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I'm on a bit of a mission and I'd like some help.

I like Change.org and I sign lots of petitions that are great there. But about every other time I do I get presented with a petition from Students First. It sounds great, Pay good teachers what they deserve, I can go for that! But wait a minute... Students First, Students First isn't that Michelle Rhee's outfit? The one that is out to destroy teachers unions? The one funneling thousand of dollars to anti-education GOP politicians?

Yeah, THAT Student's First. So I sent Change.org a note to ask them to take the petition down because it is at best misleading if not dishonest. Their reply? In short, no. So I wrote them again. See my 2nd note and their reply over the flip.

Since they wouldn't listen to just little old me, I figured I'd see if they'd listen to me and several thousand of my best buds, so, if you are with me on this, please go to MY petition and give it some love:
Change.org take that petition down

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Wed Nov 02, 2011 at 12:01 PM PDT

Pat Toomey is, surprise, full of sh*t

by jsmagid

I received this from his lordship the Senator from PA:

Dear Mr. Me,

Thank you for sharing with me your support for the United States Department of Agriculture's (USDA) conservation programs. I appreciate hearing from you.

I value your input on USDA conservation programs and the important role they play in protecting the environment. As you know, these programs are important to farmers and their communities. That said, our nation is facing a $1.5 trillion deficit, and the President's latest budget proposal continues this unsustainable path for years to come. All areas of government spending must be carefully examined so that we can put our nation on a path toward fiscal solvency. Inevitably, tough choices will have to be made, and making such choices is something that I have promised to the people of Pennsylvania. Now that the Fiscal Year 2012 budget process is underway, please be assured that I will keep your views about these USDA programs in mind.

Thank you again for your correspondence. Please do not hesitate to contact me in the future if I can be of assistance.

Sincerely,

Pat Toomey
U.S. Senator, Pennsylvania

My response below the fold...

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PA State site says:

6th Congressional District
Democratic Primary

Candidate Votes Percent
TRIVEDI, MANAN (DEM) 21,339 50.8%
PIKE, DOUG (DEM) 20,667 49.2%

I've checked each county site and they all report 100% of the results are in so this should be the correct final result.

Update [2010-5-19 0:26:49 by jsmagid]:
AP now matches state site (more or less) as well as my aggregate of numbers from the 4 county sites. Trivedi ekes out a 650, +/- a small number of votes, victory.

Next up to be taken down, Jim Gerlach!

Waiting for APto confirm.

Discuss

I received the following infuriating reply from Senator Casey to one of the e-mails I sent regarding going beyond the existing strictures of the Hyde amendment and effectively eliminating abortion as a reimbursable procedure:

Dear JSM:

Thank you for taking the time to contact me about health care reform. I appreciate hearing from all Pennsylvanians about the issues that matter most to them.

As a public official and particularly as a United States Senator, I have sought to support a consistent and comprehensive ethic of life and to pursue the common good, as best I can understand it. I am pro-life, and I believe that life begins at conception and ends when we draw our last breath. I also believe that we must protect and nurture life at every point in that process. My actions as a United States Senator have been consistent with this philosophy. Being truly pro-life means protecting the dignity and sanctity of every human being—including the poor, the disenfranchised, the vulnerable—both before and after birth, throughout every stage of life.

Emphasis is mine. Please head below the fold for the rest of Casey's e-mail and my response...

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Oh for a high quality candidate to toss this asshat out of Congress - grrrr.

Here's the response from my Congressman (and I use the term with oh so much regret and loathing), Jim Gerlach (PA-06), to whichever of the numerous e-mails I've sent to him (and Casey and Specter both of whom I called earlier today) of late about the stimulus bill:

Dear Mr. [me]:

Thank you for contacting me about H.R. 1, the proposed American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.  I appreciate the opportunity to share my views with you.

As you may know, the House of Representatives recently debated H.R. 1, the House Democrat Majority's legislation aimed at stimulating the economy.  While the legislation passed the House on January 28th by a vote of 244 - 188, it was opposed by all Republicans and 11 Democrats.

continued after the fold...

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As I read DemFromCT's front page entry Musings Over Morning Coffee discussing the dire straits the GOP finds itself in I'm left (after a few minutes of unencumbered gloating) wondering who the right-wing think tanks will be targeting over the next two to four years and what can, or rather must, be done to counter their efforts to infuse public policy with their effluence.

