Tuesday: Hili dialogue

November 8, 2022 • 6:45 am

Welcome to Tuesday: the Cruelest Day, November 8, 2022, and National Cappuccino Day. Here’s a good one:

IT’S VOTING DAY, SO DON’T FORGET TO VOTE  (I know you won’t!).

It’s also: National Harvey Wallbanger Day, a drink made with vodka, Galliano, and orange juice, X-ray Day, National Dunce Day, World Pianist Day, and World Urbanism Day. 

Readers are invite to contribute notable events, births, and deaths on this day by consulting the November 8 Wikipedia page.

Da Nooz:

*Remember, it’s Election Day, and here’s the Tuesday morning prognostication from Five Thirty Eightwith things not looking good, especially in the House.  And since yesterday afternoon, the Democratic prediction has gone down four seats in the Senate, though the House prognostication is unchanged.

And Nate has Three Big Questions:

Question 1: Will the polls be systematically wrong?

Which type of polling error is more likely? If you’ve been following these election updates, you’ve probably noticed me wrestling back and forth between a “trust the process” mentality, where I take the FiveThirtyEight’s model’s output as gospel, and a concern that the model may still be underestimating the chance of a pro-Democratic bias in the polls as we saw in 2016 and 2020.

. . . For what it’s worth, I’ve mostly landed on “trust the process.” My personal view of the race is pretty well aligned with the FiveThirtyEight Deluxe model. The polls could very well be biased against Republicans again. The best reason to think so is probably the “Nathan Redd” argument that as polling gets more difficult, you should put more faith in the fundamentals. Usually, the president’s party has a rough midterm, especially when the president has a 42 percent approval rating and inflation is at 8.2 percent.

Question 2: How big will the turnout gap be?

 I’m sorry to repeat the biggest cliche in election analysis, but if the polls are roughly in the right vicinity, control of the Senate will come down to turnout. If you care about the outcome and haven’t voted, you should do so.

A higher turnout could favor either party, depending on where the election takes place.

Question 3: How much does candidate quality matter?

Here’s an important fact about this election that’s become somewhat obscured. If it weren’t for the candidates — some relatively strong Democrats and some relatively weak Republicans — Democrats would be completely screwed in the Senate, barring a major polling error.’

. . . So if all races went according to the national environment plus the state’s partisan lean, Democrats would lose the seats they currently hold in Nevada, Georgia, Arizona and New Hampshire while failing to make any gains from Republicans, resulting in a 54-46 GOP Senate. That sort of outcome is not out of the realm of possibility by any means at all, but it’s relatively unlikely. The GOP may well pay a price for its inexperienced, unpopular and in some cases scandal-plagued candidates. Just how much of one could determine which party winds up with Senate control.

At the NYT, Nate Cohn covers all the bases with four scenarios:

Scenario 1: The clear Republican win

Democrats cling to a five-seat majority in the House, but if they get a few breaks, the night still might leave them with a lot to feel good about — even if the scoreboard still shows the Republicans gaining seats and taking the House. It might even feel like a Democratic win, given how the polls have trended toward Republicans in recent weeks.

This feels-like-a-win mainly comes down to holding control of the Senate. To hold the chamber, the party will probably need to win three of the four most critical races: Pennsylvania, Georgia, Arizona and Nevada.

Scenario 2: The feels-like-a-win for Democrats.

Democrats cling to a five-seat majority in the House, but if they get a few breaks, the night still might leave them with a lot to feel good about — even if the scoreboard still shows the Republicans gaining seats and taking the House. It might even feel like a Democratic win, given how the polls have trended toward Republicans in recent weeks.

This feels-like-a-win mainly comes down to holding control of the Senate. To hold the chamber, the party will probably need to win three of the four most critical races: Pennsylvania, Georgia, Arizona and Nevada.

Scenario 3: The Republican Landslide:

If the polls underestimate the Republicans again, the result of this year’s midterms won’t just feel like a Republican landslide — it will be a Republican landslide.

A “red wave” election would not be a surprise; nor would it be hard to explain. President Biden’s approval ratings are stuck in the low 40s, a figure as low or lower than Donald J. Trump’s approval ratings in 2018, Bill Clinton’s in 1994 and Barack Obama’s in 2010. In each case, the party out of power gained 40 or more House seats and won the House national popular vote by around seven percentage points or more

4. A Democratic surprise:

A surprising Democratic night — a hold in the House and the Senate — is unlikely. With polls trending toward Republicans, the outcome feels even harder to imagine than the word “unlikely” suggests.

But it does remain within the realm of possibility: Democrats are still within striking distance of a good night.

