“Moderate” Republicans

George W. BushWhen it comes to Republican pundits, I’ll take an extremist over a moderate any day. At least I know what the extremist believes. The moderate is as likely as not to be a Trojan horse. Read the likes of David Brooks or Michael Gerson. If we went by what they claim to believe they would be conservative Democrats. Why be “moderate” Republicans? To begin with, there really is no such thing as a moderate Republican. Look in the dictionary for “moderate Republican” and it says, “See Blue Dog Democrat.” These supposed moderate Republicans are nothing more than extremists who put a “happy face” on conservatism. They are a kind of political apologist—making vile policy sound reasonable.

Jonathan Chait deconstructs both of these pundits today. David Brooks spent his column today asking why we can’t all just get along. His answer: all those extremists on the right and left. He notes that for certain conservatives, the answer to every problem is a tax cut. And for certain liberals, the answer to every problem is a tax increase on the rich. Chait notes that this is not true. Democrats have not been pushing for higher taxes other than up to the Clinton era levels while Republicans have not even been happy with the two Bush tax cuts—they want even more!

Chait didn’t discuss a very slippery part of Brooks’ comparison. I will admit that I personally (and I would never be elected to government office so it hardly matters) would like to see the top federal income tax rate raised to 50%. And I would like to see the Social Security cap eliminated. So it is true that some liberals would like to raise taxes on the rich a bit. But conservatives don’t want to lower taxes in a general sense. Conservatives only care about lowering taxes on the wealthy. They lower other taxes simply to justify this goal. By stating it as Brooks did, he distorts his point from the beginning.

Next up for Chait is Michael Gerson, or as I like to think of him: the bleeding heart neocon. Gerson didn’t invent cognitive dissonance, but he sure as hell perfected it. But don’t get the wrong the idea; he doesn’t need cognitive dissonance; he has such deep wells of untapped denial, he’s considering partnering with Exxon. In his column yesterday, Gerson is disappointed that Paul Ryan has not been clear that his policies wouldn’t hurt the poor. Because they (and by this, I mean moderate and not so moderate Republicans) don’t want to hurt the poor. They care about the poor. When a child goes to bed without dinner, Michael Gerson’s feet bleed.[1]

So Gerson wants to know why Paul Ryan didn’t just come out and say what Gerson knows in his heart: Paul Ryan would never harm the poor! Luckily, Jonathan Chait has an answer:

He wants a specific assurance that Ryan doesn’t plan to roll back government at the expense of the poor and vulnerable? We already have a specific, written assurance that it will come at the expense of the poor and vulnerable. That assurance is called “the Ryan plan.” It details absolutely enormous cuts to programs for the poor. And it’s not like Ryan was backing away from those cuts in his speech. The Ryan poverty speech was about how throwing poor people off their government-funded nutritional assistance and health care would force them off their lazy butts and make them go get a job, plus private charity something something.

I’m sure now that Chait has explained to Gerson, he’ll see the error of his ways: “Right! Right! Jobs and Salvation Army!” I’m sure his feet will have only bled for a moment!

It is really important to be vigilant against these “moderates.” There’s no way a Rush Limbaugh or a Todd Akin will take over the country. But a “moderate” who speaks softly and carries an extremist stick? I’ve got one letter for you: W.


[1] This is a reference to the Jim Carroll Band’s Catholic Boy, “When I enter a church, the feet of statues bleed.” I assume he is thinking something like stigmata, which is certainly what I’m getting at: Gerson suffering like Jesus. Here is the song:

RIP Jim. The one that loved not wisely but too well.

Stick This!

The ProclaimersWhen I was in grad school, I lived with this crazy English brother and sister Straford and Andrea Wild. (This is a different person from American Andrea English who writes Curiously Clever.) Now they are respectable with jobs and spouses, but as I recall, their last name was a good description of them. And they were a band: Both Wild. But it’s hard to say more because I was drunk most of that time.

One thing I do remember is that they introduced me to a lot of music from over in Once Merry Ol’ England and environs. And one of the songs (that it turns out was a huge hit anyway) was The Proclaimers’ I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles). Normally, I like this song. It is particularly good for making up new lyrics: “When I get drunk / Well you know I’m gonna be / I’m gonna be the man who’s passing out with you.”

