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.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

5 days to go - Get Serious! Part II

Need material to counter the fear mongering in the swing states? Fight the Smears and Under the Radar have all the documentation you need to counter each specific attack.

Bill Clinton came out to rally with Obama last night and addressed the GOP's smear of the week - "Don't tell me about redistribution... What Senator Obama has is a plan that works from the bottom up."

These are good rational arguments, but when reality and the ridiculous get so confused, I turn to Jon Stewart, and today I'll add Stephen Colbert, for their ability to boil the news down to its essence. See the previous post.

5 days to go - Get Serious!

Jon Stewart interviewed Obama last night, from Ft. Lauderdale.

But isn't he a socialist?

Colbert didn't stop there. He invited the Socialist Party candidate for President to the show.

All right, so how serious is this?

Down to business - we need your help to win Florida;

Take a few minutes to contact everyone you know in Blue States. Send them the letter below - customized with their names;

Dear old Friend,

We need your help in Florida. Obama leads in some polls by a small margin, is tied in another and trails in yet another. The state is decidedly undecided.

With only 5 days to go – you can help us win Florida’s 27 electoral votes, enough to decide the election. Here’s what we need to get out the vote;

If you have only a few minutes each day;

Call five for Obama And tell all your friends to call 5.

If you have more time;

Go to Neighbor to Neighbor. Here you can choose who and where you want to call.

Choose your battleground state campaign!

Call voters in New Mexico, Nevada, Iowa, Ohio, North Carolina, Colorado, Oregon, Virginia and West Virginia. Or help us get out the early vote in Florida.

Need information to persuade a voter? – go to Makefloridacount.com and choose an article or video from the archive. There is something for everyone there – you will find endorsements from conservatives, Republicans, Catholics, Rabbis, Chicago Jews, Rednecks4 Obama, labor, Nobel prize winners, news organizations.

Are you a student? go to the AdoptFive college edition.

Reports of early voting show very low student turnout. Check out the next video, personalize it here with your friend's name and send it to all your friends and student voters in the swing states.

Please pass the word to all your friends in the Blue States. We haven't won yet.

Obama will win if we get everyone out to vote. We need your help to make it happen.

For hope and change,

Your friend

Here are the action links for your letter.

Adopt 5 - http://my.barackobama.com/page/content/adoptfivefl/

Neighbor to Neighbor - http://my.barackobama.com/page/votercontact/landing

It's your fault video - http://www.cnnbcvideo.com/taf.shtml?id=&nid=Pu5F0XSYwwst4zz1q1oLODQ0MTk5MQ--

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

"I didn't vote for Obama" - a voter's story

by kentuckyscott (found on DailyKos) Oct 20, 2008

"I'm a middle-class white guy living in Jacksonville, Florida. I've got a wife and two kids. Because the kids had no school today, I took a vacation day from work, and took the kids downtown to vote early. Fifty-nine minutes later, two smiling children and I proudly sported "I Voted" stickers.

But I didn't vote for Obama.

I voted for my ancestors, who believed in the promise of this country and came with with nothing as immigrants.

I voted for my parents, who taught in the public schools for decades.

I voted for Steve, an acquaintance of mine from Kentucky. (Killed by an IED two years ago in Iraq).

I voted for Shawn, another who's been to Iraq twice, and Afghanistan once, and who'll be going back to Afghanistan again soon -- and whose family earned eleven bucks a month too much to qualify for food stamps when the war started.

I voted for April, the only African-American girl in my high school -- it was years before it occurred to me how different her experience of our school must have been.

I voted for my college friends who are Christian, Jewish, Mormon, and yes -- Muslim.

I voted for my grandfathers, who worked hard in factories and died too young.

I voted for the plumber who worked on my house, because I want him to get a REAL tax break.

I voted for four little angels from Birmingham.

I voted for a bunch of dead white men who, although personally flawed, were willing to pledge their lives, fortunes, and sacred honor, and used a time of great crisis to expand freedom rather than suspend it.

I voted for all those people and more, and I voted for all of you, too. But mostly, I voted selfishly. I vote for two little kids, one who has ballet in an hour, and once who has baseball practice at the same time. I voted for a world where they can be confident that their government will represent the best that is in this country, and that will in turn demand the best of them. I voted for a government that will be respected in the world. I voted for an economy that will reward work above guile. I voted for everything I believe in.

Sure, I filled in the circle next to the name Obama, but it wasn't him I was voting for -- it was every single one of us, and those I love most of all.

