Monday, October 19, 2020
Five out of 18 days of early voting has been completed in Texas. So far, 3,323,360 people have voted in person and 558,019 mail-in ballots have been received. That's a total of 3,881,379 votes that have already been cast in this election -- about 22.89% of the state's registered voters.
The numbers are from the office of the Texas Secretary of State.
The chart above is from the website of RealClearPolitics. It shows the most recent polls on the presidential race. The average of those polls has Biden with an 8 point lead over Trump.
They are wrong. Refusing to wear a mask doesn't mean you are free. It means you are disregarding the rights of your fellow citizens -- the right to be safe and secure.
Michael Tomasky has written an excellent op-ed for The New York Times on this subject. Here is a small part of what he wrote:
One of the key authors of the Western concept of freedom is John Stuart Mill. In “On Liberty,” he wrote that liberty (or freedom) means “doing as we like, subject to such consequences as may follow, without impediment from our fellow creatures, as long as what we do does not harm them even though they should think our conduct foolish, perverse or wrong.”
Note the clause “as long as what we do does not harm them.” He tossed that in there almost as a given — indeed, it a given. This is a standard definition of freedom, more colloquially expressed in the adage “Your freedom to do as you please with your fist ends where my jaw begins.”
Now, conservatives revere Mill. But today, in the age of the pandemic, Mill and other conservative heroes like John Locke would be aghast at the way the American right wing bandies about the word “freedom.”
Freedom emphatically does not include the freedom to get someone else sick. It does not include the freedom to refuse to wear a mask in the grocery store, sneeze on someone in the produce section and give him the virus. That’s not freedom for the person who is sneezed upon. For that person, the first person’s “freedom” means chains — potential illness and even perhaps a death sentence. No society can function on that definition of freedom.
Joe Biden does a pretty good job of talking about this. At a recent town hall in Miami, he said: “I view wearing this mask not so much protecting me, but as a patriotic responsibility. All the tough guys say, ‘Oh, I’m not wearing a mask, I’m not afraid.’ Well, be afraid for your husband, your wife, your son, your daughter, your neighbor, your co-worker. That’s who you’re protecting having this mask on, and it should be viewed as a patriotic duty, to protect those around you.”. . .
Freedom means the freedom to get infected by the idiot who refuses to mask up. Even John Stuart Mill would have agreed.
Sunday, October 18, 2020
These numbers are from The COVID Tracking Project.
The first number for each state is the number of cases they had on 10/10/20. The second number is the number of cases on 10/17/20 (one week later).
Alabama..........164526 -- 171662
Alaska..........10428 -- 11792
Arizona..........224978 -- 230407
Arkansas..........92220 -- 98422
California.........842776 -- 864455
Colorado..........76619 -- 83230
Connecticut.........60038 -- 62830
Delaware..........21998 -- 22942
District of Columbia..........15918 -- 16334
Florida..........728921 -- 752481
Georgia..........330269 -- 339384
Hawaii..........13498 -- 14047
Idaho..........47088 -- 51704
Illinois..........319461 -- 343390
Indiana..........133411 -- 145977
Iowa..........94271 -- 101103
Kansas..........65807 -- 70855
Kentucky..........79445 -- 86797
Louisiana..........173406 -- 177726
Maine..........5696 -- 5913
Maryland..........130795 -- 135127
Massachusetts..........138340 -- 142930
Michigan..........149464 -- 161105
Minnesota..........110828 -- 121090
Mississippi..........104638 -- 110006
Missouri..........144230 -- 154928
Montana..........18117 -- 22233
Nebraska..........51144 -- 55714
Nevada..........85399 -- 89652
New Hampshire..........9092 -- 9625
New Jersey..........212877 -- 218738
New Mexico..........32241 -- 35770
New York..........473143 -- 482891
North Carolina..........229752 -- 243725
North Dakota..........26628 -- 31261
Ohio..........167458 -- 180225
Oklahoma..........98621 -- 106503
Oregon..........36935 -- 39316
Pennsylvania..........171050 -- 180943
Rhode Island..........26294 -- 27691
South Carolina..........156621 -- 163214
South Dakota..........27947 -- 32611
Tennessee..........212649 -- 226139
Texas..........790060 -- 820563
Utah..........84644 -- 93297
Vermont..........1857 -- 1926
Virginia..........157905 -- 165238
Washington..........92560 -- 96894
West Virginia..........17913 -- 19801
Wisconsin..........155602 -- 175227
Wyoming..........7455 -- 8816
Virgin Islands..........1324 -- 1329
Puerto Rico..........53364 -- 56650
Guam..........3056 -- 3617
So, he's taking another path -- a campaign of fear and division. He's trying to scare White voters into believing that other races, religions, and ideologies are going to replace them. He's a bigot, and he's counting on Whites to be so frightened that they will accept his bigotry.
