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Name: David Allen
Gender: Male
Hometown: Washington, DC
Home country: USA
Member since: 2001
Number of posts: 63,259

Journal Archives

GOP Super PACS Plan To Spend $1 Billion On Election ($400 million from Koch brothers)

Source: TPM

Republican super PACs, including Karl Rove’s American Crossroads and Crossroads GPS groups, plan to spend a total of $1 billion on the 2012 elections, reports Politico. Much of the money not previously expected comes from the Koch Brothers, who along with Koch-affiliated groups plan to spend $400 million before November.

From Politico:

Just the spending linked to the Koch network is more than the $370 million that John McCain raised for his entire presidential campaign four years ago. And the $1 billion total surpasses the $750 million that Barack Obama, one of the most prolific fundraisers ever, collected for his 2008 campaign.

Restore Our Future, the super PAC supporting Mitt Romney, proved its potency by spending nearly $50 million in the primaries. Now able to entice big donors with a neck-and-neck general election, the group is likely to meet its new goal of spending $100 million more.

And American Crossroads and the affiliated Crossroads GPS, the groups that Rove and Ed Gillespie helped conceive and raise cash for, are expected to ante up $300 million, giving the two-year-old organization one of the election’s loudest voices.

Read more: http://livewire.talkingpointsmemo.com/entries/gop-super-pacs-plan-to-spend-1-billion

Post your own "I'm With Mitt!" Amercia Pics!

Download the "With Mitt" iPhone App NOW before the Romney campaign updates the App:

Take a picture using the "A better Amercia" picture maker.

Upload to the internet and post to DU!

The most important thing you can do in the Welcome & Help Forum: **REPLY**

Right now we're getting a lot of new threads in here, so I understand it is hard to keep up with all of them and post a bunch of replies. But if you want to help make DU a more welcoming place for new members and old members, you should really make the effort to respond. We can tell that people are reading all the posts in here. Now REPLY to those posts!

Even if it's just a "Hi" and a it'll make people feel welcome, and it'll make YOU feel good too.

In this forum, of all places on DU, everyone should get a reply to their thread.

C'mon. Be part of the DU Welcome Wagon!

New forum: Welcome & Help

We've created a new top-level forum called "Welcome & Help." The purpose of this forum is to welcome new DU members, to let members get to know one another, and to provide DU-specific help and support.

The Welcome & Help forum can be found here:


...and the forum's Statement of Purpose is:

Introduce yourself here! Meet and greet other DUers, share tips about DU, and get help in a positive, supportive environment. No whining about DU. People who create an unwelcoming atmosphere will be blocked from this forum.

Meanwhile, we have made some slight changes to the Help & Meta-discussion forum. Help & Meta-discussion has been renamed to Meta-discussion and it is now only available to logged-in members. We have also changed the Statement of Purpose slightly. The new Statement of Purpose for Meta-discussion is:

Discuss Democratic Underground policies and procedures. Second-guess decisions by Juries, Hosts, and Administrators. Work through problems between members. Discuss the DU Community Standards. Bemoan the current state of DU.

Thanks for your patience while we continue to work to improve DU.

You've found the new Welcome & Help forum. I'm Skinner, one of the Administrators here at DU.

We've been here on our new software for a few months now, and the admins have been focused on making a bunch of upgrades and fixes to the software. But now we want to focus on doing things to help foster a sense of community -- to get to know each other, to welcome new members into the fold, and to provide help and support to each other. With this in mind, we have created this new Welcome & Help Forum. We hope all of our members -- both new and old -- will take some time to introduce yourselves and to say hello to other DUers who have taken the time to post in here as well. Be sure to make a special effort to welcome our new members.

My name is David, but here on DU I generally prefer to go by my username Skinner. I am the owner of Democratic Underground, and one of the three Administrators here on DU. (The other two are EarlG and Elad.) Here's the classic DU Admin photo, which was taken years ago and has been posted here a hundred times:

Democratic Underground was launched many years ago, on the very day George W. Bush took the oath of office to become President. For our first eight years, our shared contempt for the illegitimate, unelected moron in the White House was the glue that held our community together. Now he is long gone (Thank God), but DU is still here. The election of President Obama in 2008 represented a fairly significant change for our country and for Democratic Underground as well, where we have found ourselves in the unfamiliar position of picking sides and disagreeing about the president. Personally, I am a big fan of President Obama, and I think he's done a good job in his first term. I am very much looking forward to voting for him again, and I can't wait for his second term (fingers crossed).

