In memory of
Jesusita, who was the housekeeper
of Padre Gallegos, the pastor
of Albuquerque, New Mexico,
around 1850

Old Timer Chronicle

On the Obamathon Perch II

by Cloyd Campfire
(October 2008)


    "Here's something I think you'll find interesting, " said I.
     I handed to Davy the e-mail piece from someone called Shannon.  Davy read it outloud:
     "I think the average guy could understand that Phil Gramm, McCains financial advisor, is largely responsible for this banking crisis.

     "The Gramm-Leach-Bliley act in 1999 ~ passed by the Republican controlled Senate ~ took away all the laws put in place after the Great Depression that regulated banks and securities. 

     "McCain voted for this act and has always been on the fore front for de-regulation in the Republican Senate."
     We both peered up at each other at the same time.
     "When did this come in, Cloyd?" said the illustrious editor.
     "About a month ago," said I, his right-hand man.
     He mused, "About a month ago?"  Then he hollered, "Why didn't I see this a month ago???"
     I stammered.
     Then Jesusita strolled out the entry of my hovel which was hid behind a hanging blanket.  She sashayed into the editor's crumbling rock-wall office, handed me a cup of hot coffee.  To say the least, she was looking good.  To say a little bit more, she was looking too good ~ seeing as she was wearing one of her elaborately-embroidered  belly-dancing outfits.
     "I've been courting," admitted I.
     "No no no!" admonished Davy.  "Don't you know Jesusita is already wed to the devil?"
     "No.  He didn't know that," snapped Jesusita.  "But he does now.  Thanks a lot, Crockett."
     "She's also a right-winger gone gung-ho 'cuz McCain picked Palin, a woman, for his vice-president nominee," spoke-up the graphics editor, Martha Morningstarofthevalley, sitting cross-legged on a blanket in the corner, suddenly alert.  Martha had been communing with the Indian spirits of the cliff-dwelling all morning long, while grinding acorns that she had shelled the day before, for the special acorn cakes she was going to make for Davy Crockett Reincarnated's birthday tomorrow.
     Incidently, the ghost of Padre Gallegos, Jesusita's boy-friend from about 150-years ago, had finally caught up to today's phenomena but didn't say anything.  The ghost simply watched from the ceiling.
     "I don't care," said I.  "I love her."
     Jesusita smiled.  She smiled with her entire body.  Being a prosaic dancer, she knew how to do such a thing.  Finally, Crockett smiled too, paternally so, and spread-out his arms like the wings of a bold, keen-eyed eagle.  He proclaimed, "I wish you both a bright and happy future."
     "Oh God help us," murmured Martha in the corner.  She rolled her eyeballs.
     "You know, Martha," squirmed Jesusita,  "You ought to be a right-winger.  You could go to Sarah Palin political rallies & be one of her beloved 'pit-bull' followers.  You could scream obscene epitaphs against Obama & be cheered.  In fact, you can go with me to the next one around here.  What do you say?"
     Martha nonchalantly grinded her acorns.  "No thank-you, Jesusita.  McCain's rabid cheerleader can carry-on without me on her bridge to no-where."
     "Ah come on, Martha," slyly encouraged Jesusita.  "When McCain starts World War III and then dies from his ancient Vietnam War captivity wounds, won't you want to follow America's new Joan of Arc, who of-course will be, that's right, Sarah Barracuda?"
     "No thank-you, Jesusita.  I'll stick with Obama who does community work with ex-terrorists like the old 'weatherman,' Ayers.  By the way, is the Bush family still capering about with the Bin Ladens?"
     "No," said Jesusita.  "Ever since the Bushes found out Mr. Bin Laden's son, Obama, oops, I mean Osama, was a terrorist, they're leaving their chair empty at the Bin Laden dinner table.  They're saving it for ~ Obama."
     "Well," said Martha.  "The Bin Ladens will probably be real pleased with the next president of the United States, seeing as Obama's the one who will probably capture that wayward offspring of theirs.  George Bush is so enept at that.  But Bush & his neo-conservative helpers, with their greed & cronyism, are swell grave-diggers when it comes to helping Osama bin Laden bury the American Empire.  Let's see, isn't McCain on that team?"
