Sunday, August 31, 2008

Undecideds Don't Like The Palin Pick

Andrew Sullivan The Atlantic Magazine:

The headlines are about the broad polling reaction to Palin. But the most fascinating part of the first Rasmussen poll on the matter is how those who are currently undecided in the election feel. They, after all, are the votes both campaigns are trying to win over with their veep picks. The key data is in the cross-tabs, which have been missed in some of the coverage so far.

On the critical question, "With Palin As Vice-Presidential Nominee, Are You More Or Less Likely To Vote For McCain," there's a striking result. . . among the critical undecideds, the Palin pick made only 6 percent more likely to vote for McCain; and it made 31 percent less likely to vote for him. . . among undecideds, 59 percent said Palin was unready to be president.

. . .Palin has helped McCain among Republicans, left Democrats unfazed, but moved the undecideds against him quite sharply.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

GOP Seeks To Outlaw Right To Choose Even Contraception

John McCain together with all of his spokespersons, which too often includes the established news media, are "marketing" McCain as a "Maverick Centrist Republican." In truth, when the vote really counts, McCain has always voted with other far-right conservatives in the U.S. Senate to enact the far-right conservative philosophy into federal law and to confirm far-right conservative judges for the U.S. Federal and U.S. Supreme Courts. His own home state paper, The Arizona Republic concluded, after researching McCain's Senate votes over the past decade that, “McCain almost never thwarted his party’s objectives.” This is particularly true on issues of women's rights.

McCain has repeatedly stated that he opposes Roe v. Wade and that, if elected, he would appoint Supreme Court Justices who would overturn Roe v. Wade, the landmark court decision from the 1970s that legalized abortion. In picking Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, an ardent evangelical Protestant, for his VP running mate, McCain again clearly demonstrates his extreme right-wing position on women's rights.

Palin is as ardently opposed to pro-choice rights as John McCain, and perhaps even more extreme in her position than John McCain has so far publicly stated; Palin is on record as opposing pro-choice rights for women even in cases of rape and incest. Palin is also on record as advocating abstinence-only birth control eduction for teens during her 2006 Alaska gubernatorial race. Palin believes that the pregnancy safeguards afforded by contraceptives are not subjects that should be taught to teens.

While Mayor of Wasilla, Alaska Palin’s administration began charging rape victims for so called rape kits. (Video) (Palin’s signature is on the budget.) Rape kits containing the medical supplies necessary to collect forensic evidence that is required to identify and prosecute the rapist. Rape kits includes an emergency oral contraceptive that reduces the likelihood that a woman will become pregnant as a result of the rape. Many conservatives are strongly opposed to dispensing oral contraceptives, even to rape victims, that prevent a fertilized egg from implanting to form a pregnancy.

We know McCain, his evangelical Republican base, and his VP pick Sarah Palin will eliminate a woman's individual and private right to choose whether or not to bare children by reversing Roe v. Wade.

It is becoming apparent that evangelical Republicans will not stop at just reversing Roe v. Wade. Next on their list is to overturn or circumvent Griswold v. Connecticut, the Supreme Court ruling that guarantees the right of men and women to use birth control. The 1965 Griswold v. Connecticut ruling overturned a Connecticut law that outlawed the use of contraceptives by married couples.

It is the Griswold v. Connecticut ruling that also gives explicit voice to the implicit concept that the U.S. Constitution grants a "right of privacy to Americans" to make private individual decisions about family and our own bodies. This includes but does not stop with the private right to choose when or whether to have children. The Griswold decision is one of the foundation blocks for the Supreme Court's Roe v. Wade ruling.

In case there is doubt in anyone's mind that Republicans want to ban the use of contraceptives like the birth control pill, consider the Bush Administration's attempt to "administratively" define contraception as a type of abortion.

As reported in the Wall Street Journal OnLine, "The Bush Administration's Department of Health and Human Services has written a draft regulation that defines most birth-control pills and intrauterine devices as abortion because they work by preventing fertilized eggs from implanting in the uterus." Evangelical Republicans define a fertilized egg, from the "moment of conception," as human live with full civil rights. Any human interruption to the natural processes that might allow the fertilized egg to implant in the uterus and develop into a full term birth is murder.

The draft regulation, as written, defines the common contraception approaches in use today as "destroying the life of a human being." By its expansive definitions, the draft furthers a key goal of Evangelical Republicans - to define single-cell fertilized eggs as legal people with full legal rights from the "moment of conception." McCain's VP running mate Palin is on record as advocating abstinence-only birth control eduction for teens. Does she also believe that abstinence-only is the only form of birth control that should be practiced by married couples?

Palin and McCain should be asked by reporters if they support the Bush administration's attempt to define common contraception, that prevents fertilized eggs from implanting in the uterus as a form of abortion. They further should be specifically queried if they believe that married couples should be allowed to use birth-control pills and intrauterine devices that prevent fertilized eggs from implanting in the uterus.
If Roe v. Wade were to be overturned, it is conceivable that even the common birth control pill and IUD device could eventually be ruled a type of abortion by a very right leaning Supreme Court of the United States.

The next President will likely appoint as many as three new Supreme Court Justices to the bench. The three Justices who are likely to retire during the next President's term of office are the only remaining "centrist" judges left on the Supreme Court who believe the U.S. Constitution grants an inherent right of privacy for Americans to make personal choices about their own families and their own bodies. Long after the next president is gone, his appointments will be sitting on the bench, making decisions that impact our rights and liberties.

McCain has repeatedly stated that he opposes Roe v. Wade and has said that he would appoint Supreme Court Justices who would overturn Roe v. Wade. The three evangelical-right leaning Supreme Court Justices that John McCain would appoint, joined by the very right leaning Justices already on the court, very likely will not only overturn Roe v. Wade, but they likely will also overturn Griswold v. Connecticut too. John McCain's Supreme Court likely will outlaw a woman's right to make a choice about whether to bare children beginning with her choice to use contraceptives.

Even more serious than eliminating the choice to bare children or to use contraceptives, as if that were not enough, overturning Griswold v. Connecticut would also weaken the concept that Americans have a constitutional right to privacy to make private individual decisions about family and their own bodies. Without this constitutional "right to privacy" protection same sex partners could also find that the door has been once again opened for states to pass laws attempting to control what happens in the privacy of their homes. The Griswold decision is also one of the foundation blocks for the Supreme Court overturning sodomy laws and other such same sex statutes that were on the books of many states until the 1970's.

