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What’s Waiting for Obama

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Posted on Feb 14, 2008

By Joe Conason

For the next month or so, the conservative valentines will arrive every day at the headquarters of Barack Obama’s presidential campaign. The Illinois senator’s image will be illuminated by the bipartisan aura of admiration from prominent Republican commentators and strategists, as they savor the promise of his victory over Hillary Clinton, long the object of their hatred. He may well imagine that they really like him—and surely some of them do, at least for now.

Such happy feelings are easily conjured these days, when William Kristol hopes Democratic superdelegates will do “the good deed” of pledging their ballots to Obama, when George Will urges Democrats to choose Obama as “the party’s most potentially potent nominee,” and when Peggy Noonan promises that Obama will be “bulletproof” against Republican attack.

Meanwhile, in the bleaker precincts of the blogosphere, lesser figures prepare to welcome the Democratic front-runner should he secure his party’s nomination. Evidently, they will celebrate his triumph with poison gas and bombshells rather than confetti and champagne.

If you listen closely, you can already hear the test rounds exploding.

The target is Obama’s favorable but hazy persona, which Republican operatives must redefine in negative and even threatening terms. Assuming that the Republican nominee will be Sen. John McCain, they will aim to contrast his tough, aggressive stance against Islamist terrorism with his opponent’s alleged weakness and naivety. But as usual, they will do worse, spreading slurs and smears that depict Obama as a dupe or even a sympathizer of Islamic radicals.

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False accusations about Obama’s religious affiliation have surfaced in anonymous e-mail campaigns, with little impact so far. But the easily denied charges about his supposed Muslim upbringing are gradually giving way to more concrete allegations. The latest round involves his political intervention in Kenya, the home of his late father, where violence between ethnic and partisan factions has erupted in the wake of a disputed presidential election.

As usual, the right-wing narrative melds half-truths and lies with facts to create a seamless indictment.

Leading conservative blogs and publications charge that Obama recklessly aligned himself with opposition leader Raila Odinga of the Orange Democratic Movement. Followers of Odinga, a member of the minority Luo tribe, have perpetrated horrific atrocities against members of the Kikuyu tribe because incumbent President Mwai Kibaki and the nation’s ruling elite are Kikuyu. One of the worst incidents occurred in the village of Eldoret, where dozens of Kikuyu Christians burned to death when they sought shelter in a church that was then set afire by their rampaging pursuers.

These events are set within the broader story line of an alleged Muslim plot to overthrow the Kibaki government, which is friendly to the United States and the West, and replace the secular constitution of Kenya with sharia law, creating a haven for al-Qaida—which blew up the U.S. Embassy in Nairobi a decade ago and still operates there, according to American diplomats. During the Kenyan election, the Christian evangelical movement in Kenya circulated a “memorandum of understanding” allegedly signed by Odinga and a group of Muslim clerics that would commit his government to instituting Muslim strictures against pork and alcohol, setting up sharia courts and ending cooperation against terrorism with Western governments.

Denounced as a forgery by Odinga and Muslim authorities in Kenya, which it almost certainly is, that document nevertheless still circulates via the Internet and is quoted by American publications. The point is to raise questions about Obama and his connections with Odinga—who claims to be his cousin—and to infiltrate those doubts into the mainstream media.

It is true that Obama, whose family is Luo, lent support to the opposition leader during a visit to Kenya two years ago—and that they have maintained contact ever since. While that gaffe infuriated the Kibaki regime, it proved only that Obama lacked diplomatic expertise. During the current crisis in his homeland, he has tried to play a constructive role by taping radio announcements for the State Department that urge both sides to stop fighting and resolve their differences without violence.

Yet the outlines of the coming assault on his fitness and character are clear enough, just as the Swift Boat campaign against John Kerry opened fire many months before the public noticed. The Kenya tale is a single aspect of a multifaceted strategy to portray Obama as a callow politician with dubious associations, who cannot be trusted with power. He will be subjected to the same ruthless treatment as the last Democratic nominee. Let’s hope he is better armored to withstand the incoming fire.

Joe Conason writes for the New York Observer.

© 2008 Creators Syndicate Inc.


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By GrammaConcept, February 19, 2008 at 7:33 pm Link to this comment

Grow up.

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By voice of truth, February 19, 2008 at 2:28 pm Link to this comment

No, we aren’t.  Some of us make more than $30K a year and want to keep more of that money for ourselves and our families, and not have it forceably taken from us and given to parasites.

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By Sang Ze, February 19, 2008 at 6:10 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The Republicans are already rejoicing to know that Obama is a plagiarist.

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By cyrena, February 19, 2008 at 1:25 am Link to this comment

Very old adage here Bert.

•  Don’t assume so often - it only makes an ass (out of) u (and) me.

But, it doesn’t apply in this case. Mostly it’s used in pedagogical types of relationships..parent to child, teacher to student, coach to team members..that sort of thing. And, that’s just not what’s happening here. Nope, not at all.

I can’t make an ass out of you, because you seem perfectly capable of that yourself, as most of us are, if we aren’t conscientious about it. And, there is definitely no team or other type relationship between you and I.

But, I DO agree with you about the dangers of ‘assumption’. You say: “Don’t assume so often”, but I’d take it further, and say –NEVER assume’ or at least that one should avoid it as often as is practical.

Still, at least a measure of ‘assumption’ is present in all of our thinking. We have a legal term for it that I won’t bog you down with, but scientists and the rest of us work with a basic set of pre-determined assumptions every day. We assume that the sun will rise and set, every day. (or revolve, if you prefer). So, there are of course some assumptions that we all make.

I’ll admit however, that ‘assuming’ you to be a male, just because you use the screen name ‘bert’ should NOT have been one of them. In all honesty, I did wonder a while back, (albeit it very briefly) about the name, because you made a comment painting a broad brush allegation of sexism, that seemed peculiar coming from a male.

But, I didn’t ponder on it for more than a half second. There is actually another poster here, who claims at least to be a male, and he frequently pins every single thing that anybody says about Hillary Clinton, in terms of rabid sexism. In other words, if somebody doesn’t like the fact that Hillary voted for an illegal war of aggression, he says they’re just sexist. My patience with that mentality is no better than my patience with the mentality that a few black people use, to blame absolutely everything that happens to them on racism. It’s like there’s just gotta be something ‘racist’ or ‘sexist’ in every single exchange that they engage in, with anybody else in the world.

Yeah, sometimes these things are certainly the fundamental issues, and sometimes, they just are not.

It’s almost always unfortunate, when folks can’t tell the difference.

Meantime, you can be an ass on your own, and take full responsibility for it, and not feel the least bit accountable if I do the same.

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By cyrena, February 19, 2008 at 12:18 am Link to this comment

I’m not sure of the answer to this Jackpine. As far as I know, there’s just Ohio/Pennsylvania/Texas still to come. I could be missing somebody, but it wouldn’t be intentional.

But, it brings up another question, that I have myself, and I’m wondering if anybody might know how this works.

A Michigan friend mentioned today, that American Samoa, Puerto Rico, and the US Virgin Islands had been able to ‘vote for whomever they wanted’ while we know that Michigan and FLorida democrats were restricted. (in Michigan, only Hillary’s name was on the ballot, and so the choices for Democrats there was either her, or ‘uncommitted’) Apparently, more candidates were on the ballot in Florida, OR..they allowed write-ins, which Michigan did not. (I’m not sure which. I just remember that rowdy said he voted for Gravel in the Florida primary).

But, my question is this, since Puerto Rico, American Samoa, and the US Virgin Islands are not actually ‘states’ but rather US territories, I’m not sure how their votes are ‘weighted’ in the primary or general elections. It SEEMS like they should have the same weight, but I don’t honestly know. I suppose I could start looking it up. So, if anyone knows off the top of their heads, it would be interesting.

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By jackpine savage, February 18, 2008 at 7:23 pm Link to this comment

Just out of curiosity…how many posters still have a primary or caucus to vote in?

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By cyrena, February 18, 2008 at 5:14 pm Link to this comment

As for the ‘stifling of debate’ by Obama supporters and/or what you call ‘Hillary Bashers”, I didn’t respond because it’s a stupid statement. And, I’m not being sarcastic, I’m being honest. Maani, there is nobody on this blog that has ‘the power’ to STIFLE DEBATE. The administrators (of the site) could do that if they were of the mind or inclination to do that. They haven’t. Nobody else can ‘stifle’ the debate, since for the most part, people write whatever they want on these blogs.

How YOU (or any of us) choose to interpret any of it, and/or personalize or rationalize it to suit your own perceptions or whatever, is how YOU choose to do it, and there’s nothing wrong with that, at least in how it affects the discourse of the whole.

Still, YOU cannot define the terms of discourse in a public forum, based on how YOU think that people should speak or otherwise ‘behave’. The blog isn’t a ‘club’ Maani. It’s open to the public. It’s not an Ann Landers or Miss Manners column.

it seems like I’ve brought this up before, a few dozens times, even long before bert so patronizingly accused me of the same…IT’S NOT ABOUT YOU. It’s not about ME. It is not PERSONAL, Maani. It is a BLOG on a public forum. And, I’ve told you before, it’s NOT a flippin’ COMPETITION, which is how you have chosen to view your own participation.

Rather, these are OPINIONS. You can agree or disagree with any of them, and make your case accordingly. But, that’s all it is. What you’ve attempted to do, is to step into an ongoing conversation between dozens and dozens of readers/posters with access to the WWW, and to start assigning ‘rules of engagement’. YOU DON’T HAVE THAT POWER, anymore than anyone else has the ‘power’ to stifle debate.

So, all of this talk of humility and the demanding of apologies (from me or anyone else) and the inherent personal BADGERING that underlies it all, is inappropriate. We don’t have a ‘relationship’ here Maani.

Yes, common courtesy and decency should certainly prevail in a perfect world, and my own observations suggest that most adults on this blog, pretty much police themselves fairly well. Again, that is my own opinion.

Otherwise, I’m NOT ‘politically correct’ Maani, and I haven’t appointed myself as a sandbox coordinator on a school yard to make sure that all of the kids ‘play nice’.

I PERSONALLY have NOT ‘bashed Hillary’, and I have no guardianship over anyone who does.

I have multiple personal reasons for participating in this forum myself. One is that I LEARN a great deal from the articles, and probably even MORE from the comments by the public at large. I need not agree with any of them, to LEARN from them, but quite often, I do agree. (that is secondary to the point though) These public spaces are helpful for anyone who may have been, (or still might be) confined, at least in terms of extended discourse, to a narrow-minded ‘group think’. It’s a big world Maani, and not all people think alike. It’s helpful to know how/what others think, and why.

If I come across as ‘sarcastic’ it’s an interpretation of yours or maybe others. I’m more inclined to think of it as ‘irreverent’ because I’m not a ‘conformist’. I’m NOT likely to ‘conform’ to your or anyone else’s expectations of a code of behavior, and for that reason, I don’t demand or otherwise expect it from anyone else. Still, if you say something that I think is stupid, I’m as likely as not to respond accordingly, and say that it’s stupid…at least in my OWN opinion. YOU (or anyone else) can take that as you choose.

