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HomeUncategorizedOpen Thread–Monday, October 26, 2020

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I could find only the first day numbers for the state as a whole. Given that
NYC more than doubled, NY state is probably at least 400,000

New York voters came out in big numbers Saturday for the first day of early voting, the first time the state has offered in-person voting prior to Election Day in a presidential year.

A total of 211,898 people cast their ballot at early voting sites across the state Saturday, or about 1.7% of the nearly 13 million registered voters statewide, according to the state Board of Elections.

The heavy turnout led to large lines in densely populated areas across the state, including in New York City, where some voters waited for two hours or more to cast their ballot.

Of the statewide total, 44% — or 93,830 votes — were cast in New York City.

New York’s early voting period runs through Sunday, Nov. 1. Election Day is Nov. 3.

The turnout on Saturday nearly outpaced the entire nine-day early voting period in 2019, when 256,251 people cast their ballot.


President Donald Trump on Monday claimed the worsening coronavirus outbreak in the United States is a “Fake News Media Conspiracy,” saying the nation only has the most cases in the world because “we TEST, TEST, TEST.”

“Corrupt Media conspiracy at all time high,” Trump said in a tweet Monday morning. “On November 4th., topic will totally change,” he added, referring to the day after the presidential election.

Trump’s tweet came as the U.S. is reporting a record-breaking number of new coronavirus cases. On Sunday, the country has reported an average of about 68,767 new cases every day, the highest seven-day average recorded yet, according to a CNBC analysis of Hopkins data. The U.S. reported 60,789 new Covid cases Sunday after daily cases reached 83,757 on Friday, passing the last record of roughly 77,300 cases seen on July 16, according to Hopkins data.


A national poll conducted by the Institute of Politics at Harvard Kennedy School found historic interest among 18-to-29 year olds in the upcoming election, which could potentially lead to a massive voter turnout among age group.

Why it matters: With just over a week until Election Day, 63% of the poll’s respondents indicated they will “definitely be voting,” which is the highest proportion of respondents in the twenty years the poll has been conducted. These young voters are motivated by a number of social issues.

Young Americans as a whole wish to see increased policy actions to address healthcare issues (72%) and to improve access to mental health services (75%).

71% of all young Americans (including 50% of young Republicans) support increased government action to improve race relations.

36% of these voters believe their opportunities to succeed will be better than their parents’ generation, 29% believe about the same, and 34% believe opportunities will be worse, yet only 24% of older age groups thought they had less opportunities than their parents.


So basically 1 in 3 of these voters believe that they will have it better than their parents, not a glowing endorsement by any means


The official who oversees voter registration in New York City is the 80-year-old mother of a former congressman. The director of Election Day operations is a close friend of Manhattan’s Republican chairwoman. The head of ballot management is the son of a former Brooklyn Democratic district leader. And the administrative manager is the wife of a City Council member.

As the workings of American democracy have become more complex — with sophisticated technology, early voting and the threat of foreign interference — New York has clung to a century-old system of local election administration that is one of the last vestiges of pure patronage in government, a relic from the era of powerful political clubhouses and Tammany Hall.

Already this year, the New York City Board of Elections failed to mail out many absentee ballots until the day before the primary, disenfranchising voters, and sent erroneous general election ballot packages to many other residents, spreading confusion.

Now, the agency is facing perhaps its biggest challenge yet: a heated general election, during a pandemic, under a president who has fomented distrust in the legitimacy of the vote — including by pointing to the problems in New York as evidence of widespread fraud, an unfounded claim.

It is also the first presidential election in New York with early voting, which began Saturday with tens of thousands of residents flooding polling places.

“I expect the B.O.E. to pull this off — there’s no other option. It’s the most important election of our lifetime,” said Scott Stringer, the city comptroller. “But we shouldn’t have to hold our breath because of their gross incompetence.”

New York is the only state in the country with local election boards whose staffers are chosen almost entirely by Democratic and Republican Party bosses, and the board in New York City illustrates the pitfalls. In recent years, the board has made increasingly high-profile blunders, from mistakenly purging 200,000 people from rolls ahead of the 2016 election to forcing some voters to wait in four-hour lines in 2018.

“It is really hard to have co-workers who are incapable of performing what they need to do,” said Charles Stimson, a trainer assistant who has worked at the board on and off since 1992.

