The other day was November 4th, so you know what that means. We're now only a little bit less than a year out from Election Day - or, as they like to call it down in Chinatown, Erection Day.


*suffers a mild stroke from laughing too hard*

And the thing is, the primary season, where all of the real action is, is beginning especially early this year. So we're really only a few weeks out from the point where we'll have a good idea who will end up running for president. From what I understand, some states are looking to push their primaries way up to the beginning of next year, if not into this year, in order to be able to have their say early on. For all you know, there might be a primary going on in your state right now. You might want to check.

They had a big feature on this in the Post-Dispatch this past weekend, and if I would have been thinking, I would have saved it. But the gist of it was that things aren't looking particularly good at this point for anyone other than Hillary, and, to a lesser degree, Rudy Giuliani. Politicians from either party who were holding out to see who might emerge during the primaries have begun lending their endorsements to the two of them.

The other day, I was cruising the hip-hop Internets looking for free mixtapes, which are all over the place these days, and I came across this video of Common urging people to vote for Obama. Er, actually, he was just encouraging people to vote in general, but it was pretty obvious this video was put together by a group that's supporting Obama. So I'm not sure what was going on there. Was this a matter of the Obama campaign trying to pass itself off as one of these youth-voting advocacy groups?

I was also concerned because I think we all know Common has some Dog the Bounty Hunter-esque views on interracial dating (and white people in general, for that matter), and I wondered if Barack Obama was really about to put himself out there like that again, in the wake of the incident with the ex-gay gospel singer. It's one thing to be raped by your "weird" uncle and then struggle with the fact that you're a fruit for the rest of your life, but some of the shit Common has said over the years is just downright racist.

So I did a little investigating. The Common commercial lists a URL for the group's website, and I figured that might be a good place to find some information about them. I was right. Kind of. Turns out this is a group that's trying to get Obama elected, though the disclaimer at the bottom of their site makes it a point to note that their group is not officially affiliated with any candidate. It also notes that any contributions you make to them are not deductible for tax purposes, which struck me as odd. Are contributions to other political groups deductible for tax purposes? And if you donate money to this group, how do you know they're not just gonna use it on a solid gold toilet, as if they were the Joyce Meyer Ministries and/or Kimora Lee Simmons?

I'm also concerned about the true nature of this group's political interests. It doesn't say this anywhere on their website, but you get the idea that this is a group of illegal immigrants looking to open the border up so that the rest of their cousins can get in. I could tell this is true for three reasons: First of all, the leader of this group has an hispanic name, Jenifer Fernandez Ancona. Second of all, under the "Who We Are" subtitle on their "About Us" page, it says, "We are activists representing multiple generations in California who have continually committed ourselves to improving our society on the issues of poverty, race, education, and immigrant rights." Hmm... Also, I hadn't heard anything about this group until after last week's debate, when Hillary made it a point to throw illegal immigrants under the bus, and then Obama took it as an opportunity to note that he's in favor of illegal immigrants doing whatever they want, regardless of whether or not it's legal.

If this is the case, you wonder whether or not Common was aware of all this when this group approached him about doing the ad. Obviously, doing an ad for the actual Obama campaign would have been out of the question, given his views. But at the very least, he may have wanted to find another fringe group to lend his name and likeness to; with this group, there's no way of knowing whether or not your donation is going to buy GPS equipment to help illegal immigrants sneak across the border. If there's a lesson to be learned here, it's that you might want to do a little research before you allow yourself to be swayed by one of these interest groups. Even if they've managed to get a famous rapper to shill for them, you don't know whether or not he bothered to do any research on them himself.