Tuesday, November 3rd, 2020


For More Years

For 231,000 of our fellow Americans who can't go to the polls today, for those who said their final goodbyes to a loved one over an iPad while their president downplayed the threat, for the health workers sent into a deadly battle without basic protective equipment, for doctors who worked tirelessly only to hear themselves accused of pumping up virus numbers for financial gain, for experts who warned us again and again even as their expertise was diminished and ridiculed, for scientists who got up every morning in search of a vaccine even as science itself was under constant attack, for the thousands who watched their homes burn to the ground under a blood orange sky while their president said to sweep the forests, for the whistleblowers who risked it all to share the facts when so few others in the administration had the guts to do so, for the Alexander Vindmans who spoke truth to power because 'right matters,' for Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and George Floyd, whose final breaths were snuffed out beneath the knee of a social structure that is itself on its last gasp, for the millions who took to the street to say no more, for the protesters targeted with tear gas and rubber bullets by their own government in the shadow of the White House, for our allies abroad who have been abandoned as dictators and thugs are lauded and sent love letters, for the victims of hate who were told there are fine people on all sides, for our soldiers who have sacrificed their lives for a cause the current commander in chief can't understand, for the artists, writers, and performers who set their personal brands aside to become political because everything was political, for the investigative journalists who got the stories out even when being attacked as enemies of the people, for the kids who crossed the border and still don't know where their parents are, for the essential workers, especially the immigrants, who kept our society functioning, for the meatpacking plant workers who kept food on our tables even as their government increased the odds the work could kill them, for the tens of thousands of ordinary citizens who stepped up to fill the leadership vacuum, for the lawyers and non-profit organizations that bolstered democracy as it came under increasing attack, for the young people who have missed too much of their youth and the elderly who have been imprisoned too long by a virus that was called a hoax, for Ruth Bader Ginsburg, for the truth, for the rule of law, for democracy, for the millions standing in long lines between them and the ballot box because you've got to stand for something, for the thousands of well-known Republicans who put country above party, and yes, for Trump's true believers; the still ardent followers who have been duped into risking their lives to attend rallies and prove their fealty to the bottomless ego of a sadistic, mad king, for our parents, for our kids, for a chance at turning the corner on climate change, for an end to the relentless, insidious lies, for more years of American leadership, for more years of the promise of democracy, for more years on this planet, for a decent, good man just crazy enough to believe unity is still possible, for all of it, it's time to tear down the wall that surrounds the White House, it's time to tear down the walls between us, it's time to say enough is enough. It's go time. It's Joe time. Vote.



After 2016, you'd have to be an egomaniacal, attention-needy, shortsighted, brain-addled, screen-addicted idiot to make a prediction about a presidential election. So here's mine. First, this isn't 2016 when there were two relatively unliked candidates. This year, we have one candidate who is possibly the most despised president in American history running against a guy whose overall approval ratings improved during the course of the campaign. Second, you have an unbelievable turnout, and I can't believe that all these new voters are lining up at their polling places because they are pumped about how great the last four years have been. Third, you have Covid-19, the key election factor, viciously attacking swing state voters as Trump tries to convince them they've turned a corner. I'm not looking at the polls. I'm not doing the math. This is just a guy who has watched the ebb and flow of this story for the last four years. And what I see is a Biden victory, possibly in the 350 electoral vote range, and an election that will be over, whether Trump admits it or not, by the time we reconvene in the morning. I don't think there will be much GOP Senate support for Trump's complaints that the election was rigged. I think Trump will move on to the task of protecting his money and ensuring his post-presidency freedom sooner than we think. I do not think there will be a lot of violence at the polls. I don't think the boarding up of businesses will have been necessary. And I think all the plywood would have been better used to box up the president and send him back to Mar a Lago via the postal service he intentionally slowed down. More narrowly, I think the Senate will be majority Dem, the House will become more majority Dem, I think Georgia will turn blue, and I think Texas will turn blue. And I think Florida will do something memorable, and in one way or another, awful. While the election could go better than expected, I wouldn't be surprised if the transition period goes worse than expected. I also worry that, even after the election, the media will remain fixated on Trump; a fixation that could last through the transition and even beyond the inauguration of a new president. And finally, aside from Florida being weird and the media focusing on Trump forever, I'm really not that sure about any of this.

