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October 25, 2008

Watch the election results with Bruce Schneier—at Making Light
Posted by Patrick at 02:28 PM *

[UPDATE: November 4th, 5:00 pm — JDM] This isn’t the thread you’re looking for. The thread you’re looking for is: Discuss the election results…with special guest poster Bruce Schneier

On Election Day, Bruce Schneier will host an election-results-watching thread here on Making Light. As Bruce says, “Watching the results come in is fun, but it’s more fun in the right group.”

Bruce continues:

Even if we know the next president by 7:00 EST when Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Florida close, there’s a lot out West to stay awake for, like Darcy Burner in WA-8, CA’s Proposition 8, and Mark Begich in AK.

I’ll get the party started at 5:00 EST, although—depending on what kind of GOTV work I’m doing—I don’t promise to be around for another couple of hours. But we’ll get going fast and furious by 7:00, and stay around until every vote is counted or we all fall asleep—possibly into the next day.

Dissect the exit polls, debate statistics, ridicule pundits, advance theories, and—hopefully—repeatedly celebrate. So wherever you are, alone in front of the computer, at a party in front of a television, or at one of the zillions of parties around the country, spend the night here as well.

Prizes will be awarded to the people who best predict the presidential winner in each state and the popular vote margin, the winner of every Senate race, the winner of the 11 governor’s races, and the winner of the close House races. Predictions must be posted by 6:00 PM EST to be eligible.

Bruce Schneier is, of course, one of the smartest people on the planet, a tireless voice of well-informed common sense on security issues and their broader implications, and probably the single person I’d most want to be listening to as meaningful numerical and statistical data flows in. Particularly if there’s any chance that there’s anything squirrelly about those numbers.

Remember, Bruce Schneier doesn’t need a keylogger; he’s standing right behind you.

Teresa and I will be around too, until the last dog is dead and the big picture filled in. We’ll keep a link to the Schneier election thread on top of the front page all night long. If and when discussions of particular subtopics seem to require their own space, we’ll start new threads to accommodate them.

Join us for what we suspect will be a memorable evening on Making Light.

Comments on Watch the election results with Bruce Schneier--at Making Light:
#1 ::: Brooks Moses ::: (view all by) ::: October 25, 2008, 02:55 PM:

So I read the Atlantic article on airport security you mentioned, and then went off to the "Bruce Schneier facts" generator ... and one of the first few facts I got to was "Bruce Schneier never gets picked for a random search at the airport." Heh.

#2 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: October 25, 2008, 02:57 PM:

No brainer time--the entire Masschusetts Congressional delegation stays the same. (A special election put Niki Tsongas into the Congressional seat her husband once occupied before becoming senator; Marty Meehan left Congress to head up University of Massachusetts at Lowell after Sen Kerry's campaigned failed in its attempt to replace the Chief Thief with someone who had an earned honorable military discharge--Meehan the scuttlebut went, wanted to become the next Senator from Massachusetts. Meehan's replacement by Tsongas, was the only change recently.)

Massachusetts of course is also going to have all its electoral votes to Obama.

#3 ::: beth meacham ::: (view all by) ::: October 25, 2008, 03:14 PM:

OK. How many windows can Firefox keep open? how much bandwidth do I really have?

#4 ::: JESR ::: (view all by) ::: October 25, 2008, 03:28 PM:

Second in importance (in my mind) to the presidential race is not Burner/Reichert in WA-8, but rather Gregoire/Rossi in the Governor's contest; Rossi reminds me more and more of the late and entirely lamentable Dixie Lee Ray. I was around for the sixteen years or so it took to unscrew the damage she did to agency structure and would prefer not to have to witness the rerun.

(The younger offspring just called from Missoula where she spent the morning listening to John Tester, pumped full of enthusiasm from the experience).

#5 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: October 25, 2008, 03:46 PM:

Other than Guam and American Samoa our votes are the last to come in, and we're solidly Democratic anyway. One of our ongoing grumbles is that Jimmy Carter conceded in 1980 even before our polls had closed; nobody quite knows whether that had an impact on down-ballot races or not, but we have suspicions.

#6 ::: Mark ::: (view all by) ::: October 25, 2008, 03:46 PM:

I'll go out on a limb and say no change in Connecticut, with Christopher Shays declared the winner in the 4th after a recount. He's the last Republican standing in New England, but a Connecticut Republican is a Democrat in 3/4 of everywhere else.

With far greater confidence, I think McPln won't break 25% here.

#7 ::: Bruce Schneier ::: (view all by) ::: October 25, 2008, 03:55 PM:

Mark @ 6: I'm hoping Shays goes down. I think there's a good shot; Himes is doing well -- and I'm betting Obama is going to have some pretty significant coattails.

#8 ::: Bruce Schneier ::: (view all by) ::: October 25, 2008, 03:56 PM:

beth meacham @ 3: The trick is going to be multiple computers, I think.

#9 ::: Doug Faunt ::: (view all by) ::: October 25, 2008, 04:02 PM:

As a poll worker in Alameda County, CA, the national elections will almost certainly be called by the time I'm able to get any information.
The obvious sources are banned in the polling place.

#10 ::: Christopher Davis ::: (view all by) ::: October 25, 2008, 04:05 PM:

Paula (#2) beat me to the punch, but maybe not to the punchline.

Of Massachusetts's eleven races (ten Congressional districts and one Senate seat) for Congress this year, a whopping five of them have any opposition candidate on the ballot (including the Senate seat). My district is not one of the contested four, either.

(At that, it's better than the state-level legislative races, where a much smaller number of seats are being contested.)

#11 ::: Mark ::: (view all by) ::: October 25, 2008, 04:07 PM:

Yes, Bruce, Himes is doing exceptionally well against a 10-term incumbent who's brought home a boatload of bacon for his district. Shays actually printed and distributed at the debate between them an 82-page catalog of his positions and accomplishments; he answered several questions with "If you'll look on page ___...."

I was impressed with Himes' performance, with his well-articulated, strongly held positions and how far he's moved toward populism from his Goldman Sachs background. But I just don't think he'll quite carry the day against Shays' organization and experience.

I hope you're right, but I don't believe you are.

#12 ::: elisa ::: (view all by) ::: October 25, 2008, 04:08 PM:

That thread could get interesting so I'll try and make it at 5 pm EST (I'll probably miss the closing of the polls, since it's a school night, but I'll try and stay as long as possible.)
As an non-US citizen watching from the sidelines, I'm not going to make any predictions, I'm not familiar enough with voting behaviour in the States. :D

#13 ::: Adrian ::: (view all by) ::: October 25, 2008, 04:28 PM:

I predict that *this* time, John Kerry will win in a landslide.

#14 ::: Earl Cooley III ::: (view all by) ::: October 25, 2008, 04:33 PM:

beth meacham #3: How many windows can Firefox keep open?

At least 220

how much bandwidth do I really have?

Speakeasy Speed Test

I've used FireTune and Speedguide's TCP Optimizer, but the latter may be a bit technically strenuous.

Thank you for observing all safety precautions.

#15 ::: FungiFromYuggoth ::: (view all by) ::: October 25, 2008, 05:09 PM:

Massachusetts does have three ballot questions, at least one of which is quite important.

Question 1: Repealing the state income tax, costing 40% of state revenue. At least, so sayeth the Boston Globe; proponents of the measure figure a much lower number.

Question 2: Decriminalizing up to an ounce or marijuana.

Question 3: Banning dog racing.

#16 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: October 25, 2008, 05:43 PM:

Oh, well, if we're talking amendments:

1. Should we have a constitutional convention (last one was 1978)? Status quo says "hell no" and is spending a fortune advertising that view.

2. Should Honolulu build a steel-on-steel rail mass transit system? (Yes, it's for the specific type of transit.)

#17 ::: Geri Sullivan ::: (view all by) ::: October 25, 2008, 05:54 PM:

Bruce & Making Light: Thanks for teaming up on election night! That's a great idea and I'm looking forward to the conversation here.

As another of the Massachusetts posters, I'll mention that I was delighted to see a sample ballot on the bulletin board at the post office today. Wales is so rural that I usually go into the election booth without knowing everything that's going to be on the ballot. (We now have a couple of community papers in the region, so news coverage is better than it has been, but information flow works differently out here.) That's left me a less-informed voter than I like to be from time to time. This time around, the surprise is that there are no surprises. Nice.

As Chris mentioned in #10, most of the seats on the ballot are uncontested, including, in my case, the seat of our Republican state representative Todd Smola.

I've seen proponents of the state income tax repeal measure agree with the 40% estimate of reduction in state funds. 41%, actually. That's been accompanied by their claim that it won't make any difference to any state programs because the entire 41% income reduction will be offset by reductions in budget waste, an argument I find less than rational, let alone compelling.

#18 ::: Bill Higgins-- Beam Jockey ::: (view all by) ::: October 25, 2008, 05:59 PM:

I'll probably be chasing results in my precinct, or hanging out somewhere with other Naperville Township Democrats.

Just got back from canvassing and phone-banking today. Dianne McGuire is our candidate for State Representative in the Illinois 96th district. Got three people to display yard signs today.

