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

Fox News shows Joe Biden at 264. (One needs 270 to win.)

According to Fox, four states are undecided. Biden only needs to win one.

In the three where Trump is leading:

  • it appears that Trump will win North Carolina;
  • it appears that Biden will eventually end up winning Pennsylvania;
  • Georgia is impossible to predict because the candidates are only 30,000 votes apart, but the number of uncounted votes is now fairly small, so Biden’s chances are narrowing.

What if Biden can’t win one of those three? If Trump wins all three where he is leading, the entire election hinges on Nevada! Biden thinks he will win there, but the candidates are in a virtual tie in Nevada as of midnight Wednesday.

It now seems certain that Biden will win the popular vote (96% likelihood). In fact, the Sleepy One has about a 93% chance to get more than 50% of the vote. Of course, that is irrelevant, but 538 feels that Biden’s chances also look excellent in the Electoral College.

The odds makers have a different take on it. Based on the odds, Trump has an implied 40% chance of winning the Presidency again. “On the 12th October 2016, Donald Trump’s 2016 election odds implied he only had a 19.1% chance of defeating Hillary Clinton. Therefore, according to sportsbooks, Trump is in a much better situation this time round.”

A salient fact is that 75% of the money has been wagered on Trump in recent weeks.

Biden, you monster!


Earlier, “President Trump mockingly warned at his rally in Nevada late Sunday that Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden would ‘listen to the scientists’ if elected.”

Gee, I wonder what happened to countries that did follow the science.

Oh …

“The Chinese economy grew 4.9% between July and September, as China becomes the first major economy to recover from the Covid-19 pandemic.”

Two ways to look at the latest developments in Colorado:

(1) “Senate Majority PAC, a group aligned with Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer, is pulling its remaining $1.2 million in TV ads out of Colorado in a sign of confidence that former Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper has a solid lead over Cory Gardner, the first-term GOP incumbent.”

(2) Despite Hickenlooper’s lead in the polls and Senate Majority PAC’s expression of confidence, a Gardner campaign spokesman, asked to comment on national Democrats’ decision, had a different interpretation. “It’s clear the Democrats also know John Hickenlooper has no chance of winning,” said Gardner spokesman Jerrod Dobkin, who probably added, “Oh, I see. Running away, eh? You yellow bastards! Come back here and take what’s coming to ya! I’ll bite your legs off!”

(It’s possible that Loops has already won. Colorado votes 100% by mail, Loopy is up by some 9-10% in the polls, and the early balloting rush has been astounding.) At the top of the ticket, it appears that Biden will win by a landslide. (Hillary won it by five points in 2016.)

According to 538, the overall national battle for control of the Senate is too close to call. (Slight edge to blue at the moment, but with a lead too fragile to weather the vagaries of October.)

“You have declared, ‘It’s time to put an end to the barbaric legacy of Roe v Wade,’ so this is obviously a matter of deep principle for you. My question is this: ‘Would you cast a vote to uphold a law you considered barbaric and was against your personal principles if that law appeared to be valid and constitutional?'”

That is the same question I would ask of every court nominee (absent the word “barbaric,” which is specific to her), and it is the only question I care about, so I would use all of my time until they committed to an answer. If they answered “yes” convincingly, if I believed they could vote against a deeply-held belief if to do so was the proper application of the law, I would vote to confirm. If they answered “no” or, more likely, tried to weasel out of giving an answer, I would vote to reject.

Which means I would probably vote to reject every nominee, whether “liberal” or “conservative.” I don’t care whether they are liberal or conservative. In fact, I want them to be neither, ala David Souter. I just want them to make up their minds AFTER studying the case, not before.

Did you know …

In a presidential election in the USA, it is possible to get more than 75% of the popular vote in a two-person election, only to see your opponent inaugurated.

