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Ep 870[Ep 871] Cuhnick Shun Fit [2:27:27]
Recorded: Sat, 2024-Feb-17 UTC
Published: Mon, 2024-Feb-19 16:35 UTC
Ep 872

This week on Curmudgeon's Corner, Ivan is AWOL again, so Sam is joined by his wife Brandy for the first part of the show. She's a state rep, so after some movie talk, for once the show dives into state politics rather than the national picture and we get a glimpse of the legislative process. Then after she leaves, the usual Trump and election content you all expect.

  • (0:00:01-0:02:04) Cold Open
  • (0:02:26-0:50:14) But First
    • Movie: E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982)
    • Washington State Legislative Session
  • (0:52:19-1:47:49) Trump Legal Stuff
    • Date for NY Criminal Case
    • GA Case Developments
    • Trump NY Judgement
  • (1:48:54-2:26:53) Election Polling
    • Democratic Overperformance
    • Election Graphs Thoughts

Automated Transcript


Sam:
[0:01]
Testing 1, 2, 3. Okay, fine. Hey, before we start, this is just me doing that.

Thing where I anchor the correct day.

It is Saturday, February 17th, 2024, as I'm starting to record this.

We are going to have a guest host this time.

Yvonne couldn't do it at the last minute, and I put out the email, and I did have a response, but we haven't been able to do the recording yet.

So it will be my wife, Brandy, who has not been on the show in a while, and she didn't respond to the email.

I mentioned in person that we were missing Yvonne, and she said, I'll do it.

So, okay, we're going to have Brandy. But right now, I am sitting in a parking lot waiting to go into her second community town hall of the day.

She did one in Mill Creek, Washington a few hours ago, and we're about to do one in Snohomish, Washington.

And I'm going to go help set up and stuff. And by the time we get back and record the main part of the show, it'll – UTC anyway, it'll be Sunday.

So we'll see how that goes. But anyway, I'll play the intro music, and when we get back, we'll start the real show.

But I have put my stake in the ground in the correct week, which nobody cares about but me.

But, you know, I have to do it because it's me, and that's a thing I do.

Okay, here comes the music. Oh, and I'm recording this on my phone from the parking lot because I forgot to do it in, like, my office with the good mic on the computer earlier today because I was doing other stuff.

And, you know, at this point, I've got, like, 45 minutes left.

It's 2312 UTC as I'm recording this.

And so, yeah, I had no choice. Had to do it in the car. We'll do it live!

Thank you for watching.

Welcome to Curmudgeon's Corner proper. As I promised right before the music, this is Sam Minter.

Brandy Donaghy is with me today. Hello, Brandy. Say hello.

Brandy:
[2:40]
Hello.

Sam:
[2:43]
And as I mentioned as well, it is, of course, now the next day.

It is Sunday, February 18th now.

And that also means it's Brandy's birthday. So happy birthday, Brandy.

Brandy:
[2:58]
Happy birthday to me.

Sam:
[3:00]
So also we let too much time go by so brandy is not going to have time to do the entire show so we're going to do one segment with brandy our but first segment essentially although brandy may pick whatever she wants for her side of the topics and then i will come back and do a couple segments after that so i'll probably do all the you know all the the Trump news and all that kind of stuff that, that happened this last week, the, the Santos election and blah, blah, blah, all that kind of stuff are, are the kinds of things I may talk about once Brandy's gone.

But first, you know, I, I guess, I guess I could do something first or, you know, like, and then, and then I'll, I'll give you a shot Brandy.

So like as, as Brandy may or may not know, cause she never listens to the show.

We we i have been slowly slowly catching up on movies since we paused for the entire time that the actors and writers were on strike and such so i will do the next one of those that i had in play which i don't know if you were with us when we watched it brandy but alex and i watched E.T.?

Brandy:
[4:16]
I was there.

Sam:
[4:17]
You were there. So E.T. the Extraterrestrial from 1982.

Let's see if there's anything else I want to say about it. First of all, everybody listening to this has seen ET, right? Like I can't imagine, like if you haven't, you need to go watch ET.

I don't know. I am giving it a thumbs up.

It's, you know, an eighties classic and I think it's aged. Okay.

Like there are some things from that era that definitely have not aged well, but I think ET has aged fine.

Like when, when we watched it, like like there was nothing about and of course this is speaking as a gen xer you know maybe maybe somebody who's not in that generation would feel quite differently about it but as a gen xer i felt this is one of the 1980s movies that is not like yeah some of them you watch now and they're like problematic and you're like yeah that was a little bit icky and or or just something about it just just doesn't play right anymore.

But I think E.T.'s just fine. It's a nice, cute movie. And it still is a nice, cute movie.

And I don't know. What do you think, Brandy?

Brandy:
[5:38]
I think it was way better than the Atari game.

Sam:
[5:42]
Oh, than the Atari game? You mean the one that ended up in landfills?

Brandy:
[5:46]
I still have a copy of that somewhere. I'm just saying. You have a copy?

Sam:
[5:50]
Very impressive.

Brandy:
[5:51]
I do. For your pirated Atari. no no okay was that really necessary, no i have the actual cartridge because you know you'd make him go up and then all to the side to get out of the holes and it was a really really boring game but the movie's not like that, i think it's one of those things that's like it's part of our childhood and so it kind of impacts our worldview as we get older but one of the things i thought was really kind of cool or maybe not cool.

So I could still imagine the government taking over somebody's house like that and just being like, everybody out and that whole thing. So that's a little alarming.

So I guess things have changed.

Sam:
[6:36]
Well, I mean, yeah. I mean, I could certainly imagine that. But, you know, it's still cute.

It's weird seeing Drew Barrymore as a small child. child uh you know because now of course she's no longer a small child no um yeah and, I keep coming back to cute. Like it's, it's not like, you know, it pulls all the right heartstrings.

It, you know, it's a nice emotional, sweet little movie, which was kind of the formula that Steven Spielberg was known for and a lot of things.

But yeah, I don't, I'm running out of things to say.

Brandy:
[7:21]
I mean, it's, it's your basic story of the sweet gardener who's from out of town.

Sam:
[7:25]
Right. Cause he's a botanist.

Brandy:
[7:26]
And doesn't fit it. Yeah.

Sam:
[7:31]
You know, and I remember, like, I've probably seen this, like, I mean, I remember when this was new and I guess I would have been like 11, depending what time of year it came out.

It came out, came out in the United States in June.

It was at like some film film festival in May, but it came out in the United States in June. I remember hearing about it from various people and how have you seen this new ET movie, blah, blah, blah.

And I'm pretty sure I ended up going to the theater to see it.

And, and I've probably seen it two or three times in the decades since.

And, you know, I, I, it's worked every time.

Brandy:
[8:17]
Well, then the special effects didn't go, They didn't go nuts with special effects, so they didn't suck, you know, decades later when you're looking at it and you're like, oh, yay, a cartoon. That didn't happen so much.

Sam:
[8:28]
Yeah, there were a lot of practical things. And look, there were a couple places where you look at the puppet and you're like, okay, yeah, puppet. And...

But I don't feel like that was really distracting. And I think that's something that you're right.

Like in some of the modern shows, movies, whatever, I think they go so overboard on the effects that they lose the story and the emotion part of things.

And, and sometimes the effects are convincing. Sometimes it's like, no, I'm, I'm clearly looking at something animated and this isn't like super realistic and it's actually distracting in some of them.

This is like, yeah, okay, sometimes you notice, okay, it's a freaking puppet.

Okay, it's a bicycle and they were clearly in front of a green screen or whatever, you know.

But it doesn't distract from it because that's not the focus.

The focus isn't like, ooh, bang, whiz, amazing special effects and battles and all this kind of stuff. No, they didn't have any of that.

Brandy:
[9:38]
But you do have to think about, too, the way we watch movies is not always the way everybody else watches movies either.

We're looking at it on a screen that's much larger than most television screens.

So when we do that, those pieces will stand out even more. And even looking at it on a big screen, that was not an issue.

Sam:
[9:53]
Brandy is mentioning that our normal television watching, and I've mentioned this on the show before, we have a projector, we have it set up to basically fill an entire wall.

So it's a little bit bigger than even your 60-some-inch standard television.

Brandy:
[10:08]
Which is why we can read- We're like.

Sam:
[10:09]
What, 120 inches or something?

Brandy:
[10:11]
Something like that. Something like that. But it's why we can read the text on the articles in the beginning of Doogie Howser and recognize that they make no sense.

Sam:
[10:18]
Right. But, yeah.

Look, I feel like this is one of those things where because it's story-focused, because it's emotion-focused, it's not special effects-focused, it's not, you know, massive spectacle battles-focused, it holds up better.

Like, the ones that are just like that end up aging faster, I think.

And also just it's not you know, Some are very, very grounded in their eras, and I guess there's some of that.

I mean, there's like- The speak and spell.

There's the speak and spell. I mean, you can still get versions of that today, but people don't have cell phones, things like that.

Brandy:
[11:12]
That didn't actually stand out all that much.

Sam:
[11:14]
Exactly. There's some things that are so grounded in their eras that every moment you're thinking about it, it's like, oh, this is a 70s movie.

This is absolutely a seventies movie and it couldn't possibly make sense anywhere else.

This is one where like, yeah, it's a, it's an eighties movie, but I feel like you wouldn't have to change that much to have it set in some other decade.

It, it just, it just survives because it's the, the, the specific technologies they're dealing with and all that kind of stuff aren't a, aren't a significant part of the story.

Brandy:
[11:50]
Right. I don't know, but there shouldn't be a remake. Right.

Sam:
[11:53]
Yeah that would be stupid how about a sequel that.

Brandy:
[11:57]
That would be oh because.

Sam:
[11:59]
There were there were plans for a sequel that got shelved several times like and there was a sequel book i believe that i read that like what happened to et after he went back into spaceship in the end they they decided not to make these sequels but you know i i feel like i would still be interested in like you know what happened later now except i i almost forgot they did make that commercial, that had elliot as a grown-up meeting et again yes like it was like a three minute or it was like an actual maybe it was even a super super bowl commercial a few years ago it might.

Brandy:
[12:47]
Have been that.

Sam:
[12:48]
Was that was kind of cool that you know but i i would be interested in a full-fledged sequel i don't like these the whole remake ideas i i like when they make sequels that continue the story sometimes they're done well sometimes they don't but i mean that's true of any sequel or remake the one thing that like was brought up that was somewhat controversial about this was that the the version that you get now if you go to streaming or whatever is the 20th anniversary version and they did use cgi to replace the guns with walkie-talkies and i believe steven Steven Spielberg later on said he wished he hadn't done that.

It wasn't really necessary and it was fine the way it was.

But honestly, like I knew that was a change that was in there and I didn't even notice when I was watching.

Brandy:
[13:50]
Yeah. Yeah.

Sam:
[13:52]
But, you know, there's some things you need to mess with. Well, there's not much you need to mess with.

For the most part, I want to see like the original, like even like Star Wars with all the crazy changes they've made.

You know, there's something for seeing the original in the original form, which for Star Wars is incredibly hard right now.

Like, you know, because Lucas doesn't want the originals available anywhere.

So the closest you can get is there's a fan-made re-edit that takes all the pieces that he could find from various sources and puts it back together to be as close to the original release as possible. But you can't get it officially.

Brandy:
[14:31]
So how do you do the first kind of stuff?

Sam:
[14:34]
Well, yeah, that, but also take all the new CGI stuff out of the background, use the original special effects rather than revised special effects, all this kind of stuff.

I think in terms of E.T., it wasn't like an E.T. special edition where they changed everything.

It was just to replace the guns with walkie-talkie. They remastered a couple little things, but it was basically the same.

Brandy:
[14:59]
I think it would actually be really cool to see in the future how the bond between E.T.

And Elliot may have changed Elliot in a fundamental way and how that impacts his children.

That kind of stuff going forward.

Sam:
[15:17]
Yeah, I could see that. I don't know. As far as I know, it is not on the way right now. And that's okay, too.

That's fine. I'm looking at the sequels section of Wikipedia.

There was a canceled sequel that was going to be called ET2 Nocturnal Fears.

Brandy:
[15:40]
Okay, that sounds almost dirty. I'm sorry.

Sam:
[15:43]
It would have shown Elliot and his friends getting kidnapped by evil aliens and attempting to contact E.T. for help.

Spielberg decided against pursuing it, feeling it would do nothing but rob the original of its virginity.

E.T. is not about going back to the planet.

In June, 2022, Henry Thomas, who's the kid who played Elliot said that he hopes a feature length sequel never gets made, but adding, I guarantee you, there are a few men in a very big room right now, salivating and using their abacus and slide rules to come up with some really, really big numbers.

And here's the commercial I was talking about. It was not a Superbowl commercial.

It was on November 28th, 2019, during NBC's broadcast of Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, Xfinity released a four-minute commercial calling it a short film sequel to the original titled A Holiday Reunion.

It stars Henry Thomas reprising his role as Elliot, now an adult with a family of his own, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. blah.

The story follows E.T. as he returns to Earth for the holiday season and focuses on the importance of bringing family together.

References and nods to the original film are featured. Da-da-da-da-da.

Yeah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.

Brandy:
[17:08]
Surprise, E.T. is Christian. I said, surprise, E.T. is Christian.

Just, it was a joke. It wasn't very funny.

Sam:
[17:15]
It was Thanksgiving, not Christmas.

Brandy:
[17:17]
Oh, okay. Well, then he's a colonizer.

Awesome. him he wasn't a colonizer before and now he's a colonizer.

Sam:
[17:23]
Well you know that that's another possible sequel where his people have decided that the plants he brought back indicate that this would be a good place for his species to live and they come to like destroy all the humans and take over no.

Brandy:
[17:38]
That would not be okay at all.

Sam:
[17:39]
No no no.

Brandy:
[17:41]
No no no no.

Sam:
[17:43]
Okay anyway that that's my movie for this time et i watched it with alex and brandy back in july, and so brandy uh this is you know i will let you go after this segment but first you get to have a topic you get out of everything you could possibly want to talk about you pick a topic and you get the rest of this segment and then i'll after that i'll let you you go back to Olympia and do the rest of the show without me because you know because we ran out of time and you know she offered to do it from the car but I'm like I've tried to record from like a moving car before and the audio is just horrible so so.

Brandy:
[18:24]
Like I guess I don't know my brain is still stuck on work I'm still trying to.

Sam:
[18:29]
You can talk about work like this is a perspective I can't get from anybody else on here if you want to talk about like stuff going on in the Washington state state political scene, by all means, feel free.

Brandy:
[18:42]
You know, I just, I think it's kind of an interesting space to be.

Sam:
[18:46]
Just real quick reminder to anybody who has forgotten or doesn't know, my wife Brandy is in the state house for the state of Washington, is a state representative in the Washington state house. There you go. Probably mixed.

44th legislative district, position one. There you go.

Brandy:
[19:06]
And we are kind of mid, we're getting towards the end.

We're past the halfway point of our short session this year.

So what that means is, you know, functionally.

Sam:
[19:21]
And by that, just more background. In Washington state, the legislature is part-time.

That means means they don't go all year round.

On odd years, like last year, they have a long session where they're in session about four months.

Brandy:
[19:39]
105 days.

Sam:
[19:40]
105 days. There you go. And then on even years, election years, they're on a shorter amount of time. How many days?

Brandy:
[19:49]
60.

Sam:
[19:50]
60 days. And so they alternate between these long and short sessions.

This is Brandy's third third session because she got appointed midway through a term.

And so this is the second one of her first fully elected term, plus there was one where she was appointed. Do I have all the background there right?

Brandy:
[20:11]
Pretty much, yeah.

Sam:
[20:12]
Okay, go ahead. Sorry to interrupt. I just want to make sure nobody's left out there confused.

Brandy:
[20:17]
No, no, no. Quite fine. The way that state legislatures work I'm finding is very confusing because every state does it their own way.

And I don't think any of them make any sense, including our own. So there you go. But, Basically, we've just come off a lot of like vigorous floor time and that when we're doing that, it very often means that we're on the floor really late at night.

We had one night that was until 2.30. That was the latest we've had so far.

Had to, you know, stay for dinner several times, get out at like 7, 8, 9, 10, whatever. whatever.

And so we go from this like frantic on the floor all the time to right back into committee meetings and such.

Like from the last day we were on the floor, the next day we had to be in at eight o'clock for meetings.

And then we just do meetings for a few weeks and then we'll be back into that crazy floor stuff again.

And so right now- And by crazy staying out late.

Sam:
[21:24]
You mean like you're doing work stuff till like 2 in the morning and then have to be back at 8 a.m. kind of thing?

Brandy:
[21:30]
Usually if we're there till 2, they give us till 10.

Sam:
[21:33]
Right, okay.

Brandy:
[21:34]
So there's that.

But yeah, pretty much. And so I think for some of us, we're still trying to remember our names.

I, for the rest of the week last week, I was not sure what day it was until somebody would remind me what day it was.

Like it really messes with your head because you work, you know, we did get off Super Bowl Sunday. day, but otherwise we worked Saturdays and that, and that.

So there's not it because our sessions are calendar days, not business days.

We don't have those breaks for typical breaks all the time for weekends or, or holidays.

Like tomorrow is president's day. We're still working.

Our schedules don't change. So, so just kind of wrapping my head around everything that went on and everything that happened.

And then where we end up going forward.

And it's a really cool job. It's really interesting to be able to talk to people, find out what they need, and actually find ways to make it happen.

It's cool to be able to find loopholes and close them before we enact anything.

For me, I feel like it's the perfect place for my brain because I don't think linearly. However.

Sam:
[22:49]
However?

Brandy:
[22:52]
It's still very much politics.

Sam:
[22:54]
What do you mean by that?

Brandy:
[23:01]
So deals are made sometimes we end up being stuck not able to do anything because lack of cooperation in washington we have democratic majority, but it doesn't mean that our our minority our republican minority is powerless they can slow us down they can make things very difficult and they do exercise that when they can because it's the power that they have.

And so it means that some things that would be really, really great and really easy, don't make it through, don't pass because, because of the politics behind them.

Even if it's not those particular pieces of legislation, it's other pieces of politics that get in the way.

And that I find very frustrating because I had three, four bills, Three or four bills that never made it to briefings or to the floor because of politics surrounding other things.

Sam:
[24:04]
That's very vague.

Brandy:
[24:05]
It is very vague. And, you know, like...

Part of the reason is very vague. In this case, I've had some conversations around it, but very often we have no idea what's going on or why we're in those situations or how things are being treated.

It's not a space in which everybody knows. I'm not a member of leadership, so I have no say in it. I have no eyes on it.

Basically I'm reminded constantly that we all have very different ideas sometimes on what's best for Washingtonians and which things we should make a priority because we go to where we have some areas in which we're always in crisis mode and that can take up a lot of the air for the prevention side of things.

So that's something that I'm dealing with right now and working on unwrapping my head around because I do, like, as you know, I do a lot of stuff surrounding emergency preparedness and resiliency.

And that's not top of mind unless there's an earthquake that happened like yesterday somewhere or something like that, even though it will save people, it doesn't, it doesn't always come up to the level of the things that we're dealing with in crisis mode. I get very frustrated by that.

Sam:
[25:22]
Because the, the things that are sort of more immediate always win and.

Brandy:
[25:31]
Anything like.

Sam:
[25:31]
That just like falls off the agenda i.

Brandy:
[25:34]
I think that does happen and it's not it's not it's not intentional like nobody's saying this other thing isn't important but when we have a constant level of crisis then it's hard to to justify the focus on the preventative and preparedness and resilience stuff simply because, it feels less substantial because it's not now.

Sam:
[26:08]
This is something that actually, not my current job, but several previous iterations of my job is something I've said.

And also, Yvonne and I have talked about it in terms of sort of computer security things as well.

I did abuse prevention, and these are all things where it's basically an insurance policy.

If everything goes well, you don't need it.

And if you're doing preventative stuff, then it looks like a bunch of expenditures on nothing.

It's very hard to wrap people's heads around the idea that there actually is value here when they're not seeing something come out of it.

Because the successful mode is things don't go wrong.

Or in the case of what you're talking about in terms of being prepared for an earthquake, if there's no earthquake, it seems like it was all a waste.

Brandy:
[27:17]
Except there will be an earthquake. It's inevitable. We know there's going to be an earthquake. It could happen tomorrow. It could happen in 10 years.

Theoretically could happen in a hundred years. Although the further out you go, I mean, it's more likely to happen sooner rather than later, just because we're already, if you look at the odds, we're already a little bit behind where it would be.

But yeah, because it might happen tomorrow or it might happen in a decade.

And maybe if it's going to happen in a decade, we don't need to be worried about it right now is where the thought process comes in. And that's where the problem is.

Sam:
[27:55]
Well, because the problem is you can always say, well, we can deal with that later. until it's too late.

Brandy:
[28:01]
Yep exactly now.

Sam:
[28:03]
It is everything you are frustrated about not getting through into that sort of category.

Brandy:
[28:07]
No not everything others were i had i had a real estate bill i had a couple other things that would have been good to go through i had one that didn't get out of committee that would have probably helped increase the willingness to to develop and develop properties with affordable housing within our county, but that didn't get out of committee.

So we're still working on that one because we're really low on housing stock.

Like it's, it's getting bad and it's only going to get worse.

Sam:
[28:45]
So you've talked about a few of the things that you're frustrated didn't get through.

What in Washington state here, this session, what are the big state level issues?

Cause I know People who listen to this show, you know the national stuff.

We talk about it every week.

I've always complained in previous years, before you started getting really involved in local stuff, that it was harder to get visibility into what sort of mattered on the state and local level.

What are the big issues at the state level this year?

Brandy:
[29:20]
Housing. Housing is a huge one. on the opioid crisis, fentanyl, and behavioral health, and all the pieces that tie into that, which also includes housing.

They're big. I've been, traffic safety is a big one too, because our deaths are going up on the highways, not down.

See what else. Homelessness, but that again falls into the housing area.

Sam:
[29:50]
So on the areas you just listed, what's actually being done about it this year?

Brandy:
[29:55]
Well, for traffic safety, I have a traffic camera bill in the Senate now that would allow for cities and counties to have traffic cameras in certain areas because we know that even the signage for warnings that there's photo-enforced speed cameras will actually get people to slow down.

So we know that having traffic cameras and warning people that they're there is a deterrent to speeding or driving in ways they shouldn't. So there's that.

We also have traffic cameras in work zones and some fixes for those.

Not this year, but last year, there was work on a program to get more young drivers trained through driver's ed, because the safest drivers on the road are those who have taken driver's ed, who got their licenses when they were 16, 17.

When you can actually see it as they get older, the trend stays that they're safer drivers.

But for those who are around 18, 21, they're the ones that are dying the most.

