AuthorTopic: Election Errata  (Read 129438 times)

Offline RE

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🗳️ Moments that mattered from 5th Democratic debate
« Reply #1155 on: November 21, 2019, 05:24:53 AM »
Does any of it "matter" to Trumpovetsky voters?  Nope.


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Offline RE

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Democratic Candidates Are Utterly Delusional About the Looming Judicial Crisis
Even their more moderate policy proposals will struggle to get the approval of a right-wing Supreme Court.

By Mark Joseph Stern
Nov 21, 20193:10 PM

Amy Klobuchar, Pete Buttigieg, Elizabeth Warren, Joe Biden, and Bernie Sanders wave goodbye to their policy agendas at the hands of the courts.
Joe Raedle/Getty Images

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The Supreme Court will probably overrule decades of progressive precedents and strike down the next Democratic president’s reforms. You would not know this from watching the 2020 Democratic presidential debates. Wednesday’s showdown in Atlanta, the fifth so far, did not include a single question about the courts. Earlier debates allowed for brief discussions of the Supreme Court, but every candidate dramatically underestimated the threat it poses to the Democratic Party. Both the candidates and the moderators appear to be astonishingly naïve about the judiciary’s lurch to the right under Donald Trump. And it is pointless to discuss the Democrats’ ambitious proposals without explaining how they are going to survive at SCOTUS.

It’s not just the debates—Democratic politicians rarely talk about the courts at all. There is an enthusiasm gap between Democrats and Republicans when it comes to the judiciary: GOP voters are more likely to be motivated by the opportunity to fill judicial vacancies, which is why Trump ran on a promise of appointing archconservative judges. Democratic voters focus more on individual political issues, and their party has never prioritized judges—or campaigned on the fact that every political dispute is ultimately resolved as a judicial question. This complacency will prove catastrophic for progressives now that Justice Brett Kavanaugh has replaced Justice Anthony Kennedy, shoring up a conservative majority that will obstruct liberal policies for a generation.

Consider a topic that the candidates discussed extensively on Wednesday night: abortion. If Roe v. Wade “gets overturned,” Rachel Maddow asked Amy Klobuchar, “would you intervene as president to try to bring that access back?” Klobuchar responded that, indeed, she would “codify Roe v. Wade into law,” to loud applause. Every major candidate has also pledged to “codify” the 1973 ruling establishing a constitutional right to terminate a pregnancy. They take different approaches that all lead to the same place: a crushing loss in court.

Some candidates, like Kamala Harris, have proposed legislation prohibiting states from unduly restricting abortion access. Harris’ bill would recognize a right to abortion in the 14th Amendment and bar states from infringing upon that right without federal approval. But a Supreme Court that does not uphold Roe will not let Congress enforce abortion rights in the states. SCOTUS has already ruled that Congress cannot protect a constitutional right that, according to the court, does not exist. So if Roe goes, Congress couldn’t use its authority under the 14th Amendment to stop states from outlawing abortion.
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The judiciary is now packed with Trump nominees who operate under the principle that Democrats can’t do bupkis.

Cognizant of this problem, Elizabeth Warren has proposed a statute that would regulate abortion on the federal level, preempting states from doing so themselves. Her idea has merit, as Congress does have the power to supersede state laws that stand in the way of its aims.

But the Supreme Court held in 2018 that Congress cannot rely on preemption when it regulates states rather than “the conduct of private actors.” The court explained that the federal government may not “commandeer” states by forbidding them from passing legislation. But Warren’s plan—which asks Congress to “prohibit states from interfering” with “abortion services”—appears to do just that. The conservative justices may thus rule that Warren’s bill unlawfully commandeers state governments. They could also go further, ruling that Congress does not even have authority to regulate abortion in the first place because it is not sufficiently connected to interstate commerce. Either route would kill the Warren plan.

Not to pick on Warren, but her other big structural changes would also be imperiled by the courts. Her wealth tax would compel the ultrarich to pay annual taxes on property, real and personal, as well as financial assets. But conservatives are already developing an argument that this plan violates the constitutional rule that any “direct tax” be apportioned among the states on the basis of population. Her health care plan, meanwhile, is funded in part by forcing states to redirect money from existing programs into “Medicare for All.” But in the first Obamacare case, the Supreme Court curbed Congress’ power to tell states how they must spend federal revenue. The courts could decide that Warren’s scheme amounts to illicit “economic dragooning” and deprive her program of $6 trillion.

