V.17 No.45 | 11/6/2008


College Students Tired of This Crap

Students at CNM's Main Campus were verrrrry reluctant to discuss the election with me at lunchtime. Almost all of the people I approached—students and faculty—politely declined to pitch in their two cents on the nationwide shitstorm going on today. An 18 year-old rocker dude even laid down the dreaded "I have more important things to worry about" when I asked him how he felt about the political atmosphere at the college. Eh. Maybe I should have brushed my teeth this morning.


Republican vs. Democrat vs. Space Alien

Are you one of those "undecided" voters who still can't choose between Obama and McCain?

Perhaps this Sci-Fi Channel article will help you figure out where your loyalties lie.

The article posits several deadly, world-ending scenarios from various films (Escape From New York, Superman III, Independence Day) and inserts the candidates into the narratives to see which one would be best-suited.

Which presidential candidate would deal with the mutant crisis of the X-Men films best? Would Obama or McCain make a better substitute for President Peter Sellers in Dr. Strangelove? Read and find out.

Joel Villarreal feeling jazzed about the big day


Last-Minute Door Knocking

So I lock the gate to my girlfriend’s place and turn around to find a Joel Villarreal quickly affixing little flyers to doorknobs across the street. He represents AFSCME, the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, and the Obama campaign. Simply claiming he's excited about today would be an understatement. "This is history!" he says. It's awesome to see volunteers still pushing the "vote" message coming into the 11th hour of this campaign. Go, volunteers!


Live! From Las Cruces

Editor’s Note: You may have to turn up the volume on your computer a bit. We’re still working out some of the technical details with our LC correspondent.


A Nonvoter Who Voted

Many elections have come and gone since I turned 18, and I have not voted once. However, I'm sure all of you advocates out there will be glad to know that all changed at 7:04 am this morning. I was the sixth person in my precinct to run my ballot through the scantron machine.

I actually woke up this morning feeling excited to participate this Election Day. I was surprised at being able to wake up so early after a long night of thoroughly discussing with my boyfriend the pros and cons of each amendment and bond to be presented on our ballots. My boyfriend, by the way, is another one of those with their incessant, "It's every American's duty to vote." He's worse though because he has the extra chorus of, "The whole reason I teach is to provide students the proper tools to cast educated votes."

After many debates with numerous people, I still refuse to believe that opting for a lesser evil is a good idea. That kind of reasoning just doesn't sit well with me. Why should I be forced by alleged "obligation" to pick one politician over another when I don't really believe either candidate has the people's best interest at heart or the capability to perform well once in office? To say I voted?

As it turns out, nagging and threats of revoking my right to complain were not even close to being satisfactory reasons to get me registered What I needed was real motivation. I had to feel that by giving my support in the form of a check mark (or in my case, a filled-in oval), I was bringing myself one step closer to the things I want for this country. After all, if I'm going to vote for a potential leader, shouldn't I believe this person is going to take me somewhere good?

Finally, with this presidential election, along came a candidate I feel is genuine in his wishes for a better America and a better world. I've watched his interviews, listened to his debates and attended one of his rallies. The more I got to know him the more I thought, "If one man can make a difference, then this is the one, and it would be a shame if he were not elected." Although I still don't believe that every vote counts, at least I can say I didn't make a compromising decision. I will feel no shame in having my ballot read, "I want Barack Obama to be the next president of the United States."



Wired Election

Wired.com is promoting a bunch of fabulous election-related features today on topics such as:

Election superstitions

A map that tracks voting problems

Photos of our voting history from the early 1900s and beyond

Flunking voting machines and voting machine rigging

A century of presidents

And the 50-year-old election predictor


No Line at Jefferson Middle School

At around 10 a.m., I ventured to Jefferson Middle School on Lomas and Girard where there were a couple dozen people voting. The mostly empty gymnasium had no lines. Obama supporter Crystal Montes says she was pleasantly surprised by the small turnout. "The people I talked to who early voted had to wait in line for an hour," Montes says. "This was really easy."


Washington Redskins Predict Elections

According to this, the Washington Redskins carried some rather ominous signs for the Republican Party off the football field. The 'Skins were defeated by the Pittsburgh Steelers last night 23-6.

The last 16 of 17 times the Redskins won their game prior to Election Day, the incumbent party maintained the White House. Since they lost (rather horribly, I might add), history shows there should be a transfer of political power in the Oval Office.

The only time this did not hold true was when the Green Bay Packers defeated the Redskins in 2004 and Dubya barely snagged re-election for a second term. This may have been the one and only time I have rooted for the Steel City.

Tell this one you voted for McCain.


“Who are you voting for?”

