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On our way to New Haven where Kobe (pictured above) will kick Joe Lieberman’s ass and make him stop telling lies about Ned Lamont, we stopped off in Pittsburgh and hooked up with the folks from Drinking Liberally.  It was really fun and I don’t even drink. The only one I sort-of knew was Eli who I’d chatted with before in Atrios’ comments section, who also took this photo of His Rabid Black Lambiness and blogged about it here.

We talked a lot about the Roots project (web site hopefully going up soon) and about ways to network people locally so they can organize and take action.  People were very concerned about Diebold voting machines, and I mentioned that it’s always a subject I’m conflicted about tackling because it tends to demoralize people and make them feel their vote means nothing.  Which is not to say it isn’t a problem.  Eli made the point — and I agree — that GOP efforts to suppress the vote are quite extensive and start a long time before people actually get to the ballot box. As I’ve written before many times, I’m afraid these feelings of powerlessness and fatalism could have a very bad effect on GOTV efforts for November.

Then Marty O’Malley piped up that he was a poll watcher.  He also said that he’d gotten together with other Democrats in the area and a mere 10 of them had gotten county executives to switch  from less reliable to more tamper-proof voting machines in 6 months.  So the next time someone shows up in the comments complaining that we might as well just throw up our hands and do nothing because our votes won’t count anyway, I’m going to be asking them what kind of voting machines are being used in their particular county and if they’re a poll watcher.  I think being a poll watcher is a fantastic thing to be doing for November, anyway.

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Many thanks to everyone who showed up, and to Spork_Incident for organizing the get-together (he took the photo above of me & Pearl, who kindly let us stay at her house).  I just had all kinds of fun.

We’re in Harrisburg right now and we’ll be off to have dinner with Pastor Dan and his wife soon.  Tomorrow, New Haven. 

(BTW, if there’s a Drinking Liberally in your area I can’t recommend it highly enough, it’s a great way to network with people in your area and wind up with mustard all down your shirt.  Okay I guess that was me.  You don’t have to do that part.)