Saturday, November 8, 2008

A better country than the pundits thought

"For eight years, we’ve been told by those in power that we are small, bigoted and stupid — easily divided and easily frightened. This was the toxic catechism of Bush-Rove politics. It was the soiled banner picked up by the sad McCain campaign, and it was often abetted by an amen corner in the dominant news media. We heard this slander of America so often that we all started to believe it, liberals most certainly included." -Frank Rich, writing in The New York Times

Rich also observes:
- More whites voted for Barack Obama than any Democratic candidate since Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton included.
- While holding Michigan and Pennsylvania, Obama also swung Virginia, North Carolina, Ohio and Indiana (the last voting Democratic for only the second time since 1936)
- Seventy-eight percent of Jews voted for Obama, despite a smear effort aimed at labeling him soft on terror. Obama also took in 67 percent of the Latino vote.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Barack Obama's acceptance speech

Available in .mp3 format for web streaming or download. A transcript is here.

"If there is anyone out there who still doubts that America is a place where all things are possible; who still wonders if the dream of our founders is alive in our time; who still questions the power of our democracy, tonight is your answer.

It's the answer told by lines that stretched around schools and churches in numbers this nation has never seen; by people who waited three hours and four hours, many for the very first time in their lives, because they believed that this time must be different; that their voice could be that difference.

It's the answer spoken by young and old, rich and poor, Democrat and Republican, black, white, Latino, Asian, Native American, gay, straight, disabled and not disabled -- Americans who sent a message to the world that we have never been a collection of Red States and Blue States: we are, and always will be, the United States of America.

It's the answer that led those who have been told for so long by so many to be cynical, and fearful, and doubtful of what we can achieve to put their hands on the arc of history and bend it once more toward the hope of a better day.

It's been a long time coming, but tonight, because of what we did on this day, in this election, at this defining moment, change has come to America..."

Full speech here.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

NBC calls for Obama

Story here.

ABC calls for Obama

Story here.

McCain concession speech

Word is that John McCain will be issuing his concession speech any minute.

Even the Gray Lady is giving Obama 207 electoral votes amassed, not counting the late-arriving West Coast.

Guilt By Association

As in previous elections, the Republican Party chose to wage this year's presidential campaign based on scare tactics instead of issues. Among them: that Obama was "palling around with terrorists" because he had once served on an education board with William Ayers, who had been a Weatherman in the late 1960's and early 1970's, when the radical group bombed government buildings to protest the Vietnam War (and has since become a respected educator and 1997 Chicago Citizen of the Year).

This was all a bit of a stretch. There was never much evidence that Obama knew Ayers very well. Furthermore, the Ayers of today, a college professor, is clearly a different man than the Ayers of four decades ago, when Obama was eight years old.

On Election Day, Ayers gave an interview with the New Yorker about being used in this smear campaign. Of note:

One night, Ayers recalled, he and Dohrn were watching Bill O’Reilly, who was going on about “discovering” Ayers’s 1974 manifesto, “Prairie Fire.” “I had to laugh,” Ayers said. “No one read it when it was first issued!” He said that he laughed, too, when he listened to Sarah Palin’s descriptions of Obama “palling around with terrorists.” In fact, Ayers said that he knew Obama only slightly: “I think my relationship with Obama was probably like that of thousands of others in Chicago and, like millions and millions of others, I wished I knew him better.”

Marijuana decriminalization leading in Massachusetts ballot measure

Results here.

New Mexico headed for Obama

ABC News calls New Mexico for Obama.

White Bread now toast

McCain and Palin have been declared toast.

NY Times gives Pennsylvania to Obama

The New York Times, more conservative in its projections, is now allotting Pennsylvania to Obama.

Slate calls the election for Obama

Online magazine Slate says Obama's projected victory in Ohio ensures he will be the next president.

Carry Me Ohio

Obama takes it, ABC is reporting.

Gawker says Obama is six electoral votes away from likely clinch

Given the likelihood that the west coast will support Obama, the Democratic presidential candidate need only take six more contested electoral votes to clinch the election, says Gawker. Gawker has already jumped the gun and put Iowa and West Virginia in the (presumed) Obama stack.

Slate agrees.

Update: CNN is projecting McCain will win in West Virginia.

Obama takes early lead in electoral count, battleground states still too close to call

Projections are now putting Obama ahead in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Michigan and all of the northeast. McCain is listed ahead in 10 states, including North Dakota, Wyoming, Kansas, Georgia, Alabama and Arkansas.

Estimated tally at this stage (NBC news)...
Obama 175
McCain 76

Crucial states are all too close to call (though NBC and others are putting Pennsylvania in the Obama column).

Looking Back: Gawker's guide to the election in video

Clips can be found here.

Thousands gather in Grant Park

Images from Barack Obama's election night party in Chicago's Grant Park, where crowds have been gathering for hours.

Birmingham Polling Station

Voters lining up at a gym in Birmingham, one of the touchstones in the civil rights movement.

Hold tight on Virginia

Trapper John says don't get too stressed about Virginia, NoVa ballots are always late to come in.

Gawker says exit polls tighter than expected

Gawker reports that exit polls are tighter than expected, but Obama is maintaining a slight lead in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Florida and Virginia (down in North Carolina). Other news outlets have been reporting a wide Obama lead in Pennsylvania (which ABC and NBC have both called for Obama).

