- Commenting Rules. Read these before you comment. Really. I'm not kidding.
- Sharing material from Stonekettle Station. Read this if you're thinking about reposting, linking, quoting, or just plain stealing material from Stonekettle Station. Seriously, read this before sharing, otherwise I will unleash the badgers.

- Stonekettle Station's Greatest Hits: The good stuff, it's in here!
- Reader Links: Sites recommended by readers, pimp your site today!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

2012 Election Night Open Thread

I hope all of you Americans went out and voted today.

If you haven’t, I hope you intend to do so while there’s still time (assuming there is still time in your state).

As citizens, voting is the only real power you have, miniscule as it may be.

It matters, for many reasons more than simple election results.

 

Polls are now closed in nine states and it’s still way too early to call this election one way or the other.  I’ll update this post as the night progresses, in the meantime you may consider this an open thread to discuss election day and election issues.  Please stick to election related subjects.


Discussion Point:  Voter ID’s, I’m not ideologically opposed to making voters show photo identification at the polls per se, so long as the required ID is easily available to all and cannot be used to disenfranchise groups of people. I’m not opposed to using taxpayer dollars to ensure everybody gets an ID.  How about you? Vehemently opposed to ID requirements, enthusiastically for, or just Meh?


Update: 17:30 Alaskan Time: Went to the store to get supplies for dinner. Random women stopped me and asked: Did you vote? First time that’s ever happened to me.

Election night dinner: Hot pastrami on toasted sourdough with melted Swiss and stoneground mustard. Au jus. Steak fries. Kosher Dills. And a New Castle Werewolf Blood Red Ale.


Discussion Point: Electoral College vs Popular Vote. Time for a change, or do the Framers’ original concerns about the states and the electorate still hold water?


Update: 18:30 Alaskan Time:  Looks like Grover Norquist will keep control of the House. No real surprises there.

On the other hand: I bet Mitt Romney could totally pay off his campaign debt by selling his binders full of women to Newt Gingrich on the low low.


Discussion Point: I used to be foursquare against Congressional term limitations, reasoning that voters were the ultimate term limiter and that we’d end up throwing the baby out with the bathwater – i.e. good congressmen would be dumped right along with the bad ones.  Over the years I’ve come ‘round 180 degrees.  Nobody is that good. I’m of the opinion that voters are largely self-centered idiots who tend to keep a congressman or a Senator long after they should have been sent packing. Voters are all about getting rid of somebody else’s congresscritter, but tend to keep their own due to “Seniority”  even if the guy is senile or crooked as a West Virginia road.  Alaska’s own Don Young is a case in point.  I think a case can be made that the Republic would be improved by term limitations. We term limit the president, why not congress?

On a side note, I’d allow time served as representative, senator, and president to count towards a government retirement, but you’d still need twenty years to qualify for a pension. I.e. 4 years in the military, 8 years as representative or senator, 8 at the post office, you get 40% of your highest paid year’s salary. Seems fair to me. 
Update: 18:45 Alaskan Time: Sucks to be Michele Bachmann, Minnesota just went to Obama. 

Looks like Ohio is his too.  And Maybe Florida. And Wisconsin.  It’s going to be a tight race no matter what, I predict this one ends up in court no matter how they call it tonight.


Update: 18:50 Alaskan Time: Sucks to be Todd Akin.  Seriously, republican or democrat, nobody should be sorry to see this idiot go.


Update: 19:00 Alaskan Time: They just called Colorado for Obama.  Things are getting interesting.


Discussion Point: No line tonight at my polling place (the MatSu Valley College on Trunk, Sarah Palin’s alma mater). How were the lines where you’re at?  Any problems? Signs of chicanery? How about you people in the Sandy footprint? Were you able to vote with reasonable access, considering?

Update: 19:15 Alaskan Time:  FUCKING A! It’s all over.  Barak Obama just won Ohio and 174 Electoral Votes!  He’s won a second term.


Update: 19:30 Alaskan Time: Republicans claim Ohio isn’t won. Karl Rove is on Fox disputing Fox’s election call and crying like a spoiled little brat who just discovered that he isn’t going to get his way after all.

Of course, it’s not official but it sure looks like despite the republican state of denial that Obama has won a second term and that Democrats hold the Senate.  Sequestration, here we come.

Update: 19:40 Alaskan Time: Donald Trumps calls election a “sham.”   I figure the first lawsuits disputing the election results will be filed tomorrow.

 


Update: 20:20 Alaskan Time:  So to recap, it looks like Obama won both Romney’s birth state of Michigan and Massachusetts, the state where Romney was governor.  Also, Obama won Wisconsin, Paul Ryan’s home state.  Ouch. That’s got to smart.


Update: 21:00 Alaskan Time: And that’s it. Romney conceded. He took the high road in his concession speech. He made a hell of a concession speech. I mean that sincerely. Too bad for him he didn’t take the high road six months ago, he’d be president tonight.  He obviously learned nothing from McCain – a guy who also gave a terrific concession speech.  Republicans need to do some serious soul searching after tonight, or they’d better get used to giving really good concession speeches.

 

Thanks for tuning in tonight.  Congratulations, President Obama. Congratulations, America.  Good night.

117 comments:

  1. Voter ID isn't a bad idea, but it must be made available free of charge. I'm in favor of having it done by the government, though I am sure that there will be horrible cries of government monitoring, police states, and the like at the assertion.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree, thanks for posting it before I got around to it!

