Friday, November 21, 2008

People are freaking morons

Everybody remembers what happened in Florida in 2000 (the whole voting debacle, the recounts, the clear indication that a confusing ballot in Miami caused a lot of old jews to vote for Pat Buchanan, etc).

Most people never saw any of the ballots, save for a few that made it into some memorable AP photos of the recount, so I think people didn't appreciate just how difficult the recount was for the folks doing the (re)counting. The (re)counters were ridiculed, in fact, for taking so long to do what appeared to be a pretty simple job: looking at marks on a card.

Flash-forward to Thursday, where they're in the middle of recounting the ballots in the Minnesota Senate race. Right now Republican Norm Coleman has a very slim (less than 200 votes) lead over Democrat Al Franken. Minnesota Public Radio has a great feature on what the recount people are dealing with. I found this very enlightening and very frustrating at the same time.

Apparently, the act of filling in a little circle next to a person's name is just too much to expect from some people.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Back to reality. Well, sort of.

I'm going to try and lay off the political crap for a while. The election is over, my guy won, blah blah blah...

Meanwhile, who in the hell in Lauren Conrad? I was flipping through my wife's Us Weekly and that freaking chick is on every page. I've never heard of her. Never heard of her show, "The Hills", which is apparently some kind of reality/sitcom hybrid. I feel bad that I've never heard of someone who is so famous. I guess.

I'm turning into my father. He stopped paying attention some time around the late 1970s. The last contemporary music he ever bought was Jackson Browne's Running on  Empty. The last movie he saw in a theatre was either Animal House or The Sting or Rocky; I can't remember which.

I confess I've pretty much stopped listening to or looking for new music. I spend 90% of my time on iTunes looking for old stuff I listened to when I was in my teens and 20s. Jenny introduces me to new bands every once in a while (The Killers, The Shins, The White Stripes, to name a few), but if you see me on iTunes, I'm probably looking for that old song from Giuffria that I slow danced to in junior high school.

Yeah, I'm lame. But I come by it honestly.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Finally. Now I can start liking McCain again.

I like John McCain. The old John McCain. The one who was funny and direct and the darling of the talk shows because he didn't sound like a politician. The one from the 2000 presidential race who was torpedoed by Karl Rove and those sleazy Bush election operatives -- the same ones the new Bizzaro McCain would hire to save his own campaign eight years later.

We saw flashes of that John McCain every once in a while, but only flashes and far too late in the game for it to make any difference.
His gracious and very classy concession speech was a reminder of what might have been, and hopefully what may be as we go forward.

I think I was right when I predicted that his choice of Sarah Palin effectively ended any chance he had for the White House. Palin was woefully unqualified, but that wasn't the whole reason her choice was so devastating. I think much of the problem with Palin was that the choice never seemed sincere. And the people knew it.

The fact is, McCain didn't want Palin -- not at first, at least. He wanted his friend, Sen. Joe Lieberman. And if he couldn't get Lieberman, he wanted former Secretary of Homeland Security (and Pennsylvania Gov.) Tom Ridge, and if he couldn't get Ridge, he might have been okay with Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty

Here's where the narrow tolerances of the Republican Party -- in its current guise, at least -- rose up the most to bite their own candidate in the ass. Lieberman was certainly qualified, but ultimately rejected because he was pro-choice and that would scare away the evangelicals. Lieberman is also a Jew, which would have been equally disqualifying to the evangelicals had his position on abortion not been so convenient.

Ridge was also pro-choice (and a Catholic, grrrr), and similarly dismissed. Pawlenty was the safe choice, but McCain, ever the gambler, chose the Barracuda instead as a way to inject some life into his flagging campaign. And it worked. For about three weeks.

I think if we're all being honest, it probably would not have mattered who he chose. VP choices have little impact, historically, on who people ultimately choose to vote for. This just wasn't the year to be the GOP candidate for president.

Anyway, that's all done now. Like I said, I had always liked McCain and I look forward to liking him again.  Now that he no longer has to worry about satisfying evangelicals and such, he can get back to being his old maverick-y self.


Until he loses his re-election bid in 2010 to Janet Napolitano, that is, at which point I guess he'll have to find other causes to champion.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

President Barack Obama



They just called Ohio for Obama, then, to make 100% sure, they called Iowa and New Mexico. McCain has no path to the presidency now. This election is over, and Barack Obama has won. The only thing left is to see how big the margin of victory will be.

My son will never know a United States history book without a black President. Wow.
I'll post more tomorrow.

Wow.

Monday, November 3, 2008

My predicted electoral map

<p><strong>><a href='http://projects.washingtonpost.com/2008/pick-your-president/'>2008 Election Contest: Pick Your President</a></strong> - Predict the winner of the 2008 presidential election.</p>

Obama will win with more than 300 electoral votes. As I indicated before, if Virginia goes, I think it's over for McCain. However, if McCain somehow manages to keep Virginia, the next state to watch is Florida, which I think is a much better prospect for the Arizona Senator but by no means a gimmie.

If Florida goes for McCain, the next state to watch is Ohio. If McCain wins Ohio, Florida and Virginia -- getcha popcorn ready; all bets are off. I personally just don't see than happening, but it is certainly not out of the realm of possibility.

Of course, an Obama landslide, where he could grab almost 400 EVs, is also a possibility (one I would find far more palatable, but that's just me).

Go vote, if you haven't already.