Wednesday, November 24, 2004

US Dollar in Deep Doo Doo?

Check out this piece from former Labor Secretary Robert Riech, which reads in part:

Nearly all of the increase in public debt over the last four years -- some 1 trillion dollars -- has been financed by foreigners, lending us the money. But who wants to lend more and more to a drunken sailor? Foreigners are bailing out of dollars. Even the Chinese and Japanese, who have kept lending so we’ll keep buying their exports, are starting to wise up.

And in fact, the Wall Street Journal just had a big article last week on how Chinese citizens are trying to convert the dollars they once hoarded back into their own currency.

Uh oh.

Which points up one of the fallacies of the tax-cutting principles: that the wealthy who benefit will re-invest in the US economy. In fact, right now the US economy is not the best place to invest. People are putting their money in overseas banks; buying real estate abroad; and generally diversifying their portfolio right out of the US of A...

Friday, November 19, 2004

Guardian columnist bemoans liberal America's self-loathing.

Timothy Garton Ash, writing from San Francisco yesterday, had this to say, among other things, about liberals after the election:

"I 'm getting seriously worried about anti-Americanism. Anti-Americanism in America, that is. Here are just a few of the things that I've heard travelling through blue, ie liberal, America over the two weeks since George Bush won the election. 'The truth is, they just are stupid." (A New Yorker, of people in the red, ie conservative, states.) 'The snakes.' 'Fascism.' 'Christian fascism.' 'I wanted to make a film about a time when young Americans fought against fascism and not for it." (A producer, explaining why he commissioned a film about the Spanish civil war.)'

While Garton doesn't bemoan the liberal self-loathing as ardently as he should have (please! let's not whine about the election but moblize for 2006), the bigger question is when are we going to see that many faith-voters, along with liberal-Democratic voters, were dupped by Bush this election? Did Bush ever mention same-sex marriage, stem-cell research, abortions, in his post-election speech? I doubt that these will be issues now that Bush has a mandate to turn Iraq into an ashcan for the sake of liberal democratic ideals.

Thursday, November 18, 2004

Toronto Star - Indict Bush?

In Tuesday's Star columnist Thomas Walkom asks whether Bush should be welcomed to Ottawa or banned, citing Canada's Crimes against Humanity and War Crimes Act. Would Canada, or any country, risk indiciting an ex-American president for war crimes, especially after Belgium's weak attempt to that?


Friday, November 12, 2004

Sorry Everybody!

I'm not really going to feel a whole lot better about the election until we finally boot G.W. out of office (looking toward 2008 already). Maybe I can just take a nap for the next four years...a really long nap. But, these websites do give me some hope. 49% of America is apologizing in advance for whatever atrocities Bush commits over the next four years. Check out the photo galleries at Apparently, some of the world forgives us.

Whither John Kerry?

This is a snip from Washington Post media critic Howard Kurtz's column:

All of which brings us to the question--what happens to Kerry now?

Does he become the party's leading spokesman in the Senate, overshadowing little-known minority leader Harry Reid? Does he start some sort of America's Future group and raise truckloads of cash from his donor lists and play the role of power broker? Does he use the fact that he got 56 million votes to lead the opposition to Bush while the '08 picture sorts itself out?

Well, maybe. But Kerry is also going to be a reminder of the huge Democratic disappointment of 2004, the failure to retire a president with a vulnerable record. More pundits are coming out and saying Kerry ran a lame campaign. Unlike the Red Sox, he will have to live with that 'L' tag forever.

The New Republic wants him off the stage:

"He's back. Actually, he never even left. John Kerry, according to reports in The Boston Globe and The Washington Post, plans to have a prominent role in the Democratic Party. Apparently he's contemplating a political action committee and think-tank to help define the party's future. And, according to those around him, he's also considering another presidential run in 2008.

"Our reaction to this is . . . how to put it? Well, here goes: No. Please. Stop."

This one is also chock-a-block with more good stuff, including a discussion of AG-pick Gonzales.

On an artistic note :

This was huge before the election but I think the idea can live on especially to continue the great political dialog that has enveloped this country.
Check it out and can the Republicans please contribute something.
Lets make sure we all do and build on the past to make a better and more creative future.

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

1st Hispanic is unfortunately the Wrong Hispanic

Bitter and sweet: it seems to be the calling card for the month of november.
We have Alberto Gonzalez as the appointment to Ashcroft's seat.
Yeah!!! = First Hispanic in 80 postings
Boo!!! = Wrong Hispanic (His term as White House counsel is not without controversy, as he fought with Congress to keep the details of Vice President Dick Cheney's energy commission meetings secret and defended the administration's right to detain terrorism suspects indefinitely without formal charges and to deny them access to counsel or to protection from the court system)

Pop and Politics--Real-time Election Journal: 11/07/2004 - 11/13/2004

Pop and Politics--Real-time Election Journal: 11/07/2004 - 11/13/2004

Your Values?

There's been a lot of talk about values -- but what do you hold close to your heart? Your religion, your family, democracy, helping others, etc. I'd love to hear what you have to say about this topic -- and perhaps pull together your comments for an article on -- kate

Tuesday, November 09, 2004


I got an e-mail from today. They made the points that we've all been making. What do you think folks? Do you think enough of us are mad enough to give it a go?

Personally, I'm all for another march on Washington . . . during the inauguration. Now wouldn't that be the hotness?! All us crazy left wingers there to protest! I think we may have something here! Spread the word!!

Election 2004--Billion$ and Billion$ Spent

Check out this sobering chart on the well over $1 billion spent on congressional and presidential campaigns. Meanwhile, check out the other charts referenced on the left, like top individual contributors to 527s.... on the left, financier George Soros is over $23 mil lighter; on the right, oilman and corporate raider T. Boone Pickens is down $4 mil.

Where's my cut?

Will Kerry Unconcede?



I am angry and getting emails and recrimination from people wondering why KERRY just caved and is not fighting this before the final count in Ohio, before any of the fraud was challenged, before New Mexico and Iowa even came in.

There is widespread feeling that he did not lose the election and that it was taken from him.

There is enough here to warrant investigation and enough to challenge the results. It's coming from all corners.

I understand that he has until the official count certification in Ohio to Un Concede which is several days from now.

Anyone who thinks that he should unconcede should give reasons why -
whatever they noticed, particularly in Red Republican Governed States using electronic machines- and send them directly to Cameron KERRY, John Kerry's brother at his law firm at the address

They should inform us if they were not allowed to vote provisionally (for whatever reason- they lost forms, ran out of forms, etc.) I personally witnessed a number of things as I reported in Texas with the DCCC. (Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee)

If you know anyone in particular in Ohio who tried to vote and was turned away at the polls please get their information and notify the campaign.

They should be notified if they experienced lines longer than four hours -particularly elderly or infirm people (we call that torture when they do it to political prisoners) . They should be notified if people were told as has been reported that due to too many people showing up in African-American precincts, particularly in Ohio where there were too few booths (some only had two or three for the entire precinct) and told because of heavy turn out they could vote on Wednesday. If the numbers of these sorts of incidents creates a percentage margin that exceeds the margin of victory- Un Concession has to be made to challenge the count.

If people wanted to and tried to vote and were prevented or actively
discouraged from doing so, that is a Civil Rights matter and must be
dealt with in
terms of the ultimate count.

This is the last email that I am writing on this subject in this venue. I am taking it up in other venues.

Please pass along this to your listservs so that we may make Democracy Work in America. We are not a country where he who cheats best wins.

Cynthia L. Butler
1717 K St. NW, Suite 600
Washington, DC 20036
Miss Theo's Loose Leaves

Two for the good side...I hope

Attorney Gen. John Ashcroft and Secretary of Commerce Don Evans resign
Rejoice : a win for the good side or calm before the storm ----- discuss


In politics, Jesus has evolved from being a niche market to being THE market. Somehow I don't think he's all that impressed. After all, he's been much more than that to quite a lot of us for about 2,000 years now.

To the youth vote, I don't know what to say. You had your chance? You were the belle of the ball in '04 but decided to go home alone before the party was over. That's not entirely fair, because you did show an interest and that's a beginning. Maybe it will pan out in '08. Either way, the VOTE OR DIE slogan will be taken from its figurative meaning in the Diddy campaign to a literal meaning in '08 by the far right.

I can see it now. "My sources have spoken to the Savior and he says, if you want to go to heaven, vote for me!" Maybe Alan Keyes was on to something after all. Oh, yeah...he got his butt kicked by the guy that Jesus doesn't like. Well, these aren't hard and fast rules.

So everyone is scrambling to understand what VALUES means. What are MORALS and where can I get them? Better yet, how can I sell them? Surveys are being put together, poll questions being analyzed and I'm sure at least a dozen new think tanks and PACS have been formed to put together the '06 congressional campaign strategies.

It's really simple folks and the first hint is, it's not about religion. It's about listening to people instead of telling them what you think they should know. It's about understanding that life on the coast is different than life everywhere else and those people living everywhere else wouldn't have it any other way. Does that make them right? Not about everything. Pushing fear and homophobia isn't anything resembling Christ, but if you try to understand where it comes from you'll be able to handle it better than if you just spit out how wrong it is.

