Road Trip for One America Leads Me Through a Snowstorm

I don't know what it is with our luck. Two weeks ago, TomP and I got caught in an ice storm when we canvassed in Iowa. On Saturday, it was the snow. It started snowing Friday night, it snowed all morning, and it snowed all day in Burlington. Join me below the jump for our little adventure. Bring your mittens, a scarf, and a thermos of hot chocolate!

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Edwards Rocks At the DMR Debate

A focus group watching today's debate began with only 10% supporting Edwards as a first choice. After watching Edwards' performance, that figure skyrocketed to 50%.

Watch the video:

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I took a Road Trip for One America, and You Can, Too!

Crossposted at Daily Kos

On Saturday, I went canvassing in Iowa, where a two year old boy offered me cookies on his front porch, a 75 year old retiree treated me to a discussion of the caucus system, and a 100 year old woman gave me a hug. TomP (yes, that TomP) and I decided to spend our Saturday away from the internets by helping out the Edwards campaign in the closest Iowa field office, which happens to be in Burlington, just a short 4 hour drive away. TomP and another dedicated local supporter pulled up at my house a little before 7am, and several CDs, a couple of pit stops, and a lot of coffee and conversation later, we arrived in Burlington.

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House to Vote on FISA Overhaul Today!

Crossposted fromShow Me Progress.

A couple of important votes are coming up this week, the SCHIP veto override on Thursday and the FISA-revising RESTORE Act today. More on the SCHIP vote soon.

Following up on this post, I got in touch with the office of my reliably progressive congressman, the Honorable William Lacy Clay, Jr. I received no clear answer on telecom immunity or basket warrants from the staffers I talked to, but today I received an e-mail from Congressman Clay's office that concerned me. From the e-mail:

[The RESTORE Act] would create Programmatic Authorizations that would resolve the confusion over whether the intelligence community needs individualized warrants for foreign targets if there is a risk that they might be communicating with American citizens; this would be achieved through a program of collection against the foreign target, that,  upon proper application and review, would facilitate intelligence gathering for an "organization" and effectively eliminate the need for individual warrants against a "particular" terrorist suspect.[emphasis mine]

In other words, the bill would legalize warrants that did not require the government to specify at whom it is targeted, as long as the government could claim a link to a suspicious "organization". I don't know about you, but the thought of my government being able to spy on me, my friends, and family without being forced to name a reason terrifies me.  I don't trust a Supreme Court with Roberts, Alito, and Thomas on it to confirm its unconstitutionality, either.

If a congressman as liberal as Clay is defending this provision, we are in trouble indeed. Get on the phone NOW and let your representative know that blanket warrants are not OK. And pass this message along to your friends!

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Storm Clouds for Giuliani

Crossposted from Show Me Progress

Right now, Rudy Giuliani is riding high in the saddle. He leads the Republican field in national polling, he just raised the most cash of any Republican in the third quarter (he was just in Clayton, MO for a $1,000/plate shindig), and he does best among his rivals in head-to-head matchups with Democratic candidates. But all is not well in Rudyland.

For starters, Christian conservatives on a national level are threatening to split with the Republican Party if the GOP nominates a candidate insufficiently committed to "family values." Focus on the Family head James Dobson explicitly stated this in a New York Times op-ed piece:

Reports have surfaced in the press about a meeting that occurred last Saturday in Salt Lake City involving more than 50 pro-family leaders. The purpose of the gathering was to discuss our response if both the Democratic and Republican Parties nominate standard-bearers who are supportive of abortion[...]After two hours of deliberation, we voted on a resolution that can be summarized as follows: If neither of the two major political parties nominates an individual who pledges himself or herself to the sanctity of human life, we will join others in voting for a minor-party candidate. Those agreeing with the proposition were invited to stand. The result was almost unanimous. [emphasis mine]

Dobson also rejected electability arguments for candidates like Rudy:

The other approach, which I find problematic, is to choose a candidate according to the likelihood of electoral success or failure. Polls don't measure right and wrong; voting according to the possibility of winning or losing can lead directly to the compromise of one's principles.

