probable win legitimate.

            However we will probably see recounts in PA, GA, WI, and maybe even NV, AZ and NC, that hopefully will put any doubts to rest.

        2. Brett Bellmore : "turn the election into this dumpster fire we’re watching now"


          No one outside the tin-foil-hat Right sees what you describe. Democrats always want to make voting easier and thought the pandemic was reasonable cause to do so. Republicans always want to making voting harder and fought them tooth&nail. So what? The sum total of all these furious battles barely touched the margins (if that)

          As for your "poll watchers" - please try being serious. The original "Brooks Brothers Riot" was a farce, and the attempt to recreated it yesterday was farce-squared. It was a clumsy joke, Brett, nothing more.

          1. Maybe you missed the leftist playbook where they pay 9/10 people in those "protests" to be there. You can find ads to "protest" on Craigslist in most major metro areas. (It pays pretty well too for unskilled labor.)

            1. So, this is unfortunately what we often see.

              A: This actually happened! (ex. Brooks Brothers Riot)

              B: Look, a squirrel! (unsourced conspiratorial mutterings about how 9/10 protestors are really paid crisis actors, or something).

        3. " Poll watchers kicked out. "

          Poll watcher -- who possess certificated authorization from candidates or political parties congruent with election codes -- are entitled to observe the election process and, so far as I am aware, have not been kicked out.

          Self-appointed observers, whom the Republican Party has called "poll challengers," have neither right or legitimate reason to be involved in the election process (beyond voting, pamphlet distribution, and the like). If those vigilantes attempt to interfere with the legitimate process, they should be removed or arrested.

          Have you ever been a certificated poll watcher? Are you familiar with the laws governing poll watchers?

          1. I've been one.

            Philadelphia Court Decision: Poll Watchers Now Allowed Within 6 Feet Of Ballot Counting At Pennsylvania Convention Center

            "PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The Trump campaign has secured a win in a Philadelphia lower court Thursday morning. Poll watchers are now allowed to be within six feet of ballot counting at the Pennsylvania Convention Center, rather than the previous 20-foot perimeter.

            The order, which went into effect at 10:30 a.m., requires all poll watchers to abide by COVID-19 protocols.

            Pam Bondi and Corey Lewandowski, of the Trump Campaign, presented the order which went into effect at 10:30 a.m.

            They say it allows them access inside and up to six feet to vote counters. Then, they walked inside the Pennsylvania Convention Center."

            They had previously been "allowed", but kept far enough away that they couldn't actually see anything.

            1. "Stay 20 feet away" is not the same as being "kicked out."

              1. It's not the same thing as being permitted to observe the counting, either.

                1. If you can't see anything from 20 feet away, Brett, I recommend better glasses.

                2. "Observe the counting"

                  I suppose the difference is, at 20 feet, you can tell whether ballot-counters are properly sorting ballots, putting things in the right stacks, taking ballots from the right places.

                  At 6 feet, you can do things like raise objections about whether a circle was properly filled in and so indicates the voter's intent.

                  How would you feel, Brett, if you had submitted a ballot in full compliance with the law, by the relevant deadline, only to have it tossed because some Democratic operative raised an objection to the way you signed your name?

                  1. There are a lot of things you can see at 6 feet, that you can't see at 20. And they're things election observers are supposed to get to see.

                    "How would you feel, Brett, if you had submitted a ballot in full compliance with the law, by the relevant deadline, only to have it tossed because some Democratic operative raised an objection to the way you signed your name?"

                    Doesn't that sort of thing normally require more than one person to sign off on it?

                    And I voted in person.

                    1. You have, of course, avoided the question.

            2. Rather curious. The old standard was per the rules legislated, which the court has now adjusted. Fair enough, but aren't you the same person whining about "last minute decisions to violate election laws" by courts just a few comments above? Weren't you the Brett Bellmore claiming court rulings that permitted extended deadlines for mail-in ballots was a vast-left-wing conspiracy - despite the pandemic, massive increase in absentee ballots, and an overburdened USPS?

              What happened to your "belief" that anything beyond the legislated rules was illegitimate? What happened to your "belief" that commonsense court solutions to election issues are unfair? I have no problem with the Philadelphia court decision, but I don't have to twist myself into knots of tortured logic like you so often do. That's what happens when so many of your "beliefs" are agitprop spoon-fed you by your handers....

          2. "Kevin Feeley, a spokesperson for the Philadelphia City Commissioners, which is in charge of elections in the city, told PolitiFact that what happened in the video was "a mistake" on behalf of the people running the polling site.

            1. "It was a misunderstanding of the law," Feeley said. However, the man eventually went to another polling site, where staff who better understood the law let him inside, Feeley said.

              Feeley said this is what happened: the poll watcher went to a polling site in Philadelphia this morning, but the judge of election (the person who runs that particular polling place) thought that the watcher could not be let into that particular location, because a ward and division number on the watcher’s certificate did not correspond with that site. That used to be an old rule — that a watcher could only be admitted to a specific ward and division."


              1. So to recap.

                Poll watchers have to follow the rules.
                A poll watcher was excluded from a polling site because the person running the site applied the rules.
                Later, we find out that the rules applied were the incorrect rules; while the poll watcher was let into another location (correctly), and the person at the original location was corrected on proper application of the rules.

                Look, I get it. You look around enough in this giant country, with every state having slightly different laws, and with every-day regular people running the elections for the most part, you will find the occasional screw up or error.

                The miracle isn't that you find these occasional issues. The miracle, to the great credit of most people that chip to help with elections, is that there are so few issues.

                Again, if you've never participated in the process, I really recommend it. It tends to make you both more forgiving of the occasional issue, as well as more impressed with your fellow citizens.

              2. I was a poll watcher in Pennsylvania on Tuesday. The forms that my county (Allegheny) used had blanks for the ward and district. I would not be surprised if a JOE thought these limits had to be enforced. There is also some confusion over what it means to admit only a single watcher per party and candidate. In particular, where multiple districts are polling in the same room, is there only "one per" in that huge room or one per district? I'm not sure there's any consensus on this.

                We had no problems at my poll, but the JOE at the next place over (just a block away) was messing up the provisional ballot rules and, for a time, open carrying and wearing a quasi-political t-shirt.

                1. Which polling place was the one a block away, please? Thank you.

                  1. The activity center of the big Catholic parish in Shadyside. Does that help?

      2. My Brother's FIL is a poll watcher in PA who got removed, so, like, maybe don't do that?

        1. My nephew's aunt's neighbor totally saw Donald J. Trump raping a goat.

          Unsourced and unverifiable anecdotes are not very helpful; please don't spread them. Actual poll watchers (also called poll monitors, depending on the state) are subject to specific rules depending on the state.

          So-called and self-appointed "poll challengers" are not, and they do not have any special abilities or allowances to be anywhere.

          Poll watchers who are subject to those rules do, in fact, have to follow the rules. If they don't, they can be subject to removal (again, depending on the state and the rules).

          If this even really happened (doubtful), then you shouldn't be complaining about it over the internet. Your brother's father's uncle's neighbor's cousin-by-marriage (or whatever) should make his report to the appropriate authority, at which point you can link to the report and/or any affidavits filed in a lawsuit, instead of spreading FUD.


          1. Or, mayyybe, just don't act exactly how the conspiracy theorists would predict you would?

            1. Really? Conspiracy theorists predict that people say, "Hey, maybe don't just post random stuff without sourcing or details on the internet that dovetails conveniently into a narrative, without actually providing anything people can verify?"

              That's some good theorizing!

        2. There are actual rules. Watchers have to be registered voters in the county and be designated by a party or candidate. Watchers are bound by the anti-electioneering rules, which I think is generally interpreted to exclude any buttons or attire that indicate support for a party, candidate, or position. Watchers are not supposed to interfere with voting except to make specific challenges which should be addressed to the JOE, not the voter. Watchers have access to some of the records maintained by the poll workers but not at all times; for example, you can't look through the poll book or lists while voters are present so you have to wait for a lull. There is a limit on how many watchers can be present at once though these rules are hard to understand.

          Assuming this is a real incident and not the setup for a joke (which I'd love to hear), where did this happen and what are the details?

          1. I have arranged removal of a handful of certificated poll watchers — certificates invalidated, person physically excluded — for misconduct (both parties). It is rare. There is a disinclination to resort to removal.

            I have arranged removal of dozens of self-appointed ‘poll watchers’ (no candidate or party authorization, no certificate). My fuse for those circumstances is one second.

    3. I think they did. Even if they didn't cheat, they wanted to make it look like they did, so they could gloat "Haha, we won, and even if we cheated, there's nothing you can do about it!"

  3. I think good money is on Biden eventually squeaking out a win here, but if I was a Democrat, especially someone in the party, I wouldn't be celebrating.

    1. There was absolutely no "blue wave" or "national repudiation of Trump and Republicans." In fact, their showing in many areas was under what Clinton was able to deliver in 2016.
    2. The old racial politics don't seem to be shucking and jiving the way the Dems are used to with those voters. Hispanics, for many reasons, are looking more Republican. And Black votes that used to go monolithicly to the Democrats are materializing. They are necessarily going Republican, but they aren't consistently turning out anymore.
    3. The House is really interesting. Every pundit assumes the stronger party always makes in-roads into the House only have that partially wiped out in the mid-terms. Here the Republicans made a lot of in-roads and flipped districts the Dems thought were safe. Losing the House, and losing it big, in 2022 has to be on their radar.
    4. The Dems had everything for them this election. Money, media, institutions, literally everything was helping them and this was the best they could deliver. To steal a line from the Simpsons "pretty lame Milhouse."
    5. I'm sure Biden's national mask mandate and listening to the experts will fold up Covid in no time flat (if it does then I might start believing the conspiracy that is was just a PR exercise). Of course that was sarcasm because it will be fun to see him waffle for the next year trying to come up with an effective strategy. My money is on he won't and his strategy will be just "blame Trump."
    6. "Impeach Biden" is going to become popcorn time when the Republican retake the House in 2022. That Hunter Biden laptop is really going to haunt him.
    7. Trump, unleashed, is going to be interesting. Who knows what he will do, but if he decides to make politics his new reality show gig he could become a major player outside of Washington giving the Republicans all the "bonuses" of Trump without having to deal with him as President. Could also become a liability but there is a big potential threat there.

    1. Biden will suffer the same pressures as Trump -- people vote their wallet and a bad economy will crush.

      Well, Harris will. An 80 year old president. Good one.

    2. I agree on 1 & 2. This really was the Democrats' election to lose, after 4 years of a bloviating idiot in the White House and during a pandemic where he received particular criticism. The fact that they scraped out a bare win and possibly didn't even get the Senate is a real blow to them. They need to really reevaluate their election strategy before midterms.

