Free Forum Friday

Election Day LiveBlog!

Hey everybody! Well we’re going to try something new. The 538Refugees contributors are going to do an Election Day LiveBlog on Tuesday. We’re not sure how it will go but we will leave the comment section open and monitor it while we’re blogging. So check in every so often to see reports on the election and associated commentary.


Meanwhile, it’s Free Forum Friday. What’s on your mind?

About Mr. Universe

Mr. Universe is a musician/songwriter and an ex-patriot of the south. He currently lives and teaches at a University in the Pacific Northwest. He is a long distance hiker who has hiked the Appalachian Trail and the Pacific Crest Trail. He is also an author and woodworker. An outspoken political voice, he takes a decidedly liberal stance in politics.
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63 Responses to Free Forum Friday

  1. shiloh says:

    A poll yesterday had Owens leading in NY-23. Interesting Reps nominating (3) completely inept, teabagger etc. candidates for senator(s) and governor that it may drag down the entire Rep ticket in NY and it may be a total wipe out for Reps.Or not …In a year “pundits” say should be very bad for Dems.

  2. I am hearing the following conventional wisdom through local papers and on the ground reports out of Pennsylvania:1. Toomey is stalling out and can’t break 50 in a poll. Sestak and the unions are working together to take advantage (Senate). 2. Onorato has not closed the deal and cannot get enough registered voters out for him (Governor)3. The five House races that Nate has flipping in PA are all not going to flip. Dahlkemper is the likeliest to lose, then the open seat in Delaware County going to Meehan, then Murphy in Bucks County, then Kanjorski in Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, and then Carney in Northeast PA.

  3. filistro says:

    Mike… THANK YOU for those on-the-ground reports!!! (Fascinating.. and heartening )Anybody else… what’s happening where you are? What are you seeing… yard signs, door knockers, water-cooler chat.. at this stage it’s all grist for the mill. We’re moving into the ravenous-for-information final hours…SCOTT… you’re in FLA, right? What is the reaction there to the “Clinton-asks-Meek-to- retire” dustup? I saw a commentator say that whether Meek goes or not, Clinton has done what he set out to accomplish by sending a signal the establishment D’s are pulling away from Meek… thus giving other D’s permission to do the same and go to Crist.Is that your impression?Thanks 🙂

  4. Mr. Universe says:

    Dang, filistro stealing the thunder from tonight’s article. I’ll go ahead and publish it now.

  5. shrinkers says:

    Anybody else… what’s happening where you are? What are you seeing.Minnesota Governor is GOING TO flip from Republican to Democratic.The House seats will probably all stay the same, though Clarke (D) has a better chance at unseating Bachmann (R)than the punditiots are saying. The fact that Bachmann had to make this the most expensive House race ever in order to have a chance at keeping her seat says a lot.

  6. Scott says:

    SCOTT… you’re in FLA, right? What is the reaction there to the “Clinton-asks-Meek-to- retire” dustup? I saw a commentator say that whether Meek goes or not, Clinton has done what he set out to accomplish by sending a signal the establishment D’s are pulling away from Meek… thus giving other D’s permission to do the same and go to Crist.Is that your impression?I actually plan on posting something this on my blog tonight (cheap plug!), but here’s the Cliff’s Notes version:Marco Rubio SHOULD win this seat anyway, no matter what happens. Yes, the story served its purpose – it essentially signals that it’s “okay” to vote for Charlie Crist by furthering the “anyone by Rubio” meme. Kendrick Meek has worked his tail off for months to get to this point, and he shouldn’t HAVE to get out of the race. I suggested last night when the story first broke that he SHOULD do it, but that’s more opinion. The FACT is that Meek has every right to stay in, and I’ve already voted for him. I lose either way – if he stays in, Rubio cruises to election. If he drops out, I lose because my vote is wasted AND Rubio might still win anyways.That being said, I would say that the ratio of “voting for Crist-vs-voting for Meek” amongst my admittedly smallish circle is probably 2 or 3-to-1 – I’m legitimately surprised that so many people are going to vote for the Governor over Rep. Meek. Again, I understand it – just surprised by it.I hope that answers the question. If not, let me know what I need to do to clarify more.

  7. filistro says:

    Scott… that’s exactly what I wanted. I’m going to copy your post to Mr U’s entry above since you are our Man On The Ground in Florida… and eyewitness to history.(Every election seems to make history in FL these days. What IS it with you guys? 😉 Also, why don’t you post a link to your blog? I’d like to have a look at it.Thanks again.