Sam:
[31:04]
18 to 21 year olds who have not taken drivers out are the biggest risk of...

Brandy:
[31:10]
Yes, and they're not required to in Washington. So we're working on changing that. But right now we're waiting for information to come back before we can make the next step.

Let's see what else.

In housing, we did have a rent stabilization bill that passed the house that limits the amount a landlord can increase the rent for a particular tenant.

However, that's in the Senate and I'm not 100% sure that's going to actually push through the Senate.

If I had to estimate, I'd say there's probably about a 25% chance it'll come out, but that's all I'd give it.

That said, I'm still new and so my estimations could be off. Who knows?

We've done more bolstering our behavioral health system and a few things out there on equity too, like nothing about us without us, making sure that people who have lived experiences are part of a conversation when making decisions that impact those with lived experiences for, you know, state organizations and others.

So like having a disability advisory board to understand what are some of the issues that people who have disabilities face when you know working through a specific system that kind of thing and now I have an angry dog in my foot you don't like that did you but yeah fun stuff so.

Sam:
[32:41]
Of all the stuff what what are what are you most excited about I mean you've got three weeks left in session are there things you're still excited about.

Brandy:
[32:49]
Mm-hmm, Would it be selfish to say I'm still excited about my traffic camera bill actually getting through?

So there's that. You know, working on better funding for education, that would be awesome.

I think really at this point for a lot of us, it's very much just fighting to keep our heads above water and to keep our bills above water is the one that have already started moving so that we can get them through.

And at the end, I don't know. we'll see what's left because there's a problem with getting emotionally attached to your legislation.

It very often goes nowhere and then we can get defensive about it.

And that's, that's not helpful to getting things done.

Sam:
[33:38]
Instead. You want to just like pick up and get it ready to work on again the next time around.

Brandy:
[33:43]
Yeah. Let's see what we can get done and get done what we can get done the best we can.

And then anything that didn't get done, we need to sit down and figure out why it didn't get done and what we can work on to make sure that it does next year.

Sam:
[33:55]
How how much of not getting things done and you you mentioned like this isn't just like the partisan stuff like there there's occasional partisan stuff where you know okay but there's a lot of stuff that has bipartisan near universal support and still doesn't get done Is a big part of this just the, like, we mentioned the number of days of session each year.

Is that just, like, not enough time and they should fix that?

Brandy:
[34:26]
I think that's a big part of it. It's a big part of it. We run out of time.

There are certain big bills that, you know, take the focus and then they can take away time from some of the smaller ones. That would be a little bit less time.

That could be a little bit less impactful on their own, but that's still do good.

So yeah, I think a lot of it is time because that's what happens, right? You have a bill and it's sitting on the run list and it never gets run because we've ran out of time.

Sam:
[34:59]
And in the case of Washington state, that's constitutionally mandated, right?

So like, it's not like some, I mean, I know the governor can call special sessions that happened last year, But other than that, you can't just say, hey, it would be really great to have another week. Let's go another week.

Brandy:
[35:17]
You just can't do that. Not really. I mean, it could be a four corners decision.

But I mean, the reality is just for random bills, that's not going to happen.

It's going to happen for something that's going to be catastrophic.

Like Blake was going to be catastrophic if we didn't have something.

Sam:
[35:33]
Nobody listening knows what Blake is. What are you talking about?

Brandy:
[35:36]
Okay. So there was a court decision that basically said that the, if I understand correctly, our felony possession law was unconstitutional.

And so a fix was put in place for a little while to, to give us time to build something that would really work.

The fix that was put in place had an expiration date of last summer.

So when we weren't able to pass a bill that would, be the long-term solution. Basically what happened was that didn't pass, which meant this other one was going to run out in, in like, I think July.

And as of then this, there wouldn't be a state, there basically wouldn't be state laws preventing possession of illegal substances.

And so what that meant was that jurisdictions were going to do those and the jurisdictions that wanted to deal with it would deal with it.

Sam:
[36:39]
And by jurisdictions, you mean like cities and counties.

Brandy:
[36:42]
And, but what that would mean is you could have one law on one side of the street and another law on another side of the street, like literally across the street from one another, the laws could be different.

Um, and it also meant that there was a significant amount of money that was not going into the system to help address these issues.

So the jurisdictions could could well be on their own in actually paying for whatever they needed to do.

And that we got called back to special session. We, we did get something in place. We added, I want to say $63 million to what was there.

Sam:
[37:18]
Cause this is, you guys knew this was a problem. You worked on it during the regular session, but ran out of time without doing a fix.

So the governor called you back. So basically this is what happened last year. Not, not this year.

Brandy:
[37:30]
Basically, what ended up happening was it went to the floor for a vote and very, very rare that happened. It was the last bill.

And we started it at the time you started the last bill.

And you can't start a bill after five on this particular day.

Can't be a new bill after five.

So it was started before five. So it had to be the last bill.

And it didn't get the votes to pass. It failed.

And so that's why we got called back to a special session right because otherwise the the, some of the laws are surrounding yeah drug possession was we're going to go away and i think basically what the the what made the law unconstitutional i think was that it didn't identify that you had to be aware that you had illegal substances it just said if you were in possession right okay and so that was an opportunity to kind of change the loss to better reflect where the majority leans.

Sam:
[38:34]
Okay. So let's see, back to the present.

You talked about what you're excited about for the last three weeks.

You, you, before that, you talked about several things that you were sort of disappointed in.

I will, I will ask this weekend, you had a couple of town halls.

Um, I went to them, so I heard them. I just want, want to get your thoughts on that actual process.

Like you don't have to talk about the specific things that came up in the town halls or anything, thing unless you want to.

But the notion of, hey, put out some posters, post of things online, and some people show up and ask questions, is that process a good mechanism?

Do you enjoy that? How's this whole... Because it all seems a little weird.

But on the other hand, having attended them.

You got a bunch of people in there, like a lively discussion, a bunch of people asking questions.

So I guess it's working, right? But what are your thoughts on the whole thing?

Brandy:
[39:41]
So let's go back to my title, right? State representative. My job is to represent the 44th LD.

In order to do that, I have to talk to them. And there are a number of different ways I can get to them. I can get to people by knocking on their doors.

I can get to people by doing town halls, by making phone calls, all sorts of different ways.

This is one way for me to be able to connect with community members who might not otherwise reach out to be able to find out what they need, what they like, what they're curious about, and what we can do to make life better for them, right?

So it's part of the process of actually being able to do my job, connecting with constituents.

And so for me, they can be stressful because, of course, is it stressful when you're putting yourself off, in a place where people are going to judge you. I'm lucky we didn't get heckled like other LDs.

Sam:
[40:34]
But you still got some people who clearly don't necessarily agree with you on everything.

Brandy:
[40:39]
Well, I mean, they're not going to. Nobody's going to agree with me on everything.

And I'm not going to agree with everybody else on everything.

I mean, that's just how it is.

It doesn't mean that I don't have to take the positions into consideration when I'm making decisions because as their representative, that is my job.

It is not my job to only represent the people who vote for me.

It's also my job to represent those who don't.

And so it is vital that I'm able to connect with them.

And for some people in person works better. It makes them more comfortable. For some, it's not.

Some, some will just send me messages.

Some, I mean, I've had conversations with people on the street.

This meeting, like my, my town halls this time set up additional conversations that are going to be happening after session's over.

So we can work work on some issues that have been overlooked.

Sam:
[41:26]
Because people came to the town hall, asked some questions, and you're like, that's really interesting. I want to hear more.

And then you set up time to talk to them, basically, right?

Brandy:
[41:36]
Yeah, basically. But I mean, to me, it's definitely, it's an important part of the job.

Because I have to, I have a responsibility to them and I have a responsibility to answer for the decisions that I've made on their behalf.

And that's kind of where I come from on that.

Sam:
[41:54]
Of all the ways that you do get to get feedback from constituents, which do you enjoy the most? Yeah.

Brandy:
[42:02]
I mean, I like being able to talk to people in person.

I think it's a lot, you're less likely to have misunderstandings and that kind of thing.

Like I said, the town halls are a little weird because I have to stand in front of people.

And I feel like sometimes that can make it look like I'm elevating myself in some way.

And I don't want to give that impression because, I mean, the way we can be, viewed sometimes is that like you've got people at one level and then above those people you've got people like me right but the reality is it's flit I work for those people you know I work for the general constituents it's not I'm I'm not above them I'm in the same place and maybe a little below because I'm I work for them and so when it comes to like being on a stage and speaking speaking in front of people that I don't like so much as I do just engaging with them.

Sam:
[43:05]
Very good. Now when session ends, campaigning starts, right?

Brandy:
[43:13]
Yeah.

Sam:
[43:14]
The next time around.

Brandy:
[43:15]
Weirdest job interview ever.

Sam:
[43:19]
I know you hate that part. You have any thoughts about coming into switching back to campaign mode after After being in a few months of governing mode?

Brandy:
[43:30]
I mean, it's part of the job, but I try to look at it as an opportunity to get even more information about what people are looking for so that I can use that to go forward as I continue to work on policy. I mean...

Like I said, knocking on doors is another way to find out how people are feeling about what's been going on.

So it can help in that aspect. I also feel like because we're in a swingy district, it takes some of the time away that I could actually work on creating policy for people to help people.

And that I don't like so much.

Sam:
[44:07]
Because you're all about just the wonky policy stuff.

Brandy:
[44:10]
Pretty much. Pretty much. I like the policy. I like the policy, and I like being able to create bipartisan policy. That's the other big thing.

Sam:
[44:20]
Tell me a little bit more about that and then I guess we can wrap up and I can let you go get on the road getting back to this job of which you speak.

But like, um, in like, cause I know like on the national level, the parties are getting so far apart.

Like the idea of cooperation is it isn't of itself, like considered like, oh my God, you shouldn't be cooperating with them. I'm the other side is evil.

And, and in many cases, I don't necessarily disagree with that.

You know, if, if there are things, you know, obviously there's some things that you need to get done no matter what, and you do it however you need to, but I can definitely see that perspective.

How, how is that different at the state level, specifically here in Washington state?

Like, is there a lot of bipartisan stuff going on? Are the, you know, are the two parties, is there a lot of antagonism?

Or is there a lot of chummy old.

Brandy:
[45:20]
Like there, there are times there are times.

Sam:
[45:25]
There's old fashioned, like people keep on the national level.

People keep like saying, Hey, remember the good old days when Tip O'Neill and Ronald Reagan in the 1980s would like go out to dinner with each other and be chums, even after they'd had a big battle or whatever.

And we don't have that anymore. What.

Brandy:
[45:45]
So there are times, there are times when there's like, you know, one caucus versus the other caucus. I mean, that's normal, right?

But for the most part, we get along. We talk together. Sometimes we hang out together.

We work on policy together. We will co-sponsor bills.

Like we have a lot of bipartisan co-sponsored bills, probably between 85 and 95% of the bills that we pass any any given year, at least since I've been there, have been bipartisan.

I found that in a lot of the areas, particularly the areas where I tend to focus, it's the differences that we have very often come down to language and interpretation of language rather than the policy itself, like the intent of the policy.

And so that's something that's really easy to deal with.

You know, you can change.

Sam:
[46:35]
I know some examples I've heard you use before, But do you have some examples of what you mean by that?

Like the same policy is actually favored, but people speak about it differently.

And so therefore they can't get on the same page.

Brandy:
[46:46]
Yeah, just like the way we look at disasters, right? Because I spend a lot of time looking at disaster type stuff.

