We voted today. Have you?

This election will be historic regardless of who wins, just for very different reasons. It’s important that you make your voice heard and it’s a civic duty one shouldn’t take lightly.

Thanks to an 11PM conference call to provide tech support to someone in India, I got to sleep in this morning and then Anne and I went to vote before I left for work.

We voted! Tah-dah!

We voted! Tah-dah!

I cast my vote for Hillary Clinton and voted blue straight down the ticket. Republicans have had a death grip on Michigan’s government for too long and, with any luck, perhaps we’ll tip the balance a little more towards the progressive side.

Hillary is most likely going to be our next President, but she’ll have a rough time of it if we don’t gain back at least one — but preferably both — houses of Congress. If you feel the same way then you shouldn’t be sitting this one out. Even if you can’t bring yourself to vote for either candidate for President, there’s still lots of other races you can make a difference in so go vote.

Voting is important. Make sure you cast yours this November.

We Americans sure do love to holler about how patriotic we are. We slap bumper stickers on our cars with various slogans and apply images of the flag to every surface that can be printed on and we chant “USA! USA! USA!” at every opportunity. Yet nearly half of all eligible Americans don’t bother to do one of the most patriotic things possible: Voting.

If you’re eligible, but not registered to vote the folks at SaveTheDay.vote can help you with getting that done so you can exercise one of your fundamental rights as an American. In Michigan the deadline to register, either in person or by mail, is October 11th. That’s only a couple of weeks away. This is arguably one of the most important elections ever — certainly within my lifetime. Prove just how patriotic you are by casting your vote on November 8th.

Don’t do it just because you want to see Mark Ruffalo naked. Do it because it’s your civic duty.

I voted today. Have you?

Pic of Vote logo.

All the cool kids are doing it. You should too.

And I voted for a Republican for Governor! *GASP!* I’ll explain more later as I’m short on time right now, but I did vote for Democrats for Congress.

Regardless of whether you vote for Democrats, Republicans, or some third party you should do your civic duty and make sure to vote. Yes, even those of you who I would rather not bother to vote should still do it as it’s vital to a healthy democratic government.

So if you haven’t already then get off your ass and down to your local polling station and cast your vote. It’ll make you look informed and sexy even if you’re not.

I’m not voting Republican because I remember.

This pretty much says it all:

That’s a pretty powerful ad from the folks at the International Brotherhood of Boilermakers and it’s a shame it’s not all over the airwaves. There’s a lot of people out there who could do with a good reminding right about now.

Via Alan Colmes’ Liberaland.

A useful reminder…

As unhappy as I am with the Obama administration not following through on some of its biggest promises and for continuing some of the Bush era policies (and making them worse in some respects) I still believe we’re better off than we would have been had John McCain and his idiot sidekick won the election. The following video clip drives home the point that if I and others like me don’t vote this election then the opposition will win.

And the opposition ain’t very pretty:

Granted, I think the choice of song used could’ve been better, but the point still stands.

Found over at Uncertain Principles.

Meanwhile, in a parallel universe…

How important is one vote? Here’s what might have happened had I decided to stay home:

Luckily, for all of us, I voted.

I’ve voted. Have you?

We decided to sleep in until 6:30AM and then got up, tossed some clothes on, brushed our hair, and headed to the polls. Got there a couple of minutes before they were due to open at 7AM. There was already a line stretching down two hallways that looked like it would take hours to get through, but it actually moved pretty quickly. We were done and home within an hour and a half at which point I took a quick shower and was only 10 minutes late getting to work. So I’ve done my civic duty and can sit back and watch the results roll in. Well, once I get through the work day and class tonight. We’re having a test so my mind may be on things other than politics today.

If you’ve not gotten out to vote yet (assuming you’re an American who can vote) then be sure to do so. You’ve got until 8PM and if you’re in line at 8PM you’ll be guaranteed a chance to vote. No excuses. Get out there and get it done.

How I can still vote for Obama.

“C” left a comment in another thread the other night asking how I can still vote for Obama after, among other things, his recent FISA vote. My short reply at the time was that he was still better than the alternatives. C went on to send me an email asking:

i understand the whole voting for the lesser of two evils thing, but he voted against the constitution! he will make laws against separation of church and state. he says he’ll pull us out of iraq but he’s done nothing to show us that (in fact, he continues to fund the war effort with billions of dollars).

it isn’t voting for the leeser of two evils, it’s voting for one evil that happens to give better speeches than another evil.

how anybody can vote for a person that makes unconstitutional laws…i just don’t understand it.

Obama didn’t vote against the Constitution, though the FISA bill may very well be unconstitutional. We should find out fairly quickly as the ACLU has already filed suit to try and stop the law. Still that doesn’t change the fact that I was very disappointed by Obama voting for it, but it’s not like I’ve not disagreed with Presidents I’ve voted for in the past. Bill Clinton signed a couple of laws, such as the Defense of Marriage Act, which I completely disagreed with and felt were a violation of Church and State, but he was still a decent enough President in my mind that I’d have voted for a third term had it been possible to do so. The number of issues I find myself in agreement with Obama on more than makes up for the ones I disagree with him on.