Here’s how that could happen: Larry Loser wins 100% of the popular vote in states that add up to 268 electoral votes, but he loses the remaining states by the smallest margin possible. Depending on the exact breakdown of the states (or sub-states in the cases of Maine and Nebraska), that would result in one candidate winning the popular vote by approximately a 3-to-1 ratio, but losing the electoral college 270-268.

“The development marks the completion of a head-spinning 48 hours. Trump, on Tuesday, took to Twitter to call off the stimulus talks entirely, sending markets into a dive. Eight hours later he called for piecemeal legislation to address the economic hardship created by the coronavirus pandemic — something Democrats have repeatedly rejected. By Wednesday night, Mnuchin called Pelosi and said the President was interested in coming back to the table, according to a person familiar with their conversation. Now, the President is once again open to a bigger deal.”

Why the sudden swing? Voters feel the President took a beating in the debate. Among those who had an opinion of the “winner,” Biden won 49-24. More important was this question:

Did the presidential debate make you …

More likely to support Donald Trump…………… 6
More likely to support Joe Biden ………………… 19
Made no difference…………………………………… 73
Not sure………………………………………………… 2

So among voters who were swayed one way or the other, Biden held a 3-1 edge.

This post-debate poll of the popular vote may be accurate, but is almost meaningless because of the electoral college. Yes, Trump will lose California by some five million votes, but the swing states are all pretty much still in play. (Additional polls from RCP)

Obviously a corrupt move to keep the vote down in the major cities, which vote Democratic.

Harris County, Texas (Houston) encompasses 1,800 square miles. It is much larger than the state of Rhode Island and has four times as many people. It also has some of the worst traffic in the USA, so it can take hours to get from one part of the county to another in the worst conditions. Even in the best of conditions, the county is 60 miles wide and congested. This proclamation makes it extremely difficult to get to the one and only drop box – and that’s for middle class voters with autos. It’s almost impossible for people who have to rely on public transportation.

“First they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out—because I was not a socialist. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out— because I was not a trade unionist. Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—because I was not a Jew. Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.”

– Martin Niemöller, speaking of the Third Reich.

The Daily Caller Threatens to Sue Louisville Police After Two of its Reporters Arrested During Riots

“I am packed in with 28 other people in a 20×20 cell. Not all of us have masks, and there is not enough room so people are sleeping on the floor.”

Not only did the adviser suggest that the case should not be dropped, but he also suggested Flynn should now face additional charges – based on the prosecutors’ own words, as well as Flynn’s conflicting statements!

“Gleeson emphasized that DOJ has never conceded one of Flynn’s central points: that his guilty plea was the product of prosecutorial misconduct. And that discrepancy, he says, tears the cover off the pretext for dismissing the case. Gleeson also argued that Flynn should be punished for additional “perjurious” statements during earlier proceedings in the case, such as asserting in court under oath that he wasn’t coerced into pleading guilty. He has since claimed prosecutors threatened to prosecute his son, Michael Flynn Jr., if he didn’t plead guilty — a contention DOJ has rejected.”

“[I]n refuting Flynn’s claims of prosecutorial misconduct as ‘unfounded,’ the Government makes clear there was no prosecutorial misconduct, coercion, or secret deals,” Gleeson argues. “Thus, in defense of its Rule 48(a) motion, the Government confirms that Flynn not only lied to this Court but is now doubling down by continuing to submit false allegations of prosecutorial misconduct to excuse his false denial of guilt.”

Mattis on Trump:

On his decision to resign, Mattis said:

“I was basically directed to do something that I thought went beyond stupid to felony stupid.”

I dunno. I kinda think this one is on Mattis. He was shocked that Donald Trump asked him to do something “felony stupid”? It seems to me that if you go to work for Donald Trump, you should be aware that everything he asks you to do will be stupid or illegal or both.

“He’s dangerous. He’s unfit. What we’re doing is we’re actually showing how to destroy America. That’s what we’re showing them. How to isolate us from all of our allies. How to take us down. And it’s working very well. We are declaring war on one another inside America.”

