Bart Simpson’s News Letter!

November 17th, 2008

Check out the wonderful article about YOUnited’s Donkaphant Film Festival in Nancy Cartwright’s latest News Letter!

Veterans Day

November 11th, 2008

Today we celebrate the brave men and women that selflessly gave to our country their time, service, love and lives. To every American that has or is serving to protect our great country, we salute you. 

Today I am reminded of the bravery of my grandfather Frederic Marshall Comins, Sr. He served with the rank of Major and Tank Commander in WW II under Brigadier General Willard Holbrook, with the 11th Armored Division of the 3rd Army. He also served under General George Patton at the Battle of the Bulge. He was awarded the Bronze Star. With the first group of American soldiers, of the 11th Armored Division, Fred opened the gates of the Mauthausen Concentration Camp, in Austria, and freed the prisoners at the war’s end. Fred retired from the Army in 1946 as a Lt. Colonel.


November 5th, 2008

Where were you on this historic night? Let us know…

This historic night… NOVEMBER 4TH 2008… ALWAYS REMEMBER

November 4th, 2008

Less than one year ago, Graham and I began the process of building an educational tool designed to heal complacency in young people… this grew from our own lack of knowledge of the world around us. We have worked ourselves to the bone and thrown ourselves into a learning process that has been life changing for the both of us. Whatever it was in us that created this drive and eagerness to become involved has truly shaped our lives forever. We truly hope that young people start to and continue to make choices similar to the ones we have made. The rise in political and social interest in Americans and young people in particular over the past year has been amazing. We all live in a remarkably historic time. Just remember that after tonight it doesn’t stop on November 4th. Please continue to be hungry for knowledge after tonight. Continue your excitement and need to shape the world you live in, because it’s all our world. Never forget the feeling you have tonight. Remember the moment. Your children will ask you where you were on November 4th, 2008 and what you did to keep this world beautiful for them. 

Justin Scot


A man with a choice…

November 4th, 2008

This letter can be found on Facebook. It was written by one of our audience members from our most recent Donkaphant event. This is a perfect example of a young person that is politically moved and motivated to become educated and forming a strong opinion. Please read…


My Friends,

I am not a Democrat. 

Because of my intense opposition to the Bush Administration and my even more intense support of Barack Obama these past 22 months, many people think that I am. I am not. I am an American. I have an unwavering belief in the idea of this country. In its capacity to come together. In its promise and ingenuity. In its ability, in the worst of times, to I love it. If you don’t know that about me, we have never spent more than 2 minutes in conversation. I vote for Democrats and I vote for Republicans. In fact, I have already done just that in 2008. 

I know this is last minute. I was not going to add to the ridiculous stream of election chatter right now. The fact is that my guy is going to win. The country is on such a terrible track and his opposition has run such a lackluster campaign that his victory is inevitable. And, I don’t want to piss any of my friends off unnecessarily. 

But, in the past 2 hours, I have read some of the most ridiculous things written on e-mail by people that I love. Despite it being past midnight, and my having just downed a bottle of Palin syrah, I wanted to ask each of you to take a moment and ask yourself which candidate has actually laid out the better plan for improving your life in the next 4 years. I also want you to ask yourself how each candidate has conducted themselves throughout this campaign.

I have trouble seeing how any rational person, who has studied the issues, critiqued the policies, and watched this campaign unfold could consider voting for McCain/Palin. They have not offered any positive agenda for this country. Their whole campaign seems predicated on the laughable notion that Obama is a Socialist.

Barack Obama is not a Socialist. People who say that either don’t know what that word means or—worse—know what it means and are preying on those who don’t. If you make over $250,000 a year, he will raise your taxes to the rates you paid in the 1990s. That’s a fact. Also, if you personally make $250,000 a year, I want you to buy me Braves season tickets. Please. I’m a glutton for punishment.

But, returning top tier marginal tax rates to the Clinton code is not Socialism. It’s not even close. All progressive taxation is Socialist by definition. By his own perverse definition, McCain is a Socialist. Certainly Alaska, with its oil revenues resulting in dividends for its citizens under Palin, is Socialist in tendency. But, none of these candidates are Socialists. That is such a stupid statement. To say that Barack is Socialist b/c he favors slightly more regulation than McCain is like saying McCain is an anarchist b/c he favors slightly less regulation than Obama. 

And, as a side note, the idea of the top earners in a society paying a higher marginal tax rate actually originated in a little book called the Wealth of Nations. In that book, WHICH LAUNCHED CAPITALISM, Adam Smith wrote: “”The necessaries of life occasion the great expense of the poor. . . . The luxuries and vanities of life occasion the principal expense of the rich, and a magnificent house embellishes and sets off to the best advantage all the other luxuries and vanities which they possess. . . . It is not very unreasonable that the rich should contribute to the public expense, not only in proportion to their revenue, but something more than in that proportion.”

