I’m headed to Memphis for the weekend for work. The conference is at an airport hotel, but I’m hoping to get downtown on Saturday night. I traveled to Memphis for work a lot back in 2001-3, and loved it. I’d like to see the place again – check out the downtown development that was underway 5 years ago.
Speaking of development, urban change, etc. etc., I finally tried to estimate if I was one of the 7.5M homeowners “underwater,” meaning my mortgage costs more than the value of my home. The data suggests that I am; according to Mass. RE research firm The Warren Group, average condos prices in my boston neighborhood have fallen 5% in the last three years. My income as a grad student-consultant fluctuates wildly, so I have not yet done the math to see if I might qualify to renegotiate my payments should I need to, should any of the various homeowner assistance programs out there darken my door.
At least I’m not post-disaster dependent on FEMA. “Insensitive” and “foot-dragging”? Bush’s FEMA? NO! Surely you jest!!
In other news, like 20% or so of Americans, I watched the Obama mega-mercial the other night. Quality and boring were my impressions (as someone so saturated in political coverage, I can’t believe that people still don’t know his major promises. I’m getting to the point that I feel like I could recite them.) Also, I was struck by the calm, soothing nature of the whole thing, designed to make those folks out there who need some getting used to the idea of a black President. Though the log cabin Oval Office to me looked like the place where a professor hides out to finally finish her overdue book. I said that night at dinner to an ardent Obama voter and volunteer who was worried about whether the commercial was “presumptuous” that as a former Clinton supporter, by now I absolutely trust the Obama’s campaign strategy. Clearly they know what they are doing, whether or not we like it, agree with it, or respect it. YMMV.
Certainly, preferences for Obama vary widely. Most national polls put his lead at ~6%. Turns out he squeaked out a victory among kids, winning Nickelodeon’s kids vote by 2%. Why the right and left blogs are not deconstructing this outcome six ways to Sunday surprises me. I know it’s only 2.2M kids (!!), but still…though what do we know about families who watch Nickelodeon? Why hasn’t FiveThirtyEight crunched these numbers for us?? I demand answers!!
The world, on the other hand, supports Obama in a LANDSLIDE. Landslide. Like a gazillion to 300 or something. Not even Iraq is “strong McCain” anymore. Other McCain leaning nations? Algeria and the Democratic Republic of Congo. They’re splitting the Sudanese vote so far.
Happy Halloween everyone! I’m not a fan of the holiday, so I’m happy to be traveling. Enjoy & stay safe!