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quote of the day

Thursday, March 30, 2006
From Markos over at DailyKos:

"Remember. Friday is the end of the fundraising quarter. If you have any inclination to contribute to a candidate in the near future, today is the day it can have the most impact. Even if it's $10, please give to someone, anyone. Peruse the various ActBlue fundraising pages, like the Netroots one, Firedoglake, Atrios, one of my own personal favorites James Webb in the Virginia Senate race, or your favorite candidate. "

April 29th: 50 State Neighbor to Neighbor Outreach Day

Governor Dean just announced an early and massive grassroots outreach effort, timed ahead of the 2006. It's time to start getting out message out in a simple way that positive change is possible and 2006 is a referendum on the direction of the country under Bush, NOT hundreds of individual races. The outreach focuses on a simple and clear six point message of a "Democratic Vision" of a new direction for America.
  1. Honest Leadership & Open Government
  2. Real Security
  3. Energy Independence
  4. Economic Prosperity & Educational Excellence
  5. A Healthcare System that Works for Everyone
  6. Retirement Security
To support this national outreach day, in addition to the printed materials, they have put up high resoulution PDF files you can download and print...nice. More resources, details and online signups are here...check it out...

"Dear Fellow Democrat,

Are you ready to make history?

Thanks to the overwhelming support from thousands of Democrats, who donated to get the literature for the canvass printed and shipped, we're on schedule and gearing up for the unprecedented Neighbor-to-Neighbor Organizing Day on April 29th.

On that Saturday, thousands of volunteers will recruit hundreds of thousands more Americans committed to changing the status quo this year during door-knocking events in communities across America.

Democrats have a clear vision for America, and we're going to get the word out by making personal contact with our neighbors. And along the way we will build new relationships among volunteers on the ground, a network that will have an impact beyond a single day.

Whether you've never volunteered or you're a seasoned door-knocking veteran, it is crucial that you take part in this historic organizing push.

Please RSVP for an event near you:

http://www.democrats.org/50statecanvass/find

In many states, Democratic Party staff on the ground have already put together staging areas for massive voter contact events on the 29th. Thanks to donations from people like you, hundreds of thousands of pieces of literature are being printed and shipping in bulk to those locations right now.

If there isn't an event near you, don't worry. Some state parties will have canvassing events on alternate dates, or have other important events that planned for that weekend.

You can still plan your own canvass in your community. Our online tool makes the planning process easy, and if you create your event before April 10th, we will get doorhangers to you in time for your canvass on the 29th.

You can create your own event here:

http://www.democrats.org/50statecanvass/create

Whether you're attending an event or hosting your own, we have also put together materials on the web to help you make your canvass as effective as possible."

"The Heresy of Our Time"

Monday, March 27, 2006
From Bill Moyers speech last week:

"There are no victimless crimes in politics. The cost of corruption is passed on to the people. When the government of the United States falls under the thumb of the powerful and privileged, regular folks get squashed.

We are dealing here with a vision sharply at odds with the majority of Americans. These are people who want to arrange the world for the convenience of themselves and the multinational corporations that pay for their elections. With their fundamentalist medicine men twirling the bullroarers in the woods, they would turn America into their petri dish – a replica of the Marianas, many times magnified: A society “run by the powerful, oblivious to the weak, free of accountability, enjoying a cozy relationship with government, thriving on crony capitalism,” in the words of Al Meyeroff, who led a class-action suit in behalf of the worker on the Marianas and learned what they were up against. Let this, too, sink in: If the corporate, political, and religious right have their way, we will go back to the first Gilded Age, when privilege controlled politics, votes were purchased, legislatures were bribed, bills were bought, and laws flagrantly disregarded – all as God’s will.

...These charlatans and demagogues know that by controlling a society’s most emotionally-laden symbols, they can control America, too. They must be challenged. Davidson Loehr reminds us that holding preachers and politicians to a higher standard than they want to serve has marked the entire history of both religion and politics. It is the conflict between the religion of the priests – ancient and modern – and the religion of the prophets.

