Today is primary day in New York State. The polls open at 6am and stay open until 9pm.

There are primary races for the Governor, Lieutenant Governor, and Attorney General as well as a bunch of statewide races for State Senate and State Assembly.

In NYC, and to a lesser extent in New York State, the primary can be the election as the city and state lean left.

So I encourage everyone in New York State to go out to the polls and vote today.

It all comes down to voting in a democracy. Marching feels great. Tweeting feels great. Polls make the news. But voting is the political action that really counts unless you can give gobs of money to candidates which most voters cannot and don’t do.

I plan to get to my polling place early on the way to an early start to the workday.

I always feel great pulling that lever. I hope you do too.


Comments (Archived):

  1. kidmercury

    Happy voting to new Yorkers today. The only certainty of this upcoming election is that whoever wins the other side will flip the f out and say it was rigged. The social tension is unsustainable, which is paving the way for a new social contract.

    1. jason wright

      what was the old social contract?

      1. kidmercury

        the nation-state system. brexit and trump are sort of about a new social contract too, though in both cases i don’t think there is something new; i think those things are more about ripping up the old contract. i really enjoyed what godfrey bloom had to say about the ongoing brexit me monetary systems are at the heart of governance and social contracts, and i think we are witness the emergence of new monetary systems via cryptocurrencies. there i think is where the new social contracts that replace the nation-state system will be forged.

        1. jason wright

          yes, and it’s definitely reached its expiration date. funny, but i don’t ever remember signing it in the first place. unenforcible i would like to think, and a basis for my outlook.Oh, and what is happening at Sunspot Solar Observatory…and several other similar facilities around the world? Do i need to run and hide?

  2. Rob Underwood

    Walking over to PS 282 here in Park Slope momentarily to drop off my daughter at school and vote in one well swoop.Being able to walk to my children’s schools, our local voting space, and then to my work, is a great luxury most NYCers don’t have. Most here in our city rely on our transit infrastructure, including and especially our dilapidated, neglected subway. Now it appears one of our tunnels to NJ is on the verge of collapse. The (in-)ability of our state government to attend to urgent transit and infrastructure needs, to move from PowerPoint to actual execution, will be guiding my top of the ballot vote this morning (despite reservations). The subway has become for me a more or less single issue, and definitely an emblematic issue around being able to actually execute, not just speechify. I don’t know for sure that the challenger can and will do better on the subway, but she can’t do much worse.

    1. DJL

      Hence my comment about electronic voting. Can you imagine the impact – especially in rural areas where voting is even harder to get to?

      1. LE

        I am not sure I agree. I think the friction of having to go to the polls is important. Even if you are located where it’s harder to get to the polls but doable. Making it easy to vote only means people will just throw a dart at the board. They do that now but at least if there is effort required in advance there is more of a chance they will give some thought to it.Ask yourself this. People in rural areas. Would they not smoke or drink if it took effort to buy the cigarettes or liquor (drive a distance)? Of course not. [1][1] But sure if the store is walking distance I agree they probably would smoke and drink a bit more.

        1. DJL

          Not sure we can compare addictive and pleasurable habits to voting. That is the point – once it reaches a certain level of pain people will opt out. It is basic human nature.

          1. LE

            That is part of my point though. In order to get a valid result there has to be some pain or effort involved to create the event.Pretend we send people directly to someone’s house. They show up and say ‘who do you want to vote for I will write it down’. That is super easy. So they simply throw a dart at the board or even worse [1] they go with the choice whose name is most familiar to them. Which already happens to much as it is.Look voting is flawed in many places plain and simple. In my state the democrats will always win. The only point of voting is to try to get the numbers up to possibly encourage others in the future to believe that republicans could possibly win. And to your point I am not sure someone should put in the effort in a big way to do that.Look I think it’s also well known that people are so feeble that less of them vote when it rains out and is not sunny. Kind of like they go out to dinner less when it’s raining (and I don’t mean storm just rain).[1] At least a dart will randomly cancel out other darts.

          2. DJL

            I see what your saying. It’s like hoping that everyone who votes is both motivated and properly informed. That would get us 0.05% participation.One a side note: We live an area that is very diverse, and at every voting location there are signs reading “Vote Aqui” (for the Spanish speakers.) I thought to myself – “Why don’t I just change my name to “Aqui” and win in a landslide?

          3. LE

            Nothing bothers me more than seeing a polling place or instructions in spanish. I guess I don’t understand why someone gets to vote if they don’t speak English. Then I realized that it’s the immigrants that came (I am guessing) to this country as a result of having a family member that came here first who did speak English? But it still bothers me. If you don’t know enough english to be able to read voting instructions then you shouldn’t be voting. (Instructions for the Panasonic VCR in Spanish? Sure that’s fine. Nobody buys those anymore. )Look we require kids in school to learn all sorts of things that have zero value in their life. Memorize numerous facts and topics and get tested on it. However something that is important, knowing English, somehow that is not required for someone to vote? I don’t get it. I am not saying that you have to write like JLM or Ted Sorensen and be an orator like John F. Kennedy or Barrack Obama, but you should be able to understand and speak basic English.Circa 2006, on the topic:

    2. PhilipSugar

      Transit has proven to me that government is not able to run enterprises. Seriously not being political. Neither party.Prime example: Northeast Corridor. You have train tracks that go from Richmond Va, to Nashua, NH. Think about that. You should be able to get a local transfer to a fast train and transfer to a local and basically hit anyplace along that seamlessly, inexpensively, and faster than any other alternative.Instead we have Bolt Bus and Mega Bus that as independent enterprises provide the inexpensive service. I mean think about that. They charge $25 and clog up the roadways with other cars. (I am not criticizing them) Think about this: It is cheaper for me to rent a chauffeured limo if I have three people and go to NYC than take the train. Total idiocy. When I go with my family I drive. That is total and complete stupidity. You have tracks you have stations. But can you get from Newark, DE to NYC? Well yes via the MegaBus but not Amtrak.If you said the max fare was $25 and scaled it back from there, you’d have so many riders that trains would be going every five minutes.

