Transparency, not strongarming, the problem with forced donations

On October 4, the Chicago Tribune reported that Chicago’s Inspector General, Joe Ferguson, discovered that a large number of firms that received TIF dollars were also required to donate money to After School Matters, a charity started by Maggie Daley, the former mayor’s wife. Though other charities also received donations, After School Matters received a disproportionate number. Ferguson wasn’t denigrating the program, but did mention that there was a problem with transparency, guidelines and accountability.

This is the problem Mr. Ferguson? Transparency? more…..

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Secretary of State Clinton asks: What is the best Path Forward for Gaza?

Dipnote, the U.S. State Department blog, has a new question, what should we do about Gaza?

On March 2, Clinton will participate in the donor conference for Gaza reconstruction. Until then, she will be taking suggestions from ordinary Americans.

Here is the link. Lend your voice in our participatory democracy, or shut your piehole and live with their decisions. 🙂

Excellent explanation of the Israeli media spin

For those who don’t understand the true cost of media “spin”, here is a well-written explanation by Yonatan Mendel that even the most clueless could probably understand.

A small excerpt:

In most of the articles on the conflict two sides battle it out: the Israel Defence Forces, on the one hand, and the Palestinians, on the other. When a violent incident is reported, the IDF confirms or the army says but the Palestinians claim: ‘The Palestinians claimed that a baby was severely injured in IDF shootings.’ Is this a fib? ‘The Palestinians claim that Israeli settlers threatened them’: but who are the Palestinians? Did the entire Palestinian people, citizens of Israel, inhabitants of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, people living in refugee camps in neighbouring Arab states and those living in the diaspora make the claim? Why is it that a serious article is reporting a claim made by the Palestinians? Why is there so rarely a name, a desk, an organisation or a source of this information? Could it be because that would make it seem more reliable?….
Another example: in June 2006, four days after the Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit was kidnapped from the Israeli side of the Gazan security fence, Israel, according to the Israeli media, arrested some sixty members of Hamas, of whom 30 were elected members of parliament and eight ministers in the Palestinian government. In a well-planned operation Israel captured and jailed the Palestinian minister for Jerusalem, the ministers of finance, education, religious affairs, strategic affairs, domestic affairs, housing and prisons, as well as the mayors of Bethlehem, Jenin and Qalqilya, the head of the Palestinian parliament and one quarter of its members. That these officials were taken from their beds late at night and transferred to Israeli territory probably to serve (like Gilad Shalit) as future bargaining-chips did not make this operation a kidnapping. Israel never kidnaps: it arrests.

The Israeli army never intentionally kills anyone, let alone murders them – a state of affairs any other armed organisation would be envious of. Even when a one-ton bomb is dropped onto a dense residential area in Gaza, killing one gunman and 14 innocent civilians, including nine children, it’s still not an intentional killing or murder: it is a targeted assassination. An Israeli journalist can say that IDF soldiers hit Palestinians, or killed them, or killed them by mistake, and that Palestinians were hit, or were killed or even found their death (as if they were looking for it), but murder is out of the question. The consequence, whatever words are used, has been the death at the hands of the Israeli security forces since the outbreak of the second intifada of 2087 Palestinians who had nothing to do with armed struggle.

Read on yourself, it’s fascinating and disturbing. Read our newspapers, and watch the action words…and the modifiers. Talk about disturbing….

We don’t have an independent press, essential in a democracy. That’s why we came so close to tyranny.

From Chicago – signs of the economic hard times

On Friday and Monday, my train was empty, as were others I checked with – all coming from different directions into Chicago’s Loop (financial center). Layoffs? Four-day work weeks?

Normally one cannot find a parking space ANYWHERE near Union Station (home of Metra and Amtrak) at any time of the day, even when gas prices were $4 a gallon and our (Metra’s) ridership was up. This week – park anywhere, not a problem.

Traffic has been a nightmare for a few years now. I can’t tell you how many times an ambulance can’t get down the street because of all the cars (and the stupid people driving them who won’t get out of the way). Last week? Ambulances were flying down the street with only a siren blaring – no horns honking at all. Clear passage.

That’s good for them, but to me, is not a sign of good economic times. Sorry, they are not all riding their bikes. Actually – haven’t seen many of them lately either.