It isn’t just progressives like Warren who have reason to fear SCOTUS. Self-styled moderates like Klobuchar and Pete Buttigieg should also be gravely worried. On Wednesday, both candidates endorsed H.R. 1, a sweeping elections bill passed by the House of Representatives. Buttigieg singled out the measure’s requirement that each state adopt an independent redistricting commission to draw congressional lines. Even if Democrats made H.R. 1 the law, however, this anti-gerrymandering provision may well fall. The Supreme Court seems primed to find that Congress’ authority to regulate federal elections does not permit it to mandate the creation of 50 state redistricting commissions. Having already refused to police partisan gerrymandering, the conservative justices could soon bar Congress from stepping in and protecting voters from this scourge of democracy.

The list of suspect proposals goes on. Warren’s Green New Deal would decarbonize the economy by dramatically tightening federal pollution standards, which courts could find to exceed Congress’ power to regulate commerce. Joe Biden’s more modest plan relies partly on “new executive orders” to repurpose existing law as a tool in the fight against emissions. But President Barack Obama already tried that tack and got crushed at the Supreme Court. As a lower court judge, Brett Kavanaugh was a leading critic of the Obama administration’s efforts to expand the Environmental Protection Agency’s control over carbon. Now he can provide the fifth vote to block any Democratic presidents’ efforts to curtail emissions.
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It’s not that Biden, Buttigieg, Harris, Klobuchar, Warren, and the gang don’t understand that the Supreme Court is a problem. It’s that they appear utterly delusional about the extent of the court’s threat to Democratic policy, and short on solutions to the peril they face. Harris and Warren have said they are “open” to adding justices to the Supreme Court to restore a liberal majority. (Whether it’s wise, court packing is undoubtedly constitutional.) Buttigieg and Bernie Sanders have floated a scheme to expand the court to 15 seats, rotating five appellate judges on and off the bench. (This scheme is almost certainly unconstitutional.) Biden seems uninterested in any kind of court reform.

These half-baked, scattershot responses suggest that the 2020 candidates have not seriously grappled with a looming crisis. The judiciary is now packed with Trump nominees who operate under the principle that Republicans can do anything they want and Democrats can’t do bupkis. These judges are poised to invalidate the next Democratic president’s signature policies. The Supreme Court is more conservative than it has been since the days when it tore down the New Deal. At future debates, every time a candidate touts some proposal, the moderators should ask what they’ll do when the courts strike it down. If the candidate has no answer, it’s safe to assume that plan will be dead on arrival.
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Offline azozeo

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Los Angeles County to Intoduce VSAP E-Voting System: NOT Hand-Marked, NOT Paper,
« Reply #1157 on: December 04, 2019, 09:28:52 AM »

Posted on November 29, 2019 by Lambert Strether

By Lambert Strether of Corrente.

No doubt Los Angeles County’s VSAP (“Voting Solutions for All People”) rollout will not be covered as a debacle. The real question is: If there were a debacle — like, say, a case of election fraud — would we even know? Doubtful. Just what we want in a voting system! In this post, I’ll give a brief overview of issues with electronic voting. Then I’ll look at VSAP as an institution. Next, I’ll show why the VSAP system is not only insecure, but likely to make money-in-politics even worse than it already is.

We’ve covered electronic voting before — see here, here, and here — and if you want to understand why hand-marked paper ballots, hand-counted in public (HMPBCP) is the world standard, you can read them, especially the first. In this overview, I’ll make a few high-level observations about electronic voting in general.

Digital systems can never be shown not to have bugs. As Computer Science Elder God Edgers Dijkstra wrote: “Program testing can be used to show the presence of bugs, but never to show their absence!” Many bugs in many important programs persist for years before they are discovered. A list would include Flash in IE6 (persisted 12 years), OpenSSL (15 years), LZO data compression (18 years), and bash (25 years). None of these examples are outlier programs or trivial; they are all used by millions, essential to enterprises, networks, etc. Each of these bug is an insecurity waiting to happen. And that’s before we get to Trojan Horses, which are bugs introduced deliberately by a developer for purposes of their own. In fact, I would go so far as to argue that any voting system decision maker who advocates electronic voting is doing so for reasons other than security, given that HMPBCP is available, which amounts to saying that such a decision maker regards a certain amount of exploited bugs — election fraud — as acceptable.

Now, of course we all use programs all the time: We have programs to turn on our lightbulbs, call cabs, download pr0n, etc. I’m using a program now to write this post! However, if we put voting machine software on the same plane as commercial software, we’re arguing that a central-to-mission function of democracy — the vote — is on the same plane as the very convenient ability to check the contents of our refrigerator from our cellphone. Lest I be thought curmudgeonly in this, recall the example of Bolivia, where one reason the vote was challenged was the use of an unauthorized server for data transmission of the count. Contrast that with the recent vote in Hong Kong, where there were many images of people marking paper ballots, and of people counting them, in public (in fact, of people demanding to be let in to observe). Imagine if electronic systems had been used: First, the Mainland would have had every incentive to have compromised the software, and might well have done so successfully; second, electronic systems, because they are always buggy, are always open to challenge. The fallout could have been extremely ugly at the geopolitical level. Nor would the people’s will have been respected.