Who else is there to vote for?"

Be sure to read the previous post for another beautiful story from Ohio.

Forget Joe the Plumber, I Like Mike

Here's a clipping from Ben Smith's column at Politico, quoting an e-mail from Cincinnati -

"Upon arriving at the Hamilton County Board of Elections in Cincinnati to vote early today I happened upon some friends of my mother's — three small, elderly Jewish women. They were quite upset as they were being refused admitance to the polling location due to their Obama T-Shirts, hats and buttons. Apparently you cannot wear Obama/McCain gear into polling locations here in Ohio.... They were practically on the verge of tears.

After a minute or two of this a huge man (6'5", 300 lbs easy) wearing a Dale Earnhardt jacket and Bengal's baseball cap left the voting line, came up to us and introduced himself as Mike. He told us he had overheard our conversation and asked if the ladies would like to borrow his jacket to put over their t-shirts so they could go in and vote. The ladies quickly agreed. As long as I live I will never forget the image of these 80-plus-year-old Jewish ladies walking into the polling location wearing a huge Dale Earnhardt racing jacket that came over their hands and down to their knees!

Mike patiently waited for each woman to cast their vote, accepted their many thanks and then got back in line (I saved him a place while he was helping out the ladies). When Mike got back in line I asked him if he was an Obama supporter. He said that he was not, but that he couldn't stand to see those ladies so upset. I thanked him for being a gentleman in a time of bitter partisanship and wished him well.

After I voted I walked out to the street to find my mother's friends surrouding our new friend Mike — they were laughing and having a great time. I joined them and soon learned that Mike had changed his mind in the polling booth and ended up voting for Obama. When I asked him why he changed his mind at the last minute, he explained that while he was waiting for his jacket he got into a conversation with one of the ladies who had explained how the Jewish community, and she, had worked side by side with the black community during the civil rights movements of the '60s, and that this vote was the culmination of those personal and community efforts so many years ago. That this election for her was more than just a vote ... but a chance at history.

Mike looked at me and said, "Obama's going to win, and I didn't want to tell my grandchildren some day that I had an opportunity to vote for the first black president, but I missed my chance at history and voted for the other guy."

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Every One Counts!

Personalize this message and send it on here.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Colin X - Black militant with ties to terrorists

For the best analysis of the GOP campaign this week, I recommend Jon Stewart's discourse on the real America and radical militant supporters of Obama -

Meanwhile, all us fake Americans better get out there and win some votes!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008


from my e-mail;

"Today was the first day of early voting in South Florida and it was a disaster. My husband went to downtown Miami, and he couldn't vote because the machines were not working properly. Then, he went to Coral Gables, same story. Finally he decided to ask for a absentee ballot."

And from the Guardian's report on today's release of the Pew report -

Election Preview 2008: What if we had an election and everyone came?

"Eight years after the uncovered problems in the 2000 election and more than five years after the creation of the Help America Vote Act of 2002, millions of Americans will head to the polls on November 4 in what many are predicting will be the highest turnout election in recent memory.

"Like the infamous Nor'easter that sank the Andrea Gail, another perfect storm may be brewing, only this one has the potential to combine a record turnout with an insufficient number of poll workers and a voting system still in flux."

Monday, October 20, 2008

Find Obama Rallies in Florida

Want to see the candidates in person? Use "Map the Candidates" in the Organizer's Toolbox (left column) to find an event near you. Obama will appear in Lake Worth (10:30AM) and Miami (2:45 PM)

Powell on patriotism, judgement, Americanism

Powell's seven minute endorsement covered a point avoided by liberals and conservatives alike - what if Obama was a Muslim as some Republicans repeatedly charge? Would that be un-American or cast him in cahoots with terrorists?

“Well, the correct answer is, he is not a Muslim, he’s a Christian, he’s always been a Christian,” said Powell.

“But the really right answer is, what if he is?," said Powell. "Is there something wrong with being a Muslim in this country? The answer's no, that's not America."

See also, Colin Powell invokes image of fallen soldier.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

In Ike's Words, why some conservatives like Obama

Colin Powell's endorsement today adds muscle to the growing conservative chorus for Obama.

President Eisenhower’s words in his televised farewell to the nation seem even more prescient today than they did last February when his granddaughter, Susan Eisenhower, reprised them for her pre-nomination endorsement of Barack Obama.

