Sunday Morning Open Thread: “Operation Lemonade”

A little Sunday-morning inspiration (and I hope Sandy didn’t screw things up too much). Dave Weigel at Slate on “how the GOP’s voter suppression laws may have inadvertently cost them Florida“:

MIAMI—[Saturday], as the sun rises, Bishop Victor Curry of New Birth Baptist Church will wake up and race to the Stephen P. Clark Government Center in downtown. At 7 a.m., he will help lead south Florida’s first early-vote rally. As soon as he can, he will hotfoot it to the South Dade Regional Library, 30-odd minutes away, for the day’s second early-vote rally. He will find some way to flee in time to make the start of the EBA Higher Education Awareness and Dropout Prevention Initiative in Miami Gardens, the heart of black south Florida, and take the stage next to Rev. Al Sharpton. Then back on the road, north to Broward County.

The plan, coordinated by at least 150 black pastors, is called “Operation Lemonade.” …

“When the Republicans in the state passed the new voting laws, we discovered that they took away that Sunday right before the election,” says Curry. “What we decided to do was view that as them giving us a lemon. We can be sour, we can moan and groan about it, or we can do something. We can make lemonade. The first thrust is this weekend, Saturday and Sunday, and then we’re going to encourage people the entire next week.”

Democrats are proud to say it: If they win this election, it’ll be because a superior ground game turned out their base and overcame a Mitt Romney comeback. In Florida, they have twice as many campaign offices as Romney-Ryan. “With absentee ballot requests, usually the Republicans have a pretty significant advantage on us,” says Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, the DNC chairwoman who represents a liberal slice of the Miami sprawl. “We’ve cut the advantage by 85 percent.” This is true…

What’s on the agenda this morning? Anybody got reports on the many & various GOTV efforts?

147 replies
  1. 1
    Seanindc says:

    I am running the Marine Corps Marathon – I’ve lost 100 lbs in the last year and this is the culmination of all that hard work.

  2. 2
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    Wish I could do some GOTV, but I have to drive to Memphis today for work-related reasons. Flying back to Atlanta Wednesday (Sandy and Frankenstorm willing) and hope to spend the remaining days between then and the election doing phone-banking, door-knocking, car-pooling or whatever volunteering is needed.

  3. 3
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Seanindc: That is amazing and wonderful. Good luck in the Marathon!

  4. 4
    PreservedKillick says:

    Congrats on the marathon and the weight loss! That is great!

    Just sitting here looking at Sandy.

    Noticed something quite scary and unobvious.

    If you take a look at storm surge probabilities and adjust for a high storm surge (>10ft), it’ll give you an interesting view of where the coastal focus of Sandy will be greatest.

    If you guessed NYC, you are right.

  5. 5
    jenn says:

    @Seanindc: Wow, that is fantastic! Congratulations, good luck … and have fun!

  6. 6
    Lurking Canadian says:

    @Seanindc: Awesome! Good luck with the run!

  7. 7
    amk says:

    Thanks AL. The dem counties are reporting twice the turnout of 2008. FL ain’t over until the final vote count.

  8. 8
    Neddie Jingo says:

    I’ve been doing GOTV the last three days here in northern Loudoun County, VA. Taking a break from phone-banking yesterday, I asked the young kid in charge of our office (a lovely barn on the last driveway in Virginia before the Potomac) what kind of ground game he’d seen from the Romney campaign in the Old Dominion. Hesitantly — he had no real evidence that I wasn’t a ringer or a reporter from some unfriendly paper or blog, despite my having just spent two hours phoning potential Obama voters — he said that he hadn’t ever seen a single Romney canvasser in Western Loudoun. Not one. Ever.

    Western Loudoun should be in the bag for Romney. It’s rural, and a historic bastion of conservatism.

    We’re drinking their milkshake here.

    The Atlantic has a very encouraging article on this subject.


  9. 9
    R-Jud says:

    @Seanindc: You’re probably already at the start area, but way to go on the weight loss, and enjoy the experience. The first marathon may not be fast, but it should be fun! My sister-in-law is there too (her 6th marathon).

  10. 10
  11. 11
    Raven says:

    Been out taking pictures of the moon.

  12. 12
    NotMax says:

    So the Big Tsunami warning tonight came and went (but not yet officially ended)—

    Just now heard the Honolulu (Oahu) mayor tell the media, live, “I’m going to give you as little information as possible because people might misinterpret it.”

  13. 13
  14. 14
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Raven: Hope you will post some of them. I love moon pix!

  15. 15
    Raven says:

    @NotMax: Big Swell at Jaws?

  16. 16
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Raven: Nice!

  17. 17
    Neddie Jingo says:

    I should add that Mrs. Jingo called while I was phone-banking to say that a canvasser had just come to the door — which is remarkable in itself. We’re really isolated and hard to find. But what was even more astonishing was that they weren’t asking about me or Wonder Woman; they were after our two kids, both of whom have reached voting age since 2010, but who haven’t yet voted in a single election.

    I think this bodes very well for Obama’s databases.

    And yes, they’re both going to vote the right way. We raised some good kids.

  18. 18
    NotMax says:


    1.5 feet here at Kahului harbor, followed by 2.5 feet and then 1.5 feet again. still swells coming in, but nothing of disastrous magnitude.

    So far as am aware, all airports still on shutdown for departing flights.

  19. 19
    a.j. says:

    Fucking Stoller. Jesus H. Fucking Christ.