     "Kind of," admitted Jesusita.  "He's the one with all the experience, unlike Obama, who has no experience."
     "You're so right," agreed Martha.  "Obama has absolutely no experience at being a robber baron like all your heros.  How many houses does McCain own now?  About eight, is it?"
     Jesusita shrugged.
     "I tell you what," said Martha.  "Give Obama six weeks in the White House and he'll put all your Republican good old boys to shame with his intelligents, integrity, judgement, morality, constitutional awareness, inclusiveness, common sense, and sense of fair play."
     Jesusita picked up a pottery shard that was serving as a paper weight on the editor's desk, which was a tipped-over aluminum bucket with a notebook atop it.  She threw the chunk of by-gone Indian culture at the graphics editor.
     Martha ducked.
     "You're so violent, Jesusita," smiled Martha.  "I guess you fit in real good at those divisive Sarah Palin rallies.  Maybe you ought to go with me to an Obama get-together where we believe in equality instead of low wages and high rent.  It might soothe you."
     "Oh, no thank-you, Martha, I, I, oh no, I'm crying."  And that she was ~ for the first time in Jesusita's 150 years or so of being wed to the devil, the wedding of which occurred in a spiritual sense in old New Mexico when she took a spoonful of folk cure for a fatal illness.  She had been cured, but cursed ~ with eternal life on earth rather than in heaven.  But now tears cascaded down her cheeks for the first time in her long long servitude to Satan.  The tears fell & fell & fell.  And Jesusita began to shiver.
     I ran for a blanket & draped it across the bare curve of her trembling shoulder.  Martha ran for another blanket and with it reinforced Jesusita's newfound woolly cocoon of warmth.  But a transformation was occurring that could not be stopped.
     "I came to disrupt things here," blathered Jesusita, her pretty pretty face submerged in a sea of tears.  She cried out, "But now I find I want to join you!"
     "Get along, madam!  Get along, madam!" gritted  Crockett.  "We must get to work on this e-mail from Shannon.  This financial advisor of McCain's, with that bill he passed in '99, seems to be causing the economic collapse of the United States of America.  We have to stop this laggard Gramm from sneeking his influence into the White House.  We have to lock-out him & McCain with an avalanche of votes for Obama!"
     But Jesusita, la bonita bonita, couldn't "get along" anything.  Her hair turned grey.  Her skin crinkled & wrinkled.  She shrank like a juicy plum into a dried-up resin ~ to about the size of a small monkey ~ and died.
     I cannot describe the anguish I felt ~ as I picked-up her pitiful little corpse in my two hands & peered down at it.  One of its eyelids was cocked & a dead eyeball balefully stared back at me.
     I felt Martha's hand on my shoulder.  She said, "C'mon, Cloyd.  We have to get back to work."
     It was then that I went clairvoyant ~ and saw a little butterfly of light expel itself from the corpse.  This, this light fluttered toward the ceiling of the cliff-dwelling & seemed to join hands with another butterfly of light up there, and fluttering together, they disappeared ~ I presume beyond the veil.
     "It's over," said Martha.  "C'mon, Cloyd.  It's over!"
     I bowed my head, fervantly prayed for one aghast moment, then brought-up my head & looked around.  "Where'd Davy go?" inquired I.
     He was gone.
     Martha & I ran outside, came to an abrubt halt and saw ~ as I gently rocked the crumbling corpse of my lost love.  We saw ~ we saw ~ Merlo 7's  saucer ricochet off a cloud here, a cloud there, and up the invisible vortex ~ gone.  Davy Crockett Reincarnated, the illustrious editor of the mysterious Old Timer Chronicle & pal of the ancient astronaut, along for the ride ~ gone.
     "Why do we call it 'mysterious'?" said I.
     "What?" said Martha.
     We both stood there up a secret passage of the Mogollon Rim on the edge of ~ the Obamathon Perch.  We gazed thoughtfully into the Arizona tantalizing blue.
     "Why, Martha, why do we call the Old Timer Chronicle 'mysterious'?" clarified I.
     "Because, Cloyd, we can't afford to print it.  All we can afford are e-mails."