The Edens expressway, which normally starts rush hour at about 6:30am (rush hour being a euphemism for an expressway that is a parking lot), is also traffic free. Yesterday at 7:30 am, it was 19 minutes from Dempster to the Circle interchange. Normally, at that hour, it would be at least 40 minutes. 19 minutes is how long it takes at 3 in the morning.

For those of you not familiar with Chicago, this expressway leads into the Loop, the heart of Chicago’s downtown where banks, the Board of Trade, the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, the Board of Options Exchange, and the Futures Market call home. It is also the seat of city government has congressional offices, the mayor is here, the Cook County Board, courts, lawyers, pick ’em, they’re here.

No traffic.

Not good.

Russ Feingold’s transparency amendment squashed

Russ Feingold introduced amendment SA 140 to HR1, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. Here is the text of the amendment:

SA 140. Mr. FEINGOLD (for himself, Mr. MCCAIN, Mrs. MCCASKILL, Mr. GRAHAM, Mr. LIEBERMAN, Mr. BURR, and Mr. COBURN) submitted an amendment intended to be proposed to amendment SA 98 proposed by Mr. INOUYE (for himself and Mr. BAUCUS) to the bill H.R. 1, making supplemental appropriations for job preservation and creation, infrastructure investment, energy efficiency and science, assistance to the unemployed, and State and local fiscal stabilization, for fiscal year ending September 30, 2009, and for other purposes; as follows:

At the appropriate place, insert the following:

SEC. __X. CURTAILING CONGRESSIONAL EARMARKS AND LOBBYING DISCLOSURE.

(a) In General.–Title III of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974 is amended by adding at the end the following:

“CONGRESSIONAL EARMARKS

“Sec. 316. (a) In General.–On a point of order made by any Senator:

“(1) No unauthorized appropriation may be included in any general appropriation bill.

“(2) No amendment may be received to any general appropriation bill the effect of which will be to add an unauthorized appropriation to the bill.

“(3) No unauthorized appropriation may be included in any amendment between the Houses, or any amendment thereto, in relation to a general appropriation bill.

“(b) Point of Order New Legislation.–

“(1) SENATE MEASURE.–If a point of order under subsection (a)(1) against a Senate bill or amendment is sustained–

“(A) the unauthorized appropriation shall be struck from the bill or amendment; and

“(B) any modification of total amounts appropriated necessary to reflect the deletion of the matter struck from the bill or amendment shall be made.

“(2) HOUSE MEASURE.–If a point of order under subsection (a)(1) against an Act of the House of Representatives is sustained when the Senate is not considering an amendment in the nature of a substitute, an amendment to the House bill is deemed to have been adopted that–

“(A) strikes unauthorized appropriation from the bill; and

“(B) modifies, if necessary, the total amounts appropriated by the bill to reflect the deletion of the matter struck from the bill;

“(c) Point of Order Unauthorized Appropriations in Amendment.–If the point of order against an amendment under subsection (a)(2) is sustained, the amendment shall be out of order and may not be considered.

“(d) Point of Order Unauthorized Appropriations in Amendment Between the Houses.–

“(1) SENATE.–If a point of order under subsection (a)(3) against a Senate amendment is sustained–

“(A) the unauthorized appropriation shall be struck from the amendment;

“(B) any modification of total amounts appropriated necessary to reflect the deletion of the matter struck from the amendment shall be made; and

“(C) after all other points of order under this section have been disposed of, the Senate shall proceed to consider the amendment as so modified.

“(2) HOUSE.–If a point of order under subsection (a)(3) against a House of Representatives amendment is sustained–

“(A) an amendment to the House amendment is deemed to have been adopted that–

[Page: S1451] GPO’s PDF

“(i) strikes the unauthorized appropriation from the House amendment; and

“(ii) modifies, if necessary, the total amounts appropriated by the bill to reflect the deletion of the matter struck from the House amendment; and

“(B) after all other points of order under this section have been disposed of, the Senate shall proceed to consider the question of whether to concur with further amendment.

“(e) Other Points of Order.–The disposition of a point of order made under any other rule of the Senate, that is not sustained, or is waived, does not preclude, or affect, a point of order made under subsection (a) with respect to the same matter.