    And this – is this just paid trollery, or do these “too pure to be sullied by voting for Obama” people really a truly believe it.

    Guess what, purists: Danny Ellsberg says “keep fighting for justice AND vote for Obama.”

    Ralph Nader’s campaign manager says the same.

    So….WTF, y’all?

  20. 20
  21. 21
    TheMightyTrowel says:

    @Seanindc: many many congratulations! have fun, stay hydrated!

  22. 22
    Raven says:

    @NotMax: I wish I was there but glad I’m not on the Die Hard!

    Here’s the Saturday crew at the White Tiger.

  23. 23
  24. 24
  25. 25
    JPL says:

    @Raven: Thanks for the pics. I’d wander outside myself but Miss Moxie would wake up if I opened the door. She needs her beauty sleep.

  26. 26
    NotMax says:


    A lot safer floating over deep ocean.

    Coast Guard announcement earlier tonight requesting all boats and ships to leave the harbors and go out to sea until warning is cancelled.

  27. 27
    Raven says:

    @JPL: It’s gone anyway. Off to the bakery. Peace out.

  28. 28
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Raven: Awww. PUPPEH!!

  29. 29
    NotMax says:

    Official downgrade from tsunami warning to tsunami advisory just now announced.

    Harbors and beaches and some shoreline roads and low-lying areas still closed.

    Other than that, it’s pretty much over.

  30. 30
    arguingwithsignposts says:

    @Raven: were you using a tripod?

  31. 31
    Joey Maloney says:

    My agenda involved freaking out when I heard that Hawaii was under a tsunami warning after an earthquake of the coast of BC. (I have family there.) Sandy’s soaking up all the weather media oxygen so I had to scramble to get the info.

    Looks like the peak was only a 3′ wave, though, and the warning has now been downgraded to an advisory.

    So now my agenda involves jerking off at work for a few more minutes before calling it a day and heading home.

  32. 32
    zzyzx says:

    There’s a reason why we have more offices than they do. Our strategies are different. Our goal is to get unlikely voters to show. If they do then we move from LV to RV poll models and that’s another 3-4 points. Their goal is to convert leaning Obama voters into leaning Romney. That’s where an ad strategy can help. The Republican voters are already going out, so they don’t need the GotV operation. However, the higher turnout in general (even if the Republicans come out in droves), the better our odds.

  33. 33
    amk says:

    @Neddie Jingo: Great to hear about such a thoroughly organized ground-game from the campaign.

  34. 34

    I finished writing another novel. 12k words in one day. Agenda is regaining my sanity.

    To the OP, my reaction was ‘Wait, I thought the evangelicals weren’t picking up the ground game for Romney this year? Oh, it’s black churches on our side? Man, Romney’s screwed.’

  35. 35
    Elizabelle says:


    Wunderbar! Good luck, and let us know what you think of the Marathon.

    @Neddie Jingo: Good on you, and good to hear what OFA is up to in far Loudoun.

    @Raven: Beautiful moonshots. What kind of camera do you use? (I hope to buy my first “real” digital camera in the next few months; no idea what to get.)

  36. 36
  37. 37
    WereBear says:

    @Frankensteinbeck: I finished writing another novel. 12k words in one day. Agenda is regaining my sanity.

    Wow. That’s a lot.

    Of course, my favorite things to say about novels is: It’s easy. I just make things up.

  38. 38
    Schlemizel says:

    fourth open thread, forth attempt:


  39. 39
    geg6 says:

    This jives with my experience at the PENNDOT photo licensing center the other day when I went to renew my license. Huge crowd of African Americans there, getting drivers licenses and state photo IDs. Probably about 20 or 30 people, which is a lot in the small PENNDOT office here in Beaver County. And all they talked about was the state GOPers’ attempt to disenfranchise them and how they are now going to crawl over broken glass to get to the polling station. They said that, even though voter ID is not operative this time around, that they weren’t going to give anyone at the polls the chance to try to challenge them on anything and also that this way they’ll all be ready for when photo ID is required, which we are all resigned to because these fuckers will never give up.

    I didn’t see anything like this in 2008. I think a lot of African Americans around here were sure that, much as they loved and were proud of him, he wasn’t going to win in ’08 and so they came out and voted but weren’t as loud and proud about as they are now. But this time around, they aren’t going to go down without a big fight.

  40. 40
    Schlemizel says:

    @Frankensteinbeck: You’re a writer? That makes your nym even more awesome!

    What sort of novels do you write (SF, detective, romance)?

    Do you read Scalzi’s blog? link to the right ->

  41. 41
    geg6 says:


    Apparently, Cole is so intoxicated by the all the sexy time that he can’t be bothered to tell us how his dad is. I know he only gets laid now and again, so it’s easy to understand how he might be a bit, errrrm, distracted? But you’d think he’d let us know if Papa Cole is improving. Lady friend needs to let him come up for air!

  42. 42

    And here I was worried that all the good news for John McCain was already over for this election cycle!

  43. 43

    ‘Literary fantasy’, a bit of a catch-all title for fiction with fantastic elements that doesn’t fit any regular category. I have a book about cursed children, a book about the love life of a nightmare who’s never seen the waking world, and a book about how it really, really sucks to be Little Red Riding Hood coming out over the next couple of months from Curiosity Quills. I just finished the fourth, a much lighter book (nobody dies at all!) about middle school supervillains. And now my blood sugar has normalized, and I’m going back for more desperately needed sleep.

