Election Day Countdown: 6 Days

Six days. Less than a week to Election Day.

If you haven’t yet voted and were planning on voting early/absentee, please make a plan which doesn’t rely on U.S. Mail especially if you live in a large city. There are too many reports of First Class mail taking longer than five days to arrive.

Judge Emmett Sullivan — same judge handling the Flynn case — seems a bit tetchy about the U.S. Postal Service handling of ballots:

Worth your time to read the highly-detailed order linked in the Politico article, particularly this bit about the U.S. Mail:

FURTHER ORDERED that by no later than 9:00 AM on October 29, 2020, Defendants shall distribute, in the same form and to the same individuals who were previously advised about the need to “ensure that completed ballots reach the appropriate election official by the state’s designated deadline,” a list of state-specific statutory ballot receipt deadlines, so that the USPS managers and employees can implement the Election Mail guidance that Defendants have recently issued. The parties shall confer and agree and substance of the list. …

You can bet there’s squealing and scrambling going on right now even as I type this at 4:00 a.m.

Will these suits against the USPS be the first cases the new Barrett-added SCOTUS hears if current Postmaster Louis DeJoy refuses to comply and contests Sullivan’s directive?

~ ~ ~

There’s another problem with the SCOTUS already, though this is the pre-Barrett/post-RBG version. Seems Justice Kavanaugh has demonstrated what a hack he is making absurd errors in an opinion on voter suppression:

One of his errors goes right to the problem with the U.S. Mail:

Mistake No. 5: No one thinks they can return their ballot by Election Day if they request it by Oct. 29.

Kavanaugh wrote: “No one thinks that voters who request absentee ballots as late as October 29 can both receive the ballots and mail them back in time to be received by election day.” He cites no support for this assumption, probably because it’s wrong. Many states explicitly allow voters to request absentee ballots even closer to Election Day and instruct them to mail their ballots back. A large number of voters do wait until the last minute to ask for a ballot, which is why a strict deadline disenfranchises so many people. In August, the Postal Service encouraged 46 states to change their deadlines, warning them that ballots requested and returned in accordance with state law might not make it back in time. The Postal Service would not have sent out this warning if “no one” thought the states’ existing deadlines were unrealistic. …

I know there’s been a lot of talk about rejiggering the formulation of the SCOTUS including expansion of the number of justices to ensure improved representation reflecting a center-left country.

But I think we need to have a chat about reformulation including corrections of the existing justices. This opinion by Kavanaugh is so shoddy Congress should consider impeaching and removing him under a Biden presidency. Because it’s ridiculous that Chief Justice John Roberts let this out of his court, Roberts needs to feel a little sting for this as well.

~ ~ ~

Trump’s super spreader campaign rally in Omaha, Nebraska was a disaster Tuesday night. A number of elderly attendees had to be taken by ambulance for treatment of hypothermia due to temperatures in the 20s and the distance from the rally site to the parking lot.

It’s bad enough Trump is making campaign stops in places which Trump won by double digits in 2016 — 25 points, to be more specific. But to do so at physical risk to voters who may not yet have cast a vote?

Utterly stupid.

The capper: the campaign is desperate not only for votes but money.

That’s one way to clean up that $421 million dollars of personal debt.

~ ~ ~

If you’ve already voted, thank you. Please help get other voters to the polls and make this election a massive blue tsunami — a wave so big they can’t steal this election.

129 replies
  1. Rayne says:

    Hammer on these numbers — Trump knows this is a huge problem for his campaign or he wouldn’t complain about everyone paying too much attention to “COVID, COVID, COVID.”

    As of 4:00 a.m. ET:

    8,850,927 confirmed cases, with +73,809 new cases reported yesterday

    226,677 confirmed COVID deaths with +979 new deaths reported yesterday.

    At this rate an estimated 6,000 more Americans will die by Election Day, assuming Trump’s and Pence’s super spreader rallies don’t boost the daily average above 1,000 deaths.

      • Yohei72 says:

        It’s just incredible these people ever managed to win an election, even if by underhanded and illegitimate means. It’s looking more and more like 2016 was a once-in-a-century confluence of lucky circumstances for Trump.

  2. skua says:

    Looks like Keggers may be have been using the bottle in his struggle to function. This would explain his poor quality work product.

    I hope he can hang in there till February.

      • Fran of the North says:

        Presumably because if he were to need to be replaced prior to Jan 21, McConnell would ram another one through. He’ll come up with one cockamamie reason or another why previous situations support a lame duck getting his nominee.

  3. Rapier says:

    The SC probably can’t save Trump now and probably don’t want to. They will instead turn to saving the Senate for the GOP. That’s the lens through which to see Kavanaugh’s opinion in the WI late ballot case and its now fully formed Rehnquist theory of SC oversight of state constitutions. The absurdly undemocratic Senate is the best, easiest and only way to maintain functional minority governance.

    In the worst case scenario where Trump stays there is one way to protest that would bring the system to the brink, if done my millions, without an angry word spoken or punch thrown. It’s one that even the most progressive people won’t consider, That is to sell all ones financial instruments, stocks, bonds, etc. and withdraw the money from the financial system and so deflate the markets, In truth most of our problems, social, political, economic, ethical and spiritual, spring from Americans addiction to the inflation of financial assets, and calling the results ‘wealth’. Well the result would be too terrible to imagine.

    • Yohei72 says:

      -“They will instead turn to saving the Senate for the GOP.”

      This thought occurred to me too, and I’ve been surprised not to see it brought up in all the punditry around the ballot-counting struggles. I see a lot of statements to the effect that Biden is too far ahead for SCOTUS fuckery to throw the election to Trump… but the Senate is going to be a much nearer thing, and those votes are going on the same ballots.