It is the vast difference between the religion about Jesus and the religion of Jesus.

Yes, the religion of Jesus.
It was in the name of Jesus that a Methodist ship caulker named Edward Rogers crusaded across New England for an eight-hour work day. It was in the name of Jesus that Francis William rose up against the sweatshop. It was in the name of Jesus that Dorothy Day marched alongside auto workers in Michigan, brewery workers in New York, and marble cutters in Vermont. It was in the name of Jesus that E.B. McKinney and Owen Whitfield stood against a Mississippi oligarchy that held sharecroppers in servitude. It was in the name of Jesus that the young priest John Ryan – ten years before the New Deal – crusaded for child labor laws, unemployment insurance, a minimum wage, and decent housing for the poor. And it was in the name of Jesus that Martin Luther King Jr. went to Memphis to march with sanitation workers who were asking only for a living wage.

This is the heresy of our time – to wrestle with the gods who guard the boundaries of this great nation’s promise, and to confront the medicine men in the woods, twirling their bullroarers to keep us in fear and trembling. For the greatest heretic of all is Jesus of Nazareth, who drove the money changers from the temple in Jerusalem as we must now drive the money changers from the temples of democracy."

Don't Wait for 08: The Midterms

From the Democracy Corps strategy memo on the mid term election, including a focus on how Bush's policies by and large help the wealthy and do not focus on "The Common Good:"

"Element One: Nationalizing the election around Bush. In the Congress, Republicans are rushing to find their independence, but they have supported Bush’s direction at every step. Bush is less popular than Republicans and less trusted on the issues.

Democratic message choices are stronger when referencing Bush. Indeed, Bush is weaker than the Republicans on nearly all issues, including security, as we saw in the recent NPR survey.

Bush and the congressional Republicans have nationalized the issues that now put them
in so much difficulty. We should keep the focus there, as they try to change it.

Element Two: Bush’s direction versus new direction. The choice in this election is not very complicated, as demonstrated in the most recent Democracy Corps poll.

The Republicans want to continue Bush’s direction.
The Democrats say, we need a new direction.


...Element Three: What is wrong with Bush’s direction? He governs for the few (wealthy, corporations and CEOs), when we need an America that works for everyone.

When we ask voters what is wrong with what is happening with the Republicans in Washington, it is not a complicated story: far above all other things, voters say the Republicans “work mainly for the wealthy and corporations,” with an added number saying, they “don’t watch out for the average person.”

quote of the day

Thursday, March 23, 2006
"And if Jesus' parable of the sheep and goats is correct (Matthew 25), the Day will be less like judging a criminal trial and more like judging a livestock show. You don't need a cross-examination to tell a sheep from a goat. Day slips into day, and after decades of goatish deeds, it will be nearly impossible to turn back."

-- Frederica Mattews Green, on the Day of Judgetment of Christ

quote of the day

Wednesday, March 22, 2006
In a race with the "Democratic Establishment" very strongly behind one candidate, and the "Netroots" rushing to support the other candidates, Lindy Scott still brought in about 16% of the vote yesterday in the IL-06 primary. I'll have more thoughts later, but wanted to include this quote of the day. Thanks Lindy!...

"Where do we go from here? I will continue to advocate for the well being of all of our neighbors. I will continue to fight for better education for our children, good health care for all, fair treatment for undocumented immigrants, alternative forms of energy, and a foreign policy that respects other countries and their citizens.
I want to follow in the steps of Abraham Lincoln. He did not win every one of his elections. Nevertheless, he did transform his defeats into lessons that made him a better person and a better public servant. That is my goal. Let us continue to improve our world by serving our neighbors as ouselves."

- Lindy Scott, from his blog today

Still at 37

Bush still stuck at 37% with 57% disapprove...

We need to keep opposing Bush policies that the American people are continuing to see with disapproval...And proposing a better path.

