Archive for the ‘vote’ Category

Vote for the fairy…

Me at Halloween

Or go ahead and vote for Obama or McCain. I don’t mind. Just vote.

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“I’m going to vote for a black man…”

My father said casually over a discussion last week about voting.

“This might be the last time I will ever get to do that,” my father continued. He’s 55 and he could possibly be right. After all, it took over half a century for him to see the day. Our fathers and their fathers often see the “black and white” of things. Room for gray is intermittent.

So, as a family, we trotted over to the nearest polling station. Being that this is early voting time, I had to endure the electronic voting process. It was strange. I mean wielding that wheel of power and pushing the red button got to my head a little, even though I was hesitant at first. I’m used to the old black marker and sheets of paper to cast my vote.

I was sure I was going to goof up. On the way there, my father said that my mom has been early voting for years and still can’t figure that machine out. And he made sure to say, “If someone hands you anything, put it in your pocket. You don’t want to go in showing it off…” Luckily no one was at the polling station selling their agendas because that kind of made me nervous. Man, voting sure got complicated…


Anyway, all was well and we left chatting about all the proposals on the ballot. We didn’t all vote the same way on anything. But isn’t that the point?

SNL, the Latino vote and media stupidity

No matter what you may believe, I truly am convinced that it took a silly but relevant comedy sketch on Saturday Night Live last week to really get America thinking about the media’s softness and one-sidedness when it comes to Barack Obama’s  NAFTA flub and so many others. As you already know, I was on the trail of mediocre support of Obama and yesterday proved that to the utmost. I walked into the polling station reluctantly with a knot in my stomach, almost in a sweat. Then they told me to pick a line — democratic or republican. I so desperately wanted to make my final decision in that little black box but I figured, as we all saw, that McCain didn’t need my help.

The lines were not crazy yet but were building by the minute when I left. I decided the caucus Texas Two-Step or convention (whatever) was going to be bananas (both sides are already screaming misconduct from disorganized polling stations) and I already had a stressful 20 minutes grappling with my final decision. What I also saw were Latinos. And anyone who underestimated the power of the Latino vote were kidding themselves if you are an Obama supporter. A few calls from the Obama camp to Spanish-speaking homes begging for support IN Spanish wasn’t good enough and in fact offended some Spanish-heritage people I work with. Clinton’s win over Texas isn’t a real huge surprise if you take into consideration all of these factors: that damn SNL sketch, the Latino vote (who she knew she would win over) and the media’s constant bias. My initial response was shock until I really thought about it.

In a bout of her own desperation, Hillary Clinton made a smart run of appearing on SNL the same night a sketch featured a phony debate hosted by parodies of the usual bias suspects (did someone say Tim Russert?) showing the usual soft approach journalists take (yes, I know I AM one) when it comes to grilling Obama. And then Hillary pandered to the young crowd by appearing on Jon Stewart. All while Barack played it cool and hung his hat on popularity even though scandal ensued. Oh and let us not forget THAT DAMN PHONE! Dammit for like two weeks STRAIGHT I couldn’t get that damn ringing out of my ears. And I think it must have had hypnotic powers over the democratic voters. “Who do I want to answer that phone?” Someone smart enough to hire someone to answer it before it hits like 7 rings!!!

Anyway, we will see what November brings of course (I’ll be glad for a quiet summer) but now I’m all screwed up inside again. This has been the most stressful time ever of my “voting power.” When I did this two other times in less than a decade it was so much easier when I knew who I DIDN’T want to vote for.

My time is now — well really it’s tomorrow …

I’ve decided that after work tomorrow, I will drive 45 minutes or about an hour, keeping traffic in mind, to my hometown to vote (instead of getting it over with early of course.) And then after a nice dinner with the rents, I will drive right back to the polling station and do it again for the caucus. What a funky process.