There are some ways that we can look at it. I mean, we had a pandemic and the governor had some pretty broad abilities to make mandates and such.

And there is some mistrust in thinking you know that maybe this could continue to happen in other areas so what if the person who's in charge decides they're going to interpret it this way and they're going to do all this stuff that we don't like so we make sure the language is clear enough that that can't happen and sometimes it means better definition sometimes it means means specifying the situations in which things will be relevant, et cetera.

But it's worth taking the time to do that because then we're all working together.

And frankly, when we work on policy that is bipartisan, it's less likely to get overturned as soon as you turn around.

And you've got more eyes on it from more different areas, representing more different communities.

And so that ensures that we're less likely to be leaving people behind.

Sam:
[47:58]
Okay. Anything else you want to get out there before I let you go?

Brandy:
[48:03]
Nope. Only I do actually know the day of the week today, and that it's Sunday. So that's when.

Sam:
[48:10]
And you only know that because you've been reminded of it like eight times already, right?

Brandy:
[48:14]
Right. Yeah. Yeah. No, no, no. Because it's my birthday. I know it's my birthday. I can feel it in my bones.

Sam:
[48:20]
You can feel your bones slowly turning to dust. Is that what you're saying?

Brandy:
[48:24]
Pretty much. Pretty much. That's exactly what I'm saying.

Sam:
[48:30]
Okay. Well, thank you for joining me, Brandy. I'm sorry we screwed up the schedule so that you couldn't stay for the whole show, but that's okay.

You got to talk about the stuff that you're excited about rather than me bringing up like, you know, the details of the Fannie Willis case in Georgia and asking you to talk about it when you've been, you know, head down on legislative stuff and probably have no idea or very little idea, right?

Brandy:
[48:57]
Very, let's go with very little. I do still read the national news.

I just don't, I don't have time to dig in as much as I would otherwise.

Sam:
[49:03]
Okay. Well, we're going to let Brandy go and during the break, I'm going to go outside. wave goodbye to her, let her drive back to Olympia, Washington, so she can get back to her job.

So, and I guess, just so you guys know how this works, she basically lives there for the months they're in session, coming back maybe every other weekend or something like that for less than 48 hours, usually, and then heading back again.

So like, I guess we won't see you for two weeks this time i'm not sure.

Brandy:
[49:37]
About next week.

Sam:
[49:38]
Yeah next week.

Brandy:
[49:40]
Is a maybe but the weekend following is and you won't see me.

Sam:
[49:43]
Yeah and and yeah and uh yeah so we don't see her a lot while she's in session but she's she's doing important things so that's okay we'll do it yeah okay so goodbye brandy and let's do let's we're gonna do a little break here and when we come back It'll be just me talking like national politics stuff for the rest of the show, which I know you guys are all super eager for, but I'll be doing it by myself. Here we go.

Okay, here we are. A couple hours later for me, a couple minutes later for you, whatever.

Hey, first off, before I get to anything else, a couple things.

One, E.T. the Extraterrestrial was on my list because it was number 25 on the AFI top 100 movies of the first 100 years of movies, blah, blah, blah list.

I'm working my way up after, you know, like 25 years so far.

I've gone from 100 down to 25.

And so there we are two in checking out the wikipedia page of et in between these two things i had mentioned the whole thing with hey i really didn't notice that they replaced the guns with the walkie-talkies it's because that 20th anniversary edition where they made that change spielberg didn't like it and so he has recommended ever since that people watch the original 1982 version version not that 20th edition version which did that change and a couple other minor things there were a couple places where they added a couple missing scenes and they did they did a couple places where they did cgi where he wasn't happy with the original animatronics but since then spielberg was like no go watch the 82 version and when it has been subsequently released for for Blu-ray and such, and I presume also for the streaming platforms.

They have, yeah, Wikipedia says, for the film's 30th anniversary release on Blu-ray in 2012 and its 35th anniversary release on Ultra HD Blu-ray in 2017, as well as its corresponding digital releases, which I presume are what you get if you stream it these days, only the original theatrical edition was released, with the 20th anniversary edition now out of circulation.

So I didn't notice the change because it wasn't there.

It was the original guns and stuff. But the section where that was was so short, you don't really notice it anyway. I don't know. Anyway.

Okay, so we're going to do some, we're going to do politics now.

And I had tried to divide this up into Trumpy and non-Trumpy, be, but that's not really how it is. So it's just going to be like, Two politics segments, I guess, with a division in between wherever it seems to make sense.

Or maybe I'll just do one long one. And then that'll be it.

So.

First of all, I guess the. Here's one division. The first segment will be the legal stuff.

The various court cases. Then the second segment will be sort of everything else. Elections and stuff.

Okay.

First up, roughly chronological in the way that they happened over the course of this week, is that we got a definitive date for the New York criminal case.

Case it's going to start march 25th jury selection will start march 25th it's expected to take about six weeks the the session went like basically there was a pre-trial session to go over the various motions to dismiss and delay and blah blah blah and the judge was having none of it the judge was like basically yeah no not that not that not that and just within the first few minutes of the session they had, he had declared that, yeah, we're starting March 25th.

And the Trump lawyers tried to object a couple of times, both there at the beginning.

And then again, at the end, they were like, we, this is an injustice, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, interfering with the campaign.

The judge brought up that, Hey, X number of months ago, you yourself herself said March 25th would be a good date.

And then later on, he asks, like, you know, they're going on about, you know, them interfering and blah, blah, blah, and it being unjust.

And the judge says, what's your legal argument here?

Trump's lawyer says, that was my legal argument. And the judge is like, yeah, that's not a legal argument.

See you on March 25th. that was then so like the important thing here is absent something crazy happening.

We now have a firm date for a criminal trial that is actually going to start.

You know, we, all of the rest are still, as of this recording, are still up in the air.

The DC trial is waiting on the Supreme Court and depending on what they do, they could clear the judge to go forward on that in the next, well, as potentially as early as the, By the time you listen to this podcast, they could clear the judge to go forward in the D.C. case.

Or if they're in for maximum delay, they could decide they're not even they are going to hear the case, but they're not going to hear it until the fall.

And anything in between basically is possible.

Yeah, you tell them, Jetson.

And that and then the georgia case we'll talk a little bit more about the georgia case before we're at the end of this segment they still don't have a trial date set either and from how, other rico cases have been in georgia even once they set a date for like starting to to find a jury, the process of jury selection itself can take months and months and months.

And, and, and that one, we have the uncertainty still as of this day, the judge could decide to take Fannie Willis off the case, which would delay this indefinitely.

Like it may or may not even come back, but if it does come back, it will be very, very delayed. But even if that doesn't happen.

It's a ways out. And the Florida case officially still has a tentative date of May, but the judge there is slow walking everything else that's going on so that nobody actually believes the May date.

But this New York case is now happening.

It is, well, I shouldn't say is now happening. It will be happening.

There is a definitive date for it. I'm looking at my calendar right now.

And one, two, three, four, five weeks from now, five weeks, it will be starting.

Again, unless something happens.

Really unexpected blows up. And it's expected to then be, you know, done in May, probably towards the end of May, but done in May.

Oh, I should say the estimate is done towards the end of May.

It may actually be faster than that. Typically when they schedule for these kinds of things, they allow for more time than they think it will actually take, because it's better when you're telling a jury how much time you're going to take of their time.

It's better to give them a number and then come in less than that and release them early than it is to take up that full time and say, sorry, you're going to have to stay longer.

So we're going to have at least one trial. You know, I know for a while there was some question on whether we'd get any of them.

You know, when Yvonne and I had our prediction show, which I actually just listened to again this week, as I slowly go back through old episodes.

Diversion. I had been going through them in chronological order, and now it's sort of randomized.

But I listened to our prediction show again this week, and we predicted, both of us agreed, two out of four.

You know, I think we both agreed. Yeah, whatever. I predicted two out of four and would actually happen this year, at least start this year.

I think we're, I think that's still likely, but this one is definitely happening.

Usual caveats, blah, blah, blah. Every time I say definitely, I'm like, okay, here's my autistic mind at rate.

The chances are earth could be hit by a meteor and that could stop it from happening.

Trump could die and that could stop it from happening. There are a number of things that could stop it from happening, but absent those kinds of things, we are having the first trial start.

Now, everybody always says this is the weakest of the four, And they mean that in two different ways.

One, they mean it's the least serious.

We're still talking felony. But it is something that is bumped up to a felony because it was a misdemeanor that the prosecution is saying is connected to something that would have been a felony, but is actually past the statute of limitations now.

Now, so this is sort of a unique legal theory to try to elevate it to a felony from a misdemeanor.

And so we'll see how that goes.

In terms of straight up evidence, it seems like all of these are pretty straightforward.

But maybe that legal theory is a little, you can poke holes in that and say maybe they shouldn't be doing that.

You know, they've got to rely at least in part on Michael Cohen, who has credibility issues, although all of this stuff is backed up by documentation too.

But people point to like, you know, from a serious point of view, you know, that, like I said, there's the strength of the case itself.

And then there's the seriousness part from a seriousness part that it's sort of like, well, compared to trying to overthrow the government of the United States, this is a little campaign finance thing.

It's not a big deal. The way the prosecution is trying to frame it at this point is this is also this is also part of.

Election interference, because this was all related to a scheme by Donald Trump to deny the public information about him prior to the 2016 election.

And this is also like one of the reasons that people are like, well, this one, it's just, it's old.

You know, we're talking about behavior that happened in 2016 compared to the January 6th stuff, which is about, you know, 2021.

It's a little bit newer.

The wheels of justice are slow and all that, but by the time things are...

I mean, even 2001 seems like a long time ago.

And certainly 2016, it's like, that was an entirely different universe, right?

So this is some of the reasons people have somewhat diminished it, but I heard some commentators this week talk about this as look, maybe that's not the right way to look at it.

Maybe the right way to look at it is not like, oh, I'm sad that this is the first one.

Cause like, this is sort of like, you know, it's, it's somehow not as gripping or not as exciting as the other ones, not as serious.

And maybe, Maybe there are a few more holes you can poke in it, but maybe look at it as an appetizer.

You know, it's the slow introduction.

Like if we end up with this one and then immediately follow it with the D.C. case.

Let's say the Supreme Court decides not to take up a review of the immunity arguments that relate to the D.C.

Case. Or they do take it up, but they take it up on a very accelerated schedule and that trial ends up starting in June or maybe July.

Then this is just like, it gives, it gets the taste going.

It gets you acclimatized to Donald Trump on trial, but regardless, it's going to end.

Like it will start and end. This is, this is not going to like somehow stretch out for the rest of the year.

Like we will either have an acquittal, a hung jury or a conviction in May.

That's that's not that far away now of all of these again this is a place where, yes you can make the argument that this is all also election interference etc etc like the way the prosecution is trying to frame it but you know you know the trump folks are going to just be like this is this is nothing this is a personal thing this is you know trump trump was trying to make you a problem that it wasn't about election interference.

It was about he didn't want Melania to know.

For anybody who doesn't remember this, this comes down to him paying off Stormy Daniels, the porn star, to make the story go away instead of showing up in the week or two right before the election.

This was was after the Access Hollywood tape that had already thrown Donald Trump's despicable actions towards women into the spotlight.

And basically, he was worried about a one-two punch with this stuff coming out right after it.

And so he paid her off. But to be clear, the actual crime being charged is not him paying her off.

That technically, that's not illegal.

It is instead that Trump did so in such a way that he tried to hide the paper trail and therefore bumped into some New York business records laws, potentially campaign finance laws.