And, even if somebody DID tell you to ‘shut up’ it hasn’t happened. So, no stifling of any debate.

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By cyrena, February 18, 2008 at 5:10 pm Link to this comment

While I appreciate your comments, what is most interesting to me are the comments I made that you did NOT respond to.  You ignored my initial comment (re agreeing with McCain, and your accusations in this regard), as well as my following comment about the attempts by the Obama supporters and or Hillary-bashers here to stifle debate not only via name-calling, accusation and invective, but by flat-out telling some of us to “shut up” - something that you yourself have said to ME (and others) on a number of occasions?
Do you have enough humility in you to admit your error in both of these regards, and to actually give an honest (not sarcastic) apology for them?
Hi Maani,

Believe it or not, I actually began the last post, with a response to your first question here. THEN, it got so long, (after I finished what I DID post) that I chopped it up, intending to post it in 2 parts. So, here is the response to the first part, about ‘agreeing’ with McCain. It’s possible that I don’t get how there is an ‘agreement’ to be made, because I did actually read the entire circumstances surrounding what the media posted (NYT I believe is where I quoted from) as McCain’s 4 day harassment of Obama on the issue of public financing in the GENERAL ELECTION.

But, here it is…

I have to agree with you again…at least on this…

•  “This is truly bizarre….”

“..  Do you mean to suggest that just beause a Republican said something about a Democrat that it cannot be true?  Or that I should not be able to agree with it without being a Republican myself?  What kind of logic is THAT?..”

It’s definitely bizarre.

Just because a Repug ‘said something about a democrate’? OK Maani…
Whatever you say big guy. I’ll just hang in there with my agreement. Very bizarre..


Remind me again what McCain “said about” Obama the Democrat. That’s what we were talking about right? “The Pledge” (sounds like the title of a Daniel Steel novel) Is that like DC’s ‘The Ring’?

Anyway, if you say that “The Pledge” is true, (and that Obama signed that ‘piece of paper’) Or, somebody ‘told’ him (McCain) that Obama signed a piece of paper, then hell, who am I to question it?  And of COURSE you should ‘agree’ with him, if you KNOW that “The Pledge” is true, and that Obama signed it, because somebody told John McCain that he signed it, and hey…there’s nothing wrong with you ‘agreeing’ with that.  Maybe you even have a copy of “The Pledge” with Obama’s signature on it.

Stay tuned for part 2 on the so-called stifling of debate.

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By bert, February 18, 2008 at 2:46 pm Link to this comment

#1 I am a woman.

#2 I have been to Crooks and Liars before. It was just this particular article and these particular links to other Clinton articles that I had not seen before.

Don’t assume so often - it only makes an ass (out of) u (and) me.

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By Tony Wicher, February 18, 2008 at 10:29 am Link to this comment

I’m not trying to be inflamatory. I’m just want to see if we can criticize each other’s candidates without getting angry.

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By Tony Wicher, February 18, 2008 at 9:47 am Link to this comment

Barackoblogger writes:

She cries.

She trots her husband out to defend her.

She talks about her husband’s record as though it were her own.
She counts her years as a wife to the President as “experience.”

She says, “Vote for me. I’m your girl!”

I’m sorry. I’m a 40ish woman and a feminist and I DON’T GET how Hillary is running as a feminist. I see her as running on sympathy, female votes, and very weak!
—————————————————————————-
My comment:

Right, a lot of women have a strong attachment to her because she is a woman, which of course is understandable, but she is hardly the image of the totally liberated woman.
—————————————————————————-

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By Maani, February 18, 2008 at 8:55 am Link to this comment

Cyrena:

While I appreciate your comments, what is most interesting to me are the comments I made that you did NOT respond to.  You ignored my initial comment (re agreeing with McCain, and your accusations in this regard), as well as my following comment about the attempts by the Obama supporters and or Hillary-bashers here to stifle debate not only via name-calling, accusation and invective, but by flat-out telling some of us to “shut up” - something that you yourself have said to ME (and others) on a number of occasions?

Do you have enough humility in you to admit your error in both of these regards, and to actually give an honest (not sarcastic) apology for them?

Peace.

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By Maani, February 18, 2008 at 8:43 am Link to this comment

Tony:

Thank you for this much more measured approach.  And like bert, I agree.  After all, it is unlikely that any of us is going to change the others’ minds.  But that should not make discussion/debate overly adversarial or combative.

Peace.

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By bert, February 18, 2008 at 8:12 am Link to this comment

Well said, Tony and I agree 100%.

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By cyrena, February 18, 2008 at 3:29 am Link to this comment

Maani, you write here:

•  “..you are suggesting that a Democrat would vote for McCain over Obama, when MANY Obama supporters here (though not you) have stated unequivocally that they would vote for McCain over Hillary - or not vote at all.  Yet I have not heard you make ONE comment on THAT ridiculous, self-defeating mindset.

Yes Maani, I WAS suggesting that a Democrat, (in this case bert) would in fact vote for McCain over Obama. There are two reasons why I suspect this might be the case, not just with bert, (because I don’t know him) but with any number of other ‘so-called’ democrats.

1.  RACISM IS NOT DEAD! I PERSONALLY know people, who would simply NOT VOTE for a black person, regardless of gender. OK? That’s because Maani… this IS “America”! Study some history. AMERICAN HISTORY. That will explain it.

2.  IDEOLOGY. This should be easier for you to understand, because it’s just as basic. It is the nature of the American voter, to vote for that candidate who most closely represents their OWN views, and their OWN interests. This is not complicated Maani. It’s very much the nature of US politics in general.

So, you can rant and rave all you want, about how Hillary is the victim of sexism, but I’m not buying it. She’s the victim of HERSELF, (not to mention her big mouth loose cannon of a husband). And, the timing isn’t good for her, in part because of the IDEOLOGY that her brand of democratic politics represents.  In other words, if all was right with America and the world, and everybody was just doing peachy-keen, and living it up, and enjoying life in “America the Beautiful” or America the Great, then Hillary would no doubt sail right through, and be elected to the highest office in the land.

And, if that were the case, Barak Obama WOULDN’T EVEN BE RUNNING!


Back to number 2. There ARE STILL some democrats who belong to that old status quo right wing of the Democratic party. Hillary represents their interests in the SAME WAY that John McCain does. So, while I know that I’ve said this all before, here it is again: THERE IS LITTLE DIFFERENCE between the McCain brand and the Hillary brand. For a democrat who leans to that center-right ideology, McCain will be a closer fit for them. That’s just the way it is. It is NOT rocket science. It doesn’t even require any deep thought.

Hillary’s political ideology is NOT a deep dark secret. Her politics are inevitably connected to her husband’s politics, and it’s not a secret that he was the President of the US from 1992-2000? WERE YOU PAYING ATTENTION?

Did I have any personal troubles as a result of the policies and ideologies of Clinton Admin? Not really. Not then anyway. And, I thought Bill was brilliant. Actually, I still do. I’ve heard him speak a number of times, and he’s a smart guy.  However, he was/is STILL a centrist, who has and does represent the interests of the status quo oligarchy, and SO DOES HILLARY.

That’s why your confiscated quote you is WRONG!

•  “if Obama was a woman (black or white) he would have ZERO chance of becoming president with his current resume.”

Let’s get real Maani. If the American people were all that into examining the resumes of white candidates, (male or female)GEORGE W BUSH would NEVER have been elected the first time, let alone the second time.

Barak Obama’s ‘resume’ is up for such close scrutiny BECAUSE HE IS BLACK, and doesn’t have a ‘connection’ to the political dynasty. Hillary’s ‘resume’ is up for scrutiny because she’s relied so heavily on it, and a closer look at it shows it to be.. the same old thing. And in the balance, it isn’t ‘all that much’ anyway.

To recap, it’s not about sexism, other than to the extent that some old dog dems would vote for a repug male over a woman, just as some of the same will vote for a repug white male over a democratic black one.

The reason you haven’t heard me address this the rest of your accusation, is that I’ve never heard/read any Obama supporters make such a claim.

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By cyrena, February 18, 2008 at 1:48 am Link to this comment

Thanks Bert!
•      “My dear, dear cyrena. It’s not always about you; or even only about you. I don’t even know what your question to Maani was….

I feel SO much better now. (Seriously, I do). I absolutely HATE it when ANYTHING is EVER ‘about ME’!  Must be because I’m so shy.

Still, thanks for putting my name in this time, so I wouldn’t be soooo “confused.” I was confused. Maybe I still am, since you had all of the accusations of name calling and arrogance. I’ve been reading these comments for a long time, and I honestly don’t remember Tony Wincher ever DOING any name calling, or displaying any arrogance. Of course I have indulged in the name-calling from time to time, but not him.

But the arrogance thing? Like the suggestion that it must always be about me? Here again, that’s pretty much in the eyes of the reader and the interpreter. Not EVERYBODY reads ‘arrogance’ the same way, just like nobody else, (including me) thinks that anything
is “always about’ or ‘only about’ me.  That seems to be YOUR idea, not anybody else’s.

So, I’ll just take that as the intended insult that it was, in the patronizing temperature that you served it. I’m not confused on that.

I guess that means it’s actually all about YOU dude! You take yourself so VERY, VERY, seriously. I’m just not sure anyone else does.

More from your latest lecture:

•  This election is not some Big Brother or Survivor TV show where people are paid huge sums of money to hurl insults at each other and vote contestants off and on the show. You and several others appear not to really want to engage in serious debate and give and take on the issues, but seem to use this blog, and other blogs, as some juvenile, junior high school Slam Book for entertainment purposes and mere fun.

I’m pretty clear on what this and all other elections are supposed to be about, as well as what they often ARE about. I don’t have a single CLUE as to what a Big Brother TV show is about, though I remember sitting though an episode of that “Survivor”, at least 7 years ago. (I was just being sociable at the time. I RARELY watch TV)

And, if others (and I) don’t ‘appear’ to engage in serious debate, then I can only repeat myself; that would be in the eyes of the beholder. These ‘others’ and I suspect that we ARE engaged in serious debate, even WITHOUT the proverbial sticks up our asses!

Is THAT what is required before one can be viewed as engaging in serious debate? I think I’ll pass. Nope, there’s no amount of money that you can pay me to engage in any debate that has such a painful pre-requisite.

Now, as for what you consider my ‘rambling and hard to follow posts’ there is an INSTANTANEOUS solution to that…(and not the least bit painful…so you don’t even have to have your stick in place). Its so simple, you’ll wonder why you never thought of it…

DON’T READ THEM!

Here’s how you do it: as soon as you see my name, you just rapidly scroll right through until you come to the next name. Try it. You’ll be delighted with the results. I promise.

As for those “others” who use this blog (and other blogs you say) for mere fun and entertainment, I can’t help you there. I don’t post on other blogs, and I don’t keep up with the jr high or HS crowd. I stay busy enough answering to the University crowd to earn my keep.

Still, that same technique might work. For instance, maybe you should just stop reading and posting on blogs. Stick with Survivor and Big Brother. Then you wouldn’t have to put up with all of this nonsense and juvenile behavior, and these atrocities of ‘mere fun’.

I’m starting think you haven’t been in this ‘blogging thing’ for long. Had you really never heard of the ‘crooks and liars’ web site?

