Sunday, September 28, 2008

Sarah Palin Is Coming To Carson, Oct. 4th! Look Busy!

Hey everyone, Sarah Palin is coming to our backyard on Oct 4th!

I know it's tempting to rush out and get tickets so you can be in the stadium to protest, but may I offer something more productive?

Phone banking!

Click on the links below to sign up for a phone bank in your area. This weekend we called over 18,000 voters in swing states all over the country!

We'll give away a free lawn sign to anyone who shows up on Saturday Oct. 4th with a ticket to the Home Depot Center Palin rally!

Saturday, Oct 4th

Venice Canals PhoneBank and Postcards

Marina del Rey

Marina del Rey

Sunday, Oct 5th

Venice - Marco Place

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Israelis For Obama

This video quite literally brought tears to my ears. It's a stunning affirmation of the commitment and connection many Israeli citizens have with Barack Obama. I will be passing this on to all my Jewish relatives, I hope you will do the same.

Friday, September 26, 2008

"...One 72-Year Old's Heartbeat Away From Being President..."

Debate The Debates! Phone Bank For Obama This Weekend!

What a great weekend to talk to voters about Barack Obama! We have the first Debate Friday night. Well, or not. So there will be a lot to talk about!

We need YOUR help at our local phone banks to talk to voters and identify fellow Obama supporters! Please come join us -- won't you be happy on November 5 that you did?

Please click on the links below to RSVP:

Venice , Sat, 9/27, 10A-1P

Venice , Sat, 9/27, 1-4P

Venice , Sun, 9/28, 1-4P

Marina del Rey, Sat, 9/27, 10A-1P

Marina del Rey, Sat, 9/27, 1-4P

Mar Vista, Sun, 9/28, 1-4P

Cluster F#@K To The Poor House

Sunday, September 21, 2008

"It's The Economy, Stupid"Pt.III

Obama's speech included six specific stipulations for any bailout that happens.

1.) No blank check: Americans are going to be on the hook for almost $1,000,000,000,000. It's taxation without representation to just write blank checks without being accountable to taxpayers.

2.) Taxpayer money should not be paid to reward CEOs. Period.

3.) Taxpayers are incurring a great amount of cost and risk. The investments should be protected, and they should be able to eventually recoup the losses.


5.) Obama pointed out that this is a global crisis, and that other nations need to step in to help secure the financial market.


I must say, I'm exceptionally relieved that Obama came out pretty strongly with these qualifications for a bailout. Some of them were pretty well-discussed before, like nothing for CEOs, additional regulation, and help for homeowners. But a couple, notably that other countries need to step up to the plate, are new, and fairly novel, and I think absolutely spot-on. The financial market is a global economy now, and so we can't be the only ones taking responsibility for it.

In all this bailout mess, I've finally seen a spot of hope and intelligence. I hope Obama keeps hammering these points home.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Electoral Vote Count - Obama 243, McCain 274

Time to get busy

We need people to make phone calls to Nevada to identify Obama supporters in that state. Phone banking now will save canvassers on the ground thousands of hours come election day. In 2004, we lost Nevada by only 2%. In 2008, with your help, we'll win in a landslide! Refreshments will be served.

You will need a cell phone and a charger.

Saturday, Sept. 20
913 Marco Pl. Venice, CA 90291
10am-1pm RSVP HERE
1pm-4pm RSVP HERE

Sunday, Sept. 21
819 Milwood Avenue Venice, CA 90291
1pm-4pm RSVP HERE

Saturday, Sept. 21
3547 Mountain View Ave Los Angeles, CA 90066
1pm-4pm RSVP HERE

Thursday, September 11, 2008


From Talking Points Memo:

Forget war with Russia. The real news from Charlie Gibson's interview with Sarah Palin is this stretch, where she is clearly clueless about what the Bush Doctrine is...

OK, now is it safe to go after her?


This video refutes EVERY ONE of McCain's ads and their distortions. 

Watch it. 

Pass it on.


Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Lose Your House, Lose Your Vote

Unprecedented voter registration brings with it unprecedented vote suppression.

This, from the Michigan Messenger:

The chairman of the Republican Party in Macomb County Michigan, a key swing county in a key swing state, is planning to use a list of foreclosed homes to block people from voting in the upcoming election as part of the state GOP’s effort to challenge some voters on Election Day.

