Posts Tagged ‘elections’

One Vote

November 8, 2016

Josiah Bartlet Martin Sheen explains it to you. Vote — it’s today. No, you can’t just text it, it’s not reality TV, despite what Republicans think.

Not registered? You can register at the polls and then vote in: Colorado, Connecticut, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Minnesota, Montana, New Hampshire, Wisconsin, Wyoming, and Washington DC. Live in Rhode Island? You can register and vote for president only. In North Dakota you don’t need to register, you just go vote.

So vote.

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FBI: ‘Oops!’

November 7, 2016

FBI: 'Oops!'

After throwing a political hand grenade into the last 10 days of the 2016 presidential election campaign, FBI Director James Comey says it was just a dud. This “oops!” came two days before the election.

On Friday, October 28th, Mr. Comey sent a letter to congressional committee chairmen — i.e., Republican politicians — vaguely associating Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton with emails found on a laptop belonging to well-known creep and  disgraced former congressman Anthony Weiner. Mr. Weiner’s estranged wife is a long-time Clinton aide. On Sunday afternoon November 6th, FBI Director Comey revealed that the emails were inconsequential, like the ones the agency had already cleared.

Donald Trump spent the last week before the election capitalizing on innuendo the Comey letter allowed. Ever hear law enforcement officials say they can’t comment on an ongoing investigation? This is the kind of screw-up that policy is meant to avoid, tainting the reputations of people who are ultimately not charged.

Of course, 40 million Americans have already voted. We’ll never know many voted in the week after James Comey’s ill-advised letter. The damage is done.

More:

“FBI clears Clinton after round-the-clock review of new emails, Comey says,” David Lauter and Del Quentin Wilber, Los Angeles Times

“FBI Director Again Clears Clinton After Review of New Email Trove,” Chas Danner, New York Magazine

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Suspending Democracy

October 24, 2016

Suspending Democracy

October 19, 2016, University of Nevada, Las Vegas

Chris Wallace: “I want to ask you here on the stage tonight: Do you make the same commitment that you will absolutely—sir, that you will absolutely accept the result of this election?”

Donald Trump:  “I will look at it at the time. I’m not looking at anything now. I’ll look at it at the time ….”

Chris Wallace: “But, sir, there is a tradition in this country—in fact, one of the prides of this country is the peaceful transition of power and that no matter how hard-fought a campaign is, that at the end of the campaign, that the loser concedes to the winner—not saying that you’re necessarily going to be the loser or the winner, but that the loser concedes to the winner and that the country comes together, in part for the good of the country. Are you saying you’re not prepared now to commit to that principle?”

Donald Trump: “What I’m saying is that I will tell you at the time. I’ll keep you in suspense. OK?”

Um, no.

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Hong Kong Elections: Umbrella Protest Parties Win

September 12, 2016

Hong Kong Elections: Umbrella Protest Party Wins Big
In late 2014, despite the 1997 promise of local autonomy (“One Country, Two Systems”), China’s ruling party proposed new restrictive measures for Hong Kong elections. Hong Kong responded with 80 days of street demonstrations. Young protesters carried umbrellas to shield themselves from police pepper spray, and the movement became known as the Umbrella Revolution.

While authorities suppressed the pro-democracy street protests, the movement for local self-government continued. Last week, a record voter turnout elected six leaders of the Umbrella Movement to the Legislative Council of Hong Kong and Macau. The next Hong Kong Chief Executive election is scheduled for March 26, 2017.

More:

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Trump’s Triumphant Tuesday

March 2, 2016

Trump's Triumphant Tuesday

On Super Tuesday Donald J. Trump, reality TV star, failed mortage banker, and threat to American democracy, won more states than any other Republican primary candidate, ever. God save the Republic.

More:

“Trump is the GOP’s Frankenstein monster. Now he’s strong enough to destroy the party,” Robert Kagan, Washington Post

“Donald Trump Is Transforming the G.O.P. Into a Populist, Nativist Party,” John Cassidy, The New Yorker

“For the Republican party, it’s Trumpocalypse Now,” Christopher R. Barron, The Guardian

(more…)

New Hampshire Fashion Statement

February 9, 2016

New Hampshire Fashion Statement

“Donald Trump Is a Loser in Iowa. Sad!” Jeremy Stahl, Slate

“Why Trump Lost Iowa,” John McCormack, Weekly Standard

“The Internet celebrates Trump’s humiliating Iowa loss,” Brad Reed, BGR

“NY tabloids mock Trump over Iowa loss,” Jesse Byrnes, The Hill

“In Iowa, the Emperor Has No Clothes,” Emily Arrowood, U.S. News & World Report

“All Donald Trump does is win – until he doesn’t. Now what happens?” Paul Lewis, The Guardian

“Loser.com redirects to Iowa nonwinner Donald Trump,” Chris Matyszczyk, CNET.com

“Rivals Look to New Hampshire for a Shot at Breaking Donald Trump’s Stride,” Alexander Burns, New York Times

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Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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Iowa Matters. For a Day. Every 4 Years.

