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October 12, 2004

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Someone start it... I can't think of anything to type...

Well, I stood stone-like at midnight, suspended in my masquerade...

Wait. . is this a thread about threadjacking? If we talk about something other than threadjacking are we threadjacking? Or is it on-topic to threadjack, and off-topic to not threadjack? My cat likes raisins.

Were I Neil Gaiman, I would applaud vigorously.

Of course, combing one's hair until it's just right seems a trifle pointless when it's nighttime and one is crossed by rain. But it's for the look of the thing, I suppose.

My cat likes Earl Grey tea. With milk. But only if it's stone cold because I left the mug beside the computer for too long.

Oh look, a spaceship!

I'm a bloglines user and was hoping that someone @ Obsidian Wings (hint, hint Von) would set up a RSS feed of Obsidian Wings so that I could keep up with the ongoings via bloglines.

This site uses TypePad, so I'm sure it supports RSS feeds. I can help whoever publishes the site to make this feature available - would be helpful, I think, for those of us who struggle to keep up with the postings.

OT, but yesterday a plane crashed into a house about a block away from where I work. Remarkably enough, the house was almost entirely undamaged, as were its occupants, including the two cats (whose taste in dried fruit wasn't mentioned in the news). Unfortunately, the same could not be said for the plane itself or the pilot and passenger, neither of whom survived.

No, the house was not for sale, and thus it was not bought on the spot on the assumption that the odds of such a thing happening twice to the same house are astronomical.

I'm dumb.

http://obsidianwings.blogs.com/obsidian_wings/index.rdf

Thanks.

There are only two kinds of people in this world. Those that think there are only two kinds of people and those that don't think it's quite that simple.

Mmmm...threadjack.

Hey, what the hell. I'm going to threadjack the threadjack thread, Jack, by asking Jesurgislac to tell us how many voters in Florida that were disenfranchised in the 2000 election by the convicted-felon list. With the constraint that there's some evidence to support the number.

More clearly: how many people attempted to vote that were NOT convicted felons, but were prevented from doing so because their name was improperly on the convicted felon list?

The glass is not half-full.

The glass is not half-empty.

The glass is, instead, twice as big as it needs to be.

The glass is, instead, twice as big as it needs to be.

Something less than that, I'd say -- most of us prefer not to fill our glasses right up to the rim. Anyway, this is short-term thinking, one has to anticipate the necessary capacity for future uses of the glass.

There are only 10 kinds of people in this world: those that understand binary, and those that don't.

One of the few jokes that is far better in written form.

kenB, unless there's a head on it.

We have an RSS feed?

I give up.

I'll do you one better: I'm not even sure what an RSS feed IS.

(Neither do I, Katherine.)

An RSS feed is a broadcast of the content of a website in a different format (XML, if you know what that is). So instead of having to come to the site to see if there's a new post, I can subscribe to the feed via Bloglines and, when I log in there, see that there's a new post. I can then either read the post there, or click on a link and come to this site.

RSS is short for Unintentional Distributed Denial of Service Attack.

RSS is short for Unintentional Distributed Denial of Service Attack.

YM "Slashdot" HTH. HAND.

Were I Neil Gaiman, I would applaud vigorously.

If there was no subjunctive, this sentence would be grammatical.

And now for something (else) completely different.

I was thinking today about the high price oil and my friend saying the other night that he thought Michael Moore's charge that Bush is a Saudi lap dog or vice versa or at least that they were some sort of metaphorical canine spooners was particularly damning.

If the Saudis are in bed with and/or favor Bush's reelection, why is oil so expensive right now? I'm thinking that they are leaving money on the table in order to retard the growth of the US ecomony, in an attempt to hurt Bush's electoral chances. They have the cheapest production costs on the planet and the most proven reserves using current technology. They could certainly increase production if they were Bush's cat's paw.

Anyone with economic insight on this? My prediction is that assuming no major new shocks to the oil market in Nov/Dec, the price of oil will drop sharply, as whether Bush or Kerry wins, there will be no more point (in the short term) in such manipulation.

PS Moe: Let's have a new thread about this ;)

Slartibartfast, threadjacking the threadjacking thread is so meta. I throw up my hands in admiration at you.

More clearly: how many people attempted to vote that were NOT convicted felons, but were prevented from doing so because their name was improperly on the convicted felon list?

About 50 000. (Three orders of magnitude greater than Bush's claimed margin of victory in November 1999.)

