OK, so now what: election observations and other things

Most of the time it’s easier to get a lay of the land after the dust settles.  It’s been a week and we should be able to see clearly, but that might not be the case this time.  But, we here at UNfiltered and UNfettered are committed to routing through and explaining all the facts, while making up the stuff we can’t figure out.  So here now are some observations of America’s political process in all it’s freedom loving glory.

In Rove we trust 

Man, if you weren’t watching the election results on Fox at the moment the election was called for the President, you missed a doozy.  Fox News’ election team was Bret Baier and Megyn Kelly on the main desk, with Chris Wallace, democratic strategist Joe Trippi, and The Wonder Boy Karl Rove, Bush 43s former chief of staff and campaign manager at the “Decison Desk”.  Rove and Trippi were dissecting the numbers as each state was called for it’s respective candidate.  Fox was the first network to call Ohio.  When they did, Kelley and Baier looked up and sheepishly and disbelievingly said, “well that means the President has won re-election.”  Easy guys, don’t pop a vessel.

The party started, everywhere, except in Rove Land.  Alert reader Laurie Halsey hit me through FaceBook to say, not so fast Junior, Romney team is not conceding Ohio.  She was right.  So I quick-like switched back to Fox just in time to see Rove going after Megyn Kelley and Brett Baier and their journalistic ethics for calling a state where so many votes had yet top be counted.  Rove wasn’t hysterical but his boiler was definitely reaching maximum pressure.

Oh, you expected results?!?

Rove doesn’t care who’s President.  In fact it’s now more lucrative for him if  a Democrat is in office. There-in lies the problem.  His super pac raised millions, boarding on billions, over the last four years to defeat the President and some Dem Senators.  None of that worked out for Rove or his super pac and he was clearly feeling the pressure of his big pocket donors.

A member of the Fox News production crew recorded some behind scenes audio with her iPhone.  This apparently occurred during commercial break and was not meant for public consumption.  Warning, Rove drops the F-bomb in the first seconds of the first audio clip.  Take a listen: Rove melts down and again, and again.

Turn those machines back on!

Hey I admit, I’m a Rove fan.  He’s normally a savant with this stuff, but on this night, for this election, he was galactically wrong.  Ah well, time to find a new savant.

 

Irony, it’s so….ironic

Hey, them polls, they ain’t so bad after all.  For the most part all the polls showing Obama ahead and disregarded by the Republicans as skewed and biased, turned out to be right.  A mathalete named Nate Silver predicted the President had a 91% chance of winning reelection.  He was figuratively crucified for that prediction.  He was right.  He has been very gracious, as you would expect from a number crunching nerd, and turned down late night talk show requests to come on and do an “Up Yours, I told you so” tour.  But let the word go forth from this day forward, mock mathaletes at your peril.

Hey Tony, you were right it was a voter fraud conspiracy…for Romney.  In the irony of ironies, voter fraud made a huge appearance in this election, for the other guys.  So far amidst numerous complaints and rumors lobbied by disbelieving conservatives, the only documented case of voter fraud occurred in Pennsylvania.  Turns out in several precincts in Philadelphia and surrounding areas, whenever a voter touched Obama’s name on the touch screen the vote would be registered to Romney.  About two hours of longs lines had voted before someone noticed the error.  It gets better.  The company making those particular machines has shareholders.  It’s biggest shareholder: Tagg Romney, son of Mitt.  Whoa Nellie, take me home I have seen enough to know I have seen too much.

It turned out to be a software glitch that swapped the sensors on the screen.  Really not a big deal and apparently easily fixable.  But after all that crybaby nonsense over the summer by conservatives pushing for new laws to tamp down the 5 total cases of voter fraud tilting our electoral process of millions of votes cast in 08, it’s more than a little funny the only case proven so far happened for republicans and not against them.

Black Panthers, party of two?  Yep that’s it, just two, and that’s them, Mikhail Muhammad and Bob, in their Sunday best.   These are the two causing all the voter intimidation around the country.  Girl Scouts selling cookies at my Kroger are more intimidating and pushy.

Vote for Obama or I’ll make you wear this beret!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Racism rears it’s ugly head.

