Archive for Political Science Fiction

Floor fight!

Will there be a battle among Congressional Democrats next year, the New Breed versus the Old Guard? Linda Fox certainly thinks so:

I just have this gut feeling that Occasionally-Cortex is gonna get impatient, and go mano-a-mano with The Queen, in public.

I swear, I’d buy tickets for that fight. Can’t you just see it, the Wild-Eyed Hottie and Skeletor getting in each other’s face?

Nancy: “Hey, Kid, why are you taking off those big hoop earrings? Oh, shi–!”

Not only is Nancy gonna get dusted, so are a LOT of Old Not-So Activists — Ayers, Dohrn, Clinton, et al. They’re gonna get chewed up by the impatient New Guard.

I dunno. Pelosi still has age and treachery on her side, and one gaffe notwithstanding — “We have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it” ranks with the stupidest statements by a politician since the French and Indian War — she’s compiled a pretty impressive record of keeping her charges in line, a useful skill in dealing with Democrats generally. (Congressional Republicans didn’t start regrowing a spine until 2017, and there’s some reason to doubt the growth will continue.) I have a certain weakness for wild-eyed hotties, but I don’t see Ocasio-Cortez as a leader of dissidents.

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Mood indigo

When I moved over here fifteen years ago, you’d have been able to characterize this area as center-right and leaning Republican. Redistricting came after 2010, and suddenly it was a virtually-even split. Precinct-level numbers for 2018 indicate Vastly Increased Blueness, as follows:

Governor: Edmondson (D) 836; Stitt (R) 375; Powell (L) 40.

Lt Governor: Pittman (D) 699; Pinnell (R) 467; Holmes (L) 79.

Attorney General: Myles (D) 737; Hunter (R) 504.

Congress District 5: Horn (D) 815, Russell (R) 430.

State Senate District 40: Hicks (D) 819; Howell (R) 379; Hensley (I) 43.

County Commissioner District 1: Blumert (D) 804; Reeves (R) 421.

The first three, all statewide races, were won by the GOP, but Democrats took the remainder. (There was no race for State House District 87; incumbent Collin Walke (D) drew no opposition.)

And that Congressional race was legitimately a squeaker: winner Kendra Horn pulled in 50.7 percent, a difference of about 3300 out of 238,000. She’s the first Democrat to represent District 5 since John Jarman switched to the GOP after the 1974 election.

Disclosure: I had a yard sign for Carri Hicks.

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A Nice win

Her birth certificate says “Alberta Nicole Swanegan Owens,” but no matter. She’s been Nikki Nice for years, a name she built for herself working for Russell Perry’s urban-formatted radio stations, and a name she’ll undoubtedly continue to use as Ward 7’s representative on City Council.

And apparently she’s going to have to look for another radio job, since Perry let her go the day after the election: “We’ve taken a different direction,” he said, saying it had nothing to do with her winning the Council seat.

Nice will be sworn in on the 19th, and she’ll draw her Council salary starting from then. It’s not enough to live on, though: Council members are paid $12,000 a year. (The Mayor gets twice that.)

Addendum: I was pointed to this video from her watch party Tuesday night:

It wasn’t even close: she got over 70 percent of the vote.

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And not a single taco was tucked

Or trucked, if that be your preference. Either way, Severian has an historical nugget for you:

You can’t study the history of anything for too long before you conclude that the real driver of man’s fate isn’t God, or the forces of production, or class conflict, or the clash of ideologies — it’s vapid, hubristic Dunning-Kruger cases getting bored.

Take the Mexican War. It was obvious to everyone, certainly including the Mexicans, that the United States was going to attack Mexico. James K. Polk practically ran on it in 1844, and by 1846 everything was ready. The fact that this was naked aggression, and that the supposed casus belli — the strip of Texas between the Brazos and the Rio Grande — is obvious bullshit to anyone who’s ever been there, didn’t even register. Everyone wanted to throw some weight around, and Mexico — just then getting over one of its periodic revolutions — was convenient.

Then came a deflection of mass:

Until David Wilmot added his famous Proviso. He tacked it onto an appropriations bill, the sneaky bastard, so that in order to get their splendid little war, everyone had to put their cards on the table. The Mexican War was a war for slavery; the vote on the Proviso made it obvious to even the dimmest-witted. After all, the vote was taken just three months into the war — American troops were barely arriving in the theater, much less actually winning on the battlefield. The fact that nobody cared — that Congress got out of the Proviso with procedural shenanigans — showed just how badly inertia had already set in. Events were going to take their course.

