Relevant and even prescient commentary on news, politics and the economy.

Wisconsin Supreme Court Blows Up Absentee Voting

Everything was running according to plan in Wisconsin. The state’s 72 county clerks print the ballots, mail them to voters, collect election results, and coordinate their canvassing boards, while 1,850 municipal clerks at the city, village, or township level operate the polling places and handle absentee ballots. The state had prepared for the national election after a tumultuous April election.

This last Thursday September 11th, Wisconsin was all set to have a smooth national election. The state’s 1,850 municipal clerks had printed at least 2.3 million absentee ballots in preparation of another surge in absentee voting (which occurred earlier this year – April) and had already mailed 378,482 of them. They were under way and would to meet the Sept. 17 deadline established by state law when ballots had to be mailed. A deadline by which the SCOTUS had mandated

A little history, this April, the municipal clerks were crushed by a last-minute surge of requests for absentee ballots  from residents who decided to vote by such due to a fear of the Covid pandemic. The resulting delays from not having enough ballots led to ballots being mailed later to voters and a delayed vote, with ballots being received after the state deadline.

On April 6th, SCOTUS in a 5-4 vote with the majority decision authored by Justice Kavanaugh “approved one of the most brazen acts of voter suppression in modern history. The court will nullify the votes of citizens who mailed in their ballots late—not because they forgot, but because they did not receive ballots until after Election Day due to the coronavirus pandemic.

As Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg wrote in dissent, the court’s order “will result in massive disenfranchisement.” The conservative majority claimed that its decision would help protect “the integrity of the election process.” In reality, it calls into question the legitimacy of the election itself.”

State officials had learned their lesson, planned far ahead to have enough ballots available, and set the stage for the prompt and orderly mailing of millions of ballots to give voters enough lead time to vote on time.

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Digital technology as used in today’s campaigning

I just read the this article: Trump’s Digital Advantage is Freaking out Democratic Strategist.   It is a NYT’s opinion piece.

I know and have known about the use of collecting our data to sell us stuff.  The concern for me is that there is almost no way for an individual to stop having their self tracked and mined any more based on this article.  What is worse though than just having it used to sell me stuff is having it used as what clearly has become psych ops.  We are clearly in the subliminal suggestion pathway to influencing personality.

Steven Livingston, a professor of media and public affairs and director of the Institute for Data, Democracy and Politics at George Washington University, has been tracking this sub rosa electioneering in the current election cycle.

Livingston described “these digital shadow campaigns” as “analogous to and perhaps an actual digital manifestation of ‘dark money’ influence campaigns.” In addition, he continued,

Overwhelmingly, these pages and groups do not have ownership declarations or Facebook verifications. We simply do not know what other digital properties might be operated by common sources with the groups. There is money being spent but we don’t know the sources. It is unaccountable spending.

The article notes the difference in expenditures on digital processes between the Trump and Clinton campaign (it was big) and that the Trump campaign has been developing obstructive since. This is the point I present my political ad: Time for the 1% who are still on the left to start spending their money to combat the money infrastructure the right has built.  I’m talking to you Bloomberg and Steyer instead of for office.

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Interview with Andrew Yang

Now that Andrew Yang has made it into the first debate by meeting the fundraising threshold, and being on Morning Joe this morning,  it is time to post this interview of him via Freakonomics.

I was impressed by his thought approach.  He is the first person who is talking about the economy as a ecosystem of society.  That is, it’s not just about making money.  He does not come out and say it as I would but I think he is thinking about a question I have asked here in the past: What do we have an economy for?  Is it to just produce the biggest most powerful engine in the world and watch it run?

My concern is that the MSN is not prepared to do a proper interview with a person who actually wants to discuss a comprehensive idea regarding social structure and present a plan for it as observed on Morning Joe today.  You could just tell they wanted to throw out the memes of name calling:  “socialist”, “taxing the rich”, “taxing business”, “far left”.  But, I think Mr Yang handled it well considering the short time he had vs his scope of policy.  Plus Mr. Yang had facts noting his “freedom dividend” is what Alaska has.

I don’t expect him to win, but I do hope he and his ideas get more coverage and thus pushes the Overton window back toward society.  The problem is,  his idea is very comprehensive.  It’s talking about society.  Unfortunately, our mindset wants discussion boiled down to the “1 item” reductionist meme.  You know: How are you going to bring the nation together?  My answer: Oh, I don’t know.  How do you handle a 2 year old that always says No? (Mitch McConnell  et al)

 

Here is the link: http://freakonomics.com/podcast/andrew-yang/

 

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