Out of the mouths of babes: "We're gonna change it and rearrange it. We're gonna change the world."
NOTE/INSERT: Get this quote from Michelle Obama in today's NY Times. It's about the new White House vegetable garden, but I would dare say the philosophy she extols applies beyond the garden...
"“My hope is that through children, they will begin to educate their families and that will, in turn, begin to educate our communities.”
A friend of mine signed up at Obama's campaign website months ago when "the one" was running for president, so she could read the mass emails sent to Obamatons everywhere. That's fine; it was a campaign and they had an awesome community organizing machine.
But guess what, these emails are still coming - from something called "Organizing for America" at www.BarackObama.com - even though the election was over several months ago and "the one" is now president of the country -- not a candidate in a political campaign, but president of the entire country.
Just scan this, and then we'll go on. (I know, it doesn't fit my column width, but you'll get the general idea and the links.)
Date: Mon, 16 Mar 2009 15:52:53 -0400
Subject: This weekend
The current debate in Washington over President Obama's budget has made one thing clear -- ensuring our long-term prosperity won't come without a fight.
Partisan voices and special interests are showing real resistance to President Obama's call for making the necessary reforms and investments in energy, health care, and education. That's why we need to bring the conversation back into homes and communities across America.
Last week, thousands of you pledged your support for the President's economic plan and encouraged your friends and family to join you in a national display of support. Now I need you to take the next step.
This weekend, supporters like you are organizing Pledge Project Canvasses to talk to people in their communities about this plan and mobilize support in neighborhoods across the country.
Host or attend a Pledge Project Canvass in your neighborhood this weekend.
It's absolutely crucial that Americans hear from you about this plan -- we can't leave this important debate up to a Washington establishment that doesn't welcome change.
It's up to you to show Washington that Americans are demanding this new direction and won't stand on the sidelines while our country's future is at stake.
On these canvasses, you'll join fellow supporters in your community to:
Nothing is more powerful than having people hear from ordinary Americans about the vision President Obama has laid out for our country. Join us this weekend.
Organizing for America
Paid for by Organizing for America, a project of the Democratic National Committee -- 430 South Capitol Street SE, Washington, D.C. 20003. This communication is not authorized by any candidate or candidate's committee.
If you go to The Pledge Project Canvass Guide, it tells you to
Create a Pledge Project Canvass in your neighborhood on Saturday, March 21st, to knock-on-doors and ask your neighbors to take a pledge of support for President Obama's bold approach to renew America’s economy and invest in energy, health care, and education.
Then these hordes of community organizees are to get as many pledges as possible. This is what they look like:
I am amazed they don't want your fingerprints or ask if you have any guns in the house.
Dear Gd in Heaven, they even have a training video:
This agenda is meant as a suggestion to guide you through your canvass. Feel free to adjust the agenda to best suit your neighborhood and participants.
Sample Schedule:Setting Up (15 min)
• Prepare sign-in sheets to capture as much contact information as possible from your canvassers.
• Put up signs that help direct people to the right space for the right activity. You may even set up stations, one for check in when they arrive, one for training, one for collecting materials, one for finding a canvass partner.
Welcome and Introductions (10 min)
• If possible, have each person introduce themselves by name.
• Have two people share their personal stories, addressing what is at stake for them personally to remind everyone the importance of the work they are doing.
• Explain the Pledge Project. Give context to the pledge and our larger organizing efforts. Let people know that we are getting out in front of Washington and asking our elected officials to lead the charge on energy, education and health care this year. Explain that this canvass is just the beginning for us; we will be working all year to mobilize people to take action and further President Obama’s plans.
• Set expectations. Share a goal for the number of signatures we are trying to collect and display that goal for all to see. Remind your volunteers that they are part of a huge effort with thousands of volunteers across the country participating in Pledge Project Canvasses.
Distribute Materials (5 min)
• Maps of the neighborhood and larger area
• Hard surface for writing (clipboards, cardboard, or folders)
• Pledge Project pledge
• Information and Resources on the issues
• Tally Sheets to record results at the end of the walk
• Contact number for host if they encounter any issuesTraining Video and Role Play (15 min)
• Show Training Video• Answer any questions
• Role Play with a partner. Practice your pitch in pairs. What are you going to say when you really do approach someone?