Wilmot’s Last Stand, as it were, came in 1848, when an attempt was made to attach the language of the Proviso to the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo. It didn’t happen. And what’s the relevance today, anyway?

Over the next two years, everyone will have to put their cards on the table for everyone to see. It should be momentous … but it’ll pass unremarked. Congress will do what it does with procedural shenanigans; Trump will do what he does by executive order, and nothing will get done. We voted for things to continue as they are … and they will, God help us. The political theater will be train-wreckily entertaining, but nothing of consequence will happen in the legislature.

We should be paying the estates of Messrs. Dunning and Kruger royalties, I think.

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Working the clichés

Newly elected Oklahoma County District 1 Commissioner Carrie Blumert had to put up with several iterations of this same script:

Which is not to say that only men caused her to raise an eyebrow:

And she had to knock on a lot of doors. Under the commissioner system, each county gets exactly three commissioners; each of them, in this county, has to cover an area home to a quarter-million people. (No State House or Senate member has as large a constituency.) Yes, we voted for her.

Carrie Blumert making the rounds

And yeah, we’d do it again.

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The 2020 campaign has begun

And already there are trends to be spotted:

Ed Rendell wants the Democrats’ new House majority to get things done in the next two years: Don’t just investigate, legislate! Dream on, Ed — virtue signaling is the most important thing for the Left now. It affords the opportunity to say things that will sound good to their fellow Leftists without having to find out whether the things they say will actually work. By the time the presidential nominating process for 2020 is underway, the federal government may look even more Republican than it did last weekend.

Me, I’m looking forward to twenty-four months of blessed gridlock.

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Quote of the week

American elections send a variety of messages, and this one may be the most important:

[M]ost important of all as I consider it is the message our voting sends to the office holders and candidates whose names are on the ballots. The people who have sapped our phone minutes with robocalls. The people who have stuffed our mailboxes with campaign literature that used to be beautiful trees. The people whose television, radio and online ads filled every available nook and crevice like a foul sludge. The people who told us that they embodied all of the best of the wisdom of the great founders of our nation almost as though they were those very founders raised again to walk the earth. The people who told us that although they were not here to go negative, they did feel it was important to ask why their opponents could produce no evidence that they never played foosball with the bleached skulls of shelter puppies.

And the message we send to half of them is this: Leave us alone, and go get a job. To the other half we say: Leave us alone, and get back to work. After some six months or more of listening to them, we are finally able to make them listen to us, and it is a wonderful feeling indeed.

My condolences to anyone who’s been thrust into Recount City.

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Just like us

Henry Louis Mencken, from back in the day:

The state — or, to make the matter more concrete, the government — consists of a gang of men exactly like you and me. They have, taking one with another, no special talent for the business of government; they have only a talent for getting and holding office. Their principal device to that end is to search out groups who pant and pine for something they can’t get and to promise to give it to them. Nine times out of ten that promise is worth nothing. The tenth time is made good by looting A to satisfy B. In other words, government is a broker in pillage, and every election is sort of an advance auction sale of stolen goods.

(As quoted in Charting the Candidates ’72 (1972) by Ronald Van Doren, p. 7, and by Roberta X this week.)

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Referendoscope

Over the years, I’ve voted against the majority of the State Questions that made it to the ballot; this is the first year in a while where I’ve thumbed down them all. (As of this writing, four of five are going down.) Then again, I’m not the purist Brian J. is:

I can understand the pithy and simple power-to-the-people reasoning behind the ballot initiative principle. You want a way to get around legislators who are in the pocket of Big Business or Big Whackadoodle, so you get a number of people to sign onto your petition, and it gets put on the ballot, and if the majority of Missourians vote for it, it becomes law.

Except that’s not how it really works. Instead, you get a powerful interest group that can’t get their laws passed in the legislature to pay a lot of people to go a lot of places to try to squeeze out enough signatures on a petition after all the fakes are knocked off it to get the petition on the ballot. Then, if you have a friendly Secretary of State, it doesn’t get rewritten and gets put onto a ballot with a low turnout that your passionate partisans will turn out for to ensure it gets passed and then it gets written into the state constitution and is therefore almost untouchable, or you get an unfriendly Secretary of State that obfuscates it and puts it onto a ballot where your partisans will be overwhelmed by the other side.

The point is that the ballot initiative process is as open to as much gimcrackery as the normal legislative process, but it carries with it a fake veneer of democracy, but really it’s more of “One Man, One Vote, Once.”