“We will have a list of foreclosed homes and will make sure people aren’t voting from those addresses,” party chairman James Carabelli told Michigan Messenger in a telephone interview earlier this week. He said the local party wanted to make sure that proper electoral procedures were followed.

According to the report, State election rules allow parties to assign “election challengers” to polls who may challenge the eligibility of any voter provided they “have a good reason to believe” is uneligable to vote.

One allowable reason is that the person is not a “true resident of the city or township.”

What's sadly unsurprising is how the McCain campaign is directly tied to this particularly unsavory brand of vote supression.

Stay with me here:

The Macomb GOP’s plans are another indication of how John McCain’s campaign stands to benefit from the burgeoning number of foreclosures in the state. McCain’s regional headquarters are housed in the office building of foreclosure specialists Trott & Trott. The firm’s founder, David A. Trott, has raised between $100,000 and $250,000 for the Republican nominee.

Connect the dots. A major contributor to the McCain campaign, a foreclosure specialist, is not only housing the campaign headquarters, but is also furnishing it a list of foreclosers to use against Macomb County voters.

The Macomb County party’s plans to challenge voters who have defaulted on their house payments is likely to disproportionately affect African-Americans who are overwhelmingly Democratic voters. More than 60 percent of all sub-prime loans — the most likely kind of loan to go into default — were made to African-Americans in Michigan, according to a report issued last year by the state’s Department of Labor and Economic Growth........

According to voter challenge directives handed down by Republican Secretary of State Terri Lynn Land, voter challenges need only be “based on information obtained through a reliable source or means.”

“But poll workers are not allowed to ask the reason” for the challenges, Joe Rozell, director of elections for Oakland County in suburban Detroit said. In other words, Republican vote challengers are free to use foreclosure lists as a basis for disqualifying otherwise eligible voters.

But this isn't just an isolated case in Michigan. Reports are surfacing that this will be a widespread tactic of the GOP in many key swing states:

In Ohio, Doug Preisse, director of elections in Franklin County (around the city of Columbus) and the chair of the local GOP, told The Columbus Dispatch that he has not ruled out challenging voters before the election due to foreclosure-related address issues.

Hebert, the voting-rights lawyer, sees a connection between Priesse’s remarks and Carabelli’s plans.

“At a minimum what you are seeing is a fairly comprehensive effort by the Republican Party, a systematic broad-based effort to put up obstacles for people to vote,” he said. “Nobody is contending that these people are not legally registered to vote.

“When you are comprehensively challenging people to vote,” Hebert went on, “your goals are two-fold: One is you are trying to knock people out from casting ballots; the other is to create a slowdown that will discourage others,” who see a long line and realize they can’t afford to stay and wait.

Folks, we don't have to take this lying down. We can get to work.

If anyone out there reading this is a lawyer, paralegal, or law student, we need your help. Contact

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Can't Phone Bank On Weekends? Phone Bank During The Week At Our Culver City HQ!

Join us at the NEW CALIFORNIA OBAMA HQ and help us TURN NEVADA BLUE! We will be open for phone banking starting at 10 am! Two hours is all it takes from you. Bring your cell phones and chargers. Limited landlines will be available.

Wednesday, September 10th
10 am - 9 pm
Shifts: 10 am - 1 pm, 1 pm - 3 pm, 3 pm - 6 pm, 6 pm - 9 pm
Click here to sign up

Friday, September 12th
10 am - 9 pm
Shifts: 10 am - 1 pm, 1 pm - 3 pm, 3 pm - 6 pm, 6 pm - 9 pm
Click here to sign up

Monday, September 8, 2008

Bridge To Nowhere

McCain and Palin "real agents of change"?

Maybe not so much....

"It's The Economy, Stupid"

Leave it James Carville to distill in 20 seconds what the rest of the pundocracy's been struggling with for months. 

From CNN's Late Edition:

"By every economic measure known to man, Democratic Presidents have out-performed Republican Presidents. And by the way if you believe the economy was better under George W Bush than Bill Clinton you’ve got a real clear choice here.