This is about the New York business laws. The campaign finance laws are the ones that he may have broken that boost it from a misdemeanor to a felony.

But it's all about the paperwork. It's about the paperwork of the cover-up that these crimes are about.

Because, of course, Trump couldn't just do it up and up.

You know, write Stormy a check directly from his own account, etc., etc.

No, instead, he had to do this whole shuffle where he makes Cohen do it and then pays back Cohen, but tries to pretend it's pre-existing legal fees to Cohen instead of being for this, blah, blah, blah.

Like Cohen pays it out of his own money and then Trump reimburses him, but tries to pretend it's not a reimbursement. It's something else.

And this is the stuff he gets in trouble for, which, you know, also illegal for a variety of reasons.

Anyway, you can see how people will dismiss it as like, ah, it's just a blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.

But, you know, here's the thing. And this is a general Trump thing.

His whole modus operandi going back his whole freaking life is the rules don't apply. Okay.

These may be quote unquote more minor rules or their rules that like certainly his own base is going to like dismiss as like rules that don't matter. Right.

But this is Trump flouting the rules, breaking the law on things he is supposed to do and feeling like it's his right to get away with it.

But we're going to have a trial. And we're going to have a result.

And I, I really wish all of these trials were available to be fully televised, et cetera, live.

They won't be, I don't know if we'll get the audio from the New York one.

I really like the Georgia. The Georgia stuff is all fully televised, which is great.

My, what I gather from New York is it'll have possibly a little bit more live component it than the federal ones where there is none but it's still not going to be like we're watching live TV or even live audio, I don't think.

But we'll still be getting daily updates, we'll see, blah blah blah and we will have a result.

And judging by his recent history with the E.

Jean Carroll case case and the New York civil case, which we'll talk about in a few minutes, I think there's a pretty good chance of conviction here.

Maybe they'll do one of the things where they split and convict on some charges, but not on others.

Maybe they'll only do the misdemeanor conviction and not the felony connection fit.

There you go. Maybe that's the title for the episode. Anyway.

But I think his, the chances of conviction are pretty high.

And this may be, you know, this may have the least potential jail time associated with it, but there's potential jail time associated with it.

Now, I've predicted for years, Trump will never see a day in jail.

I feel like even if there is a conviction here, we'll have to wait longer for sentencing.

There will undoubtedly be an appeal, blah, blah, blah. law even even if we got to sentencing i feel like this is another case where you know they're not going to give him jail time over this one maybe some probation maybe some fines i don't know i i just i just don't see like them actually throwing him in jail for this one even if he lost all all appeals and you know whatever i yeah and as i've talked to ivan about before even if he does get jail time they'll probably do some sort of house arrest in mar-a-lago because of his special condition or blah blah blah you know secret service will be the ones to enforce the quote unquote jail i don't know i don't think he's ever going to spend a day in jail but like he could could very well get convicted for this.

Of all of them, like, you know, we've got all these polls that say that even a significant portion of even Republicans would not vote for Donald Trump if he was convicted of a felony.

I feel like of all of them, this is the one most likely to, if there's a conviction for those people to say, oh, well, that's not what I was thinking of.

That's bullshit. that doesn't count and continue to support him anyway. Whereas maybe.

For like the Florida case or the DC case, there'd be some of that.

Even then, like I see all these polls, but I, I feel like when push comes to shove, a lot of those people are still going to be like, well, yeah, but I'm not going to vote for Biden.

Maybe they stay home. Good enough. I don't know. But like, you know, there are all these polls right now that Yvonne and I talked about a couple of weeks ago where a significant number of people have no idea that these cases even exist.

It's not the it's not they know it's it exists and they feel it's unfair and they feel that Trump is being railroaded, witch hunt, blah, blah, blah. They don't even know it's happening.

As we proceed in the year, I feel like the percentage who have no idea it's happening is going to go down.

And that's got to have an effect on these really huge numbers of undecided people, at the very least.

Anyway, I'm excited. We're actually going to get a trial.

Even if it is the New York one, I guess, like, yeah, I want to see all of these, right?

All four of these are interesting in their own ways, but I feel like right now the, the most likely to actually show up in this year are first this New York one.

And then the DC one SCOTUS might like do something to put the DC one out, but this one is happening.

So we'll see how this one goes. And then the, maybe we'll see at least DC.

I don't know about the other two. The other two seem like they're very likely to be next year or maybe even further out or maybe not happen at all.

But here we go. Now, moving on, the next sort of in the chronological developments of the last week was the Georgia case.

And this is the, that this whole Fannie Willis situation where a bunch of the defendants in this Rico case, Trump didn't start it, although he eventually he and his lawyers joined in.

And it was one of the other ones who started this whole thing.

But basically, they dug up the fact that Fannie Willis had had an affair with the person she brought on to be the chief prosecutor on the case, whose last name is Wade. I forget his first name.

I'm really bad at names. You guys know that.

And the theory is, apparently in Georgia, you can have people removed from a case if there is a direct financial conflict of interest.

And it has to be a direct conflict of interest that implies that they have a vested interest in the outcome of the case that's not just about the case itself.

So the reason it's financial is, for instance, you know, if you had a prosecutor who was going to get a bonus if they got a conviction, if you had some sort of, you know, they are they have a direct relationship with one of the people being prosecuted.

Prosecuted. Fannie Willis was actually removed, was not allowed to do a prosecution against one of the fake electors in Georgia because they had run for office and Fannie Willis had helped fundraise for their opponent.

And that's the kind of thing. And just by the way, when they talk about removing Fannie Willis, it's removing her whole office, not just her personally.

So it's It's not like she can just hand it over to her deputy and it all continues on as normal.

No, it has to be handed off to a completely different prosecutor.

And to give you an idea, that other, that elector that she couldn't take part in a case against, it is, I think, more than a year later.

And that has yet to be reassigned to another prosecutor. here.

So like her being taken off this case makes it go away indefinitely.

Like maybe they find somebody else to do it. Maybe they don't.

Maybe someone else gets assigned. And once that person gets assigned, they can do whatever they want to it.

Like they don't have to just pick it up and pick up right where she left off.

They could decide they need another year of research before they move forward.

They could decide to drop it entirely.

They could decide to slow walk, Keep it, but slow walk it. There are all kinds of different things that they could do.

Like, so if she gets thrown off the case, it's effectively dead.

Like maybe it'll come back at some point in the distant future, but it's effectively dead.

Now, here's the thing though, the direct connection has to be proven.

So it's not just, did she do something ill-advised? It's not even, did she violate the rules of her office?

It's, is there a direct conflict that would be prejudicial to the defense?

And in this case, the theory that was brought up that this whole thing is about is that this guy was her boyfriend and she hired him so that she could get financial benefit via him. him.

So it's, you know, you have to show that somehow this whole thing was done.

Like she, she did the indictment so that she could hire him so that she could then in turn get a financial benefit, which seems like a bit of a stretch anyway, but the judge was like, okay, okay, I can see the theory, let's have some hearings on it.

And one of the reasons for that is that the defense found at least one witness who was willing to say that this whole relationship had started before the indictments.

Because that whole chain, that whole theory that gets to Fannie Willis doing the indictment in order to get financial gain sort of relies on that.

Then these hearings actually started.

First of all, that witness that they had that said this had started early turns out to have been a disgruntled employee.

It's someone that Fannie Willis had fired. Used to be a friend of Fannie Willis's, ended up being kicked out.

Yeah, she was given an opportunity to resign, but basically she was kicked out.

So that sort of puts that into question. Was that true? Was that not true?

Another witness was Wade's divorce lawyer.

And he was kind of limited in what he could say or not say due to lawyer-client privilege.

They were able to get past some of that, but not all of it is sort of question.

And then both Wade and Willis say up and down in sworn testimony, et cetera, that their romantic relationship started after the indictments and after she had hired him.

Now, on the one hand...

As Yvonne and I have talked about on previous shows, come on, you knew this case was being looked at under a freaking microscope.

You need to do everything by the book, do everything right.

If you wanted to have a relationship and it was developing after he had already been hired, he should have quit to get rid of that any possible appearance of an issue. you.

Anything else was dumb, was stupid.

And of course, people do lots of stupid stuff in relationships like that.

You know, lots of stupid stuff.

But their contention is that the relationship started after the indictment, after he was hired, which would mean that this whole financial theory was on weak legs to begin with.

Then they claim that they really split a whole bunch of these costs.

Like when they went on vacation, like there was a whole one of these that she actually paid for entirely, at least according to them.

And they dinners and stuff. They split, blah, blah, blah.

They also pointed out that his income went down as a result of taking on this job for her. Not up.

Now, that's what they said in their various written statements before this all happened. When Wade took the stand, I was listening to a lot of this in the car while I was driving to work and then on my headphones later in the day off and on.

Wade did not come across well.

I kept messaging the Curmudgeon's Corner Slack about how disingenuous he sounded.

Like every other thing out of his mouth was seemingly ways to avoid answering the question in a meaningful way.

And I don't mean to suggest that he perjured himself at any time.

He was very carefully parsing the questions and parsing his answers.

And, you know, I said at the time, this is very Clinton-esque.

This is whole, it depends on what the meaning of is, is kind of crap.

You know, it was like, it is parsing, you know, all kinds of stuff to within an inch of its life.

And I understand. And I understand when you're in that kind of questioning situation, very common lawyerly advice. Yvonne has talked about it on here.

First of all, there's the, I'm not sure I don't remember kind of answer.

But also, there's the answer exactly what they asked, no more, no less, because another common technique is...

Ask an open question and just let them talk. And very often whoever's answering will get themselves into trouble because they like to hear themselves speak.

They talk and talk and talk and explain themselves and end up incriminating themselves in one way or another.

So I understand that. I understand.

But this guy, he just seemed the way his answers were from a layman's point of view.

Like, And it's different if you are looking in his testimony for clues about the exact theory for removing Fannie Willis from the case, which presumably is what the judge was doing.

But just listening to him from a layman's point of view, it's like, what is this guy hiding?

What he is clearly trying to leave trying to say something that is technically true but leaves a misleading impression that's what it seemed like and so myself and a bunch of other commenters as i like flipped through the talking heads after his testimony we're like she's in she's in fucking in trouble.

Like this, this does not look good.

Like he does not seem credible.

I said on the curmudgeon's course slack after hearing this, I would bet anything that their relationship started before the indictment, before he was hired, et cetera.

And they are lying about when it started.

Then the dramatic moment came when they were trying to call Fannie Willis to the stand and her lawyers, or I guess the, her office's lawyers, because this is in her official capacity, were trying to quash that and say that she was not needed.

She should not come in, blah, blah, blah, where she comes, she comes storming into the courtroom and says, I'm here. I'm ready.

And told the, told her lawyers to drop the objection. She's ready. She's going.

I've heard mixed reactions to her testimony as well.

My first reaction, she came in and almost, she was clearly angry from moment zero when she came into that room.

And within the first few seconds, it seemed like, of being questioned, she started calling the defense lawyers liars angrily.

And I thought she was harming herself at that point, but then it went on and on.

And basically, unlike her ex-boyfriend, they broke up apparently last year sometime, by the way, unlike her ex, she seemed like she was actually answering the questions.

She was explaining herself. She was justifying what she had done.

She took the places where she took offense were at the places where the way the defense was trying to imply things would move it in the direction of the conflict that they were talking about.

For instance, they had implied they had lived together before the indictment.

They never lived together, at least according to her.

But she seemed credible. That's the thing. Unlike her ex, she seemed credible.