      • Yohei72 says:

        Further to that thought: with Biden looking very strong going into the final week, it’s really the Senate I’m worried about – if the GOP keeps that chamber, Biden gets only roughly half a presidency – he’ll get virtually no legislation through, and he’ll be deluged with BENGHAZI!1!-style bullshit investigations from day one.

        • BobCon says:

          GOP control of the Senate means they shut down all Biden nominations for the courts, including the Supreme Court. He could nominate the zombie of Scalia and not get him through.

          It means the Democrats won’t be able to block last minute Trump regulations under the Congressional Review Act, and it’s safe to say there will be some freakshow last minute regulations (they’re already coming in terms of the environment and top federal employees).

          It means no court expansion and rebalancing either.

          It means the GOP can use the debt ceiling to crash the markets, they can push austerity and bankrupt state and local governments, and they can block public health efforts to bring COVID under control.

          The GOP controlling the Senate and the courts is at least two more years of misery. Burnt earth may backfire on the GOP — I do not know if they can rerun the 2010 playbook successfully — but that is still a nightmare.

            • BobCon says:

              The good news is that even GOP Senate control can’t stop a lot of good things Biden can do, and a lot of evil he can stop. Presidents have far too much power, but the difference between Biden (if fate doesn’t hate us) and Trump will be obvious quickly.

              And while I think the GOP will try to replay 2010, I have serious doubts they will succeed if Biden wins. They are more likely to drive their own numbers down.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      Kavanaugh’s lying or poorly researched concurrence and ABC’s appearance with Trump on his Mussolini balcony suggest the now six-vote reactionary majority very much wants to keep Trump in the Oval Office.

      They’ll get to plans B and C only after plan A (Trump) fails. But it’s a reminder we should keep asking who paid Kavanaugh’s roughly $1.5 million in debt?

    • Chris.EL says:

      didn’t they do a movie about that — Live Free or Die Hard — Timothy Olyphant master computer villain…

  4. Mitch Neher says:

    Rayne wrote, ” . . . a wave so big they can’t steal this election.”

    I’m not sure that there is such a margin of victory as would prevent such a theft, anymore.

    The humiliation of America for the entertainment pleasure of the Russian people would be all the more heightened by Trump and the GOP stealing an election that they had lost in a landslide.

    Maybe that’s why it looks so much like Trump is trying to lose the election by the widest possible margin on purpose.

    • Rayne says:

      While I don’t advocate anybody but the persons paying for polls pay much attention to them, I’ll point to Wisconsin where the most recent poll showed Biden with a 17 point lead over Trump. A double digit loss, if this pans out, would be nearly impossible rejigger to reverse outcome.

      The joy of the people trouncing Trump like this might actually make the Russian people very happy and give them hope. Think about that carefully: it wasn’t the Russian people who propelled Trump into the White House.

      • BobCon says:

        The counterpoint is Biden up by “only” 5 today in WI according to Marquette.

        The counter-counterpoint is that Trump is only at 43%, and even a 3-1 break of undecideds for Trump like in 2016 gives the state to Biden.

        The big thing is that Biden has OK to good leads in so many state polls (NY Times has Biden +8 in MI, Monmouth has Biden +5 in GA(!?!?)) that Biden has a lot of paths to victory while Trump has a very, very thin buffer.

        Regardless, double what you say about the Russian people. They’re not the ones driving things, it’s the oligarchs and Putin.

        • Mitch Neher says:

          I don’t hold the Russian people responsible for the state-run media in Russia any more than I hold Americans responsible for thirteen seasons of The Apprentice.

          P. S. Does anyone really think that Trump is actually trying to win this election??

            • John Lehman says:

              …”Americans responsible for thirteen seasons of The Apprentice.”

              Hate to carry that one to my grave.

          • gmoke says:

            Hold Jeff Zucker responsible for “The Apprentice.” He was the head of NBC who approved the show and gave Trmp a lifeline.

            Now Zucker is head of CNN so don’t believe the hype about a “feud” between Trmp and Zucker. Zucker also has political aspirations, I have been told, and struck me as a seriously odious individual when I met him, soon after he was booted from NBC.

            Why do these creeps always fail upwards? (The Harvard connection is a prime contributor I believe.)

            • BobCon says:

              To this day I do not understand how the guy behind giving Jay Leno a primetime show five nights a week could end up heading another network.

              Zucker’s massive screwup conservatively cost NBC hundreds of millions of dollars; The Conan O’Brien payout alone was $45 million.

              People get blacklisted in the networks for financial mistakes 1% or less of what Zucker did. It’s amazing he’s not working for a home shopping network, especially considering how badly CNN has squandered its opportunities of the past five years.

            • AndTheSlithyToves says:

              According to Cheri Jacobus, Jeff Zucker and Donald Trump had dirt on Roger Ailes, and used it to extract all sorts of bennies. When Jacobus–who was on all the networks as a respected Republican pollster back in the day–pointed out that Trump was not self-funding (as he loudly claimed), but was, in fact secretly and illegally coordinating with a SuperPac, which was actually funding Trump’s bid, Zucker blackballed Jacobis and tried to destroy her. (Don’t know if this was the same entity that took in the September 2016 $10 million bribe from Bank of Egypt or if it was just another mob entity established by the TCS [Transnational Crime Syndicate].) Jacobis is pissed and out for bear. Here she dumps on Cucker Tarlson’s latest propaganda/disinformation/psy-ops from earlier today.
              You coulda made copies. Used a thumb drive. Lots of things. I think perhaps you simply don’t want to get into hot water for fraud and defamation or getting crap from Russia, and this is your easy out.

      • Mitch Neher says:

        I’ll gladly concede that Wisconsin is not yet Belarus.

