Sunday, November 22, 2020

Perhaps the Libertarian Party Needs a Truth and Reconciliation Commission


Per Wikipedia, "A truth commission, also known as a truth and reconciliation commission or truth and justice commission, is an official body tasked with discovering and revealing past wrongdoing by a government (or, depending on the circumstances, non-state actors also), in the hope of resolving conflict left over from the past."

I think that the Libertarian Party may require such a body at this time.

Over the past few years, I've tried to adopt a "let bygones be bygones" attitude toward past party controversies. And over the last four months, I've attempted to apply that attitude to the fuckery characterizing the first day of the second sitting of the 2020 Libertarian National Convention. I've declined to bring said fuckery up, and have tried to respond with brevity when those involved in perpetrating it felt a need to "rectify" its history, Orwell-style.

But a couple of events over the last couple of weeks make me think that it's going to remain a festering boil on the party's body politic until and unless we find a way to lance and drain it.

Event One: One of the ring-leaders of the day one coup, Angela McArdle, has declared her 2022 candidacy for chair of the Libertarian National Committee. I've listened to a couple of podcast interviews featuring Ms. McArdle. Nowhere in those interviews have I heard anything resembling an apology for her participation in a mutiny against the party and all of its affiliates, which shut down the national convention for most of a day with several negative results, including but not limited to the convention adjourning without considering its platform committee's report and recommendations.

Event Two: The secretary of the LNC, Caryn Ann Harlos, has submitted a set of draft minutes for the second sitting in which the mutiny is treated as legitimate convention business rather than as what it was: A day-long shutdown of the Libertarian National Convention during which a rump rebel minority debated the question of Whether It Pleaseth the Crown to Graciously Allow the Convention to Continue.

I do not support purges. I do not propose that Ms. McArdle should be deprived of membership, even if the party's bylaws provided for doing so, and I trust the delegates to judge her candidacy on its own merits. But I do intend to be among those who act to ensure that the 2022 delegates can't claim ignorance of her history of levying war on them.

But when it comes to the draft minutes, adopting them as written would itself be an additional rebellion against the party -- a malicious re-writing of history for the purpose of concealing a rump minority's initiation of force against the party, its affiliates, its members, and its delegates.

If the LNC acquiesces in that malicious re-writing, its affiliates should consider 1) disavowing both the malicious re-writing and the body which attempts to put it over, 2) constituting a new governing body to facilitate their mutual relations, and 3) setting up a mechanism (i.e. a "truth and reconciliation commission") for exposure of the mutiny's ring-leaders and exclusion of those ring-leaders from positions of trust and authority in the national party both for some minimum period of time and absent some open and honest testimony establishing acceptance of responsibility for their crimes.

Friday, November 20, 2020

What Good is a "Transition" for an Unprepared President-Elect-Apparent?


I keep hearing complaints about how the Trump regime is slow-walking the "transition" to the Biden regime.

Even setting aside the fact that the actual presidential election is nearly a month away (electors meet in their states and cast their votes on December 14), I'm not sure I see what the complaint is.

After all, I'm also seeing stories about how Joe Biden is "mulling" the possibility of appointing Merrick Garland to the position of Attorney General, "expected" to select Michele Flournoy for Secretary of Defense, etc.

Joe Biden has been running for president on and off for more than 30 years -- for more than a year-and-a-half this time -- and served for eight years as vice-president in the last Democratic regime, and he still hasn't picked his fucking cabinet. If he hasn't got his shit in one bag by now, how would a "transition" ritual help?


Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Why Presidents Prefer Not to Investigate Former Presidents


"President-elect Joe Biden has privately told advisers that he doesn't want his presidency to be consumed by investigations of his predecessor," NBC News reports (claiming five unnamed sources). Supposed reasons:

  1. "concerns that investigations would further divide a country he is trying to unite and risk making every day of his presidency about Trump"
  2. "he 'just wants to move on.'"
  3. He "wants his Justice Department to function independently from the White House."
Well, maybe those are among his reasons. But there are other good reasons for any president to not want to persecute his or her predecessor.