From about 18 months before the 1999 two Florida secretaries of state, Sandra Mortham and Katherine Harris, appointees of Jeb Bush - had 57,700 "ex-felons," who are prohibited from voting by state law, to be removed from voter rolls.

Most of the voters were selected because their name, gender, and birthdate matched - or nearly matched - one of the tens of millions of ex-felons in the United States. And race: but race was used as definite verifier. A black Tom Jones Jr, ex-felon, would knock a black Thomas Jones, Thomasina Jones, and Tommy Jones off the electoral register, but not a white Tom Jones Jr. Neither DBT nor the state conducted any further research to verify the matches.

At minimum, 90.2 percent of the people who were scrubbed were completely innocent of any crime. So, that would be roughly 52 000 people who were legally entitled to vote in Florida, whom Jeb Bush arranged should not vote.

The NAACP sued Harris and for the black purge, and won. Florida promised to put the illegally-removed voters back on the electoral roll as soon as possible. And, as yet, Florida hasn't found it possible.

There is evidence to prove this, but as your reaction to any researchers who substantiate this is that they're biased and lying, I see no reason why I should bother to dig up the links. Google on DBT, ChoicePoint, Florida, Harris (oh, and you might find Gadden County interesting, too) and, if you care to do your own digging, you'll find the evidence yourself. You might even believe it, then.

"Who are you going to believe - the truth or your lying eyes?"

Oh, and to avoid picky accusations that I'm still being unclear: In casual conversation I would give the figure of voters excluded on the false claim that they were ex-felons as a round "over 50 000". If speaking precisely, I would say "52 000".

And I spelled the damn county name wrong: Gadsden County, not Gadden County.

mike p,

Increasing production to lower prices would cost the Saudis big money - maybe hundreds of millions or more, depending on exactly how you value oil in the ground, I suppose. It probably also gets their OPEC co-conspirators mad at them. They like Bush, but maybe not that much.

I think that any hypothesis about oil prices that deviates from "they are trying to make as much money as they can over the foreseeable future," needs a lot of evidence.

Slartibartfast, threadjacking the threadjacking thread is so meta. I throw up my hands in admiration at you.

I tend to throw up other people's hands, myself. In other circles I'm known as Fleshlumpeater.

At minimum, 90.2 percent of the people who were scrubbed were completely innocent of any crime. So, that would be roughly 52 000 people who were legally entitled to vote in Florida, whom Jeb Bush arranged should not vote.

I guess I was unclear. I didn't ask how many were on the felon list, Jesurgislac, I asked how many of those were prevented from voting. So, how many of these 52k voters were actually denied the ability to vote?

Google on DBT, ChoicePoint, Florida, Harris (oh, and you might find Gadden County interesting, too) and, if you care to do your own digging, you'll find the evidence yourself.

Don't make me do your research for you, Jesurgislac. I might Google and find that exactly zero people were denied the ability to vote, and then where would you be?

I asked how many of those were prevented from voting.

should read:

I asked how many were denied the ability to vote because of the felon list.

Ain't capitalism grand? The price of oil ain't going up cause the availability is going down, its going up because the unrest in Iraq is just today's (well OK this quarter's) good reason for the commodity market to drive futures contracts up.

I guarantee that when the election is over prices will come down. Why? Not because there is more oil, but because the election of anyone will give the market a reason to run prices in another direction. These folks make money off the churn, up and down, not the actual value of the product. Just like the stock market there'll soon be a reason to lower the prices so that the churn can continue.

What generally drives gas prices anyway is refinery capacity (which is nearing or at its peak), not oil prices. Oil could be a nickel a barrel but there ain't enough additional refining capacity to make it into anything anymore. Heck the oil guys are taking refining capacity OFF line and ya know who they're blaming? The EPA. HAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHA. Guarantee ya, that's what's got the Saudis really pissed, gas prices rise, they get the blame but none o'the ducats.

"I guess I was unclear. I didn't ask how many were on the felon list, Jesurgislac, I asked how many of those were prevented from voting. So, how many of these 52k voters were actually denied the ability to vote?"

There is no way to know, of course. You could estimate by either interviewing a % of the list and asking how many tried and extrapolating up, or just assume the same % tried to vote as other registered voters in Florida.

It is impossible for me to imagine that if 50,000 were on the list improperly, at least 5000-10000 weren't improperly denied the right to vote.

Are their official gov't civil rights reports on this somewhere?

So, some number, impossible to determine, between zero and 1000. Bad, but hardly 50k disenfranchised voters, as Jesurgislac's been claiming.

