Just sat down behind my desk in my 10 ft x 12ft glass office that now feels less like a place of business and more like a den of punishment (think OZ-like prison cell. Only with more sunlight). My current discontentment for corporate america preceeded the recent economic crash by 6 months or so, but on this day, I awoke with an earnest sense of 'Hope.' Hopeful that a positive political strategy defeats the fear tactics and unilateralist policy we've trumpeted over the past 8 years. Hopeful that Obama wins by wide margins. Hopeful that McCain will return to the 'straight talk express' he rode for 20+ years only to abandon it for Bush-like fear mongering in a soul-selling attempt to win an election. Hopeful that the middle class will once again be the barers of the bounty, the focus of fiscal policy. Hopeful that Sarah Palin becomes little more than a political punch-line, or trivia question.
Hopeful that the this election will prove to be proof that America's turntables might wobble, but they won't fall down.
Hopeful that work won't suck today.
THE ELECTION DAY RUNNING BLOG
Text from Karmen: "I have been in line for 45 minutes and haven't moved an inch"
Return Text: "Si Se Puede"
EP called while standing in line to vote at a Harlemworld elementary school (PS something or another). She's been at her precint since 8:30...lines extending out of the building. Normally voting lines Uptown arent' this long, but apparently 'Hope' has hit Harlemworld, and the masses have begun to show-and-prove.
Noell calls in with her D.C. voting report. She was in line for 2 hours (7 to 8:54). Theres an honest excitement in her voice. Not only did she cast her ballot for the first black presidential candidate, but since Election day is a teacher work day in Fairfax county (Maryland), she also has the day off. Win-Win.
Noell: "It will be a completely different experience if he loses, rather than if he wins. Poor black people, latinos...there is a groundswell of lower income people who have hope. But if he loses, they will be so disappointed, angry, disenchanted, disenfranchised...it will be ugly. And if he loses, the voter turnout will be non-existent in the next election. I don't want to deal with all of the nonsense if he loses."
TCM: "Yeah, it will be painful. It will shake peoples faith in our electoral process."
Noell: "Yeah, and I want a black man to win. It will be amazing. But also if McCain wins...I dont' want him to be able to f*ck with my benefits, and my insurance, and...it'll just be ugly."
EP calls back. "I just voted! Oh, and by the way, they didn't check people's ID there. And this girl was there who looked like she was 14 - but she must've been 18 since she was voting - and 8 and a half months pregnant saying 'I've never done this before...can you teach me?' Should I tell the press or something? I mean, she could have been anyone. She could have been her mother or something"
Voter irregularity in Harlemworld? At least its on our side this time.
Maybe thats bad for Obama.
Text from Karmen: "I am surrounded by McCain supporters voting at Riverside HS. Yuck!"
First election results are in! Obama is declared the winner of Dixville Notch, New Hampshire, defeating John McCain 15 - 6!
Dixville Notch (sounds like the main character in "Boogie Nights 2") is a tiny town in northern NH with a population of 75 people and is best known for being one of the first to declare its US Presidential Election results. Since 1960, Dixville Notch has held a middle-of-the-night vote, where all eligible voters gather at midnight in the Balsams Grand Resort Hotel, and cast their ballots. The polls are closed one minute later, and the results are broadcast to the rest of country immediately afterwards (FIRST!). And get this, there is an informal rivalry between Dixville Notch and other NH burgeoning metropolis' (Millsfield, Hart's Location, Ellsworth, Waterville Valley) for the recognition of being the first (FIRST!) to report its election results.
Now, not only is interesting for the Obama campaign, but also for the Democratic party. Dixville Notch has voted for the Republican candidate in each election since 1968 (when the good people of Dixville Notch supported Hubert Humphrey over Richard Nixon, 8 to 4).
Si Se Puede. Si Se Puede.
Text FWD from Yahnick: "They have a sign up sheet for volunteers to help Bush pack up his shit and get the f*ck out, Nov 5th. I put us down for the 3-8 shift..."
Text from Karmen: "Still here havent' voted yet"
Return Text: "Si Se Puede. Si Se Puede."
