Obama Recruiting Help and Steering Clear of Gulf Coast For Now


Most importantly–help the Red Cross out

TOLEDO, Ohio — Sen. Barack Obama announced that his campaign would mobilize supporters from his enormous e-mail list to send money or enlist as volunteers once the impact of Hurricane Gustav becomes apparent.

Obama told reporters that his campaign already is coordinating with local authorities. The senator has said he has no plans to go to the region, because of the potential disruption, although Sen. John McCain and his running mate, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, are heading to Mississippi today.

“We can activate an e-mail list of a couple million people who want to give back,” Obama said. “I think we can get tons of volunteers to travel down there if it becomes necessary.”

He said McCain’s visit was appropriate. “A big storm like this raises bipartisan concerns and I think for John to want to find out what’s going on is fine,” Obama said

In a nod to his vast entourage, Obama continued, “The thing that I always am concerned about in the middle of a storm is whether we’re drawing resources away from folks on the ground because the Secret Service and various security requirements sometimes it pulls police, fire and other departments away from concentrating on the job. I’m assuming that where he went that wasn’t an issue. Were going to try to stay clear of the area until things have settled down and then we’ll probably try to figure out how we can be as helpful as possible.”

Daily Dolt: Fact Free Bloggging

In our latest Frank Burns delusion, we see him claiming that the DCCC might have walked away from Dan Seals:

But something has happened — it looks like the DCCC is walking away from Dan Seals.

Yesterday, as the Politico reported, Chris Van Hollen welcomed the DCCC’s top 50 candidates for change on to the stage with him at the Democratic National Convention. Dan Seals wasn’t there and wasn’t mentioned (though Debbie Halverson was mentioned and Bill Foster got a shout-out in Van Hollen’s speech). In fact, the Daily Herald even reported live from the Illinois delegation breakfast in Denver — and while the article mentions the Kirk-Seals race, there’s no mention of Dan being at the convention and getting any love from the DCCC.

Dan didn’t go to the convention because he wanted to spend the time in the District–at the advice of some senior Democrats. DCCC still sees IL-10 as one of their best pick-up opportunities.

I don’t begrudge someone for taking shots at someone they don’t like, but trying to get even a few facts straight woud be nice whether it be about how many children are in an ad or where Seals was for the convention is standard practice for most ethical bloggers.


A few people are wondering how Michael Palin can run given he’s British.

Mostly I’m struck by this being a Rauschernberger-Syverson special with the GOP panicing and finding the first non white male candidate they could and shaking their head and going–see, we are inclusive too…really!

In terms of abortion, she’s a horrible choice. McCain has been playing on the misperceptions that he is pro-choice.  She will underscore his strong pro-life record hurting him with that group of women who supported Clinton that he has deluded himself into thinking he has a shot with.

More than that–she’s involved in a fairly serious ethics investigation taking away any traction on issues of reform.

McCain will get beaten up by the media for two reasons. First, she isn’t part of the club and so the media is already referencing Dan Quayle who was young and came out of nowhere.  Second, serious journalists will point out the basic problem with the choice as Steve Chapman does:

The first and last question to be asked about a potential vice president is: Is he or she prepared to take over immediately as president? Barack Obama’s choice of Joe Biden gave that matter the priority it deserves.

The question is even more important for McCain because he’s 72 years old and has had serious health problems. The chances are considerably higher than usual that his vice president would have to step into the Oval Office without notice.

Sarah Palin may be a politically brilliant choice. She may also be a fine governor. But it’s going to be pretty hard for McCain to disparage Obama’s experience on national security and foreign relations while running with someone who has much less.

But worse, this decision mocks McCain’s seriousness on the issues that are supposed to be his strength. It tells us that he puts his own political fortunes above the safety of the nation.

McCain has done a lot things for his country. He should have done one more and picked a running mate who makes a plausible commander-in-chief.

And that leads into the last problem.  His entire argument is experience and while he’s 72 and a cancer survivor, he chose a woman who was Mayor of a town of 8,000 two years ago.  Oh, and that little corruption trial in Alaska will keep being brought up.

Infuriating Indifference to State Parks

Jack Darin covers the shutting down of several parks and laying off of even MORE IDNR staff

Illinois Democrats may be hugging out in Denver, but back home on Thursday 39 IDNR employees were notified that they’ll be out of a job November 1st as a result of budget cuts announced by Governor Blagojevich in July.

Eleven state parks and fifteen state historic sites will close. The state parks that will close November 1st are:

* Hennepin Canal Parkway State Park
* Illini State Park near Marseilles
* Wolf Creek State Park
* Castle Rock State Park, Oregon
* Lowden State Park, Oregon
* Hidden Springs State Forest, Strasburg
* Channahon Parkway State Park, Channahon
* Gebhard Woods State Park, Morris
* Kickapoo State Park, Oakwood
* Moraine View State Park, Leroy
* Weldon Springs State Park, Clinton

These layoffs and closings would be totally unnecessary if our leaders in Springfield would get together on a budget solution. There is still time – but the Governor’s action Thursday started the clock ticking.

We need the General Assembly and the Governor to act before the end of September to restore the cuts, keep these parks open, and keep those who run them and look out for our natural resources on the job.

Moraine View personally hurts as I grew up going there, boated there, had large family gatherings there, mountain bike there, and take my daughters there when I visit Normal.

There is simply no excuse for this and it needs to be fixed–while I’d prefer it to be with increased funding I’d take user fee increases if that’s all we can do for now.  Long run, this just continues a pattern of neglect by Blagojevich for our natural resources and he added on our historical resources this time as well.

Illinois has never made preservation the central aspect of it’s parks system and for that reason they tend to be a bit overused–not the worst thing in the world. Now, they won’t be used at all.  No one is innocent in this fight, but one jackass is more guilty than the rest.

Thankfully Not Sam Waterston

The most cliche liberal voice over talent for the Obama video–instead, an excellent choice in David Straithearn

I’m assuming that was Axelrod’s call and we didn’t have to listen to another overwrought voice over by Waterston for a liberal candidate/cause.

Though a cameo by Chris Cooper playing Colorado’s very own fictional Dickie Pilager/George Bush/Tom DeLay would have made a perfect John Sayles filmfest.

Pat’s A Professional

At many things including being a racist, but Buchanan is one of the most talented rhetoricians of modern times.  The 1992 speech was unveiled fascism, but it also worked for the audience he was trying to reach.  He wrote for the Globe Democrat and for Nixon—which was more evil is an interesting academic debate, but he was one of the best at what he did.  No one should be surprised with his reaction tonight: