Archive for the ‘Vote 2008’ Category

Change Has Come to America

Change Has Come to America

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Front Page of the Houston Chronicle, Wed., Nov. 5, 2008

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Yes, We Can

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I missed some of the speeches last night when Jenna called, but it was good to hear her voice. We enjoyed our visit with them in Lubbock this past week.

I’ve been catching up on what I missed last night, but I did hear Palin. While I don’t agree with some of her core beliefs, her reception and speech were pretty remarkable — she even pronounced “nuclear” correctly this time, but did she say “pundants?” To quote my dear husband, McCain seems to have “pulled this one out of his ass.” Bring on the debates.

On a side note, my blasted cable keeps going on and off this morning and I’m quite annoyed with frequent stretches of no Internet, no TV (specifically MSNBC), and no telephone.

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Palin????? It would seem the Republicans have a death wish or something.  Maybe that’s not fair.

That’s the instant message I received from my dad the moment she was confirmed as McCain’s VP choice. She’s an interesting pick, no doubt, but I can’t see her helping their campaign in the way they seem to think. When she spoke, Palin thanked Ferraro and Hillary for paving the way for her. What about Shirley Chisholm running for President in 1972?  I think she missed an opportunity there. Wouldn’t it have been beneficial to them to have mentioned and thanked Chisholm too? Then when she mispronounced “nuclear” just like Bush, I think McCain flinched a bit.

On the other hand, Obama’s speech at the DNC was amazing.

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Adjective. Tending to cause disagreement or discord.

It certainly causes disagreement and discord with me! With Bush as Texas Governor and then President, I’m used to mispronunciation of words in his speeches, but since Obama’s words are usually so eloquent, his pronunciation of “divisive” in his speech on race in America weeks ago as though it were “divissive” caught my attention. I didn’t mention it then and thought perhaps he just misspoke, but he repeated it within the same speech and since at other times. Just now, watching MSNBC Live, news correspondent Andrea Mitchell pronounced “divisiveness” the same way! Thinking maybe I’ve been mispronouncing variations of this word my entire life, I checked my online dictionary pronunciation guides, including any available audio. Even British audio indicates a long i sound, and only Merriam-Webster offers the alternate “short i” pronunciation as though the word were spelled “divissive.”

Will public speakers all be afraid to sound stupid now if they don’t adopt this alternate, but less popular pronunciation? I’m “dividded” on this issue. You’ve let me down, Webster.

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A More Perfect Union

This is a speech that will be remembered.


Edit (20 Mar 2008): Apparently others think so too.

Has any major U.S. politician in modern times ever given a speech about race in America as unflinching, human and ultimately hopeful as the one Barack Obama delivered yesterday? Whether or not the speech satisfies critics of Mr. Obama’s close relationship with the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, this remarkable address was one for the history books.

(Editorial: The Obama speech, Dallas Morning News, Wed., Mar. 19, 2008)

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Judging by last night’s turnout of four local precincts at our caucus/convention and the various state rallies, Obama should have had Texas. What a system, though. The caucus was ridiculously disorganized! With Jens accompanying us, we got there about 6:40 pm, only to realize at the last minute that Steve was still undecided and had not yet voted. The rest of us had voted early and assumed he had, too! He was directed to the long line around the back of the school building to vote in the Democratic Primary, or he could go to the short line inside to vote Republican. Put on the spot to choose in our presence, we teased with, “Vote whichever party you want — but we’ll know!” With that, he headed toward the long line, and the rest of us headed toward the Democratic caucus gathering in the cafeteria.

When we first arrived, there were plenty of seats. We passed a stack of small Obama signs, Jens helped himself to one as a souvenir, and we sat down. After a few minutes, we were directed to divide into our four precincts, with each taking a corner of the cafeteria, and soon the room was filled beyond capacity with people standing wherever they could fit. Although anyone eligible to caucus had already voted, we were increasingly uncomfortable being the only ones with the sign and Jens took it to the car. By the time he returned, Steve had joined us in the cafeteria.