One is fear of your successor doing unto you as you have done unto your predecessor. Political rivalries being what they are, if sitting presidents start investigating past presidents, they'll find themselves investigated in turn.

Another is fear of finding one's own power constrained while in office. If Trump is successfully prosecuted for something he did while in office, Biden and other future presidents will be less likely to get away with doing similar things while in office. And presidents hate any limits on doing whatever they damn well please.


Concerning Legal Representation


If I found myself charged with a crime, requested a public defender, and arrived at court to find Rudy Giuliani waiting to represent me, I'd probably jump at whatever deal the prosecutor offered, or else just plead guilty and beg mercy from the judge. Just sayin' ...


Tuesday, November 17, 2020

In What Universe do Curfews Make Sense ...


... for preventing the spread of disease?

If preventing spread involves "social distancing" and not crowding as many people into a given place at a time, forcing businesses to close e.g. from 10pm to 6am daily achieves exactly the opposite of the desired effect.

Let's say a gym has 100 active members wanting to work out each day, and each member spends, on average, an hour at the gym (including clothing changes, showers, etc.). That means an average occupancy, at any given time, of about 4.2 members. 

If the gym is open 24 hours a day, at least some of those members will work out in the overnight hours -- meaning there will be fewer people, and a lower average density of people, in the gym at any given time.

Cut the operating hours to 16 and that average occupancy goes up to 6.25 members (ceteris paribus -- some people will presumably give up working out if the hours they want aren't available, and the real occupancy is probably higher during those other 16 hours anyway, but there will be some occupancy increase effect).

Ditto bars and restaurants.

Sure, there probably won't be as many people working out, drinking out, or dining out at 3am as at, say, 7pm, but not allowing people to work out, drink out, or dine out at 3am will just result in at least some of those people making those facilities more crowded at those other times.


Friday, November 13, 2020

If We Can't Even Accurately Test for COVID-19 Yet ...


... how can we possibly know whether a treatment or a vaccine actually works?



Could the "Have the Legislatures Choose the Electors" Dodge Work?


One suggestion in the fight to decide who gets to serve the next presidential term is that state legislatures could defy (actual or alleged) election results in states where Donald Trump seems to be behind Joe Biden but is claiming fraud, and just directly appoint Republican presidential electors.

On one hand, there's nothing in the US Constitution to prevent the state legislatures from choosing presidential electors as such:

Each state shall appoint, in such manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a number of electors, equal to the whole number of Senators and Representatives to which the State may be entitled in the Congress ...

On the other hand, that doesn't mean there aren't problems with, and obstacles to, the idea.

Let's take Pennsylvania as an example.

The first thing to remember is that in all of the states, the legislature has already "directed," via the passage of election laws, that the voters shall choose the presidential electors. It would take a change in law for the legislature to directly assume that power.

And there are two HUGE  problems with any attempt to implement such a change in law.

One is that Pennsylvania has a Democratic governor who could veto any such legislation. The Republicans do not control 2/3 of either house of the legislature such that they could override the veto.

The other is that Pennsylvania's constitution prohibits the passage of ex post facto laws. Any change in the way that electors are chosen would apply only to future elections, not to the 2020 presidential election, which has already happened.

Georgia has a Republican governor, House, and Senate, but its constitution also prohibits the passage of ex post facto laws and its election laws also assign the choosing of presidential electors to the voters.

Michigan has a Democratic governor and a Republican House and Senate without veto-proof majorities. Its laws also assign the choosing of presidential electors to the voters, not the legislature, and its constitution also forbids the passage of ex post facto laws.

Wisconsin likewise has a Democratic governor, a Republican House and Senate without veto-proof majorities, election laws assigning the choosing of presidential electors, and a constitutional prohibition on ex post facto laws.

Absent possession and use of a time machine, it doesn't look to me like that's a plausible route to a second Trump term.


Thursday, November 12, 2020

I'm Thinking It's Time to Change Direction vis a vis the Libertarian Party


There was a time in my life when it wasn't unusual for me to put in 20-40 hours a week, year-round, on Libertarian Party stuff.