I have spent a quarter of my life running this website, and I intend to spend much more time doing so. I was 29 years old when DU started, and I am 40 now. Over the last 11 years since DU was founded, I got married to an amazing woman, and had three sons. Here is a recent pic of my boys:

Jack (left) is 3; Isaac (middle) is 9 months; Lucas (right) is 5. And we've still got this guy:

Romeo is 12 or 13 years old now, and these days he spends most of his time lounging outside in the sun.

I love my job, and I am so thankful for all the great people we have here on DU. I look forward to getting to know all of you.

Advanced Search functionality is now available to DU Star Members

There are two ways to access the DU3 Advanced Search function:

1) Click the "Advanced search" link in the top right corner of any page -- below the Google Search function.

2) Click the "Search this forum/group" button at the top of any forum or group.

Or you can click here.

Game of Thrones Cake Pops (***SEASON 1 SPOILER***)


President Obama Affirms His Support for Same Sex Marriage

Source: ABC News

President Obama today announced that he now supports same-sex marriage, reversing his longstanding opposition amid growing pressure from the Democratic base and even his own vice president.

In an interview with ABC News’ Robin Roberts, the president described his thought process as an “evolution” that led him to this place, based on conversations with his own staff members, openly gay and lesbian service members, and conversations with his wife and own daughters.

"I have to tell you that over the course of several years as I have talked to friends and family and neighbors when I think about members of my own staff who are in incredibly committed monogamous relationships, same-sex relationships, who are raising kids together, when I think about those soldiers or airmen or marines or sailors who are out there fighting on my behalf and yet feel constrained, even now that Don't Ask Don't Tell is gone, because they are not able to commit themselves in a marriage, at a certain point I’ve just concluded that for me personally it is important for me to go ahead and affirm that I think same sex couples should be able to get married,” Obama told Roberts, in an interview to appear on ABC’s “Good Morning America” Thursday. Excerpts of the interview will air tonight on ABC’s “World News with Diane Sawyer.”

The president stressed that this is a personal position, and that he still supports the concept of states deciding the issue on their own. But he said he’s confident that more Americans will grow comfortable with gays and lesbians getting married, citing his own daughters’ comfort with the concept.

Read more: http://gma.yahoo.com/blogs/abc-blogs/president-obama-affirms-his-support-for-same-sex-marriage.html

Video here: http://gma.yahoo.com/video/news-26797925/obama-same-sex-marriage-should-be-legal-29242313.html

According to the DU Terms of Service, general election season has begun. Don't expect big changes.

It is clear that the 2012 presidential election is going to be President Obama vs. Mitt Romney. So, for the purposes of enforcement of the DU Terms of Service, general election season has begun. Here is the relevant section:

Vote for Democrats.
Winning elections is important — therefore, advocating in favor of Republican nominees or in favor of third-party spoiler candidates that could split the vote and throw an election to our conservative opponents is never permitted on Democratic Underground. But that does not mean that DU members are required to always be completely supportive of Democrats. During the ups-and-downs of politics and policy-making, it is perfectly normal to have mixed feelings about the Democratic officials we worked hard to help elect. When we are not in the heat of election season, members are permitted to post strong criticism or disappointment with our Democratic elected officials, or to express ambivalence about voting for them. In Democratic primaries, members may support whomever they choose. But when general election season begins, DU members must support Democratic nominees (EXCEPT in rare cases where were a non-Democrat is most likely to defeat the conservative alternative, or where there is no possibility of splitting the liberal vote and inadvertently throwing the election to the conservative alternative). For presidential contests, election season begins when both major-party nominees become clear. For non-presidential contests, election season begins on Labor Day. Everyone here on DU needs to work together to elect more Democrats and fewer Republicans to all levels of American government. If you are bashing, trashing, undermining, or depressing turnout for our candidates during election season, we'll assume you are rooting for the other side.

So, what does this mean? In short, it means we're all expected to support President Obama for re-election in 2012. If you are going to vote for President Obama, then you'll probably be fine.

