Wednesday, November 05, 2008


I've had a champagne split cooling in the refrigerator for years, waiting for Karl Rove to do some hard time. Having killed a bottle of Korbel while celebrating the victory of President-elect Barack Obama. I decided I really needed more (and shifting to beer seemed like a really bad idea) so I decided that this as much as anything spells the death of Karl Rove and his methods. Watching the crowds closing down Franklin Street in Chapel Hill and Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, DC, I'm a little sorry we're at home and not at Grant Park or DC or downtown Chapel Hill, but I popped the cork on my little Rovian split and I'm toasting the "death" of Karl Rove and his politics.


Still Close

98% of precincts reporting and Obama has less than a 20K lead in NC.

I need more alcohol.


Tuesday, November 04, 2008

President Obama

Seeing Rep. John Lewis basically speechless a few minutes ago brought to mind a number of things that have been running through my head the last few days. I think John Lewis was one of the guys that sat in at the Krystal restaurant in Nashville (before the Greensboro Woolworth lunch counter sit-ins) in 1960 trying to get served - the restaurant was cleared and the manager turned the heat all the way up and then filled the restaurant with insecticide trying to get rid of the protesters, while in the meantime, Dad was in the back (while working for Sunbeam Bread) pulling hamburger buns out since they weren't going to be sold. In the meantime, my paternal grandfather was driving a Nashville city bus out to Fisk University where of course the students had to sit in the back of the bus.

I went to a majority black elementary school in Nashville growing up - when busing was instituted after my 5th grade year, I was bused to a whiter school than I'd been attending. Before then, my first real memories of US politics was the 1968 Presidential election, which I mostly remember for being against George Wallace (who my grandfather was for) and for Hubert Humphrey (who both my parents were enthusiastically for) - I have to admit that Richard Nixon was just an afterthought.

What might be most significant is that I've thought very little about race when it came to this campaign - it's been a matter of ideas and policies, not the color of the candidates. The most incredible thing about this whole election is that I think that's been the case for most Americans, and that says something quite wonderful and a little unbelievable about how far we've come in my lifetime. As I watch President-elect Obama speaking at Grant Park in Chicago and reflect on Kay Hagan's victory over Liddy Dole, I've never been prouder of my country and my fellow countrymen.

The champagne is flowing and I'm a happy guy.

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Getting Into The Act

Since everyone else is throwing out their predictions, guess I ought to do the same...

I've got Obama winning with just under 51% of the vote and picking up Florida, Virginia and Ohio to get 338 electoral votes. Sadly, I'm afraid McCain is going to squeak out a win in North Carolina, but I hope like hell I'm wrong.

I think Liddy Dole has disappointed and disgusted enough people that she's assured a Kay Hagan victory, but I'm thinking that Pat McCrory will take the governor's race.

I've spoken to a number of people that are convinced that we won't know the outcome until January after the courts or the House of Representatives decide this thing, but I'm thinking we're going to have our answer by the time Stewart and Colbert come on the air at 10pm EST.


Sunday, November 02, 2008

Barack the Vote Chapel Hill - Post 7

The dB's

Still a pretty good crowd after over 5 hours

Peter Holsapple - Guitar God

Mitch Easter - Bass Guitar God (?)
Joking aside - Mitch was tight and sounded great

Chris Stamey - doing Ask For Jill, I think

I'll admit that I was there primarily to see the dB's (I voted a couple of weeks ago, kids) and I was not disappointed. Can't wait for the new material they've been talking about!

Let's not lose sight of the primary reason for the concert - it was to get people out to vote (of course primarily for Barack Obama). There was a really nice energy in the air and for all that could go wrong and despite the attempts that I'm sure there will be to steal the election, I'm feeling pretty good about the chances for a big Democratic night Tuesday night. I'm hoping for nothing less than 330 electoral votes but I'll settle for 271.

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Barack the Vote Chapel Hill - Post 6

Will Rigby

The dB's

Peter Holsapple

Mitch Easter, sitting on for Gene Holder on bass

Chris Stamey

The highlight of the day for me and the reason I was still there after many, many hours was a chance to see the dB's again and I was not disappointed. Sure it was a short set, but opportunities to see one of the best bands of the 80's don't come along that often. More photos in next post...

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Barack the Vote Chapel Hill - Post 5

Ivan Howard of the Rosebuds

Ivan Howard and friends do "Nice Fox"

Mac McCaughan - acoustic Superchunk set

Mac McCaughan - thanks for putting this all together!

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Barack the Vote Chapel Hill - Post 4

Admission of guilt here - this was the first time I'd had a chance to see Billy Bragg live but my stomach got the better of me and I bolted just before noon to grab a sandwich and a brew from Spanky's. I wasn't gone more than 45 minutes but I managed to miss the first half of his short set. However, I did make it for the last three songs as well as his talk for the audience and I definitely understand his appeal. Very inspirational and the high-point of the day for most of us!

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Barack the Vote Chapel Hill - Post 3

Greg Humphries of Dillon Fence and Hobex fame - one of the sweetest soul voices you'll ever hear

More Greg doing his thing

Backstage - Rob Ladd, Peter Holsapple, Will Rigby and others

Mid-morning and the crowd continues to grow for the Bowerbirds

I Was Totally Destroying It - currently my favorite local band name! Note the shout-out to Tyler Hansbrough - alright!

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Barack the Vote Chapel Hill - Post 2

Mac McCaughan as Portastatic

Still Mac - thanks for organizing this thing, dude! And for volunteering to play at the un-rockandrollish time of 9am...

The crowd starts to grow.

Regina Hexaphone

I got to Graham about 9:30 while Mac was still on going solo - there were probably 3 or 4 dozen people already there, not including the wonderful folks from Counter Culture coffee doling out caffeine and sugar bombs. People gathered quickly as the morning went on. I'm embarrassed to say that this was the first time I'd heard Regina Hexaphone - they were a lot of fun and I'll be looking for them next time they're at Local 506 or the Cradle.

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Barack the Vote Chapel Hill - Post 1

Mac McCaughan of Merge Records and Superchunk organized an outdoor concert at Graham Memorial on UNC's campus Saturday as a get-out-the-vote effort. I'm not going to write a lot about the individual performers as I'm just glad they were there and willing to give their time on a Saturday morning to encourage the vote and I kinda suck as a rock critic anyway. What I will say is that there was some very fine music, a large crowd and a realization on my part that it's gotten easier to get up in time to see bands at 9 am than it is to stay up and see them at 1am...

Graham Memorial terrace - the venue. The Morehead Planetarium is just to the left - it was the last early voting location for Chapel Hill

The reason for it all

Doughnuts - the breakfast of ex-champions! Thanks to Counter Culture for the fine coffee and the doughnuts

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