"As we peer into society's future, we must avoid the impulse to live only for today, plundering, for our own ease and convenience, the precious resources of tomorrow. We cannot mortgage the material assets of our grandchildren without risking the loss also of their political and spiritual heritage. We want democracy to survive for all generations to come, not to become the insolvent phantom of tomorrow."

“Today we are engaged in a debate about these very issues," said Susan Eisenhower. “I am not alone in worrying that my generation will fail to do what my grandfather's did so well: Leave America a better, stronger place than the one it found.” In the spirit of the crossover voters who were inspired by Ike’s “pledge to bring change to Washington and by the prospect that he would unify the nation”, his granddaughter, a lifelong Republican, pledged to work to get Obama elected.

Susan Eisenhower’s was the first, to my knowledge, of what has become a flood of endorsements and/or defections by conservatives and Republicans.

Wick Allison, former publisher of the National Review (considered the intellectual center of the American Conservative movement), endorsed Obama in September, before the economy crashed. He said McCain's brand of “conservatism, which is not conservative at all, has produced financial mismanagement, the waste of human lives, the loss of moral authority, and the wreckage of our economy that McCain now threatens to make worse.”

"Barack Obama is not my ideal candidate for president. (In fact, I made the maximum donation to John McCain during the primaries, when there was still hope he might come to his senses.) But I now see that Obama is almost the ideal candidate for this moment in American history. I disagree with him on many issues. But those don’t matter as much as what Obama offers, which is a deeply conservative view of the world. Nobody can read Obama’s books or listen to him speak without realizing that this is a thoughtful, pragmatic, and prudent man. It gives me comfort just to think that after eight years of George W. Bush we will have a president who has actually read the Federalist Papers.

Most important, Obama will be a realist. I doubt he will taunt Russia, as McCain has, at the very moment when our national interest requires it as an ally. The crucial distinction in my mind is that, unlike John McCain, I am convinced he will not impulsively take us into another war unless American national interests are directly threatened.

“Every great cause,” Eric Hoffer wrote, “begins as a movement, becomes a business, and eventually degenerates into a racket.” As a cause, conservatism may be dead. But as a stance, as a way of making judgments in a complex and difficult world, I believe it is very much alive in the instincts and predispositions of a liberal named Barack Obama."

There are many more, to be sure, but in the interest of brevity, I will end with excerpts from the Chicago Tribune endorsement, their first for a Democrat since the paper's founding in 1847. (All three mentioned here deserve to be read in full.)

“Many Americans say they're uneasy about Obama. He's pretty new to them. 
We can provide some assurance. We have known Obama since he entered politics a dozen years ago. We have watched him, worked with him, argued with him as he rose from an effective state senator to an inspiring U.S. senator to the Democratic Party's nominee for president.

"We have tremendous confidence in his intellectual rigor, his moral compass and his ability to make sound, thoughtful, careful decisions. He is ready."

The Tribune expected more of McCain and endorsed his nomination. Now they say,

"McCain failed in his most important executive decision. Give him credit for choosing a female running mate--but he passed up any number of supremely qualified Republican women who could have served. Having called Obama not ready to lead, McCain chose Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin. His campaign has tried to stage-manage Palin's exposure to the public. But it's clear she is not prepared to step in at a moment's notice and serve as president. McCain put his campaign before his country...

"It may have seemed audacious for Obama to start his campaign in Springfield, invoking Lincoln. We think, given the opportunity to hold this nation's most powerful office, he will prove it wasn't so audacious after all. We are proud to add Barack Obama's name to Lincoln's in the list of people the Tribune has endorsed for president of the United States."

Look for more endorsements from Conservative and Republicans in the days to come in the section at the left titled "Conservative voices for Obama".

Saturday, October 18, 2008

100,000 turn out for Obama in Missouri

Washington Post - "All I can say is, wow," said Obama, surveying the sea of supporters in Missouri, known as the bellwether state. His home state of Illinois was right across the muddy river.

Are you using the Organizer's Toolbox?

Here's an example, from Politifact.com (a St. Petersburg Times service), of what you can find in the Organizer's toolbox on the left side of the page;

Be sure to note what they say about Palin's assertion that she did nothing wrong in the Troopergate case.

Friday, October 17, 2008

The Fight for Florida or The Surest Way to Lose a Race

Once again, Florida is center stage in the fight for the White House. Recent articles on the battle for Florida's 27 votes include yesterday's Miami Herald, Shades of 2000, Florida Again too Close to Call and today's LATimes, Obama bets big on Florida turnout.