As much as people want to say God doesn't belong here or there, he's still gonna be everywhere and unfortunately, people will take advantage of that and in a lot of places, it will work.

Okay, I take it back. It isn't simple, but if the Dems try and spend these next 3 years doing more listening than engaging in self-righteous blaming, it won't be the big surprise it was this year. They really can't afford that.

From the Department of Gloating

And I quote:

"Once the minority of House and Senate are comfortable in their minority status, they will have no problem socializing with the Republicans. Any farmer will tell you that certain animals run around and are unpleasant, but when they've been fixed, then they are happy and sedate."
-- Grover Norquist, Bush advisor and president of Americans for Tax Reform, cited in the Washington Post and on Meet the Press

So, are the Democrats effectively neutered?

Friday, November 05, 2004

Hope is on the way?

Hope is on the way?

Grief, disgust, despair, and utter disappointment.
Not disappointment in Kerry, Bush or the GOP, but rather American Democracy in 2004. I can't help but have a feeling of a Democracy that has failed me. I firmly believe that American Democracy is only as strong as the people and the news media. But where have they been?
The media has forsaken us and the people are lost amongst the Murdoch's of America.
But what can we do?
How can we do it?
Cause we need a change.
And that's when the grief kicks in, because when Kerry walked out, my hope left with him.


No Jokes yet Leno

NO Jokes yet leno

Nov. 3rd, and unlike Leno I'm not quite ready for the jokes.
I still haven't gone through all of my stages, I'm caught between pissed and even more pissed. In my living room/bedroom (I live in a studio apartment w/ my mother thanks to Bush's great economy), people asking "what happened, how did he win?"
But do we really want to know the answer, do we really want to admit that the American People voted for him because, despite attempts by everyone from Moore to, the people have an overwhelming trust of the Corporate Media that rules America.
We are all looking for someone to blame, and now that we are close to finding the answers, we are
running away.
Running to Canada, running away from the greatest country in the world. I can't say that I haven't thought about it, hell I've even searched for apartments in Toronto and Vancouver.
However, I've come to the realization that as an American and as a Patriot (my definition of the word, not Bush's), I am obligated to stay and fight for my country and the Democracy that makes it what it is today.
I know that things will get worse, Bush will overturn Roe V. Wade, more Jobs will be lost, and the Media will continue to be the puppets of old white men selected to rest on Capitol Hill. Things are about to turn a godforsaken color of dark grey dystopia, but soon enough Democracy will be placed back into the hands of its rightful owners; the American People.
But until then, my fellow Patriots
live on and revolutionize

from- tiffany ward

Smart people can go stick yer heads' in the mud

Here's the IQ theory of who votes for which candidate.

A chart from 2000....

And a long analysis of why that's bunk.

Thursday, November 04, 2004

The Red, the Blue... the Purple?

Check out this vision of an America that transcends red and blue. (Okay, doesn't work that way with the electoral college... And you can't see the whole map below. To do so, click here.)

more from chicago

Checking in from Chicago. It’s Thursday, 2:30pm, Day Two of GWB II… So, tell me folks? When’s the last time a sequel was as good as the original? Shrek II? For all of our sakes, Bush better wise up and be more inclusive and compassionate at home and smarter and more humane around the world.

As for the opposition…

The Democrats suck. There, I said it. I’ve come to the conclusion that the Democrats flat-out suck. They don’t know how to run a campaign or take a stand on anything. Let’s be real: The only reason they picked JFK (John Friggin’ Kerry) was because they decided Howard Dean was too whacked-out to sway the ubiquitous “moderate” crowd. It was the classic “lesser of two evils” syndrome. The Democrats need to grow a pair and take a position and stick with it.

The DNC needs to recognize that “They Suck!” is not a campaign strategy or a platform. Folks know what they RNC is about. We know the mistakes they make. We live thru their hypocrisies, etc. every day. The DNC’s job is to say, “Here’s where we’re different. Here’s what we’ll do differently.” I mean, Kerry was in the senate for 19 years yet he never talked about it once on his campaign trail. Imagine going for a job interview and the interviewer seeing your resume with 19 years of experience at your previously employer and all you can say is “Hire me because all the other job candidates blow!” Yeah… you’ll get real far workin’ that angle.

And as a black voter I’m sick and tired of these fools taking us for granted. Every four years one of these clowns shows u in my church or posing with Russell Simmons like, “Hey, some of my best friends are black!” Then you don’t hear from these people ever again unless it’s to accuse somebody else of being racist or biased. They need to take a look in the mirror. They’ve got more love for the likes of Nancy Pelosi, Hilary Clinton, etc. than they do for any person of color at any level. And somebody needs to remind the DNC that diversity is not blondes, brunettes and readheads.

My hope is that they don’t pimp Barak Obama into being the new “minority mascot” a la Charlie Rangel or Jesse Jackson… or Russell Simmons and Puff, even. I mean, once it was clear that Obama was gonna roll in a landslide after Jack Ryan got tossed in February or March, the DNC has had that cat running all over the country doing photo ops and fundraisers for every white liberal possible. He hasn’t even been in Chicago much this whole year. I think they’re gonna play him the way the RNC treated J.C. Watts, Colin Powell, Condi Rice, etc.

I say all the leadership in both parties needs to get fired. They need a wholesale housecleaning from Terry McCauliffe on down. Fire them all. Get some real folks in there who know that they’re doing and who aren’t so busy chasing moderates to stand up for what’s right.

Well, that’s it for now… I’ll holla later today.


Hadji Williams is author of KNOCK THE HUSTLE: How to save Your Job and Your Life from Corporate America.

Freedom Fries

The same young woman also asked me about Freedom Fries. To that, I could only shake my head.

Do you know where you're going to?

Here at SF State - there was quite a scene yesterday -shouting, crying, cursing, walk-outs and protests. The campus republicans had a table set up on the quad. Their Bush Cheney signs upset many students and campus police stood quietly next to their table just in case.

The general feeling here is sadness, disapointment, confusion. But it is a done deal. Instead of wondering or debating about what happened - people should start thinking about what now. Whoever you support, I think most people agree that we are not were we should be.

I am sad to hear people say things will never change. It frustrates me that while many first-time voters turned out to vote for their presidential pick many still remained uninformed about the measures and propositions affecting their state and communities. These are the things that make changes we can see, in our streets at our schools.

Let's talk about the fact that Cali's 3-stikes law was NOT amended. Whether you voted Yes or No - this was an important proposotion. That is the right here - right now. We can't change the world over night. We have to start somewhere. Our own neighborhoods are a good place - don't ya think?

Sabrina Ford, Bay Area - student journalist

post party letdown

seems to me that the incentive to get the republican vote out was for the sole purpose of gay bashing and against unions of same sex couples. why should people go out in droves to deny other americans the right to health care, death benefits and the other comforts of home with a loved one.
in 4 years we can try to recoup whatever civil liberties are left to scrounge up. or perhaps during the next bushadministration (warmongering part 2) we can mobilize to get even more civil liberties solidified and provide courses and attend rallies to remind people NOT to give up their rights as citizens of this country and the world.

at present, i do not feel terribly welcome in the midwest states that voted for bush and against same sex unions. perhaps there is a way to reverse the affect by joining together on issues we can agree on; stopping the war, driving down oil prices (I for one would stop driving today if that would end the war!), improving education, funding cures for cancer, aids and just supporting the arts! it is overwhelming, but if we find commonalities throughout the country, maybe the madness will stop. til then, we have another four years. let's hope they're not all dark daze!

Post Election Party

While attending Farai's post-election party at the Dragon Bar in North Beach Wednesday night, I met a young woman from London, who just relocated to San Francisco with her fiancee. The first question she asked was how we could re-elect Bush. Yes, a good question worthy of a good answer. She told me she had a friend in Mississippi, who is also from London, who's working on her PhD (and is also a black woman who just happens to be dating a white man is having a hard time dealing with the reactions of locals). I simply told her to go to the South, spend time with her friend and talk to people there because being in San Francisco, she'll never gain any perspective on how the rest of Americans vote and think.

The way the right has used gay marriage to mobilize its base to vote in 11 crucial states is a brilliant lesson in American politics and spin. Those voters turned to vote first against gay marriage and then for Bush. The left, take note! These voters said that morals are what guided them in making their decisions. I guess that means being homophobic. What is the left going to do to correct this, to prevent this type of reactionary voting from happening in the future and further disenfranchising people?

I think this young woman, new to American, smart and interested in politics, will learn a good lesson from looking to the South first.

Making my choice.

Went to vote here in Flagstaff this afternoon after class and was amazed
by the number of people waiting to cast their vote. The line was out the
door and down the hall and they kept coming, as the line was that long
still when I left. Luckily since I had to be at work it only took about a
half-hour, which is not too bad.
As I was chatting with the poll workers found that the whole day has been
the very same way. Lots of people. What shocked me was the number of
people casting provisional ballots, coming out f the woodwork to make
their choice. Some estimates I have heard here in AZ put the turnout into
the 75% ranges, which is unreal considering around 40% turned out for the
last election. It is sad and amazing at the same time that it took a
polarizing election like this to bring people out when they should have
been doing it all along. Maybe this will catch on and every election
turnout will be this way. One can only hope.
The polls here in AZ have been closed now for about an hour so results
should be showing up soon. But the unknown variable I think is going to
be the provisional ballots. Hopefully we'll know soon!