Met a jolly team of workers for the opposing candidate. We swapped literature.

Next week: Hand out Obama yard signs, for donations please, at a rally for local candidates. (They go like hotcakes; it's been hard to keep a supply in stock.) VFW hall in downtown Naperville, Thursday night. Phoning for Scott Harper for Congress (Illinois 13th), Friday night.

Election day: all kinds of stuff to do, starting at sunup.

With luck, Republican dominance in Dupage County is beginning to melt.

#19 ::: Adam Lipkin ::: (view all by) ::: October 25, 2008, 06:00 PM:

Question 1: Repealing the state income tax, costing 40% of state revenue. At least, so sayeth the Boston Globe; proponents of the measure figure a much lower number.

I think that the proponents have merely stated a much lower number. Had they figured one, they might have used actual math. And they'd have come up with a much scarier number.

Yes, I'm voting a very solid no on this measure. Times might be (very) tight for us, but I still get a refund every year on state taxes (unlike the Feds), and putting a few hundred folks out of work for the sake of being able to eat out a few more times a year seems like a the sort of trade-off that would make me sick. Especially if those folks were teachers, police officers, librarians, or other folks our town depends on.

(I've got strong opinions on all three ballot questions, actually, but I'm not finding many folks who seem to feel differently than I do about the other two.)

#20 ::: Christopher Davis ::: (view all by) ::: October 25, 2008, 06:34 PM:

Geri Sullivan (#17): As Adam Lipkin notes in #19, the proponents' math is a bit suspect. I've heard (though I don't have any actual evidence, so I take it with some skepticism) that their 41% figure for how much of the state budget is wasted came from doing a survey in which they asked (presumably like-minded) people "how much of the state budget would you say is wasted?"

#21 ::: Lila ::: (view all by) ::: October 25, 2008, 07:34 PM:

Our three proposed constitutional amendments here in Georgia:

1. give tax incentives for forest land
2. allow school taxes to be used for redevelopment
3. allow the creation of, basically, private cities in which developers can levy "taxes" in order to fund infrastructure for their developments

(Sample ballot with the full text of each amendment here.)

#22 ::: Lizzy L ::: (view all by) ::: October 25, 2008, 07:40 PM:

I fully expect the vote for President to come in early. I want an Obama landslide. I don't expect to get it, mind you, but it's what I want. I expect to be glued to the House and Senate races. I don't believe any of these people (Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Gonzales, etc.) will ever be held accountable for one damn thing, so I want huge majorities in both houses, I want the bastards crushed. No quarter. As kos would say, Leave everything on the road.

#23 ::: j h woodyatt ::: (view all by) ::: October 25, 2008, 08:08 PM:

I'm such a squealing fanboy for Bruce Schneier that I'm barely retaining any composure at all after reading this news. Bruce Schneier on the front page of Making Light!? How could there possibly be a more righteous thing than that?

Of course, I'm going to be here. With bells literally on.

#24 ::: ConstanceZEdwards ::: (view all by) ::: October 25, 2008, 08:17 PM:

Doug@9 - Text? Twitter? I know I was allowed to have my phone one me and on. I couldn't share the information, but... I'm Mountain time, but happy to send updates (free texting.)

Here's hoping Prop 8 goes down in flames.

#25 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: October 25, 2008, 08:23 PM:

A rimshot-worthy line by Dave Bonta:

Yeah, the next president will have a Herculean task - Herculean as in the Augean stables....
#26 ::: geekosaur ::: (view all by) ::: October 25, 2008, 08:23 PM:

j h woodyatt @23:

Bruce Schneier on the front page of Making Light!? How could there possibly be a more righteous thing than that?
Scraps or Mez making a full recovery within the week. Politics isn't everything.

#27 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: October 25, 2008, 08:26 PM:

Georgia has moved from solid Repugnant to toss-up thanks to the succession of economic crises (first the oil shock, then the big casino), we have one big state-wide race (Saxby Chambliss v. Jim Martin for US Senate) which is turning into a close fight. The Obama campaign moved out of the state, but is moving volunteers back in. I expect the race to tighten, and don't want to call it. Bob Barr, being a local boy, makes it a bit more of a toss up. Cynthia McKinney is a local lass, but she's a write-in, and she draws zero votes from Obama.

#28 ::: John Houghton ::: (view all by) ::: October 25, 2008, 08:32 PM:

Yes on Massachusetts Question 1 wouldn't be shooting ourselves in the foot (painful enough), it would be shooting ourselves in the head. We could use some changes to the Income Tax to make it progressive, but that would require a change to the state constitution. Whoever things that there is 40% waste in state government is deranged. Drastically reducing state expenditures in a recession is a Jonestown kind of idea.

Ok, back to the task at hand:
Sopranos, I'd like a little more flow to the melody, Altos ...

#29 ::: East of Weston ::: (view all by) ::: October 25, 2008, 09:07 PM:

I'm in Tip O'Neill's old district and old enough to have voted for him. His only challenger on the ballot was from the Communist Party.

#30 ::: Lila ::: (view all by) ::: October 25, 2008, 09:19 PM:

I will probably be logged on here unless one of my kids grabs the computer first. Tomorrow I will be buying ingredients for the Schadenfreude Pie I intend to make, to eat while watching election returns.

#31 ::: John Houghton ::: (view all by) ::: October 25, 2008, 09:22 PM:

Hmm. Looks like it is going to be a big party here at Making Light, so it's time to start coordinating the refreshments. I'll bring a couple Schadenfreude Pies, but that may not be enough to go around. What else do we need?

#32 ::: John Mark Ockerbloom ::: (view all by) ::: October 25, 2008, 09:30 PM:

Pennsylvania's polls are scheduled to close at 8pm (not 7). In-state surveys indicate an Obama lead of about 10 percentage points, so as long as we come out in good numbers in the Philly area, I expect he should win the state. It may take a little time to get official numbers from here, though, since long lines may delay the counting of results. (Polling places don't actually close until everyone in line at 8 has cast their ballot.) Besides Obama and McCain, Nader and Barr are on the presidential ballot as well.

The rest of the ballot's not very interesting from a national standpoint. There are no US Senate seats contested this year here; the only state ballot question is for a bond issue to upgrade water and sewer systems; and not that many US House districts here are competitive. (Mine's utterly safe for the incumbent; there may be a few in play elsewhere, but I haven't seen signs of a big seismic shift here.)

I'll probably stay up till about 11 or so, or until it's clear Obama has the electoral votes to win. (I'm hoping the latter occurs before the former.) Looking forward to the discussion here!

#33 ::: John L ::: (view all by) ::: October 25, 2008, 09:57 PM:

This next week is going to be very interesting; McCain's own campaign staff is now calling Palin a "rogue" and she refuses to stay online with McCain's policy positions. Here's the article from CNN:

If this is true then McCain's chances are going to drop to zero, and Palin is either trying to position herself for 2012, or she's so wrapped up in her own beliefs that she thinks that her position is what the Republican Party should be based upon.

#34 ::: Adam Lipkin ::: (view all by) ::: October 25, 2008, 09:58 PM:

Fragano Ledgister #27 -- Chambliss, in fact, was the man who ran such a disgusting campaign (against Max Cleland, one of the few genuinely good people to have represented me in Congress in my lifetime), that John McCain called it "reprehensible."

The fact that he's even in trouble this year gives me some small amount of hope for the state (although GA's majority requirement, combined with the strength of the Libertarian party there, makes me suspect that the race might end up as a runoff).

#35 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: October 25, 2008, 11:14 PM:

Aw... McCain seems to have a narcissist on his ticket.

#36 ::: John Chu ::: (view all by) ::: October 25, 2008, 11:36 PM:

John L@33: Your two possible motives for Palin aren't mutually exclusive. She could be positioning herself for 2012 because she thinks her position is what the Republican Party should be based upon. If the Republicans lose (as I hope they do), her line to the conservatives (assuming their heads haven't exploded at the sight of a President Obama) will be that she had the right message back in 2008 but the McCain people didn't let her deliver it.
(i.e., it wasn't her fault in any way, shape, or form. They apparently had some sort of mind control gadget that forced her to stay on the McCain message for a month. Just like apparently, she didn't buy all that clothing, it was bought for her. *sigh*)

#37 ::: Anne Sheller ::: (view all by) ::: October 25, 2008, 11:36 PM:

I don't know yet what my work schedule will be that week. If I'm off Election Day, I'll be pitching in on whatever needs doing. In 2006 I did list checks, GOTV phoning, miscellaneous errands, and drove one old lady to and from the polls. If I have a morning shift, I'll be doing that sort of thing after I get off work. Evening shift, not much before 10:30. Hopefully I'll be dropping in on a victory celebration then.

#38 ::: JennR ::: (view all by) ::: October 26, 2008, 12:08 AM:

I'll be here when I can. There's no possible way I'll be home before 2100 EST, though (and that's optimistic). We can't start closing the ballot counter until 2000, and that's only if the clerk has gotten us all the absentee ballots (the polls close at 2000, but if she's out marking the end of the voting line, she may be late...), we don't have to duplicate any ballots, and we counted as many valid ballots as we got.