I do not mean for this to be a wonkish diatribe. But, the point is that you can’t just recycle claims about someone without understanding or supporting them. The word Socialist, like Ayers, Liberal, Muslim, or Terrorist appears in too many comments without justification. Words matter. Deeds matter. The Socialism thing is just one example of a greater problem. I see so many people, recycling talking points that are so unsubstantiated and utterly bogus. These are complex issues. I spend every hour of my spare time trying to understand them, and I still don’t. The smartest investors in America are completely uncertain about the best tactics for righting our ship. But, 70% of established economists are backing Obama because he has shown a rounded command of these issues and a firm commitment to the middle class. 

I don’t care if people disagree with me. In fact, I welcome it. But, this election, there are so many people who simply are not paying attention. The point is that no Republicans, not even John McCain himself, have articulated a single reason we should vote for him. Because they are completely without designs, desires, or ideas, they have resorted to the worst kind of negative campaigning. As Obama said, “they have made a big election about small things.” 
I don’t care if McCain has 7-9 houses or Cindy McCain’s outfit on day two of the GOP convention cost $350,000. I don’t care if Sarah Palin’s daughter is pregnant out of wedlock as Palin herself was. Neither of these things reflect on their ability to improve my life or our country. What bothers me is that they attack Barack Obama as being elitist. Or not having strong family values. It’s the hypocrisy that drives me crazy.

I could write forever about Palin. But, I think most of us at this point realize that she is completely unprepared to be in the Executive Office. She literally knows less about foreign relations than I do, and I spent the last 5 years working in reality TV and drinking wine. I don’t want to knock on her. She is who she is and she is doing the best that she can. If her nomination costs McCain votes, it’s not her fault. It’s his. She can’t help that she was unable to cram a world of knowledge in 8 short weeks. But, John McCain’s selection of her was incredibly calculated and cynical and reflects severely on his judgement. The moment he put her a heartbeat away from the presidency, I hope you threw out your “Country First” sign. (As a side note, I hope we have a female president soon and, if McCain shared that same hope, there were tremendous women he could have chosen from the GOP. Lions, giants. Olympia Snowe, Kay Bailey Hutchison)

I could go on. I just hope everyone digs a little deeper. Asks themselves to question everything. I know it’s election day, but seriously if you are not voting for Obama because you think any of these are even remotely true, I beg you to call me:

1. He is a Socialist
2. He is too liberal
3. He will raise your taxes
4. He is a Muslim
5. He pals around with terrorists
6. He is “pro-abortion”
7. He is a White Sox fan (okay, kind of true)
8. He is un-American
9. He doesn’t love this country
10. He is an elitist (growing up on food stamps and all)
11. He lacks judgement
12. He voted present too many times in the State Senate (this one really cracks me up)
13. Or any other negative reason….

Please. If you really have reasons that you are not voting for him, call me. We should talk about these things. Plus, I just want to see how you are doing. You mean something to me and I want both of us to make the right decision. Call me and let’s talk about it. Our country’s future depends on it. I am not simply looking to correct you; I genuinely want to hear your opinion. 818.317.2804. If my cell phone will select collect calls, I will take them.

I have studied and criticized Obama for 4 years now. I have read his books (which he wrote) and I see what a disciplined, intelligent, passionate, informed family man he is. He is a statesman. American needs that now. The world needs that now. I am a tough nut to crack; I don’t drink the Kool-Aid (not just b/c I’m diabetic, but also b/c I’m cynical). I wish he had more experience on the national stage, but people wished FDR, Kennedy, and Lincoln had the same. Senator Obama is the genuine article. A family man, with a fierce intelligence and uncanny cool.

The point is, he is a thinker. I cannot emphasize this enough. HE IS A THINKER. People who call him an elitist b/c he has an Ivy League education or is “so good with words” drive me crazy. We need smart leaders. I don’t want a leader who is “just like me.” I want a leader who is 400x smarter than me, but shares my values. These past 8 years, we have seen what naïveté, a lack of complexity and gravitas, and a failure to mine the depths of situations can bring. We need someone who is does not act out of blind faith, but careful consideration.
That is why every conservative I regularly read has endorsed Obama. From David Brooks to Christopher Buckley, from Colin Powell to George Will, from Kathleen Parker to Ken Adelman, from Wick Allison to Matthew Dowd. These are the Reagan conservatives, the Goldwater conservatives, the conservatives who are tired of excessive government waste without reward. I have been so happy to see these great conservative leaders (including many former McCain campaign heads) announce their support for Barack. They recognize his intelligence, seriousness, complexity, and steadiness. And they deplore the empty, negative, hypocritical campaign that McCain has run.

