With the depressing news that Trump is running again I reassured myself that he didn't win the popular vote last time and updated my page on the national popular vote interstate compact. We've inched ever so slightly closer to electing the President based on the will of the people but we're still not close enough. Based on 2021 Census population estimates a vote in Wyoming is worth four times as much as a vote in Texas. That should infuriate you regardless of your political persuasion. The President should be accountable to every state. Sign a petition, call your representatives, donate - do everything listed here - and don't let this happen again.
- National Popular Vote
- End the Electoral College: Amendment, Compact, or Supreme Court?
- 10 Electoral College Votes Closer
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There is going to be a grown-up in charge. Maybe a little too grown up, and maybe not in charge of the legislature but what a relief.
This is a historic election for me. It's the first time the party I voted for (either in the UK or the US) has ended up in power. After a lot of shopping I rather fear I finally bought something.
It's more than a little shocking to me that more than 70 million Americans looked at this choice and voted for Trump. It's also shocking that out of a couple of hundred million possibilities that this is the choice we ended up needing to make. Biden was pretty far down my list in January but I held my nose and voted for him. I have to be charitable and assume that the same is true for many Trump voters. But still. FFS. He's literally killing you.
A decade ago I compared US politics to daisyworld and it's still true. We have guaranteed two party rule and neither party is particularly attractive. This forces people to pick a team and it's why we got the tribalistic result that we did. You're going to keep rooting for your side even if you don't particularly like the team this year. We need more like twenty parties and some genuine choice and some power sharing that results in compromise rather than deadlock.
On the subject of deadlock in practically every other democracy when the government can no longer govern then it falls. I do not understand why we go years with an imponent leader. I know that there are many people who think that this is a feature rather than a bug. That having Biden in the White House but Mitch McConnell saying no in the Senate is the kind of checks and balances that gave the hallowed Founders wet dreams. But I'm sick and tired of minority rule or near rule. Obama at least got two years to legislate, Biden might be facing zero and that's a crazy outcome for a majority of four million and counting. We need a National Popular Vote and we need to do something to fix the Senate.
$14 billion was spent on the 2020 election which is eye-watering. We're on track to spend $6.6 trillion this year though so we can afford to word on getting the money out of politics. It's crazy that Congresspeople face election every two years and are basically just fundraising the whole time. Let's have longer terms and Federally funded campaigns and term limits. Let's have independent redistricting that allows voters to choose their candidates and not candidates to choose their voters.
I'm not holding my breath.
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Please vote for Biden. Do it as early as you can so Trump is crushed on election day and we don't have to suffer through weeks or months of uncertainty and possible election stealing.
I'm endorsing Biden because of these 923 reasons (and counting) and the 20,055 lies (and counting). Trump has likely killed tens of thousands of Americans, possibly hundreds of thousands before he leaves office. I wasn't a fan before the pandemic either.
Voting in the presidential election from California sucks. While the largest state burns, Climate Change is #32 on on Biden's list of policies. He's against the Green New Deal (the one that would pay for itself). Our broken electoral system means that the best possible outcome is a milquetoast centrist caretaker who probably won't do too much harm until it's someone else's turn. But make no mistake, it is the best possible outcome so I'll suck it up and vote.
Here's my list from January:
"I'd go Warren, Sanders, Kloubuchar, Biden, Yang, Buttigeg, Steyer, Bloomberg and (sorry again) Gabbard. Although, full disclosure, if it would get rid of Trump I'd vote for a McConnell/Graham ticket."
So at least it isn't McConnell.
(Previously: I'm with Her)
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Sent to Speaker Pelosi today:
As an American, constituent and supporter I am writing to ask you to investigate President Trump for high crimes and misdemeanors and to pass articles of impeachment in the House.
You have said that impeachment must to be bipartisan. That would certainly need to be the end result in order for the effort to succeed. It does not make sense as a precondition for starting the process, especially if as you also said impeachment should not be started or avoided for a political reason.
You have also said that impeachment must wait for the completion of the Special Counsel investigation. Any crimes revealed by the investigation would be icing on the cake. By imposing this condition you are making the case that obstruction of justice by the President is normal, that violations of campaign finance law are minor and that using the office for personal enrichment is only to be expected. The President deserves to be tried in the Senate for these charges. The future of our democracy depends on us not accepting this behavior.
