Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Educate Yourself Before Voting

By Rob, a Meat 'n' Potatoes Voter

"The biggest argument against democracy is a five minute discussion with the average voter." -Winston Churchill

Inform yourself. These sites provide information on candidates, ballot proposals, the issues, and voting procedures. Share this with friends, family, and colleagues.

Research the Candidates and Ballot Proposals

Project Vote Smart
Enter your ZIP Code to research your candidates, including:
  • Issue Positions from the Political Courage Test (some candidates are too weak to make their stances known)
  • Campaign Finances (find out who's giving them money)
  • Interest Group Ratings (certain interest groups rate the candidates)
  • Voting Records
  • Public Statements
  • Biographical Information
Michigan Voter Guide (from League of Women Voters of Michigan)
Explanation of ballot proposals and questionnaires submitted to the candidates

Watch the Presidential and Vice Presidential Debates

Presidential Debate 1

Presidential Debate 2

Presidential Debate 3

Vice Presidential Debate

Vote411 (from the League of Women Voters)
Information on election procedures.

Research the Issues

This site explains the issues in simple terms. Just click on a category on the right-hand side. I haven't checked it out too much, but it claims to be "the friendly, smart antidote to partisanship and spin. A multi-partisan organization - with conservatives, liberals and everything in between - cJ promotes open, fact-based dialogue both online and off."

"It has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except all those other forms that have been tried...." -Winston Churchill

Let's make it a little better. Share this with friends, family, and colleagues, and remember to vote.

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Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Get Out the Vote!

McCain pulling out of Michigan is old news, by now. There isn't anyone who hasn't heard, who doesn't know.

And it is for precisely that reason that the democratic campaign in Michigan has transformed from Obama vs. McCain to Obama vs. Voter Apathy.

What this means, friends, is that you need to get out and vote. There are 22 days remaining until Election Day, and even if we are leading by a massive margin at that time, it'll mean absolutely nothing if we don't vote. Voter apathy is very real, and a strong lead only makes it worse. If voters, especially first-time ones, see an inevitable win by the leads in the polls, they are less likely to get up and vote because they figure we've got it in the bag.

Now, more than ever, we need everyone we can get canvassing and calling and campaigning. You can sign up to canvass and call at the Obama Campaign for Change Office. Just putting up a yard sign is not enough.

Make sure everyone you know gets to the polls on Election Day, and have them make sure everyone they know gets to the polls, and so on and so forth. We need every vote we can get!

Get Out and VOTE for Change in November!

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Intelligence and the Presidency - Rushdie and Obama

On Monday night in Mount Pleasant we were treated to a delightful intelligent presence in author Salmon Rushdie who among other things hoped Americans would chose this time an intelligent President.

On Tuesday night we saw the difference between a Harvard-educated attorney who was the first black man to become the editor of the Harvard Law Review and a spoiled petulant Navy brat who finished near the bottom of his Naval Academy class.

On the one hand we have an old Navy brat who crashed several planes and despite "collaborating" with the enemy while imprisoned is still considered by some a "hero."

On the other hand we have a thoughtful, skilled and yes, intelligent. man speak gently and clearly about where he would lead the country.

The make believe maverick referred to his opponent as " the other one." The intelligent one disagreed without being disagreeable.

Intelligence won the debate. And with all of our help, he will be President Obama soon.

Sir Rushdie, America IS better than Europeans now think we are. We will prove it on election day 2008.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Dirty Election Tricks and How to Avoid Them

As we reach the endgame, with less than a month remaining until Election Day, parties are pulling out the stops. This means dirty tricks to keep out the vote, folks. I encourage each and every one of you to read this article and send it to all your friends.

The more who are informed, the less who are taken in and cheated out of their voice!

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Obama Rally 10/2/08

On Thursday I had the privilege and honor of seeing Sen. Barack Obama speak live at Michigan State University. Some almost 20,000 supporters and otherwise came to the rally, completely filling Adams Field and spilling out onto the street, blocking traffic. My high school, Sacred Heart Academy of Mt. Pleasant, sent along some 60 students, filling two buses - for those of you who aren't acquainted with SHA, that is nearly half of the high school.

We were lucky to be near the "front" - that is to say, 50-60 rows of people back, and barely able to see the Senator. However, see him we could, and hear him we did.

One of the first topics he touched on was voter registration, reminding us that only a few days are left until registration closes. He stressed the importance of registering friends and family and acquaintances and encouraging them to the polls come November.

He also talked a lot about the economy, especially as related to the college student and the prospective college student. He pointed out that college is expensive as is, and if the economy gets worse, higher education will become even less affordable. He discussed the absolute importance of our political and social freedoms as outlined in the Bill of Rights, as well as the American dream, and keeping that dream alive and achievable for every one of us.

The speech gave me chills and inspired me, and it was an experience I wish I could share fully with each and every one of you.

Read the official article here.

McCain Abandoned Michigan and Forgot to Tell Palin About It

In this morning's edition of the Chicago Tribune, there is a startling revelation.  Sarah Palin was not told by McCain that their campaign abandoned Michigan.  She read about it in Friday's newspaper!

Of course she didn't mention by name which newspaper she read it in - and we all saw the interview last month in which Palin couldn't specifically name any ONE newspaper that she read.

However alarming the apparent disconnect between the Republican Presidential nominee and the Republican Vice Presidential nominee is, more disturbing is the fact that it took Sarah Palin a whole half day to discover the fact that McCain was pulling out of Michigan in the first place.  By Thursday afternoon CNN and Fox News were both running stories on the planned pull-out.  Surely even if the lines of communication between McCain and Palin are broken SOMEONE on Palin's entourage is tasked with monitoring the major tv national news networks.

The reality is that now we have a Golden Opportunity to reach out to fair-minded and moderate Republicans.  McCain has turned his back on over 10 million voters by abandoning Michigan.  McCain has given us Straight Talk that he believes that there is nothing for him to gain in Michigan.  Let's reach out to our neighbors and friends and show them that there is someone in this race that really cares about us.

And lest they believe the rhetoric by Palin that she wants to visit Michigan and try and woo us, let us not forget the fact that there are parts of Alaska, the state that she is the governor of, that she hasn't even been to.

So before the voters of Michigan welcome Sarah Palin with open arms, maybe she should return to her home state and visit the parts of Alaska that she's never been to before.  Just a thought.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

It's Official: McCain is Abandoning Michigan

I had just came back from hearing Michelle Obama speak in Saginaw and was browsing the web.  A blogger on reported that anonymous Republican officials were quoted as saying that McCain would be pulling his campaign out of Michigan.  However the NYTimes has just published a more reputable story, citing statements by the McCain Campaign itself.  McCain is giving up his attempts to win over Michigan voters.  He is withdrawing his campaign staff and campaign dollars from Michigan.  

Ironically, Senator McCain gives on his own website, the following "quote of the week":
"We will disagree from time to time on a specific issue, but I promise you this:  I will never let you down and I will always, always put my country first."

Apparently Senator McCain has decided that he's going to disagree with Michigan voters on enough issues that he's not going to spend any more time in Michigan.  And if he's willing to turn his back on Michigan voters BEFORE he's elected, what does that tell us about how a potential McCain-Palin Administration would treat Michigan residents?

And just now, Steve Schmidt, the Chief Operating Officer of McCain's Presidential campaign, when asked by a reporter to comment on the campaign's decision to pull out of Michigan TURNED HIS BACK on the reporters and walked away, without responding.

And that tells us what the entire McCain organization thinks of Michigan.  Thanks for the Straight Talk, Senator!