Posts Tagged ‘Akhbar in Car Country’

Berrien County Goes Blue

November 6, 2008

Berrien County is a place you’ve never heard of in a state that everyone (rightly) stopped paying attention to a month ago. It is where I spent the final weeks of the electrion, though, and what happened here was pretty incredible to anyone who knew anything about the place. Most people, even within the Obama camp, assumed the place was simply too racist to vote for their candidate, and not a county that would ever go blue anyway.

Here is Berrien’s entry from a county-by-county breakdown of the 2004 elction results:

Berrien county

Bush – 41076 – 55.01%, won by 8230

Kerry – 32846 – 43.99%

Bush Best Votes – Lincoln Twp by 3172

Bush Best % – Royalton Twp – 71.54%

Kerry Best Votes – City of Benton Harbor by 3439

Kerry Best % – City of Benton Harbor – 95.29%

The SW corner of the state on Lake Michigan. Posthumus ran 2% ahead of Bush in both 00 and 04. That’s because of the Benton Harbor Turnout. This would be a 60%+ county otherwise. Benton Harbor is 90% black, and Benton Twp is about 65% black and went 69.89% for Hanoi John. The only other area to sometimes go dem is the city of Niles. The rest is solid GOP.

That account is something of an understatement compared to most descriptions of Berrien I’ve heard from locals. Here are a few pictures of Niles City, “the only other area to sometimes go dem”:

The corner store, about 200 yards from the local Campaign for Change office

The corner store, about 200 yards from the local Campaign for Change office

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Obaba ’08

October 29, 2008

Frederick has a post below with ‘Obaba’ in the title. Normally, I’d correct a typo on our blog if I saw one, but I suspect there may be a joke I’m not catching, since I don’t sleep all that much these days. But if it is a typo, Frederick is not the first man to make the mistake; here is a sign prepared by a field organizer in Paw Paw, Michigan with much love and care in the wee hours of the morning before a get out the vote dry-run last Saturday:

Life Outside the Ivory Tower

October 26, 2008

You know that housing crisis everyone’s talking about? Turns out they aren’t kidding.

Living, as most sensible people do, in an East Coast city, reports of massive foreclosures have a very theoretical quality to them. I don’t know anyone that lives in a house, and while I am aware that one could, conceivably, own the place in which one lives, it’s not something I actually see much of in practice.

In southwest Michigan, where I’ve been spending most of my time recently, the situation is very different. Visible signs of this crisis are absolutely everywhere. One interesting manifestation of this: I spent a few days in New Hampshire before the primary there, and had a chance to look at the walk sheets used by Obama’s canvassers to record data on the voters they contacted. There were various codes used to indicate what happened at a door where a sought-after voter wasn’t contacted: ‘NH’ for ‘not home’, ‘MV’ for moved, etc. The same sheets are being used here now, but there is a code I didn’t recognize: ‘VC’ for ‘vacant’. The lack of this code in New Hampshire in January was not an issue. In Michigan today, it gets used constantly.

More Poverty Blogging

October 15, 2008

Things in Michigan don’t allow me a lot of blogging time, but when I saw that it was Poverty Blogging Day, I perked up. I’m not going to blog about poverty, but I am living in poverty, and I just blogged, so I think I can check that box off.

I will be back later with the way we should have financed this bailout.

McCain Camp Fails to Vet Philadelphia

October 12, 2008

Really, what did they think would happen? And what kind of mother exposes her children to Philly sports fans?

In other news, the Despot has been slow lately because I have been enroute to Michigan to witness the election in an erstwhile swing state firsthand. I will be too busy here to maintain my former volume, but my posts will now be filled with such mind-boggling insight from the frontish lines that you would be a fool to stop reading us.

In yet other news, while driving here, I solved the financial crisis. I’m too tired to get into it right now, but stay tuned.