      I'm foolishly optimistic and hoping that this horrific election will inspire some actual decent candidates next election.

      1. Not getting the Senate is a really, really big deal. If the Democrats had won the trifecta, they'd have been in a position to seriously entrench themselves. Court packing, then campaign "reform", admitting new states, the list goes on and on. By 2022 their position could have been close to unassailable.

        But not getting the Senate shut the door on all that. The 2022 elections will still be somewhat free, and the Republicans will have a year, 18 months, to adapt to the new media environment. In fact, that's probably what Trump will be up to, if he loses.

        1. "Somewhat free?"

          As opposed to our current bag of shit demanding that the counting of votes in States where he's leading be stopped, and the counting of votes where he's behind has to continue?

          Someday I hope you step back and take a long, hard look at the bullshit you've supported and dismissed as inconsequential.

          Also, if Trump loses, it's quite likely that by 2024 he'll be in prison for his crimes. We already know he committed at least one Felony, never mind the tax fraud he's also being investigated for.

          1. Leftists try to put Trump in jail, they'll start a civil war. It's that simple.

            1. Lock him up!

              Maybe one or two of his children, too.

              Immunity ends in January.

              All-talk clingers hardest hit.

              1. Fuck off, pansy

                1. If Biden is elected, as seems likely, he should not pursue a vendetta against Trump. Unfortunately for Trump, however, there is likely very good cause for a reasonable and fair attorney general to investigate some things. We'll have to see. In any case, if there are obvious financial or tax fraud crimes, they should be pursued. The likely result of all this, both state and federal, is a settlement by Trump and that won't get any of his ball washers riled up. Trump has wimped out and settled before: back in the 70s and 80s when he ran an overtly racist real estate company sued by the justice department (though he did renege on the deal), in the Trump University case and in the case of his fraudulent charity (including the illegal donation to that paragon of Floridian propriety Pam Bondi, bought and paid for).

            2. Big words, little chance of action.

              Leftists won't be the ones putting him in jail. That will be the SDNY and the DOJ doing that.

              Cry more. Your boy committed crimes he has to answer for.

            3. We'll see how you feel about it, once Biden reveals everything Trump has been up to for the past four years.

    3. You have some good points, although they are 1) mixed in with some bad points, and 2) the use of "shucking and jiving" is ... yeah.

      That said, I agree that not only should the Democrats not be celebrating, you can be assured that they aren't. The reason is more simple, though. Many of us don't view the GOP as a whole as wrong (for example, the whole chamber of commerce, Goldwater/Rockefeller Republican, Yankee Respectability type), but are deeply concerned about Trumpism. And you are correct- the idea that Trump, and Trumpism, wasn't rebuked is worrying to us. We can say that in 2016, people didn't know what they were getting with him. But now people know, and .... yeah.

      But w/r/t your points-

      1. Yes and no. There was no blue wave, and the polling was somewhat off (although, again, not as off as you might think), but it is also true that the incumbent with the basic underlying fundamental that Trump had lost. He will end up being a one-termer, like H.W. (severe recession, third-party candidacy) and Carter.

      2. This is really two things; first, Latinx voters are not a monolith. It's a truism to say that the Cuban/Latinx vote in S.Fla. is different than the Mexican/Latinx vote in, say, Arizona, but you are seeing it in stark contrast here. In addition, a lot of what you are seeing is even more evidence of the gender divide. Trump overperformed with males (from what I've seen) and underperformed with women. Even in different demographics.

      3. Maybe, maybe not. Making predictions two years out at this point is a fool's game.

      4. Nope.

      5. Of course not. Then again, I don't think Trump's whole idea that the 'Rona was just a concoction of the media that would disappear after November 3 was going to work out either. I'd rather have an administration that took it seriously. I think that this is one of the few points that the two of us can agree on. Pandemics are difficult, and I never expected Trump (or any President) to do things perfectly. But there are so many small things he messed up, from putting Kushner and some 20somethings in charge of Covid logistics, to making the states duke it out over supplies, to not ramping up early when he head the intelligence, to modelling better behavior. Yes, he did some things well- I think spending additional money as incentives for vaccinations is a great idea, but even on that, the lack of cooperation and coordination with other countries is a detriment.

      6. Uh huh.

      7. We'll see. I personally find Trump banal, but he is fascinating to other people.

      1. the use of “shucking and jiving” is … yeah.

        What would you call "they want to put y'all back in chains?"

        Which was said about -- Mitt Romney!

        1. So, again, this is why we can't have a real conversation.

          I was pointing out a very unfortunate turn of phrase used by someone. On this thread. Right here. It's either acceptable, or not. Your call. I don't happen to like it or think it was appropriate. Period.

          So either you are defending it, or not. "Look, a squirrel" isn't helpful. Do you think that Jimmy's comment was an appropriate characterization that we should be using? I don't. You, apparently, approve of it.

          Finally, I would reiterate that in this case, I only pointed it out. I don't think it's a good thing for him to continue to using, since he can make the exact same point without that language.

          1. My choice of vocabulary was deliberate. Dems take certain minority votes for granted and expect a certain performance. If stating that plainly makes you uncomfortable, well, you have some reflecting to do.

            Whether or not those minorities are better off with that vote as compared to others I'll leave for you to decide. But, they act like those votes are always in their column and this time they weren't. If I was a Dem I would be really concerned about that and want to figure out why.

            1. "My choice of vocabulary was deliberate."

              I know. And I will reiterate that there are many ways for you to characterize it without doing so as you did.

              For an older white guy, like you, to be using that term to refer to minority voter outreach is ... well, as you stated, it is a deliberate choice.

              1. How do you know I am old and white? That is a pretty racist assumption.

                1. Because I've been here a long time, Jimmy. It's not an assumption.

                2. This is what they do when you call them put on their racism. They try and tone police you.

                  1. It obviously makes Loki uncomfortable that the Dems treat minority voters like players in a minstrel show. So of course they have to lash out. It is an emotional response.

                    1. To recap.

                      Jimmy "Minstrel Show" Dane (friend of Sam "QAnon" Grampas) said "shucking and jiving" in order to make a point, because of course he did.

                      I pointed it out, because you can make the exact same point without being offensive. I didn't dwell on it, or call Jimmy "Minstrel Show" Dane any names. Just pointed it out.

                      Jimmy took exception to that, and said it was a deliberate choice. Because of course he did.

                      When I then pointed out that it was probably an uncomfortable thing for an older, white guy like Jimmy "Minstrel Show" Dane to be doing, he then did the usual thing ...

                      We all know the tactic by now, right? The conservative version of, "On the internet, no one knows you are a dog?"

                      Yeah, the whole, "DO YOU KNOW WHO I AM? U R RACIST!"

                      Of course, he forgot that everyone who is here does know who Jimmy "Minstrel Show" Dane is. We all know how he has announced himself, and described himself, and his record of racial sensitivity (the whole, gee, I could hire a rapper to say the "N" word for me, so really I should just say it myself ... darn those PC police from keeping me, Jimmy the Older White Man from saying it!) is well known!

                      But hey, it probably would have been easier to either say, "Hey, I get it. Probably could have made the same point in a better way." Or, "I don't care, because I use any words that I want, and I've seen the entire Amos 'n' Andy back catalog in order to make my rhetorical points" would have sufficed.

                      But c'mon. Trying the whole, "The real racist is the person who accurately described me" kind of beclowns yourself, doesn't it?

                    2. That is a long rant deflecting from the fact that you are clearly uncomfortable with the realization that liberals use minorities for their own purposes, with expectations they "act" on demand. Man, I must have hit a nerve there with you.

                    3. You must hate it so much when your usual rhetorical tricks (you don't know me! you're just deflecting! i totally hit a nerve) don't work, and you are exposed for what you are.

                      That's okay. I pity you.

                    4. Jimmy, this thread has done you and your credibility no good. Loki didn't come in throwing bombs and, yet, you doubled down on terms that alienate people from your ideas. It would appear your point in commenting here is simply to relieve anger. If you meant to convince anyone, you are going about it in a very counterproductive manner.

                      There is a legitimate point to be made about Democrats living off their greatest hits from the 1960s in terms of race. When being better than the alternative is such a low bar (and it is an incredibly, offensively low bar made all the lower by rhetoric like Jimmy's), it leads to complacency and taking voters for granted. Democratic leaders should probably take note of what happened to Republicans when their "old reliables" felt ignored and disrespected. Black voters, particularly including Stacey Abrams, were critical to this win. Democrats better come up with ways to make Black Lives Matter or they will lose voters to either apathy or an alternative. That is a legitimate point, Jimmy, if that is what you were trying to say. But your alluding to this issue in an extremely offensive way is incredibly not helpful.

                  2. " They try and tone police you. "

                    To the contrary, I welcome the Volokh Conspiracy's exposure of unvarnished conservative thinking and character. Every gratuitous use of a vile racial slur; every gay-bashing comment; every offer to gas liberal judges, shoot liberals in the face, put liberals face-down in landfills, or send liberals to Zyklon showers is important.

                    The Volokh Conspiracy's repeated, partisan, viewpoint-driven, hypocritical censorship of comments and commenters is a bonus, placing the proprietor's ostensible championship of free expression in proper context.

            2. The idea that Latino voters are or ever will be a monolith is a Democratic organizers wet dream. It's just not true and never really has been, many white Democrats assume it's obvious Latinos should be but Democrats haven't really learned how to differentiate the various groups of Latinos.

              Many Latins feel they are being talked down too and disrespected being called People of Color and Latinx.

              Cubans and Venezuelans tend to be more conservative and better educated they (or their parents) having fled oppressive regimes where they were solidly middle class before that groups who are economic immigrants.

              The blanket assumption made by many Democrats that if Puerto Rico is admitted to the Union, something not wildly popular in actual Puerto Rico, there will be two new Democrats in the Senate, is far from clear.

              1. Not sure why you are saying this to me?

                That was my point.

                The reason I am using Latinx is because that is a preferred term where I am. As I am sure you know, given your extensive knowledge that you just used, there are many others that dislike the term Hispanic for obvious reasons.

                Personally, I don't much care for Latinx either, both because I am older and unused to new terms and because it's weird to write and say, but it I think it just goes to the difficulty in defining a demographic that encompasses such a diverse group of people.

                (PS- I agree with you about Puerto Rico, which is why it wouldn't be a big loss for the GOP to let it in. Unfortunately, that's not going to happen because it's not the received wisdom. I am incredibly uncomfortable having that many people as a disenfranchised "territory" and strongly believe that PR either needs to be cut loose and provided full independence, or statehood, depending on the preferences of the people of PR.)

                1. "The reason I am using Latinx is because that is a preferred term where I am..."