Voting was closed at 7 pm, but anyone in line by closing was, of course, permitted to vote — and this continued for quite some time. The temporary chairwoman started signing us in for the caucus at about 7:15, when it was supposed to convene, but after only a handful of caucusers (caucus goers? conventioners?) had filled in the sheets, a very panicked female election judge ran in yelling, “Stop! We can’t start until the last voter finishes. Tear up those sheets!”

There was much arguing between election officials, but no one trying to explain anything to the caucus could be clearly heard above the crowd’s dull roar. Thankfully, someone from the crowd volunteered a megaphone, but even with that, the mumbled words of the soft-spoken temporary chairwoman could not be distinguished. Finally, a man who could enunciate and be heard took over and told us what was going on. We had at least another thirty minutes to wait for voting to end and for permission to assemble in other rooms.

With the four precincts in our caucus overflowing the school cafeteria, we were finally (after about an hour) granted permission to move at least two of the precincts into the library and gym. Our precinct completely filled the gym; however, after having arrived early to get a good place (and seats) in the cafeteria, we were now standing at the back of the lines in the gym — with all the late-comers at the front. The Obama supporters far outnumbered the Clinton supporters. We had at least eight lines of people signing in at three tables, while Clinton had one, maybe two, lines at another table. For those who didn’t bring proof of voting, there was yet another table where they could look them up. Jenna went into that line and reported that Clinton supporters were obnoxiously trying to cut in line ahead of her.

Then after sign-in had started and people had begun to leave, we were asked told to stay for a head count. I would imagine our crowd had diminished at least by half before this announcement was made by the temporary chair whose meek voice still couldn’t be understood over the megaphone (so annoying). Confused about why they couldn’t just count the signatures, it was finally explained that 33 precinct caucus delegates and 33 alternates (23 for Obama, 10 for Clinton) needed to be chosen from the remaining caucus to vote at the county convention March 29. Jenna will be one of our alternates. (Go, Jenna!)

Welcome to Texas: home of the most ludicrous, convoluted, and downright screwy Democratic primary system in America. Actually, it’s not even a primary; it’s a primary-caucus hybrid, the electoral equivalent of the turducken.”

The New Republic

The hard-fought Lone Star rumble captivated voters for weeks, and a record turnout led to long lines at the polls and delays and chaos in some precinct conventions afterward.

DMN Article1

Too many people and too little experience created chaos Tuesday night at several Texas caucuses. Complaints included biased election helpers, missing voter logs, fire code violations and not enough parking.

DMN Article 2

Also at tonight’s meetings, Republicans and Democrats will select the people they want to attend the county conventions. You could be one of those delegates if you get yourself nominated and get enough votes.

DMN Article 3

In Dallas County, turnout was twice that of 2004, and the most since at least 1980.

DMN Photos:
Obama’s Texas Primary Day | Clinton’s Texas Primary Day | McCain’s Texas Primary Day

As a side note, I was amused by this response to those 3 am Clinton ads:

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I was very lucky that all my birthday celebrating overlapped a weekend when everyone could be around. Besides dinner out on Sunday and playing Rock Band, festivities continued on Monday. Joel, Blake and Zoe’s surprise birthday activity had to be postponed until today so a lunch date with most of us at Café Max became our alternative activity for the early part of Monday. In the evening, we gathered again for pizza, cake, and gifts.

Ali woke early Monday to make a chocolate wacky cake. When it cooled, Jenna made a special milk chocolate frosting and set it aside for later. I got lots of cards, flowers, a lovely vase, my favorite tea, a Sara Bareilles CD, and a gorgeous framed painting.

The surprise activity turned out to be a 2-1/2 hour ceramic craft experience, which we enjoyed today. Zoe provided the hand prints and I attempted to paint in the rest of our artwork, which once fired, will be a beautiful, personalized baking dish.

Zoe & Nana art

We also used some of our outing time on Monday to vote early. Three-day birthdays are as awesome as my family. 🙂

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