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Just a quick note regarding the whole Popular Vote / Electoral Vote brouhaha in light of Donald Trump ending up as President in spite of Hillary Clinton receiving over 2 million more votes nationally.

As of this writing, Hillary Clinton's national popular vote tally stands at exactly 64,478,925 to Donald Trump's 62,352,480, with an additional 7,169,272 people having voted for other candidates (Gary Johnson, Jill Stein, various other 3rd party candidates and a smattering of write-in votes). That means Clinton is ahead of Trump by over 2.1 million votes, and I understand there's still up to 1.5 million more left to count, mostly in California. By the time the dust settles, it's conceivable that she could lose the electoral college--and therefore the Presidency--while having beaten Trump by as many as 2.6 million votes.

UPDATE 12/16/16: OK, here's the latest numbers: 

  • Hillary Clinton: 65,844,594 (48.2%)
  • Donald Trump: 62,979,616 (46.1%)
  • Others: 7,804,203 (5.7%)

Yes, Hillary Clinton now has a popular vote lead of 2,864,978 votes nationally.

And her final losing margin in the 3 closest states which caused her to lose anyway?

  • Michigan: 10,704
  • Wisconsin: 22,748
  • Pennsylvania: 44,292
  • Total: 77,744 votes across 3 states

OK, that's reality. But what if you took this further?

Here's a list of states ranked by the number of Electoral Votes each has. As you can see, the first 11 states add up to exactly 270 electoral votes...enough to just barely win a majority of the Electoral College (538 total).

Remember, they would only have to win each of those states by as little as 1, if we used 2016's turnout as an example (just over 135.2 million votes cast total), that would mean Candidate X could have received as few as 37 million votes across those 11 states (just over 50% in each of them) while their opponent received the other 49.9% in those 11, plus 100% of the vote in each of the other 39 states + DC (98.2 million total) and still have won the electoral college.

Yup, under our current system, Candidate Y could potentially receive as much as 73% of the vote and still lose the Presidency.

But wait, it gets even worse. Let's ramp up the theoretical even further.

*Yes, I'm Jewish, but Die Hard is the greatest Christmas movie ever, so what the hell.

UPDATE 12/24/17: Another year has passed. Carrie Fisher has also died, along with Prince. Donald Trump is officially President of the United States and everything has turned to crap. And yet...the Affordable Care Act somehow managed to (mostly) survive the year (except for CSR reimbursement payments--which we've managed to turn into a net bonus thanks to a clever workaround whipped up by a combination of regulators, carriers and the exchanges--and the individual mandate, the fallout of which won't be fully apparent until around October 2018).

Everyone is posting various tributes to the late, great David Bowie today. Most will likely relate to Major Tom, Ziggy Stardust or Under Pressure.

For my part, I'm posting something a little different. Instead of anything from his music career, here's the clip of Bowie's brief but oddly appropriately-cast role as Pontius Pilate opposite Willem DaFoe in Martin Scorcese's "The Last Temptation of Christ".

I finally found time to take my wife and son to see "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" over the weekend. It wasn't perfect, of course, but it was still amazingly good; easily better than the Godawful Prequels, and somewhat better than Return of the Jedi. I'd call it on par with the original (nothing can match Empire Strikes Back, of course).

Anyway, I've seen lamentations from a few people who are under the impression that they're "the only one" who hasn't seen it yet. However, aside from the simple fact that more than one person stating this means, by definition, that they're not the only one, perhaps this will make those folks feel better:

I've watched the original Star Wars trilogy countless times, but ever since my kid was born, every time I watch something catches my eye which I never noticed (or noticed but didn't think about) before.

So, my 9-year old and I are watching "Return of the Jedi" again today (in anticipation of The Force Awakens, of course). In an early scene in Jabba's palace, Princess Leia is sneaking around at night, in the dark, trying to remain undetected so she can free Han Solo from the Carbonite, right? So what does she immediately do?

She bumps head first into a large wind chime which is inexplicably hanging in the stairwell.

(I was originally going for Albert Brooks' famous quitting scene from "Lost in America"...unfortunately the audio cuts out after the first 30 seconds...)