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Re Maine:
Susan Collins got the vote in Maine repeatedly because this overwhelmingly independent, libertarian minded blue-ish State bought her "I work reasonably across the aisle" Merkel-Style. Two things broke her in the polls: Trumps tax cuts and the Kavanaugh vote. Both her "reasonaby centrist" blue supporters and white women turned on her because of these two decisions. I doubt she will get reelected.

As for Maine's congress votes: Since the last election 2018 Maine no longer has FPTP but ranked choice voting for congress seats, which allows the tendentially independent-minded non-Republican voters to give their independent candidate the vote first, and pick a democrat second -- which led to the election of Jared Golden (D) in the traditionally red northern congressional district. Given that new system, Reps have to learn the hard lesson that confrontational politics don't work: you need to attract secondary votes too, which means you can't throw around insults and need to make sense. Divisionary tactics fail. The Democrats had this down right away, and partially campaigned together on one stage with independents in some settings, where both could say on stage "vote for me first, and the other here second". It worked.
Other states might follow... multi party politics in the US... who'd ever thunk it...

by Averett on Tue Oct 20th, 2020 at 10:11:14 PM EST
As regards your second point, you may be interested in this diary

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Tue Oct 20th, 2020 at 10:41:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I'd like to comment on a point in that link:
Gerrymandering, with constituency boundaries not being determined by an independent commission after every census, as in Ireland

It often comes up here in Illinois. The problem with those proposals is that there is no such thing as a independent non-political commissioners.  Everyone has a political agenda.  So instead of a commission you need a formula. Also not perfect bu5t also not subject to bribery or political influence.  Another suhhestion is more radical. One representative, one vote was fine for the 8th Century, but now there is no reason not to have representatives of pretty fixed regions who have votyes proportional to the population of that region, instantly tabulated electronically. i.e. Congressman from Chicago gets 3 million votes. Congressman from Southern Illinois gets 200,000 votes, et cetera. I would suggest districts by County/City (not counting twice) with those proportionate votes.
by StillInTheWilderness on Wed Oct 21st, 2020 at 01:23:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I think the two-party structure in the US makes it harder to have an independent commission, and even a formula needs to be interpreted.

On carrying the votes I would then suggest the elected get the votes of the people actually voting for him or her instead. Then you create a permanent incintive to actually get votes rather then depressing opponents turn-out.

by fjallstrom on Wed Oct 21st, 2020 at 11:23:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Excellent suggestion.  One of my favorites is "None of the above" for every office. If "none of the above wins" an election must be rescheduled WITHOUT any candidat3e from the previous inconclusive ballot. "If God wanted us to vote he would have given us real candidates."
Jimmy Carter vs Ronald Reagan? Hillary Clinton vs Donald Trump?  Why not Donald Duck vs Goofy?

Another real world election, Louisiana Governor 1991, Grand Dragon David duke vs convicted felon Edwin Edwards.
In the words of Author George Alec Effinger (a citizen of New Orleans), "What a choice! A crook or a Nazi! I think I'll move to Texas."

by StillInTheWilderness on Wed Oct 21st, 2020 at 10:51:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I think Russia has had that, I vaguely remember "none of the above" winning some elections in the 90ies, triggering new elections in those seats.
by fjallstrom on Mon Oct 26th, 2020 at 08:26:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The far right has succeeded in politicising everything, including science, geology, meteorology, climate science, medicine, healthcare, pregnancy, gender identification, human rights and basic administrative competence. Creating viable brands which appeal to certain markets, has supplanted any notion of objective truth, and the very process of government has been vilified as evil as it interferes with the power of corporations and billionaires.

In such a sick society everything becomes problematic. I sometimes think the Civil War didn't really resolve anything, and was merely replaced by a low intensity guerrilla war eating at the fabric of US society. A healthy society simply cannot function in the absence of a consensus on some basic principles, and politics becomes little more than a surrogate for a continuance of war.

You need another revolution, only this time the enemy is not the British empire. It is within you.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Wed Oct 21st, 2020 at 12:43:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Nice essay: Capitalism at War | Warwick College |

The bloodiest strife is between brethren of one nation - a Civil War. Apparently an armistice is never longlasting as we observe across the globe. The Red States and Blue States is not a controversy but an ideological split. Create two separate nations and sign a peace deal ... each their own Constitution, creates peace of mind as a minimum.

by Oui on Wed Oct 21st, 2020 at 02:25:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Not just the right. It's the DNC's playbook also.

