Voter ID follies in Pennsylvania

July 6, 2012

Quick tally is done; the voter fraud count shows Republicans would steal 750,000 votes from citizens in Pennsylvania with their voter ID scheme.

ThinkProgress has the story.

Reread our earlier story about the woman who marched with Martin Luther King, Jr., 51 years ago to secure the right to vote for all Americans — but would be deprived of that right under the current law.

Sacrificing 750,000 Americans to stop a dozen cases of ID fraud.  Voter ID laws don’t even touch 90% of voter fraud, ID can’t prevent it.  This is lunacy.

Worse than lunacy:  Pennsylvania’s voter ID law is evil.

Pray for success of the ACLU challenge to this miscarriage of justice.

Student loans, and why and how your voice matters

July 6, 2012

I get e-mail from the White House from time to time (you can, too) (some links added):

The White House, Washington

Good afternoon —

It’s July, and because Congress finally took action, 7.4 million students no longer have to worry about the interest rates on their Stafford loans doubling.

That’s great news, but it was far from certain. Just a few weeks ago, it wasn’t clear that it would happen.

We got this done because of you.

Americans like you spoke up on this issue. You took to Twitter and Facebook. You sent emails and talked to your friends and neighbors. And in the end, your voices made all the difference.

Last week, we sat down with a group of students who were watching this fight closely — because the choice that Congress made would have an impact on each of them. They talked about what this legislation means, and why it was so important to speak out on this issue.

What they had to say was a powerful reminder of how everyday Americans can make their voices resonate in Washington — and it’s the kind of thing that can get you fired up for the fights ahead. Check it out:

Watch the video

Last year, when you spoke out on extending the payroll tax cut, you changed the debate. We saw the exact same thing last week with the fight for student loans.

These were both huge victories for the American middle class that couldn’t have happened without you.

And it’s exactly the kind of effort we’ll need in the weeks and months ahead.

We’re working to make it easier for responsible homeowners to refinance their mortgages. We’re pushing Congress to take action to create jobs and get our economy back on track. We’re working to reward businesses that create jobs here in America instead of the companies that ship jobs overseas.

And we need your voices in every single one of those fights.

We’ll be in touch with more ways you can stand with President Obama to move our country forward. But for now, check out this video to remind yourself of the power you have:

Thank you,


David Plouffe
Senior Advisor to the President

P.S. — If you’re a homeowner struggling to refinance your home, we want to hear from you. Learn about the President’s plan to help responsible homeowners refinance and share your story:

Taj Clayton, running . . . er, ran for you

July 6, 2012

Utah Policy Daily tagged this ad for Taj Clayton’s campaign as a “prime example” of good political campaigning.

As of this minute, it’s got just under 33,000 hits.

That’s the good news.

Bad news?  The “rest of the story is that Clayton lost the primary, to incumbent Eddie Bernice Johnson, who will probably coast to victory in the general election in November (is there even a Republican in the race?).

After redistricting, we live and vote in Johnson’s district, Texas District 30.  Johnson won a three-way race, pulling in more than 50% of the total vote against Clayton and local political activist Barbara Mallory Callaway.  Clayton had a lot of signs up.  I got personal calls from his campaign early on, as opposed to the annoying robo-calls we got from Johnson in the last couple of days before the primary.  Incumbency is tough to beat, and even a great campaign ad won’t do it.

Where was Taj when we were in the 24th District, and we needed a good Democrat to beat Kenny Marchant?

It is a good advertisement.  Voters would probably like to see a lot more like it, to explain to them who the candidates are, and what the issues in the election are.  Ads of this type live in the endangered species zone, when attack ads and negative advertising carry so much clout.

Too bad.


Medal of Honor to former Sgt. Dakota Meyer

July 6, 2012

President Obama awards Sergeant Dakota L. Meyer, United States Marine Corps, the Medal of Honor for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty, while serving with Marine Embedded Training Team 2-8, Regional Corps Advisory Command 3-7, in Kunar Province, Afghanistan, on 8 September 2009. [Ceremony:] September 15, 2011.

Video from the White House includes the prayers offered before and after the ceremony (excluded from the commercial television video).

The citation for Meyer’s Medal of Honor described his gallantry in detail:

The President of the United States in the name of The Congress takes pleasure in presenting the MEDAL OF HONOR to


For service as set forth in the following

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving with Marine Embedded Training Team 2-8, Regional Corps Advisory Command 3-7, in Kunar Province, Afghanistan, on 8 September 2009. Corporal Meyer maintained security at a patrol rally point while other members of his team moved on foot with two platoons of Afghan National Army and Border Police into the village of Ganjgal for a pre-dawn meeting with village elders. Moving into the village, the patrol was ambushed by more than 50 enemy fighters firing rocket propelled grenades, mortars, and machine guns from houses and fortified positions on the slopes above. Hearing over the radio that four U.S. team members were cut off, Corporal Meyer seized the initiative. With a fellow Marine driving, Corporal Meyer took the exposed gunner’s position in a gun-truck as they drove down the steeply terraced terrain in a daring attempt to disrupt the enemy attack and locate the trapped U.S. team. Disregarding intense enemy fire now concentrated on their lone vehicle, Corporal Meyer killed a number of enemy fighters with the mounted machine guns and his rifle, some at near point blank range, as he and his driver made three solo trips into the ambush area. During the first two trips, he and his driver evacuated two dozen Afghan soldiers, many of whom were wounded. When one machine gun became inoperable, he directed a return to the rally point to switch to another gun-truck for a third trip into the ambush area where his accurate fire directly supported the remaining U.S. personnel and Afghan soldiers fighting their way out of the ambush. Despite a shrapnel wound to his arm, Corporal Meyer made two more trips into the ambush area in a third gun-truck accompanied by four other Afghan vehicles to recover more wounded Afghan soldiers and search for the missing U.S. team members. Still under heavy enemy fire, he dismounted the vehicle on the fifth trip and moved on foot to locate and recover the bodies of his team members. Corporal Meyer’s daring initiative and bold fighting spirit throughout the 6-hour battle significantly disrupted the enemy’s attack and inspired the members of the combined force to fight on. His unwavering courage and steadfast devotion to his U.S. and Afghan comrades in the face of almost certain death reflected great credit upon himself and upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service.

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