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Voters’ Pamphlets and Ballots Dropped – Vote Brandy!

The official voters’ pamphlets dropped a few days ago for the local primary elections on August 1st, two weeks from today. The ballots have been delivered as well. People are already voting.

The above is my wife Brandy’s section of the voter’s pamphlet. I’m very proud of her. She’s been getting lots of very positive reactions at various local events, and we keep hearing from more supporters. Win or lose, this has been a great experience. But of course we want Brandy to win, right? There are five people running for Snohomish County Fire District 1 Commissioner Position 3, and the top two from the primaries move on to the general election.

So if you haven’t yet, it would be great if you took a few minutes to help out by doing a few things… ESPECIALLY if you live in Snohomish County… but even if you don’t.

  • Like and share her Facebook page
  • Visit her website
  • Donate to her campaign!
  • If you have something to say or ask about the campaign, leave a message on her Facebook page as well
  • And finally, of course, if you actually live in Snohomish County Fire District 1 (map below), VOTE for Brandy!

Don’t wait, do it now! :-)

Thanks all!

And here is that map. Fire District 1 is actually three discontinuous pieces. Odd. But there you go. The areas surrounded by blue lines are all in Fire District 1. I think. :-)

Curmudgeon’s Corner: Nothingburger

This week on Curmudgeon’s Corner, Sam and Ivan focus on the “nothingburger” of the Donald Trump Jr meeting everybody has been talking about. Nothing to see there, right? But before that, they do manage to get in some conversation on Trump’s performance at the G20, and on completely non-Trump matters, they talk about unlimited data plans, kids and YouTube, and revisit the minimum wage. Lots of meat in that nothingburger!

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Show Details:

Recorded 2017-07-14
Length this week – 2:08:38

  • (0:01:30-0:38:35) But First
    • Andy Pandy
    • Agenda
    • Unlimited Followup
    • Kids and YouTube
    • Christmas Drone
    • Feedback
    • Minimum Wage/Income
  • (0:39:55-1:01:24) Trump at the G20
    • Godfather
    • Trump Isolation
    • Micromanager or Disengaged?
    • Cooperating with the world?
    • Ivanka’s participation
    • Nobody resigning
  • (1:04:53-2:08:18) Donald Trump Jr
    • Background
    • Back to the dossier
    • The dangle
    • Digital operations
    • Conspiracy theories
    • Crimes this week
    • Treason?
    • State vs Federal
    • What about DNC/Ukraine?
    • All the crimes
    • Do Republicans ever bail?
    • Peter Smith suicide
    • Back to the primaries?
    • How much more is there?
    • Bernie Bros
    • Bring on Gen X
    • McMullin 2020

 

The Curmudgeon’s Corner theme music is generously provided by Ray Lynch.

Our intro is “The Oh of Pleasure” (Amazon MP3 link)

Our outro is “Celestial Soda Pop” (Amazon MP3 link)

Both are from the album “Deep Breakfast” (iTunes link)

Please buy his music and support his GoFundMe.

Curmudgeon’s Corner: Return of the Beep

On Curmudgeon’s Corner this week, Sam and Ivan’s main topics are North Korea and the dust up between CNN and the guy on Reddit. They pack a lot of smaller topics in this week too though. Rick Perry on Economics. The 2014 Annie remake. Dress codes in Congress and elsewhere. The Seattle minimum wage. A listener fact checks our last episode. And much much more…

Click below to listen and subscribe!

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Show Details:

Recorded 2017-07-07
Length this week – 2:04:17

  • (0:01:05-0:26:59) But First
    • Fireworks
    • Agenda
    • More fireworks
    • Plane Incident
    • Fact Check!
    • Jones vs Bell
    • Couch Update
  • (0:28:08-0:47:41) North Korea
    • Cobol and Y2K
    • The missile
    • Motivations
    • Trump strategy?
    • Escalation?
    • Trump engaged?
  • (0:48:57-1:11:07) Trolling CNN
    • Air Conditioner
    • Jill Innocenti
    • The meme
    • The troll
    • CNN threat
    • Incitement?
    • Found her?
  • (1:12:53-2:03:58) Lightning Round
    • Changing the battery
    • It is not her
    • Rick Perry economics
    • Movie: Annie (2014)
    • Dress codes
    • Youtube shooting
    • Trump dissed?
    • Seattle minimum wage
    • Illinois budget
    • Alex interlude
    • Trump-light again

 

The Curmudgeon’s Corner theme music is generously provided by Ray Lynch.

