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I grew up when almost everyone said "America is noy=t ready for a black President." Or, at best, "IS America ready for a black President?"

Well we learned the answer in 2008, but in some ways the extreme (and extremist) hostility against President Obama, right down to the refusal to even recognize him as a legitimate American because of his skin color, has sometimes made me wonder whether 2008 was a fluke and too much racism remains in America for the idea of a black President to be widely accepted for very long.

Well, thanks to these photos in this diary by Scott Woodlege, I now know that the election of Barack Obama as President of the US of A in 2008, though certainly not the end of racism in America, was a MAJOR milestone in history.

From the original article:

In this key swing state, Obama stopped at Big Apple Pizza & Pasta
Italian Restaurant, where he was greeted by owner Scott Van Duzer, a
muscular man dressed in a gray T-shirt and matching athletic shorts...

Van Duzer is a registered Republican, but he voted for Obama in 2008 and said he will do so again in November.

"I don't vote party line, I vote who I feel comfortable with, and I do
feel extremely comfortable with him," he said. Apparently, the Secret
Service gave him the go-ahead to lift Obama "as long as I didn't take
him away."

 Looking at this I KNOW, even more strongly than I had before, that Obama is going to sweep the floor with Romney in November. To quote a friend of mine, fellow Brooklyn blogger Rock Hackshaw, "It won't even be close."

My fear is this: Congress will be even more obstructionist than ever and Obama will have a hard time getting anything done. This is a very real danger and it could keep the hope and progress Obama stands for from moving forward.

That is why we have to win big in both the Senate and the House. I have already raised almost $2000 for this...I want us to raise more.

If you just want to cut to the chase, here are my two Act Blue Sites working towards this goal:

CLICK HERE FOR MY SENATE 2012 ACT BLUE SITE

CLICK HERE FOR MY HOUSE 2012 ACT BLUE SITE

See below for key races. (PS...I have been asked to break this down into smaller units...I intend to do that if I get the chance...but not today)

Let' start with the Senate.

Tammy Baldwin
WI-Sen

This is one I particularly want to win. I want to see Democrats really sweep Wisconsin to show the Repubs we do NOT appreciate their anti-women, anti-union, anti-working class and anti-middle class "values."

Republicans are gunning hard for Tammy and may well win. We have to fight HARD for this one.

Elizabeth Warren
MA-Sen

A top Progressive and one of our best pick up shots.

Claire McCaskill
MO-Sen

McCaskill is fighting against Mr. "Legitimate Rape" Akin. Need I say more?

Tim Kaine
VA-Sen

Virginia is a big battleground state, as always these days. Winning this race is part of the overall strategy of pushing Virginia more solidly Blue. This is one of the main tossup races for the Senate this year and we HAVE to win it.

Joe Donnelly
IN-Sen

Another Blue Dog and quite conservative. But I have had something of a soft spot for Donnelly. Plus this is one of the few chances of actually winning more Senate seats. Next to Virginia, this is the closest Senate race this year and one we have to win.

Jon Tester
MT-Sen

A Blue Dog but if we want to keep the Senate we need him.

Shelley Berkley
NV-Sen

Something of a longshot but worth fighting for. Plus Nevada is a swing state so pushing it Bluer is a worthy goal.

Bill Nelson
FL-Sen

This race is looking pretty good for Nelson, but given that it is Florida, who knows what crap the Repubs will pull. We need to solidly win to avoid the Greedy Oil Party from stealing it.

Now let's turn to the House. There are LOTS of races. These are the ones I choose to focus on because they are close races, they are in critical districts and/or they include really good candidates.

Christie Vilsack
IA-04

This is one of the most critical races in 2012. A key swing district in a key swing state, this race also pits the excellent Christie Vilsack against Teabagger extremist Steven King who is so mean spirited he even was one of only eleven Congressmen (all Republicans) who voted AGAINST giving aid to the victims of Hurricane Katrina. This is a clear cut choice between Vilsack's effective and compassionate leadership and King's disgusting right wing extremism.

Bill Foster
IL-11

Bill Foster is an excellent candidate. A brilliant scientists and successful entrepreneur he brings much needed expertise to Congress...something that we desperately need. He is very much a moderate running in a moderate district. A perfect fit.

Bill Foster has been endorsed by the Associated Firefighters of Illinois, AFL-CIO State Federation of Illinois, Illinois Federation of Teachers, Amalgamated Transit Union Local #308, and many others.

Pat Kreitlow
WI-07

Patrick Kreitlow is the Democratic Candidate in this seat. Another key swing district in a key swing district. This seat is currently held by Sean Duffy (R). Wisconsin has been such a major battlefield this really is a seat we need to win. Let's show the Republicans that Wisconsin is going blue.

