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From Slavery to Obama

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Posted on Jun 5, 2008

By Eugene Robinson

    WASHINGTON—There will be plenty of time to chart Barack Obama’s attempt to navigate a course between the exigencies of the old politics and the promise of the new, between yesterday and tomorrow, youth and experience, black and white. For now, take a moment to consider the mind-bending improbability of what just happened.

    A young black first-term senator—a man whose father was from Kenya, whose mother was from Kansas and whose name sounds as if it might have come from the roster of Guantanamo detainees—has won a marathon of primaries and caucuses to become the presidential nominee of the Democratic Party. To reach this point, he had to do more than outduel the party’s most powerful and resourceful political machine. He also had to defy, and ultimately defeat, 389 years of history.

    It was in 1619 that the first Africans were brought in chains to these shores, landing in Jamestown, Va. Ever since—through the War of Independence, the abolitionist movement, the Civil War, Reconstruction, Jim Crow, the great migration to Northern cities and the civil rights struggle—race has been one of the great themes running through our nation’s history.

    I’m old enough to remember when Americans with skin the color of mine and Obama’s had to fight—and die—for the right to participate as equals in the life of the nation we helped build. Watching Obama give his speech Tuesday night marking the end of the primary season and the beginning of the general election campaign, I thought back to a time when brave men and women, both black and white, put their lives on the line to ensure that African-Americans even had the right to vote, let alone run for office—a time when Democrats in my home state of South Carolina were Dixiecrats, and when the notion that the Democratic Party would someday nominate a black man for president was utterly unimaginable.

    Tiresome, isn’t it? All this recounting of unpleasant history, I mean. Wouldn’t it be great if we could all just move on? Bear with me, though, because this is how we get to the point where, as Obama’s young supporters like to chant, “race doesn’t matter.” No one will be happier than I will be when we reach that promised land, and we’ve come so far that at times we can see it, just over the next hill. But we aren’t there yet.

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    This is a passage from an e-mail I received in April from an Obama volunteer in Pennsylvania: “We’ve been called ‘N-lovers,’ Obama’s been called the ‘Anti-Christ,’ our signs have been burned in the streets during a parade, our volunteers have been harassed physically, or with racial slurs—it’s been unreal.”

    Yet the amazing thing isn’t that there were instances of overt, old-style racism during this campaign, it’s that there were so few. The amazing thing is that so many Americans have been willing to accept—or, indeed, reject—Obama based on his qualifications and his ideas, not on his race. I’ll never forget visiting Iowa last December and witnessing all-white crowds file into high-school gymnasiums to take the measure of a black man—and, ultimately, decide that he was someone who expressed their hopes and dreams.

    When historians and political scientists write books about this extraordinary campaign season, surely they will seek to assess what impact Obama’s race had on his prospects. But they will also devote volumes to exploring how he put together a fundraising apparatus that generated undreamed amounts of cash, and to how his organization drew so many new voters into the process, and to how his young supporters made use of social-networking Web sites such as Facebook and MySpace, and to how his delegate-counting team managed to consistently outthink and outhustle everyone else. It will be written that Obama’s nomination victory owes as much to adroit management as it does to stirring inspiration.

    Will Americans take the final step and elect Obama as president? Should they? Is this first-term senator up to the job?

    We’ll find out soon enough. At the moment, to tell the truth, I don’t care. Whether Obama wins or loses, history has been made this year. Maybe there’s more to come, maybe not. But already—after 389 long years—it’s safe to say that this nation will never be the same.
   
    Eugene Robinson’s e-mail address is eugenerobinson(at)washpost.com.
   
    © 2008, Washington Post Writers Group


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By cyrena, June 11, 2008 at 9:58 pm Link to this comment

I just received this via email, so it seemed pretty appropriate to this thread. I noted a correction of my own at the end of it, just to keep it true.

***

“An elderly white guy asked his elderly black friend, ‘Are you voting for Barack Obama just because he’s black’?

So the older black guy fires back and says, ‘Are you NOT voting for him
because he’s black?

Why can’t I vote for him just ‘cause he’s black?

Hell in this country men are pulled over everyday just ‘cause their black, passed over for promotions just ‘cause their black, considered to be criminals just ‘cause their black, but you don’t seem to have a
problem with that.

This country was built with the sweat and whip off the slaves back, and now a descendent of those same slaves has a chance to lead the same country where we weren’t even considered to be people. A country where we weren’t allowed to be educated, drink from the same water fountains,eat in the same restaurants, or even vote, so you damn right I’m going to vote for him!

But not just because he’s black.

But because he is hope, he is change, and he now allows me to understand that when my grandson says he wants to be president when he grows up, it is not a fairy tale but a short term goal. Now he sees, understands, and knows he can achieve, withstand, and do anything.. just because he’s black!”

****
Now I’m adding a correction of my own to this. (I didn’t write it) In reality, since that’s what we’re supposed to be committed to here, Obama isn’t actually a descendent of those same slaves. His Kenyan born father did not come here on a slave ship, but rather as an already educated man making a career in academia. That is how his father came to meet and marry Obama’s white mother. So, it would be somewhat misleading to say that Obama is a descendent of those same slaves that built this country. But, that’s not to say that slaves from Kenya were NOT kidnapped and brought here as chattel. It’s just that Obama’s own descendants weren’t among that batch.

(guess his grandparents and great grandparents on the black side escaped the kidnappers, and were allowed to remain in their own land, long enough to become educated, and all the rest of that.)

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By troublesum, June 11, 2008 at 3:19 pm Link to this comment

JBlack
No I haven’t noticed that progressives won’t listen to opinions other than their own, though I have noticed that about cons and neo-cons.  Bush/Cheney always seek advice from those who disagree from them, right?

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PatrickHenry's avatar

By PatrickHenry, June 11, 2008 at 2:38 pm Link to this comment

By JBlack, June 11 at 7:02 am #

Actually, I’m a Ron Paul supporter.  The media has wrote him off so I will write him in.  Even diebold can’t change write ins.

I live in the state of Maryland which will overwhelmingly vote for Obama.

Ron Paul came out and stated he respected Obama’s foreign policy view and I think Obama is less tainted that the rest of the democratic candidates.

While you are entitled to your point of view, there are millions of Americans who will refute you come Nov 5.  Who you going to vote for….McCain? Good luck, you will need it.

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By troublesum, June 10, 2008 at 9:35 pm Link to this comment

jblack
Thomas Sowell, “another American black man” is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institute.  You may as well give us Dick Cheney’s assessment of Obama.

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PatrickHenry's avatar

By PatrickHenry, June 9, 2008 at 4:56 pm Link to this comment

President Obama and his wife are sure going to upset polite political life in Washington. 

Elected officials come and go, high level career public servants go on and on.  (Like the lobbiests!)

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By alicecbrown, June 9, 2008 at 3:27 pm Link to this comment

HEre you go: please feel free to jine up.  And here’s one sample of the quality of discourse you’ll get:
On Jun 5, 2008, at 7:38 PM, Robin Meltzer wrote:


This is all well and good but I note that no American has yet been able to answer my deeper metaphysical question about the Situation Room and its location.


This is a provocative statement, but I for one cannot answer your question because I don’t watch network news.  In fact, I watch no television at all.  ZERO.  When I’m in my living room I’ll throw on a film, usually made before 1980. 


This makes everyday socializing a little difficult, even more so because I’m not a connoisseur of wine or Scotch, as some of my friends are (who’ve become expert after years of business lunches made possible by company expense accounts).  But when I’m the odd-man out in such conversations I think of Fran Lebowitz, who said that “Great people talk about ideas, average people talk about things, and small people talk about wine.”  One could apply the last also to sitcoms, crime dramas, sports, etc., not to mention the latest top-grossing film. 


I get my daily news from Amy Goodman and from Pacifica Radio, along with ZNet and maybe Truthdig.  For a good laugh I go to the NYT.  The London Financial Times is very good, probably the best, because they talk about money, and money trumps everything: Democrat, Republican, Labour, Tory, etc.  WSJ too, though you need to pay to read that online. 


If I had to watch network news I would go with Keith Olbermann.  Blitzer is a nice fella, but he’s not good.  In fact, except maybe for BBC International, you should turn off your TV and look for alternatives.  Your Independent is a good newspaper.  The Guardian is not bad, but not as progressive as people think.  Le Monde when my French is good is also informative.  At least they called what Israel is doing to the West Bank “colonialism” in a front-page article two days ago on increased settlement building, whereas the NYT buried the story in a later page and called the West Bank “a disputed area.”