                  Lol. "Where I am" being somewhere outside of the Latino community, and probably inside a dorm at Oberlin.

                  1. Hey, look, it's the person that I never engage with substantively because I don't respect his name, his misogynistic opinions, or anything he has to say!

                    Why don't you and your best friend, Aktenberg78, go have fun on Stormfront together?

            3. "My choice of vocabulary was deliberate."

              Everyone knew that. Your record establishes that you are a bigot. A repulsive, obsolete racist.

              And an important member of the carefully cultivated readership of this white, male, movement conservative blog.

          2. You are again missing the point. You need to start taking irony supplements.

            As I understand it, his point is that many Democrats have a condescending, even insulting, approach to minorities, particularly black, because they take for granted that they will get their votes overwhelmingly. "Shucking and jiving" is an imputation to the Democrats by him, not his own statement. That is how they think, or exemplifies how they think. *

            That is precisely the problem with Biden's "they want to put y'all back in chains." One, the notion that the Republicans want to reinstate slavery is absurd. Two, Biden's use of blackspeak to a black audience condescends to them. Were I black, I would be doubly insulted.
            * Louis XIV reportedly said, "L'etat cest moi." He never actually said that. But it perfectly exemplified his view of monarchy.
            True, as you say, he could have used a different turn of phrase. He could have said, "the Dems take blacks for granted, and condescend to them." But his use of that phrase packs a more powerful rhetorical punch. So in context, I see nothing wrong with it.

            Context matters. Using the N-word to put down a black person is deplorable. Quoting Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s "Letter from A Birmingham Jail," which contains the N-word, is not. I refuse to be infantilized by someone who insists that the two are the same thing.

            1. The sentence about Louis XIV was supposed to be at the bottom.

              When are we ever going to get an EDIT function here?

            2. "But his use of that phrase packs a more powerful rhetorical punch. So in context, I see nothing wrong with it."

              Of course you don't. Neither does Sam Gompers.


              "Context matters. Using the N-word to put down a black person is deplorable. Quoting Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “Letter from A Birmingham Jail,” which contains the N-word, is not. I refuse to be infantilized by someone who insists that the two are the same thing."

              Sure. Quoting something is different. Was he quoting something? (No). So is this closer to putting down black people, or quoting MLK?

              Context matters.

              1. It's putting down Democrats like Joe Biden for insulting blacks. So it is closer to MLK.

                1. Yes, when I think of MLK, I think of someone an old white guy who used "Shucking and Jiving" to talk about the minorities.

                  Again, the reference was not to the Democratic Party, but to the voters. The minorities who vote for the Democratic Party were "shucking and jiving" in the estimation of Jimmy, while those who did not were not.

                  I'm sure you have started a petition to rename MLK Day as Jimmy the Dane Day, right?

                  1. You are either being obtuse, or are abysmally ignorant.

                    What JTD wrote was:

                    "The old racial politics don’t seem to be shucking and jiving the way the Dems are used to with those voters."

                    He clearly was referring to Democratic political strategy, not their voters.

                    As for MLK, do you seriously not get the reference to Letter from A Birmingham Jail? There he bemoans how blacks had been mistreated by American society. You can read the whole thing here:

                    Here is the specific part where he used the N-word:

                    when you are humiliated day in and day out by nagging signs reading "white" and "colored"; when your first name becomes "nigger," your middle name becomes "boy" (however old you are) and your last name becomes "John," and your wife and mother are never given the respected title "Mrs.";

                    He was imputing those words to racist whites, not calling blacks that name.

                    That is what those who "quoted" Louis XIV saying L'etat cest moi were doing -- it was not a direct quote, but it encapsulated his whole worldview. (That was the point of my misplaced footnote)

                    Sorry, the Democrat's strategy of condescension and taking for granted of racial minority votes is starting to erode. Too bad for them. Instead of treating blacks as handicapped wards of the state, perhaps they can talk to and treat them like adults.

                    1. Cool story, bigot.

                      Is this how you want to spend the time you have remaining before replacement?

                    2. Yes my point was that Dems take the minority vote for granted and get mad when that group of people do not perform as they are expected to by their overseer Democrats. Just look online to see plenty of complaining about "the Black vote" not showing up in NC.

                    3. "You are either being obtuse, or are abysmally ignorant."

                      Says the person who compares the old white person's use of "shucking and jiving" to MLK's Letter from a Birmingham Jail, because of context.

                      I have to say, that is really impressive. Not in a good way. I'll have to remember- Bored Lawyer is of the opinion that when Jimmy "Old White Guy that thinks he should be able to say the 'N' word because rappers do" Dane uses shucking and jiving, it's really an homage to MLK, because reasons.

          3. "So, again, this is why we can’t have a real conversation."

            Yes, this is why we can't have a real conversation: Because the left unilaterally creates an endless, ever mutating list of words and phrases you're not allowed to use unless you're of the right race/sex/ethnic group, or have been issued an exemption for reasons. The left turns conversations into mine fields only they know how to navigate.

            So, any time the conversation looks like it's not going your way, you can say, "Oops, you used "X", that means any points you were making are irrelevant, you lose!"

            1. "So, any time the conversation looks like it’s not going your way, you can say, “Oops, you used “X”, that means any points you were making are irrelevant, you lose!”"

              I addressed all of his points, in order, Brett.

              And yet somehow he managed to completely derail the conversation because I noted, in passing, that he probably shouldn't have used that term. That's all.

              I didn't say, "You lose." I didn't say, "All your other points are invalid."

      2. 2) It isn't just Cubans in Florida, though. Hispanics in Texas shifted strongly in a Republican direction this election. It's looking like the Democrats lock on minorities is starting to break down.

        1. Again, I used two very specific examples to make the broader point about the Latinx community. We can continue to call out other, specific examples, but that just reinforces my point (it's not a monolith).

          What's more surprising is that the gender divide is, IIRC, larger in the Latinx community than it is for any other demographic.

        2. Over at the National Review they're promising Trumpish without Trump & all his lying, corruption and boorish behavior. But is that really possible? i bet Tom Cotton has a lot harder time providing the base with red-meat white-grievance politics while still hustling a little minority support on the side.

          What won that support was what wowed the cultists, an appetite for the huckster con of a carnival barker. After all, that's the totality of Donald Trump : Subtract the lies, scams and theatrics and nothing remains but an empty shell. Trumpism without Trump doesn't exist.

    4. Jimmy the Dane : "That Hunter Biden laptop is really going to haunt him"

      The laptop will probably haunt somebody, to be sure. I'll bet the blind-trump-fanatic-computer-repairman cover story collapses long before you identify any actual charge to lay at Joe Biden's feet. Right now the laptop "revelations" seem to be stuck at four items :

      1. Hunter has led a dissolute life

      2. Hunter may have gotten an associate a handshake with his father

      3. Hunter may have discussed a business cut for his father - after the latter became a private citizen & on a deal that went nowhere.

      4. Joe Biden may have known more about Hunter's business that he's admitted.

      And that's it - soup to nuts. You'll get more drama from a squib that soak in a bucket of water overnight. You see more corruption from Trump in a typically morning than these laptop revelations covering months & years. I think this Giuliani-Derkach kompromat operation is more likely to bite Trump in the ass than Biden. Hell, the FBI even warned Trump a Russian spy was using Giuliani - long before the faux laptop appeared.....

      1. Considering the Dems decided to impeach Trump for making a phone call, I don't think turning that laptop into political hay is going to be that hard.

        You also left out the open question of who is the "Big Guy" and the obvious question why would international businessmen want to give Hunter Biden money unless he was providing access to his Dad? It wasn't because he was just a fun guy to hang out with.

        1. Sigh. you really don't know very much about this, do you?

          (1) If the "Big Guy" did refer to Joe Biden, then it referred to a private citizen, no longer Vice President or holding any public office.

          (2) So "providing access to his Dad" means exactly what in your theory?

          (3) Incidentally, the two outside partners disagree whether there was any involvement by Joe Biden whatsoever. The one supporting your side has made a rather sad spectacle of himself as a Trump toady. He was already working for the Trump team even before the NY Post articles appeared.

          (4) And the deal that all this brouhaha is about? It fizzled & went nowhere.

          (5) Meanwhile, Trump's been selling access his entire presidency. Every time he went done to Mar-a-Lago he held court. Anyone who ponied up the fees to get access was allowed a full pitch. I'm not saying that's illegal, just offering it to you as your own personal hypocrisy-check. Trump is ten-thousand-times more corrupt than Joe Biden will ever be. Even you probably know that.

          1. That is some Grade A delusion you got there to write #1-4 and then 5.

            1. As a Republican, I think it would be a terrible idea to try to impeach Biden. First off, given his personality, he is likely to me mildly popular with the general population, so impeachment is likely to be unpopular. Second, and more importantly, on the off chance that impeachment were successful, the reward would be President Harris. How in the name of all that is holy is THAT a good outcome?

              1. This is just a fundamentally false statement. This is not a "fact based world." It is a selective truth based world.

                Drop any facts about race that don't fit into The Narrative, well those get roundly ignored.

                Same goes for the hoax of climate change.

                And from moment 1 the media adopted the line that voter fraud just doesn't happen. That isn't supported by facts either. We have many verified, prosecuted examples of real voter fraud. It happens. Whether or not you can unload enough ballots to move a national election, that is an open question. But it happens, has been verified, and has been prosecuted and convicted.

                1. Jimmy the Dane : the media adopted the line that voter fraud just doesn’t happen

                  That darn media! Of course, voting-fraud fanatic Donald Trump created a voting-fraud commission (to prove Bigfoot exists), stocked that commission with voting-fraud fanatic members, and appointed a voting-fraud fanatic to head the study.

                  And how much voting fraud did they find?
                  Virtually none, which is how much exists.

                  (outside of right-wing fever dreams of course - where Bigfoot strides the verdant forests proud&free. Don't you ever get tired of being dupe to your handlers, Jimmy?)

    5. "1. There was absolutely no “blue wave” or “national repudiation of Trump and Republicans.” In fact, their showing in many areas was under what Clinton was able to deliver in 2016."

      Biden will finish ahead by five to six million votes. For decades, with one exception, the Republicans have been incapable of keeping up with Democrats among voters in a national election, and that trend is getting ever better for Democrats. Trying to arrange an Electoral College trick shot every four years is what lame parties do.

      "2. The old racial politics don’t seem to be shucking and jiving the way the Dems are used to with those voters. Hispanics, for many reasons, are looking more Republican. And Black votes that used to go monolithicly to the Democrats are materializing. They are necessarily going Republican, but they aren’t consistently turning out anymore."

      Whites will soon be a minority in America. RIP, GOP.

