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Major Danby replied indulgently with a superior smile: "But, Yossarian, suppose everyone felt that way.""Then," said Yossarian, "I'd certainly be a damned fool to feel any other way, wouldn't I?" --Joseph Heller, Catch 22

More Hurricane Sandy

NJ. Voting: Via email and fax. …. Voting: Via physical ballot (AH). …. Power: Still, a quarter of New Jersey and almost a tenth of New York remained in the dark, the Department of Energy said. … Power: " By today, NJ's power losses dropped to 999,927, according to the Energy Department." … Power <-> gas: " One gas station in Little Ferry, NJ still without power is now using a gasoline powered generator to pump gasoline in small quantities." Rather like ethanol, if you think about it. ... Class warfare: "The enormity of the crisis in New Jersey has not yet been fully grasped by national media. While shore locales are typically associated with luxury, innumerable working-to-upper middle class homes have also been devastated. At Seaside Heights, the foreboding odor of gas leaks is now ubiquitous. On Wednesday I visited Atlantic City, five miles north of where Sandy made landfall. President Barack Obama and Governor Christie toured the devastation in Brigantine, just across the bay. Many poor, primarily black residents who live in the shadows of the iconic casinos had been scattered - fled to shelters or with relatives - and were not even being allowed back in the city yet. For those who stayed behind, preparing to vote was hardly a consideration. Lives are still at risk. It is now getting very cold, and the elderly are without heat. People cannot fuel their cars to go to work, nevermind drive to the polls. Turnout across New Jersey will almost certainly be low on Tuesday, which would likely favour Mitt Romney. Further, those displaced by the storm are disproportionately low-income people of colour, a crucial D constituency." … Public good: " If you are in a Sandy impact zone, call your congressman and senators and let them know how disappointed you are that AT&T and the other telecoms are using their data allowance caps to extort money from you in the absence of landline and wifi accessibility. Tell them that this disaster has taught you that the telecomms who provide cell service are actually public utilities and that they should be regulated like a public utility." … Solidarity: "'I know a lot of people not working,' he said. 'But the town came together -- the people that have power are helping other people charge phones. I think it made Hoboken a better place. On a regular day, everybody sticks to who you know. Now people have extension cords just hanging out their windows. It gives me hope for the world."

NY. Heat: "'These are public housing projects where sand and water got into the boilers and electrical systems got destroyed. We don't have a lot of empty housing in this city so it's really a problem to find housing,' Mr Bloomberg said." I know! Privatize them! … Staten Island: "But when we finally made it to Crescent Beach, the scale of the damage was total." … Power: "[14] much-needed generators sat idle all day yesterday in a rental company's New Jersey parking lot after they were moved from the Staten Island staging area of the New York City Marathon -- less than two miles from some of superstorm Sandy's hardest-hit victims" (AH). ... Food: "Thousands of New Yorkers affected by Sandy are still without access to food or water--but don't worry guys, because you're about to get some chips and soda! Governor Cuomo announced today that Walmart and PepsiCo will be donating snacks, beverages and supplies to New Yorkers in need. So much for Bloomberg's attempt to banish every trans-fat and sugary drink from the city, they're about to be brought in by the truckload." … Solidarity: "'When are we going to get some f****** help?' one woman demanded of the billionaire mayor. 'There's old ladies in my building that don't got nothing,' one furious man told Bloomberg."

NOTE: Swing states in bold italic, with (poll closing).

CO (9:00pm ET) The Obame: "Thousands of people huddled in the late-night cold Sunday awaiting Obama and acoustic sensation Dave Matthews. Most polls -- including a Denver Post poll out Sunday -- put Romney and Obama at a statistical tie." … The Romney: "Romney, who spoke earlier in the day in Colorado Springs, positioned himself as a practical problem-solver, someone who would work with both parties to find solutions. 'I won't just represent one party,' Romney said. 'I'll represent one nation.'" Among those who have already voted, Obama leads 49% to 46%, and he leads 45% to 42% among those who say they will vote before Tuesday. Only with Election Day voters -- 18 percent of respondents -- does Romney lead, 47% to 42%." … Mass incarceration: "Three days ago, CO shut down a brand-new prison it didn't need. Unless the state government finds someone else who can use it, CO taxpayers can expect to spend $208 million for an empty building. The legislature [had] resorted to a financing method called "certificates of participation." Rather than borrow money to build its own prison, the state sold certificates to investors, becoming the operator of a prison owned by a multitude of lenders."

FL (7:00pm ET for eastern part of state; 8pm ET for the west). … Voting: "Elections officials, overwhelmed with voters, locked the doors to their Doral headquarters and temporarily shut down the operation, angering nearly 200 voters standing in line outside -- only to resume the proceedings an hour later. 'This is America, not a third-world country,' said Myrna Peralta, who waited in line with her 4-year-old grandson for nearly two hours before the doors closed. "They should have been prepared.'" … Voting: "But the law [that reduced the number of early voting days from 14 to eight and eliminated early voting on the Sunday before the election] includes a loophole: Election offices are allowed to be open for voters to drop off absentee ballots. On Sunday morning, officials in Miami-Dade and Palm Beach counties announced that in addition to accepting absentee ballots, their main election offices would be open all day to print out absentee ballots for voters who had not already requested them." … Voting: "Five things that could go wrong on Election Day in FL: Long ballots, provisional ballots, absentee ballots, challenges, confusion" (explainer).

IA (10:00pm ET) Polls: "The Des Moines Register's final poll of the year by Selzer & Co shows Obama ahead by 47% to 42% among likely IA voters. Meanwhile, Project New America and USA Action released a new Iowa poll conducted by Grove Insight on November 1 and 2, which found Obama leading Romney 47% to 44%."

OH. Ground war: "The Obama operation established itself here by 2008, winning Ohio and, to the shock of local leaders in the county that surrounds this city, Hamilton, which had long favored Republican presidential candidates. Then it never left."

NC. Voting: "Officials say a new problem this year is people showing up at polling places and thinking they have the right to walk right in and inspect things. In some states, ordinary citizens do actually have that ability, but in most -- including NC -- there are strict limits regarding observers and pre-approval is required." Out of curiosity, is open carry permitted at the polls?

NH (7:00pm ET for most of state; 8pm ET for a few bigger cities) Polls: "Most recent polls give Obama a slight edge over Romney in NH, but within the margin of error."

NV (10:00pm ET) Prediction: "It would be very difficult for Obama to lose Nevada, especially because I think more than two-thirds of the vote is in, so whatever turnout advantage the GOP has on Tuesday won't be enough. Obama, 50%; Romney, 46%; others and 'none of the above,' 4 percent."

OH (7:30pm ET). Voting: "[T]he state's leading newspapers have all reported on various potential electoral controversies, and many have zeroed in on what is likely to be one of the most critical concerns for both camps--the counting of provisional and absentee ballots" (excellent survey). … Voting: "'If we encounter outages, we have portable generators we could deploy to a limited number of locations and also have flashlight supplies on hand to help deal with that situation,' said Jane Platten, director of the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections. 'At this point, we are encouraged by reports from the utility companies that they hope all [Hurricane Sandy] outages will be restored by the end of Monday.'"

PA. Power: "With so many residents still off the grid and overnight temperatures dipping into the 20s, Montgomery County officials declared a 'code blue' cold-weather warning, scheduled to continue through noon Monday. Lower Merion, one of the county's hardest-hit townships, set up 'warming stations' at local firehouses and libraries to provide residents with a place to warm up, get a cup of coffee and other nourishment, recharge electronic equipment such as cellphones and laptops, and just have an opportunity to get outside and away from home for a bit" (PT). … The Rpmney: "Romney drew a crowd of 30,000 at a rally Sunday evening, as supporters from both sides of the Delaware River converged on a suburban Philadelphia farm. People waited for hours to get into the rally in a stiff wind and temperatures falling through the 40s, sending a message of support in this red corner of the state." Impressive, but what the heck is Romney doing there? "Little early voting"?

VA (7:00pm ET). Voting: "Friday a coalition of voter advocates lodged a formal complaint about the guidance [True the Vote] has offered [through its manual for poll watchers]. One they pinpoint is a section on when polls close advising that people who vote after polls close should cast a provisional ballot that's kept separate from other votes. The manual also notes that VA law allows anyone in line by the time polls close to vote. That's a conflicting message that could cause problems at the polls, according to some who signed the letter. Another complaint is that the wording in the manual on voter identification laws is imprecise, given changes VA made to its law this year."

WAi>. Gay marriage: Obama Robocall Urging Support for Love Desegregation. Policy: "Leave it up to the states."

WI (9:00pm ET) Voting: "The hundreds of thousands of people who vote by absentee ballots in Wisconsin might not realize mail-in ballots are probably the least reliable way to ensure a vote is counted, said Barry Burden, a UW-Madison political science professor." ... Voting: "Wisconsin is a 'same-day registration state,' meaning it's easy to vote at the last minute so the Democrats hope the Boss will help them rouse people to the ballot boxes. 'The general belief is that voters who move around a lot or students are going to lean Democratic and they're going to register on Election Day," said Burden" (Burden's in everyone's Rolodex!)