Tom Long, student, husband, starting life over anew.

Join ISP.COM today - $8.95 internet , less than 1/2 the cost of AOL
Try us out,


Angela Winters

I have to say I haven't been watching too much news or reading too many blogs or websites for the past week. I'd just had enough of politics, but after a good rest, I'm venturing back online and finding some interesting articles about W's second term.

This ABC News story says Bush Claims Mandate for War, Tax Agenda. Hold on a second. Doesn't a mandate have a certain percentage qualification? Yes, he clearly won this election by a record large margin, but a mandate on war and taxes? IMHO, I think that the War In Iraq and the tax plan are not the reasons he won. I think he won for likeability, the war on terror and moral issues. Correct me if I'm wrong.

Also, I wonder if all those young voters who registered but didn't show up feel about this Reuters article. Republicans are pushing the Bush agenda in the second term. As a centrist, I'm in favor of some of Bush's policies, but last I checked, the college generation was majority pro-choice and pro-Affirmative Action, two laws the Supreme Court will be going after in the next four years. Bush will be able to appoint at least one new judge and we all know where he or she will stand on these issues. Maybe I've got the kids all wrong, but I expected these two issues, including the war, would bring them out in much higher numbers than they did.

What do you think?

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Four More Years

Why Kerry? Why?! As a friend astutely pointed out today, if as they say every vote counts, then he should have waited until every vote wass counted! I know the Dems wanted to bow out gracefully but they really could have put up more of a fight.

I really do appreciate the blogger who set things straight about the youth vote. The great and powerful media is working faster than you think to disillusion the youth of this country by saying they didn't go to the polls in the numbers that were predicted. False!

I don't know why people aren't asking the questions I want answered. How do you get tapped to be in the electoral college? I mean really who are these people and where do they live? Do they get to vote in the popular election and cast their electoral vote? Do they talk to each other? When do they cast the electoral votes? Why is there STILL an electoral college anyway (the fact that we've always had one is not a good enough answer)? Why is there no voting holiday like other nations to ensure that all registered voters can go to the polls?

I want to know and I want to know yesterday. The way this "democracy" is operating is suspect and is leading people, well me at least, to distrust the entire system. The only two people who can effectively run as candidates for the presidency have to be tied to the two major parties, be white men, and have some serious cash of their own (not that they dipped into their own reserves to finance their campaigns).

I'm a little cynical now. Anyone see the silver lining in all this?

P.S. A random thought: Liberals leave the Midwest and South when they can because the ideologies in those places are so repressive; those states will forever be red on the map.

no justice, no peace

I stopped going to marches and rallies a while ago. I've become cynical -- they just didn't do anything for me anymore. I've come to believe that there are other ways to make a statement, especially because where I live, there's a rally every five minutes, and all the causes get jumbled up together, and you end up wondering, What are we trying to say?

But on my way home just a few minutes ago, I chanced upon a big procession -- some 300 or 400 people strong -- of anti-Bush (and anti-Iraq War and anti-Palestinian occupation and pro-unification of South and North Korea...) folks with drums and chants and signs on Valencia Street. They'd started downtown, and they were still going. With their police escorts, they were literally stopping traffic.

And you know, though I had absolutely no desire to join them, it was a relief to see them. Given the frustration and powerlessness that I and many people around me feel about this election, it was heartening to see such spirited resistance.

What will it accomplish in the grand scheme of things? Maybe it'll get a mention in the newspaper tomorrow. Maybe nothing -- except make a lot of people (including me) feel a lot better. Which I guess is reason enough. Though I still think the left needs to find a better way to send a message than with a march. Sometimes I feel like we're using outdated strategies to fight a 21st Century struggle.

option8, San Francisco

The War Room

Last night, I watched "War Room", a documentary
following Bill Clinton's 1992 campaign and victory. I
felt a strange but not entirely unpleasant nostalgia
for that time, when we were so hopeful, so excited
about our candidate, and finally so happy to have
ended the long Republican reign in the White House.

At the same time, I was feeling very frightened and
uncertain about today's election. I felt almost kind
of old really, grousing internally about "the good old
days" when my candidates used to win and when we knew
by the end of the evening who would take over in
January. My first vote ever was for Governor Ann
Richards after all, for her first term, when I was
suddenly able to recognize that not every Texan was a
right wing Christian Coalition Republican the way it
always seemed to me before. Of course my last vote in
Texas before I moved here to the West Coast was also
for Ann but with a very different and dismaying
result: the beginning of W.'s political climb.

But today, that uncertainty and fright has just
dissolved. I'm not longing so much for those good old
days, because I think that my candidate WILL win this
one and the future WILL be brighter. If nothing else,
I'm basking in the invigorating experience of seeing
record voter turnout, people actually waiting in line
for hours in rain and snow to vote. Amazing. This
will overtake 1992 as the election I always remember

Now I have my own little war room going, with Air
America on the radio, 24 hour news on the tv (muted
unless something good happens) and the internet with
Pop and Politics and Salon up for constant updates.
The refresh icon is getting a serious workout today.
I've never been more excited about an election day,
and I hope my optimism turns out to be right.

Holly in San Francisco

Do you Yahoo!?
Check out the new Yahoo! Front Page.

Words from James Baldwin

Baldwin helps me understand this country, even when that understanding doesn't make me comfortable.

I drove around today thinking about him, wondering what he would say about this moment in time. I found this quote on a
card I picked up during a wedding anniversary trip to Olema, CA:

"People who shut their eyes to reality simply invite their own destruction, and anyone who insists on remaining in a state of innocence long after that innocence is dead turns himself into a monster."

Jomo my blog
Washington, DC

So, the watchword of the day is "values." As in.....


It wasn't the war or the economy that killed us. It was the notion of "values".

Massachusetts has the lowest divorce rate in the nation, yet Kerry was bad because he had "Massachusetts values" or other such nonesense.

We need to retake the language. We need to reframe the notion of "value".

That's why Obama's speech below is so brilliant. He speaks of God in a way that not just fails to offend this atheist, but inspires me. It's faith used for the purpose of living a good life, rather than faith wielded as a weapon against a whole class of people.

The wedges: gays, abortion, and guns.

Democrats have abandoned guns as an issue, and over the next three or four cycles it will prove an increasingly ineffective wedge. The NRA won. Good for them.

That leaves the two "faith based" wedges -- gays and abortion. And with great skill, the Republicans have equated those two issues with the word "value".

That's going to have to change.


I've got an article on called "It's the God. Stupid?"

It starts:

was at this thinky conference on the Northern California coast, in a resort hotel with endless views, overpriced drinks, and at least four weddings a day. On the last morning I was sipping coffee and bantering about the election with two guys I’d known for about 36 hours. We veered into Bush-bashing, the political equivalent of a sugar rush—a brief euphoria, followed by a crash.

Then one of them surprised me.

“I’m a Republican,” he said.

I said, “Oh.”

And, as if to explain his place in our small circle, he began speaking quickly. “But Bush makes me so mad. The way he’s taken over my country, the way he’s taken my flag, the way he’s taken…”

“…my Party,” I ventured.

“…my God,” he said.

My God. He’d put word to what I’d been feeling, but couldn’t express. Say you live in this country, a nation blessed by both prosperity and beauty. And say that you like the fact that you live in a pluralistic nation, where there are people of many faiths and some of none. And say, last of all, that you believe in God. What then? Where do you fit in the political debates? What if like this gentleman, you believe deeply and passionately in God but also believe, just as passionately, that your nation’s leadership is hijacking the faith you hold dear? I suspect that many Americans—of Christian and other faiths--feel the way he does. On the one hand, they’re confronted with an Administration that claims to have a red telephone to the Almighty. On the other hand…. Oh, wait: there is no other hand, because President Bush’s opponents—Democrats, liberals, and dissenting Republicans--have failed to give language to the spiritual component of our leadership crisis.

And here's the thing. I'd rather leave God out of government. I'd rather we each find our own way. But that's just not realistic. I've been hearing for years about how people want God back in the schools, God back in the law, God back in public life. And it's one thing to make a counter-argument, an argument that the best way to have a moral state is to leave religion out of things. But that, too, can have a moral component--the idea that public secularism enables private worship is powerful. Instead, most of the left has failed to make a distinction between private and public morality, and to articulate how we navigate this life.

Maybe politicians shouldn't have to bear that burden. But right now, one man--George W. Bush--is taking on the mantle of moral judge, with little opposition.

Is this for real?

Please comment on whether this is for real.

What to do?

I am so heartbroken and depressed.
I have so many deadlines looming, so many project proposals waiting to be developed, so many friends and family to contact, and all I want to do it sit in my apartment and stare into space. Into an abyss I can see no way out of.
I am wondering what I should do.

Marry an American, and more...

Okay, people are joking (I think) about leaving the country.

So some folks have come up with a pretty nifty date-site called Marry An American, designed to pair up anxious liberals with their matches.