Yes, racism is still alive and well in America.  I know because I was involved first hand. When the Knoxville New Sentinel asked for election stories over Twitter, I submitted a picture of Frank going into our polling place and remarked how easy it was, no lines, no waiting etc…  A woman took issue with that.  Well not just a woman, a member of Obama for America reelection campaign, Knoxville chapter.  Here is her response:

What does this even mean

 

 

 

 

 

 

Is she implying west Knox is all white and therefore would not have issues at the pooling place?  Is she saying, of course whites will vote Romney?  Who knows?  I suspect Judi is a half wit.

The sad part is when I called her out on her racist remark Judi had no clue what I was talking about.  She assumed because I was white and I lived in West Knoxville that I would vote for Romney.  Assumptions about a group of people based on their race and physical location; Webster’s could not have defined it better.  She had no idea, as most of my conservative friends and family will tell you, that I am a big Obama fan and have championed him for the last four years.  It was his dirty campaign that turned me off this year.  But I voted for and was extremely excited for his presidency in 08.

Judi, you and people like you are the reason this country is divided.  The promise of a President to be above all that silliness, to raise the level of discourse and bring everyone into the conversation, has been undone by small minded people like you who think because racism happened and still happens, it’s ok to return the favor against people you have never even laid eyes on and have absolutely no clue about.  Attach an idiotic, racist comment like that to a picture of my three year old son going to his first election Judi, really?

I, for one, am not burdened by inequality Judi.  I treat all equally regardless of race, religion, or gender.  To that end, if we ever cross paths in Knoxville Judi, and you look at my son crossed eyed, I will punch you dead in your mouth.

How’s that for irony.

Democracy in Knoxville: No people, no lines, no problem.

Chalk us up America.  Count us among the counted.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Frank and I went to our polling place, Bluegrass Elementary School in Knoxville TN, and got our democracy on.  We went around lunch time in hopes of seeing some people and waiting in line.  That would have at least given us someone to interview.  Alas, no joy. Joint was pretty empty.  Tennessee is an ID required state.  So that one extra stop to prove who I was caused the whole experience to last 3.6 minutes.

When we were leaving we ran into one volunteer working for Senator Becky Duncan Massey, running for re-election in the Tennessee 6th district.  So we talked to her.  She was neither a ball of energy, nor a font of knowledge.  Frank gave me the high sign to keep the questions simpler and more generic.  The young lady had “not seen very many people and the weather was turning out fine.”

That’s it.  She was spent.  She didn’t have to work too hard, we were voting for Massey anyway.  But I decided if she burned any more brain cells answering our questions she might not find her way home. That’s the hard hitting, deep political insight, we provide here at Unfiltered and Unfettered.  Be advised, had this lady come to my door two weeks ago, it only would have encouraged me to vote for Massey’s opponent.

So that was a total bust.  Next step, on to Kroger to get groceries/supplies for the impending armageddon based on tonights winner.

Here is a shot of Frank going into the polling place.

For freedom loving Americans everywhere!

Disregard that little sign above his head.  Frank did vote.  I moved the wheel and he hit the button when it got to a name he liked.  Sort of like Democracy Roulette. Surprisingly he liked Mitt Romney.  It makes him laugh when I say Mitt.   He also hit the big red button that casts the ballot once you’re done spreading freedom.  So my ballot is probably invalid.  But Frank liked it.

He thinks he’ll like democracy.

 

First polls close in an hour and a half.

 

Stay tuned.

 

 

 

 

The votes are in…

 

Happy Election Day!

It is 12:08am in the east and I’m going wire to wire. I think.

Dixville Notch and Hart’s Location have spoken.  Results as follows.  I’ll only give you the Presidential results.  I’ll spare you the senate and congressional races.

10 votes cast in Dixville Notch

President Obama – 5

Governor Romney – 5

1st tie in the history of Dixville Notch voting.  In. Their. History.  Gonna be a long election day.

The race with in the race shows Obama getting the 2 registered democrats and 3 independents.  Romney got the 3 registered republicans and 2 independents.

And at 12:40 in the AM the numbers roll in from Hart’s Location.