Thanks, but I’d rather leave it to the actual legislators who can monkey with the laws and then unmonkey with the laws.

Down here in Soonerland, Big Whackadoodle is practically a force of nature.

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As I picked them

Without going into too much detail over what is, after all, a secret ballot, I will reveal the following facts:

  • I voted down all five state questions.
  • In general, if there was a woman running for a seat, I voted for her over whichever guys made it to the ballot, mostly because I’ve seen most of these guys before.
  • I could work up no enthusiasm for either of the two major-party men running for Governor, opting instead for the Libertarian.

This is the Libertarian in question:

And I should mention here that while I have no particular quarrel with incumbent Congressman Steve Russell, I vowed on the day of the primary that I would vote for Democratic challenger Kendra Horn, who did a great service to the state by sparing us the indignity of yet another uninspiring, and inevitably losing, campaign by Tom Guild, the state’s closest equivalent to Harold Stassen.

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No Frexit

New Caledonia, a French territory since 1853, will remain a French territory:

Voters in the French Pacific territory of New Caledonia have rejected a bid for independence.

Final results showed that 56.4% chose to remain part of France while 43.6% voted to leave — a tighter result than some polls had predicted.

Turnout was about 81%. The vote was promised by a 1988 deal that put an end to a violent campaign for independence.

President Emmanuel Macron said it showed “confidence in the French republic.”

About that “violent campaign”:

The centre-right government elected in France in March 1986 began eroding the arrangements established under the Socialists, redistributing lands mostly without consideration of native land claims, resulting in over two thirds going to Europeans and less than a third to the Kanaks. By the end of 1987 roadblocks, gun battles, and the destruction of property culminated in the Ouvéa cave hostage taking, a dramatic hostage crisis on the eve of the presidential elections in France. Pro-independence militants on Ouvéa killed four gendarmes and took 27 hostage. The military response resulted in nineteen Kanak deaths and another three deaths in custody.

The Matignon Agreements, signed on 26 June 1988, ensured a decade of stability.

Subsequent agreements led to the scheduling of an independence vote.

A Yes vote would have made New Caledonia the first French territory to break away since Djibouti (1977) and Vanuatu (1980).

About 270,000 people live in New Caledonia.

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Skin in the game

It should surprise no one to hear that mostly-unclad women have greater-than-average command of my attention, but it’s still a little dispiriting to see it as a political ploy:

Fausta observes:

They don’t look too happy, but then, they’re not wearing clothes and it’s cold in Vermont.

This photo is a reasonable argument for ballots the size of a CVS receipt. And while “naked” is almost a given here, “unafraid” introduces some nuance:

Unafraid of what? Of looking silly for objectifying themselves and sexualizing politics once more?

Or are they afraid that someone will catch the subliminal message, “Vote Democrat and lose your shirt”?

I wonder what the reaction would be to a similar effort put forth by the GOP.

On second thought, I don’t have to wonder at all.

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Speed is of the essence

Last weekend, I felt sufficiently drained to figure that maybe I’m not up to standing in line for a long, long time, which, not at all incidentally, has been more or less true for the last couple of years. Accordingly, I duly hit up the Oklahoma State Election Board Web site and requested an absentee ballot. They processed the request on Monday; the ballot was delivered on Wednesday.

Thursday around noon, I dropped the completed ballot in the mail.

Friday evening, I got a text message:

Hey Charles, it’s Erica with the OK Democrats. According to state records, you have not returned your mail ballot yet. Since it must be notarized and received by Election Day, can you put it in the mail tonight?

Only two weird aspects of this:

  • The call was apparently placed from a Tulsa (area code 539) number. State Democratic HQ is just down the road from me, at 36th and Classen in OKC.
  • Per the Election Board: “Physically incapacitated voters and voters who care for physically incapacitated persons who cannot be left alone are not required to have their signatures on the absentee affidavits notarized. They are required to have their signatures witnessed by two people.”

As of 5 pm Friday, the state reported the receipt of 17,179 mail ballots from Oklahoma County: 8278 from registered Republicans, 7718 from registered Democrats, 56 from registered Libertarians, and 1667 from registered Independents. It’s not hard to see why the Democrats might push the panic button.

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Quote of the week

Or maybe quiet of the week:

First, a Trump-loving Florida Man sends pipebombs (functional or not) to variety of Democratic politicians and media figures. Yesterday, a Trump-hating anti-Semite murdered 11 people in a synagogue during a bris.