Meanwhile, I put a joke ad in Craigslist that reads:

Need Reverse Green Card

Young-ish, nubile-ish single female seeks to marry man with EU citizenship so I can get out of this country.

Okay, this ad is a joke.... I'm actually writing an article... If you have EU citizenship--or other citizenship-- and
have been propositioned by desperate American females, please email with the story.


Silly, you say? Mais bien sur! But here are the responses I got:

"I am european and have been asked many times, in fact this morning I was asked 4 times if I could not help them to restart their life in Europe. it sounds like this is the next wave of exodus of intellect. The US attracted smart people in the 80s with their green card lotteries. now, with Irland the last EU country closing a loophole, Europe will be the target for smart people to live and work in. "



"another effin' research project.."



"Hi there-

One of my hip friends put me on to your ad. I am 34, an American citizen, but I have an Irish passport.

My mother was born in Ireland, and under Irish law, I am eligible for citizenship even though I was born in Boston. I applied for the passport a few years ago when I was working in the EU for a client (I am a lawyer) for an extended period of time. An Irish passport allows the holder to live and work anywhere in the EU.

I think the reason that my friend put me on to your ad is that my Irish passport has been an endless source of fascination for members of the opposite sex. I have never been married, and my mother would tell you that the steady stream of girlfriends is less than healthy. The Irish passport has only helped with the volume of that stream.

I suspect that your interest in this topic is motivated by something other than your article. Otherwise, why bother advertising that you are nubile-ish? Anyway, I have never met someone online, although I have dated someone because of my passport (she and I traveled a bit in Europe last year and she used to make me whisper in a brogue sweet nothings in her ear during intimate moments). It would be fun to meet you."


"p.s. I have a picture (not a passport picture!) if you are interested because I am guessing that I am not the first guy who has a told an anonymous woman via email that he is tall, handsome, athletic, smart and successful."


"I have kept my EU Passport & Citizenship............because I know they will come in handy!

Especially after last night, with MORON Bush for another 4 years, Americans are being snubbed in Europe.

Most Americans do not realized, yet slowly but surely the EU Economy of 450 million people... with far superior education...will surpass the American Economy in not too much time.

Anyone with half a brain, may watch the decline of the US Dollar vs the Euro..... but that is way to difficult of a concept to grasp for most Americans.... who are way too busy buying Wal Mart trinkets and other useless garbage!

I am happy to have kept my papers..............

Sure, If a beautiful woman needs my help, I'll consider matters.............."



"You can leave ANY TIME you want to. Still HERE??? Guess you DIDN'T really leave too badly. I'll even pay for the fucking
plane ticket. You should live in Baghdad. STUPID BITCH ! ! !




First of all you might wonder why I found your posting. I don't want you to think that I was browsing the personals on Craigslist, no no,... ok let's talk about something else.

My name is (extremely long European name) but I have to cut that to (initials) since I'm in the States. I'm from France and Monaco, I was raised almost entirely in North of France and spent few years in Germany. After my PhD I worked between Paris and Stuttgart before leaving to the Silicon Valley.

I'm living and working in the bay area since 5 years now. It's indeed my final year as an H1-B but my company is filling for a green card for me. I own the equivalent of 2BS, 2 MS and a PhD, plus few years of experience, so this adjustement of status should be easy to get.

Anyway a lot of my friends find another way to get their residency status cleared: they got married (for real, not with a fake union) and I have to admit that several time few girls wanted me to admit that it was an easier way to get a green card.

I would say that two girls, two friends, proposed directly and seriously. One single mom with whom I was living as roommate for 3 years and one who might really want to get married.

On top of that I recall at least half a dozen of proposals I got from girls I met at parties, mainly friends of friends, or girls working in my company. Two of them gave me a price rather quickly in the conversation: $5K or $10K down and $400 or $500 /month for the next 4 years.

I'm not desperate to work in this country but I like my job, I like my company and I love living in San Francisco. If I have any problem to stay in the US next year I will be very sad but on the bright side I will not have to pay those $40K/year in tax and medicare. I'm sure that a lot of countries are willing to accept me.

I have to admit that I'm not in the same situation as an illegal alien who came here to seek an El Dorado. Even my nanny had her own butler. I have never seen a boat people of refugees from Monaco and if such thing exists one day I'm sure it would be a nice yacht.

I'm confident with my immigration lawers and the work they just began to set up my labor certificat, so I'm very optimistic to get my green card this way but if anything happens, I could put half a million $ in a business and apply for residency. This way might be cheaper than a weeding, especially in California.

If you want more informations about the proposals I had, feel free to send me back an email at (email)

Good luck for your article"



"Funny ad young lady, my complements. I do have a EU Passport and grew up there but have
grown to love this country here. Not interested so much in participating in a political survey though as much as I am interested in dating on of the great ladies of this free country.
43,5-11,and sharp."



"go to bed ! !"


The controversy over the youth turnout

So, was the youth vote up or not? Depends on how you count. From what I understand--still researching--the youth vote rose in proportion with the vote of older adults. Some people have been spinning that as low youth-vote turnout. But Hans Reimer of writes:

In the past few hours, a number of reporters have asked me whether young people will become cynical about politics since the guy they voted for did not win.  That’s b.s.  Everyone knows that sometimes you win and sometimes you lose.

But I am worried about a new potential for cynicism for a different reason.  Young people turned out to vote in huge numbers on November 2, along with everyone else.  But somehow the media is reporting out that young people didn’t vote.

This scares the hell out of me.  A lot of young people might think that all the energy, all the enthusiasm, all the participation that they witnessed throughout this election was phony, a mirage.  That their peers don’t really mean it, that they were lying about their interest in politics and intention to vote.  That young people really don’t care, just like the old people say.

That would be devastating.

The excitement was real.  The engagement was real.  And the turnout was real.

In 2000, 42.3% of 18-29 year olds voted.  
In 2004, 51.6% of them voted.  

Stop and read that again if you didn’t get it.

Young voter turnout was up---dramatically.

Sure, maybe they didn’t throw the election to Kerry.  But they came damn close.  And if Kerry had done a better job with other demographics, then his large young voter margin would have pushed him over the top.

The media needs to get the facts straight.

Where have all the anarchists gone?

I'm trying this for the third time after a night of not being able to connect to the internet. Conspiracy theories aside . . .

I wonder what has happened to all the anarchist, socialist, communist, revolutionary people I used to know. If ever there was a time for them to put their money, well their barter system, where the mouth is, now's the time. I mean when's the last time we saw a good act of civil disobedience? An assassination attempt? Err. . uh not that I believe in such things. I love America!

I know the older folks are mad at us younger people. P. Diddy's death threats weren't enough to turn out the youth vote. Not that he cares; he made a grip on those $30 "Vote or Die" T-shirts. A part of me wonders if it's not a media tactic to trick young people into thinking their voice didn't matter in this election (conspiracy theories back in play), though the thought that Ashton Kutcher or Justin Timberlake in a Tee was enough to move youth to the polls is equally disturbing.

There's been a lot of talk about the Dems loosing Black votes on the issue of gay marriage. Just goes to show that the media spin machine has done a great job since neither candidate supports gay marriage. All states that had marriage amendments passed them, Mississippi with 92%. For the life of me I can't understand why people care about other people's marriages. There is the other issue that the wording on the amendments was confusing (true of my Arkansas ballot), making people think that voting no is a vote in favor of gay marriage and a vote of yes is simply confirmation that marriage is between a man and a woman.

That wasn't the only issue with my Absentee Ballot. Fayetteville, Arkansas is a unique place in the state that hosts an interesting amalgamation of upper middle class hippies and red necks. The way the ballot was composed acknowledges this mix by placing Nader at the top, Bush second, the other third party candidates, and at the very bottom Kerry. Only someone looking for Kerry's name on the ballot would find it and with the hardcore liberal sentiment there, Nader was definitely a factor.

The republicans have declared themselves victorious already. We all know, well let me say I know because clearly we all don't know, the power of self fulfilling prophecy in US media and saying you've won is akin to actually winning. The Dems moderate positioning didn't seem to win them too many votes. Daschle lost. Others lost. But the beacon of light that is Barack Obama shown brightly, sweeping Illinois with nearly 90% of the vote. I hope he doesn't get shot.

Well, I'll leave on that optimistic note.

Drat the exit polls

Heard about Kerry conceding on Fox News as I drank my morning tea. The people chose Bush (who will probably appoint a conservative Supreme Court judge within his next term). The people voted in a Republican-majority Congress. In a slew of states, the people passed anti-gay marriage initiatives.

I wanted to believe that the dissatisfactory direction of our country resulted from the leadership of politicians who are out of touch with the people. Now I must concede: even though there seems to be a measure of ambivalence, the majority of the people of this country took a sharp right turn some time ago. Living in the Bay Area bubble, I didn't want to believe my worldview was so alarmingly detached from the rest of this nation.

So it really is a civil culture war. It's not about partisan politics, policy or candidates; it's about "morals and values." Massive social and cultural change needs to happen -- and the Republican ideology needs to be completely discredited -- before liberals can lead the country again. And it's about message. For God's sake, the left needs to figure out how to frame and deliver a coherent, convincing message.

