We are currently working on an exciting new project called Textbooks for Change. 

Textbooks for Change is a fundraising tool for use by college students. When users visit the Textbooks for Change site, there is an affiliate link that brings them to Amazon. When they purchase items through Amazon after clicking our link, we receive a percentage of Amazon's profits, which are immediately donated to the Courage Campaign to help them with their fight for marriage equality

The California Democratic Party has launched the 2008 Summer of Change video contest to get Democrats from all over the state to submit 30-second YouTube videos on what's at stake in the California state budget. Barak, Marshall, Conner, and I were hired by the party to make the introduction video for the contest, which aired at the state convention last weekend:




For more info on the contest, visit: www.summerofchange08.com
MoveOn.org announced a video competition to create a pro-Obama advertisement that could get aired on national television:
Today, we're launching an ad contest called "Obama in 30 Seconds." Anyone can make an ad about Obama between now and April 1. The public will vote on the best ads, and a panel of top artists, film professionals, and netroots heroes will pick a winner from among the finalists. Judges include Matt Damon, Ben Affleck, Naomi Wolf, Oliver Stone, John Legend, Donna Edwards, and Markos Moulitsas. We'll air the winning Obama ad nationally, and the winner will receive a gift certificate for $20,000 in video equipment.
So, what are you waiting for? Start filming.

I am an Obama supporter. Have been for over a year. I have, however, a great amount of respect for John Edwads. He based his entire campaign on being a proud strong progressive. On issues, I agreed with John more than Barack.

Obama+Edwards.jpg

There is now some talk of an Edwards endorsement. He has met with both Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama privately at his house. Meanwhile, the primary is likely coming to a close.

After a string of 11 Obama victories I doubt Edwards is even considering endorsing Senator Clinton.

But as a strong Obama supporter I have only this to say: John Edwards, don't endorse!

My logic is simple. John Edwards is being considered for attorney general in an Obama administration. If he endorses Barack, his appointment to such a post will look like a deal.

It's time for a new type of politics. A politics were people are judged and appointed based on their sheer talent, not cronyism or back-room deals. Regardless if such an appointment really is the result of a deal, an Edwards endorsement would inevitable lead to that perception.

So John, wait it out.

Yesterday I received an email from Matt Stoller asking BlogPac members to take action regarding a poll recently conducted by CNN. The poll asked if CNN viewers thought Barack Obama was patriotic enough to be President of the United States.

quickvote.jpg

Matt made a great case for why progressives need to take a stand when a situation like this arises:

I don't know about you, but to me, this feels like a sequel to the 2004 Swiftboat attack.

We learned back then that staying silent doesn't seem to work. The lies keep coming, they keep getting repeated, they keep getting echoed ever more widely through the establishment media. And they never stop with just going after one Democrat, they accuse the rest of us by proxy on the basis of shared positions.

Here is the form letter that I sent through the BlogPac website:

Dear CNN Editors,

Have you stopped beating your spouses?

I ask, because your network recently polled your audience on a Republican smear of Sen. Obama's patriotism. I thought you might have forgotten that there are ways of repeating something that's untrue, or an unverifiable opinion, in such a way as to give it credibility.

Why is CNN raising questions about the patriotism of Democrats again?

People look to CNN as a voice of reason and responsibility. You're leaders in cable news, with extraordinary power to lend credence to any story.

I don't remember your network ever doing this to Republicans. Not as they drove the country headlong into a damaging war. Not as they defended policies that attacked the Constitutional protections of our founding documents and the 900 year old right to habeas corpus. Not as they have repeatedly attacked the patriotism of people who were injured in honorable military service to the United States of America.

Further, I would strongly urge you not to echo any future, divisive, anti-liberal insults that hark back to the nationally destructive Army-McCarthy hearings. You shouldn't need it explained why this is bad.

Stop giving legs to attacks on the patriotism of legitimate participants in the political process. Stop insulting your many Democratic viewers, because we take a back seat to no one in love of our country.

Please apologize to Sen. Obama and your viewers, and stop this nonsense.

Thank you,
Ian Magruder

Write your own letter to CNN here.

art.obama.dodd.file.jpgEarlier today, Chris Dodd became the first former 2008 Democratic presidential candidate to publicly take sides in the now heated two way primary contest by endorsing Sen. Barack Obama. In an email to supporters, Dodd called on Democrats to unite around Sen. Obama as their party's leader and described the Illinois Senator as a "uniquely qualified" candidate:

While both of our Party's remaining candidates are extremely talented and would make excellent commanders-in-chief, I am throwing my support to the candidate who I believe will open the most eyes to our shared Democratic vision.

I'm deeply proud to be the first 2008 Democratic presidential candidate to endorse Barack Obama. He is ready to be President. And I am ready to support him - to work with him and for him and help elect him our 44th President.

Put simply, I believe Barack Obama is uniquely qualified to help us face this housing crisis, create good jobs, strengthen America's families in this 21st century global economy, unite the world against terrorism and end the war in Iraq - and perhaps most importantly, call the American people to shared service and sacrifice. In this campaign, he has drawn millions of voters into politics for the first time in their lives and shown us that we are united by so much more than that which divides us.

That is why I believe the time has come for Democrats to come together as a Party and focus on winning the general election. The stakes are too high not to.

Dodd will be stumping for Obama across Ohio leading up to the Buckeye State's March 4th primary.

The need for Barack Obama to run a national campaign and compete outside of traditional "swing states" was adeptly outlined in a post made by kos earlier this week.

Hillary Clinton's campaign was always a swing-state 50+1 percent affair. She'd win in November, but by once again ignoring most of the country in favor of an elite few "purple" states.

