Why Do You Donate to Politicians?

In terms of politics, I am kind of a limp noodle.  I know I don’t take enough interest at the local level, where my vote really makes a difference and for the most part I’m pretty happy with the neighborhood I live in and the taxes are pretty fair, roads are in decent shape and quality of life is above the country average.  While I did vote for Obama in 2008 and follow him on Twitter for random updates, this morning’s tweets really pissed me off. I’m aware that he rarely writes them himself, however his campaign does and that’s where my anger is directed for flaunting these numbers, but all politicians are guilty of this.

Barack Obama Twitter

A minute later this was also tweeted:

If you follow me on Twitter you’ve probably already ready my reply.  Some quick math says that 98% of $29.1m is $28,518,000, divide that by $250 is 114,072 people, but it’s probably far more contributors since the tweet indicates or less. Continue reading »

And now there’s this…

Seriously.  We elect these people:

Republican Rep. Bachus Makes List of Socialists in House of Representatives [Huff Po]

And the coward didn’t even have the balls to release the names of these so-called “Socialists” in Congress.

I would think, in these times of international instability and economic unrest that there are more pressing issues at hand.

Inauguration

I arrived down in Washington D.C the saturday before the inauguration with a few friends. We left a few days early to beat traffic and also because a few of us wanted to get some film footage of the weekends festivities. I went to the American University in Washington from 1999 and 2003 and i have to admit that the climate during those four years was much different then the climate now in 09 with President Obama coming to office. In my four years we experienced 9/11, the Iraq War, Anthrax, Sniper attacks and the beginning of what would be a failing economy. Although those memories were certainly present the optimism and hope would prevail amongst the masses this weekend in D.C.

Everyday there were more people arriving. We experienced only mild traffic congestion but every new day we had friends report that it was a bit more difficult for them to get into the Capitol. Everywhere we went people would cheer “Obama! Obama!”, it was much more reminiscent of the Beatles then an incoming President, although cheers for pop stars are generally reserved for their presence. Obama could have been in another country, people were still cheering his name. At one point i walked down Adams Morgan and cheered with the crowd of people that lined up and down the bars on the street. A young woman and i looked at one another and immediately embraced in a strong and heartfelt hug. I had never met the woman before. The energy was infectious.

The night before the inauguration we were all out till 3 am partying, dancing, drinking. Unfortunately we had to wake up at 6 am to drive further into the city so we could get close to the Mall. We all dragged our weary and mostly still drunk bodies from our slumber and got in my car. We made our way down past Howard University before Soldiers prevented us from getting any closer and asked us to park in the neighboring area. What marveled us most was that none of them had weapons on them, Obama had requested that all soldiers not carry armed guns (at least noticably to the public). We parked the car and began our trek in the bitter cold. We were not alone. The streets filled with people singing and dancing in the wee hours of the morning. The sun had yet to greet us, it was 20 degrees outside, yet everyone was in high spirits.

As we made our way closer to the Mall the crowds grew and momentum carried us. There were no real signs directing us but just a general direction we were all being pulled. We came across the highway that leads under the Capitol Mall, it was closed to automobiles but open to citizens. Thousands of people, like herds across the plains migrating to see this historical event. It was surreal and eery. You only see people walking down highways like that in movies and usually its apocalyptic imagery.

We arrived at our blue gate around 8 am only to find no signs of direction and thousands and thousands of people lined through the street. We immediately placed ourselves in line and waited. The wind was blistering and all of us were huddled together. Yet the mood was jovial. People told jokes, sang songs, hugged one another and chatted as if they were long lost friends. The hours went by though and it became quite apparent that we were not going to get through the gates in time for Obamas Speech. Basically it was general chaos and complete disorganization. Luckily our fortitude lead us to explore and we arrived through the silver gate just in time for an awful song by Aretha Franklin.

Obama came on, like most of us know by now and gave a somber and realistic speech on the state of our country and world. Although his words lacked the hope from his earlier speeches you wouldnt find its effect apparent on the faces of the millions watching live. People were crying, but with those tears were smiles.

Here are a few pix from the weekend:

George Bush throws up the Shocker, sorta

Lauren sent me an email with a link to this official White House webpage showing George Bush throwing up the shocker,

The quote under the photo on the official site says that it’s Dubya meeting with some Arizona State track & field stars.  This, in itself is funny.  Then I went to Wikipedia to get the definition of Shocker for those who have been living in the dark and sadly found this:

The shocker should not be confused with similar looking hand gestures such as “The Pitchfork,” (pictured below) is a Hand signal used at Arizona State University, (notice the spacing between the Index and Middle Finger).

Meh! I still say he’s throwing up the shocker!

YES WE DID!!!

I have spent the better part of the last two months volunteering for the Obama Campaign for Change in center city Philadelphia. What i saw during that time was nothing short of the most remarkable and awe inspiring movement of energy and hope in my lifetime. People of all ages, races, religions, status etc etc came together for something much bigger then themselves and as a result were rewarded with the most beautiful act of democracy many of us have ever witnessed in our lifetimes.