      "3. The House is really interesting. Every pundit assumes the stronger party always makes in-roads into the House only have that partially wiped out in the mid-terms. Here the Republicans made a lot of in-roads and flipped districts the Dems thought were safe. Losing the House, and losing it big, in 2022 has to be on their radar."

      Or maybe the Trump cultists will just drift back to being the deplorable, can't-keep-up, disaffected losers they have been throughout their lives. These people haven't stuck with or accomplished much during those downscale lives, and there is no evidence to indicate that is about to change.

      "4. The Dems had everything for them this election. Money, media, institutions, literally everything was helping them and this was the best they could deliver. To steal a line from the Simpsons “pretty lame Milhouse.” "

      Voter suppression and structural amplification of yahoo votes are diminishing assets for Republicans. Whining about the media won't influence that point.

      " 5. I’m sure Biden’s national mask mandate and listening to the experts will fold up Covid in no time flat (if it does then I might start believing the conspiracy that is was just a PR exercise). Of course that was sarcasm because it will be fun to see him waffle for the next year trying to come up with an effective strategy. My money is on he won’t and his strategy will be just “blame Trump.” "

      Let's give science, reason, and decency a chance. It seems likely to work better than belligerent ignorance, lethal reckless, childish superstition, and neglect.

      Has Dr. Fauci texted a 'fuck you, flabby' to Trump yet?

      "6. “Impeach Biden” is going to become popcorn time when the Republican retake the House in 2022. That Hunter Biden laptop is really going to haunt him."

      Take your best shot, bigots. Put Giuliani, Bannon, Hicks, Jared, Ivanka, and Barr on it -- well, as many of them as are not imprisoned.

      "7. Trump, unleashed, is going to be interesting. Who knows what he will do, but if he decides to make politics his new reality show gig he could become a major player outside of Washington giving the Republicans all the “bonuses” of Trump without having to deal with him as President. Could also become a liability but there is a big potential threat there."

      A bankrupted and imprisoned Trump seems a more likely prospect than a kingmaking Trump. His personal reckoning -- no more immunity -- begins in January.

      1. So Arthur, who won your contest?

        1. With six states still uncalled (to some degree or another) . . . the legislative override prospect still alive . . . the national lead for Biden changing hourly . . . nobody has won!

      2. And with whites being a minority, who is going to pay the taxes, grow the food, defend the country, and make all of our stuff?

        What happened to Zimbabwe after they kicked out their whites?

        1. These are your peeps, Conspirators.

          Still wondering why strong law schools are disinclined to accept your invitation to hire more movement conservatives for faculty positions? Still wondering why so few of your colleagues respect you?

          1. I know! This guy and 12" are like peas in a pod.

  4. If Justice Breyer was to retire at the end of January, it would be interesting to see who President Biden would nominate as his replacement because he would be dealing with a Republican Senate. I know Biden wants to nominate the first black female to the Supreme Court, but I don't see any option that would be palatable for both him and a Republican Senate.

    One person I could see on Biden's "short list" would be current Fifth Circuit Judge Gregg Costa. As an Obama nominee to the Southern District of Texas and later the Fifth Circuit who is less than 50 years of age, he would likely be acceptable to President Biden. Additionally, it would put John Cornyn and Ted Cruz in a bit of a pickle because he did clerk for A. Raymond Randolph (a Geroge H.W. Bush appointee) and fomer Chief Justice William Rehnquist and Texans I know would like a Texan on the Supreme Court.

    1. "I know Biden wants to nominate the first black female to the Supreme Court, but I don’t see any option that would be palatable for both him and a Republican Senate."

      I am having trouble seeing the justifications for blocking all SCOTUS appointments for four years.

      At a certain point, we might as well just say the country is broken and we need a refund.

      1. Dems stealing the White House would be good justification.

          1. Illegitimate president should be restricted in his ability to use the power he derived through theft. That was the argument used against Trump (he "stole" the White House under a variety of theories). What you didn't expect the right to use the same tactic when it was their turn?

            1. So you have no answer to support "Dems stealing the White House"

              1. Stuffing the ballot boxes in a national coordinating effort certainly sounds like "stealing an election" to me, but then I'm not a Dem.

                1. So .... no answer to support it.

                2. These people live in a different universe.

                  1. I really think they are fine with election long as it supports their candidate of choice....

                    You would think the voter rights Dems would be the ones calling for bipartisan poll watchers. Checks on systems. Audits. And other practices recommended by countless non-partisan groups. Not counting ballots in closed up warehouses, away from press and observers, with mysterious trucks showing up at all hours of the night.

                    Integrity of elections mattered up until 2018 for Dems when it could have been the Russians. Now, not so much...

                    1. Again, you are spouting nonsense.

                      You can tell from what you are saying that you don't actually know what non-partisan groups recommend. Nor have you ever bothered to do real civic duty by helping out in an election.

                      Maybe, in the future, you can help out in an election and see how it works. For real. Since you're a partisan tool, just start as a poll monitor. The GOP side is mainly about indoctrination, but at least it might motivate you enough to actually do something instead of the usual BS crazy theories.

  5. So, assuming Biden/Harris gets 270, what happens if Biden dies 1) before the electoral college votes (dec 15th?); 2) between the time of the vote and when Congress convenes (Jan 4th?); 3) between when Congress convenes to certify the votes and Jan 21st?

    1. Probably Harris would be sworn in as Vice President, presumably immediately sworn in as President, then she would nominate a new Vice President.

      There are a ton of possibilities. If before electors meet they could vote for another candidate. The House could refuse to certify electors that voted for Biden. Electors could just vote for Harris for President instead of VP. Harris could "nominate" a VP for electors to vote for. There are dozens of scenarios but I think the most likely one is in the first paragraph.

      1. I don't think your first idea is possible. She can be sworn in as vice president, but remember that is done first, then the president.

        Who at that moment will still be Donald Trump.

        There is no way to promote her to president, removing Trump, sans being elected directly by the EC, in which case she doesn't become VP but goes to president directly. The president hasn't died or become incapacitated (the latter requiring the 25th Amendment process, which says nothing about problems with no president elect.)

        There was a novel by a political writer 20 years ago for this exact situation, as a warning shot for America, with monsterous intrigue trying to twist the electors to vote for the vp-elect or the runner up president, both have good arguments.

        Boy there's a neverending stream of popcorn tubs these past few years.

        1. Having said that, I have no idea if electors can vote a vp candidate for president. Isn't that kind of a conventional but unofficial framework untethered to the actual constitutional process? Then there's state laws on controling electors to deal with.

          1. Assuming electors are able to vote their conscience which it seems they can, although States can discipline faithless electors, I don't see why in the event Joe dies which does not seem likely they can't vore for the Sen. Harris. It may come down to the various state laws.

        2. "Section 1 of the Twentieth Amendment prescribes that the start and end of the four-year term of both the President and Vice President shall be at noon on January 20."
          Trump's term ends at Noon regardless of whether the president-elect is dead or otherwise not yet decided by congress.
          We may be without a president, but there is no means by which Trump can stay without the House saying so.

    2. 20A Section 3

      If, at the time fixed for the beginning of the term of the President, the President elect shall have died, the Vice President elect shall become President. If a President shall not have been chosen before the time fixed for the beginning of his term, or if the President elect shall have failed to qualify, then the Vice President elect shall act as President until a President shall have qualified; and the Congress may by law provide for the case wherein neither a President elect nor a Vice President elect shall have qualified, declaring who shall then act as President, or the manner in which one who is to act shall be selected, and such person shall act accordingly until a President or Vice President shall have qualified.

      1. When does Biden/Harris become President / Vice President elect? When Congress certifies the electors? So if Biden does before that what happens?

        Keep in mind, its 2020, rare things happen every week.

      2. It's weird that people kept posting alternative theories despite this pretty unambiguous answer.

  6. I know Biden wants to nominate the first black female to the Supreme Court, but I don’t see any option that would be palatable for both him and a Republican Senate.

    Janice Rogers Brown. Conservative black female, formerly on the CA Supreme Court, and then the DC Circuit court of appeals. And she is already 71, so she will only be there a decade or so.

    (I am teasing, of course. The chance of that happening is less than the chance of my getting a pink unicorn for my birthday.)

  7. My personal feeling at this point is that I think it would be very healthy for our political culture to have an election where a candidate wins without Ohio and Florida.

    1. It seems to be occurring.

      Texas is the new Florida and Georgia is the new Ohio.

      Clingers hardest hit.

      1. Minnesota is the new Indiana. Nevada is joining the mid-West. And PA looks like it might be solidly red again. Prepare to open wide AK.

        1. Pennsylvania is solidly red.

          Tom Wolf is governor, Bob Casey is a senator, and Joe Biden is the favorite to earn Pennsylvania's Electoral College delegates, with a decision that chokes the Republicans' presidential chances near.

          Choose one.

  8. NPR just interviewed a "younger voter", who, in a quavering voice, complained about the Democratic party treating them as children. Seems that in 2016 they supported Bernie, and did again this year, but were "told to hold their nose and vote for Biden", hence being treated as such.

    It never occurred to him that cradle-to-grave Bernie is the essence of treating the people like children. And this is the new, with-it cradle to grave, with government-paid college (including a greater than 50% sinecure position rate, gosh) and guaranteed income. Oh bebby, you are our children.

    1. Maybe eventually they'll start believing in serious, grown-up adult stuff like trickle-down economics and the glory of American empire.

  9. After reading the transcripts of the oral arguments in Fulton v. Philadelphia, I got the impression Breyer and Kagan had sympathy for Catholic Social Services, but concern over how they can prevail without harming anti-discrimination law. On the other hand, Alito, Thomas and Kavanaugh appeared to have no concerns about the impact on anti-discrimination law. It looks like Roberts may, and perhaps surprisingly, Barrett too.

    1. That's a fascinating transcript.

      I think what I find troubling (as a huge fan of Scalia's opinion in Employment Div. v. Smith; it was an opinion I had heard of before law school and thought was bad, but once I read it and understood it in law school, I had an "aha" moment) is the interchange between Windham (appellant attorney for CSS) and Kagan; the idea that Courts should be in the position of evaluating on a case-by-case basis the strength of the government's interest, the "history" of the religion in that area, and what appears to be the strength of the religion's interests.

      In other words, despite the oratory at the beginning that the lower courts were misapplying Smith, it's quite clear during this exchange that CSS wants it overturned and wants Courts to weigh general law of neutral applicability and see when the government is allowed to enforce them based on, well, factors.

      (This has nothing to do with the merits, by the way. Alito and Thomas, and likely Kavanaugh, are pretty hellbent on destroying that Scalia precedent, and I wouldn't doubt that they will be able to rope in two more votes.)

    2. I'd also call attention to a weird exchange with Justice Barrett. It's pp. 31-32.

      Setting this up, we know that Windham had already gotten the inevitable "interracial marriage" question.

      We also know that she must have prepped for it, because OF COURSE she is going to be asked about it. (This is what you were referring to).

      So here's the problem; when Barrett probes her on this specific issue, instead of having some canned answer or a dodge, she insists that the state would be able to enforce the rule.

      In effect, what CSS is saying is one of two things:
      A. Hey, we know that SCOTUS made a rule about SSM. But c'mon *wink wink* it's not like SSM is that important, AMIRITE? Let's all just agree to allow us to discriminate against those sodomites, and call it a day. WIN WIN!
      B. Look, religious discrimination against teh gayz is perfectly cool! We are all on board with that. But not against the blacks. Well, not anymore. So we will just depend on courts to scrutinize religious beliefs and come up with rules about what ones are good and bad .... er, sorry, what government rules are compelling or not.

      Again, given that this was bound to come up, I am somewhat surprised that there wasn't a better answer than, "Trust us. Discriminating against SSM is okay. But not against interracial marriage. For reasons."

      1. Serious question -- isn't race discrimination permissible in the context of adoption? What I am thinking of is a preference for matching children with families of the same race.

        1. There is an issue when it comes to best interests of the child at the match stage. For example, as Katyal acknowledged in the oral argument, a child who had previously used racial slurs against an ethnicity would not be matched with that ethnicity.

          But that's a different issue, at a different stage.

      2. Wow, the discussion you highlight in response to ACB's question about interracial marriage is indeed incredibly bad. If you assume that (some of the Justices) care at all about the implications of the case for anti-discrimination principles more generally, she needed a better answer there.

    3. Josh R....In your estimation, does this case turn on whether there was a contractor relationship or a licensing relationship between Philly and CSS?

      Thanks for the link to the transcript. It made great reading. Really appreciate your thoughtfulness in linking to it.

      1. If it's a contract, then I think all nine justices would agree CSS loses. If it's licensing, then I think they lose under Smith but Alito, Thomas and Kavanaugh want them to win. The sad thing from my perspective is they would have to reverse or greatly limit Smith to reach that result.

  10. The presidential polls are systematically biased in favor of Democrats. Was I right, or was I right?

    1. I said that and was roundly criticized. I believe that the media climate made many to express their true opinion.

      1. I don't think that the presidential polls are systemically biased in favor of Democrats. That's both crazy and stupid.

        There is clearly an error, as there always in polling. The issue is that in polling, you are always sampling. As response rates go down, the methods (models) that you use to extrapolate from the responses you get to the final result is incredibly important.

        In 2016, as Josh R. pointed out, the major problem was that the models were not correctly accounting for education, thus not weighing the suddenly divergent partisan leaning of whites without a college degree.

        Now, we are having an issue, again. What it is ... we will have to see. But when all is said and done, the overall (national) numbers will be off. But they should be! Given that (like Clinton) we should continue to expect Biden to gain another point or two over time in the national vote, we should expect him to finish at 4-5% (probably 5) in the national vote.

        And polls had him at 3-10% in the end. Which will still require explaining, especially because the state-level polls were off in key states, but it's not a systemic Democratic bias so much as a combination of people trusting polling numbers a little too much combined with seriously declined response rates.

        (PS- shy Trump voters? I WISH!!!!!!!!! For the love of god, if there was one thing I would have prayed for, it was the Trump supporters could have been a little less vocal.)

        1. (PS- shy Trump voters? I WISH!!!!!!!!! For the love of god, if there was one thing I would have prayed for, it was the Trump supporters could have been a little less vocal.)

          You misapprehend what the "shy Trump voter" is. Not the open supporters (of whom he had many and who were very vocal.)

          It is those who planned to vote for him, but were socially intimidated from saying so, and would not say so even to a pollster. And there were a sizable group of these types. And that skewed the polling numbers.

          1. First, I was mostly joking. But not entirely.

            Anything is possible, but I don't think that's it.

            And the reason why is because they did numerous attempts to try and discern the "shy Trump voter," including teasing out the different types of responses (such as by live, or automated response, blind response, etc.) and there was no difference. None. A lot of really smart people did a lot of things to try and uncover the "shy Trump voter" and they just didn't exist.

            Just like in the prior election, it's not going to be a "shy Trump voter effect." The answer is much more simple. A combination of the usual (polls aren't going to be 100% accurate) with the model being wrong (for example, some demographic was incorrectly weighted) and the usual issues with response rates.

            The easiest way to know a pet theory is probably wrong (such as the "shy Trump voter") is by starting by asking yourself how badly you want to believe it, and then going and seeing what other people have done to look into it.

            1. Question for you Loki? What if the shy Trump voter is real, not too savvy, basically loathes politics, will never under any circumstances engage with any pollster—whether in person, on the telephone, online, or otherwise—and usually doesn't vote? Can the study methods you mention disclose all that?

              While speculating about what might account for this apparently Trump-related polling phenomenon, I came to suppose what we ought to look for might be something hard to see, and more related to turnout than to demographics or ideology. That got me thinking about personally targeted online outreach, based on personal profiles built using automated surveillance of internet use—in short, internet 101 for advertising, but weaponized for politics.

              Assuming the personality-type I mentioned, that method delivers a notable fit for Trump-style politics, based on lies. Most folks are defensively skeptical when they suspect attempts at persuasion. But feeding them stuff they already agree with goes a long way toward putting that skepticism to sleep—which is why we call it confirmation bias.

              Pick yourself some ditzy low-information moms—moms who already think all politicians are crooks, Democrats are evil incarnate, and who have demonstrated online insecurity about child safety—then feed Q-Anon their way online, and maybe you get a habitual non-voter up and motivated to go to the polls. The payoff from that method would be exactly what we seem to see— folks who have mostly been off the pollsters' radar, but show up in unaccustomed numbers, taking everyone by surprise.

              Only the target gets the message. Nobody else sees it. It's inexpensive to do, and it's scalable. Effectiveness depends mostly on how good the profiles are, and how inventively you can lie to match the profiles.

              1. So, your question is interesting.

                Here's the thing. When most people are talking about the "Shy Trump Voter" they aren't talking about your specific issue. Instead, they are saying that people who are responding to the pollsters are misrepresenting how they would vote due to social pressure. This is a version of the so-called Bradley Effect (the idea that people will say that they will vote for a Black candidate, but won't when they are in the polling booth).

                There have been numerous attempts to tease this out with Trump, and none have found any effect. In other words, it doesn't exist.

                What you are saying is what I have been alluding to- the issue of response rates and models. This goes back to one of the polls (IIRC) that had Hoover winning over FDR (!?!). The problem was that this was a telephone poll, and the only people that had telephones back then had significantly more money- it was a skewed sample. Today, we are better at accounting for that, but as our response rates continue to plummet, it gets harder and harder to assure that any given poll and model is accurate. If anything, we should be impressed at how accurate they are.

                ....but there does seem to be a persistent issue with Trump. I don't think it's huge, but there is clearly a small percentage of population that is not being accounted for correctly.

      2. rsteinmetz : "I believe that the media climate made many to express their true opinion"

        How so? I've seen projections the final popular vote margin will be about 4.5 points, which isn't that different than the average 5-6 pt projections. Go thru the list of states and you typically find little or no difference between the polls and final tallies. It's only in a handful of states where the polls were off :

        1. Florida is its own case, because of problems judging the Hispanic vote around Miami.

        2. But Georgia/North Carolina were both projected razor-thin margins and that's the result, no matter who wins.

        3. 538 had Nevada at 50.5 (Biden). The current number is 50.7. They had Arizona at 52.3 (Biden). The current number is 49.4 and growing. Do you see a conspiracy there?

        4. Ultimately, the polls were only badly off in one geographic sweep from Wisconsin to Pennsylvania. Not Minnesota, where the polls at Biden at 53.7 & the result was Biden at 52.6.

        Somehow I have a hard time understanding why voters were oppressed by the "media climate" in Michigan, but not Georgia. In Ohio, but not California or Maine. In Wisconsin, but not Nevada, Utah or Nebraska. The same holds for conspiracy theories. Why are they restricted to one area of the country? Perhaps there's another explanation......

        1. Which polls had the GOP gain House seats, hold the Senate, and gain in minority share?

          1. Literally every analysis of the polls I saw leading up to the election talked about how Biden was gaining in share of whites and Trump was gaining in share of minorities.

            I have no idea how to answer your other questions since individual polls can't answer either of those questions, but there were certainly Senate polls that showed Tillis winning. Maine is probably the big miss there, but since that's a ticket-splitting phenomenon, is definitely not explained by any shy-Trump theory.

    2. Two elections aren't enough evidence to reach that conclusion. That being said, given it is likely the polling error was bigger in 2020 than 2016 (subject to all the votes being counted), an analysis is called for.

      We know the problem in 2016 was undersampling of white people who didn't go to college, and given there was previously no partisan bias in that group, the error would be systemic if it wasn't corrected in 2020. The analysis of the 2020 polling error will hopefully shed light.

      1. Josh R...We don't know that the problem in 2016 was undersampling of white people who didn't go to college. It was a problem, but not the problem, IMO. Agree that analysis of 2020 will shed more light on this.

        1. Someone over at National Review crunched the numbers and said there was a pervasive 2.5pt undercount of Trump support. given that, two points :

          1. That's not that large in the world of polling.

          2. And that includes the real horror stories of polling in this cycle. Florida was quickly & easily explained by the Hispanic vote in the south of the state. The real mystery is the upper Midwest from Wisconsin stretching into Pennsylvania. Something there is causing pollsters fits, both in '16 & '20. they thought it was education, but apparently not.

    3. 538 forecast Texas, Iowa, and Ohio for Trump.

      538 forecast Georgia, North Carolina, Florida, Arizona, Pennsylvania, Nevada, Michigan, and Wisconsin for Biden.

      That's two mistakes -- maybe three, among the 11 genuinely contested states.

      You figure Nate Silver should be considering suicide for shame over North Carolina and Florida? What if, seemingly improbably, Biden catches Trump in North Carolina, too? Would a 10-for-11 record satisfy Nate Silver's critics?

      1. and the ones that he got wrong on result (FL and NC) were in coin flip territory...

        polling is way off in the upper Midwest, but the fact that it the errors tend to be in one region cuts strongly against the conspiracy narrative. it is just hard to accurately poll there for some reason.

