Despite rain and snow, it was standing room only at the Continental Cafe in Acton on Sunday for Jamie Eldridge’s organizational meeting. There was palpable enthusiasm in the building as voters from throughout the district and beyond joined this exciting campaign. People were impressed by the experienced and qualified staff that Jamie has put together. After the meeting portion, there was a jam packed phone bank at the HQ. In the snowy rain, Jamie and a number of others went canvassing in Lowell. Close to 75 people were in attendance either at the kick-off rally or volunteering in the afternoon. There were leaders from all over: frequent BMGer, Selectman Jay Booth of Tyngsborough, Bev Guild of Sudbury, Bonnie Winokar of the Stonewall Democrats, Xuan Kong of Acton, and newly elected DSC member, Parwez Wahid. I was impressed with the diversity in the room, from very young volunteers to experienced campaigners. Jamie was in great form and there was a real sense of excitement in the room. The campaign announced that Jamie has received the endorsement of the local Democracy for America group, and is working for the national endorsement. Voice your support and help with the DFA effort. The energy [...]
From Debbie Schlussel, a wingnut blogger who also appears regularly on Fox News Radio and other national outlets. This is from earlier today, when the Virginia Tech shooter’s nationality was unclear. Here’s what we know about the murderer of at least 32 students and maimer of at least 28 more at Virginia Tech, today: * The murderer has been identified by law enforcement and media reports as “a young Asian male.” * The Virginia Tech campus has a very large Muslim community, many of which are from Pakistan (per terrorism investigator Bill Warner). * Pakis are considered “Asian.” “Pakis.” Oh, this is going to go well. So who is the shooter? What is the shooter’s nationality? What is the shooter’s religion? Waiting to find out. And wondering why the police and media are referring to the shooter as “Asian” and not by specific nationality. If I were Asian, I’d be legitimately upset with this broad generalization of the mass murderer’s identity. Why am I speculating that the “Asian” gunman is a Pakistani Muslim? Because law enforcement and the media strangely won’t tell us more specifically who the gunman is. Why? Even if it does not turn out that the shooter [...]
One of my favorite books is Life of Pi, by Yann Martel. I was looking online for when he new book was coming out and I came across an interesting little project he has undertaken. “For as long as Stephen Harper is Prime Minister of Canada, I vow to send him every two weeks, mailed on a Monday, a book that has been known to expand stillness. That book will be inscribed and will be accompanied by a letter I will have written. I will faithfully report on every new book, every inscription, every letter, and any response I might get from the Prime Minister, on this website.” The first book he sent (today no less) was The Death of Ivan Ilych, by Leo Tolstoy Might we start a similar project for our beloved President? What book would you send?
“And who is my neighbor?” I don’t have much to say about the horror in Virginia today, except that as pointed out by Larry Johnson, this is what they go through every single day in Baghdad. I’m reminded that earlier this year a Baghdad university was hit with a suicide bomb that killed 65. That doesn’t diminish the agony and trauma that folks in Blacksburg are enduring, not one bit. In the end, it’s pointless to compare magnitudes of pain and suffering, because to the dead and those who grieve them, it’s the maximum. Life is not cheap.
One of the key things I think most people look for in a Presidential candidate is a sense of how they’ll guide us through turbulent times. Nobody can say for sure what trials we’ll specifically have to deal with in 2009. But when we look to our leaders, they can help us cope, can help us deal with the immediacy of the grief before us.
In the wake of the horrible, horrible, horrible tragedy in Virginia I think it’s safe to say that all of us are shocked by recent events. As a nation, we mourn for those who have been lost and pray for the families and friends of the students at Virginia Tech. I am looking to leaders — immediate community leaders as well as national leaders — to help guide us through this time.
Crossposted at The Eisenthal Report This morning’s Boston Globe had an op-ed piece by Eric Reeves, a professor of English Language and Literature at Smith College. Reeves has spent much of the past several years working full-time to shed light on the genocide taking place in the Darfur region of Sudan. In this morning’s Globe piece, Reeves takes film director Steven Spielberg and others to task for their participation in the Summer Olympic Games to be held in Beijing next year. Reeves argues that Sudan has been emboldened in its policy of genocide because of the diplomatic cover and economic support provided by the People’s Republic of China. He believes that China should be held accountable for this cover and support. In his view, “the only lever” that the international community has to influence China on this issue is the Olympic Games. Reeves sees artists, like Spielberg, as being very important to the pressure that should be placed on China. Reeves asks, What are the obligations of artists in the face of genocide? Spielberg and the others are at two removes from the ethnically targeted killing in Darfur; they are helping with the Olympics that China’s government cares so much [...]
You know those airline commercials that show embarrassing situations — and offer a way to escape? Think ex-Governor of Wisconsin and Presidential dark horse Tommy Thompson wants a one-way ticket somewhere else? Said Thompson: “I’m in the private sector and for the first time in my life I’m earning money. You know that’s sort of part of the Jewish tradition and I do not find anything wrong with that.” After causing “a stir in the audience,” Thompson only made matters worse by trying to apologize. “I just want to clarify something because I didn’t [by] any means want to infer or imply anything about Jews and finances and things. What I was referring to, ladies and gentlemen, is the accomplishments of the Jewish religion. You’ve been outstanding business people and I compliment you for that.” Oooooof. Well, that’s one way to get attention for your campaign. Thanks to Political Wire.
who won a Pulitzer Prize today for his series of articles exposing the Bush administration’s unprecedented use of signing statements, in which they more or less assert that they don’t have to follow the law if they don’t feel like it. Although it’s hard to prove, it does seem to me as though once the story broke on the signing statements, everyone — including Republicans — finally acknowledged just how sweeping the Bush administration’s claims of executive power really were. Congratulations to Savage and to the Globe for a well-deserved award.
Fox banner ad as seen on the Drudge Report at 6:15 pm. Worst Shooting in US History Worst News Outlet in US History. Where is the basic human decency?
Quite a lot, according to the study recently released by the Kennedy School’s David King, who undertook the study at the behest of Mayor Menino after the 2006 debacle with a number of Boston precincts running out of ballots. You can read the whole report here (pdf). Here’s the introduction: The City of Boston ran out of ballots in 38 of 254 voting precincts on Election Day, November 7, 2006. Mayor Thomas Menino requested a thorough review of the Election Department, and this report is part of that review. I received complete access to officials and documents in the course of this review. Over the past five months, I met regularly with Boston Election Department staff, and the Department rapidly implemented several reforms. For example, In November 2006, Election Commissioner Geraldine Cuddyer instituted weekly team meetings to improve communication within the Department. In January 2007, and upon the request of the Election Advisory Committee, Mayor Menino introduced legislation asking the State of Massachusetts to allow for “Early Voting,” by which citizens could vote in person up to two weeks before Election Day. If the State allows this change, it will be easier for shift-workers to vote at their convenience, and [...]