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I love coming here, on occasion. Many of the posts are well written, well reasoned and supported by data, or contain heartfelt, personal narratives. Some have brought me to tears, in a good way. But I've been both encouraged and discouraged on a daily basis by some of the comments I've read here.

The comments are some of the nastiest I've read online, and on a sadly consistent basis. It's one of the reasons I don't post too often, or comment too often myself. It's just not worth the kneejerk abuse.

So I'm wondering, can we all just get along? Can we agree to disagree thoughtfully, and with liberal doses of kindess?


Will you make a resolution to be a bit nicer next year in your comments?

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The holidays are the time when we can all escape from politics, if not its effects, for a brief moment.

I'll be spending the holidays with my family, and one of our traditions is to see a film together on Christmas Day.

What should we see this year? What have you seen that you would recommend? What would you avoid?

Here are some films opening or expanding their releases on Christmas Day (in most places - they're already playing in some cities now):

Sherlock Holmes
Up in the Air
The Lovely Bones
A Single Man
It's Complicated
The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus
Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel (pass, but I love the title!)
Crazy Heart


What I'm going to see on Christmas Day

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I find it fascinating that the people here, most of whom, from my on and off reading, appear progressive, are very split on whether they support or oppose Obama's plan.

As someone who was frequently derided (still is, in person) as an Obamabot, I am frightened that so many actually support the President's plan. Here are my objections:

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Last week, Josh Nelson, in a significant diary, pointed out how ABC used a deliberately misleading headline to insinuate that RFK Jr. was fighting with Obama when he was not.

Brian Ross contacted Josh, as he noted in an update, demanding a retraction, which was not forthcoming because the diarist was accurate.

Well, ABC and Brian Ross are at it again. Consider this headline, from Brian Ross's "The Blotter" site [Update 2: here's the link]:

Air Force One Photo Op Triggers Panic in Manhattan
NYC Mayor Bloomberg Blasts Flyover as "Insensitive" and "Ill-Conceived"

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According to Reuters, Howard Dean is being considered for the post of Surgeon General.

"I would not dismiss it," one of the White House officials said of the possibility that Dean will be selected.

What does the surgeon general do?

The surgeon general leads the 6,000-member commissioned corps of the U.S. Public Health Service and is the top federal government spokesman on matters of public health.

Does Dean want the post?


Should Howard Dean be the next Surgeon General?

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Tue Sep 23, 2008 at 05:11 PM PDT

Diaries I'd read and recommend

by BetterTogether

I have many more questions than answers today. I need to find, or spur the creation of, diaries that help me answer these questions.

Here are diaries I need to find - maybe they're out there - search and tags don't help me find the best diaries. So if these have been written, by all means, tell me in the comments.


Do you feel prepared for the current and future economic crisis?

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Have you phonebanked for Obama yet?

Now is the time. He really needs every last vote to pull this off.

Hate talking on the phone??? ME TOO. But I've done it. I PROMISE, it gets easier. And some of the people you talk to are so nice. Most are polite. The few that are rude end the call quickly anyway.

You have nothing to fear. They can't see you. They don't know or care who you are. But you can have an ENORMOUS impact on the campaign by calling people.

There are a couple of ways to do this:


What are you going to do for Obama this weekend?

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UPDATE - I was a precinct captain for Obama. Anyone who knows me offline knows I'm 100% in his camp. I'm really surprised at the lack of any quality discussion. You can disagree, or ignore this. But don't call into question my 100% support for Obama. That's just ridiculous.

Imagine the coverage we would get if, at Obama's next event, people wore shirts saying Democrat against Immunity or something like that. We should not say we will or will not support Obama based on this vote - the alternative is unthinkable. But if a couple of thousand people showed up to say no to expanded surveillance powers, no to immunity, even Obama would sit up and take notice.

And he'd thank us.

There are things any politician wants to say and do, but can't because the media will turn against him. But if we show the media we are the majority (if we even are, which at this point I doubt), the media would at least give us some airtime.

If we don't provide Obama political coverage with our BODIES, not just our words on a blog, why should we expect him to put his body on the line for us?


Should DailyKos organize a FISA protest rally at the next Obama event?

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I would like to propose that DailyKos create a page that functions as a Wall of Shame so we can tell the good Democrats from the bad.

We have a lot of House cleaning to do, I fear. And it would help to have  a list that is permanently visible so that, come election time, people can check to see how their Rep voted on really important issues like this one.

I'd like to see a Wall of Shame with rankings - how many times has a member of our party voted against our best interests?


Should DailyKos put up a Wall of Shame for Democrats who betray our values?

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I wonder how many others feel the way this friend of mine does?

The more she opens her mouth the more she inserts foot.  Very unfortunate. Frankly, I am a bit shamed that I was ever behind her and voted for her in the CA primary.  Can't take that back, huh?

Hillary keeps talking about how close the vote is as a reason why she should remain in the race. But when I got this email it was suddenly clear to me. She's lost even some of her former supporters. The race is not nearly as close as it appears.

Look at the fomer Clinton supporters who are now backing Obama:

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On May 10, NATIONWIDE, the Obama campaign is asking volunteers to get involved and help register voters for the fall campaign.

If you haven't heard from the campaign re the May 10 event, call the national headquarters and ask to be connected to a coordinator in your area. The national Obama HQ number is (866) 675-2008.

You will be fully trained on what to do on May 10 at volunteer-organized centers around the country. Then you'll go out into your community and sign up as many voters as you can.

I hope many of you will participate. Online efforts are never as persuasive as offline efforts. It is important to work the ground in these campaigns. NOTHING beats direct person-to-person contact.

Thank you, and please, help out on the 10th!


Are you going to sign up to help?

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Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 06:33 AM PDT

Obama can't win

by BetterTogether

Despite having won twice as many states and having an insurmountable 124 delegate lead (plus or minus a few, depending on whose numbers you are using), in their morning conference call with reporters, Hillary Clinton's chief strategist, Mark Penn, said this:

We believe [the Pennsylvania contest] will again show that Hillary is ready to win and that Senator Obama really can't win the general election.

In Hillaryworld, if you lose a state in the primary, you're going to lose it in an election. Even if it's a large blue state that always votes Democratic.

In Hillaryworld, it's okay to diss your fellow Dem even while trying to attach yourself to his popularity by suggesting he could be your Vice President. You are applauded for doing all you can to weaken a fellow candidate.

And in Hillaryworld, this strategy is working!

Cut to the real world.

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