Watching Obama build his incredible ground operation across the country, I can't help but hope that this newly built infrastructure stays in place through November.

We must build long term, in every state, toward a solid future progressive majority.

....

I want a presidential candidate who will eat into GOP popular vote advantages everywhere, even in states like Idaho and Alabama, helping cut into the GOP's vote tally. We must mobilize Democrats everywhere, in every state in our nation, to deliver the most dominant Democratic margin of victory in half a century.

The media thought Bush's 3 percent victory in 2004 was a "mandate". Let's mobilize Democrats from show them what a real mandate looks like.

Ever since Howard Dean was elected as chair of the Democratic National Committee, there has been a general consensus within the progressive movement that Democrats need to compete in red states if we want to build a strong and sustainable majority in American politics. Dean has made considerable progress by investing in state party infrastructure, but generally expansion into red states is off limits for presidential campaigns. In recent years, presidential campaigns have been so hotly contested that it would be unimaginable for a candidate to spend any effort competing in states outside of a few key "swing states." But 2008 could be different.

There has been a lot of talk about which states may become competitive during the general election because of Barack Obama's unique ability to expand the core constituencies that have previously defined the Democratic base. After reviewing the areas in which Obama has done particularly well in primaries so far I've come to the conclusion that two regions will hold significant potential when Obama is nominated: the West and the South. Obama has won in the Western states: Utah, Colorado, Idaho, and soon Montana. He has also won in the deep south, where high black turnout swept him to crushing victories: South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Louisiana, and soon Mississippi.

ObamaWestandSouth.jpg

400394507_a374d29cd5.jpgBarack Obama is on a roll. He has now won 10 states in a row and swept the entire month of February. It has now become the accepted consensus among political commentators and observers that Ohio and Texas are must wins for Hillary Clinton. If she loses either one, the nomination will be over, and all trends are moving in Obama's direction in Texas. But first, here are the results from this week's primaries:

Wisconsin
Votes
%
Del.
Reporting
646,007
58%
42
100%
reporting
452,795
41%
32



Hawaii
Votes
%
Del.
Reporting


28,347
76%
14
100%
reporting


8,835
24%
6

On the heels these victories, Obama's poll numbers in Texas and Ohio are increasing dramatically. But, for the sake of this post, let's focus on Texas, where he has the best shot at a Hillary upset. Earlier this week, CNN reported a dead heat between Clinton and Obama in the lone star state:

A new CNN/Opinion Research Corp. poll suggests the battle for the Democratic presidential nomination between Sens. Hillary Clinton of New York and Barack Obama of Illinois is a statistical dead heat in Texas, which holds primaries March 4.

In the survey, out Monday, 50 percent of likely Democratic primary voters support Clinton as their choice for the party's nominee, with 48 percent backing Obama.

But taking into account the poll's sampling error of plus or minus 4½ percentage points for Democratic respondents, the race is a virtual tie.

After 49 years as leader of the "Republic" of Cuba, Fidel Castro finally announced his resignation today:

"I will not aspire to, nor will I accept the position of president of the council of state and commander in chief ... I wish only to fight as a soldier of ideas ... Perhaps my voice will be heard."

Fidel's brother and current Cuban defense minister, Raul Castro, has been publicly named as his successor, although Cuba's leaders have not formally selected a replacement. The State Department reiterated that the Bush Administration's policy of economic embargo on Cuba would remain. "I can't imagine that happening in the near future", said U.S State Department Deputy Secretary John Negroponte in response to the possibility of the and end to the decades long embargo.

The Barack Obama campaign reacted to the news with this statement:

"If the Cuban leadership begins opening Cuba to meaningful democratic change, the United States must be prepared to begin taking steps to normalize relations and to ease the embargo of the last five decades. The freedom of the Cuban people is a cause that should bring the Americans together."

President Ronald Reagan once said"The nine most terrifying words in the English language are, 'I'm from the government and I'm here to help."

The likes of people like Reagan and Bush persisted in making this statement a reality. How confident are you in our government today? Disregard any disagreements you may have on policy or ideology.

How would you rate this governments competence. Lets not kid ourselves, its less then abysmal.

Count your cringes as you go down this short list.

FEMA
EPA
DOA
The War

This government is so incompetent that the telephone companies ended an illegal spy program because there weren't receiving timely pay!

This is the sort of dark irony one expects to find in Shakespeare, or a Woody Allen movie. A quick chuckle at the situation is often followed by a deep regretful sigh and disbelief-induced depression. As Kos has stated several times, people who barely believe in government are probably not the best at running a government.

For the sake of my following argument lets assume 2008 is going to be a democratic sweep.

For the first time in my life (I turned 18 last December) we have a chance to not only fight against the right -wing agenda, but we will be given the opportunity to fight for things we believe in!

As the government becomes efficient once more, and we become enthralled with the excitement of gaining universal health care, ending the war in Iraq as well as rediscovering science and the constitution. we cannot allow our selves to forget the indefensible disaster our government once was.We must as a progressive movement, as a party, use this new gained majority to develop methods of ensuring future government competency.

Although not a hot topic issue, government readiness, efficientness and effectiveness affect more people than practically any other.

In all likely hood there will be more Reagans and Bushs, and since both presidencies have proven that the Congressional check doesn't work, we desperately need to develop a new system

That's were you come in! The Net-Roots could be a think tank several million strong . With a Democratic majority, what we say could actually affect legislation and policy

Together lets work for a better today.
Together lets ensure a stable tomorrow.
and together lets make the ten most terrifying words for any obstructionist politician a reality.

"we're the people, and we're coming to kick some ass!"