Back from an hour-plus-long meeting which also represents the first work done today. But on the up side, so far work hasn't sucked. Yes We Can. Checked my text backlog and received an update from Karmen at 12:43PM:
3 hours and 43 minutes...longest time recorded on todays Election Day Running Blog. Now thats dedication. Not only did she wait almost 4 hours to vote, but she did so in the Republican locker room: South Carolina. Sure her vote is unlikely to count since SC isn't exactly a bastian of liberalism. Nevertheless, she stuck it out and staked her claim as a part of history. She'll have this story to tell forever, regardless of whether or not Obama wins.
I wonder if she would have waited to vote for Kerry? Or Edwards? Maybe Hillary.
My boy Devan emails:
"FED hires former Bear Chief Risk Officer. Whats wrong with this picture?"
Heading outside for a Black & Mild break. Wine is the new Regular. Tastes like Hooka.
This just in from CT. Sherese says there was no wait when she voted, "but her aunt waited an hour, and her girl waited 3 hours!...its worth the wait!"
My suddenly-arch-Republican homie, "JB", emailed this article to me:
Posted: November 04, 2008
12:48 pm Eastern
By Chelsea Schilling
© 2008 WorldNetDaily
Black Panthers blocked a doorway to a polling station and intimidated voters in Philadelphia, according to a Republican poll observer.
After one of two men wearing Black Panther gear brandished a nightstick to threaten voters, the poll observer called police.
As I walked up, they closed ranks, next to each other," he told Fox News. "So I walked directly in between them, went inside and found the poll watchers. They said they'd been here for about an hour. And they told us not to come outside because a black man is going to win this election no matter what."
He said he then walked back outside and the man with a night stick told him, "'We're tired of white supremacy' and he starts tapping the night stick in his hand. At which point I said, 'OK, we're not going to get in a fist fight right here,' and I called the police."
Officers escorted the man with the night stick away from the polling location, but the other person in Black Panther gear is a poll watcher and lives in the building where voters are scheduled to cast their ballots. He was allowed to remain on the premises.
A little backstory:
For the past 3 months, "JB", Sean P, and I have engaged in an intriguing, often anger enducing, running debate over The Election, the candidates, politics in general, whatever. JB (with the occasional input from his older brother) might as well be the Republican Elephant itself by the way he's co-signed his party's policies over the past 8 years - no matter how false history has proven them to be (Iraq's possession of nuclear weapons, for example). And Sean and I put on for the liberals.
Now there is a fundamental difference betweeen supporting a party and supporting the principles of that party. For example, its contradictory to say you agree with the way the Bush Administration has run the government while still calling yourself a conservative. Conservatism favors small, less intrusive, fiscally prudent government and the Bush Administration has recklessly spent tax payers dollars (fighting 2 multi-billion dollar wars while arrogantly cutting taxes, and borrowing money from other countries to float the bill) and sanctioned domestic wire tapping - just to name a couple. So when I say JB is a Republican and Sean and I are liberals, I mean he pulls for his team, and we pull for liberalism (regardless of whose effing up the government).
Now these conversations expanded from sporadic phone calls, to daily I-might-get-fired-due-to-chronic-misuse-of-company-property emails back and forth. Neither side would hesitate to blow up the others spot with a random factoid, or FoxNews/MSNBC 'breaking news' release, or Sarah Palin comedy routine (err...interview) just to prove the others' idiocrocy. After a while it got to the point where we were no longer debating viewpoints, but fighting each other. It became clear that nothing said would make a dent in the others resolve, but rather heightened each others sensitivities. The debates turned toxic and I've since put down the pipe. You vote your vote. I'll vote mine.
2 things learned:
1. I doubt I will ever understand the fiscal motivations of non-rich Republicans. To me its simple, Republican party policies help the rich first, and possibly trickle down to everyone else (tax cuts for the wealthiest 5% of Americans and Fortune 500 companies, for example). The non-rich are the last to benefit. The argument is that when you give money to the richest few, more jobs are created which helps the economy as a whole - middle class and lower class included. Republican commentators further defend this ideology by reminding us that wealth is not static -meaning that when wealth is given to one population, its not necessarily taken away from another population. There is no set size to the pie.
Fine. I get it.
