Omens…

Our ancestors looked for omens in animal entrails. My nerves–already stressed to the breaking point as we approach Tuesday’s election–sent me on a somewhat more modern search, which may or may not be more accurate.

The polls, of course, are comforting–except when they aren’t. I compulsively visit FiveThirtyEight.com. daily, where the odds, at least, strongly favor Biden. But then I remember how strongly they favored Hillary…

I look at the unprecedented number of Republican defectors: not just the Lincoln Project and Republicans for Biden, and the other groups out there doing television ads, but the 20  Republican  former U.S. Attorneys who warned last week that Trump endangers the rule of law, the 600 prominent Republicans (including numerous former office-holders) who’ve endorsed Biden, the 700+ Intelligence and national security officers who signed the letter I posted last week, warning that Trump is a threat to America’s security and place in the world…and numerous others.

Then there are those “never before” newspaper endorsements.

The conventional wisdom is that newspaper endorsements have little to no effect on voters in big national races, but Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden has racked up a string of first-ever endorsements from a wide array of publications, including Nature, Scientific American, The New England Journal of Medicine, the Puerto Rican daily El Nuevo Día, and Surfer. On Tuesday, Biden got another one, from USA Today, one of the largest U.S. newspapers by circulation.

USA Today (or “McPaper” as we detractors call it) has an ideologically diverse editorial board, but the board has unanimously endorsed Biden.

“If this were a choice between two capable major party nominees who happened to have opposing ideas, we wouldn’t choose sides,” USA Today’s editorial board said. “But this is not a normal election, and these are not normal times. This year, character, competence, and credibility are on the ballot. Given Trump’s refusal to guarantee a peaceful transfer of power if he loses, so, too, is the future of America’s democracy.”

As of last week, at least 119 daily and weekly newspaper editorial boards had formally backed Biden. Probably the most surprising was The New Hampshire Union Leader, which hadn’t backed a Democrat in over a century.

Culture change is harder to quantify, but public opinion seems to favor progressive positions. Seventy percent of Americans now support same-sex marriage while only 28 percent oppose it, according to a poll conducted by the Public Religion Research Institute. That’s the highest level of support the institute has ever recorded for same-sex marriage. The percentage of Americans who support a woman’s right to control her own reproduction is up, too (Pew says it’s 61%), as is the percentage supporting Black Lives Matter.

The fact that nearly 80 million people have already cast a ballot is an even harder sign to decipher–yet I look at the long lines, many if not all clearly representative of American diversity, and the unprecedented number of young voters, and I have trouble believing that they demonstrate an outpouring of support for Trump. I look, too, at the  GOP’s rush to confirm a rigidly ideological judge before the election as evidence of their desperation and their own clear belief that they’re losing…..

All of this should comfort me. It doesn’t. 

For one thing, there are columns like this one.

And even if Biden wins, who knows what this lunatic and his corrupt and thuggish enablers will do if the results aren’t overwhelmingly clear on Tuesday? What additional harm can he do between the election and January 21st, even if he accepts a loss? We’ve seen the brutishness, brazen criminality and irrational behavior of his supporters, egged on and encouraged by this embodiment of their rage and grievance. Will they take to the streets?

The only thing I’m sure of is that I am too old and way too tired for this. Maybe I should look for some animal entrails…

 

 

 

27 thoughts on “Omens…

  1. I’ve forgotten, until this morning, that dogs don’t care about time changes. Quite frankly, neither do I. 🙂

    Since most states can’t start counting ballots until Nov 3, we won’t know the final score that night. Trump might insist on knowing, but he is not in charge of election procedures. He still thinks he’s the King of USA, Inc. His antics are beyond boorish.

    What’s also beyond boorish are his devoted cult members. They’ve been fed and sopped up so much bullshit about this guy they are 100% sure they will see another four years of Trump despite all the evidence to the contrary, which has been the case since day one. Did you see the juvenile stunt they pulled in Texas with their flag-waving trucks on the highway against the Biden/Harris bus? That was a high school prank which cost us 3 days of suspension.

