6 Days to Christmas

Went again down to Philly. Only 2 of the 150 Melle Powers and I spoke with were for McCain. Kids love Obama. Love, love, love Obama. If we’re talking about leadership I think that’s the true test. They shout “Obama, Obama, Obama” with glee.

Speaking of this video, I look forward to the infighting between The Penguin and Catwoman. Like so many people, I can’t wait for this “holiday season” to be over. I’m broke, tired and depressed. I’m ready to get drunk on New Year’s and make some new resolutions.

I’m going back to Philly this Saturday. It’s not over until it’s over. Please help. my.barackobama.com.

Message from MoveOn

If you’re an Obama supporter, watching the polls or reading the news can feel pretty good right now. And we should feel good—progressives have worked hard to get this far!

But we can’t listen to the pundits who say it’s over. Can you share these “Top 5 reasons Obama supporters shouldn’t rest easy” with your blog readers—and encourage them to volunteer for Obama between now and Election Day?

TOP 5 REASONS OBAMA SUPPORTERS SHOULDN’T REST EASY

1. The polls may be wrong. This is an unprecedented election. No one knows how racism may affect what voters tell pollsters—or what they do in the voting booth. And the polls are narrowing anyway. In the last few days, John McCain has gained ground in most national polls, as his campaign has gone even more negative.

2. Dirty tricks. Republicans are already illegally purging voters from the rolls in some states. They’re whipping up hysteria over ACORN to justify more challenges to new voters. Misleading flyers about the voting process have started appearing in black neighborhoods. And of course, many counties still use unsecure voting machines.

3. October surprise. In politics, 15 days is a long time. The next McCain smear could dominate the news for a week. There could be a crisis with Iran, or Bin Laden could release another tape, or worse.

4. Those who forget history… In 2000, Al Gore won the popular vote after trailing by seven points in the final days of the race. In 1980, Reagan was eight points down in the polls in late October and came back to win. Races can shift—fast!

5. Landslide. Even with Barack Obama in the White House, passing universal health care and a new clean-energy policy is going to be hard. Insurance, drug and oil companies will fight us every step of the way. We need the kind of landslide that will give Barack a huge mandate.

If you agree that we shouldn’t rest easy, please sign up to volunteer at your local Obama office by clicking here:

http://www.moveon.org/r?r=31260&id=14523-5245173-krEBBlx&t=1

We’re just two weeks away from turning the page on the Bush era—but we can’t afford to take our eye off the prize. We’ve got to keep pushing until the very end.

Indie Theater Challenge/Change You Make Possible

Jump on board the biggest indie production going on in the world: the election of Barack Obama. I challenge everyone in the NYC indie theater scene to head down to Philly to do some canvassing. The show opens in 3 weeks and we want the reviews to be positive. Yes the pre-show word of mouth is good but we can’t get too cocky.

McCain pulled out of Michigan. He gave that up to focus on battleground states like PA. Obama must take Philadelphia and Pittsburgh by wide margins to turn the center of the state blue.

The registration period is over but the work is NOT done. I’ve been down twice to work in the 19th Ward under the supervision of Andrea Perez, who has come up from Puerto Rico to make this happen. You get a real feel for what’s up going there. A lot of underprivileged people are voting Red because they are scared or they feel Republicans should clean up the mess they’ve started.

Also the nasty smear campaigning and character assassination by their operatives and volunteers is rampant. They call people and tell them they will be arrested if they have outstanding warrants or even parking tickets and try to go to the polls. They call with automatic messages asking them to press #1 to vote for Obama. Then it tells them they don’t need to go to the polls because they have already voted over the phone. It’s sick and it’s real. Rove works in mysterious ways.

What can you do? Go any day of the week. A real person at their door can make a big difference. Big canvassing happens on Saturdays and Sundays 11am to 6pm. Contact Andrea Perez at 267-975-7211 or APerez@PAforChange.com. She works out of a little converted tax office in North Philly at 1804 E. Alleghany Ave. You can take NJ Transit to Trenton to SEPTA trains (that will take about 4 hours each way), Amtrack (90 minutes but pricey), Chinatown buses (cheap but scary), or a zipcar. I just did the latter with 4 friends (Melle, Yusef, Yolanda, and Gareth)and it came out to $40 a head each day on the weekend. Gas and EZPass are included.

You get to have conversation/dialogue with real people and find out where they are. You get to take on the character of Obama as a community organizer and actively work to make a change. If you go with cool, positive people, you can also just have a great time.

If you can’t go, I’ve posted the real wish list from the office for needed supplies. Folks, it’s just like when you’re producing, creating and performing an indie show and you don’t know how it will come together. BUT IT WILL!!

Piece of advice if you hit the ground: take candy as an ice breaker (mini candy bars are a big hit) and Obama buttons (they want them), good arch support and water. When I met a group of people who were mixed about their leanings and I enthusiastically offered a candy bar to anyone definitely voting for Obama, it opened up the conversation in a friendly and playful way. Kids love the buttons and it helps spread the word. You can order some my brother designed or pick others up for buck a pop at the office.

THANK YOU!!! The arts/commerce/education/peace/environment you help save may be yours.

Oh, other piece of advice: don’t order a “Philly Cheesesteak” in Philly. Just ask for the cheesesteak. Otherwise, you look like a tool. Not that I would have done that at a place called Pat’s in South Philly. That would be ridiculous.

Last piece of advice: avoid Geno’s. That’s where the Red People eat their red meat.

Round One

The debates on Friday have left me feeling even more nervous about this election and its importance. My brother, Ben, made these great paintings of the candidates.

