Election Day Countdown: 2 Days, 2 Much 2 Go

Guess who was coughing all day yesterday, to the point I had a sore throat?

However I’m not coughing today, didn’t run a temperature, so no idea if this is allergies, my autoimmune disorder, or an extremely light case of COVID.

The men in my household aren’t showing any symptoms so far, knock on wood.

Can’t rule out symptoms may show up at any time or get worse, though. Another one of my kid’s co-workers tested positive as did two customers who had close proximity to them.

It’s a small cluster. A tiny clusterfuck all thanks to that tangerine asshat in the White House.

~ 3 ~

MAGAtroids are ramping up their terror attacks. Today they shut down the Garden State Parkway:

They also swamped the Mario M. Cuomo Bridge in New York City:

Trump supporters basically shut down two of the busiest highways in the New Jersey-New York area, and without advance notice or any permit. Thankfully no other terror attacks took place which might have required the intervention of state and federal law enforcement’s use of these roadways.

They also shut down Colorado state highway C-470 and northbound I-25, a federal highway:

And the media has once again failed to characterize this for what it is — terrorism designed to disrupt infrastructure with intent to interfere with normal operations including the conduct of the election.

This tweet nails it:

If the flags were black and white and covered with slogans in Arabic, Dari, or Pashto, perhaps the media would have a different perception of these events. But because the media is wired to see these as wholly political events and therefore expressions of free speech, they don’t call this terrorism.

No police showed up in either of these two states to force these “parades” to yield part of the roadway to regular traffic.

What exactly are police doing for public safety when, as in North Carolina, they spray teargas at and arrest participants of a march to get out the vote — including children and at least one journalist — because the police claim they were “blocking the roadway”? Yet New Jersey, New York, and Colorado didn’t use teargas or other irritants on participants intent on obstructing traffic.

One clue: note the race of the participants in these events.

~ 2 ~

Axios reported earlier that Trump will declare himself the winner if it looks like he’s leading in the polls before the end of the evening on Election Day. Trump has since denied this but he then whined about ballots coming in later (as they always have) and about governors of Democratic persuasion overseeing the conduct of the vote.

Which of course is total bullshit and another means to interfere with the vote. Polls won’t be closed in California, Alaska, Hawaii for at least 3-5 hours after polls in Easter Time Zone, and in Alaska in particular Trump is polling behind Biden.

NPR’s Dominic Montanaro tweeted a thread (click on the link) explaining the vote won’t be final before midnight Eastern:

Historian Michael Beschloss puts it more simply:

Anything Donald Trump says on November 3 before midnight Eastern should be seen as electioneering at best and interference with/suppression of voting at worst. Any media outlet reporting what Trump says without caveats is aiding and abetting him in a “perception hack” meant to undermine our faith in the democratic process.

It’s bad enough that the major broadcast television networks carried this Trumpian scumbucket who propelled this same “perception hack.” What a bloody shame we have to reply on The Lincoln Project to call out this ethics-free chump:

~ 1 ~

There are other signs Trump already knows this isn’t going to turn out well for him.

When we fire you, Trump, you’d best believe the eviction notice will be served and executed. We owe to the 231,000 Americans who died of COVID and the 3,000 Puerto Rican Americans who died from your deliberate neglect after Hurricane Maria to remove you, let alone the Americans who will die between now and your exit from the White House.

~ 0 ~

Thank you for voting if you’ve voted. Please help others over the next 48 hours to get out the vote. Make sure you touch base with friends and family to ensure they are prepared to vote if they haven’t already.

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78 replies
  1. Rayne says:

    Really challenging, this balancing act between analyzing intelligence and assessing likely outcomes, and allowing one’s self to be used to undermine faith in the vote. I’m seeing more and more tweets like these (a thread):

    coming from rational people who ultimately advocate voting to effect real change.

    But we can’t be blind to the possibility Trump will trigger his base to act out violently against anyone who doesn’t actively affirm his authority and his retaining office.

    It’s like acknowledging your grandpa has dementia AND acknowledging his dementia can make him a danger to others. Ignoring the latter is unethical.