34 votes in Hart’s Location

President Obama – 23

Governor Romney – 9

Governor Johnson of New Mexico (Libertarian) – 2

The problem with small towns like this; you know too much info.  There are 41 residents in Hart’s Location and 37 registered voters.  So that means 3 people did not vote.  Or maybe they voted by-proxy or absentee.

Either way, President Obama out to a commanding lead.  Got to feel good about that.

Ok next results about 18 hours away.

Go vote!  Sleep first then go vote.

 

Voting in T – minus 2hrs

Can you feel it.  We are this close.

That’s close people!

T – minus  2, as in hours.  That’s right.  Voting starts at midnight.

Presidential elections are great for a lot of reasons. Besides the peaceful transfer of power since Adams took over from Washington, there are a lot of great traditions that come along with elections.  One of my favorites is the voting that takes place in Hart’s Location and Dixville Notch, New Hampshire.  At midnight on election day  the people of those two tiny hamlets gather in the town polling places, the ballroom of the Balsams Hotel in Dixville and an undisclosed spot for Hart’s Location, and using paper ballots, cast the country’s first votes for president.

They’re able to do this because of an obscure law in New Hampshire that allows towns with a population of less than 100 people to close the polling place once all have voted. Dixville has a pop. of 12, and Hart’s Location 41. So both places open the poll at midnight, cast their votes, close the polls, count the votes and go home.  They use paper ballots and a wooden box.  The votes are counted and reported immediately.  Freaking love it.  I may not sleep tonight. Romney is actually campaigning in Ohio on election day.  So votes will have already been tallied before he takes the stage at his rally.  It may not matter.

While national polling has the two men in a dead heat, state by state polling is showing a widening margin for the President.  The focus has shifted from Ohio to Virginia.  The “experts” all seem to agree that the winner of Virginia may go on to a big victory.  Mind you some of these experts are the same geniuses that predicted John Kerry would beat George Bush 43.  So you know, who knows?  Personally I’m hoping for a long night.  I would love for Hawaii to decide things.  The law suits, oh the law suits.

I’m getting way ahead of myself.  It’s the excitement, it’s actually visible.

For those of you that have followed my political rantings over at Frank’s Place, you know that I like to drag my now 3yr old son, Frank, along to political events like elections and rallies.  We also like to do man on the street interviews as we wait on line or in the crowd.  Got a few good interviews and met some nice people when Romney came to town in March for a pre-Super Tuesday rally.  You can read it here: Mittmentum rolls into Knoxville!

The little election junkie was sick during the primary on Super Tuesday in March of this year.  But this time Frank is right as rain and ready to get his democracy on.  We are traditionalists , so we go on election day.  No sissy early voting for us.  We get in line on November 6th and taste the sweetness of democracy as the founding fathers intended: the Tuesday after the first Monday of November.

So check back during the afternoon hours to read about our experience and maybe get some interviews from  people who actually voted.  And of course check back all  night on Tuesday to see how the race is going.  I’ll be tickling the ivories until my Polynesian brethren have their voice heard.  (That means until Hawaii votes)

T-minus 1:40 now!

Down the stretch they come: The electoral map, Crazy Joe, and other things.

Now this is really it.  I mean it was “IT” after the debates, but only partially it.  Now this is really  it.  Come Tuesday the race will finally be over, maybe.  More on the maybe in a second.  Lets get to the campaigns with some quick hits.

We ain’t in Kansas anymore…

Because you’re in Cleveland Joe, you crazy bastard.  Crazy Uncle Joe was at it again.  On stage in Cleveland the countries favorite Drunk Uncle started to extol the virtue of Des Moines Iowa.

Tell me who’s the candidate with Romesia…

They use to call me Crazy Joe, now they call me… ah…ah… Hey who wants ice cream?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The “where am I bug” even hit President Clinton, who is normally smoother than I don’t know what.  He thought he was in Pennsylvania when he was really in Florida.  Now in his defense he was in the middle of a 6 state run yesterday.  He also recovered much better than Joe, who just stammers along as if you’re the one who doesn’t know where you are.  Clinton just went on a riff about PA and chucked out some interesting facts and figures before returning to his Florida speech.

Can that dude run again?