  44. 44
    floridafrog says:

    GOTV at crazy intensity here in north Florida. In our tiny rural deep red county we knocked on almost 700 doors yesterday and have more shifts scheduled today. Our early voting is way ahead of this time last cycle. No sign of a Romney GOTV effort here.

  45. 45
    Snarla says:

    Trying to decide whether to go out to that lunch planned with friends or just hunker down. Also, there’s a Jack-o-lantern to be carved. Power drill plugged in.

  46. 46
    rikyrah says:


    the weight loss- FANTASTIC.

    congrats on the marathon too!

  47. 47
    max says:

    @PreservedKillick: If you take a look at storm surge probabilities and adjust for a high storm surge (>10ft), it’ll give you an interesting view of where the coastal focus of Sandy will be greatest.

    Surge of 8-10 feet around NYC. Whee.

    The NHC forecast has adjusted to the move by the ensemble machines. Sandy wants to see Bruce. I suspect that Sandy is going to wind up aimed at seeing the sights on Staten Island by early tomorrow morning.

    This one is going to be quite a bit nastier than Irene, since Sandy will wants to hang around for awhile. (Irene *moved*.)

    [‘Don’t know that this is going to have a huge impact on GOTV, except by way of power outs in Jersey.’]

  48. 48
    Schlemizel says:


    I am very jealous – I wrote short stories in high school & dreamed of being a writer. One small problem – I’m not very good at it, never got the hang of dialog & got pushed off into money making labor. I guess that makes me George McFly.

  49. 49
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Snarla: A power drill for pumpkin carving?

  50. 50

    Lot of very nervous folks in Vermont. Irene was not kind to them. Many of those most effected by last years flooding just got back on an even keel this past summer.

  51. 51
    JPL says:

    I tried to edit my previous post and the link I was going to post was edited as spam. On Barry’s Big Picture there was an article about the stock market predicting the election. Read t..he comments and pay attention to the second comment down…
    It will be worth your while.

  52. 52
    Snarla says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Yes, I’m really excited about trying it out!

  53. 53
  54. 54
    arguingwithsignposts says:

    @geg6: assuming the lady friend leaves eventually, Cole will be back to cantankerous. And we’ll get an update

  55. 55
    Maude says:

    Had to be using a tripod. I took a picture of a moon without one and it was this great squiggle.

    Bondi doesn’t have a bit of fur out of place.

  56. 56
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Snarla: But isn’t the fun of pumpkin carving all in going after a big squash with a huge knife? Maybe that’s just me.

  57. 57
    Maude says:

    You can keep trying. You might end up with a great book. If it doesn’t stink at first, something is wrong.

  58. 58
    Boudica says:

    @The Ancient Randonneur: We were in Vermont last March touring UVM and Middlebury with our son. I was amazed at the damage from Irene as we drove around. The washed out roads and downed trees were everywhere.

  59. 59
    nancydarling says:

    The frost has been on the pumpkin two days in a row here in Northwest Arkansas.

    Speaking of rallies, I attended an Obama/Biden rally on the square yesterday afternoon. We were a smallish but merry and motivated group. No one had any illusions that Arkansas would go blue this election. Some down ticket candidates were there who do have a shot at winning.

    A funny note. A counter “protester” was there carrying a sign. She sat on a chair holding her sign facing, not the street, but our rally. Her sign said “Elect an American President. Vote Romney/Rayan”. I went to my truck to get my cell phone to snap a pic of the “moran”and her sign, but she was gone by the time I got back. Our little crowd had ignored her so she wasn’t driven away.

    A sad note. One of the square business women was overheard saying, “I guess we can start target shooting now.” I’m pretty sure she will be in her regular pew this morning, feeling righteous, feeling her “god” is on her side.

    In my effort to support local businesses, I have spent quite a few dollars in her store for gifts and custom work. Not. One. Cent. More. I think I have to write her a note explaining why I will no longer do business with her. What say all of you?

    And as of yesterday I am the proud foster mom of yet another little dog. If we can’t find the owner, he will be available for adoption. I just got back a week ago from a trip to deliver a little girl as a belated birthday gift to my brother. She was dumped on the hill above my neighbors house last June. She may be the most expensive gift I have ever given my brother—spaying, shots, worming, etc. The vet thinks she is Shar-Pei/doxie mix. She has Shar-Pei hair, a face wrinkled enough to give her a permanent worried expression, doxie paws, and a personality that won’t quit. My brother and sister-in-law are in love and the grandkids are in love, so little Niña has a wonderful and forever home.

  60. 60
    Schlemizel says:


    I have thought a lot about it recently. Life got in the way – kids, bills, illnesses so that I forgot about it. I have some ideas that I think would make good stories. I might start work on the one that has been pestering me since I wsa a kid. While it would be nice to make money from it I’d be happy to give it away if I thought some people would get some entertainment out of it. The big change with the internet in the last decade or so makes that possible even for crappy novelists!

  61. 61
    Schlemizel says:


    BTW – I love twisted tales & those sound interesting – would you be willing to share titles with us? If not I understand, I hide on line because of my work & I wouldn’t expose my real self so I don’t expect others to.

  62. 62
    Wag says:


    Looks like the Death Star.

