ACTION: Fight for your Freedom to Travel

(Cross-posted to Daily Kos.)

U.S. Citizens can travel to any country in the world except one. It's not the one that the U.S. fought a bloody war with 40 years ago. It's not the one that seized the U.S. embassy 30 years ago. No, we cannot travel to the country which 50 years ago overthrew a military dictator who had taken power in a coup d'état. None of these countries are democracies, but only one is subject to a travel ban.

With the announcement of the "Freedom to Travel to Cuba Act", a bipartisan initiative introduced by Sens. Byron Dorgan (D-ND) and Mike Enzi (R-WY) and Reps. Bill Delahunt (D, MA-10) and Jeff Flake (R, AZ-6) in March, it seems as if we may at last be approaching a sane policy on travel to Cuba. But first, we need to overcome the obstructionism of the gang who thinks that 50 years of failed policy isn't enough.

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Hillary Clinton and Susan Butcher

I grew up in Alaska, where every year I watched watched the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race. Mushers and teams of dogs race across 1,161 miles of difficult terrain and unforgiving winter weather. And they do it in less than two weeks. In a state where men outnumber women, and a sport almost monopolized by men, Susan Butcher became the the first woman to place competitively in the Iditarod. Year after year, she fought her way to the head of the pack. It became clear that a woman was going to win the race, and everybody knew it would be Susan Butcher.

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Clinton Labor Secretary Robert Reich to endorse Obama

Robert Reich, who served as Bill Clinton's Secretary of Labor from 1993 to 1997 told New York Magazine he will endorse Barack Obama for president on his blog. A longtime friend of Bill and Hillary Clinton, Reich says that he changed his mind about "getting into the whole endorsement thing" after seeing the negative advertisements that the Clinton campaign ran in Pennsylvania.
I've come to the point, after seeing those ads, where I can't in good conscience not say out loud what I believe about who should be president. Those ads are nothing but Republicanism. They're lending legitimacy to a Republican message that's wrong to begin with, and they harken back to the past 20 years of demagoguery on guns and religion. It's old politics at its worst -- and old Republican politics, not even old Democratic politics. It's just so deeply cynical.

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NC Edwards supporters Reps. Watt and Price endorse Obama

With the endorsements of Representatives David Price and Mel Watt of North Carolina, Barack Obama picked up his eighth and ninth congressional endorsements from supporters of John Edwards. Along with other Democratic members of North Carolina's congressional delegation, both Price and Watt supported Edwards before he suspended his campaign. Representative G.K. Butterfield of North Carolina endorsed Obama in January. North Carolina holds its primary on May 6.

Before today's announcement, Representative Stephanie Herseth Sandlin of South Dakota was the last Edwards supporter to endorse Barack Obama. South Dakota holds its primary on June 3.

Of the 16 Representatives who endorsed John Edwards, none have switched their support to Hillary Clinton. A complete list of Edwards' congressional supporters follows.

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Pickups from Edwards: Obama 6, Hillary 0

With the endorsement of Texas Representative Charlie Gonzalez (TX-20, San Antonio), Barack Obama picked up his sixth congressional endorsement from supporters of John Edwards. In the last week, Obama was also endorsed by David Obey (WI-7, northwest Wisconsin), and Congressional Progressive Caucus member Eddie Bernice Johnson (TX-30, Dallas), both of whom supported Edwards before he suspended his campaign. Each of these endorsements came from upcoming primary states: Wisconsin holds its primaries February 19 and Texas March 4. Of the 16 Representatives who endorsed John Edwards, none have switched their support to Hillary Clinton. A complete list of Edwards' congressional supporters follows.

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(UPDATE) L.A. registrar to re-examine 94,000 DTS ballots

Update [2008-2-7 4:49:32 by baudelairien]: After more than 500 complaints were lodged with California Secretary of State Debra Bowen's office, acting Los Angeles County Registrar Dean Logan ordered an examination of more than 94,000 non-partisan ballots that may not have been counted. Of 189,000 votes cast by nonpartisans in Los Angeles County, only half marked a redundant bubble indicating they were voting in a party primary. Ballots without the extra bubble marked were initially uncounted. The confusing ballot has been compared to Florida's infamous "Butterfly Ballot" of the presidential elections of 2000. (sources: Los Angeles Times, L.A. Daily News)

(Original story)"100s of thousands" of votes may be voided in CA: According to the L.A. Daily News, a confusing ballot design in Los Angeles County could cause hundreds of thousands of votes cast by independent voters to be discarded. Parallels are being drawn to the Florida's infamous "Butterfly Ballot" of the presidential elections of 2000.

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Jim Oberstar (MN-8) switches from Edwards to Obama

Minnesota Representative Jim Oberstar (8th Congressional District, including Duluth) announced that he is supporting Barack Obama for President. Oberstar joins Raul Grijalva (AZ-7) and G.K. Butterfield (NC-1) as congressional supporters of John Edwards' presidential bid who have thrown their support to Obama since Edwards left the race. Read on for a complete list of Edwards' congressional supporters, including those who have yet to endorse another candidate.

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(Updated 2/5) Barack Obama leads House in progressive endorsements

Of the top 20 progressives in the House of Representatives, as ranked by Progressive Punch's lifetime progressive score rating, Barack Obama has received 12 endorsements. Hillary Clinton has received 3. The remaining representatives have yet to endorse a candidate.

Comparison with another ideological ranking of the members of 110th Congress yielded similar results: Obama 10, Clinton 5. Read on for details on rankings and endorsements.

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