(Political) Science

I was a recent guest on Science Babe Yvette Ross’ blog, where we discuss the Constitution, politics, the election, cats, and other important topics. Check it out!

Polls be damned, vote no matter what

I have to admit that the polls look good going into this election, but you have to keep in mind that polls do not take into consideration cheating. Republicans have made their election strategy clear: They’re willing to do anything to win this election (except get the most votes).

We’ve already seen voter intimidation encouraged by the President; fake mail-in drop boxes set up to steal ballots; the closing of precincts; forcing people to drive hundreds of miles to drop off their ballots; and numerous lawsuits having the prime purpose of making sure the will of the people is not heard.

The only way to counter all this is with a massive vote that overwhelms all the tricks they are using.

But to the polls: Some people are saying “Yeah, Biden is ahead, but so was Hillary at this time.” That’s only true in certain places. Overall, Biden has been ahead of Trump consistently, which is unusual in a Presidential campaign. Here, look at this (from Real Clear Politics):

Trump has never hit a 50% approval rating as President. His highest scores are still lower than Obama’s lowest scores. His following is limited, and it’s even less this time. Some of those who supported him last time are abandoning him now, and he hasn’t appealed to any new voters.

But what about four years ago when we all said the same thing? Here’s how it looked then:

So what happened? Some of it was polling itself — many people didn’t want to admit they were voting for the racist incompetent idiot and wouldn’t tell the pollsters. Some of it was us being so confident we didn’t all get out and vote. Some of it was our terrible Electoral College (because, after all, the polls showed her ahead by 3% and she did get 3% more than Trump, just not in the right states). And some was the fact that Clinton, unlike Biden, started out with negative ratings and never really appealed to many voters.

But this time we’re ready and voting — but so are the Trump people. And they’re cheating. So don’t get complacent and don’t get comfortable. Vote!

(According to fivethirtyeight.com, this is what the Electoral College results would be if the election was held today and all the polls were completely accurate:)

Click the map to create your own at 270toWin.com

Repeal and Replace

Right Wing discovers empathy

by Guest Blogger Peter David

I have to admit, it amuses me that the right wing has suddenly developed the one thing that they previously despised: empathy.

It’s just fascinating. When Trump sneered at Hillary’s pneumonia, they cheered. When Trump memorably lampooned a journalist who had a physical handicap, they roared with laughter. When Trump attacked the mourning parents of a fallen Gold Star warrior, they nodded in agreement.

But suddenly their noble leader is downed with Coronavirus, and their hackles are up. Granted, left wingers shouldn’t be chortling in delight over the fact that he’s down with the virus he dismissed as a Democratic hoax. They shouldn’t wish him dead. However, making the comment that this was inevitable–that when you ignore the advice of scientists, downplay the disease’s viciousness and have both yourself and your minions ignore the steps you should take to avoid contracting it–that’s a valid point to make. Commenting on the fact that Trump basically brought this on himself is a legitimate observation. Yet suddenly the right wing, who delighted in their leader’s bullying tactics, have melted as snowflakes typically do.

Joe Biden has wished Trump well. Does anyone think that if the situation were reversed, Trump would do likewise? Of course not. If Biden were downed with Covid, Trump would be the very first out the gate to deride him and hold him up as proof that scientists don’t know what they’re talking about. “So much for his masks!” he would declare. It would be held up as proof that Biden is weak, run down, susceptible to a disease that knew better than to try and tangle with Trump. Furthermore his campaign would produce “Biden is sick” ads that would run 24/7.

Currently the Biden campaign has pulled all its Trump attack ads. If Biden were down with it, Trump’s campaign would step up the attack ads. Indeed, they’re currently continuing with their attack ads even though Biden has backburnered his. And yet still the butt-hurt right wing howls over the mistreatment and lack of sympathy they’re receiving from the left. Where is the empathy that they, who have never extended it, are now not receiving in turn? They have repeatedly expressed their contempt for even the concept of the moral high ground; so why isn’t the left sticking to that now?

Why don’t we show them how people in a civilized society should behave, so that they can view it as a sign of weakness and continue to come up with plans to “own the libs” in their deeds and actions?

