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Manchin madness, McDonald's AI, caffeine danger, lab leak theory

Published Tuesday, June 08, 2021 @ 12:00 AM EDT
Jun 08 2021

Manchin's opposition clouds future of Dems' elections bill. "Voting and election reform that is done in a partisan manner will all but ensure partisan divisions continue to deepen," Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia wrote. But how can you have bipartisan support when one of the parties has dedicated itself to subverting the democratic process?

CO2 concentration levels hit record high, show no impact from pandemic. Although carbon emissions fell 17 percent globally in spring 2020, they were on the rise again by September, with research from the World Meteorological Organization indicating they fell only a net 6.4 percent last year.

McDonald's is testing Siri-style AI technology at drive-thrus. Reminds me of the joke Jay Leno made when the chain announced it would start using robots in their kitchens: "You just know these were the robots that weren't smart enough to work for NASA."

Five ways to keep your brain sharp as you age. I'm certain one of them should be avoiding cable news.

Fact check: Video falsely presents joke as confession to QAnon blood-harvesting conspiracy theory. I'm no longer wondering - a large portion of our population is insane.

I just want to point out that "Who is the President of the United States?" is a question they ask people to tell if they are sane.
-Paula Poundstone

Warning: high caffeine consumption may increase risk of blinding eye disease. It works out to about three or four cups of coffee per day. Swell.

Frozen in siberian permafrost for 24,000 years, microscopic animal comes back to life. Gee, what could go wrong?

The Lab-Leak Theory: Inside the fight to uncover Covid-19's origins. State Department investigators say they were repeatedly advised not to open a "Pandora's box."


KGB's daily agglomeration of stuff I find interesting:

Among other things, today is

On this date:



UK commandos fly over the sea with new jet pack. It's the 21st century. This is way overdue.

Putin says he has no intention of reinstating Trump. "I think if I were planning to put Trump back in power, I would know about it,"" the visibly annoyed Putin said. (Andy Borowitz)

No shirts, pants or undies needed on bike ride, just a mask.

The average home goes through 2,184 pounds of laundry a year — the weight of an adult black rhinoceros. Kids may be a large part of the reason why. The average child goes through three outfits on a typical day.

Categories: Artificial Intelligence, Caffeine, Coffee, Covid-19, Environment, Joe Manchin, McDonald's, QAnon, Voting


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Through the looking glass...

Published Friday, March 18, 2016 @ 9:50 AM EDT
Mar 18 2016

This year's presidential election has the potential to be one of the greatest political trainwrecks in American history.

The founding fathers had a low opinion of the average citizen. That's why Presidents are selected by the Electoral College and not by popular vote.

The founders also didn't believe in partisan politics, which is why there's no mention of political parties in the Constitution, so the present method of primary elections, caucuses, and party conventions evolved erratically over the years.

While most savvy voters know the president and vice president aren't elected by popular vote, and that each party's nominees are selected by delegates attending national conventions, they may not know that, in most cases, those delegates can vote for whomever they want, regardless of the results of their state's primaries or caucuses after the first ballot. There are even five states and territories who don't hold primaries or caucuses, resulting in 112 delegates who can vote according to their personal preferences without direction from voters.

Consider the 1968 Democratic convention. Despite the fact that over 80 percent of primary voters had supported anti-Vietnam war candidates, the "peace" candidate, Senator Eugene McCarthy, was defeated by Vice President Hubert Humphrey, who had not competed in any of the primaries, instead gaining his delegates in caucus states that were controlled by party leaders.

The Humphrey business resulted in many- but not all- states to adopt rules where delegates are bound to vote for the winning candidate during the convention's first ballot. After that, it's a free-for-all.

The worst case scenario to date was the 1924 Democratic convention, a 16-day marathon that required 103 ballots to select a candidate. Wikipedia notes that during his 1960 campaign, John F. Kennedy cited the dilemma of the Massachusetts delegation at the 1924 convention when making light of his own campaign problems: "Either we must switch to a more liberal candidate or move to a cheaper hotel."

What could happen this year? Say Trump is nominated, despite the party's efforts to thwart his campaign. Disgruntled Republicans could put together a third-party ticket, in an effort to prevent any candidate from winning the absolute majority of 270 electoral votes necessary to win the general election.

Should that happen, the president would be chosen by that shining example of civic responsibility, the U.S. House of Representatives, composed of lame duck Congressmen, many with an axe to grind. The U.S. Senate gets to pick the vice president.

Could it come to that? Probably not. But the odds are good the Republicans will have a brokered convention, and the Democrats may have one as well, if Bernie Sanders can convince uncommitted superdelegates to take his side.

Categories: Congress, Democrats, Elections, Electoral College, Politics, Republicans, Voting


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137 obervations on voting

Published Monday, November 02, 2015 @ 3:55 PM EST
Nov 02 2015

A black man voting for the Republicans makes about as much sense as a chicken voting for Colonel Sanders.
-Buddy Watts, Sr.

A democratic government is the only one in which those who vote for a tax can escape the obligation to pay it.
-Alexis de Tocqueville

A low voter turnout is an indication of fewer people going to the polls.
-Dan Quayle

A society is not 'free' merely because the freedoms the people are doing away with are those they voted at the last election to do without.
-William F. Buckley, Jr.

A straw vote only shows which way the hot air blows.
-O. Henry

Along with voting, jury duty, and paying taxes, goofing off is one of the central obligations of American citizenship.
-Sarah Vowell

Always vote for principle, though you may vote alone, and you may cherish the sweetest reflection that your vote is never lost.
-John Quincy Adams

America is a land where a citizen will cross the ocean to fight for democracy- and won't cross the street to vote in a national election.
-Bill Vaughan

And political parties, overanxious for vote catching, become tolerant to intolerant groups.
-Wendell Willkie

Applause, mingled with boos and hisses, is about all that the average voter is able or willing to contribute to public life.
-Elmer Davis

As people do better, they start voting like Republicans... unless they have too much education and vote Democratic, which proves there can be too much of a good thing.
-Karl Rove

As societies grow decadent, the language grows decadent, too. Words are used to disguise, not to illuminate, action: you liberate a city by destroying it. Words are to confuse, so that at election time people will solemnly vote against their own interests.
-Gore Vidal

As to my political faith- I have never voted. My father was a Democrat, my mother a Republican, and I am an Episcopalian.
-George C. Marshall

Ask a man which way he is going to vote, and he will probably tell you. Ask him, however, why, and vagueness is all.
-Bernard Levin

Bad officials are elected by good citizens who do not vote.
-George Jean Nathan

Decision by democratic majority vote is a fine form of government, but it's a stinking way to create.
-Lillian Hellman

Democracy is being allowed to vote for the candidate you dislike least.
-Robert Byrne

Democracy means that people can say what they want to. All the people. It means that they can vote as they wish. All the people. It means that they can worship God in any way they feel right, and that includes Christians and Jews and voodoo doctors as well. It means that everybody should have a job, if he's willing to work, and an education, and the right to bring up his children without fear of the future. And it means that the old shall be provided for, without shame to themselves or to their families. It means do unto others as you would have others do unto you. It also means the prayers of the pilgrim fathers in the wilderness, and the Declaration of Independence, and the Constitution of the United States, and the Bill of Rights, and the Emancipation Proclamation, and the dreams of an immigrant mother for her children. And that's what I believe in.
-Dalton Trumbo

Democracy must be something more than two wolves and a sheep voting on what to have for dinner.
-James Bovard

Don't buy a single vote more than necessary. I'll be damned if I'm going to pay for a landslide.
-Joseph P. Kennedy, Sr.

Don't vote. It only encourages them.