Take your pick

Melania Knauss, from the French MAX magazine, January, 1997, as photographed by Alé de Basse­ville.

image host

or Jackie O, caught by paparazzi in November of 1972

image host

You may find this article interesting. “Aristotle Onassis (her husband) Allegedly “Arranged for” the Paparazzi to Take Nude Photos of Jackie Kennedy. Their marriage was complicated, to say the least.”

Excerpt:

By the end of 1972, things had turned ugly between Jackie and Ari. Gillon wrote that Jackie “regularly overspent her monthly allowance and then pleaded for more money.” In retaliation, Onassis would leak stories to the press about said spending habits. But the most egregious shot was fired that November when Aristotle “arranged for photographers to take photos of [Jackie] sunbathing nude on Skorpios — photos that made their way into Larry Flynt’s pornographic magazine Hustler.”

That is Tucker Carlson’s take on the murder of the Kenosha protesters.

Actually, he’s right to say we should not be shocked by their actions. He’s just wrong about the reasons.

I’m not shocked at all that a teenager committed an act of violent mayhem in public with a powerful weapon in a country where a teenager can roam about with impunity in public with a powerful weapon. It’s completely obvious that it’s not a matter of whether these sorts of things will happen, but merely of when.

“White House counselor Kellyanne Conway announced Sunday evening she will leave her post at the end of the month while her husband, George Conway, said he was withdrawing from The Lincoln Project, both citing a need to focus on their family.”

(The family crisis is real. They have several adolescent children, so there’s home schooling, and the usual teen angst, and one of their daughters is seeking emancipation at 15. That daughter holds fierce anti-Trump convictions, but she says that’s not the reason she seeks her freedom.)

Really? What was your first clue?

He has no principles. None. None. You can’t trust him. His goddamned tweet and lying, oh my God. The change of stories. The lack of preparation. The lying. Holy shit. It’s the phoniness of it all. It’s the phoniness and this cruelty. Donald is cruel.”

On another subject:

“He doesn’t read. I did his homework for him.”

Her assistance didn’t seem to help much. Even with his sister completing his home assignments, Trump was still a mediocre-to-poor student.

Trump seems never to have come across that famous proverb about people who live in glass houses. One of his professors, long before Trump entered politics, called him, “the dumbest goddam student I ever had.”

AOC’s response was to the point:

The alleged Trump report card pictured above is a ridiculously bad forgery. Donald and I were both students at Fordham University in calendar year 1966. Here is what the grade reports looked like in that era.

And here is what the grading system looked like in the late 60s. (It was identical in 1966, except without the “P”

So the problems with the forgery are:

1) It is anachronistic. Nothing looked that sophisticated in 1964-66.
2) Many of the grades on that report did not exist at Fordham then. In that era, there was no A-, B-, C-, D+, D- or F+. Many of the old-time teachers didn’t even like the new-fangled “plusses” and awarded only A, B, C, D, F.
3) The course numbering is wrong. In that era, the second semester of an intro course at Fordham would be numbered 12, not 102. That changed in the 67-68 year, but Trump was gone by then.
4) All real grade reports from Fordham in that era are clearly dated “Jan” or “June” of the appropriate year, marking the month after the conclusion of the semester, as shown above. The fall semester of 1966 would be dated “Jan 67,” as shown above. The spring semester would be dated “June 66.”

Feel free to share this in any way you like.

=============

I will certainly be happy to compare grade reports with The Donald for that 1966 year, and will be pleased to add a large side-bet to the winner (me).

In fairness, Trump was not a D student at Fordham (as pictured by the fake grade report). Two people who saw his grade reports said they were in the C+ to B range. That’s not bad, but Mary Trump points out in her book that Trump’s sister did all his home assignments for him, so I suppose he would have not done that well on his own.

