I'm back from chasing and back to writing. I was away from the novel for three weeks, not a good thing. Rather than reading it from the beginning up to where I stopped, I wrote four one-page treatments of the four point-of-view characters, curious to see which turns of characterization (and plot) came to the fore. This helped me simplify the story and understand what needs amplification and what should recede. Now I just need to finish the fucking thing.
Here comes Election 2008. I want to suggest that if people are serious about electing Barrack Obama, they should arrange to spend time in a swing state during the last week of October or the first few days of November. The GOTV (Get Out the Vote) organizations are hands-down, no-contest, the most effective and efficient use of your political energies. Trying to convince so called "moderate Republicans" or undecideds is a waste of time. If they can't see the difference between these candidates and what's at stake, it's too late for them.
What YOU should be worried about are the people who know they want to vote for Obama, but wake up on November 2 and (a) forget [not joking]; (b) get stuck on the phone with their grandmother and run out of time; (c) find themselves in such a death-defying round of Grand Theft Auto that they can't be bothered [the reason why the "youth vote" is the most notorious illusion in presidential politics]. In a GOTV effort, you knock on doors, make calls, drive people to the polls, answer their questions about where to vote, and, most fun of all, growl at fat Republicans in business suits who illegally try to intimidate or misinform voters waiting in line. They run away pretty easily. You can throw things at them if you like, wrappers and such. I did this kind of work last election and it was a blast. (yes, even though we lost).
If you live in Texas or Indiana or some similar one-party fascist stronghold, don't waste your time. Get thee to a swing state.