But for the past two days, I have had this little ditty stuck in my head. And so for that I will “proclaim” that the Wilds can take all their kingdom’s music and sod off. Barring that, perhaps I can get the song stuck in their heads. Or yours:

La la la la! La la la la!

Cleopatra Jones

Cleopatra JonesI finally got to see that 1973 cult favorite Cleopatra Jones starring Tamara Dobson. It is one of the silliest films I’ve ever seen. It tells the story of Cleo Jones, a secret government agent, who is apparently out to win the Drug War single-handedly. The film starts with her ordering the destruction of $30 million of poppies. The owner of these poppies, drug kingpin Mommy (played with John Waters’ style vigor by Shelley Winters), is determined to take Jones out. So she manages to get Jones’ boyfriend’s rehab shelter shut down in order to tempt Jones back home. Once there, Jones combats repeated attempts by Mommy’s subordinates to kill her. The film climaxes in a karate fight between Jones and Mommy. That’s right: Shelley Winters tries to kick Cleo Jones’ ass. I don’t want to ruin the end because it is very not surprising.

Cleopatra Jones does not take itself very seriously. At least, I hope it doesn’t. The film is filled with understated lines like, “It’s been real heavy around here.” But even if these lines were meant to be serious at the time, now they are charming. “No matter how many times I see a cat go through withdrawals, it’s always a heavy trip. That cat’s 15 years old, Cleo.” I don’t know about you, but I can dig it. It’s solid.

All the scenes with Mother were certainly meant to be funny. Why would Shelley Winters be cast? She’s naturally funny. And the character is over the top. She is forever abusing her young subordinates—except one. She has a young woman who seems only to be there to serve her drinks and put up with being pinched in the ass, because Mother is as much a lesbian as possible in a 1973 movie. In this way, the film is pretty open minded.

According the Wikipedia, Cleopatra Jones is a blaxploitation film. I don’t think this is exactly true. It is certainly no Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song. It is more the co-opting of the form. It is directed by the very white Jack “Gabby Johnson” Starrett. Most of the crew is white. It was funded by Warner Brothers. And it goes out of its way to show “good” white characters. I don’t mean all of this as an insult however. The film is definitely steeped in the black pride and feminist movements. Even the choice to make the drug kingpin an over-sexed lesbian has to be applauded. And what I especially appreciate is that the black community is very much defined in terms of Malcolm X’s vision. They are solving their own problems despite the inept and hostile meddling of the white culture.

As pure entertainment, Cleopatra Jones works. This is especially true if you like this genre of film and this period of American history. There is something extremely positive about its outlook. It really does portray a time when people were optimistic—when it looked like the future would go in the right direction. Today, it is hard to find that kind of thing.

Fed Swings Elections for Republicans

Republican Ben BernankeThis is totally not surprising. Two researchers at the University of Michigan have looked at what the Fed does regarding interest rates when a Republican is the incumbent versus when a Democrat is. As we all know, if the economy is doing better coming into an election, the President is far more likely to be reelected. Also his party is more likely to win an open seat. The Fed can affect this by raising rates (thus slowing the economy) or lowering rates (thus quickening the economy).

It turns out that the Fed is not as likely to do this when it will help Democrats. This shouldn’t be surprising. Our current Fed Chairman is a Republican. So was the the one before that. It tends to be a post filled by people from the finance industry and they don’t tend to be liberal.

William Roberts Clark and Vincent Arel-Bundock say in the abstract of their paper soon to appear in Economics and Politics, Independent But Not Indifferent: Partisan Bias in Monitory Policy at the Fed (PDF):

We show evidence from the United States that interest rates (a) decline as elections approach when Republicans control the White House, but rise when Democrats do; and (b) are sensitive to the inflation rate (output gap) when Democrats (Republicans) are in the White House. Thus, the Federal Reserve is a conditional inflation hawk. Since the Fed became operationally independent in 1951, the Republicans have exhibited a decided electoral advantage in presidential politics.

This should be an outrage. It should be on the front page of all the newspapers. There should be Congressional hearings. People should be marching in the streets. But instead, this paper will cause not a ripple. All that will be heard is the sound of silence.

