Despite the fact that I am stuck in Silicon Valley for the time being and the American Empire is imploding, I have found two reasons to be happy today:
1) Mama Iva has not only survived her heart-related ordeal but she is - true to form - back at work today. (As some of you know, she refuses to retire and is 75 going on 55.)
2) Amongst the doom and gloom headlines, I found this in USA Today:
"Usually red state N.D. not 100% sold on McCain"
As previously stated, North Dakota is my favorite Underdog State so I've always got one eye on whatever the NoDak population (639,715) is up to. (That's me above, modeling my Grandma Myrtle's ancient girdle that we excavated from my mother's decaying childhood home outside Walhalla.)
The NoDak folks I know are generally a conservative bunch - 63% voted for Bush in the last election - but I'm happy to see them stop and rethink this one. For this state to even consider voting for Obama - a Democrat! A black one even! - is HUGE. (State population is 91.6% white, made up mostly of farmers and military folks.) The state has not voted for a Democratic president since Lyndon Johnson in 1964 so this would be a tremendous shift.
What is causing this pivot? Several factors:
1) Bush's eight years of colossal fuck-ups.
2) McCain's "baggage" of voting against the farm bill, ethanol subsidies and tax credits for wind energy
3) Obama taking the time to campaign (and set up offices in) North Dakota, unlike most Dem candidates. As one young voter said, "I was surprised to see Obama in Fargo. We're kind of a forgotten state."
Alas, it is not a done deal and plenty of folks on the prairie are smitten with Palin, who shares their love of hunting and Christianity. Fair enough. Come November, NoDakers may still vote as predictably as they do in San Francisco but it's fascinating to watch things get all purple-y in the least likely place.
All in all, this is an intensely weird time to be an American. As countries go, America is a teenager and starting to endure some harsh realities and growing pains. In fact, I'm pretty sure we just started our period - lots of pain and bloodletting ahead! Wheee!
(Low-grade apologies to Fang, who gets queasy at any mention of the menses.)