As for pulling us out of Iraq, Obama recently wrote an op-ed piece for the New York Times in which he lays out his plan for ending the war in Iraq:

As I’ve said many times, we must be as careful getting out of Iraq as we were careless getting in. We can safely redeploy our combat brigades at a pace that would remove them in 16 months. That would be the summer of 2010 — two years from now, and more than seven years after the war began. After this redeployment, a residual force in Iraq would perform limited missions: going after any remnants of Al Qaeda in Mesopotamia, protecting American service members and, so long as the Iraqis make political progress, training Iraqi security forces. That would not be a precipitous withdrawal.

In carrying out this strategy, we would inevitably need to make tactical adjustments. As I have often said, I would consult with commanders on the ground and the Iraqi government to ensure that our troops were redeployed safely, and our interests protected. We would move them from secure areas first and volatile areas later. We would pursue a diplomatic offensive with every nation in the region on behalf of Iraq’s stability, and commit $2 billion to a new international effort to support Iraq’s refugees.

Ending the war is essential to meeting our broader strategic goals, starting in Afghanistan and Pakistan, where the Taliban is resurgent and Al Qaeda has a safe haven. Iraq is not the central front in the war on terrorism, and it never has been. As Adm. Mike Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, recently pointed out, we won’t have sufficient resources to finish the job in Afghanistan until we reduce our commitment to Iraq.

As president, I would pursue a new strategy, and begin by providing at least two additional combat brigades to support our effort in Afghanistan. We need more troops, more helicopters, better intelligence-gathering and more nonmilitary assistance to accomplish the mission there. I would not hold our military, our resources and our foreign policy hostage to a misguided desire to maintain permanent bases in Iraq.

I don’t know about the rest of you, but that sounds pretty good to me. We’ve left Afghanistan as unfinished business while we were dicking around looking for non-existent WoMDs in Iraq and we’re starting to pay the price for it.

Your second paragraph implies that there’s no real difference between the two candidates in which case I can only assume you haven’t been paying attention. Go to their websites and read up on what their stances on issues and plans for the future are. You’ll see there’s quite a bit of difference. It can be hard to distinguish how McCain would be anything other than a continuation of the Bush Administration which has done such a fine job of screwing this country up so far. That is assuming that McCain isn’t just paying lip service to the Far Right and plans to go back to being the maverick he used to be once he lands the White House. That would be an improvement over how he’s presenting himself now, but not only is that a risky assumption to count on it’s also still not as good as the change in direction that Obama appears to be offering. By the same token it’s always possible Obama is selling us a bill of goods as well, but I think it’s less likely in his case.

How I can vote someone who “makes unconstitutional laws” isn’t hard to understand. People, including Presidential candidates, are human and they make mistakes. You have to look at more than just the one issue and consider the package as a whole. That’s part of why I’m not much for Ron Paul. He had some appealing aspects in his policy stances and then he has some that were way the fuck out in left field. The number of attractive stances he held were outweighed by the crazy he brought with him. When I look at McCain and Obama and the complete packages they bring with them I find that I’m still leaning very heavily towards Obama even if I’m not happy with every single choice he makes.

97-year-old woman can’t vote due to Arizona’s Voter ID act.

In 2004 voters in Arizona passed a law that requires all citizens of the state to provide some form of ID in order to be able to cast a ballot. This law is turning out to be a problem for some of the older citizens who no longer have valid drivers licenses and who were born prior to the use of birth certificates. People like Shirley Preiss of Surprise, AZ:

“I’m a legal American,” Preiss said. “I’m born here. Born and raised in America.”

The Arizona law was approved by voters in 2004 as Proposition 200 on that year’s general election ballot. It requires voters to produce specified types of identification when casting ballots at polling places and to provide proof of citizenship when registering to vote either for the first time or in a different county.

Preiss was born in 1910 in Clinton, Ky., before birth certificates were issued. She said she no longer has a driver’s license and never had a passport.

“You can see my mother’s not a national threat,” said her son Nathan Nemnich. “Been voting since 1932.” Nemnich produced the files documenting his attempts to get her registered.

“A delayed birth certificate,” he said. “You have to have witnesses. Everybody’s dead.”

When the family tried to get school records from Tennessee, they found out the school no longer exists.

“We’re talking about something that is so precious, that right to vote, “said Linda Brown of the Arizona Advocacy Network. “How many hurdles are OK to jump through? How many barriers are we going to accept?”

I tend to be opposed to overly stringent voter ID requirements because it seems to me that they’re generally a means for Republicans to weed out some of the folks who tend to vote for Democrats and there’s little reason to believe the requirements make voting any less susceptible to fraud. I’d rather risk too many people being able to vote than not enough as there are means to validate votes after the fact if there’s reason to question them.