Lindy Scott for IL-06

Monday, March 20, 2006
Especially for those readers in Chicago, take note that tomorrow is the Democratic Primary for IL-06, a race that has deservedly gotten a lot of press, and I've specifically and often praised the campaing of Lindy Scott as one to watch and support. If you live in IL-06 or have friends that do, please consider supporting Lindy.

Here are excerpts from a Feb article on his campaign from the Chicago Tribune...I think they well sum up what he has brought to this race:


If there's a stereotype of a Democrat politician--or any politician, for that matter--Lindy Scott does not fill the bill.

The trim, bearded Wheaton College professor, who's trying to succeed outgoing U.S. Rep. Henry Hyde (R-Ill.) in a west suburban congressional district, is the former pastor of a Des Plaines evangelical church and an eight-time Chicago Marathon runner.

For 16 years he taught in Mexico City, where he founded the Evangelical Free Church of Mexico, and he now teaches Spanish and the history of church-state relations in Latin America. His wife is Brazilian and their three children have tri-citizenships: the United States, Brazil and Mexico.

Though white evangelical Christians typically vote Republican, Scott says his faith led him to the other side of the aisle. "I cherish life, and life should be cherished across the board," Scott said, greeting students in the campus coffee shop with a friendly, "Hola!"

"The Democratic Party is closer to my ideals and others who are concerned for the poor, Social Security not getting privatized, no tax breaks for the wealthiest, concern for the environment. Along the whole spectrum, Democratic values are closer to my understanding of my religious beliefs.

"I'm solidly Democratic," he added. "But I'm also a unique Democrat."

That background is what Scott, 54, is hoping will help him stand out in a three-candidate 6th District Democratic primary where he is widely seen as the dark horse. The other candidates are Christine Cegelis, a Rolling Meadows businesswoman who ran against Hyde in 2004, and Tammy Duckworth of Hoffman Estates, an Iraq War veteran who has the support of the national party.

The winner will face state Sen. Peter Roskam (R-Wheaton) in November.

Scott argues he can attract moderates and turn out new voters--including Latinos--in a traditionally Republican, but changing, district. He has written several books about politics, foreign policy, social ethics and other policy issues.

He was moved to run for office the day after the 2004 presidential election. He was "saddened" that white evangelicals voted overwhelmingly for Bush, "mostly on the abortion issue, which [Bush] interpreted as a mandate on all of his policies, especially the war on Iraq..."

Scott's strategy involves expanding beyond the traditional Democratic base. He's received the endorsement of two Spanish-language newspapers. Students are walking precincts for him. And his Web site includes endorsements from more than 600 ordinary people.

"I think [my campaign] is tapping a chord of religious folk who don't like how religion has been hijacked by the far right," Scott said.

As part of an approach to "consistent across-the-board cherishing of life," Scott supports universal medical coverage and measures to curb greenhouse gas emissions. He opposes the death penalty and belongs to Democrats for Life. Although he described Roe vs. Wade as "established law," he supports parental notification for minors seeking abortions and promotes a series of proposals to make abortions rarer--including federal funding for day-care centers and insurance coverage for birth control.

"Sadly, most pro-life Republicans that I know are just pro-birth, not pro-life, because they don't care about the child or the mother after birth," he said. "How can you justify cutting [funding for] food stamps, how can you justify cutting school lunches, how can you justify cutting medical attention for children, how can you justify cutting Head Start programs, and say you're pro-life?"

Lindy Scott for Congress IL-06 Primary

Friday, March 10, 2006

I've said before, Lindy Scott's campaign in IL-06 is one to watch and support... From the Chicago Sun Times today:

"If Cegelis represents the Howard Dean tradition, Lindy Scott is forging his own -- one that is both more liberal and more conservative than his opponents'. Scott, 54, teaches Spanish and Latin American studies at Wheaton College, a school associated with evangelical Christianity. A Mennonite, he believes in restrictions on abortion, such as requiring parental notification for women under 18.