      1. scottythebody

        This is where a little socialism works nicely. Europe has great transit. And it’s not just because of “density”, it’s because they centralize the funds and focus on solving the problems. And they don’t outsource everything nor “let the market solve” the problem.

        1. PhilipSugar

          No it is because it is a much more homogeneous society. And it’s not cheap. As somebody that goes to Europe at least once a month, I am really tired of people comparing America to Europe, Canada, or Japan.You can do that if everybody is the same. Want to know the most racist people I have met? Danes and Icelanders. Shit look at my Avatar. I know what it is to feel to feel to be a black outsider. Do you know what the name for a non Japanese is???? Alien. At least since I speak I am only called a barbarian. How often have you been or do you live there?

      2. LE

        Think about this: It is cheaper for me to rent a chauffeured limo if I have three people and go to NYC than take the train. Total idiocy. When I go with my family I drive. That is total and complete stupidity. It’s no more stupid then paying money for a nice restaurant rather than eating at home or at a fast food restaurant. It’s a choice that you make because you can afford to do so and it’s I am guessing a better experience that way. At least that is why I do it. I can leave when I want and I can bring extra things in my car and I don’t have to go by the train company schedule. And that, in short less stress, is worth paying more money. I wouldn’t go by train even if it were free. Just like I wouldn’t eat at a McDonalds even if it were free (not a valid comparison; done to make a point).

        1. PhilipSugar

          No my point is that sure I could but it should not be a cost saving choice. It would be like saying that I could go to Peter Luger’s for cheaper than buying a Porter House Steak at Costco. (and yes, I will be having a mother loving big one tonight. I will send you a picture)

      3. JamesHRH

        Govts cannot run anything well.Capitalists run operational things well, their interests are aligned.Some other things are run well, but only when non financial interest is aligned.

    3. ShanaC

      so is the tunnel to li. it’s terrible

    4. LE

      Most here in our city rely on our transit infrastructure, including and especially our dilapidated, neglected subway. Now it appears one of our tunnels to NJ is on the verge of collapse. The (in-)ability of our state government to attend to urgent transit and infrastructure needsWhere is this general entitlement that says that if living conditions are bad somewhere then it’s the government’s responsibility to fix rather than the individual simply picking up and going elsewhere? Now I know that for many that is not possible. But for others it is definitely possible. After all they came to NYC from somewhere else (I don’t mean immigrants I mean another state in the US). And if NYC transportation and living conditions suck then maybe they should have considered that in the first place prior to moving to NYC or maybe they should simply move out of NYC? How about that? Why do people living anywhere think that because they are there and once they are there they should be able to remain there if, and this is important, the economics of the area are no longer practical or possible?I will tell you what I tell my daughters who are living in NYC and dating and might get married at some point. If you love NYC and living there you (and your potential spouses) better get your ass in gear because it’s an expensive place to live unless you are making a great deal of money. You have to weigh in other words the upside of what NYC gives you vs. the downside. Ditto for the metro area. Consider what your life will be like commuting into the city ever day.Separately RE taxes in NYC are cheap. They could probably cure a host of issues by just jacking those up a bit. Honestly out where I am we are paying 3.6% of property value per year.One last thing. All the upsides of NYC that draw people in and make it a great economy is what makes it really bad for the people who provided the lower level work and honestly live in conditions that people who are where we live would think is really squalor. I mean seriously $700k for a fucking (sorry) shitty looking house overlooking the expressway to JFK?

      1. Rob Underwood

        Why stop there, really? If the NYPD or FDNY start to fall apart, and are no longer able to deliver the services they provide in a reliable way, we can just let people arm themselves Bernhard Goetz style, and go back to private fire medallions, respectively. We can get rid of all these city (and state) services “entitlements”.

    5. Richard

      Exactly, the emphasise for all people should be on local politics. Ideally, candidates at the local level need to identify their political party.

  3. JimHirshfield


    1. jason wright

      i have.

    2. jason wright

      so who won?

  4. DJL

    Agree 110%. Don’t you think that secure electronic voting would increase participation rates dramatically?I know that mostly Democrats appose electronic voting (for various reasons). I also understand that the CEOs of most major tech companies are Democrat (or left leaning). For the life of me I have never understood the resistance. Participation would go up 200%.

    1. Rob Underwood

      Video below outlines why I oppose it. Increasing voter participation doesn’t do much good if the votes don’t count.If Republicans were so concerned about voter participantion they could eliminate voter surpression as a central part of their strategy.

      1. DJL

        “Increasing voter participation doesn’t do much good if the votes don’t count.”What does that mean?

        1. scottythebody

          Gerrymandering has made it so many people cannot influence the election in any meaningful way. I think that’s what he’s saying.

      2. DJL

        Rob – I was looking for an honest, technical and philosophical discussion and not to start political bomb-throwing. I’m out of this one.”If Republicans were so concerned about voter participantion they could eliminate voter surpression as a central part of their strategy.”Last time I looked, not a single Republican has run on a platform of “voter suppression”.

        1. Rob Underwood

          Happy to talk tech, and why I posted that video — I think it’s a good primer on some of the issues, though obviously from a particular POV. Would love to hear some counter-points for the technical merits of electronic voting vs. paper voting. Seriously.If the discussion is more vs. less electronic voting , that’s one topic.But if the discussion is voter participation overall, that’s larger topic, for which voting mechanisms are just one factor. That voter suppression is a tactic of at least one major party is another important part of that wider discussion.

