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As many of you already know, David Hoffman is one of the candidates for President Obama's Senate seat. He is holding a meet and greet at Johnny's Charhouse in DeKalb, IL tonight. There are also many other candidates here, including Mike Boland for Lt. Governor, Justin Oberman for Treasurer, and many local candidates.

I've been asked to post a live blog of the event and take questions. If you have any questions to ask of David, please post them in the comments. I can't garauntee that we will get to all of them, but we will do our best. Look beow the fold for updates.

~Kristen Lash
DeKalb, IL

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Mon May 26, 2008 at 08:51 AM PDT

A True Memorial Day Tragedy

by flautist

I went to my town's Memorial Day parade and ceremony today. In it was an Interfaith Network for Peace and Justice group. They carried a simple sign that said, "The Interfaith Network grieves the loss of our Illinois troops in Iraq".

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Along with that sign they carried a rope. Hanging from this rope were the names and pictures of all Illinois soldiers that have been killed in Iraq, one sheet of paper for each soldier. The rope was almost a block long, and was carried by somewhere around 30 people. (I'm kinda guessing here, I didn't count.)

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The tragedy of this situation is below the fold.

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I caught about 5 minutes of Meet the Press yesterday. It was only 5 minutes because I got so angry, I had to change the channel. Between Huckabee going on and on about how much of a maverick and non-traditional Republican McCain is with almost no challenge, and the best Democrat they could find being Harold Ford JR, I couldn't take watching it.

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Thu Apr 03, 2008 at 10:49 AM PDT

Obama and "Compromising"

by flautist

I have seen the same concern being expressed about Obama over and over again: "I don't want someone who will compromise, I want someone who will fight!" I agreed for a long time.

I have a daily calendar with wonderful quotes from different women every day. Yesterdays quote was very interesting to me. It was a quote from Daniele Vare, and Italian diplomat. She said,

Diplomacy is the art of letting someone have your way.

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Sat Mar 22, 2008 at 06:21 AM PDT

racism

by flautist

Racism has become a major issue in the context of the presidential race. We are so focused on what people are saying about Obama, what white people are saying about black people, what black people are saying about white people.

However, there is a much MUCH larger race relations problem in this country. It has nothing to do with words spoken, or even black and white skin. It has to do with a portion of this country facing 20% unemployment rates, 70% poverty rates, 45-65 year life expectancy, and some of its people still being held as political prisoners for crimes they did not commit.

I am speaking, of course, about the American Indian.

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Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 02:05 PM PDT

IL-14: I'm sorry to say, I was right.

by flautist

I could not bring myself to vote for Bill Foster, for many reasons, and I did not. The biggest reason is that I am tired of the choice between Republican and Republican-lite.

So many people told me, "But, he comes from a Good Democratic Family, and he'll be a Good Democratic Vote in Congress." To which I usually responded, "I'll believe it when I see it."

Unfortunately, I haven't seen it. IL-14 has another Republican representative. The only difference is, he has a D after his name. We have effectively traded Hastert for someone the likes of Emmanuel or Bean.

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Sat Feb 23, 2008 at 09:27 AM PST

Political Prisoners

by flautist

I missed the Texas debate on Thursday night, but I watched part of it on YouTube last night. The biggest question that stuck out to me was the question of whether the candidates would meet with the new leader of Cuba.

In their answers, both candidates mentioned that Cuba needed to release its political prisoners. Obama stated this more than once, and Clinton made it one of the conditions for her even considering a personal trip to Cuba.

All I could think was, what about OUR political prisoners?

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Sat Feb 16, 2008 at 05:04 PM PST

UPDATE (2): Reflections from NIU

by flautist

Update: Thank so much for the sympathy and support! I have a friend coming over in about a half an hour. She's meeting me at my apartment, and we are going to the "Protect NIU from Westboro" meeting. I'll let you all know how it goes.

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Sun Feb 10, 2008 at 07:41 AM PST

My Obama story

by flautist

Since it's becoming vogue now to share Obama stories, I figured I'd post mine. ;)

Obama has a good memory for people... almost eerily good. My husband met him in his run for Illinois Senate in 2004. It was in a very VERY small farm town downstate: a town of about 1,200 people. That was the first thing that impressed me: That he would even go to such a tiny little town in the most blood red area of the state there is, and meet the people there. It was about a 20 minute drive from the town we lived in, so my husband went. (I couldn't go, I had to work.)

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Sat Feb 09, 2008 at 12:21 PM PST

Stereotyping Rural Voters: Stop it!

by flautist

In light of the Nebraska caucus, I have seen so much stereotyping of rural voters. Very little of it is funny, and none of it is true.

So, I want to tell you the stories of where I come from.

I proudly call myself a hick. I love loud country music, old rusty pick-ups, and cowboy boots. The saddest part of moving to "the city" for me was not being able to find a line dancing club.

So, come on and give me some fresh air give me that farm
Give me some time with you in my arms
Far away from the hustle and the pressure and the noise

Gonna kick off my shoes
And run in bare feet
Where the grass and the dirt and the gravel all meet
Goin' back to the well gonna visit old friends
And feed my soul, where the blacktop ends

(From "Where the Blacktop Ends" by Keith Urban)

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Tue Feb 05, 2008 at 09:41 AM PST

Why I voted for Obama

by flautist

Just a quick anecdote, then I've got to get back to work! ;)

When Edwards and Kucinich both dropped out, I no longer had a proverbial horse in the presidential race (though I was an Edwards leaning undecided before he dropped out). I was torn between Hillary and Obama... both had their ups and downs, though I was definitely Obama leaning.

I had decided on him because of how much he inspires the youth. We need more involvement, and the youth is instrumental in turning our party in the progressive direction.

I have been guiding a first-time voter through the process. Follow me below the fold for her story.

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Wed Jan 23, 2008 at 10:34 AM PST

Help me Kossacks

by flautist

I don't know if this meets the requirements for a diary entry, and I can delete if it doesn't, but I need help, and I know you all can dig up extraordinary research on google. :)

This morning, I went out, started the car, turned on the rear defroster, and went back into the apartment. I came back out a few minutes later and heard a LOUD pop. I thought it was the ice cracking. Hubby went to scrape the ice off the back windshield... the glass all shattered and about a third of the back windshield fell in tiny little pieces into my back seat and dash.

So, I need your help.

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