Boston Labor Day Weekend Meet Up and Primary Election Eve Open Thread

We can probably use a new election eve open thread, and since I’ve been waiting till we got within three weeks or so to post this Boston Meet Up request, consider this an open thread to comment about either or neither or, as usual, anything else that strikes your fancy.

So primary returns are coming in. Balderson is currently barely ahead in OH12 with 100% of the precincts reporting by 1,766 votes. There are 3,435 provisional ballots outstanding that still have to be verified and counted. And the rules in Ohio is that provisional cannot be counted until 10 days after the election. Right now the margin is at .9 for Balderson. Ohio law requires an automatic recount if the margin is .5 or less. So the provisionals have the potential to push this to a recount. This one won’t be finalized and certified for a while. And once it is, because this is a special election, Balderson and O’Connor will be running against themselves for this seat in the regular midterm in November. Regardless, this was a huge swing in this district from Republican to Democrat, which is, itself, a positive indicator of the mood of the electorate.

In Kansas, Krish Kobach is currently trailing the incumbent Kansas governor with 57% of precincts reporting. I know a lot of folks want him to win so that the Democratic candidate can run against him as an extremist. Personally, I just want him out of office. And since, because of his legal issues and the fiasco that was the President’s special committee to investigate non-existent voter fraud, which will make it almost impossible for him to get a Federal appointment. So if Kobach loses this primary, he’s out of government, back in private practice, and a senior fellow at some anti-immigrant institute. He’ll still be able to cause trouble and be a nuisance, but he won’t be able to directly negatively impact people’s lives.

As to the Boston Meet Up. Here’s the details from mostly lurker Big R:

I’ll be in Boston for the American Political Science Association over the Labor Day weekend. My schedule is fairly light; I have a teaching mini-conference on 8/29, I present on 9/2, and I have a few interviews lined up here and there. If BJ readers wanted to get together for a meal and/or a drink, I would be delighted to join them.

So those of you in the greater Boston area, if you’re interested, please chime in in the comments about availability for a meet up over the Labor Day weekend. I’ll run this again on Sunday and next week to make sure we get some good feedback.

Open thread!

New York City Meet Up Update: The Updating!!!

NotMax asked me to put up a reminder for the upcoming New York City Meet Up.

The date: Sunday, July 29
The place: Tír na Nóg
The address:  254 W. 31st St. (near 8th Av.)
The time: 5 p.m. – ??

If people would be happier with an earlier start time, please do speak
up. (Tough for me to get into the city before maybe 2 p.m., YMMV.)
When making reservations shall be requesting a co-listing under the
name Balloon Juice.

Be there or be talked about! :)

P.S.: If someone cares to volunteer to bring green balloon(s), thanks
in advance. Not inclined to run around during vacation seeking those

You all know what to do in the comments!

Open thread.

Thai Cave Rescue Live Feed

They’ve gotten the 8th boy out and have now stopped for the night. Here’s a live stream of the ongoing coverage from near the site:

For those wondering what this type of rescue entails, here’s a former certified cave and rescue diver from central Florida:

Read more

New York City Meetup for 29 July

NotMax sent me the following:

Following up about a potential NYC area meet-up.

Commenter satby, who will be in town, suggested July 29th. Sunday
works for me (don’t have to go to work on Monday) but maybe not for
others? If a Sunday, maybe set an afternoon start time? Say, 4-ish or

As for locale, wide open to suggestions. As people expressed a
definite preference for a place close to mass transit, will mention
one possibility.

Tír na Nóg, at 31st and 8th, practically spitting distance to Penn Station.

Their site:

Yours in jackalry,


You all in the metro NY City area know what to do in the comments.

Open thread!

For A Good Time In Cambridge (Tonight!)

Just a quick heads-up.  My colleague Seth Mnookin will be moderating a panel for the MIT Communications Forum on “Republican Resistance in the Age of Trump.”

The event goes from 6-8 p.m. in MIT Building 3, room 270. (MIT map.)  The speakers are interesting:  Stuart Stevens (Romney’s 2012 chief strategist, among other presidential election gigs); Jennifer Nassour, former MA GOP chair (I know…) and the founder of a group dedicated to electing more Republican women in the northeast; and Dr. Daniel Barkhuff, a Navy Spec Ops doc veteran and leader of a non-partisan group supporting “veterans who have demonstrated integrity and rational thought as they run for positions in local, state and federal elections.”

These are folks with whom I expect I have pretty near zero agreement on policy terms.  But if there is common cause to be found in constructing an American democracy on a foundation of shared political norms, I’m down for that, and plan to listen closely.

In any event, should be an interesting time. And I note that I’m the more interested as a bunch of posters around campus have been torn down, which I interpret as a Trumpian response to unwelcome news.  All the more reason to show up, IMHO.

Image: William Hogarth, An Election Entertainment(painting from his series, “The Humours of an Election”), c. 1755.

Balloon Juice Public Service Announcement: Immigrant Integration Event in Denver on November 14th, 2017

TaMara emailed and asked me to do a PSA post on the immigrant integration event tomorrow night in Denver. Here are the details from one of our lurkers:

I’m a BJ lurker in Denver, and my partner and I are putting on an immigrant integration event sponsored by the city’s Office of Immigrant and Refugee Affairs, designed to support and integrate immigrant populations with receiving community members. Last year, TaMara was kind enough to promote our event Night of Arabic Comedy on Balloon Juice. This year, we’re hosting a Mexican comedy focused event, featuring an immigrant stand-up comic, Miriam Moreno, who will perform in English & Spanish followed by a subtitled Cantinflas film, Gran Hotel. Cantinflas is a beloved Mexican comedian who has been called the Mexican Groucho Marx – and Charlie Chaplin called Cantinflas “the world’s greatest comedian”. It’s a completely free event at the Buntport Theater tomorrow night, Tuesday November 14th,  starting at 7:30. Hopefully it’s something that the politically-minded readership at Balloon Juice would find interesting, as our goal is to foster stronger connections with immigrants and the receiving community.

So those of you readers, commenters, and/or lurkers in the greater Denver area, if you’re free tomorrow night, please consider taking in a free show.

Open thread!

The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald

Forty-two years ago tonight the Edmund Fitzgerald was lost with all hands on Lake Superior. Most of us know the tragic story from the Gordon Lightfoot song about the wreck. In 2001 a documentary about the Fitzgerald debuted. One of the things that always stayed with me from the documentary, as both a testament to the men serving aboard her and as a potential counterfactual, is that Captain McSorley, the master of the Fitzgerald, slowed his vessel to buddy with the smaller, slower Arthur Anderson. This was done to increase the chances they’d both make port even though the Edmund Fitzgerald had the ability to make better speed to reach safe anchorage had she gone it alone. This part of the history is recounted in the documentary below beginning at the 15:3o mark (should be set to play from that point). Captain Cooper, the master of the Anderson, and his crew showed as much valor when they went back out to search for the Fitzgerald after they’d made it safely to port.

And, of course, the obligatory: