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There were a few others who shared transcripts, and hungrycoyote shared MSNBC video clips, but I don't like MSNBC embeds so I created this clip from C-SPAN.

President Obama's remarks at Alfred E. Smith dinner, New York City by Transcript Editors

President Obama's Best Laugh Line at Al Smith Dinner Reminding All About #RomneyShambles by the aforementioned hungrycoyote

and President Obama and Mitt Romney in Comic Faceoff at Alfred E. Smith Memorial Foundation Dinner by HoundDog

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Do you have conservative friends on Facebook? Perhaps a misguided Ron Paul supporter or two? As he was rising in popularity, I had a conversation with one friend who celebrated her contribution to Herman Cain and was look forward to receiving his campaign materials. I've had conversations on Twitter with conservatives that landed me on a couple of their lists (one respectful and one less so).

These conversations inspired me to work to expand my political dialogue with people in my circles who do not follow news as closely as I do, or who don't spend time in the liberal blogosphere. This led last week to the creation of a Facebook page: Let's Talk Politics.

Here's the page description:

Democracy at it's best is a participatory endeavor that works to improve our social contract. It works best when interested parties work together in good faith to address mutually identified problems. It works best when a responsible fourth estate acts as a watchdog toward those in power to maintain a well-informed, accurately informed citizenry.

For a number of years, as a society, we have struggled to maintain democracy at it's best. Media has neglected its watchdog role in favor of attempting to ingratiate itself with power brokers or to sell a particular narrative and point of view. Political players have grown more polarized in a zero-sum game where opponents are treated as enemies, especially (though not exclusively) by the conservative side of the spectrum. Instead of working to improve our social contract, there has been an unfortunate trend to scream about smaller government, lower taxes, and reduced government services. "Keep your government hands out of my Medicare!"

Here is an opportunity to take things out of that frame and have a passionate discussion of the issues of the day to keep ourselves informed and get back to improving the state of our social contract.
Let's talk politics!

The goal is to promote progressive ideas and values outside of a strictly progressive echo chamber. The hope is to create more informed and engaged citizens, though they might not ever be progressive activists. I'd be honored to have other Kossacks join the effort by liking the page, contributing to the dialogue, and sharing with your friends.

I also want to give a shout-out to novenator for the series Progressives Guide to Social Media. I especially recommend Progressives Guide to Social Media 6: Facebook, and today's offering Progressives Guide to Social Media 7: Google+. While I don't think novenator's goals and mine are identical, I think they are complimentary.

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Mon Mar 12, 2012 at 10:03 PM PDT

On Facebook, Let's Talk Politics

by forbodyandmind

Last week, I created a Facebook page: Let's Talk Politics. I imagine that like me, many Kossaks consume a lot of news from a lot of sources. Prior to creating the page, I would share select stories via my regular profile, reaching out to my own circle of contacts. But I wanted to do more than just share links and maybe have comments from one or two friends.

Here's the description I put together for the page.

Democracy at it's best is a participatory endeavor that works to improve our social contract. It works best when interested parties work together in good faith to address mutually identified problems. It works best when a responsible fourth estate acts as a watchdog toward those in power to maintain a well-informed, accurately informed citizenry.

For a number of years, as a society, we have struggled to maintain democracy at it's best. Media has neglected its watchdog role in favor of attempting to ingratiate itself with power brokers or to sell a particular narrative and point of view. Political players have grown more polarized in a zero-sum game where opponents are treated as enemies, especially (though not exclusively) by the conservative side of the spectrum. Instead of working to improve our social contract, there has been an unfortunate trend to scream about smaller government, lower taxes, and reduced government services. "Keep your government hands out of my Medicare!"

Here is an opportunity to take things out of that frame and have a passionate discussion of the issues of the day to keep ourselves informed and get back to improving the state of our social contract.
Let's talk politics!

My hope is to expand an open political discussion out to folks who aren't going to pursue news as actively as those of us who participate on sites like Daily Kos. I'd like people to contribute links and participate in conversations on the page. I'd also hope people share links from the page to their own profiles, again, to reach out to our broader circles of people who are not as active political news consumers as we are. By taking the discussion to Facebook, I hope to reach out to people who aren't committed to partisan media, and perhaps break through to some caught by a Fox News/conservative media bubble.

Below the fold, take a look at some of the content I've shared so far. It'd be great to join this effort. Please like the Let's Talk Politics page, and contribute to the conversation there if you're so inclined.

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The 2012 political silly season looks like it's shaping up to be even sillier than usual. It'd be nice to try and insert some rational consideration into the discussion, at least within the small circle I can reach. I'd love to have you join me.

I've got an appointment cutting into the State of the Union on Tuesday, but I'd love to have people over to review it Wednesday beginning at 7:00. I'll be dvr-ing MSNBC & Current TV coverage, so we'll have that to reference if desired. Wednesday will also give 24hrs to absorb the initial coverage.

Go ahead and join a watch party Tuesday, or watch it on your own. Take a little time to digest the coverage, and recover from any drinking game hangovers from either the President's speech or Mitch Daniel's Republican response. Then let's talk about it and the 2012 campaign Wednesday night.

My San Francisco event on Facebook.

I can host up to 12 people. If more are interested, or if you're not in San Francisco, let's get some day-after discussion parties going all over. Please post links in the comments.

Discuss

Sun Apr 10, 2011 at 09:53 PM PDT

Request for help with a project

by forbodyandmind

After last November's election, I was thinking about the issues I have with our politics, how I'd like to see them change, and wondering what I could do to bring about any of those changes. I'm not a lawyer or a journalist, or of any particular political significance. While I'm a news and politics junkie, it's not a career path for me, so time available for creation as opposed to consumption is limited, perhaps like many who lurk here, and at least some who write occasional diaries. The power of the internet and help from the Daily Kos community can resolve the issue of not being a political professional. The question then becomes how to leverage those resources and to what end.