Since last we debated…

So a lot has been going on since the final debate.  We’ve been subjected to lousy punch lines from the Obama campaign.  “If you said one thing two weeks ago, but said something different this week, you might just have Romnesia.”  Good lord.  Do we need to say more.  The state of his campaign is pretty obvious.  If it’s not obvious to you than you’ve never been pursued by a desperate paramour.

Not to be outdone in the idiot department, a super pac supporting Romney put up an ad about Chrysler Jeeps that could only be classified as an outright lie.  Seems camp Romney is telling folk the economy is so bad that Jeep is making Jeep in China and it’s all Obama’s fault.  A myriad of problems here.  China does not allow auto imports.  Every car maker has a plant in China.  The Chinese can only buy domestic, meaning the car must be made in China.

Second, car makers traditionally build the cars where they sell them.  It’s a standard car business model.  So Jeep also has a plant in Australia, all over Europe, Japan, etc…  So do most car makers.  Guess what, they have a plant or two here in the good old US of A. Always have.  They build the cars where they sell them.  Stuff like that is so easy to check. One search in the Google and you have the ad debunked.  Just dumb to put that ad out. Even dumber to endorse the ad, which Romney did himself when asked directly about it. You might have Romnesia…

Along came Sandy…

The only positive of the massive storm that hit the east coast was it put an end to all the idiotic campaign talk, ads, stump speeches, and commercials.  It would have only lasted a day or so but we got even more relief from an unlikely source.

In walks Chris Christie, Governor of NJ and big time Romney supporter.  The day after the storm destroyed the Jersey coastline and my hometown, Christie gave a press conference where he praised President Obama for moving so quickly to eliminate the red tape and expedite relief efforts.  The President was doing his job, but Christie really went on and on about the help and support he was getting from Obama and Christie felt the President deserved credit for that.  OK.  But he went a little overboard in some peoples’ estimation.  Conspiracy theories abound.  My favorite: Christie is submarining Romeny so he can run in 2016.  Sometimes I weep for the American Electorate.

Then there are times I laugh myself silly.  Christie went on Fox and Friends, the last bastion of pure intentional idiocy on the airwaves, and did an interview with Steve Doocy, king of the dopes.  Just when I thought Doocy could not be dumber, he rises to the occasion and proves me wrong.  He was clearly sent out there to burn the edge off all this praise Obama was getting.  So he asks Christie  if he was going to be taking Romney on a tour of the damage as he had just done with Obama.   The look on Christie’s face was priceless and if you have seen him before you knew what was coming.

Christie lit into Doocy for a good three minutes.  Instead of helping Romney, Doocy opened a can of worms with Christie that only hurt Romney more.  Everything Christie said in response was the last thing the Romney folk wanted to hear.  Especially since it was coming from the mouth of one of their more famous advocates.  But like President Bush 43, Christie really has a heart for the people he governs and he speaks his mind from that perspective, clearly unconcerned with the impact on the politics.

He proceeded to tell Doocy and the Fox fan base that he could care less what Governor Romney was interested in, he’s not the President so he can’t help me or the people of NJ so I have no desire or interest in that.  If you think I’m interested in the Presidential election right now you don’t know me very well.  That last sentence was a direct quote.   Ouch.  Good work Steve.  That’s the kind of reporting/interviewing we have come to expect from a bad weatherman with an undetectable IQ.

On the flip side…

Of course Romney took hits from the left wing of the media and as with Fox, they were all stupid and blatantly false.  The gist of the accusations were to the effect that if Mr. Romney wanted to help so much he should put his personal fortune where his mouth is. There is a lot wrong with that statement and its sentiment. Not the least of which is the fact Mitt had already made a sizable monetary donation to go along with food and resources he’s been personally providing since the storm hit. All done long before the media started to assault his character in a public forum.

Red Cross has confirmed they are accepting all supplies from Romney and his campaign. This was in response to an outright lie put out there by Rachel Maddow and reiterated by Alex Morgan on her noon time talk show on MSNBC.  They said Romney was only making matters worse by sending material goods instead of money and his stuff was not being accepted by any agency due to logistics.  Hey girls maybe it’s time to put your checkbook where your lies are.