    The response to not knowing the outcome on November 3rd, coupled with Trump and all the propaganda that will be spewed on election day forward, will be exhausting. Many family and friends have decided they will be able to rest easy next Tuesday, but I’m afraid their expectations are more prayerful than anything. Unless they can comfortably call it election night, I suspect Trump’s groupies will seek assistance from the SCOTUS.

    I’ve set my expectations for the worst-case scenario. At least then, there is a possibility for a pleasant surprise, and I can exhale a sigh of relief.

  2. And today, we awake to the news of storefronts across the country being boarded up in advance of election day.
    Storefronts being boarded up in advance of election day.
    What country is this?

  3. I suppose you can use Tarot cards and Ouija boards, but I would suggest to steer clear of those things! 😁🤣⚡

  4. What’s the over and under for when Trump declares that he’s won? Same for when the facts overwhelm his mindless psychopathy and he declares that the election was rigged by the fake news media. My under is 2300 EST, 3 November. The over will be after his interview on Fox News a week later.

    Yes, I expect a SCOTUS fight too. And if they go against the expectations and the results, there will be very bad times ahead. THEN we will have our civil war.

    That Biden/Harris bus incident is indicative of the idiots who have few neurons firing at any given time. I suspect one could have found dozens of empty beer cans in those trucks too. Cheap beer. You know, BUD Light cans. See, it used to be that the brand was Budweiser, but Texas Republicans lost interest after the first syllable, so the marketeers created a brand name that would hold their attention and elicit a primal grunt.

  5. I’ll admit to a certain amount of anxiety and worry over the past year, but when I look hard at its source I feel some relief. Much of my fear comes directly from the media. Every day there are a few headlines coming out of the networks that create new fears. Headlines like “Experts say that this could be the worse year yet for X Y or Z”. The worries thus created are about some hypothetical future event… unproven of course, but there it is scaring the c*&p out of me.
    At this point, if anyone from the media is reading this, let me tell you that conjecture is not news!
    So, dear bloggers, skip those “news” stories and take some time to live in the present. Right now I know that I am safe and warm. I have food in the pantry and peace in my life. I suspect that you are also safe and warm and secure.
    The worst part of fear is what the imagination does to exaggerate it.

  6. Any problems that might show up cannot be as bad as another four years of this administration. It’s going to take some effort, but we’re getting ready to right this ship.

  7. If you take the fundraising efforts seriously, it’ll be a red wave on Tuesday. I think that’s highly unlikely. There is some hope that the pollsters learned from whatever mistakes they made in 2016 and have adjusted to reduce or eliminate those errors. The real problem is in the counting of mail in votes and it looks as if SCOTUS is prepared to back their guy, regardless of the law or the Constitution. If they do and he still loses, I would highly recommend impeachment for all 6 of the conservatives.

  8. I don’t think we’ll hear His Nibs whimpering at all. If we do hear, someone should tell him to act his age for a change, and encourage him that he can turn to his foreign friends for sympathy.
    Remind him that we have all had bitter pills to swallow since 2016.

  9. Should the worst happen (something not legit as almost all of the dark scenarios are) , our democracy will be at stake. There MUST be a general strike of workers, parents, children with all peacefully in the streets, everywhere. We must be prepared to ensure that the gangs, thieves and looters have no place in the crowds – march away from businesses. All together, six feet apart, wearing masks, singing…America the Beautiful…invite the police, the troops, the sane leaders…

    If we shrug this off…be deserve what we get.

  10. And by the way, Your Majesty, please leave Air Force One in the hangar where it will be sanitized for the Biden family.

  11. On the eve of the 2016 election, the website FiveThirtyEight gave Trump a 29% chance of winning. 29% was not nothing. There are plenty of players who made it into the Hall of Fame with .290 or worse lifetime batting averages.

    Today, as we approach the eve of the 2020 election, FiveThirtyEight gives Trump a 10% chance of winning.