Mr. Stimson was one of more than a dozen current and former employees who told The Times that the agency has a culture where ineptitude is common and accountability is rare. Some staffers read or watch Netflix at the office, the employees said. Others regularly fail to show up for work, with no fear of discipline. Several employees said some staffers punch in and then leave to go shopping or to the gym.

Under board rules, almost every job must be duplicated, with a Republican and Democrat each performing the same function.

“The agency is chronically dysfunctional,” said Mr. Stimson, who said he has complained internally and to a city watchdog.


Don midwest
Don midwest

it has taken me over 50 years to be able to write this one comment

it was posted to an article on Naked Capitalism

Hannah Arendt and the Politics of Truth

here is what I posted

I well recall the original article by Hannah Arendt in the New Yorker. A house of cards of lies can collapse at any time. I thought that W Bush’s house of lies would collapse. It didn’t. What keeps Trump’s world from collapse?

We have come to expect instant answers like the results of a search. 210,000 dead from the virus, thus the policy has failed. The argument is over. But this assumes a narrow rationality and a reliance on shared facts and shared values. That is no longer the case and the consequences are yet to be fully appreciated. Speech that is simply information transfer is inadequate for politics.

Even scientists don’t practice a narrow rationality. To subsist, among their skills are to be literary and political figures. They write articles, apply for grants, debate theories, etc., to convince others.

Politics has a different kind of truth. “I hear what you are saying” is a political statement that is not a simple rational statement. Water spoke. The water protectors represent a non-human entity and through their protests and speech acts have built a collective. That is a political act.

Important work on politics has been done by the French Polymath Bruno Latour. Here is the abstract of an article

Political enunciation remains an enigma as long as it is considered from the standpoint of information transfer. It remains as unintelligible as religious talk. The paper explores the specificty of this regime and especially the strange link it has with the canonical definition of enunciation in linguistics and semiotics. The ‘political circle’ is reconstituted and thus also the reasons why a ‘transparent’ or ‘rational’political speech act destroys the very conditions of group formation.

What if we Talked Politics a Little?

A theme of the article is “no issues, no politics.”

Are we in danger of losing the political mode of existence?

Hannah Arendt’s original article posted in 1971

Don midwest
Don midwest

The Uncontrollability of the World

Political thinkers on the left have surveyed the potential of several human affects for political mobilization. Some stress the need for hope (Bloch), others call for indignation (Hessel), still others emphasize the merits of working-class hatred (Tronti). In this long list of political affects, Hartmut Rosa mentions one not often discussed among leftists: longing. He begins The Uncontrollability of the World with the invitation to return to our childhood and remember the first snowfall on a late autumn day. As children, we experienced the snow with utter bliss, like an unexpected gift slowly wrapping the world in magical delight and playful fun. One might today try to recreate this feeling artificially by going on a skiing holiday, but such attempts almost never succeed. When we hurry through the snow on the way to work, we have lost this gracious feeling of surrender to the elements. We have to get to our job on time or risk getting behind on work or worse; and yet, we long for the snow to return every winter.

Rosa calls these moments of primal connection to the world ‘relations of resonance’. According to Rosa, people feel most at ease when they neither have the world under complete control nor are entirely at its mercy. Too little control over our surroundings leads to panic, but too much control makes the world appear dull and uneventful. In between complete control and utter uncontrollability are moments where subject and object spontaneously echo each other’s concerns without one dominating the other: two lovers on a date suddenly discover how well they ‘click’, a skilled artist surrenders to the quirks of her craft, a man goes on a walk carried by the warmth of the early autumn sun. Subject and object are, as it were, immediately in tune with each other. Such brief moments make us remember that life is worth living.

Rosa, however, diagnoses that the logic of modernization runs against relations of resonance. Recalling Adorno and Horkheimer’s seminal thesis from Dialectic of Enlightenment, Rosa claims that the drive toward control propels the project of modernity, but threatens to unravel into its opposite. Modern society equates progress with expanding its instrumental control over nature. It regards the world as a series of ‘points of aggression’, i.e. objects that resist human projects and thus have to be aggressively put in line. We confront the human body, for example, less and less as a natural given we have to learn to accept. Modern individuals rather experience their own bodies as open objects made to fit their own desires. They, for instance, buy smartwatches to incessantly track and optimize bodily metrics. Our bodies are no longer a condition into which we are thrown, but an object of relentless optimization. Instead of submitting to the vagaries of nature like a fate enforced from above, modern humankind has mobilized science and technology to master its own fate and determine its own future. Tremendous progress has been achieved through this deployment of instrumental reason.



