Almost blue

Something interesting is going on in this election that hasn’t got much discussion: Hillary is doing the same as Obama (in 2012) in blue states, about two points better in swing states, and about nine points better in red states.


This is a very health development, because one of the real dangers for our political system going forward is extreme regional polarization. If Republicans continue to hold the Senate (which disproportionately represents red states) while Democrats dominate the overall popular vote, that could be a huge source of political dysfunction. (Yes, for now the House is the real problem, but I think that will start to change after the next redistricting.)

Hillary losing Texas by 7 points instead of 15 doesn’t make a whit of difference in terms of this year’s election. But in a sense that’s halfway to winning the state in a future election

Quick Tech Note Regarding Comments

I just fixed an issue that made some comments disappear for a user or two. And that made me want to reach out to everyone so that I can improve your Balloon Juice commenting experience.

So – when/if a comment disappears or goes into moderation, please use the contact form to send me a note and let me know:
1) Your nym
2) the time the comment was made
3) the words used
4) the email address you used with your nym for the comment

I’m finding that comments that disappear don’t really disappear – they trigger the blacklist and go into the trash. Which gets filled up with real junk and then emptied. This is triggered by keywords; some made things go to moderation, some to the trash. If you let me know what you said, I can try to fix this annoying issue.

So really, it hasn’t been FYWP some of the time, it’s been poorly-constructed blacklists to stop spam and assholes, mostly assholes.

ETA: Omnes/Steeplejack/Adam, I think I fixed the issue from yesterday but should you re-encounter it, please let me know!

Additional information: I removed sheeple last night; I just removed Watson. So both should work now. Rejoice!

Where we are at


I think this election needs a mercy rule. Chat about whatever.

Puffball Envy

Check out the puffball on this guy!


I’m feeling, I don’t know, kinda inadequate.

Also found in Michigan, btw. (As I mentioned, we’ve had a megaton of rain.) And the comment thread is filled with people showing off their puffballs. The clever ones have kids holding them up (their tiny bods increasing the apparent size of the ball), but there are also puffballs measured against beer cans and dogs.

Also, puffs wearing hats, and one (that I saw) Puffball-O-Lantern.

So we—and when I’m talking about cooking, you should always assume the royal we—cut up the puffball into slices and fried them. Then we crumbled it up, ate some, and froze the rest. It has a simple, okay flavor–not fantastic, but not bad–and is kind of the texture of a very light crumbly cheese. We’ll probably use it in soups and as a side dish and some other stuff.

Open thread to talk about puffballs, the election, or anything else.

Thursday Morning Open Thread: Relieved to Be A Democrat

It can honestly be said that both candidates had their best debates last night. Unfortunately for the Republican party and its candidate, twenty minutes of ‘not acting completely unhinged’, followed by seventy-five minutes of ‘more greatest hits from the Breitbart/InfoWars archives’ can’t effectively match ‘consistently demonstrating why her experience and depth of understanding makes Hillary Rodham Clinton uniquely qualified to serve as President for the next four years.’

If his final petulant refusal to face reality once (when) he loses wasn’t so completely outside the norm, there were at least a dozen other Trump statements that would be sparking discussion this morning. Since moderator Chris Wallace was determined to feed red meat to his Fox News base, his first question was about SCOTUS and whether the candidates believed the Constitution was ‘a living document’ or ‘settled by the Founding Fathers’ (as is an item of doctrine among the wing-iest wingnuts, such as the late Antonin Scalia). Trump seized the opportunity… to complain that Justice Ginsburg had been very mean in her comments about him, before babbling about ‘states’ rights’ to prevent ‘babies being ripped from the womb, three, four days before birth’. (He did not, however, attest that he’d overturn Roe v Wade, so the nosiest part of his intended audience won’t be placated.)

He vowed to prevent Clinton ‘overturning the Second Amendment’. He claimed that ‘all those women’ who accused him of assaulting them ‘had been debunked, every one’ — as Clinton campaign plants. He once again defended Putin as ‘a strong leader, smarter than her’ and refused to accept that Russia might have had anything to do with the Wikileak hacks. He said that ‘millions of people who shouldn’t even be allowed to vote’ were giving Clinton an unfair advantage. He babbled about ‘bad hombres’ coming across the border — with Clinton’s collusion — to ‘poison our children with their drugs’. He didn’t protest when Clinton accused him of not paying federal income taxes, but he did insist that Warren Buffett and George Soros took advantage of the same loopholes. (Buffett has gone on the record explaining that he hasn’t, and will probably say so again today.) And that’s just the low-lights!