(The model in the photograph above is the actress
Pier Angeli) 



by Amy Goodman
October 30, 2008

     Election Day approaches, and with it a test of our election system's integrity. Who will be allowed to vote; who will be barred? Who will get paper ballots; who will use electronic voting machines? Will polls be open long enough to accommodate what is expected to be a historic turnout?

     Veteran activist Harvey Wasserman has co-written four books on elections and voter rights. He says John Kerry won Ohio in 2004. Why look back? Wasserman is concerned about the attempt by the Ohio Republican Party, with help from the Bush White House, to challenge the registration of new Ohio voters:

     "The GOP is trying to disenfranchise these 200,000 people by challenging their right to vote, asking the secretary of state here, Jennifer Brunner, to let the counties investigate and knock off the voter rolls, if they choose to, people who have minor discrepancies in their Social Security numbers or driver's license numbers. And the secretary of state has rightfully showed that many of these mistakes come from typographical errors when the numbers are entered in at the agencies."

     The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that only the U.S. Department of Justice can purge these new registrants from the voter rolls. Republican House Minority Leader John Boehner, of Ohio, and President Bush urged U.S. Attorney General Michael Mukasey to take action, potentially purging these 200,000 people. Advocates feared the homeless in Ohio would be disenfranchised because they lack a traditional address or identification (Wasserman notes that many of them may be veterans). U.S. District Judge Edmund Sargus ruled that Ohio counties must allow voters who list their addresses as park benches or other non-building locations.

     Wasserman's two main concerns about the integrity of the election are mass disenfranchisement through computerized purging and the failures of electronic voting machines, which can skew vote tallies and cause impossibly long lines at polling places (as can the provision of too few voting machines, whether they work well or not). These issues are both coming to a head in Colorado. There, Secretary of State Mike Coffman, a Republican who is also running for Congress, has been sued by Common Cause, Mi Familia Vota and the Service Employees International Union for purging 30,000 voters within a 90-day window before an election. Six thousand seven hundred new registrants were purged for failing to check a box on the voter-registration form. Colorado has seen enthusiastic participation in early voting (some estimates nationally put the number of early voters at an astounding 10 million, with days to go), and also has seen many voters opt for mail-in ballots. However, more than 11,000 voters in Denver did not receive their mail-in ballots because of a mistake made by Sequoia Voting Systems, the company that was supposed to have delivered 21,000 ballots to a Denver mail-processing facility on Oct. 16. Election officials promise the ballots will be delivered.

     Brad Friedman of told me: "Sequoia is one of the big-four voting-machine companies. Of course, they have failed in state after state." Friedman also reports on "vote flipping," a problem with electronic, touch-screen voting machines. "It's West Virginia, it's Tennessee, it's Texas, Missouri, Nevada ... people go in and vote for a Democratic straight-party ticket or for Barack Obama, and the vote flips to a Republican or some other candidate." The companies claim the machines can be calibrated to work properly. Friedman disagrees: "These machines need to be pulled out, because even when they work, the problem is that there is absolutely no way to ever verify that any vote ever cast on a touch-screen machine like this has been recorded as per the voter's intent."

     In response to video of Georgia early voters waiting eight hours, Friedman blogged: "Thank you to those voters who were willing to hang in there! Shame on you to those officials who set up this system that can't even accommodate the limited numbers of early voters! God save us all next Tuesday. Stay strong and brave people!"

     The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People has sued Virginia's Democratic governor, Tim Kaine, on the grounds that he is unprepared to deal with a massive onslaught of voters there Nov. 4. Virginia is not among the 31 states with early voting.

     Thousands of lawyers and citizen-activists will be monitoring the polling places on Election Day. People are posting videos of election problems at When you go to cast your vote, take a friend or neighbor, take your ID and take a camera as well. Election protection is everyone's job.