A couple of e-mails on my post on The Country That Votes Together. First from Bill:
I liked your post today on actually voting on election day. A friend of mine once said we should be able to vote over the Internet. Not to mention all the shenanigans that could happen with that, I told him it shouldn't be that big of a deal for a citizen to make it to their polling place in person and cast a vote.
Your post reminded me of 1992 and my roommate. I got home from work, grabbed a beer (it was dark out), and walked the four or five blocks to the polling place. A short while after I got home, my roommate got home from work. He asked me if I had voted, I said yes. Darn, he said, I'm walking over there now and I was thinking how great it would be if we grabbed a couple of beers and walked over there together.
He was a conservative, so both sides could have reached across the aisle in this endeavor.
(and I'm not advocating voting while under the influence ...)
This also is another reason to make Election Day a national holiday. As this this story in the WSJ (sub req) makes clear, it's already starting to shape up as a national party:
Expecting a record number of voters to hit the streets on Election Day and energy to run high all that week, some observers are anticipating more than a boost to the democratic process -- they smell a marketing opportunity. Gap is courting all constituents with $15 "Vote for _____" T-shirts, available through Nov. 4. The next day, the New York Comedy Festival is kicking things off with a "We Have a Winner" event, focusing on political comedy. And bars around the country are hosting parties to capitalize on what could be a long night of group TV-watching, capped with celebration for some, dejection for others, and perhaps drinks for all.
"Election day has almost become a national equivalent to the Super Bowl -- everyone is involved in this competition," says Ron Simon, curator of radio and television at the Paley Center for Media.
Jack also weighs in from California:
I live within the city limits of Los Angeles (your prayers are most welcome). The population of this socialist utopia is roughly 3.8 million. For this election, like most recent elections, I must vote by mail. This is not an option. I MUST vote by mail. Two reasons are given why this is the case:
1) No one volunteered to set up a polling place in my precinct.
2) There are less than 250 registered voters in my precinct.
Either option is kind of depressing. Usually there's some old geezer in your neighborhood who will set up a polling booth in his garage. But the thought that there are less than 250 registered voters in my precinct signifies a level of apathy that is truly frightening.
Jack also e-mailed on the California connection to the financial crisis:
California would be paradise if it weren't for the idiots running it. I'm so glad that Michelle Obama, at the age of 40 something, is finally proud of her country. I've been in California ten years and I'm embarrassed to say I live here. If I ever put in a flagpole, I'd run up the Indiana state flag before I ran up the California Republic. I could go on about California. But I moved here from Lake County, Indiana, where ACORN appears to be winning the "who can have the most dead people and cartoon characters vote" sweepstakes. When you move from one corrupt cesspool to another, you barely notice the difference. At least in Indiana you could buy an acre of land for less than a million dollars. And I could buy a gun and a thousand rounds of ammo at Fetla's and walk out the door with it the same day. I miss that.
Wow, Minnesota's state flag is really ugly. From 20 feet it looks like a Rorschach test. I see there are 19 stars on the ring around the seal. Indiana also has 19 stars on it's flag. I don't get it. Ahh, ok, Minnesota's 19 stars represent Minnesota as the 19th state AFTER the original 13 colonies. What?? You're the 32nd state. Put 32 stars, stripes, deer antlers, whiskey bottles, or some such on your flag. Please!
Back to the mortgage mess. Out here, we have been bombarded, dare I say assaulted, with advertisements for the last 5-7 years to "refinance, pull cash out, refinance, pull cash out, refinance, pull cash out." I refinanced once, back in '02 I think. But I have resisted since. Now I think I'm the only one in my neighborhood who isn't upside down.
Greg from Philadelphia asks about the election prospects in Minnesota:
I live in suburban Philadelphia and try to listen to the first 2 hours of NARN whenever I have access to a streaming computer on Saturdays. Your show is full of good insights.
I called this Saturday and once earlier in the spring. The call on Saturday went really well. One of you jokingly asked me if I was one of John "Mad" Murtha's infamous PA racists.
How are things going politcally in MN? I'm distressed by how things are going nationally and with Norm Coleman and Michelle Bachmann in MN. I had heard of her travails with Chris matthews and the bad fallout. Last night my friend saw her on FNC, and called me to say that we needed to contribute. Despite the shaky economic times ahead, he and I made small contributions to her campaign. I also matched that small one with another small one to Norm C. I know Mark Levin has taken up her cause, and this morning Bill Bennett was going all out for her. He has 3 million listeners. If only 1/3 of them would give $10...
Do you think both will prevail? The thought of Al Franken in the Senate is nightmarish.
Indeed it is. At this point, it's still to hard to call that race. The polls are all over the place and I'm afraid that Senator Franken is not as far fetched an idea as it once seemed.
It is encouraging to hear that people outside of Minnesota are rallying to Bachmann. Her race too is much closer than expected and it will likely be very close. Every dollar counts and helps.
Robert on how long the conservatives time in the wilderness will last:
Good morning. I read your latest post with interest:
"Conservatives may very well be headed into the political wilderness after this year's election. But the wandering may not necessarily be as long and the journey back to relevance not as painful as some now fear."
I agree; things can cycle around pretty quickly in Amerivcan politics. That's the good news. The bad news is that, throughout my lifetime, every time the Republicans regain a foothold the tide of the left is just a little bit more irreversible and there's just a little bit less they can do to turn it around. The analogy isn't so much a pendulum as a ratchet: they push the country leftward, we hold it where it is. That's why, try as I might, it's hard for me to be very upbeat about the coming election. If Obama gets the presidency with Democratic majorities in Congress, I honestly think we could hit a tipping point in America's history. If they create an America where the majority of voters pay no or minimal tax, where most are dependent on government pensions and health care, where judges recognize no real constitutional constraints, where political speech in the mass media is federally regulated, where our schools remain a government monopoly, where our access to realistic sources of energy is severely limited, and where our military is neglected, it's hard for me to see any road back to a truly free society.
Believe me, I hate to be a Cassandra, but neither can I be Pollyanna. I'm well aware that you can't let your fears, even realistic ones, become dispiriting--I have done my bit for John McCain, wish him the best and will definitely vote for him. But I'm also a realist, and sense that the tipping point between the possibility of a free society and a European-style socialism/fascism is very near, if it hasn't already tipped.
I can understand Robert's fears, but I hold out hope for a conservative comeback. While the record is far from perfect the reality is that the Reagan Revolution has made a difference and not all that was achieved has been surrendered (welfare reform for example took place under Clinton). The key will be to make sure that Obama is a more of Carter than a FDR.
Finally, Rick heps us to a story on a father figure we can all aspire to:
Diesel fuel was on heavy discount at a rural Wisconsin convenience store — just 59 cents a gallon.
That is, until the owner discovered he had left off the other $3 while changing the price in his computer.
Mohinder Singh estimates 50 to 75 customers took advantage of the mistake at his Lyons Shell Plaza last weekend, costing him more than $4,000.
He says he changed the price about noon Saturday, and it stayed at 59 cents until he arrived at 7 a.m. Sunday and saw a warning light indicating the diesel tank had only 200 gallons left.
Eighteen-year-old Jordan Koster knew something was wrong when he filled his pickup's 30-gallon tank for only $10. He told his father, and his father advised him to make things right.
The teen stopped Monday and paid the full amount.
As Rick said, that's my kind of dad.