Frank  


I’m inclined to let what little backbiting occurs continue, because something happens when we cut down on others: we’re telling people a lot of negative stuff about ourselves, and we’re giving the swine who we mistakenly cast our pearls to, more attention than they should have!!!!

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By cyrena, June 9, 2008 at 9:55 am Link to this comment

alicebrown,

I remember that you posted at one time a connection to the Gore Vidal group with which you are associated. Is there a link or other website that provides additional information?

I’ll see what I can find via a search, but if there’s something you can link us to here, that would be helpful.

Thanks

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By alicecbrown, June 9, 2008 at 8:04 am Link to this comment

It’s so sad when a site originally set up for civil discourse turns into a bunch of backbiting.
Thank you, all of you, who ignore the petty name-calling and speak to the subject.

And thanks be to Gore Vidal, for lending his name and comments to the challenge that lies ahead for his nation.  Quarreling gets us nowhere.

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By Tiny Dick for old people with PCs, June 9, 2008 at 8:03 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The null hypothesis is that all politicians are corrupt.  There is no alternative.  Barack, in my opinion, is no different; nor is McCain.  But the last comment (or thread of comments) puzzles me some. 

What is your point Rus7355?

You conclude:

“I am looking for some measurable and qualitative accomplishments from Sen. Obama in this election process.”

As first glace this seems like a “dumb” question that was well thought out.  After all, “tangible” examples that demonstrate that one can “run” the country is of the utmost importance in this election—especially when one considers the current CIC.  But, on the other hand, Barack is running against a 71-year old renegade maverick who appears clueless on just about every issue (examples are abundant and a human could find them easily).

When thought of in this context, Obama is just as qualified as anyone, especially McCain or Dubya.

  McCain himself even thinks so: http://blog.washingtonpost.com/the-trail/2008/04/06/mccain_obama_absolutely_qualif.html

Thus, after second reflection, and in the interest of moving the discussion along, what point to you hope to elucidate here Rus7355? 

Are you hoping to make the inference that Obama is not qualified ipso facto he has not run a state as governor or served as general, et cetera?  I hope not because one does not follow from the other, in any case.  What I mean is simple and what cyrena tried to point out but you clearly missed it: Barack is just as qualified as anyone else. 

Being a Governor or General or having served in some other capacity does not in any meaningful way qualify one for the job.  Not to belittle experience but no experience is better than bad experience.  Take, e.g., the current commander-in-chief whose experience—if you want to call it that—has gotten us in the worse pickles in 40-years, though I loved the tax cuts. 

I do not make the case that Barack will be this great creator or proponent of change as most people seem to do.  In fact, I disagree with his economic policy greatly, at least what little that I have read of it.  However, I do make the case that Barack represents change in many, many ways and I hope—for his sake and the sake of many others—that it is very positive change.  For him, given the war, the economy, the expiring tax cuts, his over-zealous ambitions and the sticky palms of his $$$$ backers, this will be very, very difficult. 

On the other hand, it will require what he has already demonstrated: an unwavering ability to navigate his way through the political landscape while managing his subordinates and inspiring millions. 

So, assume for the moment that Barack and McCain both meet some minimal requirement or qualification, what then RUS7355?

If you have something substantive to say or argue about in the case of Barack or McCain or both, by all means please share with it us but don’t tease us by begging the question; instead, attack his (their) ideas and policies and thought processes, et cetera. 

This will indeed lead to much more rich and meaningful posts than your silly rant with Cyrena.

Cheers!

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By hippy pam, June 9, 2008 at 7:42 am Link to this comment

I am qualifying this statement…..JUST A COMMENT-I went to a store up in the north end of Flint,Michigan a few evenings ago-Obama had just been given the endorsement-As I pulled in,I noticed several people[I do not know what is P.C.]in the parking lot-Several[2-3] waving guns-I heard comments about “TAKING WHAT THEY GOT COMING TO THEM NOW THAT A BLACK MAN IS GONNA BE PRESIDENT”.These folks were in HIGH SPIRITS.I heard other comments about “whitey” better watch out now.I am Native American-1/4 blood-Blond and blue eyed like my German Grandmother.These poeple were looking at me and my vehicle AND I WAS VERY SCARED.as I said-THIS IS JUST A COMMENT ON AN OBSERVATION I MADE LAST WEEK….

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By alicecbrown, June 9, 2008 at 7:31 am Link to this comment

Contrary to all the feel good stuff going around, Obama does NOT represent the African-Americans among us: his forebears were NOT slaves.  In fact, they may have been the folks who sold the blacks to the slave-dealers, if you read your history.
Condosleezy and Clarence Thomas ARE the boot-licking descendants of slaves.  I don’t know what that portends, but let’s at least be truthful.
And Hilary-likers, I know you’re disappointed, but the alternative to Obama is far worse than anything we can imagine right now: say, the end of our species in a nuclear holocaust brought on by Mr. Senile Warhawk himself with their insane beliefs in ‘limited nuclear warfare’.  Ain’t gonna happen: it will be TOTAL destruction.

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By richard nemo, June 8, 2008 at 10:42 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

To raise this discussion on Obama to a higher plane: all this vitriolic back and forth
has nothing to do with Mr. Obama. It has to do with the fact that modern conservatism has shown itself to be a fringe ideology that cannot govern a modern Liberal Democratic nation state in a successful fashion. All the personalities are just foot notes in the end.

Conservatism is a reactionary movement opposed to modernity from its earliest manifestations—they were called Royalists then. Now they are called Bushites, neo-cons and proto-fascists.

I would advise everyone on the left to get ready for a most vicious wave of hate speech as the right dies its rightful death and enjoins the Soviet Union—its fundamental reason for existing—on the ash heap of history.

Now can we get back to discussing Obama and his relationship ship to american history?

Maybe not. Reason is an endangered species in the land I fear…

R. Nemo.

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By cyrena, June 8, 2008 at 9:07 pm Link to this comment

Part 1 of 2
Long post rus, but…it didn’t say anything. You accused me of ‘attacking’ you again, except of course…I haven’t. Outraged made the comment (to me) that I must be attracting the Bill O’Reilly types, and…it would seem as though I have. Your posts are personally directed to me, and intended to attack.

Anyway, I didn’t expect all of that information to be what you were ‘looking for’ because you really aren’t ‘looking for’ anything other than an opportunity to harass and insult others, and to continue to TRY to undermine a candidate who is the best we’ve had to choose from in over 2 decades.

First you said you needed proof of legislative/law making experience. So, we gave that to you.

You also said you wanted proof of management skills. Gave that to you as well.

You said you thought it was important for him to know how to run a business, and manage a payroll. I disagreed with you on the need to know how to run a business, because 99% of the American population is in turmoil now, exactly because the past 8 years, our country has been run by Corporatists as if the rest of us are their plantation slaves. However, I did assure you that Senator Obama does have such management experience, because he’s managed his Senate Office, where there is no doubt a payroll to be met. He’s also managed the most effective campaign of the past 40 years, and has managed to do it without swiftboating tactics, and with utmost integrity. (no unpaid debts)

You wanted to know about his military experience, and I agreed that he didn’t have any direct experience in the military himself, just like none of the other presidents have since 1991. I also don’t believe that it’s required for the office. Senator Obama DOES have enough professional judgment to know how important our service men and women are to our national security, and so HE (along with Chuck Hagel who certainly DOES have such military experience) have given their needs much attention. (Please reference the legislation that is posted here) Not a single other candidate has done that. In fact, as you may be aware, the practice of torture in violation of the international prohibitions against it put our own troops in even more harms way than this illegal and immoral war that both Senators McCain and Clinton so avidly supported. There was a time when Sen. McCain was opposed to torture, but he seems to have changed his mind on that now.

You also wondered how he was at working with leaders from ‘the other side of the aisle”. The proof is in the record of the entirely bi-partisan legislation that he’s put through with the other members of Congress. So, besides being a ‘nice man’ and an extremely brilliant one at that, Sen. Obama has majority support from the current Congress, as well as the leaders of his own party.

His judgment has been impeccable, beginning with his adamant disapproval of a war he knew was illegal, immoral, and would be a disaster. One could argue that he committed a SNAFU in addressing AIPAC, but AIPAC is not the multiple millions that will be as you say, ‘looking beyond words and slogan.” Clearly, we wouldn’t want our fellow citizens to be focused on ‘words and slogans’, but rather on ALL of the things that we’ve presented in the still incomplete list of his achievements and accomplishments to date. Isn’t that what you were hoping we would all look at?