      3. JLM

        .Rob, you are a smart guy, but the notion that Republicans are suppressing the vote is pure nonsense.I am an Election Judge, a Precinct Chair and a member of the county executive committee (Republican) and I can’t remember a single convo about voter ID as it relates to the actual conduct of elections in a quarter of a century./Remember that voter ID is state law. In Texas, you can vote a provisional ballot if you have a freakin’ utility bill with an address which matches the address on the voting rolls. You get a week to clean up your ID.You can use an expired drivers license or a voter ID card (given to you when you register to vote).You can vote early for 6 weeks. You can vote at any precinct in the county.There is no barrier to voting. If you are dead, you can vote Dem.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

        1. ShanaC

          if you are registering people, why not ask for the id at the point of registration – what’s the point of asking it again?

          1. JLM

            .Please tell me you are kidding me.When an individual registers to vote, they do that in a specific county of a state. They can fill out a form in person, fill out one on line, or participate in a motor-voter simultaneous registration.In each instance, the individual has to show proof of who they are. In the case of motor-voter registration, you have to show who you are to take the driver exam or to get a license. No further ID is required.Once you make application to be registered and show proof of who you are, your name is entered on the voter rolls of that county. Thirty days later, you are eligible to vote.As soon as you are registered, the county sends you a Voter ID card with you voter number, your precinct, and your polling place.When you go to vote, you show your Voter ID card and the clerk finds you on the voter rolls and verifies you are who you say you are.Your name is then shown on the voter rolls as having voted. This prevents somebody coming in and claiming to be you.If you fail to bring your Voter ID card with you, then you can still vote using alternative ID such as a driver’s license, passport, military ID, state ID.Absent these forms of ID, you can vote a “provisional” ballot with a lesser form of ID such as a utility bill with your name and address — same as the voter roll info. You then have seven days to deliver your ID info to the county.You can vote early, by absentee, at any polling location by identifying yourself.If you bring your Voter ID card, you need nothing else.The reason you ID yourself at the poll is to ensure you are, in fact, on the voter rolls, are who you say you are, and to ensure nobody has voted early or by absentee claiming to be you. It also prevents anybody later that day from voting claiming to be you.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          2. ShanaC

            None of this gets into why you need to check again when someone votes every time they vote. I understand checking for id at the point of registration (which is the whole point of doing so with the voter-motor act) and the first time you vote at a new precinct (new person, you should double check), but why the multiple extra layers of bureaucracy for every voter every time they vote. You’ve already checked in as yourself when you sign in. It just makes lines longer and creates more make do work for election workers, without actually adding any extra voter security.Neither NY nor CO require the extra step, and they effectively have the same (basically 0) voter fraud rate as TX. What problem is being solved?

      4. DJL

        I finally had a chance to watch this. It is just plain goofy. (You think there is trust in our current system? We have examples of people throwing physical votes in the trash.) This is an incoherent rant. Disappearing ink?

    2. scottythebody

      I met a guy in Colorado a long time ago who was very liberal and *very* into the idea of phone voting (this was before internet, etc.). I was incredulous, but when he explained it to me, I felt like it made a lot of sense. I figured voting was this ridiculously secure and careful process, but it’s actually — or at least until Diebold sold everyone the terrible machines — *just* secure enough.For example, when I voted in Atlanta, I would show up at my polling place. I would say my name and they would find me on the list. They would mark me off and give me my ballot. I’d punch the card and then drop it in the box. That box would be sent (under lock and key) to the counting center for my area and by that night we would know the results. Pretty solid in a place like the USA where corruption is very low and the infrastructure is very good.And I vote fully electronically now. I receive a ballot via email, fill it out, scan it, and email it back to the county clerk. He and his assistant (and an observer) print out all the ballots and drops them in a box. Simple. Sure, there are chances for corruption and fraud, but that’s exactly why he predecessor was voted out of office.So back to the phone voting. The guy I met suggested that the next day’s papers would all print the voter codes and the votes (anonymized, of course) and people could check there if the vote was as they selected. Self-audit. And it sounds a lot like an open ledger, if you wanted to think about that sort of “fully electronic” solution.I can also think of another way to get the participation up 200%. Vote on Sundays (as they do in Europe) or have election days be holidays.Just some rambling election thoughts 🙂 Greetings to you all from Vienna

      1. DJL

        Yes, you would think that if we really wanted better participation there would be a bunch of ways to at least make incremental improvements.By way of example, our local (county) races for some major positions get 2% turnout. Some elections are decided by a dozen votes.

        1. scottythebody

          Same here. Where I am registered to vote, a few people getting some burgers together and voting as a block can unseat a person who has held the job for a decade and become corrupt. Big impacts for little effort.

      2. ShanaC

        Where do you do this? This is kind of cool that they print your ballot?

        1. scottythebody

          Mississippi. But I vote from Austria.

    3. ShanaC

      I don’t mind scantrons (especially ones where you can also make a version for the blind!)But all you have to do is go to defcon in the past year or two and you would be great disabused that fully electronic with no paper trail is the way to go…Look, the voting machine plays chinese music, and defcon ran an election where the vote tallies were hacked

      1. DJL

        Of course I understand that are security concerns. (That is what I do for a living!) But I am certain that we could come up with a case where increased turnout more than offsets the minute potential for hacking.Don’t forget – there are people (like these guys) who make a living showing that everything is vulnerable. That doesn’t mean we stop doing it.

        1. ShanaC

          The voting machines in question are in use – and I don’t know if your assessment of minute potential that they will be hacked is a correct assessment.WE do have methods to increase turnout. They are all social policies (no voter id laws, mail-in ballots, automatic registration of US citizens when they turn 18, extended voting periods, and making election day a federal holiday) They are all controversial in the conservative space, even though there is non-partisan data from states that adopt these policies and countries that have these policies that shows all of these policies work, and go into reasons as to why they work.I wish we could talk about them in a non-partisan way

          1. DJL

            If these are controversial it is because some are designed specifically to get votes for constituents who vote Democrat. I agree with some and totally disagree with others. I see how no voter ID laws could lead to more votes – but that is a wide open invitation to fraud. If you cannot produce an ID you cannot vote. The right to vote was hard-fought over decades – especially for women and minorities. It should be treated with respect.