So politically the storm was a push for the campaigns.  Both men did what they could do in their respective capacity.  The President obviously has more resources and ability to move mountains and he did so.  The Governor proved you can mobilize private help, but he also showed individual states can’t respond to an event of that magnitude.  Probably has something to do with the fact that the states of NY and NJ just had all their infrastructure washed out to sea.  It takes a partnership people.  The President, Governor Christie, Governor Cuomo, and Governor Romney worked it as well as it can be worked. And regardless of what you may hear or read, they all did it without playing politics.

It’s the map, always the map…

The map is where it’s at.  And the map says this one might be very close.  In popular vote Obama will probably be on the short end, but it looks as though he will win the electoral college race and get a second term.  In the olden days the Thursday prior to election day always told the tale.  Whoever was winning the polling data and the electoral map mathematics on the final Thursday eventually won the election.  And by olden days I mean all the way up to November of 08.   So here is where it stands now.

From Real Clear Politcs

Here is the rub, this ain’t the old days.  Hard to tell what may happen, but if the math stands like this come election day, Romney will need 78 of the 146 toss up electoral votes to break for him while Obama only needs 69.  And yeah that 9 vote difference is a big deal.  270 makes you President, so the Governor has a tough road to climb but not insurmountable.

The hurricane really has little effect.  The President was going to win NJ and NY anyway. Romney didn’t even campaign there.  But he is making up ground in Ohio, Colorado and Iowa.  That’s huge.  If Romney wins Ohio, get ready for a long night and possibly…

RECOUNT!…

Yeah it may be that close that an auto recount is triggered in several states.  Each state is different with respect to when they have a recount, but polling suggests a few states may be close enough to their recount number.  If that happens we’ll not know who won until December.

Be sure to check back here on election night for live updates as the results pour in.  I’ll be typing until Hawaii decides.  As the old saying goes: As goes Maui, so goes the nation.

The Electoral College: Why you don’t vote for President even if you do

First rule of Electoral College Club – don’t talk about Electoral College Club.  That first rule is pretty easy to keep since most people don’t know a whole lot about the Electoral College.  The second rule is a little harder to swallow.  You don’t vote for President. When you vote on election day you are actually voting for Electors to the Electoral College.  These Electors are then allowed to vote for who ever they want.

OK now we’re into it.  Keep in mind, we do not have a democracy, we have a republic, which is a representative government system.  Democracies are generally majority rule. Since Jefferson, Adams, Hamilton, Washington, Franklin, Madison and the rest loathed the masses, they sure as hell didn’t want 51% of them deciding things for the other 49%. So how do you stop that?  Simple, create a form of government where the majority votes, but the results are left to the rich, educated guys, typically the 1% you keep hearing about.

Now let me just say I’m in favor of this form of government.  I think the educated and successful should govern.  Or at least pick the people who get to govern.  But that’s just me.  I’m a big proponent of letting the qualified pick their replacements.  Buckle up campers, it only gets rougher from here on out.

The Electoral College was a compromise put in the constitution by the founding fathers to ensure a couple of things:  1. peaceful transfer of power every four years by letting the masses feel like they had a say in the process, and 2. the ability to unscrew a mistake made by the masses by letting the Electoral College do the actual voting for President with Congress verifying and endorsing the result.

The founding fathers, regardless of what tea-party members or staunch conservatives will tell you, did not trust the masses and didn’t want to give anyone the ability to vote unless they were highly educated and extremely wealthy to include large land holdings.  Kind of ironic when you hear so many conservatives use the phrase Ivy League Elitists as a slur against liberals.  Even more so when you consider the person saying that is probably a graduate of the Ivy League, and if they weren’t, the founding fathers would not consider addressing that person on any topic of conversation, let alone ask their opinion about political matters.  The irony is so dense it’s impossible to see sometimes.

Anyway, so it works like this.  Each state picks electors to represent each party for the presidential election.  Each state party has as many electors as they have congressmen or women, plus one for each senator.  So Tennessee has 9 men and women in the Congress and 2 in the Senate.   That means Tennessee has 11 electoral votes.  The electors are normally picked at each party’s state convention sometime in the same year as the presidential election, usually around the time of the primary election in the state.  See this quick rundown on primary elections and state conventions: Unbound Delegates Explained.  In some states the electors are actually listed on the ballot next to the presidential candidate they represent.