No they’re not. Being a Jew, I’m naturally a pessimist—or the equivalent of the Jewish optimist in this joke:

Jewish Pessimist.  Oy! Things couldn’t get any worse.
Jewish Optimist:    Sure they can!

I’m with scenario 3, for a pessimist is never disappointed, and I’ll be delighted if Dems win one house of congress.

*One more set of predictions, this time from Henry Olsen in the Washington Post:,and again not good for Dems:

and in the House:

*And in three swing states, Republicans are suing to have tons of mail-in ballots disqualified while at the same time telling their own voters to walk to the polls to vote. Sneaky, eh?

Republican officials and candidates in at least three battleground states are pushing to disqualify thousands of mail ballots after urging their own supporters to vote on Election Day, in what critics are calling a concerted attempt at partisan voter suppression.

In Michigan, Kristina Karamo, the Republican nominee for secretary of state, sued the top election official in Detroit last month, seeking to toss absentee ballots not cast in person with an ID, even though that runs contrary to state requirements. When asked in a recent court hearing, Karamo’s lawyer declined to say why the suit targets Detroit, a heavily Democratic, majority-Black city, and not the entire state.

And in Wisconsin, Republicans won a court ruling that will prevent some mail ballots from being counted when the required witness address is not complete.

. . . Experts say the litigation — which could significantly affect Tuesday’s vote — represents a parallel strategy of suing to disqualify mail ballots based on technicalities. While the rejections may have some basis in state law, experts say they appear to go against a principle, enshrined in federal law, of not disenfranchising voters for minor errors.

The suits coincide with a systematic attempt by Republicans — led by former president Donald Trump — to persuade GOP voters to cast their ballots only on Election Day.

*If you’re not disheartened enough, Elon Musk, flip-flopping over the last week on how Twitter is to be run, went ahead and recommended that Twitter users vote. . . REPUBLICAN!


New Twitter owner Elon Musk tweeted Monday encouraging “independent-minded voters” to vote Republican, marking a major departure for leaders of social media companies, who typically steer clear of partisan political advocacy.

“Shared power curbs the worst excesses of both parties, therefore I recommend voting for a Republican Congress, given that the Presidency is Democratic,” he tweeted.

Shared power? This is a recipe for stalemate!

*Reader Ken has an item for us (NOT recommended as a Coynezaa gift):


Regular readers of WEIT know that Gwyneth Paltrow pushes some overpriced crap. But now (just in time for our Coynezaa celebration shopping) Gwynie has dropped her 2022 goop Holiday Gift Guide. It includes — I shit you not — this 9 lbs sack of free-range, composted goat, horse, chicken, and cow manure from Flamingo Estates (guaranteed to make any plant grow strong and vibrant), selling for 75 simoleons a poop, er, pop.

You’ll pardon my scatology.

YES! and here it is, at only a bit more than nine bucks per pound.

Note that it’s recommended this way:

It’s hard to go wrong with compost! This compost can be used to fertilize and amend your edibles, medicinals/herbs and house plants. Apply a generous layer directly to your soil or at the base of your plants. You can top dress with compost up to several inches depending on your situation. Water in thoroughly.

What’s the difference between fertilizing and “amending”?

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, there’s a titled Hili today, and she’s near baby Kulka.

Kulka: Where are these birds flying to?
Hili: Not to us.
(photo by Paulina)
In Polish:
Kulka: Dokąd te ptaki lecą?
Hili: Nie do nas.
(Zdjęcie: Paulina)


From David:

From Marie:

From Rick:

God and Elon Musk are in a Twitter spat. Can Elon Musk dethrone the Deity? A screenshot.

From Masih. Now the Iranian parliament is calling for the execution of protestors:

I’ve posted this before but can’t help but be impressed with it again. Ducks can play dead to fool predators (h/t Simon):

From Barry Music doth sooth the savage beast, part II (second tweet; I’ve already shown the first):

From Malcolm: a demonstration of centripetal force, and the guy doesn’t spill a drop!

From the Auschwitz Memorial; note the yellow star.

Tweets from Matthew. This first one looks like an incident of broodnapping, like when Honey kidnapped Dorothy’s brood several years ago and wound up with a family of 17.  I can’t figure out, though, whether only one duck was ‘napped.

Translation from Google: “Parentless single Bcie growth record [2nd day] [1 → 11 chicks Σ (゚Д゚) ] Survival of miraculous chicks ※ Broadcast at the 2022 Minna no Zoo Immediately after the move was completed, the 10 chicks were mixed in with the moving group, and the scene was chaotic.”Parentless single Bcie growth record [2nd day] [1 → 11 chicks Σ (゚Д゚) ]”

Once again, zebras seem have stripes because they appear to deter biting flies. This thread of nine tweets gives the whole tale.

