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Election Night Open Thread

[I'm going to leave this post sticky so people can continue to reflect on the election. Although I'm pretty bearish most of the time, I'm more like a cub, right now. --lambert]

I would have put this post up earlier but yes, well, interesting metaphor: I've been taking the bus into "downtown" Bangor (pop. 33,011) just to feel like I'm in a big city, and doing work at a reasonably hip coffee shop, and it actually does help; I've gotten a lot of work done.

So, around 3:30PM, getting read to to back and launch the live blogs, I discovered that I had lost my precious bus pass, my ancient card with the finicky strip wouldn't work in two ATMs, I never carry cash because the pass and the card! and not only not the coffee shop give me a cash advance of one dollar and twenty five cents for the bus with purchase of fancy Italian soda, their competitor wouldn't either. Also, I am cell free and the world doesn't have payphones any more. Stranded!!!

Well, matters ended happily -- despite the onrushing cold and the dark, it being Maine in November -- because I found an ATM that took my card, perhaps because I gave the strip a good staticky rub on my nice sweater. So I had money for the bus. But the brief experience made me think a little about what it would be like to be homeless with "no place to go," about fragility, and about how easy the country makes it for people to go under. And not like Zarathustra.

Too bad the election hasn't been about any of that!

Anyhow, consider this the open election thread.

I'm both here, at the intimate cocktail party, and over at NC, at a massive and noisy tailgate party, but I will try as best I can to be an attentive host. That said, talk amongst yourselves!

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letsgetitdone's picture
Submitted by letsgetitdone on

comes now, over the impending austerity and the safety net. Good luck to us all! Beat Wall Street!

Submitted by chadwick newsome on

...will now remove its mask and reveal to all the world the cruel creature underneath. Within weeks of O's re-election we will see the destruction of the last of shreds of the pathetic American safety net. We will have no recourse, no refuge and no power.

tom allen's picture
Submitted by tom allen on

Within days is also within weeks, so I'll go with that. Wouldn't be surprised if it happened within hours, during the victory speech.

Submitted by Lex on

As i fiddle with Twitter working the night shift (the joys of being in charge means i get to work the most and the worst shifts, hurray!) so i'm unlikely to be completely out of the loop ... which is a shame.

I voted near straight ticket green, mostly because the only way for emergent parties to gain any traction and potentially have success is for people to vote for them. So other than one bout of spontaneous, spite voting for a state university's board of regents, i was all third party. And i couldn't care less who wins the various horse races to the bottom.

My interests are Prop 37 in CA, the three marijuana decriminalization measures (because whoa boy will that piss off whoever is the next president and pointless majority in Congress; it might even lead to a heavy SCOTUS case on the commerce clause), the MI constitutional amendment for giving the Gov dictatorial powers, and the rankly stupid MI constitutional amendment that would require a 2/3 majority in the legislature to raise taxes.

Submitted by chadwick newsome on

Looks a s if the most dangerous man in the country will get four more to do his cruel deeds. This is the most depressing election I have ever lived through. Or read about in history books.

RedQueen's picture
Submitted by RedQueen on

Where was Mike Check when I was filling out my ballot on Sunday? I wrote myself in when there wasn't a non-evil choice on the ballot.

CMike's picture
Submitted by CMike on

It's as good as a cell phone anywhere you can get wireless and, so far, it's free for any calls in the continental U.S.-- just need a $20 Radio Shack headset. I'm thinking of going with Magic Jack and getting rid of my land line (and having a prepaid cell on hand for when the internet is down) and using the "anwering machine" call forwarding to Google Voice feature for my Magic Jack home phones. Problem for me with this approach is that the Cox bundle of internet, tv, and phone just about gives me the land line for free. I might get rid of the tv service, too, going with Netflix, Hulu, and some other subscription service as a money saving alternative.

Anybody have any ideas along these lines or was everyone wanting just to talk about the election returns?

BDBlue's picture
Submitted by BDBlue on

Had an HD antenna installed on the roof (better picture than cable), added in TiVo w/Netflix and haven't missed cable at all, especially when you add in internet stuff. We pay a bit more for internet and phone without a bundle (although we could drop the phone for Magic Jack), but it's still less than cable. Sure, we're a season behind on Breaking Bad, but who really cares? And we get a lot of stations in the DC area with the antenna.

Basically, whatever you do for phone/internet, you can save a lot of money just by giving up cable and, at least in my experience, not miss much of anything.

twig's picture
Submitted by twig on

but I still have cable, because the company had a cheapie offering ($20/mo) that they didn't even have on the website (I asked if they had any less expensive options, and they did).