Outside baseball. Polarization: "'[P]olarization has grown because Ds and Rs are representing moderate districts in increasingly extreme ways.' We can add that this appears to be true in all the other districts, too" (charts). … Oil: "Crude shipments are now the fastest-growing product for several big U.S. and Canadian Class 1 railroads after oil output expanded more quickly than pipeline capacity." … Freedom: "Freedom exists only if we are prepared to do things which are not in our material interest." … Hurricane Sandy: "If Google is doing the best job of collecting and presenting the data citizens need during -- and after -- a natural disaster, then, unless news organizations can match it, they should be doing their best to share and promote Google's map."

Grand Bargain™-brand Catfood Watch. "Fever": "Biden said that if President Obama is re-elected, the R 'fever' will break and some level of bipartisanship would return to Washington." Just in time for the Grand Bargain! How convenient.

The trail. Polls: "President Obama heads into election day with a narrow lead in two carefully watched national polls, with the Pew Research Center projecting a 50% to 47% margin for the president over Romney and the NBC/Wall St. Journal poll finding him ahead 48% to 47%." … Polls: "As of this writing, on Sunday evening, Obama led by an average of 1.3 percentage points across 12 national polls that had been published over the course of the prior 24 hours. On Saturday, we wrote that state polls would have to be statistically biased against Mr. Romney for him to win the Electoral College. Now, it may be the case that the national polls would have to be biased against him as well'" (Nate Silver). … Swing counties: "Of the 18 stops that Obama and/or Biden will make, eight are in counties that went for Bush in 2004 and Obama in 2008. These are the swing counties like Arapahoe and Jefferson in CO, Hamilton in OH and Loudon in VA. The other ten stops are in traditionally solid D areas where Team Obama needs strong base turnout, such as Fairfax County, VA which gave Obama 60 percent of the vote in 2008 and Dane County, WI which gave Obama a whopping 73 percent of the vote. This tells us that Obama is focused on securing the gains they made in 2008 in key swing, suburban areas, but they are also concerned about pumping up the D base. Team Romney is targeting some of those same swing suburban areas as Team Obama, but they are also spending a lot of time in D counties like Franklin and Cuyahoga in OH, Polk in IA and Milwaukee in WI. Another ten stops are in solid R territory like El Paso County, Colorado (Colorado Springs) and Bay County, Florida (Panama City). Overall, the Romney/Ryan schedule suggests that they are more focused on wooing independent voters than simply firing up the base." … LOTE voting; "Strategic Voting was still being debated among the far left when Obama's senior campaign adviser and former press secretary, Robert Gibbs, said a 16 year old American citizen who was blasted to bits by a US drone while he sat around a campfire with his cousins should have had a better father. … Discourse: "DOWD: …Every time you feel a losing campaign, these three things happen. [1] don't believe -- the public polls are wrong. [2] we're going to change the nature of the electorate, and you're not seeing it reflected in the polls. [3] the only poll that counts is Election Day. When you hear those things, you know you're about to lose." … Voting: Handy election eve timeline, with poll closing. Pass the popcorn! ... Voting: Timeline with paths to victory. Keen graphic!

The Obama. Incentives: "TV executives believe the First Lady would be a natural to become a talk show host. She has even been compared to Oprah Winfrey." … Nooners: "Whatever happens, Obama will not own the room again as once he did. If he wins, we will see a different presidency--even more stasis, and political struggle--but not a different president. "

* Slogan of the day: In Following the Middle of The Road, Strive for an Even Greater Victory!

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chezmadame's picture
Submitted by chezmadame on

the borough where he was born and spent the first ten years of his life. He was in the South Beach/Midland Beach area, enclaves of working class folks in small bungalows, and, more recently, hard-working, successful immigrants, many Russian, who worked long hours in their black or navy town cars chauffeuring the Wall Street types to their apartments on Park Avenue or mansions in Connecticut and were able to build or buy new homes near the water.

My son told me that it looked like a war zone, and some of the older cops he was with said that the debris and destruction reminded them of lower Manhattan after the Trade Center. Residents were standing watch, trying to protect whatever remained of their homes and possessions. Being so near the water, it was brutally cold, and there's another storm coming tomorrow.

Submitted by lambert on

But we keep getting little isolated bits.

How widespread is this? I'm hearing tens of thousands without heat but nothing about which neighborhoods.

chezmadame's picture
Submitted by chezmadame on

We got our power back late Saturday, but I'm no where near the water. There are tens of thousands without electricity, heat, and hot water.

Communities near the water like Long Beach and much of Oceanside, Freeport, and Baldwin Harbor will not have power restored (if you still have a home) until individual buildings are inspected for flood/water damage to insure that it's safe to do so. There are no traffic lights, electricity, heat, and often no hot water. For the most part, these are middle and working class areas.