+ For a more reasoned, poll-driven account, here's the last prediction from FiveThirtyEight. And you can make your own prediction using the interactive electoral map at 270 to Win.


Insane in the Membrane

"Even if this election does bring an orderly end to the Trump era, do not for a second forget that absolutely everything about it, and the year that has led us to this point, has been utterly, incalculably insane, a 50-car pileup of reminders that we are a broken society with a broken political system that seems ever-more untenable, whether or not we are doomed to spend four more years with our addled president. It is insane, for starters, that he even has a shot of pulling this race out. Nobody, least of all Trump, believes that he will win the popular vote. It is not even a discussion at this point. But we're all trapped in a mad house erected upon the Electoral College, an anti-majoritarian barbarism that, according to conventional wisdom, now requires Democrats to win by at least 3 percent to have a shot at the White House and drives otherwise sensible Americans to spend sleepless nights and precious emotional energy freaking out over early voting patterns in Miami-Dade." Slate: Do Not Lose Sight of the Fact That Every Aspect of This Is Absolutely Insane. (Of all things I worry about losing sight of, this is dead last on the list.)


What to Watch

An hour-by-hour guide to remaining patient, prepared, and epistemically humble throughout tonight (and tomorrow morning). Derek Thompson: Forget the Exit Polls, Watch Florida, Ignore Pennsylvania.

+ Live election updates from CNN, WaPo, NYT, and FiveThirtyEight.



Pennsylvania is a key swing state. It's also been the key target of relentless GOP shenanigans. So if shit gets weird, it's likely to get weird there. The New Yorker: The Count Begins in Pennsylvania: "It's Going to Be a Wild Ride."

+ The GOP lost their case in Texas but still got drive-through voting stations closed.


Military Might Unseen

"Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley held an off-the-record video call with top generals and network anchors this weekend to tamp down speculation about potential military involvement in the presidential election." That's how crazy things have gotten. Enough already.


Ballot Pox

A photo collection for an era: COVID-19 positive voters cast ballots curbside on eve of election. And for those who are still undecided: "We are entering the most concerning and most deadly phase of this pandemic … leading to increasing mortality ... This is not about lockdowns — it hasn't been about lockdowns since March or April. It's about an aggressive balanced approach that is not being implemented." Deborah Birx tells the truth, and it sure as hell doesn't match what her boss has been saying. WaPo: Top Trump adviser bluntly contradicts president on covid-19 threat, urging all-out response.


Rolling in the Deep

"One convoy drove through Marin City, California, the only part of Marin County where white residents are in the minority, and shouted racial epithets at children. Another in Fort Worth cruised through a polling station in a predominantly Black neighborhood, provoking an altercation with residents. In Temecula, California, a caravan blocked access to a voting center. A group in New York shut down the Mario Cuomo bridge. In Louisville, Kentucky, a 'Trump Train' member directed traffic with a gun at a high school. And in Texas, near Austin, trucks adorned with 'Make America great again' flags swarmed a Joe Biden campaign bus in an incident that is now under FBI investigation. These events, and dozens more in nearly every state in the U.S., were coordinated online by 'MAGA Drag the Interstate,' a self-described 'grassroots assemblage of patriots' who organize the 'rolling rallies' in a purported effort to remind people 'that traditional American values matter.'" The QAnon Backers Behind Pro-Trump Caravans Blocking Roads And Disrupting The Election. Wanna worry about something? Worry about this.


Coke Fiend

"Lots of Diet Coke. I'll drink a ton of Diet Coke ... Way too many and too many to count. On a normal day, I'll have a couple. But on election night, I just keep it nearby and I'm just kind of regularly using it. These days [people] all tell you, 'Oh, do you know what's in that?' And I say, 'Well, no I don't.' But I guess it is supposed to be bad for you." The Election-Week Diet of Steve Kornacki.


Chill Pill

"An official election counter-programming guide, for anyone who wants to spend time being productive, laughing, or simply being soothed." 23 Things to Do Instead of Spiraling Over the Election. I'm still spiraling from 2016.

+ The NYT Election Distractor. (Yeah, some relaxing distractions from the folks that brought you the election needle...)