Too early: The 2023 270 ECV map

Distraction from all the bad news polling. :D

Here’s the map, with NH and NV added to the pile for more fun* combinations.

Playing at being a campaign manager, where to put the resources?

Nightmare scenarios:

  • Trump wins PA and GA.


  • Trump wins GA + AZ + WI

Biden wins:

  • PA + MI + (NH or NV) Or (WI Or GA or AZ)

Well, Biden has to win PA, MI, WI and something else, right? I’d say NV, which gets him over the top. But he has to play for all the swing states, doesn’t he?

NH + AZ. I don’t know which is more likely, losing WI but winning AZ or winning WI and NV but losing AZ. There are lots of combinations but PA/MI keeps them open.

It still baffles me somewhat how any thinking person could in good conscience vote for Trump. As unappealing in many ways as Biden might be, I have a hard time understanding the seething rage and hatred that must be driving people to view Trump as a better alternative.

Or maybe it’s not even that. Maybe it’s only the need to express their hatred of what they think the Democrats represent, and there is no real interest in what the consequences of their vote might be? I mean, given the things Trump has said about what a second term might look like, I find it hard to believe there are that many Americans who actually find that message compelling. If there are, well, we are in more trouble than I thought I guess.

Just noticed this feature at

Winning combinations:

Goes to show - I thought Biden had more pathways. :(

I imagine for people who pay minimal attention, part of it is the media tends to sanitize trump. Back when I watched cable, Kristen Welker acted like some kind of trump whisperer: “The President’s foreign policy speech …” and proceeded to translate what he said into normal-sounding policy instead of his garbled self-praise word salad. Then there are others who just want to disrupt the status quo and it doesn’t matter who provides it.

But, mostly, I have no idea either. :/

In doing my part I have convinced a prior non-voter here in Nevada that it’s time to register and vote Democratic.

Well, that’s just it. In my experience, they’re either unthinking, do not have a conscience, or a combination of both.

I feel good about WI, PA, and AZ. n You need 9 more. Michigan is probablty going to be the swing state, if Biden can’t win NV+NH (and I have my doubts there NH might be pissed over the primary stuff and Republicans seem to be surging in NV)

GA could stay blue too, but I suspect it will go the path of NC and Republicans get smart there.

I think FOX News and its ilk have got these clowns completely brainwashed. It’s true: Repeat nonsense enough times, and weak-minded people actually do believe it. Until 2016, I thought the USA was a bit smarter than that, but look, it’s only getting worse.

And I don’t know what the solution is. Start a news station that spews shit like a firehose in the opposite direction? Fire with fire and all that? Up until a few years ago, I never would have even entertained such a thought, but things are getting desperate.

I feel as if we’re living in a nation of actual zombies.


I think the problem (to flog the expired Equus) is capitalism, or more precisely, our particular version of robber baron late-stage neo-liberal capitalism that has commodified everything from health care to information in such a way that it is actually more legitimate in our system to run a lie factory like Fox News than it is to prevent them from doing so.

I don’t think you can blame it on capitalism, as you see the same kind of misinformation systems in non capitalist systems. Hell, a lot of these tactics were first developed, or at least developed into the most modern form, by the Soviets.

You most certainly can blame Fox News on capitalism, though, because our civil and legal system does not mandate the lies. The lies exist only because people can make money off of them. The people running outlets like Fox do not, as far as I can tell, actually believe much if anything of what they spew. they spew it to make money.

In a Communist or other authoritarian system, the government controls the media and uses it as a tool. In many ways, as bad as that is, it is at least a bad practice being used in a very logical manner by people who actually do believe they are doing a social good, and where they are in at least their own minds following Plato’s “noble lie” approach.

With Fox and its ilk, it’s simply greed and a callous disregard for anyone but themselves. Which I think is even worse than misguided or outright repressive government policy, really.

You believe that Putin is acting because he is trying to do a social good? I think that is kind of stretching the meaning of “social good” to an absurd degree, kind of like Trump saying that his trying to override the election was actually in the heart interests of society, because he should be president.

In most of these systems, the goal of the autocrats is simply preservation of their own power, for their own benefit.