  8. filistro says:

    OOOps.. didn’t need to re-post, you’ve already done it. Good man. 🙂

  9. Scott says:

    Also, why don’t you post a link to your blog? I’d like to have a look at it.I wasn’t going to overtly hijack your website to promote myself (plus, the link pops up if you highlight my name in my posts), but since you insist:http://carusoforflorida.blogspot.comA word of caution to temper expectations – I’ve been planning on doing this for quite some time, but it’s very very very very very very new. Still working the kinks out. Using mainly twitter and facebook to get the word out. I was a writer by trade (Journalism major at Northeastern University, actually), but I ended up in a completely separate field. This is part of my attempt to get back into more regular writing.

  10. Jean says:

    A couple of weeks ago Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann in an interview with World Net Daily, was asked, “If you could sit down to dinner with any eight people who ever lived and they could all, for this one occasion, speak English, who would be on your guest list?” Michele’s answer: “Jesus; George Washington; Adam, the first man; the apostle Paul; Johann Sebastian Bach; Ann Coulter; Ronald Reagan; and Mark Levin. It would be a very interesting combination! I’m still working on my guest list, but who would be on yours?

  11. shiloh says:

    @JeanWould just like to have Jefferson, Adams, Madison, Monroe, Franklin etc. in present day America to comment on palin, angle, paul, bachmann, buck, miller, o’donnell’s etc. oh yea, add Bartles to the list 😉 ~ total misunderstanding of the …U.S. Constitution.Surely it would be high comedy 🙂 as Jefferson schools o’donnell, bachmann, angle et al on the meaning of the Constitution and how a democratic Republic is supposed to work.solo estoy diciendo

  12. shiloh says:

    And wonder what Jefferson, Adams, Madison, Monroe, Franklin etc. would think of the Electoral College today and California, population 37,000,000 million getting the same # of senators as AK, pop. 700k as there have been (27) amendments to the U.S. Constitution.And they would probably ask how in the name of Jesus 😉 did Clarence seat warmer Thomas get nominated for the Supreme Court by Bush41.oh yea, Harriet Miers by Bush43 lol>Again, America survives despite itself, eh.solo estoy diciendo

  13. shiloh says:

    37 millioncarry on

  14. filistro says:

    @Jean… Michele’s answer: “Jesus; George Washington; Adam, the first man; the apostle Paul; Johann Sebastian Bach; Ann Coulter; Ronald Reagan; and Mark Levin…Good grief. I assume “Adam, the first man” would be your classic hairy Neanderthal with prognathous jaw and prominent brow ridges. I trust that he and Ann Coulter are dating.Also note that Michelle, that sly minx, wants ALL MEN on her list (unless we are willing to give Ann the benefit of the doubt…)My list… Carl Sagan, Gore Vidal, Dorothy Parker, Barack Obama, Sacajawea, Mme. Curie, Oscar Wilde, and shiloh.

  15. filistro says:

    Scott… very classy blog, nicely set up, easy to navigate. And your writing is unusually strong and clean. Very impressive. Thank you. 🙂

  16. shiloh says:

    @Filiand shiloh.~~~~~Please, no pandering. ;)In no particular order: Shakespeare, Confucius, Kurt Vonnegut, William F. Buckley, Jr., Rose Kennedy, Eleanor Roosevelt, Abigail Adams, Plato.And I would just be there just to eat and listen. 🙂

  17. Jean says:

    re: “If you could sit down to dinner with any eight people who ever lived and they could all, for this one occasion, speak English, who would be on your guest list?” Samuel Adams, Frank Lloyd Wright, Jesus, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Rachel Carson, Simon Weisenthal, Richard Feynman and Lyndon Johnson.

  18. filistro says:

    The Freepers are seeing a late surge for O’Donnell and are now expecting her to win.No, really. Check the link!

  19. filistro says:

    Jean… I’m a bit nervous about your guest list. I can foresee trouble at the dinner table.Simon Weisenthal (may he rest in peace) had famously, enormously large EARS, and you know what Lyndon Johnson was apt to do when he’d had a drink or two… 🙂

  20. shrinkers says:

    @filistro The Freepers are seeing a late surge for O’Donnell and are now expecting her to win.On the strength of a single poll that shows O’Donnell to be “only” 10 points behind … that’s an interesting idea. Does this mean that in all the places where Democrats are “only” 10 points behind, we should expect them to win?