These days, I just can't carry that kind of work load in addition to the other things I do. So I try to do a little work for candidates, and also the last two convention cycles I've sought and received appointment to the national platform committee as my "party work" commitment.

I think I did good work in my two terms, and I hope you think so too (unfortunately, the 2020 convention, which was a dumpster fire in many other ways as well, decided to adjourn rather than even consider the platform committee's recommendations; but some good stuff got done in 2018).

I do not plan to seek appointment to the 2022 platform committee. At the moment, especially after a phone call with a friend in the Florida party earlier today, my plan is to spend the next election cycle or two getting involved with my state and local party affiliates again and finding out what I can do to help them be successful.

Friday, November 06, 2020

How Fraud/Cheating Affects My Presidential Election Models


One comment I've had from several people when I point out that e.g. Michigan, Wisconsin (and likely Pennsylvania) went as I predicted is that that's because of cheating/fraud.

They're not necessarily wrong -- but the fact that they're not necessarily wrong tends to support my models, not contradict them.

First, a disclaimer: My "models" for predicting elections are not notebooks full of mathematical calculations. The only real math is "here are the results from last time." Everything else is looking at the trends in play and making educated guesses as to how those trends will affect future results.

When it comes to cheating/fraud in statewide votes for presidential elections in battleground states, I assume it's a wash -- that is, that Republicans will be about as successful at suppressing Democratic votes as Democrats will be at manufacturing Democratic votes -- unless I see clear evidence that there's some kind of change in motion.

I don't assume that in "safe" states. The reason those states are "safe" is that the party in power has the clear upper hand and either doesn't need to cheat or could easily out-cheat the opposition party. It's only when a state looks competitive that I see any need to really consider cheating/fraud as a factor.

My predictions this year missed at least one state, probably two. And they probably missed precisely because I mis-underestimated the cheating success of the party in power.

In Florida, I assumed that the GOP would have, at best, only partial success in suppressing the Democratic vote by defying the will of the voters on restoring former felons' voting rights, ensuring fewer polling places in likely Democratic areas, etc. I also assumed that the "anti-Castro Cuban" (aka "save our sugar subsidies and CIA money") lobby would only have limited success in either getting its vote out, or just plain manufacturing that vote, for Trump. I was clearly wrong.

In Georgia, I assumed that the GOP would be very successful in stealing the 2020 election just like it stole the 2018 midterm, through mass de-registration of likely Democratic voters and such. It looks like I was wrong about that, too.

In both Georgia and Florida, I assumed that the Democratic vote-manufacturing scams would function about as well as usual. I've not seen any reason to believe I was wrong on that count.


Oh When Will They Ever Learn?


In 2012, some of my Republican friends (including some readers of this blog) confidently predicted a Mitt Romney landslide and told me my state by state predictions were nuts. I correctly predicted the main outcome, and the outcomes in 48 of 50 states.

In 2012, some of my Democratic friends  (including some readers of this blog) told me I was completely nuts to predict that Trump would win the election, or that he would carry ANY of the following states: Florida, Ohio, Pennsylvania, or Michigan. He carried all four. Once again, I correctly predicted the main outcome, and the outcomes in 48 of 50 states.

This year, some of my Republican friends (including some readers of this blog) confidently predicted a Trump re-election landslide. They had him holding every state he took in 2016 and adding some to the column, and told me I was nuts when I said he'd lose Florida, Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania.

Here's my latest update to my election night "how right or wrong was Tom?" post:

If things hold per current counts, I will have predicted 47 of 50 states correctly. I've already blown Florida. Current counts say that Pennsylvania and Georgia are going the opposite of my predictions. But I expect Pennsylvania to end up going for Biden, and Georgia may still pull it out for Trump. If one of those two things happen, I'll be 48 for 50, just like the last two elections. If both things happen, I'll be 49 for 50.

Absent some kind of bizarre litigation outcome, this will be the third presidential election in a row in which I have correctly predicted both the overall outcome and the outcomes in at least 47 of the 50 states (I'm almost certain I'll hit 48 again, 50/50 on hitting 49).