How will these things happen?

option8, San Francisco

Pushing a boulder up Mt. Everest

I feel like those poor people in the Day After (1983), walking around with post-concussive despair, wondering if there really is a true tomorrow. Of course I'm being dramatic, but I'm dismayed by everything. Some things are simply true today: Bush is President and it is not a post-apocalyptic situation (although close). [I'm thinking Soylent Green here!] Karl Rove is a genius strategist (and I hate him), but he runs our country like a true pimp. Progressives and all related family members need to look in the mirror. All those red-filled States must tell you something about your messages (or lack of them). Simply not resonating with Joe Bob. And yes, youth do suck, and they'd rather watch the fucking OC than know about real issues that affect them. Madison Avenue and Viacom own them. What will I do? Party with Pop+Politics tonight. What else?!


Like everyone else, I was confused by the vast contradictions of the exit polls and the actual results of this election. If I were the news stations, I would want my money back. For all the excitement, waiting and tension, somehow I fell asleep at 10:30. When I woke up at midnight, I was like "Oh hell, here we go." Then, this morning I felt a little better about it. I don't think this will drag out for another couple of months.

My sympathies to those who worked so hard for Kerry. They really did, but I think the reality is that the country is going in a clear direction. I was surprised, but it's pretty much in plain view. America is moving to the right. The White House, The Senate, The House and pretty soon, The Supreme Court is steering us in the direction of conservative values. Well, all that except for fiscal conservatism which in my opinion is the best aspect of conservativism. Bush's spending is a mess and I'm not talking about the war.

If the Democrats are going to have a chance in any upcoming elections, they have to expand their base. They can only do that by electing more moderate, likeable candidates. Obama is a good example. Regardless of the fact that he was basically running the equivalent of unopposed, the middle is their only chance. They need a candidate who can appeal to the base and not just steal Independents, but steal Republicans the way Clinton did. They need a candidate that people want as opposed to a candidate that will do as long as the other guy doesn't win. If they continue to rely on college kids and African Americans, they are going to stay where they are. The minority party.

So here we are. A President in power with the support of a little over half the people, but more than he got the last time. What are you thinking? What are you feeling? Barring something really unusual, Bush is going to win. What do you want him to do differently? What can all politicians do to quell some of this partisan hatred?

Youth Suck (Says my friend...)

The Associated Press reports:

This was not the breakout year for young voters that some had anticipated.

Fewer than one in 10 voters Tuesday were 18 to 24, about the same proportion of the electorate as in 2000, exit polls indicated. Still, with voter turnout expected to be higher overall, more young people appeared to have come out.

A vigorous push on college campuses by both parties and national mobilization drives had raised expectations that 2004 would be the year of the youth vote.

Exit polls indicated that young people who did vote were strongly supporting Democrat John Kerry over President Bush, while they were evenly split between Bush and Democrat Al Gore four years ago.

Or, as a friend put it in the header of his email, "Youth Suck."

I wouldn't go that far, but the numbers are not good. 18-29 voted at the same rate as 2000, while 30-44 was actually down.

The key: it has to be about issues, not just t-shirts or slogans.

In the post-mortem analysis, I'd like to see what messaging-only groups like Citizen Change were able to accomplish versus ones that laid out a political agenda for voters, like the League's

Voting in Indiana's 9th District - Perry 20

I worked the polls this morning as a poll watcher from 6am to 9am in Perry District 20.  There was a young Republican man there with his list of voters, checking off names.  He was mannerly and didn’t seem to be an obstruction to anyone.  I stood by the door just watched everything.  There were a few people who were not on the paper voter list, but were quickly confirmed by the county clerk.  There were a few that had come to the wrong district, but when they left they knew the correct place to go.  The election staff there was wonderful, very helpful and accommodating.  There were no harassers outside and no signs/people in the chute area. Other than the rain, there is nothing inhibiting the voters in my district.  Not even the young college republicans J




Stephanie Snider

GIS Specialist

UITS - Data Management Support

2711 East 10th St.

Bloomington, IN 47401

(812) 855-7191


Is Ohio the new Florida??

It is 3 am- I'm in a dorm room at the University of Michigan (2,000 miles away from my Cali home, mind you) and I just got off the phone with a live morning radio show broadcasting in the UK.

I can't believe that it is 3 am, that I'm at Umich, and I just got off the phone doing a radio interview in the UK.

I have been at U Mich Ann Arbor organizing to get out the South Asian vote- tonight our campaign came to a fabulous end as we had a South Asian Vote Viewing Party at the Pizza House- we had about 100 people stop by throughout the night, most South Asian. Should have known that the 8-1am party time wouldn't be long enough to see the results come though.... But there was definately something cool about being in a room full of brown people, all wearing "I'm South Asian and I VOTE!" stickers, all engaging in political discourse. Since when did college age brown people talk politics, instead of culture show rehearsals and Bollywood stars? Oh yeah, since SAAVY came into town...

I think I'm heading to bed, which is actually the couch of a student fellow in a group house out here. And then comes the spinning, messaging, and plastic optimism that comes on November 3rd of post-election day.

I'm proud of these Umich kids-they did a kick ass job out here this week. they registered young voter, educated them on issues, got them to the polls and protected their rights. We kicked ass, we kicked ass, no matter what the results, we kicked ass.

Taz Ahmed

inside the machinery

I was brought in by a temp agency to work for the Department of Elections in San Francisco last night. Instead of huddling with my fellow man and yelling at a television, I was hoisting very heavy bags filled with ballots. These were being driven in to Pier 29 by Sherriff's Department officers, which, I'm told, is a new thing. There was a lot of waiting around for precincts to close up. In the meantime, I wandered around the pier, which is where they keep a lot of parade floats and giant styrofoam objects, like a golden monkey king and a "kiss me i'm irish" jolly leprechaun bas relief. It also smelled strongly of horse manure, and sure enough, there were two horses tied up to the pier, maybe in case things needed to get all Paul Revere for some reason.
So this was a surreal situation to be in, a giant warehouse with forklifts and portapotty, and small roped off sections for "objective observeres." There were armies of minivans and worker drones busying ourselves with...what? The future of the presidency? Hardly. We didn't even see the first vans arrive till about 10 pm, and my friend had already heard about Florida going to Bush. It took a lot of wind out of the process, the idea that somehow my physical labor would be contributing to the National outcome. I still slogged on for several more hours, watching the hundred or so people there break the Eagle ballot machines down, pull busted sacks of ballots onto their designated spots on the warehouse floor to be tabulated again. I don't envy the DOE workers that will be there a few more hours still...
I wish there was a nice pithy way to sum up getting my hands dirty for the good of democracy, but I just kept worrying about throwing out my back and if I could get worker's comp. I got home and got to yell at the TV a little bit. Something tells me I've got a lot of yelling to look forward to.

Wliding out in Chicago

Okay, it’s about 3:30am Chicago time… Welcome to the 2000 remix. Tell me something, ya’ll: Who didn’t see this one coming? Indecision 2004—Jon Stewart ain’t neva lied. (And I don’t even like his show.)

I just turned my TV off for the night… I’m checking emails—getting notes from folks and connects all over the map. People are heated once again. Not too many lawsuits expected, but you’ve gotten a mob of unhappy folks, both democrat and republican. The happy ones are the Republicratic Hustlers—Farai knows who I’m talking about. Speaking of which:

I just want to take this chance to publicly thank Farai Chideya and Jean Chen for inviting me to blog and share with everyone. I’ve swapped a few notes with Farai over the lack of diversity in politics—not just in terms of ethnicity but also in terms of ideas. Minus the occasional BET-er, Ed Bradley and Carlos-what’s-his-name-from-CNN sighting, it’s been wall-to-wall blondes, brunettes and redheads spewing the same moderate spin coast-to-coast. I think can go a long way towards changing this.

What’s slowly sinking in with me is if you’re Black, Latino, Asian, Native American you can’t depend on mainstream folks to speak for you. Because they’ve proven time and time again, that they won’t unless you threaten to put a bullet or a ballot to their head… Or threaten to take away their money. All these media conglomerates, pundits and political parties care about is getting rich and appeasing white moderates, NASCAR Dads, Soccermoms and such. (It’s no wonder states like OHIO, PENNSYLVANIA, WISCONSIN, Georgia, etc. were so important to them. Not much diversity out there)


At last check Bush has about a 3.7 million stretch in the popular vote and about a 40 electoral vote gap in the Electoral College, according to MTV and CBS. I’d be impressed by both figures except for two things: it’s looking like only about 120 Million people actually voted—that’s only a few more than 2000. God help me, I don’t understand why over 100 million eligible voters decided to stay away once again… We can’t blame the “evil republicans” this time… We just got too many trifling folks taking too much for granted.

My grandmother being a black woman didn’t have the right to vote secured for the first 40-something years of her life. My great grandfather was a southern minister who was murdered by some “concerned citizens” because he had the crazy notion back in the 1920s and 30s that black people should be voting. They came into his church and killed him after a Sunday service and told my grandmother and great grandmother that if they didn’t keep quiet, they’d be next.