Texans going to their polling places to vote on November 4th should remember that John Cornyn, the incumbent Republican Senator for Texas, stands shoulder-to-shoulder with John McCain and George Bush on this issue - Women do not have a right to choose, even contraceptives.

Rick Noriega, the Democratic candidate running for the U.S. Senate seat against Cornyn, supports Barack Obama's and the Democratic Party's postion that Americans should have a guarenteed right of privacy and constitutional protections against government intrusions into private family and personal decisions. Which candidate for the U.S. Senate do you want to send to the U.S. Senate to voting on the next President's Supreme Court nominees?? The choice is up to you - the voter!

Which Presidential candidate do you want to nominate the next three Supreme Court Justices for U.S. Senate consideration and confirmation? John McCain or Barack Obama?? The choice again is up to you - the voter!

A message from Cecile Richards,
President of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America.

It seems like the [other] person who doesn't want to discuss this issue is Secretary of Health and Human Services Mike Leavitt. A few days ago, health care blogger Scott Swenson asked Secretary Leavitt whether it will be "HHS policy that the 98 percent of Americans who use contraception at some point in their lives are terminating rather than preventing pregnancy." Leavitt's reply: no comment.

We deserve answers from Secretary Leavitt on this secret plan to radically change family planning funding rules, and we need you to help us get those answers. Here's what you can do:
  • First, leave a comment on Secretary Leavitt's blog urging him to respond to Swenson's question and growing concerns that the Bush administration's proposed rule would severely threaten women's health care. Just leave a comment on his most recent blog post. Leavitt uses his official blog to communicate about government policy — it's time he came clean on this issue.
  • Second, let us know you left a comment. Because the blog comments are moderated, some may be blocked from visitors to the site. We need a way to keep track of the growing outcry about the Bush administration's proposed attack on women's health care — we can't let them keep this quiet.
Please, help us stop this proposed rule change before it can harm the people who most desperately need access to quality, comprehensive health care. The first step is to get straight answers from Secretary Leavitt. And don't forget to tell us what you said to Secretary Leavitt.

Thank you for standing with us, and please keep an eye out for future updates on this vital issue.

P.S. Our best chance of stopping this assault on the fundamental health care rights of women is to raise a massive public outcry. Help us get a head start by urging your friends to contact President Bush. Click here.

Cecile Richards interview on MSNBC

Hurricane Gustav Timed For The Republican Convention?

The video below is just one of several possible storm tracks projected for Hurricane Gustav. (Track modeled early on Aug. 27 by the National Weather Service.) If Gustav does take this particular track, it will hit the New Orleans area around the same time that the Republican National Convention begins in Minneapolis and St. Paul.

On Saturday August 30 the National Hurricane Center upgraded Gustav to a Category Four storm, with maximum sustained winds near 145 mph, making it the strongest Atlantic storm of 2008. However, by 4 P.M. CDT Sunday afternoon Hurricane Gustav had dropped to Category 3 strength and is not expected to reach Category 4 strength again before hitting the U.S. Gulf Coast sometime Monday, according to the U.S. National Hurricane Center.

It could strike the U.S. coast anywhere from Mississippi to Texas, but the storm track remains centered on the Louisiana coast west of New Orleans as of 4 P.M. CDT Sunday afternoon. Whatever its exact landing point, a Category 3 storm surge can still cause serious damage throughout the region, including the City of New Orleans.

Republican officials are actively considering delaying the start of the GOP convention in Minneapolis-St. Paul because of Tropical Storm Gustav, which is on track to hit the Gulf Coast, and possibly New Orleans, as a Category Four to Five hurricane early next week.

ABC News' Karen Travers reports: In an interview with Fox News' Chris Wallace that will air Sunday morning, Sen. John McCain indicated that the GOP convention could be suspended because of Hurricane Gustav. A Republican convention official tells ABC News, however, that at this point, there are no plans to cancel the convention. This official says the Republican National Convention Committee is "still moving forward with opening the convention on Monday" as planned and notes that there is official business that has to happen at the convention, like the actual nomination of John McCain and the platform ratification.

McCain Out Of Touch On The Economy

McCain out of touch on the economy video

Friday, August 29, 2008

Please Help Spread the Word About Our Democratic Candidates!

Please email the link for this blog to all your friends and neighbors!!! From now through election day we will be blogging about all of our Democratic candidates whose name will appear on the election ballots in Collin County. We will also highlight the positions and voting records of our Democratic candidate's Republican opponents too.

Blogging is the Internet age version of block walking and phone banking to Get Out The Vote. While other Democratic volunteers are busy Getting Out The Vote (GOTV) by block walking and phone banking we will be doing our GOTV part by blogging. If you would like to author postings (like letters to the editor) for this blog, please email me at the blog editor's address given in the top block of the left-hand sidebar.

Remember, our Democratic candidates running for the U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives, Rick Noriega, Tom Daley and Glenn Melançon, need our support! Please contribute your much needed dollars as well as your volunteer time directly to these candidates. They also need our support to help get the Democratic message out to the voters. Blogging to get out the message is another way to support our candidates.

President Barack Obama will need all the help he can get in Congress when he takes office January 20, 2009!! PLEASE, please help send Rick Noriega, Tom Daley and Glenn Melançon to Washington to help President Obama quickly turn our country onto the right road to a 21st century America!!

And, don't forget -- Other State of Texas and Collin County Democratic Candidates will appear on Collin County Ballots for the 2008 General Election too. They must have your support too!!! These local Democratic Candidates include:
Please go to their websites and contribute any money and any volunteer time you can spare to help them get elected. Even a dollar or two or an hour or two a week will help, if that is all you can spare!

And please, help us spread the word about our Democratic candidates by forwarding the link for this blog to your friends!

American Prayer by Dave Stewart

By Special Request
We Post The Following
Barack Obama Music Video
"American Prayer by Dave Stewart"

McCain Selects Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin As His VP Pick

In what was initially report to be an explicit appeal to disaffected Hillary Clinton supporters, GOP Presidential candidate John McCain announced Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin as his VP running mate. Gov. Palin, took office as the governor of Alaska little over a year ago. The former Miss Alaska runner-up previously served as the mayor of Wasilla, Alaska. At 44 she is three years younger than Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama. Gov. Palin is such a political novice that the news media knew virtually nothing about her political positions when McCain first announce his VP pick.