Nevermind…don’t answer that.

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By Tony Wicher, February 17, 2008 at 9:01 pm Link to this comment

I can understand bert or Maani thinking Clinton is the best. Cyrena and I like Obama. I presume we are all Democrats, and will support the Party nominee. I will. I think we should be mature enough to advocate for our candidate without undue acrimony.

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By Tony Wicher, February 17, 2008 at 8:18 pm Link to this comment

OK, you have a point. I would say that if McCain agrees to the plan Obama says he proposed in Feb 2007, Obama will have to accept it, and if he doesn’t he will be acting like any other unprincipled politician. He certainly is committed to entering discussions with McCain at this point. If they do agree, it will be good for American politics. But they will also have to talk about other issues such as 527’s and other ways of getting around McCain-Feingold.

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By bert, February 17, 2008 at 6:51 pm Link to this comment

My dear, dear cyrena. It’s not always about you; or even only about you. I don’t even know what your question to Maani was.

I was responding to Tony. His post right above mine asked if Maani and I were real Democrats or not. So I answered him.

I put your name in the comment title block so that you would not be confused this time.

And I am not insulated you don’t support Hillary. My purpose here is not to promote either Hillary or Obama. I simply try and use facts instead of half-facts, half-truths, and raw emotion to sort things out. I just hope that folks who think Obama is NOT a politician wake up before the election. He is after all mortal, and he is just a politician like the rest. To get where he is today he has to be a politician.

In your rambling, hard to follow posts you repeatedly use words like, “tease,” and “for entertainment purposes.”  Well, my dear, I don’t think electing the President of the United States is a game. Ever. But especially this year as the survival of the greatest experiment in self rule and this government’s Constitution are at stake.

This election is not some Big Brother or Survivor TV show where people are paid huge sums of money to hurl insults at each other and vote contestants off and on the show. You and several others appear not to really want to engage in serious debate and give and take on the issues, but seem to use this blog, and other blogs, as some juvenile, junior high school Slam Book for entertainment purposes and mere fun.

That is sad.

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By P.W. Walker, February 17, 2008 at 6:05 pm Link to this comment

If Americans were as non-racist as you think, you’d have seen more non-whites running for office. 

In over two hundred years, there has been one Catholic President.  The rest have been WASPs.

Both Barack and HRC have the same problems during the general election.  Neither are white male.  Other common problems will be the voter caging, voter intimidation, and voting machine problems.

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By Maani, February 17, 2008 at 5:03 pm Link to this comment

Bert/Lib:

Thank you.

Cyrena/Tony et al:

“...because this is the first time (that I have noted myself at least) when [Maani has] taken up the Swift-boat tactic as generated by the repuglican side of the competition. In short, this latest attack based on the public financing was initiated by the presumed nominee for the repugs!  John McCain.”

This is truly bizarre.  Do you mean to suggest that just beause a Republican said something about a Democrat that it cannot be true?  Or that I should not be able to agree with it without being a Republican myself?  What kind of logic is THAT?

It is really of a piece with what Bert (and others) have alluded to, and I have now seen since I got here: that the Obama supporters have attempted - through continual name-calling, insult, denigration, accusations, mean-spiritedness and outright telling anyone who dares criticize Obama or his “movement,” or support Hillary to “shut up” - to stifle debate.  This is NOT American.

Indeed, this is borne out by your comment that “Maani, who has for many weeks now, frequently been at the head of the pack on the attacks against Obama…”  You seem to be unable to separate “criticism” from “attack.”  Simply because I criticize Obama, or his positions, or offer researched information that happens to be critical of Obama, does NOT mean I am “attacking” him.  I do have problems with him and his campaign, and with the way he is being covered by the MSM (and much of the AM).  I do not believe him to have the knowledge and experience to back up his admittedly inspiring rhetoric (which does NOT mean he does not have ANY experience…), I do not believe he is any less a puppet of the transnational corps than is Hillary (since ALL politicians are), I do not believe he is any less complicit in questionable campaign contributions, I do not believe his positions on the issues (and indeed, on as MANY issues) are as solid as Hillary’s, I do not believe he he will be any better able to work with Congress than Hillary (and, indeed, I believe she has a MUCH better record in this regard), I do not believe that he does not have skeletons in his closet that the GOP will take full advantage of (and newer and fresher skeletons than Hillary does, and thus more able to gain traction), and I do not believe he will be in any way a more EFFECTIVE president than Hillary; i.e., any more able to get his policies turned into law or action, or interact with world leaders re peace, trade, and other international affairs.

As I quoted (from someone else) on another thread: if Obama was a woman (black or white) he would have ZERO chance of becoming president with his current resume.

Finally, you say to Bert, “So, it you have a choice between Obama and McCain, and if I was putting money on this (for entertainment purposes of course) I’d guess you’d vote for McCain. (based on your rant here).”

Setting aside that you must be willfully ignorant to make a comment like this after all she said, this statement reeks of the worst type of hypocrisy I have seen yet.  Because you are suggesting that a Democrat would vote for McCain over Obama, when MANY Obama supporters here (though not you) have stated unequivocally that they would vote for McCain over Hillary - or not vote at all.  Yet I have not heard you make ONE comment on THAT ridiculous, self-defeating mindset.

The more you and other use name-calling, invective, denigration and attempted outright silencing to try to make your case for Obama, the more you prove to those of us who support Hillary that you have been “brainwashed” by the Obama-as-Christ movement to the point that anyone who DARES criticize it is demonized.

How can supporters of a man who calls for inclusion, tolerance and an end to demonizing be SO exclusive, intolerant and demonizing?  What a bunch of sycophantic toadies.

Peace.  (Maybe…)

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By bert, February 17, 2008 at 4:42 pm Link to this comment

What article are you refering to?

I was citing a letter written to Obama from these groups: Campaign Legal Center - Common Cause - Democracy 21 -League of Women Voters - Public Citizen - U.S. PIRG

In the letter these campaign finance reform groups were urging Senator Obama to reaffirm the commitment he made last year (while still an underdog and not the leader in campaign fundraising) to use the public financing system if he gets the Democratic nomination and if his Republican opponent also agrees to use public financing in the General Election

In this letter the aforementioned reform groups urged Senator Barack Obama (D-IL) to personally make clear to citizens that he remains committed to using the public financing system (per the quote I cited and is a direct quote from his written response to aforementioned reform groups questionnaire) in the presidential general election if he is the Democratic nominee and if the Republican nominee also agrees to use the public financing system in the general election.

So far Obama has been hedging on reaffirming his written statement. This even though he says he is the chnage agent and wants to bring a new order to Washington. Sounds like just another politician to me, Mike.

All McCain is doing is sowing the character seed should Obama be the nominee by making it an issue now. And it has become an issue in several papers including, but not limited to: The Washington Post, buckeyestateblog (Ohio), New Yoyk Times, the AP, even Fox News has started in on the issue.

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By cyrena, February 17, 2008 at 4:18 pm Link to this comment

Interesting rant here Bert. Or are you Maani with shades of a Chalmers meltdown?

And, who exactly is your diatribe directed at? You don’t include any names, but since it at least appears to be in response to my question to Maani, who has for many weeks now, frequently been at the head of the pack on the attacks against Obama, I guess it’s directed at me.

But his attacks have been situated in the framework of the internal race between Democrats. In other words, it could reasonably be said that the attacks are from, as Tony put it so well “The Right-Wing of the Democratic Party”.

So MY question, -TO MAANI- (not YOU) was part of an on-going communication, admittedly tinged with a poke of sarcasm, because this is the first time (that I have noted myself at least) when he’s taken up the Swift-boat tactic as generated by the repuglican side of the competition. In short, this latest attack based on the public financing was initiated by the presumed nominee for the repugs!  John McCain. So, that was a slight departure from the standard for Maani, because up to now, he’s generated most of his attacks on Obama from an internal view. Matter of fact, he (and others of course) has followed the prediction of another poster several months ago, (a staunch right-winger) when he said something to the effect of “The repuglicans won’t have to do anything except sit back and WATCH THE DEMOCRATS ATTACK EACH OTHER!”

I knew as soon as I read it, (with dread in my heart) that he was ABSOLUTELY CORRECT! Since then, Maani at least, (again…among others including you) have done exactly that. Now you’ve obviously missed all of that; which is why you apparently missed a similar rant from Maani some weeks back, when he explained this same long and drawn-out Democratic Party ancestry/political genealogy. 

You make a point though, that it really wasn’t anybody’s ‘business’, nor (I suppose) did anybody much care. Just as I don’t care about yours. HOWEVER, since he had ‘offered up’ this passionate affiliation to the Democrats, I was responding (in a semi-teasing manner) to his latest Obama attack, as having arisen from the Repuglican side of the race.

So, it wasn’t directed at YOU, at least not then. Obviously it is now though. Note your name at the top. There might be others that care about your rant here, and that you’re all insulted because we don’t support your candidate, and you suspect that we’re displaying all of this arrogance. I don’t really see it that way, but then…it’s all in the eyes/ears/minds of the beholders, eh?

Now, I couldn’t agree with you more, that it’s nobody’s damn business who you vote for in November, but I’d have to add that it is highly likely that NOBODY CARES! I think it’s possible that nobody cares who you WILL vote for, or who you HAVE voted for, or WHY. If I were to hazard a ‘guess’ for entertainment purposes, I would suspect that it would be John McCain, since the other ‘ideologically-based’ REPUPLICAN candidate, Hillary Clinton, will not win the Democratic nomination.

So, it you have a choice between Obama and McCain, and if I was putting money on this (for entertainment purposes of course) I’d guess you’d vote for McCain. (based on your rant here).

But, back to my own comment to Maani. I’m guessing that for him, (despite my slight tease) he’ll probably go ahead and vote for Obama in the general election, if he survives the heart attack from Hillary losing the nomination. Now that means that I have at least a slight measure of confidence in him, though it may be misplaced, and of course his ballot gets to be just as secret as yours and mine.

Now for ME at least, Barack Obama is NOT the ‘second coming’ because I’ve never acknowledged a ‘first coming’. And, it’s been decades since anybody attempted to tell me how to ‘act’ or what to ‘stop acting like’ and the attempts were NEVER successful. I don’t think yours will be either.

So, use your one vote wisely, and you don’t have to tell anybody how you use it.

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By bert, February 17, 2008 at 2:52 pm Link to this comment

Tony, your quote omits one key word. You omitted the word, “Yes.” It should go in front of the beginning of what you quote. In other words: “Yes.If I am the Democratic nominee….”

It did not take me long to research this. I found an entire timeline of who said what and when and why at the Democratic Underground website.

I did not copy the entire site. If interested I am sure people will go look for themselves.

From a letter to Obama - START QUOTE:
“Some nine months later you repeated the commitment in response to a questionnaire.

On November 27, 2007, the Midwest Democracy Network, an alliance of 20 civic and public interest groups based in Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio and Wisconsin, released the results of a questionnaire that they sent to all of the presidential candidates.

The following question was on the questionnaire:

If you are nominated for President in 2008 and your major opponents agree to forgo private funding in the general election campaign, will you participate in presidential public financing system?

You answered this question as follows:

OBAMA: Yes. I have been a long-time advocate for public financing of campaigns combined with free television and radio time as a way to reduce the influence of moneyed special interests. I introduced public financing legislation in the Illinois State Senate, and am the only 2008 candidate to have sponsored Senator Russ Feingold’s (D-WI) bill to reform the presidential public financing system. In February 2007, I proposed a novel way to preserve the strength of the public financing system in the 2008 election. My plan requires both major party candidates to agree on a fundraising truce, return excess money from donors, and stay within the public financing system for the general election. My proposal followed announcements by some presidential candidates that they would forgo public financing so they could raise unlimited funds in the general election. The Federal Election Commission ruled the proposal legal, and Senator John McCain (R-AZ) has already pledged to accept this fundraising pledge. If I am the Democratic nominee, I will aggressively pursue an agreement with the Republican nominee to preserve a publicly financed general election.

This commitment was made without any conditions and clearly stated, “If I am the Democratic nominee, I will aggressively pursue an agreement with the Republican nominee to preserve a publicly financed general election.””
END QUOTE

Already McCain is making great political hay out of an apparent change of heart. This is the first salvo in the tearing down Obama by attacking his character. And some of you are saying he will be immune from attacks.

Think again. Or just plain think.

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By bert, February 17, 2008 at 2:26 pm Link to this comment

I am a Democrat. Not that it is any business of yours. Plus I don’t appreciate the intended slam.

And who ever said I or anyone else has to be in agreement with you and your views to be a Democrat? I didn’t realize there was a litmus test. Sounds pretty autocratic to me. And that is the antithesis of democratic and Democratic values, not to mention hope. Sounds like the ‘same old politics’ Obama rails against. Sounds pretty Bush like too. I have had enough of Bush’s ‘your way or the highway.’ I certainly am not going to put up with the same attitude from you or your ilk. Your questioning me and others on this blog who disagree with you and/or who have our facts straight and/or can make a cogent argument is about as arrogant as your chosen candidate and many of his supporters on this and other blogs. And even if I was a Republican are you saying Republicans can’t read this blog and respond? Again arrogance and anti democratic.

I come from a long line of Democrats. My maternal grandfather came to this country from Hungry. Now he knew from personal experience deep in his bones what it is like to live in a non-democratic country. The stories he told me about “the old country’ touched my heart deeply. He was a die hard Democrat. I remember when he had cataracts and as a junior or senior in high school in the early 60’s I had to take him to the polls to be his “eyes” when he voted. As I went down the list of candidates and read them aloud to him he always had one question -“Which one is the Democrat?” And that was the candidate he voted for. Franklin Roosevelt was a god to him.

My dad and his sisters were about as liberal and Democrat as they come. My mother as well. And my Godmother. We often used to talk politics round the dinner table. So I got my first taste of political awareness very early.

I have worked for JFK, RFK, Humphrey, McGovern, Mondale, Dukakis, I was elected delegate for Carter and worked his campaign, and worked for Bill Clinton. And like most Democrats I have some huge disappointments about his Presidency. But no matter what, he was he much better than what we have right now or could get in McCain. I was also a state and local Democratic Party member and was an elected Democratic Precinct Captain and worked the polls on several occasions as a Democrat. I worked on many local, county, and state Democratic campaigns as well.

But no matter how much I tell you about myself it will probably not appease you because what you want from me is total and complete loyalty to you and your candidate sans any and all debate. And that will never happen. Free and open exchange of ideas is what makes a democracy work. Anything short of that is not democracy.

Yes, I voted for Hillary in the primary. Again, it is none of your damn business who I will vote for in November. The secret ballot is sacred. But I will vote Democratic. I have voted many times for candidates I did not totally believe in, especially for President. And I can and will do it one more time if necessary.

Just stop acting and behaving as if your candidate is the second coming. And stop badgering me and others on this site who do not agree with you. And enough with the name calling. It is juvenile and does not belong on a blog that searches for the truth. It does not become you. It especially does not become Obama!

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By Tony Wicher, February 17, 2008 at 1:10 pm Link to this comment

From The American Prospect blog:

“Obama’s precise statement was, and has always been, “If I am the Democratic nominee, I will aggressively pursue an agreement with the Republican nominee to preserve a publicly financed general election.” That’s an artful statement, and it’s not artful in a “meaning of ‘is’” sense—it’s exactly
the right answer. A commitment to “preserve a publicly financed election” would have to mean much more than whether both participate in the system. It would require some significant agreement about how to handle outside money, 527s, “Swift Boat”-type attack groups, party money, etc., and other factors that have undermined the last two publicly financed elections, from both sides.  It is hardly an evasion to describe this as an agreement to be negotiated, rather than a simple pledge.

The side story here is why many of the the “traditional” campaign finance reform advocates and the Times and Post editorial boards still seem so hynotized by McCain-as-reformer, a pose he adopted for a period that ended years ago, that they cannot call him on his evasion of public funds in the primary, and are happy to be used to echo his first partisan attack in the general election, against someone who, unlike McCain, really has been a remarkably consistent and hard-working supporter of public financing, at both the state and national level.”

I believe Obama may offer to have such negotiations with McCain. It will be interesting to see how that goes.

Link for rest of article: http://www.prospect.org/csnc/blogs/tapped_archive?month=02&year=2008&base_name=would_you_make_a_pledge_with_t

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By Tony Wicher, February 17, 2008 at 11:45 am Link to this comment

As an old Howard Dean supporter, I proudly call myself a member of the Democratic wing of the Democratic party. Obama is the candidate of my wing. Bill Clinton was the Republican Lite president. He is about the same place on the political spectrum as Dwight Eisenhower. I voted for him twice because Eisenhower looks like a great president next to Nixon, Reagan or either Bush. But for a change I would like to have a real Democrat. Go Barack!

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By Tony Wicher, February 17, 2008 at 11:20 am Link to this comment

“Now Maani, who’s side are you on again? You’re a democrat, right?”

That’s what I am beginning to wonder about about bert and Maani. Are they even Democrats? If anyone is threatening to split the party, they are.

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By Tony Wicher, February 17, 2008 at 11:13 am Link to this comment

“QUESTION:  “.....will you participate in presidential public financing system?”

Obama’s answer: “Yes…..”

This is absolutely positively a clear and unambiguous answer.”
—————————————————————————
bert,

Those three dots, the ellipsis following the word “Yes” shows that you are taking the words out of context. What about the rest of the sentence?

Sure, McCain is going to go after him for supposedly breaking his “pledge”. But tell me, would you want to sign a petition to require Obama to accept federal matching funds even if he could raise a lot more money without accepting them and have a better chance of winning in November?

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By Tony Wicher, February 17, 2008 at 10:59 am Link to this comment

Cyrena,

You got a point. No use following him down into his schizophrenic morass. But I can hardly resist poking a little fun. Hm, maybe “The Ring” refers to the Lord of the Rings: “One Ring to rule them all, one Ring to find them,  and in the darkness bind them”. Maybe he’s saying Obama reality Sauron.

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By Tony Wicher, February 17, 2008 at 10:49 am Link to this comment

I really don’t know what you are talking about. I have said over and over again for a year that I will support the democratic nominee. There is no ambiguity whatsoever in what I have said.

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By bert, February 17, 2008 at 9:36 am Link to this comment

This was an EXCELLENT link. Lots of good information and more than one link to go to. I have not seen anything like this on the MSM. Thnaks for sharing.

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By bert, February 17, 2008 at 9:33 am Link to this comment

You would think the Dems would have learned by now. But they just take a back seat when attacked by Rs.

I will say that in this the Rs are ably aided and abetted by the MSM. The best example of all this is when John Kerry was Swift Boated. The creators of the ad only had enough money to buy air time in a few key, swing states. But after the MSM played it over and over and over and over and over again ad infinitum/ad nauseum on newscasts just about every American in every state saw it at least once. That kind of FREE air time to the Rs is,well,priceless.

Alice says Dems should go for the truth. Nice sentiment, but totally ineffective in most campaigns. The truth is Al Gore never said he invented the Internet. But by the time Rs and the MSM got through attacking just about everyone in America believes he said that. Same for Kerry’s Purple Hearts. Lots of good the truth did there, Annie.

And those of you who think Obama will be immune to this, don’t count on it. I truly hope you are right. But I think not. The MSM LOVE John McCain. So they will turn on the Ds nominee once the convention is over in order to maintain their love fest with McCain.

Plus Dems seem never to have learned the importance of political theatre. The Rs have turned it into an art form.

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By bert, February 17, 2008 at 9:06 am Link to this comment

I have to agree with lib in Texas. You do have a way with words, Maani. Well said.

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By lib in texas, February 17, 2008 at 7:44 am Link to this comment

Manni, That was beautiful!!!

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By lib in texas, February 17, 2008 at 7:41 am Link to this comment

Cyrena, do you imbibe with you 3 AM posts ???

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By Maani, February 17, 2008 at 6:27 am Link to this comment

Doug:

I would have to agree that a great lot of the Obama crowd have created a parallel universe for themselves, one in which hope substitute for logic: if wishes were horses then beggars would ride.

Yet the more apt analogy might be that the heady and intoxicating fumes of Obama’s rhetoric apparently cause hallucinations in those who breathe too deeply, causing logic and common sense to disappear, giving his followers delusions of grandeur and temporary (we hope) blindness to the fact that the emperor has no clothes.

LOL.

Peace.

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By Douglas Chalmers, February 17, 2008 at 4:08 am Link to this comment

By cyrena, February 17: ”...just watch out for the trolls that would grab your leg, and snatch you down into the horrors of the insanity…”

You can see where this “dabbling in insanity,  the rabbit hole that Lewis Carroll was talking about,  Alice in Wonderland, little trolls that hang around on the fringes…” has taken cyrena.

This IS cyrena’s nightmareland. This IS the parallel universe and alternative reality of urban America as it is perceived in the minds of “them colored folks”. And apparently the sewers in LA aren’t as big as the ones in NY???

Thus the familiar form of the reality that they know is merely based on the assumed belief that they are actually “carbon copies” of white folks. But that is really why they are black, ha ha.

So we come to the cult of The Ring and, seemingly, a way to get what they always wanted. Not just a black president but total control. Well, this must be a good thing if the politically-correct folks say so.

In actual fact, what you are getting is merely another rank legalist. Clever, yes, intelligent enough to make a pothole leading to a burrow that you might never climb out of. Where is your freedom?

It is like the farthest thing from any familiar form of reality although it is based on that which we know. However it is not based on the standard and normative sorts of predictors that sane people utilize.

Oh yes, The Ring WILL change you all. Trust me on this, uhh…...

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By cyrena, February 17, 2008 at 2:48 am Link to this comment

Tony,

I hate to tell you this, but responses like this (or almost any actually) just encourage him. I mean, he’ll keep posting all of this total insanity regardless, but if you go to the trouble of actually trying to look up stuff like “The Ring”, (or any other insanity that comes from DC) then it’s the same as accidentally stepping in a pot hole that is really a lead-in to the rabbit hole, and then you’ve gotta waste time digging out before you can get on along the path.