So, is anyone interested in a friendly advance wager on the nuttiness or accuracy of my 2024 predictions?

Update, 9am EST Friday: 30 minutes ago,  I wrote "I expect Pennsylvania to end up going for Biden." And then ... Biden overtakes Trump in Pennsylvania vote count. For why, see my Wednesday "bellwether" post.


Thursday, November 05, 2020

Vibe Check


Hopefully the real truth (whatever it is) will out, but I'm getting a strong "convoys to Syria made Saddam's WMD disappear" vibe out of the Trump campaign's legal challenges at this point.

That is, they feel like they're geared more toward setting up a narrative for four years of pretending Trump got robbed than toward actually explaining/changing the results.


Wednesday, November 04, 2020

One Thing It's Hard for Election Models to Account For ...


... is the conflicting strategies of the Democrats and Republicans.

The Democratic strategy is to GET OUT THE VOTE -- even if it that means getting it out of graveyards, etc. In a close race, if the Democrat is behind, count on more ballots to magically appear.

The Republican strategy is to make it as difficult as possible for poor people, black people, etc., to vote. Then, in a close race, if the Republican is behind, sue left and right to stop votes from being counted.

Here's how my model accounts for that:

Nationally and in competitive areas, I consider it a wash. The Republicans are probably going to subtract as many votes as the Democrats add.

Locally, i.e. in state by state prediction, I look at which party is in power, where the political machines are and how powerful they are, etc. close the state looks, and assume  a 1% edge in addition to what polling might indicate on the part of the party with better fuckery machinery (unless one of their schemes is visibly kiboshed, in which case I deduct that advantage).


Well, SOMEONE Has Already Won the Election


I've seen a bunch of articles, tweets, and Facebook posts this morning along the lines of "no, Trump has not already won the election, the votes aren't counted yet."

I don't know whether Trump has won the election or not, but someone has. The votes have been cast. Counting them doesn't decide who wins the election. It just tells us who already did.

Now, the caveat: Winning the election and winning the presidency aren't the same thing.

There are various ways in which the process of selecting the president by election might be thwarted.

For example, stuffing ballot boxes with fake votes.

Or getting the courts to stop the counting while one candidate is ahead, when the other candidate actually has more votes in the remaining pile

But that doesn't change the actual outcome of the election. It just steals the office which was supposed to be decided by the election.


Checking My Pennsylvania Bellwether


 In a comment about a year and a half ago, I wrote:

Take Erie County, which Trump won by about 2,000 votes in 2016 with the Democrats only getting 58,000 votes. Trump got the same number of votes there in 2016 as Romney got in 2012. It was the Democrats who were missing in 2016. In 2012, there were 177,000 votes cast and 93,000 instead of 58,000 of them were Democratic. That county alone would add 35,000 votes to the Democratic total in the state if the Democrats get their voters to the polls.

So, what's Erie County looking like right now (source link)?

Trump: 56,471
Biden: 41,888
Jorgensen: 1,472

Not looking good for Biden, right?


AND! In the mail balloting so far, Biden's beating Trump by nearly 5 to 1.

If that ratio holds constant, Biden will get more than 29,000 more votes, and Trump will only get fewer than 6,000.

And if the rest of Pennsylvania looks similar vis a vis numbers of uncounted mail ballots and Biden advantage in mail voting, Biden will carry the state.

"Top Two" Fails in Florida


I was hoping it would, and it did.

The purposes of the proposed amendment were to 1) protect gerrymandered districts in perpetuity by making sure that ONLY the gerrymander party's candidates appeared on the November ballot, and 2) to kill third parties by ensuring that in competitive districts, only the duopoly parties appeared on the November ballot.

There was one big weakness in that second purpose -- in a competitive district with big Republican and Democrat primary fields, a single third party candidate with some money and a real campaign might be able to make the "top two," and I was already doodling a strategy paper on how to exploit that if it passed  -- but overall it was a bad, bad thing and I'm glad it went down.


Well, That Ought to Wrap Things Up for Tom Cotton's Presidential Aspirations


With 90% of precincts reporting, Libertarian Ricky Lee Harrington has just over 1/3 of the vote for US Senate from Arkansas and is carrying three counties.

