Election Day Open Thread

voting line

We’re a 501(c)3 and can’t endorse candidates for office. What we can do is remind people to vote. Judging by the lines this morning, New Yorkers are plenty motivated.

At PS 152 in Brooklyn, the mechanics of the polling place seemed to be working fine, but it still took nearly an hour to cast a ballot. New York needs to get with the program and implement early voting.

This thread is open for all election-related conversation.

  • Maggie

    In a lot of ways I wish we would have a first female president who was NOT a former First Lady. Still, she works hard, and she cares deeply about fairness and about the future. That’s how I came around to support her a lot more strongly than I did at first.

    I was researching her infrastructure plan today. I feel sheepishly uninformed whether Streetsblog has covered it, but IF she wins it will be interesting to see how it unrolls.

  • Joe R.

    Ironically, as dysfunctional as it is at times, NYC’s government is more responsive to the needs of its citizens than the federal government (or the state government). Point of fact, how often are the latter two actually a hindrance to what we want to accomplish? Good example is needing Albany’s “permission” for camera enforcement.

    We don’t have single payer in this country but… the majority of this country doesn’t want single payer.

    Perhaps for the same reason the majority supposedly prefer to travel by private automobile? Don’t underestimate the influence of slick marketing and repeating the same lies over and over again. My guess is if people bothered to research all the alternatives from unbiased sources they would conclude single payer is a better system. But few will take the time to do that. All they listen to are 30 second sound bites telling them about death panels or interminable waits for major operations. When they’re not listening to that they’re bombarded with endless drug commercials. The result is more profits for big pharma but not necessarily better outcomes for the patient.

    Then, at least, people who have retired depending on benefits promised to them will have a chance not to be forced to starve on the streets, which seems to be your desired outcome.

    The fact is the existing pensions were perfectly adequate before a major, unfunded increase was done with little public oversight, and then only for certain professions, like teachers. It’s more a difference of retirees taking a few less vacations each year if they just get what was initially promised to them prior to the increases. My mom is getting by just fine on a pension well under half what the average teacher will be getting. She’s hardly starving to death, and neither will the teachers if we had to roll back the pensions to what they were before the back door raise.

    You’d said there is a “school of thought” that we would have been better off if we had let the international finance system collapse.

    Hard to find much on that but here’s something:

    http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/secret-and-lies-of-the-bailout-20130104

    I may even have favored the bailout if it was tied to long-term financial reform but it wasn’t. The banks are free to make the same mistakes again, the government is unwilling to stop them. We’re already at near zero interest rates. What can we do for stimulus next time this happens?

  • Andrew

    Those of us who vote in the primaries have probably memorized their ED long ago (unless they’ve moved recently). Today was my fourth time voting in 2016. I guess that’s another reason to vote in primaries?

    Unfortunately, at my polling place the long lines were to pick up the ballots and to scan them.

  • Andrew

    Like lots of women, I was thrilled for the first chance in 240 years to vote for a woman as US president.

    Boy, you sure are old!

  • Joe R.

    Some of her ideas aren’t horrible, but the key is will she get Congress on board? Unfortunately, Congress has a nasty habit of using any excuse at all to oppose the agenda of a President of the opposing party. There are two answers to that. One is obviously to have a majority in Congress. The other is to have a President with as few flaws as possible. The fact Congress was largely unwilling to work with Obama, despite his charisma and relatively lack of issues, tells me it probably won’t go well for Hillary unless there’s a Democratic majority. And I hope there is. I’m tired of gridlock. We need to get stuff done yesterday.

  • SSkate

    I’ve voted at the same polling place since 2002, including yes four times this year. Ask me my ED number right now and I’d still have to guess.

  • Andrew

    That’s an excellent point: transportation advocates recognize that time matters. To be sure, some delays are intrinsic in the process or are necessary to achieve other goals, but the voting system as it exists at present in New York imposes all sorts of unnecessary delays on all voters (or perhaps only the unlucky ones or the ones with limited flexibility in when they can vote).

  • Andrew

    New York is a lost cause for both the Republican and the Democrat. The Republican knows he’s going to lose the state, so there’s no point in addressing the priorities of the state’s citizens; the Democrat knows she’s going to win the state, so there’s no need to address the priorities of the state’s citizens.

    Under a popular voting system, both candidates would have an incentive to win over undecided voters in all states, even those undecided voters in states with strong Republican or Democratic leanings.

  • Maggie

    Hehe, my crappy grammar.

    Thrilled for America’s first chance in 240 years!!

  • Joe R.

    Thanks for clearing that up! I was worried (perhaps Andrew was also) that maybe we had a vampire in our midst here. 🙂 Then again, in my family of night owls that’s something we’ve often been accused of.

  • Andrew

    OK, I’ll stop looking for you in the Guinness Book of World Records.

  • Simon Phearson

    1. The Foundation. By the same token, avoiding appearance of any conflicts of interest would preclude the Foundation from spending any money while she was Secretary of State (because then the Foundation would look like it’s trying to help her in her official role). So really it should have just been shut down. Right?

    Don’t be absurd. National politicians – especially high profile ones like Hillary – are going to have connections, businesses, interests. When Hillary became Secretary of State, she entered into an agreement whereby any new donations would be vetted by the State Department, in an effort to address this conflicts issue. Are you really asserting that the only acceptable thing for her to have done was to shut the thing down entirely?

    I am not sure why it’s supposed to make sense to return Saudi Arabia’s donations.