    Huge difference between 2016 and 2020. The biggest difference is that Trump is the incumbent and the 2020 election is a referendum on him. Trump has never had 50% of the country liking him. Biden, on the other hand, is much better liked than Hillary Clinton was; Trump’s efforts to demonize Biden have only made him more popular. Biden is the perfect candidate for these times. His empathy gene will prove very helpful in getting this nation through the worst pandemic in 100 years.

    There are other reasons that 2016 is different than 2020. Too many to list here.

    Back to my baseball example. Trump has a 10% chance of winning as of today according to 538. .100 is a really, really bad hitter.

    Leaving baseball, let’s look at poker. The odds of successfully drawing to an inside straight is 9%, just about his odds 538 has of Trump winning.

    The national polls in 2016 came within 1% of predicting the national vote. There was a few states in the Midwest – PA, MI, and WI – were the polls predicted the wrong winner, but all those errors were actually within the margin of error. And pollsters have since 2016 adjusted their methodology to account for an undercount of non-college educated whites (who tend to favor Trump) in their polls.

    Biden might well lose Florida, Texas, Ohio and Iowa, but he still has plenty of options left to put together 270 electoral votes without those states. Trump not only has to win all the tossup states, he has to win some states that are currently polling in Biden’s favor and are outside the margin of error.

    It is fun though watching all the Democratic consternation and concern. My favorite is filmmaker Michael Moore. But honestly, if you are a campaign manager, you want your candidate and party to be scared they’re going to lose even when you’re actually 20 points ahead. Politics is hard work and nothing motivates one to do that work that a fear of losing.

  12. Sorry for the typos and other errors in my comment. Wish there was an edit button.

    Oh, and the odds of Trump declaring victory, probably the night of 11/3, is 100%. The odds of him conceding the election to Biden, even if he loses all 50 states, is 0%.

  13. To escape all the insanity of this election, I’ve been watching Green Renaissance on YouTube. What I most deeply value ie voluntary simplicity resonates with what they are sharing. You might try watching that Shiela and my fellow Americans. They often remind me of my maternal grandparents who knew how to enjoy the simple blessings in life.

    We won’t know who won on election night partly due to Pennsylvania’s decision to allow mail in votes to be counted after election day so I will refrain from watching anything on election night. Since I sent in my mail in vote Oct. 6th all I can do is patiently wait for the outcome which is now out of my hands. I will probably read Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings Tuesday night or maybe talk with a friend or my sister.

    I wish Trump would leave our country if he loses the election, but he won’t. He will have some media outlet like Rush Limbaugh’s so he can continue to have the adoration of his cult. He will continue to propagate the misinformation he loves to fabricate laced with hyperbole.

    And in the meantime, I am wearing a mask to honor the Florence Nightingale Oath I took in 1972 as a graduate nursing student. I also wear it to honor all the sacrifices people have made to protect our democracy especially those who gave their lives for our country. And I know, that some of them were Republicans. United we stand, divided we fall.

    “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference. “

  14. I keep thinking of the movie Invasion of the Body Snatchers watching and hearing the Trump Cult. Trump Jr. is now spreading lie that Corona deaths are wildly over inflated. Some in The Trump Cult have been throwing this out for some months. It is all a plot by the “Deep State” which includes medical professionals across the USA to damage The Trumpet’s chances to win re-election.

    FEAR is the driving force of the Trump Cult and the more bizarre the conspiracy scenario the greater the enthusiasm for it. All the lies are swallowed up by the Trump Cult like a toxic chemical soup, which enrages them further.

  15. While I’m mildly optimistic, my mind keeps drifting into “what-if” territory. Things like “How many more Covid deaths might result from a Trump victory?” “How can science and truth survive a prolonged assault by the most powerful man in the world?” “What’s to stop an autocrat to whom the electorate has given a green light?” “How much more subservient might his party become?” “Since personal wealth ranks just behind personal glory in his values, will he find ways to transfer money from the U.S. Treasury into his bank account?” “Will Ivanka replace Pompeo as Secretary of State?” “Will cabinet positions be open only to billionaires who can afford to purchase them?” “What new ways might he invent to demean the U.S. military?” “Will Putin be invited to sleep in the Lincoln bedroom?” “Will he decide that militarily attacking Iran is in his political or personal interest?” “Will Eric Trump become Attorney General?” “Will the intelligence community be disbanded?” “Will he collude with the Supreme Court to form a Catholic Republic?” “Will he yield to his private urge to find out if the nuclear codes actually work?” “Will police departments be given blanket authority to kill black people who look suspicious?” “Will he sell pardons on the open market to the highest bidder?” “Will he start calling America’s allies ‘shit-hole’ countries and treat them as such?” “Will his neuroses and sociopathy evolve into all out psychotic behavior?”