Then I have to chase the kids out the door at 700 Wednesday morning for the bus.

#39 ::: Brooks Moses ::: (view all by) ::: October 26, 2008, 12:12 AM:

John L @33: Well, he did keep saying she was a maverick. Is this one of those, "I'm a maverick, she's a rogue, they're anti-American" sorts of conjugations?

#40 ::: Nenya ::: (view all by) ::: October 26, 2008, 12:13 AM:

I plan to watch at least some of the election results at the local bar & grill that I watched Obama's DNC acceptance speech and the 2nd debate at. But I will definitely drop in here at some point.

I'm expecting Tennessee to stay very red, but will be watching the neighbours (VA & NC particularly) closely. I've heard that either of those could go for Obama, an it would be neat to see if one or both did.

#41 ::: Michael Weholt ::: (view all by) ::: October 26, 2008, 12:18 AM:

I'll be providing Election Night Live iChat/iSight coverage to my yankophile pals in London, and they will be providing the same back to me of the Beeb's coverage, and we will all be engaging in a Trans-Atlantic drunk and both sides have taken the next day off so no worries there. I must say this is one election night I have been looking forward to for a very long time, knock on wood. I'm psyched in all the ways it is possible to be psyched about this.

#42 ::: Dawno ::: (view all by) ::: October 26, 2008, 12:50 AM:

Prop. 8 and the re-election of the local congresswoman, Anna Eschoo are the only regional votes I'm really interested in.

Anna is a strong voice for technology and has a good voting record as far as Silicon Valley issues are concerned, so I think she'll win.

Prop. 8 I can only pray (is that ironic?) goes down in resounding defeat. As for the Presidential vote, Obama is strongly ahead in California, so I don't think there will be any surprises there.

#43 ::: Lizzy L ::: (view all by) ::: October 26, 2008, 12:51 AM:

Obama is scheduled to make a speech election night in Chicago's Grant Park. (Yeah, that speech.) I admire his sense of history. I know I am not the only one here who remembers what happened in Grant (and Lincoln) Park in Chicago 40 years ago. I was in Chicago that August; I remember very well.

When I look squarely at what seems to be about to happen in this country, I can barely believe it. Ghosts seem to hover everywhere. Close your eyes, you'll see them, too. Martin Luther King and Bobby Kennedy, Rosa Parks, Malcolm X, Medgar Evers, Chaney, Goodman, and Schwerner, whose bodies were found in a earthen dam in Mississippi, Harriet Tubman, the hundreds of thousands of dead cut down in the Civil War, I swear I see them sliding out of earth, shaking their yellow bones free of the clods of dirt, staring in astonishment, smiling, nodding their bare skulls in delight, dancing in their joy, all of them joyful, whether they wore grey or blue, they're whispering softly, I can just hear them. They're saying, "Free at last, free at last! Now we can rest." And some of them, as they rise, look back over their shoulders to say, "What took you so long?"

#44 ::: Kimberly ::: (view all by) ::: October 26, 2008, 01:06 AM:


If Palin is indeed going rogue, she'll need to remember that sneak attacks don't work against shambling hordes of zombies. (Tell me I'm not the only one whose brain went that way at the word 'rogue'?)

Here in SD the main issue on the ballot I'm concerned about is Amendment J to the state constitution, which will repeal the 8 year/4 term limit on serving in the state Senate and House. Call me crazy, but I think periodic infusions of new blood into government is a good idea -- especially since one of the people running for the House in our district is probably doing so because he's hit the 4-term limit in the Senate. Everything else on the ballot seems likely to resolve itself -- the controversial initiatives look like they'll fail, and the US Senate and House seats look secure for their (Democratic) incumbents.

#45 ::: Paula Liebeman ::: (view all by) ::: October 26, 2008, 01:53 AM:

#33 John L
Dare I hope that this will fracture the Republican Party out of either existence or as out of existence as a venomous snakepit controlled by neocons, ideologues, narcissists, fascists, and intolerant religious bigots?

As for Palin, she's a schoolyard bully type aged into a bullying featherbedder (paying herself per diem to work from home, increasing the payout from oil companies to individual Alaskans) and evangelizer (what separation of church and state...)

#46 ::: Lucy Kemnitzer ::: (view all by) ::: October 26, 2008, 02:42 AM:

As usual, I won't be able to watch the results come in real-time because I'll be working at the polls till nearly midnight.

#47 ::: Kathryn not in Sunnyvale ::: (view all by) ::: October 26, 2008, 05:54 AM:

I'll be on a plane taking off from St. Petersburg just as the polls close in California. All the TVs in the Frankfurt airport will be tuned to CNN, I'll bet, so perhaps I'll know the presidential results before the flight to San Fran. Otherwise I won't know how it (or proposition "let's strip away people's marriages" 8 in California) goes until Wednesday afternoon.

If Finland were voting, it (or at least its high-tech crowd) would go 99% Obama.

#48 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: October 26, 2008, 06:10 AM:

I don't know if I can take the day-that-is-election-night* off of work, because we're going to be in release cycle time, and that means crunch time for the tester lady.

My absentee ballot for California (city of Piedmont, Alameda County) went back to the US with my father, and should be posted and with the registrar of voters by now. I don't send stuff from the Netherlands that I want to arrive in a timely fashion. Certainly, the parcels I've sent out go sloooow†.

I think Prop 8 will fail, but by a whisker. But I'm an optimist at heart.

* time zones, y'know
† Bruce, ping me if you know what I'm talking about.

#49 ::: Larry Brennan ::: (view all by) ::: October 26, 2008, 06:20 AM:

I expect to spend most of election night glued to the TV, possibly with friends. I suspect some will have laptops along - given the plans here, I'll make certain to have mine. Thanks!

#50 ::: Arachne ::: (view all by) ::: October 26, 2008, 06:37 AM:

I plan to spend election night on Twitter.

It should be most amusing.

#51 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: October 26, 2008, 06:51 AM:

Arachne @50:
I plan to spend election night on Twitter.

Whale watching?

#53 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: October 26, 2008, 07:37 AM:

It looks like my wife will be spending the whole evening watching the results coming in slowly thru the blogosphere, and she'll worry that every increase in favor of Obama will be followed by a nosedive, and she'll worry that every dip not favoring Obama will be followed by an even greater nosedive.

Me, I'll be reading. And reassuring my Significant Other.

#54 ::: Kai Kretschmann ::: (view all by) ::: October 26, 2008, 08:20 AM:

This one sounds familiar:
Prizes will be awarded to the people who best predict the presidential winner in each state and the popular vote margin
I do this on my very own page (which translates to "bet on election"), some sort of betting the next election result in germany. Just for fun of course and no betting on money.

#55 ::: John L ::: (view all by) ::: October 26, 2008, 08:29 AM:

Here in NC the number of "Obama is NOT READY!" ads on TV is reaching a frantic level, all the while his polling numbers continue to climb higher and higher.

The RNC is running an ad against Elizabeth Dole's opponent saying "she's a plant by the libruls so that they can control ALL THREE branches of government!!!!" (They didn't seem to mind when they controlled Congress and the WH for six years, did they?) IOW, they aren't even hiding that they expect Obama to win; now they're putting their hope on somehow stopping Congress from going veto proof Democratic in both houses.

Yeah, I expect that's the message Palin will take home; that if she had only been allowed to preach her beliefs and views from the start and McCain had followed her lead, she'd be VP in January. She'll probably give it another shot in 2012, but by then if the RNC continues down this path it'll be a tiny splinter group.

#56 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: October 26, 2008, 08:33 AM:

We'll be collecting notes from all over, starting early on Election Day -- what you've heard, what you've seen, what's being said on your news sources, et cetera.

#57 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: October 26, 2008, 08:35 AM:

Lizzy L:

The hand of the Lord was upon me, and carried me out in the spirit of the Lord, and set me down in the midst of the valley which was full of bones; and caused me to pass by them round about: and, behold, there were very many in the open valley; and, lo, they were very dry.

And he said unto me, Son of man, can these bones live? And I answered, O Lord God, thou knowest.

Again he said unto me, Prophesy upon these bones, and say unto them, O ye dry bones, hear the word of the Lord.

Thus saith the Lord God unto these bones; Behold, I will cause breath to enter into you, and ye shall live: And I will lay sinews upon you, and will bring up flesh upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and ye shall live; and ye shall know that I am the Lord.

So I prophesied as I was commanded: and as I prophesied, there was a noise, and behold a shaking, and the bones came together, bone to his bone; And when I beheld, lo, the sinews and the flesh came up upon them, and the skin covered them above: but there was no breath in them.

Then said he unto me, Prophesy unto the wind, prophesy, son of man, and say to the wind, Thus saith the Lord God: Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe upon these slain, that they may live.

So I prophesied as he commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived, and stood up upon their feet, an exceeding great army.

#58 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: October 26, 2008, 08:39 AM:

Geekosaur @26: All of us, the lame and the halt and the brain-damaged. I draw the line at raising our absent friends from the dead, Ezekiel 37 notwithtanding.