      Delete
    2. An ID as such is not a bad idea, but as a Pennsylvanian is was done all wrong, and with the intent clearly to disenfranchise folks. Horribly planned, poorly implemented, with no consideration for folks who never have to deal with the state drivers license centers, which are located in places that usually have low rent and are not convenient for those who rely on public transit (many aren't so convenient for drivers, either). What I find ironic, though, is that Republicans used to be adamantly opposed to IDs on a national level as a restriction of freedom. Why they don't introduce the Iraqi thumb dipped in ink rule I don't get - if the concern is multiple votes (the claim here), easy to keep that from happening. Last on the rant - IDs have no effect on absentee vote fraud - haven't heard a solution in PA to that. In the long run, mail-in ballots for everybody might be the best solution. At least many would actually vote. (Jim, thanks for the forum.)

      Delete
    3. Here in the Uk we've just had a brush with mandatory government ID, it was an absolute disaster. Expensive, intrusive and very expensive. Estimates of the cost were between £30 GBP and £70 GBP.
      We get a polling card, I've got one sitting by my front door. It is for the dumbest thing that our Politicians have come up with in a long time, voting for an local "Crime Commissioner". I digress, if you forget your card, no prob, you give your name, and they cross you of the voting register.
      We have absolutely no tradition of having to carry ID here, when I'm in The US I always carry my passport, keeps The Police happy.

      Delete
    4. I have a real problem with a gun carry permit being a lawful form of ID.

      Delete
    5. To get a concealed carry permit, one (in Alaska) must take a class, be fingerprinted and submit the application to the state. This is a much more stringent identification process than getting a driver's license, or at least it was when I compare what I went thru to get them. I've used my CC permit for ID in a liquor store, no problem. It is a valid source of state issued ID.

      Delete
    6. But does your cc permit provide proof of citizenship?

      Delete
  2. People are being disenfranchised as we speak. Long lines are a poll tax created by GOP controlled state goverments. Voting should be as free and easy as breathing. The chances of that are getting fatter by the minute

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Early voting and multiple polling places put a stop to that really easily in Nevada. I have no idea how it was today, though, since I voted a week and a half ago.

      Delete
    2. Hi Rebecca--another Nevadan here who happily placed my vote for Obama in early voting at my local shopping center. Easy in and out. Hope we can say goodbye to Brower, Heller, and Amodei.

      Delete
    3. Hopefully!

      I don't know why more states don't have the early voting the way we do. It made everything much easier, the crowds were less and it effectively makes it so no one has ANY excuse not to go vote.

      Delete
    4. I live in a small town. Generally, when I've voted in previous elections, there may have been one person in front of me when I got there. Tonight there were more people in that room than I've ever seen at any election prior to this. Granted, it was still less than 30 people, but there were 6 people in line ahead of me tonight. I know that it would frustrate the hell out of me if I had to wait hours in line to vote. I rather wish that NY State would implement early voting.

      A friend of mine who had previously voted in the 2008 election and not voted since, went to vote tonight. She was told she was "inactive" and that she would have to vote by affadavit - which I assume is basically the same as a provisional ballot. Now, I dunno how it is elsewhere, but in NY, you remain on the voter rolls as long as you vote at least every 4 years - so I'm still trying to figure out how her registration became "inactive". Oh ... she was registered as a Democrat. I wonder ...

      Delete
  3. I think voter ID hoopla is a bullcrap hoop jumping exercise that the GOP use to attempt to disenfrancise Democratic leaning electorates. Just wondering, has a presiential ticket ever lost the home states of its ticket and won? I was never able to find an answer to that.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Five Presidents lost their birth states and won the election:

      Polk
      Taylor
      Lincoln (twice)
      Geo. H.W. Bush
      Geo. W. Bush (twice)

      Three Presidents lost their residence states and won the election:

      Polk
      Wilson
      Nixon

      (I'm not a history scholar. I just kept on Googling.)

      Delete
    2. And for the rest of the trivia ('cause I know it will come up) - four candidates won the popular vote but lost the electoral vote:

      Andrew Jackson won popular, but lost to John Quincy Adams
      Samuel J. Tilden won popular, but lost to Rutherford B. Hayes
      Grover Cleveland won popular, but lost to Benjamin Harrison
      Al Gore won popular, but lost to Geo. W. Bush

      Delete
  4. After seeing all this mess with lines at the polls and maybe poor/insufficient/incorrect training of the worker, I'm even more grateful than ever that the great state of Washington is a vote by mail state and I was able to exercise my right to vote a good 10 days ago.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We vote by mail, too. And every time I do, I'm glad we still have the US Postal Service, despite the apparent attempts to shut it down and make it unfeasible. Can you imagine the cost if everyone had to send their ballots by FedEx or UPS?

      Delete
  5. I agree on voter ID, adding that the rules shouldn't be enacted right before an election. Starting Nov 7 you have 2 years to get the ID rules settled, the IDs distributed and the election officials/workers thoroughly trained. Exactly what taxes are for!

    ReplyDelete
  6. I agree on voter ID, adding that the rules shouldn't be enacted right before an election. Starting Nov 7 you have 2 years to get the ID rules settled, the IDs distributed and the election officials/workers thoroughly trained. Exactly what taxes are for!

