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November 02, 2022

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For clarity, when I say "proposal" I mean "reached the floor in Congress".

About elections:
1) When the Speakership of the US House of Representatives can conceivably get determined by what a handful of people in Boebert's district had for breakfast on election day, "these United States" verge on becoming a sick parody of an actual nation. If I were king, I'd order a do-over of any election with a margin smaller than 5% or so.
2) Why in tarnation is it necessary to hold off counting mailed or dropboxed ballots until election day? If I had my way, not only would such ballots be tallied as they come in, but the running totals would be published daily.

On Social Security:
1) CharlesWT needs to tell me which age cohort "as a whole" SHOULD be the wealthiest. I assume he's talking per-capita, but is he talking mean, median, or mode?
2) The reason SS has always been popular among "working age people" is that the alternative would be taking the old folks in to live with them. Payroll tax may hurt, but it hurts less than that.

--TP

Why in tarnation is it necessary to hold off counting mailed or dropboxed ballots until election day?

I suspect (based on zero evidence, mind) that the politicians were worried that, if they got off to an early lead, their supporters might decide not to bother to get out and vote. Leading them to lose. Which would make it seem necessary to them.

A number of our laws are like that. Like why redistricting should be done by folks who will then run in those districts, rather than by an independent commission. (Here, at least, we only got an independent redistricting commission because the voters forced it thru via an initiative. No way the legislators would have disadvantaged themselves like that.)

2) The reason SS has always been popular among "working age people" is that the alternative would be taking the old folks in to live with them. Payroll tax may hurt, but it hurts less than that.

Not just SS, but Medicaid, which is how the US pays for long-term care for the indigent. As I have been known to say to people who want to wipe out Medicaid, "Good you bought that McMansion. Grandma's going to come live upstairs. Who's going to change her diaper?"

I'm sorry, it hasn't been a good day. My wife has been largely out of touch with reality for most of it.

THere's a lot of strange floundering going on on Faux. Some guy said today that unmarried young women are propagandizing school kids to be Democrats. He seemed quite huffy about unmarried women. Yesterday I think it was that a Faux talking head got shrill about "women went crazy!" And Cruz--yeah, I know, even Republicans can't stand him--Cruz was yelling about how Dems won by being liberal and doing radical liberal things which got our base to turn out and Republicans NEED TO GET THEIR BASE OUT BY DOING REPUBLICAN THINGS!!!!!!
And I thought that, except for the word "radical" he was right about the Democrats except we did more than get our base out. We have the ability to expand our share of the voters because the "liberal" things we want to do are the things that the younger voters want done and they are an demography that historically hasn't voted much.

Republicans, on the other hand may have maxxed out their base. And it won't be many years before they lose a lot of voters to nursing homes.

Besides, what on earth message are they going to have to get their base out? Shout TAX CUTS FOR THE RICH louder? Yell that YES WE WANT WOMEN TO DIE FROM PREGNANCY!!!!!! GOD LOVES RAPE BABIES!!!!!I think they were getting close to the bottom of the barrel with their trans kids are using the bathroom crap.

I really have no idea what message they can come up with that isn't a retread of their tired old fear/hate BS.

I dont think they know either.

Michael Cain, FWIW, I really feel for you. You have my great sympathy and fellow-feeling, and zero need to apologise.

And I hesitate to mention it, I'm sure you don't need medical advice and the cases may be completely different, but in the interests of fellow feeling: when my mother was descending further into dementia she developed really strong and distressing paranoid delusions (that the flat was filling with poison gas, or that there was an electrical fault and we were all going to die in an electrical fire etc) which were utterly unsusceptible to reason and sometimes violent in her attempts to get out. A specialist psychiatrist recommended a small dose of an anti-psychotic called Olanzapine, and it had a dramatic effect. The delusions completely went away after a tiny bit of tinkering with dosage, and although of course the rest of the dementia was unchanged, life was much calmer and (at least in that way) less distressing, for her and for us. Forgive me if this is entirely useless to you, but I thought it worth mentioning, just in case.

I see two main reasons why early votes are not counted before election day (and the results not made public):
1) it influences the decision of other voters, if they see trends (polls are bad enough).*
2) vote counting should be a publicly monitored event for transparency's sake. This would not be practical if vote counting were not a single event but a continuous process.


* it can go in both directions:
1) oh, my side has already won, so no need for me to bother voting.
2) oh, my side has fallen behind. I have to go and vote now to turn it around.
3) candidate X is already the clear winner. I want to be on the side of the winners, so let's go voting (I do not care what the candidate actually stands for).
4) oh, my side has already lost. Why bother voting, if it probably does not change anything anyway anymore?

I see two main reasons why early votes are not counted before election day...

The worst case is in states with lots of early mail ballots, and the legislature does not allow any sort of processing before election day (or in the worst cases, before the polls close). Running ballots through a scanner doesn't take all that much time. Processing the envelope does.

What Michael said.

Hallelujah! The senate stays blue, even without Georgia!

Somewhere, McConnell is inventing new curse words to apply to Trump. Wonder if he's figured out that convicting him on one of those impeachment trials might have been a good idea.

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