        But Trump could still become Lukashenko, anyhow.

        I’m waiting for the last note on the fat lady’s aria this time around.

    • John Lehman says:

      “ The humiliation of America for the entertainment pleasure of the Russian people”
      Think the Russian people really don’t care about the details of our humiliation, just that we’re humiliated. It’s a case of Russian Nationalistic schadenfreud.

      They’re still mourning the fall of the Soviet Union and the Eastern European block and the gloating victory dancing we enjoyed at the expense of their humiliation.

      It never really was about politics, socialism/capitalism, it was mostly and still is about excessive personal and nationalistic pride.

      • Spencer Dawkins says:

        I did not graduate from KGB Tech, but my understanding is that the relevant intelligence goal here is not to pick a candidate, but to undermine faith in US elections, both within and outside the US.

        It’s been that way for a very long time. The Soviets were THRILLED that racists kept siccing dogs on Civil Rights protestors and beating them with bats during the 1960s in front of cameras, because that footage went DIRECTLY to African populations with the caption “see? American really despises black people. You don’t think you can trust us, but you can trust us much more than you can trust these Americans”.

        I’ve been waiting for Putin to turn on Trump for four years. It looks like him saying “nothing to see with the Bidens, move along” this past weekend is exactly that.

        This is chinese checkers. He’s got his own triangle to guard – he’s not trying to protect either the Democratic or Republican triangle, and flipping back and forth just means the person he turns on wasn’t expect it.

        The best book I’ve seen on Soviet/Third World intelligence operations is “The World Was Going Our Way: The KGB and the Battle for the the Third World – Newly Revealed Secrets from the Mitrokhin Archive”, by Christopher Andrew. “The Sword and the Shield”, the companion book on East-West intelligence battles during the Cold War, is also quite good.

  5. harpie says:

    Thank you Rayne! I’m still just starting this morning, and haven’t even read this post yet, but from the reporter that uncovered the NRA mess and via Jane Mayer:

    Top FEC Official’s Undisclosed Ties to Trump Raise Concerns Over Agency Neutrality A top Federal Election Commission official, whose division regulates campaign cash, has shown support for President Trump and has close ties to his 2016 campaign attorney, Don McGahn. Experts said the actions raise questions about impartiality. https://www.propublica.org/article/top-fec-officials-undisclosed-ties-to-trump-raise-concerns-over-agency-neutrality Mike Spies and Jake Pearson Oct. 28, 5 a.m.

    Name: Debbie Chacona

      • Alan Charbonneau says:

        Not one of the “Unofficial” GOP drop boxes, I trust!

        I lived in the East Bay of California from 2010 until last year, when I moved to Austin. There was no drama about how the state would vote. Texas is now in the toss-up category and I’m eager to see how it turns out.

        • P J Evans says:

          No, it’s one of the very official ones – the ballot package came with a list of six boxes in the area, and this is the nearest – it’s only about half a mile away, a nice walk on a side street. (Closer than the post office, too.)

      • Chris.EL says:

        Voted at county Registrar’s office in California — ballot design disturbed me!

        Trump’s name was FIRST!! Followed by a few other presidential candidates.

        BIDEN WAS LAST!!!

        Was Trump first because he started his campaign so early?

        • P J Evans says:

          Name order on ballots is random in CA – every precinct gets a different list. (Mine had Biden and Trmp last.) They’ve been doing it that way for decades.

      • blueedredcounty says:

        My birthday was last Friday, and one of the presents to myself was to drop my ballot at the drive-thru County Registrar in San Diego.
        The top-two vote getters in the primary in my district were Democrats, and while I had a preference, I think either would be good.

        Unfortunately, Darrell Issa is running in the old Duncan Hunter district, and his campaign signs proclaim he is the “Trump Candidate.” I have been making contributions to his opponent, Ammar Campa-Najjar, who almost flipped the seat in 2018.

  6. Pete T says:

    On Rachel Maddow last night she went through the absentee/mail-in ballots requested vs ballots returned for: MI, WI, PA, NC, AZ, and FL – likely the states that the race for POTUS will be decided. She “rounded” to 50% turned in vs requested. Maybe closer to 60%, but not great except the numbers requested this go around are very high.

    You can find the segment here: https://www.msnbc.com/rachel-maddow-show

    The direct link to that video segment is overly polluted with tracking crap.

  7. harpie says:

    10/27 – 10/28/20

    9:06 PM AF 1 wheels up from Omaha rally

    11:31 PM https://twitter.com/asanderford/status/1321293371122606080

    If you’re waiting on someone who attended the @realDonaldTrump rally in #Omaha, it may be a while until they get on a bus and get out. Traffic along the small roadway to the private side of Eppley Airfield is backed up and buses were having trouble getting through. We saw this [photos]

    12:56 AM TRUMP retweets this VIDEO [from “Election Wizard”]

    VIDEO 1- Marine 1 arriving at Trump Rally, soundtrack: CCR – “Fortunate Son”.
    VIDEO 2- Biden walking down stairs to a socially distanced event

    12:57 AM

    [asanderford] Spoke just now to the @realDonaldTrump campaign re: the folks still trying to leave. They say they have the plenty of buses but are having trouble getting them to people still waiting because traffic flow on the small, two-lane airport access road is limited to one direction. […]

    1:22 AM

    [asanderford] Looks like most people have made their way to buses or walked out and are finding their way to their cars. Will update if I hear differently. Please let me know by DM or tweet if you’re still part of a crowd that’s waiting.

