Archive for November, 2008


Friday, November 14th, 2008

Interesting stuff as ever from Politico:

Here’s how you can tell the campaign is over and the transition has begun: Barack Obama’s aides now wear suits and ties, their desks are in the Federal Building on 6th Street in Washington — and Clintonites are everywhere.

Obama’s victory in the general election produced what his primary campaign couldn’t: A swift merger of the Clinton Wing of the Democratic Party with the Illinois Senator’s self-styled insurgency. The merger began, during the campaign, in the policy apparatus — which is now rapidly becoming the governing apparatus.

And Obama wants to use the power of YouTube for his weekly ‘radio’ address.

Google speak to search

Friday, November 14th, 2008

Ah, it might take time to tweak this, but within a year or two it should be fine for any accent I imagine. Way of the future I guess.

Well, that and magazines designed specifically for the iPhone.

Facebook group update

Friday, November 14th, 2008

I am still amazed. We can no longer keep count of invites to the Cervical Cancer Vaccine Facebook group. When it went beyond 6,000 invites, Facebook simply stopped showing how many are now invited.

So the revised figures, just 60 hours into the campaign:

1,781 members
6,000+ invited (could be way higher)
61 wall posts

The growth figures in three days (and so far today)

November 12: 255 members, 1,760 invited
November 13: 1,012 members, 5,534 invited
November 14: 1,781 members, 6,000+ invited

If current levels of uptake continue, the group will reach 10,000 members by the end of next week.

Red Mum
will be at the Spire in Dublin at 2pm tomorrow, to protest Harney’s decision.

Olbermann in a minute

Friday, November 14th, 2008
Get the latest news satire and funny videos at

Cervical cancer vaccine Facebook group

Thursday, November 13th, 2008

I’ve been helping Red Mum out with her Facebook group on the cervical cancer vaccine debacle. The figures are nothing short of staggering.

In just over 30 hours the group has gone from 1 member to nearly 900. The number of invites has gone from 300 to more than 5,000 in the same time period. Wall posts, many of them quite personal, now number 34.

At current levels of participation, the group should reach 10,000 in a few weeks, an unprecedented uptake for an Irish specific group. The ad promoting the group on Facebook has been displayed more than 50,000 times.

I fully support Red Mum in her efforts to get this nonsensical decision reversed, and look forward to the Government changing its mind.


Tuesday, November 11th, 2008

This picture sums up my memories of DC pretty well, what a relaxing time I had there. Chicago was just a bit crazier.


November 11

Tuesday, November 11th, 2008

On this day I remember my great grand uncle, Owen Clerkin.

At aged 26, slightly younger than myself, he was killed in action on September 15, 1916, at Delville Wood, France, in the middle of the Somme campaign. He served in the 1st Battalion of the Irish Guards.

He is buried here, a place I visited 8 years ago.

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Back again

Tuesday, November 11th, 2008

To the other side of the Atlantic. I guess I would call my trip eventful.


Friday, November 7th, 2008

Gerry has pointed out that I somehow managed to call the US election back in January. I remembered one of those posts, but not the other two. My most clear cut prediction was in April. I guess I was reasonably confident throughout the year that Obama would win, as were many people I expect.

I was only slightly worried in the two weeks prior to the weekend after the September 11 shift in poll numbers – Obama was on the back foot for a good two weeks, in polls, and being on the defensive in the media.

On Sep 11 the Obama campaign said they would shift gear up until election day, and that they did. Lipstick on a pig was quickly forgotten and from about September 17 to November 4, McCain was almost entirely on the defensive. He never recovered from it.

The last week was an incredible experience. I watched Obama speak in Virginia Beach, I drove with Conor Ryan from the Irish Examiner, from Washington DC to Cleveland Ohio (video interview of that to be uploaded), where I again got to watch Obama speak, after some songs from Bruce Springsteen.

Two days later and we were in Chicago’s Grant Park to watch history being made, and Oprah use a port-a-loo for the first time in her life. Along the way I went out for some (lots of) beers, and met some really nice people, including Fergal Keane from RTE, Chris Donoghue from Newstalk 106, Lise Hand from the Irish Independent, and two Italian film makers, Fabio and Francesco, who were kind enough to let us shack up with them in Chicago (check out their site, they have some brilliant videos, including many exclusives). There were also the kind ladies from the State Department, Elia and Babs, who could not have been more helpful and friendly.

It was though an incredibly long day, which meant walking around, or standing around in various places, in Chicago for a straight 24 hours. And I have blisters to prove it. I also forgot to eat anything, but I guess it didn’t matter. It was all worth it, and I’m glad I predicted back in April that Obama would win, because that was when I decided to go to the US for the result.

Buying papers in Chicago

Wednesday, November 5th, 2008

It’s proving hard for people in Chicago to get copies of the Chicago Sun Times and the Chicago Tribune. So much so that lines formed on the streets, and people bought dozens of copies each. This guy was happy with his purchase, having already bought about a dozen copies, he asked for another dozen.


And they say the newspaper industry is dying ;-)


Oprah’s port-a-potty visit

Wednesday, November 5th, 2008

Some readers and people here in Chicago have shown much interest in the pictures I took last night of Oprah Winfrey’s visit to the port-a-potty (Yes she did). Here are the pics in all their glory.

Oprah’s minder shines a light on the ground before her, lest she fall.

Oprah makes her way to the port a loo

Oprah exits the port-a-potty, minder at her side, and straight into the glare of onlookers, who were falling over themselves to get a picture with the TV host/billionaire.

Oprah at Obama victory, toilet visit

As word spreads, a media scrum ensued.


One guy (AJ Calloway from Extra!) actually bagged a TV interview while she was on her way to the bog. Once she was done with her potty business she was kind enough to give him the interview. In this video AJ explains to me and another Flip Ultra user what happened.

I guess we all have to go, and Oprah is no different. It was an interesting spectacle though.

Other blogs have picked up the story.

Press rush after Obama announcement

Wednesday, November 5th, 2008

Here is the semi chaos that happened the press area at the Grant Park, Chicago, event last night. CNN called the election, and the press corps run to get closer to the crowd:

Update: At the Obama press conference today, Chicago Sun-Times reporter Lynn Sweet said she was injured during the rush to get to see his speech. I’m not sure if it was while this video was taken. Her arm is now in a cast apparently.

Oprah visits the loo

Wednesday, November 5th, 2008

So we were hanging around the food area in the press section, and Oprah walks by with her minder. Into the port-a-loo (I guess even the richest woman in America has to go). She comes back out and I take a quick photo:


She actually hung around for a while, which meant a media scrum. I have a video about this also. More once I recover. Here was the view from the main press area:


Chicago blogging

Tuesday, November 4th, 2008

I’m using some free wifi at the corner of Lake and Michigan here in Chicago. If you know any free wireless near Grant Park gimme a shout.

It’s turrning into a gorgeous evening…

People start to vote in Chicago

Tuesday, November 4th, 2008

I’ve been out and about in Chicago this morning visiting polling stations. Lots of other hacks around, and I took a couple of videos of voter opinions. Sound quality not great, so apologies.

The polling station, in one of the bigger districts in Chicago:


A woman exercises here right to vote on West Ontario street.


We had missed the morning rush so it was reasonably quiet. They are expecting a post work rush.





I’m beside a polling station here:

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