History

"The Republican Industrial Complex Has Turned Missteps Into Millions"

This is a very sad story.

The situation was further exacerbated by the Romney operation’s apparent inability to comprehend that ORCA was not a smartphone application like Angry Birds but rather a website designed to be viewed on a smartphone. This created a massive confusion among volunteers who went desperately searching in the app stores of Apple, Google, and Microsoft unsuccessfully trying to find it. To make matters worse, the secured website that ORCA was operating under had no redirect functionality to assist people who had mistakenly reached the insecure version. As a result, according to Ekhdahl, many activists mistakenly believed the system had failed completely since their web browsers literally displayed nothing on the page when they attempted to view the default website. . . . 

While Moffatt and others insisted afterward that ORCA continued to collect data, multiple reports suggest what the system did manage to collect was fundamentally wrong. “At the end of the day, they told us thatevery single swing state was looking either pink or red and the worst one was Virginia, where they were a little concerned,” one anonymous ORCA operator told Politico. “Of course, we know the opposite of that happened.” According to one Republican that Washington Examiner columnist Byron York spoke with, at 4 pm Eastern time, ORCA was predicting that Romney would win just under 300 electoral votes.


"Things don't have to be rotten"

Glenn Reynolds:

I had this experience last week when I spent some time in New York City on business. My wife and I both lived in NYC back in the era before Rudy Giuliani cleaned up the streets, and it was pretty ugly. It was years after the movie Taxi Driver, but had very much the same feel:  Crime was rampant. Streets and subways were dirty and decaying. Most everyone you met when you were out and about was rude and unhappy.

Now I barely recognize New York. I remember being there on a book tour in 1997 and thinking that it had turned into “Disney New York,” and that things were amazingly clean, shiny, and pleasant. Since then, that impression has only grown.

For those who have forgotten or who never knew: "Death, Destruction, And Debt: 41 Photos Of Life In 1970s New York".


"Book Review: Albion's Seed"

Not really a book review, but a selection of trivia about Colonial America from the book that was great fun to read. With a bonus: an attempt to connect the author's story to modern American political divisions.

The average family size in Waltham, Massachusetts in the 1730s was 9.7 children. . . .

Puritan parents traditionally would send children away to be raised with other families, and raise those families’ children in turn, in the hopes that the lack of familiarity would make the child behave better. . . .

Three-quarters of 17th-century Virginian children lost at least one parent before turning 18. . . .

Fischer argues that the Quaker ban on military activity within their territory would have doomed them in most other American regions, but by extreme good luck the Indians in the Delaware Valley were almost as peaceful as the Quakers. As usual, at least some credit goes to William Penn, who taught himself Algonquin so he could negotiate with the Indians in their own language. . . .

Colonial opinion on the Borderers [aka the "Scots-Irish"--ed.] differed within a very narrow range: one Pennsylvanian writer called them “the scum of two nations”, another Anglican clergyman called them “the scum of the universe”. . . .