I think they capture the essence of both rather nicely. It’s like he’s brining out the souls of each of them. For me the auras of both men in these portraits were exemplified during the first round at Ole Miss.

McCain’s Position

After a slow start, the DNC Convention ended on a high note with a rousing speech by Mr. Obama. The man exudes leadership and wisdom. Taking the issues out of it for a moment, he has 100% what we need for a leader at the moment to take us out of this death spiral. (I agree with everything except for some of the fuel alternatives but there aren’t truly perfect answers on that one.)

Did you see McCain’s ad wishing Obama well? I don’t know. Something about it strikes me as odd. On the surface it seems nice enough but my initial gut was there’s a seething jealousy and anger to it. Part of it was the historical aspect of the event plus the “I’ll see you outside the bar” with reinforcements tone.

So the next day he picks Sarah Palin out of seemingly nowhere as his veep choice on the week of the 88th anniversary of women’s suffrage. It’s to take care of some problems: distancing himself from W, even though he still carries a 65% approval among conservatives, and to pick up the disenfranchised and bitter Hillary supporters.

I think Mr. McCain has a difficult ride ahead. I don’t care about the polls. They’ve proven at this point that they serve mostly to push anxieties and to shift the focus of the campaigns. His message is already changing. The words are sounding more and more similar to what the Democrats have been saying about changing things. But he needs to stick to what has happened previously. Plus I think he HATES Bush for the relentless way Bush handed him his dignity in 2000 after McCain took New Hampshire by going after his family. He looks desperate to me and he is playing to win the election, which is how Gore and Kerry lost. Obama is playing this time and place in a greater sense and talking like he already has it.

My heart was in my throat when they played Van Halen music to announce Palin. They were not happy about it and said they should’ve used Twisted Sister instead.

I understand Bush and Cheney will NOT be attending the Twin Cities Convention to avoid the “he’s just like them” argument. This is going to be a tough time for McCain as he bristles against all the make-over attention trying to win this thing. Why does he want it other than that it would be a crowning achievement? Obama has a message and policies. To me the underlying message is that he came from nothing and made himself a leader. He saw his dad once but is becoming something beyond anything he had experienced to take the world closer to where it should be.

This is a shitty thing to say but I think McCain is running to appease Cindy who has all this family money and wants to be First Lady. To throw big parties. It’s very Lady Macbeth.

I’m scared. Really and truly.

Enough

Mr. McCain, you need to stop. Take a deep breath John. You are so lucky this isn’t a contest about character. Your opponent is on his first marriage. He doesn’t fly off the handle for no reason. He doesn’t attack your efforts. He didn’t graduate so low in his class at the Naval Academy his grandfather, who happened to be an Admiral, had to help him out.

Like some people.

It’s close now, I understand. You want to push things over to your side. You’re upset because the mainstream media isn’t making you the pin-up boy. Your photo op was ruined by an avalanche of applesauce. Instead of going to Germany, you take pot shots outside a German restaurant. You continue your staycation version of an overseas trip by holding hands with the Dalai Lama in Denver.

Let’s clear it all up please. You served in Vietnam. So did my father. I love my father but his service there as an Army pilot doesn’t qualify him to run the military.

My grandfather was also a Naval pilot in WWII. He also went to the Naval Academy. He also had a temper in his 70s. His service and character didn’t qualify him to be President or run the military.

Neither does yours. General Clark was right about that. Your opponent wants to run a clean campaign so he didn’t clip your legs right out from underneath you on this. He ordered everyone to give you respect on your service.

You are betting the farm on being the guy who can lead our wars overseas when the world is clearly saying THEY DON’T WANT YOU. A poll of five countries-Britain, Germany, France, Italy, and Russia-said they want Obama. Most countries think America is a “force of evil” with Italy being the only one with a slight majority saying America is a “force of good”, according to the Telegraph.

I don’t know about anyone else but I’d sleep better with more countries around the world thinking good of us and wanting us to lead the world into a better future. Our economy is hurting over this and we are going to bankrupt ourselves fighting every chance we get.

Mr. McCain, you failed in your photo op with the Dalai Lama. Why? Because His Holiness Dalai Lama practices non-violence and seeks opportunities to use tolerance. In responding to Robert Thurman about the possible futility of these actions His Holiness said, “This is hard to explain. In our own case, we don’t consider the loss of a monastery or a monument the end of our entire way of life. If one monastery is destroyed, sometimes it happens. Therefore, we don’t need to respond with desperate violence. Although under particular circumstances, the violence method — any method — can be justified, nevertheless once you commit violence, then counterviolence will be returned. Also, if you resort to violent methods because the other side has destroyed your monastery, for example, you then have lost not only your monastery, but also your special Buddhist practices of detachment, love, and compassion.”

Shock and awe failed. The wars are failing. The initial response failed. We did not need to send that many soldiers and contractors over to die. Adding the Halliburton cabal did not make this better. How the soldiers are abused coming home is a failure. The money being wasted is a failure. The whole damn enchilada is a failure.

Of course, the surge was a rotten idea because the whole thing is a festering pile of ill-conceived lunacy. I know you are in a tough spot trying to get the fans of Bush’s positions so you don’t break away from your party entirely. You also must distinguish yourself from your candidate. But to say he failed a real-time test on being Commander-in-Chief because he voted against the surge 16 months ago is a load of crap. It’s also like picking a fight with your spouse because she didn’t do the dishes a year and a half ago.

If you are going to take this tactic, you must amend your commercials in which you say you hate war.

Everyone needs to sit down and re-evaluate the function of that office. Take another breath and don’t mess it up. Please. Fight a fair fight. Say some truth.