some resources that put things into perspective

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Last night Daniel commented to me that I had become more politically interested than before. Why? Good question. After thinking a bit I told him that I think it is because before I always sort of trusted "smarter people" to make the decisions. Now at my age, I am the "grown-up" and that smarter person, and that brings responsibility. And after enjoying the prosperity and then watching the country's economy tank over the last few years, along with our retirement fund evaporating yesterday with the 777 drop, I want my voice to be heard. Maybe its coming of age, maybe I don't like where this country has been and I an kicking myself for not being more informed the last election. Whatever it is it has turned this non-political artist into a political junky.

Here is a preliminary list of resources that I have been using to keep myself sane and hopefully clear headed while candidates run around like chickens with no heads, and media gorges themselves on feverish gossip, mud slinging and lies. I will try to add to this list as the clock counts down the next 40 days and do the "reading" not just the watching. My apologies for not creating the links just now...cut and paste will have to do.

• Keeping the facts straight on both sides of the fence, if you read nothing else between now and the election make it be factcheck.org. They did a great job of dissecting the last debate and pointing out the misleads and mistakes from both candidate :

http://www.factcheck.org

• Up to the minute political articles:

http://www.politico.com

• Keeping slander in the conservative media in check:

http://mediamatters.org

• Obama's voting record:

http://www.votesmart.org/voting_category.php?can_id=9490

• McCain's voting record:

http://www.votesmart.org/voting_category.php?can_id=53270

Votesmart.org also has all the campaign spending. Although Obama's is in a handy breakdown piechart compared to McCain's 177 page itemized list (making it hard to tell what was spent where at a glance) it is still a great resource.

• Who will actually raise taxes? Skip the rhetoric and do your own math. This is a great calculator that plugs in the candidates policies and your fiscal numbers and spits out the actual taxes you will be paying.

http://www.electiontaxes.com

And if you are interested in the top contributors of each candidate, lobbys and other interesting tidbits try opensecrets.org

• McCain's Top Contributors:
http://www.opensecrets.org/pres08/contrib.php?cycle=2008&cid=N00006424

• Obama's Top Contributors:
http://www.opensecrets.org/pres08/contrib.php?id=N00009638

• And some more dig deep type stuff on the Capital Eye. We like to think it is all principle and virtue but doesn't it all come down to money? This article was a sobering read..."Finance Sector Gave 51 Percent More to House Bailout Backers":

http://www.opensecrets.org/news/2008/09/finance-sector-gave-50-percent.html

• Lots of fun widgets to be had there too:

• Oh and if you want to compare who sponsored, co-sponsored what bills (who was working and who wasn't) there is a handy search engine here:

http://thomas.loc.gov

or Govtrack.us gives lots of this info broken down in and easier read:

McCain's
http://www.govtrack.us/congress/person.xpd?id=300071

Obama's
http://www.govtrack.us/congress/person.xpd?id=400629

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This page contains a single entry by Blair published on September 30, 2008 10:59 AM.

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