On this day…

On this day…

Photo of black protesters taking a knee in the street and holding signs that read Black Lives Matter Always,
George Floyd protests in Uptown Charlotte, 5/30/2020 (IG: @clay.banks) Photo by Clay Banks on Unsplash (https://unsplash.com/photos/ak0F3mwgr0c)

In the eddy of time, some events rise to the surface and stay there. Continue reading “On this day…”

Another black man dead…Only this time?

Another black man dead…Only this time?

people carrying signs of protest during a peace rally
Photo by Natalie Chaney on Unsplash (https://unsplash.com/photos/KaLSXcB-crY)

The “Letter from Birmingham City Jail” was written seven months before I was born, and just under five years before Martin Luther King, Jr. was murdered.

The 16th Street Baptist Church was bombed just under two months before my birth, and JFK was assassinated within my first 20 days on the planet.

This shit is toxic, it’s REAL, and it’s deadly. Continue reading “Another black man dead…Only this time?”

Election 2018: Analysis Complete. Now what? (Part 2)

Election 2018: Analysis Complete. Now what? (Part 2)

In Election 2018: The End of Everything (Part 1), I introduced the second “Cassie’s List” compilation, which includes all the historic data that matters to ME from the last six election cycles for US Senate and House seats. Unlike the work I did for the Presidential election in 2016, this delves deeper into state politics and shows why some state numbers are better predictors than others.

The list, you may recall, is here:

Cassandra’s List

The data’s complete now, based entirely on the stats published by the Federal Election Commission (FEC). I’ve downloaded the PDFs in the event that the current government decides to erase the data, which I can imagine they could do, since they’ve already done it with climate research and other inconvenient truths.

It took a very long time to compile the House and Senate data. In the US Senate, only a third of Senate seats, called Classes, stand for election, which has the effect of tipping the Senate in one direction or the other, depending on the whims of voters, combined with “on” and “off” year elections (whether or not there’s a Presidential election at the same time). 2018 is, by definition, an off-year election, which historically has lower turnout.

That’s why I went back to 2006 for the data. A fuller explanation is included in Part 1, so I’m not rehashing it here. Go read that post and come back, if you still have questions about WHY I’m doing this work.

If you look at the bottom of the Google Spreadsheet, you will find the following tabs:

2018 Election Summary: This is where I will track the numbers as they come in from this year’s Primaries. I am NOT counting special elections (such as the one for Alabama that placed Doug Jones in Jeff Sessions’ seat) other than to note the changes in each seat.

House Seats: This is the historic data from 2006-2016 for all House seats.

Senate Seats: This is the historic data from 2006-2016 for all House seats.

Governors: This data is incomplete, largely because of all the different schedules for each Governor’s election. I will go in and fill this data out, but it’s less important than the House and Senate seats in terms of Primary data, since the dates are all over the place. Term limits apply differently in each state, as well, which also makes a difference.

Congressional Composition 1973-2017: This is where you can see which parties controlled Congress and also when each current Supreme Court occupant was seated on the bench. I went back to 1973 because it’s been clear to me for a while that the GOP push to take over EVERYTHING started with Nixon’s Southern Strategy. This is where the Southern Democrats flipped to Republicans.

Guide to Party Labels: With a couple of the races it became clear to me that some Democrats aren’t “Democrats” by name, and it was confusing to decipher how to count those votes. If you look at the FEC data, you’ll see what I mean. That’s why I included the key.

Now that I’m done, I can say with confidence a couple of things:

1. There are NO Third Party voting Congressional Representatives in the House. None. Not one. There is, in fact, only ONE in the House at all, and he represents the Northern Mariana Islands, a US Territory. You want a liberal Democrat, vote in the Primary. There are no alternatives to this rule, no matter how loudly you argue otherwise.

2. Of the stats I collected, I found that out of 50 states, there are 31 where the Primary vote data is likely to be a reliable predictor overall, six states where Primary vote data might be reliable (or might not, depending on the district) and 13 where the data is not reliable AT ALL, because the states hide their vote data by choosing not to put the vote up at all. If the candidate ran without a counterpart from the opposite party, I’ve marked the results No Candidate and I’ve counted the data as reliable.