So for the last few weeks, including today, I’ve flipped thru channels peeping the Citizen Change farce and the pimps and hoes who run MTV talking about vote or die, when they can’t appreciate or understand what either one means. I’ve been listening to all these so-called “disaffected youth”—mostly white, well-off, “too-cool-for-the ‘burbs” types whining over the prospect of standing in line for an extra 20 minutes to cast a ballot… it’s turning my stomach, man. It’s truly breaking my heart. “Choose or Loose” my foot!

My guess is sometime on Wednesday, GWB will be declared the victor… Kerry’s chances of winning are slimmer than Anne Coulter waist divided by her respect for anyone’s opinion other than her own. And I doubt that Kerry’ll file suits or wait on the absentee/provisional ballots and such to be counted. He’ll fall back and resign like a good little politico and pledge his allegiance with the same fake, stiff smile he’s been using the last 14 months. Now Teresa’s another story. She might snap and clock Laura Bush during the concession speech and go home and count her ketchup money.

Can I just say what an embarrassment the democrats are. I mean, here you are a guy— Kerry—running against a guy–Bush— that half the country can’t stand… All JFK (John Friggin’ Kerry) had to do was give people something to vote for and he couldn’t do it. He had a bogus war, a foul economy, terrorism and all sorts of drama on his side and he still couldn’t give people something to vote for. Sure Bush sucked, but we knew that going in. We’ve seen Bush sucking for 4 years now. All people needed from Kerry was something to run towards, a clear confident real alternative. And again, just like Al Gore before him, Kerry couldn’t do it. God I hate politics!

Hey I wonder who Usama voted for? I wonder who Usama’s parent’s voted for—ya’ll do realize that half his family lived in Boston for years and got flown out of the country by Ashcroft and Cheney on 9/13/01. Don’t be shocked if they do an absentee ballot or something. (Sounds nuts, but anything’s possible these days.)

You can tell my punch-drunk tired after that last tirade. I’m hittin’ the sheets. I’ll get at ya’ll in the am…

Vote or Die… So when’s the funeral?

Hadji Williams is author of “KNOCK THE HUSTLE: How to Save Your Job and Your Life from Corporate America.” Get excerpts, etc. at: Email him:

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

Whoa, What Just Happened?

What tha? I go out to dinner for a few hours and when I come back, Bush has won Florida AND Ohio! Is this for real?

Urgh, and then I was listening to NPR and they were interviewing this voter and the guy couldn't decide between Bush and Kerry... so he left his ballot blank! Sometimes I think we live in a nation of idiots.

-Jean Chen
San Francisco, CA

Okay, you were right....

... "you" being all of my friends who said we would not know who the president was tonight.

"We've waited four years for this victory. We can wait one more night."-- Vice Prez candidate John Edwards, doing the this-is-not-a-concession-speech.

The dealie is that Ohio will decide the election. As said before.

We'll see.

More on my election night travails... I mean, travels

Went first to a restaurant in downtown Oakland; had some snacks with friends who are reporters and politicial organizers. One of them is Jessica Tully, who works on marrying musicians with political causes. We rolled to Barbara Boxer's election-night party just in time to see her declared the winner in her Senate re-election race.

Then ended up at a loft with a beautiful view of the bay bridge, where I basically got the news that Kerry lost.

Ended up in a conversation about hijacking the Democratic Party... yes, the party that couldn't bother to win even facing a President who botched the economy, national security, and the separation of church and state.

Speaking as a journalist--viva four more years. This will be one big friggin' rollercoaster. Hear the giant sucking sound as no-bid contracts fatten Halliburton's wallet. Just watch the Supreme Court abolish abortion rights (Rehnquist is already ill; there will be a slew of new appointees) and there be hospital ships in international waters, women helicoptered from shore.... and, as my friend Ben said, thoughts like, "We've had this experiment of black people voting in America for sixty years.... and we've had just about enough of that."

The 2008 election starts tomorrow. And it's really about values. I wrote an article on PopandPolitics called "It's the God. Stupid?" about the fact that most Americans saw values as the center of their decisions. The Democratic Party has ceded the language of values to the Republicans, and it cannot continue to exist and leave that void.


By the way, here's the current electoral college map.

AAAAH--- FOOOKIN' A!!!!!! OHIO!!!!

So, I've been traipsing around the Bay Area this election night. Hard to believe it's only 10pm Pacific.... feels much later.

Let me just quote an email I sent three weeks ago:

"Whither Ohio goes the nation."

It's not done yet, but it's close to done. All, for Kerry, hinges on the outcome in Ohio, a state which has rustbelt job-loss districts; corporate hubs; Christian right; and gay and lesbian communities. In other words, its demographics are as mixed as Florida's.

============== FOOK ===================

An inside source just told me Kerry lost Ohio, which means Kerry lost.

More soon.

======== UN-FOOK =========== OR SOMETHING ======

okay.... fox is calling Ohio a win for Bush, but CNN is calling it as "too close to call" because there are 600,000 pending ballots (absentee and provisional); and now Iowa is back in play b/c of voting irregularities.

So who the hell knows?

Everyone's the same but different.

I just finished a calling drive on behalf of Move On PAC at La Palapa restaurant here in NYC. The turnout was impressive, with no less than 100 people taking turns making phone calls to residents in Florida, encouraging them to vote. What was most interesting about the people who came to the volunteer effort was their economic standing and their attitude towards the process of encouraging others to vote (and in this case for Kerry). First, all of the volunteers were caucasian, and either students or white collar employees (the rest were retired or artists/musicians). There were no minorities (aside from me) in sight. Having spent over 3 hours at the restaurant, I became acutely aware of the situation after about hour 2. Now the reasons are numerous for this divide, and a living wage is one place to start, but the realization that New York City, the land of the melting pot, could not spur a sense of comraderie during this election was disheartening - coming from a teacher who teaches in one of the worst urban public schools in the city.
Secondly, I met or interacted with some of the strangest volunteers while participating in the effort. Most notably was a fourteen year old boy who sat next to his mother (an older woman who yelled at those on the other line as if she were in the subway). The boy would call a perspective voter and berate them about Bush's policies. Having been hung up on once, he would call again and proclaim, "How dare you hang up on me." not to be outdone after being hung up on a second time, he would call a third time and hang up as the receiver picked up the phone. Now I am all for encouraging children to become involved in the process of politics, and I would certainly allow a child to attempt to make two phone calls and "fail." But when does the parent step in and explain to the child the proper procedure in which to make these phone calls. Like mother like son I guess.

On a brighter note, of those who came the mood was cautious but optimistic and it was nice to interact with others during the election of my lifetime.

It’s official: Barak Obama is going to the Senate.

He just gave a victory speech—apparently I missed it. He’s such a rockstar. He gives everyone a chance to scream progress, even though if we’re honest with ourselves, we know different. Anyway...

So far the polls are surprisingly close on a national tip.

If the early counts are legit, Bush has a 165 to 112 lead, which means all things being equal, Bush will pull it out in a fairly close one. Was all the early talk about an easy Kerry win just hype? There’s apparently a large turn-out amongst young people, but many of them are appearing to be closet republicans. This reinforces my “hiphop-ain’t-a- voting-block” theory. Then again, Saul Williams did recently note that rap has gone Republican. Guess the Amethyst Rockstar was right. But it’s still early… I’ll let that one marinate and pick it back up sometime tomorrow.

Win or lose, I’ll also be asking myself this question a lot over the next few: Are people voting for Kerry or just voting against Bush? And are people scared of terrorism and taking the “we haven’t been hit since 9/11 Bush must being doing something right so let’s give him another run” angle?

Poor Alan Keyes… Call him crazy… Call him Right Wing or whatever… But that brotha got pimped. They threw him on the track like a ho and said go get us some votes. He couldn’t and now they’re bouncing him like a bad check.

I’ll holla in a bit…

Hadji Williams is author of “KNOCK THE HUSTLE: How to Save Your Job and Your Life from Corporate America.” Get excerpts, etc. at: Email him:

It’s official: Barak Obama is going to the Senate.

He just gave a victory speech—apparently I missed it. He’s such a rockstar. He gives everyone a chance to scream progress, even though if we’re honest with ourselves, we know different. What bugs me about Obama is that he's spent the last few weeks campaigning for everyone else in the DNC in every other state. I'm like, "Dude, if you wanna rep me, at least stick around town for more than a few hours at a clip." Is that asking too much? And I know this is going to sound mean, but tons of white people like Obama. And we never talk about race in politics outside of trying to prove how liberal and inclusive everyone is or bashing the republicans... I gues what i'm trying to say is, any brotha that has that many mainstream fans could be in trouble real soon. Anyway...

So far the polls are surprisingly close on a national tip.

If the early counts are legit, Bush has a 165 to 112 lead, which means all things being equal, Bush will pull it out in a fairly close one. Was all the early talk about an easy Kerry win just hype? There’s apparently a large turn-out amongst young people, but many of them are appearing to be closet republicans. This reinforces my “hiphop-ain’t-a- voting-block” theory. Then again, Saul Williams did recently note that rap has gone Republican. Guess the Amethyst Rockstar was right. But it’s still early… I’ll let that one marinate and pick it back up sometime tomorrow.