T and R, NYCVG!!😊☮️👍 Is this rich clown for real? He sounds like he’s semi-literate. 💩💩



Joe Biden made a surprising observation at Thursday’s presidential debate. “The founders were smart,” noted the former vice president. “They allowed the federal government to deficit spend to compensate for the United States of America.” As Jacobin’s David Sirota noted, that clear rejection of austerity is a remarkable statement from a man who long called for Social Security cuts and whose last major foray into budgets ended with Republicans later admitting Biden gave them “everything they wanted.” We can see this shift as well in Biden’s interview Friday with the “Pod Save America” podcast. Asked to lay out his policy agenda, Biden was as specific as he has been in the whole campaign: “Get control of the virus … invest in the community, in real infrastructure” and fight climate change — all promises that will require massive expenditures.

So there’s reason to hope, as the campaign enters its final days, that Biden has changed his tune on spending and the size of government. If elected, he should follow that instinct — and go big.


Proof is in the pudding!

I seem to remember that Obama ran as the “Hope and Change” candidate. Look at what we got!


Semi-senile Joe will be easy to manipulate, too.


He will be surrounded by those pulling him back to his native pro-austerity “responsible” views.

The young and other first time voters in 2020 do not have the same learned emotional attachment to a Democratic Party that they will only know as a betrayer.


Good account for early voting numbers. Looks good for Dems.


This is happening all over not just in New York.

NEW YORK — The New York Civil Liberties Union and the Legal Aid Society are suing Mayor Bill de Blasio and NYPD brass, charging they are responsible for the “indiscriminate brutalizing of peaceful protestors” during a wave of demonstrations that swept the city earlier this year.

A federal civil rights lawsuit filed Monday morning in Manhattan argues the city’s treatment of protesters who turned out after the killing of George Floyd violated their First and Fourth Amendment rights. De Blasio and Police Commissioner Dermot Shea drew widespread condemnation for police aggression during the demonstrations.

“The police response to the protests was brutal, and the wanton display of brute force against people who were out there protesting non-violently was shocking,” NYCLU executive director Donna Lieberman said in an interview. “It was harmful. It was traumatic. And it was unlawful.”

Don midwest
Don midwest

Morris Berman moved to Mexico several years ago and finds the slower, more personal lifestyle much better than the US. Wrote “Dark Ages America: The final stages of empire” in 2008. Wrote “Why America Failed” in about 2013. First book was a best seller, second one was a dud for sales.

Here he writes about America as shown in sit coms. We are a mess. Part of our DNA.

He uses sitcoms to show us who we are in this article

What my own experience—and probably yours as well—demonstrates, along with these 3 sitcoms, is the deep pathology of daily American life, which Americans barely notice and take for granted. It’s part of the air we breathe. This vicious treatment of other people is pretty much the norm in America, some version of Lord of the Flies. You can read the ultimate outcome of our early child, teen, and young adult cultural indoctrination in the daily papers: we hate each other, and we kill each other, often over nothing at all. Massacres occur now practically on a daily basis. One article I referred to in the last post tells of policemen beating porcupines to death with their night sticks, and finding it hilarious. Why would they do such a depraved, awful thing? Because such behavior is practically in our DNA; it’s how we relate to each other, the world (the torture of innocents, for example, or dropping atomic bombs on civilian populations), and even the animal kingdom. Time to stop blaming the top 1% for our problems, I would think, let alone China or Russia or Islam or god knows who else (as Jimmy Carter declared in his 1979 Annapolis speech, to which Americans turned a deaf ear). The truth is that the entire culture is sick beyond description, and really, beyond redemption. There is a deep poison in the American soul, and no conceivable way to remove it. Think of the many countries that will be happy (openly or in secret) when the nation finally self-destructs. Which event, given who we are, would seem to be inevitable.

America’s self destruction has been his theme for years

Don midwest
Don midwest

I have said this from the beginning of this SCOTUS charade: she is Clarence Thomas’ white female twin. You can bet McConnell is creaming in his pants to get her on there. Someone really needs to shoot him and his cohorts!