If the race was marked with asterisks for Committee or Convention Selection, I’ve marked that data as unreliable, because there is literally NO WAY to figure out without looking at the numbers whether a seat is going to go Red or Blue. And in the case of Unopposed candidates, again, there’s no way to tell how many voters will go one way or the other because whether the primary is Open, Closed, or some other flavor, if the candidate runs Unopposed, there are no Primary votes to count.

3. Gerrymandering counts. At the moment, Pennsylvania is supposed to be redrawing their districts. Instead, the GOP are trying to figure out how to impeach their state supreme court justices for forcing them to play fair. Wisconsin, Maryland, North Carolina…all of these states have had their lines investigated recently, and the SCOTUS is still out on two of them. North Carolina got a pass to ignore their broken districts, and NC is on the iffy list for reliable numbers, so if you want somewhere to focus, there’s a starting point for you.

Read more about how Primaries work in each state here:

BallotPedia: Primary election

And find your precinct and district here:

https://votesmart.org/

Nothing more to do now than investigate the numbers, with an eye toward where you need to send your support. Why?

Because big, dark money donors like the Koch brothers are ramping up to spend millions of dollars either retaining seats the GOP already hold or flipping the ones they don’t.

When I talked about the Hole in the Middle almost two years ago, I outlined what would happen if we lost seats in the 2016 election. As it was, we only flipped two seats from Red to Blue. In this year’s election, bottom line, we could see as many as TEN seats flip from Blue to Red, and only ONE flip the other way, which could mean a net gain of nine (or more) seats for the GOP.

It’s not outrageous to think that the GOP could win those 10 seats. After all, those same states went for Trump in 2016, so it stands to reason that unless something BIG happens on November 6th, it’s possible that the GOP will get, for the first time in 97 years, give or take a month. (See 67th Congress, when there were still 48 states.)

Wikipedia: Combined--Control of the U.S. House of Representatives - Control of the U.S. Senate
File: Combined–Control of the U.S. House of Representatives – Control of the U.S. Senate.png

Which sounds like a really long time, only remember: This is before Nixon’s Southern Strategy, when the Democrats were the Southern Democrats were a problem. Now that the composition of the two parties is clearer, giving the GOP the advantage of filibuster-proof legislation means that today’s Democrats will no longer be relevant, and it won’t matter what you have to say, whether they’re far enough to the Left or not, because their votes will be irrelevant.

And when Anthony Kennedy, Clarence Thomas, and Ruth Bader Ginsburg all retire or die, they will seat young, ultraconservatives (if not outright Nazis) on the Supreme Court, and that, friends, will be that.

First official Primary is March 6th.

Do you know when yours is?

Election 2018: The End of Everything (Part 1)

Election 2018: The End of Everything (Part 1)

I’m almost done compiling data on the senate races from 2006-2016. This stuff takes time because I’m using at least three sources (including the Federal Election Commission) and scouring them for the data is a royal PITA.

When I’m done, there’ll be a better list of who to direct those precious support dollars, assuming you want a blue candidate to win.That’s 10 years’ worth of data, and it’s proving to be relatively reliable. If I have the vote counts for all the republicans and all the democrats who voted in the primary, regardless of their candidate selection, I can predict the outcome of the general, with an error ratio of around 4.

Here’s the link. The House page has all of the primary dates, but none of the historical data beyond who’s presently in the House. That work’s happening next, now that I’ve got the data filled in for the Senate races. At 435 representatives times at least four elections’ worth of data, it’s going to take a LOT of time to compile.

And a reminder: I am ignoring any third party primaries as entirely irrelevant, except where an Independent has taken a seat. With only one exception so far, they come in at LEAST third, and often by a substantial margin, high enough to make each additional name irrelevant. It is possible you might see more Independents in the House sheet, but I don’t know how many that will be. There has not been a Green or Libertarian candidate elected in the Senate since at least 2006. Maybe take that into consideration when you start to look at who to send your precious dollars this year and where you put your vote. High moral ideals may cost you more than you bargained for. Elections have consequences.