30 thoughts on “Tuesday: Hili dialogue

  1. What was the reason for requiring a ‘parody’ label? Were too many people being fooled by parody?

    IT’S VOTING DAY, SO DON’T FORGET TO VOTE (I know you won’t!).

    Democracy is not fun, probably not worth the effort. Can’t they have elections in the summer when it’s nice and warm?

    1. Requiring that parodies be labeled as such is inconsistent with First Amendment principles. Ask Jerry Falwell. (For one thing, it defeats the parody’s purpose, like giving away the punch line before telling a joke.)

      Matter of fact, there is a petition for writ of certiorari currently pending before the US Supreme Court seeking review of a case brought by someone who spent a few hours in jail for posting a unlabeled parody account in the name of a local police department. The Onion has filed an amicus curiae brief in support of the petition. It is one of the best SCOTUS briefs I’ve read — certainly, the most entertaining.

      1. Requiring that parodies be labeled as such is inconsistent with First Amendment principles.

        Do First Amendment principles apply to Twitter?

        Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

        Section 230 principles are more relevant in this case:

        No provider or user of an interactive computer service shall be treated as the publisher or speaker of any information provided by another information content provider.

        Section 230(c)(2) further provides “Good Samaritan” protection from civil liability for operators of interactive computer services in the good faith removal or moderation of third-party material they deem “obscene, lewd, lascivious, filthy, excessively violent, harassing, or otherwise objectionable, whether or not such material is constitutionally protected.”

        1. Do First Amendment principles apply to Twitter?

          It depends what you mean by “principles”. The First Amendment only applies to government in the USA, but I guess anybody can adopt the principle of free speech if they like. Elon Musk said that all speech within the law should be allowed on Twitter. That is adopting the principle even recognising that the 1st Amendment doesn’t actually apply to a private corporation.

          Of course, he was lying. Several accounts have been suspended for making fun of him even with the parody label.

      2. I don’t think impersonating somebody else is a free speech issue. Doing it for the purpose of fraud or deliberately misleading people should not enjoy free speech protection IMO. Doing it for parody shouldn’t land you in jail though.

      3. You’re not kidding, Ken. I hadn’t read it through before (just giggled at quotes) but I just now did. I am not a lawyer and don’t know squat on how an amicus curiae ought to look, but that is amazingly well written and often hilarious, uproarious. Between all the giggles I could clearly see their legal argument. I don’t know (no idea) that is well argued in a legal sense but it sure seemed like it to me.

        If you know, did any of the supremes or their clerks comment on it?

        1. The cert petition is still pending, so the justices haven’t had an opportunity to comment on the case. And the justices’ law clerks never discuss a case publicly — and generally not even off the record, at least during the course of their clerkships, and usually not while the justices they clerked for are still in active duty. The justices’ chambers tend to be treated as sancta sanctorum (which is why the leaking of Alito’s draft opinion in Dobbs caused such a stir).

          I’m pretty sure the clerks are getting a kick out of it in private — fresh air a generally stuffy, humorless environment.

          1. Thanks. Another couple questions and I’ll stop. Promise. From a lawyer’s perspective, is the brief up to snuff? Will it be seen by the court as frivolous or irrelevant because of the humor?

            1. I think The Onion‘s brief is a first-rate piece of legal analysis. I don’t think SCOTUS will ignore it as frivolous owing to its use of humor. But keep in mind that it is an amicus brief drafted by an interested non-party addressing a specific issue. I don’t think such humor would play in a party’s petition for certiorari itself, or (if cert is granted) in a party’s main brief on the merits.

              Those types of documents need to play it straight.

      4. My gosh that brief by the Onion is funny, Ken. They clearly did a lot of work on it and it seems to me that they made their point very well. I liked that just when, I confess, my attention had started to wander, the authors acknowledged that it probably was, reasonably, and changed tack. Mark Twain’s advice on how to tell a story reminded me of our own Stephen Leacock.

        Thanks for highlighting it.

        1. Yeah, Leslie, sure must be nice, if you want to use humor in a brief, to have the writers at The Onion as your collaborators. 🙂

    2. It’s not so much parody that Twitter has said needs to be labelled, it’s impersonation. That is, you can’t change your Twitter name to that of a famous person and give the impression that you are them, it needs to be obvious that you are not them.

      This rule against impersonation was in place before Musk took over, and seems reasonable.

      1. Think there’s much danger that anyone will confuse the God account for the real thing?

        How will Musk enforce the impersonation policy if people decline to pay him for the blue check mark?