        Meanwhile, Trafalgar (RPG avg vs Trafalgar prediction vs actual):

        AZ: -0.9 vs +3 vs -1, so RCP avg better
        FL: -0.9 vs. +2 vs +3-4, so Trafalgar better
        GA: +1.0 vs. +5 vs. 0, so RCP better
        MI: -2.7 vs +2 vs -2.6, so RCP better
        MN: -4.3 vs. -3 vs. -7.2, so RCP better
        NC: +0.2 vs. +2 vs +0-1, so RCP better
        NV: -2.4 vs. +1 vs -1-2, so RCP better
        OH: +1 vs +5 vs +8, so Trafalgar better
        PA: -6.7 vs. +2 vs -1-2, so Trafalgar better, but RCP avg had right result
        WI: -6.7 vs -1 v 0, so Trafalgar better

        So of the ten closest states in which Trafalgar conducted Oct-Nov polls, Trafalgar was closer in four, RCP in six.

        RCP avg had the result right in 8 out of 10 (and the wrong result in GA might have been due entirely to the +5 miss by Trafalgar being averaged in). Meanwhile, Trafalgar was right in only 5 out of 10.

        The average of polls is more accurate, much more accurate when it comes to final result, than Trafalgar.

        I say this just because I saw on FOX people heaping praise on Trafalgar for getting so much "right". He didn't do better than the average of polls and has a clear lean to the GOP which accounts for all of his errors. (Notably, of the two the RCP avg got wrong, one they predicted to go GOP and it went Dem and the other they predicted Dem and it went GOP, but Trafalgar was always off toward the GOP which suggests ideological bias.)

  11. As you move on to the idea of "racial justice" it seems even less clear what people think that looks like and how to achieve it. It seems most advocates want some kind of race conscious result based on group membership. Some of the things sound a little odd to me.

    California has banned discrimination of the basis of hair. While That seems to me at least on the surface reasonable. I wonder about the definition of "natural hair". Recently a group challenged a New Orleans Catholic School's dress code which forbid extensions, as discriminating against "natural hair. I have trouble understanding what is natural about extensions, and the student's picture in the paper showed a young woman dressed in her school uniform with long, straight hair which was probably not natural to her and if it was human hair likely came for Asia. It was alleged that they only checked black girls, I don't know if that was true, the issue was settled by the school changing it's policy.

    I wonder whether the culture of some segments of society have incorporated a system of beliefs which predisposes some people to see racial discrimination where it doesn't exist. I wonder whether some portion of the racial disparities which certainly exist are the result of other factors.

    I have wondered whether someone has developed a "privilege" index which allows individuals compare their relative privilege?
    For example does the black son of a former mayor in a predominately black city have more privilege than a white woman born to a 16 year old single mother in the same city?

    1. I have wondered whether someone has developed a “privilege” index which allows individuals compare their relative privilege?

      This has been another one of my pet proposals. Affirmative action should be based on socio-economic and family background, not race or ethnicity. For which you would need some kind of "privilege index." Not easy to come up with one, but fairer (and certainly Constitutionally more palatable) than race and ethnicity.

      1. Soon we'll be able to compare social credit scores, anyway.

    2. Pittsburgh recently passed an ordinance on hair/hairstyle discrimination. My thought was, "Shouldn't this also exist for facial hair?"

  12. The really ought to withhold results until the election is over. Maybe give to to the main and minor parties so they can track it and ensure a fair counting procedure, but the way it is now generates so much confusion and nonsense. The votes are in. The order in which they are counted is not indicative of some major trend in society.

    I personally thibk these results, provided predictions are accurate, are ideal for the Republican party. They can block the most extreme Biden proposals, win back the house in 22, and dispatch their most polarizing member. Take Trump voters and combine them with the original 2015 base should be a winning strategy. The reason Trump lost votes is because of him. Get rid of him, but understand why Trump captured so many people, and that should work.

    In summary, I predict a 2024 president Josh Hawley, who is closest to that.

    1. " The reason Trump lost votes is because of him. "

      That point is offset by the number of new Republican voters attracted by Trump. Whether those people will sling back to inconsequential alienation or, instead, stay engaged in elections and aligned with Republicans is yet to be determined.

  13. I am hereby claiming, for electoral vote purposes, the State of Nevada.

    I want to say thank you to all of my supporters who helped me win the state.

    1. I am hereby claiming that I identify as Bill Gates. I will be withdrawing $ 1 billion from his bank account this afternoon.

  14. In this election, the polls were strongly suggesting that Biden would win handily, if not by a landslide, when in fact it was extremely close, and although at this point it looks like Biden is the more likely to win, it is not certain.

    At the same time, the Democrats did pretty poorly in Congress, the Senate appears it will remain Republican, and the Democratic majority shrunk in the House.

    Wonder if the two are related? For quite some time, America has seemed to prefer divided government. So I wonder how many people thought, looks like Biden is a shoe-in, so I am going to vote for the R for Senate and Congress to check the crazies that dominate the Democratic party.

    So, ironically, the polls that supposedly helped Biden turned out to help the R's in Congress.

    That's my theory, anyway.

    1. Nope.

      No one in the history of ever votes thinking "I love me some divided government."

      The reason for the failure of the Democrats to take the Senate is twofold:

      1. Overly optimistic predictions. Like a "Blue Wave" that would carry out Lindsey Graham.

      2. National partisanship. Politics aren't local, they are national. So blue states vote blue, red states vote red. With the exception of a throwback like Susan Collins, very few Senators meaningfully outperformed the national environment.

      1. "No one in the history of ever votes thinking “I love me some divided government.”"

        Well, heck, I've done it myself :-).

        Partisans from either edge want undivided control, as in "51% voted for us ...mandate!!! Eff whatever the 49% think". To those of us in the middle, having only stuff that is acceptable to both sides getting through is a feature, not a bug.

        1. You might think that divided government is good.

          You might choose to vote based on individuals and not parties.

          But no one (with the possible exception of you) would vote for two candidates solely because they were of opposite parties (Presidential and Senate, say), if only because you couldn't guarantee that your vote would change anything, and that your Senator would change the composition of the Senate.

          In other words, the point I was making is that no one (liberally construed) uses "divided government" as the 'but for' cause of their votes.

  15. It does appear Windham wants courts to decide on a case-by-case basis, which would effectively end Smith. The best argument I have seen against that proposition is Eugene's amicus brief, which was referenced at the very end of the arguments.

    1. Yeah, pretty cool.

      Can I mention just how weird it is to see Justice Thomas in the transcripts? I cannot get over that.

      1. I always thought Thomas had a valid point that pre-COVID oral arguments were a gratuitous free-for-all.

        1. He did have a point. However, there was a good law review article a while back that made the decent point that it was fundamentally unfair to the litigants for a judge (Justice in this case) to both refuse to ask questions during oral argument, and then to rule on an issue that was not argued.

          I know there are tons of clever jokes we make about how everything is really about the briefs, and oral arguments are (mostly) useless, but Thomas is the Justice most likely to, sua sponte, raise something from out of left field.

          Anyway, it's good to have him participating.

        2. Justice Thomas was absolutely correct. Too many justices seemed more interested in scoring humor points with the gallery than asking probative questions. Moreover, they did not give attorneys sufficient opportunity to respond or care to pay attention to the response. If we go back to "in person" arguments, I do hope they keep this method of oral argument.

  16. So, the GOP holds the Senate handily currently. Biden has a decent shot at winning the election.

    Should the GOP refuse to confirm any of Biden's judges until an amendment that sets the SCOTUS at 9 Judges is passed? To prevent court packing?

    1. Yeah, you actually think they'll have the caucus discipline to pull that off? I don't.

    2. No, I think Biden should carry through on his idea of a bi-partisan commission to offer up solutions to the mess we have with the judiciary.

      And the GOP should participate in good faith.

      And we should try and work together to solve the ongoing judicial crisis in a way that restores faith in the judiciary as a non-partisan institution.

      ....that's what I want. Of course, I also want to see Brett Bellmore say, "You know, I realized that Donald Trump does lie a fair bit, and probably wasn't great for the country," while monkeys fly out of his butt.

      I'd say both of my wants have an equal likelihood of happening.

      1. The only problem with the judiciary is that partisan liberals aren't the majority.

        No should participate in any commission as the premise of it is corrupt.

        1. The only conservative participation in anything with liberals should be "Fuck you, traitors, You're lucky that our innate morality doesn't allow us to do what we should, which is throw all of you in gas chambers."

      2. You presume we have a problem with the judiciary. That is only because it isn't full of partisan liberal hacks legislating from the bench. Is it your intent to have a sham process that proposes "reforms" that get our judiciary to that "normal."

        1. "You presume we have a problem with the judiciary. That is only because it isn’t full of partisan liberal hacks legislating from the bench. Is it your intent to have a sham process that proposes “reforms” that get our judiciary to that “normal.”"

          Every thing you say here isn't correct. I will, however, dignify your BS with an actual answer because you, unlike Gramps "QAnon" Gompers occasionally have good points.

          This is an issue that transcends the federal judiciary. More and more, we are seeing judicial positions (both at the trial court level and the appellate level) handed out as rewards for ideological/partisan fealty and, sometimes, just for donations! We are getting a lower-quality judiciary.

          Judges are appointed based on supposed party loyalty and age (with the younger, the better). This has devastating effects in many ways. Obviously, it erodes the confidence people have in judges. It also results in a more dispirited judiciary as well (a lot of people appointed to these positions don't fully understand that the vast majority of a judge's work is boring, everyday cases, not super partisan culture warrior fun, and that it's not the most lucrative profession for an attorney ....). The quality of opinions goes down because judges aren't being appointed based on legal skill or experience, but only party loyalty.

          Again, I am not just talking about the federal judiciary, but we are seeing this in the states as well. And I don't have some "magic plan" to solve it. Ideally, there would be a way that would allow the best minds, of differing ideologies (but with a preference to moderate opinions), and would skew to older individuals with more legal experience in practice (since you don't need to worry about stuffing the bench with young people and lifetime appointments) and a diversity of practice areas (criminal and civil, transactions and litigation, etc.).

          But I don't have a solution. I just know what I see, and it's getting worse. Personally, I don't want to see liberals appointing super liberal, super-young judges either, followed by conservatives doing the same, ad infinitum. That's a recipe for disaster in both the state and the federal level.

          I'd love to see people from across the spectrum work on this.

          1. "We are getting a lower-quality judiciary."

            That long pre-dated Trump. I have been practicing for over 20 years, and I have seen a definite decline in the quality of the federal judiciary. And that has nothing to do with ideology, the lower quality ones come from all sides of the ideological spectrum.

            It mainly has to do with the fact that the most talented people, for the most part, do not want to become judges. One, the pay is lousy. A second year associate at a top firm makes more than a federal judge. Two, you are swamped with cases, most of which are dull as dishwasher. (Yes, Mrs. Jones should get her Social Security check.) Three, law in general has become in many cases a cynical game, where the well-heeled use their superior resources to overwhelm their opponents with the procedural burden of litigation (civil side) or with overcharging (criminal side).

