Monday, November 01, 2004

From Howard Dean

Excerpted from The Work Doesn't Stop on Election Day:

Historically, whether through the campaign of Gene McCarthy in 1968 or John McCain in 2000, the enthusiasm and hard work waned after the election.

This time we cannot let that happen. Democracy is the most highly evolved system of government ever created by human beings. And like everything else we create, it will wither and die unless we nurture it.

When I was Governor of Vermont, I used to go to schools and colleges and tell the students how important it was to vote. I don't think that any more. On an A - F scale, voting gets a "D". It is the bare minimum required to keep our democracy alive. To grow and thrive, ordinary Americans need to run for office.

Politics is too important to be left to professional politicians. It matters who is in office, from the school board to the presidency. The next election cycle is in a few months for local office, and in two years for federal office. If you love America, it's not enough just to vote. Run for office. If you cannot do that, volunteer or work on a campaign for three hours a week. Donate to a candidate's campaign. It does not have to be a lot -- it can be $5, $10, $20 -- every bit helps. That is how you stop politicians from responding only to special interests.

From Michael Moore

To All First-Time Voters:

Welcome to the longest running, uninterrupted democracy on earth! You own it. It’s yours.

A few words about how messy it’s going to be tomorrow. The lines are going to be long. Bring your iPods. Better yet, bring a friend or two. The election officials have no clue just how many millions are going to show up at the polls. This will be the largest turnout in our lifetime. They don’t have enough machines. They are going to have to send for more ballots.

And they are going to make it difficult for you to vote. The new law says if this is your first time voting you must bring ID with you that matches the address you are registered at.

If for some reason they can’t find your name on the voting rolls, you have the right to ask for a provisional ballot, which you can fill out and then sort things out later.

If you have any problems at the polling place, please call 1-866-OUR-VOTE. The people there can tell you how to find the precinct where you should be voting, get you legal help if you are denied the right to vote, or answer any other questions you may have.

If you need any help figuring out the ballot, don’t be afraid to ask. If you screw up your ballot, you can ask for another one. In fact, the law allows you to screw up your ballot two times before you finally have to submit your final ballot! Be careful to vote on the line that says John F. Kerry/John Edwards. Don’t vote for more than one Presidential, Senate or House candidate or you ballot won’t be counted. If your polling place has a stub or a receipt from your ballot, make sure they give you one.

Thanks for joining us. Democracy is not a spectator sport. It only works when we all come off the bench and participate.

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

October Surprise

Dick Cheney on 5 October in the Vice Presidential Debate:

With respect to the cost, it wasn't $200 billion. You probably weren't there to vote for that. But $120 billion is, in fact, what has been allocated to Iraq.
Today in the Washington Post:

The Bush administration intends to seek about $70 billion in emergency funding for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan early next year, pushing total war costs close to $225 billion since the invasion of Iraq early last year, Pentagon and congressional officials said yesterday. . . .

A $70 billion request would be considerably larger than lawmakers had anticipated earlier this year. After the president unexpectedly submitted an $87 billion request for the Iraq and Afghanistan efforts last year, many Republicans angrily expressed sticker shock and implored the administration not to surprise them again.

This request would come on top of $25 billion in war spending allocated by Congress for the fiscal year that began Oct. 1. The two bills combined suggest the cost of combat is escalating from the $65 billion spent by the military in 2004 and the $62.4 billion allocated in 2003, as U.S. troops face insurgencies that have proven far more lethal than expected at this point.

Monday, October 25, 2004

Open Thread

A picture is worth a thousand lives.

Freedom Loving Administration

Chris Ferris at The Gadflyer is on the mark with this one:

The cartoon is just a light way of illustrating a shocking change in Republican policies. Bush rallies require entrants to sign oaths of loyalty for the President. What happens if you're an undecided voter and you want to see what Bush has to say? Better stay at home.

Sunday, October 24, 2004

Get out the vote!


Do you live in Florida, Iowa, Nevada, or any of these states? If so... vote now!

Have some free time on your hands before election day? Travel to swing states and help win the election!

America Coming Together is organizing the swing state GOTV campaign for Democrats in battleground states.

The DSCC is paying for volunteers to travel and work for important senate races before the election.