Here's part of what Roger Cohen says about Trump's campaign in The New York Times:
Donald Trump has been all about the fear of replacement, or as it’s sometimes called, “the great replacement.” His has been the stand — I am tempted to say the last stand — of whites against nonwhites.
Of America-first nationalists against migrants; of straight people against L.G.B.T.Q. people; of the gunned-up against the unarmed. Of Trump against all those he believes would the likes of him.
All means have been used — lies, brutality, incitement. But fear has been Trump’s main weapon. Fear, which depends on pitting one group against another, is the currency of the Trump presidency. It is therefore no surprise that the America that is about to vote is probably more fractured than at any time since the Vietnam War. . . .
America is particularly susceptible to fear today because the world has changed in unsettling ways. Power has migrated eastward to Asia. America’s recent wars have been unwon. By midcentury, non-Hispanic whites will constitute less than 50 percent of the population.
It is frightening to see an industry disappear, like coal in Kentucky. Trump understood that he could be the voice of that fear. He would build a wall to keep those brown people out!
He is an impostor. He puffs out his chest, Mussolini-style, but he is a bone-spur coward. A narrow ramp makes his limbs tremble. He is good at getting the blood up. He is good at undoing. He is not good at getting anything constructive done.
Less than 20 days.
America will decide whether to opt for the future or burrow self-destructively into some warped fantasy of the past. It will decide whether to reinvent itself again or turn mean and further inward.
As Edward R. Murrow remarked, “We cannot defend freedom abroad by deserting it at home.”
That was in 1954, at the height of McCarthyism. For Senator Joseph McCarthy, the danger to the Republic came from Communist infiltration of American life. The real danger came from his obsessions. From the purges and blacklists that branded countless Americans as un-American.
Murrow, a great journalist, stood up to McCarthy.
Donald Trump does business the McCarthy way. He deals in specters: immigrants, and Muslims, and brown people, and Black people, and L.G.B.T.Q. people.
As with McCarthy, however, the real danger comes from Trump’s obsessions, not from these imagined enemies. . . .
Is it unreasonable to see renewal in a 77-year-old man, Joe Biden? No. We live in the real world, where the perfect cannot be the enemy of the good. Indecency demands the restoration of decency. That’s ground zero of this election. The choice was starkly evident in the televised town hall events Thursday as Trump spouted wild far-right conspiracy theories while Biden had the self-deprecating honesty to say that if he lost, it could suggest he’s “a lousy candidate.” Biden is not a lousy candidate; he is a good man, a brave man. I doff my hat to any parent who survives with such dignity the loss of two of his four children.
Of McCarthy, Murrow observed: “He didn’t create this situation of fear; he merely exploited it — and rather successfully. Cassius was right. ‘The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, but in ourselves.’”
The fault is in ourselves. Time for Americans to look in the mirror — and realize their America is irreplaceable if it is lost.
Saturday, October 17, 2020
The first three days of early voting has been completed in Texas. So far, 2,169133 people have voted in person, and 460,220 mail-in ballots have been received. That means a total of 2,629,353 people have already voted in Texas. That is 15.51% of the state's registered voters. There are 15 more days of early voting.
The two charts above reflect the chances of winning the presidential election by Joe Biden and Donald Trump.
The top chart is from FiveThirtyEight.com. It has Biden with an 87% chance of winning and Trump with a 13% chance.
The bottom chart is from The Economist. It has Biden with a 91% chance of winning and Trump with an 8% chance.
The chart above reflects the results of the new NPR / PBS NewsHour / Marist Poll -- done between October 8th and 13th of a national sample of 1,199 registered voters, with a 3.3 point margin of error.
The chart above is from The New York Times. It shows the number of new cases of COVID-19 in the U.S. over time. Note that the number of cases is rising again, and headed for a third peak -- a peak that is expected to be even higher than the previous two. This pandemic is far from over!
Donald Trump’s re-election campaign poses the greatest threat to American democracy since World War II.
Mr. Trump’s ruinous tenure already has gravely damaged the United States at home and around the world. He has abused the power of his office and denied the legitimacy of his political opponents, shattering the norms that have bound the nation together for generations. He has subsumed the public interest to the profitability of his business and political interests. He has shown a breathtaking disregard for the lives and liberties of Americans. He is a man unworthy of the office he holds.
