Monday, November 7, 2016

I Can't Wait

A few days ago I started a series of posts to Facebook about how excited I was about the upcoming election because it's extremely important (maybe THE MOST IMPORTANT ELECTION EVER '16) because of the stark policy differences between the two major parties. Somebody suggested I collect them all in one place, so here they are (in reverse order). Since you've probably already got the song "I Can't Wait" by Nu Shooz stuck in your head, I'll put the video at the end of this post. I bet you've forgotten how goddamn weird that video is.

I can’t wait until tomorrow to see if we ignore Israel’s war crimes because we need a place for Jesus to come back to for Armageddon or because criticizing Israel’s policies is somehow anti-Semitism.

I can’t wait until tomorrow to find out if right-wing militia groups are noble patriots who are above the law or dangerous radicals who are above the law.

I can’t wait until tomorrow to find out whether a living wage is morally indefensible or politically unworkable.

I can’t wait until tomorrow to find out if we send children back to war zones we helped create because they’re disease-ridden criminals or because they didn’t follow the rules.

I can't wait until Tuesday to find out whether we give corporations a tax holiday on repatriated earnings because we're pretending they earned the money outside the U.S. or because we're pretending they'll use it to create jobs.

I can't wait until Tuesday to find whether we’ll spy on Muslims using undercover surveillance or community outreach.

I can't wait until Tuesday to see if we get an administration that denies climate change or one that just mostly ignores it.

I can't wait until Tuesday to find out whether tax cuts for the rich are a policy initiative or a concession to win support on the other side of the aisle.

I can't wait until Tuesday to find out whether the Supreme Court vacancy gets filled with a business-friendly right-winger or a business-friendly centrist.

I can't wait until Tuesday night to find out whether the filibuster is obstruction or a pragmatic use of Congressional rules.

I can't wait until Tuesday to find out whether criticizing the President is Constitutionally protected speech or an act of treason.

I can't wait until Tuesday night to find out whether massive government surveillance remains a necessary precaution or goes back to being a violation of Constitutional rights like it was 8 years ago.

I can't wait until Tuesday night to find out whether we keep Gitmo open for national security or because closing it would be kind of a hassle.

I can't wait until Tuesday to find out whether we don't prosecute Wall Street criminals because they didn't do anything wrong or because it could hurt the economy.

I can't wait until Tuesday night to find out whether key offices in the new administration are filled exclusively by wealthy white men or by a diverse collection of people who are in complete ideological agreement with wealthy white men.

I can't wait until Tuesday night to find out whether privatization and deregulation are to end government overreach or to encourage innovation.

I can't wait until Tuesday night to find out whether the next round of cuts to education and social services are a shared sacrifice or class warfare.

I can't wait until Tuesday night to find out whether next year's war in Syria is military profiteering or the only reasonable response to humanitarian crisis.




Sunday, November 6, 2016

My Vote Counts Part 6: States Where It Might

I kind of dropped the ball on this series because life, so since the election is just a couple of days away, I'm going to skip the details on the last 20 or so states. If you want to check the historical trends for your state, 270towin.com provides it in an easy-to-understand format. Fivethirtyeight.com is a god place to go for poll numbers and projections.

Light Red & Light Blue States

These states usually go to one party or the other, but only by a margin of 5-10%, so there's an outside chance of them flipping. Since Gary Johnson is polling much higher than Jill Stein, the light red states are the most likely to flip, but there are no doubt some Bernie supporters whose knowledge of Johnson ends at "he smokes weed," so there's at least some chance of him spoiling a light blue state for Clinton.

Light Red States: Louisiana, Georgia, Arkansas, Arizona, North Carolina
Light Blue States: Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Oregon

Real Swing States 

West Virginia, New Hampshire New Mexico, and Ohio are evenly split over the last 10 elections, with each party winning the state 5 times. 

Iowa and Michigan have gone to the Democrats in 6 of the past 10 elections. 

Nevada and Florida have gone to the Republicans in 6 of the last 10 elections. 

Missouri, Virginia, and Colorado have gone to the GOP in 7 or more of the past 10 elections, but the margin of victory is usually small enough that it would take a much smaller shift in voter patterns for the Democrats to win than most other states would require. 

