Patterico's Pontifications


Weigh in on the Minnesota Recount

Filed under: Crime,General — Patterico @ 11:31 pm

Go here and look at some sample ballots that are being challenged in the Franken/Coleman Senate recount. You can vote on whether the ballot should be counted for Franken, Coleman, or nobody.

UPDATE: Make sure you make an independent determination and don’t get swayed by the descriptions.

Here are my answers:

DAY 2:

Ballot 1: It is not “evident” that the voter intended to leave an identifying mark. Coleman gets the vote.

Ballot 2: Give me a break. This is a lame argument by Coleman. Franken gets the vote.

Ballot 3: I don’t think Coleman gets this vote. But I’d want to see how the voter filled out the rest of the ballot. If this is the only “x” on the ballot, that’s evidence that the voter meant to cancel this vote. But this shows how subjective this all is.

Ballot 4: Coleman gets the vote. The oval for the write-in candidate is not filled in.

DAY 1:

Ballot 1: I think Franken gets this vote. It doesn’t look like an arrow to me.

Ballot 2: The ballot counts. Any argument to the contrary is lame.

Ballot 3: Reject it. You can’t tell what this person was trying to do.

Ballot 4: I think Franken probably gets this vote. The “no” seems to signify that the vote for Coleman is cancelled. But other cues could lead you to a different interpretation. What if you learned that the voter’s name was Ned Damon, and he put his initials next to every other vote on the ballot? Hmmmmm.

Ballot 5: It’s a vote for Franken. Yes, the idiot wrote in Lizard People, but he didn’t blacken the oval. In the race above, he did, showing that he knows how to vote for Lizard People when he wants to vote for Lizard People. God, voters can be stupid.

Ballot 6: Another idiot voting for Franken. Is it so hard to figure out how to vote correctly?

Ballot 7: Probably a vote for Coleman, although if you wanted to throw it out I think that would also be a reasonable decision.

Ballot 8: It’s a vote for Franken. A dot is not a vote.

Ballot 9: Oh, my God, you Franken people will argue absolutely anything. This is the stupidest challenge of any one I have seen. The vote for Franken was erased. It’s a crystal clear vote for Barkley.

Ballot 10: Meh, that’s a vote for Barkley.

Ballot 11: Reject this. Who knows what the hell this person was doing?

Allahpundit’s answers for Day 1 are here. Allah disagrees with me on only one: Ballot 5, where he would award the vote to “Lizard People” based upon an interpretation of the Franken mark as having been x’ed out. But why wasn’t the oval filled in for Lizard People? I find Allah’s analysis wanting here.

I’d like to see Allah’s answers for Day 2.

I have two fundamental conclusions:

1) This shows why recounts favor Democrats. Apparently, Democrats are more likely to be incompetent voters who can’t follow instructions.

2) There is always an element of subjectivity, which counsels in favor of a rule that says: let the machine decide. If you can’t cast your vote competently, in a way that will be read by the machine, maybe you shouldn’t be voting.

Keep in mind: the people voting Democratic are folks like this.

“The Jury Talks Back” Is Up

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 10:41 pm

“The Jury Talks Back” is now up. It will be a new reader-written blog hosted here at The address for the blog is But you don’t have to remember it; there are buttons on the right margin, just underneath the recent comments, that allow you to toggle back and forth between the main site and this one.

I am in the process of creating user accounts and e-mailing the participants. But hopefully you’ll see new content there very soon.

Scott Jacobs has already put up a post.

I’m excited about giving readers a chance to post their own thoughts as fully conceived blog posts. Enjoy.

AG Mukasey Hospitalized After Collapse

Filed under: Government — DRJ @ 8:01 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Attorney General Michael Mukasey has been hospitalized following his collapse during a speech at the Federalist Society:

“Associate Attorney General Kevin O’Connor said Mukasey began shaking while addressing the Federalist Society at a Washington hotel.

“He just started shaking and he collapsed,” O’Connor said. “They’re very concerned.”

O’Connor said he did not know whether Mukasey, 67, had regained consciousness.”

Mukasey has been a mature and stable force for the rule of law during uncertain times. I hope for his sake, as well as for his family and America, that this is something treatable like exhaustion and not something more serious.


Congress and the Automakers

Filed under: Economics,Politics — DRJ @ 1:22 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Democratic Congressional leaders announced today that the possibility of an automaker bailout is on hold until December 2. The automakers were told to use that time to formulate plans to responsibly use government money. No doubt they will also use that time to formulate bankruptcy plans.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi offered this advice to GM, Ford and Chrysler:

“Until they show us the plan, we cannot show them the money,” Pelosi added.

Pelosi said that Congress wants to help the automakers because “survival is essential to maintaining our manufacturing and industrial base and that industrial base is essential to our national security.”

But she said, “We won’t move forward with any of these plans until we see more accountability and the prospect for viability.” She repeated the words “accountability” and “viability” at least a half dozen times.”

Got that? Survival of the automakers is vital to national security but letting the oil and gas industry drill for more American energy is a hoax.

Which do you believe is more vital for national security — Union built SUVs or abundant energy?


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