As I see it, one of the biggest problems we have in our political dialogue these days is a huge segment of the population actively ignorant and dismissive of facts because of their reliance on media and public figures who have no qualms about misleading them. We also have a problem with an almost complete lack of accountability at the highest levels of our society. Combine these two problems with a third that most people are not news and politics junkies who take the time to take in a lot of news, much less spend time analyzing it critically. So they have next to no motivation to insist on changes, and no clear idea of what changes would actually address what problems they do perceive. Hence we get two extremes - either an apathetic and lethargic public or the Tea Partiers.

The project I have in mind is just one thing that can be done to address these issues. One word keeps running around in my head: accountability. In my perception, we have lost more and more accountability, especially at the top ever since Ford pardoned Nixon. I think it's well past time to restore it. I think it has to start at a personal level.

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Fri Feb 18, 2011 at 07:03 PM PST

Hello Again, Daily Kos

by forbodyandmind

I never had a GBCW moment or diary, but for much of the last couple of years, I've been more lurker than active member of the site. A few things lead me to return to being more active.

DK4
The 2010 election fiasco
Republicans' insane version of governing in DC and around the country
Rupert Murdoch's media empire and irrational manipulation of American political knowledge & discourse

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"They came first for the Communists, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Communist. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a trade unionist.Then they came for the Jews, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Jew. Then they came for me and by that time no one was left to speak up." Pastor Martin Niemoller

Thus Keith Olbermann begins another powerful Special Comment. This YouTube video, as well as videos, excerpts, and links to transcripts of Mayor Bloomberg's speech and President Obama's Ramadan speech are below the fold.  I've included a few additional links and my own comments following the videos and excerpts.

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President Obama has given his Labor Day speech to the AFL-CIO, and stated his continued support for the public option.

Between President Obama's speech today and the release of the "Baucus Plan", it is once again apparent that the hardest fight will be in the Senate Finance Committee. We're going to have to apply pressure to moderate and conservative Democrats, and perhaps Olympia Snowe in order to beat a filibuster or move the public option through reconciliation.

As the President has said, the public option is not the entirety of health reform. But it is a critical component. Here are the principles to uphold:

  • Reduce Cost
  • Increase Access to Care
  • Prevent denial of coverage for pre-existing conditions
  • Make insurance portable - if you like your coverage & doctor, you can keep them

The insurance exchange idea is the mechanism to achieve these goals, but the public option is a critical component of the exchange to ensure competition and affordable access to care while making insurance companies honest.

More below the fold, including links and action...

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This past week, the level of rumors and leaks about the White House being ready to abandon the public option has created at least a mini-firestorm. On Thursday, I posted A Tweet Campaign for the Public Option. While the diary itself didn't see a lot of comments or recs, there was a lot of response on Twitter. In addition, there was an independent effort on Facebook that drew the participation of 880,000 people.

There are other campaigns going on to support health reform with a strong public option. Jane Hampsher's Whip Count campaign on Firedoglake. A petition effort or two, including this one. There are letter writing and phone call campaigns.

The social media campaign for the public option is simple to engage. You can take just a few seconds to be part of it. Or you can engage it more deeply, and meet some new progressive friends in the process (and perhaps come across a few trolls as well).

Even if you're new to Twitter or Facebook, it's easy to get involved. More details below the fold, including links to tutorials for new users.

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[Updated with Twitter Tutorial links at the end.]
Anyone else getting really tired of the leaks and trial balloons being floated by the White House and some dems to abandon the public option?

I love the work Jane Hamsher, nyceve, and slinkerwink are doing promoting health care reform with a strong public option, but I wonder if we might make an additional small effort. Just a little something to send a message to Obama and wavering dems that health reform without a public option would be a mistake and perceived as a giveaway to insurance companies and Big Pharma.

For those who are friends with @BarackObama and @whitehouse on Twitter, I propose sending direct messages to those accounts. For others, I propose sending @ mentions. Below the fold, I'll suggest a few tweets to use. Just copy and paste. Can you think of a variation on the theme? Please add it in the comments.

Don't have a Twitter account? Now's a good time to get one, and you'll be able to interact with the progressive community in a another way in real time.

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Updates Complete - note @ end

I've got a meeting coming on Tuesday with Mark Herbert, an aide in Speaker Pelosi's San Francisco office who works on health care issues. I have a few people who will be joining me for that meeting, but I also wanted to ask for input here.

Below the fold, I've posted some notes to prepare for the meeting, as well as links to some recent articles, blogs, and other resources on the debate. I'd appreciate your feedback on the notes and your thoughts on framing the meeting.

I'm posting this as a work in progress in order to solicit as much feedback as I can. I'll continue to update and edit tonight through v1.0. Tomorrow or Monday, I'll post a clean pre-meeting diary, and then  a post-meeting wrap-up later in the week.

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Some months ago, I had an opportunity to have dinner with a homeless man. His story was one of having his own modest business, a house, two cars, and then losing it along with pretty much everything else when his marriage fell apart. His drifting brought him to San Francisco. As a veteran, he has access to resources at the VA, and he told me about his perception of some other veterans in similarly difficult situations who were having more trouble coping. He spoke of about veterans whose mental or physical health circumstances took away options. He told me of his own struggle to come to terms with what he had lost, as well as being grateful for his health and the fact that it gave him the opportunity to recover.

I come to reflect on this dinner because of some recent news on homelessness related to our financial crisis.

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