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This Is Kind of Fun

My sons came home from school today wanting to play an online 'Win the White House' game they learned about and played at school. A bit worn out from covering the real thing, I first kind of begged off. But my sons are highly persistent - especially one of them who shall remain unnamed. So I finally agreed. And you know what? It was pretty fun.

It was fun playing with them of course. But it was even enjoyable and a bit challenging in its own right. It's pretty straightforward. You have a national electoral map. You can fundraise, poll, run media and make appearances. And it's basically a matter of a matter of figuring out where to focus your resources based on the best opportunities to pick up or not lose electoral votes. In other words, something like the real thing. Along the way, you have to identify campaign messages tied to specific issues. That's most of the educational aspect - understanding basic formulations and positions on high profile policy issues - taxes, gun, environment, energy, spending, etc. Pretty basic if you're an adult politics junkie. But definitely educational for a kid and some non-kids. Anyway, if you have children of almost any edge (you can play at different educational difficulty levels) you might want to give it a spin. And if you don't have kids, frankly, I found it pretty fun anyway. Here's the link.

My New Podcast: Episode #7

Concerned about voter suppression? Bands of feral Trumpers descending areas with large populations of black or Hispanic voters to harass and vet voters? Me too. So in Episode #7 of the Josh Marshall show I talked to my favorite election law expert, Professor Rick Hasen. Rick isn't just an election law experts he's one of the most knowledgable and vocal experts on bogus claims of 'vote fraud' and voters suppression. We talk about all these issues, incredibly pressing in the lead up to election day, in Episode #7 of the Josh Marshall Show.

Bye, Chris

Bridget Kelly, former deputy chief of staff to Gov. Chris Christie now on trial for her role in Bridgegate, says yes Christie knew all about the scheme.

Remember, Christie got the State of New Jersey to spend millions of dollars on an investigation, run by his own lawyer, which exonerated him.

What Is Russia Trying to Achieve?

Yesterday I was looking back through the progression of events with the at-first-suspected and now confirmed (according to the US government, at least) Russian meddling in the 2016 US election. It starts in June with a report that a private security firm (Crowdstrike) had concluded that a hack of the Democratic National Committee's email servers had emerged out of Russia. (Go back and you'll see an early theory was that they were stealing anti-Trump oppo with the intention of giving it to Trump.) It escalated in July with the first Wikileaks release of hacked DNC emails. And it's gone on from there, with more releases of emails, an increasingly Trump-aligned Wikileaks and less and less active denials from Russia that its security services are behind the leaks.

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The Obvious and the NFL

There's a story flying around the web claiming that either one of the main reasons or the main reason for sharply lower NFL ratings this year is because of opposition to protests by Colin Kaepernick and others. The numbers go back to a Yahoo/YouGov poll which found that 29% of self-identified NFL fans were watching few games this year. The reasons they gave were 1) time watching the election (17%), lost interest (28%), lack of opportunity (31%), Kaepernick protest (40%).

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Great Piece

Great piece oh how Trump's final meltdown may foil the GOP's efforts to get out of decades old restrictions tied to attempts to intimidate and suppression African-American voting over 30 years ago. Check it out.

This Could Be Interesting

A lot of Democrats would prefer someone younger and a bit more progressive than Judge Merrick Garland on the Supreme Court. If Hillary Clinton is elected President and she has a Senate majority, I suspect they'll get that. Now Sen. Jeff Flake says he's encouraging his colleagues to confirm Garland in the lame duck session of Congress if Clinton is elected. That could set up a very paradoxical situation in which Senate Republicans are suddenly Garland's gung-ho-est supporters.