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While knocking on doors last Sunday and again today I ran into a number of former Hillary supporters who have not decided to vote for Barack Obama.

(I had one today who was really nasty and shut the door in my face after declaring she would not vote for Obama calling him an empty suit - rather depressing.)

Two neighbors on my street last week and another woman today all expressed concerns about Obama, he's a great speaker, but not a leader, said one. Arab leaders will tear him apart she added. I was most exasperated when she said she "liked" Palin even if she didn't agree with most of her positions (I managed not to start shaking, spitting or screaming). I think I did an OK job contrasting Obama and McCain's positions, but what has become abundantly clear to me is that I have a fundamental flaw that prevents me from convincing these women to vote for Obama.

I admit it, I am a man.

So... (please flip for the ask)

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Sun Jun 08, 2008 at 04:50 PM PDT

McCain: Master Economic Flip-Flopper

by jsmagid

Picking up where Avenging Angel left off in his comprehensive diary earlier today, McCain Reverses Position on Balancing the Budget. Again. is this opinion column from Bloomberg News columnist Gene Sperling (formerly President Bill Clinton's top economic adviser and a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress Action Fund who advised Hillary Clinton in her suspended bid for the 2008 presidential nomination).

To whit:

McCain, who would like us to see him as holding a consistent and principled stance on tax cuts and fiscal discipline, is engaging in the mother of all economic policy flip-flops.

Follow me over the flip for a few more choice slivers...

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This was ably diaried yesterday by Stroszek here but didn't make the rec list so I wanted to reprise and at least give it some additional air time.

Bottom line, the New York Times published an abysmal hit piece recycling the Obama is a Muslim smear:

Senator Obama is half African by birth and Africans can understandably identify with him. In Islam, however, there is no such thing as a half-Muslim. Like all monotheistic religions, Islam is an exclusive faith.

As the son of the Muslim father, Senator Obama was born a Muslim under Muslim law as it is universally understood. It makes no difference that, as Senator Obama has written, his father said he renounced his religion. Likewise, under Muslim law based on the Koran his mother’s Christian background is irrelevant.

Or at least so claims the author ... (flip for the rest!)

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My wife, a Lower Merion Township (anchor of the Main Line in Montgomery County, just outside of Philly and one of the key PA battlegrounds) Commissioner, got an e-mail this morning from one of her colleagues this morning recounting his experience at a high-roller - $1k minimum - "intimate" dinner fund raising event with the almost, but not quite, putative nominee, Barack Obama.

Flip the fold for his report (provided with his permission)...

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I just wrote a letter to the editor of the Philadelphia Daily News in response to one of the more despicable columnswritten by Christine Flowers. Here's just one of the many piles of dreck in her column:

On Tuesday, Barack Obama had an opportunity to disassociate himself from a racist demagogue who presides over a church where, apparently, the white man is the enemy. He could have fulfilled the promise he made early in his campaign to "transcend" race, but he didn't.

Truth be told, Fowers has written a lot of despicable columns, but this one is undoubtedly one of the worst.

I've included my letter below the fold for your reading pleasure (at least I hope it's pleasure), but what is really needed is for a whole host of people as disgusted as I am with Flowers' tripe to lend their pens to the task of holding her and the Daily News accountable for spreading such damnable lies.

Please join me in denouncing Flowers and praising a truly amazing politician, Barack Obama. Send your LTEs to the Daily News at mailto:views@phillynews.com.

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It's true. I could have done it, but I just left my brain at home. I had my Philadelphia Jewish Voice press pass, I brought my cheapo digital camera - no extra batteries of course (thank God for cell phone cameras), brought a pad and paper, I brought my (almost, but not quite) 10 year-old son Zachary with his Merion Elementary School press pass (I called school in the early afternoon and his gifted teacher whipped one up for him), but did I think to bring my laptop? Nooooo, of course not. Zachary was kind enough to give me a stiff whack to the head (on my request) when we arrived at Villanova University's Jake Nevin Fieldhouse and I saw a few college kids with and realized SHIT I COULD HAVE LIVE BLOGGED MICHELLE OBAMA! Argh.

Ok, so I messed up, and the batteries in my camera didn't last for even one picture, and I didn't even remember to take a picture of my own kid, but hey I got to listen to an outstanding speaker who gives her husband a legitimate run for his money for over an hour and boy was it ever a treat.

[UPDATED - picking up with the hard working public school teachers who made Michelle's successes possible...]

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