  5. jason wright

    “gobs of money” – you said it. what a corrupt and tawdry spectacle democracy has become.One ‘naturally’ blames those naughty Russians for that.

    1. JLM

      .The Russians are broke. They spent $80K on FB ads to influence the 2016 elections. Half of it was in Russian.HRC, DJT, and the PACs spent almost $5B yelling at each other. You think the Russia money broke through that tsunami of $$$$$$$$$$$$$$? Not bloody likely.The Russians are bad actors, they are our enemies, but they are not really effective. It is a crutch for the HRC loss.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

      1. PhilipSugar

        It’s worse than a crutch. It is a way to not face reality, and if you don’t face that then you are destined to have repeated results.

      2. Salt Shaker

        Either we have laws or we don’t. Whether $80K did or did not influence the outcome (which it likely didn’t) is totally irrelevant. A bank robber isn’t charged w/ a crime only when s/he is successful. An attempt to collude w/ a foreign power and/or obstruct justice is illegal. Prob questionable on the former, at least wrt a direct line to Trump, but there’s a pretty strong case on the latter based on what we know. Serena cries conspiracy and they’re out to get me and her fellow female players, when bottom line she clearly broke the rules of the game on 3 occasions. No debate there. The facts will determine the outcome here, not the endless rhetoric and conspiracy theories.

        1. awaldstein

          so well said. i see this process and this potential criminal traitor as a change agent if it comes to pass that conviction happens.good for the world. beyond the current and satisfaction that career white collar criminals can get what is deserved in spite of the privilege of wealth.

        2. LE

          Serena cries conspiracy and they’re out to get me and her fellow female players, when bottom line she clearly broke the rules of the game on 3 occasions. I wish Serena would just shut the fuck up. We really need to feel bad about an international star getting treated unfairly. What entitlement. Wow life is so bad for you and your stupid game. She should try being a regular person who gets shafted regularly and that nobody cares about.I am reminded of when I tried to sell to my college as an alumni. We never pulled it off or got any business. In fact the purchasing agent said smugly ‘you may never hear from us’. And we never did. Well when I sold the business one of the investors was tied in with the board of the school. (Penn) Was a very well connected lawyer. So they ended up getting tons of business that I couldn’t. How unfair was that? Well my guess is he paid more for the business knowing that in advance. So sure I could spin the story as ‘woah is me how unfair that they wouldn’t buy from me’ or I could look at the upside and how in the end I did ok even without that account and as a result of a rigged system. I benefited from the rigged system but in a different way.Serena? Think Serena didn’t get something that she never deserved in a game? Not a tennis fan but really really hard to believe that that hasn’t happened.

        3. JLM

          .I cannot come up with Federal statute which is violated by a foreigner taking out a FB ad.The Mueller Russian indictments allege unlawful access to computer systems (hacking), theft of passwords, insertion of malware keycatchers, identity theft, the dissemination of stolen identities and social security numbers.There is no allegation of illegal FB ads.Of course, none of these charges will ever see a courtroom because the US has no power over Russian corporations or individuals.Collusion is not a Federal crime though Mueller has broken new legal ground by using a general charge of “defrauding the US government.”There is no evidence of Pres Trump colluding with the Russians or any collusion by his campaign.We are going on two years into an investigation of a 3-month campaign with no charges related to the stated objective of the investigation.We have a couple of penny ante process crimes and a ten year old set of charges against a 3-month campaign manager (Manafort) for the sole purpose of trying to twist his arm to speak ill of Trump.[Manafort got what he deserved.]JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          1. Salt Shaker

            18 U.S. Code § 953 – private correspondence with foreign governments suggests otherwise wrt collusion as a crime.That said, collusion is a slippery slope and likely hard to prove w/ out a smoking gun. You’ve conveniently dismissed the obstruction issue, where there’s seemingly a preponderance of evidence.The rhetoric and conspiracy theories regarding Trump, the Dems, the FBI, the DOJ has run amok. It’s sickening. There will be enough meat on the bone to impeach, assuming there’s an appetite for it. This is gonna continue to get uglier than ever.

          2. JLM

            .Haha. Nice try.Here is 18 USC Sec 953″Any citizen of the United States, wherever he may be, who, without authority of the United States, directly or indirectly commences or carries on any correspondence or intercourse with any foreign government or any officer or agent thereof, with intent to influence the measures or conduct of any foreign government or of any officer or agent thereof, in relation to any disputes or controversies with the United States, or to defeat the measures of the United States, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than three years, or both.This section shall not abridge the right of a citizen to apply, himself or his agent, to any foreign government or the agents thereof for redress of any injury which he may have sustained from such government or any of its agents or subjects.”The law pertains to US citizens attempting to impact the “conduct of any foreign government … in relation to any disputes or controversies with the United States, …”They key thing is the issue of “… in relation to any disputes or controversies with the United States, …”That is NOT what we are talking about. Not even close.I truly hope that Trump gets impeached — charged with a crime by the House of Representatives. I would like to have the fun of watching it and I would love to see the Dems wander in the desert for the next 30 years.If the Republicans pick up 6 seats in the Senate – my prediction – you will have 56 Republicans, 42 Dems, 2 Independents.To remove from office, requires 67 votes which would require 42 Dems + 2 Independents + 23 Republicans.You would have to capture 23/56 Republicans. Good luck with that.One third of those 56 Republicans — 19 Senators — would be up for re-election in 2020.Nobody up for re-election in 2020 would ever vote to remove from office leaving you with 37 possibilities. You would have to capture 23/37 of available Republicans.Not going to happen.All of the Mueller investigation is going to come home to roost shortly. He has a guilty plea/conviction/charge on Flynn, Alex van der Zwaan, Papadopoulos, Gates, Manafort. Three process crimes and two decades old, unrelated, white collar crimes.Then you have the nonsense on the Russian companies and individuals who will never see the light of day.Gates and Manafort deserve whatever they got.Pop got 14 days in jail because, apparently, he had nothing to give to Mueller who wanted 6 months. The Zwaan got 30 days. These are less than a DUI.The top guys at the FBI have been referred for investigation by their own Inspector General.This is going to be fun before it’s over.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          3. Salt Shaker

            The key words for me in that statute are “or to defeat the measures of the United States.”Still no comment on obstruction, though.

          4. JLM

            .Before one can obstruct justice there has to be a judicial proceeding. I don’t hear any credible voices who believe that the chief executive of the US, with absolute power to hire or fire anyone in the executive branch has any limits to his power. Alan Dershowitz, no friend to the Trump admin, says this all the time.Look, this Carter Page guy was so suspect that the FBI/DOJ went to the FISA Cts and swore out 4 surveillance warrants.Here we sit two years later and that spy for the Russians is walking the streets like a free man.He was the best target they could come up with and he’s unindicted, free, and uncharged.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          5. Salt Shaker

            Yes, he can fire or hire anyone he wants, but he can’t impede or obstruct an investigation. The Lester Holt NBC interview is bs. The real smoking gun is Don McGahn, WH GC.

          6. JLM

            .Actually, the President exercising his executive authority can decide which investigations the DOJ undertakes as a simple matter of executive authority.The AG reports to the POTUS.Your suggestion as to McGahn might have some credibility if he had sought and been granted immunity.He had been meeting with Mueller for months before the media even learned of it. He was delivering millions of docs from the WH.Take a look at his career – he has been instrumental in putting Gorsuch and Kavenaugh forward as well as filling Federal judgeships at the District and Appellate levels.You are really grasping at straws.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          7. LE

            Important to note that those who were caught were snagged by the ‘OJ Principle’. They are used to operating in a world where there is little attention to what they are doing and the bar to actually getting noticed or caught is much higher. And there is nobody poking around or asking questions.Other examples of this are multiple people who have been on reality tv and ended up in prison for various crimes that they would have never been prosecuted for if they were not on reality tv. Really.Wasn’t it funny when they were trying to snag Michael Cohen for something he said with regards to a home equity loan use? That someone actually raised that in the media as some kind of big federal fraud. As if any normal person answering a question as far as funds used on a secured loan would ever have an issue based on how a question like that would get answered.

          8. LE

            I cannot come up with Federal statute which is violated by a foreigner taking out a FB ad.Also we are assuming that other acts have not been done in another context.Back in the day it was apparently perfectly fine for Joe Kennedy to buy the election for his son. And impossible to believe this has not happened in other cases with politics. And it’s fine for a stupid fucking recording artist to use his fame and power over idiot fans to influence an election. Because of course Bruce Springsteen will never lead me wrong.Of course you know of this situation with Susan Collins potentially being extorted to vote against Judge Kavanaugh:https://www.washingtonpost….Summary for others who don’t read or follow the news:So a group of liberal activists in Maine created an unusual crowdfunding campaign that encapsulated both of these emotions: they raised money in the form of pledges that they said they would give to whoever decided to challenge Collins in 2020 if she voted for Kavanaugh’s confirmation. If she votes no, the money will never be withdrawn from donors.

      3. ShanaC

        80k with great targeting can change minds for any number of things (bone broth is good for you, aromatherapy works, eat acai bowls, fluffy laundry with wool balls, bras that fit better, and your voting behavior)If advertising can change your mind to try a new food, why can’t it change how you vote, given that there is more lift for anything emotional (of which politics definitely fits in)

        1. JLM

          .Haha. $80K – half in Russian language – thrown in amongst $5B couldn’t make a ripple in an ocean.Do you remember even reading a FB political ad during the campaign?JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          1. ShanaC

            1) Yes I do remember reading political ads during the election, primarily for local officials. Though my biggest memory is creating a spreadsheet of ALA judge ratings to take to the poll, because I wanted to make sure the people I voted for were competent2)The sheer presence of startups becoming successful in the face of big companies belies this idea that $80k can’t do more than $5B. 80k smartly spent can have way more impact than 5B from a ROAS type perspective, whether you are in politics or sell a SAAS product. The right question is did that 80k have the right impact for the money spent considering the other advertisements targeted to those people in the advertising and content environment they exist in. By all publicly available data, the ads had extremely high engagement rates (since that data was entered in the congressional record). The extent of which The Russian buy drove voters in critical states is difficult to measure because we don’t know the specifics of their targeting model and how that aligned with a vote. But to say they weren’t successful on some standard advertising measure is just a lie. If I had engagement rates on a facebook ad for a cpg brand in certain targets the way they did, I’d be ecstatic. I’d be overjoyed if I were representing a building you were building and selling units in if I got similar engagement rates, especially if my model for engagement directly tied to units you sold.Unless you want to argue that ads don’t work. If that’s the case, I’d suggest shorting Facebook, Clearchannel, Publicis, Google, Snapchat, Verizon, WPP, ect

          2. JLM

            .Hahahaha, $80,000 can do more than $5,000,000,000?You are living in a dream world.How could the Russians know more about targeting ads in the several states than the professionals who were running Hillary’s campaign?If Hillary didn’t know what states were critical, how could the Russians.Minor point, but nobody had any idea which states were critical until election night when suddenly states which should have been Dem locks began to fall.I’d love to say that DJT knew, but he didn’t. Sure, the internals showed some weaknesses – as an example, the HRC people sent BHO to Pennsylvania, a state which should have been locked down 90 days earlies – but nobody really knew.There is no way that an expenditure of $80K by the Russians (half of the ads were in Russian) had an discernible impact on a campaign which saw expenditures of $5Billion.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

        2. SFG

          What I find laughable, is that the “collusion” and influence that FB and GOOG wielded to “change minds on any number of things” is never mentioned.Hint: Not like it’s even legal to be a trump supporter and work there.Hint: Those GOOG searches and FB ads are wielded by liberal hands who hate trump. More than 80k’s worth, that’s for sure.