Even better: they continue to try and blame things on Biden. If Biden were a gentleman, declared one pundit, he would postpone the election. Even though no election has been postponed in the history of the country. Even though Biden has as much power to postpone an election as I do. Even though millions have already voted. Even though if Biden were ill instead, Trump would laugh at the idea. Instead we’re getting the sentiment of, “How unsympathetic to an illness can those lousy Democrats be?”

Exactly this unsympathetic: For months we’ve been worried about an October surprise. Well, we got it. And the surprise is, it isn’t remotely surprising. It was inevitable.

The right wing wants sympathy? Let’s give them as much sympathy as Trump gave John McCain, dying of brain cancer. Or Herman Cain, dying of misplaced faith. It’s one of the oldest sayings in the book, right wing: What goes around comes around.

Peter David is a writer whose novels include many of his own stories as well as novels in the world of Star Trek and Babylon 5 (and others).  Besides novels, Peter has written comic books (Incredible Hulk, Aquaman, Supergirl), television shows (Babylon 5, Space Cases, Ben 10), short stories, blogs, and more. Check out his web page and his wikipedia page and prepare to be overwhelmed.


Clay Bennett

The Antifa Flag

There are flags for Trump people and there’s the “don’t tread on me” flag and the Blue Lives Matter flag and the nazi flag and the Confederate flag…

We liberal antifa types have our own flag, too.

The right has grabbed the flag and has acted as if you have to agree with them to be “patriotic.” Many liberals are afraid to fly it because they don’t want people to think they’re in the “My Country, Love it or Leave It” crowd.

We need to reclaim it.

This is the flag that fought against the racist confederates who committed treason against our country. This is the flag that fought against fascists in Europe. Not a flag with a blue stripe. Not a flag with “Don’t Tread on Me” written across it.

This is our flag.

Life in Bizarro America


Jesse Duquette

One nation except for you

“One nation, except Jews, with liberty and justice for all.”

What? That is insulting? It’s unconstitutional?

There are more Americans who consider themselves atheists or agnostics than there are American Jews. (And there’s probably a lot more in the closet, afraid to admit their beliefs because of the discrimination they’d face if they did.) But apparently non-believers don’t count and don’t matter to many Americans.

Because right now, what many of us hear when the pledge is read is “One nation, except you.”

The pledge of Allegiance didn’t used to have those words “Under God.” Those were added in the 50s, during the McCarthy era, to show that we weren’t like those godless commies. But what it did was immediately exclude Americans. The irony of excluding Americans and then immediately saying “indivisible” is lost on them.

So be kind. Refuse to say “Under God,” explain why to other Americans, and be inclusive instead of exclusive.

Cold dead hands


Adam Zyglis

Hydroxychloroquine madness

If hydroxychloroquine worked, we liberals would be thrilled. We’d be the most pro-hydroxychloroquine pushers out there, because we actually like healing people (hence our drive to pass national health care for the past 100 years).

We like facts. And if we are proven wrong by a fact, we generally change our views to fit the facts instead of just ignoring or denying the facts.hydroxIf the most Trump-supporting scientist* discovers a cure, we will cheer. And if suddenly it is discovered that whoops, hydroxychloroquine really does work, we’ll be lined up to take it and will encourage everyone else to do so as well.

Whenever I say this, I get people sending me links to articles about how this trial or that trial looked promising, and then they say “therefore, we should all be using it.”  No. No, that’s not how it works.

To reiterate: When and if the medical community as a whole recommends it, then I will be thrilled. Why shouldn’t I be? Don’t we all want a cure?

But that hasn’t happened yet and for anyone to recommend taking something that the FDA has not approved for the virus is irresponsible and reckless.

And it certainly doesn’t help when the people most recommending this are Donald Trump and crazy people who claim that viruses are spread by demon sperm and there is some vast conspiracy to keep this from the public.

If there is some vast conspiracy to keep it from everyone, then why? What reason? I don’t get it. Why wouldn’t (a) we want everyone to get better and thus save lives and the economy and (b) the companies want it approved so they can make money?

If there is a conspiracy, who does it benefit? The argument that Big Pharma is keeping this from being used makes absolutely no sense, especially since much research is done in the rest of the world and in universities where medicine isn’t about profit. In the rest of the civilized world, finding a cure will save governments lots of money, so there is absolutely no reason to hide a cure if one existed.

If it is approved and accepted, obviously we will all cheer and say good. It’s not like we’re going to ignore science like Trump supporters.

*if there is one