So, that’s just sort of a way to think about responding to anything from him, (and a few others that will go unmentioned). It’s like you’re on the path, and it’s full of potholes, that one can avoid easily enough, (at least in the daylight). But, there are always these little trolls that hang around on the fringes of the pot holes, waiting to grab a leg as you’re walking along the path of reason and reality, trying to get where you’re going.

Now the pot hole where they hang out, (or think of one of those big holes leading to the subterranean sewer or other system in a big city like NY). Well, that’s like the pre-entrance to the rabbit hole that Lewis Carroll was talking about, for Alice in Wonderland. Except of course, the Douglas Chalmers version is more like DC in nightmareland.

Still, it’s basically the same thing. It’s the now infamous parallel universe and alternative reality, and I’m telling ya, YOU DON’T WANNA GO THERE! (trust me on this). It is like the farthest thing from any familiar form of the reality that we know, based on the standard and normative sorts of predictors that sane people utilize.

So, just watch out for the trolls that would grab your leg, and snatch you down into the horrors of the insanity.

This dabbling in insanity, (by entertaining the likes of DC) is like experimenting with drugs. It’s like you think, ah, I won’t get hooked. And then, the next thing ya know, you’re as crazy as he is.

(so, maybe that’s a bit of a stretch..still, you get my point).

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By manonfyre, February 17, 2008 at 2:43 am Link to this comment

link to post @ Crooks & Liars

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By cyrena, February 16, 2008 at 11:52 pm Link to this comment

Well Tony, we might look at a bit more of the ‘statements’ actually MADE, and sort of the ‘surrounding’ circumstances that led up to this. I mean, in all practicality, we know that Maani does have a tendency to ‘cherry’ pick. So, a lot of stuff depends on who’s doing the interpretation of the ‘quotes’ and what they choose to include or exclude from the ‘surrounding context’

So, this is part of the story from the NYT, and the link to the rest

“OSHKOSH, Wis. — Hammering Senator Barack Obama for a fourth straight day, Senator John McCain said here on Friday that he expects Senator Obama to abide by his pledge use public financing for his general election if Mr. McCain does so as well.

“It was very clear to me that Senator Obama had agreed to having public financing of the general election campaign if I did the same thing,” he said after a town hall meeting here. “I made the commitment to the American people that if I was the nominee of my party, I would go the route of public financing. I expect Senator Obama to keep his word to the American people as well.”

Asked if he would use public financing even if Mr. Obama did not, he said: “If Senator Obama goes back on his commitment to the American people, then obviously we have to rethink our position. Our whole agreement was we would take public financing if he made that commitment as well. And he signed a piece of paper, I’m told, that made that commitment.”

(The oldster was ‘told’ that Obama -signed a piece of paper-)

From the same article:

•  “Mr. Obama did not rule out the possibility of accepting public financing, but declared on Friday, “I’m not the nominee yet.””

•  “If I am the nominee, I will make sure our people talk to John McCain’s people to find out if we are willing to abide by the same rules and regulations with respect to the general election going forward,” Mr. Obama told reporters at a news conference in Milwaukee. “It would be presumptuous of me to start saying now that I am locking into something when I don’t even know if the other side will agree to it.”

•  Last year, Mr. Obama sought an advisory ruling with the Federal Election Commission to see whether the campaign could opt out of public financing in the primary and accept it in the general election. It was merely an inquiry, he said, not a pledge to accept the financing.”

This pretty much sums it up for me, in so far as ‘these are the facts as they stand now’.

Rather obviously I suppose, I would agree that it would be ‘presumptuous’, (though I would say downright STUPID – but Obama is simply far more diplomatic than I) for him to start marking promises or otherwise ‘locking’ himself into something that he doesn’t even know that the other side will agree to.

And, there’s the slightly less obvious component to that. They ARE still in the primaries, and if he DOES win the democratic nomination, how does he know that McCain won’t pull a Hillary, and “loan’ himself millions and millions of dollars, like SHE already has? (this early in the contest no less).

Hillary’s Curious Campaign Loan
http://consortiumnews.com/2008/020808.html

Now Maani, who’s side are you on again? You’re a democrat, right?

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By bert, February 16, 2008 at 11:35 pm Link to this comment

QUESTION:  “.....will you participate in presidential public financing system?”

Obama’s answer: “Yes…..”

This is absolutely positively a clear and unambiguous answer.

Pledge or not a pledge?????? Are we parsing words here or what? Sounds like old style politics to me.

He does the support the principal of public financing, Tony writes. I don’t read that anywhere in this quote.

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By Douglas Chalmers, February 16, 2008 at 11:18 pm Link to this comment

By Tony Wicher: “The Ring”  - that horror movie ... that kills you in seven days…”

Thanks, bert, for pointing out the obvious to TW who can see it but can’t understand it. He has been mezmerized by The Ring!

For those who haven’t quite got it, its the BO ring logo, uhh….....

And I’ve changed Repug’s to Rpg’s because they are the rocket-propelled grenade which will finish things off in this election.

Oh, there will be a change all right…...

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By Douglas Chalmers, February 16, 2008 at 11:07 pm Link to this comment

By Tony Wicher, February 16: “That the Democratic nomination….. hope that Obama wins quickly so we can patch up our differences…”

You’ve just proven what Maani has pointed out out to you, TW. You haven’t a clue what you are babbling about any longer.

“The best man winning” in a contest between a MAN and a WOMAN??? This is how you describe a younger man insulting and attacking an older woman???

I don’t see any clear “pledge” reflecteded in any of your statements, TW. Its just the sheer arrogance of selfish expectations. My way, not your way!

And you hope it will all be over “quickly” so that every one can go back to sleep. That must be the ultimate sexist and ageist statement.

What you don’t seem to comprehend is that there already a “serious split” in the Democrats party. it won’t be healed and it won’t go away.

At the grass roots level, even families have been split along sex and age lines. They’re not just going to conveniently fall into line behind your BO pied piper as a result.

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By Tony Wicher, February 16, 2008 at 10:48 pm Link to this comment

I don’t see any clear “pledge” expressed in the statement quoted. I know he does support the principle of public financing. It will be interesting to see how this goes.

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By Maani, February 16, 2008 at 10:04 pm Link to this comment

So we have two weasels instead of one.  How nice.

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By Maani, February 16, 2008 at 10:03 pm Link to this comment

Tony:

Are you even listening to yourself?  He “deserves” to be president because he was “successful in building a movmement?”

What on God’s great earth does that have to do with knowledge, experience, creating political (not just “people”) consensus, governing skills, etc.?  What does “building a movement” have to do with the practical aspects of being president, either domestic or foreign?

You are truly losing it…

Peace.

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By Tony Wicher, February 16, 2008 at 9:42 pm Link to this comment

That the best man is winning the Democratic nomination? You think Obama is going to be easy to slime? I don’t think it’s going to work this time. We will just have to see. In any case, the best thing you can do to prevent any serious split in the party from happening is to pledge your support to whoever wins the Democratic nomination, and hope that Obama wins quickly so we can patch up our differences and devote ourselves to beating the Republicans.

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By Tony Wicher, February 16, 2008 at 9:25 pm Link to this comment

Obama can not only make a good speech, he has organized and built a movement, and in so doing, has proved his leadership abilities. If he continues to be successful in building the movement, he will be elected President because he deserves it. That is the way democracy at its best works. It makes me proud as an American to see the political process work as it is supposed to.

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By Tony Wicher, February 16, 2008 at 9:18 pm Link to this comment

Doug,

I don’t even know what “The Ring” is, unless you are referring to that horror movie with the video that kills you in seven days. Please do enlighten me. I tried Googling it but I didn’t find anything.

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By yours truly, February 16, 2008 at 7:42 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Deciding On Which Candidate To Support


“We should pay attention to the she says he says and the horse race?”

“These don’t matter.”

“What matters?”

“Our electing someone who’s going to end the Iraq war plus turning things around here at home.”

“Why is that?”

“Either we end the Iraq war or it’ll be the end of us.”

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By Maani, February 16, 2008 at 6:48 pm Link to this comment

Apparently, Obama is trying to weasel out of his pledge to use public financing for the general election campaign if he wins the nomination, and the Republican nominee agrees to it.  McCain has already agreed to uphold his pledge to do so, but Obama is now waffling.

In November 2007, he was asked: “If you are nominated for President in 2008 and your major opponents agree to forgo private funding in the general election campaign, will you participate in presidential public financing system?”

His answer: “Yes. I have been a long-time advocate for public financing of campaigns combined with free television and radio time as a way to reduce the influence of moneyed special interests. I introduced public financing legislation in the Illinois State Senate, and am the only 2008 candidate to have sponsored Senator Russ Feingold’s (D-WI) bill to reform the presidential public financing system. In February 2007, I proposed a novel way to preserve the strength of the public financing system in the 2008 election.”

However, in the past few days, Obama’s spokesperson had this to say: “[That idea was] something that we pursued with the FEC and it was an option that we wanted on the table and is on the table.”  When asked about Mr. Obama’s earlier position, the spokesperson said, “No, there is no pledge.”

Hmmm…

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By bert, February 16, 2008 at 6:18 pm Link to this comment

You are exactly right Mr. Chalmers. Karl Rove could not be happier at this turn of events!!!!!

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By Maani, February 16, 2008 at 5:21 pm Link to this comment

Tony said, “He has built and led a whole movement with consummate skill.  This proves his ability to handle the Presidency.”

Excuse me?  Your logic does not follow.  Just because someone can galvanize a “movement” around them does not equate with the ability to be president.  Ability to inspire is NOT the same as ability to govern.  In fact, the ability to inspire “the masses” (as positive as that may be) is not even the same as the ability to inspire either the Congress (with whom a president must work to get legislation and policy passed) or other world leaders (with whom a president must work re peace, trade, etc.).

As I recently saw written somewhere, “If Obama were a woman (either black or white), he would have zero chance of being elected president with his present credentials.”

I think that about sums it up.

Peace.

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By Douglas Chalmers, February 16, 2008 at 3:17 pm Link to this comment

By Tony Wicher, February 16: “I think Obama is a political fighter… he packs a hell of a punch… I’m not saying it’s going to be easy to avoid stepping in Republican caca, but I think he has the guts and the political abilities to beat them…”

I want a winner too, believe me, TW, but you can’t see beyond your own precious paid position as a campaigner for The Ring.

Its no use fighting with your own. That is NOT winnning the election - it is killing your party’s chances. The Dems have set their two best people against each other as though they were nothing more than dogs.

That is a very primitive kind of stupidity but people seem to be entertained by the spectacle if not pleased by the bloodletting. The Rpg’s (and the uncaring media) must be enjoying it most of all, though…....

What you all are doing is merely stepping in your own “caca”. How is that winning the election? You are all being fooled! In fact, you two Dems camps are both being led like sheep into the slaughterhouse, uhh.

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By Tony Wicher, February 16, 2008 at 2:44 pm Link to this comment

I think Obama is a political fighter. He can be so intellectual and etherial you hardly notice, but he packs a hell of a punch, as Bill Clinton found out in South Carolina. I’m not saying it’s going to be easy to avoid stepping in Republican caca, but I think he has the guts and the political abilities to beat them.