#59 ::: Earl Cooley III ::: (view all by) ::: October 26, 2008, 09:13 AM:

Sometimes newscasts are pretty stressful. When Timothy McVeigh was executed, instead of the news coverage, I watched the Teletubbies.

#60 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: October 26, 2008, 11:28 AM:

It occurred to me that among the differences between the commentary here and on the commercial airwaves and landlines and free space communications network channels that will be occurring on Election Day, are that in here, the editorial content isn't focusing on being responsive to the advertisers and promoting the views that the advertisers consider in their interests. There's little paid product promotion/ad insertion within the commentaries, there isn't an agenda of return on investment for the channel being the purpose of the channel, Disney/General Electric/Viacom doesn't own this network and demand Profit from it and mollifying the advertisers.... and when there are snarks, the snarks are individual commentary based on the individual's personal views and state of opionions and attitudes and feelings and such at the time, and usually spontaneous. There's authenticity that the commercial world seems to hold in contempt and disdain and seeks to replace with phony sentiment and drummed up promotings with canned talking points and words, provided to mouthpieces, paid or volunteer, to utter.

(I want to know more about where "Joe the Plumber" came from and how and why he got planted... and why there is so little calling of McCain about "Joe the Plumber" being a plant whose inauthenticity is astonishing.... But then, I was trained at arguably the most rigorous institution in the world as regards the scientific method and looking beyond just a single "region of stability" to consider the model and where it does and doesn't apply well (The Blind Men and the Elephant story is a narrative with a structural issue, that is, why is it that none of the three men, goes to the effort to move around to feel is if there is more to the elephant than the patch of elephant immediately in front of them? The old "here there be dragons" on maps was more honest, in that the mapmaker was using it as cypher for "what is beyond this area is unknown to me."

There's a huge difference between "unknown" and assuming that the unknown is the same as what one is already dealing with.... "Forty percent of the respondents want this candidate" doesn't equate to that candidate losing the actual election, it says merely that of those responding, 40% said they wanted that candidate. It might be that they're representative of all voters--or not. They also might be lying, and aren;t going to vote the preference they claimed to the interviewer to have, or marked on the survey....

The issue of biased or non-representative samples, is a very old one... and the men and the elephant is an example of bad analysis technique for less than excelent research technique!

#61 ::: Laurie Mann ::: (view all by) ::: October 26, 2008, 11:59 AM:

Hmm, election day I'll be voting, having a doctor's appointment, working for Obama (probably driving older voters to the polls), then going to choir rehearsal. The sad thing is, I might not have any idea what's happening until 8:45 when I scoot out to my car during rehearsal break to listen to the radio.

After choir, I have high hopes of going to an Obama victory party!

#62 ::: Laurie Mann ::: (view all by) ::: October 26, 2008, 12:04 PM:

In Pennsylvania, we have no Senate races this year, a very boring Congressional race, an interesting state rep race and one question about bond issues.

The state rep race out here in the exurbs is between a whiny white Republican man and an interesting black Democratic woman. The guy has never done anything but try to tar and feather his opponent. I can't tell you one good thing about him. The guy may win; this area is something of a red pocket. McCain lawn signs outnumber Obama lawn signs by over 2 to 1 in our neighborhood.

#63 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: October 26, 2008, 01:10 PM:

Adam Lipkin #34: That's right, Chambliss's attacks on Cleland were really disgusting; and it is possible that with the libertarian vote that election could go to a run-off. We shall see. Certainly, the tone of Chambliss's advertising has been pretty desperate, from what I've seen.

#64 ::: Jonquil ::: (view all by) ::: October 26, 2008, 02:15 PM:

Here in California I'm very worried about Prop 8. How insane is it that it requires a two-thirds vote across the state to raise taxes, but only a simple majority to amend the Constitution?

I was out shopping yesterday in Redwood City (part of Silicon Valley, large Hispanic population) and drove through an intersection full of Prop 8 signs on all four street corners. "Save Freedom of Religion" "Save Free Speech", "Save Parental Rights". Whole families were there, down to toddlers. I gave them a thumbs-down.

I'll be up late watching that one, long after the rest of the election is decided. (God and suppress-the-vote drives permitting.)

#65 ::: Earl Cooley III ::: (view all by) ::: October 26, 2008, 02:30 PM:

I see that the event has been boingboinged; has anyone notified the ML server host to prepare for notably increased load?

#66 ::: Bruce Schneier ::: (view all by) ::: October 26, 2008, 02:33 PM:


"Pennsylvania's polls are scheduled to close at 8pm (not 7)."

Sorry; you're right.

All poll closing times are here:

#67 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: October 26, 2008, 02:43 PM:

One of my favorite election night memories is hanging with P&T on the night Jessie Ventura won his governorship. Amazing discussion! I'm hoping to get to join in vicariously, if I'm not doing other election stuff.

Filling in my absentee ballot right now -- next election, all WA goes mail-in. Three propositions here:

985, to micromanage how the state will deal with traffic congestion because the legislature doesn't seem to want to actually do anything about the problem (I applaud the sentiment and oppose the action)

1000, to allow MDs to prescribe lethal dosages of drugs to terminally ill, competent WA residents with a prediction of less than 6 months to live (Martin Sheen has been stumping against this, and having watched two parents die, one in circumstances that might have been affected by this, I am strongly in favor of it)

1029, to require paid long-term care providers to be certified by the state (mildly favoring).

I sure hope Gregoire wins. Rossi's campaign is amazingly misleading. And Obama's got a pretty big lead hereabouts; I think he'll take the state by a 55% majority. That's the official count I'm predicting.

Two people on the ballot are not listed as Republicans: Rossi is down as preferring "The G. O. P. Party" and John Sweeney (showing he, at least, understands acronyms) prefers "The Grand Old Party." I'd like to think this wouldn't get them any votes, but I'm too cynical to actually believe people's memories are that good.

#68 ::: Lizzy L ::: (view all by) ::: October 26, 2008, 03:24 PM:

I've spent the last hour calling "undecided" voters in Ohio for Barack. (I lived in Cleveland for a few years, so it seemed appropriate.) Most of them were not undecided and quite a few had already voted for him through early voting. I've had some interesting conversations. I spoke with a 78 year old retired auto worker who informed me that all of his friends have lost their jobs and you bet he was voting for Obama!

Yes we can!!

#69 ::: K.C. Shaw ::: (view all by) ::: October 26, 2008, 03:26 PM:

I have to work until 7:30pm EST on election day, so I probably won't be home until close to 8:30. (Thank goodness for early voting.) With luck it'll be a slow evening and I can keep my eee on and hidden. The Tennessee state race isn't very exciting, and I don't have high hopes that Obama will get many electoral votes here--but I hope I'm wrong. I want him to win by a farking landslide.

#70 ::: Bex ::: (view all by) ::: October 26, 2008, 03:31 PM:

Jonquil @64:

I got stuck at -- and screamed at -- for an entire light cycle at that intersection yesterday and was shaking with rage and fear and had to pull off and park at the next cross street to calm down. I think it hit me so hard because that's my hometown and the day before, all four corners had been No on 8 and I guess I had been subconsciously expecting them again.

it definitely cast a pall over what should have been an awesome day showing a friend (who just moved to sf from biloxi) around the parts of the bay area you can't get to without a car.

#71 ::: Larry Brennnan ::: (view all by) ::: October 26, 2008, 03:46 PM:

Tom @ 67 - I'm really worried about Rossi winning. I hear otherwise sensible people talking about how milquetoast Gregoire is, and how that's making them consider voting for Rossi.

On the other hand, I'm hopeful that Prop 1 will pass in the Sound Transit counties. This area NEEDS a transit option across Lake Washington that won't get stuck in traffic, especially with Tim Eyman's anti-HOV initiative on the ballot this year. (The one odd thing about that initiative is that it will shift spending from the dryside to Metro Seattle. I don't think Eyman considered that!)

#72 ::: lorax ::: (view all by) ::: October 26, 2008, 04:50 PM:

Dawno @42:

Prop. 8 I can only pray (is that ironic?) goes down in resounding defeat.

It's not ironic in the slightest; they've even made a "religious leaders against Prop 8" video.

#73 ::: Arachne ::: (view all by) ::: October 26, 2008, 05:22 PM:

@ abi #51 -

I'll be around here, too. And anywhere else with an election thread and general sanity.

Re: twitter -- Heh, it'll be interesting to see if the Fail Whale will make an appearance. Currently Twitter's been scaled fairly well, and seemed to handle the load from the debates alright.

Hopefully they're scaling up in time for the election. It'll be *their* holidays (re: online retail world) and a good stress test, assuming they don't just outright fall over.

I'm wondering: will their caching be able to keep up? If they're using "shards" of BDB-HA nodes, hopefully they'll be adding more---or solidifying the implementation they have, so that updates continue to be only delayed by a few minutes even under high stress. BDB-HA shards will reduce the single-point-of-failure that's a database, but at the same time BDB-HA, if the individual shards are scaled improperly, will promptly fall over and lose quite a bit of data. It'll affect some users in that case but... that still sucks.