    • harpie says:

      First, about that soundtrack Trump retweeted:
      9:05 AM · Oct 28, 2020

      Someone on this campaign *really* needs to listen to the lyrics to “Fortunate Son” someday

      Yes, but most of all, they need to STOP STEALING this song:

      4:03 PM · Oct 17, 2020

      Lead singer/songwriter for “Creedence Clearwater Revival” [JOHN FOGERTY] says he is issuing “cease and desist” order to Trump for using his iconic song, “Fortunate Son” in campaign rallies [screenshots] [thread]

      • harpie says:


        […] I wrote this song because as a veteran I was disgusted that some people were allowed to be excluded from serving our country because they had access to political and financial privilege. I also wrote about wealthy people not paying their fair share of taxes. Mr. Trump is a prime example of both of these issues. […]

        • Rugger9 says:

          I would ask the question about who Fogarty would sue, probably the campaign. Then the next question is who will be liable for the debts of the campaign, and I doubt it is DJT himself. With all of the unpaid bills from 2016, El Paso and others, plus the series of copyright violations for song use, it’s a pretty impressive bill awaiting whoever is responsible for the debts.

          Who’s gonna pay them, and will we ever know? Or, will it be like Kavanaugh’s debt clearance and no one knows who paid off and what their price was. Or, DJT would just stiff them all.

      • Epicurus says:

        It seems more the metaphor for putting himself first and in comfort in an illegally used taxpayer plane while the taxpayers are left clueless and out in the cold.

        Kavanaugh’s opinion seems pretty much in the same metaphorical league. He was appointed to a lifetime of comfort in what is essentially a judicial sinecure with the understanding that he always reverts to form in crucial situations a la Pavlov’s dog. Count ballots after the election date? One can see him raising his tea cup with adrift pinky and saying “let them eat cake”.

    • P J Evans says:

      They should have given the buses a higher priority to get there and collect people – that’s poor planning and traffic control.

      • biff murphy says:

        One way trip half price!
        Think for a minute how much the donald saved last night
        by only having the buses only go one way…/s

        • BobCon says:

          It’s the old Atlantic City mindset — free on time buses to the casinos, but the return trip isn’t until you’ve blown your last quarter at the slots.

          • P J Evans says:

            They literally only ordered buses for one way – the company verified that the contract was one-way beforehand. So they *didn’t care* about the attendees at all.

  8. Yohei72 says:

    I’m torn among different emotions as I look at the news images of massive early voting lines. Excitement at the citizen engagement. Disgust that this level of engagement among U.S. voters is newsworthy (years ago I read a story about French pundits and politicians hang-wringing at the anemic turnout in their latest election – it had been seventy-something percent, if I recall correctly). Rage at the lack of adequate infrastructure for voting – the self-declared beacon of democracy making it so difficult and time-consuming to exercise the franchise ought to be a scandal.

    Anyway… even here in NYC where blue victory is all but assured, I’ve seen lines down the block and around the corner. I dropped my absentee ballot in a drop box at the Brooklyn Museum on Sunday.

    • Rayne says:

      The voter turnout tells us a lot; it may be frustrating that it’s news, but we have some very obvious indications of where voter suppression is a critical issue and must be addressed IMMEDIATELY before the next mid-term election. Like Gwinnett County, GA, and even portions of Brooklyn (because early voting shouldn’t look like this even in a pandemic).

      The problems also confirm that Chief Justice John Roberts is a racist who damaged democracy severely with Shelby County v. Holder (2013). His opinion makes it clear that racism isn’t over at the polling place, and that reformulating the court requires adequate representation for voters of minority groups and women, even if Justice Thomas sided with Roberts.

    • BobCon says:

      AOC has been banging the drum how NYC problems are a form of Albany Dems supressing the vote.

      Albany operated for years on the assumption that NYC turnout would be just enough to give the state House to the Dems (while keeping reformers to a minimum) but turnout would be low enough to keep the GOP in charge of the state Senate.

      Lately, that’s broken apart as Democratic reformers, opposed by Cuomo, have beaten conservative incumbent Dems. Cuomo has been trying to gut the Working Families Party in NY state politics and a piece of that involves depressing turnout in NYC. WFP is fully behind Biden and is only operating as a third party in select non-national races, but Cuomo wants them dead even though they are no threat to him.

    • gmoke says:

      The most important number to me is the percentage of eligible voters who actually vote this time around. I get awfully tired of people blaming the people who voted for Nader or the people who voted for Stein for the election outcomes rather than the roughly 40% of eligible voters who don’t vote.

      Just as I get awfully tired about the focus on undecided voters by media and pols instead of shining a little light on the people who refuse, actively or passively, to vote.

      All praise to March for Our Lives and Tom Steyer and all the others who organized registration for (new) voters. I suspect that’s going to be very important in this election.

  9. Yohei72 says:

    -“This opinion by Kavanaugh is so shoddy Congress should consider impeaching and removing him under a Biden presidency.”

    There are a number of reasons to do that, but there isn’t any realistic prospect of its working, is there?

      • Epicurus says:

        I would substitute “probable” for “realistic”. Realistic seems more either/or. Probable runs a on a scale. Replacing Kavanaugh and more importantly his influence through impeachment seems highly improbable given our political history. The current en vogue and more probable means of replacing Kavanaugh’s influence is expansion of the court. Kavanaugh’s opinion seems made to order as a terrific reason for expansion – a Supreme Court Justice seeking to disenfranchise voters, not so much for impeach/replace.

        • John Paul Jones says:

          Jill Abramson did a piece a couple of years back (essentially, it’s an update on the book she co-authored with Jane Mayer, Strange Justice: The Selling of Clarence Thomas) which lays out the case for his impeachment, because he lied to get on the court. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if additional evidence came to light about Kavanaugh’s having done likewise. Point is, the court doesn’t have to be expanded. A Biden administration could suggest very strongly to Thomas that it might be time for him to retire, likewise Roberts. That’s all it would take.