The editorial board does not lightly indict a duly elected president. During Mr. Trump’s term, we have called out his racism and his xenophobia. We have critiqued his vandalism of the postwar consensus, a system of alliances and relationships around the globe that cost a great many lives to establish and maintain. We have, again and again, deplored his divisive rhetoric and his malicious attacks on fellow Americans. Yet when the Senate refused to convict the president for obvious abuses of power and obstruction, we counseled his political opponents to focus their outrage on defeating him at the ballot box.
Nov. 3 can be a turning point. This is an election about the country’s future, and what path its citizens wish to choose.
Friday, October 16, 2020
The charts above are from the new NBC News / Wall Street Journal Poll -- done between October 9th and 12th of a national sample of 1,000 registered voters, with a 3.1 point margin of error.
The Labor Department released its weekly statistics for the number of unemployed workers filing to receive benefits on Thursday. Once again, the number was very close to a million (898,000). The Trump recession continues.
Here is the official statement:
In the week ending October 10, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 898,000, an increase of 53,000 from the previous week's revised level. The previous week's level was revised up by 5,000 from 840,000 to 845,000. The 4-week moving average was 866,250, an increase of 8,000 from the previous week's revised average. The previous week's average was revised up by 1,250 from 857,000 to 858,250.
The economy (and normal life) is not going to come back until the Coronavirus is defeated. And that is going to require a vaccine -- one that is trusted and taken by most Americans. Trying for a "herd immunity" would be too horrible to contemplate, because it would require over 70% of the population to get sick (and millions to die).
But thanks to Trump lies about a vaccine, people are starting to doubt the safety and efficacy of any vaccine. Trump has tried to push pharma companies to rush a vaccine to the market, and that has many doubting the vaccine will be safe. His mishandling of the entire pandemic also has people doubting his assurances.
Here is what the editorial board of The Washington Post has to say:
VACCINE HESITANCY — the reluctance of people to get inoculated against disease — was a public health difficulty before the pandemic. Now it has grown more serious just when everyone is looking to vaccines to save the day. Doubts and suspicions, once stirred by a small phalanx of activists, have become more widespread, in part in response to President Trump’s unrealistic promises to rush a coronavirus vaccine out before Election Day. . .
The growing doubts were reported this week in a new Gallup poll that asked: If a vaccine approved by the Food and Drug Administration were available right now at no cost, would you get vaccinated? Only 50 percent said yes, a sharp drop-off from 66 percent in July and 61 percent in August. A big fall in confidence came among Democrats, from 78 percent responding yes in August to only 53 percent at the end of September, while Republican confidence increased from 37 percent to 49 percent. The survey, conducted Sept. 14 to 27, is based on responses from 2,730 adults, 18 years and older.
The global effort to find, test and manufacture a vaccine in record time, given the virus death toll of more than 1 million around the world, is both necessary and extraordinary; it has already involved more brainpower and resources than ever before. News media coverage of every speed bump has clearly heightened anxiety. But Mr. Trump went off the rails with outlandish promises to have a vaccine ready by Election Day or soon thereafter. “We essentially have it — we will be announcing it soon,” he said last month. Gallup said this rhetoric “raised concerns” about vaccine safety and effectiveness; a recent CNN poll showed a similar trend, without mentioning a time frame. Black and Hispanic Americans, traditionally underserved by health care, show even greater hesitancy to get vaccinated against the coronavirus than Whites, according to a May survey by the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research.
Before the pandemic, the anti-vaccination movement used social media to spread suspicions and distrust. Facebook has taken steps in recent days to fight the problem, though it will undoubtedly have to do more.
In the 2019-2020 flu season, 51.8 percent of Americans 6 months and older were vaccinated. Child vaccination rates in the United States for measles, mumps, rubella, polio and chickenpox were above 90 percent in 2017. Vaccine hesitancy is not a new problem but is more urgent than ever. A credible, concerted effort must be made to boost confidence in vaccines that are proven safe and efficacious against the coronavirus. Such a campaign must be based on science and medicine, leaving political shenanigans behind.
Thursday, October 15, 2020
There are 18 days of early voting in Texas this year. It runs from October 13th thru October 30th.
On the first day of early voting, 541,862 people voted in person. An additional 365,192 mail ballots have been received. Combined, that makes a total of 907,054 voters who have already cast their ballot this year -- about 5.36% of the state's 16,914,438 registered voters.
The numbers are from the office of the Texas Secretary of State.