•  “…Huge numbers of people will be looking for real working and managing experience with the job applied for. This job happens to be for Commander in Chief.

Funny. Thanks for the reminder, but I pretty much knew this job was for Commander in Chief, but I think we should get away from the “leader of the free world” slogan. How about just leader of the USA?  And, since we haven’t had one of those in a REALLY long time, Sen. Obama will definitely be a welcome one. The vets already appreciate him. And, the Senator’s working and managing experience is already well evidenced.

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By cyrena, June 8, 2008 at 9:06 pm Link to this comment

Part 2 of 2

Then there’s this:

•  “This site is very progressive and overwhelmingly supportive of Mr. Obama. Are you truly unable to view this in it’s proper context?... Millions of people will not be giving it all the emotion (passion) that you will apply’

Again, your contemptuous ridicule isn’t even subtle, but you’ve directed this to the wrong person russ. For one thing, this is SUPPOSED to be a progressive web site, but there are plenty of reactionary posters here. And to suggest that they are overwhelmingly supportive of Sen. Obama is a joke. There are more than a few with mentalities similar to your own posting here, (some more sophisticated at disguising it than others), and it’s very clear that YOU are not the least bit supportive of Sen. Obama, and are in fact doing whatever you think might be effective in the standard smear tactics that people like you employ.

As for the display of passion mention, I can only interpret that as a very ironic paradox. You say that millions will NOT be giving it the passion that I am? I say that the MILLIONS of people supporting Sen Obama have probably given it FAR MORE! I am inclined to be far more skeptical, and not so given to the ‘emotion’ that you reference here. In fact, that should be clearly obvious to anyone by now. I’m very pragmatic, and reality-based. I believe that objectivity absolutely requires that.

Still, Senator Obama has brought millions and million of citizens into the process, allowing them the hope that we haven’t seen in decades; hope that more of us can really take part in the progress of our country, and have a say in what becomes of us and our lives. Hope that we CAN rebuild our infrastructure, and that we CAN all have an opportunity to be educated, (instead of just the rich ones) and that we CAN save our environment, so that there are things to pass on to our future generations.

We have hopes that we CAN have normal and peaceful relationships with the rest of the world, and FAIR trade that benefits all. We know, (and without even needing any advanced education) that wars for profit do NOT profit any of us. We know that trillions and trillions of dollars expended in the process of destruction to not yield the kind of results that we require to survive. We KNOW that the blood of our loved ones spilling through the desert sands of a region far, far, far away from home, brings us nothing but decay and decline.

Those are not just MY passions rus. As I said, that passionate energy rests in the hearts and minds of most of us, but specifically the generations that can make that happen, and they have lined up behind Senator Obama because he provides excellent direction for those efforts.

And if you think this is the only website that I frequent, or the only source of my information and communications with the rest of my own community, as well as the larger community that creates our collective nation, then you are very sadly mistaken.

You make a lot of assumptions here rus, and you underestimate the power and the abilities of your fellow citizens. That isn’t wise. But then, you’ll figure it out eventually.

You might begin with dropping the sarcasm and condensation that accomplishes nothing more than to display your lack of respect for, well…everyone’s opinion that doesn’t agree with your own! Gee, doesn’t that sound familiar?

Yes, there are millions and millions of American citizens prepared to call Senator Obama Mr. President, come January of 2009, so that ‘we the people’ can have our country back. And, we’ll be happy to share the champagne with you rus.

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By Dobbs_Head, June 8, 2008 at 9:00 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

About four hundred years ago Africans were brought here in chains. Now a serious contender as a leader of this country is black. Examining only the endpoints these seems a dramatic shift, examining the history of this nation it’s just part of the wave.


Let’s look at the event line:
Slavery-Abolition-Wage reform-civil rights-leadership


Obama for president is not an event that breaks stride with the timeline. This country has been increasingly liberalized over time: the vote expanded and social restrictions relax. While interesting to think how far we’ve come, it is more a part of the processes than a revolutionary event.

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By troublesum, June 8, 2008 at 8:55 pm Link to this comment

G W Bush’s achievements: G H W Bush is his father.

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By Richard Nemo, June 8, 2008 at 3:15 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

When I look at Mr. Obama I see a “third culture kid,” as they are called. I notice that no one else seems to perceive this fact. I guess it takes one to recognize one; but then most Americans have probably never heard of TCKs.

Here is a brief definition: Third Culture Kids (abbreviated TCKs or 3CKs) (aka. Global Nomad) “refers to someone who [as a child] has spent a significant period of time in one or more culture(s) other than his or her own, thus integrating elements of those cultures and their own birth culture, into a third culture”.

If one knows anything about this group of people one finds Obama’s presidential run even more interesting and unusual than from the provincial American view point that dominants these discussions.

I wish him luck.

R. Nemo.

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By Paracelsus, June 8, 2008 at 3:01 pm Link to this comment

We Are Change confronting Goodman and Rather

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8MBf2-5JCxo

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By Paracelsus, June 8, 2008 at 3:00 pm Link to this comment

More Background on Bildeberger

Two journalists were questioned by wearechange.org about Bildeberger. Amy Goodman looked very uncomfortable about the whole idea of it. Dan Rather’s press aid was acting like some minder from a third world dictatorship. It makes you wonder what is so dangerous about uncovering this subversive elite group, that journalists qaiver over talking about it. As long as politicians must sneak off and lie about their whereabouts near places like Chantilly, then we must suspect them as acting in a treasonous manner.

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By cyrena, June 8, 2008 at 2:51 pm Link to this comment

To add to the post from The Truth, I have copied this from the website that I directed rus to earlier. http://obama.senate.gov/

The hyperlinks don’t appear to have come through on this, but one need only go to the web site to read them in depth. Hopefully rus, you’re willing to do at least that much.

OBAMA DEMANDS VA INVESTIGATE ALLEGATIONS OF PTSD MISDIAGNOSES TO REDUCE COSTS

WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Senator Barack Obama today sent the following letter to Secretary of Veterans Affairs James Peake, calling on him to investigate reports that a psychologist at a Texas Veterans Affairs (VA) facility told staff members to refrain from diagnosing veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in order to reduce costs. According to today’s Washington Post, the psychologist, Ms. Norma Perez, apparently emailed Teague Center staff members suggesting the alternative diagnosis to limit the number of tests required to diagnose PTSD. Since the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan began, thousands of service members have returned home suffering from combat-related psychological injuries like PTSD, which require much-needed treatment. - Read more

Obama Joins Bond and Boxer to Introduce Bill to Improve Care for Wounded Service Members

Statement of Senator Barack Obama on the Veterans’ Benefits Enhancement Act

Obama, Bond Applaud Senate Passage of Amendment to Expedite the Review of Personality Disorder Discharge Cases

http://obama.senate.gov/

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By cyrena, June 8, 2008 at 2:44 pm Link to this comment

Outraged, I think your posts really did fall deaf ears as far as rus was concerned, since he didn’t want to take any of this stuff into consideration. (very Bill O’Reilly).

However, as an extreme amount of fortune for all of us here, there is a poster by the name of “The Truth” who has just provided a detailed list of several of the accomplishments that rus seems to be looking for, (since ours didn’t appear to be enough).

By THE TRUTH,
I was blown away as I started going through his record.  I’ve already mentioned his bills on health care and energy. In addition he had introduced bills on Iran, voting, veterans, global warming, campaign finance and lobbyists, Blackwater, global poverty, nuclear proliferation, and education.

On Iran: S.J.RES.23 : A joint resolution clarifying that the use of force against Iran is not authorized by the Authorization for the Use of Military Force Against Iraq, any resolution previously adopted, or any other provision of law.

On voting Passed out of Committee and now on the Senate Calendar for Feb. 22, 2008

S.453 : A bill to prohibit deceptive practices in Federal elections Please check this out! This is a great bill. We need this. I can’t believe that this time voter intimidation is not already illegal.
On veterans and military personnel: S.1084 : A bill to provide housing assistance for very low-income veterans;

On global warmingS.1324 : A bill to amend the Clean Air Act to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from transportation fuel sold in the United States;S.1389 : A bill to authorize the National Science Foundation to establish a Climate Change Education Program; S.AMDT.599 to S.CON.RES.21 To add $200 million for Function 270 (Energy) for the demonstration and monitoring of carbon capture and sequestration technology by the Department of Energy. (This last one passed both the House and the Senate as part of the budget bill.)