While I’m sure that there will be all sorts of recommendations for how to prevent future tragedies, I’m going to repeat an observation and a prescription I’ve made here more than once. The observation is that in a country of 330 million people there are always going to be a certain number of crazy people and it doesn’t take much to set them off.

The prescription is lower the temperature and it’s addressed to people writing on social media, people writing for major news outlets, politicians, and, particularly, President Trump. Lower the temperature. Express disagreement without rancor, your concerns without heat. Whipping up the crowd may be an effective way of motivating your supporters but it also has consequences you may not foresee.

As Robert Stacy McCain reminds us: Crazy people are dangerous.

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Scary production values

Meanwhile in California’s 16th Congressional district, in the Fresno area:

And you know, I’ve never seen Nancy Pelosi in flats.

(Via @ProofBlog.)

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Quote of the week

Severian finds a ray of hope, or something, in the November election:

Now, I don’t think for a second we can vote our way out of this — sorry to rain on your parade — but the results should be a pretty good bellwether of how screwed we really are right now. Only the truest of true believers still trust the “Blue Wave” polls … and even they’re backing down (the polls, I mean, not the true believers. They’ll never stop). If the official report is “Dems up 5,” then the reality must be closer to “Republicans up 10.”

If the Dems win, or if it’s even a toss-up, we might avoid serious violence for another election cycle, as their tried-and-true tricks worked this one last time. But if they lose … since there’s no way to claim “Russian hacking!” about every single race nationwide, violence will be all they have left. And if the Normals are awake enough to consciously know the entire Media apparatus is lying to them — and what other conclusion could we draw from a “Red Tsunami“? — then when the Left starts shooting, as they must, chances are good the Right will start shooting back.

Or maybe not. Remember, very few Sovietologists saw the end of the USSR coming. When these things happen, they happen with blinding speed. But if I were a betting man, I’d put money on Red … then start fortifying my compound.

I suspect he’s not the only one.

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Stealth Republicans

Brian J. observes the precincts that surround him:

I don’t know what it means, but we’re, what, four weeks out from the election, and we’ve got a contested Senate race (I can tell it’s contested, because I cannot listen to the radio because the incumbent and her allies are spending an awful lot of money to oversimplify things and impress upon me that the other candidate wants to cut health care costs by smothering senior citizens with pillows and reselling their medications) along with local and state races, and I have not seen many Republican yard signs.

Now the Nogglestead is located in about as non-coastal a place as one can imagine on this continent. Is this not a GOP stronghold? Well, yes and no:

How to read those entrails? It’s probably not apathy. The people who casually follow politics and might have picked up a sign from the election office or gotten one from a friend who was passing them out watch the news. They’ve seen that elephant regalia can invite vandalism or worse. How engaged are they? I would bet very. Because there are no signs.

This explanation seems plausible enough. In the fall of 2016, Trump/Pence signs here in the middle of Soonerland were conspicuous by their sheer rarity, yet the GOP standard-bearers got something like 65 percent of the popular vote (and thus all seven electoral votes).

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Your 2018 State Questions

Nine questions went through the mill; five of them will appear on the General Election ballot next month.

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Where the cool kids come from

To hear some people talk, it’s gotta be Europe:

I sometimes wonder whether Americans will ever recognize that every report from an international institution be it the UN, the World Bank, or any other reflects the prevailing wisdom among the European intelligentsia and that is only tangentially related to reality.

Our own elites with their well-earned feelings of inferiority respect those views far beyond their actual worth because they think the European intelligentsia are the cool kids.

And “cool,” for these people, outweighs considerations like, well, “correct.”

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She knew he was trouble

And the joke might be on her after all:

“Ouch,” says the Professor.

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Olympia closes Death Row

It’s been eight years since Washington state executed anyone, and they swear never to do it again:

Washington has become the 20th US state to ban the death penalty, after its Supreme Court ruled the punishment was applied in an “arbitrary and racially biased manner.”

The eight people currently on death row in the northwestern state immediately had their sentences commuted to life.

The court’s 9-0 decision was fine with the governor:

Justices of the Washington court are chosen by popular vote.

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Contrast and compare

When Nikki Haley turned in her resignation as Ambassador to the United Nations, the wire services made a point of sending pertinent photos, most of which looked something like this:

Fprmer Ambassador Nikki Haley and President Donald Trump

Haley almost always looks like that: a wide grin suggesting a sunny disposition, and killer gams. The Donald has scowled before, but seldom like this: to borrow a Robin Williams phrase, he looks like someone is holding a small turd under his nose.

