Today is Election Day in Wake County. There are some very important races being decided today. If you have not yet vote please do so before the polls close at 7:30 PM.

It is really pathetic that I was voter 38 at my precinct this morning at 9AM.

I feel very fortunate to have been on stage with President Obama today at his health care town hall meeting here in Raleigh. Way kool!

I had made a request for tickets through the normal channels, but never heard back. They only called those who had actually been selected via a lottery. So I thought I would be spending today working as usual. NOT!

Monday afternoon I got an email from the Raleigh Chamber of Commerce. I joined early this year after getting laid off and starting up my own company, Millennium Technology Consulting LLC. Needless to say I called the Chamber as soon as I read the email. They needed to send my information to the White House and told me I could pick up my ticket on Tuesday if all went well. Tuesday morning I got a call letting me know I could pick up my tickets which I did almost immediately.

I went down early and parked at Cameron Village then walked to Broughton High School where the event was held. After waiting for a while outside, we went through security and hung out some more inside. There were about 60 other small business entrepreneurs there and we just hung out until they let us up onto the stage. Security checked our names off the list as we went up. Then we sat around for another hour or so until the program started.

It was so cool being up on stage with President.  I was very fortunate to be able to shake his hand twice; once at the beginning and again at the end.

Of course you can see or read about his health care message, but here is the gist of it in an email I received from the White House a little earlier today. If you care about health insurance and what it means to all of us, please read this message and take action as suggested at the end of his message. I have already visited in person with Brad Miller, our Congressperson, and have already and will continue to call our U.S. Senators, Hagan and Burr. This is important. Please take action now!

If you’re like most Americans, there’s nothing more important to you about health care than peace of mind.

Given the status quo, that’s understandable. The current system often denies insurance due to pre-existing conditions, charges steep out-of-pocket fees – and sometimes isn’t there at all if you become seriously ill.

It’s time to fix our unsustainable insurance system and create a new foundation for health care security. That means guaranteeing your health care security and stability with eight basic consumer protections:

  • No discrimination for pre-existing conditions
  • No exorbitant out-of-pocket expenses, deductibles or co-pays
  • No cost-sharing for preventive care
  • No dropping of coverage if you become seriously ill
  • No gender discrimination
  • No annual or lifetime caps on coverage
  • Extended coverage for young adults
  • Guaranteed insurance renewal so long as premiums are paid

Learn more about these consumer protections at Whitehouse.gov.
Over the next month there is going to be an avalanche of misinformation and scare tactics from those seeking to perpetuate the status quo. But we know the cost of doing nothing is too high. Health care costs will double over the next decade, millions more will become uninsured, and state and local governments will go bankrupt.

It’s time to act and reform health insurance, drive down costs and guarantee the health care security and stability of every American family. You can help by putting these core principles of reform in the hands of your friends, your family, and the rest of your social network.

Thank you,
Barack Obama

The health care crisis is crippling the United States. We need affordable health care and universal access to single-payer health care.

Some facts about the health care crisis
1/3 The portion of the population that is uninsured or underinsured in the United States.
34,000 The number of people that would be insured by the salary of the CEO of United Health Group who makes $122.7 million a year.
37th Rank of the United States among industrialized countries in health care system performance according to a report by WHO, the World Health Organization. The U.S. is ranked 54th in fairness while Cuba is ranked 23rd in that category. According to the report, the U.S. has a higher mortality rate than Cypress and Slovenia.
101,000 People have died unnecessarily in the United States every year for the past five years due to lack of health insurance.

Go to Change Crew 07 to see what we are doing about it in Raleigh, North Carolina and how you can help.

Yes, republicans, it IS a spending bill. DUH!

The entire purpose of a stimulus package is for the government to spend money  — lots of money — in order to stimulate the economy. The money goes to fund projects that put people back to work. People who work then spend the money, further stimulating the economy and causing more spending.

Of course the republicans seem compulsively obsessed with their pet tax cuts. I understand that some tax cuts may help the economy, but most of us down here on the front lines of the economy understand that we have to work in order to pay taxes in order to be eligible for a tax cut! If one is not working, and therefore not paying taxes, how does a tax cut help us as individuals? Answer me that.

And don’t go telling us about the national debt. We had a very comfortable surplus going into the last republican administration and after eight years of republican control and obstructionism we have a multi-trillion dollar debt. You guys put us here.

I also expect to see some true bipartisanship from the republican members of both houses of the congress. If you all continue your obstructionist tactics we will vote even more of you out of office. Richard Burr, you have only two more years. Why do you never respond to my calls and emails?

With all of the discussion about Obama and his Blackberry I have to add my 2 cents worth.