No cell phone, but Google Voice sounds interesting.

CMike's picture
Submitted by CMike on

It transcribes your voicemail along with giving you access to the audio. I guess my Cox landline does that too, if I were to login to my Cox account, but I'm in my Google Mail all the time and it's right there. I've never had a "smart phone," I guess they all have that transcription feature but it's new to me and I'm finding it handy.

Alexa's picture
Submitted by Alexa on

you mentioned, Netflix and Hulu) in place of TV. We dropped TV Cable two plus years ago--haven't missed it at all! Seriously. Between all the news (including international) that's available on Sirius/XM, Netflix, Hulu, and "the Internets," don't have time for the "boob tube." LOL!

We have several radios, so we have some discount (but nothing huge), but I think XM generally runs between $14 to $16 monthly per radio.

We're currently trying out two (Verizon and Virgin Mobile) wireless broadband services, with intention of dropping DSL if one of them works out.

Have heard good things about "Magic Jack" and "Clear" broadband, but not available here.

Dependable cell service is critical for Mr. Alexa, but me, not so much. He has pretty excellent Verizon, and Boost Mobile (as backup). I have a T-Mobile backup phone, that I can keep for only $100 annually.

I have found an excellent deal on, of all things, prepaid unlimited phone, email and internet service. It started at $60.00 monthly (every six months, goes down $5 in cost), and I'm down to the rock bottom price of $45.00 monthly (unlimited). At one time, my post-paid cell service was a little over $110 monthly.

Oh, the phone company is "Boost Mobile." Actually, it's just "Sprint's prepaid service." The reception here is excellent. But I did keep the T-Mobile backup phone, in case I leave the region, since its reception is not as expansive as Verizon's or AT&T's.

I'd look around. I was surprised at the savings. And it doesn't hurt to "look." Right?

[Sorry, didn't mean to run on so.]

BDBlue's picture
Submitted by BDBlue on

is just an aerial that picks up HD signals, so you're basically talking what we would've called in the olden days "network" tv, along with other local stations. That can hurt on the sports front. We're not much for sports here (although we can get a lot of college basketball on networks), but we do sometimes stream games on ESPN.com. In addition, if you don't mind listening instead of watching (old school!), SIRIUS/XM has all the sports.

But there's no question, IMO, that the one area that suffers by cutting the cable/satellite cord is sports.

If you really want great music, I can't say enough good things about Spotify. $10 a month delivers pretty much all music to up to three devices with the ability to save something like 3000 songs offline. It's a great way to find new music (although things like Pandora are free).

BDBlue's picture
Submitted by BDBlue on

The tv top antennas did not work nearly as well as the aerial we had put on the roof. They got interference and for some stations it was basically a yoga exercise to get them in the right direction to get a good signal (unlike analog, you don't just get a fuzzy signal, if the signal weakens or there's interference it completely pixelates the signal making it impossible to watch). I live in the DC metro area (Alexandria) and still couldn't get a reliable signal for NBC with rabbit ears, even nice ones with boosters, etc.

The roof top one, which cost a few hundred dollars to buy and get installed (just the antenna is around $100), is awesome. I get DC stations and Baltimore. In total, we get something like 25 or 30 channels. It turns out many of the regular broadcast network channels broadcast several different HD channels so we'll get, for example, 7-1 (DC ABC affiliate), 7-2 (weather radar 24 hours a day), and 7-3 (also broadcast by ABC affiliate but with different syndicated/sports programming). The same is true for the PBS stations, including one or two subchannels that broadcast in Spanish, and even some of the independent stations. So, for example, on channel 30-1, right now we have France 24 hour news, on 30-2 we have NHK Newsline (Japanese), on 30-3 we have China 24, and we have RT (Russian Television) on 30-4. Later, 30-1 will have a program by Al Jazeera English.

I don't want to overstate it, there's still a lot of crap, but we get surprising diversity from putting the same thing on the roof that I had when I was a kid (it even looks the same). Of course, that probably depends on where you live. If you're too far out in the country, you're going to need satellite or cable to deal with the crappy signal issues.

And, yes, the installers simply ran coaxial cable down through the attic to three different rooms (we used installers but you can do it yourself). The installer used a splitter which does not seem to affect the HD signal at all. In fact, HD signal through such a set up is generally better than through cable because it doesn't have to be compressed to go through the cable wires all over town.

