Archive for November, 2008

A conversation Tuesday night

While sitting in front of the fireplace and musing about James Bond (Weird!):

Pete: Well, of course you know who the best James Bond is, right?

Me:  Of course!  It’s Sean Connery.

Pete:  Right!

Me:  The first and the best.

Pete:  Sean Connery wasn’t the first James Bond

Me: (jerking around to look at him, startled)  Say what?!  Of course he was!

Pete:  No, he wasn’t.  There was one guy before him.  He was only in one movie.  The one where James Bond got married.

Me:  No, you’re thinking of On Her Majesty’s Secret Service.  That was, like, the sixth movie or something.  I can’t remember that James Bond’s name, but that’s the guy who only did one.  (It’s George Lazenby, I found out.)

Pete:  No, that wasn’t the one.  It was the one where he got married…the first one…and then at the end..

Me:  Yeah…then at the end his wife got shot.  I remember.  It’s On her Majesty’s Secret Service.  And that wasn’t the first James Bond.  The first James Bond was Dr.  No.  Starring Sean Connery.  

Pete:  You’re wrong.

Me:  Oh HELL NO!  I am not wrong…I am 100% sure of this.

Pete:  Come on…I was born in the 70s and I’m a boy…I know these things.

Me:  Woah…you may be a boy and have disco fever, but I was once a strange 11 year old who read every single James Bond book and watched every single James Bond movie and had my life planned out exactly about how I was going to become a spy when I grew up (back me up here, Mom!).  Seriously…I’m right.

Pete:  Wanna bet?

Me:  YES!  Of course…because I’m right

Pete:  OK, what’s the bet.

Me:  If I’m right, I’ll clean the kitchen every day for a week…even when I cook.   If I’m wrong, for a whole week, you have to pick up my shoes wherever I leave them (he HATES this) AAAAND you have to make the bed every day. 

Pete:  I already make the bed everyday!

Me:  Yes, but you have to do it without bitching that I’m not helping you.

Pete: …

Pete:  OK, deal!

Me:  You’re going to learn a very valuable lesson about doubting my capacity for trivial knowledge…

_______

Yesterday, on gmail chat:

Me:  Have fun picking up my shoes, Jackass!

http://www.klast.net/bond/drno.html

Him:  Damn.

_______

My “predictions”

OK, let this be a lesson to me that I have NO IDEA what I’m talking about when it comes to predictions.  Let’s visit what I got wrong, shall we?

Of the Swing States, I think Obama will win Virginia, Nevada, Colorado, North Dakota, Missouri, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, and Ohio.

What actually happened:

Obama won Virginia, Nevada, Colorado, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, and Ohio.

McCain held North Dakota and Missouri

I think McCain will hang on to Arizona, Montana, Indiana, North Carolina, and Florida.

What actually happened:

Obama won North Carolina (which was the biggest shocker of all to me), Indiana, and Florida.

McCain won Arizona and Montana.

I don’t think there will be any other surprises, but I think it will be very close in Ohio, Colorado, Florida and Indiana.

Surprises?  Indiana, North Carolina, that freaking one electoral vote in Nebraska.  Turns out Ohio, Colorado, and Florida weren’t so close after all.

With those results:

Obama: 325 Electoral Votes

McCain: 213 Electoral Votes

Hooboy.  Wrong again.  Actual results:

Obama: 364

McCain: 174

Wow.  Even I was thinking it would be closer than that…

I think Obama will win the popular vote easily, with a 10% margin.

He did win the popular vote easily, but not with a 10% margin- he only made it to 8%.  That, however, is still quite remarkable.  Especially when you consider that it works out to somewhere near 8 MILLION votes.  Wow.

I don’t think the Democrats will get to the magic number of 60 votes, but I think they will win at least 56 with Kay Hagan (NC), Jean Shaheen (NH), Al Franken (MN), and Begich (AK- the guy running against Ted Stevens) all winning.  I hope, hope, hope to see Jim Martin defeat the detestable Saxby Chambliss in Georgia.  In fact, I actually donated money to Jim Martin’s campaign because I hate Chambliss so much, but I don’t think Martin will be able to win.

What actually happened:  They didn’t get to 60, but at the moment they are sitting happily at 57 with Kay Hagan (Yay!) and Jean Shaheen winning outright.  Frankin and Begich are still undecided- with an automatic recount in the Franken race because it is so close and Begich and Stevens still waiting for the tens of thousands of absentee, early, and provisional ballots to be counted.  At this point, Franken is trailing and Begich is leading- but they are both far from decided.  And on that note, WTF, Alaska?  HE’S A CONVICTED FELON!

The excellent news out of Georgia is that they are going to a runoff!  Chambliss won by a little, but in GA candidates must get at least 51% of the vote to win.  Chambliss only got 49.8%  Runoff is on Dec 2.  Here’s hoping Dems will come out again!

I think the Democrats will do well in the house as well, but I’m not following those races enough to be able to predict anyone winning.

And they did, quite well.

I don’t think there will be any snafus of a Florida 2000 level, but I think there will be several states that finally come in very late and very contested tonight.

I don’t think it will matter.  Obama will win early.

I was actually correct on all of these predictions.  Looks like everything went smoothly and quickly.  NC and MO were very late in reporting- in fact, CNN STILL hasn’t called MO for McCain, though most others have.

But I was right.  I didn’t matter.  Obama DID Win early.  Considering that in 2004 I was weeping at 4 AM and Kerry didn’t concede until the next day, getting to bed before 1 AM was quite wonderful!  And we knew he won much earlier that that.  As soon as Ohio was called (and on some stations, as soon at PA was called), people knew McCain was done.  I just stayed up to watch the speeches.