If you live in a state that has a real chance of flipping and honestly believe that one of the two major parties is the lesser evil, by all means vote for the lesser evil. If you live in one of the states that's almost guaranteed to go to one party or the other, voting for the minority party is wasting your vote in my opinion, but it's your vote so do what you want with it. If you think there's a lesser evil but it's still more evil than you want to vote for, or if you'd prefer your vote to go toward helping a third party meet the finance threshold, you might consider looking into something like www.votepact.org, where you and someone who's reluctantly voting for the other lesser evil each agree to not reluctantly vote for the lesser evil. Since both evils "lose" one of the votes they think they're entitled to, your refusal to vote for the lesser evil doesn't help the greater evil.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Debate Bingo Cheater Card

Today Vox posted some Bingo cards to use with tonight's debate, but their cards are reasonably fair, so I modified one of their cards that you can give to your opponent to rig the game in your favor just like the two major parties have done.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

My Vote Counts Part 5: Solid States

The states from the last two installments are beyond solid. Most of them have historically gone to the same party except in unusual circumstances like the party realignments during the Civil Rights Era, the Reagan Revolution, or the elections where there was a third-party candidate who actually got enough votes to play the spoiler. This time around, we'll look at the states that are solidly but not suicidally loyal to one party or the other. These states have won by an average margin of 10-15% in the last five elections, so if both of the third party candidates with some name recognition get votes consistent with their poll numbers and most of the votes going to both Stein and Johnson are siphoned off from a single party, there's a chance the state can flip. We'll start with the solid blue states, since there are fewer of them.

Solid Democratic States

New Jersey
Favored Party: Democrats
Electoral Votes: 14
Average Margin: 14.76%
Current Prediction: Clinton by 13.7%
Flips: New Jersey was mostly a Republican state from the 1948 to 1988 (except for 1960 and 1964, when the state went blue). Since 1992, it's gone to the Democrats in every election. 

Maine
Favored Party: Democrats
Electoral Votes: 4
Average Margin: 13.5%
Current Prediction: Clinton by 11.8%
Flips: From before the Civil War until 1988, Maine was a reliably red state, only going to the Democrats in 1912, 1964, and 1968. Since 1992, the Democrats have taken the state in every Presidential election. 

Washington
Favored Party: Democrats
Electoral Votes: 12
Average Margin: 11.48%
Current Prediction: Clinton was up by 15% when I made my spreadsheet. 
Flips: Washington's history is similar to New Jersey and Maine: Red from 1952 to 1984 with only two exceptions (1964 and 1968), blue from 1988 on. 

Solid Republican States

South Dakota
Favored Party: Republicans
Electoral Votes: 3
Average Margin: 14.84%
Current Prediction: Trump by 7.6% 
Flips:  Since 1892, South Dakota has gone to the GOP in all but 5 elections. Teddy Roosevelt took the state as a Progressive candidate in 1912, the Democrats won it in 1896, 1932, 1936, and 1964. 

Kentucky
Favored Party: Republicans
Electoral Votes: 8
Average Margin: 14.58%
Current Prediction: Trump by 10.2%
Flips: Kentucky is another of the old "Southern Democrat" states, but it flipped to the GOP a little earlier than most. Since 1956, it's gone to the Republicans in all but 4 elections: 1964, 1976, 1992, and 1996. Unless Ross Perot decides to run, it's unlikely Hillary will repeat her husband's wins here.  

Mississippi
Favored Party: Republicans
Electoral Votes: 6 
Average Margin: 13.28%
Current Prediction: Trump by 4.7%
Flips:  Like most southern states, Mississippi loved the Democrats until LBJ came along. Since 1964, Carter is the only Democrat to win the state's Electoral Votes (though George Wallace did win the state in 1968 as an Independent candidate). 

Montana
Favored Party: Republicans
Electoral Votes: 3
Average Margin: 12.86%
Current Prediction: Trump by 6.8%, though this is one of the states where Johnson is polling above average (13.8% when I looked all these numbers up). 
Flips:  Montana kind of waffled back and forth for its first 60 years, but since 1952 the Democrats have only won it twice: 1964 and 1992. 

South Carolina
Favored Party: Republicans
Electoral Votes: 9 
Average Margin: 11.66%
Current Prediction: As of about a month ago, the polls only showed Trump up by 1.9%, so there's a decent chance that Trump's unpopularity may outweigh historical trends here. 
Flips: It's the south, so with the exception of 1976 South Carolina has gone to the GOP in every election from 1964 on. 

Tennessee
Favored Party: Republicans
Electoral Votes: 11
Average Margin: 10.24%
Current Prediction: Trump by 10%
Flips: Like Kentucky, Tennessee turned it's back on the Democrats earlier than most southern states, going the Republicans in the 1952 election. Since then, the Democrats have taken the state 4 times: 1964, 1976, 1992, and 1996. Clinton's success in the state didn't carry over to his VP, who lost Tennessee in 2000 despite it being his home state. 

Indiana
Favored Party: Republicans
Electoral Votes: 11
Average Margin: 10.2%
Current Prediction: Trump by 5.9%
Flips:  The Democrats have only taken Indiana 14 in the state's history, and only 5 times since 1900: 1912, 1932, 1936, 1964, and 2008. The Republicans have won Indiana in every other election since 1860. 

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Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Suicide Squad Review

Just posted my Suicide Squad review on the kingyak site. You should read it and save yourself $8.