          • BobCon says:

            When Thomas dies he will have himself embalmed with a hinge placed on his jaw so Alito can carry out a ventriloquist act. He’s not resigning no matter what.

          • earlofhuntingdon says:

            Clarence Thomas will resign right after Donald Trump apologies to the women he has abused. The same is true for every other reactionary on the Court. That’s a fantasy substitute for legislative reform.

          • gmoke says:

            Read recently that Nixon administration forced Abe Fortas to resign by threatening to investigate him for improprieties. I’d forgotten the whole Fortas thing as “Bork! Bork! Bork!” from the Swedish Chefs in the Republican Party had drowned out the memory.

            A Biden administration with a reformed FBI (or Senate) could play the same kind of hardball with the spurious Supremes.

            • graham firchlis says:

              The difference between then and now is one of morality. Fortas and Senate Democrats had a rational moral compass, however shaky. They could feel shame.

              These Radical Reactionaries are pure ideologues. They justify their actions through the lense of that narrow construct, infinitely distortable, unmoored by any rational moral structure.

              And they do so proudly – they feel no shame, are simply incapable.

              If any of the justices is reasonably suspect, of course they should be quietly investigated and if worthwhile exposed. But don’t expect resignation or Senate removal over a small matter of a few million dollars. Trivial mistake, can’t prove intent, liberal socialist coup, yadda yadda. Need 67 Senate Democrats, probably many more.

              Also not sure encouraging Biden/FBI? to behave like Nixon/Hoover is really a good idea.

              • Yohei72 says:

                -“not sure encouraging Biden/FBI? to behave like Nixon/Hoover is really a good idea.”

                I was thinking something similar. Aside from the ethics of that approach, I want these people’s dirty laundry aired in public, not for them to be allowed to slip out the back door and keep their honors and public legitimacy.

      • Yohei72 says:

        I take the question as largely rhetorical. But, as I understand, a 2/3 vote of the Senate is required to convict and remove, which seems like a big stretch, especially given that there will certainly be some more cautious Dems who won’t get on board.

        That said, I take Epicurus’s point about “probable” being a better term.

        As for what needs to change to make it more probable… not sure, but that’s why I come to sites like this for discussion of fine-grained details by people more knowledgeable than I. What do you think it would take?

        It might be worth it just for the chance of Kavanaugh’s having a stroke from rage, possibly in public.

        • Yohei72 says:

          The only guess I have is that we’d need a much more heavily Dem-leaning Congress than we’re likely to have after January, and with fewer timidly centrist Dems. But then we get into a chicken-and-egg loop, as the Kavanaugh faction has made it clear that aiding voter suppression by Republicans is near the top of their agenda now, and once the GOP is out of power in the White House and Congress, they’ll pour their energies into that like never before.

          • BobCon says:

            The Democrats would need to win the Senate, abolish the filibuster with 51 votes, then pass legislation with a simple majority to expand the courts. It would be hard, but it’s most likely easier than getting the 2/3 vote for impeachment, short of getting something significant on Kavanaugh like a criminal case involving the mysterious settlement of his debts and those weird Nationals season tickets.

            • Rugger9 says:

              The GOP knows that SCOTUS and the rest of the federal court system is their firewall against actual accountability. The packing of FedSoc cult members means precisely none of them will resign regardless of the circumstances, and since they are the firewall, precisely none of the GOP will vote to convict in the Senate, so court reform is the path to normalcy.

              I would also note that none of the so-called anti-Trump GOP Senators like Sasse, Romney, Murkowski, et al, voted against ACB or to vote on the stimulus bill sitting on McConnell’s desk for months. Instead, they all adjourned to go campaign. Collins for her part was given the go-ahead for her fig leaf vote that fools no one in Maine.

      • graham firchlis says:

        Why isn’t a Kavanaugh impeachment realistic now? Because there is not now nor will there be in the next Congress the 67 votes needed to convict; it would be a pointless exercise, time, effort and political capital wasted that would be better spent on other critical goals.

        What is the fix? Removing enough Republicans from Congress to replicate FDRs first term, the remaining Republicans so terrified they either complied with FDRs initiatives or were overwhelmed by the Democratic majorities.

        Who bears responsibility for doing so? The people, and especially those on the Left who wish it so. Is it likely to happen? No, not at all. Thus, it is not actually possible to impeach Kavanaugh, or any other Supreme Court Justice. We are stuck with them for life.

        As to Biden beseeching Thomas or Alito to retire, such behavior is beyond improper. He should do nothing of the sort. If neither of them is willing to step down to allow a Trump/McConnell replacement, they surely won’t do so for Biden.

        But Thomas (IMH practiced clinical judgement) is a heart attack waiting to happen. Alito lately looks tired, and slower in speech and action. Maybe signs of deterioration, maybe just too much fun. Health issues are always possible, but early unforced retirement of either is not something to count on.

        Those who want change in the Supreme Court will need to keep Democrats in firm control of the presidency and Senate for at least two consecutive presidential terms. Replace two Reactionary justices and the 6R/3D imbalance shifts to 5D/4R. The chances of doing so are higher with two terms, much higher with three. There is no other way, absent a wholly unlikely FDR magnitude congressional shift.

        Reforming and expanding federal district and appeals courts (as EoH has urged pls stop using “pack”) is very possible, if the people keep Congress in D hands for more than one session. Last major restructuring was iirc c1976, long overdue. Who can argue effectively against reform? Who can argue against increasing judgeships and realigning appeals courts to meet the demands of our greatly increased and redistributed population, reducing unacceptable backlogs that delay and thus distort and undermine justice?

