Just a matter of passing interest.

In the era between WW2 and Trump, only two elected presidents have run for a second term and lost the general election:

In 1980, Jimmy Carter ran for a second term. Forty-four million Americans went to the polls to vote for his main oppponent (Reagan). In all, 51 million Americans voted against him.

In 1992, George Bush the Elder tried for a second term. Forty-five million Americans went to the polls to vote for his main oppponent (Clinton). In all, 65 million Americans voted against him.

In 2020, Donald Trump the Elder ran for a second term. Eighty million Americans went to the polls to vote for his main oppponent (Biden). In all, 83 million Americans voted against him.

The comparison is made more significant by the fact that Americans were not universally and specifically rejecting Carter and Bush, two decent men. Many Americans liked those two but nonetheless turned out to vote for charismatic opponents in elections complicated by substantial third-party voting. In the 2020 election … well, nobody thinks of Biden as Joey Charisma. Furthermore, down-ballot Republicans did fairly well. It’s obvious that the vast majority of those eighty million people who voted against Trump were casting votes specifically to reject Donald Trump.

It was the most resounding rejection of a president in modern history, and by a very large margin. Before this, no modern President trying to be re-elected for a second term had ever been replaced by an opponent receiving more than 45 million votes. Trump has been replaced by an opponent receiving 80 million votes.

In fairness, we should also note that no President running for re-election ever received as many votes as Donald Trump.

Voter turnout in the 2020 Presidential election was the highest it has been in 120 years! There were record numbers of votes for the president, and even more impressive record numbers of votes against him. Because Donald Trump is so loved and so hated, he has in a sense re-energized American democracy as much as he has polarized it. His very presence has made people on both sides more aware of the importance of the right to vote, and of the potential cost of not exercising that right. He has raised the stakes.

538’s overview

CNN’s election map

UPDATE:

1. Biden has won Arizona and Georgia.

2. Trump has won Alaska and North Carolina

The final electoral count is 306-232.

Several recounts will happen, but the margins are all far greater than the largest amount ever shifted by a recount.

The lawsuits will not change any results. They are all either lacking in merit or so insignificant as to have no impact on the result.

I’m sure you are well aware that all eyes and everyone’s remaining dollars will get poured into Georgia, where control of the Senate is at stake. Everyone in Georgia is likely to remain as annoyed with their fellow Georgians as we all have been with each other for months, and everyone in the state will be miserable except the TV, radio, print and billboard salesmen, all of whom stand to earn record commissions from the expected deluge of political ads.

image host

We’ll take “recently deceased” for $1000.

This beloved quiz show host has poted his last potable.

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Ken Jennings’ tweet says it all:


UPDATE #13, 11:00 AM EST on Saturday. Joe Biden has won Pennsylvania and (apparently) the Presidency.

  • Trump is holding on in North Carolina, and that will not get updated for about a week. Looks safe for Trump.
  • Georgia is already planning a recount because the race is incredibly tight. It does appear that Biden will hold on to the state, but it can’t be called.
  • Although Fox and the AP called Arizona for Biden, Trump may prove them wrong and win there, because he gets closer every time they count another tranche of ballots. Biden is only ahead by 20,000 with 125,000 left to count. It will go down to the wire.

UPDATE #7. Donald Trump will get more votes than any American has ever previously received in a presidential election – but will lose by some five million votes. Obviously that means that the voter turnout was immense on both sides. People were very involved and passionate in this election, but it also means that a vast number of Americans love Donald Trump, whose vote total will exceed Obama’s in 2008! Of course, that direct comparison is inappropriate in that Obama got about ten million more votes than his opponent, but the 2020 vote count still reflects Trump’s immense popularity, as well as his immense unpopularity. I disagree with Biden’s claim that America has given him some kind of mandate. The GOP held the Senate and gained seats in the House. The presidential vote was purely a referendum on Trump. We simply rejected an asshole, so Biden’s only mandate is not to be an asshole.

Fox News election maps

538’s live blog

She’s Bulgarian, and obviously a gifted comic actress. Here is her photo gallery on IMDb.

And here are some topless shots

Here is her scene with America’s mayor. (The downloaded clip has sound, but the preview does not.)

Here is “A Shot-by-Shot Analysis of the New Borat’s Giuliani Scene”

Borat explains:


The document has been redacted, but the people responsible for the redactions were incompetent. They left the index in the document and only redacted the words in the index, not the page and paragraph references.

Thus, you can see that at 210:17 there was been a word redacted which is between “depth” and “described,” and another between “airport” and “alcohol.” That would be Al Dershowitz. In other instances, it refers to him as “Alan,” but you can tell which is “Al” and which is “Alan” by the length of the black-out! So the one at 211:15 is obviously “Alan” Dershowitz rather than “Al.”

