Monthly Archives: October 2008

What “community organizing” could be in an Obama presidency

When the Obama campaign released its statement about the $150 million from individuals (with an average donation of $86) that had been donated to his campaign in the month of September alone, I couldn’t help but wonder what would happen if the Obama campaign turned into the Obama Community Organization in November.

The more than half-a-billion dollars Obama has raised has been a direct result of applying community organizing to fund raising. The advantage Obama now enjoys in Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania, not to mention the red states that have become competive, all have to do with the ability of the local campaign offices being able to organize an army of volunteers to go door-to-door to ask for votes.

What if all of the Obama campaign offices transformed into non-partisan, non-legislative community organization offices under the discretion of the President of the United States in every major and medium-sized city throughout the country?

Talk about localizing the federal government to help citizens.

Imagine just a few of the possibilities: lawyers-to-be helping hopeful immigrants fill out paperwork; employment offices working directly through local federal government offices to bring the unemployed and the hiring businesses together; adoption agencies connecting hopeful parents with reluctant parents; students having a place to go to talk about the Peace Corps and Americorps in person; experts hosting workshops in filing financial aid forms.

And the army is there. There are millions of college students who could use $4,000 per year in college savings by volunteering at least 100 hours at one of these organizations.

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Debate #3 Tweets

Here are all my tweets during debate No. 3 with some explanation:

Post-debate

In 20 days, at this time, all the networks would have already declared Barack Obama president-elect. Can’t wait.

  • Under all reasonable polling data, Obama has a 95 percent chance of winning on Nov. 4.

BTW, that poll said Obama won 2-1 again.

cbs poll said 58 percent are STILL undecided… my recommendation. Just skip the presidential vote.

  • McCain needed to win BIG TIME tonight. He failed to do so.

two thumbs up for Bob Schieffer… best moderator. #current

Education

GW Bush supported vouchers and had a GOP Congress for six years. Still no vouchers. #current

current I’m a private school teacher at a school with declining enrollment. I don’t support vouchers.

  • During the last few presidential election, Republican candidates have promoted vouchers. The last Gallup Poll on education in 2006 showed that only 2 percent of Americans thought school vouchers would be the best way to fix education, while 17 percent believed better teachers and a more basic curriculum were the best ways to improve the system.

Visual Presentation

Obama has completely dominated McCain toward the end of this debate. #current

visually, Obama is much more presidential. #current

McCain has completely lost it

why does McCain keep rolling his eyes? for the old candidate, that’s pretty immature.

  • The moment of the debate didn’t come when John McCain said, “If you wanted to debate George Bush, you should’ve run four years ago. Rather it came when Barack Obama said Joe the Plumber wouldn’t have to pay his employees anything. McCain said, “It wouldn’t?” And when Obama went on to explain the small business exemption, McCain looked shocked. Here’s the video:

Abortion

Orwellian moment: pro-choice does not equal pro-abortion #current

Lake of Fire… everyone needs to watch that movie about abortion

  • McCain wants to paint abortion as a black and white issue. It’s not. That’s why I recommend everyone watch Lake of Fire. There are several ethical issues involved in the abortion debate and those are explored in that movie. In addition, the anti-abortion movement has really done an excellent job at painting “pro-choice” as “pro-abortion.” This is just like calling someone voting against the Iraq War as someone who supports terrorism.

Taxes and health care

I don’t trust ME with my money. I’d rather buy TVs, cars and video games than health care.

If Joe makes $250,000, he’s in the top 5 percent of all American wage earners.

  • Both of these are completely true. Look around America and most people are like me. Just look at the most irresponsible of all purchases – the SUV. If Americans could be trusted with their money, they wouldn’t buy SUVs and unaffordable luxury homes.
  • If I earned $250,000 per year, I wouldn’t mind paying a bit more in taxes.

Me, a single individual, has to pay $5,000 on my tax plan… poor families. #current

McCain: Liar, liar! Zero! It’s federally mandated!