  63. 63
    Maude says:

    Keep in mind that what you write has value. You can self publish and make money.
    Make notes. When you have enough notes, then you can type a chapter. Wash, rinse, repeat.
    You have enough life experience to write good books.
    That idea from long ago will make it.
    Once you write down even one sentence, the back of your mind will start work. You will keep writing down thinks you think of.
    I think you have a lot to say.

    Edit: Use a pen name, it is a good way to self protect.

  64. 64
    Poopyman says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Yes, absolutely. That first thrust when the wound starts spraying pumpkin juice? That’s awesome.

    Power tools are too messy and lack precision. Maybe that’s the effect you’re going for, and that’s fine. I’m just old fashioned and prefer some precision knife work.

    The Silence of the Squash, as it were.

  65. 65
    RaflW says:

    Huge GOTV effort mobilizing in Minnesota on the Vote No campaign re: the GOP’s marriage ammendment. They intended it as an effort to mobilize their base, but I’m hopeful that its backfiring.

  66. 66
    SiubhanDuinne says:


    FOX has no shame. None.

  67. 67

    Good to see the GOTV for early voting here in South Florida. I plan to early vote next weekend. I’ll take along a good book and some sunscreen.

  68. 68
    JPL says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: It appears that you can’t link to an article with an embedded link.
    The fact that Fox already wrote an opinion piece discussing Obama’s failure at handling Sandy is not a surprise and you are absolutely correct they have no shame.

  69. 69
    Applejinx says:

    Congrats! I fear mine is going to stall out bigtime this week- I’ve asked local Obama GOTV people, ‘where do I show up?’. I have a car with a busted passenger side door and no rear seats, I have a nice enough voice if I can rely on a script (terrified of what’ll happen if I end up actually in a conversation with swing voters, I fear my shrillness) and I have never attempted to do anything like this before.

    I figure Monday, it is on. Wish me luck, I am scared shitless.

  70. 70
    Schlemizel says:


    Fear is the enemy isn’t it? I have what I think is a great idea and am pretty sure I won’t do justice to it. Plus its gonna fall into fan-fic because the ideal place for the story is in the Star Wars universe. There is so much really really bad fan-fic there already I’d be embarrassed to add to it.

    I have the first 3/4 of the book blocked out in my mind (its been percolating in there for 45 years) but don’t have a good ending. I bet a lot of successful authors have a dozen books they never wrote because they didn’t have an ending for it.

  71. 71
    Walker says:


    Make sure you test our your queries at Evil Editor:

  72. 72
    gene108 says:

    @Seanindc: as someone who has needed to lose weight for many years I am inspired by your accomplishment


    I’m going to upgrade my OSx on my Mac, since my current one is no longer supported. Exercise and cook healthy food, so I can post about my weight loss soon. Maybe go to work to finish domethings I couldn’t get to on weekdays.

    Chill out after the halloween party I went. Note to anyone using face paint, you do no need to use all of it. I glistened with wet sweaty and shiny tint allnight. After beimg asked why my makeup was still wet, I realozed it probably was from putting too much paint on.

  73. 73
    gogol's wife says:

    Okay, last comment got disappeared so I’ll try again, and no doubt will see it reproduced six times. My wish for Sandy is that the NYTimes building get swept away (without hurting anyone, of course). Today, a week before the election, in the Sunday paper, which is probably the only one many people read, the Sunday Review section is plastered with “The Price of a Black President: Have African-American Elites Given Obama a Pass, Accepting Symbolism over Substance?” by some Cornel West wannabe at Columbia. So added to my Sandy anxiety is overwhelming fear that these media idiots are really going to swing the election for Romney.

  74. 74
    GregB says:

    The Democratic office in this town of about 15,000 in NH is humming.

    Milford has been traditionally red, red, red but it has been growing demographically and is no longer reliably red.

    In Nashua on Saturday, President Obama and James Taylor brought out a crowd of over 8,000.

    We also had a Democrats dinner and were told the Democrats could gain 100-plus seats in the NH House and will retake the Senate.


  75. 75
    RaflW says:

    I would say yes, write the note, but if I were doing it I’d make clear that it’s not that she’s GOP – political choice is the American way after all – its the utter contempt she showed towards potential customers.

    I’d also probably mention Gabby Giffords and how threatening to kill people is really, really uncool.

  76. 76
    JPL says:

    @gogol’s wife: The editorial is worth a read and Friedman is worth a read. I probably haven’t read an entire opinion piece by Friedman in a decade. Today I finished the entire thing. Democrats should own the pro-life issue.

  77. 77
    Maude says:

    The ending will come later. Some writers have the ending at the start, some when they get to it.
    The hand written notes take away the fear. They can be jumbled and all over the place.
    I think this is so great. Please write the first book so I can read it.
    I adore fan fic. It is so interesting.
    Your book will be your own.

  78. 78
    Maude says:

    Dear Mrs. Cole,
    We have been trying to find out how your husband is doing.
    It seems that John hasn’t updated us and we are concerned.
    Could you please speak to your son about this?
    Thank you,

  79. 79
    gogol's wife says:


    I was so infuriated by the front page of the Review that I didn’t see they endorsed Obama today. There really is some serious disconnect between the editorial page and the rest of the paper. Okay, Sandy, let them stay.

  80. 80
    SiubhanDuinne says:


    In my effort to support local businesses, I have spent quite a few dollars in her store for gifts and custom work. Not. One. Cent. More. I think I have to write her a note explaining why I will no longer do business with her. What say all of you?

    I think you should, and I hope you will. Please let us know if you get a response.

