Eight years after the 2000 election debacle, Florida voters have another chance to make history. By one count, as few as 193 Florida votes decided the 2000 election according to CNN!

Obama can win Florida with our help - Let's take back the vote!

Latest polls, Get out the Vote

Latest Polls in Florida - show shifts toward McCain. CNN/Time/Opinion Research Corp. (1 pt.) and Quinnipiac (3 pt.). Obama leads by about 2 pts.

Get out the vote. Choose a battleground state to call. The call list includes the voter's polling location.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Tikkun Olam - to Repair the World

Shana Tovah - Happy New Year.

A video testimonial featuring Chicago Jews who have worked closely with Obama speaks eloquently of his dedication to Tikkun Olam, repair of the world, and of his "Yiddish Soul".

Tikkun Olam has profound meaning to all Jews. For me, this year, it has new meaning as I think of my father, who passed away after devoting his last 25 years to relief work in Jewish communities in Ethiopia, Sudan, Russia and Cuba. I'm writing about my father here because of how he felt about Obama.

To Dad, character meant everything, and it was Obama's strength of character that impressed him most of all. He died unexpectedly on Mother's Day, but not before we all got together to celebrate the holiday over lunch. Dad sat at the head of the table and brought the subject around to his favorite topic - Obama. That was Mother's Day lunch - political discussion and Obama.

So, I'd like to add my father's voice posthumously, to the eloquent voices in this video. Please watch and share widely.

The letter from Rabbis for Obama makes the same case - "Senator Barack Obama inspires in us the hope for an America once more called to its best values. We know him to be a man of incredible integrity, born of a deep and abiding spiritual faith based on the teachings of the Hebrew Prophets, and committed to achieving a world of peace with justice for all people."

Another, equally beautiful video, from Israelis for Obama, can be found in the new section at the left, Schleppin' for the Vote.

Finally, don't forget to see Sarah Silverman at the The Great Schlep (rated R - i.e. just for young people! That one might have been too much for Dad, though he probably would have cracked a smile).

Sunday, September 28, 2008

37 days - If I could only say Ahmadinejad.

One of the great things about the Palin candidacy is that it’s given all of us an opportunity to consider our own readiness for high office. I had started to think I might be able to do it – after all, everyone who knows me agrees that I’m a quick study and I’ve had a passport for over 25 years. So, why not? But then I considered my fatal flaw – I can’t pronounce Ahmadinejad.

Leave it to the BBC to come to the rescue with a note on how to pronounce it. "Today's pronunciation is Iranian President Mahmoud AHMADINEJAD (sometimes also spelt AHMADINEZHAD). Our recommendation is mah-MOOD ah-mad-in-uh-ZHAAD (-h is pronounced in 'Mahmoud' and in 'Ahmadinejad') based on the advice of the BBC Persian Monitoring team."

Maybe there’s hope for me yet.

My case for proper pronunciation is well documented here by Saturday Night Live.

Getting serious about pronunciation, let's get back to McCain. He did a great job with the Iranian president’s name at Friday’s debate after anointing himself with the heritage of the Kennedys, Eisenhower and Reagan. And then there were the veterans, a group McCain said would be one of the few to receive funding under his administration. So I thought I'd look at McCain's voting record on Veterans.

The vets speak for themselves. In response to the debate, a vet documented McCain’s record on Vet Voice.

The following video has only 212 views on YouTube. Pass it on.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Palin Wanin'

Two must reads from the Huffington Post; Carl Bernstein on the devolution of John McCain as evidenced by the Palin pick - "Indeed, no presidential nominee of either party in the last century has seemed so willing to endanger the country's security as McCain in his reckless choice of a running mate."- and conservative columnist, Kathleen Parker, says Palin should bow out.

39 days - Reaching Everyone - part 1

Two videos for you today -

This one from Israeli Jews made me cry -

And this one made me cheer -

I would like to strengthen the archive with material for specific Florida communities. These two address youth and the Jewish vote. I could use more material for labor, the African American community and the Hispanic community. Spanish language material would be a wonderful contribution. Send me your ideas.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

The meaning of black

I would hope that Leonard Pitts' essay, that considers the meaning of black in American politics, won't get lost in the fray. Here's an excerpt;

So when we ask what black means, well, pollsters say it may mean as many as 6 percentage points in lost votes for Obama.

This is the tightrope African-American politicians have walked since Tom Bradley ran for mayor of Los Angeles if not before, trying to be black without being BLACK, as in that angry boogeyman that haunts white America's dreams.

Obama has walked this tightrope about as well as anyone could, has answered racial questions when they have been unavoidable, but has visibly striven not to be defined or confined by them, to make his candidacy about something other than his paint job and his culture. But race, the horror movie monster, is never quite slain, and I suspect that by this point, Obama realizes this...