Will their database still fall over under the mass approach of writes, even with caching on? Hopefully they've partitioned their databases so that no one database will be overloaded.

Have they observed their servers to see how they do under high CPU load? I think Twitter is IO-bound as well, but the high CPU associated with all the following is probably enough to push servers over if there's not enough of them. Stress-testing (by reducing machines gradually during times of peak load) should have been done to help them get a better idea of how the machines will handle far more than normal peak load.

Hopefully someone over there has done prediction graphs based on above stress tests (which should also involve the databases).

In all cases, however, staying within expense is necessary. Scaling while staying within expense is difficult, which means that budgeting becomes highly important.

Lots of stuff to be done over there, and hopefully they've done it. If not, election twittering will definitely produce the Fail Whale. And if it doesn't, this means that they have practical scaling solutions and methodology in place, which is great news for those who wish to invest in Twitter.

And if they fall over... well.

#74 ::: Bill Stewart ::: (view all by) ::: October 26, 2008, 06:44 PM:

Hi, Kathryn - Hope you enjoy the rest of your trip, and that when you return you'll be landing in America (or at least in something that's hinting that it'll start to return to being America again in a few months...)

#76 ::: Michael Weholt ::: (view all by) ::: October 26, 2008, 08:05 PM:

#66 Bruce Schneier: All poll closing times are here...

Actually, those closing times are from 2004. The only reason I bring it up is because I've seen a couple of sources now that say, hard as it may be to believe, that Kentucky and Indiana close at 6pm Eastern Time, not 7pm as shown in the 2004 CNN chart.

For example, here and here.

#77 ::: Michael Weholt ::: (view all by) ::: October 26, 2008, 08:17 PM:

And just to be sure, I checked the Indiana gov site and found out that, yes, indeed, Indiana polls close at 6pm "local time". As most will know, Indiana is split between the Eastern and Central time zones, but the vast majority of counties are in the Eastern zone.

#78 ::: Bob Oldendorf ::: (view all by) ::: October 26, 2008, 10:14 PM:

Bruce Schneier at #75: Oh, yes. That appeared shortly after the Republican convention, when the Palin 'bounce' had McCain briefly leading in the polls.

I've had it hanging over my desk since then, for encouragement,

#79 ::: Allan Beatty ::: (view all by) ::: October 26, 2008, 10:36 PM:

I'll bring the Freedom Fries.

#80 ::: Michael Roberts ::: (view all by) ::: October 26, 2008, 11:01 PM:

Michael @77 - as people don't know, the bullshit with split time zones is actually one of the things that started getting people ticked off with Republicans. "My man Mitch" -- our new R guv, who was, what, Bush's speechwriter or something? -- rammed that through the Statehouse. Indiana, Arizona, and Puerto Rico were the three states-or-territories that didn't do Daylight Savings, because IN and AZ straddle timezones, and Puerto Rico is so far from anywhere that we don't care.

Well, not-my-man Mitch said that our timezone-free condition was the reason jobs were leaving. It was so difficult for corporations to keep times straight, you see, despite Indiana having its own section in the Windows timezone list (which I always found a point of obscure pride).

So they changed it. On a county-by-county basis. Shyeeah, that makes it easier for corporations, sure.

Did the jobs materialize? I will leave the answer as an exercise for the diligent reader.

I was out of state when all that went down (and am out of state still, but there was an in-state year in the middle) and was surprised, when talking to neighbors and such, at the level of vitriol leveled at not-my-man Mitch for that move. Hoosiers really don't like change. (Except this year, apparently, since we figure there's no choice.)

Anyway, that's why I can't go home from Puerto Rico now. I refuse to live anywhere with Daylight Savings. If the Good Lord had wanted us to have Daylight Savings, He would have given us clocks that reset themselves correctly. And damn if I'm sharing a state with John McCain.

#81 ::: Michael Roberts ::: (view all by) ::: October 26, 2008, 11:09 PM:

Also, Bruce @75 (not that you don't already know what I'm typing, of course): the pic inspires; the comment thread attached is making me wish this whole shootin' match were already past us. I'll be here on The Night, of course. But phew.

You know, I almost got an absentee ballot from Indiana. I could probably get one; I even have my registration card, and they'd mail it to my mother's house, I'm sure.

Then I realized it would be voter fraud. For Barack Obama. So I didn't. I hope he takes the Hoosier State anyway. He has my Dad's vote, and he's never voted for a Democrat in his life. As goes my Dad, hopefully, so goes Indiana.

It would certainly make me prouder to be a Hoosier.

#82 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: October 27, 2008, 01:19 AM:

Michael @ #80, Mitch Daniels was actually Director of the Office of Management and Budget during GWB's first term, thus having slightly more responsibility than a speechwriter. That doesn't make him a good guy, though.

Hawai'i doesn't observe Daylight Savings; add us to your list of locations that muddle along without. It does make it a little awkward sometimes, I admit. "Lessee, is it five hours to the East Coast or is it six?"

#83 ::: Raphael ::: (view all by) ::: October 27, 2008, 10:43 AM:

The predictions thing sounds like fun. Can you make predictions for some of the races, or just for all? Can you post predictions here, or do they have to be in some future thread? Is it enough to predict who takes each state, or do you have to predict the exact margin in each state, too?

#84 ::: Don Fitch ::: (view all by) ::: October 27, 2008, 10:48 AM:

Lawn Signs.

For whatever it might be worth, my 6-block local cul-de-sac Covina CA middle/working-class late-'40s subdivision with maybe a hundred houses, in an area that has a solid Republican majority, at least for state legislators (*sigh*), breaks down as follows:

Obama -- 1
McCain -- 0

For most Presidential elections, there've been maybe eight or ten lawn signs in the area, but this year there doesn't seem to be much Enthusiasm.

(Demographic note: Hispanics are up from c. 2 percent in the '50s to c. 30 percent. Blacks and Asians are still 0, as far as I know.)

#85 ::: Lizzy L ::: (view all by) ::: October 27, 2008, 12:10 PM:

Don at 84, it mat not be that at all. Obama's campaign stopped giving out lawn signs, bumper stickers, etc in favor of spending the money on massive GOTV efforts in the battleground states. You can buy bumper stickers and signs from the campaign -- at least, you could two weeks ago. People who in other years might have stuck signs on their lawns are being encouraged to phonebank and vote canvass door to door. I spent the weekend calling Ohio. The campaign gave me 25 names and numbers. Lots of Wrong Numbers and Not Homes and a few Refused to state, but of the 10 people I talked to, 3 were for McCain and 6 for Obama, 1 still undecided. His wife was an Obama voter, though. I'm about to start another phone list -- 50 names this time!!

#86 ::: Ambar ::: (view all by) ::: October 27, 2008, 12:30 PM:

Dawno@42: I also want to see California Prop 4 go down in well-deserved flames. I voted yes for 1A, but don't have high hopes for a bond measure in this economy.

#87 ::: John L ::: (view all by) ::: October 27, 2008, 12:32 PM:

In my own neighborhood the # of Obama signs continues to increase, while the McCain sign level is staying flat. I've counted 6 McCain signs throughout the neighborhood (probably 300 homes), but there's nearly double that number of Obama signs now.

#88 ::: Leva Cygnet ::: (view all by) ::: October 27, 2008, 01:26 PM:

#80, Actually, Arizona doesn't straddle a time zone. We're all mountain time. The reason I've always heard for not doing daylight savings here is that nobody wants another hour of 115 degrees in the evening.

#89 ::: Dermott McSorley ::: (view all by) ::: October 27, 2008, 01:37 PM:

Stocking up for the election,there's some really good Belgium ales available.Will hang with an old friend ...I remember getting very depressed and drunk with him in the 72 election.I hope like hell that Obama gets in.Thats good,but then what? Even if his intentions are good what he can do? I've watched the pundits when he even suggested that maybe maybe Georgia may not be totally good.Followed by a ton of bricks on his head. I don't see an end to the Drug War,let alone an end to the wars in the middle east. I remember what happened when Clinton tried to reform health care. Yes I want Obama,but I have few illusions.

#90 ::: ajay ::: (view all by) ::: October 27, 2008, 01:58 PM:

The US is a much better place to be an election fan - the British elections all get decided about 3-4 in the morning, which is about 9-10 in the evening East Coast, so you can watch them in comfort; and the US elections generally get decided in the evening US time, which is also in the wee small hours in Britain.



However, I will be online with Making Light and some sort of quiet celebratory materials. A cup of tea, perhaps.

#91 ::: lorax ::: (view all by) ::: October 27, 2008, 01:59 PM:

#80, straddling time zones doesn't explain the DST/no DST issue; both Dakotas and Nebraska straddle time zones, and all observe DST. Checking a map I see Montana, Tennessee, and Kentucky do so as well.

Arizona doesn't straddle a timezone either, for that matter; what you may be thinking of is that the Navajo reservation observes DST. And the Hopi reservation, which is entirely surrounded by the Navajo reservation, follows the Arizona standard and does not observe DST.