Also, FCC rules used to mandate - and I assume they still do - that landlords, etc., had to let you install an antenna outside. So don't assume HOAs or other things can stop you. One thing that happened when we got ours was we looked up. Turned out that even in our fairly affluent neighborhood, quite a few people had aerial antennas on the roof, we had just never noticed.

Cost - I think we spent about $350 to get the antenna and get it installed in three rooms. We added on about $10 a month for netflix streaming. Our satellite bill was running about $80 a month without much in the way of premium channels. So we would've spent about $2400 on satellite/cable, and instead spent about $350 in set up costs and another $360 in netflix. So our total savings has been almost $1700 in three years. Now we like DVRing stuff, so we did spring for a Tivo, which also cost some money, but nowhere near $1700.

The absolute best part, however, is that none of my money goes to Fox News or MSNBC or other crap that I don't want to pay for. And if things tight, I can always cut the netflix/tivo and I'd still have access to basic television, including news and weather. After the set up costs, television is free. You can even supplement it with DVDs from the library (or at least we can here - DC library has some really decent selections).

Added bonus, other than things you tivo or stream, nobody knows what you're watching! It also seems to save me from getting roped into some James Bond marathon or other thing that I don't even want to watch, but do so anyway because it's on. I tend now to just watch things I want to watch. I'd say I watch television more purposefully (and probably a bit less of it).

All of which I'm sure is more than you wanted to know, but unlike yesterday's election, I have very strong feelings about this. It's very freeing. And I like television.

CMike's picture
Submitted by CMike on

You've answered most of the FAQs along with providing a reliable testimonial. I'm in the Phoenix area, it's flat here and all the tv and most of the radio transimitters are at one spot on South Mountain. So now the question is just how many tv signals are broadcasting from there-- DC and the whole Northeast corridor might be somewhat unique in how many stations are available. Back in the olden days, when I was growing up in DC area, we used to be able to pick up four VHF and three snowy UHF stations -- one from Baltimore -- with rabbit ears.

The home of one of my relations in town out here still has its builder installed twenty year-old regular antenna on its roof. It never seemed to work at all with the coaxial tv jack but I'll look into why an HD antenna is different.

Submitted by YesMaybe on

"Amendment 64, which would allow the use and regulation of marijuana, has the support of 57 percent of voters in this early exit poll. Forty-three percent voted no on the measure."

Not to jinx it or anything, but I figure if anything the desirability effect would skew the exit poll against the amendment, so I think the odds of it failing are low.

Submitted by cg.eye on

... and already Hickenlooper's warning about the Feds refusing states' individual repeal of Prohibition, and DeGette's warning about potential loss of Federal funds.

*sigh*

I just dread all the droogs who think pot smoking's not smoking, and therefore they can do it anywhere in public.... it's bad enough with tobacco smokers and drunks of all sorts, even under regulation.

Alexa's picture
Submitted by Alexa on

hoped for.

[And I like her a a great deal, folks. But when you've been aggressively courted and recruited by "the Dem Party leadership," will a freshman Senator be beholden to them? I don't know--I hope not.]

Here's an excerpt and link to a Politico piece, entitled, "DSCC Now Playing Kingmaker."

" . . . “The reaction was none in the current field could win and they were worried about beating Brown,” said a Democratic source.

Cecil returned to Washington, transferred thousands of dollars to the state party for research and commissioned a poll to identify the most viable candidate. When the results showed that person was consumer advocate Elizabeth Warren, the concerted courtship by Murray, Sen. Chuck Schumer and Majority Leader Harry Reid began."

She has an impressive 'personal story.' The test will be the vote(s) she casts on "austerity" legislation, IMO.

Valhalla's picture
Submitted by Valhalla on

I'm just reporting! Although regardless, she WILL be the first female US Senator from MA, and that has independent significance. It's really for that that I am glad she won.

The most I think we can expect from her is some rhetorical pushback on the Grand Bargain, but I expect her to fall in line with the poisonous brew being cooked up for us. I don't get any sense from her that she's determined to refuse to play her part in the kabuki.

Interestingly, local newscasters think that her win was due not to support from the national Dems, but due largely to Boston mayor Meninos local machine, along with the rest of state Dems machine.

Alexa's picture
Submitted by Alexa on

seat, and as silly as it may sound, I thought it dishonored him somehow when a Republican took it over.

I wonder if the local newscasters (and I personally have no idea) truly believe that. Or, are they going along with what amounts to a "little bit of kabuki," if the Politico article is to be believed.

IOW, they may be aware that Schumer's (and especially conservative Harry Reid's) support, would have made Warren, shall we say, a less attractive candidate to the Democratic Party base.