Elections are won by men and women chiefly because most people vote against somebody rather than for somebody.
-Franklin P. Adams

Ever occur to you why some of us can be this much concerned with animals suffering? Because government is not. Why not? Animals don't vote.
-Paul Harvey

Every American election summons the individual voter to weigh the past against the future.
-Theodore H. White

Every guy looks in his pocket and then votes.
-Will Rogers

Every new baby is a blind desperate vote for survival: people who find themselves unable to register an effective political protest against extermination do so by a biological act.
-Lewis Mumford

Every time you spend money, you're casting a vote for the kind of world you want.
-Anna Lappe

Everybody says not enough people vote. Now, I don't know nothing, but after the midterms, pretty obvious to me, that too many people vote.
-Will Durst

Finally, it occurs to me that the biggest problem with our elections is that however you vote, you wind up electing a politician.
-Burt Prelutsky

Florida's number three industry, behind tourism and skin cancer, is voter fraud.
-Dave Barry

Given a choice between two bald political candidates, the American people will vote for the less bald of the two.
-Vic Gold

Given the choice between a Republican and someone who acts like a Republican, people will vote for the real Republican all the time.
-Harry S. Truman

Giving every man a vote has no more made men wise and free than Christianity has made them good.
-H.L. Mencken

Half the American people never read a newspaper. Half never vote for President- the same half?
-Gore Vidal

Here's the thing about rights. They're not supposed to be voted on. That's why they call them rights.
-Rachel Maddow

I can understand the poor and stupid voting for Marxism or one of its fashionable variants. If you've no hope of being other than a slave, you may as well opt for the most efficient form of slavery.
-P.D. James

I didn't vote for change, but that's all I have left.

I do not know if the people of the United States would vote for superior men if they ran for office, but there can be no doubt that such men do not run.
-Alexis de Tocqueville

I have never had a vote, and I have raised hell all over this country. You don't need a vote to raise hell! You need convictions and a voice!
-Mary Harris Jones (Mother Jones)

I have this fear that one day there's going to be a fire in the Senate and there are only going to be 57 Senators there and they'll all die because they won't have the 60 votes to allow themselves to leave the building.
-Barney Frank

I hope some of the men who get the most votes will be elected.
-Will Rogers

I learned a long time ago in Hollywood that the only person I should vote for is myself.
-Jack Nicholson

I live in a rather special world. I only know one person who voted for Nixon. Where they are I don't know. They're outside my ken. But sometimes when I'm in a theater I can feel them.
-Pauline Kael

I mean to live my life an obedient man, but obedient to God, subservient to the wisdom of my ancestors; never to the authority of political truths arrived at yesterday at the voting booth.
-William F. Buckley, Jr.

I think it's about time we voted for senators with breasts. After all, we've been voting for boobs long enough.
-Claire Sargent

I vote for the same reason that I would punch a bear that was eating me. I don't think it will make a big difference in the outcome, but at least it doesn't look like I want to be eaten by a bear.
-Nick Doody

I voted for the Democrats because I didn't like the way the Republicans were running the country. Which is turning out to be like shooting yourself in the head to stop your headache.
-Jack Mayberry

I'm so crazy I plan to vote for Eisenhower again this November.
-Ken Kesey

I'm sorry, but voting for a presidential candidate because you like the choice for vice president is like getting married to a woman because you like her cat.
-Kevin G. Barkes

If all power is in the people, if there is no higher law than their will, and if by counting their votes, their will may be ascertained- then the people may entrust all their power to anyone, and the power of the pretender and the usurper is then legitimate. It is not to be challenged since it came originally from the sovereign people.
-Walter Lippmann

If God had wanted us to vote, He would have given us candidates.
-Jay Leno

If pigs could vote, the man with the slop bucket would be elected swineherd every time, no matter how much slaughtering he did on the side.
-Orson Scott Card

If the Gods Had Meant Us to Vote They Would Have Given Us Candidates (book title)
-Jim Hightower

If voting changed anything, they'd make it illegal.
-Emma Goldman

If you agree with me on 9 out of 12 issues, vote for me. If you agree with me on 12 out of 12 issues, see a psychiatrist.
-Ed Koch

If you don't vote, then you may be leaving the decisions up to someone dumber than you.
-Jesse Ventura

If you make less than $50,000 a year and vote Republican, you are a moron.
-Rack Jite

If you voted for change, you better start counting it.