The reason I heard for Arizona not observing DST, when I lived there, is the same that Leva cites -- when sunset means the temperature drops from 115 to 85, the last thing you want is more evening daylight.

#92 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: October 27, 2008, 02:03 PM:

In the last week or so, the McPalin signs have sprouted like weeds up and down my street; there are still a few Obama signs, but they're heavily outnumbered. This is hardly surprising, since there are a lot of older, well-to-do people in this neighborhood -- but in elections past, the signs came out much earlier in the cycle.

Texas is considered a "safe" Red state -- but I tell you, it may be a lot closer than they're calling it. I've been down in the "Little India" area shopping for beads, and you'd better believe all the signs there are for Obama... and I don't think I've ever seen political signs in that part of town before, except for local races. If the same pattern holds true in the other major cities, the results could be shocking to the Republican faithful -- because, just as in the rest of the USA, the rural areas simply don't have enough people to carry the election.

#93 ::: Matt Austern ::: (view all by) ::: October 27, 2008, 02:58 PM:

I care about Prop 8, and I've made my no-on-8 donation and put up my no-on-8 yard sign, but it's not the only California race that matters. On the statewide side the other two initiatives I care a lot about are Prop 4 (unfortunately, I've heard it's likely to pass) and Prop 1A.

I also live in Anna Eshoo's district, and I voted for her, but I'm not at all worried about that race. She'll win, and it won't be close. The local races whose outcomes are less certain are Palo Alto Measure N (library bonds) and Santa Clara County Measures B, C, and D (three public transportation measures that interact in a complicated way and that may or may not affect which projects get built over the next few decades).

And then there's the Santa Clara Board of Education. I wish I knew enough about local schools to have a strong opinion about that race, but I don't.

#94 ::: Jenny DB ::: (view all by) ::: October 27, 2008, 03:07 PM:

@#4/#67/#71: I too am greatly concerned about Rossi winning. I agree his television ads have been incredibly misleading, but they are also persuasive. The Rossi campaign has been able to leverage the downward economy in WA state & nationally to their advantage, and I don't think it looks good for incumbent Gregoire. Am hoping that the she will prevail in the gubernatorial election, but skeptical...

**As a sidenote, I subscribe to only a handful RSS feeds... Schneier's Security Blog is one, because I like his discussions on identity theft specifically, and he keeps security issues in perspective for me generally. Another is Making Light, after meeting Teresa at CM Summit in NY this year. Funny they should intersect here! It's a small world in the blogosphere:)

#95 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: October 27, 2008, 04:20 PM:

I'll be here off and on; I'm afraid to get too involved in the election and burn out trying to follow it all; besides, I have high blood pressure and I don't want my head to explode. My guess is that Oregon will go for Obama by a small percentage, though it's hard for me to tell because I live in Blueland, Oregon, so I don't get to talk to many people who won't vote for Obama. What's really encouraging is that it looks like there's a good chance that Sen. Gordon Smith ("No, I've never heard of this George Bush, I'm an agent of change; Party? What Party", Oregon) will get unseated. his opponent has pulled a few points ahead of him in the polls recently.

I'll be worrying most about the usual Tim McIntyre/Bill Sizemore droppings on the ballot: the bi-annual attempts to starve the state government, and especially the school system, to death, and Kevin Mannix' attempt to double the jail population in the next 4 years. And wondering where all these wingnuts from the Constitution Party came from.

#96 ::: JESR ::: (view all by) ::: October 27, 2008, 04:21 PM:

Jenny DB, what's driving me bats is that Rossi is threatening to cut the Washington Basic Health Care plan- which is the only coverage my son can get, and I think also is what my sister's family uses. That matters a lot more to me than the idea that my husband's 2.5% COLA won't happen; state workers have gotten cost-of-living raises so seldom in the past nearly thirty years he's worked for the state that we've learned to live without them. Sort of. For values of "live without them" which include being utterly dependant on consumer credit for emergencies. That gold-plated civil service pension looks a lot less generous when measured against how long it will take to pay off an emergency root-canal or blown transmission.

I can't imagine any earlier Washington gubernatorial canidate, D or R, being so flagrantly anti-union. I guess the day when this was the most union state ever have passed.

#98 ::: JESR ::: (view all by) ::: October 27, 2008, 04:47 PM:

Larry Brennan @71, people on the dryside sincerely believe that they are robbed every year when it comes to spending; they'll vote again and again for Eyman's funny jokes because they are sure it will mean they'll get more money.

Does Prop 1 include funding for the cross-base cutoff? I'm still agog that some environomentalists were worried about it leading to development in Western Grey Squirrel habitat; it's routed to avoid Quercus garryana groves, and goes from Lakewood suburban sprawl to Spanaway suburban sprawl across parts of Ft. Lewis which are undevelopable six ways from Sunday: military training area, Nisqually Tribal Heritage Area, and oh, yeah, close to a hundred years worth of unexploded artillary shells. Since I live in the Exit 111 transportation impact zone (ask me why I'm voting against Doug Sutherland for Commissioner of Public Lands, and then stand back) all I can see is how many cars won't be getting of I-5 and heading east on 510.

#99 ::: Doug Faunt ::: (view all by) ::: October 27, 2008, 05:32 PM:

re: ConstanceZEdwards@#24;
The rule is "mobile phones off. If you can't live with that, tell the ROV now, and you'll be relieved."
Apparently, there were numerous complaints, from the previous election, of poll workers using their telephones instead of serving voters. Also no games or music players, same reason.

#100 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: October 27, 2008, 06:50 PM:

Serge @ 97

Would that Kevin Mannix were so cool. He's been associated with just about every anti-gay and get-tough-on-crime initiative in the last 15 years in Oregon. And in addition to that he's a sleazeball politician. He's coming back as a bedbug, mark my words.

#101 ::: JennR ::: (view all by) ::: October 27, 2008, 11:27 PM:

@24, @99 My precinct? No cell phones, etc, for workers unless you're on call. Leave them in your car. The twp secretary will be in the office to pass along messages until we all go home, that phone number is: 123.4567. We can bring knitting, etc, but she's made it very clear that we are there to serve the voters (not that she expects to have much down time, but we shall see...).

#102 ::: Marilee ::: (view all by) ::: October 28, 2008, 12:10 AM:

Jenny DB, #94, it's not that odd. Teresa and Bruce know each other in real life. I know both of them in real life, as do a number of other people here.

I don't think I've ever seen poll workers at my precinct with a cellphone, but there's almost never any voters other than my upstairs neighbor and me when we go (I'm not sure he can get in my van now, so maybe his daughter will take him). There's always a couple of six-foot tables with lots of food on them because they're there all day. They have to like doing it, because the payment works out to about $10/hour.

#103 ::: Bill Higgins-- Beam Jockey ::: (view all by) ::: October 28, 2008, 12:53 AM:

The second night of the shooting in the 1991 Gulf War, I went over to Bruce Schneier's house to watch the war with him. It was a comfort to be with someone who knew a bit more about the Department of Defense than the TV newscasters did.

One thing that startled me: while the coalition of military forces arrayed against Saddam Hussein had been stockpiling shells and greasing tank treads, I had not realized that the graphics departments of TV news organization had also been preparing for war.

Every channel had WAR IN THE GULF animated logos with pulsing radar screens, zooming aircraft, and spinning letters. And special music. I had not realized that the long buildup meant that coverage of the war would be so slickly packaged, like an election or a sporting event.

This is no longer a surprise; it commonplace, and CGI is faster and easier to roll out-- The Daily Show milks fancy news graphics for some of its humor.

Anyway, I'd be happy to sit with Bruce and watch a breaking news story any time.

#104 ::: j h woodyatt ::: (view all by) ::: October 28, 2008, 12:54 AM:

geekosaur writes @26: "Politics isn't everything"

You're right, I suppose. I shouldn't have been so disrespectful to Scraps and Mez. Please, everyone, I hope you will accept my sincere apologies. I've been too wound up about politics for far, far too long— I should take a break from it all, and there's no better time for that than now, right?

After all the anxiety over Proposition 8 here in California, I was looking forward to election night on Making Light, but there really are more important things for me to be doing with myself. I'll check in on Wednesday morning then.

#105 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: October 28, 2008, 10:29 AM:

Bill Higgins @ 103

These days every little newsworthy hiccup has a theme and a visual intro; I'm sure they keep lots of pieces lying around that an editor can throw together in a few minutes. It really is an exercise in branding; clearly the station managers have been reading about "brand experience". Every weather event gets it's own brand:

annoyingly urgent and repetitive synth theme music over weather radar display with the station logo matted over the upper half, and small windows over the lower half showing buildings being ripped apart by tornados and news helicopters doing pointless aerobatics

A Channel א-null News Team Alert: Shitstorm 2009!

Announcer at desk with frantic activity of people running around in front of high tech equipment matted behind; the station's transmitter control room would make a good set for this.

Meteorologists at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, in a bulletin released just moments ago, said "We won't have any further information on what to expect until our current computer simulation is done, in about an hour; come back then. But we think it will show the same thing as the last run: it's going to be a nice day."

stock footage of disaster relief crews pulling bodies out of collapsed buildings overlaid with windows showing satellite photos of hurricanes and flooded housing divisions with people jumping off roofs into small boats.

