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By Lawrence Lessig

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Ear to the Ground
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Al Gore to the Rescue

Posted on May 19, 2008
Al Gore
Flickr / World Economic Forum

The former vice president’s “we” campaign has made a point of building bridges across the political spectrum, but it looks as though Al Gore is prepared to return to his partisan roots in order to get a Democrat back in the White House. Gore will preside over a major fundraiser that will unite Clinton and Obama donors in an effort to bring the DNC up to speed with the GOP.

(h/t: Political Wire)

Talking Points Memo:

Al Gore is set to do a major fundraising event uniting top Hillary and Obama donors on behalf of the Democratic National Committee on May 31st, a sign that the Dem fundraising establishment is beginning to unite and ramp up in earnest for the general election.

Of those listed on the invite, Maureen White, Robert Zimmerman and Al Puchala are major Hillary backers. Meanwhile, Orin Kramer, Mitchell Draizing, Brian Mathis and Jamie Whitehead are Obama supporters.

There’s a lot of chatter out there to the effect that the Republican National Committee is outraising its counterpart, the DNC, in advance of the general election.

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By cyrena, May 21, 2008 at 2:12 pm Link to this comment


I was hoping somebody might know the answer to this, because I don’t.

I’m guessing something here though, and sort of thinking out loud. I know a bit of what the rules are for the General Elections, and they are a tangeled mass of rotten worms with a loophole in each one of them.

BUT, that’s just for the general. So, in the general election, Hillary would never have been able to go into her own pocket the way she has, to keep funding her campaign.

For these primaries though, the same rules obviously don’t apply. So here’s my thought…Hillary should pay her own damn bills.

Somewhere back a few months ago, when Obama was being jammed up about his supposed ‘pledge’ to use public funding, (which he still hasn’t said that he would NOT) he suggested that one option would be for his campaign to return excess funds gained in the primaries, TO THE DONORS, and just use whatever is in the pot, in the rules determined by public financing for the general.

Now, in theory that sounds like a very upright and honest way to go about it, and would be in line with keeping his so-called pledge. In reality, there’s no way in hell that the repugs are gonna play by the rules of that.

That said however, it still doesn’t mean that ANY of those funds should go to pay off Hillary’s bills. Hillary got in trouble and ran out of money because she didn’t plan on the primaries lasting beyond February. (She expected to have the nomination by then). So, she spent up all of her money, from all of her big wall street donors. Since they gave her the max they could give way back when, she was stuck going into her own pocket.

Now if the Dems (including Obama) decide to make nice by pulling her ass out of the hole with any left over funds from the primaries, then that would probably piss off a whole lot of people, (including me) and there’s no way Hillary’s supporters would even appreciate the ‘gesture’ including Hillary herself.

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By Conservative Yankee, May 21, 2008 at 5:43 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

By cyrena, May 21 at 12:24 am #

“And no, Muslim isn’t a ‘color’”

When I was 14 and in private school in up state New York, I had a “girlfriend” who was not only a white African native, but a Muslim.  She was a lovely kind and gentle person, and fantastically smart,  but her family were Pariahs in Johannesburg where they lived   Guess that’s why she was in private school in New York?

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By cyrena, May 21, 2008 at 1:43 am Link to this comment

Sang Ze,

I’m not sure which other planet you reside on with your repug friends…but it might not be such a bad idea to consult reality from time to time…in-between the celebrations that is…

  Big GOP Losses in Congress Likely, Even if McCain Wins
  By Steven Thomma and Margaret Talev
  McClatchy Newspapers
  Sunday 18 May 2008

  Washington - Whoever wins the presidency this November, it’s all but a slam dunk they’ll be working with a Democratic Congress. And it probably will be a stronger Democratic majority with more votes than it has today.

  Even normally optimistic Republicans conceded in recent days that the landscape is stacked against them after losing their third special House of Representatives election in a row, all in what had been safe Republican districts.

  “A large segment of the American public doesn’t have confidence in the Republican Party,” said Rep. Tom Cole, R-Okla., the party’s chief political operative for House races.

  “It should be a really good Democratic year in both chambers,” said Stuart Rothenberg, editor of the Rothenberg Political Report. He’s one of the three most authoritative nonpartisan voices on congressional races, along with Charles Cook of the Cook Political Report and Larry Sabato, the director of the Center for Politics at the University of Virginia.

  They all predict that Democrats will add to their majorities in the House by six to 20 seats and in the Senate by two to five seats.