A Florida win would clinch the election for Obama. According to the LA Times, the Obama campaign feels that it can win Florida if enough registered Democrats actually get out and vote. On Thursday, Miami Dade County disclosed that Democrats had added 94,000 new voters since the first of the year, compared to 21,000 new Republican registrations. The key lies in getting out the vote, particularly in democrat rich South Florida.

Expect McCain and Palin to be pallin' around Florida in the next two weeks - it's make or break for them. McCain is in Miami today, wooing young voters at FIU. Melbourne is his next stop. Of note - the abundance of new democratic voter registrations could be offset by the GOP's abundant absentee ballots.

Obama’s strong showing in swing and formerly red states, gives him a decided advantage. He can reach the 270 threshold by winning Florida or by winning Colorado and Virginia, for example. But until enough of those states to break the 270 threshold are solidly Obama’s, the race remains undecided.

Florida is far from a sure thing for Obama. If the polls are accurate, Obama's lead in Florida approximates the margin of error. (Want to see how the electoral vote is shaking out, look at Real Clear Politics' interactive electoral college map.) Beyond winning the election, Obama needs a mandate to insure his ability to govern effectively and to counter what one writer called the "permanent smear campaign".

Can we relax now that we're ahead in the polls? To quote from an e-mail I just received, "The surest way to lose a race is to slow down with the finish line in sight." Lee went on to remind that Gore had a double digit lead in October 2000 and Kerry won the popular vote in 2004. Without the key states, we could lose the 2008 vote.

Joe Biden said on Thursday... "This campaign has fought for every inch, and now is not the time to take anything for granted. To get out the vote, we need to knock on hundreds of thousands of doors and make even more phone calls. This campaign has built the largest field operation in history, and we need to mobilize it in these remaining days to get every single voter to the polls on Election Day. Because that's what it comes down to -- counting every last vote."

What does this mean for Obama supporters? Florida organizers are focusing on getting out the vote. Live in another state? - the campaign makes it easy to call battleground states. Go to my.barackobama.com and volunteer to help and focus your energy on a battleground state. Barack Obama has built his campaign on grassroots support. THAT MEANS YOU.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Fired UP, Ready TO GO

19 days to go and the fight for Florida is on. Watch these for extra fuel to Make Florida Count.

Looking for a debate wrap-up? - check the debate section in the left column.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Boston Globe Endorsement

This is a good piece to send to undecided voters - excerpts below or full editorial.

COME JANUARY, a new president will take charge of a nation diminished, an America that is far shakier economically, less secure militarily, and less respected internationally than it was eight years before. The nation needs a chief executive who has the temperament and the nerves to shepherd Americans through what promises to be a grueling period — and who has the vision to restore this country to its place of leadership in the world.

Such a leader is at hand. With great enthusiasm, the Globe endorses Senator Barack Obama for president. The charismatic Democrat from Illinois has the ability to channel Americans’ hopes and rally the public together, at a time when the winds are picking up and the clouds keep on darkening...

Obama’s opponent, Senator John McCain, would try to solve all these problems by going back to the same Republican set of tools: tough talk abroad, tax cuts for the richest at home. In contrast, Obama’s presidency would benefit from the Illinois senator’s formidable political gifts.A graduate of Harvard Law School and a former community organizer on Chicago’s South Side, Obama debuted on the national political scene with a dazzling speech at the Democratic National Convention four years ago. Since then, every word of his books and his speeches has been closely parsed. Evident from all that scrutiny is a nimble mind, an ever more impressive grasp of policy detail, and an ability to listen to contradictory viewpoints. Obama is clearly a liberal. But when he led the Harvard Law Review, he won praise from conservative thinkers because he genuinely wanted to hear what they had to say...

...the way Obama has run his campaign has been a marvel of sound management: He laid down principles, put the right people in positions of authority, and spent money strategically. And he has shown a remarkable steadiness. Whether he was far behind Hillary Clinton before the Iowa caucuses or on the verge of locking up the Democratic nomination, whether he was leading or trailing McCain in the general election contest, Obama made the same forward-looking appeal to voters’ best instincts.

As the first black major-party presidential nominee, Obama has strived to make voters comfortable with a ‘‘skinny kid with a funny name.’’ And yet the historical significance of his bid is impossible to ignore. Voters can make no more powerful statement about America’s commitment to inclusion and opportunity than to put forward this man — Barack Hussein Obama, son of a father from Kenya and a mother from Kansas — as the nation’s representative to the world.