Many of the public schools in Nassau County are still closed. There are some school districts that are closed because the bus companies cannot get fuel. Other schools on the south shore still have no power.

The Rockaways in Queens and the the south shore of Staten Island (New Dorp Beach, Oakwood Beach, Great Kills Beach, Midland Beach and South Beach, among other areas) were very hard hit. Street upon street are in utter ruins, houses demolished, cars destroyed, personal possessions unsalvageable. These are working class neighborhoods.

Over 90 homes in Breezy Point, Queens ("the Irish Riviera") burned to the ground in a massive fire. These homes belonged to middle class families who could never afford to buy houses in the area at today's prices. With it's beautiful beach and close proximity to Manhattan, the neighborhood has of late become a popular place for the young guns to rent/build a summer home...so much closer (and hipper) than the Hamptons.

I grew up on Staten Island. It's in NYC, but we played in the woods, fished in ponds, were bitten by mosquitoes, and heard owls at night. It has long been the red-headed, solidly Republican stepchild of cosmopolitan New York, home of the biggest garbage dump in the world. The only ways on or off the Island are by bridge or ferry. What happens there often does not register, and if it did, it would not really matter.

Alexa's picture
Submitted by Alexa on

the R 'fever' will break and some level of bipartisanship would return to Washington."

As much as I hate to admit it, there are days when I truly believe that this entire election is absolutely Kabuki Theater.

There are numerous right-wing talking heads who can barely conceal their delight at the prospect of an Obama re-election. And why not? Surely they all know that they can more efficiently and effectively achieve their dream of ending "The New Deal," if he occupies the Oval Office for the next four years.

Never thought I'd live to see this day.

jinb's picture
Submitted by jinb on

Feel free to delete, but felt like I had to try to say this somewhere:

For a while now two movies from my childhood have been looming large in my sub consciousness, actually consciousness too, when it comes to the 2012 Election, and these would be Wait Until Dark and the Poseidon Adventure, each for different reasons.

In the former, blind Audrey Hepburn is terrorized by drug dealers, one of whom, played by Richard Crenna, dupes her into believing is an old friend of her husband’s and, therefore, someone with, she assumes, her best interests in heart. It is only at the end of the film, and with the help of a neighbor, that she realizes his true nature and allegiances. Sure, he is a kinder, gentler, drug-dealing killer, than, say Alan Arkin, who has the really creepy granny glasses to let you know he’s creepier and more evil, but Crenna is a drug-dealing killer just the same. I see this as a metaphor for our broken duopoly party system and this entire “lesser-of-two-evils” argument, with Republicans standing in for Arkin and Democrats for Crenna. With both Democrats and Republicans embracing kill lists, endless wars, trickle-down economics and multi-national blackmailers, there is little light between them. Voting for evil, on some level, has to be seen as just that.

In the latter film, after the SS Poseidon capsizes, Jesus Christ stand-in, Gene Hackman, is able to convince only a handful of the passengers that climbing the makeshift ladder jerry-rigged from the upside down Christmas tree is their only way out. His impassioned speech is that, though he knows uncertainty, and likely, failure, faces those that dare to climb up, he is certain that to remain below is to invite death. The only way out is to try. As to the 2012 election, I know that there is no way Jill Stein or any other third party candidate is going to win this year. It’s obvious. But I also know that the only way for emerging parties, and our choices, to grow is to support them in their quest for federal financing. I have to try. To continue to support the Democrats as they become ever more like the Republicans is to remain below in a sinking ship, waiting for water to break a giant picture window and swamp us all.

Finally, most simply, I can’t bring himself to vote for either legacy party nominee, both of whom, through their embracing of drone warfare, think lives outside the borders of our 50 states less worthy and less deserving of living…just for who these people are and not what they have done. See Obama Spokesman Robert Gibbs’ on a drone strike’s collateral victim, whose death he glibly dismissed by saying that he “should have [had] a far more responsible father." Both Romney and Obama, and their enablers, have accepted this most extreme view of American exceptionalism, and my obvious choice, my only option, is to select a candidate who does not share this warped view…

…To ignore Richard Crenna’s soothing voice...to climb the upside down Christmas tree, even if it means, ultimately failing, like, say, Shelley Winters or Stella Stevens (oh so close!) so that young Pamela Sue Martin might survive.

Valhalla's picture
Submitted by Valhalla on

I am voting for Jill Stein. It's not all that scary. I'm Class of '08, as were. I am just as likely to get the policies and politics I want by voting for someone who can't win as I am by voting for either of the guys who could. But I won't have contributed to all the policies and politics I don't want.

The Poseidon Adventure! That is a remarkable analogy. Bravo!