  They add that the swing could be larger, but none expect the Democrats to gain enough to be able to push legislation past a Republican filibuster in the Senate or a presidential veto in either chamber.

  It’s also possible that some of the Democratic gains could come with the election of moderate to conservative candidates - as happened on Tuesday in Mississippi. That would mean that a Democratic president - Illinois Sen. Barack Obama or New York Sen. Hillary Clinton - might have a hard time getting even a Democratic Congress to approve all of their proposals on such issues as health care and taxes.

  “Obama can propose new programs by the dozen, but odds are the Congress won’t go along with most of them,” said Sabato. “There will be enough moderates in both the House and Senate to force a new president to compromise.”

  The prospects would be worse for Arizona Sen. John McCain, the Republican candidate.

Get the rest of the scoop at the link:

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By cyrena, May 21, 2008 at 1:24 am Link to this comment

I like this story CY. And, there is a place somewhere in my aging memory, that connects another woman (of about the same time I’m thinking) to this same school in Hendersonville. (I think…I wanna go back and double check). If I’m correct, she did a lot of work as a journalist and in the Women’s movement both here and in Europe. I’ll double check some of my old course material to find out her name, which slips my mind at the moment. I just remember the school, or at least the location.

And no, Muslim isn’t a ‘color’ at all, which is the only thing I was pointing to in whatever started this whole thing. There are 1.3 billion practicing Muslims in the world, and they are all colors. I’m guessing, (though I don’t know) that there are at least as many ‘white’ ones as there are those of color.

One example of recent, (and CURRENT history) are the ethnic Albanians in the former Yugoslavia, now Kosovo/Serbia. They are Muslims and have been subjected to genocide as a result of it. They are not ‘people of color’ either.

Same with the Turks. A large portion of them are Muslim as well, but not people of color. So, that’s just something that I’m assuming that many Westerners still don’t completely understand about Muslims or Islam in general, because the current regime has so propagated it’s ‘islamophobia’ highlighting Arabs as if they are the ONLY Muslims in the world.

And, I love your mother’s story. In fact, my own stepfather has done the same, except that he (being a practical joker of sorts) has presented himself as several different races on that particular section of the applications. I can’t remember where or when it was that he wrote ‘human’ in the race box, but I do remember when he was in High School, and filled in that box with ‘Ethiopian.’ Well, Ethipian isn’t even a race, it’s a nationality. But, that didn’t stop him from getting the response that he’d been provoking. One of his older sisters, (one of only two of the 9 siblings that actually LOOKS like a person of color) was working in the school office at the time. And, back then, (in Santa Monica California) I guess it wasn’t -all that great- (at least for some) to be a person of color, if one could somehow pass themselves off as white. (And of course my dad always seemed to delight in making sure that everybody knew he WAS black, even though he didn’t appear to be). Anyway, Auntie came across this form where her little brother had filled himself in as Ethiopian, and about had a shit fit. He of course, thought it was hilarious. (But then..he WOULD…that’s why he did it).

Thank somebody things have changed somewhat, and SOME of us at least, can be less concerned about this superficial things. All blood is red. (at least when the air hits it).

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By Conservative Yankee, May 20, 2008 at 4:40 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Webb is a conservative, he was a Reagan Republican, and only changed his party affiliation to run against a weakened candidate.  Webb is far more appealing to the “Typical white guy” and those rural voters clinging to their guns and God.

Obama should pick a woman, and DEFINITELY NOT a Senator. My personal favorite is Jennifer Granholm which would solve two problems, and only create one.

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By Conservative Yankee, May 20, 2008 at 2:56 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

One must be very young, or incredibly naive to believe it matters what brand of breakfast cereal we’re munching this cycle. We’ve had about as many really Bad (bush league) presidents as we have had great ones. AND some of the “Great ones” were not that hot if you scratch the surface.

We’ll make it. These people are not as important as they think they are!

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By Sang Ze, May 20, 2008 at 11:49 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

It’s nice of Gore to want to participate, but sadly enough, it’s too late. The Republicans have mastered the course and are winning the game, and, like Gore, they’re just getting started. By the time November rolls around, we’ll already be celebrating the perpetuation of the Bush Doctrine and bowing down, eyes averted, to President McCain. Get used to it. The Democrats have once again blown it, and this time they will not recover.

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By Conservative Yankee, May 20, 2008 at 11:31 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Is Muslim a color? 