Every state is winner take all except for Maine and Nebraska.  So if the masses of your state pick Obama, all of his electors from that state go to the Congress in December to vote for president.  If they pick Romney then his electors would go to the Congress.

Main and Nebraska are proportional states.  Meaning electors are sent based on the counties or precincts won in the state by each candidate.  So if a state had 10 counties and Obama wins five and Romney wins five, each candidate’s electors from those counties would be sent to Congress in December to vote.  It’s slightly more convoluted than that but that’s the basic gist.

On the Tuesday after the first Monday in November, the masses go to the polls, as provided for in the constitution.  Sounds screwy, but if November 1st was a Tuesday, the election would be the next Tuesday.  Those crazy founding fathers, they were so… so… old.  After a winner is decided in each state, the governor of each state sends a certificate to the Congress identifying the electors who represent the winning candidate from their state.  In other words, if Mitt Romney wins the state of Tennessee, Governor Haslem has to submit to the congress, by December of that same year, the certificate identifying the electors from the state of Tennessee who represent Mitt Romney.  Those electors will then vote for president and the Congress will verify the count no later than the end of December.

A couple things to note.  The president is not elected the first week of November, he is elected in late December, after the Electoral College votes and congress verifies the Electors vote. Now pull the buckle tighter.  The electors do not have to vote for the person they represent.  The whole reason they exist is to keep the vote amongst the educated and wealthy so the masses don’t screw it up and pick the wrong guy.  Today, as compared to 1800, it’s tougher, but not impossible for the people to vote in one man and the electoral college to pick the other guy.  Again it’s all legal as laid out in the constitution by the founding fathers.

Take the Tennessee example, if Romney won the state, the electors could still cast all their votes for Obama and Romney would have no legal standing.  However, since the electors from Tennessee would be from the Republican Party, it is unlikely they would vote for Obama once they got to the Congress.  If Romney were to go insane, commit a felony, or die, between November 7th and December 31st, then you may see a change of vote by the electors.

So how do you win?  Well I’m sure by now, just by watching TV, you have seen or heard of this thing called electoral math.  A candidate needs 270 electoral college votes to become President.  Again, figure out how many representatives your state has in the Congress, plus 2 for your two senators and that’s how many electoral votes your state has.  So the bigger the population of the state, the more Congressmen and women they have and the more electoral college votes they get.

This is why Obama was able to effect a landslide in total votes even though he only won the east and west coast states.  The east coast: small states, big population, very angry, but a lot of congressmen.  West coast: California, huge state, mucho grande` population, very mellow (it’s the weed), big time electoral college haul.  Florida, Ohio, and Texas are also big electoral college hauls for the same reason.

Here is the current projection map of electoral votes.

This is the map Karl Rove is projecting as of 8 October.  Rove was President Bush 43’s campaign manager.  No mater what you think of him, he is a smart dude.  Probably smartest in the business.  I don’t agree with his politics most of he time, but I take his analysis as gospel.  He called the Obama victory in 08 weeks before anybody else would speculate.  And he was almost 100% on the senate races projections in that same election.

Anyway it’s blue for Obama, red for Romney.  270 electoral votes gets the prize.  And no, there are not enough electoral votes for both men to hit 270.  No ties, no overtime – unless you’re a hanging chad.  Looking at you Florida, or as we called it in Jersey, Southern New York.  The darker the color the greater chance each man will win that state.  Yellow is a toss up, meaning it’s too close to call.  The number next to the state is how many electoral votes the state has.  The big difference here from 08 is Obama took VA and NC, but lost Ohio and Michigan.

If Rove’s math holds up Obama will win 275 electoral votes to Romney’s 191 and the 72 votes that are to close to call won’t matter.  Even if Romney got all 72 toss up votes he would only reach 263.  I’m a bit skeptical but I’ve learned not to doubt Rove’s predictions.  Of course there are two more presidential debates to go, so this may change.

That’s all I got for now.  I’m spent.

Any questions or disputes, fire away in the comment section.

Ok to recap, go vote on November 6th, but just know one thing:  If you’re poor and stupid, Thomas Jefferson didn’t like you.