  21. filistro says:

    @shrinkers.. Does this mean that in all the places where Democrats are “only” 10 points behind, we should expect them to win?Silly goose! That formula only works for REPUBLICANS!(Who happen to be WITCHES…)

  22. robert verdi says:

    As a cautiously optimistic supporter of the Tea Party, I recommend a bottle of bourbon (Knob Creek) for next Tuesday, you will be surprised how well glass of it will work when the data points to a really ugly day in regards to politics. (It worked in 2008 for me)

  23. filistro says:

    robert… that’s kind of you.Just in case, I’ve laid in a bottle of Bailey’s and two new books. And if it gets really bad, I’ll go to the casino. (I find that losing money is always an effective counter-irritant 🙂

  24. robert verdi says:

    Heh!By the way I have been in your shoes and if its any consolation the wheel always turns.

  25. filistro says:

    By the way I have been in your shoes and if its any consolation the wheel always turns.LOL.. that’s sweet… but somehow it’s no comfort when you are the one lying on the pavement, and the wheel is rolling over your abdomen.On the bright side, as you say… I can grimly endure, knowing that next time it will be YOU ALL with the tire tracks on your tummies 🙂

  26. filistro says:

    Robert, you seem like such a nice guy. I’m not sure you’re mean enough to be a Republican.

  27. Scott says:

    Re: writing being unusually strong…I guess I’m just… Unusual. Glad you like it. Tell your friends!

  28. filistro says:

    @Scott: Re: writing being unusually strong…I have a theory about writing style. (I have theories about EVERYTHING, actually :-)Lots of writers have distinctive styles, so you can read a paragraph and know it’s theirs. When you’re reading them you always picture them sitting at a desk and composing. You can’t get their image out of your mind.Others have a style that’s clear and free-flowing, like fresh water. You don’t see the writer at all, just the words and the thoughts. Those are the very best writers… the ones who are somehow able to get out of the way of their own words so you get totally caught up in what they’re saying.Writers like the latter are quite rare. I think you are one of them.

  29. Scott says:

    Awww shucks. You got all that from half a dozen posts? You’re making me blush.

  30. shrinkers says:

    @robertBy the way I have been in your shoes and if its any consolation the wheel always turns.that is very kind of you. And you’re right. There is an ebb and flow to politics.We get quite caught up in each immediate contest, mostly because the stakes are always so high (and, seemingly, getting higher). But America has survived worse, and will go through worse — and better — times ahead.Let’s take one moment, put all the partisanship aside, and just be Americans. We can get back into the boxing ring after taking a few deep breaths and grinning at each other.

  31. mclever says:

    Scott,I’ll agree with filistro, that your writing style is very readable. You use words well. :-)Sometimes I wonder what real writers think of my writing, but then I’m always afraid to really find out!

  32. shrinkers says:

    Scott, I’m gonna read your blog when I get the chance. I love good writing.

  33. shrinkers says:

    @filistroLots of writers have distinctive styles, so you can read a paragraph and know it’s theirs. When you’re reading them you always picture them sitting at a desk and composing. You can’t get their image out of your mind.filistro, I have a very vivid image of you. And it’s pretty hot.

  34. mclever says:

    I’ll be attending an on-campus event where Ron Paul is the featured speaker.Since I disagree with about 90% of his politics (rough guesstimate, could be an exaggeration), am I allowed to heckle? Or, does my known predisposition against his views mean I’m not supposed to go? Or if I go, am I not allowed to clap if someone else asks a provocative question?Just want to make sure I’ve got a clear understanding of my free speech rights beforehand…;-)

  35. shrinkers says:

    mclever, just be sure someone near you has a cell phone with a camera.