“(f) Supermajority.–A point of order under subsection (a) may be waived only by a motion agreed to by the affirmative vote of three-fifths of the Senators duly chosen and sworn. If an appeal is taken from the ruling of the Presiding Officer with respect to such a point of order, the ruling of the Presiding Officer shall be sustained absent an affirmative vote of three-fifths of the Senators duly chosen and sworn.

“(g) Form of Point of Order, Multiple Provisions.–

“(1) IN GENERAL.–Notwithstanding any other rule of the Senate, it shall be in order for a Senator to raise a single point of order that several provisions of a general appropriation bill or an amendment between the Houses on a general appropriation bill violate subsection (a). The Presiding Officer may sustain the point of order as to some or all of the provisions against which the Senator raised the point of order.

“(2) SUSTAINED POINT OF ORDER.–If the Presiding Officer sustains the point of order under paragraph (1) as to some or all of the provisions against which the Senator raised the point of order, then only those provisions against which the Presiding Officer sustains the point of order shall be deemed stricken pursuant to this paragraph.

“(3) MOTION TO WAIVE.–Before the Presiding Officer rules on such a point of order, any Senator may move to waive such a point of order, in accordance with subsection (f), as it applies to some or all of the provisions against which the point of order was raised. Such a motion to waive is amendable in accordance with the rules and precedents of the Senate.

“(4) APPEAL.–After the Presiding Officer rules on such a point of order, any Senator may appeal the ruling of the Presiding Officer on such a point of order as it applies to some or all of the provisions on which the Presiding Officer ruled.

“(h) Definition.–For purposes of this section, the term `unauthorized appropriation’ means a `congressionally directed spending item’ as defined in rule XLIV of the Standing Rule of the Senator–

“(1) that is not specifically authorized by law or Treaty stipulation (unless the appropriation has been specifically authorized by an Act or resolution previously passed by the Senate during the same session or proposed in pursuance of an estimate submitted in accordance with law); or

“(2) the amount of which exceeds the amount specifically authorized by law or Treaty stipulation (or specifically authorized by an Act or resolution previously passed by the Senate during the same session or proposed in pursuance of an estimate submitted in accordance with law) to be appropriated.

“(i) Conference Reports.–

“(1) IN GENERAL.–On a point of order made by any Senator, no unauthorized appropriation may be included in any conference report on a general appropriation bill.

“(2) POINT OF ORDER SUSTAINED.–If the point of order against a conference report under paragraph (1) is sustained–

“(A) the unauthorized appropriation in such conference report shall be deemed to have been struck;

“(B) any modification of total amounts appropriated necessary to reflect the deletion of the matter struck shall be deemed to have been made;

“(C) when all other points of order under this subsection have been disposed of–

“(i) the Senate shall proceed to consider the question of whether the Senate should recede from its amendment to the House bill, or its disagreement to the amendment of the House, and concur with a further amendment, which further amendment shall consist of only that portion of the conference report not deemed to have been struck (together with any modification of total amounts appropriated);

“(ii) the question shall be debatable; and

“(iii) no further amendment shall be in order; and

“(D) if the Senate agrees to the amendment, then the bill and the Senate amendment thereto shall be returned to the House for its concurrence in the amendment of the Senate.

“(3) FURTHER POINTS OF ORDER.–The disposition of a point of order made under any other provision of this section, or under any other Standing Rule of the Senate, that is not sustained, or is waived, does not preclude, or affect, a point of order made under paragraph (1) with respect to the same matter.

“(4) SUPERMAJORITY.–A point of order under paragraph (1) may be waived only by a motion agreed to by the affirmative vote of three-fifths of the Senators duly chosen and sworn. If an appeal is taken from the ruling of the Presiding Officer with respect to such a point of order, the ruling of the Presiding Officer shall be sustained absent an affirmative vote of three-fifths of the Senators duly chosen and sworn.

“(5) SINGLE POINT OF ORDER.–Notwithstanding any other rule of the Senate, it shall be in order for a Senator to raise a single point of order that several provisions of a conference report on a general appropriation bill violate paragraph (1). The Presiding Officer may sustain the point of order as to some or all of the provisions against which the Senator raised the point of order. If the Presiding Officer so sustains the point of order as to some or all of the provisions against which the Senator raised the point of order, then only those provisions against which the Presiding Officer sustains the point of order shall be deemed stricken pursuant to this subsection. Before the Presiding Officer rules on such a point of order, any Senator may move to waive such a point of order, in accordance with paragraph (4), as it applies to some or all of the provisions against which the point of order was raised. Such a motion to waive is amendable in accordance with the rules and precedents of the Senate. After the Presiding Officer rules on such a point of order, any Senator may appeal the ruling of the Presiding Officer on such a point of order as it applies to some or all of the provisions on which the Presiding Officer ruled.”.