Saturday, October 23, 2004

More Newspapers Endorse Kerry

More newspapers in critical battleground states endorsed John Kerry for President today. Papers in Florida (Orlando Sentinel), Wisconsin (Wausau Daily Herald), Iowa (Des Moines Register, Iowa City Press-Citizen), Maine (Bangor Daily News), and Pennsylvania (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette) came out against Bush's extreme policies.

They join the Washington Post, considered a national newspaper, today in demanding a new course for our country.

While these endorsements do not directly lead to a higher vote count for Kerry, they are important for shaping public opinion. People turn to newspapers for the information they use to base their decisions on how well politicians are doing. When newspapers endorse, undecided readers do not necessarily follow suit, but they are undoubtedly affected by the positive coverage.

Campaign Open Thread

Why are you voting in this election?

They Stay Negative. . . We Keep The Momentum

Today's New York Times reports more of the same. . . :

Mr. Bush's advisers said they would attempt to command the agenda in the remaining days with an intense and grisly procession of television advertisements and attacks by Mr. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney on the issue [of terrorism].
The real question though, will come down to turnout. . .

"You should start seeing some movement next week because people are trying to make up their mind," Mr. Dowd [senior Bush advisor] said. "But a big part of this is who turns out. Are Democrats more motivated than Republicans on Election Day?"
YES. We are more motivated and we're voting in stronger numbers than Republicans. The Washington Post reports that in early voting in key battleground states Dems are clowning Republicans.

In New Mexico and Nevada, about a tenth of the electorate is already "in the bank," in campaign parlance. Republicans had cast close to the same number of early votes as Democrats in the Las Vegas area, where about 70 percent of Nevada's population resides, while Democrats were running strong in the Reno area, historically a Republican stronghold.

In Iowa, where Democrats have long had an advantage in early voting, more than 200,000 ballots had been cast as of the start of this week.

In Florida, a sampling of eight counties showed a consistent pattern of Democrats turning out to cast early ballots in greater proportion than their share of registered voters, while Republicans were going to the early voting sites at or below what their registration percentages would suggest.

In Seminole County, for example, Democrats make up 31.7 percent of the registered voters but 40 percent of the early voters. The same was true in Republican-leaning Brevard County, where Fred Galey, supervisor of elections, said that he had no specific figures but that "many more Democrats" are casting ballots than Republicans.

In Osceola County, a Democratic bastion, Democrats are turning out for early voting in higher percentages than their share of registered voters, while Republicans are below their registration levels. The same was true in Hillsborough, the highly populated county where Tampa is located.

Momentum is on our side. We're more motivated and dedicated to winning this election. We're voting early, we're voting often, and we're going to win.

This is How Republicans Treat our Veterans?

John Kerry in Vietnam, 1969.  Photo by Reuters.

Stolen Honor?? Tonight, Sinclair broadcasting, a media conglomerate run by GOP partisan hacks, aired a smear ad against Sen. Kerry's service in Vietnam. That the GOP would have the gall to attack a man who volunteered for an unpopular war -- when both Bush and Cheney did what they could to stay stateside -- is apalling. There is no excuse for this. This is not the way we treat our veterans, regardless of with which party they choose to associate. This is plain sick.

No wonder military retention rates have plummetted since Bush took office. No wonder many people are rightfully concerned about a military draft if Bush gets reelected. This is part of a consistent pattern of truly embarrassing behavior. The GOP must go.

The Turning Tide

Students are taking voting more seriously. The anecdotes are frequent and powerful:

When Jesse Kayan formed the Global Justice League at St. Mary's College of Maryland two years ago, it was common that only a handful turned out for the political meetings.

But as this year's presidential election approached, he watched as dozens more students began showing up. Dormitory rooms at the small liberal-arts college in Southern Maryland have been packed for debate-watching parties. Student groups have deployed people to swing states to help sway undecided voters.

"A lot of people are deciding apathy's not the way to go if they want to make things different," said Kayan, 20, a junior.

The numbers go to back up these stories...

[T]he number of students who stated that they will "definitely be voting" on Election Day rose to 84 percent from 62 percent six months ago, the Harvard poll found. Four years ago, 51 percent of college students said that political involvement rarely has tangible benefits; this time, 26 percent of students said they believe that, according to the poll.
The tide is turning in this country. America's newest generation of voting adults will not succumb to apathy and defeat. We recognize the importance of our voice, and we will not surrender it to the special interests. This is only the beginning.