On campaign finance and lobbyists S.2030 : A bill to amend the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971 to require reporting relating to bundled contributions made by persons other than registered lobbyists; and S.AMDT.41 to S.1 To require lobbyists to disclose the candidates, leadership PACs, or political parties for whom they collect or arrange contributions, and the aggregate amount of the contributions collected or arranged.

On Blackwater S.2044 : A bill to provide procedures for the proper classification of employees and independent contractors, and for other purposes, and S.2147 : A bill to require accountability for contractors and contract personnel under Federal contracts, and for other purposes.

I counted nine education bills, but it’s getting late and I’ve got to get my kids ready for bed. 
As I mentioned earlier, Clinton is a frequent co-sponsor on many of Obama’s bills. So is Ted Kennedy. So are a number of Republicans.

Finally, Obama appears to have a better record last year in the Senate on getting his bills and amendments passed than does Clinton. I’ve listed everything that passed the Senate for each them at the end in boxes. But check out Thomas.loc.gov for yourself. I may have missed something.

In my eyes Obama is the superior choice in every way. He cares about more of the issues that matter to me. Kids and health care are important but so is the issue of global warming, on which Clinton introduced not a single bill last year.

Obama is a leader. With bigger majorities in Congress, much of his agenda should sail through. He can inspire this country to change course on so many things, from health care to global warming, where attitudes have to be changed first. I remember Bill Clinton’s endless laundry lists of small, focus group approved initiatives. For those who say Hillary will not govern like Bill did, I respond that the people who were doing the market testing of his proposed policies were Dick Morris, of course, and Mark Penn, who is now running Hillary’s campaign.

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By Paracelsus, June 8, 2008 at 11:53 am Link to this comment

Here is another point of difference between O’Reilly and me. I consider 9-11 an inside job of some sort. O’Reilly gets royally exercised over 9-11 Truthers. If I were a mainstream neocon I would live by O’ Reilly for the most part, and I might even feel more comfortable with Obama than McIsane. Some on this forum would like to paint with too wide a brush.
But I humblely submit that finer strokes would fill in a more complete picture. But I’m sorry life is not that simple as “leftists good” and “rightwingers bad”. “Grunt. Grunt.” We must get out of our sandbox. BTW, did you that Obama now has a body count on him in the mode of a Clinton or a Bush. It seems a number of gay men connected with Obama end up dead. Again I think gay people should have the same rights as others. And I oppose the DOMA Act. I know it is very hard for those who have brains that only work in base 2. I would suggest that hexadecimal would be better suited to this world. Then again the Babylonians did everything in base 20. Perhaps an upgrade is in order.

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By Paracelsus, June 8, 2008 at 11:39 am Link to this comment

Please define O’Reilly soundalike. What thoughts, or phrases would indicate “O’Reillyness”? Please keep in mind I don’t care for McInsane or Hill the Shill. I don’t want to watch O’Leilly’s show, and the only clips of his show I am interested in are those narrated by Olberman.

I have not heard a thing from other commentators on Obama’s Bildeberg connections. Neither the mainstream liberal or the mainstream conservative media covers these connections.

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By cyrena, June 8, 2008 at 11:24 am Link to this comment

Outraged,

Re: “Cyrena…looks like you’re attracting the O’Really “soundalikes”....my heart goes out to you.”

Thanks for the empathy. It’s more appreciated than you might know!

Enjoy the rest of the weekend.

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By Outraged, June 8, 2008 at 11:19 am Link to this comment

RE: Rus7355, June 8 at 4:01 am

Your comment: “So you too can’t think of any accomplishment(s) in Sen. Obama’s background that qualifies him to be U.S. President? I think that’s what your bottom line is, yes?”

Rus, that is my bottom line, NO.  Your interpretation of my meaning regarding the Kutler article has apparently fallen on deaf ears.  First of all you make the ASSUMPTION that there is an accomplishment (or conglomeration of them) which WOULD qualify an individual as president.  Your assertion is false.  If such an accomplishment or conglomeration exists, please… enlighten me.

This was directly the position I was taking by using the Kutler article.  “Experience” or “accomplishments” are fine and they are one aspect.  I’ve stated this before but I’ll say it again.  GW has almost EIGHT YEARS of “experience” and “accomplishments” and look where that got us.  A loaded resume does not necessarily ensure correct actions or promising outcomes.  We could also include Cheney, Rumsfeldt and Rice in the group of “experience” and “accomplishments”.

Corps over-blow this “experience” and “accomplishment” rhetoric in order to get GREAT employees for a song and a dance.  That’s where this theory (if one could call it that) originated, it is PROPAGANDA.

All or at least ALMOST all propaganda has an element of truth, otherwise no one would believe it.  Every good liar knows this. And propagandists ARE LIARS.

As for experience and accomplishments in the true sense, these are only some of the ASPECTS that should be considered. In this regard, Obama has many and I would offer that Cyrena’s post on this thread would be helpful. Precisely this one: “cyrena, June 7 at 10:47” just scroll down, some highlights:

” I would direct you to the Congressional Record, to find out what legislation Barack Obama has worked on there, as well as his work on the Committees that he sits on. That would include Foreign Relations stuff, since he does sit on that Committee, and chairs a sub-committee within the same.

I would also direct you to his State Senate Office website, since I’ve discovered it to be an excellent source of information myself, even though I am not a resident of Illinois. (I was a few decades ago, though briefly).

His campaign website is also an excellent source of information for many of these questions you’ve asked. It is extensive however, so it will take a bit of time to get through.

Then there is also his work as a State Legislator, and I’m sure that should all be archived somewhere, though I don’t have a direct website to provide for you,.....he was head of the law review at Harvard, so you might wanna check into some of those journals for whatever he may have contributed during that time….etc.” (Thank you Cyrena)

>It seems Rus, that you don’t want to take into consideration anything other than what YOU have deemed an accomplishment or experience for president.

Other aspects you may want to consider, intelligence, constitutional law knowledge, level-headedness, and integrity.  Another thought from Chalmers Johnson’s book, Nemesis (pg. 22):

“How do ordinary people become desk murders?  First, the must lose their ability to think because, according to Arendt, “thinking conditions men against evil doing”.  Jerome Kohn adds, “With some degree of confidence it may be said that the ability to think, which Eichmann lacked, is the precondition of judging, and that the refusal as well as the inability to judge, to imagine before your eyes the others whom your judgement represents and to whom it responds, invite evil to enter and infect the world”.  To lack a personal conscience means “never to start the soundless solitary dialogue we call thinking”.

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By troublesum, June 8, 2008 at 10:54 am Link to this comment

Lincoln’s government service:  One two-year term in the US House of Rep.  Office held when nominated in 1860: none.  (Lost US senate race in 1858)  Business experience: clerk in a general store when he was a teenager.  College Education: none.  Earned licence to practice law by clerking in a law office.  Accomplishments which would have made him stand out as a potential candidate for president: none.

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By troublesum, June 8, 2008 at 10:39 am Link to this comment

cwhipps
Its great to hear your story.  Some of the photos taken on the night of Obama’s victory speech speak a thousand words.  Whatever policies Obama persues as president, things will never be the same.

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By cyrena, June 8, 2008 at 8:31 am Link to this comment

Rus,

I don’t recall ever ‘calling’ you a Jew, since I wouldn’t know that. I do find it odd that you would present it as something uncomplimentary though. Do you have some sort of bigotry toward Jews?

I don’t. I happen to know and very much respect and admire MANY Jews. So, even if I HAD referred to you as a Jew, (again, I don’t think I did, since I wouldn’t unless you made that identification for yourself) it wouldn’t have been an ‘insult’.

If I referred to you as of a ZIONIST mentality, THAT would be a negative. However, one need not be a Jew to be of a Zionist mentality, and just because one might be a Jew, doesn’t make him or her Zionist.

Meantime, this has been an excellent article by Eugene Robinson, which I very much appreciate myself. It is troubling (for me at least) that it has been turned into a forum to attack Barack Obama, (no matter how many of you choose to disguise that) when it was intended to honor a moment of major progress in the mentality of the American society.

So, I will depart this particular thread in the spirit in which the article was presented, to remind that YES…this is an hisoric time for all of us.
The nomination of a black man to head a major political party for the Presidential contest is proof that we can and will put aside petty, dysfunctional and destructive social-psychologies, in order to unite behind efforts to bring about a common good.

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By cyrena, June 8, 2008 at 8:08 am Link to this comment

“By troublesum, June 8 at 3:57 am #
Russ7355
You are correct about Cyrena.  Her opinion is always the only valid one and everybody is entitled to it.
She says she was banned from posting at Common Dreams because they are “Zionists.” I think the true reason she was banned is obvious to anyone who has read her comments here.”