On other blogs the discussion is who sucks worse, Trump or Biden. Personally, I'm voting green, but without ranked choice voting, no third party has a chance.

by StillInTheWilderness on Wed Oct 21st, 2020 at 10:53:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Just don't come here complaining if Trump gets a second or even a third term and you never get to vote again. People voting Green in a bipolar system is the reason he got in in the first place.

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Wed Oct 21st, 2020 at 11:06:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
With respect, frank, "Bullshit!" Democrats playing footsie with the Wall Street banks and corporations is why we have Trump. Obama running on universal health care then giving us a Republican think tank plan is why Trump was elected. Add in a dash of endless wars with the Ghoul-in-Cheif killing people remotely from the White House like it was a video game and Hillary, the stuck up snob from Park Ridge sneering at blue collar workers and you get Trump.  Now I'm supposed to cut my own throat by voting for the the author of The Catfood Commission? I'm retired, Frank. I need my COLA's. No chained-CPI for me.
I'm not going to starve in my old age so that (D)'s can get bigger Wall Street bribes.

My choice was not Biden or Hawkins. My choice was Trump or Hawkins and if Trump had a ghost of a chance in Illinois, I would hold my gorge and vote for Trump. As the lesser evil. Biden wants me homeless.

Of the nine primary candidates there were at least five I could have voted for. And maybe seven. The two I was enthusiastic about were Sanders (fooled me twice now, never again) and Gabbard. The two I would definitely never vote for even as dog-catcher were Biden and Harris.

by StillInTheWilderness on Thu Oct 22nd, 2020 at 12:32:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well if you think Trump is better than Biden, its logical to vote that way. I wish you luck, and a happy retirement.

From a European perspective, Trump has been a disaster, much worse than Obama/Biden, but then we don't get to vote. We just have to live with the consequences of Covid, climate change, wars in the middle east, refugees, global trade wars, Brexit, the undermining of respect for international laws, institutions and human rights, and general political instability. Thanks a bunch!

It seems I was right to give up on the USA after Trump was elected, and will probably ignore it again for the next four years if he wins. It's just too painful to watch. Hitler put bread on the table for a lot of poor families in Germany as well, but if you can't understand the difference between him and the conservative incompetents he replaced, your family obviously didn't have to live through WW2.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu Oct 22nd, 2020 at 01:02:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
by Oui on Thu Oct 22nd, 2020 at 06:48:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Look, fat.
Go vote for Trump.

BONUS Obama Aides Defend Bank's Pay to Biden Son, 24 Aug 2008
by Cat on Thu Oct 22nd, 2020 at 02:01:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Why do you think "Biden wants you homeless"? What does that sentence even mean?
by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Thu Oct 22nd, 2020 at 09:23:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I suppose, "Biden wants you homeless," alludes to Joe's well-known, self-professed representation of banking and finance corporations (eg. MBNA) who hold and trade mortgage notes that precipitated GD IV, panic of '08. Of course, DJT is a notorious beneficiary of bankrupt US regulatory regimes.

More significant, neither POTUS candidate nor congressional candidates are running on alleviating imminent mortgage defaults and rent relief, attributable to unemployment. Moratorium provisions of CARES act and states' emergency EOs, suspending legal processing, have expired. Federal emergency funded UI (all claims, "benefit years") expires 31 Dec.

Notwithstanding states' legislatures pervasive indifference to homeless camps or financing affordable housing for long-term unemployed and low-income individuals and family populations ("disproportionately" ethnic minority)--preceding pandemic conditions. CA and PA are high-profile microcosms of disenfranchisement and venal imperatives that have irked dismal, "nonessential" middle-classes across the nation.

by Cat on Thu Oct 22nd, 2020 at 02:24:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Cat on Thu Oct 22nd, 2020 at 09:51:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The sad truth, however, is MD tenancy law is no where as mature as that of NY. So successful pro bono defense here swims hard upstream.
by Cat on Thu Oct 22nd, 2020 at 10:05:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The fed and Treasury's decade-long ZIRP target (benefiting banks' profitability) suppresses COLA to social security insurance payments. So benefits have not been rising with CPI (no matter how the leisure economists cut the "core" from reported price inflation) for quite a long time.
by Cat on Thu Oct 22nd, 2020 at 02:32:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Actually it was Nader's fault.
by Cat on Thu Oct 22nd, 2020 at 01:49:20 PM EST
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Nader is basically Hitler, but Bush is good now.

by generic on Thu Oct 22nd, 2020 at 02:15:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Cat on Wed Oct 21st, 2020 at 11:02:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]

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