Bruce Springsteen in Cleveland

From Bruce Springsteen's call to arms last Sunday:

"I spent most of my life as a musician measuring the distance between the American dream and American reality. For many Americans who are today losing their jobs, their homes, seeing their retirement funds disappear, who have no health care, or who have been abandoned in our inner cities, the distance between that dream and their reality has never been greater or more painful. I believe Senator Obama has taken the measure of that distance in his own life and work. I believe he understands in his heart the cost of that distance in blood and suffering in the lives of everyday Americans. I believe as president he would work to bring that dream back to life, and into the lives of many of our fellow Americans, who have justifiably lost faith in its meaning.... So I don't know about you, but I want my country back, I want my dream back, I want my America back. Now is the time to stand together with Barack Obama and Joe Biden and the millions of Americans that are hungry for a new day, roll up our sleeves and come on up for the rising."

The Day in Pictures

Democracy in action. A cool slideshow.

McCain ahead in four southern states

Tennessee, Oklahoma, South Carolina, and Kentucky are all headed for the McCain pile, reports CNN.

Obama is the projected winner in Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey and Washington, according to CNN.

Strong performance for Obama in Indiana and Virgina, NBC reports

Exit polls show Obama with a lead among women and a tie among men in Indiana, NBC reports.

Exit polls show Obama with slight lead among both sexes in Virginia, and a sizable lead among younger voters (around 60 percent) and blacks (92 percent).

ABC calls New Hampshire, Pennsylvania for Obama

Obama completes a sweep of the northeast, says ABC News.

Drudge Report on snooze? Too early to tell...

Matthew Drudge seems to be slumbering, not much news popping up yet on the Drudge Report 2009 ®. Just overall tallies from ABC News and a few rile-up-the-Fox-crowd stories from earlier in the day. For some reason, the town crier doesn't seem too geared up for this Election Day...

Wikipedia election results

Wikipedia's election page can be found here. A New York Times story about the ongoing minute-by-minute changes triggered my interest, but I don't see much popping up on Wikipedia that's not already readily available elsewhere.

Prospects look dim for Dole in North Carolina

From DailyKos:
MSNBC's Norah O'Donnell reports a senior GOP strategist is conceding defeat in the Dole-Hagan race, which means that for the first time in fifty years, a Dole or a Bush won't be in public office. The strategist also says the McCain campaign's projection that the electorate would mirror that of 2004 is totally off, saying that heavy African-American turnout is an "Obama Tsunami."

Early exit polls show Obama ahead in key states

Exit poll information released by Slate indicates Obama has a strong lead in Ohio, New Mexico, Virginia, Missouri, Florida and Pennsylvania. Slate warns that exit polls may not be a reliable indicator of the real thing.

Early news on Election Day

Barack Obama takes Dixville Notch, the first Democratic to win in the small early-voting New Hampshire town in 40 years.

The globe voices strong support for an Obama presidency. From the Times of London:

"Obamamania is at fever pitch across Europe, where his ratings regularly exceed 80 per cent... Urbane, intellectual and idealistic, Mr Obama “is the kind of American we love”, said Jack Lang, a Socialist and the long-serving Culture Minister of the late President Mitterrand. 'His is the America of jazz and Fitzgerald and Falconer and Kerouac and Kennedy'... The world’s hopes for the 2004 elections – 53 per cent for John Kerry, 3 per cent for George Bush – had precious little bearing on the outcome."

The world hopes for a "less arrogant America," reports the Associated Press.

Record numbers of voters are expected to hit the polls.

The AP reports:

"Lawsuits alleging voter suppression already had surfaced in Virginia, a hotly contested state. A judge refused late Monday to extend poll hours or add voting machines to black precincts in some areas. The NAACP, in a federal lawsuit, demanded those changes, saying minority neighborhoods would experience overwhelming turnout and there weren't enough electronic machines.

U.S. District Judge Richard Williams denied the motion for a preliminary injunction, but ordered election officials to publicize that people in line by 7 p.m., the polls' closing time, would be allowed to cast ballots.

Republican John McCain's campaign sued the Virginia electoral board hours before polls opened, trying to force the state to count late-arriving military ballots from overseas."

We Have a Lot of Work To Do

"We cannot afford to slow down or sit back... I ask you to believe."
-Barack Obama

Nailin' Paylin

One more reason to be glad Sarah Palin won't be a heartbeat away from the presidency... this prank call from Canadian radio duo The Masked Avengers (posing as French President Nicolas Sarkozy) reveals Palin not only to be extremely gullible but also something of a superficial toad.

A written account of the telephone call can be found here.

Sullivan's endorsement: Barack Obama will bring back rule of law and respect for human rights

A few of the more noteworthy points from Andrew Sullivan's endorsement of Obama. Sullivan, a fiscal conservative, writes:

"Al Qaeda remains at large, and the very top leadership that planned and executed 9/11 is alive. They have reconstituted a base of sorts in Pakistan. They have scored several major propaganda victories - from Abu Ghraib to Guantanamo Bay to trapping most of the US military in an unending counter-insurgency in one country where al Qaeda was weak before 2002, Iraq. Islamist factions in Pakistan's government are horrifyingly close to nuclear technology. Iran has gained in power and influence in the Middle East and its ability to launch and use nuclear weapons is much greater than it was on 9/11...

It is a war where the American government has alienated - in some cases deeply - democratic allies whose police work and intelligence we desperately need... the crudeness with which military force has been deployed, the absence of strategy or even due diligence in the execution of the long war, and the massive public relations blunders which have led the United States to lose a propaganda war against a bunch of murderous, medieval loons are unforgivable...

It is now indisputable that the president and vice-president of the United States engineered a de facto coup against the constitution after 9/11, declaring themselves above any law, any treaty, and any basic moral norm in their misguided mission to rid the world of evil."

Full entry here.