  2. Valley girl says:

    Thanks as ever Rayne for doing what you do. Hope you stay well (don’t get the Trump disease). Been meaning to say I voted- postal ballot mailed on Oct. 13. One of my neighbors, who kindly volunteered to do food shopping for me just emailed to say she had just been accepted as a poll worker on Tuesday.

    edit= just saw your last comment. Been seeing more of the same. Nerve-wracking.

    Virtual hug.

    • Rayne says:

      Thanks for the heads up about your postal ballot, hope it arrived and was received as quickly as expected. Do thank your neighbor for us; still seems bizarre that working the polls is not only a patriotic act of civics, but heroism.

      • Valley girl says:

        Ballot received. Also, I am very friendly with our letter carrier. I could hear her get my ballot from the front door, and I went out to talk to her. She’d before told me that ballots required two first class stamps. I figured that was so, and had mailed my primary ballot with two stamps.

        When I went out to say hello, offered her a book of stamps so she could add one to any ballot with only one stamp. She said “don’t worry, we’re gonna make sure they get delivered no matter what”.

        She is as pissed as all get out about the USPS “stuff”. We’ve talked about this several times. It would be great if GA flips.

        Ironic considering GA history of rampant voter suppression that absentee ballot applications were sent to all voters, very early, like at the beginning of October, and early in person voted started very early too- I think earlier than 2018.

          • punaise says:

            VG, one of the many batches of Reclaim our Vote postcards that we wrote went to addresses north-east of Atlanta: Lilburn, Lawrenceville, Snellville, Duluth, Grayson, Dacula…

            The phrase “your vote is your voice” remains ingrained in my memory.

          • P J Evans says:

            Niece and her family are also in GA-05 (Decatur). They’re blue voters. (Also blue because tree fell last week during the wind from Zeta, took out roof and ceiling in four rooms. No one was hurt, though.)

  3. P J Evans says:

    I can see one difference: ISIS didn’t need so many flags on their trucks.
    I hope that they cause their own accidents, and don’t injure any innocent bystanders, in their cult’s displays of worship.

  4. earlofhuntingdon says:

    A “non-scalable” fence? Like the one Trump built on the US-Mexican border or a real one?

    The press might point out that this is theater and another yuge waste of public money that serves only to salve Trump’s ego. The White House is already one of the most impregnable buildings in the world. It was when Dick Cheney had much of the perimeter and defenses rebuilt after 9-11, including the vastly overbuilt section of Pennsylvania Avenue that runs in front of the White House. The range of sensors and armed responses is formidable.

    Like the village defenses against Calvera in the Magnificent Seven, this new wall is meant to keep Trump inside his bubble and reality outside it. Good luck with that, Donald. Stay healthy, Rayne, we need you.

    • Rayne says:

      I have a suspicion that just like the “non-scalable fence” at the US-Mexican border, this fence around the people’s White House is just another grift, a last chance opportunity to siphon off cash from the federal budget — inside Team Trump’s scam-bubble.

      Wonder what other smash-and-grab efforts these leeches will attempt on the way out the door?

  5. Nehoa says:

    Rayne – hope your symptoms pass and that they do not affect you going forward.
    Regarding the NC incident, that is another item for the takedown of CJ Roberts’ and the gutting of the Voting Rights Act.

  6. misteranderson says:

    Here in Portland, OR: A little boring in that it’s a blue state, so we don’t see the advertising, don’t get visits from candidates, & know the outcome. There’ll be a protest downtown if Trump pulls his bullshit & I’m worried it won’t be nonviolent because we’ve got some activists who believe violence works.

    • Raven Eye says:

      Down-state there are far too many of the open carry (blue steel male performance enhancement) and Oath Keeper ilk. They must feel frustrated that Oregon has had 20 years to get the vote-by-mail process smoothed out. That probably means some of them will be rolling up I-5 looking for something (anything) to “protect” if they get even just a hint of demonstrations or protests in Portland — not sure if they’ll squeeze in a shopping trip to Ikea.

      As for the mechanics of the mail voting; after thousands of homes were burned down here, both the county and state elections officials were pretty diligent getting the word out to displaced voters about how to manage their vote and make sure that they got a ballot.