If you're listening to a rock star in order to get your information on who to vote for, you're a bigger moron than they are. Why are we rock stars? Because we're morons.
-Alice Cooper

In a democracy, the votes of the vicious and stupid count. On the other hand, in any other system, they might be running the show. (from The Boston Globe)

In any relatively close election you can generally credit almost any subgroup as providing the marginal votes.
-Duncan Black

In democracy it's your vote that counts. In feudalism it's your count that votes.
-Mogens Jallberg

In most places in the country, voting is looked upon as a right and a duty, but in Chicago it's a sport.
-Dick Gregory

In my lifetime, we've gone from Eisenhower to George W. Bush. We've gone from John F. Kennedy to Al Gore. If this is evolution, I believe that in twelve years, we'll be voting for plants.
-Lewis Black

In really hard times the rules of the game are altered. The inchoate mass begins to stir. It becomes potent, and when it strikes... it strikes with incredible emphasis. Those are the rare occasions when a national will emerges from the scattered, specialized, or indifferent blocs of voters who ordinarily elect the politicians. Those are for good or evil the great occasions in a nation's history.
-Walter Lippmann

Individual rights are not subject to a public vote; a majority has no right to vote away the rights of a minority; the political function of rights is precisely to protect minorities from oppression by majorities.
-Ayn Rand

It doesn't matter who you vote for, the government always gets in.

It is just as impossible to help reform by conciliating prejudice as it is by buying votes. Prejudice is the enemy. Whoever is not for you is against you.
-John Jay Chapman

It isn't money itself that causes the trouble, but the use of money as votive offering and pagan ornament.
-Lewis H. Lapham

It makes no difference who you vote for- the two parties are really one party representing four percent of the people.
-Gore Vidal

It's not the voting that's democracy; it's the counting.
-Tom Stoppard

Legislators represent people, not trees or acres. Legislators are elected by voters, not farms or cities or economic interests.
-Earl Warren

Like the effect of advertising upon the customer, the methods of political propaganda tend to increase the feeling of insignificance of the individual voter.
-Erich Fromm

Majority rule only works if you're also considering individual rights. Because you can't have five wolves and one sheep voting on what to have for supper.
-Larry Flynt

More often than not Democratic Law works to the advantage of the few even though the many have voted; this, of course, is because the few have told them how to vote.
-Charles Bukowski

Never pass up an opportunity to appear on C-Span. C-Span viewers vote.
-Lamar Alexander

Never vote for the best candidate. Vote for the one who will do the least harm.
-Frank Dane

No politician is perfect. But in every election in your life, there will be one choice that is better than the others. Go out and vote for that one.
-Bill Maher

Nothing can so alienate a voter from the political system as backing a winning candidate.
-Mark B. Cohen

One's right to life, liberty, and property, to free speech, a free press, freedom of worship and assembly, and other fundamental rights may not be submitted to vote; they depend on the outcome of no elections.
-Hugo Black

Our only hope is to control the vote.
-Medgar Evers

People vote their resentment, not their appreciation. The average man does not vote for anything but against something.
-H.H. Munro Saki

Politics is how you live your life, not whom you vote for.
-Jerry Rubin

Politics is the gentle art of getting votes from the poor and campaign funds from the rich by promising to protect each from the other.
-Oscar Ameringer

President Bush has said that he does not need approval from the UN to wage war, and I'm thinking, well, hell, he didn't need the approval of the American voters to become president, either.
-David Letterman