An early Obama campaign slogan declared, ‘‘We are the ones we’ve been waiting for.’’ His critics deemed such rhetoric too ethereal. Now it seems prescient, as the nation confronts a financial crisis of historic proportions, as well as all the other policy failures and debt-fueled excesses of the last eight years. The United States has to dig itself out. Barack Obama is the one to lead the way.

Nobel Prize Winners Endorse Obama

Culling Wikipedia's list of Obama endorsements produced four Nobel prize winners in Economics and 62 in the Sciences and Medicine. Wow.

Paul Krugman, winner of this year's award in Economics, has not endorsed a candidate (per NYTimes policy as I understand it) but is a consistent critic of Bush economic policy.

According to the Associated Press, Krugman said the Republicans are becoming "the party of the stupid" and that the economic meltdown made GOP presidential nominee John McCain "more frightening now than he was a few weeks ago."

For a full list of endorsements, see the resource column on the left side of the page.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

The Nana and Poppa Vote

As the Great Schlep weekend draws to a close, enjoy an inside look at family politics;

For more video on the Great Schlep, go to CNN.

Return to Main page

Carl Hiassen on Pit Bulls and Florida Polls

If you haven't seen Hiassen's take on the GOP troubles in Florida, it's worth a read.

Hiassen points out that Palin's "pit poodle" appearances were "staged at carefully selected stops where the crowds would be a Deep South brand of conservative Republican. McCain's strategists told reporters that Palin's mission was to rally the party base, in which case the party is in deeper trouble than at any time since Richard Nixon's ignominious exit from the White House.

"While McCain desperately needs to recapture independent and undecided voters, Palin is out preaching to the far-right aisle of the choir. Not a soul who was considering voting for Obama would have changed his or her mind after hearing Palin's low shtick."

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Week in review - round up of articles and video of note

The New Yorker endorsed Barack Obama in a beautifully written piece.

American Prayer - ode to unity, not to be missed.

Six Degrees of Desperation - Sarah Palin reads in the New York Times that Barack Obama is palling around with terrorists - analysis by Jon Stewart. (if link breaks, google title - "6 degrees of desperation"/Daily Show links are short-lived.)

For more serious analysis, consider this letter to the editor of the NY Times from the prosecutor in the 1970's case against Ayres. Or, the original article in the NYTimes.

The San Francisco Chronicle covered thinly veiled racism in the attacks on Obama and critics' concern that hostile McCain/Palin rallies could incite violence.

The real expose of the week came from the Obama campaign - If you missed it, watch KeatingEconomics. The Miami Herald covered the Keating 5 story and McCain's connection to Iran Contra. Mike Lux wrapped up a host of McCain "guilt by association" in his Huffington Post article - one stop shopping for a character indictment.

And a group called Velvet Revolution is airing their interview of Stephen Spoonamore, a Republican cyber security expert/whistle-blower who is convinced that the 2004 elections was stolen by a MIM, man in the middle. Further, they cover the little exposed subpoena of Michael Connell, the GOP’s top computer expert, to testify under oath in an Ohio federal lawsuit looking into allegations that Karl Rove has directed illegal manipulation of elections through the use of computer technology. Rather than cooperate in the investigation, Connell hired attorneys close to the Bush/Cheney Administration and refused to appear for the deposition arguing client (GOP) confidentiality.

McCain on War in Iraq - quote of note from Pat Buchanan - "He will make Cheney look like Gandhi".

McCain on War in Iraq 2 - if you can stand to punish yourself with two of these. Quote of note comes at the end of this one. "I disagree with what the majority of the American people want." John McCain.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Holding on to Our American Dream

Like nearly all Obama supporters, I watched the debate Tuesday night reveling in the knowledge that Obama won the night and that the pundits barely stopped short of declaring him the next president.

Considering the tremendous gathering of human energy in support of Obama, which no doubt will go down as a defining historical moment, why do I feel so worried? The economy? No - this worry is rooted in my ever deepening awareness of the countervailing trend, the rise of extreme reaction demonstrated by the McCain campaign, with Sarah Palin leading the charge.

Palin’s charges that Obama consorted with a terrorist were too flimsy to last, blasted out of the water by every fact checking organization of any worth. Already, there are multiple reports that she has dropped that bit from her repertoire.

But there was more to it than that. Douglass Daniel of the AP pointed to the racist subtext of her charges, how in post 9-11 America, “terrorist” conjures up the image of dark-skinned radical Muslims attacking America even while Palin's word choice skirts overt racism.

“Whether intended or not by the McCain campaign, portraying Obama as "not like us" is another potential appeal to racism. It suggests that the Hawaiian-born Christian is, at heart, un-American,” said Daniel.

Palin relishes her use of the anti-American branding of Obama – “This is not a man who sees America like you and I see America,” she said this week. Obama “is someone who sees America, it seems, as being so imperfect, imperfect enough that he’s palling around with terrorists who would target their own country.” At the McCain/Palin rallies, speakers routinely refer to Obama as Barack Hussein Obama, emphasizing his middle name as if it’s an epithet.

Palin panders to the mob, exhorting them to rise up in anger, smiling all the while, the sweet smile of sadism perhaps. At Florida rallies this week, Palin supporters responded with yells of “terrorist” and one called out “kill him”.

While Obama supporters are no doubt encouraged by the polls, our enthusiasm is tempered by this palpable reactionary threat.

As far as the GOP ticket is concerned, truth doesn’t really matter – they know that the negative imagery will stick in people’s minds, fact-checking notwithstanding. A new Mason Dixon poll, reported by the Miami Herald, indicates that the “smut sticking effect” does work, with Florida voters who have been subjected to free media coverage of Palin in Florida this past week, looking more favorably at McCain and more negatively at Obama than previously.

Among Obama supporters, no one considers this a done deal. Let’s say we do win – as national polls indicate we should. We then have to contend with the vote counting mechanism and the very real threat of another stolen election. Another conspiracy theory you say. Well, I hope so. But this lengthy interview of Stephen Spoonamore, a lifelong Republican and cyber security expert may give you pause. Have patience – the interview is long, but it raises a serious call for alarm.

This all too reasonable fear is matched by the tremendous promise of the movement that is taking place. How amazing to see a candidate simultaneously supported by disaffected youth, Israeli generals, Deepak Chopra and Warren Buffet, to name a few. Even the reactionary elements of the GOP who might enjoin the idea of rigging the election may have to pause in the face of the sheer power of the support base gathering together for Obama.

In celebration of this motion, here’s the new internet favorite, An American Prayer.

Breathe deeply and get ready to fight another day.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

On Character Assassination

This from Daily Kos Tue Oct 07, 2008 at 10:11:20 AM PDT

Uh-oh...Ayers won't work anymore (There goes the kitchen sink, I guess here comes the table)...Some republicans from Chicago are saying what most of us knew all along. Bill Ayers was a commonly acceptable figure in Chicago by everyone--Democrats, Independents, and even Republicans. Are they all America hating, terrorist loving traitors to America?!

Yesterday, NPR did a short piece on Obama and Ayers. In fact, this NPR piece speaks to the Republican funded cause that Obama and Ayers worked on together. And that:

"It was never a concern by any of us in the Chicago school reform movement that he had led a fugitive life years earlier," said former Illinois state Republican Rep. Diana Nelson, who worked with both Obama and Ayers over the years. "It's ridiculous. There is no reason at all to smear Barack Obama with this association."

First, Obama began working with Ayers and others (Republicans, Independents, and Democrats) at the Chicago Annenberg Challenge. Well, what is the Annenberg Challenge? Who is Annenberg? Well according to NPR,

"The Obama campaign says he first met Ayers in 1995, when Obama became chair of the board of the Chicago Annenberg Challenge, a $50 million fund that awarded grants to groups trying to implement new programs to improve inner city education in Chicago.

Walter Annenberg, a lifelong Republican and former ambassador who was appointed by Presidents Nixon and Reagan, funded an ambitious program to reform urban education in many cities in the mid 1990s. Ayers was an important member of the group that developed and wrote the grant proposal to the Annenberg Foundation."

Second, there were people of all political persuasions working on this effort with this "terrorist" Ayers and who saw him as acceptable and Obama was no closer than any of the others.

"...no one on the board or on the Annenberg Challenge staff remembers Obama being any closer to Ayers than to any other member of the board. The Annenberg board also included several civic, business and education leaders, many of them Republicans..."

In fact one person close to the issue states:

"I don't remember ever hearing anyone raise concerns or questions or concerns about [Ayers'] background," says Anne Hallett, who has worked closely with Ayers on the Annenberg Challenge grant and with Obama on education and other community and legislative matters. "And that included everybody I was engaged with," including prominent Republicans, and corporate and civic leaders in Chicago, Hallett adds.