If I don't watch out, I'll soon be getting the Correntian Community "tin foil hat" award. LOL!

But, seriously, both parties seem to engage in quite a bit of "base-voter manipulation." So I'm skeptical of almost everything they say.

jumpjet's picture
Submitted by jumpjet on

I'm looking at the Times' website, and it says some independent named Angus King won the Senate race there. I didn't hear a bloody thing about there being an interesting race in Maine.

Also, Sherrod Brown won reelection in Ohio. I wouldn't have voted for him, because he is a Democrat, but among Democrats he's probably my favorite.

Submitted by lambert on

The Democrats have imploded because their last governor, Baldacci, was corrupt and also butchered a school consolidation bill in a very top-down authoritarian way.

So, the race came down an another Independent who lost very narrowly to a Republican, quite a right wing one (though, interestingly, far better on process issues than Baldacci. He may be a loon, but he's not corrupt).

The D was never in it, and the national party never gave her any money because they figured that King, a popular former governor as an Indepedent would win easily. The Republican closed in the last few weeks but was never really in it.

So, thats it. King is a middle of the roader (not anywhere near a Green or a libertarian). It would sure be nice for Maine if he was the balance of power, like Holy Joe Lienberman, but looks like no.

And though I say it... If you had been reading my lengthy, detailed, and daily campaign countdowns, you would know about King. Snarl!!!

Submitted by hipparchia on

i liked the design, although i could never keep obamney/robama straight in my head and so i usually skipped reading anything you headed with either of those.

RedQueen's picture
Submitted by RedQueen on

or a TV. I have an old optima projector hooked up to an old tablet computer (formerly used by visiting nurses from Swedish hospital). We watch everything online through Netflix or Amazon. I am soooooo much happier not having the tv noise on all the damn time and only watching things I have to make a conscious effort to find.

Submitted by lambert on

... it doesn't have GPS!!! And the sound is good.

I know people using Internet connections with awful connections.

Old school!

CMike's picture
Submitted by CMike on

Google Voice and Magic Jack work real well. I don't know what the hotspot speeds you might be logging into when you're out and about with your laptop using Google Voice but the price is right and it might prove useful as a back up when you're in a pinch like you were earlier today.

Good point about GPS, if you stick with your land line at home "they" will never be able to figure out where you are, unless they have a phone book.

Alexa's picture
Submitted by Alexa on

a 4G LTE Mobile Hotspot, and the Virgin Mobile is 3G/4G (and only 3G is available from Virgin Mobile, here). What that really means, I don't know.

Now, there is definitely a discernable difference, but the speed at which you burn through the Verizon package, is considerably faster than the Virgin Mobile one. And Verizon is twice as costly.

I will probably go with Virgin Mobile as the primary broadband carrier, and keep the Verizon Hot Spot as a backup (or supplement, if at some point the "speed" becomes an issue.) Virgin Mobile offers an "unlimited" package. Verizon doesn't.

[Both seem to have as much speed as our DSL wi-fi.]

Alexa's picture
Submitted by Alexa on

Alex Castellanos kept making the point (accurately) that neither candidate presented a clear agenda (giving themselves plenty of room to maneuver).

Castellanos says President Obama has to move toward the "middle." These "talking heads" never stop moving to the right. And not a word of argument from the so-called "left" on the panel.

Also said that the reason Wall Street wanted a Romney win, wasn't because of Obama, but because of the Republican Congress (in order to push through austerity measures--implied.)

BDBlue's picture
Submitted by BDBlue on

cut tv ads for gay marriage in Maryland, calling it a civil right. Good on him.

MsExPat's picture
Submitted by MsExPat on

The tide of liberal self-congratulation on my Facebook feed is too much to bear.

The outcome of this election narrative feels a bit fishy to me. For some months now it seemed like the fix was in for Obama. Then suddenly in the stretch Romney appeared to pick up and it began to look like a horse race, at least in the media coverage. Now I wonder whether the horse race was manufactured, either by the media to hold people's attention, or by the Obama camp as part of its election strategy.

The lines to vote in my uber liberal district in Brooklyn were hours long. This is an area that goes 90% Democratic, in a solid blue state. Fear was the main Democratic strategy, and it worked. People were terrified.

And now they're invested in the Obama victory--they feel it's a win for them, and they're celebrating. But they've just re-elected Ronald Reagan and can't see that.

Submitted by YesMaybe on

Self-congratulation is one thing when it's over something genuinely good, like the blows against the drug war. But the vast majority are all excited because Obama won (even though they realize "he isn't perfect", wink wink). Cringe-worthy.

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