Troublesum, you are VERY confused here, as I have NOT said that I was banned from posting at Common Dreams, because I have NOT been banned from posting at Common Dreams. I have NOT been BANNED from posting anywhere Troublesum, though I DID run into a problem here at truthdig, well over a year ago now…(so long before you came along 6 months or so ago, or at least long before you began posting under THIS name). The problem was resolved within a week.

In REALITY, NAHIDA explained that SHE had been banned from posting at Common Dreams. PLEASE. Just try to keep your attack targets straight, OK?

I’m more than willing to take responsibility for anything that I post here, but I’m not into the politics of personal attacks, and I’m sick of these accusations that everyone on this forum is somehow ‘required’ to agree with me. For Christ’s sake…THINK about how that sounds? What kind of ‘power’ are you giving up by making the suggestion that ANYONE can somehow ‘force’ anyone ELSE, to agree with them?

Now I really am trying to do better in expanding my vocabulary in a way that allows me to be as HONEST as I’m ALWAYS going to be…, without seeming to be demeaning or belittling, because I don’t think that accomplishes anything. Still, I DO recognize a troll when I see one, and I’m likely to call them out and expose them as such. The same can be said when someone posts something that is pure propaganda, and/or STUPID. I’m likely to say that it is pure propaganda, or STUPID.

Here again, I’m trying to employ more acceptable vocabulary, and/or ignore the more obvious of the propaganda, because the majority of the posters on this forum can figure that stuff out for themselves.

In the meantime, you, rus, and others need to refrain from your personal attacks on me. It is more revealing of who/what YOU are, than what I post. Intelligent people can reach their own conclusions about how they chose to read and/or interpret what I write here.

Rus can avoid being ‘attacked’ by avoiding the same behavior himself. At best, we can generally be disciplined enough to simply ignore him, as long as he isn’t posting blatant propaganda. To that, I will respond, as others have.

And, an example of that can be seen in his post here, where he pretended to frame his attack on Barack Obama by posing legitimate questions, but felt compelled to specifically NAME me in the post, even before anyone had a chance to respond. It’s a cowardly way to go about lobbing attacks at those who might actually recognize the perfidy.

So, if you all want to discuss issues in general, then you should refrain from singling out specific posters unless you’re responding directly to something that they’ve said. Just general personal attacks without specific references only show what your real intentions are.

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By alice brown, June 8, 2008 at 7:58 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I’ve been a manager for many years, sometimes managing somebody whose skills I was ignorant of.  The situation is analogous: You first surround yourself, being a charismatic leader such as Obama is, with qualified, educated, intelligent, compassionate advisors who happen to believe in the Bill of Rights.  the kicker here is YOUR judgment.  If you are easily gulled, demanding ‘yes’ men, you’ll continue our death spiral into the dustbin of history.
but Obama has more smarts than that: you can’t be a Constitutional Law Prof. at the Univ of chicago or Northwestern, (can’t remember which) and editor of the Harvard Law Review, as he was, and be a dummy.

Surround yourself with people of varying backgrounds and disciplines and opinions who can say ‘No’.

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By troublesum, June 8, 2008 at 4:57 am Link to this comment

Russ7355
You are correct about Cyrena.  Her opinion is always the only valid one and everybody is entitled to it.
She says she was banned from posting at Common Dreams because they are “Zionists.”  I think the true reason she was banned is obvious to anyone who has read her comments here.

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By Paracelsus, June 8, 2008 at 1:41 am Link to this comment

http://rawstory.com/news/2008/Bilderberg_meeting_attracts_prominent_politicians_businessmen_0606.html   

Bilderberg meeting attracts prominent politicians, businessmen

...
Although it is an international forum, many prominent American officials and politicians attend the conference, including Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice, Chairman of the Federal Reserve Ben Bernanke and Paul Wolfowitz.

James Johnson, the man tasked with selecting Barack Obama’s running mate, is also on the list to attend the conference.

InfoWars also reported that Senator Barack Obama’s office has refused to deny that the Democratic nominee attended Bilderberg last night following reports that he and Hillary Clinton were present at “an event in Northern Virginia.”

Obama spokesman Robert Gibbs would not say where the former rivals met, except that it was not at Clinton’s home in Washington, reported the Associated Press.
**********************************************
Why is an Obama advisor, Mr. James Johnson, at this meeting?
Some have suggested that I may a Bill O’Reily follower. This is the most scurilous nonsense because Bill O’Reilly is the very last guy who would talk about Bildeberger. As you can see Bildeberger attracts politicians of parties. I find it insulting that Obama would consult with these guys as to whom he would choose for VP. But the primary insult is that Bildebergers are intimately involved in dictating policy to these politicians. It makes a mockery of freely elected government.

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By Outraged, June 7, 2008 at 10:50 pm Link to this comment

Re: Rus7355, June 7

Your quote: “I am sincerely asking; Can someone give us some examples of Senator Obama’s experience in building something from the ground up? Or has he any experience running a bureaucracy? Even at the state level? Has he ever maneuvered the halls of the federal government? Is there a negotiating history he’s had that we call upon? Has he ever himself written, submitted and pushed legislation through the House and Senate? Are there some demonstrable examples of his ability to bring the many opposing sides of an issue together? All these things seem to be missing from the resume he has submitted.”

Possibly you missed Stanley Kutler’s excellent article here at Truthdig in March, an excerpt and the link:

“The president’s experience did not spare us at two critical junctures in our history. James Buchanan, arguably our worst president, served in both the House and the Senate and had been secretary of state and minister to England—altogether a wealth of political experience….“The meager experience of our most successful presidents stands in sharp contrast. Theodore Roosevelt had been New York’s police commissioner, an assistant secretary of the Navy and a one-term governor of New York”.......“Generals who became presidents and had experience largely only in war have a mixed record. George Washington, of course, was a great success; Andrew Jackson has his devoted followers among historians. Zachary Taylor in two short years did not make much of a mark; Ulysses S. Grant, once the object of historical derision as a president, lately has attracted revisionists who have found merit in his record. Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower had no prior political experience,...” 

http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/20080307_the_folly_of_experience/

>As per this comment (directed at cyrena): “I understand that you yourself do not recognize how bigoted and condescending you can be. What I really wanted, however, was to ask a sincere question from readers here and, honestly, I had hoped not to hear from you.”

>LOL…your logic here eludes me…?!?  Why direct a comment at someone who hasn’t directed a comment towards you (you only read her comment) and then claim to “not want to talk to them”.  Whoa…

Re: Cyrena…looks like you’re attracting the O’Really “soundalikes”....my heart goes out to you.  BTW…great post, this one: “cyrena, June 6 at 8:07 am” I agree.

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By Paracelsus, June 7, 2008 at 4:01 pm Link to this comment

Why does he have to sneak off to a secret meating, Alice?

“Obama needs to meet with everyone: the Jews, the elite businessmen in Chantilly, Va., Noam chomsky, me, you, Farakkan, Bill Cosby, the ghost of Pres. Kennedy, Mark Green, Thom Hartmann, Keith Olbermann, Bill O’Reilly, Ed Schulz, Condoleeza Rice, Sarkhozy, the nice German woman that Bush groped, he needs to talk with everyone to let them know that he’s bringing back the Bill of Rights…”

It is not good to have politicians consult in secret with powerful people all in one place. It makes a mockery of the republic. What promises did he make to these a**holes? Some of these people aren’t even American citizens. I would suggest you do some research on the Bildegergers. You are way too complaisant and passive.

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By cyrena, June 7, 2008 at 3:04 pm Link to this comment

cwipps,
Your ARE special. Thanks for the post.

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By Paracelsus, June 7, 2008 at 1:47 pm Link to this comment

It’s not about that. You are following a Judas Goat.

@cwhipps

“I went on to become a jazz muscian, and on the night that Obama said, “I will be the Democratic party’s nominee for president of the United States”, I felt special, again.”

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By cwhipps, June 7, 2008 at 1:11 pm Link to this comment

Thanks for your post, Eugene. Reading the comments here reminds me of that United Negro College Fund commercial I used to always see just before the networks signed off, back in the ‘70’s:

“A mind is a terrible thing to waste.”

Your words have brought me back to the arch of my life, and I thank you for that.

In 1963, I was 12, sitting in a theater in Santa Monica (not exactly Mississippi) in the balconey, with the woman who cooked and cleaned, and basically raised me for my single dad since my mom died in ‘56, (who I called Aunt Bea) watching “Lilies of the Field.”