But wealth equals Opportunity. And those with the wealth control the Opportunity. People don't want money because they like having pictures of dead presidents in their pocket. People want money because it provides the Opportunity for more stuff, more experiences, a perceived better life. When wealth is redistributed to the richest few (which is exactly what a tax cut for the rich is...wealth redistibution), you are not only providing them with more resources, you provide them with more Opportunity - in hopes that they find it in the kindness of their hearts to let it trickle down to the rest of us. True, the company with lower taxes may hire more people, but at the same time they control when they hire, who they hire, where those people who are hired will come from, what schools they will require, etc, etc, etc. And with an under funded education system (possibly inconjunction with a reduced tax revenue base to support public schools. Tax cuts?) Americans as a whole are becoming less competitive on a global scale. Which means that many of the best jobs available are not necessarily reserved for Americans. My firm spends hundreds of thousands of dollars each year paying for H1-B Visas for international transplants. Sure the economy grows, but who benefits? The shrinking American middle-class?
Control the wealth. Control the Opportunity.
Non-rich Republicans control neither. Its as if they believe that they will be rich at some point in life and want to make sure they will benefit from the same system thats currently shafting them. Breaking news - Fiddy got rich. You'll die trying.
2. As much of a circle-jerk as the convos became, its still refreshing to vere from the usual debates about college football, 'whos' uglier', and scattered-ass. I don't know if its The Election capturing the global consciousness, or us getting older - but either way, its appreciated. I learned quite a bit from JB. And I'm better for it.
Pardon my tangent.
Anyhow, JB is back at it with this Black Panther report. The irony is that I'm not sure how to react to this story. I mean, for decades we've heard Democrats complain about voter suppression in swing states - putting armed, off-duty cops in predominantly black polling locations, or telling people if you owe taxes that you will get arrested if you vote as a means of keeping minorities from dropping their ballots. Now we have Republican's being intimidated by Black Panthers??
I guess thats whats poppin' in 2008.
Voter suppression is unconstitutional no matter who is responsible. But I can't front, it feels much better on this side.
Marcus dials in with a "Happy OBAMA DAY!!!"
TCM: "So what do you think? Does he pull it out?"
Marcus: "Obama better win. If he doesn't its a conspiracy. Brandie's been nervous all day. Stressing about it. Calling me every five minutes. Its like she's in love with Obama...Gotdamnit."
Marcus: "One of my [clients] asked me if I voted today. I said 'Yes ma'am.' She said 'I can tell your a young black man...don't vote for him because he's black...vote for him because he's a young smart man. Vote for him because you believe in his policies.' I said 'Yes ma'am, I believe in his policies'....it helps that he's black, though."
Text from Derron: "Rosa Parks sat so Dr. King could walk. Dr. King walked so Obama could run. Obama is running so our kids can fly."
I've never forwarded a text message before. This one might be the first.
Text from Marisol: "I just Baracked the vote - Yay!!!"
TCM: "Nice! How long was the wait?"
TCM: "How do you feel?"
Marisol: "GOOD and I'm wearing my Obama shirt."
TCM: "Any resistence?"
Marisol: "Nah lol where I vote is Tracey towers ghetto as hell"
TCM: "Where chinese delivery man got trapped in an elevator?"
Marisol: "Yup lol"
I wonder what Mary thinks of all this?
Got this yesterday from my boy James. Finally watched it today.
Definitely a one time watch.
I still need to make a Youtube video.
Si Se Puede.
Si Se Puede.
Sean's sister Shauna sent this one. Much better than the previous.
Nearly a complete day of non-work related work. Headed back to BK to recharge before the Election Night party (the new phenomenon in the 2008 election season. People just need a reason to drink.
MSNBC reports Pennsylvania, Nevada, and Ohio in the bag for Obama.
I repeat in bold: HUGE.
Chris Mathews makes a good point about McCain's downfall in this election. The moment he stated that the 'fundamentals of the economy are strong' a week prior to the collapse of the financial sector, McCain essentially married himself to the Dubya's failed economic policies. Add that to his short-sighted Palin pick and you have an old, scattered, erratic presidential candidate who doesn't look Presidential.
McCain looks like a Ninja Turtle.
Minus the Ninja.
Cautious Optimism. Cautious Optimism.
MSNBC electoral talley: Obama 200. McCain 94.
70 votes to go with Democratic strongholds still open.
Tossing on the jeans, kicks, hoodie, and blazer. Headed to the election party. Looks like a throw down is on the way.
PART 2 ON THE WAY