November 6th, 2012

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A few thoughts as we FINALLY Hold Our Election

1. It is entirely likely that Obama will lose at least one state Nate Silver gives him odds of winning.

2. More importantly, even if it is -- according to the most recent polls -- likely (but by no means certain) that Obama will win the electoral vote, and probably (but by no means certain) the popular vote, it is still *numerically* close. Do not freak out if this goes down to the wee hours for final tallies.

3. Fivethirtyeight usually does good live blogging about how candidates are overperforming or underperforming their poll numbers as the votes come in. For those craving data over drama, this is a good choice. For those craving comic relief, I recommend Indecision Forever blog (warning, has clear D bias).

4. The fact is, half the country still disagrees with the other half. They disagree so fundamentally that it is "obvious" how to interpret the facts and it mus be that the other half are [some derogatory description to explain obvious error of their ways]. Good policy comes from persuading people who radically disagree with you that a specific outcome is beneficial for them. As an advocate, I often work together with people with whom a strongly disagree generally but where we can find reason why a specific policy is to our mutual advantage.

So whichever candidate you root for, don't despair. OK, not possible if you lose. If you lose, take until next week to despair. Then start thinking about how to actually get stuff done. Being a citizen goes well beyond the ritual of voting. I know that's difficult in today's world, so do what you can as you can.
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On Going Off To Vote For Question 6

I keep seeing people resentful that we even have to *vote* for marriage equality and that it should simply be a fundamental right and not something given by a majority vote. News flash: ALL fundamental rights require constant reaffirmation and buy in from the majority. Who would have thought that in 2012 the fundamental right to vote would be under attack? "The price of Liberty is eternal vigilance" is not just a slogan.

If you support marriage equality in MD, ME, and WA, do not resent that this is on the ballot. Rejoice that you can take part in curing a fundamental wrong! Voting is one of the ways we build consensus in our country on fundamental issues without shooting each other. Even if these measures do not pass this time. Having them on the ballot and showing the breadth of support moves the ball closer.

I am proud your state is voting on an affirmative measure for marriage equality, and I am proud to be part of getting it passed.
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Lost another friend to election crazies

What *is* it about this election that seems to be turning what used to be otherwise reasonable people with varying political views into full bore conspiracy-theory obsessed crazies. And why do they stalk me on Facebook? The people who unfriended me are cool. If you find my posting is uncivil or driving you crazy and decide to block me, feel free.

But what genuinely disturbs me are people who I have known for years flipping out. It's like some glowie energy critter has given them the delusion that Democrats killed their brother Piotr. I am really well and truly hoping that this subsides after the votes are tallied.