Our intro is “The Oh of Pleasure” (Amazon MP3 link)

Our outro is “Celestial Soda Pop” (Amazon MP3 link)

Both are from the album “Deep Breakfast” (iTunes link)

Please buy his music and support his GoFundMe.

6700 km from North Korea

Here is a quick and dirty Google Maps chart showing the areas of the world roughly within range of the North Korean missile tested today if early analysis is correct. Pyongyang and Seattle marked for reference. Everything on the Pyongyang side of the red curve potentially in range.

(Created by constraining my random spot generator to points 6700 km from Pyongyang, apologies for the Mercator projection.)

Curmudgeon’s Corner: Ten and a Bit

This week on Curmudgeon’s Corner, Sam and Ivan talk about the anniversary of the iPhone, using password managers, the travel ban, the healthcare bill, the newest Trump scandal news, and anti-Trump fake news. Oh, and also the Martian slave colony, and the fact that like the iPhone, this show is now ten years old too. Happy ten years to Curmudgeon’s Corner!

Click below to listen and subscribe!

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Show Details:

Recorded 2017-06-30
Length this week – 2:15:35

  • (00:01:37-0:21:30) But First
    • Ten years
    • Agenda
    • Leavenworth
  • (0:22:46-0:58:29) Tech
    • iPhone anniversary
    • Sam gets a password manager
    • New cyberattacks
  • (0:59:38-1:39:36) Policy
    • Travel ban
    • Healthcare
  • (1:40:15-2:15:15) Trump Scandals
    • Mars slave colony
    • Russian hackers to Smith to Flynn?
    • Anti-Trump fake news
    • Collusion not that bad?

 

The Curmudgeon’s Corner theme music is generously provided by Ray Lynch.

Our intro is “The Oh of Pleasure” (Amazon MP3 link)

Our outro is “Celestial Soda Pop” (Amazon MP3 link)

Both are from the album “Deep Breakfast” (iTunes link)

Please buy his music and support his GoFundMe.

Curmudgeon’s Corner: Proper Strategy

On this week’s Curmudgeon’s Corner, Sam and Ivan talk about… things other than Trump! Amazing! Topic include the Senate healthcare bill, Philandro Castile, Charleena Lyles, Grenfell Tower, useless press briefings, escalation in Syria, the special elections in Georgia and South Carolina, layoffs at pollster.com, Uber, Sam’s thoughts on recording candidate forums… and even some movies Ivan watched recently! A lot packed in this week… but relatively Trump light! OK, we couldn’t avoid him entirely. But closer than we have come for awhile!

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Show Details:

Recorded 2017-06-22
Length this week – 2:29:24

  • (0:00:15-0:34:25) But First
    • Paper
    • Agenda
    • Overshadowed
    • Forum adventures
    • Ivan movie: Interstellar
    • Alex interlude
    • Ivan movie: Sully
  • (0:35:40-1:04:51) But Second
    • Leaks on the Senate healthcare bill
    • Will they get 50 votes?
    • Healthcare cost drivers
    • Repeal or tweak?
    • Cynical ploys
  • (1:06:34-1:34:04) But Third
    • Philando Castile verdict
    • Charleena Lyles shooting
    • Grenfell Tower fire
    • Dealing with emergencies
  • (1:35:24-1:56:40) But Fourth
    • Useless Spicer briefings
    • Critical press, not stenographers
    • Spicy’s future
    • Syrian drones and planes
  • (1:57:19-2:29:04) But Fifth
    • Special election spin
    • Pollster.com layoffs
    • Approval ratings
    • Polling accuracy
    • Uber

 

The Curmudgeon’s Corner theme music is generously provided by Ray Lynch.

Our intro is “The Oh of Pleasure” (Amazon MP3 link)

Our outro is “Celestial Soda Pop” (Amazon MP3 link)

Both are from the album “Deep Breakfast” (iTunes link)

Please buy his music and support his GoFundMe.

Trends in the 2017 Special Elections

It has been a couple days since the GA-6 and SC-5 election results, and there are other things in the news now, but I have still been frustrated by a lot of the spin about these races. Specifically, I’ve heard both Republicans and Democrats framing everything about how the Democrats have now lost four in a row, they are showing they can’t win, they are in trouble, they have to change their approach entirely to ever hope to win, etc. Republicans are of course crowing about their victories, but I’ve also heard Sanders-wing Democrats trying to make a case about how the results show that their wing of the party does better and the more centrist Democrats are doomed. Most of this is nonsense. As is my wont, I made a chart showing another way to look at things.

