Today I Learned…

…that armadillos always give birth to identical quadruplets.  (Thanks Hanna!)

…and that there are audio clips on demand on the internet of President Obama saying awesomely profane things.  These aren’t fake — they’re excerpts from the audio recording of his best seller, “Dreams from My Father.”  I wish I could embed these, but WordPress has some annoying restrictions on scripts.  All I can do is give you this link to where I found them — it has the recordings (language NSFW),  text transcripts, as well as the author’s suggestions as to when he should use that quote throughout his day-to-day presidential business.

Today I Learned…

…that in his first few days in office, President-elect Barack Obama will enact several changes that will, symbolically and otherwise, undo some of the injustices and wrongs committed during (and even before) the W. Bush administration.  He is reportedly going to close down the prison at Guantanamo Bay, ban all interrogation techniques that could be described as torture, and rescind Bush’s bar on funding going to the creation of stem cell lines and to overseas public health organizations which provide abortion counseling (as opposed to the woefully inadequate abstinence-only programs).  What’s more, and this is what made me the happiest, he will end the Clinton-era “compromise” policy known as “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” which bans gays and lesbians from openly serving in the United States military.

And people wonder why I voted for the guy.  Actually, nobody really wonders that.  But I appreciate his commitment to making these changes, even if they are nowhere near the most pressing issues facing him as he takes the oath of office on Tuesday.  Obviously the economy and the war are going to be the top priorities.  That goes without saying.  But there were so many little injustices that have taken place and root over the last eight years (and yes, I realize that DADT was put into place under Clinton that get less attention then illegally invading a sovereign nation and destroying perhaps the most robust economy in the history of the world through negligence and legalized theft.

EDIT: It occurs to me that I did not provide a link to where I found this information.  So here you go.  What?  You thought it would be an American news outlet?  How silly of you.

Today I Learned…

…that President-elect Barack Obama won Nebraska’s 2nd Congressional district, giving him one extra electoral vote.  Check out that link to fivethirtyeight for more analysis and commentary.

Today I Learned…

…well, you know.  I don’t even have words for this.  This is the most historic day of my admittedly short life to date.

Also: keep track of Prop 8 in CA (go no!) and the VA 5th Congressional District, where Democrat Tom Perriello leads incumbent Republican Virgil Goode by fewer than 2,000 votes with 99% of precincts reporting.

Today I Learned…

…that the Los Angeles Times and the Chicago Tribune have never endorsed a Democrat for the White House.

…until today.

Today I Learned…

…that the electoral vote attached to the Omaha, Nebraska congressional district could very well be in play.

(Thanks once again to FiveThirtyEight for this… don’t worry, in a month I most likely won’t be linking to them anymore.)

As you may or may not know, Nebraska is one of two states (Maine being the other) that allocates its electoral votes by congressional district instead of winner-take-all.  Nebraska has 5 electoral votes — it gives one to the winner of each congressional district and the final two given to the winner of the statewide popular vote.

Two of the districts are solidly Republican.  However, the district which contains Omaha — the largest city in the state — is fairly Democratic, and the Obama campaign thinks that they can win there.  Sean at 538 spoke to Obama’s Nebraska State Director, who said that they should consider the district in play if McCain starts sending more surrogates there.  Obama just opened up a second field office in town, as well.

Well, McCain didn’t just send a surrogate — he sent Sarah Palin.  When the McCain campaign would rather have its VP nominee in Omaha, Nebraska rather than in MICHIGAN of all places (from which the Republican nominee pulled his resources in the past few days, effectively ceding the all-important swing state to Obama), you have got to think they’re running scared.

Special bonus polling data!

538 also projects Democrat Kay Hagan with a win percentage above 50% over incumbent Elizabeth Dole for the first time in the North Carolina race for the Senate.

Today I Learned…

…that the Commonwealth of Virginia and the Albemarle County Board of Elections accepted my application for an absentee ballot, and tomorrow I will be voting via mail for Barack Obama, Mark Warner, and Tom Perriello.

Current mood: excited and patriotic.