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Showing posts from November, 2016

Trump's "Surprise" Victory and the Bernie Factor

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I rushed to publish a bunch of election-themed posts on this blog the night before Election Day, (actually Election Day morning), and one of them was this one: My Electoral College Prediction: 329 to Clinton, 209 to Trump.

I didn't spend much time thinking about my prediction, but simply used the assumptions from polling websites like FiveThirtyEight about which states were "safe" and then guessed that Trump would win Ohio while losing North Carolina—only two changes from the results of the 2012 Romney-Obama election.

That's pretty hilarious (or bittersweet) to look at now, considering the election result—almost the inverse of my predicted Electoral College score, with Clinton expected to take 232 and Trump 306. Trump won with a wide margin by taking states that pollsters considered "safe" or "leaning" for Hillary—Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Michigan—primarily through low turnout among Democrats and greatly increased support from lower-income vot…

My Electoral College Prediction: 329 to Clinton, 209 to Trump

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It is a little after 1:00am on Election Day morning in Alaska, so it's time I published my prediction for the results of the presidential election before any real results arrive this evening. Using the great tool at http://www.270towin.com/, here is my prediction:



I don't pretend to have any special skill in making this prediction; I made my guess rather quickly, just based on what I've been seeing in the news lately and my gut feelings.

Clearly, I believe Hillary Clinton will win in an Electoral College landslide. The popular vote may be much closer, but she should almost certainly become our next president. You may note that this guess is almost exactly the same as the result of the 2012 election, with the only exception being that President Obama took Ohio in 2012 and Mitt Romney took North Carolina, while I believe Hillary will take North Carolina and Trump will take Ohio. This difference gave Obama three more electoral votes (332) in 2012 than I'm predicting Clint…

Crook vs. Fascist: France 2002, USA 2016

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In their 2002 presidential election, French voters were forced to choose between Jacques Chirac, a man at the center of numerous corruption scandals later convicted on several counts, and Jean-Marie Le Pen, a rightwing demagogue decried for spouting racist views. Protestors across France were noted as saying they had to "vote for the crook not the fascist."

Now that we've come to the end of the 2016 US election season—the unbearable, over 18-month-long election season—I'm really just surprised I didn't see more comparisons between America today and France fourteen years ago. There are a few pieces out there on the similarity, (one of the best is this one), but none seem to have gained attention in the US media.

Le Pen's victory in making it through the first round of the French election and Trump's victory in the Republican primary both came as huge surprises many people. Both victories were fueled by white citizens who felt threatened by immigrants and e…

Media Abdicate Responsibility On Ballot Selfie Laws Violating the First Amendment

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Laws banning ballot selfies—or any photos people might take of their completed election ballots—are absolutely, undeniably unconstitutional.

Unfortunately, most media outlets don't seem to care about that clear legal reality; they've decided to simply sell the story "Uh oh, look! You're not allowed to take ballot selfies in these states!"

Just look at the results for googling "ballot selfie":


Most of these articles—or at the very least, their headlines—follow the premise that states banning ballot selfies have legitimate laws that readers (and Justin Timberlake) need to fear and obey. The writers therefore abdicate any journalistic responsibility of informing readers how the laws are obviously unconstitutional and should be actively opposed. Some mention later in their articles how courts have ruled some states' laws unconstitutional recently, but if that information is buried well into the article, where many readers never arrive.

The only article I…

Speak Truth to Power; Don't Cover for the Powerful

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I meant to make this my "election season resolution," but now that it's already Election Day, I'd better make it a resolution for at least the next four years: I don't want to say anything that covers for the powerful. I want to speak truth to power in whatever little ways I can.

"Speak truth to power" is a phrase often used by activists on the left, but it's a meaningful act no matter what your politics are. All it means is that we should confront the lies of those in power by speaking out and speaking the truth. All of us should feel compelled to speak truth to power, and we should feel good about doing so.

The problem is, we're surrounded by people who do the exact opposite. So many people—family and friends, writers and pundits in the media—actually spend their time covering for the powerful. They create and spread talking points that justify wrong actions. They promote apologia for how those in power have to do what they have to do, no matt…