Tom Cotton's been too busy running for president (come 2024) to bother campaigning for his own US Senate seat, and the result is that he wasn't quite able to get twice as many votes as a Libertarian. The GOP should laugh him out of the debate room if he takes a shot at its presidential nomination.

Tuesday, November 03, 2020

Election Night Open Thread w/Prediction vs. Reality Goodness


So, here's my prediction from October 11:


I'll try to keep up with states (as "called" by some medium or network I haven't picked yet), for as long as I stay awake, and as they come in ... which means this post may actually be updated for several days if there's recount/lawsuit fuckery.

"Open thread" means I'd love to see ongoing discussion in comments as the night proceeds. 

A legend for the accounting below -- Green means I called the state correctly. Red means I blew it. I'm using Politico's results page as my source.

Alabama MY CALL: Trump  | ACTUAL RESULT: TRUMP
Alaska MY CALL: Trump  | ACTUAL RESULT: TRUMP
Arizona MY CALL: Biden  | ACTUAL RESULT: BIDEN
Arkansas MY CALL: Trump  | ACTUAL RESULT: TRUMP
California MY CALL: Biden  | ACTUAL RESULT: BIDEN
Colorado MY CALL: Biden  | ACTUAL RESULT: BIDEN
Connecticut MY CALL: Biden  | ACTUAL RESULT: BIDEN
Delaware MY CALL: Biden  | ACTUAL RESULT: BIDEN
District of Columbia MY CALL: Biden  | ACTUAL RESULT: BIDEN
Florida MY CALL: Biden  | ACTUAL RESULT: TRUMP
Georgia MY CALL: Trump  | ACTUAL RESULT: BIDEN
Hawaii MY CALL: Biden  | ACTUAL RESULT: BIDEN
Idaho MY CALL: Trump  | ACTUAL RESULT: TRUMP
Illinois MY CALL: Biden  | ACTUAL RESULT: BIDEN
Indiana MY CALL: Trump  | ACTUAL RESULT: TRUMP
Iowa MY CALL: Trump  | ACTUAL RESULT: TRUMP
Kansas MY CALL: Trump  | ACTUAL RESULT: TRUMP
Kentucky MY CALL: Trump  | ACTUAL RESULT: TRUMP
Louisiana MY CALL: Trump  | ACTUAL RESULT: TRUMP
Maine MY CALL: Biden Statewide, Trump District 2  | ACTUAL RESULT: BIDEN STATEWIDE, TRUMP DISTRICT 2
Maryland MY CALL: Biden  | ACTUAL RESULT: BIDEN
Massachusetts MY CALL: Biden  | ACTUAL RESULT: BIDEN
Michigan MY CALL: Biden  | ACTUAL RESULT: BIDEN
Minnesota MY CALL: Biden  | ACTUAL RESULT: BIDEN
Mississippi MY CALL: Trump  | ACTUAL RESULT: TRUMP
Missouri MY CALL: Trump  | ACTUAL RESULT: TRUMP
Montana MY CALL: Trump  | ACTUAL RESULT: TRUMP
Nebraska MY CALL: Trump Statewide, Biden District 2  | ACTUAL RESULT: TRUMP STATEWIDE, BIDEN DISTRICT 2
Nevada MY CALL: Biden  | ACTUAL RESULT: BIDEN
New Hampshire MY CALL: Biden  | ACTUAL RESULT: BIDEN
New Jersey MY CALL: Biden  | ACTUAL RESULT: BIDEN
New Mexico MY CALL: Biden  | ACTUAL RESULT: BIDEN
New York MY CALL: Biden  | ACTUAL RESULT: BIDEN
North Carolina MY CALL: Trump  | ACTUAL RESULT: TRUMP
North Dakota MY CALL: Trump  | ACTUAL RESULT: TRUMP
Ohio MY CALL: Trump  | ACTUAL RESULT: TRUMP
Oklahoma MY CALL: Trump  | ACTUAL RESULT: TRUMP
Oregon MY CALL: Biden  | ACTUAL RESULT: BIDEN
Pennsylvania MY CALL: Biden  | ACTUAL RESULT: BIDEN
Rhode Island MY CALL: Biden  | ACTUAL RESULT: BIDEN
South Carolina MY CALL: Trump  | ACTUAL RESULT: TRUMP
South Dakota MY CALL: Trump  | ACTUAL RESULT: TRUMP
Tennessee MY CALL: Trump  | ACTUAL RESULT: TRUMP
Texas MY CALL: Trump  | ACTUAL RESULT: TRUMP
Utah MY CALL: Trump  | ACTUAL RESULT: TRUMP
Vermont MY CALL: Biden  | ACTUAL RESULT: BIDEN
Virginia MY CALL: Biden  | ACTUAL RESULT: BIDEN
Washington MY CALL: Biden  | ACTUAL RESULT: BIDEN
West Virginia MY CALL: Trump  | ACTUAL RESULT: TRUMP
Wisconsin MY CALL: Biden  | ACTUAL RESULT: BIDEN
Wyoming MY CALL: Biden  | ACTUAL RESULT: Biden