"If you think what America needs is a tax cut for people making over half-a-million dollars a year then vote for McCain. If you think middle-class people are struggling – that their incomes are going down and they need help – vote for Obama. It’s a very simple choice".

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Why McCain May Have Won The Battle And Lost The War For Working Class Women

From today's LA Times:

UNIONTOWN, PA. -- Trish Heckman, a 49-year-old restaurant cook and disappointed Hillary Rodham Clinton supporter, watched last week as the country's newest political star made her explosive debut.

She followed the news when John McCain introduced Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin as his vice presidential running mate, paid attention to the raging debate over her qualifications, even tuned in to watch her dramatic speech at the Republican convention.

But when it came down to an issue Heckman really cares about -- sending a daughter to college on $10.50 an hour -- her desire to see a woman reach the White House took a back seat to her depleted savings account.

"I wanted Hillary to win so bad, but I saw Sarah, and it just didn't work for me," said Heckman, taking a break in the empty courtyard of J. Paul's restaurant in a downtown struggling to revive. "I have no retirement. Obama understands it's the economy. He knows how we live."


When Palin belittled Obama's history as a community organizer on Chicago's South Side -- suggesting he was a do-little activist while she, as the former mayor of tiny Wasilla, Alaska, had "actual responsibilities" -- Sandy Ryan, 59, clicked the remote.

"That's enough of that. I switched over to 'House Hunters,' " she said with some disgust over dessert with a group of women from the senior housing complex she manages.

One of a dwindling number of coveted undecideds, Ryan gets a firsthand view of retirees forced to choose between food and medication. She is not convinced Obama has the experience to be president, but Palin only reinforced her concern that McCain would mean four more years of divisiveness and gridlock.


If these women are any indication, the threat to Obama's camp is not that they will side with McCain but that they will stay home..........

But those disenchanted voters could be balanced by newly inspired ones, such as Jennifer Glisan, 23, an emergency medical technician who saves lives every week but cannot afford health insurance. Clinton's gender was enough to awaken her political interest, but Palin's failed to hold it.

"I think Palin is a fake. She will run the economy into the ground," Glisan said after catching glimpses of the vice presidential nominee's speech between emergency calls.
"I have to kill myself every day at work to earn enough to pay for gas to get there. I think Obama is sincere. I think we need a change."

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Northern Exposure

From The Nation:

Everyone is trying to get the measure of Sarah Palin, the woman who was rocketed from small-state obscurity to the national stage when John McCain selected her as his running-mate on the 2008 Republican ticket.

Republican senators and governors are admitting interviews, as former Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott, R-Mississippi, did with me a few minutes ago that: "Most of us don't really know her personally."

Well, Anne Kilkenny does know Sarah Palin.

Kilkenny's a good citizen of Wasilla, Alaska, the city where Palin got her political state as a city council member and then mayor. She's a self-described "housewife" who volunteers as a voter registrar, has been active in the PTA and regularly attends local government meetings.

She is, as well, someone who has clashed with Palin. More than a decade ago, when Palin was campaigning to ban books, Kilkenny says, "I was one of the 100 or so people who rallied to support the City Librarian against Sarah's attempt at censorship."

What's Kilkenney's take?

Here's a letter she has circulated:

So many people have asked me about what I know about Sarah Palin in the last 2 days that I decided to write something up . . .

Basically, Sarah Palin and Hillary Clinton have only 2 things in common: their gender and their good looks. :) You have my permission to forward this to your friends/email contacts with my name and email address attached, but please do not post it on any websites, as there are too many kooks out there . . .



I am a resident of Wasilla, Alaska. I have known Sarah since 1992. Everyone here knows Sarah, so it is nothing special to say we are on a first-name basis. Our children have attended the same schools. Her father was my child's favorite substitute teacher. I also am on a first name basis with her parents and mother-in-law. I attended more City Council meetings during her administration than about 99% of the resident s of the city.

She is enormously popular; in every way she's like the most popular girl in middle school. Even men who think she is a poor choice and don't vote for her can't quit smiling when talking about her because she is a 'babe'.

It is astonishing and almost scary how well she can keep a secret. She kept her most recent pregnancy a secret from her children and parents for seven months.

She is 'pro-life'. She recently gave birth to a Down's syndrome baby. There is no cover-up involved, here; Trig is her baby. She is energetic and hardworking. She regularly worked out at the gym.

