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marmar

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Gender: Male
Member since: Thu Oct 28, 2004, 11:18 PM
Number of posts: 71,664

Journal Archives

Why your brain is having difficulty making plans right now, according to a neuroscientist


(Salon) For the last month or so, I've desperately struggled with what I've termed as "planning paralysis," this feeling that I can't put anything on the calendar because everything around me feels like one big question mark. While at the beginning of the pandemic, I assuaged my stress by packing my free time with activities — Zoom happy hours and virtual fitness classes — my schedule is now marked in new increments; instead of days and hours, it's project recipe bake times and Netflix releases.

With election day steadily approaching, my pandemic, personal and political anxiety are due for a high-speed collision, and as a result, my brain balks at putting anything on paper after Nov. 3. And I'm not alone.

Lauren Krouse and her partner are both freelance writers, and they moved to Virginia to serve as caregivers for her grandmother right before the novel coronavirus was declared a global pandemic by the World Health Organization.

"Since then, [my grandmother] has relocated to South Carolina to live with another family member for a while, and we're now in the middle of a small town in Virginia house-sitting for her," Krouse said. "We've considered saving up and buying a house, but that just seems too risky with the impact of COVID on the economy, real estate, and publishing."

....(snip)....

The same concept is applicable for humans, and when stressed, it can be easy for some people to fixate on or overemphasize the potential for loss in the decision-making equation. That may look like putting off a honeymoon, a big purchase or even just flipping to the mid-November section of your calendar because there's the fear that the world will just step on your plans (what's that old truism — man plans, and COVID laughs?) and you'll have to deal with feelings of disappointment and frustration. ...........(more)

https://www.salon.com/2020/10/30/covid-plans-decision-making-brain-neuroscience/




'An awakening I haven't seen before': Detroit voters say 2020 won't be like 2016


(Guardian UK) Cole Thompson isn’t voting this year – he can’t because he’s only 17. But on a frigid and rainy afternoon last week, he and about half a dozen of his classmates at University of Detroit Jesuit high school fanned out in the blocks around their school to leave flyers on door handles encouraging people to vote.

“Last election, we didn’t put forth our effort and we didn’t vote and it kind of backfired on us because we wound up being a Trump state rather than a Hillary state and we should have been a Hillary state,” Thompson said. “It doesn’t matter whether or not I can vote. It’s still important to get people who can vote to vote.”

Michigan, with 16 electoral college votes, is one of a handful of states that will determine the outcome of this year’s presidential election. Detroit, the state’s largest city, will play a big role in determining that outcome. There’s little doubt that Joe Biden will win the vote in the Democratic-friendly city, but his margin of victory could shape whether he will carry the state. In 2016, turnout fell in Detroit; Hillary Clinton got about 47,000 fewer votes in the city than Barack Obama did in 2012. Donald Trump won Michigan by just 10,704 votes.

Memories of that decline have helped fuel an aggressive blitz to turn out voters in the city in the final weeks of the campaign, even as Covid-19 has made in-person canvassing harder. That effort includes not just encouraging Detroit residents to vote but also explaining how; Michigan has dramatically expanded its voting laws since 2016, including allowing for no-excuse absentee and early voting.

“I know people I’m speaking to now in 2020 that haven’t voted in eight years in a presidential campaign. They are like, ‘Thank you for telling me where to go, thank you for coming to talk to me,’” the congresswoman Rashida Tlaib, who represents portions of Detroit and the suburbs, told the Guardian. “There’s an awakening that I haven’t seen before.” ..........(more)

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/oct/31/detroit-michigan-us-election-voters




Why this election calls into question whether America is a democracy


from the Guardian UK:


Why this election calls into question whether America is a democracy
At the beginning of the Fight to Vote project, we asked this question. After a year of election battles, voting restrictions and partisan conflicts, we revisit the idea

Sam Levine
Fri 30 Oct 2020 13.45 EDTFirst published on Fri 30 Oct 2020 12.00 EDT



America has long held itself up as the world’s leading democracy, but it has an equally long history of denying people the right to vote.

To understand how voter suppression is shaping the 2020 election, just look at Texas. While many states do not require voters to have a reason to vote by mail, Texas only allows voters to do so if they are 65 or older or meet other conditions. The state does not allow people to register to vote online.

Even with a flood of Covid cases, Texas has successfully fought tooth and nail in federal and state courts to uphold those restrictions. Last month, Texas’s governor, Greg Abbott, a Republican, abruptly issued an order that limited each county in the state to offer one ballot drop box. The move meant that Democratic-friendly Harris county, which covers more than 1,700 square miles and is home to 2.4 million registered voters, could only offer one place for voters to return their ballots. The state of Rhode Island, which is smaller than Harris county, will have more drop-off locations this year.