On a local level, St. Louis' Archbishop Raymond Burke is reprising his role from 2004. Instead of pointing his finger at the Democrats, this time he's aiming at Giuliani. Asked whether he would deny Communion to Giuliani if the former NY mayor attended Mass in the Basilica, Burke replied, "If the question is about a Catholic who is publicly espousing positions contrary to the moral law and I know that person knows it, yes I would." (DHinMI has a fascinating look at this topic on Daily Kos.)

So what does all of this mean for Missouri?

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Missouri AG Race: The Answers to This Week's Question

Crossposted from Show Me Progress. I know we have a few Missourians here at MyDD, so if you are from the Show Me State, consider responding over at our site. Even if you're not from Missouri, I'd love to hear your comments.

Before I give you the answers to this week's question, I want to tip my hat to Representatives Jeff Harris and Margaret Donnelly, not only because they are participating in this forum, but because they have agreed to return all contributions over the reinstated fundraising limits. (From what I understand, Chris Koster has also now agreed to return all excess contributions, so he gets a tip of the hat, too.)

And without further adieu, in the order received, the answers to this week's question: "What job that you've held in the past has best prepared you for the job of Attorney General? Why?"

If you like either answer, or if you like both, please show some support to the candidate(s) with some cash. Representative Harris' ActBlue page is here, and Representative Donnelly's is here

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Missouri AG Candidates Respond to Bloggers

Crossposted from Show Me Progress. I know we have a few Missourians here at MyDD, so if you are from the Show Me State, consider responding over at our site. Even if you're not from Missouri, I'd love to hear your comments.

On Monday, we introduced a new feature here at Show Me Progress, a question and answer series with the Democratic candidates for Missouri Attorney General. The deadline has passed, and the answers are in. I want to thank the candidates for responding politely and in a timely fashion.

The question was, "What would be the first issue you would tackle as Attorney General? Why and how?"

The answers, in the order received, are below the fold.

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Notes from the Field: Canvassing for Edwards in Iowa

The sweat is pouring into my eyes, a blister is shooting pain up my right heel, and the sun is doing its work with a slow burn on the back of my neck, forehead, and nose, but right now, I don't mind. Every person I talk to, every pamphlet or DVD I drop off, gets us one step closer to the ultimate goal of getting John Edwards into the White House. I pause in the shade to take a swallow of water, but I can't pause too long - my partner is a competitive speed walker, and I've got to keep up. We have the assignment of reaching every person in 80 different households,  and we're halfway there.

Early Saturday morning, I rode up with a carful of Edwards supporters to the town of Burlington in southeast Iowa, the closest field office to St. Louis. The Edwards campaign, not taking their lead in the polls for granted, conducted a statewide canvass that day. As Jennifer O'Malley, the Iowa campaign director, and David Bonior, the national campaign manager, explained to us on a conference call, they feel really good about where they are in Iowa, but they want to keep it that way, and face-to-face contact remains the best way to get your message across to people.

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Edwards wins MoveOn "Climate Crisis" Presidential Forum

John Edwards overwhelming won the vote of MoveOn members responding to the recent MoveOn Climate Crisis online forum. Edwards received 33% of the vote by MoveOn members, more than the 2nd and 3rd place finishers (Kucinich and Clinton) combined. It's not surprising - Edwards is demonstrating the seriousness of his commitment to stopping global warming by running a carbon neutral campaign, and he's also got smart, practical answers to the questions posed to him at

From MoveOn's press release:

"MoveOn members want leaders who will take on the oil and coal industry and create a clean energy economy. That's probably why Sen. Edwards' support of cap and auction systems - which force polluters to pay citizens--and his call for more green collar jobs received such strong backing," added Ilyse Hogue, Campaign Director of Political Action.

Edwards will directly reap the benefits of his MoveOn straw poll win with a MoveOn ad placed in newspapers in Iowa.  

More below the flip.

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Barack Obama's Health Care Plan

Barack Obama's plan. Let's talk about it.

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