As we walked into the theater there in the old mall (the Majestic) there was a sign that I’d never seen before that said “colored” and pointed to the balcony. The balcony was my favorite place to sit, so, when I got up to the top, and we sat and watched the movie, I knew something I had always suspected was true.

That black people were “secretly” special.

As I looked around at all those black people smiling at me, up there in the balconey, and then looked down at all those empty seats below, I thought I was being allowed into a secret club. It felt so cool to sit with the “secretly” special people.

I felt special, too.

I went on to become a jazz muscian, and on the night that Obama said, “I will be the Democratic party’s nominee for president of the United States”, I felt special, again.

To be perfectly honest, for the first time in my adult life, I felt completely proud to be an American. Some may have a problem with that, but all I can say is “different strokes, for different folks.”

Thanks, Eugene, for keeping it real. Your words were not wasted on me, a now older, white, formerly hard working bass player who is member of a now “not so secret” club.

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By Paracelsus, June 7, 2008 at 12:26 pm Link to this comment

Nuts!

Quoting Alice Brown:

“Obama needs to meet with everyone: the Jews, the elite businessmen in Chantilly, Va., Noam chomsky, me, you, Farakkan, Bill Cosby, the ghost of Pres. Kennedy, Mark Green, Thom Hartmann, Keith Olbermann, Bill O’Reilly, Ed Schulz, Condoleeza Rice, Sarkhozy, the nice German woman that Bush groped, he needs to talk with everyone to let them know that he’s bringing back the Bill of Rights, fighting to save our species by ridding this planet of the godawful pollution we are responsible for and will refuse to get into the petty shits that’s been going on for the last 8 years, as well as the murdering of thousands of human beings.”

***************************************

If Obama meeting with these folks in Chantilly is so wonderful then why doesn’t the MSM cover it? If all the football players of the NFL decided to have a secret meeting and then that meeting was leaked out the media would be covering it in a heartbeat. Past predictions or decicions for the price of oil by Bildeberger has been spot on. Now the leaks from Bildeberger call for $200/barrel oil. This secret meeting even has memebers of the current adminstration doing there to secretly confer with global elits in direct violation of the Logan Act. All the top players of both political parties go to Bildeberger meetings. HOw should that inspire confidence that my government represents me or that I have a real choice in the voting process.

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By Paracelsus, June 7, 2008 at 12:11 pm Link to this comment

Doesn’t Anybody Care?

The major Democratic front runners are most probably meeting with bankers and royalty in Chantilly, VA<The Bildeberger Conference> to plan the fate of the USA. I thought people voted with the idea that their candidates would carry the will of all the people. You are going to get all happy about Obama, but next year you will be angry that not much is being done and that we are still in Iraq. I have seen this show before. An unkown peanut farmer came from nowhere to become President of the US. Who did he know for this to happen? David Rockefeller. Who is one the most influential old farts at Bildeberger? David Rockefeller. Who is this Obama who has very little in the way of a track record? WAKE UP!!!

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By cyrena, June 7, 2008 at 11:47 am Link to this comment

Rus,

I am not a bigot, so why did you use this post as an ‘opportunity’ to attack me personally, and why would you expect an ‘angry bigoted’ attack from anyone? How do you know when someone on the internet is ‘angry’?

Do you know what a ‘bigot’ is rus? You should refrain from using words until you know what they mean, so that you can use them in the proper context.

Even if I were a ‘bigot’, (which is so ridiculous as to be comical) that ‘bigotry’ would have no place in an answer to the questions that you’ve posed here. So, it’s difficult to be sure if you really want answers to these questions, or if you just used this as an opportunity to launch a ‘bigoted ATTACK” of your own.

Still, in the spirit of helpful cooperation, (for SOME of these answers,) I would direct you to the Congressional Record, to find out what legislation Barack Obama has worked on there, as well as his work on the Committees that he sits on. That would include Foreign Relations stuff, since he does sit on that Committee, and chairs a sub-committee within the same.

I would also direct you to his State Senate Office website, since I’ve discovered it to be an excellent source of information myself, even though I am not a resident of Illinois. (I was a few decades ago, though briefly).

His campaign website is also an excellent source of information for many of these questions you’ve asked. It is extensive however, so it will take a bit of time to get through.

Then there is also his work as a State Legislator, and I’m sure that should all be archived somewhere, though I don’t have a direct website to provide for you, since I haven’t really been that interested in his state legislation. (I’m a Calif resident, so more inclined to follow my own State’s legislative activities) Anyway, for the lawmaking activities, those two should help you out. He was first a State level lawmaker, until he became a lawmaker at the national level in 2005.

Let’s see, what else is important to the presidential job requirements. Oh, he was head of the law review at Harvard, so you might wanna check into some of those journals for whatever he may have contributed during that time or since. I could probably provide several other publications from other journals where I’ve referenced his work, though that could take me a bit. You can google that stuff pretty easily though. Also, if you have the time, you could check out a nearby university library and use their access to Lexus Nexus, or one of the other data bases. He’s got quite a bit of stuff published.

I don’t know that he’s ever ‘run a business’ that would equate to what I think you’re asking. He didn’t do the wall street thing, but chose public service instead, and public service isn’t really supposed to be a ‘business’ though I agree that it has become such.
So in that respect, I think you’d be disappointed. He hasn’t run any failed oil company ventures like your current MBA president (GW) did with Harkin Oil and the others that he screwed up. I’m guessing that Obama does oversee the payroll of his Senate office and staff, but I could be wrong. (seems like that would be a job to assign to someone else on the staff). He’s also written a couple of books that might provide just some general information that I think is relevant to the job of a president. So you might wanna check those out.

As for military experience, I don’t think he’s had any more than Dick Cheney, George (the AWOL) Bush, Bill Clinton, or Hillary Clinton. He’s only 46 years old, so there’s been no ‘draft for him to dodge’ in the manner that so many of the current administration have managed.

OK. That should hopefully get you started. You might wanna check his time teaching at the law school there at U of C, since he taught in his own field there, with is Constitutional Law, and specifically civil rights law. There may be some old syllabi or other course info in those archives to add to all of the above.

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By Stan, June 7, 2008 at 9:33 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Rus7355,

Please tell me, what federal bureaucracy that has been led by right wing political appointees tasked with ‘starving the beast’, has had any positive impact on the public’s general welfare in the last eight years?  The communist chinese government’s response to the Sichuan earthquake has shamed your government, which, in cowardly fashion, dropped bottles of water from helicopters as if they were dealing with wild animals.  They even sent ‘law-and-order’ mercenaries, obsessed with potential looting, instead of trying to help fellow citizens.

And please tell me how an experienced person’s ability to ‘work the system’ qualifies that person for the presidency, when that system is precisely the problem?  Note that I feel pretty silly writing that, as if there were any minimum qualifications for the job.

——

Mr. Robinson,

You are so right.  It is an historic watershed.  I live in Brazil where some of my friends have expressed amazement and even pride that a fellow descendant of Africa could achieve what Mr. Obama has.  This event alone has increase the value of US stock in their eyes, though it had nowhere to go but up.

I am the offspring of people who delighted in watching a black man have a chain wrapped around his neck and be dragged by a truck, up and down a small town main street in Texas, until his head came off.  I was so angry and ashamed of my association to my biological family I had to disown them back in Dec. 2000 (right after the coup).  If I had a billion dolllars, I would buy out all the home owners around my brother’s house—a shrine to the Confederacy—and build a holocaust memorial dedicated to the suffering of Texas slaves, some of whom where my ancestors’ “chattel”.    Mr. Obama’s clinching of the nomination is wonderful, and a victory over millions of race obsessed people in the US. 

However, it is overshadowed by many crises created and exacerbated by the stupefying, long-term deficit of American statesmanship and the electorate’s self-destructive voting habits.  Furthermore, no one can deny that neither the color of a person’s skin nor their gender, have any relevance to the degree of integrity that person may have.  I cannot gush too much about Mr. Obama’s accomplishment.  I need to see specific actions taken in the areas of tax and foreign policies.  Given the track record of most if not all presidents in my lifetime, I would be a naive idiot to give him the benefit of the doubt.  I cannot bring myself to vote for him or any other US presidential candidate ever again.  But I can be swayed by evidence.  If provided, I’ll vote for him if he’s running for a second term.  Hell, I might even want to visit my home town again.

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By Alice Brown, June 7, 2008 at 9:11 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Obama needs to meet with everyone: the Jews, the elite businessmen in Chantilly, Va., Noam chomsky, me, you, Farakkan, Bill Cosby, the ghost of Pres. Kennedy, Mark Green, Thom Hartmann, Keith Olbermann, Bill O’Reilly, Ed Schulz, Condoleeza Rice, Sarkhozy, the nice German woman that Bush groped, he needs to talk with everyone to let them know that he’s bringing back the Bill of Rights, fighting to save our species by ridding this planet of the godawful pollution we are responsible for and will refuse to get into the petty shits that’s been going on for the last 8 years, as well as the murdering of thousands of human beings.

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By Paracelsus, June 7, 2008 at 6:27 am Link to this comment

http://worldnetdaily.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=66442

THE NEW WORLD DISORDER
Did they or didn’t they?
Speculation about Obama, Clinton attending Bilderberger meeting

By Alyssa Farah
© 2008 WorldNetDaily


Westfields Marriott in Chantilly, Va., site of the Bilderberg conference this weekend

WASHINGTON – Sen. Barack Obama ditched his unsuspecting press entourage yesterday to attend a secretive meeting with Sen. Hillary Clinton.

But where did that meeting take place? Was it at the secretive Bilderberg conference in Chantilly, Va.? So far, neither campaign is talking.

The 56th Bilderberg meeting is still going on this weekend at the Westfields Marriott, according to various sources. But attendance is a well-guarded secret – along with the agenda, which tends toward the promotion of globalist ideas.

Obama’s spokesman Robert Gibbs confirmed Clinton and Obama met but declined to inform the press of the location of the meeting. However, it was reportedly not held at Clinton’s Washington home. Hillary’s spokesman also declined to give the location of the rendezvous.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., told Fox News the two candidates met at her house in Washington. Feinstein said she was working upstairs while Clinton and Obama sat by her fireplace.

Asked if Obama attended more than one meeting last night, Gibbs declined to “get into all the details.”

(Story continues below)


Speculation about the pair meeting yesterday began when reporters traveling with Obama arrived at Dulles International Airport, in Northern Virginia, to find Obama was not aboard the plane, as was scheduled.

“Reporters traveling with Obama sensed something might be happening between the pair when they arrived at Dulles International Airport after an event in Northern Virginia and Obama was not aboard the airplane,” the Associated Press reported.

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By Paracelsus, June 7, 2008 at 6:25 am Link to this comment

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LfgGm2QEzyQ

You see him in the back of a limo.

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By Purple Girl, June 7, 2008 at 6:04 am Link to this comment

Clionton did a great disservice to the Women Movement by dropping that ‘Sexism ‘Card.first she had no legitmate claim to warrant such a ‘Ace in the hole’ .She has No Real concept of the day to day struggles women who work with the Boys face. Seh not only got th eRed carpet treatment, her door was opened and her chair pulled back, and a Kiss on her ass while she planted it at the head of the table.She did not suffer a ‘Bitch Slap’ she expereinced the same Clinton hate shehas always battled.Jesus if any male candidate had voted the way she did (Edwards) made the Gaffes she did (Biden) went for the Gutteral Knee Jerk “morality” ploy ( the entire Repug Field) She would have been outed along time ago. She was Pre anionted andCrowned. She screwed up as a result of her delusions of ‘heir apparent’, and ‘pay backs a Bitch’ mentality.
I have been pleased that Sen Obama has refrained from playinng th erace card, avoiding the ‘My people are Owed this’ Rhetoric. By doing so he Runs as a Presidential Candidate- Not A Black Presidential Candidate. I wish Media would recognize and resepec this attempt to not fall into this Pit.
It is Historical, it is a great statement about how far our country has come. But it is NOT why we Nominated Him - he is the Mascot to Our idieologies, our Goals and our Dreams for OUR Country.
Pleas eDo No ttrump him by throwing tht card out on top of his - he’s winning without it- as he should in a nation striving for Equality for ALL. 
Eugene, I as a White Female, say SHHHHHHH!We need not give the Red necks any more mental ammunition or excuses .
If we are to discuss race we must take it from the point of ‘Who are these Backward MF’s and how have they been allowed to survive in our Great Democracy?
Personally - let US of European (esp Sctoch Irish) Descent take on that Battle. We can’t be called ‘prejudice’ since we are ‘kin’. I intend to take on My ‘kissin’ Cousins’ by demanding they respect the Struggle OUR ancestors faced when they came to this Country- they were not only discrimated agaisnt and hated- the Kennedy’s felt that ‘racism’ first hand. It is OUR responsiblity to honor those Brave souls who brought US here and defeated the barriers to assure their descendants chance at Real Freedom. i personally feel it is my obligation to them that I Not practice Prejudice and Discrimination.
Obama and those of US who support him must down play his Mixed Race and attack this UnAmerican doctrine from it’s own side of the issue. Same as Men are not capable of ending ‘Reverse Sexism’ which reared it’s ugly head during this nominating Process. Equality sees NO Gender Nor color. Step back ‘minorities’ and Men this is a fight among same Sex and same ‘bloodline’s adversaries. Don’t undermine Our efforts to call them out on their illegitmante claims.

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By i,Q, June 7, 2008 at 12:19 am Link to this comment

i was wondering when the renaissance of the 21st century would finally start. With all of the insightful comments already posted, i’m at a loss as to what i could add, except for a little of myself.

In so many of these comments i see a cautious optimism beginning to percolate. paul easton speaks succinctly about the possibility of hope aboard a sinking ship. Jackpine Savage ties hope to “possibility” and, despite a lingering shadow of doubt, hints that with a spark of the possible, we can confront and solve our problems.

Aegrus and his distaste for “dog and pony show symbolism,” reminds me that the symbolic nature of this moment would be cheapened if we let it be only skin deep. Obama’s nomination is without a doubt a symbolic victory for civil rights, but for me, it is the victory against adversity which resonates deepest. It is almost cliché to say it, but America as a premise of its own inception is victory over adversity.

As jps points out, the world is watching and waits to see if we will regain our minds and our country. troublesum</b. points to defining moments in our past when, despite circumstances which might tear a lesser nation apart, America has successfully reinvented herself. This return to sanity will require us to protect and kindle, as <b>Jackpine poetically describes, our “spark of hope.”

Many credit Obama’s character as being a hallmark of his success. After the last eight years of lies and theft and oppression, it wouldn’t take much of a wo/man to elicit a collective sigh of relief, but we have seemingly hit the jackpot. A thoughtful, charismatic leader who can deliver speeches that motivate shoelaces to tie themselves, a leader with clear vision, but more importantly a leader whose vision is shared a priori with so many ‘regular’ Americans. “[A] new perc[e]ption [of] happy days to come,” indeed, gadees. It is also the perception of Obama as a Washington “OUTSIDER,” as cyrena observes, which arouses in so many of us a tiny kernel of a thought in the back of our minds whispering: This guy might actually be different.

Most importantly of all, that frightening feeling of optimism which gestates like a fetus in the collective unconscious has restored a faith in many of us which is fundamental to ending the nightmare of Empire — the faith that our actions will matter.

The questions on the lips of pundits and the global community will be many in the next few months, but the most important question is a question for each of us, not just as individuals, but collectively as well:

Will we dare to believe we can achieve victory over adversity?

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By Rich Walker, June 6, 2008 at 2:37 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Many of us are experiencing deep heart-felt emotions around the success of Obama and what it means for us and our country.  I truly believe that the awesome achievements of the vast number of black athlete sports heroes (Jackie Robinson, Michael Jordan, and MANY others) have paved the way for many American white males (like me) to now accept and even welcome a black “political hero”.

But as many of us know, Obama’s success runs much deeper than that.  He has just defeated the invincible Democratic Machine, and upset the heir apparent whose rise to the presidency was taken as a given by those in the establishment not long ago.  The Netroots efforts over the past few years are bearing fruit in a huge way.  Note how little this is discussed in the MSM.  They must be quaking in their virtual boots about the muscle that MoveOn and others have shown.  The latter have created a near-limitless well of donors that has barely even been tapped.

Welcome to the new world.  I can see Obama now, being sworn in by Roberts, spearheading an American Renaissance.

It’s time to start livin’ again!

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By Paracelsus, June 6, 2008 at 1:43 pm Link to this comment

“I will continue to work for Mr. Obama, hoping that through his brilliance at working with the Repulsicans without getting filth on his clothes, we will restore the Bill of Rights.”

I would like my country back as well, but I fail too see how that is possible if he is meeting with a bunch of elite businessmen and aristocrats in Chantilly, VA.

