just a few hours to go

I caught myself, for just a moment this weekend, thinking, “You know, that Osama bin Laden is pretty cool for not picking sides in our election.” Of course, I don’t like the man, or approve of his tactics, but you have to admit that it’s pretty decent of him to just come out and say, “It really doesn’t matter who you elect, I’ll still be trying to kill all of you.” It’s refreshing to hear a politician who just comes out and tells it like it is, isn’t it?

Sorry, but there won’t be much of a post today. I’ve been too busy doing my MoveOn Precinct Leader stuff to read the news. I like to complain about all the work I’ve been doing, but it’s really not that bad. So far, there haven’t been any punches thrown, and no one has spit in my eyes. One little meth freak yesterday kind of blurted out “Kerry’s an asshole” in my face, but then, after stepping back into his apartment and taking a moment to reflect, he said to himself, “but Bush is an asshole too.” Other than that, I’d say the worst thing has been the giant blister on the back of my right foot. It popped today though, so things are good again… or they will be once I wash the puss out of my sock.

Someone got to my site yesterday by Googling, “Is it dangerous to volunteer for MoveOn Tuesday door to door.” I suppose that’s something I should have researched before signing on. Like I said though, so far there haven’t been many bad things. Quite the contrary, almost all of my experiences thus far have been good. I even found $50 while out canvassing in the cold this evening. I thought that was particularly cool as I’d just donated another $50 to the Kerry campaign on Friday. I suppose some could see that as a sign that God wants John Kerry to win. I just thought that someone must have dropped it during the course of getting mugged though.

When I first started out going door to door, someone told me an old mailman trick. If there’s a gate, rattle it for a few seconds before walking into someone’s yard. Otherwise, you might find yourself a few steps in before finding out about the family pitbulls. I’ve been keeping a running list of little canvassing tricks in my head to share with the new people I’m training. So far, the most useful has proven to be, “Skip the houses with no windows.” People who bolt plywood over their windows, it’s my guess, probably value their privacy.

Speaking of volunteers, there have been a lot more lately. People, it would seem, are becoming frightened by the prospect that Bush, through black magic or some other form of chicanery, could win, and that they might have to explain to people one day why it was that they just sat back and watched it happen. Putting in a few hours hunting down votes in Ypsi absolves them of some of the guilt. If Bush wins, we’ll all have some though. We’ll all kick ourselves for not having done more.

In addition to going door to door, I’ve also been sitting here in the kitchen and making calls to my neighbors. That, for the most part, has gone well too. I did get hung up on in mid-sentence last night, which didn’t make me too happy… And, if you’re going to learn anything from this post, let it be this — Don’t yell and slam down the receiver on someone until after determining whether or not they might, let’s say, do business with your company… Yes, this particular man, who shall go unnamed, apparently didn’t realize when he slammed the phone down on me, that my wife and I used to be customers of his… And that has absolutely nothing to do with his party affiliation. (He didn’t even let me get to the part where I talk about Kerry.) Over the course of the past few weeks, I’ve talked to quite a few Bush supporters and, for the most part, they’ve been civil, even friendly. This fellow, however, was rude, and stupid, and it’s going to cost him a few bucks.

OK, that’s going to have to be it for tonight.

Goodnight, my invisible friends.

Posted in Politics | 8 Comments

fiji mermaid found on the banks of the huron

This morning, while campaigning along the banks of the Huron River, I stumbled across a wonderful, living specimen of a Fiji mermaid.

OK, I’m sorry. I was just pulling your leg. I didn’t really find a Fiji mermaid. That was just Clementine in her first Halloween outfit… It got a really great response from people until they got close enough to realize that we’d just stuffed her into the mouth of a giant dead fish.

Posted in Mark's Life | 5 Comments

keep your eye on hawaii: this could be important

I just received the following note from Rob, my poll-watching friend. I haven’t seen this theory of his suggested elsewhere yet, but it makes perfect sense to me. If you think so too, tell others, or link to this post. If he’s right, we need to let people know.

Media sources are reporting two polls this week in Hawai’i (4 electoral votes) which suggest a dead heat there between Bush and Kerry.

Neither poll was done by nationally recognized pollsters. In fact, both were done by very small business research companies, similar to my own (company) Profile, Inc., which have little or no credibility regarding unbiased polling.