February 1, 2016

Iowa Matters. For a Day. Every 4 Years.

Tonight in Iowa, citizens will gather in hundreds of little groups to determine which Presidential candidate they would prefer as a drinking buddy (note: Trump doesn’t drink). The Iowa Caucus process has not changed much over the years except for the inclusion of computers, womenfolk, and voters with dark complexions (if the latter can be found in Iowa).

The caucus process is simple: At 7 PM Central Time, adult Iowa citizens show up at the church basement, roller rink, farmhouse, or pork-packing plant designated as the local caucus site by state Republican and Democratic parties. Republican attendees display their GOP tattoos at the door; those without them must get marked-up before Monday night. Candidate adherents rant, threaten, and cajole. For Republicans, secret balloting follows, then local caucus hosts have their grandchildren use laptop computers to enter the voting results, which are transmitted through the cloud to Iowa GOP Central Command, located in an empty grain elevator at an undisclosed location in Sioux County.

Iowa Democrats use a different system. At every local caucus they huddle in groups backing each candidate. Any group with less than 15 members is deemed “non-viable” and dissolved, and its members scatter to back other candidates. When the music stops the biggest group wins, but only the jammers can score. Caucus hosts enter results into a Microsoft program; after it freezes up, they re-boot their laptops and re-enter the data, which is collated in the cloud and certified at Iowa Democratic Party HQ, i.e. a Starbucks in the East Village neighborhood of Des Moines (free WiFi!).

After precinct caucuses finally end, winners of each party caucus are confirmed and announced, runners-up are crowned Miss Popularity, and losers and their surrogates begin the arduous spin cycle. In November the names of the caucus winners are put on the Iowa ballot  and voters elect someone else as President.

God Bless America.

More:

“How The Iowa Democratic Caucus Works, Featuring Legos,” Taylor Dobbs and Angela Evancie, Vermont Public Radio

“Why do the Iowa caucuses matter? Because everyone thinks they do.”Andrew Prokop, Vox

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Court: Virginia’s Racially Gerrymandered Congressional Map is Unconstitutional

June 7, 2015

Court: Virginia's Racially Gerrymandered Map is Unconstitutional
On Friday a federal court panel reaffirmed an earlier decision throwing out Virginia’s map of congressional districts due to racial gerrymandering in violation of the Equal Protection Clause.

“Virginia is widely believed to be one of the most gerrymandered states in the country. In 2012, Republican House candidates won just 51 percent of the votes cast in the state — but they ended up winning eight of the state’s 11 congressional districts.”

— “Virginia’s congressional map has been thrown out by judges for racial bias,” Andrew Prokop, Vox

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A Tea Party with Raised Pinkies

November 6, 2014

A Tea Party with Raised Pinkies
Conventional pundit wisdom has it that the Republican midterm election sweep means the GOP Civil War between Tea Party extremists and the moderate business-oriented faction is over, and the moderates won. Charles Pierce disagrees:

Joni Ernst is not a moderate. David Perdue is not a moderate. Thom Tillis is not a moderate. Cory Gardner — who spiced up his victory by calling himself ‘the tip of the spear’ — is not a moderate. Tom Cotton is not a moderate. And these were the people who flipped the Senate to the Republicans. In the reliably Republican states, Ben Sasse in Nebraska is not a moderate. James Lankford in Oklahoma is not a moderate. He’s a red-haired fanatic who believes that welfare causes school shootings. Several of these people — most notably, Sasse and Ernst — won Republican primaries specifically as Tea Partiers, defeating establishment candidates. The Republicans did not defeat the Tea Party. The Tea Party’s ideas animated what happened on Tuesday night. What the Republicans managed to do was to teach the Tea Party to wear shoes, mind its language, and use the proper knife while amputating the social safety net. They did nothing except send the Tea Party to finishing school.”

— Charles P. Pierce, Esquire Politics Blog [links added]

Related:

“The Reasonable Extremists Among Us,” Jamelle Bouie, Slate

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Zygote Liberation Front Loses in North Dakota

November 5, 2014

Zygote Liberation Front Loses in North Dakota

On Tuesday North Dakota voters did not approve Measure One, which would have amended the State Constitution by adding one sentence: “The inalienable right to life of every human being at any stage of development must be recognized and protected.”

The North Dakota pro-life group behind this fetal personhood proposal didn’t like it called a “personhood” proposal, but that’s what it was. It would have outlawed not only abortions, but also other procedures such as in vitro fertilization. As one medical group observed, Measure One would have granted constitutional legal rights to fertilized eggs.

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