Till Tuesday

I am anxiously counting down the hours until tomorrow.

During a drive to Astoria on Saturday to pick up some things, Damir and I we were taking about the election. All of a sudden I got emotional thinking that someday we will talk to our grandchildren about the events about to happen this week; hopefully we will speak of these events with pride and gratitude rather than fear, sadness or anger. Hopefully.

I remember voting for the first time, in the Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Hall by the University of Pittsburgh campus in 1992. I was a very green freshman and felt very grown up as I cast my first presidential ballot for Clinton.

In 1996 I voted Clinton again, as well in the Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Hall. I was about to leave on Semester at Sea, and was excited about all the opportunity that was on my doorstep.

By 2000, Gore vs. Bush, I lived in Amsterdam. I remember filling out the absentee ballot, but don’t remember if I mailed it or not. I had a distinct feeling that my ballot didn’t count unless there was a tie. So I didn’t think too much of it at the time. Silly me. That election night I found myself in Brugge with 2 Republicans: my friend Guy from college, and his friend Johnny. We stayed up nearly all night watching the results. The next morning, as I rode the train back to Amsterdam, sleepy and desperate for news, I couldn’t believe my eyes when Ashbloem texted me that there was no decision didn’t look like there would be one for a long time.

In 2004 I cast a heavy ballot for Kerry. Anything was better than Bush. I would have preferred his wife to have been the candidate, she was far more interesting. I sat at the EF Bar, Lingo, until late watching the miserable results, unbelieving that I could call myself a countryman(woman) of so many people who thought so differently than me.

And now, here we are in 2008. It seems Bush’s reign has been a bleak eternity. I will be devastated if McCain wins, but still glad to see Bush go no matter what. I will be voting at the little firehouse about a half a block from my house. Sadly Damir can’t vote, being a green card holder rather than a citizen, but he will be coming with me for the experience and photo op.

Breaking news: just saw on CNN that Obama’s grandmother died today. Heartbreaking.

Really?

When I first saw this image today I thought someone got creative with the Photoshop. NO WAY could this photo be real. What is McCain doing? It looks like he’s going in for a little grab-ass. Or like he just took some expired Nyquil (which would have possibly explained the strangely excessive blinking too).

But, it’s real. I pulled it from Reuters myself.

They explain the moment as such:

Republican presidential nominee Senator John McCain reacts to almost heading the wrong way off the stage after shaking hands with Democratic presidential nominee Senator Barack Obama at the conclusion of the final presidential debate at Hofstra University in Hempstead, October 15, 2008. REUTERS/Jim Bourg

OK….still, he’s an odd little duck.

Politics of Fear

On the train tonight I was happily surfing away on my blackberry, checking my favorite blackberry accessible sites:

– Google Reader to catch up on my favorite blogs,
– a quick visit to Go Fug Yourself or Perez Hilton to keep up on tabloid news,
– The New York Times online for the grown up news,
– Red Sox Online,
– and the Hufffington Post
(you know, it’s kind of a long ride, I have lots of time to surf)

While reading another great piece by Bob Cesca, I suddenly had a horrible vision. That vision was John McCain giving a Presidential acceptance speech.

It was a surprising moment, since up until this point, I never considered he could actually win. And I really don’t think he is going to. But he could.

My immediate reaction was “No.” and “I can’t handle that.”
And, “I wonder how long it will take me to get an EU Passport when D. and I get married.” Not that the EU is some kind of Utopia, especially where D. comes from– the former Yugoslavia. You may have heard that they had some problems there in the 90s. But my experience has been that politics in general mattered to me less when I lived abroad. Maybe that’s because I have known less about the political systems of the other countries I lived in (either due to complication or language barrier) or because I am just less invested emotionally in the outcome when unable to vote locally.

Speaking of voting, I am worried about voting machines. In my mind’s eye I see GOP engineers fiddling with our much too imperfect voting technology. I see hanging chads and Homer Simpson being eaten by his polling station. This could be happening right now.

Strike that– it IS happening right now. Maybe not by evil engineers, but by faulty technology.

I don’t get that. A voting machine has 2 jobs: 1) count accurately 2) don’t let anyone mess with the results. We can’t make a machine to do this correctly? This is scary shit, y’all.

More than one friend of mine has had to sequester themselves from the news because it was penetrating them to a point that was unhealthy. I get that. I am addicted to reading polls and have even let politics into the work place (my boss is a republican, but so far our debates have been level-headed and congenial). But I can’t shut it all out, especially now we are in the home stretch. That would be like being devoted to every episode of a 2 year TV drama and then skipping out on the 4-part finale. I can’t stop now.

If you enjoy talking to strangers…

…Wear an Obama ’08 T-shirt like this one:

I recently received my shirt in the mail (for a cool $20.08) and on the few occasions I have worn it around Long Island, I get a slew of comments from random strangers. Thankfully comments so far have been positive, most people just say, “Nice shirt”, and 4 or 5 ladies have stopped me to ask where I got the shirt. (Answer: Here)

With massive media attention on all these supposed white women who are flocking to Palin (what are they thinking?!), wearing the t-shirt to the grocery store, the mall, running errands, the nail salon, etc., is my own small way to show this white woman’s support for Obama.

I got an Obama magnet for the new Jetta too, but Damir is nervous to put it on. He’s worried that some rebel Republican will key, or otherwise damage, the new car. Once he said that, it made me nervous too, so I am looking for another use for the magnet.

I am starting to panic and feeling very eager for the debates. I am hoping that Palin’s lack of experience, in comparison to the loquacious Biden, will be too much for these independent swing voters to ignore. Plus, you know they’re going to ask her about creation vs. evolution, which I can’t wait to see her answer.