  7. punaise says:

    Brother says:

    My informal poll here in [outer Bay Area town] indicates high voter turnout among senior African American women. Personal observations at our local Big 5 also suggest that if there is a race war, the white supremacists will not be the only ones with guns. Hopefully it won’t come to that.

    • MB says:

      A couple of recent random observations along these lines:

      1) A musician friend of mine (who is also a university professor, originally from Brazil) who lives one county to the east of me (Riverside, I live in LA) was accosted recently while jogging (while wearing a mask) by a random white dude who belligerently insisted that he take his mask off, because…freedom? …or at least this guy’s twisted concept of “freedom”. He has since stopped jogging in his own neighborhood and has now acquired a shotgun in anticipation of things possibly getting out of hand in his neck of the woods after Tuesday. So yeah, it’s not just white supremacists being the only ones with guns.

      2) I’m getting reports from friends in other neighborhoods around town that some Wells Fargo Bank branches and CVS drugstores are starting to board up their street-facing windows now. I find this odd, because here in LA, generally most of the political protest activities are centered in downtown L.A. and around the Federal building complex in West L.A. This seems to be a manifestation of corporate paranoia in anticipation of riots breaking out just about anywhere.

      Despite these reports, my subjective impression of the vibe in my local area is pretty serene with no evidence of stores boarding their windows, etc, so it’s an eerie patchwork of reactions going on…

  8. punaise says:

    This country needs to decisively hack up its four-year hairball.

    My own take on this is that I have faith in the electorate to vote the bum out, but I am very concerned – distressed even – about a) widespread and highly orchestrated GOP efforts to throw out valid votes, and b) trump-encouraged intimidation and violence.

  9. Molly Pitcher says:

    Rayne, Holding defiant thoughts for you against your germs/allergens. Counting on your thoughtful viewpoint over the next week. Be well.

  10. d4v1d says:

    Evict him? Why? Put razorwire on the ‘non-scalable fence’ and keep him there. There are other places the administration has been prewired to run.

  11. harpie says:

    Thank you Rayne.
    It’s the middle of the night and I’m not sleeping…again…
    Sending love and hopes for good health to you and ALL at Emptywheel.
    -harpie

  12. harpie says:

    TRUMP THUGS IN DC:

    This person is a staff writer at WaPo:
    https://twitter.com/RobertKlemko/status/1323109355814854658
    10:47 PM · Nov 1, 2020

    Buddy’s wife is a surgeon in the DC area. Trump Train didn’t make a great impression on 495 tonight. [screenshots]

    [[…]They surrounded her car, slowed her down to 10 – 15 mph and she got off at the next exit. She didn’t know what was going on and got uncomfortable and scared. This is after not sleeping Friday night, operating and working 27 hours this weekend […]

  13. harpie says:

    My party is destroying itself on the altar of Trump
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2020/11/01/ben-ginsberg-voter-suppression-republicans/
    November 1, 2020 at 4:35 p.m.
    [Benjamin L. Ginsberg practiced election law for 38 years. He co-chaired the bipartisan 2013 Presidential Commission on Election Administration.]

    President Trump has failed the test of leadership. His bid for reelection is foundering. And his only solution has been to launch an all-out, multimillion-dollar effort to disenfranchise voters — first by seeking to block state laws to ease voting during the pandemic, and now, in the final stages of the campaign, by challenging the ballots of individual voters unlikely to support him. […]

    Nearly every Election Day since 1984 I’ve worked with Republican poll watchers, observers and lawyers to record and litigate any fraud or election irregularities discovered.
    The truth is that over all those years Republicans found only isolated incidents of fraud. Proof of systematic fraud has become the Loch Ness Monster of the Republican Party. People have spent a lot of time looking for it, but it doesn’t exist.
    As he confronts losing, Trump has devoted his campaign and the Republican Party to this myth of voter fraud. […]

    • harpie says:

      Marty Lederman’s question is MY question:

      https://twitter.com/marty_lederman/status/1323070230244085762
      8:11 PM · Nov 1, 2020

      Very grateful that Ben Ginsburg is unequivocal about this “shameful,” multi-decade GOP effort to disenfranchise. Genuinely curious, though:

      During his 30+ years representing the GOP, how often did he complain to clients and colleagues that their fraud claims were “mythical” …

      ???????????????????????