Oh, really?!

And finally, the author notes:

Hallett calls this attack on Obama's association with Ayers and the Annenberg Challenge by further association, "a smear campaign. It's a political diatribe that has no basis in fact. The Chicago Annenberg Challenge was an extremely positive initiative. It was well-vetted, thorough, and the fact that it is now is being used for political purposes is, in my opinion, outrageous."

Monday, October 6, 2008

KeatingEconomics.com - a devastating indictment

McCain - Maverick, crusader against corruption?

KeatingEconomics.com , a new site funded by the Obama campaign, exposes McCain's leading role in the 1980’s Keating 5 scandal. Testimony by a former federal bank regulator involved in the Lincoln Savings and Loan case forms the backbone of a documentary which is nothing less than a devastating indictment of the GOP presidential candidate.

“Fraud is the creation of trust and then its betrayal.” – William Black, PhD, former federal banking regulator.

In brief, John McCain was one of 5 senators (the infamous Keating 5) who took contributions from Charles Keating, head of Lincoln Savings and Loan, and then intervened on his behalf to stall regulatory investigation of what Black calls “the worst control fraud in our nation.”

Intervention by the Keating 5 caused a two year regulatory delay – two years that allowed Keating to continue to bilk elderly investors who, with Lincoln’s encouragement, invested $250 million dollars in high risk bonds. The bonds defaulted, Lincoln collapsed and more than 20,000 people lost their savings, at a cost to taxpayers of 3.4 billion dollars. The wider government bail-out of the savings and loan industry cost tax-payers 153 billion dollars by 1999, according to a FDIC report.

What did McCain know about Keating and Lincoln Savings?

“Senator McCain knew the facts because we had briefed him. He knew it was a criminal enterprise. He knew that what was being done was improper… He was uniquely in a position where he could have protested this and stopped this loss. But he did nothing.”

So testifies the regulator who was there, William Black. KeatingEconomics.com lists several background articles, but the video is the most damning document of all, in part due to Black’s intimate involvement in the case.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Slate re-caps the race

Think you're registered? Better double check.

Think you're registered? Not necessarily. Many voters in Florida and other states have been purged from the rolls. Voters in Miami Dade can check their status in less than a minute at miamidade.gov/elections/ab-status.asp. Voters in other counties can find their supervisor of elections here. Follow the links to the Voter Registration application. Tomorrow is the deadline for voter registration.

Don't forget the five friend rule.

The NO MATCH/NO VOTE law-Some new registrants have received notices from the DOE declaring that they could not be properly registered due to a "mismatch" with their ID. To avoid a mismatch, each new registration should match the voter's ID exactly.

If you have received a DOE notice, you can re-submit your ID by fax, email, mail, or in person before Election Day to vote by regular ballot. Protect votes with careful registrations.

If you are properly registered, the NO MATCH law will not affect you. No one at the polls is permitted to ask you for your voter registration card or address. They are only permitted to look at your photo ID to make sure it is you, and to check your ID's signature against your signature on the log. Know your rights!

COLLEGE STUDENTS away at a FLORIDA college, CAN vote at the polls near their campus. They will not need an absentee ballot to vote in Florida but they will have to change their address prior to voting (a 2006 law allows changes to be made after the registration deadline). To avoid last minute problems, students should vote early, beginning October 20.

VOTE EARLY. It's convenient, less crowded, and allows you the breathing room in case there are any issues.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Too serious to miss - AFL-CIO call to cross the color line

"When we have the good courage, the good sense, the trade union values to cross the color line and stand together, no one, no one has ever been able to keep us down." Ricard Trumka

Richard Trumka, Secretary-Treasurer of the AFL-CIO and former president of the United Mine Workers, is a third-generation coal miner who went to work in the mines at age 19. He attended Pennsylvania State University and received his law degree from Villanova University's law school.

According to Wikipedia; while president of the UMWA, Trumka led the successful nine-month strike against the Pittston Coal Company that became a rallying symbol for the entire labor movement. Trumka encouraged non-violent civil disobedience to confront the company in the spirit of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and relied on a sophisticated corporate campaign involving Wall Street investors.

Trumka also worked to raise U.S. mineworker solidarity with the mineworkers of South Africa while they were fighting racial apartheid and served as the U.S. Shell boycott chairman, which challenged the multinational Royal Dutch/Shell Group for its continued business dealings in South Africa.