  81. 81
    RaflW says:

    I wish you luck! As a gay man I can tell you I was freaked out when I agreed to phonebank voters 7 months before the marriage amendment vote here in MN, talking to people about why marriage matters to me, asking them if they knew about the amendment, actually engaging these folks in conversations.

    It was/is a ballsy strategy by Minnesotans United for All Families. I made it through – even talked to an older Catholic lady who was a yes voter and got her to consider asking her gay neighbor down the street that she mentioned, if they wanted to get married…she assumed they didn’t care (based on what, I don’t know).

    Anyway, I was scared. It was challenging. But really worth it. I could then encourage friends to bank. And all the while I was calling, straight friends from church were near me also calling and being amazing allies.

    So go for it. You’ll be among friends.

  82. 82
    SiubhanDuinne says:


    You will be fine, you will probably love it! Have fun!

  83. 83
    Mark B. says:

    If Ohio is close and Obama wins, I’m going to say Meatloaf made the difference. Frankly, I’d put money on Obama winning Ohio by 3% or better. There’s a small chance that he’ll lose the popular vote, but I feel good about the electoral college.

  84. 84
    GregB says:

    Melissa Harris Perry on MSNBC is showing some enormous lines in Florida.

    More voters is better for us.

  85. 85
    IowaOldLady says:

    OT but I’m hyperventilating over Ann Romney’s comments on public education in a Good Housekeeping interview:

    I’ve been a First Lady of the State. I have seen what happens to people’s lives if they don’t get a proper education. And we know the answers to that. The charter schools have provided the answers. The teachers’ unions are preventing those things from happening, from bringing real change to our educational system. We need to throw out the system.

  86. 86
    TR says:


    Absolutely write her a letter.

    And be sure to say you’re a firm believer in capitalism, and are making this decision as a consumer picking among choices on the free market.

  87. 87
    Linda Featheringill says:

    @Raven: #13

    Halloween Moonset: Very nice!

  88. 88
    dmsilev says:

    @IowaOldLady: This bit had me seeing red:

    Ann Romney: Seeing my last son get married — the fifth son — was, like, wow. It was a moment of pause and gratitude. It felt like I got my gold star! (Laughing)

    Does this entitled nitwit know what it means for a mother to get a gold star?

  89. 89
    IowaOldLady says:

    @dmsilev: Remember when the Romney campaign called Ann their “secret weapon.” Apparently they thought she’d be good for their side. She’s a horrible, horrible person.

  90. 90
    Linda Featheringill says:


    Barry’s Big Picture:

    LOL! But Fox seems to have removed that article.

    Thanks for the heads up.

    [still chuckling]

  91. 91
    dmsilev says:

    @IowaOldLady: She apparently can’t see an inch beyond her sheltered, entitled existence. Part of that may be her husband; here’s another excerpt from that interview:

    And it was my husband telling me, “I don’t care if you’re in a wheelchair for the rest of your life. I don’t care whether you make dinner; I can eat cold cereal and toast. As long as we’re together, as long as you’re here, we’re going to be OK.”

    Wow. Can’t you just sense the compassion rolling off of Mitt there: “If you can’t cook for me, that’s OK. I’ll survive somehow.”

  92. 92
    Linda Featheringill says:

    @dmsilev: #90

    Does this entitled nitwit know what it means for a mother to get a gold star?

    She has no idea.

    Korea took away my brother and left us with trinkets, including a flag, a heart, and a star. Damn. Still hurts.

  93. 93
    Libby's Person says:

    Turnout in deep blue Durham County, NC, is already at 30%, with another week of Early Voting left to go. The number of people volunteering here is amazing! There are more in the City of Durham than can be put to work, so we’re sending volunteers to neighboring areas to canvas. We’re getting a lot of first-time and inconsistent voters; I’ve had a couple of people tell me that they wouldn’t have voted if a volunteer hadn’t knocked on their door or called them. And we’re convincing people who might have only voted for President to also vote straight D in the downticket races. GOTV works!

  94. 94
    Brother Shotgun of Sweet Reason says:


    In my effort to support local businesses, I have spent quite a few dollars in her store for gifts and custom work. Not. One. Cent. More. I think I have to write her a note explaining why I will no longer do business with her. What say all of you?

    We’ve done the same with a Teahadi bike shop in town, with the exception that we haven’t written a note. Maybe we should. If they don’t want to lose business they shouldn’t put all those rude signs in their window.

  95. 95
  96. 96
    scav says:

    @dmsilev: Apart from the Mother of all Gold Star mix-ups (nb, also interpretable as she sees losing son to other woman is same as losing them entirely to the reaper – welcome mamma in law) she also seems to equate her personal success with the number of sons she married off and her son’s quality has nothing to do with their achievements or happiness or merit, it’s all about the ring on the left hand. What a diminished understanding of human life and its potential.

  97. 97
    TR says:

    @Brother Shotgun of Sweet Reason:

    Sounds like a genius businessman. We all know bicyclists tend to be far right nutjobs.

  98. 98
    TR says:


    Remember, the Romneys said that the reason none of their five able-bodied sons had served in the military was because they were serving their country by working on their dad’s presidential campaign.

  99. 99
    YellowJournalism says:

    @IowaOldLady: Yes, let’s just throw out the system, because the issue is just THAT simple to solve. Free markets!

