Tag Archives: election

Election hangover

This morning, I woke up to a ringing in my ears and pounding in my head. There was no way I could work like that, so I had to call in sick.

Now, about 10 hours after I made the call and more than 17 hours after I started fighting this headache, I’m finally able to stare at a computer screen again.

I’m calling this an election hangover.

I overdid it. Not with booze (in fact, I didn’t drink at all last night). With election coverage.

I got home around 9 p.m. last night and headed straight for the computer. (I’d already been watching the coverage with Hilary since 6 p.m., taking only a short break to grab some food and eat with Josh on his break at work.) I pulled up YouTube, Twitter and Facebook, then sat there, watching the coverage until God-knows-when.

I don’t remember much. I only remember at some point feeling confused about whether Obama had actually won. Some news outlets were calling it. Others refused to call it yet. Facebook exploded with cheers and anger. I went to bed and decided I could wait until morning to know for sure.

Now, almost 24 hours later, I’m still feeling a little woozy from it all. People are still posting angry statuses, while others say things like “In yo’ face, Mittens!” I’m just ready to move on past the petty stuff. (You could say I’m channeling my inner Johnny Carson.)

While many people are treating this as the end of the road, I have other sentiments. There’s still a lot of work to be done. I totally agree with Rachel Wilkerson, who yesterday wrote, “while voting is important, focusing all our energy on the election can give us the false impression that making the world a better place is the job of our elected officials. (Or that if we pick the “wrong” officials, then oh well, time to give up!) And it’s not. I mean, yes, it is their job, but it’s not their job alone.”

I want do what we can. Write and talk about the things that matter to me, then go out and do something about them. And what little citizen me can’t do with my own hands, I should urge our Congress to do. And urge them. And urge them. Until they want to make changes just to make me shut up.

So, over the next four years, I plan to do a lot more research about the officials representing me. I want to know who to vote out and who should stay. I’ll research amendments and propositions (one area I didn’t feel as prepared to vote for as I would have liked). And, as soon as parties start choosing candidates, I’m going to start digging for information (and not just for the two main parties; I want to see our other parties have a chance too).

And in the meantime, I want to do something. I want to make a difference in my community. As soon as this headache is finally gone, I’ll start brainstorming ways I can help

No hair of the dog for this gal. On to the next.

(Photos that aren’t my face via here and here.)

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Poll line passtimes

Put down the Sudoku.

Here are some things to do while you wait in line for the polls today, and none of them involve pencil-to-paper. (There will be enough of that later in the polling booth.)

Important things first:

View prediction maps:

Share your voting photos:

Share your voting stories:

Report voting problems:

If I’ve left out any hashtags, interesting poll predictions or important information, share them in the comments.

Happy voting, y’all!

Untouched: Why the Denver debate was a disaster

Last night’s presidential debate was disappointing, to say the least. I’m sad to say that by the end of it, I was most excited about the Big Bird gifs and other jokes that were bound to appear (actually, I saw the first Big Bird gif before the debate even ended) because no one said much of anything we didn’t already know.

Discussions on Twitter and Facebook revolved around not only Big Bird, but also about comparing Jim Lehrer to a high school substitute teacherwho won the debate and speculations of why Obama didn’t bring up Romney’s 47 percent remark. While it’s interesting to consider which candidate put on a better show last night, that isn’t what I care about. In fact, the things I care about most went almost completely untouched last night.

  1. Skilled Labor. There was a huge opening for this topic at the beginning of the debate, when the candidates discussed job creation. I think Romney muttered “skilled work” one time before moving on to more important things like firing Big Bird and how his Obama stole his health care ideas. This is frustrating because we have such great opportunity in our skilled labor forces. Unfortunately, the industry is suffering in our down economy. But with a little nudge, these important jobs could provide work for many Americans. I’m really surprised Romney didn’t elaborate on it, considering Mike Rowe is backing Governor Romney in the race. [CORRECTION: Unfortunately, I was misinformed. Rowe is not campaigning for Romney. Rather, he is promoting his own PR campaign regarding the Skills Gap. While this doesn’t change that I want to hear Romney’s point-of-view regarding skilled labor, I want you to have the facts. My apologies for the misinformation.]
  2. Women’s Health. Another huge opening here that neither candidate took. This is particularly frustrating because it addresses questions a lot of women have right now regarding each candidate’s proposed health plan. What will RomneyCare or ObamaCare mean for birth control coverage? What about my check-ups? Breast cancer? Ovarian or cervical cancer? And, of course, the big ol’ elephant: abortion. While I realize Medicaid and Medicare are important to discuss when we talk about health care, I also think the candidates need to keep their young voters in mind. Young single women are the swing voters this year; remember that, Obama and Romney.
  3. Internet Freedom. Remember SOPA and how it was very close to passing? That scared the shit out of me. Although  intellectual property should definitely be protected, it shouldn’t be at the risk of online freedom. I want to know what each candidate will do to look out for Internet freedom and intellectual property.
  4. Cyber Security. Admittedly, I hadn’t even considered this until Mashable included it on a list of tech topics to look for in the debate. But it’s true: cyber security is a big deal. It’s an important issue to consider as an individual, a company or a government. We know how Obama will react to online privacy invasions such as CISPA, but Romney has been rather quiet about the whole thing. I’d love to know what he plans to do to keep governmental information secure while protecting individual Americans’ security and privacy (or if he has such plans).
  5. NASA. We have a good idea how Obama feels about space exploration, but we haven’t heard much (if anything) from Romney. If he wins the election, will we see some (or, better yet, all) of our space exploration programs re-implemented? Though it isn’t a top priority, I still want to know. This is an area in which the U.S. has excelled for years. I don’t want to see it diminish in a mere four.

I’m trying to not give up hope on these fellas yet. The next presidential debate (on October 16) will give undecided voters a chance to ask questions about both foreign and domestic policies. I really, really hope some of these topics come up then–and that Americans (and the candidates) will start taking the election seriously.

Photo via Mashable.