Main Page

The "Oh no, he didn't" Award goes to Sen. John McCain

Jonathan Capehart of the Washington Post continued;

...with his announcement that he's suspending his presidential campaign tomorrow and wants to postpone Friday's debate with Sen. Barack Obama so that he can help negotiate the bipartisan bailout of America's wrecked financial system. Oh, and he's called on Obama to put politics aside and join him. That's certainly a bold move. But why now?

This has not been a good couple of weeks for McCain, and today has been horrendous. The latest Washington Post/ABC News poll showed Obama with a clear lead over the senator from Arizona for the very first time. As if that weren't bad enough, a national poll from Fox News/Opinion Dynamics and battleground state polls from Marist appear to back up the contention that Obama is striking a chord with voters on the economy. This is giving him valuable momentum going into Friday's debate.

Then, as E.J. wrote about earlier, there was the front page New York Times story today contradicting McCain campaign assertions that the firm founded by campaign chief Rick Davis had had no dealings with Freddie Mac for three years. The story reports that Davis's firm, Davis Manafort, was paid $15,000 a month from the end of 2005 through last month.

By making such a startling announcement this afternoon, McCain has managed to most certainly change the subject -- for now.

Maybe he's putting "country first." But coming 41 days before the election and on a day of tough news for McCain, forgive me for thinking that there's more than a bit of self-interest here.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

With 41 days to go - McCain suspending campaign -wants to postpone debate

Republicans trounce Obama divestment bill

Senate Republicans blocked an Iran divestment bill sponsored by Barack Obama in a clearly political move. Obama cries foul, as reported in the Israeli press.

Catch up - Can't miss these...

Alaska Women AGAINST Palin Rally on September 13

OK, I'm late getting this up. Still, the visuals and the e-mail I received with them are great. Check out Jim Benning's site for more.

The Great Schlep or "Sitting Poolside with McCain"

"Great column, I almost laughed my 'depends' off," said one comment on Joel Stein's column in the LA Times.

Stein went to Ft. Lauderdale to visit his Mama Ann and to preview the vote getting potential of hordes of young Jews who plan to descend on South Florida as part of The Great Schlep Columbus Day weekend.

The plan - for Jewish youth to convince their skeptical grandparents' generation that Obama's their candidate.

There was SNL on Truth in Advertising

Theme song - Takin' It Back with Barack

Thanks to Lee Marshall for sending this. Watch it!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Obama pulls ahead of McCain in polls

With a 5% lead in the polls, now at 51/46, Obama moves forward largely based on public perception that he is better equipped to handle the economic crisis.

In a CNN/Opinion Research Corp. survey out yesterday, 47 percent of registered voters questioned said Republicans are more responsible for the current financial crisis; only 24 percent said Democrats are more responsible.

Obama holds a 6-point lead in respondents who think he could better handle the crisis and a 10-point lead in respondents who think he would better handle the economy overall.

42 days - AP quote of the day

"We cannot give a blank check to Washington with no oversight and accountability, when no oversight and accountability is what got us into this mess in the first place." - Barack Obama.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Looking Presidential

Obama met with his financial advisors including former Federal Reserve Chairman, Paul Volcker, in Coral Gables Friday and then met the press. View the press conference in its entirety.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

45 days - GOP defames Obama for votes/ new vote counting debacle in Palm Beach

Beth Reinhard reports today on the battle for Jewish hearts and minds. GOP pollsters are calling voters with questions like, "Would it affect your opinion of Democrat Barack Obama if you knew he has a relationship with Palestinian leaders? If you knew that a Hamas leader endorsed him?" One of the calls went to a reporter who documented it for the record.

Deja vu? "Palm Beach County's search for 3,400 missing ballots in a tight judge's race has all the feel of the 2000 presidential election debacle, without the national spotlight," says a Sun Sentinel editorial.

"Finding the missing votes in a judge's contest decided by 60 votes or less is just part of the challenge. In a county that decided the 2000 presidential race by 537 votes, it means making sure there won't be a repeat in November, when voters will decide one of the most important presidential elections of our time."

Friday, September 19, 2008

46 days - Obama in Florida today

Were you there? Send me your comments on his speech at UM. More photos and a re-cap by the Miami Herald. >

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Truth or Tale?

Want to check a claim leveled by the candidates? Try Politifact.com, a service of the St. Petersburg Times.

Whether it's; "The e-mail heard round the world" from Wasilla, Alaska resident, Anne KilKenney; McCain's "warning" on Fannie and Freddie, or Palin's shifting ground on global warming and the bridge to nowhere, they've got it covered. This is not a partisan site - they catch Obama in overstatement too.