Update, 8:27pm EST: Fifteen states in, but none of the "battleground" states that weren't easily predictable (I got all 15 right). Florida's running tight, and I may have blown that call.

Update, 10:30pm EST:  So far, I'm 25 for 25, based on states that Politico has called -- but at least one of those states, Virginia, seems at the moment to be going against the call. And the real "battlegrounds" still aren't in. I'm going to bed. And frankly, I don't think we'll be very sure who won when I get up in about seven hours. See you then!

Update, 5:50am EST: With 44 states called, I'm 43 for 44. But of course the one I blew is a big one (Florida), and the ones that haven't been called yet (Alaska, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin) will be decisive.

Update, 2:35pm EST: Associated Press has called Wisconsin for Biden, but Politico isn't showing that yet, so I'll wait to mark it up.

Update, 4:50pm EST: CNN and NBC have called Michigan for Biden, but Politico isn't showing that result yet, so I'll wait to mark it up. If those last two calls are correct, it's all over but the litigation. I'm still interested in how Pennslyvania and Georgia go, though, because I've got a PredictIt bet on Biden winning by 100-149 electoral votes.

Update, 8:30am EST Friday: If things hold per current counts, I will have predicted 47 of 50 states correctly. I've already blown Florida. Current counts say that Pennsylvania and Georgia are going the opposite of my predictions. But I expect Pennsylvania to end up going for Biden, and Georgia may still pull it out for Trump. If one of those two things happen, I'll be 48 for 50, just like the last two elections. If both things happen, I'll be 49 for 50.

Update, 9am EST Friday: 30 minutes ago,  I wrote "I expect Pennsylvania to end up going for Biden." And then ... Biden overtakes Trump in Pennsylvania vote count. For why, see my Wednesday "bellwether" post.

Update, 1:05pm EST Saturday: The last three uncalled states are Alaska, Georgia, and North Carolina. So far, my predictions have proven accurate in 46 of 47 states called. I expect to also be proven correct in Alaska and North Carolina, for 48 of 50.

Update, 10:41am EST December 2: I waited out most of the litigation/recount stuff before "calling" the last few states. Final result, 48 out of 50 for the third time in a row.

Old Chromebox, New Life


I got my first Chromebox in 2012 -- the OG model, Samsung Series 3.

Later, I upgraded to an Asus (CN62, I think), and handed the Samsung over to my son. He used it until this week, even though its service updates ended a couple of years ago.

Yesterday and today (with some assistance from me on the hardware), he flashed its BIOS, installed a new solid state drive, and installed Debian Linux (with xfce GUI) on it.

So now an obsolete, eight-year-old Chromebox is probably going to be a pretty decent Linux box.

But, scandalously, he intends to install Chicago95, a Windoze 95 styled theme. Even though he constantly uses ChromeOS, Linux, etc., he likes to pretend that Windoze is a real OS, even a good one. And when I mock him, he calls me a Boomer.