Afterword

Note that many people—most notably Paul Krugman—have been complaining that Bernanke has not done enough to help the economy and that he has not done what he had for years written should be done in this situation. Occasionally, people would gently suggest that it might be partisan—he might be in the tank for Romney. But no one took that seriously. Only a kook could think that the Fed Chairman would act in such a partisan manner! Maybe the kooks were the ones who thought Ben and Alan could check their Republican sympathies while doing their “non-partisan” jobs.

Thanks to Binyamin Appelbaum for alerting me to this.

Update (25 October 2012 7:41 pm)

Matt Yglesias sends us to the cream of Jesse Eisenger’s article about Freddie Mac. It seems it isn’t just Republicans at the Fed who want to keep the economy weak to help their partisan friends get elected:

In closed door meetings, two Republican-leaning board members and at least one executive resisted a mass refi policy for an additional reason, according to the interviews: They regarded it as a backdoor economic stimulus.

Look: I know I’m a partisan (although one who calls out the President when he’s wrong). But I truly don’t think that Democrats would do this. It isn’t our style. The repugnant push to destroy the economy (and countless lives as a result) in the name of political advantage is the Republican and only the Republicans. (I’m talking about normal people here and not some pathological case.) This disgusts me.

Update (26 October 2012 8:39 pm)

William Roberts Clark provides a good overview of his paper over at The Monkey Cage. Check it out.

Republicans Gaming Intrade

How to Steal an ElectionIn Blinded By the Right, David Brock talks about conservative operatives buying huge numbers of conservative books in New York City. They did this (and presumably still do), in order to game the New York Times Best Seller List. If a book makes this list, the author will be invited on talk shows and the (mostly vile) ideas in the book will get more attention. Well, it appears the conservatives are doing this with polling data.

Other than Nate Silver’s Five Thirty Eight predictions, no polling data source gets more attention than Intrade, the political betting market. Last night, Silver wrote that Intrade’s prediction for Mitt Romney was way out of line with not only models like his, but with other political betting markets. In general, Silver’s model has given Obama a chance of winning in the high sixties.[1] Markets other than Intrade put the number in the mid-sixties. Intrade is predicting a 55% change of an Obama win.

Silver suggests that people may be trying to game the system, although like a good statistics nerd, he is very careful not to make any concrete claims. This idea is bolstered by an $18,000 purchase of Romney stock Tuesday morning. This single purchase caused Romney’s Intrade predicted chance of winning to rise from 41% to 49%.

As Silver says, there is no way to know what is behind this $18,000 bet. But we do know a few things. First, if the bettor had real information that indicates Romney is more likely to win than the models predict, he could have made far more money investing in regular stocks (e.g. coal). Second, the return on a Romney bet would have been substantially more if he had placed his wager on one of the other betting markets where Romney was going for 10 percentage points less. To me, this says that the bettor was either an idiot or a political operative.

Combine all of this information with what we know about how conservatives approach winning elections. It isn’t just gaming the Best Seller List. Republicans have a long and disgusting history of political dirty tricks. Think about it: would a party that suppresses votes in legal and illegal ways really shy away from this kind of behavior? Of course not. I think there is almost no question that Republican operatives are gaming Intrade.

Up to now, this kind of thing has worked pretty well for them. The mainstream media are reporting that Romney has “momentum”—a term that has no meaning in this context. (Nor is Romney surging in the polls, which I guess is what they mean to imply.) And all of this is coming from the Romney campaign claiming that they are, like Charlie Sheen, “Winning!” They are even claiming that they will win Nevada. So what is a poor reporter to do when he wants to back up this narrative? He can’t look at the polls: they’re a mess. He can’t look at the models: they all show Obama winning handily. But Intrade? The only betting market they know about? It supports the narrative!

The fact that the Romney campaign’s claims and the Intrade betting[2] all come from the same guys reminds me of the lead up to the Iraq War. Cheney tells the New York Times that Iraq was WMDs. The New York Times reports it. Cheney goes on TV and quotes the New York Times. Luckily elections are a little more fact based than justifications for war. A little more.


[1] Silver notes that other models like his predict a substantially higher likelihood of an Obama win. So if anything, Silver’s model is tilted toward Romney.

[2] The Intrade prediction was way off before the $18,000 bet, so I suspect that Romney supports have been gaming it for a while.