    ReplyDelete
  7. You asked about voter ID. I don't mind it, particularly and especially if it is tax-supported. However I also need to say that I am notorious for losing my voter registration cards.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Let's makeit something you carry with you day and night, your thumb!! We have the technology, we know it is unique, mail-in voters can attach their thumbprints to their forms. And it would save a lot of processing and administrative time. So don't lose your thumb!! MTC

      Delete
  8. I think voter ID is a good thing, but it mustn't be a burden to obtain. You must prove your identity in Canada if you don't have your register card, and they manually look you up by your address on your ID.

    The fact that there is so little voter fraud makes this a bit of a pot-banger for the GOP, though.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. How difficult is it to obtain an ID in Canada? What is required to get one? Do you also have to pay to get a copy of your birth certificate, like we do in the States, and what if no birth certificate exists? There's got to be a better way to do this...

      Delete
  9. Second try...

    Meh. If it can be done at no cost and hassle to EVERYONE then fine but until that point, no freaking way.

    (BTW - hubby was asked for his ID tonight when he went to vote - it's not the law here despite what our secty of state would like everyone to believe - he created a "special rule" without any legislative/gubernatorial input and said "do it")

    ReplyDelete
  10. Jim, we have a Voter ID law in Indiana, but if you have the proper paperwork, it is provided to you free of charge. It pains me to see the level of voter intimidation and disenfranchisement going on- either way this election goes, we should demand Campaign Finance and Election reform.

    That said, it looks like the Hoosier State is going to Romney, but Joe Donnelly is kicking Richard "Rape is a gift from god" Mourdock's ass in the Senate race.

    ReplyDelete
  11. I tend to be of the opinion that voter ID is not bad per se (I never have my voter registration card, so I always vote by ID), but that if it's not free, it does become an effective poll tax. I also am of opinion that Free needs to include "as low an opportunity cost as possible"... because I know few things would make me quite as pissed when I was working hourly as having to skip work to take care of something. If I wasn't working, I wasn't getting paid. Not getting paid meant having to scrimp somewhere.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Agreed with Gumby. I have no problem showing an ID. I think verifying identity is a good thing, so long as EVERYONE has access to a form of ID. That means free ID cards for anyone w/o access to some kind of license.

    The initial push would be the most cost-intensive part, but once it was in place it shouldn't be too bad to keep up. Perhaps a stipend for local DMVs or other ID producing govt. agencies to produce these free ID's along with their regular product.

    As to distribution, what about the idea of a campaign along with early voter registration and absentee ballots to provide an ID to anyone who doesn't have one?

    ReplyDelete
  13. I live in Pennsylvania where they tried to enact a voter picture ID law this past year. they tried to shove it through in time for this election. After having passed it was thankfully eventually struck down. Prior to being struck down I spent 6 weeks this summer as volunteer calling 18,000 disenfranchised voters mostly elderly and urban voters from the county in which I live. The state did NOT make it easy for these people to get the required picture IDs and in fact the DMV made it even more challenging. I am okay with voter photo ID requirements but I think if they are going to force people to do this in order to vote then the state should have mobile vans or some method to make this easier, some kind of outreach to the people who would be disenfranchised. BTW the law was instituted and passed by a Republican governor and Republican legislature in a rushed manner in a state that has not one documented case of voter fraud. To this very day our state continued to run TV ads advising residents they would need photo ID to vote - despite his law being struck down by the high courts.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm in Pennsylvania, too. Today, the pin-curled grey-haired lady asked me if I had photo ID. I said yes but since I don't have to show it, let's just skip that part. She said, "You will need it in the Fall." I said, "What season is it now?". My son had a similar exchange as did my wife. It is clearly intended to disenfranchise those who did not register, as we did, via the Motor-Voter system which gives you the photo ID when your register and ignores those who register by other means.

      Delete
  14. Can I ask the Americans - why do you use machines to vote? There have been so many problems in previous elections. Wouldn't it be better to hire humans, especially in today's job market?

    In Canada, we vote the old-fashioned paper ballot way, with observers from all of the parties who watch as the ballots are counted.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. One reason is the number of different items that are crammed onto American ballots. The Florida ballot this year is longer than most people are tall. For an efficient hand count you would need a separate sheet of paper (to sort in piles) for each race and/or referendum.

      Delete
    2. In 2000 when the Florida electoral votes were critical, attention was inaccurately focused on the "hanging chads" which are an artifact of the punch-card system of recording voter intent. The important part is that the physical ballot retains the physical record of the voter's intent. Yes there will be cases where that intent is difficult to discern. But at least it can be inspected using the Mark I eyeball where a touch-screen system is ripe for abuse in the name of rapid tabulation. Accuracy should trump speed as you in Canada have decided. (You also have a much better healthcare system.)

      Delete
    3. Paper ballots aren't a particular problem, even with the numbers of ballot initiatives on the tickets, some years. It's not rocket science to equip voting machines with a printer, and have it spit out a paper summary of the votes...heck, you could even have the thing print out a QR code on the sheet, to make counting the things more expeditious.

      The voter would simply verify that what they voted on the touchscreen is what is represented on the paper summary sheet, and then they drop the paper ballot into a good old-fashioned ballot box. The machines will tabulate the digital vote in their timely fashion, so that CNN gets the data they need to turn this into the Monday Night Football spectacle that they do so well, but then the paper ballot summaries get counted as well. Any discrepancy greater than 1%, and the electronic count gets tossed, and the paper count becomes official.

      It is far too easy to tinker with databases. Even though I make my living as a tech geek, I trust paper far more than computers, in the voting realm.