Cassandra’s List

This is how the map looks, when I apply the filter:
http://www.270towin.com/2018-senate-election/801yAl

My Senate guesses are still nebulous, but the ones on the map that are red or blue are solid. None of this “lean blue, lean red” crap.

Most of the ones that are not red are likely to lean that way, based on several things: Whether they voted Trump in 2016, who their current senators are, and who their governors are, plus the size of the voting population. I only see one Red seat flipping to blue in the senate race, and I see a whole lot of blue seats flipping to red. Remember: This is the class that came in with President Obama’s second term, the year before Scalia disabled the Voting Rights Act. A lot of those blue states flipped to red two years ago. And a lot of those blue seats were red before the 2012 election. Voter obstruction is going to be a big player this year.

It’s going to take the same kind of ground game Alabama’s disenfranchised voters used to grab the seat from Roy Moore, and we can’t count on all of the GOP’s candidates being the huge chunk of rat poison Moore represented.

The best thing that happened in that race: People wrote in enough red candidates to chip out Moore’s lead in sufficient numbers that Jones won, and by a large enough margin that his win was indisputable. None of the shenanigans in Virginia’s recent tie breaker were necessary here.

If you truly want to see what this year’s election process will be, check out that Virginia tie breaker. That film canister tie is where we’re heading with a lot of the races this year.

Note 1. Several states NEVER provide useful numbers because one or both of the candidates ran unopposed and there was no primary, or because the convention delegates selected the candidate. I’ve got a short list of those, which means the only data that is useful for projection is the General Election counts, but those are reliable. For example, Utah and Connecticut are on this list.

Note 2. Kentucky NEVER gets the numbers right. Not in four elections out of the four I recorded. I don’t think Republicans bother to show up at the polls for their primaries, so they always look like the Dems are ahead. This is a lie, but at least it’s consistent.

I just finished tidying up the Senate and Governor’s races, though there’s no stats to go with the Governor’s races yet. Will work on the House seats next, which is going to take a while, and Governors’ list last, because they’re the ones standing in the way of a Constitutional Convention.

This plays out my original assertion that if we don’t get our shit together this year, there will be a 10-seat flip from Blue to Red, as those states that went for Obama in 2012 come back around in Class 3 in the Senate. I included the data for 2012 and earlier so we could look at enough midterms (2006, 2010, 2014) to see before and after, but 2014 was too close to Scalia’s damage to see more than a couple of those seats flipping.

I have similar work to do for the House. Not sure if I want to go back six elections, but it seems prudent to include three midterms. I’ll be able to tell you which states to watch by the end of next week, if I get all the work done.

The first state primaries aren’t until March, and the majority aren’t until May, June, and August. Getting reliable data regarding the total number of votes cast is a challenge, especially if the candidate runs unopposed in the primary. Sites frequently skip the vote tally, so getting that data’s going to be a challenge. I’ll note those states in the sheet so that you’ll know which ones I think are unreliable.

I know this flies in the face of people who told me in 2016 that primaries don’t matter. Maybe not for individual candidates, but for the whole party? I beg to differ. It’s real easy to see the total numbers of people who think it’s worth their time to vote every time, in every election, whether it’s a primary or a general, and which only come out for the general, versus coming out for presidential elections. We lost several blue seats in 2014 because people felt comfortable blowing off the midterms. I’m hoping we’re over that, now.

If you do pay attention to polls, bear this in mind: The number of votes cast in the primary are generally lower (often by millions) but the the overall effect is the same. If the turnout is predominantly Republican, most often, the Republican candidate will win in the general. Ditto for Democrats.

If Democrats remain outnumbered in the states most at risk, we stand to lose more than just a bunch of seats. It will only take a loss of eight additional blue seats to get the GOP a filibuster-proof majority. They only have eight seats at risk and by my calculations, only ONE of those seats is remotely up for grabs. That means even IF the Democrats hold on to their existing seats, and add one more, they still won’t have a filibuster-proof majority and they’ll still have to compromise to get anything done.

So if you really want to see that #bluetsunami take Congress, you’ve got some real work to do.