Similarly, you can match a word between “bikini” and “birth” with a word between “clients” and “clock” at, for example, 130:3. That would obviously be Bill Clinton. That particular reference can be corroborated. The word “Clinton” also appears several times unredacted in some innocent context, and those instances can easily be found in the index under the redacted entry between “clients” and “clock.” Once you know where Clinton can be found, it becomes obvious that the word between “present” and “press” must be “President.”

The one between “analyzed” and “angeles” matches with one between “primary” and “print” at 111:8, for example. That would be Prince Andrew.

Based on the index, neither “Donald” nor “Trump” appears anywhere in the document. Mar-a-Lago appears many times and has not been redacted because the context is innocent.

Masterson faces 45 years to life in state prison if convicted as charged

The incidents happened 17-19 years ago, but the prosecution insists that the statute of limitations excludes crimes of this nature. That may be right, but proving a case to a jury beyond a reasonable doubt is an ambitious prosecution for crimes that happened two decades ago.

Only the best people.

Scott Atlas is a radiologist. He has no training in virology, epidemiology, public health management, statistical analysis, or any other field that would be relevant to the COVID crisis. It appears that he knows far less about viral diseases than laymen who have been cramming on the subject. You would be better off listening to a witch doctor. They always wear masks. And at least garlic poultices and incantations can’t do any harm. It is also believed that Atlas is nudging President Trump in the reckless direction of using a herd immunity strategy with no vaccine on the horizon.

As the director of the CDC pointed out bluntly, “Everything he (Scott Atlas) says is false.”

To repeat the math on herd immunity: scientists estimate that successful herd immunity would require about 2/3 of a population to carry antibodies. In the USA that is about 220 million people. At least 1.4% of Americans who contract the virus are expected to die from it (currently about 700 dead per day, and 50,000 infections per day), so the death toll would be three million.

And that’s if it works.

It probably won’t work because the immunity seems to be short-lived, which means that, lacking a vaccine, a population might never get to a point where 2/3 of the people have antibodies, because by the time the last people are infected, the immunity might be wearing off in those infected early. Let’s suppose that the antibodies last only four months. In that case, the only way to achieve herd immunity is to get antibodies into 220 million people almost instantly, and the only realistic way to do that is with a vaccine. Infecting 220 million people through community spread in three months may not even be possible, but if it were, the health care system could not possibly handle the number of hospital patients that would emerge from the strategy.

At this point I don’t know the actual average duration of immunity, nor does anyone else. Top researchers throughout the world are still learning about COVID-19. But if it is truly as short-lived as four months, we will have a decidedly difficult time with the logistics of fighting it – even with a vaccine, let alone by community spread.

The petition is signed by such notable experts as Dr. Johnny Bananas, Dr. I.P. Freely, and Dr. Person Fakename.

Doctor Dwight Mannsburden was apparently not available.

The original investigation by Sky News revealed that the fake names were actually some of the more reputable signatories. At least they were doctors, albeit imaginary ones. The list also included every kind of quack, crank and self-professed expert you can imagine: homeopaths, massage therapists, hypnotists, and one guy who claims to cure disease through song.

From the comments: “Also on the list: Dr Harold Shipman. This one’s a legit physician and also one of the most prolific serial killers of all time.”

“The federal prosecutor appointed by Attorney General William P. Barr to review whether Obama-era officials improperly requested the identities of individuals whose names were redacted in intelligence documents has completed his work without finding any substantive wrongdoing, according to people familiar with the matter.”

Lyon Gardiner Tyler Jr. passed away last week at 95.

You’re thinking, “What makes him so special?” Lyon Tyler died 175 years after his grandfather left the White House! His grandpa was John Tyler, the 10th president, who was born in 1790. More amazing still is the fact that Lyon’s brother is still alive. As of about 10 days ago, John Tyler had two living grandchildren.

How can they have a grandfather born 230 years ago? President Tyler had 15 children over a long stretch of time, quite late in his life. He was 63 when his son Lyon Gardiner Tyler Sr. was born. In his turn, Lyon Sr. had sons when he was 71 (Lyon Jr) and 75 (Lyon’s brother, Harrison). Those sons, in their turn, lived to be very old men.

“Throughout a pandemic that has now landed squarely in the West Wing, Trump officials — who routinely shunned masks — declined to institute thorough safety protocols to protect the White House press corps, according to interviews with reporters who now face the prospect of a rapidly escalating outbreak in their daily work space.”

Investigators probe ‘possible ecological catastrophe’ in Russia’s Kamchatka region

“Russian investigators said Saturday they were looking into “a possible ecological catastrophe” in the eastern Kamchatka region, after scores of dead sea creatures washed up in one of it bays and surfers reported burns to their eyes and throats.”

What more can go wrong this year?

It’s difficult to imagine anyone in the future looking back at 2020 with nostalgia.


Update

They have now been joined by Kellyanne Conway, Chris Christie, the chairperson of the RNC, Trump’s campaign manager and three Republican senators.