Win or lose, I’ll also be asking myself this question a lot over the next few: Are people voting for Kerry or just voting against Bush? And are people scared of terrorism and taking the “we haven’t been hit since 9/11 Bush must being doing something right so let’s give him another run” angle?

Poor Alan Keyes… Call him crazy… Call him Right Wing or whatever… But that brotha got pimped. They threw him on the track like a ho and said go get us some votes. He couldn’t and now they’re bouncing him like a bad check.

I’ll holla in a bit…

Hadji Williams is author of “KNOCK THE HUSTLE: How to Save Your Job and Your Life from Corporate America.” Get excerpts, etc. at: Email him:

voting in chicago

It’s about 7pm Chicago time… Just got back from the polls on the North Side. When you’ve lived in Chitown as long as I have you forget that we’re the town that invented the phrase, “vote early, vote often.” (no joke.) Voting today was a reminder of just how easy it is to fix an election.

First off, my designated polling place was—get this—in the lobby of someone’s apartment building. Just an apartment building. Nothing official or secure, just some random apartment building that anybody could walk into. No security whatsoever. When I walked into the lobby, there were people voting in their pajamas, clearly tenants. I guess if I lived right upstairs from my polling place, I’d do the same. As I stood in line I kept wondering what their day was like, “Let’s see… brush my teeth, take out the trash… oh yeah, vote on the way back up.” There’s just something fundamentally bizarre about all of this. Then again, maybe it’s just me.

And far as I’m concerned this is a total class thing, too. You got to into the more “urban” neighborhoods, like where I used to live, they ain’t setting up polling booths in folks’ basements and whatnot. Nope, those folks gotta go for a walk… or a drive… or a ride… or hop on a bus or something. You gotta work to cast a ballot.

Speaking of ballots…

With all the money they spend on elections, you’d think we could get some real ballots and real booths. What’s with the crappy pseudo-Scantron looking things, huh? Didn’t we learn from this already? I felt like I was back in high school taking a PSAT or an ACT test. Next election, I want a real voting booth, not this stupid suitcase thingy on legs! It’s sad.

Alan Keyes is getting mauled by Obama, by the way. Not that the republicans care or anything. They ran Jack Ryan out of the election—he’s the guy that took his ex-wife to swing parties and was into all kinds of freaky sex stuff. Ryan was just what normally wins in Illinois politics—rich and white. But they ran him out because of sex. Talking about cutting off your nose to spit your face.

As for Keyes, it’s not like they’ve funded the guy’s campaign—they’ve given him no money, virtually no TV support or fundraising efforts… Ah, the joys of being a black politician. We have several local and state elections going on tonight and numerous republicans are doing everything they can to get as far away from Alan Keyes as possible. Which is sad, because the only reason Keyes is ruining is because none of the white republicans wanted to. The Illinois Republicans went after Mike “da coach” Dikta and he said, “no, thanks.” How sad are you when you can’t even get a former athlete/celebrity who’s actually a republican to help you out? The Illinois Republican party is such a joke.

There have been reports in the last few days that Keyes’s daughter is gay. Supposedly she’d got a blog up with a picture of her and her girlfriend on it. He has no comment, of course. But I have a question? Isn’t every politician’s daughter gay? Doesn’t everyone have a gay cousin or an Uncle or something? Why is this news?

Well… I’m hungry. I’m gonna go eat and watch all the talking heads screw up the exit polls again.


Hadji Williams is the author of KNOCK THE HUSTLE: How to Save Your Job and Your Life from Corporate America. reach him at //

Florida Is In Play

From Power Line :

With 7% of the vote in, President Bush is leading by 57% to 42%. Martinez is leading his Senate race by seven.

The Democrats I'm hanging out with here aren't as cocky as they were a few hours ago.

UPDATE: The Florida Secretary of State reports Bush's lead at 56.6 to 42.5, with 12% of the vote cast.

ANOTHER UPDATE: With 20% of the votes counted, Bush's lead is 55% to 44%.

Bush also has a surprising (to me, anyway) 57% to 42% lead in the popular vote. Given, especially, that the states counted so far are all in the east.

comin' in by the busload!

I volunteered to assist with "directing (human) traffic" at one of the local voting posts here in Amherst. Though this small town in western Massachusetts is clearly a liberal stronghold, that didn't seem to discourage any of the students from UMass Amherst from making their way to the polls.

It was truly inspiring to see: kids riding up on skateboards and bicycles, young couples and small groups streaming in by the dozens. UMass sponsored two shuttles to transport students to and from the polls by the busload.

For the few hours that I stood outside greeting the voters of Precinct 9, late teen and twenty-somethings far outnumbered their older counterparts -- at least 8 to 1. A volunteer who said she'd been involved in elections for many years said she'd never seen anything like it.

Young people have mobilized. And if what I witnessed today is any reflection of what is happening at the polls around the rest of the country, it's a damn good thing.

Amherst, Mass.

Third Parties -- Who Are These People?

I just voted and while filling out my choice for president, I noticed that Ralph Nader was not on the ballot. But Leonard Peltier was. Isn't he in jail? That's fascinating that you can run for president, but not be able to vote.

And who are Michael Anthony Peroutka and Chuck Baldwin of the American Independent Party? Or Michael Badnarik and Richard Campagna of the Libertarian Party? Is anyone going to vote for these guys?

-Jean Chen
San Francisco, CA

Electoral College Map

Is the game underway? Check out this election map. It's updating live, I presume.

What do we do on the day after Tuesday?

...soon off to a friendly local bar to meet a friend, drink fine Old European ale, and watch the returns come in with fellow liberal-progressive Brooklynites.

Voting early this morning was satisfying and uneventful.

At lunch, took a quick subway ride up to Rockefeller Center, which NBC News has dubbed "Democracy Plaza." It was more like Democracyland, packed with tourists, school groups, and the odd NYer like me checking it out, along with lots of guards and cops, of course.

Bland pavilion displays of American electoral history here and there, but mostly, the massive paraphenalia of broadcast journalism--booths looking out onto the street and the ice (where NBS has put their massive Map of the Nation), lights covered with red and blue gels, massive monitors playing the Greatest Hits of Presidential Speeches, interspersed with talking heads talkin' democracy. A circular ticker on some kind of tower diplaying news headlines. Giant scoreboards for Kerry and Bush--like the kind you'd see at an old baseball stadium, with big numbers being flipped by hand (cool!)--being hoisted above the plaza. White flowers in planters on the Fifth Avenue side spraypainted blue and red. It's Vote-A-Palooza, folks!

Late in the afternoon, after surveying the blogosphere and web for the umptyleventh time (kos...atrios...myDD...kos...nytimes...cnn...myDD...), getting anxious trying to read the chicken innards and tea leaves, I fantasized that if nothing else, a solid tristate area (NY-NJ-CT) sweep for Kerry would repudiate Bush/Cheney in the part of the country most hurt on 9/11, which they've used to such ill ends...but for me, that would be a pretty thin consolation prize.

I'm looking forward to this being over, and taking the next steps. Up at WorldChanging, the blog I contribute to, our group statement, Starting Tomorrow, reads in part:

...when it comes to solving the real problems facing this planet, neither party in American politics can claim the high ground, or even, to put it bluntly, much grounding in reality at all. In this first presidential election of the 21st Century, a realistic understanding of the problems we face as a planet and the role the U.S. could and should play in solving them should have been a matter of daily debate. Instead, we've gotten saber-rattling and name-calling. But pandering to the worst inclinations of the American electorate doesn't make any of us safer or the world more stable. This year, the entire political establishment has failed grotesquely to speak plainly about the objective realities of the world.

We can do better. We must do better. Regardless of who is elected president today, we must now begin to forge a reality-based plan for the planet.

Emily, Brooklyn NY

Kerry's Ahead By a Nose... Slate's Decision

So, meta-politics news... Slate decided to go ahead and publish the exit polls that everyone else is keeping secret, which should make them big winners today. In a race this ugly, rules were made to be broken. Scroll down to the bottom of their poll report to see their rationale for making the information public. (I don't totally buy their rationale, but I'm not against their decision.)

So, here's what they said:

Kerry 50
Bush 49

Kerry 50
Bush 49

Kerry 54
Bush 45

Kerry 51
Bush 46

Kerry 51
Bush 47

Kerry 58
Bush 40

Kerry 48
Bush 50

New Mexico
Kerry 50
Bush 48

North Carolina
Kerry 49
Bush 51

Kerry 46
Bush 53


I just did a round of blogs. The Left blogs seem to be doing a victory dance and the right blogs are being cautious. I would err on the cautious side. Trust me. I'm a Cubs fan and the let down is worse when you celebrate victory prematurely.

Cool Voting

I may be the only Bush supporter on the blog, but it is a privilege to be here with you all this evening. It's going to be a nail-biter. I think we can all agree on this: a winner by morning! No litigation or challenges. Let the best man for the job win, and let him win decisively. I'm also doing "live-blogging" on my site, La Shawn Barber's Corner.

My day was uneventful. At my polling place this morning, the line was wrapped around the building so I went on to work. This afternoon around 3:00 p.m., the place was a ghost town. I was in and out in five minutes.

Happy blogging!

Touch-tone screens, 3 strikes, and stereo thieves!!