The battle playing across America is in some ways a continuation of a centuries-long fight over access to the franchise. African Americans were formally denied the right to vote at the nation’s founding, and even when granted access in the 19th century, states responded by implementing devices such as poll taxes, literacy tests and felon disenfranchisement laws designed to keep African Americans from the polls. .............(more)

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/oct/30/is-america-a-democracy-us-election-fight-to-vote




Why your brain is having difficulty making plans right now, according to a neuroscientist


(Salon) For the last month or so, I've desperately struggled with what I've termed as "planning paralysis," this feeling that I can't put anything on the calendar because everything around me feels like one big question mark. While at the beginning of the pandemic, I assuaged my stress by packing my free time with activities — Zoom happy hours and virtual fitness classes — my schedule is now marked in new increments; instead of days and hours, it's project recipe bake times and Netflix releases.

With election day steadily approaching, my pandemic, personal and political anxiety are due for a high-speed collision, and as a result, my brain balks at putting anything on paper after Nov. 3. And I'm not alone.

Lauren Krouse and her partner are both freelance writers, and they moved to Virginia to serve as caregivers for her grandmother right before the novel coronavirus was declared a global pandemic by the World Health Organization.

"Since then, [my grandmother] has relocated to South Carolina to live with another family member for a while, and we're now in the middle of a small town in Virginia house-sitting for her," Krouse said. "We've considered saving up and buying a house, but that just seems too risky with the impact of COVID on the economy, real estate, and publishing."

....(snip)....

The same concept is applicable for humans, and when stressed, it can be easy for some people to fixate on or overemphasize the potential for loss in the decision-making equation. That may look like putting off a honeymoon, a big purchase or even just flipping to the mid-November section of your calendar because there's the fear that the world will just step on your plans (what's that old truism — man plans, and COVID laughs?) and you'll have to deal with feelings of disappointment and frustration. ...........(more)

https://www.salon.com/2020/10/30/covid-plans-decision-making-brain-neuroscience/




Wanda Sykes reporting on the 2000 election, from the Chris Rock show on HBO


&t=99s

Neither forgive nor forget the voter suppressors, no matter how furiously they try to scrub away....

Neither forgive nor forget the voter suppressors, no matter how furiously they try to scrub away the Trump stink
By Jeffrey C. Billman @jeffreybillman


(Detroit Metro Times) If I had to guess, this shitshow of an election will probably conclude in a rather predictable fashion. After all, if you ignore the day-to-day palpitations and take a long view, the contest looks remarkably steady.

Donald Trump started behind. He remained behind all year. Nothing changed. Headed into the campaign’s final weekend, he was down nine. So if on Tuesday night — or given the deluge of absentee ballots, Wednesday or Thursday or Friday — the networks declare Joe Biden the winner with a 52–46 margin and a little over 320 electoral votes, we’ll nod and go, “That makes sense.”

As we learned four years ago, polling errors happen. One of this magnitude would be unprecedented. But this is an unprecedented election: the first held during a pandemic. The first in which a majority of votes will be cast before Election Day. And, most important, the first in which the president has made clear his intention to challenge legal votes in the hope that judges he appointed will declare him the winner.

“We’ll see what happens at the end of [Election Day],” Trump said Thursday. “Hopefully, it won’t go longer than that. Hopefully, the few states remaining that want to take a lot of time after Nov. 3 to count ballots, that won’t be allowed by the various courts.”

No law requires ballots to be counted, or winners declared, on Election Day. In fact, many states wait more than a month before certifying their results. The only thing different this year is that lots of people voted by mail, which means lots of ballots will get counted after Election Day. Since Democrats used absentee ballots far more than Republicans, what looks like a swing-state win for Trump on Tuesday could turn into a decisive Biden victory by Friday — the so-called blue shift. ...........(more)

https://www.metrotimes.com/detroit/neither-forgive-nor-forget-the-voter-suppressors-no-matter-how-furiously-they-try-to-scrub-away-the-trump-stink/Content?oid=25682664&utm_source=feature&utm_medium=home&utm_campaign=hpfeatures&utm_content=HomeTopFeature




People keep focusing on turnout in Miami-Dade......


..... but isn't Broward the most Democrat-heavy county in Florida, thus the key to the election?


'Voters are fed up': will Arizona's suburbs abandon the party of Trump?