"I am by far the most dangerous Democratic candidate for Roskam. Because he knows that I appeal to the values of the swing voters," Scott said.

Scott opposes $40 billion in budget cuts approved last year that would hurt food stamps and health-care programs, he said. He would vote to roll back the Bush tax cuts and supports timetables for withdrawal from Iraq.

"All my positions are attempts to cherish life across the board," Scott said.

Scott, who spent 16 years teaching in Mexico, says he expects to do well among the district's Latino voters and growing immigrant communities. A Wheaton resident, he's married to a Brazilian woman, and they have three children.

At this stage, only one thing about the primary looks certain: It is not a slam dunk for any of the candidates."

"When Would Jesus Bolt?"

Monday, March 06, 2006
From Amy Sullivan, read the whole thing... Here are some quotes:

"In the last election, evangelicals made up 26 percent of the electorate, and 78 percent of them voted for Bush. That sounds like a fairly inviolate bloc. And, indeed, the conservative evangelicals for whom abortion and gay marriage are the deciding issues are unlikely to ever leave the Republican Party. But a substantial minority of evangelical voters—41 percent, according to a 2004 survey by political scientist John Green at the University of Akron—are more moderate on a host of issues ranging from the environment to public education to support for government spending on anti-poverty programs...

These moderates have largely remained in the Republican coalition because of its faith-friendly image. A targeted effort by the Democratic Party to appeal to them could produce victories in the short term: To win the 2004 presidential election, John Kerry needed just 59,300 additional votes in Ohio—that's four percent of the total evangelical vote in the state, or approximately 10 percent of Ohio's moderate evangelical voters. And if the Democratic Party changed its reputation on religion, the result could alter the electoral map in a more significant and permanent way....

There is a growing recognition among mainstream Democrats and the once-quiescent Religious Left that they can reframe issues they care about in terms that appeal to religious voters.

But winning over moderate evangelicals—or moderate religious voters generally—will take more than just repackaging old positions. It will require aggressively staking out new positions that can be used to demonstrate the tension within the GOP's religious/business coalition—embracing, for instance, the Workplace Religious Freedom Act. And it means forwarding new ideas that can counter the conservative-promoted image of progressives as anti-religious—ideas like Bible-as-literature courses in public high schools, which might anger some secularists on the left but are perfectly consonant with liberal values.

A sign that Democratic leaders are beginning to get it is the plan—promoted by leaders such as Harry Reid and Hillary Clinton—to lower abortion rates by preventing unwanted pregnancies. Full-throated support of this effort, and a recognition that abstinence education plays a role in lowering teen pregnancy rates (along with birth control), puts Democrats alongside the majority of voters on this difficult issue, and it is especially appealing to moderate evangelicals.

They're not looking to punish everything outside of procreative marital sex; they just want to see fewer abortions take place. And because evangelicals generally don't have the same opposition to contraception that Catholics do, Democrats can promote the kind of plan that would truly reduce abortions, something Republicans—with their reliance on right-wing Catholics—can't afford to do.

Despite all of the punditry about a “God gap” at the voting booth, this is a better moment for Democrats to pick up support from religious moderates than any other time in the past few decades. That's because evangelicals themselves are the ones who are broadening the faith agenda, insisting that there are issues they care about beyond abortion and gay marriage, connecting Gospel messages about the golden rule and the Good Samaritan to the policies they want their government to support.

For 30 years, the Republican advantage among religious voters has come from being able to successfully control the definition of “religious,” conflating it with “conservative” and encouraging the media to do the same. Measured against that yardstick, most Democrats come up short. But when the standard is more complex, when being religious also means caring about the environment and poverty and human rights and education, the plane levels. Soon enough, Republicans start to miss the mark, and Democrats get a little closer.

This is what gives Karl Rove and the other GOP headcounters heartburn...Whether or not large numbers of moderates migrate to the Democratic Party, if they succeed in expanding the scope of “religious issues,” the GOP will lose its lock on faith."