      Delete
    4. We do the same thing in The UK and use bank staff to count them. Great extra money for the bank staff.

      Delete
    5. Kenneth,
      We already have machines like what you're talking about all over California. They're the Lotto machines. They have a touch screen for you to make your selections and a printer that spits out what you selected. It also has a scanner so that, if it were used for voting, you could verify that what was on the paper agreed with your actual vote. Shouldn't be too hard to produce something similar.
      In my precinct they actually had a card stock ballot that you filled out with a special pen. Once you completed it you slid it into a ballot box / scanner that tabulated the result. The paper ballots are still the official thing. Of course the ballot box also looked a lot like a shredder...

      Delete
    6. In Massachusetts, we vote with paper ballots ala standardized testing (fill in the box next to your answer). After the ballot is filled out, you get verified and then feed your ballot into a scanning machine. The ballot's easy to scan, the machine can reject bad ballots (double votes, no votes) for verification and the paper is retained for hand or machine recount.

      Delete
  15. I'm in favor of assuring that people are who they say they are. ID is one good way to do that. Agree that it MUST be easily available and not used to disenfranchise people. I don't necessarily think Maryland should be a model, but when I voted, they wanted my name, my birthdate, my address and they checked it off against a database. It is probably possible to game that system on a limited basis, but probably not on a wholesale basis.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've been registered to vote since I was legally able to do so and that's a lot of decades. I've never had a voter registration card of any kind. I've never been asked to show one and I've never been asked to show any proof of identity beyond giving the poll worker my street, house number, last and first name and I get checked off on a list that contains only that information. All the other information I gave them at the time I registered is on a database. Poll workers in my town are mostly senior citizens volunteering in order to get a higher placing on the senior housing list or extra abatements on real estate taxes. I have no problem with that at all but they have no need to know any of that additional information.

      Delete
  16. Agreed; though these changes should be made well before an election so there is plenty of time to transition. I'd also like to see paper backups to electronic voting until the bugs are worked out. And how about a national voting holiday? Who needs Columbus Day anyway?

    ReplyDelete
  17. Voter ID is a crock. In New York, I sign in and they look at the copy of the signature from my original voter ID card. Obvious match. I vote.

    Do you really think there's a band of people out there practicing registered voters' signatures so they can wait in line an hour and vote once to fix the election?

    Voter ID is a solution in search of a non-existent problem.

    Pheh!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree, Nathan. I am also in NY. People to whom I am closely related were passing around a Facebook statement that they were going to show their ID at the polls even though they were not required to do so. I just had to laugh at that...

      Delete
    2. Nathan has hit the question on the head, I think. In order to skew any election above the level of dogcatcher, how many thousands of people would you need to go into how many polling places how many times over & claim to be someone else? I think you would notice the hotels being suspiciously full the night before.

      Not to mention that they would have to do some training. Virginia mailed everyone a new voter card (no photo, by the way) this year, but you still verify your identity by reciting FULL name and address to be checked against their registration lists. Since your cadre of impostors would have to move from precinct to precinct in order to impersonate multiple voters (to have any real effect and to avoid recognition), there would bound to be slipups.

      I just don't see this as a viable method to swing a state-wide or national election.

      Bruce

      Delete
  18. Rew as in How do you do, my name is Rew and I come from "The SaultNovember 6, 2012 at 4:49 PM

    Couldn't remember what we did up in Canada....I left there about 17 years ago. I think that ID is a good thing....though I always get a little paranoid about these things...like this time my driver's license did not show my new address. I was so freaked that they wouldn't believe who I was I brought my damn passport. They never even asked about the differing addresses? Just passed the card along and that was it.

    ReplyDelete
  19. One ID should take care of it. It should be cheap and easily obtained.

    ReplyDelete
  20. I'm for voter ID if a voter ID can be had for free, I'm for at-poll registration, I'm for vote-by-mail, -phone, -email, -text and, if necessary, -pigeon. I absolutely think that voting should be the easiest thing involving government to get done. I think it should make adopting a kitten look like closing a mortgage or joining the military.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Have you tried to adopt a kitten lately? Jeez... They want references!

      Delete
  21. This mealy-mouthed Moderate gets out his crap stirring stick and pees in the wind: Liberalism as we knew it is dead on the water. Now ifn we could just dump the TeaBaggers we can all be middle of the road fat nad happy.
    Mitt may not be as hard core right wing as many people would expect, but he wont dump the Teatards, no way

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh god, I know it's just a silly typo & I don't mean to detract from your point, but I just can't stop giggling.

      And I promise to use the phrase "fat-nad happy" at least once in conversation today.

      You should sign your name so you can get the credit when all the rappers start using that phrase!

      Hanging my head in shame,
      Bruce

      Delete
    2. also giggling. thanks, I needed that.

      Delete
    3. I keep wondering how happy I would be if my nads were really fat?
      (I can't stop-please send help!)
      Bruce

      Delete
  22. Is the U.S. destined to vote along the Mason-Dixie lines forever? What is going to happen if 50% of Americans feel disenfranchised?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We refight the battles of Shiloh, Antietam and Gettysburg?

      Delete
    2. Don't people do that for fun anyway?

      Delete
    3. I wonder, really, if 50% will feel that way. I'll bet there are a lot of poor and young people out there that are perfectly happy with Obama winning, even though they didn't vote.

      Delete
    4. It's only going to last another 30 years or so, as the last of the hard core souther white folks (My generation) die off.