Update (25 October 2012 9:31 am)

All good nerds think alike. Ezra Klein on the “momentum” question:

The past week has seen a bit of a media meme that Romney has some hard-to-quantify thing called “momentum,” but it’s difficult to find it in the polls, which have been stable since then… My view, as explained here, is that the momentum narrative is essentially a conspiracy between the two campaigns, as the Romney campaign sees a margin in making their voters more confident and the Obama campaign sees a margin in making their voters more anxious.

Update (25 October 2012 12:25 pm)

I hope it is obvious why I’m focusing on electoral “momentum.” If not: it is this meme that the Romney campaign is pushing because they are hoping for a bandwagon effect. Here is Jonathan Bernstein on The ‘Momentum’ Myth:

The real question isn’t so much whether Romney—or Obama—has “momentum,” but whether there is any such animal when it comes to presidential elections. For the most part, it’s just a term campaigns use to excite their partisans and to fool gullible reporters into writing stories that create the illusion of momentum that never existed in the first place.

Update (25 October 2012 7:27 pm)

As you can see in the comment below from Intrade Exchange Operations Manager, Carl Wolfenden, the $18,000 bet was allegedly not from a single trader. (It’s not that I doubt him, but the truth is that I don’t know.) He claims it was a statistical fluke that happened when 40 different traders all bet on Romney when there were very few bets on Obama.

My thinking on this is that it doesn’t matter to the case that I’m making here. Intrade still needs to explain why it is that their market is so much more bullish on Romney than other markets. What’s more, those 40 traders could have been working together. It hardly matters: that spike in Romney’s numbers lasted a short period of time. But in the end, his numbers settled back to the usual unreasonable place. Frankly, if Republicans were trying to game Intrade, they wouldn’t do it at one time; they would do it constantly. I never meant to suggest anything else. I always figured the $18,000 trade was just part of a wider effort. How else could Romney’s chance of winning been 41% before the bet?

The Legitimate Rape Song

This is an ode to Todd Akin called, Sex Education in Missouri. It is posted via a YouTube Account LiberalRhythms. Otherwise, I don’t know anything about it except that it came via Digby. It’s a good song. What I’m most taken with is how it sets the stage so that people who aren’t up on the news (Although I’m not sure how anyone could have missed this one!) can still get the joke. “Oh, legitimate… Yes, yes, legitimate… Legitimate! Legitimate rape!”

Spiritual vs. Religious

Here is a very good cartoon by Atheist Experience contributor Tracie Harris:

Spiritual vs Religious

But I don’t accept the point of this. Yes, I find foo-foo spiritualists as annoying as the next guy. But I do understand the difference between “spiritual” and “religious.” And I dare say so does Tracie Harris.

What they mean is that they have airy ideas about other worldly phenomenon, but they don’t follow a religious dogma. And for that, I think we should encourage them. In fact, I think they are generally very open to hearing about new things. Generally, they are a hell of lot more interesting to talk to than are most religious people.

Of course, I would recommend that they read Robert Price’s excellent Top Secret: The Truth Behind Today’s Pop Mysticisms. But I’ve found such people to be interested in learning more. This doesn’t, however, mean that they are likely to ever give up their airy ideas.

I am perhaps particularly sympathetic to these people’s concern about the words “spiritual” and “religious.” Most people consider me an atheist, but I think of myself as a spiritual seeker. True: my spiritual quest is mostly centered on culture and community. But there are Very Big Ideas involved in this question, especially what Denys Turner calls the only real spiritual question, “Why does the universe exist?”

I’m all for slapping religious and spiritual people when they’re being evil. But when they are just being stupid, perhaps we should be a bit more understanding. And I mean that in every sense.

Afterword

Tracie Harris is a very good cartoonist. Check out her other work!

In Search of… God

God - MichelangeloFor a while I was discussing the nature of God with an old friend who had since become a Christian. This is always a dangerous thing to do. I am very interested in spiritual matters, but I am actively hostile to religious dogma. Nonetheless, I tried to find common ground by introducing the idea of negative theology, something I find compelling and useful.

Negative theology is the belief that we can only say what God is not—never what he is. It is very useful for dispensing with the most primitive—and the most commonly held—ideas that God is some thing. The stereotype is a man with a white beard which Beckett has so much fun with in Waiting for Godot.

