Friday, October 31, 2008

AFL-CIO Launches Largest Get Out The Vote Effort Ever

For anyone who mistakenly thinks that Unions are no longer relevant - better think again!

We're in it to win it!
Obama '08

Press Release

250,000 Volunteers in 20 Battleground States Aim to Turn Out 13 Million Union Voters With Emphasis on Swing Groups Like Retirees, Veterans and Gun Owners

The AFL-CIO today launched its largest, most targeted Get Out The Vote (GOTV) effort in history, deploying an army of 250,000 volunteers in 20 presidential battleground states for the final two weeks before the election.

The effort – focused on turning out 13 million union voters, with emphasis on 12 Senate races and more than 60 House contests, in addition to the presidential race -- combines advanced, new targeting techniques with unprecedented grassroots energy. The AFL-CIO GOTV program is the largest independent turnout program in the nation, aimed at electing candidates who will champion working families’ priorities.

“Union members are determined to create a sea change in American politics that will benefit working families for generations to come,” AFL-CIO President John Sweeney said. “We’ve mounted our largest, broadest grassroots effort ever to elect Barack Obama and candidates at all levels who are committed to putting our nation back on track after eight years of failed Bush policies."

Elements of the GOTV effort include:

· A 20-state presidential battleground program, the broadest in AFL-CIO history. In recent weeks the AFL-CIO has shifted resources and manpower to non-traditional battleground states like North Carolina and Indiana while maintaining an intense effort in the top-tier states of Ohio, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan;

· 250,000 volunteers working in those states and in additional states where the AFL-CIO is engaged in Senate, House and Gubernatorial races, including 120,000 in the priority states of Ohio, Michigan and Pennsylvania;

· 25,000 volunteers from non-battleground states like California, New York and Illinois deployed to contact union voters in battleground states; · More member-to-member contacts than ever before. To date, AFL-CIO union voters have received 70 million phone calls, 10 million door knocks, 57 million pieces of mail and 27 million worksite fliers focusing on economic issues;

· A new, microtargeted approach to the most hard-to-reach voters, including working class veterans, retirees and gun owners, many of whom have been contacted 20-30 times and will receive intense communication in the final days;

· 4,000 paid staff working on the AFL-CIO mobilization nationwide, 500 full-time Working America canvassers who are knocking on the doors of 150,000 union voters per week;

· Final outreach at the door, worksite on the phone and through email to 1 million undecided union voters in battleground states;

· A “Final Four” GOTV blitz in the final four days of the campaign to drive turnout among millions of working-class voters in battleground states;

· A nine-state voter protection program to address voting rights abuses and prevent voting rights violations on Election Day.

The 2008 GOTV effort relies heavily on sophisticated targeting designed to increase voter turnout among exurban and rural voters in key states. The effort comes on the heels of a months-long targeted approach to these voters through mail, phones, front porch visits and email. Since identifying more than 3 million undecided voters in August, the AFL-CIO’s intense communications among swing groups like retirees, veterans and gun owners have shifted the landscape in states such as Ohio. According to internal polling, among union voters who are gun owners, veterans and retirees, Sen. Obama now leads substantially in key states.

The AFL-CIO’s community affiliate for non-union workers, Working America, now counts nearly 2.5 million members, including 800,000 in Ohio alone. Working America is reaching out to its members – many of whom are moderate “Reagan Democrats” and independents – in 11 states and has mounted its largest GOTV effort ever. The AFL-CIO is also running a nonpartisan voter protection program to tackle voting rights abuses in targeted communities in nine states - Ohio, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Missouri, Virginia, Wisconsin, New Mexico, Colorado and Nevada. The AFL-CIO's voter protection efforts include a public education program informing voters about their voting rights, coordination with election officials on election administration plans, recruitment and training of union volunteers to serve as nonpartisan poll workers and poll monitors, and legal support provided by the AFL-CIO Lawyers Coordinating Committee.

The final GOTV push is part of a $250 million grassroots mobilization by the AFL-CIO and its 56 affiliated unions, the labor movement’s largest effort to date.

Paid for by the AFL-CIO Committee on Political Education (COPE) Political Contributions Committee, (, and not authorized by any candidate or candidate’s committee.

Contact: Steve Smith (202) 637-5018

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Neil Young cancels picketed L.A. concert

Canadian singer and director Neil Young addresses a news conference at the 58th Berlinale International Film Festival in Berlin February 8, 2008.

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Neil Young has scrapped a Los Angeles concert scheduled for Thursday out of respect to a planned union picket, representatives for the veteran rocker said.

"I am extremely disappointed to have to choose between satisfying my fans or backing my brothers and sisters of the IATSE," Young said in a statement issued late on Wednesday.

A heartfelt Thank You Neil, from all your Brothers and Sisters in the IATSE and Labor Unions everywhere! It's nice to know that there are still successful Artists who respect integrity, principle and solidarity over money! I'm heading to FYE to buy your CD, Chrome Dreams II, this morning!

Vist the Official Neil Young YouTube Channel and purchase his new album Chrome Dreams II! Let's support those who support us!


For more information on IATSE, browse the links in the left sidebar under "No Biz Like Show Biz" or click here.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Phillies Win the World Series!!!!

We Won!

PHILADELPHIA - OCTOBER 29: Chase Utley #26, Ryan Howard #6 and Geoff Jenkins #10 of the Philadelphia Phillies pile on top of closing pitcher Brad Lidge #54 after they won 4-3 to win the World Series against the Tampa Bay Rays during the continuation of game five of the 2008 MLB World Series on October 29, 2008 at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. 10:07 p.m. ET, 10/29/08

Pandemonium reigns just outside my window as a city deprived of a World Championship, any World Championship, since the Philadelphia 76er's won it all in 1983, revels in the victory that makes the Philadelphia Phillies the Champions of the baseball world!

Yes, the Philadelphia Phillies have won the 2008 World Series! The end came in the top of the ninth, when Brad Lidge pitched a strikeout to end it all and finally bring a World Championship to a Sports Loving City long overdue!

Phillies finally finish off Rays, win World Series

Philadelphia, this is for you!

Video courtesy of KidByTheBay415

Note: Thanks to the spoilsports and party poopers at Fox Televsion, any and all videos using any part of their broadcast have been removed from YouTube due to copyright infringement. Thanks for helping us celebrate Fox! One more reason to turn you off!

A city of Rocky's, hard working, blue collar, middle class, real Americans, who dare to dream the impossible, represented on the ball field by a team of Rocky's, who not only dared to dream, but dared to win!

Congratulations Philadelphia and the 2008 World Series Champions, the Philadelphia Phillies!!

See ya at the parade tomorrow!

Video courtesy of PhillyPhan104


The Vet Who did Not Vet

This would actually be funny if it weren't so dam true...


Undecided? Meet Barack Obama

Six days from today, on November 4, 2008, Americans will decide which direction this great nation of ours will take into the 21st Century. To me the choice is clear and simple. Barack Obama holds the promise of much needed change. To others, the prospect of change is frightening, for they fear it will transform America into something unrecognizable to them, and so they will choose the status quo - 4 more years of Bush's failed policies, 4 more years of a government that coddles Wall Street and is unresponsive to Main Street.

Still others have yet to decide. They have been bombarded with falsehoods regarding Barack Obama - he's a Muslim, he pals around with "terrorists", he won't wear an American Flag lapel pin, he is only concerned with African American issues, he will bring socialism to America, he isn't a "real" American.

None of this is true.

Yes, he will bring change. Change is what is needed. But what if I told you that that change will return us to the America we knew before George Bush and the neo-cons took power 8 long years ago in 2000? What if I told you that that change will put Americans to work again? That change will strengthen our failing economy? That change will greatly improve our educational system? That change will ensure that no American need ever fear catastrophic illness again?
That no American need ever watch a loved one die due to lack of proper health care? That no American will go bankrupt due to overwhelming medical bills again? That our troops will come home from a war they never should have been made to fight in the first place? That this will strengthen our National Security? That this will give our military a much needed rest and time to rebuild? (Very critical in a time when North Korea threatens to reduce our ally, South Korea, to rubble. We still have troops stationed there who would be over-run and over-matched should this occur. How will we save them with so many troops policing a country, (Iraq), that by now should surely be able to police itself?)

Is that so bad? Not at all. In fact it is what the Republicans have been promising us for the last 8 years. Promises they have consistantly failed to deliver on while fattening the purses of the ultra-rich and the multi-national corporations who have no interest in seeing the average American succeed.

So to those of you who haven't decided yet, to those of you who are leaning towards McCain - Palin, I ask you to meet Barack Obama. A real American who cares for all Americans!

Obama-Biden '08!


Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Skinheads Plot To Kill Obama - 102 Black People

This undated photo obtained from a MySpace webpage shows Daniel Cowart, 20 of Bells, Tenn. holding a weapon. Federal agents have broken up a plot to assassinate Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill. and shoot or decapitate 102 black people in a Tennessee murder spree, the ATF said Monday Oct. 27, 2008. In court records unsealed Monday, federal agents said they disrupted plans to rob a gun store and target a predominantly African-American high school by two neo-Nazi skinheads. The men, Daniel Cowart, 20, of Bells, Tenn., and Paul Schlesselman 18, of West Helena, Ark., are being held without bond. (AP Photo)

Feds disrupt alleged skinhead plot to kill Obama

The knucklehead in the photo above brings to mind the Rightwing Hate group, the Protest Warriors - a bunch of young chickenhawks who also like to pose for pictures with firearms while claiming to be a "peaceful counter-protest group". Their ranks are also filled with "real" Americans from the "heartland".

A member of the Rightwing Hate group, The Protest Warriors, holding on to his manhood.

While the residents of the two small towns involved here are claiming shock and ignorance, one has to ask, how is it they knew nothing? A different news report on quoted one resident of Bells, Tn., Sam Lewis, as saying, "If we had any skinheads living in this county, I wasn't aware of it." Mr. Lewis lives across the street from Daniel Cowart and apparently never "noticed" his neighbor's shaven head!

Somehow I can't help but think that the racist hatred displayed by these two miscreants was subtly condoned and perhaps, even encouraged, by a latent racist attitude against black people that still seems to survive in "small-town" America, particularly, Southern "small town" America. Face it, people aren't born racist, it is a learned behavior, taught to, and encouraged in, children by adults. I spent my teen years in small towns and I have seen this firsthand. Like many of us though, my parents taught me that all people are created equal. I guess that basic "Christian" teaching was missing in the formative years of these two hatemongers who, not only wanted to murder 102 innocent human beings, but behead 14 of them as well!

If this is the "real" America, Sarah, you can keep it!

"The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing" - attributed to Edmund Burke


Monday, October 27, 2008

Pops On Race - from Alternate Brain

Pops On Race

There are at least two larger national lessons to be learned from what is likely to be the last gasp of Allen-McCain-Palin politics in 2008. The first, and easy one, is that Republican leaders have no idea what “real America” is. In the eight years since the first Bush-Cheney convention pledged inclusiveness and showcased Colin Powell as its opening-night speaker, the G.O.P. has terminally alienated black Americans (Powell himself now included), immigrant Americans (including the Hispanics who once gave Bush-Cheney as much as 44 percent of their votes) and the extended families of gay Americans (Palin has now revived a constitutional crusade against same-sex marriage). Subtract all those players from the actual America, and you don’t have enough of a bench to field a junior varsity volleyball team, let alone a serious campaign for the Electoral College.

The good folks at Alternate Brain have a great post up dealing with racism in the upcoming election. Their view is a little rosier than mine and I thought it should be included in any discussion of the subject. I hope that they are right. I hope that there will be a "reverse Bradley effect", where-in white middle-class folks, who would never admit it to each other in their local taprooms, will actually pull the lever for the best candidate for America after all. I hope that I am totally wrong in my fears of latent racism affecting the outcome of this election. I hope that I have "misunderestimated" my own race. Time will tell.

While you are at Alternate Brain take a look around. They cover a lot more ground than I do and they do a damn good job of it too. So head on over and give them a look. You won't be sorry.

Alternate Brain


Barack Obama For President

This is an older post that I am re-posting. With only 9 days left to the Election, it is time for the "undecideds" to "decide". I post this in the hopes that any who may have reservations about voting for a "Black man", will exhibit the courage required to go against their own prejudices and do the right thing for their families, their country and themselves.


The other day at work, a friend of mine asked me who I was supporting in the upcoming Presidential election. Now this particular individual is actually more than just a friend, I consider him my Brother. He got me into the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, Local # 52, which is no easy feat. We don't recruit, we don't advertise and we try not to organize. Our Local is the Elite of the motion picture and television industry for technicians and we can only keep it that way by accepting the very best. As such we are powerful in our industry and command the highest wages. It is an honor and a privilege to belong to IA Local #52. For this reason alone, I owe him a debt of gratitude I can never repay. On top of that, he has always hired me as his General Foreman whenever he gets a job. The man has enabled me to make more money than I ever thought possible for a guy who basically nails shit together for a living.

We have always had a very open and honest relationship. He has helped me through some tough times and I have had the privilege of doing so for him. His opinions have always carried a great deal of weight with me and there is virtually nothing I wouldn't do for him.

So when he asked me who I was supporting for President I didn't hesitate. "Obama", I replied.

"Obama?", was his answer. "How can you vote against your own kind?"

"What? My own kind?"

I was stunned as the implication of what he said sunk in. "My own kind?", I repeated slowly. "What 'kind' is that? You mean, how can I vote for a Black man?"

"That's right", he said.

Shock. This is a man who threatened to fire a guy who used the "N" word on the job. This is a man who always said that there was no place for racism on any of his jobs...Shock.

I was stunned. Speechless. This same man has always held me in somewhat high regard because of my service in the Marine Corps, so I thought for a moment.

"Do you know the most important thing I learned from my time in the Marines?", I asked him.

"No. What?"

"That there is only one color in America. Red. The color of the blood that runs through all of our veins. The color of the blood that many of us, Black, White, Brown and Yellow have spilled and bled, to keep this country safe. Believe me Brother, when the shit hits the fan you don't give a flying fuck in a rolling donut what the color of the guy next to you is as long as he's doing his best to keep us all alive, and the shit has definitely hit the fan for America. Who do you want next to you and does his color really matter?"

I have no doubt that John McCain suffered greatly for our country. I have no doubt of his heroism. I do doubt his sincerity though, when he votes against every bill that would aid the veterans we are creating in Bush's nightmare in Iraq. I doubt his sincerity when he says that taking the proper care of our nations new veterans will discourage re-enlistments because it will make it too easy to get out of the military, too attractive to return to civilian life. Well, John, there are two solutions, neither of which you will like. Make it more "attractive" to stay in the military or reinstate the draft, without deferments, so all who live here and reap the benefits will have to serve the country who provides the opportunities. As far as McCain's stand on the economy and domestic issues, well, I do not want another 4 to 8 years of what has already brought this once great nation to it's knees, militarily, financially and Constitutionally.

Anyway, I digress.

What it all boils down to in a nutshell is this. The shit has hit the fan for America. Who do you want fighting with you? For me, it's Barack Obama. For my Friend/Brother, well, he thought about what I said and promised to think about it some more, that maybe I was right.

Think about it yourselves. Talk to some of our new veterans. Search the internet for truth. Don't buy into Faux News or the other falsehoods being spread by the Always Wrong Right. Who do you want fighting for and with you?

And remember. It is about color. It's all about color. But the color it's about is red.

Obama '08.