Disagreements on policy and personality should be resolved by the electorate. High crimes and misdemeanors are your job. Please do it.
- The top four Petitions that will help to Impeach Trump
- I'm with Her
- I would do anything to reduce gun violence, but I won't do that (an open letter to Joe Manchin)
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- After the Storm
- A vacation based proof of the many-worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics
- California Slender Salamander
Democrats are being rather lame about pushing to impeach Donald Trump. Sure, they don't have the votes. But maybe next year they'd stand a better chance of getting them if they did a little less cozying up on deals that won't happen and a little more talking up impeachment. It would be nice if Mueller wrapped things up and dropped an incontrovertible bombshell but that doesn't and shouldn't matter. It would be nice if the various Congressional enquiries did their job but again that should be viewed as icing on the cake.
Trump assaulted equal protection and religious freedom by banning Muslims from travelling to the US. It doesn't matter what else Mueller turns up. Trump violates the Emoluments Clause on a constant basis. We don't need anything more from Congress. It's hard to see the Comey firing as anything other than obstruction of justice. Democrats need to start beating the drum and get Trump out of office. They're not going to do it without a big push.
You should sign all of these petitions today:
Need to Impeach. Over a million signatures already.
Impeach Trump Now. Over 1.25M.
Impeach Trump on Care2.
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Not because of what other people might believe. The problem is me. I get my news primarily from the BBC and NPR. I cruise through RSS feeds and podcasts. I'm a savvy media consumer with a well honed bullshit filter. And then I fell for this:
It just continued to show up in my Facebook feed reposted from various friends and it wormed its way in as something totally Trumpian and plausible and, well, truthy. Which it isn't. I felt like I'd got as far as filling in the wire transfer form before stopping to think that the Nigerian Prince probably didn't need my personal help with expatriating his fortune. I didn't share it or quote it thankfully but it's like that study where everyone thinks they are a better than average driver. I'm vulnerable to this shit.
I keep reading articles about being a better Facebook user and always checking that the site hosting a story is reputable and written by people who have a footprint outside the site and reverse-searching any images to see if they've been used out of context etc etc etc. Which is implausible if you have more than one friend and comes across as victim blaming.
The horrible danger is that if you don't fact check every stupid quote on image meme the power of repetition lodges them somewhere in your subconscious where they become that thing that you read somewhere. Which is OK if you only read quality news but deadly if you want to catch up on old friends quickly.
What I really want is the friend part without the democracy ending bullshit part.
I've been trying to block all the fake news sites that show up in my feed but for some reason that option isn't always available. Also that's probably an impossible task unless Facebook decides to offer shared block lists. Which is probably against their best interest.
I wrote this post to talk myself out of not using Facebook but I don't think I've managed to convince myself yet...
(Meme image grabbed from CNN).
- The Trust Project, Fake News and a Partial Facebook Uninstall
- Facebook shouldn't own your social graph
- Doing news right with Feedly and Google News
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"I don’t know the best way to defeat ISIS. Neither do you. I don’t know the best way to negotiate trade policies. Neither do you."
The first plank of the argument is that he can't make a call on most issues and so he's not qualified to weigh in. Welcome to democracy. The job is to make the best choice that you can with imperfect information. If you can't do that then do the rest of us a favor and abstain.
"You can argue whether an estate tax is fair or unfair, but fairness is an argument for idiots and children."
The second plank is that he might be less well off if the estate law changes.
So now the lack of an opinion on any other issue makes sense. If you had to think about ISIS or trade (or walls or Muslims or women) then maybe a dent in your income would have to move down a position or two or fifty. But if, aw shucks, you're just not smart enough to make those calls then it's a conveniently self-serving single issue election.
All of this is true even if raising the estate tax is a bad policy. But at the risk of coming across as a child or idiot maybe there's something in it:
"Between 1979 and 2007, paycheck income of the top 1 percent of U.S. earners exploded by over 256 percent. Meanwhile, the bottom 90 percent of earners have seen little change in their average income, with just a 16.7 percent increase from 1979 to 2014."
I don't know the best estate tax policy. But Scott, neither do you.
Updated 2016-10-12 20:28:
So over the weekend he switched his endorsement to Gary Johnson. Maybe:
"You might enjoy my book because you’re not sure if I’m really endorsing Gary Johnson or just saying so to protect my brand."