My friend dismissed negative theology as something that he had abandoned. He derisively referred to it as “easy.” Contrast this reaction to negative theology with his answer to some of the following most difficult questions regarding Christianity:

  • Why does God allow suffering of the righteous?
  • Why did God not care about those born more than 2000 years ago?
  • Why did God send his son to a backwater where word would travel slowly?
  • Why does God hate the children of Buddhists and other religious followers?

To these kinds of questions, my friend responded, “I long ago gave up trying to figure out God”! So negative theology is easy, but throwing up your hands and proclaiming God’s inscrutability is tough minded? This gets to the heart of my problem with all religions: they don’t start questions about God, they end them.

I think that the teachings of every religion can be useful in a spiritual quest. But once you accept that a particular dogma is right, you stop being a seeker and become an apologist.

I’m not suggesting an à la carte approach to spirituality: a little reincarnation here, a little redemption there. For one thing, I think these ideas are barren. The main thing is that these religions can help in the journey to understanding. But they are not the destination.

So I think that one can self-identify as a Christian.[1] He can use the Bible as a primary source. But the moment he starts reading the Bible like a Gypsy reads tea leaves? The moment he thinks he has found the key to God’s love? The moment he gives up on understanding God? He is lost in a world of fake certainty.


[1] Take for example Anglican priest Don Cupitt (from an interview in Philosophy Bites):

We invented all the theory [of God]. We gradually built up our own picture of the world, and we have also gradually evolved our own religion and our own values. I would say Christian theology was just about right for the historic period between about the first and the seventeenth centuries, during which it flourished. But gradually, as the world has changed in modern times, we have become more aware of our own world-building activity and we have begun to see that we have got to move on. We can’t stick for ever with a late medieval world-view.

Bill Maher and False Equivalence

Goldie TaylorLast week Bill Maher pitched in to help out with the false equivalency nonsense coming from the mainstream media and the right.

Ever since the last debate, the Romney campaign has been pretending that it is winning in order to convince the chattering class. The Obama campaign is too. The problem is that a lot of idiots in the mainstream media are believing the Romney campaign. Jonathan Chait called this early on, Romney Says He’s Winning—It’s a Bluff.

The column includes a quotation from one of Romney’s closest aides, “We’re going to win… Seriously, 305 electoral votes.” This is a very interesting claim, because it is almost impossible. According to Nate Silver, there is perhaps a 5% chance that Romney would get that many or more electoral votes.

Last week on Real Time with Bill Maher, Goldie Taylor was the only liberal on the panel. She predicted that Obama would win with 330 electoral votes. The conservatives laughed at her—that’s no surprise. But Maher too dismissed her claim, even going so far as to say it was an indication of the “liberal media bubble.” But Maher is completely wrong.

While it is almost impossible for Romney to get as many as 300 electoral votes, the situation is much better for Obama. The three most likely electoral vote counts for Obama are 335, 305, and 345 with 13.5%, 9.0%, and 7.5% likelihoods. So Taylor is very likely wrong that Obama will get that many votes, but she isn’t crazy, stupid, or ignorant. She is making a good guess. There is a greater than 21% chance that Obama will get 330 or more votes.

I expect false equivalence from the mainstream media. I expect it from conservatives. But Bill Maher is supposed to be the thoughtful guy who gets past all the bullshit. And he often is that guy. But last week, he was just helping to smear the bullshit around.

Update (24 October 2012 11:41 pm)

Since this article is getting a little traction, I want to be clear on the numbers: they are all rough. I did my best to read Nate Silver’s graph. The vote totals could be up to 3 votes off either way. So when I reported 335, it could have been anything from 332 to 338. The percentages are good to the nearest half a percentage point. None of these errors take anything away from the argument I’m making. Goldie Taylor was making a very reasonable vote total prediction. Note that she didn’t say anything about the popular vote. That will likely be close. But that doesn’t matter—as we learned in the most painful way in 2000.

Obama’s “Grand Bargain” Idiocy

Obama NopeMost of my liberal friends get mad about how much I complain about Obama. I understand this. Obama is a damn good President by historical standards (which doesn’t say much) and he is infinitely better than what the Republicans have on offer. Yet I can’t shake the idea that Obama doesn’t much believe in liberal principals. What’s more: I think he doesn’t really care about me and everyone else who doesn’t have $8 million in assets.