Quite a few people have to believe something is normal before it becomes normal- a sort of voting situation. But once the threshold is reached, then everyone demands to do whatever it is.
-Alan Kay

Some politician some years ago said that bad officials are elected by good voters who do not vote.
-Dwight D. Eisenhower

Son, if you can't take their money, drink their whiskey, screw their women, and then vote against 'em, you don't deserve to be here.
-Sam Rayburn

Television is the most perfect democracy. You sit there with your remote control and vote.
-Aaron Brown

Texas has a lot of electrical votes.
-Yogi Berra

The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter.
-Winston Churchill

The difference between a democracy and a dictatorship is that in a democracy you vote first and take orders later; in a dictatorship you don't have to waste your time voting.
-Charles Bukowski

The difference between corporations and governments is governments have a monopoly on force. It's a lot easier to vote with your feet or your wallet than it is to change a government with your vote.
-P.J. O'Rourke

The effort to calculate exactly what the voters want at each particular moment leaves out of account the fact that when they are troubled the thing the voters most want is to be told what to want.
-Walter Lippmann

The great thing about democracy is that it gives every voter a chance to do something stupid.
-Art Spander

The laws and the entire scheme of our civil rule, from the town meeting to the State capitals and the national capital, is yours. Your every voter, as surely as your Chief Magistrate, under the same high sanction, though in a different sphere, exercises a public trust.
-Grover Cleveland

The next time they give you all that civic bullsh*t about voting, keep in mind that Hitler was elected in a full, free democratic election.
-George Carlin

The only way to change is to vote. People are responsible.
-Paul Wellstone

The right of voting for representatives is the primary right by which other rights are protected. To take away this right is to reduce a man to slavery, for slavery consists in being subject to the will of another, and he that has not a vote in the election of representatives is in this case.
-Thomas Paine

The right to vote, or equal civil rights, may be good demands, but true emancipation begins neither at the polls nor in courts. It begins in woman's soul.
-Emma Goldman

The universe is not rich enough to buy the vote of an honest man.
-Dick Gregory

The votes elected officials make should be based on the best interests of the American people, not the fear of retribution when shadowy groups spend millions of dollars on negative advertisements.
-Bernie Sanders

The world would be a better place if people stopped voting for folksy candidates they could have a beer with and started voting for people smarter than they are.
-Marcus Sakey

There are men whose sense of humour is so ill developed that they still bear a grudge against Copernicus because he dethroned them from the central position in the universe. They feel it a personal affront that they can no longer consider themselves the pivot upon which turns the whole of created things.
-W. Somerset Maugham

There are no moderate Republicans left, with the exception of a few who would vote with us when it doesn't make any difference. It's the most rigid ideological party since before the Civil War.
-Barney Frank

There is but one unconditional commandment, which is that we should seek incessantly, with fear and trembling, so to vote and to act as to bring about the very largest total universe of good which we can see.
-William James

There is no Constitutional issue here. The command of the Constitution is plain. There is no moral issue. It is wrong- deadly wrong- to deny any of your fellow Americans the right to vote in this country. There is no issue of States' rights or National rights. There is only the struggle for human rights.
-Lyndon B. Johnson

There is no hope even that woman, with her right to vote, will ever purify politics.
-Emma Goldman

There's a true schizophrenia where if you say to voters, you know, do you think the federal government spends too much money and they should spend less, they say yeah, absolutely. Then you name specific things, like Pell grants for students and they say, no, not that. How 'bout NIH, medical research funding? Nah, you really shouldn't cut that. And pretty soon you've proved that what the American public is against is arithmetic.
-Bill Gates

To make democracy work, we must be a notion of participants, not simply observers. One who does not vote has no right to complain.
-Louis L'Amour

Tradition means giving votes to the most obscure of all classes, our ancestors. It is the democracy of the dead.
-G.K. Chesterton

Truth is not determined by majority vote.
-Doug Gwyn

Unfortunately, you can't vote the rascals out, because you never voted them in, in the first place.
-Noam Chomsky