  36. filistro says:

    mclever… he’s kind of a tiny, frail, elderly dude.In the interests of maintaining the positive image of liberals everywhere, you are absolutely not allowed to stomp on his head.Pretty much anything else is fine with me.I do envy you, getting to hear the guy in person. He has some mystical power to get people fired up. We were driving though Montana a few years ago, in an area where you can literally go 50 miles without seeing ANYTHING… I mean, no buildings, no haystacks, no cows… just miles and miles of silent rolling plains. And in the middle of it you come onto a gigantic billboard… like, 4 times the size of a regular billboard… and all it says is RON PAUL.Really quite eerie. Almost menacing, somehow. It reminded me of “Ozymandias”… Two vast and trunkless legs of stone…

  37. mclever says:

    Friends with cellphone cameras. checkNo stomping on Ron Paul’s head. checkI think I can handle that. :-)I’m actually pretty excited to hear him speak. Whenever political figures come through here, I try to make a point of hearing what they say in person, no matter how closely aligned I am politically.

  38. Scott says:

    filistro, I have a very vivid image of you. And it’s pretty hot.First LOL moment of the day. Well-played.

  39. Jean says:

    The teapers have high hopes for what they desire their Tea Party candidates to accomplish, should they win. They’re already testing a Tea Party Amendment over at redstate, which starts out:Section 1. All bills before Congress shall be sequestered, remain unaltered and be made generally available to the public for a period of five days plus one working day per thousand words, before every vote in either House of Congress.Five days plus one working day per thousand words. And goes downhill from there.http://www.redstate.com/harraw/2010/10/28/tea-party-amendment-2/

  40. Mainer says:

    I like to hear other people expound as well Mclever. A closed mind is pretty much worthless. I might be able to listen to his dad. Now beyond that not sure I could do a Sarah speech as her voice just sets me off but her better half is an actual cool dude and I was able to catch him up here in our frozen corner of the world. Todd is liked up here and so is Sarah but it seems that most like him better…..funny what?Now I need to get a rope so that I can elongate Pat Buchannan for last night having the balls to say on the Chris Mathewes show that Christine Odonnellllll is the next Margaret Chase Smith………Pat best to forget having your next vacation in Maine as I understand crab bait is in short supply. Ignorant mother. Prissy Crissy couln’t tote Margarets briefcase with out screwing it up……sorry little regional angst…..sorry piece of crap…..must get some thing for supper other than hydraulic sandwiches…..motel living….burp… Must get ready for the next day at some point.

  41. filistro says:

    So a thousand words is about 5-6 pages, the way bills are written with wide margins for marking up.A week for a thousand words, roughly one day per page. Am I doing this right?The HCR bill was 2409 pages. It would have had to be sequestered for 6 years and 7 months before every vote in either House. They obviously want to make it impossible for government to do anything at all. It’s just too juvenile and ridiculous for words.

  42. Monotreme says:

    One of the great things about living in Mississippi was the annual Neshoba County Fair, one of the first (and now last) residential fairs in the country. It’s the first week of August every year, hotter’n Hell.Tuesdays and Wednesdays were political speech days. Candidates for all offices from national to dogcatcher were invited to give their stump speeches in an open-sided barn with church pews. The smart candidates had their kids hand out fans with the candidate’s name and intended office.I miss those speeches.

  43. Monotreme says:

    Scott and mclever are both good writers. Shrinkers has a great novel out, and filistro makes her living as a writer.We have a lot of good writers on this blog. It’s what makes it fun. I sorta miss the old WV word games. Maybe when Mr. U moves us over to another location, we can get back to WV again. It’s hard to make a pun out of 30868.

  44. Scott says:

    You honor and humble me with your kind words. That you would include me in the same sentence with filistro, shrinkers and mclevers is flattering. Thank you monotreme.

  45. Alki says:

    From PPP:“Biggest surprise in our final round of polling so far: Ted Strickland. He really might pull this out.”And this from the Strickland campaign:http://www.tedstrickland.com/blog/entry/memo_state_of_the_race/

  46. Alki says:

    Tweet from Jon Ralston of NV:“Dem surge on last day of early voting in Washoe. Repubs had consistently won (except for 1 day), but highest turnout 2day, Dems +175. Trend?”

  47. Scott says:

    As much as these last two stories make me happy, I can’t shake the feeling of impending doom.

  48. shortchain says:

    I’m just not bold enough to comment on this thread.

  49. shortchain says:

    On second thought: Scott, impending doom is the human condition. “Anyone who tells you different is selling something.”