Ward Research, which did the first poll in Hawai’i (4), is little more than owner Rebecca Ward and a half dozen phoners. She is closely tied with the prominent Republicans in Honolulu, as any research business would have to be on the small island of Oahu. Almost all of her projects come directly from these people and without them she would have to find another line of work.

SMS Research, which did the second poll showing the race in Hawai’i (4) as dead even, is in much the same position as Rebecca Ward. They could hardly upset their entire client base over one polling project for a newspaper. It wins them points with their clients to release skewed polls that make their clients feel that they are “team players.”

Though, of course, a complete report of the methods used in the polling was not provided to the press, but one detail which was admitted publicly would be enough to disregard the polls. All calls were made to Oahu Island residents only. All other islands were excluded.

At first it just looked to me that the fake polls in Hawai’i (4) were released just as a way to try to help mask the electoral lead Kerry has taken. But now that Dick Cheney will be flying out there this weekend to campaign, I am suspecting there may be something more sinister behind the strange developments there. In reality, Cheney’s presence is much more valuable in Ohio (20).

I think the Bush/Cheney campaign is setting up to fix Hawai’i (4) this year much in the same way they did Florida (27) in 2000, if they have to. The Cheney visit is being done to help establish in the public mind that there is actually a real chance that Bush/Cheney could win there. This will make it more believable if Hawai’i’s 4 electoral votes are needed to fix a very close electoral race, late on election night.

I was in Honolulu in May and I talked to Democratic campaign organizers there who I would judge to be completely unprepared to defend against anything like we are seeing in Florida (27) and Ohio (20). The problem is that the Republicans have recently taken control of the executive branch in Hawai’i (4). That control is one important ingredient in any effort to commit mass election fraud. This is because state law enforcement officials have to be restrained. Jeb Bush and his cronies do it in Florida (27). Ashcroft and his cronies did it in Missouri (11) in 2000. Taft and his cronies are doing it in Ohio (20). Engler tried to set up something similar here in Michigan (17) in the late 1990s, but he was stopped by GM and Ford, which benefit from trade protections only Democrats offer at the federal level.

The important thing about Hawai’i (4) is that it is 6 time zones behind us here in the Eastern Time Zone. The polls close early there (5pm) in order to keep with the west coast states which close at the same time (8pm their time), but it does still provide a last minute trump card to the Republicans if they need it. That is to say, if we are tied in the electoral college going into the last 7 states to close their polls after 11pm, Eastern Time, we will see Hawai’i (4) fixed.

This makes winning Pennsylvania (21), Michigan (17), Wisconsin (10) and Ohio (20) absolutely essential. We cannot have the electoral college be close. We must win by more than 4 electoral votes.

Posted in Politics | 6 Comments

sorry, black voting was yesterday

I don’t know how they keep doing it, but every hour the Republicans sink to a new level of low. It’s absolutely amazing… Check out this flyer that was being circulated in downtown Milwaukee today. I’m not usually a proponent of the death penalty, but shouldn’t there be something worse than life in prison for a person that attempts to stand between a man or a woman and their right to vote? I’d like to think that the soul of this country of ours can still be saved, but seeing something like this makes me seriously question it. (I found this story at the DailyKos site.)

* This post was brought to you by the downloadable MoveOn Voter Rights card. Don’t leave your designated free speech zone without it.

Posted in Politics | 3 Comments

the buck stops… way down there

After a few days of ignoring the story, and one day of suggesting that the 380 tons of ammunition were already gone by the time that US forces got there, the administration tried something new today. They sent America’s favorite mayor, Rudy Guiliani, onto national television to blame the troops. Yup, the new Bush angle is to concede the fact that, since the US took occupation of Al Qaqaa, Iraq, 380 tons of ammunition have disappeared, but make it very clear that it wasn’t the fault of the administration… So, not sending enough men to safeguard the areas that the administration had been told numerous times needed to be safeguarded, wasn’t the problem. And, the problem wasn’t with Rumsfeld’s plan for occupying Iraq on the cheap. No, the problem was with the soldiers on the ground who didn’t do their jobs. Good story. Let’s see how the men and women in the military like it when it comes time to vote… The bottom line is that we sent too few people to occupy the country, and we only safeguarded the oil fields. And now we’re paying the price for it. It’s about time Bush is held accountable. (The accompanying images show the explosives as they were when the Americans first moved into Al Qaqaa. Those bunkers are now empty.)

Posted in Politics | 8 Comments


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