    • harpie says:

      Right now there are sixteen tweets in this RICK HASEN thread,
      and then a link to Mr. Ginsberg’s Confession:

      https://twitter.com/rickhasen/status/1323055904699285504
      7:14 PM · Nov 1, 2020

      Going to start a list of the ways that Republican lawmakers and election officials have needlessly made it harder to vote during COVID. Feel free to add on here.

      1. Ohio SOS Frank LaRose opposing drop boxes while claiming his hands were tied.
      2. TX Gov. Abbott reversing on boxes. […]

    • harpie says:

      Ginsberg filed as Amici AGAINST the Texas [HOTZE et al] drive through voter suppression attempt.

      https://twitter.com/marktrach/status/1323123929414774786
      11:45 PM · Nov 1, 2020

      I am proud to file this amicus brief on behalf of Speaker Joe Straus (@SpeakerStraus) and GOP election lawyer extraordinaire Ben Ginsburg in opposition to the Hotze lawsuit that seeks to disqualify the 127K votes cast in Harris County drive-thru locations. [link]

      From the Brief [This isn’t the right word, is it?]:

      […] Movants’ proposed brief is attached hereto as Exhibit A. In the brief, Mr. Ginsberg and Mr. Straus argue that Harris County’s drive-thru voting program is permitted by the plain text of Texas state law, that Plaintiffs’ last-minute attempt to disenfranchise thousands of voters violates federal law, and that the so-called “independent state legislature” doctrine actually counsels against a federal court stepping in to rewrite state law, especially after the Texas Supreme Court has already declined to do so. A proposed order is attached as Exhibit B.
      Dated: November 1, 2020

      • bmaz says:

        For folks that have been around long enough, you probably remember my knowledge of, and writing on, Rusty Hardin. He has just moved the court to intervene on behalf of objectors to these despicable plaintiffs.

    • ducktree says:

      harpie, thanks for spreading the news ~ The ratio the author received for that article in the comments section at WaPo was extremely gratifying.

      People are NOT willing this time to forgive and forget that the R’s put up and put out for Trump since DJT’s Golden Flow down the escalator in 2015.

    • harpie says:

      TRUMP is such a SCARED LITTLE CHICKENSHIT

      Jane Mayer:
      https://twitter.com/JaneMayerNYer/status/1323240045000773639
      7:26 AM · Nov 2, 2020

      ICYMI: Trump literally could go to Rikers Island – those who know him say he’s not just running for re-election- he’s running from the law [link]

      Links to:
      Why Trump Can’t Afford to Lose
      The President has survived one impeachment, twenty-six accusations of sexual misconduct, and an estimated four thousand lawsuits. That run of good luck may well end, perhaps brutally, if Joe Biden wins.
      Jane Mayer November 1, 2020

  14. Eureka says:

    After 9/11, all bridges into NYC were labeled with signs like, “Warning: No photographs…” — extensive lists of ‘forbiddens’ and rules. Serious business. Second thought was that they have _now taught_ any hostile actor how to conduct such an attack sans raising LEO hackles: just fly the right flag. Their programme has effectively expanded the attack space, beyond what their ‘club’ has in store.

    So, yeah, all things considered I was still surprised that they let this go on at least on that bridge.

    Third: are the MAGAs, in their adventures on (largely) interstates, relying on that Third Circuit decision which overturned some of the Bridgegate convictions, saying there is no established civil right to interstate travel? [IIRC there was something on intrastate travel, too; I don’t have the decision in front of me. But curious about how it might apply to Garden State Parkway (intra) or to interstates outside of Third Circuit — I thought the Circuits didn’t ‘cross’, but that would depend on underlying bases of decisions. Plus there’s maybe some recent decisions around extra-state traveler quarantines; either way, perhaps the MAGAs are trying to turn COVID-era travel restrictions on their heads to say, “See, you don’t have rights to travel…”].

