As we head into Election Day, I call your attention to Rogue's Campaign 2012 one-stop shop with some of the best articles on the presidential race. It's tempting to say this is the most consequential election of recent years, but so was 2000, 2004 and 2008. I'll check in as I can, semi-live-blogging, while also trying to finish up a novel.
I leave the comments fields to you.
UPDATE 10:30 a.m. 11/5: My Seattle Times blog post on businessmen as presidents. The record isn't what you might think.
11 a.m. 11/5: The Kookocracy is busy with election stealing in Arizona, with Flake robocalls telling Democrats to vote at the wrong polling locations. Meanwhile, a right-wing Arizona group sent $11 million in secretive "dark money" to meddle in California politics. It's a creepy story.
9:30 a.m. 11/6: Atlas Shrugged vs. the Fire Next Time.
Read on for more. I'll be live-blogging starting at 6 p.m. Pacific Time
Voters could settle for what they knew and sort of liked but were not crazy about –- President Obama –- or they could take a gamble on what was behind the curtain without having the faintest idea whether it was a trip to the Bahamas or a dog bowl.
What did we end up knowing about Romney? Arguably much less than we knew a few years ago. There is probably something gamey if not illegal in his tax returns of yore -- but nuts to you, the voter, if you wanted to know what that history was.
He just flat out wasn’t going to tell you. Ditto for his records as governor as Massachusetts, most of which he had wiped clean from the hard drives of the computers his staff used in Boston.
Update from the Daily Beast on the difficulties many are having casting a vote.
6 p.m.: Jim Kunstler succinctly dispatches wealthy Republican Willard Milton "Mitt" Romney and the white suburban mob of his reality-denying supporters:
Which gets to the larger issue of what the "drill drill drill" mantra really means: namely, that Mitt Romney has no idea where history is taking us. The public may be very nervous about how they will pay for gasoline needed to live in the suburban matrix, but the reality of the situation is that the suburban matrix is the problem and doing everything and anything we can to prop it up is going to destroy the nation. Mr. Romney is oblivious to this reality and so you can be sure that his mysterious "plan" for leadership is an empty promise. A reality-based plan, for instance, would be the rapid rebuilding and electrification of the regular railroad system, both as an economic development measure and a national security issue, along with the spirited promotion of walkable neighborhoods and the rebuilding of our small towns and small cities. But Mitt is "a car man," as he likes to say.
6:05 p.m.: Ironic to see the Great Plains and most of the Intermountain West states so solidly red. It's the New Confederacy. The irony: All these are net taker states on federal taxes vs. revenues. They heavily depend on farm subsidies and other welfare. They are the 47 percent.
6:10 p.m.: NBC states the obvious: Republicans retain the House of Representatives. So will anything change if Obama wins? We will see a Tea Party bloc committed to Mr. Obama's destruction, even if it means taking the country down with it as it did on the debt ceiling standoff. If Romney wins, all bets are off. Biggest takeaway: The Democratic Party does not have game below the national ticket.
If Obama wins Hamilton County (Cincinnati), Ohio is his.
6:17 p.m.: National pundits saying if Carmona wins in Arizona, it will be because of Hispanic vote. If so, the seat is lost. Hispanic turnout won't make it. Flake only loses if enough voters see him as the nut he is, and how he will continue to starve Arizona of federal dollars for research and infrastructure.
6:22 p.m.: Amazing that Pat McCrory wins North Carolina governor's race. I lived in Charlotte when he was the mayor. Nice man; mediocrity in a weak-mayor system. He accomplished nothing. The big-business leaders did it all. He saluted and did as he was told. And the economy was booming. How much has this onetime moderate sold his soul to the Tea Party and white supremacists.
6:32 p.m.: Why is the presidential election close? You tell me. I say: Race and big, Citizens United money.
6:39 p.m.: Check out Nate Silver's live blog.
6:45 p.m.: Elizabeth Warren's win in Massachusetts is big. She's a true progressive, unlikely to be absorbed into the Potomac borg. Meanwhile, Donnelly in Indiana defeats the Tea Party's Mourdock (God wants you to be raped). Mourdock sounds like a dark tower in Lord of the Rings. Glad you did in Dick Lugar, morons?
6:50: Here's what you need to know about Colorado: There's Denver and everybody else. Denver is progressive and Democratic. Down in the Springs is one of the biggest centers of right-wing extremism in America. So Colorado comes down to the Denver suburbs and the sprawl between Denver and Colorado Springs. Lots of white right. Too close to call, indeed.
6:51 p.m.: How long has it been since the presidential and vice presidential nominees didn't carry their home states? Admittedly, Romney is from the state of money, but still...
7 p.m.: Sadly, the only thing you need to know about "Nickle-Bag Joe" Arpaio is white supremacy. He would have fit into the Jim Crow South perfectly, only his target is the "Mescans." And he has the white-right apartheid suburbs with him, especially the old whites and the Mormons.
7:14 p.m.: Interesting that, unlike 2010, some whackos are losing tonight, including Mourdock, Akin, maybe Walsh. Could Flake follow? My gut tells me, no. The East Valley votes are sitting out there, ready to save the day. Meanwhile, Tea Party whacko Cruz wins. A mixed bag.
7:23 p.m.: It's 10:23 in Florida and people are still in line. Chad? Are you there?
7:34 p.m.: Gee, big surprise, Arizona is called for Romney. It was sadly amusing to see the national pundits talk about Arizona being in play because of the Hispanic vote. It's not there. It could be, but there's no movement, particularly a union movement that changed politics in California. The LDS votes. End of story. Arizona is solidly in the New Confederacy.
8:03 p.m.: It ain't over, but so much for Romney's attempt to play Ronald Reagan to Obama's Jimmy Carter.
8:10 p.m.: Sen. Claire McCaskill utters the three suicide words for Democrats: "Across the aisle."
8:14 p.m.: News orgs calling the election for Obama, winning Ohio.
8:18 p.m.: At least we don't have to find out the hard way who Mitt Romney really is.
8:45 p.m.: Interesting that Team Romney is not conceding Ohio. Hang on.
8:48 p.m.: NBC calls Arizona for Flake. Such a shame. Says much about the dysfunction in the state. Flake will make Kyl look like Pericles.
WRAPPING UP: At 9:25 p.m., Romney has still not called President Obama. But I think you can stick a fork in it unless they find a way to give this election to the Roberts Supreme Court. I don't think defeat will cause Republicans to take stock and move back to the center. They will become more extreme. They will ramp up their questioning of Mr. Obama's legitimacy. The "cold civil war" in this country is not over.
Obama ran a so-so campaign, but the auto bailout helped, as did the extremism of the right, whatever the Etch-a-Sketch of the nominee. Romney tried to make this a referendum on the incumbent and lost. Failing to turn the House red is a big problem, as are Republican gains at statehouses.
Arizona is just sad: Apraio and Flake. Gag. Such a tragedy: Retrograde, reactionary, intolerant — not the climate that will attract much young talent. A mindset that will continue to hold back the state. It's instructive to compare with Colorado, another Intermountain West state, with a big conservative cohort. But Denver and some progressive suburbs gave the state to Obama. Democrats also took back the state House. No wonder metro Denver leaves Phoenix in the dust competitively.
P.S., AP just called Virginia for Obama.
P.P.S, CBS reports that Romney has called Obama to concede. Fingers and toes. Or will he do an LBO of the United States?