Canvass (3 hours)
• Work to reach your set goal of signatures.
• Check on your team during the action. As the event host, it's your job to keep your team motivated. You may want to collect cell phone numbers and text updates about your group’s success throughout the canvass.
• You may want to give volunteers your phone number in case issues arise during their canvass. If there are any issues that you do not know how to handle call Organizing for America at 1-866-495-2004.
Debrief (15 min)
• Meet back at the staging location at an assigned time.
• Tally up. Gather information on the number of pledges collected and the number of doors knocked on. Present information on the group’s collective efforts.
• Evaluate action. Ask those who did well what made the difference. Ask those who struggled what the challenges were that we need to prepare better for next time.
• Collect all sign-in sheets, materials, and data.
If possible, organize a potluck or an optional social gathering after the canvass.
Organizing for America - Pledge Project
430 South Capitol Street SE
Washington, D.C., 20003
Search by country? You mean this is going on in countries other than this country?
Pledges of Allegiance to Obama!
If you think I'm off my rocker, or even just overreacting, I want you to consider this, from the American Spectator - November 7, 2008:
UNPRECEDENTED AND SECRETIVE
Lost amid all of the jubilation of the Obama victory was the announcement by the Obama transition team that it had set up a separate transition program beyond the one that is paid for by the American taxpayer. Called the "Obama/Biden Transition Project," it is a 501(c)4 tax-exempt organization, with no limits on the contributions it can receive and no requirements to divulge the names of individuals or organizations that give it money.
Traditionally, the victorious campaign has set up inaugural funds, as well as funds to deal with legal costs and other expenses to close down the campaign. Others have set up quasi-corporate offices to deal with transition issues, such as in 2000, when, with the election in doubt, the Bush-Cheney team set up a private transition office in McLean, Virginia, covering the costs from campaign contributions and other fundraising. Ultimately, the federal government, headed by the Government Services Administration, covers the cost of the transition staff, providing it with office space and all equipment.
No one is certain that any political organization has ever set up a tax-exempt entity that would be shrouded in such secrecy, particularly when Obama claimed he would be more transparent about the way things were done.
"To my knowledge, it's never been done, and people should be asking why the Obama people chose to do it this way," says a longtime Washington Republican, who has been involved in transitions for the Reagan and Bush campaign teams.
According to an Obama campaign staffer who is being retained for the transition and inauguration planning, the "project" is intended not only to identify personnel for the Obama Administration, but to then send those project employees who know all of the senior staff in the various Cabinet departments and federal agencies out into the corporate and lobbying community to leverage those contacts.
"It's taking the old 'K Street Project' that Republicans had and doing it twice as fast and on steroids," explains the aide. "So, if you have a Project aide working on Commerce Department transition, that Project aide will be more likely to get a senior lobbying job because of all those connections at Commerce. That former Project aide will also be able raise more money for Democrats in this town and help others with jobs and such."
As well, the nonprofit may also serve as a haven for Obama supporters and campaign loyalists who for one reason or another can't be employed by the Administration or in the federal government.
"There are some people who have been with us from the beginning who are clearly political liabilities or who won't be able to qualify for a job, say, because they can't get a security clearance," says another aide, who was unaware of the unique Obama transition project's tax status. Regardless of the purpose, Obama campaign officials say there is no intention of shutting down the 501(c) 4 Project after the transition is over.
They seem to have dealt with the 501(c)4 issue. When you go donate at the BarackObama.com site, there is this disclaimer at the bottom:
Your contribution is not tax-deductible as a charitable contribution for Federal income tax purposes. Federal Election law requires political committees to report the name, mailing address, occupation and name of employer for each individual whose contributions aggregate in excess of $200 in a calendar year. Your contribution will be used in connection with Federal elections and is subject to the limits and prohibitions of the Federal Election Campaign Act.
Sorry to have given you so much to read, but I wanted to be thorough. This scares me to pieces (and I'm saying that way too often these days).