I wonder if there IS a Joe the Plumber… it’s probably Palin’s husband.

My guess on McCain’s response: THAT BOY wants to have a mandated federal-run health care system. Mine is a tax cut.

  • McCain’s tax credit would do nothing for me. Obama’s would give me a few more dollars in my pocket every month.
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What a Democrat is…

I get some Republicans: they’re for lower taxes more deregulation and more states’ rights. That’s the traditional Republican thought process, and I get it. I don’t find fault with it (other than I think it’s wrong.)

But there’s another, more complicated process when one becomes a member of the GOP. They join the party because of the idea that the GOP supports “family values” – code word for anti-abortion, anti-gay, and, really anti-anything having to do with sex.

There’s also the traditional tags Republicans label the Democratic Party with. They call it the party of higher taxes. The “tax and spenders.” They say Democrats are “socialists.” The more extreme call the Democrats “baby killers.” The Democratic Party is the “party of the handout.”

Unfortunately for the GOP, the Democratic Party, at least the portion of it I belong to, are none of those things. For me, being a Democrat means looking forward. Being a Democrat means learning from past mistakes and trying new ideas, or repeating ideas that worked. Being a Democrat means trying to give everyone an equal chance at the elusive American Dream.

And more than ever, that (little “d”) democratic dream for America is needed more than ever now. Not to be Captain Obvious or anything, but this country is struggling. Heck, the whole world is struggling because of the problems in this nation.

And no one in this country is struggling more than average Jane and Joe. It’s Jane and Joe who get hurt the most from the $75 gas tank. They’re the ones who have to pull their kids from private school because they can’t afford the tuition anymore. They’re the ones who had to cancel next summer’s vacation because plane fare is just too much.

But they’re also the ones who get the economy going. They buy the midsize car, the PS3’s, and the flat-screen TV’s. They’re the ones who put the money into the economy. And they’ll be the one’s who will be helped under Obama’s tax policy.

See, at the end of the day, the Democratic Party isn’t about negativity and partisanship. Rather it’s about hopes and ideals. And that’s why I’m a Democrat. I hope that this country can once again be a “beacon of light” for the rest of the world. I’m about what could be, not what was.

And that’s why this campaign is where it’s at today with John McCain’s negative ads having very little bearing on the polls.

If one takes a good look at electoral history, when times are good (usually after a Democratic presidency), Americans say, “Hey, I want more. The Republican Party promises to lower my taxes. I’m voting Republican.”

Or, as it did during Bush-Gore, W painted himself as someone trustworthy, compassionate, and full of those “family values.” As a result, Bush barely lost to Gore in what should have been a Democratic landslide.

During this campaign, when times are awful and the GOP is on the ropes, what do we see? We see hatred. We hear words like “you can’t trust him” and “he’s a man of the streets.” We see a campaign based primarily on fear of the unknown.

This time, as in years past, the economy is trumping all negative advertising and this election is shaping up to be an historic landslide. The voters have said, “Enough! We’re voting for the future this time.” And that’s where I stand.

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The bigotted finish

I’ve written this before, but tears welled up in my eyes when Barack Obama stood on stage at the Democratic National Convention repeating the words “thank you” dozens of times during a minutes-long standing ovation. And I cried because of some unknown patriotism that still dwelled within – none of our European allies with a large black population has ever had a non-white president or prime minister.

However, once the primary season ended and the general campaign began, I had the idea that in the end, many cultural demons would have to be slayed for Obama to become president of the United States. He’d have to slay the generational racism of several working class families, which began because businesses used blacks as strike breakers in the early 20th Century.

I knew that the Jewish vote would also have to be convinced that a black man would stand up for them. Same is true of the elderly and Hispanics.

But I also knew that if the McCain campaign found itself on the losing end, the new GOP wouldn’t go out the same way Sen. Bob Dole did in 1996, with honor.