(b) Lobbying on Behalf of Recipients of Federal Funds.–The Lobbying Disclosure Act of 1995 is amended by adding after section 5 the following:

“SEC. 5A. REPORTS BY RECIPIENTS OF FEDERAL FUNDS.

“(a) In General.–A recipient of Federal funds shall file a report as required by section 5(a) containing–

“(1) the name of any lobbyist registered under this Act to whom the recipient paid money to lobby on behalf of the Federal funding received by the recipient; and

“(2) the amount of money paid as described in paragraph (1).

“(b) Definition.–In this section, the term `recipient of Federal funds’ means the recipient of Federal funds constituting an award, grant, or loan.”.

Seems to me, this is a pretty good idea. We get to know who is lobbying for our money and the powers that be don’t get to add amendments that have nothing to do with the topic of the bill (thus no bridges to nowhere or money to paint airplanes to look like flying salmon).

Considering the democrats backed Obama, and Obama wants to change the way business is done in Washington, one would think that they would be all for this bill. But alas, no. John McCain voted for it. But Kerry, Durbin, Reid, Boxer, Feinstein….all voted against it. I don’t know why.

If you want to know how your senators voted for it, here’s the list. Contact them and ask them why. Then please post a comment so other Americans can understand just why this was such a bad thing.

U.S. Senate Roll Call Votes 111th Congress – 1st Session

as compiled through Senate LIS by the Senate Bill Clerk under the direction of the Secretary of the Senate

Vote Summary

Question: On the Amendment (Feingold Amdt. No. 140 )
Vote Number: 46 Vote Date: February 5, 2009, 05:03 PM
Required For Majority: 1/2 Vote Result: Amendment Rejected
Amendment Number: S.Amdt. 140 to S.Amdt. 98 to H.R. 1 (American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009)
Statement of Purpose: To provide greater accountability of taxpayers’ dollars by curtailing congressional earmarking and requiring disclosure of lobbying by recipients of Federal funds.
Vote Counts: YEAs 32
NAYs 65
Not Voting 2