As Palin's positions on several social issues are becoming known it is now looking like McCain picked Palin, an evangelical Protestant, to appeal to conservative evangelical Republicans rather than Senator Clinton's supports. Palin is as ardently opposed to women's pro-choice rights as John McCain. Palin is on record as opposing pro-choice rights even in cases of rape and incest. Palin says she does not believe that using human activities and fossil fuel use causes global warming and she believes in teaching creationism in public schools. In picking Palin for the VP slot McCain may be looking to energize evangelical Republicans in Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Dakota and other states where Senator Obama is showing increasing voter support. And, if McCain can pick up a few disaffected Clinton supporters as well, so much the better.

Barack Obama Campaign Spokesman Bill Burton responds to John McCain's VP choice of Alaska Governor Sarah Palin saying, "Today, John McCain put the former mayor of a town of 9,000 with zero foreign policy experience a heartbeat away from the presidency. Governor Palin shares John McCain's commitment to overturning Roe v. Wade, the agenda of Big Oil and continuing George Bush's failed economic policies -- that's not the change we need, it's just more of the same." post on Palin:

The Associated Press reports, "More recently, she has come under the scrutiny of an investigation by the Republican-controlled legislature into the possibility that she ordered the dismissal of Alaska's public safety commissioner because he would not fire her former brother-in-law as a state trooper."

The commissioner, Walt Monegan, was fired on July 11, because Palin "wanted to take the department in a new direction," according to Bloomberg. "Monegan than alleged that he had been pressured to fire state trooper Mike Wooten, who was married to Palin's sister and was involved in a contentious divorce, according to the Anchorage Daily News."

The Bloomberg story continues, "Palin has denied any wrongdoing. The state Legislature voted on July 28 to hire an independent investigator to probe whether Palin, her family or members of her administration had pressured Monegan to fire Wooten, according to the Daily News."

Last month a Democratic official told the Wall Street Journal that Palin was facing possible impeachment.

Next post on Palin:

Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) spoke by phone to NBC's Andrea Mitchell on Friday morning about Senator John McCain's selection of Alaska Governor Sarah Palin as his running mate.

Wasserman Schultz was a strong backer of Hillary Clinton in the Democratic primaries and is known for her interest in women's issues. She told Mitchell, "If John McCain thinks that he can substitute Sarah Palin for Hillary Clinton in the minds of Hillary Clinton supporters he's sadly mistaken. I know Hillary Clinton, and Sarah Palin is no Hillary Clinton."

"She's been governor of Alaska for eighteen months, and before that she was the mayor of a town of 8,000 people," Wasserman Schultz continued. "She's already under investigation by her state's legislature. ... They voted to spend $100,000 on an investigation, because she is accused of firing a state commissioner who refused to fire her sister's husband. ... This is not the kind of change that we need."

Mitchell pointed out that there may have been "some family abuse" on the part of Palin's sister's husband and that "she might have been protecting a victim who needed help" in firing the commissioner.

Mitchell then asked, "What about the pull of gender politics? Will there be a ... large number of women -- independents, Republicans, people who you all wanted to bring into the Democratic tent -- in suburban towns and cities around this country, who will like the idea of a woman on the ticket?"

"Women in this country don't want a candidate on the ballot just because of the parts that she has," Wasserman Schultz replied. "They want a woman candidate running for president or vice president because they support equal work for equal pay, they support a woman's right to make her own reproductive choices, they support access to children's health care, they want to make sure that we improve the quality of public education. Sarah Palin is against all of those things. So it's not just electing a woman for the sake of getting a woman in there."

Mitchell then quoted from the official McCain campaign announcement, which calls Palin a "tough executive [who's] ready to be president ... has a record of delivering on change and reform [and] has challenged the insolence of the big oil companies while fighting for new energy sources."

"Sarah Palin is inexperienced, unethical and wrong on all the issues that Americans care about," Wasserman Schultz replied. "Do we have the confidence that if, God forbid, something happens to John McCain that Sarah Palin is going to know what to do and is going to have her hands on the tiller of American foreign policy? What makes her ready to be commander in chief? This is just an example of colossally bad judgment on the part of John McCain."

"The other thing ... that's important to note," concluded Wasserman Schultz, "is there has been a culture of corruption hanging over the state of Alaska. ... Senator Ted Stevens, Congressman Don Young, Governor Sarah Palin, they are all cut from the same cloth. The last place we need to pull an elected official who wants to be vice president is the state of Alaska right now. They need to clean up their act."

Obama Watch Party at Prince Bistro Plano

Approximately three hundred people RSVP'ed to attend the Barack Obama acceptance speech party at the Prince Bistro Thursday evening, Aug 28th. To see the pictures click here.

Dan Dodd, Chair of the Democratic Party of Collin County, commented that he estimates approximately six hundred people in all attended or dropped by the event during the evening to pick up free candidate yard signs and bumper stickers. The signs and stickers were made available by the Democratic Party of Collin County and the Texas Democratic Women of Collin County organization.

The official capacity of the Prince Bistro is three hundred and the restaurant was packed to capacity from 7 P.M. until well after Democratic Presidential Nominee Barack Obama finished speaking.

The restaurant was noisy during the first part of the evening as attendees got know their Democratic neighbors and freely talked politics. Health care and the economy were the most popular topics of discussion, but energy, the environment, education, college tuition, national security, foreign policy, and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan were all topics of discussion during the evening.

Several of the Democratic candidates, whose names will appear on Collin County election ballots on November 4th, attended the event to meet the voters. In the picture to the left, from left to right are Victor Manuel, Collin County Commissioner Precinct 3 candidate - Tom Daley, U.S. Congress candidate for the 3rd Congressional District - and Glenn Melançon U.S. Congress candidate for the 4th Congressional District.

In the picture to the right Jean Power, Collin County Commissioner Precinct 4 candidate joins Victor, Tom and Glenn.