(Guardian UK) In the agonizing days after the 2018 election, Christine Marsh, a Democratic candidate for state Senate in a traditionally Republican suburban Phoenix district, watched her opponent’s lead dwindle to a few hundred votes, with thousands of ballots left to be counted.

In the end, just 267 votes separated them.

Marsh lost. But the result was ominous for Republicans, in a corner of Phoenix’s ever-expanding suburbs where Barry Goldwater, the long-serving Arizona senator and conservative icon, launched his presidential campaign in 1964 from the patio of his famed hilltop estate in Paradise Valley.

In the decades since, population growth and shifting demographics have transformed the cultural, political and economic complexion of the region.

....(snip)....

According to an October Monmouth poll, independent voters in Arizona favor Biden by 21 percentage points. The survey also found that most of the state’s independent voters believe McSally, who was appointed to fill the unexpired term of the late Republican senator John McCain after losing to Sinema in 2018, is too supportive of the president. She now faces an uphill battle to keep the seat, after months spent trailing her Democratic challenger, Mark Kelly. ...........(more)

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/oct/30/arizona-us-election-donald-trump-suburbs-maricopa




Donald Trump's election mayhem is coming: Journalists must be ready to fight back


Donald Trump's election mayhem is coming: Journalists must be ready to fight back
We know Trump will try to swamp this election in lies, rumors and lawsuits. Political media must be prepared

DAN FROOMKIN
OCTOBER 30, 2020 11:00AM


(Salon) As it becomes blindingly obvious that Donald Trump is going to fight to throw out any ballot counted after midnight on Nov. 3, it is ever more urgent that journalists be prepared to explain to the public why there's no practical, legal or moral rationale for his demands.

An important first step in this prebuttal will be to get Republican and Democratic election officials — particularly in swing states — on the record saying that there is nothing risky or dangerous about counting every legally submitted ballot, even if it takes a few days.

Trump's claims that mail-in voting will be massively fraudulent, and that votes not counted by election night are somehow wildly more susceptible to cheating, are actually far beyond even Republican norms. They simply don't make sense — and state election officials will tell reporters that, if they ask.

Credit for this idea belongs to Paul Bernstein, a former editor in the Washington Post's Metro section. He wrote in an email:

It's unavoidable that many Trump supporters will see a conspiracy if key states shift from red to blue once the mail ballots have been counted. But this paranoia may be less widespread if state election officials (especially Republican ones) make statements NOW, before any votes have been counted, vouching for the integrity of the vote-counting process. And they won't issue such statements unless journalists press them on this point.


Trump, meanwhile, continues to say what were traditionally the quiet parts out loud: "Big problems and discrepancies with Mail In Ballots all over the USA. Must have final total on November 3rd," he tweeted on Oct. 26. (Twitter flagged this as possibly misleading.) ...................(more)

https://www.salon.com/2020/10/30/donald-trumps-election-mayhem-is-coming-journalists-must-be-ready-to-fight-back/




Atlantic City has a warning for the nation: Donald Trump brings ruin and despair


Atlantic City has a warning for the nation: Donald Trump brings ruin and despair
Trump looted and corrupted New Jersey's gambling mecca and then got out of town. Does that sound familiar?

BOB HENNELLY
OCTOBER 30, 2020 10:00AM


With just days to go before the general election the nation is amidst another wave of a once-in-a-century pandemic, with a president who has refused to commit to a peaceful transition of power, even if his opponent gets more votes.

How did New Jersey — my home state — go from being the "Crossroads of the American Revolution" to being implicated in our republic's disease-ridden authoritarian dead-end?

Was our current national misery all presaged by Donald Trump's spectacular collapse in Atlantic City, which is so evident years later in the hulking ruin of the vacant Trump Plaza at the heart of the iconic boardwalk?

If Trump tries to subvert democracy, will New Jersey — which Lincoln Steffens once described as "the traitor state" for its embrace of corporate trusts — be implicated for the way the state's media and political elites indulged him?

....(snip)....

"Trump became the classic case of 'too big to fail,'" said Torricelli. "His empire was never built on a firm financial ground. He was always problematic and the state always feared his failure and that created leverage (for Trump). … They allowed him to self-destruct. It would have been a better favor to Donald Trump and the state of New Jersey had the regulations been stricter, and he certainly should not have been permitted to develop excess capacity, which weakened every other casino in Atlantic City." ..............(more)

https://www.salon.com/2020/10/30/atlantic-city-has-a-warning-for-the-nation-donald-trump-brings-ruin-and-despair_partner/





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