Wednesday, November 7, 2012

First Snowfall

First snow out of our window.It is suddenly snowing outside. And quite heavily at that. Today is marks the first snowfall of this incoming winter. The snow itself is not sticking to the ground yet, but tree branches, cars and house roofs are turning white. The view out of our window is quite picturesque.

Trees through the snow.
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Thursday, November 8, 2012

Election 2012

Alena's first presidential vote.As those of you who know me well know that I’m very much into politics. I follow political news, events and the last year was very fruitful. I just wanted to leave a couple of words about the most memorable of those events in this election cycle.

First there was a circus of a Republican primary. Each candidate would get their 15 minutes which would end in a scandal and the candidate would completely fade and become irrelevant. At the end there were 2 guys standing — one with a huge money advantage who was campaigning for the past 6 years and a guy whose 15 minutes of fame turn came just at the right time. The primary kept dragging on and on and ended up pretty much how everyone expected before it even begun.

My ballot. All blue except for one omission.Next big thing came when Mitt Romney picked his running mate. There were a lot of safe choices, but he decided to go for a gamble and went with one of the more radical guys in congress who was still mainstream enough not to end up the 2nd Sarah Palin. The gamble didn’t seem to pay off in the long run. There was no usual bounce in the polls and we all now know how the whole thing ended.

No matter the outcomes, you have no right to complain if you didn't vote.After that followed conventions of both parties. The only thing that really stands out in memory is an amazing speech by Bill Clinton. Everyone who I know who listened to it was glued to the TV screen for the whole duration. Big Bill still got it. I donated $100 to Obama’s campaign right after it.

Nate Silver on 538. The last forecast.I don’t want to get into politics of things since nobody will ever agree with each other. The worst thing about Mitt Romney’s candidacy for me was not so much his radical views (at least the words coming out of him during the months preceding October were), but the fact is that after all this time I have no idea what the guy really believes. Only one thing was obvious — he will say ANYTHING that will help him achieve his goal. All throughout I had a strong feeling that his sole reason for wanting to be a president was another trophy to put on his wall of achievements.

Election night. Watching together.Nate Silver provided a fascinating resource to read. It was interesting to watch how the guy who was doing math was being accused of being a liberal propagandist. In the end it seems that Nate nailed the election perfectly. The last pre-election map that was published by him had Florida in pale blue and it still is not decided, even though it looks like it will go to Obama. On his chart of most likely outcomes 332 was the highest peak for months and 303 was the second highest. Thank you, Nate, for you great work. Now I have to wean myself of the addiction of checking 538 every 30 minutes.

News. CNN on big screen, MSNBC on computer screen.So polls stayed pretty much in place for the duration of general election cycle. Until October that is. The first debate was devastating. Romney has reversed his views 180 degrees and Obama was completely stunned a speechless as a lot of us. With the help of Biden and 2 further debates Obama seems to have climbed out of the whole he dug for himself. I donated another $100 to his campaign after the last debate.

Even though Arosh watched the debates he didn't care much about the election results. Yet.And then 2 days ago was the culmination of the whole thing. The evening started out slow, but ended with a resounding victory by Democrats. From the presidency to all the senate races that I was watching closely. There is no better sporting event than a presidential election night. I watched it on CNN and MSNBC.

I’m very much relieved as to how it all went down and I’m proud of the fact that majority of people (over 50%) who cared enough to vote agreed. Hopefully now our government will move closer to the center and both parties will be able to find some common ground. I’m also glad that more than a billion dollars of dark money that flooded this election cycle didn’t seem to amount to anything.

Projection by major networks of President Obama's re-election.Funniest moments from election night — Fox News meltdown. Those guys really had themselves convinced that they will have a huge victory. Funniest moment from the debates — Obama on horses and bayonets. Funniest parody — Mitt Romney Style.

There are a lot more things I can say about this election, but there are a lot of people out there who already said it better: Andrew Sullivan, Rachel Maddow, Ezra Klein, Nate Silver, Sam Wang and multiple others.
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