Attention increasingly turned to the convention speakers through the evening. Attention noticeable turned to the big screens as the citizens, one by one, took the podium at the Invesco Field stadium to to tell their personal stories and express their support for Barack Obama, Joe Biden and all their local Democratic candidates running for office this November.

When Al Gore began to speak at the convention, the political chatter in the restaurant began to noticeably drop off. The crowd became attentive to Gore as he talked about the environmental challenges facing America and the world. Just as Gore was applauded and cheer at the Invesco Field Stadium in Denver, so was he applauded and cheered by the people watching the big screens at the Prince Bistro.

Barack Obama received loud cheers and applause in the restaurant as he took the podium to give his nomination acceptance speech. All during his speech all attention was focused on the big screens as Senator Obama spoke. Frequent loud applause erupted as Obama gave sharp criticism of Senator McCain, and the George Bush policies that McCain has repeated stated he will continue, and as he went on to lay out his road map for an era of progressive change in America.

The loudest cheers and applause came when Obama said, "The change we need doesn't come from Washington. Change comes to Washington, Change happens because the American people demand it -- because they rise up and insist on new ideas and new leadership, a new politics for a new time."

38 million viewers watched the Thursday evening convention broadcast of Senator Barack Obama accepting the Democratic presidential nomination, according to Nielsen Media Research. The four-night 2008 Democratic convention ranks as the most-watched party convention of either party, Democratic or Republican, since Nielsen began measuring conventions in 1960. Nielsen did not estimate how many people watched Obama on PBS, C-SPAN and direct Democratic Internet video stream out of the convention on Thursday night, so Obama's audience might well be much higher than the 38 million that Nielsen Media Research estimates.

U.S. News: Following Obama's speech analysts and media commentators generally praise Obama's speech.

USA Today describes the speech as "filled with promises of generational change and a better America," and the New York Times refers to Obama's "cutting language" and to the "cheers that echoed across the stadium." McClatchy notes "an estimated 84,000 people jammed the football stadium," and adds Obama "tied McCain squarely to President Bush." The Washington Times refers to Obama's "soaring oratory," with "the grandeur of the Rocky Mountains as a backdrop." In another front page story, the Washington Post says that the speech yesterday "proved the greatest testament yet to the intensity of Barack Obama's support and the enthusiasm for his candidacy that his party hopes will carry him to the White House."

David Gergen said on CNN that the speech "opened up an important and legitimate debate the Republicans will carry on about issues," but "as a speech, I was deeply impressed. In many ways it was less a speech than a symphony." Carl Bernstein, on CNN, called it a "transformational speech, maybe the greatest I've ever heard at a convention since Kennedy." Keith Olbermann, on MSNBC immediately after the speech ended said, "Vote for him or do not, but take pride that this nation can produce men and speakers such as that."

Watch the slide show of all my pictures taken throughout the evening at the Prince Bistro. (See the right sidebar of this blog page) Click on the picture to go to the album where the pictures have descriptive captions.

Barack Obama Convention Speech Video

Obama's 2008 Convention Speech As Prepared For Delivery

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Kucinich: Wake Up America!

Speaking at the Democratic Convention in Denver, Dennis Kucinich, Democratic Rep. from Ohio, called on Americans to "Wake Up" in an audience rousing speech!

Kucinich declared from the podium of the Convention, "In 2001 the oil companies, the war contractors and the neocon-artists seized the economy and added $4 trillion of unproductive spending to the national debt. ... Trillions of dollars for an unnecessary war paid for with borrowed money."

"We cannot afford another Republican administration," Kucinich said. "Wake up, America; the insurance companies took over health care. Wake up, America; the pharmaceutical companies took over drug pricing. Wake up, America; the speculators took over Wall Street. ... Wake up, America; we went into Iraq for oil."

"This administration can tap our phones -- but they can't tamper our creative spirit," he said. "They can open our mail, but the can' t open economic opportunities. They can track our every move, but they lost track of the economy while the cost of food, gasoline, and electricity skyrockets. Now, they have skillfully played our post 9/11 fears, and they've allowed the few to profit at the expense of the many."

Watch his short, but rousing speech

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Ohio Prepares for 80% Voter Turnout in November


DENVER -- As many as 80 percent of Ohio's registered voters could turn out on Election Day, says the state's top election official.

"Looking at the interest in this election, we think it's highly probable," Ohio Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner said during a panel discussion on election reforms.

Brunner addressed controversy in the state over use of electronic voting machines in the past.

While she was unwilling to force counties to completely abandon DRE machines, she said all voters would have the option to vote on a paper ballot and officials were implementing more stringent security procedures in the 53 counties that still used electronic machines.

Read the Rest of the Story

Sunday, August 24, 2008

No Citizens Attend Plano City Council's Public Tax Hearing

Plano Star Courier Newspaper
August 22, 2008

A public no show at tax hearing

All the members of the Plano City Council were present Thursday night to hear comments regarding the city’s tax rate with the exception of Place 3 Council Member Mabrie Jackson

No Plano residents were in attendance to the public hearing.

Thursday’s public hearing was the first of two on a proposal to increase total tax revenues from properties on the tax roll in the preceding tax year by 5.20 percent.

The Plano City Council voted a week ago to establish not to go higher than the current tax rate of 47.35 cents. Even though the city-wide tax rate may stay the same, Plano residents could potentially see a change in tax charges.

“Since property values are changing, that could positively or negatively affect an individual resident’s total tax bills,” said Karen Rhodes, director of Plano’s Budget and Research Department.

The public hearings were scheduled in compliance with the Open Meetings Act as designated by Vernon’s Texas Codes Annotated, stating that city governments are to hold public hearings when considering changing the tax rate.

The second public hearing will be held at 7 p.m. on Aug 25, at the council chambers in the Plano Municipal Center. Immediately following the public hearing, the City Council will hold the regularly scheduled preliminary open meeting and regular meeting.

Plano Star Courier article link

Saturday, August 23, 2008

As Democrats Gather, Liberal Positions Gaining In Popularity

By Steven Thomma | McClatchy Newspapers

DENVER — As they meet for their national convention Monday through Thursday, Democrats are poised to shift their party's course — and the country's.

They're turning to the left — deeply against the war in Iraq, ready to use tax policy to take from the rich and give to the poor and middle class, and growing hungry, after years of centrist politics, for big-government solutions, such as a health-care overhaul, to steer the nation through a time of sweeping economic change.