            So that leaves it mostly to the third-rate hacks. I had a case before a Magistate Judge a couple of years ago, who was truly awful. She seriously thought that the other side could submit secret evidence to the district judge to support its motion for summary judgment against my client, and neither my client nor its counsel (i.e., me) would get to see it. When it was pointed out that this would violate Due Process, she responded, "In civil cases, Due Process only means notice and opportunity to be heard."

            In the same case, we had a conference before the district judge, where she made clear that she had never heard of the safe-harbor in Rule 11. This by a judge who had been on the bench for the better part of 30 years!

            1. "That long pre-dated Trump."

              Agreed on that. In terms of the federal judiciary, it's just been an acceleration of trends from the 80s.

              Every state is different, but the last decade it's been incredibly noticeable in my state. It used to be that you might just get a bad judge at the trial level, but the appellate courts were good. Not any more. Now the appellate courts, more and more, are stacked with ideologues and hack appointments.

              There has to be a better way.

              PS- A federal judge that doesn't know Rule 11 and the safe harbor provisions? Ugh. You have my sympathy on that.

          2. So all that you can do is resort to name calling now?

            You took a lot of words to basically say I am right. It is only getting "worse" because you don't like the philosophical changes that have been creeping in the federal courts. If the courts were cranking out new rights you would be happy and say that they are 'progressive' and 'revolutionary' because that is how the left operates.

            There is no problem with the "quality" of our courts. If anything it is getting better in the last few decades.

            1. "You took a lot of words to basically say I am right. It is only getting “worse” because you don’t like the philosophical changes that have been creeping in the federal courts. If the courts were cranking out new rights you would be happy and say that they are ‘progressive’ and ‘revolutionary’ because that is how the left operates."

              Wow. You didn't read a single thing I said, did you?

              I won't make the mistake of trying to engage you sunstantively again. Goodbye, Idiot McJerkface.

        2. "legislating from the bench'

          Like ruling gays and trannies are protected by a law passed in 1964?

          Or a mandate is suddenly a tax?

          Or marriage mean what one man says?

          The courts are our rulers and we ought to break their power. The fact that there is a nominal control by our side doesn't change this.

          Not that a commission filled with supporters of a corrrupt system will recognize this.

  17. Two thoughts:

    1. Nevada is done. It's for Biden. So imagine you are the AP or Fox, and you've already called Arizona. If you call Nevada (as you should) the election is done. So ... do you "uncall" Arizona, even thought it is probably going to Biden? Or do you artificially hold off on Nevada?

    2. One thought about polling. Looking at the total of raw votes, because of the turnout and the percentage, Biden will end up with the highest share of the voting age population by a whopping amount. Just think about it- remember Reagan in '84? Yeah, Biden will beat that. So a turnout error might be the reason for the (slight) polling discrepancy.

    1. It would be surprising if the polling error was due to unexpectedly high turnout among Republicans. But, if that is the explanation, pollsters may have a headache on their hands on how to model turnout going forward.

      1. Josh R....Expanding on my previous point. The problem with polling is methodology, not modeling technique. Polling would be incredibly accurate by going mixed-mode (phone + internet + in-person). The major drawback is that mixed-mode research studies are very costly.

    2. There is still 12% of the vote out in Nevada and its close. I wouldn't call it yet, especially if you just have to wait a few more hours. The projections and models so far haven't been exceptionally accurate.

      1. It has to do with the makeup of what is left. It's the population center (Clark County).

        Unless you think that, for whatever reason, it's going red despite the votes that have been counted and the prior history, Nevada is done.

        Some "close" things are closer than others. It's why Georgia is still in doubt (because of the nature and location of votes) but North Carolina, despite not being "called" is really Trump.

        1. I am surprised that nobody has called North Carolina yet, because I don't see there being enough votes for Biden to have a realistic chance. The only reason I can think of is that until either side gets to 270 they don't want to predict North Carolina only to have to backtrack and North Carolina puts the other candidate over. If Georgia and/or Pennsylvania put Biden over 270 regardless of Arizona or Nevada I suspect they just call North Carolina for Trump.

          1. I think the only reasons N. Carolina has not been called is because the margin is really really close AND ballots can continue to come in until November 12, provided they have been postmarked correctly.

            I don't think that there is good data on either the likely makeup or number of ballots that will come in, so they are choosing to be cautious.

            That said, I can't see any scenario that it doesn't end up in Trump's column in the end. Close, but Trump.

          2. Well, yes, they've been highly reluctant to declare states for Trump, because they're trying to maintain the illusion that Trump has been behind Biden the whole while.

        2. And if you have been paying attention those ballots have been all over the place. Vegas is hurting bad, and there is a lot of grass roots support there for Trump. I think it is going to be a wild card until the vote gets certified.

  18. Why did Democrat localities suddenly "stop counting," send the poll watchers home, and then keep counting in the wee hours of the morning?

    1. Something something Soros buses?

    2. Obviously it was to start dumping in the mail ballots that got returned to sender.

    3. That comment likely refers to Pennsylvania. A court order -- a prophylactic court order requested by the Republicans -- forbids election officials from counting those votes until Friday.

  19. Watching Trump on TV and wondering why no one is throwing rotten fruit at him. I guess the Secret Service wouldn’t allow it.

  20. Hey, clingers, your boy looks great tonight. Will anyone with a college degree want to be known as a Republican after this?

  21. If you were to steal an election ... how would you do it?

    1. Easy, hack the software that scans and stores the totals. Who has time to print and fill in that many ballots, and can you even get those supplies during COVID?

      1. That's not so easy ... they are disconnected from the network before voting begins, so you'd have to get them earlier during staging. Even then, as long as there is a paper trail, this will be discovered on recount.

        1. I don't know how accurate it is, but there was a guide on how to steal an election published by a programmer who did most of the software used to count votes in many jurisdictions floating around the internet. It might be dated at this point, but at the time he wrote it the book detailed exactly how you could manipulate the data through code and basically leave no trail. Fascinating read even if it was just fiction.

          I would say the easiest way to do it would be to find the central tabulation system then tweak the reporting numbers in a manner that would siphon votes away or add them on in small increments. The problem with this though is you are only going to be able to manipulate a small percentage of the vote without raising eyebrows.

          Generating massive numbers of fraudulent ballots, at least from a central operation, is just going to be logistically impossible. If you were to say "outsource" it to a network where each person gets a few maybe you could get a decent amount. But for each "agent" that gets a few illegal votes you create a vulnerability in the system.

          1. "I would say the easiest way to do it would be to find the central tabulation system then tweak the reporting numbers in a manner that would siphon votes away or add them on in small increments. "

            Does that work? From what I can tell, in most states each county runs its own tally and then reports the results. It all has to add up. There was a discussion on the news about how Wisconsin does it. Each county (or election subdivision, can't recall) does its count and then posts the unofficial results and reports to the state. The state adds everything up and it gets officially reported sometime next week. Seems like a "central tabulation system" exploit would be pretty obvious.

  22. Admit it lovable Democrats, you watched tonights ranting press conference by Trump and wished that you had a rifle in case he decides to stay past when he is legally welcome.

    For the record, I think Trump lost fair and square and tonights presser is an illustration why. Wont miss these ranting press conferences.

    1. "wished that you had a rifle"

      Can't say that. Have to say "wood chipper."

      1. How do you plan to get him in the chipper if you are unarmed, lol?

        1. Tell him that there is a "cheeseberder" at the bottom of it.

          1. Ouch. That's even meaner than this I read yesterday :

            "The only way Trump gets to 270 is if he loses 100lbs"

            1. I knew if I persevered in this thread I would find something worth reading.

  23. Anyone know if this is legit data? Says source is the New York Times.

  24. Proposal for a flat, republic-not-democracy tax, which would respect the sovereignty of the separate states

    I often hear my right-wing friends say three things:

    1. USA is not, and should not be, and should not pretend to be, a democracy. USA is a republic, a union of separate states. One friend likened the states to the member-nations of the European Union. That would mean that the people who live here in USA should regard themselves, and should be treated primarily, as citizens of the state in which they live, rather than as citizens of the nation USA. A Texan should be a Texan first, and an American second; a resident of Virginia should be a Virginian first and an American second, and so on. That is, after all, why we have the Electoral College, and why the Senate is structured the way it is.

    2. Taxes should be flat, not be progressive or based on the taxpayer’s income, and…

    3. …and, taxes should be simple. It should be simple to calculate how much a taxpayer needs to pay.

    So I have a proposal for a new Federal tax, which would incorporate 1 and 2 and also implement 3. I will call this new tax (provisionally, until someone can think of a snappier name for it) the “Non-Progressive Sovereign-State Tax” (“NPSS Tax”). The new tax, which could begin as a small tax and gradually increase until it would be the Federal government's principal source of revenue, should be a flat tax, which the states, not the individuals who live in the states, would pay. Eventually it could replace some other taxes, such as income taxes, altogether.

    It would be very simple. First, the Federal government would assess its planned budget, and decide how much we want the Federal government to obtain from the new tax. Then, take that number, the total amount we want to raise for the Federal government from the new tax, and divide by the number of states in the union (currently, fifty). And each state would be required to pay the resulting amount of money to the Federal government.

    For example, suppose we decide that the Federal government needs, say, a billion dollars more than it expects to raise from all the other sources of revenue-- other taxes, money raised by selling or leasing its assets, and by borrowing, and so on. Ok, so we need the new NPSS tax to raise a billion dollars. One billion dollars divided by 50 equals twenty million dollars. So, each state would pay exactly twenty million dollars to the Federal government for this tax. California would pay twenty million dollars. Texas would pay twenty million dollars. Ohio would pay twenty million dollars. Vermont would pay twenty million dollars. North Dakota would pay twenty million dollars. And so on. Every state would pay exactly the same amount of money for the NPSS tax. Each state's government would decide for itself how to raise the twenty million dollars it would owe.

    What could be flatter, or simpler, or more respectful of individual states' sovereignty, and equitable, than that? It would be an absolutely flat tax, which conservatives in America love, and it would recognize that USA is a union of states, not an overweening emperor, and that American citizens are primarily citizens of their state, not of the tyrannical Federal government.

    I have no doubt that my conservative friends, if they really believe what they profess to believe, will support this idea. Let’s enact the NPSS Tax, and shift the tax-burden from the progressive income tax and all the other taxes which encumber individuals and businesses in USA to the NPSS Tax as rapidly as possible!

    1. You could just do this strictly proportional to population and it would be fine as well, but yes let's let each state decide how to raise the money to support its number of residents and pass it onto the federal government. Would be a nice opportunity for the laboratories of democracy, and would generally have the effect of making states want to provide more services themselves rather than rely on centralized funding.

      1. "Proportional to population"?? Do you mean we should demand more money from states which have a larger number of persons living there? That would be like demanding more money from heavier people than from lighter people, because heavier people have more individual cells living in them.