  50. shiloh says:

    impending doom is the human conditionIndeed, ever since Eve (((forced))) Adam 😉 to eat that damn apple, it’s been all down hill …Mayan End of Days Prophecy: Dec. 21, 2012.>er Nostradamus: the world will end either 3797 or 3786.hmm, a lot of leeway, eh.Marshall Applewhite ~ Hale-Bop Comet ~ In October 1996, the group purchased alien abduction insurance to cover up to 50 members at a cost of $10,000.Hey, it’s good to be protected for every eventuality! :)Judy Tenuta ~ It could happen!Beam me up Scotty …

  51. dr_funguy says:

    Speaking of the lack of intelligent life in the TP heres an analysis of their lack of comprehension of matters constitutional.http://www.thenation.com/blog/155649/tea-party-constitution-versus-thomas-jefferson-constitution.”Wisconsin Senate candidate Johnson, for instance, has fretted during the current campaign about how the Constitution “is not an easy document to read” and complained that he was finding it “hard to study.” Maybe we need a “for dummies” version.

  52. filistro says:

    Doc… reading is HARD. It’s HARD WORK.LOL…

  53. dr_funguy says:

    I guess that’s why they want a day per page to review new legislation.

  54. mclever says:

    Monotreme,Your “PhD in Political Science” link hit a little close to home. Ack!:-)

  55. Monotreme says:

    @mclever,Yeah, I know. I have arms that are too long as well.

  56. mclever says:

    Well, I had fun at the Ron Paul “Restoring Liberty” rally on campus last night. If anyone wants a recap of the biggest applause lines, let me know!We’re in Iowa, so people were civil, polite, and conversant on the issues. There weren’t many crazies. Only one sign (about repealing income taxes), some Ron Paul 2012 t-shirts and buttons, and one “Don’t Tread on Me” flag worn as a cape. An interesting moment of ideological conflict came from Jon Narcisse, the Libertarian candidate for governor here in Iowa. In his campaign platform, he argues that “paying teachers $80K-$90K on average will upgrade the caliber of teachers in the classroom, which is a must.” Using a free market analysis, he points out (correctly) that teachers need competitive compensation if our state’s schools want to attract the brightest and best into teaching. This argument generally scores points in Iowa, because education is one of this state’s longstanding values.In contrast, one of Ron Paul’s big applause lines was abolishing the Department of Education and ending all federal education programs. It got the expected enthusiastic cheering from those in the front of the room.Of course, there are ways to reconcile these different views of public education, but the juxtaposition of both at the same event amused me.

  57. Jean says:

    dr funguy,re: “Wisconsin Senate candidate Johnson, for instance, has fretted during the current campaign about how the Constitution “is not an easy document to read” and complained that he was finding it “hard to study.” Maybe we need a “for dummies” version.The R’s taking the House or Senate will fast-forward the internal fight for the soul of the Republican party and it will be vicious.The Tea Party goal is to replace what they see as sell-out “how dare they compromise” traditional Republicans (RINOs). These teapers will go to Congress with the intense scrutiny and eyes of the newly politically involved angry old white voters upon them. They will be expected to perform exactly as they dog-whistle advertised on the campaign.Michele Bachmann’s spokesman said Michele is already putting together constitutional classes for them “because a lot of good people get elected but a lot of them get co-opted into the establishment”. http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1010/44418.html#ixzz13rb9pNJh

  58. shrinkers says:

    @JeanThey’re already testing a Tea Party Amendment over at redstate,Isn’t it interesting, that for people who so love the Constitution, righties are always so desperately anxious to change it?

  59. Jean says:

    shrinkers,They really are clueless and a prime example of “a little knowledge is a dangerous thing”. Yes, they want to change it – simply because they watch nothing other than Fox and that is what Fox says they have to do. It truly is no more complex than that; they don’t look any deeper.I was out to dinner with my right-wing ex last night and, responding to my comment that the teapers were nothing more than angry old white men, my ex said, “Jean, how can you think that? I am a Tea Partier. This is what the Tea Party is.”I had to laugh. I replied, “Cal, you are a 61 year old wealthly white man. You illustrate my point exactly. He did admit that libs are not only far more fun, but that conservative women, though socially acceptable to wingers, are really v-e-r-y boring and that liberals are a lot more fun and politically open to considering other viewpoints.

  60. shrinkers says:

    @JeanHe did admit that libs are not only far more fun, but that conservative women, though socially acceptable to wingers, are really v-e-r-y boring and that liberals are a lot more fun and politically open to considering other viewpoints.Oh yes I have to agree. Liberal women are far more fun. 🙂

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