      Delete
  23. Jakethegirl @4:48 - various reasons, most of which come down to money (usually billed as "saving the taxpayer money", but actually putting money into pockets of companies that build the machines) and the lack of security involved in the use of the machines. The last is a bug for democracy, a feature for the bean counters (cheap machines are more profitable! Yay!), and (just maybe) a goal for those who want to "unskew" the vote.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Always comes down to money in the end. Sigh.

      Delete
  24. Voter registration cards are free (as they should be.) Why not just add a photo to them, at gov't expense, and make that the only ID required to vote?

    ReplyDelete
  25. The GOP really screwed the pooch in this election. Horrible primary candidates, horrible primary season, very bad convention, the war on women wherein they want to legalize rape and outlaw abortion, and lastly Mitt a dude who wants to be a boss and not a leader. Plus they are all getting older and whiter as the days, and the rest of the country, go by

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, but look how many voted for them. I say I am a liberal but sometimes it's so damn hard to be a liberal because some people are so f***ing stupid. Look what happened in the interior of AK. Kick out 3 effective legislators because of Capt Zero's continued push to give oil companies, the most profitable companies that have ever existed, money for nothing (but chicks aren't free). People voted the Rethugs in despite all evidence that revising the tax code (money for nothing) won't spur more oil company investments. Hell, the companies even said that in almost that many words. But Hey, what's a couple billions to friends, who needs roads, schools, troopers? Oil companies do but they don't want to pay for them. It's hell to be a liberal.

      Delete
  26. Voter ID is fine but there should be a long window for the government(s) to find and provide free of charge ID's to everyone of legal age. The idea should be to expedite voting, not suppress it.

    ReplyDelete
  27. Why do they not talk about Gary Johnson. For real Obama and Romney are puppets... voter id lol, we have much bigger issues. Democracy is false we always end up in dictatorship. The left right paradigm is false they all work against the best interests of the people.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They don't talk about Johnson because he has NO CHANCE, I like Jill Stein, but she CAN'T WIN. Better to work with the system you have and fix it than cry to the heavens for a different reality.

      Delete
    2. Maybe if they talked about them on TV people would actually know who they are. Please, you can't change these controlled people. Yes lets work with a broken system or instead we could be smart and re-vamp the whole thing. I cry for a different reality where innocent people are not killed daily. That is something to cry about. Where occupied countries can be free again, where the people control the world instead of money creating bankers and terrorists.

      Delete
    3. It is extremely difficult for third-party candidates from the standpoint of media access and financing. For example, Gary Johnson asked for 5% of the vote so he could get matching funds from the Federal government. But he never got much media attention on a national basis.

      The only example of a serious third-party go that I know about was Teddy Roosevelt running as a Progressive (Bull Moose)in 1912. He ultimately got 88 electoral votes. But he had already been President twice.

      Gary Johnson was governor of New Mexico for eight years, 10 years ago. If he had later gone to Congress, maybe he could have gotten a little recognition.

      Delete
    4. Because the Libertarian Agenda is crap. It's a bunch of selfish, "I got mine screw you" attitudes. It would turn us into Somalia overnight.

      Libertarians are Republicans that like to smoke weed.

      Delete
    5. Instead of trying to jump to the top o' the heap & elect a non-mainstream president - who would have no chance of working with Congress (which it is that makes law in this country), how about focusing on electing Green (& other) party candidates to Congress & state level positions. Get enough of those & the country will follow.

      The President, by definition, must always be from the mainstream. Want to change that? Change the mainstream.

      enjoy
      bobby

      Delete
  28. Voter ID (a solution in search of a problem) is a real problem for a lot of people. Aside from the problems of getting to DMV, there are a fair number of people who do not have a birth certificate or don't have a paper trail from their birth certificate to their current name (e.g. older women who have outlived a couple of husbands). Elderly people are more likely to not have a birth certificate, most particularly elderly African-Americans who were born at home to poor parents (and thus not attended by a doctor). I work in a legal self help center and regularly help people that are missing documents such as a birth or marriage certificate get court orders (judgment establishing fact of birth etc) that will allow them to get ID. It's a relatively simple legal process, but even a relatively simple legal process is a substantial burden, especially if you are poor. Multiple trips to the courthouse, filing fees, etc.

    Once everyone has ID's, keeping up with new people needing ID's won't be a substantial burden to the government, but there would need to be a *massive* well-funded outreach effort initially to get everyone IDs who will need them, including assistance with getting birth certificates and other necessary documents or court orders. Unless a voter ID law has provisions for a lengthy, well-funded outreach process, then it's voter suppression, dressed up in sanctimonious B.S.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I wish there was a like button here. I agree 100% with this.

      Delete
  29. i was thinking about disenfranchised Americans in rural and Southern American today. On Friday I'll be driving from Wichita to Liberal (it's not) Kansas. And what it must like to grow up there these days, there aren't many jobs, you see hispanic people working at the farm jobs, your folks aren't doing well and no one has the money to go to any sort of college. Plus you've never been very far away from your town or family and the thought of going is overwhelming. It is so easy to give in to the short term rewards of a sorta nice car, large screen TV etc, give in and spend your time resenting your lack of a "chance"

    You see "east coast liberal elites" and their beliefs and lifestyles are completely different from how you've been raised. And you have to think that those people aren't real Americans.

    (and I hope this makes any kind of sense.)