At least according to NPR, there are various causes of the current spike in oil prices, including: disruptions to oil rigs in the Gulf of Mexico due to Ivan, an ongoing strike in Nigeria and another country, uncertainty over the fate of Yukos, and ongoing disruption in Iraq; also bottlenecks in refinery capacity. The underlying problem, though, is supply rising faster than capacity, which makes the system vulnerable to stresses that a system with more flexibility might absorb. Apparently, the Saudis have raised production.

How'd you get 1,000?

The national rate is something like 40%. So 50K would get you about 20K turned away.

wha? I said 5000 was the minimum I could even conceive of?

Since this is an unhijackable thread, another unrelated remark: my Kerry sign just got stolen for the second time in a week. Grr. I have ordered a 3'x4' sign from a friend who's a signmaker, and have enlisted another friend who didn't just have abdominal surgery to help me set it in concrete when it arrives.

Grrr.

Whoops. 40% is among all citizens. Among registered voters, it's actually around 80%, which would give you 40K turned away.

Numbers here

hilzoy, write 'Jesus hates thieves' on the back.

(and 10,000 was by no means the maximum. Like sidereal said, you'd normally guess 20,000 and there's no reason it couldn't have been more. Not that they'd all have voted for Gore obviously.)

make that 40,000--I posted before the update.

I prefer "Thou shalt not steal", but I think the concrete might be more to the point. Is there a way to set it up so that they can't steal or damage the sign without doing the same to a U.S. flag?

"I asked how many were denied the ability to vote because of the felon list."

I wonder how many people were 'really' turned away because of literacy laws. Guess cause I can't give a precise answer, I shouldn't complain about them.

As an old story goes, once upon a time, when given a Chinese newspaper and asked 'what does this say?' as his literacy test, the black would-be voter replied 'It says you ain't gonna let me vote.' Thank goodness we've gotten less blatant with that sort of stuff...

wha? I said 5000 was the minimum I could even conceive of?

Ok, misread you, Katherine. I'm still maintaining that no one has shown any basis at all (in my line of sight, that is) for any number whatever being substantiatable.

The national rate is something like 40%.

National rate of what? Is there a national rate for people being unjustly deprived of their vote based on a convicted-felon list?

Look, this shouldn't be this hard. The USCCR spent a lot of time, effort and taxpayer dollars to determine to what extent voters were disenfranchised in 2000. So what's the answer? Even getting it to within a factor of two would be better than the current standard of somewhere between zero and...well, we can't even substantiate an upper end of the range, now, can we? I mean, if there were even 10k people who were denied a vote, thousands of testimonies ought to have been available for USCCR to cite as evidence.

I wonder how many people were 'really' turned away because of literacy laws.

Let me know when you find out. Otherwise, irrelevant, unless you're trying to make a case for that convicted felons ought to have the right to vote, always and anywhere. You might be able to make a good case for that, but it wasn't the point of the threadjacked threadjack thread.

Threadjacker. And I say that in an admiring way.

Close the danged , you idiot.

There. Hopefully.

To not threadjack:

Any confirmation on Sy Hersh's report of a massacre in northern iraq?

hattip to War and Piece.

Francis

Link?

link for Slart.

Dang, Mussina loses another perfecto against the Sox.

Thanks, rilkefan.

Looking at it now. I'm wondering, like everyone else, why this isn't getting more attention.

But...good grief. Sy Hersh, using a phrase like "gone up exponentially", which means almost exactly nothing, other than it didn't decrease. Sloppy.

Hey, it looks as if Sy doesn't like Bush much. Sy maintains that Bush is going to escalate the war, sans anything resembling evidence. Oh, and Wolfowitz is a Trotskyite. Bush is mad (insane). The insurgents have won.

I'll watch the rest tomorrow, if I have time. Haven't found the part about the massacre yet.

"Threadjacker. And I say that in an admiring way."

You gotta pick your spots... ;^>

From Josh Marshall: RNC-hired firm engaged in voter registration fraud in Nevada:


http://www.klas-tv.com/Global/story.asp?S=2421595&nav=168XRvNe

"National rate of what? Is there a national rate for people being unjustly deprived of their vote based on a convicted-felon list?"

Whaaaa? 40% of the nation votes. Although, as I updated, the more relevant number is 80% of registered voters vote.

Is your argument really that the percentage of the apparent 50K that were kicked off the rolls is somehow magically substantially lower than that?