Late Night Open Thread


Creepy sheepy!

I can’t sleep for some reason. I’m happy that Clinton kicked Trump’s ass all over the debate stage. But the whole spectacle has been deeply disquieting.

The only acceptable outcome is a beat-down of historic proportions. Let’s make it so.

Let’s Nip This Bullshit in the Bud


I am sick to death of journalists telling me how wonderful Kellyanne Conway is- “She’s nice, she’s a good person.”

Bullshit. The way you tell if a person is nice is by observing what they do. Kellyanne Conway is raking in big bucks defending the indefensible, saying horrible things and enabling a horrible man to do and say worse things. She’s not doing anything noble. She wasn’t ordered or asked by the court to defend an accused child rapist or terrorist. She’s in this for the fucking money.

And she is a true Clinton hater who is married to the male version of Ann Coulter. She’s not nice. She’s detritus. She’s Roger Stone in a skirt. She makes Dick Morris look like a standup guy.

She and anyone associated with the Trump campaign should never be allowed to work in political campaigns again.

Nasty Woman…

…and damn proud of it.

Un-fucking believable

I missed that exchange because life got in the way (had I not intervened, there would have been blood)

This “nasty” woman (that’s Miss T, if you’re nasty) will be proudly casting her vote for Hillary Clinton tomorrow.


Post-Debate: Trump’s Toast. Charred, Smoking Toast.

Best summary I’ve seen so far, from our own Adam:

Wallace thinks he’s refereeing a chess match. Clinton is playing go. Trump is playing chutes and ladders.

If the postmortems pick just one ‘worst moment of the third debate’, I’m assuming it will be Trump declaring (more than once! Wallace tried to give him a do-over!) that if he lost the election, he’d “see how it looked at that moment”, rather than saying, yes, he’d accept the results.

Which is, of course, the next step beyond his announcement during the last debate that, should he win, his opponent “will be in jail.”

Just this afternoon:

Debate Open Thread: Creature Feature


PBO had to endure white assholes’ otherization to win the presidency. HRC has to endure a sexist psychopath’s condescension and abuse.

I’m watching through my fingers, as if viewing a slasher film. I think she’s wiping the floor with him. What do you think? Open thread.

More Debate Open Thread: SSDD

So far, both candidates are rehashing their greatest hits. Which means Hillary is sounding like a president, and Donald is sounding like a right-wing radio bloviator.

Chris Wallace (surprise!) is straining himself trying to rescue Trump from himself. Trump spent the first 20 minutes acting like he was on horse tranqs; then he began snuffling again, and started shouting more greatest hits from his primary glory days.

At the 9:30 mark, Wallace managed to distract Trump from ‘she wants open borders! radical Islamic terrorism!’… by bringing up Putin. So Clinton gets to bring up Russia trying to interfere with the American electoral system… and Trump gets to defend Putin and insist, once again, that ‘we don’t know’ whether Russia is responsible for ‘any hacking, stuff like that.’

And he’s sniffling a lot.

Debate Open Thread: Let Us Begin

YouTube livestream here.

Guardian liveblog here.

Everybody ready?

Wednesday Night No-Politics Open Thread


Since we are weenie lie-brul SJWs here: a safe space, for you!

What’s on the non-political agenda for the evening?

A Debate Activity

Yo, y’all.

I just made my ritual debate night donations.  Tonight it was small $ to Hillary, Maggie Hassan, and the Balloon Juice Act Blue fund.


If any of you share my superstition (donations when you’re nervous, pissed off at something, or what have you, have more impact than any others), I offer you the house widget below, shamelessly lifted from a DougJ post:

As Doug says, let’s take the House and Senate too.

Goal Thermometer

Image: Martinus van Reymerswaele, The Banker and his Wife, before 1550.

Debate Prelims Open Thread

I’m getting the feeling, after reading comments for the last couple days, that there will be a certain drop-off in debate viewers among the BJ commentariat. Not that I blame y’all. But I am by both genetics and training one of those people who cannot let go, so Trickster God and my router willing, I’ll be here. My go-to viewing choices are the Guardian‘s liveblog (always), and YouTube’s livestream (for as long as I can stand it).

Wired has a long list of ways to watch the debate.

New one to me — Regal Cinema will have free screenings, some in IMAX, at a whole bunch of locations. So if none of your IRL friends want to share the experience, there’s more choices to do so communally.