She is savvy. She doesn't t ake positions; she just 'puts things out there' and if they prove to be popular, then she takes credit. Her husband works a union job on the North Slope for BP and is a champion snowmobile racer. Todd Palin's kind of job is highly sought-after because of the schedule and high pay. He arranges his work schedule so he can fish for salmon in Bristol Bay for a month or so in summer, but by no stretch of the imagination is fishing their major source of income. Nor has her life-style ever been anything like that of native Alaskans.

Sarah and her whole family are avid hunters. She's smart.

Her experience is as mayor of a city with a population of about 5,000 (at the time), and less than 2 years as governor of a state with about 670,000 residents.

During her mayoral administration most of the actual work of running this small city was turned over to an administrator. She had been pushed to hire this administrator by party power-brokers after she had gotten herself into some trouble over precipitous firings which had given rise to a recall campaign.

Sarah campaigned in Wasilla as a 'fiscal conservative'. During her 6 years as Mayor, she increased general government expenditures by over 33%. During those same 6 years the amount of taxes collected by the City increased by 38%. This was during a period of low inflation (1996-2002). She reduced progressive property taxes and increased a regressive sales tax which taxed even food. The tax cuts that she promoted benefited large corporate property owners way more than they benefited residents.

The huge increases in tax revenues during her mayoral administration weren't enough to fund everything on her wish list though, borrowed money was needed, too. She inherited a city with zero debt, but left it with indebtedness of over $22 million. What did Mayor Palin encouraged the voters to borrow money for? Was it the infrastructure that she
said she supported? The sewage treatment plant that the city lacked? or a new library? No. $1m for a park. $15m-plus for construction of a multi-use sports complex which she rushed through to build on a piece of property that the City didn't even have clear title to, that was still in litigation 7 yrs later--to the delight of the lawyers involved! The sports complex itself is a nice addition to the community but a huge money pit, not the profit-generator she claimed it would be. She also supported bonds for $5.5m for road projects that could have been done in 5-7 yrs without any borrowing.

While Mayor, City Hall was extensively remodeled and her office redecorated more than once. These are small numbers, but Wasilla is a very small city. As an oil producer, the high price of oil has created a budget surplus in Alaska. Rather than invest this surplus in technology that will make us energy independent and increase efficiency, as Governor she proposed distribution of this surplus to every individual in the state.

In this time of record state revenues and budget surpluses, she recommended that the state borrow/bond for road projects, even while she proposed distribution of surplus state revenues: spend today's surplus, borrow for needs.

She's not very tolerant of divergent opinions or open to outside ideas or compromise. As Mayor, she fought ideas that weren't generated by her or her staff. Ideas weren't evaluated on their merits, but on the basis of who proposed them.

While Sarah was Mayor of Wasilla she tried to fire our highly respected City Librarian because the Librarian refused to consider removi ng from the library some books that Sarah wanted removed. City residents rallied to the defense of the City Librarian and against Palin's attempt at out-and-out censorship, so Palin backed down and withdrew her termination letter. People who fought her attempt to oust the Librarian are on her enemies list to this day.

Sarah complained about the 'old boy's club' when she first ran for Mayor, so what did she bring Wasilla? A new set of 'old boys'. Palin fired most of the experienced staff she inherited. At the City and as Governor she hired or elevated new, inexperienced, obscure people, creating a staff totally dependent on her for their jobs and eternally grateful and fiercely loyal--loyal to the point of abusing their power to further her personal agenda, as she has acknowledged happened in the case of pressuring the Stat e's top cop (see below).

As Mayor, Sarah fired Wasilla's Police Chief because he 'intimidated' her, she told the press. As Governor, her recent firing of Alaska's top cop has the ring of familiarity about it. He served at her pleasure and she had every legal right to fire him, but it's pretty clear that an important factor in her decision to fire him was because he wouldn't fire her sister's ex-husband, a State Trooper. 
Under investigation for abuse of power, she has had to admit that more than 2 dozen contacts were made between her staff and family to the person that she later fired, pressuring him to fire her ex-brother-in-law. She tried to replace the man she fired with a man who she knew had been reprimanded for sexual harassment; when this caused a public furor, she withdrew her support. 
She has bitten the hand of every person who extended theirs to her in help. The City Council person who personally escorted her around town introducing her to voters when she first ran for Wasilla City Council became one of her first targets when she was later elected Mayor. She abruptly fired her loyal City Administrator; even people who didn't like the guy were stunned by this ruthlessness.

Fear of retribution has kept all of these people from saying anything publicly about her.

When then-Governor Murkowski was handing out political plums, Sarah got the best, Chair of the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission: one of the few jobs not in Juneau and one of the best paid. She had no background in oil & gas issues. Within months of scoring this great job which paid $122,400/yr, she was complaining in the press about the high salary. I was told that she hated that job: the commute, the structured hours, the work. 
Sarah became aware that a member of this Commission (who was also the State Chair of the Republican Party) engaged in unethical behavior on the job. In a gutsy move which some undoubtedly cautioned her could be political suicide, Sarah solved all her problems in one fell swoop: got out of the job she hated and garnered gobs of media attention as the patron saint of ethics and as a gutsy fighter against the 'old boys' club' when she dramatically quit, exposing this man's ethics violations (for which he was fined).

As Mayor, she had her hand stuck out as far as anyone for pork from Senator Ted Stevens. Lately, she has castigated his pork-barrel politics and publicly humiliated him.

She only opposed the 'bridge to nowhere' after it became clear that it would be unwise not to.

As Governor, she gave the Legislature no direction and budget guidelines, then made a big grandstand display of line-item vetoing projects, calling them pork. Public outcry and further legislative action restored most of these projects--which had been vetoed simply because she was not aware of their importance--but with the unobservant
she had gained a reputation as 'anti-pork'.

She is solidly Republican: no political maverick. The State party leaders hate her because she has bit them in the back and humiliated them. Other members of the party object to her self-description as a fiscal conservative.

Around Wasilla there are people who went to high school with Sarah. They call her 'Sarah Barracuda' because of her unbridled ambition and predatory ruthlessness. Before she became so powerful, very ugly stories circulated around town about shenanigans she pulled to be made point guard on the high school basketball team. When Sarah's mother-in-law, a highly respected member of the community and experienced manager, ran for Mayor, Sarah refused to endorse her.

As Governor, she stepped outside of the box and put together a package of legislation known as 'AGIA' that forced the oil companies to march to the beat of her drum.

Like most Alaskans, she favors drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. She has questioned if the loss of sea ice is linked to global warming. She campaigned 'as a private citizen' against a state initiaitive that would have either a) protected salmon streams from pollution from mines, or b) tied up in the courts all mining in the state (depending on who
you listen to). She has pushed the State's lawsuit against the Dept. of the Interior's decision to list polar bears as threatened species.

McCain is the oldest person to ever run for President; Sarah will be a heartbeat away from being President.

There has to be literally millions of Americans who are more knowledgeable and experienced than she.

However, there's a lot of people who have underestimated her and are regretting it.


*'Hockey mom': true for a few years

*'PTA mom': true years ago when her first-born was in elementary school, not since *'NRA supporter': absolutely true

*social conservative: mixed. Opposes gay marriage, BUT vetoed a bill that
would have denied benefits to employees in same-sex relationships (said she did this because it was unconsitutional).

*pro-creationism: mixed. Supports it, BUT did nothing as Governor to promote it.

*'Pro-life': mixed. Knowingly gave birth to a Down's syndrome baby BUT
declined to call a special legislative session on some pro-life legislation

*'Experienced': Some high schools have more students than Wasilla has residents. Many cities have more residents than the state of Alaska. No legislative experience other than City Council. Little hands-on supervisory or managerial experience; needed help of a city administrator to run town of about 5,000.

*political maverick: not at all

*gutsy: absolutely!

*open & transparent: ??? Good at keeping secrets. Not good at explaining actions.

*has a developed philosophy of public policy: no

*'a Greenie': no. Turned Wasilla into a wasteland of big box stores and disconnected
parking lots. Is pro-drilling off-shore and in ANWR.

*fiscal conservative: not by my definition!

*pro-infrastructure: No. Promoted a sports complex and park in a city without a sewage treatment plant or storm drainage system. Built streets to early 20th century standards.