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By bert, February 16, 2008 at 2:10 pm Link to this comment

I am 62. I have not only been following politics for as long as you, I have been active in campaigns (JFK, RFK my first) and have even run some campaigns. I have been active in party politics as well. I have also seen what happened to George McGovern and Jimmy Carter and have tried to learn from those lessons. I know Obama supporters don’t like what Paul Krugman is saying these days, but there is much he writes that we should at least look at.

Originally I supported Russ Feingold, but he decided not to run. Then I was an Edwards supporter, Then Dodd, then Edwards again. When Edwards dropped out I was not sure who I would be for until I began seeing, reading, and hearing all of the misogynist and sexist remarks hurled at Clinton. As a woman who entered a male dominated profession in the late 60’s early 70’s I know what sexism looks like and how it sounds. With two equally matched candidates I decided to strike a blow for women and sexism.

However, the high pitched fever of many Obama supporters really has begun to scare me. Plus his inexperience against McCain will be exploited by the R smear machine. In 2004 most people were against the war. In 2004 most Americans were against most of what the Rs stood for (choice, stem cell research, etc.) Yet they voted for Bush.

I want a winner this time because this is more than just a run of the mill election. This election will determine the survival of the nation and of the Constitution. I am not 100% sure Obama has what it takes despite what is adoring throngs think.

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By Tony Wicher, February 16, 2008 at 1:53 pm Link to this comment

Re By bert, February 16 at 10:28 am #
Re: Re: What’s Waiting for Obama….....Hell
Tony writes:  The kind of political dirty tricks that worked on pusillanimous Democrats like Al Gore and John Kerry will never work on him.

Ahhhhhhhh, the hubris of the young!!!!!!!!!!! Better to plan for the worst than to be caught with your underwear showing.
——————————————————————————
bert,

Are you older than I am?  I’m 61 and have been following politics since childhood, so I have a lot of political memory, and I tell you I have never seen anything like Obama. His political ability is outstanding. It’s not just a matter of being able to make good speeches. He has built and led a whole movement with consummate skill. This proves his ability to handle the Presidency, in fact the Presidency is the natural and fitting reward for such a display of ability. That is the way democracy at its best works.

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By bert, February 16, 2008 at 11:28 am Link to this comment

Tony writes:  The kind of political dirty tricks that worked on pusillanimous Democrats like Al Gore and John Kerry will never work on him.


Ahhhhhhhh, the hubris of the young!!!!!!!!!!! Better to plan for the worst than to be caught with your underwear showing.

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By Tony Wicher, February 16, 2008 at 11:05 am Link to this comment

I believe his mother was born there

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By bert, February 16, 2008 at 10:29 am Link to this comment

Obama does have ties to Kansas. His maternal grandparents live there.

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By bert, February 16, 2008 at 10:15 am Link to this comment

I am not too worried about Ahnold becoming President becasue to change the rules means changing the Constitution. Even if Congress attempts to do so, such a cahnge has to be ratified by two-thirds of the states, a very slow process at best. Hell, if we couldn’t get two-thirds of the states to ratify an amendment making sexism illegal who thinks changing this part of the Constitution would pass? I certainly don’t. This dovetails with a post on a different thread here about Eugene Robinson not knowing what sexism is. Yeah brother!!!!!!!!!

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By bert, February 16, 2008 at 10:07 am Link to this comment

If you bury your head in the sand on these and other potentially damaging incidents you do so ay your own peril. Who would have ever dreamed a war hero would be smeared and brought down with purple band-aids?

No matter who is the nominee the Republicans will come after them. Don’t think your candidate is immune. A lie or half-truth goes around the world three times before the truth can even get its shoes on. If JFK were running today there would be attacks against him too. That is just the way the Rs do business. And they do it so very well.

So get prepared. Your ‘renaissance’ will be no protection. It wasn’t protection in the Age of Aquarious either. It won’t be now. Add inexpereince into the mix and Obama has real troubles ahead.

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By Tony Wicher, February 16, 2008 at 9:56 am Link to this comment

To me, Barack Obama is the political Muhammad Ali. He floats like a butterfly, stings like a bee. He KO’d Bill Clinton in South Carolina and he can do it again. When he gets through with McCain, we are all going to be feeling sorry for the old codger. The kind of political dirty tricks that worked on pusillanimous Democrats like Al Gore and John Kerry will never work on him.

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By Maani, February 16, 2008 at 9:11 am Link to this comment

Cyrena:

Not sure where you get the “Kansas” thing.  He was born in Hawaii, stayed until age 6, moved to Jakarta, returned to Hawaai at 10, stayed through high school, went to college in California, then New York, then Chicago.

No Kansas.

Peace.

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By Alice, February 16, 2008 at 7:29 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Why do we cower when we think of the Republican Attack Machine?  Why don’t we just think up ways to retaliate against their own?  McCain’s temper is one obvious and true weakness.  Dems should go for the truth—especially if it bolsters their own case.

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By lib in texas, February 16, 2008 at 7:11 am Link to this comment

cyrena, NOW you are just SICK. as in the head !

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By lib in texas, February 16, 2008 at 7:08 am Link to this comment

farmertx, how is he going to get a consensus in congress, they are chopping at the bit to get this green horn in to office.  His ass will be grass and they will be lawnmowers.  The thing is with his NO experience he won’t even know it.

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By lib in texas, February 16, 2008 at 7:03 am Link to this comment

No you are right Clintons have not been successful in holding Obama to the truth.  He lies, and lies and when he’s called on it its racism.  He stammers and stutters when called to respond off the cuff and he can’t do it. Hes nearly as bad as George W.. And orator he is, a president hes not.  read factcheck.org to find out about his lies.

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By lib in texas, February 16, 2008 at 6:55 am Link to this comment

cyrena, Obama was NOT raised in Kansas.  In all of your infinite wisdom you should have known that. Obamas highschool days in Hawaii (an average student)until Harvard are murky at best. He has NO Kansas accent. I was raised next door to Kansas (Iowa)and how can you have a Kansas accent if you didn’t live there.
Schwarzenegger has never suggested he wanted the rules changed and has no intentions of trying to do that.
His HOMELAND certainly isn’t in the south.  He has no idea what it is like to be black except for the
80% average vote from the Blacks.  Oh yeah, reverse racism which no one wants to talk about.
Who would want to harm obama, he is NOT MLK, JFK, or RFK.  VERY FAR FROM IT ! Please stop distorting Obamas back ground.  There is nothing there to believe he could be a good president.  Orator, yes !

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By Expat, February 16, 2008 at 6:36 am Link to this comment

^ in a hand basket!  So much for journalistic hogwash; if Obama is as smart as I think he is, I think he will do just fine.  The Clinton machine certainly hasn’t been very effective up to this point in attacking him.  This article is just political filler, which is increasingly evident here at the dig.com.  I would hope the smart people will see this shit for what it is and move on to get out from under the dark ages of American history.  We can only hope the renaissance is coming soon.  Don’t forget: Truthdig is a business as well; so they are vested in keeping us red hot and rolling; keep your brains.

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By cyrena, February 16, 2008 at 4:38 am Link to this comment

Fadel,

Of all of these legitimate concerns, I fear number 2 and number 4 the most.

I’ve already read on this very blog, some of the most blatant and raw race hatred I’ve ever heard, because the Internet allows a curtain from which to hide as they blast it. Some of these people hate with a passion that I’ve rarely witnessed first hand.

And on number 4, you see we cannot get around this 8 years of concerted effort in the establishment of this Islam-phobia. Attached to the fake ‘war on terror’ the neoconners have now created a movement against another creation called Islamofascism. How incredibly cynical and diabolical is that?

Yes, they frighten me.

And yes, while Barack Obama’s father was obviously a Muslim, even the media, (and the author of this piece) put an emphasis on it that wouldn’t otherwise get any attention, whether they intend it or not.

One comment here says this, among all of the other Muslim connected things..

“...During the current crisis in his homeland,...”

It’s the language, though it may be unintentional. He says obama’s “HOMELAND”. Well, without disrespecting his Father’s native Kenya, the fact of the matter, is that Kenya is NOT Obama’s ‘homeland’. It was his FATHER’S homeland, and Obama’s ‘homeland’ (as well as his Mother’s ‘homeland’) is the US. He was born in Hawaii, and raised in Kansas. I mean, how much more American can one be, than KANSAS? (well, I supposed one of the original colonies might provide him with more authenticity).

Still, you get my point. I mean, the guy even has a trace of his Kansas accent that comes through from time to time.

So, while I’m certainly not disrespecting the “Fathers’” of the world, I find it telling that so much connection is given to his Father’s native homeland, and nobody ever much mentions his mother’s homeland, or even his own.

Meantime, this guy Arnold Schwarzenegger from Austria, now Governor of California, wants to get the ‘rules’ changed so that he can run for President. (one must be US born citizen to be President). Why doesn’t anybody get all up in arms about that?

I agree with you that the Barack Obama phenomenon is a beautiful dream that all people -OF GOOD WILL- would love to see come true. Let’s hope there are enough of us to make it happen, and to keep him safe from those who would do him harm.

The reality does prove they are out there. Still, if George W Bush has remained safe, (at least from all appearances) when such a huge percentage of the US population pretty much hates him, then I’m just praying for good odds. I know it only takes a handful or less of determined race haters, but I’m still hoping for the best. We need the healing in this country.

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By manonfyre, February 16, 2008 at 2:07 am Link to this comment

Obama’s Ties Might Fuel `Republican Attack Machine,’ by Timothy J. Burger

“Besides his relationship with indicted businessman Antoin Rezko, Obama might face Republican criticism over contacts with a former leader of the Weather Underground, a banker with ties to a convicted felon and even his church.”

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By Tony Wicher, February 16, 2008 at 12:07 am Link to this comment

I don’t believe in this. It is a conspiracy theory. The Masons are a harmless social service organization. Benjamin Franklin and George Washington were 33rd degree Masons. How sinister can it be?

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By Fadel Abdallah, February 15, 2008 at 10:11 pm Link to this comment

I am surprised that no one mentioned the secret hand of the Freemasons in determining who would be the next president!

Though I would love to see Obama elected as president, I already feel sorry for the man and the burden of the smear campaign he will be subjected to if he wins the Democratic nomination. Even if he is elected president, he will face difficult situations that will give the Republicans an assured victory in the following cycle of elections; among these:

1. Because the problems of this country are too big for one man or one administration to solve, he might not be able to bring about any tangible positive change in the short period of four years.
2. Because racism still persists, a segment of disenchanted racists would resent a man of color to be president and an assassination attempt at his life might take place.
3. Even worse, some enemies from within or without might plan a big terrorist operation to prove him as a failure.
4. Due to the Islam-phobia created and nurtured through eight long years of neocons evil propaganda, the enemy camp will continue to highlight that Barack Obama is Barack Hussein Obama whose father was obviously Muslim though he himself is a declared Christian. The implication being is that because it runs in the blood, he will always be a Muslim sympathizer and cannot be trusted.

In conclusion, the Barack Obama phenomenon is a beautiful dream that all people of good will would love to see coming true, yet some sad realities might work to turn this beautiful dream into a national nightmare. I hope that my fears will be proven unfounded, and that, in turn, would be the greatest gift of my life.

