Election coverage starts at 7 PM Central - Update

We'll be starting coverage of the election returns at 7 PM.  You can join in with live blogging and commenting then. We're still moving around the information and looking for new sources - you can see the preview here.  

Reports on voting waits are starting to come in, and so far things seem to be looking good. - Well, they'd be looking good if the votereport.org servers were actually working - it looks like they've been clobbered by load and our maps are not updating.  Sigh.

It's All Over, And Just Beginning, Or, Why The Campaign Never Ends

It is once again time to play “piano bar” here at the ole’ blog and turn a reader question into a story...and our “request” today comes from our friend jmb who is lucky enough to be living in Vancouver, British Columbia.

She wonders why American politics is now in permanent campaign mode. She comes from a Canadian tradition of limited campaign periods, and it seems awfully strange to her that we are already thinking about 2010, 2012, and 2016 before 2008 is even decided.

Matter of fact, it seems strange to a lot of us in the US as well.

Why does it happen?
Can it be fixed?
What can we learn from 2008?

Those are the questions we’ll take on today...and with time especially short today, we need to get right to work.

In order to really get at the answers to these questions, we need to consider some of the fundamental differences between the political system in the US and Parliamentary systems, such as the one in place in Canada.

Right off the bat, Canadian Federal elections have not occurred on a regular schedule, as they do in the US (although that is about to change).

Poof ! AIG burns through $143 billion of taxpayer money

How was this supposed to work again? We give Wall Street investment banks billions in taxpayer money, and it was supposed to help how?

Now financial "experts" are saying, " ... the government is papering over the problem with a quick fix that was not well planned."

No, you don't say? Come again?

"No one else benefits," former AIG chief executive and major
shareholder Maurice R. "Hank" Greenberg wrote to AIG's current chief
executive on Thursday. "Unless there is immediate change to the
structure of the Federal loan, the American taxpayer will likely suffer
a significant financial loss." 

Unfracking believable.

All I know is what I read in the papers...

"WI papers split on presidential endorsements," the Associated Press tells us:

Two Wisconsin newspapers have split on their presidential endorsements Sunday.

The Janesville Gazette is endorsing Republican John McCain, while The Sheboygan Press is coming out for Democrat Barack Obama.

That's sort of true, as far as it goes. Here's what the AP didn't say. From WisPolitics, a breakdown of Wisconsin newspaper endorsements:

Barack Obama
- Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
- La Crosse Tribune
- Kenosha News
- Chippewa Herald
- Wisconsin State Journal
- The Capital Times
- Milwaukee Shepherd Express
- Stevens Point Journal
- Sheboygan Press
- Shawano Leader

John McCain
- Beloit Daily News
- Sun Prairie Star
- Green Bay Press-Gazette
- Janesville Gazette

Breaking - Obama's Grandmother Dies

[img_assist|nid=3385|title=Barack Obama and his Grandparents|desc=|link=none|align=left|width=300|height=244]We've just heard that Barack Obama's grandmother, Madeline Dunham, has died.  Barack Obama left the campaign trail in late October to be with her.  Our condolences go out to the family for having such a sad time during what was already a difficult week. 

Twitter Vote Report

Tomorrow night Uppity Wisconsin will try to bring you as much election coverage as possible.  We're working on a set of high-tech methods for keeping you up to date on the web - this is changing by the hour, so what will happen tomorrow is as much of a surprise to us as it will be to you.

For more interesting reading on new media social tools being used for the vote, see Simon Owen's post at Media Shift.

One of the things we're carrying is Twitter Vote Report - a live map of voting problems and reports from around the state and the country.  There are many different ways you can put in your own vote report if you see issues at your polling place -  Put them in, and they'll show up here automatically on election day.