alexiscartwheel: (barack obama)
Congratulations President Obama!

We've been watching Inauguration coverage pretty much all day long. Although I would have enjoyed the excitement of the crowd, I've really enjoyed not having hypothermia, so it's a trade off I can deal with. Plus, we couldn't have had our champagne toast on the Mall. :)

It's been a pretty exciting and emotional day. We're finally rid of Bush and have a new president who is intelligent, eloquent, and inspiring. There are a lot of problem to fix in America, but today it's hard not to feel hopeful about our future.

I'm still watching the parade, on TV and on C-Span's online feed (because C-Span are the only ones not talking over the bands). Yeah, band geek, I know. My college marching band (TBDBITL!) is in the parade, including some of my rookies, so I definitely want to see them. I was in the parade four years ago for Bush's second Inaugural, but this is way cooler.
alexiscartwheel: (barack obama)
I came home tonight and turned on the local news, which I normally don't do, but I guess I should take advantage of the TV while I still can, eh?* Apparently there is absolute nothing happening in D.C. right now besides Inaugural Preparations. I heard all about Inaugural bridge closings, Inaugural Metro schedules, Inaugural port-a-potties, Inaugural weather, Inaugural balls, Inaugural traffic advisories... The anchor also read out comments from poster to the station's online forum, one of whom insisted that they should get over Barack Obama, who is a lying liar what lies, so what if he's black, and report some news. To the other extreme, someone said he'd be as devoted to getting downtown on Tuesday as the Governator was to killing Sarah Connor.

OMG YOU GUYS, BARACK OBAMA!

Also, they had a doctor on giving out great advice, like wear warm clothes cause it's supposed to be frakkin' cold. People with chronic illnesses were advised to stay home. As I shall, local TV doctor guy. As I shall.**

This morning I was listening to one of the local hip-hop stations, which is not my usual musical genre of choice, but they actual play music in the morning instead of making me listen to obnoxious morning show hosts. They had a commercial advertising the "illest party of the year" hosted next Tuesday by Barack Obama at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Joe Biden will DJ. Contact Governor Blagojevich for tickets, because he will sell you anything you want.

It's pretty crazy (in a good way) how excited people are about the Inauguration. It's actually cool. That's just amazing. It's not just the politically inclined who're excited, it's everybody. It really is a big party. :D



*I applied for a digital converter box voucher, but there's a waiting list cause the government ran out of money for the program. So it looks no TV for awhile after February 17. I'm certainly too cheap to just go out and buy the thing just so I don't miss out on more local news.

**My TV will still work then. And local news let us know about their all day coverage.
alexiscartwheel: (barack obama)
:D :D :D :D

I actually picked the winner this time!!

So basically we just have to wait for the west coast polls to close so they can call California, Washington, and Oregon. This is so exciting everybody!

And now back to hanging with my buddy Katie Couric.

ETA: BARACK OBAMA, 44TH PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA!

GO VOTE!

Nov. 4th, 2008 07:14 am
alexiscartwheel: (barack obama)
Hey Americans! If you haven't already voted, make sure you get to the polls today. This election's too important not to be a part of.


YES WE CAN!

I voted!

Nov. 1st, 2008 01:11 pm
alexiscartwheel: (barack obama)
I just mailed in my absentee ballot! To OHIO, swing state extraordinaire!! Assuming the postal service does there thing, it will be there all ready to be counted on Tuesday. AND my Obama/Biden buttons came in the mail today and are now decorating my backpack.

Barack and Michelle are going to be in Columbus tomorrow and I'm missing it. Woe. But there's a rally in Fairfax with Hillary Clinton, so I'm thinking of going to that. Because clearly I have no other responsibilities in my life, right? :D (If I really had no other responsibilities, I'd be back in Ohio to work at the polls on Tuesday.)


Don't forget to vote on Tuesday! Voting's a right, but it's also a responsibility, and this election is far too important to be apathetic about, so get out there and cast your ballot. Every person can make a difference.
alexiscartwheel: (barack obama)
It's the final presidential debate. Quick poll: will the candidates answer the questions, or will we be treated to another night of rhetorical dithering?

I love Bob Scheiffer's question about the negativity of the campaigns. He makes a great point. It's easy to say nasty stuff about someone indirectly through television ads, but it's a lot harder when you're sitting at a table with him. I like the part of Obama's answer where he said that the campaign shouldn't be about portraying your opponent as a bad person. Cause I agree, it shouldn't. It should be about their ideas.