    Next: the ongoing truck floods shed new light on that loud honking circuit around that West Philly polling place (October 24th; harpie posted here), accruing evidence towards coordinated intimidation. Perhaps Pennsylvania AG Shapiro will take a look at that event in this light. [My prior comments re how nothing much could probably be done about that notwithstanding: context, baby.]

  15. Eureka says:

    An aside re Marcy tweets I saw earlier: Nikki Haley was in metro Philly for an “Indians for Trump” rally-event a couple weekends ago (Oct 24th or maybe 25th; Norristown).

  16. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Trump views himself as a fisherman, everyone else is a fish. His only purpose is to bait, hook, gut, and cut. He has behind him an entire party, its apparatus, billionaire patrons, and hundreds of young Roberts, Kavanaughs, and Barretts itching to go to court and to steal the election for him. He will not let go because the fish wriggle a little harder on the line. He’ll yank harder, and capsize the boat rather than let go.

    That’s what we’re trying to rid ourselves of. But he’s only a more extreme version of the Republicans. Because countless millions of Americans have worked hard to just say No to Trumpism, the Dems may soon have a choice. Look forward, not back, and continue to follow the corporate carrot, lest they feel the stick. Or go where no one has gone before, not for generations, by paying attention to the needs and priorities of those millions of people, who are being forced to virtually steal bread and candlesticks to keep their families alive.

    Politics being the art of who shoves hardest and longest, those millions of Americans should take a breather after they vote, then get back to shoving. Because as hard as it is, voting is the easy part. Lobbyists deal in cash, people in their collective, insistent, peaceful, massed presence. To correct the rightward list of establishment Dems, we’ll have to keep shoving a Democratic president left – throughout his term of office.

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        Great. It’s not original to me, but this isn’t just about Texas. It’s a version of ALEC. Instead of being an example of corporate-friendly legislation to be used across states, it’s an election ploy the GOP will across all states. Just like the flagged pick-up traffic jam crap.

      • Rugger9 says:

        From what I understand Hasen is as partisan as they come and perfectly willing to bend the law and precedent to toss these legally cast votes out. Would the 5th (?) Circuit overrule in that case? I also would look into how he just happened to be on the “rotation” or was this a case of forum-shopping? It’s too much of a coinkydink for me.

        • earlofhuntingdon says:

          I think you mean Judge Hanen (Andrew S.). Rick Hasen is an expert on electoral law and frequent twtr commentator.

        • Rayne says:

          Let’s watch the spelling of Judge Andrew Hanen’s name — I’m sure it was probably a typo or autocorrect failure, but Hanen shouldn’t be confused with Rick Hasen, Professor of Law and Political Science at UC Irvine.

          • bmaz says:

            Naw, I’ve had autocorrect try to make that swap on me before.

            Rick Hasen is a good guy though, and one I’ve talked to for years, so let’s not confuse him with the execrable Judge Hanen!

            • Rugger9 says:

              If I read these tea leaves correctly, the fact that even Judge Hanen couldn’t do this deed ought to make it clear to the 5th and SCOTUS there is no valid reason to overturn a rabidly partisan judge or the all-GOP TX Supreme Court on a state voting issue.

              Will the GOP push this up anyhow? I would think so since I don’t see any map that has DJT “winning” without TX.

            • Rugger9 says:

              The other question is who would be paying for what really looks like a lost cause and for how long. If they couldn’t get Judge Hanen on board (and I’m still curious how he happened to be up) I can’t see how anyone else will go for it outside of Neomi.

  17. greengiant says:

    Periodic reminder, the liar bully in chief gas lights gas lighting. Since he can’t do math or logic he’s learned to screw everyone, try everything and if it doesn’t fly “walk it back” and repeat, and the only way he “knows” he is getting the better if his opponent is in pain. Follows Roy Cohn rule any publicity is good publicity. It’s not just #45, it is the whole GOP.
    Since he put a Covid denialist advisor in the WH why should any of the believers believe anything he says.

  18. BobCon says:

    The Supreme Court just issued a ruling which has implications for a lot that is going on.