          1. ShanaC

            I know trump supporters in places like google and facebook. I’m not going to say they always agree with management, but they do exist

  6. Tom Labus

    Sitting out this November voting cycle is not an option. I hope the Dems are getting everyone to the polls

    1. Richard

      What a deep thoughtful comment. What would we ever do without it.

    2. JamesHRH

      Sitting out any cycle is not an option Tom, not a partisan issue.

  7. Pointsandfigures

    Paper ballots can’t get hacked.

    1. scottythebody

      They absolutely *can* be hacked, but I think I know what you’re implying.

    2. ShanaC

      we really need to statistically audit all elections. We also need to upgrade technology for each state’s voter registration files and machines. You shouldn’t be able to get voting machines to rick roll…

    3. JLM

      .What happens with paper ballots is they get highjacked or counterfeited.Thirty years ago, I was a plaintiff (at the request of the Republican Party which needed somebody who had “standing”) in a lawsuit in which a van carrying a ballot box (paper ballots) stopped behind a building in NW Austin and exchanged the ballot box which came from the polling point for a different ballot box which was waiting behind that building.The case was dismissed because the margin of victory for the victor was greater than the total votes cast at that polling point.What nobody ever knew was how many other such incidents had happened that night. Or, who exactly had orchestrated it.Thereafter, the Republican Election Judge and the Dem Election Judge drove together with the ballot box to the county counting site. That is what is done today, but it is digital rather than paper.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

  8. BSchildt

    Vote early and vote often 🙂

  9. marko calvo-cruz

    “Voting, we might say, is the next to last refuge of the politically impotent. The last refuge is, of course, giving your opinion to a pollster, who will get a version of it through a desiccated question, and then will submerge it in a Niagara of similar opinions, and convert them into–what else?–another piece of news. Thus, we have here a great loop of impotence: The news elicits from you a variety of opinions about which you can do nothing except to offer them as more news, about which you can do nothing.”-Neil PostmanOur democracy, republic, or whatever we pretend it is, is a wolf in sheep’s clothing.

    1. JLM

      .Our “democracy, republic, or whatever we pretend it is” has underwritten freedom in the world for a century. We are the best hope for mankind even on our worst days.There is nobody breaking into Russia today or China.Our freedoms are underwritten by men and women who are prepared to give their lives so that others may criticize our way of life.Thank them.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

      1. marko calvo-cruz

        I have a ton of respect for people who serve in our military, a lot of close family members of mine who I love and treasure are themselves veterans. But we live in a world of impotence where we are hit with news everyday that we literally cannot do anything about. We live in communities where people have strong opinions (or emotions) on topics we do not understand. And I believe that we need to move beyond this narrative that our way of life is (1) the ‘right way’ and (2) enabled by a strong military.Tech has shown diminishing returns in the last few decades to enhancing our daily life. Now we need political innovation, or perhaps a paradigm shift altogether.

        1. marko calvo-cruz

          The political system that we have today was built under vastly different circumstances with vastly different threats than we have today, it was a different world.Even the most sacred assumptions we have about democracy must be revisited in light of our hyper-connectedness & AI. Is this controversial?

          1. JLM

            .The most sacred notion is actually voting.In the US, Presidential elections turn out about 60% of registered voters. Mid-terms top out at 40%. These are gag worthy numbers.This is 74% of senior citizens – highest voting demographic and 28% of 18-29 year olds who said they are “absolutely certain to vote.” This is from an AP/Univ of Chi 2018 mid-term poll.In reality, 18-29 year olds voted at the 24% range last time around and that was a Presidential election. That is registered voters. Fewer than 65% of 18-29 year olds are even registered to vote.Since 1972 when the voting age was reduced to 18, the story is the same. Youth doesn’t register. Registered youth don’t vote. Meanwhile, the senior citizens all vote.Please don’t pontificate about the political system until the youth of America actually participate.If you don’t vote, you can’t complain about the outcomes.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          2. sigmaalgebra

            AI is fully “controversial”.Where oh where, what reeking, fuming, stinking, flaming, toxic sewer, did you get the idea that AI was going to cause any significant change to society, the economy, civilization, etc.?AI is 99 44/100% irresponsible hype from some very poorly informed people, as far as I can tell, including essentially all the famous names, specifically including at least one chaired full professor of AI at a famous research university.When I was at IBM’s Watson lab in an AI project, I was co-author of several peer reviewed publications in AI. I thought that the whole direction was junk. I did our joint work with GM Research, gathered everyone’s input, wrote our paper, and co-delivered it at the AAAI IAAI Conference at Stanford — junk.All the good work at that conference was JUST good versions of traditional applied math, engineering, or routine computer software.For the main goals of our AI project, one afternoon I put my feet up and thought of some new ideas that totally blew away anything anywhere in AI for our goals. I later published in Information Sciences. What I wrote was just some mathematical statistics, right, complete with theorems and proofs, based on Lebesgue measure theory, borrowing from abstract algebra and ergodic theory. I cooked up an algorithm to make the computations fast and wrote some prototype software.The computer science and AI communities do not have the math prerequisites to do work like I did or even read my paper. Indeed, shockingly, measure theory is not very well understood in the statistics community and, of course, much less well understood in the computer science and AI communities. They just neglected to take the right courses in school. To get caught up, there are books by W. Rudin and H. Royden, and for the applications to probability crucial for statistics, books by M. Loeve, L. Breiman, J. Neveu, Chung, etc.For my paper, the editor in chief of one of the best computer science journals wrote me “Neither I nor any of my editors has the mathematical background to review your paper.”; a few more such editors wrote me similar statements; and I wrote tutorials for the editor in chief of one of the best computer science journals, at MIT, for two weeks before he gave up. Gee, I’d tried to make the paper easy to read!!!Bluntly, the computer science people pursuing AI or, really, doing much with data, just don’t have the required math prerequisites. They didn’t take the courses, and they will NOT reinvent that material.It’s simple: AI is junk. More is simple: When the computer scientists try to do applied math, it’s all junk except for D. Knuth and a few more could count without taking shoes off.I’d do some more good AI research except I see no real point in it: The field is essentially all irresponsible hype and, really, has nearly no good ideas for valuable applications. One of the first challenges of research is to pick a good problem; this is doubly true if want valuable applications.So far, AI is essentially just empirical curve fitting, mostly with just the old techniques of regression analysis, some of Leo Breiman’s updates in his Classification and Regression Trees, together with an update of the old use of sigmoid curves in categorical data analysis. E.g., can see the Bloomberg and David Rosenberg course notes for “Foundations of Machine Learning” at…with a discussion at…The little good in recent AI is nearly all just some relatively elementary and quite old — 100 years for the math, 50 years for the software — applied statistics.Pure and applied math are much more general and powerful.For anything like intelligent software, no one has any progress at all. Thus, the idea that AI will significantly change anything on a large scale is just hot air from delusional, absurd hype. You got that sewage from, where, the NYT???