    2. You say taxes should be flat but don't bother to explain the reasoning behind that. I'm in the upper half of the middle class and think it's both rational & ethical I pay a higher rate than someone making $16,000 a year. Why don't you agree?

  25. Assume, somehow, Trump gets a potentially election-deciding case before the Supreme Court. Anyone think Trump's performance tonight could do anything but hurt him with the Court? How clueless do you have to be to assert you are headed for the Supreme Court, while turning yourself into a grotesque legitimacy hazard if the Court should decide your way, and put you back in office for 4 more years?

    1. I agree, although I think that's exactly why Trump was relatively constrained, he was cautioned by his attorneys and stuck to a script that was inching toward concession. While he asserted there was cause for challenges and some kind of probable cause for looking at malfeasance, he also didn't claim he won and said "it's not about who wins."

      I don't see how this happens anyway, barring hard evidence of fraud or discovery of major errors which seems very unlikely.

  26. Here's a question for those of you who are parents and are still clinging to Trump. Roughly 50% of American voters have shown their willingness to put on blindfolds, stick their fingers in their ears, and choose an immoral, narcissistic, unethical, misogynistic, rascist, barely literate, vulgar, divisive, bullying, incompetent, feckless, tax-cheating, science-denying, lying grifter in the White House instead of a decent, honorable, religious, good-hearted man. How do you explain this to your children?

    1. Just to be clear ... which of the candidates is "immoral, narcissistic, unethical, ..." ?

    2. I can't figure out which one is supposed to be Trump and which person is Biden...

      1. I'm sure you can't. Blindness is an advantage for the Trump voter.

        1. Says the guy wearing convenient blinders....

          1. In the land of the blind, the man wearing blinders is king. So there's that. As for me, the ever-sensible Kevin Drum summed it up nicely today :

            "Are you one of those Democrats who’s disappointed because the election wasn’t a landslide? Because Republicans actually made gains in the House and retained control of the Senate? I have some advice for you.

            Just turn on the TV and listen to President Trump. Listen to him bellyaching about how the election was a fraud. Listen to lie after lie after lie about illegal ballots. Listen to him demanding that we stop the count in some states and keep counting in others. Listen to him do his utmost to wreck American democracy.

            And then tell yourself: no matter what happened in the other races, we will soon no longer have this piece of human excrement sullying the White House. That should perk you right up"

            Perked right up I am.......

  27. Very strange...right now (Thursday, 9 pm PST), I took a look at the RealClearPolitics website. According to the website, Georgia is 100% reported, with Trump leading (winning??) with a lead of 1,775.

    It's an odd mistake to make (I can't imagine that anyone would intentionally lie about this, since literally every other news-source on the planet is correctly stating that there are still significant votes outstanding, so no one would be fooled by such a lie.), especially because the website is correctly noting the outstanding percentages in Penn, Arizona, and Nevada.

    1. santamonica811, when you get down into the weeds, it turns out that there are so many categories and variations among votes and voters nationwide, that almost every authority, and every news source, all struggle to even imagine what specific work might be needed to complete an election—except in the most general terms—count all the votes. Apparently, there are too many variations in election laws and practices from state to state to permit journalists to either discern or describe a more informative standard. That does strike me as a problem, but on the flip side, it may make presidential elections more secure. How can you hack what no one can even describe?

    2. My impression is that the non-government sites are getting their information in a semi-informal way, and then not going back to update it if a mistake had been made.

      Further, until the (Often court mandated) period for absentee ballots arriving is over, you don't know how many ballots are going to show up, so you can't actually calculate what percentage have already been counted. So, for most states, the percentage counted numbers are just estimates, maybe even WAGs.

      I am, more than ever, disgusted with our elections administration. I'd be willing to throw easily ten times the resources at it, if we could revamp it from top to bottom, to be uniform, easy, and fraud resistant. There really is no reason we shouldn't have reliable results on election day, it's not an intractable problem.

      But too many people are invested in the system as it is, and maybe not for defensible reasons.

      1. Brett Bellmore : But too many people are invested in the system as it is, and maybe not for defensible reasons.

        We'll see if you maintain your indignation once you know the culprits. For example : The Republican-controlled Pennsylvania legislature was warned there would be days of delay if they didn't authorize processing mail-in ballots before Election Day. The Governor and his fellow Democrats pleaded for an early start. How did the state GOP respond?

        Sure, they said. We'll make the system work efficiently for Election Night results - but only if you agree to (1) reduce the period of time citizens can request mail-in ballots, (2) ban all sanctioned drop-off boxes, and (3) forbid counties from setting-up satellite sites for early voting. Democrats had to agree to make voting harder as the blackmail price for making the system work better.

        Republicans, huh? Always so damn disgusting.......

  28. Why does the rate of vote counting decrease neatly geometrically over time in some places?

    1. It doesn't.

      The rate varies, and usually slows, over time, in most jurisdictions.

      A few things. First, this is happening all over the United States. You just don't know it, because a lot of the states are "called" and you don't care about them. California, for example, is still counting votes. But since you don't care (and know where the votes are going) you don't pay any attention.

      Second, it really depends on the state in question. Florida, for example, used to have a real mess of a system (think 2000). But they have worked hard to revamp it, including having early voting and absentee voting counted and prepped early, which allows them to report results much faster. Other states (famously, PA) do not allow this, causing the results to appear to trick in over time.

      Third, and finally, it depends on the types of ballots being counted. For example, states with hurdles and requirements for mail-in ballots that cannot be counted until election day will be counted at a slowed rate. Provisional ballots will have other rules as well (such as checking to see if that person has voted already). One way to think of this is that the easiest tranches of votes are usually counted first, then you usually go down to the ones that take more time (opening envelopes, etc.), then ones that require checking (cured, provisional), plus there is always the trickle of overseas and military.

      1. First, yes, I was going to ask why the rate of vote counting decreases over time in general, then I added in some places to try and be more accurate since many states were reported as 100% relatively quickly.

        Second, I did already understand why there would be a steep and sudden drop in the count rate when switching to mail ballots in some states for the reasons you mention. But the idea of additional 3rd and 4th categories that are even slower would help explain the more continually decreasing count rate.

        1. "First, yes, I was going to ask why the rate of vote counting decreases over time in general, then I added in some places to try and be more accurate since many states were reported as 100% relatively quickly."

          So you need to be careful. I don't know every single state's laws off the top of me head, but you have to pay attention not just to the state's cutoff for absentee or mailed ballots (which may be the postmark date, or the receipt date), but also voters subject to the UOCAVA (military and overseas voters), which may have different deadlines.


    "For those dreading, or hoping, that a conservative 6-3 Supreme Court with three appointees of Donald Trump will overturn the results of the election and deem him to be re-elected: there is absolutely no chance of that happening, whatsoever. None."

    1. Good grief. Overturn the results of an election? Who is thinking that? Nobody who reads SCOTUS blog, I would think.

      1. It's always good to publish the voices of sanity.

      2. Well, Mark Levin, for one:

        And you can bet that, if a state legislature tries this, it’ll end up before the Supreme Court. I don’t think they’d go for it, but it’s not true that no one is thinking about it.

        1. Let me see if I understand. The suggestion is that Republican state legislatures could submit their State's electoral votes to the Trump column, even though the popular-vote total in that State is for Biden, on the basis that the total is somehow corrupted. Then, the Supreme Court would step in and prevent that, effectively forcing those electoral votes to the Biden column.

          That is your scenario where SCOTUS "overturns" the "results" of an "election"? Or, are you saying that SCOTUS would decline to intervene and thereby "overturn" the "results" of an election?

          I'm not familiar with the constitutional issues involved and the characterization seems to depend on that, but either way I'm still going to say SCOTUS won't "overturn" the "results" of an election.

          1. No. The Republican state legislature adopts a Trump electoral slate. The Democratic governor refuses to go along and certifies a Biden slate. The House refuses the Trump slate and chooses the Biden slate, and someone or other sues to force the House to accept the Trump slate. SCOTUS sides with the plaintiff.

            That’s overturning the results of an election, and while I don’t think it’s likely, it’s not true that no one’s considering it.

  30. I take it all back, you guys! The campaign has been caught urging supporters in Pennsylvania to cast ballots after the deadline! There really is a fraud conspiracy out there!

    What? Oh.

    1. Na the media told us there is absolutely no such thing as election fraud (despite real prosecuted examples) and there is nothing to worry about. Just accept your new overlord and stop asking questions!

  31. Tucker: "Election was on Tuesday. We still don’t know the outcome. What happens next? And how long does it go on?

    Well, if you follow the Florida recount 20 years ago, you probably assume you’ve got some idea how this election is going to play out. Officials in contested states will carefully count all the available votes, supervised by bipartisan observers from both campaigns to reassure all of us, it’s on the level. If they find irregularities or they see questions of fraud, we’ll all get to learn exactly what those allegations are and how they were resolved. That’s what we did in 2000.

    Hanging chads? Remember those? We put them on TV so people could see the ballots for themselves.

    In the end, the dispute between Al Gore and George W. Bush continued all the way to the Supreme Court. It took 36 days to resolve, and every one of those days, if you remember them, seemed like a month.

    That process was excruciating. It required patience and calm. But in the end, it was well worth it.

    And by the way, the news organizations in this country covered every moment of it. No one in any newsroom in America even considered censoring information about what was happening in the states. That would have been regarded as grotesque and immoral.

    By the way, then, as now, almost everyone in the media was a partisan Democrat. That’s always been the case. But in 2000, they understood that preserving the public’s faith in the system, our American system of government was more important than getting Al Gore or anyone else into the White House. So they pushed for openness and transparency in the process, and thank God they did..."

    1. Who’s censoring information?

      Some networks aren’t airing Trump speeches that are packed with disinformation, which is entirely consistent with informing the public.

      1. Who is deciding if this is "disinformation?" Because we used to rely upon individuals to do that. Now it is nanny Big Tech and Corporate Media who will filter "acceptable" content for us to consume.

        1. Go ahead, Jimmy, and justify the claims in Trump's speech last night. I'll wait.

          1. I'll bite. Here is a post by an accountant, summing up Trump's claims and with links to video of most of them. Trigger warning: swearing.


            This is not direct proof of election fraud, but it is certainly strong enough evidence that there is now probable cause for a thorough forensic audit of the election in the disputed states. And Rudy Giuliani intends to make it happen.

            1. Nope, a string of random anecdotes, many already debunked (notably the supposed 200% WI turnout) isn’t going to do it.

        2. Also, it hasn't been necessary to cut away from past presidential speeches because they haven't been wall-to-wall lies that attack and undermine the electoral process, so maybe that'll help explain these new developments.

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