The night after President Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act was being mercilessly attacked by U.S. Supreme Court conservatives, I was surprised to find a group of Obama volunteers cheerfully gathered in a nondescript office building east of Los Angeles to make phone calls for the president’s campaign.
Americans looking to commemorate Martin Luther King Jr. Day in a way that honored his legacy of activism and service got to work on Monday, whether by focusing on their local communities’ needs or going global to help the Haiti earthquake relief effort and other current causes.
This is just the kind of news that doesn’t bode well for the state of democracy in America: New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg shelled out $102 million of his own money in his recent successful (albeit close) run for re-election. That shakes out to about $183 per vote, and the final tally may still rise.
President Obama has called on Americans to volunteer in their communities, but the economic meltdown makes civilian service a tough sell. In this interview, Russ Finkelstein, associate director of idealist.org, argues that “we all have something to give,” even those of us without much time and money.
It looks like Barack Obama’s national community service day was a big hit. Reports of thousands of volunteers are appearing in newspaper pages from New York to Philadelphia to San Francisco. Did you participate in your own community? Let us know in the comments.
A story that Matt Drudge seized upon Thursday, about a 20-year-old McCain campaign volunteer who claimed she was assaulted near a Pittsburgh ATM by a large African-American man who took $60 from her and carved a “B” into her face after noticing a McCain sticker on her car, was fabricated by the alleged victim, according to police. Updated
Thousands of inactive service members will probably be called up to counter a decline in volunteers. The official in charge of the Marines’ manpower mobilization said he didn’t know why the numbers have been dropping off recently. Gee….