The way she talked, you wanted to believe her.

One of the key elements that caused a, uh-oh, they're in trouble on her ex's testimony was that he said that whenever he paid for things for her and she paid him back, she did so in cash, including for vacations and stuff where it was thousands of dollars changing hands.

And my reaction and lots of other people's reaction was why the fuck would you do that in cash like you want proof of that and who uses cash anyway in this day and age you know you're going to do some sort of electronic transfer i mean there's so many different ways of doing it but you're going to do some sort of electronic transfer i'll even a paper check no one does does paper checks anymore, let alone cash, let alone cash for something that's thousands of dollars.

Okay. Maybe someone will do cash for something that's like 20 bucks or something, but even that's fairly rare these days.

At least it seems to me as a Gen X white middle-class person.

Fonny Willis spent some time talking about how as a black woman with an elderly black dad who had taught her from the time she was a child to always have her own cash as a backup in case X, Y, or Z happened, always carry cash with you, always have cash in your house.

And, you know, we had conversations about this related to Menendez, the Senator in New Jersey, who's also under indictment for stuff.

Stuff. One of the things there was like, he claimed that he kept a lot of cash around the house because of his parents' experience, you know, having to leave Cuba in a hurry and never wanting to trust banks and stuff because they lost money that way.

And so there are some culture. And Yvonne has said on this show that his parents keep cash. He keeps some cash.

I can't imagine it myself. Like I, I, I don't carry cash on me.

Haven't done so in over a decade.

If this cash in the house, it's like, yo, there's a jar of change in my son's room.

And there's barely anything new that's been added in to that in years because like, we don't do cash anymore.

Like but lots of people actually apparently still do and she was very convincing on that.

Now it does conveniently mean they don't have proof of any of this stuff but she was very convincing and she came off in a credible way in a way that her ex did not.

And that the person who was claiming their relationship was earlier had lost some of her credibility because of being a disgruntled employee etc and honestly if i had to guess there there might have been a relationship earlier like they they have stated that they were close friends for years before the quote-unquote romantic relationship started and there was conversation about what that means and are you talking about a physical relationship what What are you talking about?

And somebody actually said, well, your romantic relationship, I think it was the defense lawyer, romantic relationships, you know, can, you know, it can just be holding hands or something.

And funny Willis was like, look, I'm a grown, I'm a grown woman. I don't do handholding.

You know, we're not in fifth grade here.

But when you have if you have that sort of thing where people are friends and then close friends and then it eventually becomes romantic and then you know there's a transition process there, and sometimes, Different people can define the date that that changes in different places.

I mean, some people say it's just, when did they have sex?

That's it. When did they have sex? That's when it changes.

For some people, that's less clear. Maybe they went through a friends with benefits phase where they did not have an exclusive romantic relationship, but they hooked up a couple of times. Does that count? out.

Now, honestly, some of the conflict of interest stuff potentially exists, even if you're close friends, should you really be hiring your close friend for a job because they're your close friend now?

And they argued about his qualifications otherwise, but the judge actually said, I don't care about the qualifications.

If he's got a bar license and he's got a pulse, that's all that matters. They can pick him.

But in the end, there was discussion of the, the financial stuff.

Because Georgia, apparently, you can even have husband and wife, clear romantic relationship, clear financial entanglements.

You can have a husband and wife that are both lawyers, where one of them is on the defense team and one of them is on the prosecution team.

And Georgia says, that's absolutely fine. That's not a conflict of interest.

So just having a romantic relationship in there isn't necessarily a conflict of interest.

I heard, I think it was Joy Reed pointed out that on the OJ trial, two of the prosecution lawyers were having an affair during the trial and, oh, well, you know, hey, that happens.

And other people saying, hey, look, you know, that happens all the time.

You know you may you may say all you want that having like work relationships is bad but it happens all the time now there is a difference between you know boss versus employee kind of thing and i know that he wasn't technically an employee he was a contractor whatever, same thing come on okay not technically the same thing but same dynamic you know one person has authority over the other one.

Anyway, Georgia requires you to have the actual, not just hypothetical, conflict that would be prejudicial to the defense.

It doesn't seem like they've shown that. As of the moment I'm recording it, we have no decision yet on what's happening there.

But the overall consensus that I get from analysts on this is that the defense has not proved their case that she should be disqualified.

There's been a lot of mud dragged out. There's been a lot of stuff that may lead you to question her judgment, question his judgment.

Apparently, even within the office, there are a bunch of people saying, why is he still on the case?

Like he should be gone. You know, Willis should stay, but Wade should be gone.

Like, but he's still there.

And, you know, people saying like, look, this is legitimate stuff.

When she comes up for reelection, like this may make you think less of her judgment and want somebody else here, but it doesn't meet the legal the legal requirements for disqualification from the case that's what it seems like right now.

And yeah now the judge may decide different we'll see what he does, I don't, I, I, I, we got, this was going on and then the, the, the New York civil judgment came in right after.

So I actually lost track of like where we are. Is it all done?

And then the judge just has to make his decision or do we have like more witnesses left for that?

I'm not even sure I can look it up, but I'm not going to, but the next important thing we've had the major witnesses Is the judge making the call?

And the other thing this does, besides like her reelection or whatever, it potentially affects people being evaluated for the jury pool.

Like if you have somebody that's heard all this drama and thinks less of the prosecutor because they've heard it that protect potentially affects who you can find for the jury or how they're going to be thinking like even if you if you let them on the jury might affect how they're thinking about the case that's presented things like that and i guess more generally the general public it It gives yet another thing that as this goes forward, the Trump camp.

Can point to this as, look at who's going after me. This is all just ridiculous.

It's a clown show, whatever.

They can use this to distract from the case itself.

And in a large degree, like this whole thing that played out over the last few weeks about finding Willis is distracting from the case itself.

She made this point herself during her testimony where she's like, don't forget, I'm not the one on trial here. These people are the ones on trial here.

So at the very least, even if they decide, Fannie Willis, you're good to go, continue, let's move on.

It's been a distraction for a number of weeks. It's been a delay for a few weeks.

It's potentially changed how people think about this whole one of the four trials.

But it seems like the most likely thing at this point is she won't get kicked off the case and we move on we'll see like again the judge could go the other way and this whole thing, gets knocked knocked out of the calendar for a long long time if it ever comes back we'll see, okay finally in this segment anyway, way and we're going really long oops, maybe this one won't take so long trump got his judgment in the new york case it was hundreds of millions of dollars 300 some million straight out but when you add required interest and fees and blah, blah, blah. It ends up being about $450 million.

And as we've talked about before on the Eugene Carroll case, but also true here, in order to appeal, Trump either needs to put up the entirety of that money or find somebody who's willing to act as a bonds person where he has to put up like maybe 20% of that up front and collateral for the rest of it before he can even appeal.

And so the speculation at this point is how much does trump really have that's liquid what can he do here there's been a gofundme started and he's apparently selling shoes now selling athletic shoes that are really ugly and gold and have a t on them for 400 bucks so.

So, and I'm sure he'll do his usual trying to get, trying to figure out a way that other people will pay these fines instead of him, either through his PACs or whatever.

But I think there are, there are a number of limitations on how much of that he can do.

And it's, it's one thing to have the PACs pay for lawyers. It's another thing to have them pay for your actual judgment.

And frankly, on the PACs paying for the lawyers thing, because it's being openly done, I gather it's fully legal, but I don't see how it should be.

It's using campaign funds for personal purposes.

If you are using campaign funds to buy a TV or a car, that would be a campaign finance violation, right?

I mean, I know it's the PACs and not his own campaign.

And the super PACs and PACs have a lot of freedom. But oh my God, he shouldn't be able to do that.

Like campaign laws, and I recognize Citizens United was part of this, and there have been other changes.

Campaign finance laws at this point make no sense.

Like there are things that are not allowed that are like, really? really?

And there are things that are allowed that you've got to be crazy.

The whole points of these is to try to make sure there's public accountability on how this all works, who's donating to who and what you use these funds for and the funds are really for the campaign and not not for personal purposes, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera.

You know, I guess that's a whole other thing, but it doesn't make sense to me.

The whole fact that he's got PACs out there paying for his legal fees instead of paying them for himself.

Anyway, whatever. It should not be that way, but it apparently is.

But the question is, what's his liquidity? How can he do this?

He at one point claimed to have 500 million completely liquid that he could just use for this kind of stuff?

I guess we'll find out in the next few weeks if that's the case.

Because either he's going to appeal these or he has to pay.

Or maybe he doesn't appeal and then he tries not to pay. But if he tries not to pay, they can directly attach bank accounts and such.

There are all kinds of mechanisms they have to force the payment.

But maybe those take time and he's going to... I don't know.

I've heard people say, yeah, okay, he may theoretically have $500 million in cash, but some of that cash is required liquidity for other loans he has going.

And they just talk about selling some of his many holdings in order to fund some of this.

But I've also heard there, like, a lot of this stuff is probably heavily mortgaged, So he might not be able to get as much out of that as he thinks.

And so I've heard everything from he's got the cash.

He could just pay it up front. No worries to he's going to have to sell a couple of things, but he can sell a couple of things and no worries.

Now, if he's selling anything that's New York based because of this whole judgment, there are all sorts of restrictions and supervision and stuff that has to be on there.

But then the final possibility I've heard people say is he's going to have to sell some stuff.

But because of how underwater and mortgaged he is on many of these properties, he's going to have to sell a substantial amount of his holdings to do this.

It's not just like, I'll sell one little thing here and it's all taken care of.

We'll find out pretty soon. And, you know, as Yvonne and I were half-joking talking about a few weeks ago, you know, maybe he could sell something to the Saudis for much more than market value. Get it that way.

But if it turns into a fire sale, he may be in trouble. Things may spiral quickly.

But a lot of this, because it's been a private entity and not everything is revealed about it, we just don't know exactly what the real situation is.

So we'll find out as we see how he determines to go about dealing with these various judgments.

You know, I mean, at this point, the this case, the 450 million dwarfs, the 85 or whatever for Eugene Carroll, but you add them up, you're you're already at more than half a billion.

And, you know, this whole case is about Donald Trump over-inflating how rich he really is.

But even if he was in the $4 or $5 billion range that has sometimes been claimed, half a billion dollars is still a decent chunk of change.

And it's not done. Like, we've got these criminal cases, but there are a bunch of other civil cases still playing out as well.

One that just recently got some traction to go forward, like there was some, you know, the usual up and down legal maneuvering, but the plaintiffs won and are able to continue now, is some of the first responders from January 6th suing Trump in civil court for damages for him being responsible.

For some of what happened that day.

If those go through, those could be hundreds of million dollars too.

So we've got a whole bunch of things coming together over the next few months.

We've got that New York criminal case starting. We've got Trump having to either put up the money to pay the judgments on a bunch of these civil cases or put up the money to appeal.

And those are like the rest are speculation. Like what happens to the DC case?

Maybe it happens later in the summer. Maybe it doesn't blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.

Those are still somewhat unknown. It depends on what SCOTUS does, et cetera.

When does the Florida case start? What happens to Georgia?

There's all kinds of speculation on all of those, but having to pay the judgments that have already happened in New York and starting the New York criminal case.

Those are happening and we will we will see dramatic developments on those fronts over the next couple months because you can't put them off much longer so that'll be fun.

Okay with that i'm going to take another break and the show is rapidly approaching the two hour mark.

So I always say this, this next segment will be relatively close or close, short, relatively short.

