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Gender: Male
Hometown: Detroit, MI
Member since: Fri Oct 29, 2004, 12:18 AM
Number of posts: 75,807

Journal Archives

Democrat Turnout Rose Through Day in Miami-Dade

(Bloomberg) Democrats’ Election Day turnout appeared to increase over the course of the day in Florida’s largest county.

In Miami-Dade County’s 11 a.m. update, Democrats led in-person voting by just about 2 percentage points, 34.7% to 32.4%. By 5 p.m., they were up by more than 6 percentage points, 36.1% to 29.7%, according to figures released by Robert Rodriguez, a Miami-Dade elections spokesman. (About 32.6% were listed as No Party Affiliation, and 1.6% were listed as “Other.”)

Democrats typically dominate presidential politics in Miami-Dade County, and they tend to cast many more mail-in and early votes there. But across the county, analysts had projected the Election Day vote would probably favor Republican President Donald Trump. The county’s population is roughly 2.7 million people. – Jonathan Levin


Rashida Tlaib's re-election is basically in the bag. She spent hours in the cold knocking on doors..

Rashida Tlaib's re-election is basically in the bag. She spent hours in the cold knocking on doors anyway.

(Detroit Metro Times) U.S. Rep. Rashida Tlaib is all but certain to be re-elected on Tuesday. Her 13th Congressional District, which includes portions of Detroit, Highland Park, and downriver and western suburbs, is a solid Democratic stronghold that her opponent, Republican David "Dude" Dudenhoefer, has virtually no chance of winning — despite stunts like erecting a "REPLACE RASHIDA" billboard and auctioning off an AR-15 rifle for campaign funds.

"He's only been able to raise money because he's my opponent," Tlaib, an outspoken critic of President Donald Trump, says. "You know how I like to think of it — it's racist money burning."

She adds, "Keep spending it, baby!"

Despite the fact that Tlaib's campaign is comfortable, she still spent hours in the cold on Sunday knocking on doors in Highland Park, reminding her constituents to vote, where their polling station and local clerk's office are located, what they need to bring with them, and if they requested an absentee voter ballot, not send it by mail at this point. If nobody's home, Tlaib leaves a handwritten note and some campaign literature, which includes a voter guide that reminds her constituents to also vote for the nonpartisan section, including the Democratic Party-endorsed Michigan Supreme Court judges Elizabeth Welch and Bridget Mary McCormack.

"I'm fine," she says. "I don't even talk about me." She says she only uses her identity to get people to warm up to her, because oftentimes they recognize her from the news.

"I'm your Congresswoman, Rashida Tlaib!" she says whenever someone answers the door. ..............(more)


Updates from Michigan SOS Jocelyn Benson:


Mall Shakeout Just Beginning While Owners Drown in Complex Debt

(Bloomberg) The two U.S. mall owners that filed for bankruptcy on Sunday could be just the beginning.

As retailers ranging from J.C. Penney Co. to Brooks Brothers Group Inc. go bust, their landlords are struggling, too. But rescuing malls will be unusually complicated because the properties have byzantine webs of financing that have only grown more elaborate with time. Interest groups ranging from lenders to shareholders to tenants to holders of complex mortgage bonds are wrangling over how to fix the situations, and for many large property owners, bankruptcy will be the only option, restructuring professionals said.

That’s what CBL & Associates Properties Inc., which controls more than 100 retail properties including malls and shopping centers, found. The real estate investment trust spent months trying to restructure out of court before entering bankruptcy in November. Pennsylvania Real Estate Investment Trust, the owner of about 30 retail properties in mid-Atlantic states, also filed for bankruptcy this week. Both aim to continue operating in bankruptcy.

There’s more pain to go around. As of October, 14% of U.S. malls were delinquent on their mortgages, almost double the high after the financial crisis, according to an analysis of mortgage bonds by research firm Trepp. ..............(more)


Why is this election even close? Because Trump voters will walk off a cliff rather than admit they..

Trump's supporters haven't budged, despite everything. WTAF?
Why is this election even close? Because Trump voters will walk off a cliff rather than admit they were wrong

NOVEMBER 3, 2020 6:15PM

(Salon) The orange spray-tan was barely wiped off Donald Trump's inauguration Bible before the mainstream media went on Trump Voter Remorse Watch. Working off a common but incorrect understanding of human psychology — that, given evidence and time, people come to regret their worst decisions — journalists kept interviewing Trump voters over and over, in "heartland" diners and farm fields and gargantuan exurban malls, in search of evidence that doubts were starting to creep in.

I found the whole thing exhausting fairly quickly. In June 2017, I published an article in which I concluded, after interviewing psychological experts, that "the answer to the question of when Trump voters will come around is somewhere between 'a long, long time from now' and more likely 'never.'"

Here we are, three and a half years later, and things have gone even more poorly than we could have imagined. Trump was impeached for trying to extort a foreign leader into smearing a political opponent, the economy is in the toilet and getting worse, and 231,000 Americans have died in a pandemic that spiraled out of control, largely due to Trump's malicious incompetence.

And yet: Trump's approval ratings remain at a stubborn 44.6%, which is only 1.3 percentage points below the popular-vote share that was enough to snag an admittedly flukish electoral victory in 2016. His rating has slipped a few points below that level here and there, but it always bounces back. Right now, it's as robust as ever, and the vast majority of the people who voted for him in 2016 are clearly doing it again, while telling themselves a story about how this is justified because — seriously, they're telling themselves this — he's doing a good job. ..............(more)


Detroit polls open to long lines and high enthusiasm on election day

DETROIT - If there was one voter who wasn't going to be deterred on election day, it was Joan Knox.