Grouped by Home State
Alabama: Sessions (R-AL), Yea Shelby (R-AL), Nay
Alaska: Begich (D-AK), Nay Murkowski (R-AK), Nay
Arizona: Kyl (R-AZ), Yea McCain (R-AZ), Yea
Arkansas: Lincoln (D-AR), Nay Pryor (D-AR), Nay
California: Boxer (D-CA), Nay Feinstein (D-CA), Nay
Colorado: Bennet (D-CO), Nay Udall (D-CO), Nay
Connecticut: Dodd (D-CT), Nay Lieberman (ID-CT), Yea
Delaware: Carper (D-DE), Nay Kaufman (D-DE), Yea
Florida: Martinez (R-FL), Yea Nelson (D-FL), Nay
Georgia: Chambliss (R-GA), Yea Isakson (R-GA), Yea
Hawaii: Akaka (D-HI), Nay Inouye (D-HI), Nay
Idaho: Crapo (R-ID), Yea Risch (R-ID), Yea
Illinois: Burris (D-IL), Nay Durbin (D-IL), Nay
Indiana: Bayh (D-IN), Yea Lugar (R-IN), Nay
Iowa: Grassley (R-IA), Yea Harkin (D-IA), Nay
Kansas: Brownback (R-KS), Nay Roberts (R-KS), Nay
Kentucky: Bunning (R-KY), Nay McConnell (R-KY), Nay
Louisiana: Landrieu (D-LA), Nay Vitter (R-LA), Yea
Maine: Collins (R-ME), Nay Snowe (R-ME), Yea
Maryland: Cardin (D-MD), Nay Mikulski (D-MD), Nay
Massachusetts: Kennedy (D-MA), Not Voting Kerry (D-MA), Nay
Michigan: Levin (D-MI), Nay Stabenow (D-MI), Nay
Minnesota: Klobuchar (D-MN), Nay
Mississippi: Cochran (R-MS), Nay Wicker (R-MS), Nay
Missouri: Bond (R-MO), Nay McCaskill (D-MO), Yea
Montana: Baucus (D-MT), Nay Tester (D-MT), Nay
Nebraska: Johanns (R-NE), Yea Nelson (D-NE), Nay
Nevada: Ensign (R-NV), Yea Reid (D-NV), Nay
New Hampshire: Gregg (R-NH), Not Voting Shaheen (D-NH), Nay
New Jersey: Lautenberg (D-NJ), Nay Menendez (D-NJ), Nay
New Mexico: Bingaman (D-NM), Nay Udall (D-NM), Nay
New York: Gillibrand (D-NY), Nay Schumer (D-NY), Nay
North Carolina: Burr (R-NC), Yea Hagan (D-NC), Nay
North Dakota: Conrad (D-ND), Nay Dorgan (D-ND), Nay
Ohio: Brown (D-OH), Nay Voinovich (R-OH), Yea
Oklahoma: Coburn (R-OK), Yea Inhofe (R-OK), Yea
Oregon: Merkley (D-OR), Nay Wyden (D-OR), Nay
Pennsylvania: Casey (D-PA), Nay Specter (R-PA), Nay
Rhode Island: Reed (D-RI), Nay Whitehouse (D-RI), Nay
South Carolina: DeMint (R-SC), Yea Graham (R-SC), Yea
South Dakota: Johnson (D-SD), Nay Thune (R-SD), Yea
Tennessee: Alexander (R-TN), Nay Corker (R-TN), Yea
Texas: Cornyn (R-TX), Yea Hutchison (R-TX), Yea
Utah: Bennett (R-UT), Nay Hatch (R-UT), Yea
Vermont: Leahy (D-VT), Nay Sanders (I-VT), Nay
Virginia: Warner (D-VA), Nay Webb (D-VA), Nay
Washington: Cantwell (D-WA), Yea Murray (D-WA), Nay
West Virginia: Byrd (D-WV), Nay Rockefeller (D-WV), Nay
Wisconsin: Feingold (D-WI), Yea Kohl (D-WI), Nay
Wyoming: Barrasso (R-WY), Yea Enzi (R-WY), Yea

The rich stay richer and the rest of us…..?

Reuters reported today that economist and New York University Professor Nouriel Roubini predicts hundreds of banks will fail in the near future. Not a hard bet since 90 banks are already on the FDIC watch list, though the “funny” thing is, they used to tell you who they were. Now the feds keep it quiet. Afraid of runs on the banks? http://www.reuters.com/article/newsOne/idUSN0344130720080803

They also reported that Freddie Mac which insures or owns nearly half of all U.S. mortgages (I presume Fannie Mae owns the rest), had the following news to report about their financial status. They lost

$821 million, or $1.63 cents per share, compared with a profit of $729 million, or 96 cents per share, a year earlier. It follows a $151 million loss in the first quarter and brings its cumulative loss over the past four quarters to more than $4.6 billion.

And as if that isn’t enough good news, Reuters quoted Bloomberg as reporting this

Morgan Stanley told thousands of clients this week that they will not be allowed to withdraw money on their home-equity credit lines

The people whose lines are frozen had homes that lost value…….isn’t that just about everyone?

But don’t worry. Our federal government has ensured that Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae will be able to continue to survive and pay their CEOs exorbitant sums of money, and their shareholders will continue to get dividends, albeit much smaller ones, because they passed a bill to “help out the homeowners” by extending a line of credit to these gargantuan, privately owned, publicly traded institutions. Just how bailing these guys how helps us is a huge mystery, but Congress knows all.

After bailing out Bear Stearns on our dime, and passing the bankruptcy bill to our detriment in the guise of “helping us”, I worry about what happens when the banks that are borrowing billions from the Fed can’t pay it back, and there’s no one left to buy the failing banks.

And remember, the FED, our Central Bank,  is a conglomerate of yet another group of privately owned, publicIy traded banks. It is NOT a government institution. Think they’ll let that fail?