And ultimately, this is why you see all the same problems attributes to capitalism in these systems. You still see greed, and corruption, and abuse. It’s just that the currency of the sin is different. Instead of people promoting lies and corruption for money (although they do that, too), they are doing such things for power.

You still have an oligarchy of elites, even outside the context of a capitalist system.

When you take away the money, and make society based on something else, the fundamental nature of the world still leads to competition, and people will lie, steal, and cheat to try to win whatever game you are playing, regardless of the specific ruleset.

This is why I think that saying you would only have Fox News in a capitalist system, where they are being driven by monetary greed, is mistaken. In the society system you had the same type of thing, it was just driven by a lust for power within the party system.

Oh, I didn’t say we’d only have Fox News in a capitalist society, far from it. You are of course correct on that point. Humans gonna human it seems.

What I’m saying is that in our system, an ostensibly democratic system, we shouldn’t have Fox News, because the government is supposed to serve the people. Part of that responsibility should I think include a mandate to ensure that information is not weaponized and commodified. Instead, we have elevated the principle of private control of productive property, individual wealth, and the primacy of profit over everything else to the extent that we have actively worked against that social responsibility, even delegitimizing it. That’s the part where our particular form of capitalism comes into play.

The view that you allude to, which is probably not yours personally, seems to be that there is nothing any society can do, we’re all doomed to a world of lies and thuggery because humans are bad, so we might as well make as much money as we can and hide from the mobs.

Well, no, I don’t think it’s quite that bad.

I think that one of the reasons that democracies tend to be more moral than the alternative is that most people have some amount of morality themselves. There is in fact any evolutionarily inherent empathy for helps human beings that can form the foundation of society.

But I suspect that a lot of that ancient primate brain gets overwhelmed when you step out of the “real” world within which it evolved. As you get further and further away from real interactions, the people we interact with are easier and easier to categorize as “the other” and thus easier to justify the exploitation of.

I think the only way to avoid this, is to actually have people study things like logic and ethics, to develop higher level cognitive functions that can take over one those high level abstractions that exist when society scales above a certain point. But, in the absence of those things, people are prone to not only treating each other poorly, but also to falling prey to propaganda that manipulates them using stuff that appeals to their low level instincts.

At the risk of having the Israel stuff leak in here, there’s a professor who teaches at Penn State, Sam Richards, and does sociology lectures that they put up on YouTube. His stuff is really interesting. Check out SOC 119 if interested. But he has actually lived with both Israelis and palestineans, and seen them interact with each other. When they are able to engage each other in “normal” direct interactions, they don’t hate each other. They aren’t that different. They don’t even look different. The low level primate brain kicks in, and they treat each other like humans.

You aren’t wrong; people do need to study logic, ethics, history, all of that. And we need to create societies where such study is not only encouraged, but actually possible, for people from all walks of life, not just those with the wherewithal to put aside daily survival issues long enough to devote energy to learning that will pay dividends in the long term rather than in the form of this week’s paycheck.

I am a big fan, in principle if not always in the nitty gritty details of how they have sometimes worked, of social democracies. The idea of a partnership between the civil government, as senior partner, and private industry, as a necessary but in the end subordinate player, has a lot of appeal for me. Let folks set up their news networks, sell ads, and make money, but force them to play by a set of rules that ensures a degree of honesty. Let people develop products that make them rich, but put a limit on how much sheer power through wealth they can accumulate.

And while doing that, provide people with health care, a guarantee of at least basic survival necessities regardless of whether they devote much of their day towards making someone else rich. Give people opportunities to work on things that society needs, if you are having conniptions about the possibility of someone, somewhere lounging about and not doing anything on the public dime, but don’t define “work” solely as being an employee for someone else. Work should be defined by its value, and yes, the market can determine some of that value (making movies or games or toys for instance has great value because people want those things), but don’t blackball public works that benefit everyone.

Yeah, I’ve been to some peace institutes and Israeli-Palestinian joint engagement sorts of organizations in Israel, and absolutely, on a personal level, people can get along. Sadly, when it comes to nations and large communities, systems and structures outweigh the individual very often.