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Posts Tagged ‘us election’

Sanity prevails in the USA

Months and years of campaigning, more than$2.2 billion in election spending, over 100 million votes cast… and Americans in their wisdom decided to essentially maintain the status quo. President Obama returns to the White House for a second mandate. The Senate stays blue; the House stays red. But lest anyone was thinking that this whole thing was a giant waste of time, remember that it beats the hell out of the alternative.

I was on a plane for most of the evening, and while I was able to watch the results come in on satellite TV (thanks, WestJet!), I didn’t have internet access so no liveblogging of results. It was like a throwback to the pre-Web 2.0 years when you actually had to rely on traditional media sources for information. Well, unless you’re Barack Obama, author of the Tweet heard around the world.

The big vote

The race was close all night, but the nail-biter didn’t materialize. While both candidates were neck-and-neck in the popular vote for much of the evening, most of the highly contested swing states went one by one to Obama: New Hampshire, Iowa, Wisconsin, Virginia were called one by one for Team Obama. You could see the wind go out of the sails in the Romney camp as each one was declared, but Ohio finally solidified things shortly after 11pm ET. At that point, it was all over but the fat lady, whose singing will be heard in Florida just as soon as all those folks standing in line have a chance to vote.

Latest US election results 2012, as of 2:30AM ET on Nov 7th. Source: CNN.

So what happened to give the Obama team such a wide margin of victory, despite a 7.9% unemployment rate and widespread anger and disillusionment with the status quo?

Read the rest of this entry »

4 more years

Obama tweets "4 more years"

Media bias exemplified

With less than 24 hours to go until voting day in the US, it’s a classic case study in media bias to see what the various big news outlets have as their posted headlines.

Here’s CNN, reporting a statistical tie in the popular vote but an edge to Obama in the electoral college:

Here’s Yahoo News‘s election blog, “The Signal”, calling a wide margin for Obama:

Obama still poised to win 303 electoral votes on Tuesday

Here’s blogger Ezra Klein in the Washington Post, also predicting victory for Obama, albeit with a smaller margin:

Obama will win with 290 electoral votes

And finally, good ol’ FOX News, home of the Truthiness:

"Big 'What If?': With just hours to go, electoral map still in play"

Here’s hoping that FOX is once again posting misleading wishful thinking in the place of fact. I guess we’ll see tomorrow.

For what it’s worth, I predict that Obama will win, though I think it will be close.

Palin won’t run

Sarah Palin won’t run for President in 2012:

After much prayer and serious consideration, I have decided that I will not be seeking the 2012 GOP nomination for President of the United States. As always, my family comes first and obviously Todd and I put great consideration into family life before making this decision. When we serve, we devote ourselves to God, family and country. My decision maintains this order.

If there is a god, he’s probably applauding this decision. Though not for the reasons that Palin might have assumed.

Tina Fey, on the other hand, must be disappointed.

Town promotes buck a week rent

The rent is too damn high? Not in Trundle, Australia:

An Australian rural community desperate to encourage new families to move in and revitalize the town is offering to rent farm houses to interested families for one Australian dollar a week. The hamlet of Trundle, 215 miles northwest of Sydney, has a population of 380.

 Like neighboring communities, it has struggled with years of drought and is hoping that the cheap rent — the equivalent of 95 U.S. cents a week — will bring in new life and help fill up schoolrooms.

Maybe Jimmy McMillan should consider moving Down Under.

Midterm madness

Despite the best efforts of the likes of Stewart and Colbert to restore sanity and/or fear, the predictions of big gains for the Republican party in today’s US midterm elections are, sadly, pretty likely, with exit polls showing that the Democrats have lost ground with key groups of voters.

But before Obama panics too much, he might want to consult this list of Midterm study strategies, compiled by me back in the eighth grade:

  • Eliminate distractions. Minesweeper, SuperNES, listening to your mom fight with your sister down the hall, trying to mediate a mideast peace settlement… all these are distracting to the study process.
  • Prioritize the material. Midterm exam questions are usually about things that have been covered recently on the curriculum, and are therefore foremost in the minds of teachers – er – voters. Spend more time on recent issues like the tea party, and less time on the stuff that was covered at the start of the term and that everyone’s forgotten about by now anyway, like, y’know, healthcare.
  • Plan your time. Midterms take place in the middle of the term, as their name suggests. While you’re studying for them, you also have to juggle other assignments and a social life. Oh, and national security and economic concerns, too. Make a schedule and stick to it. Use whatever tools work for you, like an agenda book or, if you prefer, a highly-paid team of executive secretaries.
  • Find the right study buddies. Pick people who are smarter than you and copy their notes, or arrange a cram session with them in the library. If you can get them to write your speeches for you, too, all the better.
  • Remember that it’s not worth as much as the final. Even a bad grade on a midterm can be made up for with a strong final exam, which is usually worth a bigger percentage of your overall grade. Time to put it behind you and focus on what’s important: Beating Sarah Palin in 2012.

For actual news about the US midterm election, in case anyone’s interested, check out the CBC’s interactive maps.

Yes we can… make great ads

Freakin’ brilliant ad campaign by a Tel Aviv ad agency for Berlitz, using a play on words on the Obama campaign slogan:


Sometimes, the greatest ideas are the most obvious. (Hat tip: Matt).

The man behind the words

The Guardian profiles Jon Favreau, the 27-year-old head speechwriter on the Obama team largely responsible for most of the speeches he has given on the campaign trail, as well as for yesterday’s inauguration address:

When Barack Obama steps up to the podium to deliver his inaugural address, one man standing anonymously in the crowd will be paying especially close attention. With his cropped hair, five o’clock shadow and boyish face, he might look out of place among the dignitaries, though as co-author of the speech this man has more claim than most to be a witness to this moment of history.

Jon Favreau, 27, is, as Obama himself puts it, the president’s mind reader. He is the youngest chief speechwriter on record in the White House, and, despite such youth, was at the centre of discussions of the content of today’s speech, one which has so much riding on it.

The full text of the inauguration speech is available here.

For now

So with Obama’s inauguration yesterday, the Broadway show Avenue Q needs some replacement lyrics, quick:

With the imminent departure of President George W. Bush, the creators and producers of the Tony-winning musical Avenue Q launched a contest to replace a lyric in the musical’s final song, “For Now,” that states, “George Bush!” is only “for now.”

Over 2,000 entries were received, and the judging panel — including Q creators Robert Lopez, Jeff Marx and Jeff Whitty and the show’s producers — have selected four possibilities that will be tested over several performances to “gauge the response and audience reaction, and determine which lyric emerges as the most satisfying,” according to a press statement.

The contest lyrics that will be tested follow:

“Prop 8″
“This show”
“Your mother-in-law”

Avenue Q is, of course, no stranger to political satire. In 2004, it held its own version of the Bush-Kerry presidential debate… with song, dance and puppets.

Bye Bye Bush

It’s official: Barack Obama was sworn in today to the office of the President of the United States.

I’m normally a cynic, but even I’m finding it difficult not to be a little idealistic today. Obama has a real gift for oratory and for inspiration, and you could feel the change in the air watching the whole thing.

Sure, expectations for Obama are so high that he has nowhere to go but down. And sure, the US and indeed the world are in messes from which it’s going to take an awfully long time to climb out from.

But the much-maligned, misunderestimated Dubya was perhaps the most hated, divisive president of modern times. Obama’s inauguration today was met with a worldwide sigh of relief, and of optimism for things to come.

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