For an in-depth analysis of what this means for the metropolitan region and the rest of the Eastern Counties, here's our own meteorologist, Ted Treadworthy, in the Weather Eyrie. Ted?

#106 ::: Jenny DB ::: (view all by) ::: October 28, 2008, 01:48 PM:

@#102 Marilee - Good to know! Being relatively new to all of this, it still baffles me how close knit some online communities are.. even, as you point out, in the real world. I don't know which comes first, but I suppose it doesn't matter.

@#96 JESR - I hadn't heard that of Rossi but it doesn't surprise me. He gives me the heeby jeebies. Heard Gregoire on the radio this AM and got a really bad feeling she wasn't going to pull through...

#107 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: October 28, 2008, 02:27 PM:

jh woodyatt @104:

Did you see Teresa's reply to geekosaur at 58? Scraps is eagerly following the election. Mez doesn't seem hurt that the thread will be going on.

Don't go, and don't let one person dampen your enthusiasm.

#108 ::: David Stever ::: (view all by) ::: October 28, 2008, 04:24 PM:

Well, I hope we're home celebrating the night of the 4th and not having to take to the streets on the 5th to get our votes counted.

On the one hand, having thrown the '72, '80, '88, '00 & '04 elections, the Repugs are old hands at this now, but on the other hand, if they piss off the *nation* this time around, they run the chance of blowing the GOP right out of the water for a generation (would the RICO laws cause the Republican Party to be disbanded as a criminal enterprise?), and ruining their whole organization. I guess it comes down to how greedy they are for maintaining and adding to their ill-gotten gains of the last generation.

In my area of St. Paul, Franken signs out number Coleman about 6-1. I don't think we'll have to worry about Coleman carrying any portion of St. Paul. That would maintain the record he's had since he gave up the mayor's chair- he's NEVER won a precinct in the city since- that's one race for governor, one for senate so far.

Bush has also pissed off my mom's area of Florida (Ft. Myer), so the gray hair have actually registered to vote for the first time, and are all coming out for Obama. Mom also hates Jeb Bush now- good job, GOP; she's been a life long Republican voter up until now.

#109 ::: Laurie Mann ::: (view all by) ::: October 28, 2008, 06:53 PM:

Remember that McCain has said he was really pushing here in Pennsylvania?

I walked by a McCain office here in a Democratic area. There was one table, one chair and one volunteer who was gone by 6pm.

I've worked in two different Obama offices in Republican-leaning areas outside of Pittsburgh. There are always many more people and much more furniture. The offices probably haven't been empty much before 10pm!

The Obama rally in Pittsburgh yesterday attracted about 15,000 (report and photos in my blog). Recent McCain and Palin rallies attracted about 4,400 and 1,000-2,000 respectively.

So much for the Republican's Pennsylvania strategy.

#111 ::: Ginger ::: (view all by) ::: October 28, 2008, 08:04 PM:

Serge @ 110: What a cutie! Cracker crumbs on his face and an adorable pose -- definitely a winner in the election of 2044 (got to be old enough to run first).

#112 ::: Caroline ::: (view all by) ::: October 28, 2008, 08:11 PM:

Re j h woodyatt @ 104 and abi @ 107 -- I didn't read geekosaur's reponse as a real rebuke, either -- just a wish that friends could join the thread.

(Did you see the comment on another thread about having a swing-state calling party from Scraps's room? Heck, if anything, following and discussing politics seems like it would be an expression of solidarity.)

#113 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: October 28, 2008, 09:00 PM:

I saw that there's a poll out for Arizona today that has McCain only two points ahead of Obama there.

I think we'll need more popcorn.

#114 ::: Rymenhild ::: (view all by) ::: October 28, 2008, 09:13 PM:

P.J. Evans, regarding Arizona elections:

I have an uncle who lived for many years in Arizona (although he has now left the state for reasons too complicated to describe here). Over the years, he has sent the rest of our family plenty of pro-Republican and anti-Democratic email forwards.

Last week, my uncle sent my sister a forward that said that government -- all government, as practiced by all political parties -- is corrupt and vile. My sister forwarded it to me. I read the email and said, "John McCain is in trouble."

#115 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: October 28, 2008, 09:27 PM:

I have an uncle like that, in Arkansas (a fundie, to boot). Fortunately, he doesn't have my address - not that he couldn't get it if he wanted.

#116 ::: Lizzy L ::: (view all by) ::: October 28, 2008, 09:48 PM:

P J Evans at 113: I think we'll need more popcorn.

And more beer. My brother lives in Phoenix, AZ. He doesn't haunt the blogpolls the way I do -- I think I'd better e-mail him.

Even if it doesn't happen; the thought that McCain has to worry about winning his home state is just bliss.

#117 ::: Allan Beatty ::: (view all by) ::: October 28, 2008, 09:58 PM:

In rural Iowa some of the Ron Paul signs from the caucuses are still up.

#118 ::: Marilee ::: (view all by) ::: October 28, 2008, 11:37 PM:

Jenny DB, #106, a fair number of us come from science fiction fandom.

P J Evans, #113, I have friends in AZ who registered to vote this year so they could vote for Obama. They're in their 20s and 30s, so I hope they continue to vote.

#119 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: October 29, 2008, 01:40 AM:

Ginger @ 111

definitely a winner in the election of 2044 (got to be old enough to run first).

I think he'll be taking a detour to a Hollywood career first. Maybe he'll be the statesman that Ronnie Raygun or Arnie the Bod should have been for the sake of our country after he's done making movies.

#120 ::: geekosaur ::: (view all by) ::: October 29, 2008, 02:39 AM:

j h woodyatt @104 and abi @107:
I'm not trying to drive anyone away; it was the phrasing I was objecting to. Lots of things are "more righteous". In the grand scheme of things, what I mentioned (as two examples; they are not exhaustive) seem to me far more important than this — but it's not like this is somehow going to prevent either. Just keep some perspective.

(As for Teresa @58, if you're doing well enough to bait Republicans on Twitter, I'm guessing you're healthy enough that I can concentrate on the folks who really need it.)

#121 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: October 29, 2008, 07:27 AM:

Ginger @ 111... Bruce Cohen @ 119... It looks like, before he begins his political career, Theo will have a symphonic career. His dad gave him a cello and in no time he had broken all but one string.

#122 ::: JESR ::: (view all by) ::: October 29, 2008, 12:24 PM:

Jenny DB @106- you've missed the Rossi commercial which connects Gregoire's financial support from unions to the new AFSCME/ state employee contract? It manages to call on every R anti-labor anti-public employee slur ever.

#123 ::: Jenny DB ::: (view all by) ::: October 29, 2008, 02:03 PM:

JESR can't say I'm sorry I missed that one!! These commercials tend to make me super bitter and want to throw things at the TV. I will be waiting with baited breath on this election though...

#124 ::: Nix ::: (view all by) ::: October 30, 2008, 06:54 PM:

David@#108, it is *possible* that some of the R-won elections in the last thirty years were legitimate wins.

I mean perhaps the US is really a country of democratic socialists on a par with, say, Finland, and every election has been stolen, but if it is you do a *damn* good job of hiding it. (Also, this hypothesis requires a degree of competence from Republicans which strikes me as unlikely.)

#125 ::: Earl Cooley III ::: (view all by) ::: October 30, 2008, 07:54 PM:

Jenny DB #123: These commercials tend to make me super bitter and want to throw things at the TV.

Sometimes the only reasonable response to things you see on TV is overwhelming firepower.

#126 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: October 31, 2008, 01:02 AM:

Earl Cooley III @ 125

The slogan for that toy has got to be,"Be the last kid on your block!"

#127 ::: Earl Cooley III ::: (view all by) ::: October 31, 2008, 10:43 AM:

It looks like the EFF is helping to monitor voter problem reports.

#128 ::: Janet Croft ::: (view all by) ::: October 31, 2008, 12:15 PM:

Yes I Voted!

In-person absentee voting started today in Oklahoma. I arrived at the County Election Board just after 8:00 and the line already stretched around the corner of the block. It took me 90 minutes, and by the time I was done I'd estimate the wait was well over two hours. The weather was beautiful -- sunny, with just a hint of chill from a south breeze--but it will be getting up to around 80 this afternoon. The crowd was cheerful and strangers were happily chatting away with each other, but studiously avoiding politics. It was mostly an older crowd; I didn't see too many students this morning, but there were people with babies in tow. You can see a picture of the line here:

Oklahoma uses an optical scanning system. The voter connects two halves of a broken arrow pointing to their candidate or party. then feeds it into the scanner. The scanner I used was for the general election only, and I was voter number 160. The other scanner was for general and local, and I didn't see the number, but I esitate is was probably 1 1/2 to 2 times higher.

Plan for lines, but go vote!!

#129 ::: geekosaur ::: (view all by) ::: October 31, 2008, 08:49 PM:

I don't recall if anyone's mentioned it here yet, but theer are plans to live monitor voting — successes, problems, long lines, "malfunctioning" machines, etc. on Twitter.