        As then, though, any agreement to rearrange federal courts will certainly require a provision delaying implementation until after the following presidential election. Without a delay, now as then, there won’t be enough votes for passage through the Senate. Thus the need for voters to keep Democrats in control of government for at least two presidential terms, and likely three. Imagine horsing through a significant expansion of judges only to hand the nomination-confirmation process to Republican control!

        It has taken the VRWC 40 years to bring us this low. It will take sustained effort, more than one or two terms, to significantly turn the direction favorably.

        Gird your loins, and GOTV relentlessly for the foreseeable future.

  10. Wm. Boyce says:

    I heard a Florida academic who was introduced as an elections expert on the radio yesterday. He said that he expects the vote in Florida to be counted and reported quickly. That surprised me, remembering the debacle of 2000, but if it’s true, we’ll get an early indicator as to how the evening will go, at least in the presidential race.

    • Epicurus says:

      FL made significant changes for the better after the 2000 debacle. If you want to see how Fl is going to go a great indicator will be the vote in Sumter County, i.e. the Trump-Biden tally versus the Trump-Clinton tally in 2016. Sumter County is home to The Villages, an over 55 retirement community. They all vote. It is huge Trump territory. If the Trump Biden split there approximates the Trump Clinton split in 2016, it will be a close race. If Biden picks up 4-5-6% relative gain, it probably goes to Biden. And will probably reflect the senior vote throughout the country.

      • Rayne says:

        I’m skeptical about Sumter County. I don’t have more recent demographics, but in 2000 the county was 82.6% white — that’s 10% more white than the U.S. as a whole. It’s also older than the U.S. on average — 27.4% 65 and older versus 14.3% nation — which will also skew toward higher voter participation.

        I’d like to see a better predictor. Perhaps Broward County which is more diverse racially and closer to the U.S. in age distribution, with voter participation influenced by the Parkland mass shooting.

  11. Rugger9 says:

    One thing that is helping in an underhanded way due to the pandemic is that many of us have time to go vote early because we are working remotely or worse. The lines can be long because many of those in them do not have other places to be, courtesy of the DJT economy even before the pandemic hit. Because of that, the ones standing in the lines will be quite motivated to kick DJT out.

  12. Stephen Calhoun says:

    There is talk of how Trump might stop the counting of votes. It would be interesting to see a treatment of what could happen if a ballot is tossed or ignored or otherwise made to disappear, as a knock-on effect for non-presidential races and civic initiatives. I’ve pitched this question to experts and have not heard back from them.

    I have been phone-banking to voters in the Cleveland Ohio area using the npgvan web interface. (I have not used the dialer because it is kludgy.) As some of you already may know, a campaign worker hosts the phone bank via Zoom and phone-bankers use a web app to document the calls.

    The various lists which underlie these efforts have been for me very crappy lists for the last six weeks. I expected the lists (of Democratic voters) to have lots of bad numbers back when I started. But, the lists remain full of junk. This suggests to me there have not been enough phone bankers to clean up the entire list of voters. (1,000,000+ voters?) It is also the case that if you don’t use the dialer and use your cell phone you may end up, as I do, leaving your name/cell# on the target’s phone. Then, after the phone bank is over, people call you up and ask why you called them.

    https://www.mobilize.us/ is slick.

    The pandemic has caused lots of changes in GOTV. I’ll be interested to learn what has been learned.

    Phone-banking isn’t as enjoyable as going door to door. I’m only getting 5% positive contacts, yet enthusiasm is high. The drop-off location for ballots at the BOE at E30th in Cleveland has seen a steady stream of voters. My wife and I voted on the 13th, waited fifteen minutes at the BOE, and then breezed through the well-designed early vote process. We were delighted to have voted together for the first time ever.

  13. harpie says:

    1] https://twitter.com/brianschatz/status/1321209473080258562
    5:57 PM · Oct 27, 2020

    Facebook is again screwing up the election. @guycecil has been directly appealing to FB to fix this problem but nothing. [screenshots] [link] They have lost a half a day of advertising, seven days out. Trumps ads, which violate the specific prohibition on saying “Election Day is today” are running.

    2] https://twitter.com/JuddLegum/status/1321239513449070597
    7:57 PM · Oct 27, 2020

    UPDATE: Facebook admits it approved hundreds of Trump ads this week that violate its pre-election rules and has taken them down [link]

    3] [Brian Schatz link in next comment]
    10:13 PM · Oct 27, 2020
    Just wanted to update to say this is still not fixed in spite of them saying it would be fixed two hours ago and they have gone radio silent which is super cool because it’s not like these ads are about anything important like VOTING.

  14. punaise says:

    Charles Pierce with a bit of bio-poetic license:

    Typhoid Donnie Is Now Giving People Hypothermia

    The president’s Microbes Over America tour hit a new and different low in Nebraska Tuesday night.

    • Valley girl says:

      punaise- I forgot to tell you– my French neighbor, the one I used to take French lessons from, told me firmly, emphatically, that “Trump knows how to roll up his sleeves and get things done”.

      • P J Evans says:

        I hope you laughed at him. I don’t think he’s ever rolled up his sleeves, and all the evidence says the only stuff he’s ever done is shovelling money into his pockets.

        • Valley girl says:

          PJ, he’s a she. An educated person, supposedly. Her American husband is a high-level exec. at nearby Univ hospital. Laughing never crossed my mind. I replied “Trump is a psychopath and his dementia is dragging him down, fast.” She repeated the line about Trump even more emphatically.

          I’m not in a laughing mood about that sort of idiocy. I was totally shocked by her view. Spot the hidden fascist.

          • earlofhuntingdon says:

            Reminds me of the otherwise rational English and Scots who are devoted to false beliefs about the prospects and benefits for herd immunity. Most recently, Craig Murray.