    The part of that interview that really got to me was when the interviewer asked her what issue she would focus on as First Lady. Ann gave some vague non-answer in the style of her husband about working with at-risk youth. I also thought her last answer could have started with “Let me pander to the ladies for a minute…”

  100. 100
    Maude says:

    NYC subways close at 7 p. m. today.

  101. 101
    LeighB says:

    I am just glad this storm is happening now and not Election Day.

  102. 102
    Jeremy says:

    Oh yeah Where is Political Observer ? Shouldn’t he being talking up Romney though Romney is losing early vote across the board.

  103. 103
    Walker says:


    I interpret he to be meaning “the gold star stickers you get in grade school”.

  104. 104
  105. 105
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @Walker: I must say, I did too. I don’t think she ever thinks, probably doesn’t even know, about the other kind of Gold Star.

    Lexan bubble a full inch thick. The really rich don’t even inhabit the same planet as the rest of us. There’s a Gold Star Boulevard in Worcester. I doubt she’s ever been on it except in a parade in an election year. Maybe, just maybe, there’s one in Jackson Hole.

  106. 106
    Ajaye says:

    @Mustang Bobby:

    Served as poll watcher in Broward yesterday. Folks waited minimum of 2 hours, and as much as 5.5 hours to vote. At my polling place 1349 ballots were cast. At least half the people there were African American and there was definitely a mood of defiant determination to get it done and many people were extremely enthusiastic and exultant about casting their votes despite or even because of the wait. Including Romney supporters btw one of whom was on quite a tear on line about God being on their side, I kid you not. She came out after voting and purposely riled up the mostly black folks in line by being in their face about Romney’s gonna win etc and they being punchy having waited for 4-5 hours started jeering her about Romnesia Another Romney supporter drove up in a huge pick up truck with a huge Romney sign and when he stepped out I was shocked to see him wearing boat shoes, camo shorts, Nascar t shirt and the best part: Hunting baseball cap with the confederate flag. Wow.

    The more politically savvy people knew not to get bogged down on the wordy confusing terrible Republican sponsored amendment referendum questions. Democratic groups are trying to educate voters about this. But I did see people getting bogged down at the voting booth. I saw elderly folks in particular spending a very long time muddling through, some over an hour.

    One woman collapsed in line and the ambulance came and took her. But God she wanted to vote. She kept saying, I just want to vote.

    During the whole process I kept thinking this whole process exemplifies America. Like healthcare and education: we get the job done and at least it is available in a way, but we have terrible systems in place. There are much better more efficient more egalitarian systems available and we persist with bad models that have worse impacts on the poor and less educated.

    There should be zero obstacles to voting. That should be our ideal and we are so far from that it is clear that voter suppression isn’t just a tactic it is just the system itself.

  107. 107
    gbear says:


    But you’d think he’d let us know if Papa Cole is improving. Lady friend needs to let him come up for air!

    I think we should start a campaign to break them up.

  108. 108
    scav says:

    @Walker: That’s certainly the origin of it – the lack of awareness that there are other well known meanings for mother-son-gold star combos, added to the fact that this sort of isolation-chambed foot-in-mouth is characteristc of them is what’s really being commented on.

  109. 109
    Honus says:

    @Linda Featheringill: Just imagine the outrage is Michelle Obama had made similar ” gold star” comment.

  110. 110
    Honus says:

    I’m drawing comfort from the fact that we’ve got Bruce Sprinsteen and they’ve got Meat Loaf and Kid Rock.

  111. 111
    gbear says:


    Huge GOTV effort mobilizing in Minnesota on the Vote No campaign re: the GOP’s marriage ammendment. They intended it as an effort to mobilize their base, but I’m hopeful that its backfiring.

    I had been going in to the St. Paul office every monday to do data entry or make signs (my phone skills are awful). The data entry crew did such a good job that we got all the work done two weeks ago. I stopped by the office to pick up some signs at 7:00 last night and the place was jambed with people making phone calls. I hope that our work pays off.

  112. 112
    Schlemizel says:

    one last thought about the thread title – when life gives you lemurs make lemuraide

  113. 113
    WereBear says:

    @dmsilev: Not for the first time: I get the impression that the ONLY adult-to-adult connection that is really close to Romney is the one with Ann.

    And it was my husband telling me, “I don’t care if you’re in a wheelchair for the rest of your life. I don’t care whether you make dinner; I can eat cold cereal and toast. As long as we’re together, as long as you’re here, we’re going to be OK.”

    Why do I get a whiff of “it’s all about ME” from this? He doesn’t care if she’s in a wheelchair, he’ll give her a pass on her duties, he doesn’t care if she’s a head in a jar… cripes, where’s the compassion?

    I no longer think he’s just awkward about expressing himself; this is how he freakin’ THINKS.

  114. 114
    Lojasmo says:


    Political Observer is now “Realist”

    Same bullshit, different moniker.

  115. 115

    The books are Wild Children, Sweet Dreams Are Made Of Teeth, and Quite Contrary. I don’t mind sharing at all, what with the whole ‘wanting to sell’ thing! Here, if you want to know how I write, this short story is free. That link ought to let you download in various formats without registering.

    EDIT @Jeremy:
    This thread isn’t about Obama doing something great. I’ve noticed that with the trolls. They can’t stand – can’t STAND – anybody praising Obama, and will do anything to derail a thread about Obama’s accomplishments. I think derailing is the specific goal, rather than putting him down.

  116. 116
    J R in WV says:

    I have to confess I think Ann R was talking about the gold stars you used to get in kindergarten and early grade school.