        2. sigmaalgebra

          ForBut we live in a world of impotence where we are hit with news everyday that we literally cannot do anything about. We live in communities where people have strong opinions (or emotions) on topics we do not understand.First, right in the US Constitution we have freedom of speech and freedom of the press.Well, especially for the press, each day they have a lot of space on paper or time to fill. So, they fill it. But, mostly, each day, they don’t have much that is worth saying. So 99 44/100% of what they say is just garbage with the results you describe.They want and need to fill the time and space because they want ad revenue. So, what they fill with is what will grab readers, by the heart, the gut, and below the belt, borrowing heavily from old formula fiction, e.g., sin, scandal, white/black hats, always below the shoulders, and never between the ears.The solution for the readers, especially US citizens, is just to ignore the newsies. E.g., for the NYT and WaPo, on paper they can’t compete with Charmin, and on the Web are useless for wrapping dead fish heads.The mainstream media — ABC, CBS, CNN, MSNBC, NBC, NYT, WaPo, and much more, 99 44/100% just publish stuff, just stuff, just to grab eyeballs, push Democrat party propaganda borrowing from Nazi Dr. J. Goebbels and his “If you tell a lie often enough, then people will believe it. Eventually even you will believe it.”, and get ad revenue.It does appear that for a better explanation we need to apply the usual, “Always look for the hidden agenda.”, “Money talks.”, and “Follow the money.”. The MSM is throwing their credibility into the sewer, and this is hurting their credibility. E.g., on 11/9/2016, the views of the MSM for months on Trump showed that the MSM had just been pushing Democrat party propaganda. They still are.There’s the Sharyl Attkisson remark, IIRC,”Essentially everything you see in the media was put there and paid for by someone who wanted to influence your opinion.”..Uh, be warned. Did I mention “Follow the money?”. E.g., for millennia, one of the easiest ways to make money was from slave labor. Well, a lot of people in the US now — landscaping, dairy farming, meat packing, etc., — are making their money off slave labor. So, when issues about enforcing US immigration laws come up, what do you expect those slavers to do? They are making big bucks off having the immigration laws not enforced. So, did I mention “Always look for the hidden agenda.” and “Money talks.”? Those slavers have big bucks to give to various PACs, etc. to fund campaigns, etc. to elect people in favor of slavery. Simple.But as bad as the MSM are, there is an old letter from Jefferson that shows that the media was a lot worse in his time. And recently Gingrich claimed that the media attacked Lincoln much more bitterly than they are attacking Trump.There is some good news: Trump, history, and other sources of information are showing with astounding clarity just how bad the MSM is. Their credibility is shot. Their revenue is falling. What they have left is some entertainment value and some habitual audience. I can’t predict the NYT and WaPo will go out of business tomorrow, but WaPo was sold for what, $1? Similarly for Time, Newsweek, Boston Globe? We stand to be getting a wide range of alternatives via the Internet.Trump had it right: We should not censor the media and, instead, have each person do their own filtering.The first step in such filtering is to realize that 99 44/100% of the current MSM is just sewage and not useful, objective, credible, documented, referenced INFORMATION.There’s no serious problem: Charmin beats the paper version of the NYT, and the Web version of the NYT is useless for wrapping dead fish heads. So, do what I do — ignore the NYT unless there is some big stink and then go the NYT Web site and grab their headline, article, or Op Ed and download and keep it as evidence to ignore the NYT until another such stink.Just IGNORE the MSM. What’s so tough about that?Want some good information on the economy? Okay, there is quite a lot of credible, numerical data on the Internet, and some Google searching can find a lot of it (my startup should let you do quite a bit better). Want entertainment? Okay, sure, on YouTube can see videos of dolphins, orcas, and whales tangled up in fishing gear approaching humans to get untangled and being really happy afterwards. Can watch videos on wolves, beavers, raccoons, eagles — amazing animals. Can follow the news from astrophysics and cosmology — astounding stuff. Can watch the MIT Adams lectures on quantum mechanics (he keeps the math really simple and really sloppy so can mostly just f’get about his math or go to any of several beautifully polished sources for the math) or the Lander lectures on genetics and cancer research. And there’s much more.For the NYT, just grow up a little and just IGNORE it. You will nearly never miss anything any good — there’re oceans of good data supporting this point.Besides, censorship would, net, overall, be a LOT worse.Save civilization the easy way — just ignore the MSM!!!!!While you are at it, be glad Crooked Hildabeest is gone and we have Trump!!!