            Reminds me, too, about the social Darwinists, who bray about survival of the fittest (richest), but ignore how many corpses it leaves by the roadside. Most of them are avoidable deaths with even a slight reining in of capital’s excesses.

          • Judy says:

            He may not literally roll up his sleeves but he certainly seems to be able to find people who share his vision and will try to get the job done. The biggest example is the one we are discussing right here – questioning the election and mail in ballots.

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        Only by the standards of French politicians, accustomed to living for a few sous in “grace and favor” apartments in the most desirable districts in Paris.

        • Valley girl says:

          At least she never became an American citizen, so she’s not voting in GA. I hope. But then who knows with Trump supporters.

          • P J Evans says:

            The two people I know in Gerogia are Ds – my brother’s older daughter and her husband (who grew up in Portland). They’re in Georgia because that’s where he got a job. (He’s in media studies. His field is things like video games.)

  15. gmoke says:

    Judge Sullivan is becoming a hero of mine. I thank him for his latest ruling on the USPS.

    Those who are thinking about how to reform the Federal judiciary, Supremes on down, should look at the interview Charles P Pierce of Esquire did with Senator Sheldon Whitehouse this past weekend. It’s part of Pierce’s newsletter and behind a paywall but Pierce (and this interview) are worth it.

    Whitehouse appears to endorse Biden’s idea of a commission to think the process through and come up with actions which will do what is necessary. The problems are more than the composition of the Supremes but throughout the Federal and state judiciary under the effects of (Big) Dark Money. We should move deliberately so that we aren’t rushed into half-measures that sound good on TV but don’t accomplish the reforms we really need.

    I’m gonna keep my eye on Whitehouse. He’s got a fire going on this issue.

    • Chris.EL says:

      Second your admiration for Judge Sullivan!!!!!

      His assessments are straight on point — he doesn’t seem to be persuaded by any B.S. YAY!!!

  16. AJCharNC says:

    Early voted in Charlotte NC last week, the other half did it 2 days later. Early voting sites are mainly high school gyms.

    Instead of handing out “I voted” stickers, the Board of Elections handed out pens in plastic wrappers. You signed your election affidavit with a pen no one touched but you, and you used the rubber tip on the other end of the pen to tap the voting machine so you don’t touch it.

    The check-in desks were spread out on one side of the gym, you got sent out to the middle of the gym (to social distance!), and then taken to one of the dozen or so machines lined up against the other 3 walls. Then there were 2 machines to process the ballot on your way out.

    Top of the line process for voter safety, I was impressed.

  17. johno says:

    Here’s something I’ve been wondering about: The “nuclear football” has to stay with the president – which means Trump, with the football, would have to be at a Biden inauguration so it can transfer at 12:00PM 1/20. But few expect Trump would attend. Some, even Trump himself, are saying he might skip town. Gonna be some football drama.

    • Chris.EL says:

      Regarding Football… Isn’t the football carried by an actual Marine? Trump himself doesn’t carry it, he just has to be nearby…

      Maybe we’ll get lucky and Trump will just resign – after doing the important pardons of course.

      The lazy man’s path — quicker to the golf course and out of the United States.

      • Raven Eye says:

        There are two types of military aides.

        The Military Aides are from the five military services and are the ones who carry the “Football” and are on full time assignment to the White House.

        The Military Social Aides are a much larger pool of officers from the military services, stationed in the DC area, and who have volunteered to perform those extra duties. If one of them happens to work with you, you’ll know they have a gig that day/evening when you see the bagged dress uniform (with the really big aiguillette) hanging in the office.

    • BobCon says:

      Wikipedia says there are three, one for the president, one for the VP and a backup at the White House, I assume in case one of them gets dropped in vat of chocolate on a photo op.

      I wouldn’t be surprised if the guy carrying it trades it in for a duplicate containing an old Texas Instruments 2400 modem in the last weeks before Trump leaves (if he loses) just to be safe.

      Come to think of it, that switch may have happened a while ago.

      • johno says:

        OK – if Trump snubs the inauguration, they can give Biden the backup football and de-commission Trump’s at the same time.

    • AndTheSlithyToves says:

      LINKIN PARK | #HybridTheory20
      Linkin Park did not and does not endorse Trump, nor authorize his organization to use any of our music. A cease and desist has been issued.
      11:05 PM · Jul 18, 2020·Twitter
      No more frightening than having a having Putin and Company install a deranged, dementia-addled lunatic in the White House with no way to get him out.

    • Chris.EL says:

      Agree with you — the video’s CRAPPOLA — ‘scuse me — DUDE FROM QUEENS’ CRAPPOLA.

      Trump is under the influence of his own grandiose dementia.

      Didn’t his ex-wife Ivana say he kept copy of Mein Kampf at his bedside table?

      Trump’s straight arm salutes look like a zeig heil to me… The other one he does with the arm bent looks like the lucky cat. The thumbs up is by far the stupidest.

    • Eureka says:

      Yeah, that’s a terrifying presentation.

      Linkin Park has C&D’ed them before over using their music, as in ATST’s comment; Mike Shinoda has spoken out against it as well.

      The Q nutters take this as a sign (what don’t they, right?) because former lead singer Chester Bennington, who died of suicide a few years back*, spoke openly about his troubles consequent to childhood sexual abuse.

      In other words, he is being re-exploited by a different predator this time, to soup the conspiracy.

      *July 20, 2017; note adjacency of anniversary date with C&D in ATST comment; his fans were very online when Trump used his music then. Q accounts seized that likely uncoincidental opportunity to commingle and recruit (or argue).

    • harpie says:

      Thanks for the responses, all.
      Who is in charge of making this propaganda for Trump?