"I feel honored that I'm able to do this, I'm an American citizen and I remember the blood sweat, and tears that were shed for us to have this right," she said Tuesday morning at the Northwest Activities Center in Detroit.

"It would be wrong of me not to be here so I'm honored to be the first in line," she said. "I wanted to be the first in line."

A line. A feature of election day polls, but not necessarily so early in the day. But on Nov. 3, an estimated 70 people had already lined up outside the northern Detroit polling station before doors had opened. ..............(more)


Detroit, Philadelphia, Milwaukee, Ann Arbor, Madison.......

..... your turn to take all the drama out of this election. Time to undo 2016.

American madhouse at a turning point: Is our nation finally ready to rejoin reality?

American madhouse at a turning point: Is our nation finally ready to rejoin reality?
Time has been broken; the United States is ruled by demented evil. If we turn away at last, what happens next?

NOVEMBER 3, 2020 12:00PM

(Salon) America in the Age of Trump is a madhouse, a type of malignant reality in which right and wrong have been inverted.

It is a surreality: So much is so wrong, but most people lack the vocabulary, historical perspective and overall ability to describe the full horror of it all.

It is a place where deviance has been normalized. This goes beyond the normalization of the immoral, where civic disfigurement and its related pain (physical and emotional), along with the violence and death caused by Trump's fascist and authoritarian movement, are imagined as being beautiful and great by his followers and other believers. Such a state of being is something more, and worse: It is a state in which millions of Americans have lost the capacity to know right from wrong — or perhaps never understood such things to begin with. At any rate they have chosen to follow Donald Trump, a Pied Piper for all that is wrong with American society and culture, into the abyss.

Time seems broken: This is what Timothy Snyder describes as "the politics of eternity," in which an authoritarian regime unleashes a torrent of norm-breaking, cruelty, lies and other forces that undermine democracy on a country and its people. The result is a sense of being lost and dislocated from normal time and space.

Election Day 2020 is a world-historical event. Such moments are, by definition, uncommon. In the case of this year's Election Day, the American people are faced with a choice either to begin a return to some type of sanity or to further surrender to the many political, social, ethical, moral and existential derangements of TrumpWorld. .............(more)


Whatever happens this week, our democracy and open society are in critical condition

Whatever happens this week, our democracy and open society are in critical condition
Republicans are obsessed with "safety." But their malignant pessimism and bigotry are the real threat to America

NOVEMBER 3, 2020 11:00AM

(Salon) Financier and philanthropist George Soros must have seen Trump coming as early as 2011. He certainly saw where a disturbingly large proportion of American voters were going. "The United States has been a democracy and open society since its founding. The idea that it will cease to be one seems preposterous; yet it is a very likely prospect," he wrote in the New York Review of Books in June of that year.

George W. Bush's reelection in 2004 had convinced Soros "that the malaise in American society went deeper than incompetent leadership." The public had proved "unwilling to face harsh reality and was positively asking to be deceived by demanding easy answers to difficult problems."

Will the American public now reconfirm Soros' observation? This year's campaign has given us plenty or reasons to worry.

By the end of Bush's second term in 2009, few Americans denied the harsh realities of the Iraq war fiasco and of failed federal responses to Hurricane Katrina's devastation and to tsunamis of predatory financing that were throwing millions of people out of their homes and jobs. Yet Soros insisted that much of the public, reluctant to face other realities, grasped at vague, easy hopes that Barack Obama's 2008 campaign offered but that his presidency proved sometimes unwilling and sometimes unable to fulfill, especially against a Republican Congress after 2010.

The ongoing public flight from reality only accelerated with Donald Trump's 2016 campaign, when millions of voters sought scapegoats to blame for rising dangers and craved simplistic directions to safety and salvation. ...............(more)


The World's Worst Public Transport System Attempts to Modernize

The World's Worst Public Transport System Attempts to Modernize
Incomplete roads in Karachi — the biggest city in Pakistan and the third-largest in the world — show what happens when a megacity becomes a political orphan.

By Faseeh Mangi
November 2, 2020, 12:07 AM EST

(Bloomberg CityLab) Muhammad Ali Jinnah Road has always had its share of traffic, but lately the main thoroughfare that connects central Karachi to its major port is in a state of near constant gridlock.

An elevated street eats up two of the road’s three lanes, but it’s empty — part of an incomplete project to create express lanes for public buses that was supposed to finish three years ago. It’s one of many towering structures scattered throughout the Pakistani city that were part of the latest plans to bring a modern transportation to Karachi, one of the world’s fastest-growing cities and the third-biggest by population.

Karachi ranks as having the worst public transport system globally, according to a 2019 study by car-parts company Mister Auto that looked at 100 major cities. It serves about 42% of Karachi’s commuters, relying on decades-old, overcrowded buses that use the roof as a second deck for passengers at times. Roads are filled with potholes, not all traffic signals are automated, and it’s common to see drivers running red lights. And yet the former capital is home to Pakistan’s main ports and the regional headquarters for companies such as Standard Chartered Plc and Unilever Plc, helping it generate half of the nation’s tax revenue.

Those funds, however, get distributed to other parts of the country. The city’s outgoing mayor Waseem Akhtar said last year he had only 12% administrative control of the city and a lack of funds. The army controls the wealthier areas of Karachi, while the rest is divided among the provincial and federal governments that don’t get along. ............(more)


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