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Saturday, November 15, 2008

Weekly Video Addresses on

...also available on YouTube.

The first one-

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Note to GOP: It's the rest of the country, stupid.

Republican governors are gathered in Miami this week for the annual Republican Governors Association meeting. According to this story on Morning Edition of WBEZ it sounds like they are really thinking hard about how to rebuild their party and make a comeback. Their insights are telling as to just how out of touch the party has been all along.

From Louisiana's Bobby Jindal:

"When the Republican Party is no longer the party of fiscal conservatism, when we start defending spending that we would have rightfully criticized on the other side — whether it's earmarks or growth in discretionary spending or new programs that we never would have tolerated if the other side had proposed it — then clearly, I would argue that we've lost our way, we've lost the reason that we stand as fiscal conservatives."

Maybe having Governor Sarah Palin on the 2008 ticket as a fiscal conservative when really she asked for more government money per person than any other state in the form of the dreaded earmarks was not such a good way to get this message across. I mean, you can call her a fiscal conservative all you like, her record says otherwise. Unless you count all that money she saved the taxpayers by having rape victims in the state of Alaska pay for their own rape kits-ok, ok their insurance paid for the kits. Seeing as Alaska has one of the highest rape counts in the country that's a lot of dough Sarah saved. Go Sarah!

And I think this observation by Republican consultant and pollster Frank Luntz is telling:

Young people increasingly communicate and get their information over the internet. The Obama campaign understood that and compiled a list of 10 million names and e-mail addresses.

"It makes him and his supporters the most powerful special interest group in all of America," Luntz said of the president-elect. "And 3 million of those people have donated to the campaign. We've never had that situation where so many people are so active and so engaged, and they can be reached by the stroke of a key."

So American voters are now a 'special interest' group? Good to know! And yeah, that internet thingy- it's quite a unifier. Maybe the term 'world wide web' should have clued you in about 10-15 years ago.

And here's an epiphany from Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman:

That paradigm shift is the narrative Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman says Republicans must embrace. Otherwise, he says, a party that has trouble reaching Hispanics, women, and African-Americans is doomed to permanent minority status.

"And if we're not able to identify the changing demographic in this country and the needs of that changing demographic in terms of the issues that really matter — education and health care and quality of life and jobs — then we're going to lose and we're going to keep losing big time," Huntsman said.

Um, ya think?

Well you can also hear it here straight from Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty.
"[The Republican party has] a deficit with women, we have a deficit with Hispanics, we have a deficit with African Americans, we have a deficit with people of modest incomes and I think the best thing that we can do as a party is reach out to "Sam's Club voters" — folks who are just focused on bread-and-butter issues..."

Note to Pawlenty- if you're still set on finding nicknames for certain demographics like "Sam's Club voters" after the whole "Joe the Plumber" and "Joe six pack" garbage you still don't get it.

I'm a total map nerd.

Presidential Election Interactive map
You can check the outcome of every presidential election from 1789 til now with this cool little tool.
It's interesting to look waaaay back and see a time when "Deomcrat' and "Republican' didn't even exist. And how 'bout the "Deomcratic Republicans" that started popping up around 1800?

More recently it's amazing to see Nixon's veritable sweep in 1972 and Reagan's in 1984.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Hitting the ground running

This article in the Washington Post shows just how serious President-elect Obama's campaign for "Change" was. Apparently he had experts working for months to find Bush policies that could be reversed or changed soon after January 20th.

A team of four dozen advisers, working for months in virtual solitude, set out to identify regulatory and policy changes Obama could implement soon after his inauguration. The team is now consulting with liberal advocacy groups, Capitol Hill staffers and potential agency chiefs to prioritize those they regard as the most onerous or ideologically offensive, said a top transition official who was not permitted to speak on the record about the inner workings of the transition.
Some changes to look for:

Obama himself has signaled, for example, that he intends to reverse Bush's controversial limit on federal funding of embryonic stem cell research, a decision that scientists say has restrained research into some of the most promising avenues for defeating a wide array of diseases, such as Parkinson's...

The new president is also expected to lift a so-called global gag rule barring international family planning groups that receive U.S. aid from counseling women about the availability of abortion, even in countries where the procedure is legal, said Cecile Richards, the president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America. When Bill Clinton took office in 1993, he rescinded the Reagan-era regulation, known as the Mexico City policy, but Bush reimposed it....

