The Daily Parker

Politics, Weather, Photography, and the Dog

Only a few hours left

Polls close in Indiana and Kentucky in a little more than three hours. Big news starts to come at 6pm CT with Florida, Georgia, and Virginia; and at 7pm CT with Illinois, Michigan, and Pennsylvania. I'll also be watching the Minnesota and New York results closely when they come in at 8pm CT: New York because it's kind of big (lots of blue Electoral Collegians) and Minnesota because I'm supporting Al Franken against Hofstra alumnus Norm Coleman.[1]

TPM Media has a cool interactive map showing the rest of the poll-closing times. (The Daily Parker just has that silly countdown in the upper-right corner.)


[1] At Hofstra, I researched an event in which Coleman played role. He nearly got expelled in 1970 for taking over the University Club in the wake of the Kent State shootings. When asked about the event, WRHU-FM General Manager Jeff Kraus looked up at his toothpick sculpture[2] thoughtfully and mused, "Norm Coleman...Norm Coleman...*sigh* Norm Coleman would be the head of any organization that would get him laid.

[2] Jeff would take the toothpicks out of his sandwiches and shoot them through a straw at the false ceiling. By the time I graduated the sculpture had grown to several hundred toothpicks.

One more for Obama

It took me a few minutes to get through my 12-page sample ballot (Cook County has a bizarre judicial election scheme), but I've just finished voting in my sixth Presidential election. I'm 2-for-5 (or 3-for-5 depending on your interpretation of the late unpleasantness in 2000) so far; I'm thinking this will even the score.

I actually voted against two Democratic candidates, too. We have some real winners in local offices, and while they're sure to get re-elected despite my votes, perhaps a few votes against them might get them to reform.

OK, back to work. I need to get something done today before 7pm.

I should add, the weather in Chicago today couldn't be better for election day. It's 17°C and sunny; it may even hit the record (24°C) before Obama's rally tonight.

Zip-a-dee-do-dah! Now it's off to the races

Well, this is it. Just the 64 million of us (my guess for today's election turnout). I haven't voted yet—one of the benefits of a home office in a big city is that I can vote after the morning rush—but I've got my sample ballot all ready to go.

Polls actually opened almost 8 hours ago in Dixville Notch, N.H., where, for the first time in my life, the Democratic candidate won 15-6.

More updates throughout the day. Bottom line: the next 15 hours, until polls close in California, will not be the most professionally productive of my life.

Go Bama!

Fallows: McCain has accepted defeat

Atlantic reporter James Fallows blogged this morning that McCain appearing on Saturday Night Live means, unmistakably, that he's given up:

[I]f McCain really thought he had a chance of catching up, he wouldn't have wasted time on an audience that might repair his reputation among liberals and journalists but does him no good with the crucial swing votes. And if he thought he were secretly ahead, he wouldn't comport himself this way. He would be more like the stiff character we saw in the debates.

Polls open in 35 hours.

Porsche: tight in corners

I just read a fascinating story in The Economist that would have probably gotten more attention in the U.S. but for our recent distractions. It seems Porsche made possibly €12 billion on the Deutsche Bourse by cornering the market in Volkswagen shares:

Porsche’s gambit was as old as finance itself. For about three years it had been steadily increasing its stake in VW, a much larger yet less profitable carmaker with which it shares a little production. Its buying had driven up the price of VW’s shares to above the level at which it would make any economic sense for Porsche to buy VW. Seeing this, hedge funds sold shares in VW that they did not own. One strategy was a bet that VW’s share price would fall. Some also bought shares in Porsche, in a wager that shares of both would converge.


[O]n October 26th it executed a handbrake turn, saying that it owned nearly 43% of VW’s shares outright and had derivative contracts on nearly 32% more. That meant it had tied up almost all of the freely available shares (the rest are held by the state government and index funds). Hedge funds quickly did the maths, concluding that they could be caught in an “infinite squeeze” in which they were forced to buy shares at any price.

Huh. Sucks to own a hedge fund right now.