They are, in short, more liberal than at any time in a generation and eager to end the Reagan era, which dominated not just the other party, but also their own, for nearly three decades.

"Every generation . . . there are changes in people's relationship with government," said Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y. This, he said, is such a time.

The shift of the party also reflects a change in much of the population — evidenced in the policy positions advocated by rank-and-file voters as well as the party's presumptive presidential nominee, Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois.

What changed? Several things:
  • The Iraq war lasted longer, cost more lives and money, and proved deeply unpopular. A few years ago, Obama was a rare voice in the party opposing the war; today he's one of a chorus.
  • Anxiety about a slowing economy resurrected fears about American jobs and paychecks in the global economy.
  • Promises to change trade deals such as the North American Free Trade Agreement punctuated the [2008] Democratic primaries.
  • Obama promises a dramatically different tax policy, one that would raise taxes on the wealthy, cut taxes for the middle class and offer new "refundable" tax credits to the working poor that would wipe out tax liabilities and deliver anything left over in the form of checks.
  • Obama also wants to tax oil companies and use the money to give checks to the poor to pay for high fuel costs, or anything else.
  • Many Americans recoiled at the weak federal government response to Hurricane Katrina in 2005.
  • Republican George W. Bush turned into one of the most unpopular presidents in modern history.
Read the rest of the article here

It's Biden As Obama's VP Pick

Barack Obama selected Senator Joe Biden of Delaware late Friday to be his vice presidential running mate.

Since being elected to the Senate at the age of 29 in 1973 Biden has served in the Senate he has been at various times not only as chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee but also the chairman of the Judiciary Committee. It is the Senate Judiciary Committee that has jurisdiction over anti-crime legislation, Supreme Court nominees and Constitutional issues. Biden, 65, who has himself twice run for the office of President of the United States, is a Catholic with blue-collar roots, has a progressive voting record and has a reputation as a hard hitting debater and orator.

Recent Biden Interview on ABC News

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Anyone Who Owns 7 Home Will Think The Economy Is Great!

"Yesterday, Senator John McCain was asked again what do you think about the economy, he said I think the economy is fundamentally strong," said Senator Barack Obama. "Now this puzzled me. I was confused what he meant. But then there was another interview where somebody asked John McCain how many houses do you have and he said 'I'm not sure. I'll have to check with my staff.' True quote. 'I'm not sure ill have to check with my staff.' So they asked his staff and they said, 'at least four.' At least four. Now think about that. I guess if you think that being rich means you make $5 million and if you don't know how many houses you have then it is not surprising that you think the economy is fundamentally strong. But if you are like me and you've got one house, or if you are like the millions of people struggling now to keep up with your mortgage payments, you might have a different perspective. By the way the answer is John McCain has seven homes."

Obama Campaign Ad

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Zogby Poll: McCain Takes 5 Point Lead Over Obama

Zogby International
August 20, 2008

McCain’s month long surge of aggressively negative campaign advertising against Obama has translated into a surge of polling advantage over Obama in the latest Zogby/Reuters telephone survey. In this poll McCain leads Obama among likely U.S. voters by 46 percent to 41 percent, reversing Obama's 7-point lead in July and for first time taking the lead over Obama in the monthly Zogby/Reuters poll. McCain further has a 9-point edge, 49 percent to 40 percent, over Obama on the issue of who would be the best manager of the U.S. economy, an issue nearly half of voters sat is their top concern in this election year.

This latest live operator telephone survey was conducted Aug. 14-16, 2008 from Zogby’s call center in Upstate New York. It included 1,089 likely voters nationwide, and carries a margin of error of +/- 3.0 percentage points.

The poll shows Obama losing voters to McCain in groups where Obama had bigger leads a month ago. This table shows Obama’s loss of support between the July and August Reuters/Zogby polls among some significant sub-groups (the margin of error is greater for sub-groups than the sample as a whole)

Obama Support July August Difference
Democrats 83% 74% -9
Women 50% 42% -8
Catholics 47% 36% -11
Ages <35> 59% 47% -12
College Grads 51% 40% -11
Live in Cities 54% 43% -11
Income <$50,000 53% 46% -7
Southerners 46% 35% -11

Obama's support among voters between the ages of 18 and 29, which had been one of his strengths, slipped 12 percentage points to 52 percent.

Read the full Zogby/Reuters poll article at Zogby International

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Wanted: New Voters

The Nation
August 13, 2008

Wanted: New Voters - The Atlanta Car and Bike Show lasts for one day only, and on a recent hot summer afternoon, the line to get in snaked for hundreds of yards through the carpeted interior of the Georgia World Congress Center in downtown Atlanta. . . Before attendees got to the cars and music, volunteers from the Obama campaign were doing their best to make sure they spent a moment on civics. Serena Bland and her husband, Adrian, paced up and down the entrance to the hall with Register to Vote signs, urging people toward the voter-registration booth a dozen feet away. There, Anderia Bishop chatted and joked and generally poured every ounce of her considerable enthusiasm into persuading even the skeptical or indifferent that registering would be the best five minutes they ever spent. "We're chasing people through the park," Bishop said of her local volunteer group's activities. Read the rest of the article

Before you go read the rest of the article here is something to think about:
  • With 10 more votes/precinct in 2004, John Kerry would have won the states of NM, IA, & OH
  • With 50 more votes/precinct in 2004, John Kerry would have also won the states of NV, CO, MO, AR, WV, FL
  • With 100 more votes/precinct in 2004, John Kerry would have additionally won the states of AR, KS, SD, LA, IN, KY, SC
Registering new voters and helping to get out the vote this election can truly make the difference for Democratic candidates, even here in Collin County, Texas.

Many Democratic groups and organizations are already ramping up voter registration drives and Get Out The Vote activities today. All of these campaign groups and political organizations need volunteers. We need to form a large army of Democratic volunteers in Collin County this year to help Get Out The Vote! Call one of these groups today to volunteer:

Dallas for Obama in Denver

From the Dallas for Obama group who will be blogging from the Convention in Denver

Monday, August 18, 2008

Join Your Democratic Neighbors And Get A Yard Sign

The Democratic Party of Collin County in cooperation with the Texas Democratic Women of Collin County will make available yard signs for Senator Barack Obama and many other candidates, whose name will appear on Collin County ballots this fall, at a gala Democratic Convention Watch Party being planned for Thursday, August 28 at 7:00 p.m. at the Prince Bistro Eatery in Plano to watch Senator Barack Obama give his Acceptance Speech as the Democratic Presidential Nominee!

