How I got my account.

Originally published on BlueNC.

I'm enjoying life.

NOTE: I started this diary back in December. As you will read below, I was volunteering full-time with the Edwards campaign. However, unless you've worked with a Presidential campaign, you really don't know what "full-time" means. It means that there really isn't an extra hour or two laying around to write a blog post if that isn't your job. It means two or three hours of sleep a night. It means...the best time of my life!!!!

Many of you might have seen my pro-JRE diaries at Daily Kos. "The year we stole a Christmas Tree" was popular recently. Maybe some of my John Edwards Mashup diaries from earlier in the year. Or, maybe some of you might know me from the things I focused on before the 2008 election, like MRDD, the original Scientist Registry at Daily Kos, or health care. In fact, after 2004 I really thought my entire focus would be on North Carolina issues and North Carolina races. Not the Senate or Congress, I was diving into the weeds of the legislative races. I even wrote a series of diaries about it at BlueNC.  But, along the way something happened.

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The year we stole a Christmas tree.

Things were booming in Central Pennsylvania, as I like to say "Coal was King", and my Dad had worked his way from dozer operator to foreman. He had a company truck and gas and was making about $35,000 a year (1980 $s). The house we lived in was paid for as far as I can recall, we vacationed at Disney World, spent the summers and Easter in Benson and Wrightsville, and Christmas was spectacular.

We had a tradition that started in those years of going out to a nearby tree farm, walking through the woods and rows of trees looking for just the right one. We even got to the point where we could afford those big, beautiful, blue spruce trees and still to this day I consider THAT a Christmas tree. My mom was nuts about Christmas, we had tinsel on the tree, every ornament we'd ever made, garland up the banister, the stockings were hung with care, a Santa outside upon whose plastic list my mom had written the names of every kid in our town - you get the picture.  Christmas was magic, pure magic, the whole season. The cookies, the pies, the cakes, the turkey, ham, nutbread with cream cheese. Uh, it was awesome.

Until we stole that Christmas tree.

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50 State Blog Network Roundup - 12/7/2007

From the diaries - Todd

Today's 50-state blog roundup is brought to you by the letters B, N, and C - BlueNC. Major, major hat-tip to Betsy, who really did all the work. If you aren't reading your state's blog, you should be, because "all politics is local" should be more than a motto. This is an interesting week, the Presidential Primary is heating up in the early states (see below), while Virginia holds a special election next Tuesday. At the same time state legislatures seem to be trying and sneak in some iffy legislation before the holiday season.  Enjoy!

p.s. It's my birthday this weekend, I'll keep celebrating until I turn 40.

Advertise on the 50 State Blog Network

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NC(Sen): My thoughts of Neal vs. Hagan and why YOU should care.

I, as much as anyone, have come out blasting the DSCC, the Democratic candidates, and anyone else who went looking for a new candidate just because Jim Neal was gay. That said, Hagan might very well make a great candidate. I would suggest that no one discount her because of when she came into the race or how. Anyone, except me that is. Because, for me, this race is about the heart of the Democratic Party in North Carolina and it is a gut check moment for Democrats around the country.  At stake is this.
  1. The DSCC fails to bring in any of its top-tier candidates (Mike Easley, Roy Cooper, Beverly Perdue, Richard Moore).
  2. Bloggers put on a press to Draft Brad Miller, who we feel would be a progressive dream, a netroots hero for all of us to cheer and back. He declines.
  3. The DSCC/NC powers-to-be/bloggers decide that state Rep. Grier Martin is our man, until he says no. In the process of his deliberations, state Sen. Kay Hagan backs out gracefully.
  4. We have no one, and then up to the plate steps Democratic fundraiser extraordinare Jim Neal.  Bloggers rejoice, the mainstream Dems, not so much.
  5. We find out why, Jim is gay, proudly so.
  6. Hagan is suddenly back in the race following many harried phone calls from current Democratic candidates worried that Jim's being the nominee will hurt their changes at being elected, after all, he's gay{shhhhh}.

That is where we stand folks, we have two candidates, one who came of his own free will and one who has apparently been lured by the DSCC at the bequest of the local power brokers out of fear that he's not mainstream enough.  That in itself is not reason enough to support Jim Neal, this is:

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UPDATE: The John Edwards MASHUP

mashup (wikipedia) - A mashup is a website or application that combines content from more than one source into an integrated experience.

The image below will take you to the ultimate John Edwards MASHUP. BUT, before you click on the image go below the fold for some more information.

*Update:* Google maps only allows 110 items per page, so I have three pages, click through to all three. LOTS of INFO on this map.

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Where are the candidates? - Weekend Edition

Weekend wrap-up.  Where are the candidates is an impartial site that tracks the public (and private) events of our Democratic Presidential Candidates.  Only those candidates that are CLEARLY running for President of the United States are followed.  Currently, that means Biden, Clinton, Dodd, Edwards, Gravel, Kucinich, Obama, and Vilsack.  At this stage of the game, most of the candidates are raising money with a vengeance, which they are keeping mum about.  A number of campaigns have indicated they will provide event info...later.  : )

So, for the time being, I am relying mostly on public sources of information for the candidate schedules.

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What the new Rasmussen polls might mean.

Originally published at CountryCrats.

Note: this is based entirely on the idea that the Rasmussen report is correct.  Feel free to debate that below. The new Rasmussen polls now have their Senate prediction looking like this:
9/18       41(D)   7(Lean D)  3 (Toss-up)   1(Lean R)   48(R)
That makes a total of:
48 - D
49 - R
3 - Toss-up.
The good news after the break.

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BREAKING: Sen. Frist suggested NOT Capturing OSAMA

In an unexpected turn related to The Path to 9/11, sources close to the event reveal that when Americans had Osama inside a house with CIA and Northern Alliance troops outside the doors waiting to capture him - it was Bill Frist that suggested we not capture Osama.

President Clinton listened to the advice of Senator Frist because of the mess he was in, he seemed to believe that appeasing SENATOR FRIST'S IDEA TO NOT CAPTURE OSAMA would smooth things out with Senatorial Republicans.  Of course, it didn't work out that way.

But, this is the kind of thing that people need to know, and why Senator Frist says:

With all the information available about all the hateful efforts of the terrorists to strike America since the late 1980s -- easily available by one click on the Internet -- let's simmer down on the censorship calls and honor the memory of 9/11 by letting people see ABC's The Path to 9/11 and draw their own conclusions about the Islamofascist war against America.
 Senator Frist is willing to stand up and have his role in LETTING OSAMA BIN LADEN GO, WHEN WE HAD HIM TRAPPED INSIDE A HOUSE WITH CIA AND NORTHERN ALLIANCE TROOPS WAITING OUTSIDE.  I suggest the rest of us learn a lesson from this.

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Who leads Whom?

There is no place to respond to the Breaking Blue, so I will just post it here.  From Breaking Blue:

DeWine Leads by 11 (TDGoddard)

According to a new Plain Dealer poll, Mike DeWine hasn't faced much of a challenge yet from Sherrod Brown.

Posted at 05/01/2006 10:49:56 AM EDT - #

From the article:  

The numbers from the statewide Mason-Dixon poll are striking. They show Brown trailing DeWine by 11 points (47-36) among registered voters while Strickland leads his likeliest GOP opponent, Ken Blackwell, by 10 points (47-37). Strickland even leads Jim Petro, a more moderate GOP gubernatorial candidate who trails Blackwell, by six points (44-38).

Interestingly, though Strickland has never held statewide office, he appears to have broader support across Ohio than Brown, who twice has held statewide office.

So, what about this???

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A tactic suggestion for Fighting Dem Sestak

I read with interest the Breaking Blue tidbit that Fighting Dem Joe Sestak raised $420,000 in the last 60 days.  Weldon has raised only $65,703.  
Sestak is U.S. Navy Vice Admiral, Weldon is, well, not.

But, I have something else Weldon has done that could be used against him.  Something to appeal to another crowd, a crowd other than the war moms and dads.

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