Patrick Kreitlow has been endorsed by the Intl. Association of Firefighters, Steelworkers Union, National Farmers Union, NARAL Pro-Choice America Intl. Brotherhood of Teamsters, AFL-CIO, League of Conservation Voters, Planned Parenthood Action Fund Sierra Club, United Auto Workers, WI Federation of Nurses, and WI Alliance for Retired American, among others.

Charlie Wilson
OH-06

One of the most critical districts in the country...the Presidency and the House could ride on this one district. It is considered a weak Repub hold but we can knock that out.

Charlie Wilson has been endorsed by International Association of Fire Fighters, International Association of Iron Workers (IPAL), Building and Construction Trades - AFL-CIO, International Association of Machinists, International Brotherhood of Teamsters, United Steel Workers and many others.

Betty Sue Sutton
OH-16

Another critical swing district in Ohio. It is considered a weak Repub hold but we can win if we try.

Betty Sue Sutton has been endorsed by Cleveland Stonewall Democrats, Ohio Association of Professional Fire Fighters, Cleveland Building & Construction Trades Council C.O.P.E., Tri-County Regional Labor Council, AFL-CIO, Fraternal Order of Police, Districts 1 & 8, Coalition of Women Voters, North Shore AFL-CIO, and many others.

Ami Bera
CA-07

A great candidate running against entrenched Republican incumbent Dan Lungren. Ami Bera is a doctor and formerly former Chief Medical Officer for the County of Sacramento. He would be an excellent addition to Congress.

Joe Miklosi
CO-06

Another swing district in a key swing state. Joe Miklosi is the Democratic candidate in this district. This is considered a very weak hold by the GOP and very likely a pick up by Democrats if we fight hard. This seat is currently held by Mike Coffman (R).

John Oceguera
NV-03

NV-3 is another critical swing district this year and this is a very weak Repub seat. John Oceguera has a good shot at winning if we fight hard for it. He is a firefighter and paramedic, someone we definitely could use in Congress!

Jose Hernandez
CA-10

Jose Hernandez is a former astronaut running for Congress against a right wing extremist. What more could you want?? Weakly held Repub district.

Carol Shea-Porter
NH-01

NH-1 is another swing district in a swing state and another weakly held Repub district. This would be a great one to win.

Ann McLane Kuster
NH-02

NH-2 is a swing district we have real shot of winning.

Paul Hirschbiel
VA-02

VA-2 is a key swing district in Virginia, a key swing state. Very business oriented, but that may be what we need to win this district. And his opponent is anti-choice, anti-women's rights, anti-gay, bigoted and has always spent hundreds of thousands of his own money to buy elections. We can do better. Paul Hirschbiel will give us better.

Alan Grayson
FL-09

Alan Grayson is one of the most powerful progressive voices in America, and he has a real shot at defeating a Teabagger incumbent. Yet another swing district in a swing state.

Keith Fitzgerald
FL-16

Aiming to defeat Vern Buchannan, one of the WORST teabaggers out there.

Patrick Murphy
FL-18

Aiming to defeat yet another horrible teabagger, Alan West.

Joe Garcia
FL-26

Joe Garcia is one of our best candidates this year. This is a close race and one we need to focus HEAVILY on.

Herb Rule
AR-02

This seat is currently held by Tim Griffin (R). I was born in this district and would love to see it flip true blue.

YOU CAN MAKE THE DIFFERENCE. 2012 is going to be a pivotal year in history because it is NOW we decide whether we keep following the failed republican vision or start refocusing our nation's vision to something better. Obama will win. But we need Congress too and we need you to achieve that.

CLICK HERE FOR MY SENATE 2012 ACT BLUE SITE

CLICK HERE FOR MY HOUSE 2012 ACT BLUE SITE

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Comment Preferences

  •  The presidential is over, time (0+ / 0-)

    to focus on other things. Right?

    Sorry, but there is a big difference between being unequivocally ahead in the race in early September, and winning the race in early November. Anybody who encourages the left to stand down, even slightly, in the presidential is doing the Romney campaign a giant favor.

    •  Seriously??? (6+ / 0-)

      Sorry, but give me a break. I am advocating making the Repubs fight along a much larger front. I am hiving no ground let alone advocating standing down.

      FREEDOM ISN'T FREE: That's why we pay taxes. I Had A Thought

      by mole333 on Mon Sep 10, 2012 at 07:07:56 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  The title says (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        MetallicaFan34

        "Obama is going to win". That sounds like someone who is way too confident 2 months before an election.

        •  Rising tide lifts all boats (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          mole333, Marjmar, Glinda, Larsstephens

          Injecting energy into congressional races and getting more Democrats to the polls will help the President as well.  It's sort of just two different target blocs of voters.  The presidential race will inspire people through Obama's appeal (or fear of President Romney) and that will help in some congressional races.  And then there are people tuned out to the presidential race who may wind up voting Obama if we can get them interested in supporting the Democrat in their district.  