The event will be at Prince Bistro Eatery, 1201 E. Spring Creek Parkway, Plano - Map (across from Sam’s Club east of Hwy 75)

Place your food and drink orders and pay as you go. Then, chat with your neighbors until Obama speaks.

for Obama and many other candidates
will be available!

RSVP for the Watch Party to: or 972-578-1483

Or RSVP for the Watch Party at: event code 4ggrg

Have you registered to vote yet? The October 6th deadline to register to vote in the fall election is fast approaching! Check whether you are already registered to vote here and if you are not yet registered to vote, get your Voter's Registration application here.

General Election
First day to apply for ballot by mail
Last day to register to vote (for this election)
First day of early voting
Last day to apply for ballot by mail
Last day of early voting
November 4, 2008
September 5, 2008
October 6, 2008
October 20, 2008
October 28, 2008*
October 31, 2008
* - Ballot by mail application must be received in the Elections Office by this date.

If you want to volunteer to help get out the vote, go volunteer at or

Senator Barack Obama's Presidential Nomination Acceptance Speech Convention Watch Party has been arranged through the efforts of the Democratic Party of Collin County, Texas Democratic Women of Collin County and other Obama for President supporters.

Why Are You A Democrat in 2008? Episode 4

Video Submission to Howard Dean's Democratic National Convention "Why Am I A Democratic" Video contest:

Why Are You A Democrat in 2008? Episode 3

Video Submission to Howard Dean's Democratic National Convention "Why Am I A Democratic" Video Contest:

Obama Meets With Longtime Republican T. Boone Pickens

Senator Barack Obama met Sunday with Texas oil baron and longtime Republican T. Boone Pickens to discuss strategies for developing alternative energy. Obama said, "One of the things I think we have to unify the country around is having an intelligent energy policy."

Pickens has become critic of U.S. dependence on imported oil and is now promoting wind farms and other alternative energy programs. Pickens has vowed to spend $58 million to promote the "Pickens Plan," which calls for the U.S. to generate 22 percent of its electricity through wind and other alternative energy sources.

T. Boone Pickens may be an old Republican, he is sounding awfully like a younger generation Democrat these days. Watch T. Boone's TV ad:

There are a myriad of 21st century alternative energy technologies that stand poised to revolutionize how Americans, and the rest of the world, generate and use energy. Technology savvy Democratic candidates such as Tom Daley, Democratic candidate for the U.S. 3rd Texas Congressional District, age 44, and Glenn Melançon Democratic candidate for the U.S. 4th Texas Congressional District, age 42, do understand the dramatic revolution to American industry, white and blue collar job availability and personal life style that 21st century clean alternative energy technologies can bring to a 21st century America.

Both Daley and Melançon, candidates for the U.S. House of Representatives, whose districts meet in Collin County, stand with state-wide candidates U.S. Senate Democratic Candidate for Texas, Rick Noriega, and the Democratic Presidential candidate, Barack Obama, for the deployment of clean alternative energy technologies for a better America and a better Texas.

Should the technology awarenens of today's Presidential, Senatorial and Congressional candidates have any bearing at all on the candidate's credentials as voters decide which candidate they should elect on November 4, 2008? Here are a few considerations given in an article that discusses John McCain's lack knowledge on the 21st century technology issues. Excerpts from a New York Times article titled, "McCain, the Analog Candidate."

"“We’re not asking for a president to answer his own e-mail,” said Paul Saffo, a Silicon Valley futurist who teaches at Stanford. “We’re asking for a president who understands the context of what e-mail [and blog] means.”

The [candidate's] “user experience,” Mr. Saffo said, brings with it an implicit understanding of how the country lives, and where it might be heading. As Mr. McCain would lack this, he would also be deficient in this broader appreciation for how technology affects lives [and the American economy.]

Computers have become something of a cultural marker — in politics and in the real world. Proficiency with them suggests a basic familiarity with the day-to-day experience of most Americans [and American businesses] — just as ignorance to them can suggest someone is “out of touch,” or “old.”

“There’s a certain tempo to the thinking of someone who [understands and] uses all kinds of new [technology] media,” said Mr. Saffo, who said he would anoint Mr. Obama, if elected, “the first cybergenic president,” just as John F. Kennedy was considered the first telegenic president."

Republican incumbent for the U.S. 3rd Texas Congressional District, Sam Johnson, age 78, Republican incumbent for the U.S. 4th Texas Congressional District, Ralph Hall, age 85, Republican incumbent Senator John Cornyn and Republican presidential candidate Senator John McCain, age 72, all downplay the impact that 21st century alternative energy technologies can bring to American and Texas.

Do the Republicans advocate drilling more oil well holes as their exclusive U.S. energy policy because drilling holes in the ground is the most advanced technology they understand? Or, is it something else?
Multiple oil company executives did give huge contributions to Senator McCain's campaign just days after his offshore drilling change of heart. (Until very recently Senator McCain was against offshore drilling.)

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Wal-Mart Warns Store Mgrs of Democratic Win

The Wall Street Journal reported on August 1st 2008 that Wal-Mart is mobilizing its store managers and department supervisors around the country to warn them about a possible sweep of Democrats into office this November. Wal-Mart management is concerned that if Democrats win even more seats in the U.S. of Representatives and gain more seats in the U.S. Senate, perhaps up to the 60 Senator threshold required to nullify threats of Republican filibusters, the party will pass the "Employee Free Choice Act," which would make it easier for workers to unionize by signing a card rather than holding a vote. Read more the Wall Street Journal.

Several labor organizations today petitioned the Federal Election Commission (FEC) by letter to investigate Wal-Mart's alleged illegal political activism following reports the company has a program to urge employees to vote against Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama. The labor organizations petitioning the FEC by letter includes American Rights At Work, the AFL-CIO, Change to Win and A petition signed by 60,000 people was also concurrently delivered to the FEC.