With that, lets turn to Los Angeles County and VSAP. As with any software project, we need to understand the requirements. Here is what I can find on the extremely spiffy and well-budgeted VSAP site: “The Design Concepts“:

    The final concept created for VSAP incorporates features driven by the project principles as well as focus group feedback, input and in-person testing.

    The concept system features touch-screen technology with a simple user interface, both audio and visual output and a built-in scanner, printer and ballot box. The new voting system will provide voters with options to scan in QR coded ballots from their phone, enter their ballot choices in-person at the polling location or vote-by-mail with printed ballots.

(Note that the concept very explicitly does not say that hand-marked paper ballots will be available at polling locations; only vote by mail.) I note with alarm that the concept document includes no mention of security, or even that the voters vote be accurately recorded and tabulated. Let’s look elsewhere for that. From the aforementioned “Principles“:

    TRUST The voting system must instill public trust and have the ability to produce a physical and tangible record of a voter’s ballot to verify the ballot was marked as intended before it is cast and to ensure auditability of the system. It must demonstrate to voters, candidates, and the general public that all votes are counted as cast.

(A little too much focus on PR for my taste: “instill,” “demonstrate.”) Note the fundamental equivocation, which I have underlined: The paper is not the ballot; the paper is only a record of the ballot, which is digital. More:

    INTEGRITY The system must have integrity, be accountable to voters, and follow existing regulations. System features must protect against fraud and tampering. It should also be easy to audit and produce
I know exactly what you mean. Let me tell you why you’re here. You’re here because you know something. What you know you can’t explain, but you feel it. You’ve felt it your entire life, that there’s something wrong with the world.
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Offline azozeo

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Five Common Misconceptions About the Electoral College
« Reply #1158 on: December 04, 2019, 01:14:19 PM »

Defenders of the Electoral College argue that it was created to combat majority tyranny and support federalism, and that it continues to serve those purposes. This stance depends on a profound misunderstanding of the history of the institution.
November 29, 2019
G. Alan Tarr
Board of Governors Professor at Rutgers University-Camden
I know exactly what you mean. Let me tell you why you’re here. You’re here because you know something. What you know you can’t explain, but you feel it. You’ve felt it your entire life, that there’s something wrong with the world.
You don’t know what it is but its there, like a splinter in your mind

Offline RE

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🗳️ Hostilities between Warren and Buttigieg boil over
« Reply #1159 on: December 07, 2019, 01:01:53 AM »

Hostilities between Warren and Buttigieg boil over

Long reluctant to call out her rivals by name, Warren went there with Buttigieg on Thursday night — and his campaign returned the fire.

Pete Buttigieg and Elizabeth Warren at the November debate. | Alex Wong/Getty Images


12/06/2019 01:10 PM EST

Long-simmering tensions between Pete Buttigieg and Elizabeth Warren, the two ascendant Democratic presidential candidates in Iowa, burst into the open this week.

Warren and Buttigieg’s campaigns each called the other out in a flurry of back-and-forths on the candidates’ tax returns, past corporate clients, campaign bundlers and opening fundraisers to the news media.

Story Continued Below

The volleys began in Boston on Thursday night, when Warren criticized Buttigieg for not disclosing the names of his campaign’s top fundraisers since April, or opening his fundraisers to the media, which former Vice President Joe Biden has done.

Story Continued Below

“The mayor should be releasing who’s on his finance committee, who are the bundlers who are raising big money for him, who he’s given titles to and made promises to,” Warren said, a rare instance of her directly attacking a Democratic opponent other than Mike Bloomberg by name. Buttigieg, she added, should also “open up the doors so that the press can follow the promises he’s making in these big-dollar fundraisers.”

Buttigieg senior adviser Lis Smith fired back on Twitter, calling Warren a “corporate lawyer” and saying she should open “up the doors to the decades of tax returns she’s hiding.” Warren hasn’t released her tax returns from before 2008, when she had corporate clients while she also taught at Harvard Law School. She disclosed the names of those clients earlier this year but has not released her tax returns from that time, arguing that the decade of tax returns she already released is sufficient.