The charts above reflect the results of the latest Economist / YouGov Poll -- done between October 11th and 13th of a national sample of 1,500 registered voters, with a 4 point margin of error.
It shows Joe Biden maintaining a 9-point lead over Donald Trump. That lead has been very steady in this poll for weeks now. The second chart shows why. The voters have made up their minds. They know who they're going to vote for, and the surge of early voting shows they are ready to do it!
There's still one debate scheduled for near the end of October, but I think it's pointless. There are very few voters undecided or could change their minds at this point.
Here's how Max Boot puts the question in The Washington Post:
“Trump is on track to be the first president since World War II to see a net loss of jobs during his term. Even worse, he has presided over the loss of 214,000 lives and counting from covid-19. That’s already nearly four times the U.S. fatalities in the Vietnam War, previously the nadir of presidential bungling. Even now, after having contracted covid-19 himself, Trump refuses to take the pandemic seriously. He keeps promising it will magically disappear of its own accord while holding rallies practically guaranteed to spread the disease.”
Wednesday, October 14, 2020
The charts above are from the Morning Consult Poll. The top chart shows the national numbers, and the demographic breakdown of those numbers. The bottom chart shows how the candidates stand in the swing states.
The latest national results reflect surveys conducted with 16,045 likely voters from October 9-11, 2020. Morning Consult’s reported results reflect data among likely voters based on a 3-day moving average with a margin of error of +/- 1%.
The latest state-level results reflect surveys conducted with between 835-4,785 likely voters per state from October 2-11.
But this is not 2016 (and voters have learned their lesson). This could actually turn out to be a landslide victory for Biden and the Democratic Party.
That's what Niall Stanage believes. He writes this in The Hill:
A landslide victory for
The Democratic presidential nominee has a lead of around 10 percentage points over
Trump faces low job approval ratings, bad marks for his handling of the coronavirus pandemic and an ever-decreasing number of opportunities to change the direction of the race.
The first debate has come and gone, and the second scheduled clash has been canceled. Only one more debate, set for Oct. 22, remains.
No challenger to an incumbent president since
With just three weeks to go, time is running out for Trump.
The president’s main hope, for now, is that the polls are wrong.
If, instead, they are accurate — or even underestimating Democratic support, as was the case in 2012 — Trump is on course for a crushing defeat.
They still want Americans to think that when they help the rich, everyone benefits. But voters are getting smarter. They are figuring out that the GOP is the party of the rich, and no one else. And that plutocratic agenda is costing votes in this election.
Economist Paul Krugman says:
Trump’s chances of re-election and McConnell’s chances of holding on to the Senate would almost surely be better if there actually had been an infrastructure bill last year and a relief bill this past summer. Why weren’t Republicans willing to make those deals?
Whatever they may say, they weren’t concerned about the cost. Republicans didn’t worry about budget deficits when they rammed through a $2 trillion tax cut for corporations and the wealthy. They only pose as deficit hawks when trying to block spending that might help ordinary Americans.
No, what this is really about is the modern G.O.P.’s plutocratic agenda. McConnell and, as far as I can tell, every member of his caucus are completely committed to cutting taxes on the rich and aid to the poor and middle class. Other than March’s CARES Act, which Republicans passed only because they were panicking over a plunging stock market, it’s hard to think of any major G.O.P.-approved fiscal legislation in the past two decades that didn’t redistribute income upward.
You might think that Republicans would set the plutocratic imperative aside when the case for more government spending is compelling, whether it’s to repair our crumbling infrastructure or to provide relief during a pandemic. But all indications are that they believe — probably rightly — that successful government programs make the public more receptive to proposals for additional programs.
That’s why the G.O.P. has tried so frantically to overturn the Affordable Care Act; at this point it’s clear that Obamacare’s success in cutting the number of uninsured Americans has created an appetite for further health care reform.
And that’s why Republicans are unwilling to provide desperately needed aid to economic victims of the pandemic. They aren’t worried that a relief package would fail; they’re worried that it might succeed, showing that sometimes more government spending is a good thing. Indeed, a successful relief package might pave the way for Democratic proposals that would, among other things, drastically reduce child poverty.
Tuesday, October 13, 2020
Early voting starts today in Texas! Don't wait. If you didn't vote by mail, then vote early and avoid the lines on Election Day.
Ignore the polls. Every vote is needed. We need a very large voter turnout to make sure Trump doesn't get a second term!
Texas is in play!
The chart above reflects the results of the IBD / TIPP Poll published in the Investor's Business Daily. They questioned a national sample of 851 likely voters between October 7th and 11th, with a 3.5 point margin of error.