          When the truth is only a matter of opinion, advantage goes to the liars.

          by Sun dog on Mon Sep 10, 2012 at 07:51:15 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Exactly (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Sun dog, xanthippe2, Larsstephens

            The focus is almost exclusively on the Presidential horse race. And it would take some major upset to change the trajectory of the Presidential race now that the Obama campaign has, as it were, seized the high ground.

            But the future of our country will depend on the outcome of dozens of Congressional races at least as much as it does on the Presidential outcome. And there is no where near as much focus on Congressional races and many are far closer than the PResidential race.

            I see no disadvantage to pouring a heap of effort into these key Congressional races. If Obama already has the high ground, focusing on Congress protects his flanks and further disorders the Republican ranks. They are already on the defensive for President. Make them go on the defensive for Congress as well.

            FREEDOM ISN'T FREE: That's why we pay taxes. I Had A Thought

            by mole333 on Mon Sep 10, 2012 at 07:56:27 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  That's how I see it (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              mole333, Larsstephens

              Particularly because it's not a zero sum game.   It's not like everyone who pours effort into a congressional race would otherwise be putting that effort into the presidential race.  It's a way to activate more people.  

              It's the same with targeting 'Leaning Romney' states.  Make them defend places he absolutely needs at this point.  Keep him on his heels now.  Hold the initiative.  

              When the truth is only a matter of opinion, advantage goes to the liars.

              by Sun dog on Mon Sep 10, 2012 at 08:13:18 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

    •  This site has been Congress-focused since Day 1 (6+ / 0-)

      but when we get into a presidential election year, the presidential race becomes too dominant (imho).  Makes sense when the POTUS race is a true dead heat, neck and neck.  This one is not a dead heat at this time, and there has NEVER been a period where Romney is as ahead of Obama as Obama is currently ahead of Romney.

      We are too focused on the POTUS race where we need to be equally, if not more so, focused on House and Senate unless the POTUS race reverts to neck and neck.  This diary and the others like it are extremely important.  

    •  Do some electoral college math..er..arithmatic. nt (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mole333
      •  Meaning what? (0+ / 0-)

        Add up the electoral votes today, based on telephonic polls? And that tells us all we need to know about an election in 2 months?

        •  Yeah do that. Sounds logical. Ugh! nt (0+ / 0-)
        •  Let's not get split (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Larsstephens

          You are not wrong and I am not wrong. Bottom line is from what most of us can see given, in my case, decades of experience, Obama is doing fine. SURE something could change the dynamics, but he is on top and Romney is faltering. In every way.

          Congress, by contrast, is slipping through our fingers. Boosting Congressional candidates boosts, in general, voter turnout for Pres. The reverse is also true but with a weaker correlation.

          What I propose will help everyone on the Dem side.

          But that does not mean Obama doesn't deserve attention as well. I just feel like people are going to get that message anyway without my effort. Some of these Congressional races are practically ignored yet are close races where turnout can help Obama. Take IA-4. KEY RACE and could help sew up a lean Obama state. Just one example. There are others.

          So make you a deal. Donate to one of my sites and I will eagerly donate to the Obama campaign. We cover both bases. I will try to match your donation, though I may not be able to manage, but I will do my best.

          Deal?

          FREEDOM ISN'T FREE: That's why we pay taxes. I Had A Thought

          by mole333 on Mon Sep 10, 2012 at 01:31:14 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  I support President Obama 100%, but (0+ / 0-)

      I wish people would stop with the overconfidence. It's early September, a lot can happen between now and early November.

  •  i agree that Congress needs to be a bigger focus (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Torta

    One quibble. People with limited money probably shouldn't spend it on races we're unlikely to be competitive in. And while I love Tammy Baldwin, her race is no longer close. Take a look at this:

    http://www.realclearpolitics.com/...

    Not just slightly behind, way behind. Repubs in the primary voted for their best candidate for a change (instead of the teanuttiest), Tommy Thompson, and the former governor is oddly popular in Wisc.

    People in Wisc. should still fight for her and people with enough money to contribute to every Dem should. But those with limited funds can get more bang in other races.

    Confusing stuff in italics at the end of my comment.

    by tremayne on Mon Sep 10, 2012 at 07:11:06 AM PDT

  •  Time to pile it on (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mole333

    Like when I used to play hockey and you were up 3-1 going into the third period, my coach would always say

    "Okay, looks like we're gonna win, now lets make em remember they played us"

    --Enlighten the people, generally, and tyranny and oppressions of body and mind will vanish like spirits at the dawn of day. - Thomas Jefferson--

    by idbecrazyif on Mon Sep 10, 2012 at 07:13:19 AM PDT

    •  I use a different analogy (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      idbecrazyif, Glinda

      Being an old war gamer but not so into sports I think more about not just focusing on your main thrust in an advance but covering both flanks as well.