So today is the big day. I have to admit it, all day I have had this weird nervous-excited feeling in my tummy. After all this is the most important election of our lives right? I mean, that's what all the super-aware, first time voting, never had anything political to say in their lives celebrities have been yelling, chanting, singing and rapping to me for the past six months. But, I'm just wondering, isn't all the fuss maybe evidence that the 2000 election was pretty important too? Well, better late than never.

My voting experience went pretty smoothly. I reviewed my voter info book this morning, made myself a cheat sheet, and drove to the Baptist church up the hill from my house in Hayward, CA and voted. I know there is a lot of debate about the touch-screens but I dig 'em. I wore my black baby tee with the white house and an "approved by the 19th amendment" stamp on it. Oh yeah, I also wore my favorite earrings, because it is a special occasion. Only my second presidential campaign, I was 18 in 2000. I am still excited that I CAN vote - hope I never lose that!

Even though my car (Snoopy) was broken into last night, if the losers who did it are caught and it's their third offense they may not be punished under the three-strikes law thanks in part to my vote this morning. Not sure how I feel about that. It's like everyone is against the death penalty until a family member is killed -OR against mandatory minimums in drug cases until someone is selling to their kids. Moral of the story: we have to think about the BIG PICTURE! Sure I am pissed off at whoever molested my vehicle but do I really would I really want to put them away for life?

Sabrina Ford, student, journalist, Bay native and all around groovy chick!

The vote got out

Put on my "Refuse Bush" shirt today and went down to the polls. The turnout there was incredible. The line snaked out the door (and in Berkeley, a co-worker reports that even though he got there 10 minutes before the polls opened, there were already 50 people in line). There weren't enough booths so we voted at folding chairs. But then, this being San Francisco, California, we had to make decisions about 16 state initiatives and 15 city measures, ranging from reforming the Three Strikes law (Yes!) to the "Save our local theaters" measure that would actually divert $10 million to an unproven organization in San Francisco (No!).

Anyway, it's lovely to see that turnout nationwide is HUGE. Which means that all those lovely polls of likely voters mean absolutely nothing. My 25-year-old sister is one of those people throwing a monkeywrench in the polls -- she's voting in her first presidential election. Which is why I'm not at all surprised that those not-supposed-to-be-published exit polls are currently favoring Kerry...

vote early and often?

i voted a bit after 8 a.m. in coastal san mateo county at an elementary school. i guess the kids aren't having p.e. today, sorry!
but there was no waiting and lots of cheerful precinct workers. i usually vote mid afternoon and take my son to show him how the democratic process works. let's hope that after this presidential election, we will still have all our voting rights intact! i checked the ballot twice, maybe it was three times, the ink i used to mark KERRY was going to migrate off the page and over to Bush's name. But luckily it did not and I have now cast my vote for the president of choice, for a better future (i was so much older then i'm younger than that now...) good luck and may tomorrow be better than the previous days/daze.

Obama, VoD... Where's Michael Moore?

Okay , it’s about 1pm, Chicago time… Obama is looking strong… Keyes or Obama, Illinois will have only the third black senator since reconstruction. I’m thankful to be alive to see that. It’s something my gramma and most of my elders never saw. But I’m also hurt to know that in so many areas of society, we’re still fighting to be the first or second or third or fourth of anything. We should be past that, but we’re not.

Just saw another “VOTE or DIE” PSA… Those crack me up. MTV, VH1, BET, etc. are killin’ me. We sell images of thugs, pimps, strippers, materialism, then expect people to care about our issues and take us seriously. People may buy stereotypes but they won’t vote for them and they sure won’t lose any sleep over the disenfranchisement of thugs, niggas, bitches, hoes, babymamas, and athletic/comedic savants, which is how we constantly come off, particularly in hiphop and entertainment.

Anyway, enough complaining…

Where’s Michael Moore? Haven’t seen him on TV in a minute now. He’s probably somewhere counting his Farenhype money. Sorry, I know 9/11 was hot, but he seems like such an opportunist—they all do to be real with you.

Phone Break…

Just got off the phone with a friend from NYC… His daughter’s a student at U of Michigan. She just got done voting and now she’s working the polls as a volunteer. She says the turnout is huge. Haven’t heard much about the hiphop generation on TV; haven’t seen much coverage on the youth vote in general. I’m sure Gideon Yago and crew will step up soon to fill me in.

Hadji Williams is author of KNOCK THE HUSTLE: How to save Your Job and Your Life from Corporate America.

Florida is Slim Shady

Florida is as shady as 2000, or, perhaps, 1954. Tons of problems right now apparently. District 19, Holla! Unfortunately, I have to monitor that wreck all day. How do you spell Florida-sized corruption? J-E-B.

Beautiful Morning in Blue San Francisco

Up at 6:15 a.m. Could tell by the light starting to stream in between the blinds that a very beautiful San Francisco day was dawning. New apartment, delighted to see by looking at the wireless modem that the DSL had come on in time for Election Day. Padded downstairs, started touring the blogs for any kind of reassurance that Kerry has it in the bag. Didn't get any. Off to my polling place by 8:15, found line of about 25 people, some anxiously looking at their watches, wondering how long it was going to take as they clearly needed to get to work. Got to the head of the line a half hour later, spent some of it talking to the other people in line, the rest figuring out some remaining ballot propositions.

Working at home today, so drove back to my apartment. Marveled at how much crap John Kerry has taken when the reality (or at least my reality) is that he's contested an incumbent president in the midst of what has been framed as a war to a dead heat (which likely means he'll win big, as polls seem to consistently undercount Democrats, as they did in 2000). Subsequently happened across this marvelous blog entry from Brad DeLong that summed my feelings quite nicely, although I would have added more direct props for Big John.

Net, it's a beautiful day in San Francisco, and I look forward to it becoming even more beautiful as day stretches into night.

What's Going On??

Ok, ok, so I haven't voted yet. But I will vote after work today. I think it'll be interesting because at 6 pm west coast time, polls on the east coast will have been closed already. Maybe we'll find out how Florida voted. Ha!

More shady business, this time in Ohio. What's up with these GOP challenges?

But the big question right now is, "What's going on??" I'm so spoiled by the media, that I demand and expect up-to-the-minute results. Who's ahead? And by how much? Where's the play-by-play commentary? I know that the networks have pledged not to make predictions until after polls close. But please!! I wanna know what's going on!

Early Voting

I voted absentee last weekend, so I've managed to stay out of the melee, but it's given me plenty of time to listen to the disheartening dispatches on the radio. Legions of lawyers have descended on swing states to file lawsuits at the first sign of voter fraud. Like everything else in this country, lawyers will decide who becomes the next president. And now people are waiting in line for an hour to vote. At least we'll have some appreciation for how long voters in places like South Africa wait to vote.

Lights Out

It was my first Election Day here in New York. Yep, my first time pulling the lever. I thought that was a metaphor, but no, there's really a lever -- a really loud lever. Back in Seattle, voting was kind of like taking a test. (Does everyone have their No. 2 pencil?)

The lines were long this morning around 10 a.m. in Manhattan, but that was to be expected. What really troubled me was how unhelpful the volunteers were. I mean, I understand that it's a pretty thankless job and that it's very long hours. But, with all the potential for voting mishaps, one would hope that this year's volunteers would be well-trained and doing their part to make this election as smooth as possible for as many people as possible. The polls had only been open for about 4 hours at this point. They have a long way to go -- until 9 p.m. tonight. The first disturbing conversation I overheard was a volunteer practically screaming at this older lady that she was in the wrong place to vote for her particular district and that she needed to "go down the street between Park and Madison or maybe it's Madison and 5th." Shouldn't she know where to direct people who are a bit off course? I hope that older lady found her way. I almost wanted to walk her down to make sure she got there OK. Of course, I still needed to vote. Finally, I made it to the front of the line. The woman in charge of Booth #1 was responsible for making sure people knew how to work the voting levers. She asked the girl in front of me if she knew how the booth worked and rolled her eyes when the girl said she didn't. I got a similar eye roll. So, we got a joint training session. The booth is a bit overwhelming. There are little mini-levers all over and one huge lever that locks in your choices. I wanted to make sure I did this right. I didn't want to be one of those people they talk about on the news that voted for two candidates by accident or something else that disqualified a perfectly good vote. However, when both I and my training buddy asked a few questions to clarify how we were supposed to use the booth, the volunteer responded simply, "Whatever you like." Over and over. It didn't matter what we asked.

"Do we pull down just one lever going across each row or one lever going down each column?"

"Whatever you like."

"John Kerry is listed twice. We just pull down one lever for him though, right?"

"Whatever you like."

"We can't vote for more than one candidate though, right? The machine will prevent that?"

"Whatever you like."

I'd like you to answer a question. That's what I'd like. Once I got inside, it seemed a bit more clear. And, I feel confident that John Kerry got my vote. I pulled the lever to lock in my choices, emerged from the booth feeling confident and then the lights went out. Yep, the power went out. This does not bode well for the rest of the voting day here in NYC. Let's just hope once we're through all the counting and re-counting and arguing that will inevitably ensue that we have a new President. Otherwise, it's lights out for the next four years...again.

~Lydia, Manhattan, NY