What this means

Many of you know that my education is in History.  Specifically American History.  Specifically Ante-Bellum American History.  Specifically the American South in the 18th Century.

In that focus, it’s impossible to not study and be aware of the impact of slavery and race in our history.  To say it is important is a great understatement.  It is the lasting carryover of our dark, shameful history in this country.  Slavery and racism is our sad legacy and the lasting effects of it can be felt all over America.

I’m writing this not as a joyful, gleeful, hopeful Democrat (which, naturally, I AM!), but as an observer and student of the history of our country.  What I’m about to write is not partisan.

Last night, as I was watching Obama’s acceptance speech, tears were streaming down my face.  And it wasn’t even his eloquent, beautiful words.  It was a keen awareness of the fact that I was watching history being made.  I was a part of history.  The feeling and the awareness was overwhelming to me.  It’s something I’ve never felt before- not truly.

“Watching history being made” is a statement that is bandied about without much concern for what it means these days.  People always think that what happens in their lifetimes will be everlasting, but it isn’t the case.  Almost everything becomes a footnote, only focused on and studied by historians with specific, esoteric fields of study.  The 2000 and 2004 elections will not be widely remembered in 200 years.  I’m even prepared to say that George Bush will not be widely remembered- even though his is officially our most unpopular president ever.   Kids in advanced history classes in High School will memorize his name and some cute little mnemonic to remember that he was 43, but his legacy- good or bad- will not endure for centuries.  I know it is hard to imagine, given our passions about him and his politics, but people were just as passionate about Taft (remembered for getting stuck in his bathtub) and Chester A. Arthur (remembered for his especially ridiculous facial hair).

But what happened last night was different.  This is a date that little kids will have to memorize.  This is a man who statues will be built for and High Schools will be named after.  This isn’t politics, this is an honest-to-god defining moment in American History.  This is as significant as Cornwallis surrendering to George Washington in Yorktown, VA.  This is as significant as a group of soldiers in Charleston, S.C firing on US Soldiers at Ft. Sumter.  This is as significant as the Constitutional Convention.  This is a Pearl Harbor.

That we have gone from a Nation built on the back of slaves only 150 years ago, and a nation that murdered black men and women trying to vote 70 years ago to a  country that just elected a black man as our leader is something to truly be proud of.   Our changing nation is miraculous.

I feel like this is a moment to savor- a moment to ignore the political squabbling and the division and the arguments and the anger and frustration and disappointment (and trust me, as a Democrat, boy do I ever know how you feel) and to just embrace that we have become a nation that has just thrown off the largest lasting yoke of inequality in this country.   Today, we are truly all Americans.  We truly all have a voice.  We truly belong to one United nation.

I am so awed.  And so proud.

World Changing

I am truly overwhelmed by the historical significance of this moment.  I cannot put it into words just yet…but this is beautiful.

Predictions

Of the Swing States, I think Obama will win Virginia, Nevada, Colorado, North Dakota, Missouri, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, and Ohio.

I think McCain will hang on to Arizona, Montana, Indiana, North Carolina, and Florida.

I don’t think there will be any other surprises, but I think it will be very close in Ohio, Colorado, Florida and Indiana.

With those results:

Obama: 325 Electoral Votes

McCain: 213 Electoral Votes

I think Obama will win the popular vote easily, with a 10% margin. 

I don’t think the Democrats will get to the magic number of 60 votes, but I think they will win at least 56 with Kay Hagan (NC), Jean Shaheen (NH), Al Franken (MN), and Begich (AK- the guy running against Ted Stevens) all winning.  I hope, hope, hope to see Jim Martin defeat the detestable Saxby Chambliss in Georgia.  In fact, I actually donated money to Jim Martin’s campaign because I hate Chambliss so much, but I don’t think Martin will be able to win. 

I think the Democrats will do well in the house as well, but I’m not following those races enough to be able to predict anyone winning.

I don’t think there will be any snafus of a Florida 2000 level, but I think there will be several states that finally come in very late and very contested tonight.

I don’t think it will matter.  Obama will win early.

What do you think?  Will there be any surprises?  Please share!

Today’s the day!

No excuses.  Go out and vote. 

I was planning on voting this morning and coming in late to work, but Pete surprised me by saying that he really wanted us to go and vote together.  He said he’s never been excited about a presidential election before, but that I’ve inspired him to become politically active, so he wanted us to be there together to vote.  Being a teacher, he can’t go in late, so instead I’m going to leave work a little early and we’re going to vote this evening.  I doubt out little tiny town will be a madhouse, but lots of my coworkers who vote in Boston have been coming in this morning with tales of very, very long lines and lots of excited voters.

I can hardly stand it.  I am so excited that I’m bouncing around.

Regardless of the outcome or the politics of it, voting is a very beautiful thing in our country.  I hope everyone takes advantage of this amazing privilege.

Oh yeah, Pete’s school held a mock election yesterday and Obama won by a landslide!

Rachael!

Is anyone else watching the Rachael Maddow Show on MSNBC?

I’m totally loving her.  I usually hate pundit shows, regardless of their slant, simply because I can’t stand to hear talking heads yelling at each other.  But her show is teriffic.  Yes, she’s liberal, and unashamedly so, but she does have republicans and right-wingers on her show.  She’s very calm and reasonable, and even when they are screaming at her she gives them this little satisfied smirk and stays calm-it pisses them off so much.  She’s getting great ratings, too, which is heartening.  It’s nice to have a woman heading a political show.

It’s on MSNBC at 9, after Keith Olbermann (who I can only stand for a little bit at a time).