The real buzz here has been the Clinton and Obama rallies. Big duh if you are living in Ohio and reading this. You just never hear enough about McCain or Huckabee. Even on my job’s Web site, as you can see below, there are a number of photos and/or video being posted from citizen journalists on a regular from the democratic front.

on-the-scene.jpg

But the McCain and Huckabee slots remain vacant of submissions. Why? Is it that citizen journalists are looking for the “interesting” story or are we just netting a more democratic crowd on our Web site? Is this really, as they kept yapping about on Meet the Press on Sunday, a “personality contest?” If so Texas will probably, as I’ve said before, go straight for a democratic vote if the rest of the state behaves anything like Dallas has come November. And if not I will be surprised, even though we have been known as a red state for over several decades.

Working Texas like a hot date

It’s Hillary and Obama madness here. No sign of mass hysteria for Huckabee though. Meanwhile McCain is getting a boost because of rumors of working up a real hot date. I mean the commercials alone by all campaigns are like love letters to us. And I’m convinced that Texas may very well vote democratic afterall and possibly for Obama even if he has a photo floating around with him dressed in African garb. Since when was it a bad thing to wear African clothes in Africa? I’m not really going on the defense for Obama (I’m not completely sure if his camp didn’t circulate that photo to bash the Clinton crew) but what a lame attempt. When in Rome right? 

I know I’ve stated before who I’m voting for, but here I go again…about to board the unsure train all over again. I’ve heard you guys speak up and I’ve thought about everything you have said. March 4 is fast approaching. My hand will be unsteady. I may even need a shot before going in. I’ve never been so nervous in my life for this country.

Dallas Obama rally: Close but yet so far…

Damn line…When I heard that Barack Obama was coming to Dallas today, I naively thought, “Eh. We’ll get in.” He was supposed to speak at noon. I drove to our main office, walking distance from Reunion Arena, and strolled in about 11. Boy, that was stupid. By the time we got there, we were in a major line. Not just any line. A line that could wrap around a football field — three times, easy.

Reunion Arena, I’m told, holds 16,000 however 17,000 were allowed in. After tons of patience I almost never have, some cutting in line and determination, we were eventually seconds away from the doors and got turned away.

Douche

Some douchey guy with Obama’s team gave us the bad news that he would not be giving another speech outside, as was told to everyone in line prior to his first speech. Obama was already 10 minutes into is monologue when we all started yelling our objections to feeling a little shafted. Come to find out from our camp that some people came to Reunion at 4 a.m.!!!

I admit that I was pretty surprised to see that many diverse, concerned, and well, hell — that many people in DALLAS who even gave a damn. Superfical, always-having-its-mind-on-other-things-like-bottle-service-bars Dallas. I feel like a schmuck. I guess I can say I was there. But I didn’t hear crap.

The really sad part of the whole thing is — actually two sad things:

We had our badges which clearly state who we work for. However all of us didn’t really get ballsy enough to push completely ahead and walk right in with them. Security was kind of tight.

And second, Reunion Arena is so ghetto and broke down that the outside speakers weren’t hooked up for us to hear the speech from outside.

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Five years?

Last night I heard from an old friend from Nebraska. I used to work there for a daily as a city and county government reporter.  While there, among a lot of other crazy stuff happening like getting lost in a cornfield, I broke my ankle and now have a plate and six screws bolted to my bone. I think, in a way, being there that year was not only eye-opening but hardened me a little more to tough events.

Writing two to three front page stories almost daily was grueling. So was being a square peg in a round hole. Let’s just say it was apparent to Wal-Mart shoppers I wasn’t from around there. My friend and I couldn’t believe that it’s been five years since I left. He’s in town this week. And on this very Super and Fat Tuesday, I think we will partake in some revelry, catch up and feel how old we are now…

But speaking of Super Tuesday and time passing, five years ago would you have believed we would have a woman and a “minority” running for president — and looking quite promising in the race? I’ll admit, not being able to gawk at Mr. Edwards anymore will be hard. You all know how hot he is to me…but obviously good looks aren’t enough. Neither is idealism, gender and race even though this is a most historical primary. Being in Texas, I don’t get to play yet, but I hope you all who can vote today did before getting sloshed. I’ll be checking your work later tonight.