    But she’s still an ignorant bigot.

  117. 117
    Amir Khalid says:

    Just had a pretty rough experience this evening. As I was coming out of a supermarket and about to go home, I was detained by security and accused of shoplifting — the item being a RM3.50 (one US buck and change) bottle of low-fat milk. The security guy claimed that they didn’t have video of me paying for the milk, demanded to know how I got the PAID sticker on the bottle, which they said was either counterfeit or from a stolen roll (the girl at the checkout counter had put it there). He also said that he found my attire and manner suspicious (I was in a nylon windbreaker, which he called a leather jacket, and he thought my vacant stare was me casing the joint). There was verbal abuse and threats of violence, which coming from a belligerent younger man naturally upset and frightened a 51-year-old man in poor health (me). I kept telling them my story and saying they should check they cash register record. Finally they let me go.

    I don’t think I’ll be back at a Cold Storage supermarket for a while.

  118. 118
    steve says:

    Just now heard the Honolulu (Oahu) mayor tell the media, live, “I’m going to give you as little information as possible because people might misinterpret it.”

    I studied technical communication while I was getting my physics degree, and I learned, in a senior project interviewing a tech VP in downtown Raleigh, that in some circumstances more information can be worse than less. He made sure his salespeople, for instance, didn’t learn much about the underlying code. So that in the field, when they got asked a deep tech question, they would route the question to an engineer, rather than confidently answer it themselves, because too often they got it wrong.

  119. 119
    IowaOldLady says:

    @Amir Khalid: Good lord. I’m so sorry that happened.

  120. 120
    gbear says:

    And it was my husband telling me, “I don’t care if you’re in a wheelchair for the rest of your life. I don’t care whether you make dinner; I can eat cold cereal and toast.

    Or he could hire a cook, a baker, a maid, and a personal assistant and chauffeur for both himself and Anne. He probably already has all of these people, but just doesn’t think about them being around and available. They aren’t family, they’re just ‘the help’.

  121. 121
    WereBear says:

    @Amir Khalid: I don’t blame you! How horrible.

    Do you think it was an isolated incident, or was the rest of the store in on it, too?

  122. 122
    gbear says:

    @Amir Khalid:
    Thanks for passing on that story. I don’t think that anyone who reads that will be shopping at Cold Storage supermarket for a while. Write a letter to the manager.

  123. 123
    Schlemizel says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    Thats scary! I’d be writing letters to everyone & their brother about this abuse. Did they not provide you with a receipt? They always do here but I don’t always take it when offered – I think I will from now on.

  124. 124
    WereBear says:

    @gbear: Write a letter to the manager.

    Seconded, and if you can, add a picture of your threatening self in your nylon jacket. You thug! :)

  125. 125
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Amir Khalid: What an awful and scary experience for you! So glad it ended well, but you must have been quaking for a long time. I’m so sorry you had to go through that.

  126. 126
    Amir Khalid says:

    I’ll have to think about how much fuss I want to make over this, and how much grief I want to invite on myself even as an injured party. (I think that’s why people in my situation think twice about complaining.) I did note how their tactics in trying to trip me up and make me confess were so reminiscent of really bad cop-show dialogue, complete with the security guy’s amateurish attempt at profiling me and the fake explosions of temper by the plainclothes security guys. All over a wee bottle of low-fat milk.

  127. 127
    Amir Khalid says:

    I think I left the receipt behind at the counter, as I sometimes do. (Yeah, I know, my bad.) But the PAID sticker is supposed to prevent precisely this sort of misunderstanding. And I’m suspicious of their claim that there’s no video of me paying, and no cash register record of payment.

  128. 128
    pseudonymous in nc says:


    During the whole process I kept thinking this whole process exemplifies America. Like healthcare and education: we get the job done and at least it is available in a way, but we have terrible systems in place.

    But remember, the Texas AG thinks that they can teach the rest of the world how to hold elections. Here’s a hint for him: in other parts of the developed world, conservatives tend not to believe that non-conservatives simply don’t deserve healthcare, education and the right to vote.

  129. 129
    scav says:

    @Amir Khalid: Let alone how they’d have time to figure out the latter before chasing you down in real time. Could they be free-lancers hoping to get paid off?

  130. 130
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @a.j.: Congressman John Lewis founded the Freedom Riders and he’s voting for Obama.

  131. 131
    Another Halocene Human says:


    I didn’t see anything like this in 2008. I think a lot of African Americans around here were sure that, much as they loved and were proud of him, he wasn’t going to win in ‘08 and so they came out and voted but weren’t as loud and proud about as they are now. But this time around, they aren’t going to go down without a big fight.

    I remember the mixed feelings in terms of, Barack had stuck his neck out and he was going to be assassinated. White America would never let him be president.

    I was holding my breath during the Inauguration.

    We’ve broken through the fear barrier. No wonder the tighty whiteys are seething. They showed out just as badly when the National Guard was called in to desegregate the schools. When they aren’t afraid of you any more you lose your power.

  132. 132
    Joel says:

    @JPL: Was that link real? Because it’s broken now. I could believe it. I hope someone screen grabbed it cuz’ it needs to go viral if true.