      2. sigmaalgebra

        ForThere is nobody breaking into Russia today or China.Yup.But for some people with somewhat less interest in history, early in WWII Hitler charged east and took all the land from Germany to a line from Stalingrad to Moscow to Leningrad. There was mass starvation in Stalingrad and Leningrad, some of the worst conditions in history. Hitler wanted to charge to, say, the Urals and south to the oil of the Caspian Sea and likely south also to the oil of Romania and the Black Sea. Then from that path and also moving east from North Africa, Hitler wanted all the oil of the Mideast — Arabia, Iraq, and Iran and, then, also to the Caspian.Yup, Hitler was “breaking into Russia”. It was no picnic in Warsaw, etc. either.Basically Hitler wanted all the Jews dead right away and all the Slavs worked to death on estates owned by Germans. Bloody, nasty guy Hitler.But the Japanese also wanted parts of China and, for coal and iron ore, Manchuria. “The rape of Nanking” goes down as one of the ugliest events in history. So, yup, the Japanese were “breaking into China”.The US beat both Hitler and the Japanese.Since WWII, all the people and leaders of the USSR, Russia, China, Manchuria, Taiwan, and South Korea should be thanking the US profusely daily.IIRC, recently Trump said that if Iran starts to be violent in Iraq, then the US will push back. So, the US is still helping. I suspect that Trump would help “smart”, that is, for very little US treasure and much less, hopefully NO, US blood. After all, Trump is no dumb de dumb dumb Gulf War II W or billions for Ayatollah Kockamamie Obama.E.g., when Trump told Mattis to have at it with ISIS, we got big time progress quickly. I know; I know; the US didn’t fight fair with ISIS: Instead we had fantastic intelligence and surveillance and then B-1 bombers loaded with GPS navigated JDAM equipped gravity bombs. ISIS could shoot their RPGs and AK-47s and throw rocks, but tough to do much to a 40,000 foot up or so B-1 that way!! Yes, there are some buildings in the ISIS areas that could use new roofs, walls, floors, foundations and some floor cleaning, but the Abū Bakr al-Baghdadi beheading, drowning, torturing wackos are out’a there.Just how much saving the world and, apparently MUCH more important, just HOW we might do such things, is a very serious issue. If we do it like JFK, LBJ, Nixon, W did, we’ll bleed ourselves white on absurd foreign adventures. The US blood those dumb de dumb dumb leaders wasted is inexcusable. The US treasure they wasted would truly have converted the US to a shining country brilliant beyond all the rest of the world.But right away both Xi and Putin should understand that likely they are alive ONLY because in WWII the US beat both Germany and Japan. Similarly for Little Rocket Boy in Ping Pong Yang, Ayatollah Kockamamie himself, etc.

  10. FKA Curmudgeon

    Haven’t “pulled the lever” in over 30 years. Absentee voting, then finally Oregon did the sensible thing and went to all mail-in voting. Now I never miss an election.

  11. ShanaC

    Of the few things I dislike about ny stateit is hard to switch parties, it is hard to register when you move, and we don’t have1) early voting2) mail in ballots3) Auto-registration when you get a license/turn 18Then it would be easier to vote#annoyed

  12. Jeremy Shatan

    Can’t wait to vote after work today! I wish I was pulling a lever, though – for some reason filling in bubbles on a ballot with a pencil and then putting it in a scanner is less satisfying. I hope it really is more accurate!

  13. BillMcNeely

    Democracy is participatory. If ladies like this can walk miles while dodging snipers, IED’s, the Taliban and voter suppression from the male members of their household, we can take 30 minutes, get off our ass and vote as well. https://uploads.disquscdn.c

    1. Richard

      Voting means nothing if it’s a popularity contest.

      1. JamesHRH

        Disagree, it means you exercised your freedom.Quality choice is a bonus.Also, you massively underestimate the general electorate. Very few people are so intellectually incompetent that they cannot make choices that suits their beliefs or their needs.Trump is the perfect example. Working class folks in ~50 key counties voted Obama twice and then Trump.To say it was a popularity contest is huge disservice.Most importantly, it opened the eyes – hopefully – of people who are creating America’s future to the fact that they need to take care of the people who are still living in America’s past.

  14. Richard

    It’s time to add a RIGOROUS yearly civics course – bi partisan – into highschool and college school. New immigrants should be required to audit the course. It should include the relevant age level math, science and history as a means to convey the information. It can be designed by highly credentialed former politicians, academics and business professions.

    1. sigmaalgebra

      Look, gotta bring you up to date and into reality: For over 200 years, it’s been a big No-No to do any teaching, especially the 3Rs and super especially civics about voting, to the slaves.So, one approach is to teach the slaves. Another approach, and one we fought a very bloody war over, was not to have slaves.

  15. sigmaalgebra

    Yesterday, here in Upstate NYS, I called a local office of my Congressman and was informed that the primary was only for the Democrat party. Since I’m a registered Democrat, maybe I could go and vote. Hmm …. Since I like Trump, maybe I’d vote for the weakest Democrat candidate??? Naw!

  16. David Albrecht

    > In NYC, and to a lesser extent in New York State, the primary can be the election as the city and state lean left.In general I feel New York is a much better-run place than California, but this is an area where California is miles ahead of New York.In CA, we have non-partisan primaries which means in heavily partisan districts, the general ends up being 2 democrats or 2 republicans, with nobody from the other (losing) side. NY’s system gives too much control to the party (who can decide the election in partisan districts), taking too much power away from ordinary voters. The result is crazy outcomes like Ocasio-Cortez winning on a super hard-left platform that the base loves, but the overall population doesn’t.The other thing we’re starting to do in SF is ranked-choice which again, encourages coalition-building rather than using wedge issues to drive the opposition apart.I strongly support electoral reform that encourages broad consensus-building over first-past-the-post bickering and factionalism.

  17. jason wright