    While some of these fears may sound jocular, none are intended to be so. Trump’s complete absence of knowledge on every subject leaves him open to adopt whatever whimsical fancies might be suggested to him by the sickest person in the room, especially if his surname is Miller or Graham. I’m not given to cold chills, but when my mind drifts in this direction I experience unfamiliar depths of apprehension.

  16. I was wrong to follow the herd in 2016 when I predicted Hillary would win, so I have been more careful this time in drawing my own conclusions from the latest evidence, and my prediction this trip is that Biden will win, and comfortably, even if Republicans are successful in ridding our count of the 100,000 votes in heavily Democratic Harris County, Texas, which I doubt. I am heartened not only by apparent early turnout of Democrats but also by Republicans who say they are voting for Biden since a Republican vote for Biden is more important than a Democratic vote for Biden inasmuch as it amounts to not only a vote for Biden but also a vote Trump did not get – a positive double electoral whammy.

    I think part of the current anxiety bordering on hysteria is two-pronged: (1) Whether we will win an election Republicans are doing their best to rig, and (2) Win or lose, what happens afterwards. I think we can put (1) to rest and understand that our democratic institutions can withstand (2) since we have a 2-1 majority in favor of adherence to our Constitution which nowhere gives any court the right to elect anyone, whatever the cover, and that Bush v. Gore provides no precedent since it (supposedly) involved stopping a count pursuant to Florida statute, an easily distinguishable grounds from what I anticipate to be the grounds for Republican attempts to reverse the plain will of the people now some twenty years later even if we had nine Scalias on the bench (since this would be an ultimate test even of originalism itself given that the Founders intended that elections by the people to be governed decide who is to govern – and not by a bunch of losers who tell us out front that they are projecting, i.e., blaming Democrats for the fraud they are in fact plainly and openly pursuing.

    So let’s remain vigilant but stay calm as possible while this story unfolds this week, reasonably secure in the knowledge that we will have a new president come noon, January 20,2021. Perhaps equally (or almost so) in importance is another prediction I have, to wit: That we will have a Democratic Senate come the new year, an important throttle on executive design of any president and judicial additions in particular.

    Finally, and to wax philosophical – Little did Madison know at the time when he doled out elections to the states that there would be fifty states and fifty different election statutes to construe in deciding electors for president and representatives for the House (giving choice of senators to state legislatures at the time). Were he here today he could perhaps lecture justices such as Kavanaugh, Scalia and Barrett on originalism straight from the horse’s mouth. Perhaps.

  17. Terry Munson ~ YIKES!! I’ve worried about these things as well, if trump is reelected. Although you managed to throw in a few possibilities I hadn’t thought about. Yep, giving me cold chills.

  18. To me, the most trustworthy omen of this election is that Trump’s stump speeches are at a loss to appeal to anyone but those who vote single issue and party and person with no thought to any alternative ever. There are just not enough of them, and there never were. The decision to try Trump as President was made by people who didn’t vote, and many of them were created by social media as the new means for foreign adversaries to work their need to sow chaos here. Putin’s success will be viewed by history as a master stroke.

    In modern parlance we are “woke” now, just in time. Like history records often truth is being celebrated with new enthusiasm. That’s all good. We need to build on it but truth is not universally celebrated. There will always be resistance. We will be called on to persevere.