  133. 133
    pk says:


    Can’t believe how some people behave at the voting places. We have mostly elderly white voters at our polling place. In 2004 there was a long line and some black children were with their mom waiting. So being kids they started climbing the nearest tree and swinging from the branches. Well that was enough for a white older woman to go off and start talking about “negro kids” and how they will damage the tree. So I tell her that they are just being kids and she proceeds to tell me that “this is not what we do in America” of course, because I being brown skinned can never be an American despite being in the F***ing line for 1/2 hour waiting to vote. I told her that I did not need to have her tell me what went on in America and I knew what America was about (not he best comeback, but that was the best I had). I just thanked the stars that the children’s mom was ahead in line and did not hear them being called “negros”. And this is supposed to be blue F***ing Pennsylvania. I still feel enraged whenever I think about it. And Kerry lost of course.

  134. 134


    Political Observer is now “Realist”

    I am struck by how common it is that right-wing trolls choose those Orwellian doublespeak names. And they seem to do it without irony, or a sense of humor, or self-awareness.

  135. 135
    Joel says:

    @Honus: Springsteen, Jay-Z and god knows who else. Basically the biggest stars of the 70s/80s and the 90s/00s, right then and there.

  136. 136
    Stranded Northerner says:

    My husband and I beat the post-church rush and voted this morning in Coral Springs, Florida. Local Democratic candidates and volunteers were vigorously working the waiting line non-stop right up to the 100 foot limit. The only Republicans I saw were a small team of Romney/Ryan, and for the most part they just sat at their table looking depressed. Only one of their guys bothered to do a token walk of the voters waiting in line, and all he said to people was, “Is anyone voting the economy? Anyone? Anyone?”

    No one wanted to talk to him.

  137. 137
    Mnemosyne says:


    I will give you the same advice one of my wisest teachers gave us in film school:

    Ass + Chair = Script

    In other words, the best way to write something is to just sit your ass down and do it, and worry about the revisions later.

  138. 138
    Ken says:

    John, seriously, WTF is with the Steelers’ bumblebee uniforms today?

  139. 139
    Marshall says:


    Isn’t that why God invented sequels ?

  140. 140
    burnspbesq says:


    That’s not the Steelers. That’s the Wake Forest rugby club.

    Seriously, some throwback unis should be thrown back.

    Also too, I don’t mind seeing Chelsea take it in the shorts, but not as a result of two egregiously bad calls.

  141. 141

    This just in:

    Mystery Tennessee firm formed days before $5M campaign gift
    WASHINGTON (AP) — A shadowy Tennessee company donated more than $5 million to a prominent conservative super political action committee days after establishing itself.
    So who’s behind one of the largest batches of election contributions this year? There’s a questionable trail….
    Perhaps bolstered with the influx of cash, FreedomWorks for America made a new $1.5 million ad buy in the Illinois House race between Democrat Tammy Duckworth and Republican incumbent Joe Walsh, the nonprofit group Sunlight Foundation reported.

    Just as the Founders intended!

  142. 142
    Thlayli says:

    I like what the Bears are wearing.

    The Stillers, OTOH….

  143. 143
    burnspbesq says:

    89 percent of Apple fanboys love this video.

  144. 144
    cckids says:

    @Brother Shotgun of Sweet Reason:

    If they don’t want to lose business they shouldn’t put all those rude signs in their window.

    This. We buy & Medicaid buys for our son thousands of dollars of medical equipment & supplies each month & year. And I mean $30,000+ each year. The closest, most convenient place is locally owned, so we wanted to support them. Went in to get the accounts set up & she had a huge pic of Sarah Palin behind the register, with updated rude, assholish quotes about the President.

    So now we drive something like 30-45 minutes to get to another local-owned place. I have no idea their politics & don’t care. Just don’t shove your disdain for me & mine in my face.

    And yes, we told the first woman why we weren’t giving her our business. She was shocked that the mother of a special needs child wouldn’t support Palin. You just cannot reach some people.

  145. 145
    Fort Geek says:

    @RaflW: On top of that, copy it as a Letter to the Editor of the local paper.

  146. 146
    JadedOptimist says:

    @Applejinx: I did it for the first time in 2008, heading from SoCal to Las Vegas. I was assigned to some of the new-ish housing developments (5-10 years old) on the east side of town. Never done anything like that before, but there I was, walking precincts, knocking on doors. It was an education about so much more than the election. I had to knock on doors because these new developments were so poorly built that most of the doorbells had quit working. Close to a quarter of them had foreclosure notices posted, and there was never anyone home to canvass at those. A surprising number of others had more than one family living in them. I was expecting the whole experience to be kind of scary. Instead, it was like so many other kinds of useful, important work – physically draining and kind of dull, with some happy moments (conversations with supporters) and some depressing ones (all those foreclosure notices!). And it ended on a high note – a last minute dash to pick up a forty-something cocktail waitress (this WAS Vegas, after all) from one of the public housing projects and get her to her polling place so she could cast her first vote ever. And the victory party at the Rio – I have never been hugged so many times in such a short amount of time! And you will know for the next four years, every time President Obama does something that makes you proud, you will know that you were a part of it, because you did something direct and positive to make sure that our country has the right person making the right decisions in the Oval Office.

  147. 147
    Sondra says:

    As the Democratic Precinct Captain for my community in West Palm Beach, Fl. I started contacting my early voters back in July. About 10% didn’t know about the rules changing and needed the forms to re-registar to vote absentee/early.
    Even as late as last week I was still getting calls.
    Let’s hope that they are hoist by their own petard when their elderly voters don’t get their ballots in the mail as they did formerly.

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