      This display reminded me of the campaign ad Trump’s team made when
      he returned to The Palace triumphant over the VIRUS:
      3:03 PM · Oct 6, 2020

      I split screened shots from Leni Riefenstahl’s 1935 Nazi propaganda film, Triumph of Will, with @realDonaldTrump’s video of his return from the hospital. Not sure if this was intentional, but it’s eerily similar. His media team looking to history for inspiration, perhaps?

      Worth mentioning that these are a collection of shots from Triumph of the Will. Meaning, the @WhiteHouse’s film is playing out in real-time. But the shots on the right are scattered throughout the first ten minutes of the two-hour-long propoganda film.

      Simply b/c his team may be trying to replicate similar visual imagery, does not necessarily mean Trump, the president, should be compared to such figures—necessarily. […] [VIDEO]

  18. Eureka says:

    Rayne, you were on my mind to do a geese check-in: I just heard some the other night, though traveling more west than south per se; perhaps stopping over somewhere, and not a ton of them at that (pandemic brain has caused me to wonder, was this _last_ January-ish when we were comparing notes on then- _very late_ migrating geese, or the one before?). The woolly bears are out in tumbly force. LOL.

    That same part of Judge Sullivan’s order which you quote had me a little concerned about those states whose laws allow a post-election day receipt of ballots. If USPS follows to letter of law, and SCOTUS later swoops in on any/some of those cases (as Thomas indicates they’ll do*, he seems rather chomping at the bit about it), then … I hope USPS really prioritizes them as much as possible for the 3rd (with any remainders or E-day postmarks by the next deadlines). We need a strong bi-phasic effort.

    I am super curious to learn what the percents will be for things like surrendered mail-ballots to vote in-person; provisionals (some here have not even received their ballots requested over the summer); numbers, in relevant states, of ballots received between E-day and an extended receipt deadline. Besides turnout, of course.

    My hope is that we’re all cheering “Don’t Mess with Texas” later next week — in the good way.

    *constitutional law folks say it’s unlikely that SCOTUS would toss votes made in good faith for this election, even if they rule against (the bases of) the practice of allowing receipt so many days after an election-day postmark deadline. But who knows with this bunch, how desperate they would be? I’d bet it comes down to pragmatics: if the election is stealable, and they need to tote out nonstandard practice to facilitate same, they will (but if it’s a landslide or such, or any given case can’t help them, they’ll save up their chicanery and bad legal precedent for another occasion).

    • Rayne says:

      Have had geese every day for a month now. I need to comb through my social media and notes but I think they’re earlier this year than last year, probably because the weather pattern has been cooler and wetter. Haven’t heard as many overhead at night. I wish I’d been a little more on the ball because I’d missed taking photos of a flock of swans a couple weeks ago — beautiful, eerie because they were silent compared to ducks and geese. We had an egret who hung out at our pond for a couple days; it was very chummy with one goose in particular, leaving when that goose left. What an odd couple.

      Have been worrying the court packing situation isn’t just stacking the court to the benefit of Trump and fascist-oligarchy, but more like a concentration of power a la Turkey without the mass arrest and jailing of dissidents and opponents. Federalizing the election’s outcome would be part of the consolidation process. We badly need a blue tsunami to overcome this.

      • Eureka says:

        Oh I love the egret-goose story, reminds me of that book, _Unlikely Animal Friendships_ — delightful for all ages. I haven’t seen anything but by the light of day: we’ve had fog night thru/& morn for over a week with the dew point at the temp (I think a sniff warmer than usual, on the whole). Missed the Orionids because of it.

        Yep, the federalizing…

        I feel the blue tsunami — have been confident of it — but recent local events give me pause for MAGAs turning out (and possibly localized depression on the other side). (One of those events being the police shooting of Walter Wallace, Jr., and subsequent fallout/reaction. At minimum it’s like a limited-scope October Surprise; Gov. had to call in National Guard and impose a curfew in City; Biden-Harris statement was a pretty wan, agentless (but for looters/rioters) ‘We don’t want to lose any votes’ and not well-received. They really could have said better and still been non-alienating — heck, even used the case to emphasize positive policing reforms and made everyone ‘happy’. I just hope they don’t blow it if they end up swinging back through this way. The whole situation just feeds in to Trumpian campaign rhetoric.)

        In other news, it has been brought to my attention with peals of glee that Honey Badger Don’t Care is BACK tonight:

        “This is the Covey Spreader. Nasty. [video!]”

  19. Eureka says:

    NIN (nine inch nails) thread (impressed by the wide sharing and some of the places it’s reaching):
    5:34 PM · Oct 28, 2020

    “Warning: two political posts to follow. We are gravely concerned about the future of our country (and the world) and therefore will be voting for and supporting Joe Biden and Democrats down the ticket.”

    “Looking for ways to help Get Out the Vote? Sign up to join our friend Damon Lindelof and other special guests in a phone bank, calling on those in Battleground States to show up and vote for Biden. Details: [link to mobilize.us]”

    “Voting shapes our lives & has lasting effects. This election will determine our health, rights & future. NIN have joined almost 200 artists in Planned Parenthood’s Action Fund initiative, encouraging everyone to make a plan to vote & be heard. Text PLAN to 22422 #WeNeedEveryVoice [graphics]”

    “Thank you. Return to your regularly scheduled anxiety!”

  20. harpie says:

    Well, it’s just past 9AM on 10/29:

    SULLIVAN: FURTHER ORDERED that by no later than 9:00 AM on October 29, 2020, Defendants shall distribute, in the same form and to the same individuals who were previously advised about the need to “ensure that completed ballots reach the appropriate election official by the state’s designated deadline,” […]

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