The letter and petition charge that Wal-Mart made "FEC prohibited corporate expenditures by expressly advocating against Senator Obama's election" to hourly employees.

73rd Anniversary of the Social Security Act

On the 73rd anniversary of President Roosevelt's signing of the Social Security act, the grandson of the president in cooperation with DNC released a video to remind Americans about the importance of that watershed act.

"It's hard to remember now, but before Social Security, nearly half of America's seniors lived in poverty," James Roosevelt Jr., whose grandfather was Franklin Delano Roosevelt, says in a video released by the Democratic National Committee. "After a lifetime of playing by the rules and working hard, there was no guarantee of a secure retirement. My grandfather, Franklin Delano Roosevelt and a majority of Americans thought that was wrong. They believed that lifting our seniors out of poverty is a reflection of our nation's core values."

James Roosevelt Jr.

Gitmo On The Platte Set As Holding Cell For DNC

The Colorado Independent - Barbed wire, stun-gun use mark DNC warehouse jail:
Denver officials weren't planning to reveal details about where activists would be detained in the event of mass arrests during the Democratic National Convention until after the event had started, but those plans were quickly dashed this week when CBS 4News reporter Rick Sallinger not only revealed that protesters would be locked up in a city-owned warehouse, but he also obtained clear video footage inside the facility, a building that includes barbed wire-topped cages and signs warning of stun-gun use. Read the full article

CBS4 DENVER ― Gitmo On The Platte Set As Holding Cell For DNC:
CBS4 News has learned if mass arrests happen at the Democratic Convention, those taken into custody will be jailed in a warehouse owned by the City of Denver. Investigator Rick Sallinger discovered the location and managed to get inside for a look.

The newly created lockup is on the northeast side of Denver. Protesters have already given this place a name: "Gitmo on the Platte." Inside are dozens are metal cages. They are made out of chain link fence material and topped by rolls of barbed wire.

"This is a secured environment," Capt. Frank Gale of the Denver Sheriff's Department told CBS4. "We're concerned about how that's going to be utilized by people who will be potentially disruptive." In past conventions, mass arrests have taken place. With Denver's jails already overflowing, new space had to be created and officers trained.

Each of the fenced areas is about 5 yards by 5 yards and there is a lock on the door. A sign on the wall reads "Warning! Electric stun devices used in this facility."

On Wednesday afternoon Mayor John Hickenlooper's office sent a news release to CBS4 and other media explaining the purpose of the holding facility. It says there will be a community outreach program this week to explain the facility's function. Read the full article

Senator Clinton’s Name Will Be Put in Nomination

Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton’s name will be placed into nomination for the traditional state-by-state delegate roll call at the Democratic National Convention. The decision to put Senator Clinton's name up for the roll call tally was announced on Thursday afternoon in a joint statement from the senators.

“I am convinced that honoring Senator Clinton’s historic campaign in this way will help us celebrate this defining moment in our history and bring the party together in a strong united fashion,” Senator Barack Obama said in a statement.

“With every voice heard and the Party strongly united, we will elect Senator Obama President of the United States and put our nation on the path to peace and prosperity once again,” Mrs. Clinton said in a statement.

U.S. Troops Deployed Abroad Give 6:1 to Obama

Senator John McCain constantly claims that he speaks for the interests of U.S. troops and is the only candidate that represents the beliefs held by all U.S. military personnel.

The facts actually show that U.S. military personnel are increasingly rejecting McCain as their spokesman, in direct opposition the claims made by McCain and his presidential campaign spokespersons. U.S. military personnel are increasingly supporting Senator Obama and his positions on U.S. security and military issues through their campaign contributions. Obama has received nearly six times as much money from soldiers deployed overseas according a new report by Open Secrets:

Despite McCain's status as a decorated veteran and a historically Republican bent among the military, members of the armed services overall -- whether stationed overseas or at home -- are also favoring Obama with their campaign contributions in 2008, by a $55,000 margin. Although 59 percent of federal contributions by military personnel has gone to Republicans this cycle, of money from the military to the presumed presidential nominees, 57 percent has gone to Obama.

"That's shocking. The academic debate is between some who say that junior enlisted ranks lean slightly Republican and some who say it's about equal, but no one would point to six-to-one" in Democrats' favor, said Aaron Belkin, a professor of political science at the University of California who studies the military. "That represents a tremendous shift from 2000, when the military vote almost certainly was decisive in Florida and elsewhere, and leaned heavily towards the Republicans."

In 2000, Republican George W. Bush outraised Democrat Al Gore among military personnel almost 2 to 1. In 2004, with the Iraq war underway, John Kerry closed the gap with President Bush, but Bush still raised $1.50 from the military for every $1 his Democratic opponent collected.

Contributions from U.S. Troops Deployed Abroad
Recipient Total Number
Obama, Barack $60,642 134
McCain, John $10,665 26
Contributions from All Military Personnel
Recipient Total Number
Obama, Barack $335,536 859
McCain, John $280,513 558
Based on contributions made through June 31, 2008

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Mark Warner To Deliver Convention Keynote Address On Tuesday, Aug. 26th

The Obama campaign today announced that Mark Warner, Virginia's former governor and its Democratic candidate for the Senate, will deliver the convention keynote address on Tuesday, Aug. 26th. Original Blog Post

CHICAGO - The Obama for America campaign announced today that former Virginia Governor Mark Warner will deliver the keynote address at the 2008 Democratic Convention on Tuesday, August 26th, the second night of the Convention.

An innovative businessman known for his ability to work with Republicans, Democrats and Independents, campaign officials said that Warner's vision for Virginia and his leadership style echoed the Convention's theme of Americans coming together for change.

"Barack Obama believes you can't have a strong economy when you have a weak middle class," said Obama Campaign Manager David Plouffe. "Millions of Americans are struggling to get by, forced to make impossible choices about their future and the future of their families. Tuesday's Convention program will feature the voices of Americans who share Obama's concerns and strongly support his detailed economic plan to grow the economy, create jobs, restore fairness, and expand opportunity. As Governor of Virginia, Warner used his experience in business to help deliver jobs and hope to the citizens of Virginia. His work creating jobs in Southwest and Southside Virginia is a model for the rest of the Country. Like Barack Obama, Mark Warner is not afraid to challenge the status quo to bring people together and get things moving. It's that kind of spirit and innovation that resulted in his selection as keynote speaker on a night when we will be discussing how to renew America's promise."

