(Just kidding, of course. I think I can safely speak for jersey in saying we don't need ya here, doc.)
Just heard on CNN that there are 800,000 votes still left in PA, and Biden has to win about 60-62% of them in order to win the state. That sounds like a lot, but Biden is going to easily outpace that 60-62%.
It appears that Pennsylvania Democrats, more than any other swing state, took advantage of vote by mail. And ALL the ballots that are left are vote by mail. It happens that a huge chunk of them are in counties that should favor Biden, which is encouraging. But here's the thing: it doesn't matter what county in Pennsylvania the ballots come from--they're going to favor Biden heavily either way.
The New York Times has a list of counties with their vote totals and the estimated percentage of votes returned:
There is a consistent pattern in each and every single one of the counties where the vote is >98 in: Trump's margin did not increase in ANY of those counties by more than a couple of points. In Snyder County, for instance, he was +46.8 in 2016 and +47 this year. So he gained a very little. In a few of them he lost a bit. His biggest improvement was in Elk County, which went from +42.4 to +45. But that was only one of a handful of counties where he moved the needle on his margin more than two points. So it looks like, when it comes to improving his share of the vote in a given county, 3 points is probably his ceiling.
In most of those counties he improved his raw vote total, but Biden also improved over HRC's raw vote total. Look at Washington County, for instance, which is the largest county that Trump won. Trump got 61,386 in 2016 and increased that to 71,072 this year. But Biden also eclipsed HRC's 36,822 votes, winning 44,231. Biden came within a few points of matching or else exceeded Trump's increased turnout in every single county that has been completely counted.
Now look at the counties that still have votes outstanding. Some of them are huge Trump counties, like Cumberland, which Trump won by 17.8 points in 2016. Trump pulled 69k in 2016, but only 67k so far this year. So there are probably at least 2k votes for him in the uncounted mail-in ballots. But look at the democratic votes: HRC pulled 47k in 2016 and Biden only has 40k so far. So it seems likely that, even in this solidly Trump county, Biden is going to gain between 3k and 5k votes on Trump when the mail-in ballots are counted. In some of those counties, Trump is running 10, 15, even 20-25 points ahead of his 2016 margins. Which means they almost certainly have big margins of uncounted Biden votes remaining.
And those are the heavily Trump counties. When you figure that most of the remaining votes are in counties that Clinton won in 2016 (like Philadelphia, Allegheny, and Bucks most notably), things look even better. And so far, among all the counties that have counted all their votes, Biden has EXTENDED Clinton's margin in every county that she won in 2016. So the break there will be even bigger for Biden.
Biden is going to win Pennsylvania. Likely by a larger margin than the 44,000 trump won by in 2016. Maybe even by somewhere near or upwards of 100k.
Bunny Colvin's speech--one of the best moments in the five great seasons of The Wire--has been running through my head the last couple of days, watching things flare up in Ferguson. There has been much discussion of the militarization of the police and what brought it about, and certainly the war on drugs (a war which has always been waged disproportionately against communities of color) is a major factor.
"When cops declare open season on journalists, when they feel free to declare any scene of "unlawful protest" a free fire zone, that will be a very ugly day - and not just for journalists."
---Hunter S. Thompson, "Strange Rumblings in Aztlan"
Of course, things were very ugly in Ferguson long before they started arresting journalists. But that quote comes to mind tonight, as the situation in Ferguson continues to
("Strange Rumblings in Aztlan" is an article he wrote for Rolling Stone about the death of journalist Ruben Salazar, who was killed by a wall-piercing tear gas canister fired by a deputy of the LA County Sheriff's Department during the Chicano Moratorium march against the Vietnam War.)
Because Big Game Bob has, of course, invested important time over the last couple of seasons in airing some very vibrant emotions about the SEC and its dominance and its defenses. And while these were by letter narrowly confined to a critique of the media's tendency to ascribe depth to conferences that are merely very strong up top, they were in spirit nothing else but calling out Alabama, and Stoops knew this and still knows it. The word "propaganda" was deployed in an unkind spirit. And most of the country, including me, certainly, and also Vegas, which made the Sooners a 15-point underdog, saw this Sugar Bowl matchup as an opportunity for the Tide to exact bloody retribution against Stoops for disrespecting them, against Auburn for dumping them out to New Orleans in the first place, against the kicking game for having the temerity to exist. Instead, infant quarterback Trevor Knight, who wasn't even a lock to start for Oklahoma, threw four touchdown passes, Alabama gave up 31 points in the first half after having surrendered a total of 52 first-half points in its previous 12 games, and Stoops blazed a fat chain of told-you-so doughnuts all over our national parking lot. He must have known he'd be on camera a lot, because he wore his nicest visor.
Afterward, a bunch of Oklahoma players piled onto a stage and broke ESPN. Did I mention that this game was amusing?
