Congressman Empowers Local Vote For Change Netroots Volunteers

Last Saturday was one of the most remarkable days of my life.  I helped to organize a Vote for Changevoter registration drive in Peekskill, NY, which is about 50 miles north of NYC.  We registered an estimated 215 voters in one afternoon.  Among those who participated in the drive was Congressman John Hall's campaign.

Now, when I say that Congressman Hall's campaign participated in the drive, I do not mean that a few staffers who happened to work on on the campaign signed up to volunteer and registered a few voters on the day of the drive.  No, I mean that Congressman Hall's campaign actively participated in every facet of this grassroots volunteer voter registration effort.

More Congressional-Grassroots collaboration below the fold

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Evan Bayh For VP? Musings on Intrade

This diary is pure speculation based on data that I just caught on Intrade.  This is not me advocating Senator Bayh for VP, although I think he would be a pretty decent choice.  He may even help swing Indiana by 2 or 3 points, which could produce an Obama victory.  But again, this is more an idea that I wanted to shoot out there and see how everyone responds.

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Obama and the Experience Argument

[Update: It was pointed out to me that I called the diarist out by name. Sorry, forgot about that rule (although by linking the diary you can see the person's name anyhow, so it's all the same, no?)]

This diary is written in response to another diary wherein he or she insinuates that Barack Obama's lack of political experience disqualifies him, or at least underqualifies him, to be President of the United States. And so the diary proceeds to lambaste the media for not stating unequivocally that Barack Obama is not qualified to be President of the United States, and so forth and so on...

So given the premise that vast and extended experience in government is the sine qua non for a successful presidency, let's test this notion by examining the public sector experience of the presidents who are widely regarded as the most successful in our nation's history.

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My First and Last PUMA Diary

Seeing as there has been a call to end PUMA diaries after today, and that I have yet to write one, I clearly need to get my ass in gear and bang one out before the deadline.  OK, so here it goes.

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Why This Atheist Supports Obama's Faith Based Initiative

Granted, I'm not your typical atheist.  I received an M.A. from a Divinity School and spent three years working on a Ph.D. in New Testament studies.  So perhaps all of this exposure to Christianity has corrupted the purity of my secular allegiances.  Perhaps the unreason of religious faith has crept into my mind and skewed my understanding of the secular state supported by Jefferson's famous "Wall of Separation" interpretation of the First Amendment's Establishment Clause.  Or maybe I'm some fanatic devotee of the Almighty Obama, who will happily cast aside any and all principle to spread the Gospel of my political Messiah.

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Thank You Congresswoman Lowey! (NY-18)

Yesterday I met with Congresswoman Lowey, who represents New York's 18th District.  Who am I?  I'm nobody.  I'm just a regular guy organizing a voter registration drive through Barack Obama's Vote For Change website.

But the day before I received an e-mail from Congresswoman Lowey's office inviting me to her neighborhood office hours (well, not me personally.  Presumably my e-mail address somehow found its way to her e-mailing list).  So I went, and met with her.  I mean, why not?  How often does a guy get the opportunity to meet his congressional representative?

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Rush Limbaugh Smiles...

I remember a time not so long ago when this image was an unambiguous sign for any person with liberal or progressive sensibilities that something is seriously wrong with the world:


But now many Democrats have become de facto Ditto-heads, gladly nodding their approval whenever Rush Limbaugh or some other right wing lunatic makes some derogatory remark about Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton (whichever one they don't like).

Take a little stroll with me below the fold. I'd like to show you something.

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"Unfortunate"-Gate and the Alleged Swiftboating of Hillary Clinton

There has been an interesting claim floating around MyDD lately, that the Barack Obama campaign is Swiftboating Hillary by putting out the following statement in response to her remarks about RFK's assassination:

"Senator Clinton's statement before the Argus Leader editorial board was unfortunate and has no place in this campaign."

Let this sink in.  The claim here is that calling such a remark "unfortunate," and pointing out that gratuitous references to assassination have no place in a presidential campaign somehow rises to the level of what Bush/Rove & co. did to John Kerry in 2004.  The most prominent incarnation of this silliness can be found in this diary by linfar (The first half of the diary is actually pretty good, and very moving.  But then it makes a sharp turn to...well, let's say it starts to become less moving).

Swiftboating clearly is not what it used to be.  You no longer need to form a 527. The million dollar ad campaign is no longer required.  Hell, you don't even have to lie anymore.  Now apparently all you need to do is wait for a candidate to say something thoughtless and then respond by expressing a tepid opinion of disapproval.

While we're here chatting amongst ourselves, sipping our latte or kool-aid, or slugging a beer or taking a shot with hard working white people (what's the deal with politics and beverages?), let's examine this tepid response from Obama's campaign.

Anyone who follows politics with any regularity quickly becomes familiar with political-speak, and the rhetorical devices that these fascinating and unusual creatures we elect to public office use.  So I ask those of you who are politically astute, what does it generally signify when a politician uses a soft and tepid term of disapproval like "unfortunate" or "inappropriate?" Refer to the following example for guidance...

Several days after 9/11, the very Reverend Jerry Falwell and the equally pious Pat Robertson had the following conversation,  

"God continues to lift the curtain and allow the enemies of America to give us probably what we deserve," said Falwell, appearing yesterday on the Christian Broadcasting Network's "700 Club," hosted by Robertson.

"Jerry, that's my feeling," Robertson responded. "I think we've just seen the antechamber to terror. We haven't even begun to see what they can do to the major population."

Falwell said the American Civil Liberties Union has "got to take a lot of blame for this," again winning Robertson's agreement: "Well, yes."

Interestingly, I don't remember O'Reilly ever grouping either of these two gentlemen in his esteemed "blame America first" crowd. But I digress.

Our dignified and heroic president responded to these outrageous remarks thusly,

A White House official called the remarks "inappropriate" and added, "The president does not share those views."

Inappropriate?  How about irresponsible?  How about despicable?  How about batshit crazy?  But no, Bush decided to call the remarks "Inappropriate."

Inappropriate.  Unfortunate.  These are the kinds of terms that politicians use when one of their political allies say something so completely ridiculously off the wall and provocative that they need to respond with some show of disapproval - just enough to distance themselves from it, but not so much that it pisses off their base (who might agree with aforementioned batshit).

Obama's campaign put out a press release calling Hillary's gratuitous reference to RFK's assassination "unfortunate." Swiftboating?  Hardly.  Those of us who speak politicseese understand that this is actually closer to an expression of friendship than a hostile rebuke.

So, uh...can't we all just get along? <Donning flame-proof vest and goggles>

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[Poll] Would you vote for an Obama-Clinton "Unity Ticket"?

Sorry, this is not going to be much of a diary.  I'm just curious about where people stand on this.  Please participate in the poll and feel free to post a comment.

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[Update] Hillary Supporters - Vote for McCain in November!

If Obama wins the nomination (and it looks like he will now), everyone who voted for Hillary in the primary needs to vote for John McCain in November. It makes perfect sense. Hillary, as we all know, is a policy wonk. She has a firm grasp and is well versed on all the issues that matter most to Americans. That is the appeal of the Hillary candidacy. It has nothing to do with the symbolism or historical significance of a woman president; it's not a white person thing; it has nothing to do with her husband's presidency. It's all about policy.

So let's examine the issues and the stances taken by all three candidates. Afterwards you will all understand very clearly why Hillary supporters could never vote for Barack Obama and must defect to John McCain in November: All data gathered from, except where otherwise linked. All Boldface print indicates where the candidates agree.

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