It really is too bad that nobody knew in advance that "Joe the Plumber" would be so important to tonight's debate. Luckily, "my friends" is popping up less frequently. Barack and Bob =/= John's friends. Instead, McCain has to talk to a pretend friend. I guess that makes this debate more like a town hall meeting? Let's all talk to Joe!

John McCain comes off much better in this debate than in the last. He's making a lot of the same points (the projector at the planetarium?), only a little clearer, and he's not busy shuffling around the stage. However, he still seems very, very smug, and it's clear that he really dislikes Obama. Obama, on the other hand, is generally poised and articulate, and I think he's done a very good job picking apart McCain's accusations against him. (His answers about health care and about the Ayers and ACORN attacks were both very good.)

I could rant a lot about the education section at the end, but I won't. (My roommate and I were both talking to the TV some there...) This is me... not ranting. This is so healthy for me. I let the Eskimo snow go in class yesterday, and right now I'm letting vouchers go. Because John McCain can't hear me through the TV.

A sidenote: I had to drive out to Reagan earlier, and I saw a sign on one of the I-66 overpasses that said "Vote for That One" with "Obama '08" inside the "O." It made me laugh.

Also: Haha, Stephen Harper, you still have a minority government.
alexiscartwheel: (dw - billie on set)


Thankfully, my absentee ballot was not made by Diebold. (Nor does it involve chads, hanging or otherwise.)

Town Hall!

Oct. 7th, 2008 09:19 pm
alexiscartwheel: (barack obama)
The debate is on, but I have no booze. Were I to be playing a drinking game, and had I selected the phrase "my friends," John McCain would already have me well on the way to drunkeness.

Please lets not talk about earmarks again. I thought I was done hearing about "pork barrel" after high school government class.

My friends! Off-shore drilling! Nuclear power!

Brokaw has reminded them of the rules. Twice.

My friends. Rules thrice. And... four times.

What sacrifices should you make? A goat maybe? Oh, no, we're sacrificing overhead projectors instead. Much less Biblical. LAAAME. Earmarks! Earmarks! "We're not rifle shots here. We're Americans!" What? Get 'er done!

ETAs... Is Tom Brokaw gonna have to smack a bitch? )

Brokaw says GTFO you're blocking my script! I think he wins.
alexiscartwheel: (barack obama)
I was sick all weekend, and as a result I didn't read any election news (or economy news, yikes), which I think was a healthy and much needed break. But now there is good news:

According to the latest Washington Post - ABC News poll, Obama now leads McCain by 9 points among likely voters. Of course, national polls don't tell us anything about how the electoral math with work out, but I still see this as a good sign!

For the lulz: isbarackobamaamuslin.com?
No, of course not! barackobamaisyournewbicycle.com.

And just a reminder to the Americans who read this: don't forget to register to vote! The deadlines are coming up fast. If you're already registered, make sure your registration is up to date. I know in Ohio there have been huge problems with address changes and provisional ballots, so don't wait until election day to find out there's a problem.

The first presidential debate is this Friday, September 26 at the University of Mississippi. The debate begins at 8 pm Central Time, and it'll be televised on PBS. SNL parody to follow.

ETA: Go watch Bill Clinton on The Daily Show. Clinton has such an amazing ability for explaining political issues in a way that's easy to understand. I think Jon Stewart's right that lots of Americans would happily elect him a third time.
alexiscartwheel: (aj reads the news)
With Sarah Palin reenergizing the Republican ticket, Democrats everywhere are getting scared. Collins tells everyone to calm the heck down because there's plenty of time for swing-state voters (YAY OHIO!) to make a decision, and meanwhile, isn't it great that we didn't get swallowed by a black hole yet?

Misery Loves Democrats
alexiscartwheel: (aj reads the news)
Couldn't have said it better myself...


Seriously, here's hoping that the women of America educate themselves about the candidates and vote for the ones that support issues they believe in. On the issues, Sarah Palin is nothing like Hillary Clinton, and I'm certainly not going to vote for a ticket just because they added a woman to it.

Also, Gail Collins and Frank Rich both had good columns this weekend. Collins addresses Palin's nomination, and Rich goes broader to discuss how the media consistently gets the campaign narratives wrong. (Just when you thought I was done trying to make you all read the newspaper!)

Next week, the Republican National Convention... *shudder*
alexiscartwheel: (dw - rose)
Last night I had a dream that my family was having this big party and our entire extended family was coming, so we had to make lots of food. Guatemalan food. Because we were Guatemalan in the dream. We also wore Guatemalan clothes. (My family is actually from Italy and Holland, among other places, none of which are Guatemala.) I have no idea what people actually eat or wear in Guatemala.