The exchanges mark a new phase of the primary, particularly for Warren’s campaign. Buttigieg, who’s cutting a center-left path through the primary, continues to rise in Iowa polling, presenting a serious challenge to Warren in a state on which both contenders have staked their candidacies. Biden can potentially afford to place lower than first in the state given his strength in South Carolina, but Iowa is close to must-win territory for Warren and Buttigieg.

Until now, Buttigieg’s jabs at Warren on the debate stage, and in paid ads and the news media, have gone largely unanswered as she’s insisted, “I’m not here to attack other Democrats.”

Still, Warren’s team has bristled at the mayor’s swipes. He has needled her with lines like “fighting is not enough and it’s a problem if fighting is all you have" — a reference to the senator’s frequent calls to arms against conservative adversaries.

Story Continued Below

But Warren seems to have reached her limit with Buttigieg. Speaking at a Democratic National Committee fundraiser Thursday night, she tried to turn Buttigieg's "fight" critique against him, remarking that “it’s easy to give up on an idea. You can even try to make yourself sound smart and sophisticated when you do it.”

Jeff Link, an Iowa-based Democratic consultant, said the dynamic between the two of them is in plain sight.

“They’re fighting for the top slot in Iowa, which is the center of the universe for them, and it’s crunch time,” he said. The sharpening battle is “a recognition by each campaign that the other is a threat, and we haven’t really had that before now.”

The hostility between the two campaigns has been building beneath the surface. Last week, when Warren was asked about releasing her tax returns, she called out candidates “who want to distract from the fact that they have not released the names of their clients and not released the names of their bundlers.” It was a thinly veiled shot at Buttigieg, who has come under fire for not naming his clients during his time at the corporate consulting firm McKinsey.

Buttigieg has said he’s bound by a nondisclosure agreement and has asked McKinsey to be released from it. He responded by saying that it “sounds like somebody’s changing the subject — is she going to release those tax returns or not? I hope she does.”

Buttigieg is leading the Democratic field with 24 percent in Iowa, according to the RealClearPolitics polling average. A mid-November Des Moines Register poll showed Buttigieg rocketing to the front with 25 percent of the vote, a double-digit lead over the rest of the field. Warren has slipped in Iowa over the past month, after hitting her own high, averaging 23 percent through late September into October.

“As he continues to rise in the polls, he’s going to be the target of more attacks,” said Jennifer Holdsworth, who managed Buttigieg’s failed bid for chairman of the Democratic National Committee after the 2016 election. “Mayor Pete has wide ideological appeal, across the Democratic electorate, from progressives to moderates to everything in between, while others have struggled to communicate a message as widely as him.”

On the ground, Iowa state Sen. Joe Bolkcom, who has endorsed Warren, cautioned that “the Warren campaign needs to make some adjustments in talking to Democratic voters who agree with her on health care, who agree with her on the role that money has played in corrupting politics, but who are nervous about the pace and scale of her agenda.”

“To some degree, Buttigieg has offered a more palatable message to them,” Bolkcom said, on health care and other policies, “and he’s been rewarded here for it.”

Buttigieg’s critics believe the mayor hasn’t been “held to the same standard he has demanded from others,” said Adam Jentleson, a Democratic strategist close to the Warren campaign.

“Pete has been sneaky, demanding that others disclose everything they ever ate for breakfast, while hiding his bundlers and the work for McKinsey that makes up 20 percent of his entire career,” he added. “He has been getting a pass but hopefully that ends now.”
An illustration of Trump standing in front of the white house and capitol building with Adam Schiff and Nancy Pelosi to his right and Rudy Guliani and Pres. Zelensky to his left.

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Story Continued Below

Buttigieg is trying to fend off a range of criticisms, from his time at McKinsey to his failure to appeal to African American voters in South Carolina.

The escalating attacks aren’t limited to Buttigieg and Warren. On a Thursday night interview on MSNBC, Bernie Sanders said “Buttigieg is wrong” in his critique of Sanders’ tuition-free higher-education plan.

“I’m very glad that Mr. Buttigieg is worried that I have been too easy on upper-income people, the millionaires and billionaires, that I’m going to allow their kids to go to public colleges and universities — just [like] by the way, they can go to public schools right now,” Sanders said. “The point is, I happen to believe, that when you talk about programs like Social Security, like health care, like higher education, they should be universal.”

Buttigieg argued on Monday in South Carolina that college “is not for everybody.”

“This is not the same thing as K through 12, this is not the same thing as Social Security,” Buttigieg said. “But where I come from, three out of four people don’t have a college degree, and if the message we’re sending to them is that you need a college degree in order to get by in life, in order to prosper, in order to succeed, we’re leaving most Americans out and I think they’re just missing that very important fact.”
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Offline knarf

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Re: 🗳️ Hostilities between Warren and Buttigieg boil over
« Reply #1160 on: December 07, 2019, 06:03:08 AM »
I thought it was about her own repressed gender identity, because he his married to a man.
Everything, I mean EVERYTHING, is a BIG FUCKING MESS!!