From a review of the new movie Taxi:
"[Gisele] Bundchen, for her part, is terrible in a bold and wonderful way."
"[Queen Latifah] just released a fine standards album that makes Norah Jones seem like Courtney Love."
"The movie is only sporadically up to something. It's nice to see a Hollywood picture carried by a black woman who isn't Halle Berry, especially one in which that woman chases down half-naked Glamazons."
"Never mind that a few of those chases begin in midtown Manhattan and climax, inexplicably, on the streets of Los Angeles."

Katherine: Are their official gov't civil rights reports on this somewhere?

Yes.

Is your argument really that the percentage of the apparent 50K that were kicked off the rolls is somehow magically substantially lower than that?

You assume that everyone on the list was in fact kicked off the rolls. Not a valid assumption, as even the USCCR report notes. It's been noted elsewhere, though, and widely. Here, though, as practically everywhere else in analysis of things related to the 2000 election, verifiable numbers are not available.

You assume that everyone on the list was in fact kicked off the rolls. Not a valid assumption, as even the USCCR report notes.

Cite and quote, Slarti. It's a long report.

Some supervisors of elections chose not to use the information on the exclusion lists in any manner.

Yes, unclear as to extent, which is typical of the rest of the report.

While statistical data, reinforced by credible anecdotal evidence, point to widespread disenfranchisement and denial of voting rights, it is impossible to determine the extent of the disenfranchisement or to provide an adequate remedy to the persons whose voices were silenced in this historic election by a pattern and practice of injustice, ineptitude, and inefficiency.

Despite the closeness of the election, it was widespread voter disenfranchisement, not the dead-heat contest, that was the extraordinary feature in the Florida election. The disenfranchisement was not isolated or episodic. And state officials failed to fulfill their duties in a manner that would prevent this disenfranchisement. (cite)

Which might be relevant, except for a couple of things:

1) The USCCR counts people who screw up their own ballots among the disenfranchised, and

2) Again, no even rough estimates of numbers of the disenfranchised was put forth.

Otherwise, bang on.

The USCCR counts people who screw up their own ballots among the disenfranchised

The available statistical evidence indicates that Florida voters in poorer, predominantly people of color communities were more likely to use voting systems with higher spoilage rates—meaning those voters had a lower chance of having their votes counted accurately. For example, Gadsden County, which used an optical central tabulation system, had a spoilage rate of 12.4 percent. Just on the other side of the Ochlockonee River, in Leon County, which used an optical precinct tabulation system, the spoilage rate was only 0.18 percent.[15]

Gadsden County had the highest spoilage rate in the state. In addition to being rural and poor, it is also approximately 63 percent African American—the only county in the state with an African American majority.[16] On November 7, approximately one in eight Gadsden County voters was effectively disenfranchised. Leon County, on the other hand, which is approximately 28 percent African American, had the lowest spoilage rate in the state. It is the home of the prosperous state capital and two state universities. There, fewer than two votes in 1,000 were not counted.[17]

Other studies show a similar relationship between race and discounted votes.[18] (cite)

If you are not given the opportunity to correct your screwed-up ballot - an error which may be your fault, or may be the fault of an outdated voting machine - then you have been disenfranchised.

Are you trying to threadjack this thread? We were talking about the felon-list disenfranchisement. The rest is certainly not dismissible, but it's just as certainly irrelevant to the question. Which was, approximately how many people tried to vote (but were not permitted to) because they were inaccurately placed on the felon list?

If you want to engage in irrelevancies, we could always drag in the 6500 felons who were permitted to vote, and the disturbing number of people who voted both in New York State and Florida. Not that these aren't interesting things to discuss, but I'd just as soon stick to this one question for the nonce.

Bernard,

I see your point, but I tend to think that maximum profit point for the Saudis may be lower than $50/bbl. My understanding is that there are plenty of oil fields that are profitable to run at $50/bbl that would be a waste of money to extract from at $25/bbl. So while higher prices lead to greater profit per barrel for the Saudis, they also could be losing market share as prices increase, because there are more producers.

Assume Al can pump oil at $10/bbl and Bob has a field that is profitable at $25/bbl. Wouldn't Al's (near term) profits be maximized just below Bob's cost, where Al has the full market share (assuming Bob can produce enough to meet a significant enough portion of demand)? Not sure how well that extrapolates to real world market though.

Are you trying to threadjack this thread?

You brought the topic of "people who screw up their own ballots" up, Slarti: I was merely pointing out that yes, there are valid reasons to count them among the disenfranchised.