Actually Since I have Four Grandparents, Eight Great Grandparents, 16 Great Great Grandparents, I don’t imagine I’m “half” anything.

My Mother has a great story about when she first started teaching at an all girls school… Fassifern in Hendersonville N.C. she was asked on the interview application (as were all teacher applicants in the old south) her “race” She wrote in “Human” No one said anything to her, and she got the job!

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By cyrena, May 20, 2008 at 10:43 am Link to this comment

Ok CY…you got me on that one. I guess I’m pretty much the same. Or, maybe I should just say that I developed my own.

But, you DID get my point, right? Obama isn’t half white and half Muslim. smile

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By felicity, May 20, 2008 at 8:21 am Link to this comment

What are the criteria used to determine who gets funds from the DNC?  General election candidate only?  Pay off debts of would-be-but-aren’t candidates?  Anybody know?

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By Conservative Yankee, May 20, 2008 at 8:19 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)


“But, one isn’t BORN into a religion.”

Well, occasionally they are, in fact I was born into TWO religions… I’m now an a-theist.

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By cyrena, May 20, 2008 at 3:35 am Link to this comment

Thanks for the link DK.

I just wanted to add that the swiftboating tactic calling Obama a Muslim has actually been floating around for over a year, (I think long before even Obama found out about it, or else he thought it was too stupid to pay any attention to) and of course the Wright thing was manufactured by the Hillary-Rove Kitchen Sink operation. And yes, they KNEW (and hoped) that it would catch up a bunch of people in the places you’ve named.

Sadly, even a few very bright people don’t get what a Muslim is, and that might just be our own Westerner’s ignornace. I say that only because I read somewhere on the blog not long ago, someone claiming that Obama was HALF-Muslim.

Well, since that would be a little bit like being HALF-Catholic, or Half-Protestant, I’m realizing that there are a lot of folks who have no reason to understand that Islam is a RELIGION, and not a RACE, and that people would practice Islam are Muslims, like people who practice Catholicism are Catholics. But, one isn’t BORN into a religion.

Still, if one isn’t into religion at all, then they may not understand that. Now for the folks in W.VA or wherever else they may have been from, who thought Obama was a Muslim, it may be a much stronger case of ‘thickness’. (that’s a nicer word than my usual by the way, so I’ll try to remember to use that instead of ignornant, or country, or backward, or dufus, or whatever).

For some people of course, Muslim and Jeremiah Wright are just synonyms for ‘black’ and that’s really all they care about. No way are they having a black dude running anything.

Meantime, I would be delighted if Obama selected Gore. BUT…I honestly don’t know if Big Al wants the job. Ya know how he’s turned it down time and time again, and I pretty much don’t blame him.

ON THE OTHER HAND though, he might just be willing to go ahead and lend a well needed hand, now that the thing has been decided, and he’s kept himself pretty clear of all the BS. (very smart I might add). And, he would be doing it clearly from an altruistic perspective, because we know he doesn’t HAVE to. I mean, he’s already done the job, and he’s got something else going now, that he really likes, and is very, very, good at. So, if he didn’t feel like messing with this, I would seriously understand.

But, I think we need him, and I’m sure grateful he’s stepping up to do this much, because we’ll be screwed if the prima donna’s insist on whining and holding their breath just because their favorite girl didn’t win.

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By Dee Kay, May 19, 2008 at 9:00 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Here’s a great article about the electoral college possibilities for Obama:

It got me thinking… if Obama doesn’t go for my guy - Gore - then it seems to me he’s got two compelling choices. 

1.  A southern strategy with Webb - try to knock off Virginia and perhaps North Carolina. 

2.  Focus on Ohio and take Strickland.  Problem here is, from what little I saw of him on TV interviews, I wasn’t all that impressed.  I am far more impressed with Webb, and I think he helps more outside of his home state.  But 20 electoral votes is huge - by comparison, Virginia is only 13 electoral votes.

A tough call.  But I’d take Webb.

I agree with the article that you can pretty much write off Florida… or put it this way, if he wins Florida that will mean he’s approaching a blowout of over 300 electoral votes!

What perplexes me is what I have read of late that further demonstrates to me the stupidity of many average Americans.  A random sampling of a number of white ‘working class’ voters by some reporter in West Virginia (or was it Kentucky) found that a large number of them simultaneously have strong concerns about Obama’s connection to his former pastor, Jeremiah Wright, AND at the same time they also believe that Obama is a muslim.  ?!?!  A Bizzaro land of contradictions.  Some people are thick.


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