    ReplyDelete
  30. Sounds like a great dinner --
    But didn't Milton Berle say that every time Pastrami was served on white bread a Jew died ????
    The voter ID stuff is basically a crock.
    Like you, I don't onject to showing ID, but voting needs to be made easier.
    Gosh, how bout a $5 tax credit for everyone who votes ?????

    ReplyDelete
  31. I am a big fan of the Electoral College. The hands of the Founding Fathers aren't totally clean on the matter of votes, apportionment and representation, but the EC means that the states matter.

    Who'd have guessed that in the last few days that a New Hampshire would become a battleground state and be anointed as one of the states to watch? If it was strictly popular vote, would we worry about the states so much?

    In each election, it's different states deemed critical. But even in the states considered already in one person's camp, you have to vote. Or as I like to say, talk all you want, at some point you have to play the game.

    That's my two point two cents.

    Dr. Phil

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dr. Phil (Physics) what do you think about the science presented on The Big Bang Theory? Or do you watch it?

      Delete
  32. I don't know about the Electoral College having outlived its time. I don't know that the popular vote, raw numbers, is the way to go. I would have more confidence in the popular vote if there could be assurances that there were no illegal shenanigans.

    Voter ID...
    Oregon votes by mail; there are drop boxes in numerous locations to save the cost of a stamp. There is no polling place, there are no voting machines. I really like this system.

    I just saw that one precinct in some state (wish I had payed closer attention) that ran out of freakin' ballots. How does that happen?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. A lot more folks hit the polls this year than the last few. As someone mentioned above, it's all about the money. They (probably) only printed as many as they thought they would need to save money.

      Delete
    2. Latest information I can pick up is that there are roughly 150 Million registered voters in the US. Tuesday over 115 Million voted. (And the numbers are still climbing as the counts continue.) That's a much higher percentage than normal.

      Delete
    3. I was a poll inspector (in charge of running the poll at a precinct) yesterday and we ran down to almost our last pad of ballots: we had about 68 left when we closed. A neighboring precinct did actually run out of both regular ballots and "demonstration" ballots, which can be used in an emergency, and ended up sending several people to us to have them vote provisionally.
      The LA County Registrar/Recorder's office sends out ballots for ~80% of the Active voter list, minus the folks registered as Vote By Mail. We ran very close to that 80%.
      I'm writing up a post about this election from the worker perspective for posting later today. http://johnnysgarage.blogspot.com

      Delete
  33. If you pass a Voter ID law, it shouldn't take effect until after an entire 4-year Presidential election cycle. If it's passed right before an election, it can't take effect until after the election 4 years from now. If it's passed after an election, the 4 year cycle doesn't start until the next election, so it would be almost 8 years. That way you could guarantee it wasn't being used to disenfranchise people.

    In Mass, no ID. They had a list of registered voter's names and addresses. They marked you off when they gave you the ballot, and again before you fed it into the mark reader. I had my driver's license out, but no one was interested in even looking at it.

    I see now that CBS is calling the Mass Senate race between Elizabeth Warren and Scott Brown for Elizabeth Warren. CBS called Brown the incumbent Republican Senator, even though Brown always insists he's not a Republican, but Independent. That's a great pickup in the Senate for the Democrats.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think Elizabeth Warren could potentially be Presidential material. I really like her style. I wished she was from NY :)

      Delete
  34. In 2006, the Voting Rights Act of 1965 was extended for another 25 years. That's a good thing, but I think that somehow it ought to be amended before then to establish uniform method and standards for Presidential elections. Right now in the election boards you can't tell the ineptitude and stupidity from the mendacity and duplicity.

    ReplyDelete
  35. Anyone remember that 80's song from a band called The Call? The Walls Came Down
    am seeing warren, duckworth,baldwin, mccaskill
    that other anon due upthread was right on: pasty aging white males step aside

    ReplyDelete
  36. Important Point of Information:
    If you live in one of those voter constriction campaign states with big ass lines, do not be discouraged.
    STAY IN LINE!!!
    As long as you were on line before "closing time" you are legally entitled to cast your ballot. Don't let anybody tell you different.
    1-866-OUR-VOTE if anybody tries to shut you out.

    ReplyDelete
  37. A full parking lot this afternoon at my polling station in Champaign, IL, but remarkably no wait. Everything seemed to be going very smoothly.

    Karla

    ReplyDelete
  38. I wonder if Mitt is writing a second speech yet?

    ReplyDelete
  39. I started the evening almost in a cold sweat with Romney ahead; just finished dancing around the living room with Obama's victory.

    Hurray for America!

    From WA State and a Drive-up voter

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, me too. I retreated to the basement until my husband told me that it was safe to come up - and DANCE!

      Delete
  40. Is there any chance of Mr Obama getting a super majority?

    ReplyDelete
  41. I'm amused by the outrageous indignation from the Republicans I know about how horrible the electorate college is, and how the popular vote should rule. I flash back to 2000, when the shoe was on the other foot, and those same people were preaching how 'it's the right winner, because that's how we do things in the US!' Funny how when they lose, it's suddenly a bad idea for the electoral college to exist. On the other hand, I am saddened by the comments people are making about how the end of the country is now, and that our kids are screwed, and that the economy is all Obama's fault and now it's just going to be so much worse. How quickly they seem to forget that this was an inherited mess.

    ReplyDelete
  42. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  43. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  44. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nOwoSyHqvT8

    The sound inside Mittens head right now!