One reason I voted for Barack Obama is because he is in touch with reality. He sees his Blackberry as a connection to that reality which circumvents the normally insular buffering of the Oval Office.

If our leaders lose touch with the real people and the reality of the United States we get what we have had for the last eight years – and imperial dynasty that assumes it knows best because nobody can get through the layers of protection to tell it that it does not. And what a freaking mess it has been.

Obama is starting from a more populist viewpoint to begin with but we, the people, cannot afford to let any president and his administration fail to hear our voices.

Let the man keep his Blackberry!

Last night we attended a “Change is Coming” party/meeting in our neighborhood — one of many held simultaneously all around the country. This is a very important and exciting continuing use of the organization developed by Barack Obama for his campaign and takes us to the next step, which is actively working for the change for which we voted.

We were really impressed because over 60 people signed up for this event and most of those folks showed up. We all have a great deal of energy in creating this change and so it was a very fun and exciting event.

The basic idea was for us to list all of the things that are important to us and then select the top three upon which we will focus in the coming months. We did choose three and this information will be passed up the communications links to Obama headquarters where they will aggregate it and determine the priorities of the administration.

Our priorities here in North Raleigh are:

  • Health Care
  • Environment
  • The Economy

These priorities go a lot deeper and broader than the list would suggest at first glance. As one example, for health care it is important that we have universal health care that is easily available to all. It should travel from job to job with you, be free of exclusions due to pre-existing conditions and without regard to socio-economic status.

Each of the three items also includes commonalities such as creating new jobs, feeding the hungry, reinvigorating the economy, freeing the United States from the tyranny of dependence upon foreign oil, developing new sources of energy, and ensuring social justice for all.

In addition we have formed local groups around these items at the top of our priority list and will be working locally on these items as well as nationally. And we will also be working on some of the items that did not make the top three, but with less emphasis; they will not go away and also need our attention.

It is truly exciting to have a voice in determining the directions for the next few years — and hopefully far beyond. We are once again energized and feel empowered by the political process instead of alienated as we have been for the last eight years.

I will post more here as we further refine and define our goals and we begin to act for change.

Yes We Can!

Voting appears to be slow in North Carolina today. Is this because so many people have already voted? Or is it because of the rainy weather?

Whichever it is, there is no excuse for not voting. The lines are currently short and people in many countries must dodge bullets instead of raindrops to cast their vote. And yet they do.

What is your excuse?

Today, November 4th, is Election Day! Remember to vote—not just for Barack Obama, but for Senate candidate Kay Hagan, and other Congressional, state, and local candidates as well.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Remember, in North Carolina, you have to vote for president separately. If you only vote a straight Democratic ticket, then you haven’t voted for president.

Where and when do I vote?

Find your polling place, voting times, and other important information by checking out these sites and the hotline below. These resources are good, but not perfect. To be doubly sure, you can also contact your local elections office.

What should I do before I go?

  • After you’ve entered your address on either Vote For Change or Vote411, read the voting instructions and special rules for your state.
  • Voting ID laws vary from state to state, but if you have ID, bring it.
  • Check out all the voting myths and misinformation to look out for: http://truth.voteforchange.com/

What if something goes wrong?

  • Not on the voter list? Make sure you’re at the right polling place, then demand a provisional ballot.
  • If you’re voting on an electronic machine with a paper record, verify that the record is accurate.
  • Need legal help? Call 1-866-OUR-VOTE.
  • Try to get video of the problem and submit it to VideoTheVote.org

Want to do more?

  • Text all of your friends: “Vote Obama today! Pass it on!”
  • Volunteer at your local Obama office. Find an office here or here.

Now everybody go vote!!!

Here we are at November 3rd already. Wow time flies by so fast!

We are off in a few minutes to GOTV — Get Out The Vote — for Senator Obama. We will be canvassing today and working phones and doing data entry tomorrow. It is going to be a very hectic two days.

I voted today and Alice voted yesterday. For Barack Obama, of course, and most of the other democratic candidates down-ticket.

It took Alice about an hour to get through the line yesterday afternoon. It took me an hour this morning. When I arrived at about 9:50, there were already hundreds of people in line. The polling place opened its doors at 10:00am and the line moved slowly but steadily the entire time. There were many voting booths set up and crammed into a space that was really too small but things seemed to be going very smoothly despite that.

When I came out the line was longer than when voting started today and more people were heading in that direction. Expect lines to be longer this afternoon and tomorrow.

Have you voted yet? If not get out and do so. There is still time to cast your vote early this afternoon and tomorrow in North Carolina. It also looks like the county Boards of Elections will be extending Saturday hours through 7pm tomorrow. But please check before you go to make sure.

Barack Obama

CHANGE WE NEED