On this day...

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Jacqi Corgan
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Wed Nov 05, 2008 2:50 am Post

I cast an early "absentee" ballot yesterday, trying to avoid what I thought would be tremendous lines at the polls today. Oops! Apparently, a third of the voters here in my little chunk of Northeastern Ohio had the same thought! Well, I'm still glad I cast my ballot, even after waiting three hours to do so. I'm gladder still to see such tremendous turnout. Some folks did complain about the wait, but there were others who piped up and reminded the grousers that there have been people in this country who braved bodily injury and death just to register to vote.

At this point, I've stopped praying that any particular candidate wins. I'm just praying for my country.

But vic-k, I think you and Fluff have nailed the whole problem with the U.S.:
vic-k wrote:I thought Dr Mulality had advised you to avoid thinking.

Too many here in the States avoid thinking. That's why I've taken to praying.
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AmberV
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Wed Nov 05, 2008 3:13 am Post

Hmm, Michigan and Ohio just tipped blue. At this point it looks like an Obama win, potentially a very decisive win. McCain would have to pull off a Pennsylvania in a state other than Pennsylvania, and take Florida which is still up in the air, at this point to have any chance at all. Counting the current calls, plus Obama's safe states, he's already at 284 points; hence the need for a major upset somewhere. Out of the blue, so to speak.
.:.
Ioa Petra'ka
“Whole sight, or all the rest is desolation.” —John Fowles

ma
matt
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Wed Nov 05, 2008 3:17 am Post

There's all those western states with a view of the ocean that are sure to prefer blue as well. It's only the dust-covered no-ocean desert voters up the middle who feel more comfortable surrounded by red!

(Or aren't American deserts red-tinged like ours?)

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AmberV
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Wed Nov 05, 2008 3:24 am Post

Yes, most of our deserts are red. The high-altitude plains (which constitute most of the "middle" actually) just look like dead grass.
.:.
Ioa Petra'ka
“Whole sight, or all the rest is desolation.” —John Fowles

Hu
Hugh
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Wed Nov 05, 2008 9:43 am Post

Well, that might not have been exciting in a nip-and-tuck, down-to-the-line sort of way, but this morning it certainly feels momentous.

A couple of (rhetorical :wink: ) questions: who writes Obama's speeches? Whoever it is, they've certainly learnt the Rule of Threes ("... one day, one hour, one defining moment..."). And will writers now be queueing up for the chance to make their names by supplying him with words for the Inaugural? Or will he, like Kennedy, roll his own?

H

P.S. Jaysen: yes, some unwinding is certainly going to happen. And the issue is the speed: fast or slow? But slow gives ordinary folk more time to adjust, and thus may do less damage.
'Listen, some quiet night, when you've shirked your work that day. Do you hear
that distant, almost inaudible clicking sound? That's one of your
competitors, working away in the night in
Paris or London or Erie, PA.'

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vic-k
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Wed Nov 05, 2008 10:12 am Post

Hugh wrote:
...or does he roll his own?

Hugh,
I got a feeling it was him, speaking. Could be wrong, but my gut`s telling me I`m not.

Throughout history, when/where-ever, the naysayers` writ ran/runs large; when, "It can`t be done," is the word, there`s always some smuchk who`ll say, "Right! OK! Let`s do it then!" I`ve just looked at the faces of thousands of 'smuchks', in a stadium in Chicago, who, as far as I can tell, firmly believe that, "It can be done." Belief wont guarantee success, but as sure as there`s now a black family in the White House, it`s a fantastic foundation on which to start to build.

I`d just like to say, to all you smuchks over there, "Well done! Good Luck! And may your God help you pour the concrete, and lay the bricks `n` blocks.
Take care
Vic
As a professional, you, are your one and only asset. Without integrity you are worthless, but with it, you are priceless.

Hu
Hugh
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Wed Nov 05, 2008 10:54 am Post

I liked the refrain that ran through his history of 106-year-old Annie Cooper: "Yes we can." Not many modern political speakers would attempt that kind of flourish; fewer still would have any chance of making it work.

H
'Listen, some quiet night, when you've shirked your work that day. Do you hear
that distant, almost inaudible clicking sound? That's one of your
competitors, working away in the night in
Paris or London or Erie, PA.'

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juh
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Wed Nov 05, 2008 11:45 am Post

This ist a lucky morning for all of us here in Europe. Congratulations! The USA are back!

When I woke up this morning I switched on my radio, the tv and booted my notebook to hear, see and read it! Yes, its true! Yes we can!

Today we'd all like to be Americans I wrote in my blog.
http://www.sudelbuch.de/2008/yes-we-can ... amerikaner

PJ
PJS
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Wed Nov 05, 2008 2:14 pm Post

There's a mix of Baptist preacher and New England intellectual in Obama's speeches, as if John Kennedy were reading what Martin Luther King wrote. I can't imagine anyone else making it work so well.