In his AFL-CIO position, Trumka has focused on creating investment programs for labor pension and benefits funds, fighting Wall Street greed, and challenging politicians to create an equitable economy for working people.

Too funny to miss - The Late Show recaps the VP debate

Friday, October 3, 2008

Lively Debate

It was Biden's night, with his debate performance called his best ever. But Palin held her own in a format where the questioner couldn't press for specific answers, even swaying voters in Fox's focus group. CNN's poll gave Biden 51-38 and a CBS poll of undecided voters gave Biden the win with 46-21.

Two Slate articles hit the mark. Check out John Dickerson's - "Palin Wins, Biden Wins, Obama Wins, McCain loses" and Fred Kaplan's - "So Palin spoke in complete sentences, she still doesn't know anything about foreign policy".

Palin's take on the constitution will likely be widely discussed today. She seemed to miss the separation of powers principle - a major gaffe in my book.

A quote to note from Paul Begala (former Clinton strategist)-"She helped herself, but she didn't help John McCain. She's running for 2012."

The undeniable fascination with Palin's fate feels a little like checking out the tabloids while in line at the supermarket. Now it's time to take home the groceries and get to work!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Gotcha! or What Tina Fey has done for her country

In anticipation of the debate tonight, here’s the latest -

A new Washington Post-ABC News poll shows plummeting approval ratings for Palin, who now may hurt the McCain ticket more than she helps. Loss of confidence among independent voters was particularly evident in the numbers.

The Couric interviews, widely watched by polled voters, left Palin badly bruised and fodder for what the NYTimes called the “devastating parody” on SNL.

While Tina Fey could arguably take credit for turning the course of the election around, she hasn’t completely cornered the market on Palin humor.

Though they appeared to take themselves seriously, Anderson Cooper/CNN reported Tuesday night on what could actually be seen from Little Diomede Island in Alaska. What they found – a rock in the Bering Strait with 150 inhabitants who had never seen Sarah Palin or any other governor, but who could see Russia from their doorsteps. And Slate offers a wonderful piece on Palin poetry – actually interesting, from a linguistic POV. In other news, the San Francisco Chronicle has raised a call to “Free Sarah Palin”.

Perhaps the quote of the week comes from conservative columnist Kathleen Parker who called for Palin to step down - "Cut the verbiage and there's not much content there," Parker wrote. "If BS were currency, Palin could bail out Wall Street herself."

Even in Alaska, Palin's popularity is taking a tumble - McClatchy Newspapers

The McCain campaign desperately needs to re-burnish Palin's image in the debate. While voters paying attention to the Couric interviews have been disillusioned, the debate offers her an opportunity work her highly honed populist skills. By all accounts, she could have an edge here.

The Wall Street Journal reports that “Palin proved to be a formidable foe in Alaska debates” and a former opponent called her a master of “the fine art of the non-answer, the glittering generality.”

I don’t think we can underestimate Palin’s potential to dazzle the electorate – still I doubt it will be enough to turn things around for McCain.

Maybe Tina Fey should run for VP.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Florida Grown Video

Two excellent contributions from new visitors to the blog -

Joey Brander, 13, from Boca Raton considers why we need a smart president - this is smart!

And David Packouz, 26, from Miami was inspired by Barack. "No matter how bad things may seem, there is always an opportunity to change, to alter our future."

34 days - Obama surges in big 3 swing states

The results of the latest Quinnipac poll are in;

- Florida: Obama up 49 - 43 percent pre-debate and 51 - 43 percent post-debate;

- Ohio: Obama up 49 - 42 percent pre-debate and 50 - 42 percent post-debate;

- Pennsylvania: Obama ahead 49 - 43 percent pre-debate and 54 - 39 percent post.

The significance can't be overstated. According to Quinnipac, "no one has been elected President since 1960 without taking two of these largest swing states". They go on to say that "it is hard to find a modern competitive race that has swung so dramatically... this late in the game"- this based on Obama's numbers surging 15 points in just 20 days.

While heartening, another poll, still shows Obama only one point ahead in FL.

Which brings up voter registration. The Florida deadline is October 6. Here are a few figures on young people who are yet to register to vote;

MIAMI- Miami-Dade College 57,026, Florida International University 34,865, University of Miami 15,379,

DAVIE/Fort Lauderdale- Broward Community College 32,948, Nova Southeastern University 25,430,

NORTH FLORIDA Florida Community College at Jacksonville 24,769, University of North Florida 14,000