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Put yourself in Ian Pearl's position. You were diagnosed with muscular dystrophy shortly after your birth and have been confined to a wheelchair since you were six years old. Even though you were physically disabled, your brain is fully functional and you are striving to be the best you can be.

But then it happens. At 19 years old, you have a life-threatening complication that leaves you with one option: If you are to live, you must breathe with the help of a ventilator.

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It did not take long for the NRCC to announce their support of Conservative Party candidate Doug Hoffman after their candidate, Dede Scozzafava, abruptly dropped out of the race. They made the announcement earlier today, with Congressman Pete Sessions (R-TX), head of the NRCC, Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH) and Minority WHIP Eric Cantor (R-VA) releasing a joint statement calling on Republicans to support Hoffman in the 23rd congressional district.

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In the 23rd congressional district race, one thing hasn't been a certainty for Democrats: Labor endorsements.

The Working Families Party, a party run by many labor elements, has already endorsed Democratic nominee Bill Owens. In endorsing Owens, the WFP said, "As a military veteran and a proven job-creator, we know Bill Owens will put the interests of local working families first." Of course, the WFP's endorsement comes with a key minor party line, giving Owens a second line to run on in November.

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The efforts in Congress to repeal Don't Ask, Don't Tell are very much alive. There is legislation in the House which would reach this goal and Senator Kirsten Gillibrand has called for hearings that she believes will take place some time this fall, perhaps as early as this month or at some point next month.

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Last night, I watched as Keith Olbermann delivered his hour-long special comment on health care. It was arguably his best work to date. Dedicating a whole hour to one topic and in addition to that topic, his views of it. It was riveting and a true account of someone who has recently had to live through the health care system and someone who hopes that everyone should be able to do the same.

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Yesterday, I provided some details on the Democratic candidate in New York's 23rd congressional district race, Bill Owens.

In the comments reacting to the post, the big question surrounds Owens and his position on the public option. Obviously, the public option is a huge issue among progressives and the netroots. It is also a question that, in Owens' case, does not have a clear cut response.

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As John reported over the weekend, Assemblyman Greg Ball, the Republican candidate challenging Democratic incumbent John Hall in the 19th congressional district, is on the receiving end of an FEC complaint that was filed because of alleged violations of campaign finance law.

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The other day, I shattered the ugly belief that the Republican candidate in the 23rd congressional district, Dede Scozzafava, was the most liberal. That post was a direct response to Markos' post Thursday, which also included a critique of Democratic candidate Bill Owens.

One of the arguments made by Markos is that Owens is a "conservaDem" and that he would be just another member of the Blue Dog Coalition should he win in November. Owens, who was an independent but has changed his party affiliation to become a Democrat, was picked over two Democrats to run.

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Last night, Markos wrote that Republican Dede Scozzafava was "the most liberal candidate" in the 23rd congressional district race.

This doesn't surprise. A lot of people, including people here in New York, have made the same argument. Part of it has to do with a lack of research on Scozzafava. The other half of it is a lack of information on the Democratic candidate Bill Owens, who conservatives call "liberal" and some progressives like Markos have called a "Blue Dog."

After reading Markos' post multiple times, it seems he uses the following as important points for his "liberal" labeling of Scozzafava.

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I have always believed that the best way to debate is to do so in an intelligent manner free of rhetoric that has nothing to do with the topic and is completely based on politics.

But in Congressman Alan Grayson's case, I am not only giving him a pass, but I am standing up with him to say the same thing.

The Democrats have a health care plan. We want to make health insurance more affordable, make health care and the quality of care better and provide insurance to those that don't have it or aren't offered it.

The Republican plan, as Grayson said, is die quickly.

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The New York State Democratic Committee held their fall business meeting yesterday and today in Buffalo. One of the things that came out of the meeting was the passage of a resolution that expresses support for a strong public option and calling on Senator Chuck Schumer and Senator Kirsten Gillibrand to oppose Senator Max Baucus's health care plan.

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If you were running to become the junior U.S. senator from New York, where would you raise money?

Certainly, your home state (in this case, New York) comes to mind. And since New York is home to New York City, the go-to place for political fundraising dollars, you would have no problem raising funds from the large group of people willing to give the maximum amount to any candidate they like.

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