Barack Obama wins the election!

I’m so happy that Barack Obama is the president-elect! He will be sworn in on January 20th, 2009. I’m very much looking forward to the governing phase of things, and was glad to hear Obama talk about tonight being just the first step. The real work can now begin.

Photo by Ozier Muhammad, The New York Times

Here’s the story from the New York Times: Racial Barrier Falls as Voters Embrace Call for Change. And from CNN: Obama inspires historic victory.

For more information in the coming days and weeks, be sure to check Wikipedia.

Congratulations Barack Obama!

How I plan to track the election online

barack obama Finally, it’s election time! Tomorrow evening either Barack Obama or John McCain will become the next President of the United States. Like most of you, I’ll be watching the results closely. Exactly four months ago Obama clinched the Democratic nomination, and I hope tomorrow is the day his campaign comes to a victorious end. I’m so excited! And also a little glad that it’ll finally be over, to be honest.

Here are a few of the places I’ll be watching tomorrow:

Know of any great resources I’ve missed? Let me know. Go Obama!

UPDATE: As expected, Mashable has a giant list of election resources. Check it out.

Barack Obama clinches the Democratic nomination

barack obama from cnnI guess to no one’s surprise, Barack Obama tonight clinched the Democratic party nomination and is the presumptive nominee for November’s election. I’m sad for Hillary Clinton, but very impressed by her determination. She ran a superb race, and you have to give her credit for sticking it out until the end. In her speech tonight from New York, she said she was making no decisions. It was definitely not a concession speech. She indicated that she’ll do whatever is in the best interests of the party.

“This has been a long campaign, and I will be making no decisions tonight,” she said.

Clinton said she would meet with supporters and party leaders in the coming days to determine her next steps.

I’m really not sure if she’s interested in being Obama’s running mate or not.

Assuming nothing crazy happens between now and Denver, Barack Obama will be the democratic nominee. That means I want him to win in the general election. I worry that he’s a weaker candidate against McCain than Hillary would have been, however. I know he can give a speech like no one else, but you need to do more than that to become President.

I really hope that Obama’s win tonight doesn’t mean a loss for the Democrats come November.

Read: CNN

The R Word

Post Image Every morning on the way to work I listen to podcasts. Usually I listen to the NYTimes Front Page, and BBC’s Global News. Lately, both have been talking quite a bit about "the R word". So has the rest of the press (see the R-word index). I’m no economist, but it seems to me that the USA is not bracing for a recession, they’re already in one. And that in turn has affected the rest of the world.

The media coverage of the recession has understandably increased this week, with world financial leaders meeting in Davos for the annual World Economic Forum. A couple quotes from those leaders in this article at the International Herald Tribute caught my eye:

George Soros, the financier who made a fortune betting against the pound, went so far Wednesday as to say that the downturn would put an end to the long status of the dollar as the world’s default currency.

"The current crisis is not only the bust that follows the housing boom," Soros said. "It’s basically the end of a 60-year period of continuing credit expansion based on the dollar as the reserve currency."

And on the completely opposite end of the spectrum:

Not everybody was grim. John Snow, the former Treasury Secretary and chairman of Cerberus Capital Management, said that if the United States slipped into recession, it would be "short and shallow."

"That’s been the pattern of recessions in the U.S., and there’s a reason for it," he said in an interview. "There is an inherent resilience in the U.S. economy. We’re already seeing an adjustment."

So which is it? Is the United States losing its status as the world’s top economy, the so-called "default" currency? Or is this just a temporary blip that won’t shake things up too much, the normal ebb and flow of the markets?

My money is on the latter. The economy follows a pattern of expansion and contraction, and perhaps it is time for another contraction. And Snow is right, with the US at least, periods of contraction are historically much shorter than periods of expansion.

You can read more about recession at Wikipedia.

Read: I.H.T.

Huckabee isn't running for 8th grade

Holy crap politicians like Mike Huckabee scare me. Or more accurately, the fact that some Americans will vote for Mike Huckabee scares me. I think there should be a test you have to take if you want to run for President. One of the questions on that test should be, "do you think the Earth is 6000 years old?" Anyone who denies evolution is simply not fit to be President. End of story.

Check out this YouTube video of Bill Maher interviewing Mike Huckabee. Maher asks about one of the debates, in which Huckabee was one of three Republicans to raise his hand when asked if he did not believe in evolution. As part of his explanation, Huckabee calls the question "silly" and explains that he is "not running for 8th grade". For the sake of everyone living on this tiny marble, I sincerely hope that no one like Huckabee is elected next year.

Bush might be an idiot, but people like Huckabee are downright crazy.

Read: Digg

The Arch Card

I was browsing around looking for the McDonald’s McDeal menu (which is apparently different depending on what province you’re in, and no I didn’t find it, the McDonald’s Canada website is completely useless, and yes I know it off by heart for Alberta) and came across this post on the McChronicles weblog:

McDonald’s has rolled out their Arch Card, just in time for the holidays. It’s a great idea.

The McChronicles usually bristles at the concept of debit cards (giving an institution a free cash loan – with the risk of losing the card or leaving change on the card). But these cards offer a great way to give the gift of a nice McDonald’s meal, in denominations as small as $5. That’s cool especially around the holiday season.

You can think of the Arch Card like the Starbucks card – you can load it up (in store only for the time being) and check your balance and recent purchase history online. I think the “free cash loan” idea the McChronicles mention is funny, though correct. Personally, I’d be more worried that using the card will make it seem like I am not spending as much money as I actually am. That’s what happens with my Starbucks card!

Unfortunately, no word on if or when we’re going to get the Arch Card in Canada. Considering it only appeared in the United States last month, it might take a while. Cool idea though!

Read: Arch Card