These are the people speaking for Barack, while McCain’s chief advocates preach hate, panic, and outright lies. McCain is giving a national stage to Joe the Plumber. Let me tell you something about Joe the Plumber. His name is not Joe and he’s not a licensed plumber. Also, like most plumbers, he does not make close to $250,000 a year and therefore will benefit more from Obama’s economic policies than from McCain’s. 

Joe is not the nation’s plumber.

Larry Reno is the nation’s plumber.

My dad is the man who instilled in me my love for this country. He is the reason I own a framed copy of the Declaration of Independence and have a 6-foot American flag hanging in my living room. And he has worked the last 36 years at the same plumbing company. I literally cannot remember his calling in sick in my entire lifetime. Ever. But, this year has been hard for him and his company. The housing market has collapsed. And this collapse is directly connected to the failed economic policies of Bush/McCain. What saddens and confuses me is that I know 90% of his colleagues (my favorite people on this planet) will vote for McCain. Against their own self interest. Why?

1. They think it’s morally right.
2. That’s the way they’ve always done it.

As for number 1, all I can say is that God does not support either candidate. Period. We need to stop worrying about whether God is on our side and start worrying about whether we are on his. I know that abortion does not please him, but I also know that the deaths of hundreds of thousands of innocent Iraqis do not either. I know that prayer is important to him, but I also know that we have been commanded to love our neighbors, protect our planet, and “share the wealth.” Remember, Jesus was a community organizer; Pontius Pilate was a governor. 

But, the second reason is more troublesome.

A sad thing has happened in this country. We decide on a side, red or blue, R or D, and we cling to it without questioning it. We don’t consider our candidates, we cheer for them. Like sporting teams. We want to crush the opponent. We don’t even know who these people are; we just accept what Keith Olbermann or Sean Hannity tells us about them (Here’s the problem with that: Keith Olbermann and Sean Hannity are douche bags).

I see people exclaiming “I’m 100% Republican” or others assuming that all conservatives are morons and gloating in Barack’s poll numbers. Both views are counterproductive. Some of the most intelligent friends I have are voting for McCain b/c, quite frankly, they’re rich and financially self-interested. Done. I understand that. No arguments here. These people are not morons. 

My problem is with the people that vote for him against their own self-interests. Or repeat the patent falsehoods about Obama that I listed above. If you are 100% Republican, you have to vote for Ted Stevens and Mark Foley. If you are 100% Democrat, you would vote for Spitzer again.

I know that Obama will win today. All the racists in the world can’t stop it. But, I want it to be a landslide. Not because I want to humiliate John McCain or join the Democrats mentioned above in gloating about it. But, because John McCain ran a campaign completely devoid of substance, of vision. Instead, he joined Saxby Chambliss and Michele Bachmann in running a dishonest, dishonorable campaign.

That is what I want to defeat. The politics of separation, the sound byte politics, the fortune cookie candidacy. One of the greatest tragedies of this election is that McCain’s image will be forever tarnished. He was a great man. A hero, and for many years, a great senator. But, he chose to give himself over to men much smaller than himself and ran one of the most dishonorable campaigns I am aware of. And that is what I hope we can reject.

So, if you made it this far, I thank you. I hope you will vote for the candidate that will change your life and this country for the better. The candidate who has enumerated how he wants to do this. The candidate who has surrounded himself with visionaries and thinkers as opposed to tacticians and lobbyists. The candidate who has the genius, the education, and the temperament to change this country.

I hope you will vote for Barack Obama.


Nader Rep from Donkaphant 08

November 2nd, 2008

Check out the YOUtube link to Dutch Merrick at Donkaphant 08 doing Nader proud! He edited a nice little opening to his speech that briefly showcases some of the excitement from the night!

Craig Robinson/ Donkaphant Film Festival

November 1st, 2008

Check out  recent interview with Craig Robinson from The Office and Pineapple Express, talking about his recent success and his involvement with Donkaphant!


October 30th, 2008

We want to thank everyone that helped us to make our event a reality. Check out the story that FOX News did on DONKAPHANT.

US Weekly Oct. 27th issue… We Are In It!!!

October 16th, 2008

Hi All-

Go pick up a copy of US Weekly this week (October 27th issue)! YOUnited Foundation’s Donkaphant Film Festival is mentioned and its strive to get out the vote!

Check it out!


October 3rd, 2008

We are so pleased to announce that an absolutely iconic figure in the celebrity and philanthropy worlds will be hosting our event!


Come meet this remarkable woman and celebrate a night of film and fun!

Check out her website:

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