Archive for December, 2016

those faithless electors

Tuesday, December 20th, 2016

It has to be a record.  7 faithless electoral votes.  So, here we are.  The official results of the 2016 presidential election.

Trump 304
Clinton 227
Colin Powell 3
Faith Spotted Eagle 1
John Kasich 1
Bernie Sanders 1
Ron Paul 1.

1872’s election does not count, as the Democratic candidate — Horace Greeley — died shortly after the election, so this is a record.  If it proves a portents of a future where “Hamiltonian electors” ignore the state results — that is the stuff of speculative fiction on the end (or evolution) of our Republican Democracy.

I did note the story of a faithless elector from Washington during the midst of the campaign who said they would not vote for Hillary under any circumstances — were dead set on Bernie.  I have no way of knowing if the election came down to a one vote Clinton lead, with the new tie thrown to the Republican state delegated dominated House, if this would be the case.  But given the big ground-swell in Washington for…

Colin Powell / Maria Cantwell
Colin Powell / Susan Collins
Colin Powell / Elizabeth Warren
Faith Spotted Eagle / Winona LaDuke

Presumably the Bernie supporter went for Faith Spotted Eagle — as it’s hard to imagine they’d go to the “hard headed realist” route — such as it is– and… well.

The votes were part of the Hamilton Electors movement. In this movement, some Democrats pledged to go faithless and give their electoral vote to a compromise candidate. They had hoped this would convince Republican electors to do the same, and possibly prevent President-Elect Donald Trump from winning the Electoral College. They thought if they could keep Trump from getting the 270 votes that he needed to win the Electoral College, then the vote would be given to the House of Representatives and the House might choose the alternative Republican instead.

We came this close… this close… this close… to a Colin Powell presidency.

And by this close, imagine the distance of the Grand Canyon.  Was it worth a shot?  I don’t know.  What would have happened if there was a ground-swell of support for Ron Paul?  And what does one Texas elector have against Mark Pence that they have for Carly Fiorina?

the story of an idea

Monday, December 19th, 2016

A political cartoon, I don’t know if it’ll be published or hung somewhere.  Two Face of the Batman comics.  On the first end he’s saying something about Birther-ism, on the second end he’s raving about the CIA hacking and this election.

A false equivalence.  I suppose the end comes up the same — if you want the equivalence to land the other direction at least there was an election taking place with the second to settle the flood of minutiae and provide a story arc to slot false stories in place into the airwaves –  Oh, what was Hillary Clinton doing not campaigning in Wisconsin?

And frankly, it came down to James Comey’s last minute Wiener re-opening of the “case” anyways.  Not the Russians.

“Like complaining about a 15 year old photo-shopping”.  “And the CIA says what?”

So now Comes the age of hysterics in op ed writing.  But who can argue?  Certanly not…

nationalreviewliberalfreakout  Who, last I checked in the editorial purview of the magazine, really needs to have the cover for the “Conservative Freakout”, don’t they?




mixed messages

Sunday, December 18th, 2016

“They can’t put me on register.  I look like this.” — Guy (speaking to his co-worker) waves at his shirt and clothes.  He’s wearing something pro wrestler t-shirt or something.  Surely a bad message to us customers.
And so he continues working the stockroom.

I go to the register.  The woman working the register has on something saying, oh so cheekily.  “I Just Don’t Care”.

All righty then.

minus two

Tuesday, December 13th, 2016

A few weeks ago, an editorial appeared — your syndicated columnist — the liberal side of the op-ed page — who bemoaned Jill Stein’s recount efforts in those rust belt states as futile, and undermining the system — if the numbers change, Trump supporters would cry foul and deservedly so.

Which begs a problem we have in popular representative democracy.  Now, I have every expectation that indeed — this is the vote tally of Wisconsin and Pennsylvania, and a good case can be made that Jill Stein — with Hillary Clinton shifting about in the back – and this recount are misguided, but…

If results show something different, it undermines an undermined system?

So Sigh and Take Two.  And we see Paul Krugman postulating that a Hillary Clinton win that would’ve come sans the last minute Anthony Wiener re-opening wouldn’t have been viewed as a minor victory.  Maybes.  But that’s in part because he would have helped write the narrative that would whitewash the electoral forces that would be present in a Hillary Clinton win, just submerged.

If, if, if…

Congress is looking into things.  Bi-Partisan support.  With Paul Ryan carefully saying “The election is settled.”

And indeed it is.  And the reason that despite that, Donald Trump is pooh-poohing the idea of Russia hacking and unleashing Hillary Clinton’s email —

— incidentally, supported by last month’s Harpers cover story –

is that it will indeed undermine his election claim.  Maybe it’s a thing the Republicans want anyways — the better to pass the Republican Agenda shared by Trump, and stop as much as they can this Protectionist Nonsense and maintain a spot with the new Cold War.

Any more than the idea that Barack Obama won in 2012 because a Hurricane stopped Mitt Romney’s momentum at the end?   Hard to figure.  In an election result where I can’t claim “The American people were duped” due to the popular vote thing.  In 2000, had the networks not called Florida for Gore even before all of Florida was not done, how would the resulting election result of a clearer Bush victory in the popular vote have shifted things, subtly or not?

2016 elections coming to an end

Sunday, December 11th, 2016

Final Senate election.

“If people want somebody who is phony, a flip-flopper and has been on every side and has been everything but a Baptist preacher, they need to vote for John Kennedy,” Campbell, a 69-year-old elected utility regulator, drawls in one throwback line.
“I don’t wear a thousand-dollar suit to walk down a gravel road. He does,” Campbell says in another that refers to a recent Kennedy campaign ad.
“It’s like you close your eyes, and you’re listening to Huey Long ridicule his opponents with a one-liner that put them in their place,” said Bob Mann, a Louisiana State University professor, referring to the assassinated former governor, one of the most colorful politicians in the history of Louisiana.


It was Kennedy’s third U.S. Senate run since 2004 and this time he won in a landslide, taking 61 percent to Campbell’s 39 percent in the low-turnout election. […]

Kennedy declared that he represents change in Washington.

“I believe that our future can be better than our present, but not if we keep going in the direction the Washington insiders have taken us the last eight years,” he said. “That’s about to change, folks.”

Sure.  Sure.

Georgia ends everything on Tuesday.  Then — we just have to wait a few months for some other election somewhere.

disambiguation issues

Wednesday, December 7th, 2016

I look over to a tv screen in a public space, which has the words blaring on the screen “The Death of Will Smith”.

I do a double take.  And stare at the tv screen.  Talking heads fill the screen.  Wondering why I’m not seeing any b-roll of the Fresh Prince.

A woman walks by, and does a double take and says “WHAT?!”

They turn the volume up, and things make a little more sense.  This is ESPN.  “Outside the Lines”.  It’s a different Will Smith.  Football player.  Not the Will Smith I’m thinking when I hear the name “Will Smith”.

Why I care — even just slightly — about one Will Smith, I can’t say.  It’s not like I turbo-load dvd seasons of the Fresh Prince of Bel Air.  But we’re not going to be going through a period right now where we’re going to hear “Parents Just Don’t Understand” on repeat.