I want to talk about Santos, democratic overperformance and some election graphs thoughts.

And so since the next segment will include some some election graphs thoughts.

Well, I'd pick this randomly anyway, but next break is the election graphs break. Back after this.

Okay, here we go. I am back. Very exciting.

And as I said, we're rapidly approaching two hours, so let me try to make it short.

I laughed just saying it. But okay, look, I only have a couple things on this one.

One, real quick, we had the Santos replacement election. And here's the thing about that.

People were reporting it as a neck and neck race.

And then, hey, he won by 8%, blew out the polls, etc, etc, etc.

That's not quite right. right the last four polls had the democrat up by one four four four okay so that's yeah what's that uh four plus four plus four plus one divided by four that means means average up by three. Okay.

And look, the, the margin of error on the individual polls.

Normally I didn't like, I did not look at these specific polls, but normally the margin of error on these kinds of polls is like plus or minus three or 4%.

But here's the thing that is the the margin of error on the, like if one candidate has 44, another has 42, it's the margin of error on those.

The margin of error of the difference between them, the margin of error of the margin is usually roughly twice that. So, okay, fine.

These are clearly, each of these individual polls is clearly within the margin of error.

But because you've got several of them stacked up, You can have a little bit more confidence that the Democrat really was a little bit ahead.

So it's not like, okay, this is a slam dunk.

The Democrat is going to win, right? But it's enough so that like, you know, and I am making up numbers here.

I have not done any of the math, et cetera, et cetera.

But this is like roughly equivalent to a situation where you probably have like a 70-30 split something. The Democrat is favored, but it's certainly not like a slam dunk, automatically the Democrat is going to win.

And it's also not quite a toss-up. You've got a decent amount of evidence that the Democrat was ahead. head.

However, despite everything I just said, it is yet another example of the Democrats overperforming the polls, which we have seen over and over and over again from the last year, since the 22 midterms, since the midterms in 2022.

And at this time, it's like, you know, if you just take it at face value, you know, just an average of these four, not worrying about margins of error, not worrying anything like that.

You're up about three in the polls and the actual result was up about eight.

So that's outperforming the polls by about 5%. That's a decent amount.

And again, like play with all the margins of error, you know, and you can say, well, well, maybe it wasn't, you know, eight, eight is within, like if you double the margin of error and it was three, but it was plus or minus like seven, then eight is within that range.

And so this isn't really that surprising and okay.

But I think it's yet another example of the Democrats outperforming the polls.

And on the same Tuesday that we had that, we had the Democrats retain a seat in Pennsylvania to keep the state house there.

And I forget, I think it was in Utah, there was a state house race or something where the Republicans won, but by much, much less than they usually did in that district.

So we're seeing lots of these things still.

And, you know, this is where I'm going to quickly flip over to election graph stuff.

Where just straight up, I'm just going to talk straight like averages, forget my probabilistic stuff for the moment.

And I'll, I'll talk a little bit about that in a second, but just forgetting all that.

Right now, straight up, if you just take my poll averages in every state on electiongraphs.com, where it's usually last five polls in most states.

There are a couple of exceptions where I'll add in a sixth poll, et cetera, blah, blah, blah.

But for the most part, it's last five polls.

Right now, that would have the electoral college ending up at, if everybody just won all of the states that they're leading in by even a tiny bit, Trump 294 to Biden 244.

That's a 50-point margin for Trump.

However, the tipping point state, as of when I'm recording this, is Michigan, where Biden is up by 3.6%.

That means that if the polls were underestimating Joe Biden by 5%, which is similar to what we saw in that Santos case, that in addition to the states that I already have Biden winning, Biden would win Wisconsin, Biden would win Michigan, Biden would win Nevada, and the congressional districts, the second congressional districts in Maine and Nebraska.

That would add 33 points to his electoral vote count and subtract 33 from Trump's, which if I am doing my math right, moves from Trump winning by 50 to Biden winning by 16. Okay.

A few percent off in the polls, if it's systematic, if like the polls are systematically, underestimating the Democrat this time, instead of systematically underestimating the Republican, like they have the last couple of times, then it changes the picture entirely.

Now that's still a narrow Biden win, but it's a Biden win instead of, you know, Trump's way ahead.

And so, and that's if there's a polling error of this point.

We also, of course, have the effect that we've got a long time till the election yet.

As of when I'm recording this, it's just under 261 days until polls start to close.

And of course, voting starts like way before then.

And a three three four point margin can easily disappear like in a few weeks so this is this is still a very volatile situation and you know i right now when i generate the probabilities and such on here and i'll add just real quick i have to go on this tangent because a couple weeks ago go now.

There was somebody on Mastodon. I'm not going to mention their name or anything like that, but they sent out a warning to anybody following them that election graphs was full of shit.

Nobody should follow them. I was a propagandist for Trump.

And I clearly didn't know what I was talking about on anything.

I actually, he blocked the election graphs account, but he didn't block Abelsmay.

So I actually DM'd this guy and went back and forth with him a little bit.

He's a professor somewhere, deals with stuff that he said in his post is related to the kind of stuff I do here.

I tried to explain to him some of the things I'm doing.

He basically said things like, I don't have time to explain to you all the ways you're wrong. Read a book.

Which is not particularly helpful. I was there like, I'm happy to learn.

But one of the things that I think he just misunderstood, but maybe I'm the one that is full of shit.

But I think he kept going on about the margins of error, like I was talking about before, like calculating a margin of error when you do a pole average, for instance.

And if you're going to generate odds of winning, you somehow use that.

And I very specifically don't do that.

When I generate my averages, they are not trying to take into account the statistical sampling error on each poll and aggregate them in a way that produces a new sort of merged sampling error on the average. And there are mathematical ways to do that.

And back when I was a physics major decades ago, go, you know, we had to do the math of propagating errors of like measurement errors through like, if you had this measurement and this measurement, both of which had a margin of error and you were doing math on them to generate something else, you could propagate the error through the equations and do that.

And what you would do for sort of statistical sampling about this is similar.

I don't think the math is exactly the same, but it's, it's a similar concept.

But that's not even remotely what I'm doing here. And I added a whole bunch of additional disclaimers, both to the posts that Election Graphs does and to the website itself to try to make some of this more clear.

But what I am doing is essentially creating the average as a black box.

Like I, you know, I, I do a last five poll average and it's a, it's a straight average mainly.

Like I also do some fancy things. Like if a poll comes out with several different variants, I wait them as half and like, you know, and still merge them together.

So like if there's a likely voter and a all voter and a registered voter, whatever, I'll combine them together and each of those will be count as a third of a poll essentially.

And there are other polls that have other kinds of variants with third parties, without third parties, whatever. ever.

And there are all kinds of different ways you could decide to do the average.

You could certainly do it in the way that you mathematically treat it as if it was one big poll.

There are a whole bunch of different choices you could make in terms of which polls you include, which you don't. You could weight them by recency.

There's all kinds of stuff. You could not do an average at all and you do some sort of smoothing function on it.

There's all kinds of things. But anyway, I treat it as a black box and basically say, okay, there is some mechanism of coming up with a poll average.

And then I look at historically how my particular method of coming up with a poll average has done over the last four election cycles.

So basically I'm saying if over the last four elections, so from 2008 to 2020, because that's since I've been doing this, if a poll is about, it shows Republicans up by about 5%, what percentage of the time has the Republican actually won?

You know, forget how I created that average. It could be like the actual method I use.

It could be me pulling numbers out of my ass based on how I feel.

Whatever, but look at my track record over the last four years or four election cycles and see what percentage of the time does it flip.

And so of course you find out like if somebody's ahead by 10, 20%, you're pretty much a hundred percent of the time, right?

Right. Like if someone's leading by 20% in the polls in some state, then they're going to win that state. Like the polls can be very wrong.

And, but if they're up by 1% or 2%, a significant portion of the time.

The winner is going to be the opposite. And so what I do for my probabilistic views is I looked at the percent, it looked at the final averages on the eve of the election in all four of those cycles.

And then, and then did, did all those calculations.

And so like, I will determine that like right now, let's just take an example.

Let's pick one of the, I hit the wrong, button i don't like hitting the wrong button my computer is so slow oh by the way my my one of my monitors on my computer is starting to freak out too it's it's doing okay right now but like an hour ago it was completely freaking out there were weird lines on the screen it was flickering i'm like oh crap i have a dead monitor it's it's fine again at the moment but i think it's probably going to die soon, which is annoying.

But okay, let's take right now. Right now, the closest state is Pennsylvania, where the Democrat is leading by 0.4% in my average.

Looking at the historical stuff in the way that I talked about, when the Democrat has been ahead by about 0.4%.

They have actually won about 41% of the time.

Now, I'm eliding some details like, you know, I have a limited number of actual historical polls over those four election cycles.

I'm actually looking at things within windows.

So if you're, you know, I'm not actually looking at a point because I don't have that many examples of, you know, Democrat up by 0.4.

So I look at, Democrat up by a range centered on 0.4, and I look at the average and standard deviation and use that to calculate the odds of being wrong, blah, blah, blah, like I assume a normal distribution.

The actual distribution, even within that window, is obviously not exactly normal.

So I make a lot of assumptions there.

But it's basically just a methodology of saying, hey, hey, if the polls are wrong in a similar way to the way they've been wrong in the last few years.

What are the odds of winning?

So like in this example, again, in Pennsylvania, if you have the Democrat up by 0.4, I'm saying chances are Biden 41%, Trump 59%. And then I use use that for some Monte Carlo math models, et cetera.

They're, they're, you know, so it's not saying like, Hey, I've combined these polls together and therefore these are the odds.

It's Hey, historically when I've had averages around Democrat plus 0.4, how, how often has the Democrat actually won? And that's what I'm doing here.

So this guy implied that.

That methodology was complete bullshit and should not be paid attention to at all.

And I didn't know what I was talking about. And may, like I said, maybe I don't, but he wasn't willing to like help me in any way.

He just, from the very beginning, he's like this site right now says that Trump has more than a 99% chance of winning.

And so therefore it's bullshit. And I don't care care to learn anything else.

And like, I don't know. And he certainly wasn't willing to help me.

I was like, at least I hope I've convinced you that I'm not malicious.

Maybe I don't know what the fuck I'm doing and I'd be happy to learn.

And he's wasn't willing to be helpful anyway.

That left me bummed out for a few days. Let me be honest.

But the other thing, yeah, I was bummed out for a few days.

I'm kind of over it now, but still like, and I want to know, like if I'm really completely full of shit and this methodology is horrible, I would like to know, I would like to learn.

I would like to change it. The details are linked from my FAQ and the FAQ in turn links to a a post I made in January 1st, 2023, that goes into exact details of how I came up with what I did.

So I would love a critique if anybody actually has the mathematical background to do so.

But the key is I'm not trying to come up with odds based on manipulation of the polls themselves, because...

I want to know how have they been systematically off in the past, which you're not going to get from just internally correcting for the margin of error of the poll, because the statistical margin of error of the poll is not the only source of error.

They have been systematically underestimating certain populations over the last few cycles, and there can be systematic systematic errors of other sorts.

To me, the more legitimate complaint is what reason do you have to believe, that 2024 will indeed have errors that are similar to the aggregate of 2008 through 2020?

Of course, 2024 is going to be different. There's different factors at play.

The pollsters may have corrected for what they did before and maybe they overcorrected.

That's a more legitimate, I don't know.

Okay, enough, I'm bitching about election graph stuff that no one cares about.

The other thing that I tried to like, I've now like plastered warnings on, like I said, on the Mastodon posts and on election graphs itself.