Now, to be fair, history has shown that drawing ANY conclusion from House special elections is dangerous. Special elections are special. And it is a long way until the 2018 elections still. The world in November 2018 is going to look a lot different than the world in June 2017. And we only have four data points. So take ANY conclusion based on this data with a huge grain of salt.

A bunch of the analysis I’ve seen has compared the House special election results to the 2016 PRESIDENTIAL results too. Huh? Why would you do that? Apples and oranges. Compare House races to House races instead. Now, even there, there are critical differences. Presence or absence of incumbents for instance. Lower turn out in special elections. All sorts of things. But at least compare the same kind of race.

In any case, when you do compare congressional race to congressional race, here are the numbers for the four special elections that had a Republican running against a Democrat. (I’m ignoring here the special election in California’s 34th that had two Democrats running against each other.)

  • Kansas’s 4th
    • 2016: Democrat 29.6%, Republican 60.7% -> Margin 31.1%
    • 2017: Democrat 45.7%, Republican 52.5% -> Margin 6.8%
    • Shift: 24.3% more Democratic
  • Montana’s At-Large
    • 2016: Democrat 40.5%, Republican 56.2% -> Margin 15.7%
    • 2017: Democrat 44.1%, Republican 50.2% -> Margin 6.1%
    • Shift: 9.6% more Democratic
  • Georgia’s 6th (numbers as of election night)
    • 2016: Democrat 38.3%, Republican 61.7% -> Margin 23.4%
    • 2017: Democrat 48.1%, Republican 51.9% -> Margin 3.8%
    • Shift: 19.6% more Democratic
  • South Carolina’s 5th (numbers as of election night)
    • 2016: Democrat 38.7%, Republican 59.2% -> Margin 20.5%
    • 2017: Democrat 47.9%, Republican 51.1% -> Margin 3.2%
    • Shift: 17.3% more Democratic

These shifts are large. 9.6% to 24.3% more Democratic depending on the district. The average of these four is a 17.7% move toward the Democrats.

Now, in real life, there are lots of factors in Congressional races. In real life districts will do all sorts of different things in 2018. But lets look at a simplified model for a minute. What if all 435 districts got 17.7% bluer? We get the chart below.

The blue line shows the election margins in all 435 districts based on the 2016 results, ordered from the most Democratic district to the most Republican district. Republican districts are positive, Democratic districts are negative. The place where the line crosses the X-axis is the number of Democrats in the House, currently 194. It takes 218 to control the House.

The red dots are the four special elections we have had. They are displaced downward from the blue line since the Democrats did better in the special elections than they did in 2016. The amount they are shifted downward represents the shift in the margin from 2016 to 2017.

The orange line is where we would be if all districts moved like the average of these four special elections. Again, we know this won’t happen exactly for any number of reasons, but this is to illustrate the degree of shift these four special elections represent.

With this amount of movement in the margins on the individual races, you end up with a 55 seat swing in the House, resulting in a Congress with 249 Democrats to 186 Republicans. That would be a substantial majority.

But you don’t even need that 17.7% shift. A 12.5% shift would be enough to just barely squeak by with a 218 seat majority. So, no, a Montana At-Large sized 9.5% shift would not be enough to give the Democrats the majority. But if they match the shift in any of the other three districts, the Democrats win the House.

Now, that may not happen. There are lots of reasons why that may not happen. But all the comments about how because they lost these four races the Democrats are doomed, or that they have to change their whole strategy to win, or that the Democratic brand is toxic, or anything of the sort… those takes are all just ridiculous on their face. What we’ve seen in these four races are massive movements toward the Democrats compared to just seven months ago… enough to show that a 12.5% movement, which might have seemed out of reach right after the November elections, is actually well within reach.

If Republicans want to protect themselves, they need to recognize the danger, and CHANGE their approach, and start defending their close districts differently, not just keep saying that “the Democrats keep losing!”. What the Republicans are doing is NOT working. Yes, they held these seats, but all these races were much closer than they “should have been”, and they had to put in a lot of resources to hold things even there. What they are doing is NOT working. Yes, the “Ha! Ha! We won!” act is fun, and it is nice to win and gloat about it, but if they are serious about holding the House, they need to be realistic about this as well.

Meanwhile, if Democrats want to capitalize on the trends, they need to be confident and be proud of these huge gains, not get paralyzed by self doubt and calls to change everything just because a 20% shift wasn’t quite enough to win Georgia’s 6th. It was a 20% shift!! That is HUGE! The fact that these districts went from places where Democrats lost by 16% to 31% to districts that Democrats lost by 3% to 7% shows that they should be pushing and competing hard in any district they lost by less than 25%, maybe even 30%. KS-4 showed it is possible for them to generate moves that size. They should attempt it.

