The US elections are coming up, and as always I have sent in my absentee ballot. I do feel a bit bad though that for the first time in three elections I will not be campaigning for the Democratic candidate. Four years ago, the day before I left to start my new life in Colombia, I campaigned with my mother in Gary, Indiana for Barack Obama. Maybe we sent Indiana over the hump! In 2004 I went with my cousin to Racine or Kenosha (I don't remember which) to go door to door on behalf of that wooden statue John Kerry. While Wisconsin did go for Kerry, the nation didn't.
This year my mother is going to Racine again. It's kind of funny how the Illinois Democrat strategy involves sending urban lefties to depressed, left-leaning areas in neighboring Rust Belt states. But I guess you gotta do what you gotta do.
A friend of mine from Chicago recently sent me this interesting lecture about the US's broken institutions (economic, judiciary, electoral, etc.), and what it means for the nation. I know I post to a lot of things on this blog, and this is a rather long lecture at over an hour, but I really recommend my readers listen to the whole thing.
Broken America, Lecture 1 | The New York Public Library
A less interesting series that I haven't gotten through yet is
Money, Power and Wall Street | FRONTLINE | PBS
It is long, and probably a repetition of what a lot of people know about the subprime mortgage crisis. But it seems to me like an important expose to help us all understand more of the details behind our nation's ongoing economic problemas.
Another thing I've long been meaning to write more about is the Wisonsin union flap. I wrote a few quick things about it while it was transpiring a year and a half ago. Here is a frequently-updated review of the protests:
Wisconsin Protests : Pictures, Videos, Breaking News
And here is a more or less chronological following of the closing of the Wisconsin standoff in February and March of 2011:
Inside Labor's Epic Battle in Wisconsin | Mother Jones
Assembly passes union measure after bitter debate - JSOnline
Walker signs budget bill, legal challenges mount - JSOnline
GOP senators whisked away in Madison bus after vote - JSOnline
Wisconsin Senate Votes To End Public Union Collective Bargaining: Gothamist
State recall movement stands alone in U.S. history - JSOnline
Democratic senators return to Madison to tell crowd fight isn't over - JSOnline
Wisconsin Farmer Tony Shultz Full Speech. Awesome!! - Democratic Underground
Wisconsin’s Radical Break - NYTimes.com
Here are some remarks of Governor Walker to the US Congress:
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker testifies before House Oversight Committee on state, local debt - 2chambers - The Washington Post
After the whole debacle, there was a big recall campaign that came to a vote later that year:
Wisconsin's senate recall election prospects | Daniel Riemer | Comment is free | guardian.co.uk
In Wisconsin, Legislative Urgency as Recall Threat Looms - NYTimes.com
Democrats hold seats in Wisconsin recall elections | Reuters
Then there was a campaign to recall Scott Walker, building on the momentum of the Occupy movement:
You Didn’t Think That Whole ‘Recall Walker’ Thing Was Over, Did You? | MoveOn.Org
And who knows if the Chicago Teachers' Union walkout had something to do with the Wisconsin battle for public employee labor rights?
Chicago Teachers Union Heads Out on Strike | FDL News Desk