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By Kate Madison, February 15, 2008 at 8:20 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I don’t understand what you are trying to say!  Please explain.

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By Tony Wicher, February 15, 2008 at 3:03 pm Link to this comment

Barack Obama just finished a conference call with Jewish reporters (read the news brief). He took four questions, the first from JTA’s own Ron Kampeas. But while questions dealt with the Middle East, and the recent controversy about Obama’s church, what the candidate really wanted to talk about was the smear campaign that has circulated by email among Jewish leaders in recent weeks.

The allegations — that Obama is a Muslim and took his oath of office on a Koran — have been thoroughly, and repeatedly, refuted. Still, Obama said he wanted folks to hear the refutation from the “horse’s mouth.”

Before the call broke up, Obama urged reporters to use their “megaphone” to let readers know “that there’s no substance there and that my strong and deep commitment and connection to the Jewish community should not be questioned.”

Asked why it was sufficient for him to denounce his church’s recent praise for Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan but not resign from the church itself, Obama repeated his condemnation of Farrakhan’s “reprehensible” anti-Semitic views. Then he added what sounds like a promise: “My church has never issued anti-Semitic statements, nor have I heard my pastor utter anything anti-Semitic. If I have, I would have left the church.”

Obama also took questions on the peace process, the situation in Gaza, and how he would deal with Iranian nukes.

Listen to the broadcast at

http://elections.jta.org/2008/01/28/jta-podcast-obama-talks-with-jewish-reporters/

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By P. T., February 15, 2008 at 12:49 pm Link to this comment

Eisenhower didn’t cave to anybody—exactly the opposite.  He was letting Britain, France, and Israel know who was in charge of the post-World War II world.  The European colonial order was over.

And Kennedy was dead by the time of the 1967 war.  Johnson signed off on that.

Furthermore, Israel won’t attack Iran because of the difficulty (multiple targets in a big country that is far away) and fear of retaliation (Iran has a habit of retaliating).  That is why Israel wants so badly for the U.S. to do it.  There’s no mystery.  It’s all right out in the open.

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By Maani, February 15, 2008 at 11:07 am Link to this comment

Cyrena:

I agree with almost all of this.  However, one point should be clarified.  The Bush tax cuts HAVE helped EVERYONE, including those at the “bottom” - to the extent that the tax rate on those in even the lowest tax brackets has decreased a bit, and they are getting slightly higher tax refunds.

HOWEVER, this is the “smoke and mirrors” of the tax cuts - the tangible, visible PERCEPTION that they are helping even those on the lower tax rungs.  And many of those people think that because they are gettign taxed at a slightly lower rate, and getting slightly larger refunds (via tax credits, etc.), that the tax cuts are GOOD.

What they miss is not just that those at the higher tax brackets are benefitting at a rate that is truly obscene, but that the broader, less visible regressive effects of the Bush tax cuts are actually HURTING those in the lower brackets in the long run; i.e., those higher tax refunds are being undermined in ways that are costing them MORE than the refunds they are getting.

It is a truly insidious situation, since the PERCEPTION is that the tax cuts are helping them, while the REALITY is that they are losing out, and that the tax cuts are COSTING them money.

Peace.

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By Maani, February 15, 2008 at 11:02 am Link to this comment

Cyrena:

Martial Law: “The system of rules that takes effect when the military takes control of the normal administration of justice.”  Given that the military has not taken control of anything domestic (yet), we are not under martial law.

The theory of the “state of exception” was propounded by German political theorist Carl Schmitt, who suggested that “If the constitution of a state is democratic, then every exceptional negation of democratic principles, every exercise of state power independent of the approval of the majority, can be called dictatorship.”  One aspect of this theory is that “[a state of exception] frees the executive from any legal restraints to its power that would normally apply.”

This last, of course, we are in fact seeing, as Bush minimizes the legal constraints on his power via signing statements, etc.

However, the difference between “state of exception” and “martial law” is not just a technicality.  A “state of exception” may LEAD to martial law (and usually does, at some point).  But they are not the same.

Peace.

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By Maani, February 15, 2008 at 10:53 am Link to this comment

Cyrena:

Jackson came out in support of Obama early last year:

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/17869051/

Peace.

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By farmertx, February 15, 2008 at 7:06 am Link to this comment

Cyrena, no, Martial Law is not about Israel, it is about the power hungry folks near the Shrub.

PT, granted that Israel gets tacit approval for its ‘wars’, save for the Suez action, when Ike, for some reason caved to the Soviets. But Ike did pass the word to JFK that the US owed it to Israel not to oppose their ‘67 actions.
I always wondered why the Shrub was so concerned about Iran and Nukes, when we have all seen that Israel will take preemptive action against any such facilities in their region.
That was the main reason we armed them, and didn’t raise that much Hell when the MUF at Savannah River turned up in Israel, so they could act as a buffer in the Mideast. A job they have done pretty darn well so far. At a high cost to their people.

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By Inherit The Wind, February 15, 2008 at 5:08 am Link to this comment

All of the skeletons in Hilary’s closet have long since been dragged out and publicly flogged ad nauseam, but she has weathered those storms and remained standing.

I’ve been making this very point for months.  The smear machine has been continuously digging into Clinton’s past since 1992—that’s 16 years.  What they couldn’t find, they invented.  Coming up with a smear campaign is going to be a lot of nothing new.

OTOH, NOBODY motivates the right-wingnutz to get out there like Hillary Clinton, who they call “The Hildebeast”.  Those that are disappointed that John McCain is the nominee will not only hold their noses and vote for him against HRC, they’ll push their friends too.  And plan on seeing even MORE voter intimidation tactics against likely Democratic voters.  Hey!The ends justify the means, don’t they? And keeping the Hildebeast out of power justfies ANY action no matter how dispicable and illegal.

Furthermore, the so-called “progressive” Left hates Hillary Clinton almost as much as the nutty right.  Just look how “Truthdig” prints any and everything it can the puts her in a bad light.  So does Huffingtonpost.com

But Maani’s right: Obama had better grow a hide as thick as an African rhino’s.  He’s already got the rhino’s temper.  He ain’t seen NOTHIN’ yet!  The swift-boaters don’t care if it’s true or not—they just throw it against the wall and see if it sticks.  Don’t you remember, recently, they started ANOTHER smear of John McCain, a la John Kerry, questioning whether he was tortured during his FIVE YEARS of imprisonment in Hanoi?  Yet another war hero they were tearing down, even though he’s REPUBLICAN!

So…it’s going to be dirty, very, very dirty.

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By cyrena, February 15, 2008 at 1:14 am Link to this comment

FarmerTx writes:

•  “Barack will have his hands full, assuming he gets the nomination and assuming that Martial Law isn’t declared, negating any election in November.”

I can’t argue the first part of this FarmerTx, because there is no doubt that he’ll have his hands full. We can only be appreciative of the fact that he obviously KNOWS that, (he’s a smart guy) and is willing to take it on. And, we can also take some positive consideration in the fact that he’s smart enough to get the right help. That’s an equally important part (if not the larger part) of the job itself…knowing which experts to hire. We all know that one person cannot be an expert in everything, but that if they’re smart enough, they WILL know how to choose the right experts to rely on. I think he IS smart enough to tap into the best that there is available.

Meantime, on the Martial Law thing…I could add an academic ‘technicality’. In theory, (and even in practice) we’re ALREADY under Martial Law. The ‘cancellation of elections’ is just one of many components/tactics of what is generally called the ‘state of exception’. And from a theoretically legal or political standpoint, we’ve been in a ‘state of exception’ since 9/11.

In the formation of,  or movement toward,  ANY totalitarian overtaking, (which begins with the basic fascism of the overtakers)  ALWAYS involves the need for ‘exceptional measures’ and the suspension of the rule of law. And, it is most ALWAYS accomplished based on some sort of ‘threat’ to ‘national security’, be it internal, external; real or created.  That is what the events of 9/11 provided.

So, in a VERY REAL SENSE, we have been in a ‘state of exception’ (which is the suspension of the constitutional rule of law) for well over 6 years. The term ‘Martial Law’, is at least theoretically the same as this ‘state of exception’. The cancellation of elections is only one of the many components of that. So, while that hasn’t happened –YET- (the cancellation of elections) that is indeed a real possibility.
Still, it’s important (I think) to note that from a theoretical perspective, we’ve been under “Martial Law” for well over 6 years.

In fact, this ‘state of exception’ actually began when the Cabal did the judicial coup in December, 2000.  September 9/11 completed the operation.

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By cyrena, February 15, 2008 at 12:50 am Link to this comment

GoldenT,

You’re engaging is some false propaganda here, if only for the first part of your list of facts and red flags.

IN REALITY, Jesse Jackson has NOT come out as a ‘public backer’ of Obama’s campaign, UNLESS he’s done that very recently. In THAT case, you’d need to provide some documentation or some sort of sources to back up this claim.

When I read this claim, it was a RED FLAG for ME, because his LACK of an ‘endorsement’ for Obama, has been conspicuous to those who still pay attention to Jesse Jackson. (most of the black community does NOT,  because the black community doesn’t really see Jesse Jackson as representative of their interests any longer). His ‘time’ has long passed.

So, while I know that his SON, the ‘jr’ version, is a Congressman, and HAS endorsed Obama, the Jesse Jackson that you are apparently referencing here, had NOT chosen to make a ‘public’ endorsement.

Now, IF he has done that RECENTLY;as many other long term leaders of the predominantly black communities have done in switching their support from Clinton, then I will stand corrected.

As for the Refko-boating stuff, we’ll just have to see.

Meantime, your red flags and facts are nothing more than propaganda. So, let’s just make sure that we all know the difference between sleazy smear politics, and actual FACTS.

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By G.Anderson, February 15, 2008 at 12:32 am Link to this comment

We’re way past that now.

The people realize they are fighting for their life now, and the future of their families.

Those of us that work for a living have reached an economic tipping point.

My real concern is what’s going to happen when they realize, that politically they are done fore.

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By kenswann, February 15, 2008 at 12:00 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Thanks Joe, I’m sure Obama never thought of this.

He was attacked by the Hillary slime machine.  Guess what, so far he is kicking their ass.

You think the Republican Party in Illinois is a picnic. 

You are doing the same thing Hillary is doing.  Manufacturing outrage. 

Ever thought of getting an original idea?

Or are you now regurgitating Clinton talking points.

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By cyrena, February 14, 2008 at 11:45 pm Link to this comment

Ya know nf,

That whole thing about ‘raising’ taxes is really an illusion. The average person, (repug or otherwise) doesn’t need to be concerned about having THEIR taxes raised, if the system would simply revert to what it should be.

The Clinton Admin did in fact overtax the middle to upper middle class. That is not the problem now. The problem now, is that the tax breaks have been, for the past 7 years, for the WEALTHIEST PEOPLE IN THE NATION!! So, while it may not seem that your taxes have increased so drastically from the neoconners scheme, (if you are in a middle to upper income tax bracket) the tax breaks provided to the ultra wealthy, have taken their toll on all of us. (mostly the middle to lower middle incomes, who continue to pay as much or more of their earnings in taxes).