Offline RE

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It's Revving Up here as the Winnowing of potential Trumpovetsky Opponents takes shape!

Who is your pick for best chance for the DemoDopes?  I say it's Liz Warren.  Not betting on it though, my bets on political contests do not have a good track record. lol


The Democratic National Committee announced the next set of primary debates. One will be held in each of the early-voting states.

The Democratic National Committee did not say how it would determine which candidates would qualify for the next set of debates, though it has steadily risen the bar, shrinking the field of candidates who are included.Credit...Hilary Swift for The New York Times

By Jonathan Ellis and Michael M. Grynbaum

    Dec. 12, 2019
    Updated 6:40 p.m. ET

Democratic presidential candidates will debate four times in January and February as the party’s opening quartet of nominating contests approaches, the Democratic National Committee said Thursday.

The committee laid out a packed schedule of debates, caucuses and primaries for early next year, announcing debates in Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina, the first states to vote. In February alone, there will be seven days with marquee political events — either debates or the contests themselves.

The party is facing the possibility of an unprecedented scheduling conflict: If President Trump is impeached, a Senate trial early in 2020 could force some of the candidates to stay in Washington.

Continue reading the main story

“If a conflict with an impeachment trial is unavoidable, the D.N.C. will evaluate its options and work with all the candidates to accommodate them,” the committee said in a statement.
Who’s Qualified for the Next 2020 Democratic Debate?

Here’s a look at who’s made the cut for December debates so far.

The D.N.C. did not say Thursday how it would determine which candidates would qualify for the next set of debates. It has ratcheted up its polling and fund-raising standards for the six debates this year, beginning with a low threshold that resulted in 20 candidates qualifying for the first two debates and gradually raising the bar.

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The debates announced on Thursday will be divided among familiar television networks, including ABC, CBS, CNN and NBC. But for the first time in the 2020 race, a pair of major technology companies signed on as sponsors, too. Apple News will co-host a debate in Manchester, N.H., on Feb. 7 with ABC News, and Twitter will partner with CBS News and the Congressional Black Caucus for a Feb. 25 event in Charleston, S.C.

Absent from the sponsorship list was Facebook, whose role in allowing disinformation to proliferate in the 2016 race has been criticized by some leading Democrats.

The inclusion of Apple and Twitter could create an awkward dynamic for candidates who have made stricter regulation of the tech industry a component of their campaign platforms. Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, for instance, has called for Apple to be broken apart. And some candidates have faulted Twitter for what they see as lax policies toward political speech and unfounded rumors.
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Moderators for the debates — a plum assignment that can be the subject of much internal jockeying at TV networks — have not yet been announced. The debate in Des Moines on Jan. 14 will be hosted by CNN and The Des Moines Register. NBC News, MSNBC and The Nevada Independent are hosting a Feb. 19 debate in Las Vegas.

In a sign of intense interest in the presidential contest, all four of the early 2020 debates are scheduled for weeknights. In past election years, networks had sought to stage some debates on weekends, to avoid pre-empting lucrative prime-time programming. This time around, politics is a big television draw.

Viewership has been strong for this year’s debates, with the first installment in June, a two-night event in Miami, seen by a record audience for a televised Democratic matchup. Since then, the ratings have waned, though network executives expect them to rebound as the critical early contests approach.

Only seven candidates are set to take the stage for a debate next Thursday in Los Angeles sponsored by PBS and Politico, the smallest lineup of 2019. An additional candidate, Senator Kamala Harris, had qualified but dropped out of the race last week.

The party’s schedule for the first two months of 2020, including debates, primaries and caucuses, is here:

    Tuesday, Jan. 14: A debate in Des Moines, hosted by CNN and The Des Moines Register at Drake University.

    Monday, Feb. 3: The Iowa caucuses.

    Friday, Feb. 7: A debate in Manchester, N.H., hosted by ABC News, WMUR and Apple News at St. Anselm College.

    Tuesday, Feb. 11: The New Hampshire primary.

    Wednesday, Feb. 19: A debate in Las Vegas, hosted by NBC News, MSNBC and The Nevada Independent.

    Saturday, Feb. 22: The Nevada Democratic caucuses.

    Tuesday, Feb. 25: A debate in Charleston, S.C., hosted by CBS News, the Congressional Black Caucus Institute and Twitter at the Gaillard Center.

    Saturday, Feb. 29: The South Carolina Democratic primary.
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