Curmudgeon’s Corner: Uninhabited Atoll

This week on Curmudgeon’s Corner, Sam and Ivan talk about the Baseball shooting in Virginia and the related issues about the tone of our political discourse these days. Of course they can’t forget the Trump scandal developments of the week too. In between they squeeze in some talk about healthcare, Puerto Rican statehood, the great butter shortage, and a few other things. But most importantly, a very rare but special gift from Ivan. Tune in to hear what it is!

Click below to listen and subscribe!

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Show Details:

Recorded 2017-06-15
Length this week – 1:25:11

  • (0:00:15-0:32:27) But first
    • Agenda
    • Healthcare Own Goal?
    • Not visiting the White House
    • Puerto Rican statehood
    • iTunes U: Lord of the Rings I
    • Weekend Plans
    • But first at the but end?
  • (0:33:07-1:04:34) Baseball Shooting
    • Butter shortage
    • The shooting
    • Heated rhetoric
    • What do you do?
    • Partisan differences?
    • The Trump Wing vs Mainstream R’s
    • Any changes?
    • Trump influence in Europe
    • Polling
  • (1:06:34-1:24:51) Trump Scandals
    • Obstruction investigation
    • Self inflicted wounds
    • Sleepy Ivan
    • Talking points
    • Sleepy Ivan 2
    • Expanding investigations
    • Attacking the investigators
    • Investigative duty

 

The Curmudgeon’s Corner theme music is generously provided by Ray Lynch.

Our intro is “The Oh of Pleasure” (Amazon MP3 link)

Our outro is “Celestial Soda Pop” (Amazon MP3 link)

Both are from the album “Deep Breakfast” (iTunes link)

Please buy his music and support his GoFundMe.

Brandy is running for office!

For those who don’t already know…  My wife Brandy is running for local office! Specifically, she is running for Snohomish County Fire District 1, Commissioner Position 3. Check out her candidate statement on her temporary campaign website. (She’s working on a more complete site, I quickly threw that one together for her as a starter site to have something up right away.)

This is a non-partisan position. There are five candidates in the primaries. The top two move on to the general election. The incumbent is David Chan, who got into trouble a few months ago for some comments about Mexicans he made during an official meeting.

Ever since the 2016 election… actually before, but it accelerated afterwards… Brandy has been increasingly engaged politically, and looking for places to make a difference. She’s been connecting with all sorts of people locally, and was urged by several to run for this position. It is her first run, but she is learning quickly. Win or lose, I’m pretty sure she intends to be actively engaged in things going forward.

If you are in the local area and want to know more or to help out, let me (or her) know!

I guess this means we’ll be investing in lawn signs and such soon… :-)

electbrandydonaghy.org

Curmudgeon’s Corner: Take A Hammer To It

On Curmudgeon’s Corner this week, Sam and Ivan dissect the Comey hearings and related issues, but there is a lot more too! They cover the Reality Winner case, Qatar, the UK Elections, WWDC, the lottery, Sam’s new couch, and that isn’t even all!

Click below to listen and subscribe!

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 1-Click Subscribe in iTunes
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Show Details:

Recorded 2017-06-10
Length this week – 1:55:41

  • (0:02:04-0:27:35) But First
    • Agenda
    • New Couch
    • Projector Screen
  • (0:28:11-1:11:41) Trump/Russia/Comey
    • Liar!
    • Vindicated?
    • Russian Interference
    • Misrepresentation
    • Sessions
    • Comey/Clinton
    • Standing up to Trump
    • The Admirals
    • Trump Defense
    • Reality Winner
    • Russian Spearfishing
    • Obliviousness
  • (1:12:44-1:44:07) International
    • Qatar
    • Trump Staff
    • Merkel on trusting America
    • Kabul Bombing
    • China/Ivanka
    • UK Election Results
    • Paris Agreement Feedback
    • French Special Forces
    • Trump and NATO
  • (1:45:16-1:55:15) WWDC
    • Video Autoplay
    • Optimized iMessage Storage
    • iOS Control Center
    • Live Pictures
    • Do not disturb while driving
    • Augmented Reality
    • iPad features
    • Home Pod
    • Lottery

 

The Curmudgeon’s Corner theme music is generously provided by Ray Lynch.

Our intro is “The Oh of Pleasure” (Amazon MP3 link)

Our outro is “Celestial Soda Pop” (Amazon MP3 link)

Both are from the album “Deep Breakfast” (iTunes link)

Please buy his music and support his GoFundMe.