The same goes for Factcheck.org who called McCain out again today for misrepresenting Obama's economic plan.

47 days -Race a dead heat

A new Quinnipiac University National Poll puts Obama 4 pts. ahead in the popular vote with women and blacks giving him the nod. The electoral race is a dead heat - Florida's figures are tied at 46/46.

Republican breaks rank

From the Associated Press; WASHINGTON -- Nebraska Republican Sen. Chuck Hagel said his party's vice presidential nominee, Sarah Palin, lacks foreign policy experience and called it a "stretch" to say she's qualified to be president.

"She doesn't have any foreign policy credentials," Hagel said in an interview published Thursday by the Omaha World-Herald. "You get a passport for the first time in your life last year? I mean, I don't know what you can say. You can't say anything."

Could Palin lead the country if GOP presidential nominee John McCain could not?

"I think it's a stretch to, in any way, to say that she's got the experience to be president of the United States," Hagel said.

Anyone who wonders about the pertinence of her readiness to lead, has to see this video.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Deepak Chopra on Obama and the Palin Effect

"Palin reinforces the overall message of the reactionary right, which has been in play since 1980, that social justice is liberal-radical, that minorities and immigrants, being different from “us” pure American types, can be ignored, that progressivism takes too much effort and globalism is a foreign threat," says Deepak Chopra.

Chopra points out that Obama's call for higher ideals was bound to provoke a response, represented in all its fury by Palin. Here Chopra sees a silver lining to the Palin cloud - but I can't presume to express what he can say best. This is a good read for those seeking perspective.

Information on our side

McCain barbs have stirred an outcry according to the NYTimes. This is an article to pass on to the undecided and to wavering Hillary supporters. In my conversations with friends who plan to vote GOP, misinformation reigns.

48 days - The Palin Effect

The Palin effect has significantly helped McCain’s numbers in Florida according to the Miami Herald’s Friday article.

The article cites the key support of women and the celebrity buzz generated by Palin. Most discomforting, 24 percent of Hillary Clinton voters in Florida now support McCain, up 10%, according to one poll.

While Palin’s feisty “pitbull with lipstick” approach to public speaking has energized a following, the republican campaign is making sure that unscripted discussion by Palin is nonexistent.

McCain is riding the Palin wave, with a stump speech more about Palin than himself. Never mind that even GOP foreign policy makers are cool on the one heart beat away choice.

Beth Reinhard, political columnist for the Herald, wonders if Palin could rob McCain of the Jewish vote.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Hot, hot, hot.

"Forget the lipstick, economy takes over the campaign" says the Miami Herald today. One can only marvel at what it takes to bring us back to reality.

The campaign for Florida is hot. John McCain, who broke from his courtship of Florida Hispanics and veterans to attend private dinners at $50,000 a pop, raised an estimated $5 million at the Intercontinental Hotel in Miami last night, according to the Miami Herald.

Barack Obama, whose own fund-raising efforts hit an all time high of $66 million last month, will be at the Bank United Center on Friday. Free tickets, available on my.barackobama.com, will go fast. If you haven't already, sign up and search for the event.

In other interesting Herald articles, Obama counts a rabbi among his relatives and Florida Jewish voters have reported receiving calls from bogus pollsters whose false and misleading comments disparage Obama.

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The sexism is sooo deep

Thanks to Jon Stewart for clarifying what's what and what's not. (I know this is not new, but it has to be here for the record.)

For a more serious take, try the NYTimes on political rhetoric vs. reality.

49 days - A Heartbeat Away - A Palin re-cap

You’ve heard it/read it – yet she is the nominee and could one day be our president and all in the name of womanhood. Here are some of the best pieces I’ve seen since the nomination of Sarah Palin.

At the top of the list, check out the New York Times feature on Palin, Once Elected, Palin Hired Friends and Lashed Foes – a must read for wavering voters.

And of course, look at Charlie Gibson’s interview. The look on her face when Gibson questioned Palin about the Bush Doctrine must have looked something like the look on the moose’s face before she killed him.

Then there are the letters from women who know her from Wasilla Alaska. One appeared on Moms.Miami.com.

Monday, September 15, 2008

50 days and counting

With 50 days to go until the election, Florida voters are facing another historic moment. We can sit back and see what happens or we can get in there and fight for change.

Florida might once again elect the president. The pundits are writing Florida off to the Republicans. But a democratic win in Florida would clinch the election for Obama. The New York Times electoral map indicates that while the Florida vote is leaning towards McCain at the moment, an August poll had Obama ahead.

For election weary Floridians, this can be a burden or an opportunity. Let's make it an opportunity and win back the vote.

The blog will endeavor to be a clearinghouse for the day's news. Check back daily and click the e-mail function to send postings to friends. And get out and win some votes.