    ReplyDelete
  45. If voter fraud is really the non-issue it's made out to be then I see no reason for voter ID, especially give the concerns about disenfranchising voters, which seems to be the real problem. I live in New Mexico and I just have to give my name and address to vote.

    ReplyDelete
  46. You know what was fun? Watching the results come in from the East Coast and Midwest on HuffPost streaming live. Awesome. And then I just watched Facebook behave like Twitter. The big surprise is they're calling Virginia for Obama. Can't wait until the numbers people tell me why THAT happened. I can't stop smiling. All the rapists have been sent packing! The gay people can get married and be at eachothers' bedsides in the hospital now. And in a couple states, my friends going thru chemo can take a toke and maybe have an appetite again. Yay! Off now to watch the cheap reality show that is Donald Trump and Karl Rove. Smooch!

    ReplyDelete
  47. Digging into some of the results is interesting. Obama wins at least 7 of 9 battleground states, 8 if his lead in Florida holds. Mourdock loses. Akin loses. Mandel loses. Joe Walsh and Allen West, two of the most inflammatory Tea Party incumbents, both lose their seats in the House. Michelle Bachmann is hanging on for dear life and may lose her seat. Same-sex marriage looks likely to pass in at least 2 states, maybe in all 4 states where it's on the ballot.

    Despite the closeness of the popular vote for president, yhis is starting to look like a significant repudiation of the Republican party in general, and of the Tea Party in particular.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. MSNBC reporting at approximately 11:40 pm PST that President Obama ia over ONE MILLION popular votes ahead, in addition to the electoral vote.

      YEAH!

      Delete
    2. The vote in Minnesota was over a state constitutional amendment that would define marriage as only between one man and one woman. It wouldn't have changed the fact that same-sex marriage is still illegal here, as that was a law passed by the legislature, and the vote was not about overturning it.

      Really, it was more of a kick-'em-while-they're-down move to push for such an amendment. Glad to see it failed.

      Delete
  48. Jim Wright, you said, "On a side note, I’d allow time served as representative, senator, and president to count towards a government retirement, but you’d still need twenty years to qualify for a pension. I.e. 4 years in the military, 8 years as representative or senator, 8 at the post office, you get 40% of your highest paid year’s salary. Seems fair to me."

    I think this is brilliant. I don't know if it's yours originally, or if you stole it, borrowed it, modified it, or whatever. And I don't care. It's a gorgeous, beautiful idea.

    Maybe 40% of the average salary. Somewhat worse, maybe 40% of the most recent salary. But those are minor issues.

    A more worthwhile modification, however, I believe would come from the idea of substantial unanimity; that is, if your election to your last normal term in a given office is by a certain very high percentage of the electorate -- say, 75 or 80% -- then you may serve an additional term. And while we're at it, why not make that apply indefinitely? As long as damn near everyone agrees, why not leave you in office?

    Think about it. I'm not sure how often it would even matter. How many elections are of such a majority anyway? The benefit, though, might be more psychological than actual, just knowing there's a way to keep a clear choice in place, should such a thing ever appear.

    Substantial unanimity. That's the idea.

    ReplyDelete
  49. Wanted to bring up a question as it's one of the most often heard reason for not limiting terms for Congresscritters.

    "If you limit the terms then the lobbyists will have the upper hand because they will be the ones with all the experience versus the new electees."

    This always sounds like BS to me. It's the long-term Congresscritters that develop the incestuous relationships with the lobbyists. Someone who is new wouldn't already have the relationship and the lobbyists would have to actually work to influence them. Anyone savy enough to win an election wouldn't be such a babe in the woods that they couldn't deal with a lobbyist on equal footing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I suppose I should have said "topic" not "question".

      Delete
  50. I have an earwig this AM, and at first I could not figure out why this particular song was plaguing my brain. But i think my subconscious is telling me that this is what Obama should have played last night instead of "Signed, Sealed, Delivered":
    AC/DC's "Now You're Messin' with a Son of a Bitch"
    One can always hope.

    Bruce

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sorry that wasn't AC/DC. That was Nazereth. "Hair of the Dog" I believe.

      Delete
    2. Oops, you're right.
      Bruce

      Delete
  51. Relief. That's the one word summary of my feelings this morning. Thank God that the America I believe in stood up and repudiated the insanity that is the far right agenda in this country. Phew.

    Now, I do confess that there was a certain amount of glee last night (once we finally got past the Ohio back and forth) in watching Rove in full bore denial mode. And who wouldn't like to see Rove in a cage match? With anyone? Though I think I'd shell out serious bucks for a 1-v-1 with Rove and Trump. Or maybe a tag team Rove/Limbaugh vs Michelle Obama/Hilary Clinton?

    Anyway - a very good article from the HuffPo this morning on just how mad the Republicans must be: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/robert-j-elisberg/election-results-2012_b_2086123.html

    ReplyDelete
  52. I nearly choked when Romney mentioned truth in his concession speech. His campaign showed little of it. I am delighted, that Obama won. I feel from he depths of my being, had Romney won, more children would go hungry, more people would die needlessly, a war would have been started, children of the 47% would be asked to shed blood, so that wealthy men could gain more wealth. Peoples life savings would disappear into bankers pockets, once again. Fewer young people would go to college and the divides among us, would all increase. There is something really off base in the egocentric attitude the Republican party demonstrates.

    All around a far better choice was made. Still, I am going to work for equality for all, looking inside to see where I am holding ideas that do not foster peace and cooperation and demand our Representatives work together on our behalf... I think term limits is an excellent idea! I had one small vote, but in my daily life, I have the POWER to make a huge difference.... Three cheers for Obama...!! Thanks for this place to express our feelings... !!