Monday, November 02, 2020

If I Could Get One Thing Out of the Election Tomorrow ...


... it would be the end of Tom Cotton's presidential prospects.

Cotton's been campaigning hard, but not to retain his Senate seat. He's been barnstorming around the country, in theory as a Trump proxy, but mostly to position himself for a 2024 presidential campaign.

The reason he doesn't think he needs to campaign for his Senate seat is that his Democratic opponent withdrew from the race, after the filing deadline, when Cotton's campaign dumped a bunch of embarrassing oppo research.

That means the Senate race in Arkansas is Tom Cotton (R) vs. Ricky Harrington (L). And while most polls show Cotton winning easily, at least one has him only 11 points up on Harrington, 49-38, with 13 percent undecided.

If Harrington wins, Cotton's finished.

If Cotton can't knock down at least 2/3 of the vote in a race against an under-funded Libertarian candidate, he should be finished vis a vis  the presidency. His opponents for the GOP's presidential nomination will make hay with it -- "the guy can't even get double the Libertarian vote in his own state, how can he beat a Democrat nationally?"

Sometimes it's hard to tell whether Cotton really is batshit insane or whether he's just an opportunistic snake. I strongly suspect he's equal measures of both -- whackjob and sociopath. Getting his grubby little rat claws off of and far, far away from the levers of power would be a real win for freedom and America. Ricky Harrington is a hero for his efforts to accomplish that.


Sunday, November 01, 2020

My Amazon Review of the Nakto Camel F Electric Bicycle ...


 ... is available here. (Note: Our family Amazon account is in my wife's name)

Given previous bad experiences, I waited until I had put more than 100 miles on the bike to write a full review. That doesn't mean something couldn't go wrong at 150 miles, or a thousand miles ... but I figure 100 miles is a reasonable marker for "obvious defects" judgment. If something was going to go wrong because of defective parts, poor quality control, etc., it probably would have by now.

Put another 15 miles or so on it last night, riding to the gym and back. No problems.

Some time in the next 30-60 days, I want to see if I can get 50 miles out of a battery charge with a little muscle and judicious use of pedal assist.

If I can get 50 miles out of a battery charge, I may consider buying a second battery. That would give me 100-mile range (round trip or one-way with the ability to charge at the other end). That would get me to Jacksonville, or even the Georgia state line, one way, or round trip to Fort White, Cedar Key, Ocala, etc.


Thanks For Asking! -- 11/01/20


Ah, the first of the month ... time for the monthly "Ask Me Anything" thread!

Ask me anything in comments.

Yes, anything.

I'll answer in comments, or possibly in a stand-alone post or other format that I'll link from comments.

OK, let's do this.



Is the 2020 Presidential Election Already Over?


Americans cast 136,669,276 votes in the 2016 presidential election.

As of yesterday, according to the US Elections Project, Americans had already cast 92,038,417 votes in the 2020 presidential election.

Assuming similar or even higher turnout, it looks like there are still a lot of votes to be cast.

BUT!

The US Elections Project also asserts the existence of 32,303,784 mail ballots "outstanding," i.e. "yet to be returned." Some of those probably weren't cast (the voters forgot, or just decided screw it and threw them in the trash), others may still be in (or be lost in) the mail, still others may be sitting in mail bags at election authority offices waiting to be processed as "received."

Let's look at some battleground states (same source):

In 2016, Arizonans cast 2,604,657 total presidential ballots. This year, Arizonans requested 3,383,433 mail ballots and have already returned 2,302,756 of them.

In 2016, Floridians cast 9,420,039 presidential votes. This year, they've already cast 8,294,115.

Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin are all way behind Florida and Arizona in terms of "actual votes so far in 2020" versus "votes cast in 2016." Actual turnout on Tuesday in those states will be depressed. They're up north where the weather isn't as nice. They're more "lockdown-oriented" vis a vis COVID-19. Their urban areas seem more inclined to "civil unrest." All three of those factors make standing in line with a bunch of strangers for hours unattractive.

I suspect that in all of the "battleground" states, the die is cast. Whoever was winning in each state this morning will still be winning in that state come Tuesday night.


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