The president-elect has said, for example, that he intends to quickly reverse the Bush administration's decision last December to deny California the authority to regulate carbon dioxide emissions from automobiles. "Effectively tackling global warming demands bold and innovative solutions, and given the failure of this administration to act, California should be allowed to pioneer," Obama said in January.


Friday, November 7, 2008

President-elect Obama wastes no time-

To keep up to date on the Obama Administration or to leave a suggestion visit-

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Look real close and you can see me in Grant Park.

The red arrow- there I am!

Obama Rally in Grant Park. Yes we did!

It was a beautiful day so I took these pictures on a break from work:


I went down to Congress Parkway and people were already lining up at 2 pm:

After work I met up with some friends at Kasey's Tavern in Printer's Row.
One night every four years my dream comes true-7 screens of politics instead of sports. Ha!

My friends from Detroit had just made it in on the Amtrak and even though they didn't have tickets for the rally they were ready to celebrate-and celebrate we did:

We headed over to the rally at about 8:30. The line was damn long but we made it in just as they announced Barak Obama as the 44th President of the United States of America.
We were very happy:

The crowd was huge but everyone was so civil.

Outside of Grant Park the crown was even bigger and still very civil. It was an impromptu parade down Michigan Avenue.

My vote for cheesiest shirt of the night:

Tired but happy today!

Monday, November 3, 2008

A Day in the Life of Getting the Vote Out.

Thursday night on my way home from work I received a call from a volunteer with the Obama campaign who asked if I would I be available to volunteer this weekend. Um, sure? I had received emails for months asking me to volunteer but the times and days available always clashed with my schedule. But Sunday, Rob was scheduled to be home and not on call for the store so I agreed to go to Indiana on Sunday.
Another volunteer called on Saturday to confirm my commitment. That's when I found out we would be driving to Indianapolis-over 3 hours away! But , sure! Why not. It'll be like being in college again. Road Trip!
So I spent the rest of the day Saturday looking forward to Sunday- but also having minor anxiety attacks- 3 hours in a car with strangers there and back. What if they are all 19 years old? I mean, isn't it all college kids who do this stuff like driving 7 hours round trip in one day for political causes?
Sunday comes and I was up at 5 am and out the door at 6am. Luckily due to time change I got an extra hour of sleep.
I met with my group at 7am, was assigned a car to be in and was off by 7:30. The three other volunteers I rode with, Don, Amanda and Amy were all pleasant and fun so the trip went quickly. Amanda, Amy and myself were on our first trip to canvass. Don, however was a seasoned vet having been a volunteer on the campaign since January and told us what to expect from the day.
We arrived in Indianapolis around noon and after meeting up at the main headquarters:
we were sent to a secondary location, another volunteers house, to receive our assignments. The ladies at the house were so peppy and excited to see us. They gave us maps, lists of names, buttons, stickers and early voting literature and sent us out to canvass apartment complexes.
Basically we were to knock on doors, ask if the person on our list was home, ask that person who they were voting for, if they had already voted, if not if they planned on voting early or on Tuesday and if they needed a ride to their polling place.
All went smoothly and quickly even though we had about 75% "Not Homes" and we were in somewhat hostile territory:
And signs of the failing economy were evident:


But we were able to cover 160 homes with a return rate of about 25% and many votes for Obama. I only had 2 McCain supporters and Don had to spend 5 minutes convincing one disgruntled Clinton supporter that it was ok to vote for Obama and that Clinton herself endorses him.

We headed back to Chicago and got back into town around 8:30pm. All of my companions were discussing the ticket system for Obama's rally on Tuesday as they were all awaiting their tickets and wondering when they would arrive. I was on the wait list with no hope for tickets which I had come to terms with because let's face it, all of downtown is going to be a party that night and when I get out of work at 6pm I will be right in the thick of it, but listening to 3 excited ticket holders kinda bummed me out again.

So, at home I decompressed with Rob and before bed I checked my email. And there was a note from a friend- she had received her tickets to the election night rally and would I be her guest! Well heck yeah I will! Wheee!
Funny how things work out.