And the McCain campaign has definitely taken a turn for the nasty in recent days.

Shouts of “kill him” were recently heard at a GOP rally after Sarah Palin made an erroneous connection between Obama and a Chicago activist and teacher, who admittedly set off bombs at government facilities. Warm-ups for McCain and Palin are often heard emphasizing Obama’s middle name, Hussein, in attempts to paint the future president as a Muslim, which, if you ask me, seems to be an accepted bigotry for those on the right.

Then there’s John McCain calling Obama, “that one.” Now, maybe I’m reading into this a bit much, but when someone calls an equal, which is what the two candidates are, “that one,” it shows strong disdain. Add to that McCain’s racist past, and his refusal to correct any of his surrogates blatantly racist comments (one said “let them have their Tiger Woods”) and “that one” can be seen as one step away from “that boy.”

It’s going to get uglier. And the ugliness will come from one side. I’m just glad it’s not from mine.

In the end, I’m hopeful that an Obama presidency will strip away much of the remaining racism in our country and will give us greater hope for a more unified nation.

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Link Posting for Dummies

So, during election season, much misinformation is spread over the Web and then spread some more via e-mail, blog posts, Facebook and Twitter. This misinformation doesn’t help educate anyone. Instead it leads to confusion and voter apathy.

Posting legit links, which I’ll get into in a few seconds, not only improves voter knowledge, but it makes the blogger’s/twitterer’s/poster’s opinion more legit.

Also, regardless of what McCain and Palin and the rest of the GOP says, the mainstream media is usually very unbiased. Unbiased to a fault, actually. (Sometimes they give voice to opinions that are flat out false just in order to orchestrate the illusion of “balance.”)

Here’s a very brief summary of what sites poster’s should use when writing about politics:

Tier 1 – Always legit if articles come from the news section, not the opinion or editorial page section.

  • CQ Politics – the site elected officials turn to for political news.
  • The New York Times – Still the nation’s paper of record
    • For example, I can write, “McCain called himself a Nazi” because that’s what was officially reported in the NY Times without refutation in 1997. I should also mention that the next line said McCain learned from his hard-line stances early on and tried to reach out to both sides.
  • The Hill
  • Any other major newspaper’s news section – LA Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal (the editorial page is a right-wing monstrosity), etc.
  • CNN – They usually use AP stories.

Tier 2 – Blogs from any of the above and the following:

Tier 3 – Columns and opinion pieces from any of the Tier 1 sites

Note: Although columns and opinions are fact checked, they should be labeled as “op-ed” or “opinion” before linking to them. For example, a guy wrote a column about Obama’s economic plan and how it was all wrong, and all that jazz… it would’ve been pretty damning, except the guy that wrote about it was one of McCain’s economic advisor. (Who, by the way, said the economy is just fine – and, sadly, hasn’t been heard from since this column ran. His wife did receive a fish wrapped in newspaper, whatever that means. J/K!)

Use these with extreme caution

– I’m not discounting these blogs as non-legit, I’m just saying that when linking to them, it’s important to note that most of the information on there is twisted before being disseminated.

Liberal blogs and sites

  • My blog
  • HuffingtonPost
  • DailyKos
  • Wonkette
  • ThinkProgress

Conservative blogs and sites

  • Townhall
  • Newsbusters
  • Michelle Malkin
  • Powerline Blog
  • Washington Times

Use only to promote a cause

(These often contain false and inflammatory information and anything read here that poses as “real news” should be taken with extreme caution and the lies debunked after by going to FactCheck.org)

LifeNews, Media Research Center, MoveOn.org, etc.

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I tried to be as unbiased as I could be in this (the stuff in paranthases is when I threw my political bias in there). My degree is in communications and I worked in journalism for a few years and it bothers me when voters continue to expound false information saying they “saw it on a Web site.” Also, I am not saying NOT to use any of the above mentioned sites, just put them in context for less-informed readers.

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