      Our center looks good. Now let's hit their flanks.

      FREEDOM ISN'T FREE: That's why we pay taxes. I Had A Thought

      by mole333 on Mon Sep 10, 2012 at 07:21:27 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Since I generally work better at opposition (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mole333, idbecrazyif

        I go for Carville's "when your opponent is drowning, throw him an anchor"
        And mole, we have a situation here in CT that you may have overlooked.
        Linda McMahon, of WWE fame, is running for the seat that Lie berman is vacating. She has tons of money and this is her second try (she spent $40m of her own cash last time) so she has wide recognition. Her opponent, Chris Murphy, is struggling, very little cash and nearly unknown outside of his district. We are going to need all the help we can get to prevent this Dem seat from going GOP.

  •  We still have to work hard for Obama (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mole333, Torta, xanthippe2, CwV, bewareofme

    but I love the summaries and videos of the candidates in these important races.

    Obama is going to be able to govern a lot better if Nancy Pelosi is House Speaker.  Also, I don't expect to win the House in 2012, but if we do well perhaps a better shot will arrive in 2014.  We need to keep at this, even in the off years.

    I'm not liberal. I'm actually just anti-evil, OK? - Elon James White

    by Satya1 on Mon Sep 10, 2012 at 07:32:16 AM PDT

  •  Interesting diary. (0+ / 0-)

    Yes, let's win congress and increase our margin in the senate, by all means. But, please, a presidential win, isn't a foregone conclusion. It's looking hopeful right now, but we sure can't know the future.  Please re-think your title.

    It's here they got the range/ and the machinery for change/ and it's here they got the spiritual thirst. --Leonard Cohen

    by karmsy on Mon Sep 10, 2012 at 07:43:44 AM PDT

    •  Help Obama succeed : "Dont forget congress" (4+ / 0-)

      for a title...

      the bottom line... what has screwed obama's first term from being a greater success? Congress completely.  

      First, I agree we need to keep senate majority.
      second, we absolutely need to make gains in congress to avoid the horrible obstructionist gridlock.

      "We have always known that heedless self-interest was bad morals; we know now that it is bad economics" - F.D.R.

      by biscobosco on Mon Sep 10, 2012 at 07:59:55 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  With all due respect you forgot one - Rich Carmona (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mole333, Larsstephens

    Is going to be the next Senator from Arizona!

    David Koch, a teacher and a Tea Partier sit down a table with a plate of a dozen cookies. Koch quickly stuffs 11 cookies in his pockets, leans to the bagger and says "watch out, the union thug will try to steal your cookie".

    by Dave in AZ on Mon Sep 10, 2012 at 08:12:12 AM PDT

    •  Great candidate, but... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Dave in AZ

      I think he would be excellent, but sadly I am not seeing indications that it is a competitive race at the moment. I am trying to hit races that are fairly close. However if there are polls I am missing that show it tightening up I would happily add him.

      FREEDOM ISN'T FREE: That's why we pay taxes. I Had A Thought

      by mole333 on Mon Sep 10, 2012 at 08:29:55 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  PPP had it tied 38-38 in late July (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mole333, Larsstephens

        and that was the last poll. The same PPP poll had Romney 52-41 over Obama, so I don't think the poll was skewed toward Dems. I don't think Romney is going to carry AZ by more than 5-6 points - they're not including Libertarian Gary Johnson, and I think he'll pull 6-7%, mainly from conservatives who can't stand Mitt.

        No polling since the Aug. 28 primary when Flake clobbered Wil Cardon, I hope PPP cpmes back soon.

        David Koch, a teacher and a Tea Partier sit down a table with a plate of a dozen cookies. Koch quickly stuffs 11 cookies in his pockets, leans to the bagger and says "watch out, the union thug will try to steal your cookie".

        by Dave in AZ on Mon Sep 10, 2012 at 08:57:03 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Added (0+ / 0-)

      I have confirmed this is a close race. Added it to my Senate 2012 site.

      Want to help fundraise? I will match as close as I can to the next donation on this site:

      https://secure.actblue.com/...

      FREEDOM ISN'T FREE: That's why we pay taxes. I Had A Thought

      by mole333 on Wed Sep 12, 2012 at 04:59:34 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Bill Foster represented my district for a while. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mole333, Larsstephens

    He was wonderful.

    Don't forget about Wanda Rohl, either...with redistricting, my district has gotten more conservative, but we're fighting for our social worker progressive candidate in IL-16!

    http://rohlforcongress.com/

  •  Herb Rule? (0+ / 0-)

    Seriously?  The guy just got pulled over for DWI.  Let's get behind Scott Ellington in AR-01.  Rick Crawford barely won in 2010 against a terrible candidate.  This is a great pickup opportunity.  

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