Vote for the man who promises least; he'll be the least disappointing.
-Bernard Baruch

Vote, n. The instrument and symbol of a freeman's power to make a fool of himself and a wreck of his country.
-Ambrose Bierce

Voters don't decide issues, they decide who will decide issues.
-George F. Will

Voters inclined to loathe and fear elite Ivy League schools rarely make fine distinctions between Yale and Harvard. All they know is that both are full of rich, fancy, stuck-up and possibly dangerous intellectuals who never sit down to supper in their undershirt no matter how hot the weather gets.
-Russell Baker

Voters quickly forget what a man says.
-Richard M. Nixon

Voting is like driving... you choose 'D' to move forwards and 'R' to go backwards.

We are going to lose 51 states. Puerto Rico will demand statehood just for the chance not to vote for this guy.
-James Lileks

We live in a country where voting rights get gutted but Sharknado gets a sequel.
-John Fugelsang

We need to be asking for the vote in the most powerful way possible, which is to have people asking for the vote who are comfortable and look like and sound like the people that we're asking for the vote from.
-Karl Rove

We'd all like to vote for the best man, but he's never a candidate.
-Frank McKinney (Kin) Hubbard

What's real in politics is what the voters decide is real.
-Ben J. Wattenberg

When a party can't think of anything else they always fall back on lower taxes. It has a magic sound to a voter just like Fairyland is spoken of and dreamed of by children. But no child has ever seen it. Neither has any voter ever lived to see the day when his taxes were lowered.
-Will Rogers

When the political columnists say 'Every thinking man' they mean themselves, and when candidates appeal to 'Every intelligent voter' they mean everybody who is going to vote for them.
-Franklin P. Adams

When too many Americans don't vote or participate, some see apathy and despair. I see disappointment and even outrage. And I believe that out of this frustration can come hope and action.
-Paul Wellstone

When your opponent sets up a straw man, set it on fire and kick the cinders around the stage. Don't worry about losing the Strawperson- American community vote.
-James Lileks

Whenever a fellow tells me he is bipartisan, I know he's going to vote against me.
-Harry S. Truman

Where a government has come into power through some form of popular vote... the guerrilla outbreak cannot be promoted, since the possibilities of peaceful struggle have not yet been exhausted.
-Che Guevara

Where is the politician who has not promised to fight to the death for lower taxes- and who has not proceeded to vote for the very spending projects that make tax cuts impossible?
-Barry M. Goldwater

Why do the people humiliate themselves by voting? I didn't vote because I have dignity. If I had closed my nose and voted for one of them, I would spit on my own face.
-Oriana Fallaci

Yet in all our rejoicing let us neither express, nor cherish, any harsh feeling towards any citizen who, by his vote, has differed with us. Let us at all times remember that all American citizens are brothers of a common country, and should dwell together in the bonds of fraternal feeling.
-Abraham Lincoln

You take your classified telephone directory, and open up 'Churches', and have a ruler in your hand. And you will find that the longest space is occupied by authoritarian, Bible-banging churches. And these people are barbarians, who take the written word of the Bible literally. Because they need terribly, they have a personal need, for something to depend on.... The government realizes that there is a very large number of people like that; and therefore, to keep their votes, they have to pander to those kind of people. And these are the boys who never grew up; they always need Papa.... The trouble is that the boys who need Papa, are violent. They have the guns. And they are the types of people who like to be soldiers, policemen- tough guys. And therefore they have a great deal of power.
-Alan Watts

You tell me your favorite novelists and I'll tell you whom you vote for, or whether you vote at all.
-Stephen Vizinczey

You will never escape the will of the mob. About the best anyone has ever figured out to do is herd them into voting booths.
-Barry Shein


(November 3 is also the birthday of James Reston and Roseanne Barr.)

Categories: Elections, Quotes of the day, Quotes on a topic, Voting


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