    ReplyDelete
  53. "Random women stopped me and asked: Did you vote?" Jeez Jim, as a Sailor I figured even you would know what that line means. Tommy D

    ReplyDelete
  54. One thing I noticed about Robme's concession speech was that he had an opportunity to tell the party its time to end the onstruction and start working for the good of the people.

    I didn't expect him to, but it would have shown a huge amount of class. As it was, I found it as I find Robme, incredibly self serving.

    Screw him and screw the GOP.

    ReplyDelete
  55. North Woods Free ManNovember 7, 2012 at 7:20 AM

    Just an update on a local election here in Wis. The guy that said that "some women are easy to rape" lost his election.Just maybe the people here know what is important in an election after all. .

    ReplyDelete
  56. Obama will have the opportunity to nominate the next 1 to 3 Supreme Court justices. That is one of the most profound and important aspects of an Obama vs a Romney admin. A major hurdle is the GOP Senate minority who will Bork any all Obama court nominations. (Besides, Obama has been in no hurry to fill empty judgeships this past term.)

    Perhaps Obama and Reid will not roll over on judgeships to please the GOP like they have on other issues in the last 4 years. And maybe the second Obama admin will be set free to take the gloves off. I don't know. Obama has a long post-office career to consider (ala Clinton) and he may desire to moderate his Presidency to assure that he will be accepted as a great statesman, yadda yadda.

    I'd like to see Obama, Ried and Co attack and attack to keep the Senate GOP off balance and reeling, so that when it comes time to confirm justices, secretaries, ambassadors, etc, McConnell and Co. won't have the automatic filibuster and blockage to turn to. The House is hopeless, but if they see the Senate Repubs taking constant and disabling fire that reveals their anti-American stance, perhaps they will come into line and moderate and compromise.

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA..Ha....ha....who am I kidding? After $6 billion and nearly 2 years of increasing noise vs signal, we have achieved...almost no change at all legislatively. What a friggin waste of our time and energy. I just hope that knucklehead in the White House takes this gift and runs with it.

    Don't get me wrong. Obama's victory means that I can delay my move to New Zealand another 4 years. But, we have all been bloodied, and I won't feel better until that Hopey Changey shit finally takes hold. Tommy D

    ReplyDelete
  57. I think there's something many of us haven't woken up to yet, I know I just did today; my mother is in tears because she worries she will be sent to end-of-life training; she worries that she will be killed as a money-saving measure. Yes, yes, I know what most think of such ideas, but here is the thing--SHE IS MY MOTHER.

    Sour grapes are one thing, but fear and despair are something quite different. We have gotten into arguments because we are on opposite sides, but I've just realized that she is worried the new presidency will find her expendable. She feels deeply betrayed by her country, and it's a very deep emotion.

    However you feel about politics, please don't scorn anyone you know for being afraid. Listen to them, try to reassure them, be a shoulder to lean on--these people aren't the Palins and Limbaughs of the world, they are mothers and fathers and neighbors. Anyone who fears for their futures or safety don't deserve our scorn, they need our support.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jim did a piece on the death panels garbage that was excellent. I have no idea how to find it, you'll have to ask him, or I will. Here, Jim Wright, tell this person how to find that wonderful piece you did on how ridiculous the death panel shit is. You might also point out to your mother that President Obama took off in the closing days of the 2008 campaign to go to Hawaii to see his dying grandmother, a woman who helped raise him. His compassion trumped the campaign. Good Luck.

      Delete
    2. http://www.stonekettle.com/2009/08/outrageous-nonsense.html

      Here is a post Jim did on that question in 2009. It has an extensive quote from the legislation itself which should settle your mother's fears.
      Anyone who made the leap from "talking with your doctor about what you want" to "death panels" is seriously twisted.
      Bruce

      Delete
    3. That last comment was NOT directed at people like your mother, by the way. I meant the Palin/Beck, etc fear-mongers are the twisted ones. They are the direct cause of your mother's anxiety.

      Bruce

      Delete
  58. Here's a link to the Electoral College explained. The second one deals with the math involved to win elections.
    http://blog.cgpgrey.com/the-electoral-college/

    ReplyDelete
  59. I am firmly for *everyone* having photo identification at all times, but not because of any issue with citizenship (my driver license doesn't provide proof of citizenship, so why should it be proof to vote?) or who might vote "the wrong way" or any other such bullshit.

    I think, in the 21st century, when identity theft is one of the fastest growing crimes and is an absolutely nightmare to get out from under *WHEN* you have photo ID, that people are being stupid by not having photo ID.

    So yes, I think photo ID should be required. It should also be issued free of charge and not be the dog and pony show you have to go through to get ID the majority of the time (hours in line, assuming the place is open when you can get there and you can afford to have time off work and pay for childcare and transportation and whatever the hell else).

    Once everyone HAS photo ID, then requiring it for voting is a no-brainer.

    UNTIL then, no.

    ReplyDelete
  60. We have voter ID here and I have no problem with it as long as if you need a card it's free. Most people will have a drivers license which costs but allows you to drive, that's ok. You get a benefit for your $ (driving) and as a bonus you can use it as voter ID. The people who don't have/want a driver license can get the voter ID card which has no other benefit but is free

    ReplyDelete

Be sure to read the commenting rules before you start typing. Really.