Got an e-mail late last night from one of my daughters. "Unbelievable, it's a new world. Great to be an American. Make plans for how you are going to be.... there will be a chance to make it happen." This from a woman who spent the past twenty years working in South America and Central Europe, and now lives in France. I had been seriously wondering -- should McCain win -- if I could somehow finance a move to Provence. I couldn't, but that I even thought about it suggests how discouraged -- and frustrated -- many of us have felt about the direction in which the US had been moving.

I know, I know, the wise, the positive, the respectable and responsible thing to do is to work for change. But what do you do when, after working nearly a decade for change, you find the choice of your compatriots is to continue as before? And do not mistake all the make-nice speechifying: A McCain/Palin administration would have been largely a continuation of the Bush years, with the terrifying (not too strong a word) possibility that, at any moment McCain could become incapacitated, leaving us a government somewhere between Kafka and the Marx Brothers.

That is why I wrote back to my daughter, "At once surreal and sublime. Even more than what it says about Obama, I'm cheered and revitalized by what it says about us."

And about one this morning, watching the jubilant crowds in Chicago, I found myself cheering and crying with them.

ps
You can't conquer stupid — or cure it — with more stupid.

Ve
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Wed Nov 05, 2008 3:24 pm Post

Obama has made some concesions to the right that I do not agree with, so, like Jaysen, I'm a little skeptical -- okay, Jaysen is a lot skeptical. However, the only choice we have is hope and Obama gives us the best hope. But ONLY if we recognize that electing Obama is just the START of the process of recovering from the disaster that is the Bush (retch!!!) administration. Still, it is nice to have hope and not feel that I need to flee my own country.

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Sean Coffee
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Wed Nov 05, 2008 3:53 pm Post

It's proud day for America, and we have had too few of those over the last decade.

A

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kewms
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Wed Nov 05, 2008 4:07 pm Post

Hugh wrote:A couple of (rhetorical :wink: ) questions: who writes Obama's speeches? Whoever it is, they've certainly learnt the Rule of Threes ("... one day, one hour, one defining moment..."). And will writers now be queueing up for the chance to make their names by supplying him with words for the Inaugural? Or will he, like Kennedy, roll his own?


He wrote his own speeches until recently, when he got too busy to write them all. (The famous 2004 convention speech was his, for instance.) Now he works with a speechwriter, but from what I've read it's a collaboration. He's not just delivering lines: the words are very much his own by the time he gives the speech. The speechwriter is profiled at http://www.newsweek.com/id/84756

Katherine
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Jacqi Corgan
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Wed Nov 05, 2008 4:13 pm Post

I feel a tremendous sense of relief and of encouragement!

I'm relieved that my husband's and my family's fears that this nation would reject a highly intelligent, Harvard-educated professor intent on helping the "grass roots" of this country - the beleaguered middle class, the forgotten worker - because of his skin color were proven wrong.

I'm encouraged by what I saw among Obama's supporters during his speech last night: a hodgepodge of Americans of all colors, ages, creeds and backgrounds, all standing together. That's how this "melting pot" was supposed to be. Maybe the "wretched refuse" of everybody else's teeming shore recycled itself into something useful after all.

I'm relieved that the polling went smoothly, my "three-hour tour" at the early voting site notwithstanding.

I'm encouraged that so many people shed their apathy and got out to vote.

I'm relieved that the real issues of the day, such as the economy, prevailed over bullshit.

I'm relieved that we'll have a president who will nominate justices who are more inclined to honor precedents that have guaranteed individual liberties, than to protect corporations, to erode individual freedom, and to expand executive power. (This isn't an abstract "lawyers only" concern; three of our Supreme Court justices are likely to retire during this next presidential term, and the first appointee would seal the fate of Roe v. Wade and maybe even Hamadi v. Rumsfeld, which gave Guantanamo Bay detainees back their right to sue for their freedom, and which McCain called the worst Supreme Court decision he could recall.)

On a more cynical note, I'm relieved that those damned political ads will disappear from my TV, my radio, and the internet! :P
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Sean Coffee
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Wed Nov 05, 2008 4:19 pm Post

It's proud day for America, and we have had too few of those over the last decade. I'm proud that the right man won, proud that my often willfully ignorant country had a brilliant moment of clarity, proud that we will have a President who values decency, dignity, sophistication, SCIENCE! (about freaking time!), humility and quiet, thoughtful strength.

As a writer, though, I am inspired most by President Elect Obama's professionalism and discipline. He was lampooned by this country's right wing as an elitist, a dilettante, an arugula-fed (rocket-fed?) creature of salons and cocktail parties. He is not those things. Barack Obama personifies the work ethic of his adopted Chicago: he beat the baleful, mendacious Republican machine because he out-worked them, out-thought them, out-punched them. It Obama's gift that he can inspire others to go and do likewise. He makes me want to be a better man. He makes me want to be better at my job.

Let's all go work.

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kewms
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Wed Nov 05, 2008 4:31 pm Post

PJS wrote:There's a mix of Baptist preacher and New England intellectual in Obama's speeches, as if John Kennedy were reading what Martin Luther King wrote. I can't imagine anyone else making it work so well.


If you look at his biography, that's exactly what you're hearing. Harvard Law meets Chicago's black churches.

He's sure easier to listen to than the current illiterate-in-chief.

Katherine
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