Warner, a candidate for the United States Senate in Virginia, will speak on Tuesday night of the Democratic Convention. The theme of Tuesday's night program at the Convention is Renewing America's Promise.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Our Civic Duty to Vote and Help Get Out The Vote

A crucial election day is only months away. At stake are vital political, economic and moral issues of concern to Texans and all Americans.

During the next four years important decisions will be made about the direction and responsibilities of our government. Legislation on significant issues such as the economy, health care, energy, and the environment are just a few of the critical issue that are likely to be considered by the next Congress and Administration. Other top issues will likely include education, national security, foreign policy, and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

In addition, possibly up to three Supreme Court Justices, who will make crucial decisions affecting our lives, will be appointed to the bench during the terms of the next President and Senate. With the stakes so high, we all must work hard to extend the trend toward increasing Democratic voter turnout in Collin County during the early voting period of 10/20-10/31 and on election day November 4th.

As citizens of Texas and America we have an obligation to not just cast our ballot on election day, but to also fully participate in the election process. We must ensure that our country's policies at the local, state and national levels protect the genuine security needs of American families as well as ensure America's continued tradition of justice and equal protection under the rule of law for every American.

Every vote will count this fall toward setting our government's agenda for the benefit of ourselves, our children and our grandchildren. It is our civic duty to promptly register to vote, educate ourselves about the critical issues and each candidate's position on the issues and then vote! More than that - it is our civic responsibility to help inform our fellow citizens on the issues and candidates and to urge our fellow citizens to also go vote!

From now until election day November 4th your Democratic friends and neighbors will be in your neighborhood to Get Out The Vote. This activity is commonly referred to as GOTV. It is through this GOTV effort that your Democratic friends and neighbors are volunteering their time to register new voters and to educate their fellow citizens on the issues and candidates. During Early Voting and again on Election Day these civic volunteers will also help the elderly, handicapped or anyone without transportation travel to their respective polling place to cast their ballot.

As described on the GOTV page of the Texas Democratic Women of Collin County's website, there are three types GOTV activities that volunteers can help accomplish between now and election day:

Voter Registration
Voter registration volunteers meet at a location such as a grocery store or community event and register people to vote. It is helpful if you are a Deputy Voter Registrar, but not mandatory. To find out more information about the quick and easy process of becoming a Deputy Voter Registrar in Collin County, please call the Collin County Elections Department at 972-547-1990.
Block Walking
Volunteers meet at a designated location. After a brief training, volunteers are sent out in groups of two or more to block walk (knock on pre-designated doors) in a neighborhood. Depending on where we are in the election cycle, block walkers speak to residents about our party/candidates, hand out literature, provide yard signs, remind people to vote, and/or ask voter ID questions. You do not need to be a veteran block walker to volunteer, just a passionate Democrat. We will provide you with the scripts, literature, information and training you need.
Phone Banking
Volunteers meet at a designated location to call voters. Depending on where we are in the election cycle, callers will remind people to vote and/or ask voter ID questions. Callers will not be asking for money. You do not need to be a veteran phone banker to volunteer, just a passionate Democrat. We will provide you with the scripts and training you need.
Many Democratic groups and organizations are already ramping up each of these GOTV activities today. Prominent among the Collin County neighborhood groups ramping up all of these GOTV activities are:
All of these campaign groups and political organizations need volunteers. We need to form a large army of Democratic volunteers in Collin County this year to help Get Out The Vote! Every Democrat in Collin County knows that in this election year we do not stand alone!!

We witnessed nearly 80,000 people cast a Democratic ballot in the March 4th primary election and more than 20,000 of our fellow Democrats returned for the Democratic Precinct Conventions all across Collin County after the polls closed on election day. Pick your favorite Democratic candidate or one of the political organizations and call to volunteer today -- I promise, you will not be standing alone this year!!

The Democratic Party of Collin County especially needs Election Clerks, Poll Greeters and Poll Watchers to work on Election Day, Nov 4th. If you can work all day or even just a few hours, please phone 972-578-1483 to volunteer!

But, remember, Democratic Senate and House candidates Rick Noriega, Tom Daley and Glenn Melançon need your support! Please contribute your much needed dollars as well as your volunteer time to these candidates. President Barack Obama will need all the help he can get in congress when he takes office January 20, 2009!! PLEASE, please help send Rick Noriega, Tom Daley and Glenn Melançon to Washington to help President Obama quickly turn our country onto the right road to a 21st century America!! (I have embeded videos of many of these Democratic Candidates around this blog, so please explore and watch all the videos.)

And, don't forget -- Other local Democratic Candidates will appear on Collin County Ballots for the 2008 General Election and they must have your support too!!! These local Democratic Candidates include:
Please go to their websites and contribute what money you can spare to help them get elected. Even a dollar or two will help, if that is all you can spare!

And, don't forget your friends and relatives who might be living abroad during this election season. You can help them Get Out The Vote too.

Contributing To The Democratic Party's 2008 Platform

About a dozen people showed up for the house of Obama's precinct captain for precinct 89 on Saturday July 26th as part of Obama's nationwide Democratic Platform "Listening to America" campaign. Thousands of Obama supporters across the U.S. sent out an open invitation for people to join together to talk about the Democratic Party's 2008 Platform.

On Sunday August 10th the Obama Campaign sent out the following email to participants of those "Listening to America" discussions:

Thank you for participating in a Platform for Change Meeting in your community and for submitting your report.

The Platform Drafting Committee met last weekend in Cleveland, Ohio.

We closely reviewed all 1,200 reports and the message was clear -- Americans are hungry for change on the economy, health care, energy, and the environment.

Other top issues include education, national security, foreign policy, and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. . .

We also met with a number of platform meeting attendees to hear their personal stories about the need for a Platform for Change.

Your ideas and your language are being directly incorporated into the platform. And when the final draft is posted online after the convention, your Platform Meeting will be listed as a contributor.

Thanks to the commitment, passion, and energy of ordinary Americans like you, the Listening to America open platform was a resounding success.

Together, we are rewriting how priorities in Washington are set.

Thank you for everything you are doing,


Jeff Berman
National Delegate Director
Obama for America