In case you were wondering, here is the debate schedule:

1. First Presidential Debate:

– Date: September 26 (next week y’all!)
– Site: University of Mississippi
– Topic: Foreign Policy & National Security
– Moderator: Jim Lehrer

2. Vice Presidential Debate

– Date: October 2nd
– Site: Washington University, St. Louis
– Moderator: Gwen Ifill

3. Second Presidential Debate

– Date: October 7
– Site: Belmont University
– Moderator: Tom Brokaw

4. Third Presidential Debate

– Date: October 15
– Site: Hofstra University
– Topic: Domestic and Economic policy
– Moderator: Bob Schieffer

All four debates will begin at 9pm ET, and last for 90 minutes.

Hmmm. Hofstra. That’s just down the road. I wonder how I can get tickets? That would be awesome!

Civic duty is painful

I feel it only just to watch the Republican convention to balance my democratic tendencies. Though I know which way to vote, it is my duty as an informed voter to at least try to listen to both sides of the microphone. The problem: I can’t stand to hear Republican speeches.

As I type, Fred Thompson is telling us the story, yet again, of McCain’s POW experience. I think he is 5 minutes into the story, which puts him at the point where John refused the pardon to leave the POW camp (GWB told us the same story nary 15 minutes ago). Now we’re hearing about the intense beatings he suffered there. How very painful and awful they were and exactly which limbs were broken. Don’t get me wrong: I am sure they were unbearable. An experience I cannot even imagine. Thompson says, “Being a POW doesn’t qualify you for President, but it does reveal character.” I am sure there are lots of folks out there with perfectly fine character who would still make a terrible President.

But I want to shout to the Republicans, “I GET IT. HE WAS A POW. THAT IS AWFUL. NOW, WHAT ELSE DO YOU HAVE?”

I could go on. In fact, I could write volumes on this frustration. I am getting all in a tizzy about this. This and GWB’s speech where he reminded us again of Sept 11 and how we are still on the brink of another disaster, which through his leadership we narrowly avoided. Yes, give us more politics of fear! In fact, just for kicks why don’t you go back to raising that terrorist threat color bar? CODE ORANGE EVERYONE! Just for fun to get everyone all heated up and remind us of the good old days.

I am turning the channel. I can’t take it.

In Lieu of Super Tuesday


Today I ran into (almost literally) Rudy Giuliani. I was walking on 6th avenue to grab a sandwich and noticed him walking with some other guy (no entourage). I thought to myself, hey, that looks like Giuliani. He caught me staring so I felt compelled to say something, so our transaction went as follows:

Me: “Hey, Mayor!”
Him: “Hey, how ya doing?”

I was pretty jazzed about it. Not that I would have voted for him if he stuck it out, but you know, it’s fun to see people on the street that you see on TV. Plus, I am relieved to see he is looking well. In recent press I thought he looked quite gaunt and aged. Whew.

At least he was nicer than Alan Alda.

Wheeeee! I voted this morning; it was my first time voting in the state of NY. I think my voting machine was built around the time that Truman was in office, so hopefully my vote is actually counted. I am very excited about this election, if you hadn’t noticed already. So, in the words of Charlotte bellow, from Making Fiends, I urge you to Vote Vote Vote!

EPISODE 12 – Sung by Charlotte (1), (2):

(1) Vote, vote, vote,
vote, vote, vote.
Unless you are a goat,
’cause goats can’t vote.
vote vote vote,
vote, vote, vote.
Unless you are a candied yam,
’cause candied yams can’t vote.

Vote, vote, vote,
vote, vote, vote.
Unless you are a donut,
’cause donuts don’t vote.
Vote, vote, vote,
vote, vote, vote.
Unless you are a potted plant,
’cause potted plants don’t vote.

Vote, vote, vote,
vote, vote, vote.
Unless you are a fellon,
’cause fellons can’t vote.
Vote, vote, vote,
vote, vote, vote.
Unless you are a can of ham,
’cause cans of ham can’t vote

Glassbooth: Which Presidential Candidate Represents You best?

Glassbooth.org is a non-profit and non-partisan organization that disseminates political information. They have a quiz on their site which helps you, after answering some questions, identify which Presidential candidate best represents your views. I took the quiz tonight and was actually pretty surprised.

My Top 5 Results:

Dennis Kucinich – 89%
Mike Gravel – 88% (shocking! Isn’t he kind of insane?)
John Edwards – 80%
Barak Obama – 79%
Hillary Clinton – 75%

My Low 5 Results:

John McCain – 38% (this also was surprising for some reason)
Rudy Giuliani – 42%
Mike Huckabee – 44%
Mitt Romney – 45%
Ron Paul – 55%

There was a similar quiz circulating in 2004 that seemed to be a bit more conclusive, it had many more questions, and more specific issues of debate represented. Sadly, however, it appears to be gone. It would be interesting to take quizzes built by other organizations to see how similar of a result you find. If you see any, send them my way.

I guess I am just excited to know that at this exact time next year we will be just a few short hours from seeing GWB departing office. His last day: January 20, 2009.

In related news: I received my NY voter registration card in the mail today. Yay! Bring it on Super Tuesday!

Get in the Know!

Do you know if your senators voted for the amendment to prohibit the physical desecration of the flag of the United States? Green states voted for the ammendment, red against, grey were even. For once I am happy to be in a red state.

By 66 yeas to 34 nays (Vote No. 189), two-thirds of the Senators voting, a
quorum being present, not having voted in the affirmative, Senate failed to pass
S.J. Res. 12, proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the United States
authorizing Congress to prohibit the physical desecration of the flag of the
United States, agreeing to the committee amendment.

Want to know more about how your senators are doing? Visit THIS SITE.