Today my aunt and I went dresser shopping, and we were much more successful than last weekend. The first place we went was a consignment furniture store--one of the same places we went last week--and I quickly found a dresser a really liked. It was a little bit more than I wanted to pay, but it was exactly the color I wanted, was practically new, and had a matching night stand. We're going back to pick them up tomorrow, cause furniture doesn't really fit well in a Toyota Celica, and there were dead battery truck problems. So now I am a big girl with actual furniture! :)

I made dinner for myself and my housemates tonight, which seems to have been a success. (Even though I did set the smoke alarm off while I was cooking.) I keep meaning to post about my new city/house/housemates/etc... I'll get around to it sometime.

And so... Biden, eh? I'm living in a very politically aware town these days, so I've gotta keep up with the new developments. Not sure what I think of him yet, though.

OMGWTF

Aug. 13th, 2008 11:12 am
alexiscartwheel: (aj reads the news)
It's LOL Bush from The Guardian. Wow.
alexiscartwheel: (barack obama)
"He came, he saw, he sprinkled us with stardust" says the Observer. (The article, bizarrely, is from tomorrow. Oh, time zones.) According to Euan Ferguson, "Obama's visit... was little short of messianic."

If you've missed out this week, Barack Obama hung out with Angela Merkel, Nicholas Sarkozy, and Gordon Brown this week and was swamped by adoring fans along the way. Europe has "Obamamania" big time. How crazy would that be to have an American president that's actually respected abroad?

The article's definitely worth a read even if you aren't following the campaign closely just for the irreverent tone. I do like the New York Times, but they can make even Comic-Con seem boring and square, and only the Op-Eds are ever humourous. Hooray for the international perspective!
alexiscartwheel: (barack obama)
The primaries are officially over, and we finally have a Democratic nominee! Hillary Clinton hasn't conceded yet, but hopefully that will come soon. It's time for her to bow out with some grace so that the party can unite around Barack Obama. Maybe Clinton will be the VP nominee, maybe not, but for right now, she just needs to chill.

I love my news links, since reading the papers is how I keep myself occupied at work. Just for fun, we're going international today. The New York Times has an interesting round up of international reactions. What was most interesting to me were the numerous statements that Obama has the potential to change foreign perceptions of the United States for the better. That's definitely something we need right now.

In the Times Online, Gerard Baker wonders if Obama can fulfill the American dream. He writes:
In 220 years a country that has steadily multiplied in diversity, where ethnic minorities and women have risen to the very highest positions in so many fields of human life, has chosen a succession of 42 white men as its leader. For good measure, the vice-presidency, the only other nationally directly elected position in the US government, has been held by a succession of 46 white males

But last night, in a tumultuous break with this long history, the ultimate realisation of the American dream moved a little closer, and a black man became his party’s nominee for the presidency.

And finally, John Ibbotson of the Globe and Mail offers and analysis of the Clinton campaign. The simplest explanation:
Everything Hillary Clinton wanted to be, Barack Obama turned out to be also, only better.
alexiscartwheel: (aj reads the news)
Hillary Clinton won the Puerto Rico primary, as expected. Puerto Rico is, well, weird. They get a sizable delegation for the Democratic primary, but they don't vote in the general election. Very strange.

Also this weekend, the DNC awarded half a vote to each delegate from Michigan and Florida so that Hillary would finally just LET IT GO ALREADY. But she might not, cause it's just soooo unfair and all. Next election cycle, trying playing by the rules, and you'll get all your delegates! That simple! 48 other states, plus Puerto Rico and Guam and all the other tiny island territories got it right!

Speaking of playing by the rules, the primary contest is about winning delegates, but Hillary is still insisting that it's actually about the popular vote. (So the delegates should support her. Obviously.)

Mrs. Clinton, in the interview, in a new television advertisement and in her victory speech in San Juan, laid out why superdelegates should rally around her. She argued that by the time the final vote is counted, she will have more popular votes than Mr. Obama, an assertion that has been disputed.

So if Obama wins South Dakota and Montana, will she quit grasping at straws, or just come up with a new mathematically impossible scenario?

I just learned from this article that some high schools do not have a mandatory lunch period. Now when they try to schedule one, students complain. WHAT? Apparently, it is more important to take an extra AP course than to eat.

While many parents support the enforced lunch policy, students complained that it could result in confusing schedules, longer lines in the cafeteria, less time for after-school clubs, and more homework because classes will meet fewer times.