  19. Robin, I salute you and your peers. I have always respected and admired your profession and after watching the tragic toll this viral mess has taken I realized those in power made choices based on their agendas not based on public service. We shouldn’t have to look to other countries to figure out how to fight this battle. But we can and even though they too are experiencing a new wave at least those in charge have again taken charge.
    The cult in power has to be stopped.
    And Lester, yes. If we don’t stand up and fight to stop this horrible group then we deserve whatever we get.

  20. that car,suv bump in texas while the Biden caravan was driving, seems in place,if anyone has driven in texas, they drive like that anyway..if you have a liberal bumper sticker,expect the threats.its daily,it everyday…i myself had such a experience with another semi in the hill country running west.. my menuver preventented my demise, while i watched the other driver,shit his pants.while keeping his truck from rolling over, he didnt try again and kept his mouth shut….this was 2 years ago.unreported, because id feel the DPS would arrest me for getting out of this drivers way.. dont feel like its a one time thing,that issue is quite common in texas..they are outta line and outta mind…

  21. I do realize it’s hard to accept alternative facts but Biden is worried about the minority vote numbers. I predict the minority vote will put Trump over the top – Trump has made a connection with them. They are tired of Democrat promises that haven’t delivered.
    It’s not all republicans who voted for him last time attending his rallies – many are newly registered voters and new supporters. There’s also the “shy” Trump voter phenomenon – Trafalgar Group poll – not saying who they are voting for due to the intimidation and harassment Trump supporters have received. I have many friends voting for Trump who wouldn’t put a bumper sticker on their car or a banner in their yard or make any political statement for fear of retaliation. Your so-called defectors- they’re the swamp and minuscule in number compared to all the newly registered Republicans. Also, I predict the GOP will pick up at least 2 more seats in the senate – Michigan and Alabama with an additional possibility of Minnesota. Looking at battleground states today – it’s going to be 4 more years. While you all despise him, he really does want the best for all Americans. It’s going to be okay.

  22. I don’t believe that Trump ever stood for what’s best for all Americans but he always has for what’s best for some Americans defined as those like him but not necessarily with the wealth that was his birthright.

    They are going to miss him.

    The French coined “ Liberté, Egalité, Fraternité”, which was linked by François Fénelon at the end of the 17th century and the notions of “liberty”, “equality” and “fraternity” became more widespread during the Age of Enlightenment.

    It seems that everyone honors freedom for themselves but fewer honor it as the same for everyone because to them brotherhood is limited to those more or less like them.

    It’s been a recurring problem for Americans.

  23. Becky — you, my dear, are part of the delusional crowd. While you may be right in your predictions, you are so wrong that ” he really does want the best for all Americans. It’s going to be okay.” The only ones he gives a rat’s ass about besides Ivanka, are his other billionaire buddies. He loves the adoration you cult members lavish on him, true, but he has NO interest in your well being. And the country I was taught about in the ’60s and ’70s is disappearing fast under this self-serving autocrat. You are on the wrong side of history. Hitler, Mussolini, Idi Amin, etc. all had their fans but in the end they all met an ignominious end. Trump will, too. And then we will rebuild.

  24. Anthony – 8)>

    Sheila – consider the source – when an article begins by citing conspiracy theories, I don’t trust their grasp on reality. The same goes for Internet trolls and other delusional people. Who the hell is the Trafalgar Group – Nate Silver rates poll reliability and bias – he doesn’t even consider Trafalgar Group – Hey – I can start the “Blog Group” poll and say that Biden wins by 20 points – not true, but I bet some Republicans would love to use it as a “the sky is falling” fund raising foil.

    Paul laid out a lot of the differences between 2016 and 2020. Among those in his “many other” is Comey. The main thing is that the Democrats have been “burned” recently by the polls and are remaining scared.

    One thing that gives me hope – 5th District Congressional race – phone banking had about 30 people per shift, many young, some older – the last couple of weeks, the numbers were in the 50s – this weekend it was over 80 – mostly young — People are engaged; people are worried; people are voting.

    Peggy – money is important, but not everything – I came across this nice factoid recently
    1998 New York Senate race
    Senator D’Amato – spent $24 million
    challenger Schumer – spent $16.3 milliion
    We know who won that one.

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