After all of the bills passed over the last several years, that seem to do nothing but ensure that stockholders get rewarded for making bad investments (they used to call that risk), and the people who run these companies, even if they fail will leave with severance packages of $40 million, I have no reason to believe they won’t hesitate to throw all of us under the bus, when these bridges fail like the rest of the infrastructure of America.

Think they’ll send you a life raft or first responder?

THEY will protect us, you say?

If you believe that, I have a piece of foreclosed property to sell you……dirt cheap.

FYI, if you want to figure out for yourself if you bank is ok, and you can read their spreadsheet, the FDIC has their financial reports online. www.fdic.gov. Pick banker rather than consumer. You can search by state, name, etc. Remember you’re only insured up to $100,000 per account holder and $250,000 if it’s an IRA.

Caveat – the FDIC only has so much money, and they don’t have enough to bail out ALL the deposits. When they run out of cash – good luck.

The Next Debate

Campaigning in Ohio, a supporter brought to Hillary Clinton’s attention, two Barack Obama mailers that criticize her health care plan and challenge her position on NAFTA, the North American Free Trade Agreement which is widely accepted to have caused much of the job losses in Ohio since its passage. Clinton angrily called Obama on the carpet and challenged him to discuss his tactics at the debate that is to take place on MSNBC, Tuesday at 8pm Central.

Clinton, who is trailing Obama in delegates and whose campaign is in serious trouble, is right to call attention to the mailers one which points out that her plan would make purchasing private health insurance mandatory for every American and would financially penalize those who don’t, and the other noting that in her book, she championed NAFTA as a victory of her husband’s administration.

In a state such as Ohio, with a high unemployment rate and a lack of jobs, such information could certainly be damaging to her failing bid for the White House.

Though the mailers are factually correct, at this point in the race, damage control is certainly in order, and today Clinton called on Obama to debate his tactics in Ohio.

Sorry Hillary, the nationally televised debate on Tuesday is not the place for a discussion of campaign strategy and political tactics.

In the last debate, an inordinate amount of time was spent asking Clinton if she truly believes Obama is all talk and no action and if she thinks he is ready to be commander-in-chief, not that the American people need either candidate’s assessment of the other in order to choose their president.
Unfortunately, not discussed in the debate were issues such as how high the cost of food has gotten, just what do the candidates consider to be an “affordable” cost for health insurance, where will they get the money for the green infrastructure they both want to build to create jobs, and how they plan to take unemployed factory workers and retrain them so they can once again have jobs that will enable them to provide a decent living for their families. And who and what will pay for all of that?

Also not discussed were issues such as Iran, our lack of a standing army, the Middle East peace process, Lebanon, Syria, Turkey’s incursion into Iraq and the United States’ obsession with spreading democracy around the world. Is that what caused the burning of our embassy in Belgrade, because that is certainly what everyone over there is saying. You’d think we would have learned about democracy spreading after the Shah of Iran, El Salvadore and Nicaragua, all dismal failures which we continue to pay for today.

Nor did we get to hear what they plan to do about lead paint in China, though Obama alluded to it. They want to rethink the free trade agreements, but no details as to what is being rethought. Hillary said we have to look at NAFTA again, though nothing specific as to what we are looking for. And Obama, though greeted with silence, mentioned that future agreements must have better wages and environmental controls built in so we can lift these countries up.

The silence should have been a clue to him that the failure to lift other countries up is not what is bothering the American people about free trade agreements.

Obama also said that companies that export jobs should be taxed and those that keep jobs here should be rewarded. He got applause for that one. Hello……..is anybody home? That is on the right track.

But Hillary wants instead, to debate Obama about his campaign tactics, something that is so irrelevant to those trying to decide who to choose for president when we live in a country that has banks borrowing billions, foreclosures in the millions, unemployment in the hundreds of thousands and heads of families working two and three minimum wage jobs because the last few presidents, including Bill Clinton, thought it would be just grand to make the United States’ most plentiful employment opportunities, low paying service jobs, and were satisfied with intellectual property being our biggest export.

No, this is neither the time nor the place to debate a couple of mailers. If your campaign is hinging on two pieces of paper that accurately describe your health care plan and quote your book, perhaps you should bow out now in the interests of party loyalty and spend the rest of the primary season helping Obama build enough momentum so that in November, we don’t find ourselves with John McCain as president committing our children, grand children and great grand children to spending the next hundred years in Iraq.

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