It’s been an unavoidable question everywhere for the last month or so. Does anyone else get a moment of panic when asked this?

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not ashamed of my choice. I just don’t like random street interrogations about it. Everyone has already decided. I know I can’t change anyone’s mind. And honestly: I do think we’ll be better off either way (I don’t see how we couldn’t). “The Question” is different, though.

The questioner clearly has a strong opinion. It’s always asked in a confrontational, aggressive way. People who ask aren’t looking for a debate or discussion of the issues. Only one answer will satisfy: confirmation of what they already think. When The Question is posed, I have to pause. I make a brief calculation of the likely political position of the interviewer. I do a mental cost/benefit analysis of engaging with them. I figure out how tall they are and how far away I have to be to keep them from reaching me. I don’t want to be a coward, but what will follow the answer?

Losing a misguided friend? I can’t hate people (entirely) for personal choices, voting their conscience or just not being very smart. I don’t cut people from my life because they are super-religious or, alternately, have a rabid, pathological hatred of religion. I don’t have all the answers. They will either change their mind or not, but it won’t be today, and I can’t force them. It doesn’t always mean they are bad people.

Fist fight? I don’t want a letter carved in my face. Call me crazy, but it’s not worth it. In any position, there are extremists and nut jobs. It can get heated even with people I agree with if I don’t love the candidate enough. It’s disheartening to see people “on my side” use the same tactics of regurgitated sound bytes, intimidation, hyperbole and lies that they claim to hate so much in “the other side.” You’re kind of killing my buzz, angry mob.

A long, rambling attempt to convert me? Save it. I’m not some knee-jerk, black-or-white idealist. I think I’m making my choice rationally for pragmatic reasons, and I hope I’m right. I’m not kidding myself that it’s perfect by any stretch. I already did research using multiple sources, and badgering me (and usually doing a poor job of it) isn’t going to change my mind this late in the game. Short of some last-minute plot twist, minds have been made up.

Maybe I am a coward. I have to admit to dodging the question on a few occasions. Besides my usual policy of never talking to anyone who is bloody, smells of urine or is carrying a sign, I have weaseled out of answering numerous sketchy strangers. I have even lied. I’m part of the problem!

“Ay! Who are you voting for?” yells the drunken leader of a gang of college kids. Are they frat-type jock assholes or brainwashed by liberal professors?

“I can’t vote; I’m a felon.” That usually shuts them up.

“Who you voting for?” slurs the wild-eyed man in fatigues. Is he an extremist militia Libertarian or a bitter hippy veteran?

“What’s that behind you?” And then I run.

Most of the time I just sigh, answer, and try to cut it as short as I can. I’ll be glad when it’s all over and we only have to deal with “don’t blame me” bumper stickers.

What’s that? Who am I voting for? Ah. Well, you see … I-voted-for-Obama-now-I-really-have-to-go-use-the-can-check-you-later!


Bomb Bomb Bomb, Bomb Bomb Iran

Sing that to the tune of the Beach Boys’ hit “Barbara Ann.” That’s what McCain did in response to a question about Tehran. It’s just one more in a string of awesome campaign moments that candidates will never live down. Remember when Obama bowled a 37 while trying to charm blue-collar voters?

Good times.

With-it senior citizen pictured with Don Bell.


Don Bell

Remember that with-it senior citizen who told John McCain that she couldn’t trust Obama because he was an Arab? Well I think I saw her out last night with, get this, Don Bell (the mythical beast that is one half local activist/leather skinned nudist Don Schrader, and one half lawyer-hero Ron Bell). Hmmm. I never would’ve put those two together, but love works in mysterious ways.

I like your shirt, Buchanan.


Fun Facts About Three Presidents of the 19th Century

James Buchanan never married, and roomed with a man.

Abraham Lincoln roomed with a man too.

And, here's an inflammatory piece on Martin Van Buren.


Is McCain Coming to Albuquerque Today?

It’s hard to say. Political blogger Heath Haussamen says McCain will be in the Duke City today. But Ivette Barajas, who’s with the McCain campaign, says “the media is jumping the gun.” He’ll be stopping in the state, she confirmed, but there’s no rally planned, no time frame, and she can’t say where he’ll be.


Free Stuff

If you go to Starbucks and tell them that you voted, they’ll give you a free tall coffee.

The legality of this is being questioned, so you can probably get a free coffee even if you didn’t vote.

Get a free scoop at Ben & Jerry’s between 5 p.m. and 8 p.m.

Krispy Kreme might have a star-shaped donut for you.


Someone Trashed Some Alibis

Yup. We were greeted at work this morning with a bunch of our precious papers ripped from their stand and strewn in the gutter.

Why do you think it happened?