By the way: If you’re seeing “lean blue” in those prognostication sites, you best believe they don’t take the Voting Rights Act into consideration. The only reason I haven’t marked PA, OH and the upper breadbasket states red is because the primaries haven’t happened yet. And I haven’t checked how many of the ones where voting in primary didn’t predict the general to see which wound up blue and which wound up red. Swing state is a misnomer, when you apply voter obstruction and potential hacking to them.

By July, I’ll know how we’re really doing.

People are asking me what we should do. If I ran a super PAC, I’d pool the money and send it in equal amounts to every one of the senators in those tan states. They need more shoring up than the states I’ve marked reliably blue. I dislike the DNC as a reliable funding point. We need a People’s PAC that shores up the blue candidates, because we’re going to see a flood of dollars from Mercer/Koch/___ in the coming months, as they settle on candidates.

Get people to the polls, help them get IDs, make sure they survive Cross Check and purges; that’s the way to combat this. And make sure YOU’re keeping track of your own state primaries (including any run-offs) and you’re still on the rolls.

There are tools you can use to check where you’re registered, whether you’re still on the list, and a lot more. If you’re young and this is your first election, read up on EVERYTHING. The League of Women Voters has chapters in every state and DC.

I haven’t added in the data for the territories yet, but I will, before we get to November.

More later.

But you have to stay…

But you have to stay…

Ya know, since I started posting about this election cycle, the rhetoric has gotten increasingly difficult to take, from both sides. For those of us who are all #VoteBlueNoMatterWho, it’s a no-win scenario.

From either side, I hear that I’m supporting someone disingenuous or incapable of winning. Hillary supporters think Bernie can’t do the job, that his plan is lacking, and that all he has is momentum, and not as much of that as he ought to have. Her supporters think I’m somehow less of a feminist if I support Sanders instead of Clinton.

Bernie supporters think that she’s a pathological liar, she’s in bed with Wall Street and not interested in serving MY needs, and all sorts of other things besides.

Never mind that the press and politicians haven’t touched Bernie and his Democratic Socialism yet because until he’s a real threat (which they’re denying as hard as they can because they would rather continue to smear Hillary). This crap isn’t new. In fact, it’s nearly 40 years old, and ought to be recognizable as a historically embarrassing time in our history. Except, of course, that the history books bear NO mention of what those years really looked like. And haven’t been taught. If the student never studies and never sees what happened, did it ever happen at all? That’s the core of 1984, and the whole of the GOP’s strategy against Hillary Clinton.

Meanwhile, there’s…Trump. Three times married, crude, lewd, greedy narcissistic jerk that he is, he’s garnering the Christian Conservative vote, the White Supremacy vote, the Never Hillary (and Bernie won’t get there) vote, and the Narcissist vote. He’s got the backing of the NRA, and pretty soon, the Koch brothers will line up behind him because it’s the only way they get their way in politics.

Someone asked if anyone else was sick of the rhetoric. I raised my hand, with a link to this article on Rawstory.com regarding Trump trolls posing as Clinton/Sanders supporters, and the link to the stories out of West Virginia talking about the open primary there and who actually crossed the line and why.

BUSTED: Trump-loving comment trolls pose as Sanders and Clinton supporters to divide Democrats

(Note that 4Chan is NSFW, but you can still see the original trolling posts there.) I got back a comment that it was just one guy.

Sigh.

Every time this subject has come up, I’ve said that I won’t stay in the US if Trump wins. I have no desire to live in a fascist theocracy or dictatorship, and I’m absolutely certain that’s what’s coming, with the certain replacement of three to four Supreme Court justices within the coming presidential term.

And the response? You can’t leave! Who’ll fight the battle for the US?

Well, let me tell you, it won’t be me.

I don’t love my country so much that I’m willing to die or be maimed for it. If that makes me a heretic, so be it, but I know for a fact I’m not alone here. I chose not to serve in the military for a reason, and I’ll be damned if I’ll make cannon fodder out of my kids because I opted to stay and fight.