He can’t stand for anyone else to get attention, particularly when they use the spotlight to diss him non-stop, so you know he will come up with one of his biggest distractions today or tomorrow or the next day, in order to move the focus back from the Democratic convention onto himself. You know it will be big and outrageous. What are your guesses?

  • Will he arrest a major political opponent?
  • Will he pardon some major criminal like Manafort?
  • Will he insist that the election will require a do-over if there are too many mail-in ballots?
  • Will he sell fracking rights to the national parks to Exxon?
  • Will he sack Ben Carson and replace him with Roger Stone?
  • Will he support Q to write the GOP platform?
  • Will he announce the beginning of construction on having his head added to Mt. Rushmore?
  • Will he announce that he’s replacing Pence on the ticket with Sheriff Joe?
  • Will he begin bombing Iran?
  • Will he announce that we will leave NATO and start a new Warsaw Pact with Putin and Belarus?
  • Will he announce the “mysterious” death of Michael Cohen?
  • Will he sell the USPS to the My Pillow guy for two cents on the dollar?
  • Will he announce that his next nomination to the Supreme Court will be Julian Assange?

C’mon, you know it’s coming. What will it be? Your guesses …

Trump suggests postponing the election. Obviously this is not consistent with his stated belief that he’s actually ahead in the polls.

Even if he had the power to do that (he does not), it would not work out as he planned. His term of office expires in January, whether there is an election or not. That is also true of the House and 1/3 of the Senate.

The Constitution reads, “The terms of the President and the Vice President shall end at noon on the 20th day of January.”

On January 20, with no President or Vice-President or Speaker of the House, the Chief Justice would swear in the Senate’s President Pro Tempore as the next President of the United States. Since the Senate would, at that time, have 35 Democrats and 30 Republicans, and since the position is elected by the Senate, the President would be a Democrat. By custom, the Senate has elected the longest-standing member of the majority party to the post, but that is not a legal or constitutional requirement. Given the unique hypothetical scenario, the most likely choices would be Elizabeth Warren and Kamala Harris. (Bernie is not well liked and is only kinda-sorta a Democrat, while Cory Booker would not be eligible since his term would have expired in this theoretical scenario.)

So even if Trump did manage to delay the election, he would most likely have the humiliating experience of watching the inauguration of his arch-enemy, President Pocahontas. (Or perhaps worse in his eyes, a woman of color!) Of course, they would only be able to hold office until the actual election is conducted, at which time the winner would be inaugurated.

I might also note that I don’t think either of those women would be particularly lenient in the pardon department when Trump is eventually sentenced for his crimes. I think they would not hesitate to ship him off to the calaboose. He’d be much better off taking his chances with President Joe Biden, who is a soft-hearted cuss.

NOTE #1: in some states the governor may appoint a replacement senator in the case of a vacancy. Therefore, the GOP might be able to hold on to the Senate, depending on the appointments between Jan 3 and Jan 20, in which case the new President of the USA would be the Republican President Pro Tempore of the Senate. Heaven only knows who they would choose.

NOTE #2: Various scholars argue that the states can proceed with House and Senate elections even if there is no Presidential option. In that case, the Speaker of the House of Representatives could become President. The House is under no legal or constitutional obligation to choose a member as its Speaker, so the temporary President of the USA could literally turn out to be anyone. It might be Pelosi, but it could even be Crooked Hillary! (If I were in the House, I might consider trying to get the body to elect James Comey as its Speaker! But that’s just me.)

WTF? C’mon, Joe. Even with your history classes so many decades in the past, you must realize that is wrong. Hell, eight Presidents owned slaves while they were in the office of the presidency, and four others owned slaves at other times. Even the beloved FDR approved internment camps for Americans of Japanese heritage.

And then there were Andrew Jackson and Woodrow Wilson, two flagrant, unapologetic racists.

Trump may be the worst one since Wilson, although he has some competition even there, but he’s certainly not the first, and given the looming presence of Ol’ Hickory, Trump doesn’t even have a good claim to be the worst.