Slow counts and mail-in votes are bad! Unless a Republican does it.


Will Bunch/Philadelphia Inquirer:

Doug Mastriano race to decide if Pennsylvanians want their votes counted or cheaper bacon

A deep dive into the risks posed to democracy by Pennsylvania’s GOP gubernatorial nominee Doug Mastriano, and whether voters will care.

This make-or-break election comes right as the story that many Americans told ourselves — of expanding civil rights and an arc of a moral universe that was bending toward justice — is rapidly falling apart.

In Washington, a 50-year project spurred on by religious fundamentalists to remake the Supreme Court is shifting into high gear as justices clear a path for a state leader like Mastriano to undo women’s reproductive rights. In Buffalo, an 18-year-old with a white supremacist, anti-immigrant worldview fueled by the same Christian nationalism that animates the Mastriano campaign hunted down and slaughtered 10 African Americans in a crowded supermarket. In Gettysburg, the heart of Mastriano’s state senate district, we are seeing the roots of a second American civil war that would reverse the blood-soaked gains from that consecrated battleground.

Tempest-tossed by the gyrations of COVID-19, the spike in inflation, and now a potentially looming recession, the 2022 electorate is frazzled and angry — in Pennsylvania and across the United States.

Voters may not have time for a three-credit civics refresher course on participatory democracy when they’re shopping for tiki torches and pitchforks. But if history is any guide voters, will be more eager to throw out the incumbents they blame for paying $17.99 for bacon at Costco in 2022 than to be worried that the new guy will throw away their vote in 2024.


Daily Beast:

Dinesh D’Souza’s Foul New Movie Is Driving Conservatives Crazy

But D’Souza has one 2000 Mules problem that he can’t stop talking about: a perceived lack of loyalty from fellow pro-Trump personalities, who he has accused of downplaying his film or ignoring it entirely. While D’Souza’s video may be burning up the MAGA internet, the MAGA movement’s media outlets and bold-faced names aren’t interested—or at least not enough for D’Souza’s tastes.

Right-wing networks like Fox News and Newsmax could have plenty of factual reasons to stay away from 2000 Mules, which centers on the idea that D’Souza and his compatriots uncovered voter fraud using phone GPS tracking. Fact-checkers have fileted the film’s central conceit that the phone data somehow uncovers proof of voter fraud, with the Associated Press finding “gaping holes” in D’Souza’s argument. On Wednesday, NPR disproved a claim in the movie that the GPS technology at the center of the film was used to solve a murder.

Justin Feldman/Twitter:

I was just wondering when we’d see another one of these. Here’s a thread about my foray into the data.

NPR didn’t give enough detail to exactly replicate the analysis. But I used CDC WONDER to do something very similar, looking at covid deaths in Trump (≥60% of 2020 vote) vs. Biden (≥60%) counties. I looked at a solidly Omicron period (Jan 1-Apr 16, 2022).

NPR says Trump counties had 2.26x the death rate of Trump this past winter. Again, not enough details to replicate. For the time period I looked at, it was 1.77x the death rate in Trump counties vs Biden counties. If you do standard age adjustment, it was 1.51x the death rate.

This poll from last fall actually included non-voters and found that only about half of the unvaccinated population were Trump voters, with the rest split largely between non-voters and some Biden voters.…

I think what’s more interesting here is the political purpose of this kind of county analysis: to assure professional class liberals that the pandemic is not their problem nor a problem of their preferred leader’s inaction.

Be careful when you assess the partisan makeup of counties, which also include non-voters. COVID doesn’t care if you are registered to vote. And yes, the Biden administration needs to do more.



Australian voters deliver strong message on climate, ending conservative government’s 9-year rule

Like France, Australia hates both parties, when you come down to it. However, consensus is the biggest issue was the current [losing] conservative PM, Scott Morrison being an unlikeable asshole (the worst kind). Ask Macron (France’s outgoing foreign minister welcomes defeat of Scott Morrison), who’s still pissed about that submarine deal.


The Chaser:

BREAKING: Rupert Murdoch has lost the Australian Federal Election

Australia has celebrated the first change of leadership in 50 years, after a man who wasn’t sucking up to Rupert Murdoch was elected to government in a major upset. Murdoch gave a concession speech late tonight, thanking his opponent “reality” and pleading to do everything he can do to win back middle Australia.

Yes it’s satirical/no, it’s not.


Alex Kovalev/Foreign Policy:

For Opposition to Putin’s War, Look to the Fringes of His Empire

The dirty secret of the Russian military is that long-conquered subjects are the Kremlin’s cannon fodder.

We are all familiar with the imperial fantasies driving Russian President Vladimir Putin’s “special operation” to subjugate Ukraine: It’s not a country, its independence when the Soviet empire fell apart in 1991 was a historical mistake, and it’s time to bring Ukraine home into the Russian world.

But that’s not the only way Putin is fighting an imperial war. Russia’s own army is in many ways an imperial one: Members of ethnic minorities subjugated by the expanding Russian Empire centuries ago appear to be disproportionately fighting and dying in the Kremlin’s army—while ethnic Russians, especially those from better-off regions such as Moscow and st. Petersburg, overwhelmingly manages to avoid duty at the front, mainly by dodging the draft for young men in the first place.

It’s the dirty secret of the Russian military: Russia’s peripheral subjects—Buryats, Dagestanis, Tuvans—are Putin’s cannon fodder.

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