Digby has written about a recent interview of Obama by the Des Moines Register. In it, Obama is again talking glowingly about a “grand bargain” where the Democrats give up $2.50 in spending for every $1.00 that the Republicans allow in raised taxes. There are so many things wrong about this, I want to scream. Now I’m think that I would not vote for Obama even if I lived in a swing state.

There are two fundamental problems with this “grand bargain”: the bargain itself and future legislation. On its merits, this is a terrible deal. The people in the upper class (the top 20%) get 54% of all the income in the United States. (The top 1% get 21%!) So this “bargain” makes the rich pay for 29% while the poor and middle class pay 71%. What a fair bargain! Way to go, Mr. President!

The other problem—which is arguably even worse—is that it will be pretty easy for Congress to cut taxes at a later time. They’ve done this a lot and there is no reason to believe that they will not continue. But the lost Social Security benefits? The lost Medicare benefits? These will be gone for good. So even if this “grand bargain” were equitable now—at it’s not—it would be inequitable soon enough and forever more.

Fortunately, Matthew Yglesias points out something important: liberals are not going to continue to take this shit. The President and his allies think that all they have to do is make a deal with the Republicans and the Democrats will fall in line. However, the political calculus has changed:

But the closer we get to the actual fiscal cliff the less sense it makes as a genuine bargain for people who think Social Security and Medicare cuts are bad on the merits. That’s why you see things like AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka loudly hopping off the grand bargain bandwagon. It’s not clear to me how much this substantively matters. The left-wing of the Democratic caucus rarely gets its way on anything. But the political system has an enormous inaction bias built into it, and objectively speaking the incentive for liberal wing of the Democrats to sign on to a grand bargain is vanishing fast.

Indeed. Liberals have to ask themselves, “Do I really want to gut two of the greatest accomplishments of modern liberalism just for the sake of Obama’s legacy?” Because that’s what it comes down to. Debt is not killing us. Someday we will have to get it in line. But not today. Not in the middle of a depression. Not on the back of our social safety net. No way, Mr. President!

Update 24 October 2012 (1:28 pm)

The Des Moines Register article filled a whole segment on Martin Bashir. Were they talking about this issue? Of course not! No Serious Journalist cares about these matters. Why would they? They’re in the upper class.

Third Party Debate

ObamaFree & Equal put on the 3rd Party Presidential Debate, which was broadcast by NBC. Just kidding. It was Al Jazeera English, of course. When you need real news, you really need to go outside the country.

There were four candidates debating: Jill Stein (Green Party), Gary Johnson (Libertarian Party), Virgil Goode (Constitution Party), and Rocky Anderson (Justice Party). Two of them were good, reasonable candidates. And two were total fucktards.

There is not that much that separates Jill Stein and Rocky Anderson on the issues. Anderson seems a bit more restrained than Stein. This goes with his actual experience as Major of Salt Lake City. But there is something really compelling about Stein; she seems on the edge of cracking—such is how palpable her passion is. I would gladly vote for either of these candidates.

It wouldn’t be a debate if there wasn’t a fucktard or two. Virgil Goode is your typical conservative 3rd party candidate: running because the Republicans just aren’t bellicose and racist enough. Gary Johnson is a typical libertarian freak. It is the same old thing: big government baaad, big corporations goood!

When asked what constitutional amendment they would most like to see, both Goode and Johnson said term limits. I could hardly believe that! Term limits!? Jill Stein hit back on this idiocy in a big way. She noted that limiting terms wouldn’t keep corporations from simply controlling a long string of politicians. The fact that this came as a surprise to Goode and Johnson shows that these guys (and people on the right generally) are just not that serious.

Then came the closing arguments. Virgil Goode made a little sense by back tracking on his term limit claim. Gary Johnson noted that he was an entrepreneur; get that man a government to run! He had a fiery summation: “Vote for me, I’m pre-corporate owned!” Jill Stein is a weak speaker, but she was passionate about all the right things. I really like her. Rocky Anderson looks uncannily like Tom Poston. He was really great—the best politician on the stage.

As I’ve noted before, I won’t vote for Obama because I told him I wouldn’t and I don’t live in a swing state. However, you’d have to be crazy not to vote for Obama if you lived anywhere that was contested. I certainly would vote for the President if my vote counted. But as it is, I would gladly vote for either Rocky Anderson or Jill Stein. Unfortunately, Anderson isn’t running in my state. So I’ll be pleased to vote for Jill Stein.