The last post I made, You say you want a revolution…, got a *crickets* response. People really think that revolution is actually a bloodless, painless affair. They truly don’t understand history, have no frame of reference for what freedom fighters did and what it cost them to do it. They can’t fathom what life was like for Anne Frank, or how concentration camps actually worked because teachers don’t teach the history anymore. They’re too busy making sure their students can pass the Pearson tests that fail to cover these aspects of history, whitewash what slavery was truly like, and promote ignorance over reality and historical fact because it’s inconvenient.

No, it’s NOT my job to stay here, take up arms, and fight for my country. It’s my job to protect my kids and to raise them in a safe environment, to ensure their rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Nowhere in that language does it say I have to wield a gun to make that happen, no matter how many 2A apologists want me to think otherwise.

If that’s all the US has left, to give itself over to misogyny and hate, I’m out of here. My passport’s current. Is yours?

If you want me to stick around, make sure Trump doesn’t win.

That’s YOUR job.

You say you want a revolution…

You say you want a revolution…

The Beatles wrote the song Revolution in 1968. It was published as the B-side to Hey Jude and then released in a different version on The White Album.

Listen to the words.

“When you talk about destruction, don’t you know that you can count me out”

I got into an argument over the weekend with a British-born resident of the US who is all in with “Revolution or Bust (his own hash tag). More than the Bernie-Or-Bust movement, or anything that has to do with Hillary Clinton’s fitness for office over Bernie Sanders’ ability to be elected and serve, it got me to wondering just what sort of “revolution” the writer had in mind.

I mean, let’s face it. Even the Glorious Revolution wasn’t actually a bloodless coup.

When I ask what the word “Bust” actually means to the people who keep using it, I get vague responses. Same with the word “Revolution.” Unclear on the concept, these people seem to think that all they have to do is withhold their support for the candidate they don’t like, and somehow by magic everything will be all right come November 9th.

I just don’t see it that way.

This country is way, WAY overdue for a civil war. Ripe, even.

Some of us still harbor ill will based on the last one, which ended 151 years ago. Imagine how long it will take us to recover this time.

Don’t believe me? Look at Germany.

From Kaiser Wilhelm II’s disastrous path to the first World War to the fall of the Berlin Wall, it took Germany close to 100 years to recover and start to heal. It’s not done yet.

When England lost its last great battle for empire, becoming the war zone that we recognize today, it never truly recovered. Spain, France, all these countries came to the aid of the US during the first Civil War.

Now?

Who will end the war if Trump’s supporters sense a government takeover that costs their favorite misogynist carnival barker his role as President and Presumptive Emperor of the USA?

What will that Revolution look like?

Let’s see.

According to GunPolicy.org, there are somewhere between 270,000,000 and 310,000,000 guns in this country, owned by private citizens. In contrast, there are somewhere around 3,850,000 military and law enforcement guns in this country.

Read that again.

That, to my eyes, is a roughly 10:1 ratio of privately owned weaponry. Realistically, there are nowhere near as many households that own the kind of weapons we’re talking about. It’s not a one-to-one ratio because there are roughly 323 million US residents within our borders, including the elderly and children.

Now you tell me, what will a revolution look like?

Next question: How many of those households are planning to vote for a Republican come November? Do you know the answer?

Neither do I, but I have a reasonable guess and right now it’s not looking good for liberals in this country.

For some folks I know, this is no big deal. They figure we’ve survived conservative presidents in the past, and we’ll bounce back.

I think that’s not true. The GOP have done their level best to ensure that Hillary Clinton’s record is entirely questionable, even if that insurance is at least partially baseless. Is she perfect? No. Neither is Bernie Sanders, though he got my vote in the Primary. I believe he believes what he’s saying, and I want to believe he’ll accomplish what he wants to accomplish, but then Barack Obama thought the same thing when he declared his candidacy.

President Obama got my vote because of the toxic crap the GOP piled on the Clintons. The only thing that they could make stick at all was an unfortunate lapse in personal judgment that was never worthy of the impeachment process.

And now, with Independents, Greens and Libertarians all hollering for Hillary’s head on a pike, we’re one step closer to that civil war.

Revolution? Bloody likely.

Best to get your passport in order, or make sure your guns are clean and loaded. You might need one or the other, come January, if not sooner.

 

 

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