Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Big Sign that the Water Crunch Isn't Going Away: Lakes May Dry Up!

NEW YORK, Feb. 13 — As it poured felines and canines today here in New York, The Christian Science Monitor reported here that "Lake Mead and Lake Powell, which supply water and power to millions in the American Southwest, stand a 50 percent chance of running dry by 2021."

Upstate New York — lots of water and low cost of living. Let's go. Until then, start catching rain in your cisterns, and figure out a way to not lose so much runoff to the asphalt jungle.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Barack 'n Bloggin': Snowin' in New York, but Rollin' in the Potomac Trifecta

NEW YORK, Feb. 12 — Trucks, vans, and pedestrians slipped and slid up and down Amsterdam Avenue and Broadway in Morningside Heights this afternoon and evening as snow accumulated and turned to sleet, or even the ambiguous, mysterious "wintry mix." Some 300 miles south, however, the Barack and Roll was booming across the Potomac, all the way out the the Chesapeake as Obama swept the DC, Maryland, and Virginia Democratic primaries.

Unabashedly, enthusiastically, yes, we can. I'm fired up and ready to go.

With the hope of encouraging turnout today, I logged on to facebook last night to check onthe status of my DC-area friends. Happily, most of them are pretty savvy and engaged, being DC young professionals or students. One old friend, a Christian conservative, expressed in this status message dismay with his choices, suggesting his vote would be either an anti-McCain vote or an anti-Hillary vote.

Virginia doesn't require specific party registration of its primary voters, so this old friend was choosing between the donkeys and the elephants. I felt compelled to make a pitch for Barack, and as it turned out, my buddy ended up voting for him. Who's to say if my message made a difference or sealed the deal, but it points at least to Barack's cross-over appeal.

In this speech tonight at a Madison, Wis., rally, Barack humorously acknowledged that appeal. The Obama-cans, Republicans supporting him, often whisper to him as he works the rope line, shaking hands before and after his stump speech. As he tells it:

"Barack!" they whisper, "I'm a Republican, but I support you!"

It's OK, Obama-cans, you don't have to whisper, we're all friends here, we don't bite, and you're all welcome, anytime. And if Barack becomes president, maybe a year from now the whispers that indicate cross-party cooperation and friendship will begin to grow a little bit louder, until we, as Americans rather than donkeys and elephants, are throwing our hands back, and shouting, "Yes, we can! Now we will!"

He's raising our spirits, and he'll raise the debate, as he helps us raise ourselves and the country, restoring and improving the American reputation and fostering the American dream.

Ed. Note: BS notes the unusual editorializing and blatant propaganda of this post. Even though we usually try to present a somewhat objective picture of events, it's tough to do it in this case — we think Barack is just that good, and he inspires us like few, if any, others have previously. If you strongly object, let us know; we're considering a post on journalistic objectivity, or the impossibility thereof, in covering politics for the near future.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Blogging Super Tuesday: Morning GOTV in Morningside Heights

NEW YORK, Feb. 5 — Obama volunteers are out in force this Super Tuesday. I spent an hour and a half this morning at the northwest corner of W. 113th Street and Broadway in Morningside Heights.

I hit the ground at 10:45 this morning, meeting Obama campaign volunteer coordinator Dan in the Starbucks on Broadway between W. 114th and W. 115th Streets, where he had set up camp. The morning rain tapered off as I arrived to replace two other volunteers.

"Don't forget to vote today," and "Be sure to vote" were the phrases of choice, calling to passersby, while waving an Obama '08 sign covered in Vote Obama stickers, plus another sticket on my hat.

Many pedestrians responded that they'd voted already or were headed to vote as they passed; of that, a substantial majority gave a thumbs up or otherwise expressed their support for Obama:
Here's hopin'!

Obama's my boy!

He's already got my vote!

They were old-time New Yorkers, new citizens, nannies, stay-at-home moms, retirees, Columbia students and employees, a cross-section of this diverse neighborhood, of this city, of this country (with a stronger Democratic tilt than this purple nation).

A particularly memorable pedestrian, wearing a Giants' coat, hood up, on this day of the Giants' victory parade and party, carrying a busting full garbage bag, called back to me as he crossed 113th Street headed south: "Obama's the man! Unfortunately, I'm a convicted felon, so I can't vote for him."

It was at once an interesting commentary on the cross-cutting support for Obama, and also a sad statement on felon disenfranchisement, even for those back on the streets, apparently rehabilitated and engaged.

More from the field later.

Big Sign that You Should Vote Today: It's Super Tuesday!

NEW YORK, Feb. 5 — Polls are open here in New York, and will be until 9 p.m. EST, in a presidential primary being echoed across the country today, with 24 states holding either a primary or caucus for the Democrats or Republicans, or both in what the media has labeled Super Tuesday. (Ed. Note: B.S. previously called today "Tsunami Tuesday," reserving "Super Tuesday" for the more traditional, early March primary day, but in deference to common parlance and to prevent confusion, we'll use "Super Tuesday" to describe this primary day.)

I voted 40 minutes ago, and the polling place was busy, if not yet hopping, despite the before-work crowd. Campaigns are out in force to get out the vote. The Barack Obama campaign has listed 19 staging sites for GOTV in Manhattan alone.

I won't presume here to know everything about all the candidates, but I will say I voted for Barack because I think he has the right stuff to turn this country in a new direction, the best chance to win the general election, and a he gives Americans hope that they can be a part of the change.

Whatever you do today, for whomever you vote, if you're in a Super Tuesday state, do your civic duty and vote.