Is it possible to threadjack a thread on threadjacking? Shall I start talking about dried fruit?

You brought the topic of "people who screw up their own ballots" up, Slarti

Actually, you did, by citing the USSCR report that tried to hook balloting error into disenfranchisement.

So, you can continue dancing around the issue, or answer the question. I know which one I prefer; the question is, why do you indulge in obfuscation instead of addressing an issue that anyone listening to you the last four years or so would think you've got a well-evidenced position in?

mike p,

Assume Al can pump oil at $10/bbl and Bob has a field that is profitable at $25/bbl. Wouldn't Al's (near term) profits be maximized just below Bob's cost, where Al has the full market share (assuming Bob can produce enough to meet a significant enough portion of demand)? Not sure how well that extrapolates to real world market though.

Depends on a lot of things, I suppose. Market share, as you note, is one. So is the reason the price went up to $25 in your example. If that's because Al cut back production we have to assume he knew what he was doing and likes the high price depite Bob's competition.

I'm no oil expert, but I also presume that oil in the ground matters to the Saudis, and other producers. They want to maximize profits over some period of time longer than one day. Not sure how that plays into the calculations.

All I'm really saying is that to the extent the Saudis control oil prices, it seems overwhelmingly likely to me that they use that control to maximize their own profits, and that alternative explanations, while possible, require a good bit of evidence before I believe them.

Of course you are correct that, to the extent the Saudis do not control the price, it may not be optimal for them.

I know which one I prefer; the question is, why do you indulge in obfuscation instead of addressing an issue that anyone listening to you the last four years or so would think you've got a well-evidenced position in?

I didn't know you'd been listening to me for four years, Slarti: I'm impressed! I didn't even adopt the pseud Jesurgislac till around three years ago. *looks at you suspiciously*

I'm still more impressed by your capacity to ignore all the evidence that the Florida election in 2000 was rigged: but of course it's a topic that I will keep bringing up, and that Bush supporters, both Jeb and George W., will naturally prefer to claim isn't really there.

I found out that the election was rigged between November 2000 and March 2001, the way anyone could have: I googled, I followed links, I looked stuff up. A lot of researchers with more access than I have, and more time to spend on it, have done more work and summarized the evidence more effectively. I've cited them to you in the past: as I recall, you've always dismissed them as biased - yeah, sometimes the facts are biased against the Republicans! ;-) If you don't want to either do the research yourself, nor read the research of others who came to a conclusion you don't like, I can't help you. You've decided the Florida election wasn't rigged, and you don't appear to want to let the facts get in your way.

In the spirit of the thread, has everybody seen Jon Stewart's awesome smackdown of Tucker Carlson and Paul Begala on Crossfire?

I read the transcript, which was hilarious, but when I saw the clip, it was actually so honest, it was painful. Stewart was trying to present a case and they just wanted to play word games. Carlson came off looking like a total and complete ass, while Begala pulled back before he completely destroyed any shred of a reason to watch him. The spin alley point got submerged because it looks like they are really embarassed by it, as they should be. The one thing that disappointed me was that when they said 'we look forward to seeing you again' or something like that, Stewart didn't say 'like that has a chance in hell of happening'

I think Howard Kurtz is a true hack, but he had the sense to interview Stewart on video rather than live.

I didn't even adopt the pseud Jesurgislac till around three years ago.

[Bold added for irony...seriously, it's just seemed like years.]

I'm still more impressed by your capacity to ignore all the evidence that the Florida election in 2000 was rigged

Feel free to come up with some. I'm still waiting.

You've decided the Florida election wasn't rigged

No, I haven't. What I've decided is there's evidence that the election proceeded imperfectly, but the matter of whether it was rigged, and indeed by whom it was rigged, is still unclear. Given that the bulk of the complaints detailed by the USCCR occurred in counties whose supervisors of elections were Democrats, and who were elected officials of said counties, and who furthermore aren't answerable to either Jeb Bush or Kathleen Harris, your well-evidenced story is full of holes. To me it looks like there's more holes there than story. Sidetrack: there's a science fiction story in which a new material is created that's infinitely strong. It's made from perforations. On the theory that nothing ever tears on the perforation, so the perforation must be stronger than the material perforated. I forget who wrote that. But the mention of this story seems curiously appropriate, here.

Oh, and there's a response to Mr. Hersh's statements here. Read and consider. Nothing definitive, but I agree that credibility seems to be stretched a bit here.

Completely unrelated to the two above topics, trouble in the multinational approach, maybe?

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