*pro-tax relief: Lowered taxes for businesses, increased tax burden on

*pro-small government: No. Oversaw greatest expansion of city government in
Wasilla's history.

*pro-labor/pro-union. No. Just because her husband works union doesn't make her pro-labor. I have seen nothing to support any claim that she is pro-labor/pro-union.


First, I have long believed in the importance of being an informed voter. I am a voter registrar. For 10 years I put on student voting programs in the schools. If you google my name (Anne Kilkenny + Alaska), you will find references to my participation in local government, education, and PTA/parent organizations.

Secondly, I've always operated in the belief that 'Bad things happen when good people stay silent'. Few people know as much as I do because few have gone to as many City Council meetings.

Third, I am just a housewife. I don't have a job she can bump me out of. I don't belong to any organization that she can hurt. But, I am no fool; she is immensely popular here, and it is likely that this will cost me somehow in the future: that's life.

Fourth, she has hated me since back in 1996, when I was one of the 100 or so people who rallied to support the City Librarian against Sarah's attempt at censorship.

Fifth, I looked around and realized that everybody else was afraid to say anything because they were somehow vulnerable.


I am not a statistician. I developed the numbers for the increase in spending & taxation 2 years ago (when Palin was running for Governor) from information supplied to me by the Finance Director of the City of Wasilla, and I can't recall exactly what I adjusted for: did I adjust for inflation? for population increases? Right now, it is impossible for a private person to get any info out of City Hall--they areswamped. So I can't verify my numbers.

You may have noticed that there are various numbers circulating for the population of Wasilla, ranging from my 'about 5,000', up to 9,000. The day Palin's selection was announced a city official told me that the current population is about 7,000. The official 2000 census count was 5,460. I have used about 5,000 because Palin was Mayor from 1996 to 2002, and the city was growing rapidly in the mid-90's.

Anne Kilkenny
August 31, 2008

Friday, September 5, 2008

What Do You Talk About When You Have Nothing To Say?

October 2nd can't get here soon enough.

2,000 People Show Up At Culver City Obama HQ For Grand Opening

As John McCain gave his acceptance speech at the Republican convention, 2,000 people braved rush-hour traffic and spotty parking to attend the Obama HQ's grand opening. The campaign told me they signed up over 500 volunteers last night. I met folks who came from as far away as Long Beach and Chatsworth to be there.

Dave Dayen had a great post about this on DailyKos today:

The general election has begun. On a random Thursday night, when most political junkies were watching POW McCain's cottage cheese and lime Jello speech at the RNC convention, in a town notoriously hard to get anywhere in on time, 2,000 people showed up at the opening of Barack Obama's first campaign office in Southern California.

There were a couple speeches from locals (Eric Garcetti, Harb Wesson, Mark Ridley-Thomas, and a couple others) at the beginning, and they handed out a few yard signs and bumper stickers, but basically, this was an office opening. Just a walk-through of the building. And the campaign sent only one email out about it, with just 24 hours advance notice.

Two thousand people.


This is all great news because the Obama campaign has tasked Southern California with turning out the vote in our sister state Nevada. In 2004, Kerry lost this important swing state by only 2%. Our goal in 2008 is to win it by 2%.
We need you! We need your energy, your skills , and your willingness to really help out. We are looking for people like you to help fill out our volunteer leadership teams in the 36th congressional district. We are looking for smart, energetic people to help organize phonebanks and trips to Las Vegas.

Here's how you can get involved:


This is the best thing you can do to learn about events, phone banks and trips to Nevada. Once you sign up, you can easily locate what's happening in your neighborhood simply by entering your zip code.


We will be having phone banks happening all over the 36 Congressional District every weekend. We have them this weekend! To sign up and get directions, click on the links below!

Saturday, Sept. 6th


1pm - 4pm 


Apply for a spot at a Camp Obama near you and become a leader in our movement for change:

We have two dates this month for camps in the area:

Sept 13-14 in Downtown Los Angeles
Sept. 20-21 in Long Beach

Camp Obama trainings offer an in-depth look at the strategies and techniques that have driven this campaign and prepare you to lead our Get Out The Vote efforts in Nevada as a Deputy Field Organizer.By participating in Camp Obama, you'll get the kind of experience that Barack got as a community organizer on the South Side of Chicago, where he learned that real change happens from the bottom up.
Camp Obama is your chance to step up and become a leader in this movement.

Apply for a spot at a Camp Obama near you and become a leader in our movement for change:


We have trips going to Nevada to get out the vote nearly every weekend. Click on the links below to learn more and to RSVP

Sept. 12-14
voter registration and door-to-door canvassingRSVP:

Sept. 26-28
voter registration and door-to-door canvassing

Oct. 3-5
voter registration and door-to-door canvassing

Oct. 17-19
door-to-door canvassing and GOTV

Nov. 1-4 (ELECTION DAY!!!!!)
door-to-door canvassing and GOTVRSVP:

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

What Republican Pundits Say When They Think Nobody Is Listening

After a round table discussion with Republican pundits Mike Murphy and Sarah Palin, Chuck Todd attempted to wrap up his MSNBC telecast which was broadcasting live from the Republican convention. 

What the three of them didn't know was that Murphy's and Palin's mics were still live.

Hijinks ensued. Here's the transcript:

Chuck Todd: Mike Murphy, lots of free advice, we'll see if Steve Schmidt and the boys were watching. We'll find out on your blackberry. Tonight voters will get their chance to hear from Sarah Palin and she will get the chance to show voters she's the right woman for the job Up next, one man who's already convinced and he'll us why Gov. Jon Huntsman.
(cut away)

Peggy Noonan: Yeah.

Mike Murphy: You know, because I come out of the blue swing state governor world: Engler, Whitman, Tommy Thompson, Mitt Romney, Jeb Bush. I mean, these guys -- this is how you win a Texas race, just run it up. And it's not gonna work. And --

PN: It's over.

MM: Still McCain can give a version of the Lieberman speech to do himself some good.

CT: I also think the Palin pick is insulting to Kay Bailey Hutchinson, too.

PN: Saw Kay this morning.

CT: Yeah, she's never looked comfortable about this --

MM: They're all bummed out.

CT: Yeah, I mean is she really the most qualified woman they could have turned to?

PN: The most qualified? No! I think they went for this -- excuse me-- political bullshit about narratives --

CT: Yeah they went to a narrative.

MM: I totally agree.

PN: Every time the Republicans do that, because that's not where they live and it's not what they're good at, they blow it.

MM: You know what's really the worst thing about it? The greatness of McCain is no cynicism, and this is cynical.

CT: This is cynical, and as you called it, gimmicky.

MM: Yeah.

Monday, September 1, 2008

We Are The Change We've Been Waiting For

8/28/08 - DAY FOUR

I have a ticket.

Never mind how. Never mind why. The less you know the safer you'll be.

I'm up at dawn. In a week of sleep-deprivation, this isn't significant, but it's the first time I've bothered to to look out the window of the apartment I'm sharing with Dave and Mary. The eastward-facing skyline is beautifully lit by the rising sun. 
It seems fitting for this day.

Much later in the morning, Mary and I head downtown to meet Dave at the Big Tent. We take the bus down to the 16th Street Mall with the intention of taking the tram the last half mile, but when we get there, the station is closed due to some out-of-control "demonstrators" who are blocking the road. 

However, when we walk the length of the Mall, it's quickly apparent it's not a demonstration. It's a mob. The 70,000 souls anticipated for Obama's speech tonight have started streaming into the city. Every street near downtown is packed with people. The medians are clogged with vendors trying to sell their last buttons and T-shirts, the sidewalks with tourists trying to catch a glimpse of Matthew Modine or Spike Lee. We squeeze through the crowd, and are lucky enough to happen on a blues band from New Orleans called the "To Be Continued Brass Band"

We finally hook up with Dave and some other friends and make our way to the stadium. We try to take the light rail, which is supposed to stop at Mile High, but the train keeps going until we get to the next stop. We get off and walk to what we think is the end of the line, until we're redirected around a corner, and see what the real line looks like:

The end of the line is more than a mile from the stadium entrance. And it isn't moving. It's 2 o'clock when we take our places and I'm seriously beginning to wonder if we'll make it in time for the main speeches, which are scheduled to start around six.