    3. In answer to your first question: because vast numbers of people were making ridiculous tweets whilst pretending to be Elon Musk in order to point out the stupidity of his decision to get rid of verification. He didn’t like that.

  2. … the Democratic prediction has gone down four seats in the Senate …

    Actually, that forecast from 538 reflects the percentage chances of each party to obtain control of the US senate, not how many US senate seats each party is expected to win.

  3. I went and voted this morning. Took sixteen minutes from leaving the car to getting back in.

    It’s high time that we had a bi-partisan, national review of voting practices, and establish best-practices for voting. Fetterman is arguing that misdated ballots should be counted. I don’t know whether they should or not, but the day before an election is not the time to be arguing about the rules.

    1. The WaPo story—it’s not paywalled—about voter suppression by Republican candidates and “officials” is misleading, The three instances reported are court cases brought by Republican candidates and their political organizations to suppress mail-in votes believed to have been more likely cast by Democrats, I.e., because originating in deep Blue cities. This is bare-knuckle politics but unless you believe the courts are partisan, and of course you do, there is no hint that civil-service election officials have put a partisan thumb on the scales, or have had anything at all to do with this.

      And is everyone comfortable with mail-in ballots being counted even when they lack identification, notwithstanding that the Democrat-run state says that’s OK?

      My rule of thumb in reading stories like this is that the anecdotes they print are the ones that are the best possible evidence for the argument the writer is trying to advance. If that’s the best they’ve got, it ain’t much.

      Note that you have to read to the end of the story to find that the court ruled against the GOP suit in Michigan.

      I can see how attacks on mail-in voting would be expected to bear fruit for the Republicans. Tinker with the voting system at your peril of being hois’t with your own petard. Covid is over.

      1. My comment was meant to be free-standing, not as a reply to DrB. I stress this because my use of “you” a couple of times was meant in the abstract indefinite “you”, as in “You just gotta believe”, and not in specific reference to DrB.
        I think what happens is if you start to compose a reply, then cancel it, and later compose a free-standing unrelated comment, the new comment still gets attached as a reply.

  4. The Harvey Wallbanger was a 70s fad cocktail. I’m surprised it is still remembered, let alone having a “day.” It was the first mixed drink I was ever served in a bar. I was 17, in Lou’s Club Voodoo on the Island, Wheeling WV. Mentioned between verses in the song “Payday Blues” by Dan Hicks & His Hot Licks (1973): “I’m buyin’ this round, bartender. Make mine a Harvey Wallbanger.”

    Voted back in September. One race on the ballot.

  5. My hope is that phone polls undercount D’s because they don’t answer unrecognized numbers. Yesterday I got four in the evening, which is more than 4x the average. I figured they were either polls or something from Yevgeny’s minions.

    1. I agree. Response rates in poll calls is something like 4%. So you’re just getting 4% of the population who happen to answer solicited calls. I imagine those 4% are very similar people/voters- probably older, probably skew Republican. And I don’t think they’re reaching many (if any) young people.

  6. I make my own compost (poop-free) for zero dollars. It isn’t difficult. And there is a difference between fertilizing and amending, Jerry: fertilizing is simply adding nitrogen in one form or another, but amending means a bigger project, correcting the proportions of organic/inorganic soil components (humus vs clay and sand), mineral content (Yay! Bonemeal! Bloodmeal! What? You thought plants were vegan?) and sometimes pH too.

  7. As with every election here in Washington state, I received my ballot and voter information brochure in the mail a couple weeks ago. I filled it out at my leisure, put the ballot in a secure envelope and that envelope goes into another envelope which is signed and dated. Signatures (biometrics) are the safest, quickest and easiest way to verify someone’s identity- why the need for an id card? That’s why “voter id” is simply another way the GOP tries to make it more difficult to vote. You can also add your phone # or email address so that if there is a problem with your ballot, you will be contacted. Then the envelope can either be dropped off at any number of convenient drop-off boxes, or you can apply a stamp and send it through the mail.

    There is no need to worry about fraud, intimidation, long lines, inclement weather, having a hectic schedule or wasting valuable time. Washington also enjoys some of the highest voter participation in the nation; we were 3rd in 2020. 7 other states also do mail-in voting and California and Vermont just started doing it in 2022. It has proven to be the best voting system in the US. Unfortunately, all red states (except Utah) don’t want voting to be easy, since they assume (correctly, I’m sure) that they won’t win elections if it’s easy to vote. Trump said it himself and it’s also the impetus for the Big Lie. And the GOP screams that this type of voting is fraught with fraud; as usual, the “facts” coming from the GOP are lies.

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