(There are also SMS and telephone options for people not on Twitter. See the website for details.)

#130 ::: Faren Miller ::: (view all by) ::: November 01, 2008, 12:11 PM:

Here in Prescott AZ, my condo "village" doesn't seem to allow signs, but the streets nearby are full of them -- far more for Obama than for McCain! (The gay guys who live just across from us, beyond the condos, put up *their* sign first of all.)

I'm still tremendously relieved that my hospital stay won't interfere with voting. If I can't find a neighbor to take me to the polling place down the hill, my husband will be home in time to get me there. For the rest of that night I may hide under the covers, hoping we're not All Doomed. And then, maybe, waken to Better Times instead!

Speaking of state measures, there's a "pro-marriage" (no gays allowed) one whose TV ads are a triumph of idiocy, featuring a bunch of people babbling about how "simple" it is. A counter commercial notes that gay marriage isn't allowed here anyway, and a measure like the new one failed in the last vote.

#131 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: November 01, 2008, 01:03 PM:

Faren Miller @ 130

Maybe you misheard, and they were really saying how simple* the people voting for the measure are?

* "Simple" has a very ironic ambiguity in this context: it can mean unintelligent or it can mean uncomplicated. In the latter meaning many of the Religious Right use it in opposition to the complexity of the world view of us evil, god-denying, communistic, hedonistic, heathens. In that context they apply it to themselves, happily. A nice bit of wordplay all around, IMO.
/end snark, dripping with sarcasm; please turn off the tap when done.

#132 ::: Nicole J. LeBoeuf-Little ::: (view all by) ::: November 01, 2008, 02:37 PM:

This seems like a good thread to stick my virtual "I voted" sticker on. The physical one that came with my mail ballot is on my laptop now, and the one I got handed when I dropped the ballot off at the county clerk's is on my shirt. They had a drive-up drop-off booth with two very cheerful people asking everyone "And did you sign it?" as they took the envelopes.

I hope to tune in on Tuesday from my friend's house in South Boulder, the ingredients for Schadenfreude Pie at hand so we can start assembling it the moment we hear the announcement. (Is that naive of me, expecting the announcement that night? Very well then, I am naive. It helps me get through the day.) Of course I've also got my eye on the despicable Prop 8 in CA and the abhorrent Amendment 48 here in Boulder. FAIL FAIL FAIL FAIL FAIL!

#133 ::: Christopher Davis ::: (view all by) ::: November 01, 2008, 03:26 PM:

Via Lis Riba, some great No on 8 ads:
You're safe

#134 ::: joann ::: (view all by) ::: November 01, 2008, 05:40 PM:

Just to note that in Travis County, TX (main occupant Austin) early voting copped 49% of *all* registered voters. That's well beyond a record.

I voted the first day of early voting, at a vacant supermarket-size former patio furniture store right next to the county clerk's offices. Loads of cars out front, tons of machines, almost no line because it was all going so fast. If you had your voter registration card, they just scanned it, and then you signed your name on a computer-generated sticker in the official book.

There was a special station for people who'd moved and not updated, but I don't know what happened there since it didn't apply to me, alas.

#135 ::: Marilee ::: (view all by) ::: November 02, 2008, 01:23 AM:

I took my gimpy legally-blind upstairs neighbor to vote today, and it turned out much much better that we went to vote today, because on Tuesday, Luke's ballot would have been provisional.

While he was in rehab, his daughter had his mail forwarded to her and so when I filled out the application for absentee ballot with him at the rehab place (if I put the pen where he has to sign, he can usually sign there, but he can't read the paper) and mailed it in, we expected her to get the ballot, but she never did.

So we went today to the voter registration and elections office (which is the original small-house-size City Hall, next to the bigger one) and got two absentee ballot applications plus the assistant form. I filled his out first and gave it to one of the staff and that was when the registrar came to sit next to us and tell us that they had sent the ballot. I told her his daughter was sure it had never come, so I started filling out a Lost Ballot form for him and just as he was signing, another staff member came out from the back saying "I was sure I knew that name," and handing over an envelope that the USPS had marked Temporarily Away and returned to them. So it was all cleared up there -- somehow the USPS screwed up, and his voting (by telling me what he wanted) was clear. I voted, too, of course, and then we went and got ice cream. I came home and napped. I hadn't realized how much more effort it would be for me to need to guide his walking and sitting and getting in and out of the van all the time. The last time we went, he was still legally blind, but not this bad.

The news said there were 3.5 hour lines to absentee vote in Arlington, which is the VA county closest to DC. We got our forms in about a minute, and would have been out in five if not for the ballot problem.

And my sticker says I VOTED IN THE CITY OF MANASSAS, with a flag.

#136 ::: I CAN HAZ PURPLE FINGER? ::: (view all by) ::: November 02, 2008, 08:02 AM:

I'll be in the hospital for a minor procedure on Tuesday, so I got an absentee ballot and turned it in on Friday. I've never gotten a "I Voted" sticker, but after seeing news of voting in the middle east, I am disappointed that we don't have to dye our index finger purple to protect from overvoting.

#137 ::: John L ::: (view all by) ::: November 02, 2008, 08:33 AM:

Yesterday was the last day for early voting in NC; so many people had voted early that the counties were given authority to extend voting hours four more hours on Saturday if they wanted to. Half the counties did; we drove past our early voting site to see how long the line was; it wound for at least 1000' between some outdoor shops at a local mall, people with children, young voters, elderly with umbrellas, blacks, whites, hispanics, all were represented.

The Election Commission says over 30% of eligible voters in NC have already voted, and they're bracing for a huge turnout on Tuesday. Makes me glad that I've already voted; in 2004 I had to wait for an hour and shudder to think how long the line would be this year.

#139 ::: Casey ::: (view all by) ::: November 03, 2008, 06:43 PM:

I'll be working the polls here in central Connecticut, where the Republican sacraficial offering candidate for CT-1 is the ingrate-in-chief of my town's "Taxpayer's Association".

#140 ::: Gary ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 08:04 AM:

Just got up here in Sammamish, Washington, in the heart of WA-08. It's going to be a tough fight for Darcy today. Also, it's pouring down rain, which might normally hold down the vote...but I don't think weather has nearly the effect it used to have, since so many people vote permanent absentee.

#141 ::: Andrew ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 08:48 AM:

My office (here in Richmond, Va.) is a polling location, and I volunteered to be here at 4:45 AM to open it for the poll workers.

Got here and there were about a dozen voters already lined up. By 6:00 (when polls open) the line was easily half a mile long. Predominantly African-American, too, although this area is not.

Line finally shrunk around 8:30 is, but I wouldn't want to be here after 5:00.

#142 ::: Rikibeth ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 09:15 AM:

I voted. I drove a mobility-impaired friend to the polls. can it be tomorrow yet?

#143 ::: kcmulticast ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 09:42 AM:

DemocracyNow! reported on a court case that is getting traction now in Ohio about man-in-the-middle attacks used to modify election results before they could arrive at the Secretary of State's office in Ohio. Allegedly, the setup used in 2004 Ohio has been rolled out to several key battleground states for this election. Something to keep an eye on.

#144 ::: Jeff Grossman ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 01:59 PM:

First report of funny business in SoCal (on a food board I frequent):

#145 ::: Hank Roberts ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 04:50 PM:

Is it now yet?

#146 ::: Steven Bass ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 09:27 PM:

And now Ohio called for Obama (ABC, CBS). That should be it.

#147 ::: Marilee ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2008, 10:00 PM:

Virginia is still too close -- 70% reporting: 50% McCain, 49% Obama. Ours may not finish until some time tomorrow. But we got Mark Warner (D) overwhelmingly for Senate!

#149 ::: [уничтоженное спам] ::: (view all by) ::: March 26, 2009, 03:21 PM:

[posted from]

#151 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: March 29, 2009, 02:13 AM:

Hee... I like the new name for the Russian spam. Caught my eye it did.

#152 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: March 29, 2009, 03:56 AM:

Terry @152:
So Babelfish did right by me, then?

#153 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: March 29, 2009, 10:13 AM:

Abi: So Babelfish did right by me, then?

Not by me... both Babelfish and InterTran simply refused to translate it back to English!

#154 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: March 29, 2009, 11:01 AM:

David @154:
"spam deleted"

#155 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: March 29, 2009, 12:40 PM:

Ah, thanks. A thought: is the spam text that's in Russian, Japanese, etc., usually as crude and/or disjointed as the English stuff?

#156 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: March 30, 2009, 02:15 AM:

It says, "Spam was destroyed". It uses a, "verbal adverb" (a structure in which an adverbial formation supplants the verb, and stands alone).

#157 ::: Spam Deleted ::: (view all by) ::: April 01, 2009, 05:41 PM:

Spam from

#158 ::: Paula Helm Murray ::: (view all by) ::: April 01, 2009, 06:09 PM:

this is last Russian tranlated, not sure how good (free site)

"The question to the author of a site, and here at you time at each clause and in комментах is written... This what? Moscow? In advance thanks for the answer."

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