Finally, after about a half an hour, the line starts to motivate. The closer we get to the stadium, the faster the line seems to move, until it feels like we're almost sprinting at the end. I peel off from Mary and Dave, who have press passes and use another entrance, and suddenly I'm on my own in this sea of humanity. 

After two hours I make it into the stadium. I'm here. 

This night, as I hear Obama speak the words, "It's not about me, it's about you." to 84,000 people at the stadium and another 38 million nationwide, two stories will come full circle for me. The second story started 17 months ago when I first saw Obama in person speak at the California Democratic Convention in San Diego in April, 2007.  I knew then and there this was the candidate I'd support, not because I thought he'd be a miracle worker who'd lead our country to a better place, but because he expected us to lead him there. 

The first story, started 45 years ago. My mother, who was 39 at the time, and pregnant with me, stood on the Mall in Washington D.C. and listened to another African American leader who also inspired through words.

Mom would go on to become an activist in her community, and would work with her African American neighbors down the road from us, teaching photography and pottery. 

Today, at age 84, dimmed but not dulled by late-stage emphysema, she makes calls for Obama to Virginia, a swing state. 


Barack Obama's historic speech - from the cheap seats....

To see other photos from the day, check out my online gallery

Change Will Not Roll In On The Wheels Of Inevitability

Vote Hope conference

8/27/08 - DAY THREE

It's around noon, and I'm sitting in one of the larger conference rooms at the Ritz Carlton, tucking into a fairly impressive box lunch with fellow California travelers Mary Jack and Dave Dayden. We're at a conference sponsored by "Vote Hope", a political action committee that hopes to do for candidates of color what Emily's List has done for women.

They have an exciting line-up of speakers, including Congresswoman Hilda Solis, New York Assemblymember Hakeem Jeffrie, and San Francisco District Attorney Kamala Harris, who has one of the better lines that afternoon. Referring a recent study that puts American Caucasians in the minority by 2042, she's says the movement to empower people of color isn't as much "We shall overcome" as it is "We shall overwhelm." 

But the star of the show has to be Newark's African-American Mayor Cory Booker, a 39-year old Rhodes Scholar, Yale Law School Graduate, and admitted Trekkie who gained national attention in 1999 when he went on a 10-day hunger strike, living in a tent in front of one of Newark's worst housing projects to protest open-air drug dealing. 

Speaking without any notes, he talks about his darkest days as a neophyte councilman and his philosophy of "bold optimism". It's an electrifying performance capped by a  prescient quote from Martin Luther King,

"Change will not roll in on the wheels of inevitability." 

Afterwards, armed with a credential gifted to me by Dave, I'm off to the Big Tent. an 8,000 square foot, two-story blogger's paradise with access to free WiFi, extensive work spaces, television-coverage, as well as free food and drinks.  It's here I watch live coverage of Hillary Clinton as she stops the roll call vote and calls for Barack Obama to be nominated by unanimous acclimation.  The tension in the Big Tent is palpable until that moment, despite (or maybe because of) it's inevitability. A voice in one corner - from a blogger I can't identify - declares,

"Ladies and Gentlemen, our long national nightmare is over.......until Friday"

After an evening of rousing speeches by Bill Richardson, John Kerry (where the hell was this guy in 2004?), Bill Clinton and Joe Biden, I pack it up for the evening to meet up with Dave and Mary again, who were fortunate enough to watch all the festivities in the convention hall.

As I wait, the bomb squad rolls in and shuts down the 16th Street Mall. Within 15 minutes they have the entire area blocked off. I hear the tell-tale sound of a "suspicious unattended package" being blown up (Hint: it doesn't sound like fireworks), then the streets are opened just as quickly as they'd been closed.

I end the evening at the Denver chapter of "Drinking Liberally" third-year anniversary bash at the Skylark Lounge. We're entertained by Laughing Liberally comedians, a chocolate fountain with a history, and the "Max and the Marginalized" band.  

It would have been a fantastic end to the day if it weren't for a small, but merry, band of locals who were drinking, but definitely not liberal. Already in sensory overload, the cross-noise of political rock 'n roll and cackling laughter that could cut glass gets to be a bit much for me. 
I pack it in around midnight. Tomorrow is going to a big day. 

To see photos from the day, go to my online gallery