On November 4th i was at the Campaign headquarters at 15th and Sansom with hundreds of others watching history unfold on tv. We sat there exhausted with the final push yet exhilirated by the possibility of the extraordinary. We cheered as Obama won state after state, wondered what if and cried when it became a reality. Our voices already gone, our eyes already dry we took to the streets. First there were just thirty of us marching along Broad St. As we passed City Hall our momentum took us down Market and towards Independence Mall, the birthplace of America. By the time we reached the Liberty Bell we were over a thousand strong and an impromptu rally took place. We then headed back up Chestnut St. towards Broad St again and ran smack into another rally and all of a sudden we were 10,000 deep. Here are some pictures of the evening. I hope you enjoy.

oh.. and YES WE DID!!!

Watch live 2008 Election results right here!

The countdown has begun, watch the live results right here on Randomn3ss!

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Vote! Find your local poling place

Today in America it’s Presidential Election Day.

Find your local poling place using Google Maps here.

Photo by: Liz Henry

Get a perspectv on the 2008 election

Being a blogger, I check my stats from time to time to see how people find Randomn3ss.  Sometimes it’s by a Google search, others times it’s from a social networking site, and usually it’s from a referring site.  Today while looking through the stats I saw that a link came from some placed called perspectv.com, interesting web 2.0 name, so I went to check it out.  Wow.

Perspectv is keeping track of how much each candidate is being mentioned on blogs, twitter, polls, etc. and showing graphics, as seen below.

They are also showing live updates from twitter and the blogging universe, no refreshing needed!  If you want to find out what people are saying in the blogsphere, head on over to their site and sit and watch, it’s kind of mesmerizing.

Support your political party and get 10% off a Nalgene bottle

I really like Nalgene bottles, so much so that I gave one away last year, they just make sense.  Stop buying bottled water, spend a few bucks on one of these and a Brita pitcher and you’ll help reduce global waste.  OK, enough preaching, onto the actual story.

Because I’ve purchased from the official Nalgene website, I get their emails now and again.  It’s refreshing that a company really restrains themselves from bombarding my inbox with emails, Nalgene sends maybe four a year, but when they do, it’s usually some really good sale.  Yesterday I got an email with their newest promotion, possibly one of the more clever marketing ideas I’ve seen this year.  It caught my attention so much that I’m now telling you about it, which means their marketing director should get a cookie, or a gold star at the very least.  Check it out:

There is no official endorsement or sponsorship and Nalgene isn’t selling bottles with elephants or donkeys on them, but it’s a great way to push a product, give the consumers a discount and run a fun, interactive poll.  Offer is valid until November 3rd, find out if more Democrats or Republicans buy Nalgene bottles on their Facebook page sometime after the election.  Great marketing idea!  Visit www.nalgene-outdoor.com to order, use coupon code McCain on red 32oz widemouth bottles or Obama on blue 32oz widemouth bottles and receive 10% off.

What happens to those roadside political yard signs after November 4th?

The November 4th Presential election is quickly approaching and the marketing camps are in full swing. The nice part about most of the political marketing is that it’s very short lived, by this I mean you can change the channel if you don’t want to see a commercial, turn the page in a magazine or flip to a different radio station if you wish not to hear the advertisement. Even billboards along highways will soon be changed, but sadly, one marketing tactic won’t, roadside signs.

Signs
I’ve got no problem if you want to show the support of who you back for public office, but I start to take issue when the public highways are littered with rows upon rows of signs. Possibly the worst part is that as soon as one camp gets a new stretch bombarded with their signs, the opposing camp will start to put their signs up within hours. Not only are they ugly, it’s public land. Top that off with the fact that most of these signs are not made of recyclable materials and are hard to recycle and besides some weak attempt at advertising, you’ve created more landfill. Lastly, those so anxious to put them up never seem to be around to take them down.

Most cities, townships, boroughs, etc., all have guidelines and regulations about how quickly they need to be removed, but it’s very hard to enforce when there is no door to knock on to ask that they be taken down. Do we ask that political candidates go around pull them up themselves? Should they be fined?

How effective are they anyway? Has your opinion ever changed based on a yard sign? Have you ever driven past one and thought to yourself maybe I should look up information on this person?

The signs on a large part can be used for one thing or another long after the election takes place though, they just take thought. Here are four ideas that you can do with your political yard signs after November 4th.

Recycle them. They could be made of cardboard, plastic or some other material that may be easily recyclable. Contact your local recyclers and ask if they take them.

Trash bags. Some of the plastic yard signs are simple bags that get placed over two thin metal steaks placed in the ground. The metal stakes can be used as plant or tree supports in your garden and you can use the bag to put fall leaves in or as a small trash can in your home. Ironic huh?

Reuse the sign. It’s generally cheaper to print on two pieces of corrugated cardboard and stick them together around the stakes that go into the ground, if that’s the kind of sign you have you are in luck! Peal them apart and you can use them at a later time to announce a yard sale, baby announcement or some other event you need attention for at your house. Just grab a magic marker and have fun.

Pack them away. Over the years political memorabilia has become a sought ofter commodity, so if you feel like gambling and have the space, consider packing some of it away in hopes of profiting on it in the future.

In doing research for this article I wasn’t able to easily come up with any information or locations that openly took these yard signs to recycle, that doesn’t mean they aren’t out there. Please take the time to contact your local plant to see if they take them. I’m also interested in what other creative ideas you have for reusing the signs for another purpose, so leave a comment!