Full Text of House Dems Statement of Faith and Principles

Wednesday, March 01, 2006
Signed by 55 House members including Minority Leader Pelosi, here is an important statment on Democrats and thier Statement of Faith and Principles, issued yesterday by the Catholic Dem Representatives...Very important:

Statement of Principles

By Fifty-Five Catholic Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives

As Catholic Democrats in Congress, we are proud to be part of the living Catholic tradition -- a tradition that promotes the common good, expresses a consistent moral framework for life and highlights the need to provide a collective safety net to those individuals in society who are most in need. As legislators, in the U.S. House of Representatives, we work every day to advance respect for life and the dignity of every human being. We believe that government has moral purpose.

We are committed to making real the basic principles that are at the heart of Catholic social teaching: helping the poor and disadvantaged, protecting the most vulnerable among us, and ensuring that all Americans of every faith are given meaningful opportunities to share in the blessings of this great country. That commitment is fulfilled in different ways by legislators but includes: reducing the rising rates of poverty; increasing access to education for all; pressing for increased access to health care; and taking seriously the decision to go to war. Each of these issues challenges our obligations as Catholics to community and helping those in need.

We envision a world in which every child belongs to a loving family and agree with the Catholic Church about the value of human life and the undesirability of abortion B we do not celebrate its practice. Each of us is committed to reducing the number of unwanted pregnancies and creating an environment with policies that encourage pregnancies to be carried to term. We believe this includes promoting alternatives to abortion, such as adoption, and improving access to children's healthcare and child care, as well as policies that encourage paternal and maternal responsibility.

In all these issues, we seek the Church's guidance and assistance but believe also in the primacy of conscience. In recognizing the Church's role in providing moral leadership, we acknowledge and accept the tension that comes with being in disagreement with the Church in some areas. Yet we believe we can speak to the fundamental issues that unite us as Catholics and lend our voices to changing the political debate -- a debate that often fails to reflect and encompass the depth and complexity of these issues.

As legislators, we are charged with preserving the Constitution, which guarantees religious freedom for all Americans. In doing so, we guarantee our right to live our own lives as Catholics, but also foster an America with a rich diversity of faiths. We believe the separation of church and state allows for our faith to inform our public duties.

As Catholic Democrats who embrace the vocation and mission of the laity as expressed by Pope John Paul II in his Apostolic Exhortation, Christifideles Laici, we believe that the Church is the "people of God," called to be a moral force in the broadest sense. We believe the Church as a community is called to be in the vanguard of creating a more just America and world. And as such, we have a claim on the Church's bearing as it does on ours.

Rosa L. DeLauro
David R. Obey

Wm. Lacy Clay
Hilda L. Solis

James R. Langevin
Bart Stupak

Anna Eshoo
Bill Pascrell

Betty McCollum
Gene Taylor

Raul M. Grijalva
Carolyn McCarthy

John B. Larson
Ed Pastor

Joe Baca
William Delahunt

Tim Ryan
Silvestre Reyes

Mike Thompson
Linda T. Sanchez

Charles A. Gonzalez
Xavier Becerra

Diane Watson
Michael H. Michaud

Nydia Velazquez
Jim Marshall

Frank Pallone
John T. Salazar

James P. McGovern
George Miller

Tim Holden
James L. Oberstar

Dale E. Kildee
Patrick J. Kennedy

Cynthia McKinney
James P. Moran

Michael Capuano
Richard E. Neal

Mike Doyle
Peter A. DeFazio

Maurice Hinchey
Dennis A. Cardoza

Joseph Crowley
Jim Costa


Lucille Roybal-Allard
Loretta Sanchez

Robert Brady
Marty Meehan

Grace Napolitano
Luis V. Gutierrez

Jose Serrano
Stephen Lynch

Edward J. Markey
Nancy Pelosi

Lane Evans