As to the “real” reason Haley is departing, I suspect Linda Fox has it right:

She’s wrapping up her Washington life, in preparation for establishing her SC residence again, and firming up her political relationships in the state. Why?

Because, after the election, an SC Senator is going to vacate his seat, allowing the governor to replace [Lindsey] Graham with Haley.

I’m guessing that Trump has plans for Graham, in his administration. And, for the first time in a long time, he will have someone in that slot that will have his back.

She’s not specifying which slot, though one can well imagine.

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The nutty professors

You’d recognize them on sight. They’re not the ones who keep busy trying to explain the real world to students; they’re the ones who get “news” coverage for their almost-invariably-worthless cultural complaints. And no thanks to that “news” coverage, they’re ridiculously easy to spot:

I’m sure you’ve noticed the inverse relationship between material prosperity and intellectual rigor. Well, that goes for OpSec too. Back when they faced real resistance, Communist cadres burrowed in. I read somewhere that Ho Chi Minh used so many pseudonyms in his revolutionary career that his troops were already kicking our asses before the whiz kids at Langley even figured out his real name. Nowadays, of course, they’re right out in the open.

And there’s that whole conspicuous-consumption thing:

They also live very nice lives. They drive fancy cars. Their kids go to private schools. Which kinda contradicts the Revolutionary message they preach at undergrads, dontcha think? And their intellectual lives are as schizo as their material ones — just as the most expensive car in the faculty lot always belongs to the wildest-eyed Communist, so the most virulently genocidal statements against White folks are made by professors who could be mistaken for a mayonnaise sandwich in a snowstorm.

One of the true tragedies of our time is that you cannot say, for instance, “Daniel Cohn-Bendit” out loud and expect gales of boisterous laughter in return.

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So gosh-darn jelly

No basis for good governance, but it certainly draws votes:

What we’re dealing with in this country, right now, is the politics of envy. Those espousing it are frequently like children in terms of their approach to the real world. They aren’t interested in how things are; in fact, they regard that as part of the problem. They see things in terms of how they want them to be, and demand to be given the reins of power so that they can bring that about. Whether or not it will be good to bring it about, or practical, or worthwhile, is irrelevant from their perspective. Furthermore, many of them have yet to demonstrate anything even approaching effectiveness, or efficiency, or competence, in the political arena; and as for integrity? Just look at the number of our politicians who either have criminal records, or are (or have been) under investigation for ethical and/or moral and/or legal peccadilloes, or have risen to prominence in (and because of) political machines that are legendary for their corruption. Look, too, at the number of politicians who have grown rich in office (or whose spouses or families have grown rich). In this case, I would argue that correlation most emphatically does imply causation.

Glenn Reynolds has been known to describe our current political class as The Worst Ever. This is a major reason why.

Ted Kennedy said of brother Bobby: “Some men see things as they are and say why? I dream things that never were and say why not?” Bobby, unlike Ted, knew the source of that notion: the Serpent, in George Bernard Shaw’s Back to Methuselah, who makes it pretty clear that there’s usually a damn good reason why not.

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Is anyone Balkan at this?

Macedonians will vote on a new name:

Macedonians will vote in a referendum on Sunday, which may result in the former Yugoslav republic changing its name to North Macedonia.

The new name would end a decades-long dispute with neighbouring Greece and clear a path towards joining the EU and Nato.

But passions are high on both sides of the border and Macedonia’s president is calling for a boycott of the vote.

How in the … ?

Macedonia declared independence in 1991 as new states emerged from what used to be Yugoslavia. But Greece argued that its northern neighbour’s name implied a territorial claim on its own region of Macedonia.

This is a dispute that harks back to ancient history, because both areas were part of a Roman province called Macedonia, dating back to 168 BC.

Greece’s objections forced the UN and some other international organisations to refer to the new country as “the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia”. Athens also vetoed Macedonia’s attempt to join Nato in 2008 — and squashed its EU membership ambitions.

Meanwhile, Northern Cyprus still seems to belong to the Turks.

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Preserving a right

A friend in the Virginia Libertarian Party offers this advice:

Felons should NEVER lose their right to vote.

No matter what crime someone has been convicted of, they are still an American citizen. As an American citizen, it is both their right and their duty to participate in the democratic process.