The election graphs version says, odds assume 2024 will look similar to 2008 through 2020 in terms of error distribution in election graphs poll averages.

And all of the below will almost certainly be dramatically different by election day.

This reflects current polling only. And the reason I say that, and this guy didn't seem to care about this either. He's like, it's still a prediction.

I'm like, it's a now cast. It's not a prediction. It's if the election was held today.

It gives you an idea of the situation on the ground right now.

Now, where do things have to change in order to change the outcome?

So I added all these disclaimers because, like I said, just going back to, you know, the reason it is showing 99% plus chances of Trump winning right now is really simple.

It's because a over those last four election cycles the polls have tended to underestimate.

The republican i mean on average between those four cycles for close states you know it's it's different for the states that aren't close but for close states the polls have tended to underestimate republicans not always in the but but aggregate between those four years that's where you get.

And so you have a situation where right now, Trump is ahead in Wisconsin.

Trump is ahead in Michigan. Trump is ahead in Nevada.

Trump is barely behind in Pennsylvania, like close enough that over those four election cycles, you cannot trust it.

Like I said, in Pennsylvania, Pennsylvania, Biden ahead by 0.4, like Democrat ahead by 0.4 has only resulted in a Democrat winning about 41% of the time.

So I don't trust that that little lead means Biden's really ahead.

And if you give Trump, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Michigan, and Nevada.

Biden's done. Done.

You know, you would need to bring all of those over.

And similarly, like with Michigan, which is the current tipping point where Trump is currently ahead by 3.6 in my average, a lead by 3.6 historically in those cycles that I talked about ended up with the Republican actually winning 94% of the time, 94% of the time.

Now, again, that does not mean that this time that would happen.

And also that 3%, 3.6% lead, like I said, there are rapid movements in the polls in response to news events, especially towards the end, towards the, right when you get towards the end of the election, because there's, you know at by the right now like my average in michigan still goes back a month and a half there you know there are polls every once in a while like you know to get my five polls you have to go back a month and a half there's been one in february so far there were four in january.

So it responding to a change in the news takes a while right now but once you get close to the election in the last month or so before the election polls are non-stop and in any of the close critical states you see you'll see a change really fast now flip side of that, some of that change isn't real. Some of that is just noise, like things flipping up and down within a range and it's not really representing movement, but they certainly are a lot reactive towards the end, a lot more reactive towards the end.

And so like the fact that Republicans are ahead by 3.6% in the tipping point, like if, if we were, if we had these exact same averages is.

And it was the first week of November already.

I would feel, I'd be like, okay, we're done.

It would take a miracle for Joe to pull this out. Maybe he will.

And I would be counting on at that point, yeah, the polls are missing Democrats this time. I'd be looking at that.

Yvonne and I have talked before about the huge numbers of undecided and third party right now.

I'd be looking to see if they have shrunk and what's left there and what happens if that entirety of the undecided group ends up going on the democratic side like if if the undecideds break to biden that's another thing like all of these close states have such big undecided groups if they break to biden kaboom it's over and even with you know like i said i've said this before like michigan the example i'm giving is the tipping point state right now.

Trump is ahead by 3.6%, but there's 15% in that somebody else category.

That swamps the 3.6%. That means this is incredibly volatile.

And my percentages right now do not take into account at all how much things can change over time.

They really are if the election was held today. And of course the election is not held today.

Now, the other thing in thinking about this more over the last couple of weeks since the conversation with this guy.

I've realized I basically have what I need to do to do probabilities that do take into account how much things change.

Instead of calculating probabilities of winning a state based on the final election graphs average versus the actual election results, I calculate them based on the same number of days before the election. election.

How far off were the averages on February 19th compared to the actual election results?

And how often were they wrong then? I would presume that close states would be wrong a lot more often this far out than they are at the end. I have not done the math.

And I've realized what I would have to do to do this.

And the main thing is it would be a lot of work.

So I, you know, I'm thinking maybe I'll do all that for 2028, but I don't know if I'll have time to do it for 2024 because I only have the last couple elections.

I have a 2016 and 2020 in a a format that I could easily like write up the programs to do the math on, but 2008 and 2012 are not.

And I would have to first like manually, uh.

Do a bunch of conversion of that data into other form and maybe i might be able to find a way to automate it but i would have to do a bunch of work just to get that stuff that i would those earlier cycles i was doing manual calculations in excel whereas 2016 and 2020 i automated it all and i have data files and it's doing all the math and blah blah blah but anyway yeah so but i i'm I'm very curious at this point what it would look like if I did do that math.

So I'm like, oh man, that would be, I want to do that.

But unfortunately I have like, you know, work and stuff that requires me to like spend my days doing other things. And on the weekend I do this podcast.

And so anyway, the point is yes, election graphs right now shows a 99 point.

Well, and I, and this is another thing I have, I have the two.

I know no one, no one cares. Everybody is tuned out by now, but I have two different probabilistic views on election graphs right now.

The 99.5% is only one extreme.

The other extreme of that metric is 94.2%.

And really the, and those ties, I, well, let's not get into that.

And that's because I also don't model how correlated the errors in the polling average in different states are.

So if North Carolina is off by this percentage, does that mean anything to what will happen in Virginia?

And so the two versions of the model that I post on my site are one where all of them, all the states move in lockstep.

If you underestimate the Democrats by 0.5% in one state, you underestimate the Democrats by 0.5% in every state.

With the other one the term assumes they're completely independent so how far off you are in one state does not affect in any way how far off you are in the other so you get 94.2 to 99.5 is the range between those two extremes and i don't have a model for where exactly in between the real you know odds would be even using my method so i give the range you know so So, but the thing is, again, yes, that's right now it with polls showing Trump ahead in all of these critical states, Biden's odds suck, but.

You know, I am a Biden supporter. I am not a Trump supporter.

I think a Trump win would be awful.

I am not despairing yet because of those numbers, because we've got 260 days to go and lots of things will happen and polling in all of these states will change.

And this other category, this neither, none of the above category will at some point collapse because I also don't model I don't model that.

I don't model how will that undecided vote collapse over time?

How many will stick with third parties versus how many?

And like, look, 538 and all of the big guys are going to come out with their models like any time now.

Within another couple months, they'll all have them out. You know, basically once both candidates clinch their nominations, all of those folks will come out.

And they do have fancy models and they do take into account all this kind of stuff that I just mentioned that I don't.

The original point of election graphs was you can do a lot with something that's really simple and still get results that are decent.

And I got results that are decent in the last few election cycles.

I'm not upset with how far off I've been. In 2016, yeah, I had Clinton winning just like everybody else, but I showed it a lot closer than anybody else did.

There was only one other person out there that showed a closer race than I did.

And I had them as a guest on this podcast at that point. But, yeah.

Anyway, and RCP. I didn't have RCP on, but RCP beat me. And I guess the person that I had on the podcast was about where I was.

They weren't the ones that beat me with it even closer. It was RCP.

And RCP had a simple average.

RCP wasn't like some complicated model. They just did a simple average.

Again, the whole idea of election graphs was you can do pretty damn well with something simple.

And my straight up categorization view is just that. It's a simple average of the polls.

No fancy anything. And yeah, I have attempted to get fancy a little bit with the probabilistic stuff just because I thought it was a lot of fun.

Anyway, so this segment has had two portions and I have not succeeded in making it quick.

Portion number one is a little bit of a rant that, you know, hey, I got some criticism here.

I, this was like me sort of explaining myself a little bit for that criticism.

And, and again, I'm maybe my method is complete bullshit and I acknowledge that, but I would love to learn and do something else.

But also I, I'm not trying to sort of generate a margin of error based on the polls in my thing.

Instead, it's like, given the way that I calculate averages.

How has that done in the past and how often has it been wrong?

And so again, the natural criticism is past performance is not a predictor of future results and all that kind of stuff. And the second thing is, it's time-based.

It's a, if the election was today, and it is not, and lots and lots will change between now and election day.

Having said that, I would like to see them start changing now, not later.

I would like to see Joe start leading in Wisconsin, Michigan, have a stronger lead in Pennsylvania.

Maybe bring Arizona, Georgia, and North Carolina back into being remotely close instead of just getting shellacked in the polls in all those states over and over and over again.

I would like to see it start moving. There's lots of time left, but I would like to see that happen.

I don't want to be relying on, well, maybe the polls are all wrong.

Maybe they're underestimating the Democrats this time. And maybe there are.

And there's all kinds of reasons to believe that maybe they are.

But I would rather just see him leading in the polls as opposed to being like, well, I don't believe the polls. You know?

Because you know because again it's all about interpreting them too like if you think it you know oh they showed him ahead by three percent therefore he will definitely win you're misinterpreting everything there's all kinds of sources for error there's all kinds of whatever but just yeah i'd like to see that start moving because the other thing i've mentioned over and and over again for the last year plus or around a year, I don't know, is that Biden right now is doing, well, let's put it the other way around.

Trump is doing better than he has either of the last two cycles in these polls.

And I would rather not see that. I would rather see him doing about the same as the last two times or worse than the last two times.

Having him do better than the last two times worries me continuously.

But again, you got things like this New York race and all these abortion referendums and a bunch of other special elections, all of which seem to be, are we underestimating the Democrats this time?

And like I said, if we're underestimating the Democrats by 5%, which is roughly what happened in the New York race, changes the picture entirely.

Okay. With that, I'm closing up. It's, it's already Monday, the 19th UTC, and it's already 9 PM Pacific time and I'm still recording and haven't even started editing yet. So I got to get to that.

I hate, I hate the times when like I'm scrambling to put out the show right before work on Monday morning.

Cause it means usually I've gotten up earlier than I should have, or I'm starting work a little bit later than I should have.

But, and it usually means I don't get enough sleep because i'm working on it until late and then getting up early and yeah i don't want to do all that and i'm gonna do all that because it's already 9 p.m damn it oh well hey the stuff at the end electiongraphs.com no not electiongraphs.com i was just talking about election graphs no curmudgeons-corner.com go there find all the ways to contact us email Mastodon, Facebook.

Look at all our archives. Listen to all our archives. Yeah, go back and listen.

What is the episode today?

This is episode 871 of the show.

So I fully expect you go back and listen to the last 870 shows.

You know, you shouldn't, you know, if you have not listened to every one of them, what are you even doing here?

You know, go back, go on the website, listen to all those episodes or for the last six months or so, seven months since June, I think we've had transcripts.

You can go back and read them too.

They're funny because they're automated transcripts and they get a lot long.

And importantly there's also a link there to our patreon where you can give us cash money to help out the expenses of the show and at various levels we'll send you a postcard we'll mention you on the show we'll send you a mug and at two dollars a month or more or if you ask us without sending any money at all we will invite you to our curmudgeons corner slack where yvonne and i and a bunch of listeners are chatting throughout the week and sharing links and all this kind of stuff and yeah it's it's it's fun you should join us and i am not going to pick something from the last week on the slack or anything like that we'll we'll have yvonne do that next week hopefully he'll be back you know his thing this week he had more unexpected travel and then he was taking his to disney world again over the weekend and so yeah we didn't have that so thanks again to my my wife, Randy for joining us this week. Really appreciate that.

And sorry, we weren't able to structure it so she could stay for the whole show, but instead you got me ranting and boring everybody with election graph stuff, but that's it.

Hey, everybody have a great week and we will see you next week or hear you, or you'll hear us or something.

And hopefully Yvonne will be back.

See you then. Goodbye.

And with that... Good night.

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