We know some members are expecting the start of election season to signal a sea change on DU, in which the hammer drops and criticism of President Obama is stopped in its tracks. But 2012 is not 2008 or 2004. At this point, we don't see any reason why that would happen. In fact, we don't think there is going to be a particularly noticeable difference between primary season and general election season here on DU, for two reasons.

There was no divisive Democratic presidential primary campaign this year
Back in 2004 and 2008 we had fiercely contested Democratic presidential primaries, in which DU members picked sides and fought like hell for their candidates. When the primaries were finally over there was lots of ill-will, and some members who supported unsuccessful candidates were not in any mood to support the nominee. Those people who insisted on continuing the primary-season fighting after primary season was over were poisoning the community and ultimately some of them needed to be removed. But this year there was no Democratic presidential primary, so we don't have any problems with primary-season sour grapes.

Barack Obama is already the President of the United States
Back in 2004 and 2008 the sitting president was a Republican, George W. Bush. In both years, our candidates -- John Kerry in 2004 and Barack Obama in 2008 -- were merely aspiring to the job of President. This is an important distinction. When our candidates did not hold the office of President, there was really no compelling need to criticize them except to derail their campaigns. But this year, President Obama is already President, and he is going to continue to exercise the powers of the office of President of the United States throughout the campaign. This means he is going to make real decisions that have real-world consequences, and DU members are likely to disagree about some of those decisions. We are not going to stop people from posting good-faith criticism of the President's actions as President. We know we went through some pretty ugly periods here during the Obama presidency, but at this point it looks like almost everyone here is on-board with President Obama already, and we don't anticipate that changing. (To be clear, you don't get a green light to relentlessly trash President Obama if you claim you are going to vote for him. As the TOS say: If you are bashing, trashing, undermining, or depressing turnout for our candidates during election season, we'll assume you are rooting for the other side.)

Having said all that, please be aware that the DU Terms of Service are pretty strict, and we don't cut a great deal of slack to people who violate them. If you are here to advocate on behalf of Mitt Romney or some lost-cause third-party spoiler, you will be banned. We're unlikely to give you a warning first because -- let's face it -- if you are supporting someone other than Barack Obama you are on the wrong website. We don't care if you live in the bluest blue state, or the reddest red state -- President Obama is our candidate.

Skinner, EarlG, Elad
DU Administrators

There is no requirement that anti-social behavior be allowed in the Help & Meta-discussion forum.

Like many other DUers I am not particularly impressed with some of the behavior that goes on here in the Help & Meta-discussion Forum. Let me be clear: I'm not posting this to lay down the law or to tell anyone how to act. You are all adults, and you can control how you behave, and you can decide whether your own behavior has lived up to the standards you expect of yourselves.

However, I would like to address one misconception that I have seen posted here a number of times over the last few days. The misconception is that anti-social behaviors -- "call-outs" or personal attacks or whatever -- are allowed in the Help & Meta discussion forum, and that DU Jurors have a responsibility to permit such behaviors. This is simply wrong.

The Help & Meta-discussion forum, like every other forum and group on Democratic Underground, is subject to the DU Community Standards, which state:

It is the responsibility of all DU members to participate on our discussion forums in a manner that promotes a positive atmosphere and encourages good discussions among a diverse community of people holding a broad range of center-to-left viewpoints. Members should refrain from posting messages on DU that are disruptive, hurtful, rude, insensitive, over-the-top, or otherwise inappropriate. These broad community standards of behavior are maintained though the combined efforts of members posting and serving on citizen juries, using their own best judgment to decide what behavior is appropriate and what is not.

Note that the last sentence specifically mentions two ways by which we all maintain our Community Standards:

1) By posting. (ie: Modeling the behavior we wish to see on DU.)
2) By serving on Juries. (ie: Judging whether others are modeling the behavior we wish to see on DU.)

So if you do not approve of the current state of affairs in the Help & Meta-discussion forum, there at least two things you can do. You can post in a manner that you feel is appropriate. And when you serve on a Jury, you can vote to hide anti-social behavior.

Despite all the bemoaning it is quite obvious that many people who post regularly in the Help & Meta-discussion forum are fine with the behavior that goes on here -- and that is a legitimate point of view (albeit one I disagree with). You can post and judge other posts however you like.

I feel obligated to point out, however, that it is simply incorrect to tell Jurors that they are "doing it wrong" when they vote to hide Help & Meta posts which they consider to be anti-social or otherwise disruptive.
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