So, how much money can even be coming into the system as it was initially set up? Well, NONE, because the middle to lower class is earning far less now, and even if they are paying a higher percentage of their earnings in taxes, it still doesn’t amount to much.

Meantime, those who are raking in obscene amounts of money, specifically the corporations and the individuals who run them, aren’t paying even AS much in taxes, as the average worker, or middle class income person.

If Obama or anyone else can revert the system back to one of reason, then it wouldn’t require ‘raising’ taxes. It would just mean forcing those who aren’t paying their fair share, to actually DO that.

So, anyone who actually believes that these consistent ‘tax breaks’ that the Cabal has implemented, and is determined to make permanent, are in any way helpful to the average American, they are sadly mistaken, because that is NOT the case.

So, if it’s the tax thing that seems to be a concern to a lot of people, (and that would be those few remaining in the middle to upper middle class incomes) then it doesn’t require us to re-make the wheel. The wheel simply needs to be repaired.

Or, if we want to use a favorite analogy of mine, the payload needs to be rebalanced. In aviation operations and functions similar to aerodynamics, BALANCE is everything. If the payload on an aircraft is not properly BALANCED, IT WILL CRASH! And, that’s a given. It may happen sooner, or it may happen later, dependent on the other external and internal factors. But at some point in time, that imbalance will cause a fatal crash.

And so it has become with our own overall economy. It’s been affected by other things as well, like free trade (as opposed to fair trade) and other aspects of globalization.

Still, on the local level, at least to the extent that most American taxpayers are concerned, the problem is simple enough..the wrong people are paying all of the taxes, and carrying the full load, while the richest pay little if any.

The only thing ANY president has to do, (Obama included) is to work legislation that would rebalance the load. And then of course, he’d need support in Congress to carry that out. I suspect that he’d be perfectly willing to do that, (my guess) and so maybe he SHOULD commit to that, as you’ve suggested.

OTOH, he’d have to give at least a simple explanation of something like I just have. Because in reality, if he commits to NOT raising taxes, that would not be entirely true, since he would HAVE to raise taxes on the top 10% percent of the corporations and/or people holding the money, which would allow him to then lower the taxes for the rest of us.

Without that explanation, it becomes a very broad sort of commitment, that could come back to haunt him.

It’s the politics that is so negative. wink

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By P. T., February 14, 2008 at 10:43 pm Link to this comment

Actually, Israel wanted the U.S. to attack Iraq (though now they have second thoughts as they see how things turned out).  And they want the U.S. to attack Iran.  Note how angry they were over the National Intelligence Estimate.  And, yes, they get permission from the U.S. to engage in wars of aggression:  The 1967 war and the recent Lebanon War are two examples.  They didn’t get permission in 1956, and they got their wings clipped.

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By nf, February 14, 2008 at 9:37 pm Link to this comment

I believe that Obama will defeat Hillary (I still don’t understand why she campaigns using her given name - something new in politics or is she ashamed of Rodham-Clinton or maybe just the Clinton part ?) and he will go on to defeat McCain. It would be so much nicer and more acceptable to Republicans if he would just commit to not raising our income taxes.  I think many Republicans truly like the man and would like to see him get elected, but the thought of going back to Clinton era taxation is so negative.

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By bert, February 14, 2008 at 9:35 pm Link to this comment

Very well said, Maani.

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By Maani, February 14, 2008 at 9:11 pm Link to this comment

Louise:

I totally agree with you.

However, I was responding to Frank’s comment that “she is despised by too many on the right to be capable of forging the bipartisan alliances…”  This seemed to me to be speaking not about “we the people” (who do not form “alliances,” bipartisan or otherwise, with members of Congress), but about politicians, etc.  So my comment about “who cares” was directed toward the “too many” polticians, etc. “on the right” who are NOT part of Congress, since they are not the ones actually responsible for forming alliances that will “move the country forward.”  And, as noted, Hillary has an excellent reputation in Congress as one who can do just that.

Sorry for not being clearer in my intent.

Peace.

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By Louise, February 14, 2008 at 7:59 pm Link to this comment

“So who cares what those OUTSIDE Washington may think of her?  THEY aren’t the ones making policy and creating legislation.  And those who ARE have little or no problem with her, and haven’t for the entire six years she has been a U.S. senator.”

***

Oh my gosh Maani! I can not believe you said that! Those OUTSIDE of Washington are, dare I say it?

WE THE PEOPLE!

Maybe you need to spend a little time browsing through the Constitution of the United States.

[You sound dangerously like a repub!]

I’m sure it’s just an oversight, right?

I mean you DO care about the Constitution and We The People, don’t you?

I mean, you are ONE of them ... us… WE! Right?

Hillary could be the most fabulous president in history, likewise Obama. But if we adopt a WHO CARES OUTSIDE OF WASHINGTON mindset, they could, either one, be the biggest crooks who ever walked the walk ... right?

I think the “who cares outside of Washington” is/was the biggest single factor that led to the seating of the worst possible president this country has ever had to suffer! Because nobody did. Or at least they were made to feel that whatever they cared didn’t matter!

Maani, it matters.

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farmertx's avatar

By farmertx, February 14, 2008 at 7:46 pm Link to this comment

From what I’ve seen of Israel and the battles fought by the Nation, they don’t look to the US to send troops to fight their battles. Weapons and equipment yes. Troops no.
Nor do they wait for US permission to attack any perceived threat.
The Saudis on the other hand are always willing for US troops to fight their battles, as long as our troops hide any religious symbols of their own while doing so.
Barack will have his hands full, assuming he gets the nomination and assuming that Martial Law isn’t declared, negating any election in November.
But whoever the President is, they will have their hands full, undoing the damage that Shrubs handler’s have wrecked upon this Country.

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By msgmi, February 14, 2008 at 6:29 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Anyone who thought the ‘swift-boaters’ deflated Kerry’s presidential aspirations with political cowdung should get ready for a bombardment of elephantdung. Indeed these patriotic neoCONS can’t bury the past. These ‘ego-wounded’ veterans continue to be clueless about the wisdom of von Clausewitz and Sun Tzu who clearly outlined the Art of War. They give no credence to the Vietnamese who were historically in conflict with China for 400 years. Get ready America, the neoCON vet Swiftboaters are ready to launch the ‘mother of all elephantdung’ up to election day 2008.

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By Maani, February 14, 2008 at 5:15 pm Link to this comment

Frank:

“[S]he is despised by too many on the right to be capable of forging the bipartisan alliances needed to move the country forward on any of these issues…”

This is a canard.  She may be despised by many OUTSIDE Washington, but INSIDE Washington she has a reputation as being someone who is able to “reach across the aisle” in a bipartisan manner and work closely with Republicans to move things through. This has been stated by numerous GOP senators, one of whom said that he had expected her to be a very divisive figure upon arriving in the Senate, but instead found that she was “admittedly unexpectedly” quite easy to work with.

So who cares what those OUTSIDE Washington may think of her?  THEY aren’t the ones making policy and creating legislation.  And those who ARE have little or no problem with her, and haven’t for the entire six years she has been a U.S. senator.

Feel free not to vote for her.  But don’t do it on the basis of canards.

Peace.

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By GoldenT, February 14, 2008 at 4:31 pm Link to this comment

RED FLAG: On Feb. 11 Jesse Jackson, a public backer of Obama’s campaign, proposed Obama turn his economic policies over to Felix Rohatyn. Obama has not made any public objection to the proposal. Rohatyn is the creator of New York City’s “Big MAC,” the so-called “rescue plan” that “saved” NYC from bankruptcy in the 1970s.

<u>FACT</u>: financial austerity that guts critical services and disproportionately affects the poor is the face of Fascism, and is hardly policy reflective of the Democratic Party of FDR.

RED FLAG: Obama takes the Wall Street line when it comes to dealing with the rapidly spreading credit crisis that began last July, whose most visible impact is a growing tsunami of home foreclosures.

<u>FACT</u>: Washington is panicking over the impact of this growing crisis because their paymasters in lower Manhattan are afraid the American people will come to their senses and elect FDR Democrats. Obama ain’t it.

RED FLAG: The Refko trial begins in early March. Observers are expecting a veritable laundry list of disclosures that could easily tarnish Obama’s carefully cultivated image casting him as a man of sound judgment.

<u>FACT</u>: If a black man ain’t squeaky clean, he ain’t gonna be President of the United States. Just ask Jesse Jackson…

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By Frank, February 14, 2008 at 4:09 pm Link to this comment

Well, for what it’s worth, this former frequent Republican voter is supporting Obama in November.  I disagree with him on a number of issues, but his energy, science, and technology platforms are far more informed and intelligent than McCain’s, and these rank high in importance to me, along with his position on Iraq and diplomacy in general.  McCain is much more in line with my views on personal gun rights and a few other issues, but there are more time-critical and vital issues to America right now than how many days I might have to wait to buy another handgun or whether somebody might be inconvenienced at a gun show. I have a lot of respect for John McCain, but his stated commitment to a long term occupation of Iraq is a deal breaker for me.  I might have supported him otherwise, even though I don’t like his positions on network neutrality or abortion.

As far as Iraq goes, most agree we should never have invaded in the first place, but I was among the majority who believed we had an obligation to remain there after the invasion to give the Iraqis the opportunity to try to rebuild, secure their own borders, and transition to a more democratic society. At the same time, I always felt that obligation was limited in scope, and in my opinion the ‘grace period’ has long expired and America is no longer obligated to do for the Iraqis what they are apparently unwilling to do for themselves. It is time to get out, bring the bulk of the forces home and reinforce those fighting the more vital conflict in Afghanistan and defeat the enemy there, including finishing them off in the border region of Pakistan if necessary. Obama has stated his willingness to do both, and I’m trying hard not to be cynical about the depth of his commitment to both tasks.

None of the candidates are a good ‘fit’ for me, but I think Obama is the smartest choice on the issues that matter most to America’s long term economic welfare and security.

Hillary Clinton has too much political baggage. I’ll admit that I personally can’t stand the woman, but more importantly she is despised by too many on the right to be capable of forging the bipartisan alliances needed to move the country forward on any of these issues, so she is not even an option on my ballot.  Going from one polarizing figure in the whitehouse to another is the last thing America needs right now.

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By Thomas Billis, February 14, 2008 at 3:45 pm Link to this comment

It seems that your point is Americans are morons and will believe the statements you have made.I would have had a better arguement before George Bush was elected but nontheless if Americans are so susceptible to moronic accussations we will get the get the government we deserve.Your premise seems to be to give into the morons because if you do not you cannot win.I disagree.I think there is a gram of intelligence in the American psyche that will assert itself in this election because it has to.I better be right because if you are we will continue our slide into less than super power staus.

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By WriterOnTheStorm, February 14, 2008 at 3:32 pm Link to this comment

Aegus,

We will only know if you are correct about this if and when Obama is nominated. There is, however, no need to speculate with Hillary. She has taken on that ‘vast right-wing conspiracy’ and emerged stronger. Now that I think it through, it could be that she is already referencing the impeachment when she says that she is ‘tested’.

BTW, I’m not a Hillary partisan. I simply enjoy the strategy and tactics of all the campaigns.

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