    They just ruled in favor of DeRay McKesson, who was the subject of a lawsuit by an officer who claimed he was injured at a Black Lives Matter protest organized by McKesson.

    https://mobile.twitter.com/mjs_DC/status/1323272300096049152

    Despite no implication that McKesson was directly connected to what the unnamed officer claimed happened, the 5th Circuit allowed the lawsuit to advance despite longstanding precedent against it.

    Obviously this is good news for the Black Lives Matter movement. Holding an organizer responsible for some rando throwing a rock among an otherwise peaceful group is nuts, and would allow randos to undermine any peaceful organization.

    The flip side is that this adds a layer of insulation for organizers of Trump rallies. But the longstanding standard is right — protest organizers should only be responsible for violence they encourage or facilitate, which is the kind of thing GOP organizers may well have violated recently.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      From another angle, it would be useful to watch who pays the legal fees for these various right wing suits. Individual local law enforcement officers wouldn’t have the cash; their unions might, but it’s still expensive. Following the money usually leads to undisclosed donations from billionaires, orchestrated by and often channeled through a Leonard Leo op.

      • BobCon says:

        There has been a huge growth in the consulting industry which has grown up around the scare mongering trainings given to police. A lot of the recent radicalization of the police is influenced by this industry, which is based on the demonization of African Americans and city residents.

        Profit may be a part of it, but a lot is also driven by a thoroughly awful ideology.

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        My argument is that profit is an important, but indirect and secondary outcome. It depends on the primary objective, which is to retain dominant corporate influence over government. That enables an agenda wider than profits, in that it includes reining in the regulatory state, keeping taxes for the rich low, gutting environmental rules and the social safety net, etc. Pretty much the usual neoliberal corporate agenda for a government run by and for corporate wealth, including the UK’s. But the big prize is the USG.

    • BobCon says:

      And now this explainer talks about it is good news for McKesson but not the end of the story —

      https://twitter.com/Popehat/status/1323289710400135168

      The US Supreme Court said there is a 1A issue but the case is going back to the state court for a ruling based on Louisiana law.

      It could in theory get a terrible ruling in the state and then come back to US SC, who could let it stand. I suspect, though, that views on punishing the organizers of protests will be more nuanced if that happens, hopefully not for the worse.

  19. Jenny says:

    Convoy of Trump vehicles shutting down the highways/roads, terrorizing a Biden bus is frightening considering many of these people are armed.

    This is violence and intimidation known as terrorism. The fear, anger, hate and violence is obvious with these triggered Trump supporters considering their actions. So dangerous. He whips them into a frenzy at other people’s expense.

    Isn’t this illegal? Where are the police? And what if the Black Lives Matter participates did this?

    Frustrating!

  20. posaune says:

    Just want to say thank you all for being here!
    Especially you, Rayne. You’ve contributed gigabytes to my sanity these days.

  21. mospeck says:

    jason miller, just be careful man, and don’t violate the US Constitution
    but you’re so tough, you’re so hard
    listen to the hammers falling in the breakers yard

  22. Rugger9 says:

    On the various MAGA outrages we’ve been seeing over the last couple of days I find it curious that the police never seem to know what’s going on and aren’t interested in going after blatant lawbreaking (IOKIYAR) even with video evidence. These aren’t protests with permits but unbridled thuggery winked at by the police who don’t seem to have any kind if intelligence operation going. It’s almost as if they were told to stand down by their POAs and unions, yet these are the same organizations that play the “thin blue line” card saying there is no safety without them out there on the line and how hard they work for the communities. Except, of course, when the communities aren’t like them.

    However, there is ample evidence these officers are willing to step in on a peaceful march that had permits to pepper spray and disrupt a line of voters in NC. I wonder what the difference was?

    If they get defunded it’s their own fault for not holding their members accountable.

  23. skua says:

    Wishing you all a “Good night”.
    And for those who are fortunate enough to have access to a night of sleep, “A good night’s sleep”.

  24. P J Evans says:

    FWIW, in 1864 the election was later – but the regiment my great-grandfather was in voted on the 3rd. Lincoln 163, McClellan 6.

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