In Texas, voting begins a month prior to election day, and the state posts results as they become available. Texas political observer Rick Casey has mulled over the initial numbers and predicts an Obama victory next Tuesday. He notes that turnout will be high everywhere, but that the early returns indicate a fantastically high turnout the in the Obama strongholds of East Texas and Travis County. Obama isn't conceding the Latino vote without a fight, either, as this video shows. Note that he follows through on appealing to young voters: You can download an mp3 of a reggaeton campaign song.
Nationally, Democrats continue their migration to the Illinois senator. This New York Times article breaks down the latest numbers, which show Obama leading Clinton in every constituency except white women. And even there, he's made noticeable inroads. Although she continues to hang on in Ohio, with her Texas hopes fading, you have to wonder how much time she has left. Although I've learned never to count out a Clinton, there's more than a good chance that the race for Democratic party presidential nomination will be down to one candidate by a week from tomorrow.
Clinton and Obama debate tonight on MSNBC at 6pm Eastern time. Howard Fineman thinks it's the beginning of the end.
I've read The Great Gatsby a half dozen times. And these kids make me want to read it again. As a word smith, I'll take Fitzgerald over any 20th Century novelist. Gatsby contains arguably the most lyrical prose in any American novel: "...the silver pepper of the stars..." and "the full bellows of the earth..." appear in the same paragraph. (I'd be happy to write something like either once in my life.) Its treatment of the themes of aspiration and class and the careless destruction wrought by money resonate through the years. But I've never considered the book from the perspective of a young immigrant -- I never even thought to. Now, I'd like to see the green light as they see it.
This arrived in yesterday's mail. It's the only known recording of a live Woody Guthrie performance. Under the TLC of the Woody Guthrie Foundation, the recording has been cleaned up and prepared for general listening. The package includes a 72-page book of photographs, reminiscences, a transcripts of the recording, and an explanation of the restoration process. A must for fans of folk and/or political music.