It's that time of year where the coaching carousel starts moving. Already there are some fairly prominent positions that are open:
Arkansas declined to renew John L. Smith's contract. Arkansas started the season in the top 10, but went 4-8. Their only two conference wins were against Auburn and Kentucky, neither of whom won a conference game.
Tennessee fired Derek Dooley after last week's blowout loss to Vanderbilt. Maybe this time they'll hire someone based on their accomplishments rather than their last name.
California fired Jeff Tedford yesterday after 11 seasons.
North Carolina State fired Tom O'Brien, who led them to their third straight bowl game this year. It was, apparently, a disappointing season. (I checked the preseason polls, and NC State received all of three votes in the AP poll, so I'm not sure what the expectations were.)
Kentucky fired Joker Phillips back in early November, but I'm not sure anyone noticed.
There are also openings at Idaho (former WSU QB Jason Gesser has been the interim HC since they fired Robb Akey in October) and UTEP (Gesser's WSU coach Mike Price is retiring).
I'm sure there will be more (like Boston College, perhaps)--but those are the openings I'm aware of now. I think it's likely that Florida State defensive coordinator Mark Stoops will be getting a head coaching job (he apparently interviewed for the Kentucky opening). So who else do you think is in line to move up in the ranks? What other jobs might open up?
I haven't seen this posted here yet, but thought it was a pretty cool story. It's about a kid who built an elaborate arcade (instead of a lemonade stand, I suppose) in his father's used auto parts store. His first customer, surprised that the creative effort didn't draw more customers, set up a flashmob and made a short film about it, which you can watch below or at the website. Pretty creative and enterprising young fellow!
Nirvan says: "I just finished this short film about a 9-year-old boy's elaborate DIY cardboard arcade. Caine made his arcade using boxes from his dad's used auto parts store. He hadn't had many customers, so we set up a fun flashmob to make his day, and filmed his response. I hope it brings a smile to your day. P.S. Caine's Arcade is in East LA. You should visit it sometime - Caine is still building new additions!"
A yahoo article about Virginia Safety Joseph Williams: http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/ncaaf-dr-saturday/virginia-safety-joseph-williams-hunger-strike-university-workers-173337610.html
Virginia safety Joseph Williams is changing that.
For the past eight days, Williams, a junior walk-on who has played in two games during his career, has been on a hunger strike "to protest the economic and social injustices perpetrated by the UVa administration against the vast majority of the University's service-sector employees."
And Joseph Williams explains his actions at michaelmoore.com: http://www.michaelmoore.com/words/mike-friends-blog/why-im-hunger-striking-uva
Our University seeks to distinguish itself as a caring community and prides itself on traditions of honor and student self-governance. However, in our caring community, hundreds of contract employees may make as little as $7.25/hour while six out of the top ten highest paid state employees in Virginia hold administrative positions at the University. Many employees, mostly women and African Americans, do not receive enough pay for their basic necessities to exist in Charlottesville, where the cost of living is nearly 10% higher than the national average. This extreme inequality has disturbed and disillusioned students for decades, many of whom have tried to grapple with issues of race, class, and poverty in and out of the classroom. We have taken every conventional route towards this goal, garnered wide student, faculty and community support - yet our pleas have been consistently ignored and workers are still paid unjust wages.
On a personal level, this cause is one that hits very close to home. As one of four children supported by a single mother, I have experienced many periods of economic hardship in my life. Growing up, I moved over 30 times including various stays in homeless shelters, the homes of family friends, and church basements. As a result of these experiences, I know firsthand what the economic struggle is like for many of these underpaid workers. One UVa employee anonymously shared that though she works full time for the University, over 40 hours a week, her family was still forced to go without electricity for nearly 3 months, unable to pay for the rent, electric bill and other basic necessities on the meager wages she is paid by the University. Such stories are the reason that I and countless other Living Wage supporters have chosen to take up this cause and give a voice to the many University employees who often cannot speak up for fear of retaliation from the administration.
So I guess they're going after OETA ... Also on the list, adjusting open records laws, income tax fights, and that guy who introduced the "no fetuses in food" bill.
Several legislators have expressed their feelings about the edgy Oklahoma Education Television Authority, which broadcasts such avant-garde programs like This Old House, and Gothers favorite the Nightly Business Report. Bills which would eliminate state funding of OETA have been introduced. This has been tried before but only a handful of legislators supported the effort. It may have more support this time, but Republican Rep. Doug Cox has the trump card. A year ago, when legislators were debating a bill which would have forced OETA to cut programing to pay for a new video system to live broadcast the House and Senate sessions, Cox, who represents a northeast corner of the state, told his colleagues:
If I do anything that interferes with my folks ability to watch Lawrence Welk on OETA, they might cut me out of the will.
Playing the Welk card is always a strong hand.