Any time I read about the overachieving high school culture, it depresses me. This is why I hated high school! By my senior year I got so sick of it I opted to take "regular" government and a fun foreign policy class, no math class, and "systems of the earth" instead of AP science, against the counselor's advice. Instead of spending half my day in classes I wasn't all that interested in, I got to concentrate on the things I did like: English, Spanish, Music, Art... going home one period early... So maybe 5 more AP classes would have got me into Yale (but probably not) and I had a pretty good time at my state school. :D (Go Bucks!)

Also, who doesn't like lunch? My school day began at 7:25, and lunch didn't start until noon, by which time I was really, really hungry. EAT SOMETHING YOU STUDIOUS FREAK CHILDREN!!
alexiscartwheel: (aj reads the news)
Yesterday, a federal appeals court upheld a 2006 ruling in federal district court and found that US paper currency is discriminatory towards the blind and visually impaired. Currently, various denominations are indistinguishable by touch because all paper curency is of the same size and texture.

From the Times: “Of the more than 180 countries that issue paper currency,” Judge Robertson wrote in his decision a year and a half ago, “only the United States prints bills that are identical in size and color in all their denominations.”

This seems to be a case where doing it a different way than everyone else pretty much means, well, UR DOIN IT WRONG. Read the whole story here.

So question to the non-Americans on my f-list: How is your money different, specifically, how does it feel different? I know Canadian bills use lots of pretty colors, but I can't say I spent much time feeling my money when I was there. Loonies and toonies are easy to tell apart, though! I still think we should scrap the one dollar bill and make it a coin, like they do in civilized countries.

I'll be interested to see where this story goes. Americans seem pretty resistant to change, as far as money is concerned, otherwise the penny would be history and we'd all carry those gold dollars. The decision can still be appealed further and potentially overturned, or we could be seeing major changes to US currency in years to come.
alexiscartwheel: (barack obama)
Last week I was watching CNN at the gym, and I was amazed to discover that they were still talking about Barack Obama and flag lapel pins. The economy seems to be going to hell in a hula hoop, and this is what the electorate cares about? Really?

I was incredibly pleased to read Roland Martin's commentary on the issue on CNN.com. Here's a taste of what he has to say:

Since it is clear that our nation is paralyzed and so not able to close our borders, feed the homeless, develop businesses in the inner cities and save people from having their homes taken by foreclosure due to ruthless mortgage companies, all because some folks don't wear a flag lapel pin, we need to lead a national movement to demand that Congress and the states make requiring officeholders to wear a flag lapel pin the 28th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

See, if it is so important, then take it all the way. Don't make it optional. Don't leave it up to someone to choose to wear a flag lapel pin. Let's really show those politicians that nothing is more important to us than seeing them with the U.S. flag on our chest.

That's what zealots do. They take something so simple, so personal, so voluntary, and absolutely lose their mind, trying to force someone else to do as them, and everyone else be damned.

Yes, yes, and yes. There's nothing wrong with a politician choosing to wear a flag pin, but they certainly shouldn't be required to. There are so many other ways--better ways--to measure their strengths as a candidate. It doesn't matter who the candidate is, I care much more about their policies than what they're wearing on their lapel.

Hmm?

May. 7th, 2008 12:16 pm
alexiscartwheel: (aj reads the news)
This morning I woke up late (again). I tried to stave off exhaustion with some caffeine, then spilled tea on my leg on the way to the car (I am a klutz). Not a very auspicious start to the morning (also, someone tried to crash into me on the way to work, which I did not appreciate).

I actually turned on the TV last night (adjusted the antenna and everything), but the CBS news is too early here for elections returns. So instead I played with the delegate calculator on CNN.com. After Barack Obama’s win in North Carolina it looks pretty much impossible for Hillary Clinton to win the nomination. Yet she is still campaigning. She’s fought a good fight, but I think there’s something to be said for knowing when to call it quits.

I’m just over halfway through Bleak House (see, I do stuff other than watch Doctor Who… sometimes) right now. I’m enjoying it, even though the many characters and subplots get a little confusing sometimes. I need a character flowchart so I can work out who’s involved in each scene.

Here’s what I do at work (when I’m not fixing paper jams):
Patron: I looked for this book, but it’s not there.
Alexis: Are you sure you looked in the 2000s, not the 200s?
Patron: Yeah, I looked there, but it wasn’t on the shelf.
Alexis finds book exactly where it’s supposed to be.
Patron: (surprised) Oh, where was it?
Alexis: *facepalm*

ETA: I got home from work and there is a giant frakking hole in the parking lot. I may go hide away from the construction at the public library.
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