    2. The E-mails. I have spent more time than I’d ever wanted to examining what Hillary did and the legal background. As far as I can tell, the most apparent rationale for setting up her own server was that the State Department IT architecture at the time was such that it actively made work difficult. Use of gmail accounts was common; as it was, Hillary’s solution was actually more secure than common workarounds. If she was trying to avoid open records laws, that would obviously be a problem, but you’re literally the first person I’ve encountered who seems to think that was her motivation. I’m skeptical there’s any actual evidence to support this assertion.

    As for differential application of the laws – I’m sympathetic to so-called “whistleblowers” as well, but as a matter of law Manning, Snowden, and Petraeus did something that Hillary did not, which was intentionally disclose classified information to third parties. Using a private server that, as far as we know, wasn’t actually compromised by any malefactor, does not rise to the level of a criminal act.

    3. Dishonesty. Hillary is a politician, and she’s been in the public eye for decades. I’m not sure that I put the same stock that you do into disparate statements and recollections spread out over those decades, in different contexts for different purposes, in assessing her capacity for honesty. I suppose I subscribe to the notion that “honesty” means saying one thing to be true when you know that thing to be false or that you don’t know that it’s true, which isn’t something either of your examples evince. I am willing to forgive an exaggerated misstatement or a difficult admission that she’s trying to avoid making.

    I agree that Jimmy Carter’s post-presidential life has been commendable. One might call it “saintly.” That a pair of ambitious politicians like the Clintons chose a different path isn’t entirely surprising. I guess I’m inclined to evaluate them more by the success of their Foundation (which, I’ll just anticipate, may not result in the best picture, either) than by whether they accept too much in speaking fees. It just seems a bit odd to criticize someone for making money. This is America after all. We all have to hustle.

    As for divisive, I think that’s more of a reflection of her being a poor politician. She just doesn’t have the skills of Obama or her Husband (though his skills seems to have eroded over time). Obama’s divisive by virtue of his pigmentation. Can’t really fault him for that.

    What, specifically, has she done as a politician, in order to divide people? How does being simply a “poor” politician make you “divisive?”

  • Simon Phearson

    Now you’re citing the Washington Times and a conservative thinktank fellow.

    Look at the pattern. Whitewater was the beginning of a roving investigation that kept looking for something – anything – to tar Bill Clinton. When the investigation of Whitewater didn’t turn anything up, it became something else, and then something else again… until they finally got Bill on perjury. Do you remember how that even came up? Kenneth Starr was still investigating Whitewater; an enterprising conservative stooge got the dirt from Monica Lewinsky; she sent the tapes to Starr, who then broadened the scope of his investigation to see if Bill asked Monica to lie in connection with Paula’s lawsuit against Bill. And then, when asked about his relationship with Monica, Bill appears to have mischaracterized his relationship with Monica. The whole thing was such a bizarre journey from the initial Whitewater investigation, it was absurd.

    The e-mails came about similarly. You’re talking about an investigation where the congressional Republicans admitted their primary goal was to attack Hillary! But that all started in connection with the Benghazi attacks… and ended up in this bizarrely minute matter about whether Hillary should have used a private e-mail server in her official business.

    If Hillary proves to be plagued by scandals, it won’t have been her fault. She didn’t bring on any of this – and to connect her current issues with the Starr investigations is as silly as it is sexist. No, the only ones to blame will be the Republicans, who have discovered that they can still get themselves re-elected even if they don’t do their jobs. And it’s largely the credulity afforded their efforts by people like you that make that true.

  • Joe R.

    Being “divisive” might not necessarily be her fault but it’s a fact people either love her or hate her. There doesn’t seem to be too much middle ground. She doesn’t have the people skills of Obama or her husband. It’s a personality issue. Like it or not, that’s important to the electorate. I wish it wasn’t so. If I thought someone was the best person for the job I couldn’t care less if they had all the personality of a glass of milk.

    More saliently, personality is important to getting the compromises needed for our system of government to function. To be fair, there are probably more on the right side of the aisle in Congress utterly lacking in that department but the last eight years they haven’t been the ones in the White House pushing their agenda. The fact Congress refused to work with a charismatic President like Obama doesn’t bode well for Hillary.

  • Joe R.

    The Republicans don’t get reelected thanks to people like me. Their so-called agenda speaks for itself, the heart of which seems to be to turn the US into a Christian theocracy. No thanks, I’ll pass.

    My question here is what would be the motivation to tar Bill Clinton, and now his wife? Mudslinging just gets you more in return. If you’re going to accuse someone of something in politics you had better be sure it sticks. You also better be sure it’s not something trivial. My concerns here are more about what is a pattern. Everybody in power sooner or later is going to have somebody accuse them of some impropriety. It would undoubtedly happen to me if I ran for something. Maybe they would blow my sidewalk cycling ticket out of proportion, or find something on my tax returns, or somebody from my past might spew some lies for their 15 minutes of fame. My problem here is the length of that list. Even if 75% of it is fabricated BS that still leaves a lot of questionable activities. A phrase often used in the military comes to mind here: “Once is happenstance. Twice is coincidence. The third time it’s enemy action.”

  • Larry Littlefield

    No problem voting at 6:15 am, but no one to vote for.

    You know Hillary Clinton is winning NY. I was NOT happy with my choices. Senator Schumer’s opponent? Never mentioned in the media, no literature, not attempt to make an argument. Same with my Congressperson, who has done nothing. Just a name, nothing more.

    I voted against NY state incumbents were there was one, but the name on the ballot did not campaign, and I never heard from them.

    I don’t agree with elected judges. Mostly one name on the ballot,with one exception. What is this? North Korea.

    If there was a real choice they would not let us vote.

    I ended up writing in this guy a lot, a character with all the characteristics of Generation Greed politicians. Takes one to know one.

    Hey NYC Board of Elections: count all the votes!

  • Maggie

    Looks like we get to find out. :/ Oh those polls…..

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