But even if you don’t agree with that basic moral argument, consider this:

When you allow governments to take away people’s rights to vote, that creates a very strong incentive for elected officials to find ways to take away the voting rights of anyone who doesn’t support them.

For example, when felon disenfranchisement was added to Virginia’s constitution, lawmakers at the time flat-out said that they were doing it to take away all political power from the “darkies.” They then created a bunch of new felonies, which police and prosecutors then disproportionately enforced against black people while looking the other way when white people committed the same “crimes.”

And they continue to do this in modern times. In Virginia, an ounce of weed is a misdemeanor if it’s for “personal use” whereas it’s a felony if you have “intent to distribute.” Unless the person is also found to be in possession of little baggies and a scale, determining whether it’s for “personal use” or “intent to distribute” is entirely an arbitrary judgment call of the police, prosecutors, and juries. Statistically, black people are disproportionately charged with and convicted of the felony whereas white people are disproportionately charged with and convicted of the misdemeanor, even when all other aspects of their “crimes” are identical.

Result: ~1 in 5 black people in Virginia have lost their right to vote. Given that ~85% of black people vote for Democratic candidates, that means that — given typical turnout rates — there are ~200,000 missing Democratic votes in Presidential years. In what most still consider a swing state.

So Virginia’s felon disenfranchisement laws could ultimately make the difference in who becomes President. It’s not a little thing.

Voters should choose their elected officials, not vice versa. Felon disenfranchisement is just another tool — like gerrymandering — that politicians use to permanently rig elections in their favor.

While I don’t worry a great deal about Democrats per se, I have to concede her point: manipulating the electorate is a demonstrably high priority among people in power, and making it difficult for them to do that should be a goal in every state.

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The Yungar Hitler

We are not making this up, and neither is Reuters:

In Peru, Hitler hopes to return to power in a small town in the Andes, despite a threat from a detractor named Lennin.

Campaign slogans reading “Hitler returns” and “Hitler with the people” have appeared around the highland town of Yungar, where local politician Hitler Alba is seeking a new term as mayor.

“I’m the good Hitler,” Alba said on local broadcaster RPP.

Lennin begs to disagree:

Alba’s campaign this year came under attack by Lennin Vladimir Rodriguez Valverde, a resident of a neighboring district who tried to block Alba’s inscription as a candidate.

Electoral authorities rejected the request last week, allowing Hitler to appear on voting cards for the Oct. 7 elections.

Peruvian parents are apparently fond of otherwise WTF names:

Last year an Osama Vinladen was named to Peru’s national juvenile football team.

But of course.

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We’re talking truth here

Beyond dispute, as it were:

Of several Texas media I looked at, only the San Antonio Express-News mentioned the 139-year period during which the Democrats held this office.

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Primary purpose

Roger remembers:

September 11, 2001 was a Tuesday so it was primary day. Unsurprising, the voting, which had already begun at 6 a.m. in New York City and a few other counties, was postponed to September 25, notably with seven new polling places.

I understand it, I really do. September 11 is for not forgetting. But what better way to remember than to stick up a proverbial middle finger at terrorism by casting the ballot that the planes hitting the World Trade Center interrupted?

I like the cut of this man’s jib.

And besides:

Truth be told, I think a September primary is too late. In races with an unchallenged incumbent, a late primary is a disadvantage to anyone running in a primary, who will have only eight weeks to consolidate the fractured segments of the party and run against a usually entrenched and better financed opponent.

The federal primary in New York State is at the end of June, so those running for Congress, House and Senate, compete then. I think ALL the primaries should be held at that time. It would also create a savings for the local Boards of Election, who wouldn’t need to find people to staff the voting booths in both June AND September.

We have so damned many election dates in this state. We might be wise to consider consolidating some, or preferably all, of them.

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You’re not helping

Britain’s exit from the European Union remains controversial, which should surprise no one. One of the reasons for that is simply that the country was seriously divided on the matter; it’s not like there was anything resembling consensus, and there were reasonable arguments on both sides.

This wasn’t one of them:

Inevitably Brexit entered the conversation.

Said neighbour declared herself as having voted for Brexit, followed swiftly by her annoyance that many stereotyped those who voted to leave as racists.

Honest, guv I try hard not to judge (It’s a very complex issue distilled down into a stupidly black and white voting choice) but within a minute or so I received one of those “that doesn’t help” moments when she suddenly said that, in a way, she quite admired Hitler as at least he got things done.

It’s just that some of the things he got done were things that ought not to have been done at all.

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