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By alicecbrown, June 6, 2008 at 1:25 pm Link to this comment

I will continue to work for Mr. Obama, hoping that through his brilliance at working with the Repulsicans without getting filth on his clothes, we will restore the Bill of Rights.  We will once again have a country that we can be proud of, that while not living fully up to our ideals, we will be honest about what we need to do better, and reduce the insane hypocrisy that makes me think I live in a parallel universe.
Listen to Air america radio or any of the liberal talk radio stations, and our national networks and see if you can see anything alike in them. (I take that back: Ed Schulz sometimes gets as arrogant as Bill O’Reilly.)

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By Paracelsus, June 6, 2008 at 12:55 pm Link to this comment

In my opinion he snuck off to the Bildeberger meeting in Chantilly, Virginia. This disappearance is so similar to Edwards flying off to Italy for the Bildeberger meeting in 2004. In 2 weeks, Kerry annnounced him as VP.

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By Aegrus, June 6, 2008 at 10:31 am Link to this comment

Yeah, its a “historic” nomination, but I don’t particularly think about it in terms of race. When historic is spoken of Barack Obama, I think of his campaign success and grassroots victory. It’s not the first time, but it has been, historically, quite a long time since we’ve had such a movement in America.

Honestly, I rarely think about race in regard to Obama. Everyone can be happy and look at this as a sign of racial transcendence, but I don’t have much interest in dog and pony show symbolism. Still, I’ve always thought of the Presidency as a diplomatic and guidance role with the major importance on representing the face of America. In that respect, it’s kind of cool a man of color is representing the face of America, but more important is his character and intelligence.

The victory at hand is the victory for good government and pragmatism in politics. Mitigating partisanship (Which Barack Obama has a task at hand with the disaffected Clinton supporters) and enabling the citizens of America to be more active and engaged with our, OUR, government.

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By J. Mezure Carter, June 6, 2008 at 9:34 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

We need to stop playing these games with race.  We are all African.  I challenge anyone who thinks otherwise to check their Y chromosome (males) or the mtDNA (females).  Now that we’ve got these silly skin color arguments out of the way, perhaps we can look at the real meaning of Obama’s win.  He has asked us from the beginning to start thinking for ourselves.  No president can turn people around nor can any legislator.  If we know anything from these past thirty years, it is that reliance on politicians, pundits or anyone outside of you leaves you vulnerable to their capricious ways. 

I agree with Mr. Robinson’s article that says that selecting Obama as the candidate is a milestone in a country that lives through its emphasis on identity politics, but when will this type of democracy die.  The race is not over and if the past six months are any indication of what is yet to come, we are in for an extreme lesson in divisive politics.  The use of code words and other innuendo will spread though the body politics like a metastasized cancer. 

There was no time since the beginning of this country where the majority of people of any color were not suppressed.  Today as then this is still an obvious truth.  Those people in PA, WV and KY are not bitter because Obama was supposedly mocking them, they are bitter because they have been used to their disadvantage for centuries.  To say otherwise is a lie.  But we can see that this reality can be manipulated by identity politics.  Those who can prosper from this type of political separations are seeking, not only too win, by using this type of politics, but they are hoping to disenfranchise any new people who find themselves enfranchised by this primary campaign.  I am praying that they fail.

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By cyrena, June 6, 2008 at 9:07 am Link to this comment

•  “The nomination of Barack Obama is an amazing and historic moment.  Look at the front pages of newspapers from around the world this week and you’ll see something that you’ve probably never seen before: actual admiration for America.”
Jackpine Savage,

Thanks for bringing this up…about the newpapers from AROUND THE WORLD, reflecting actual ADMIRATION for America. Now THAT is a switch, eh? They are reflecting and thinking, “WOW”, maybe Americans are getting smarter, or maybe they’re becoming more civilized. Maybe they’re actually finding a way to assess the right priorities and values. Maybe they are actually figuring out how to get beyond the superficial surface of things.

That of course has been the whole mentality of the movement that put Obama in this spot, and it is for THAT much at least, that we can be grateful. (I agree that it all remains to be seen).
That ‘mentality’ has said…RACE DOES NOT MATTER, which has been their genuine belief. In my own opinion, it is a UTILITAIAN mindset, that says, ya know…we’re in some seriously deep shit, and we need something DIFFERENT in Washington, and in the way we conduct our business with each other..across all the spectrums.

In all honesty, it would not have mattered WHAT ‘color’ he was or the ‘packaging’, because that’s how desperate we are for survival, and we know that it has to come from the bottom up, because the top down thing has crushed us. Or, at least there is a significant portion of the population who know that. In that sort of a mindset, it is SECONDARY (at most) that Barack Obama happens to be black. I don’t think a lot of people get this, particularly those over the age of 40 or so, because of what we’ve experienced of the past. But for those who are most concerned about their future survival, they aren’t looking at race or gender as a primary consideration. It is for THAT, that I am grateful. THAT gives me hope that the future generations are less hung up on these worthless measures of anyone’s abilities, and more inclined to think more critically.

So, the CHANGE that Obama represents, (and the reason he’s gained the nomination) have far, far, far less to do with his race, (or physical appearance) or even his socio-economic status/’class’, and EVERYTHING to do with the fact that he is an “OUTSIDER” in terms of Washington, DC, and the politics of Dynasties. He is not from an ‘old line’ of ANYTHING, or ANYONE. This is important. He is not a ‘born into wealth’ person, and he didn’t grow up in abject poverty either. (it would seem that some hold that against him).  He is NOT tied to the Corporate Oligarchy either, and that TOO makes him the change that we need.

That he is ALSO black, is well…a bonus. Gives us some extra points with the rest of the world, as you’ve noted above, since others may see it as a sign that America has is finally moving beyond the superficial BS, and actually starting to develop some class and smarts! smile

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By gadees, June 6, 2008 at 6:02 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Obama’s fight for change shouldn’t be confined to electing a different skined president, it shoud be based on his merits as a new perciption to happy days to come.To achieve that, he would have to add a new touch to the conventional power politics, where a president should mirror the hopes of the people and not the corporates.Obama doesn’t have to sell his position cheably to any lobby and AIPAC in particular,nor succomb to any pressure, and should know that he will be elected because of what he is and not for what he pretends to be.Countries in the Middle-East are looking forward with optimism for a new era inaugurating a good and fruitful relations.

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By troublesum, June 6, 2008 at 4:10 am Link to this comment

Lincoln and Roosevelt were both captains of a sinking ship.  Neither had an army of consultants or public relations firms around him.  I hope Obama will get rid of his consultants and speak directly to the people.  This is what is needed at this time.  One feels that this is a real turning point in American history.  Its like 1860, 1930, and 1960.

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By Jaded Prole, June 6, 2008 at 4:04 am Link to this comment

The reason Obama can “overcome” is because “Black” in America is more cultural than physical. Obama is not a descendant of slaves. Not a descendant of Jim Crow victims and those who weathered the oppression of racism. He benefits from the struggle for civil rights but he is culturally a white man raised away from the Black community, culture and experience. America really has not problem with Blacks that do not fit the cultural stereotype—which is why Clinton and the Repugs focused on his (actually Black)minister. He is also a very intelligent attorney, a powerful speaker and obviously a very careful and strategic player. What remains to be seen is if there is any real difference between him and other corporate Dems. I expect him (should he be selected for the position) to be a competent President and no doubt an improvement. More than that remains to be seen but based on his unwise pandering to AIPAC to the extreme of undermining any hope for Palestinians, I’m not optimistic.

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By jackpine savage, June 6, 2008 at 3:55 am Link to this comment

The nomination of Barack Obama is an amazing and historic moment.  Look at the front pages of newspapers from around the world this week and you’ll see something that you’ve probably never seen before: actual admiration for America.

I agree with Mr. Easton that nominating a black man to be captain of a sinking ship is not enough…but it is something.

My hope is not that he will solve our problems, but that we might be injected with possibility.  Our situation is grave indeed.  But every ending is a new beginning and every problem is really just a host of possibilities.

Each and every myth about ourselves is being currently tested.  Whether we will prove them true…or just myth…is the salient question in my mind.  I think that the world headlines speak to the same questions from our Earthly compatriots.  Like them, i have mostly given up on seeing those myths reflect any reality.  But there it is, a spark of hope.

Nonetheless, the light at the end of the tunnel may well be an oncoming train…

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By jackpine savage, June 6, 2008 at 3:47 am Link to this comment

This is the second excellent post from you today, Mr. Easton.  Please do us the favor and stick around Truthdig.

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By buddy, June 6, 2008 at 3:34 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

obama is not black…..... duh…... he’s biracial… what do ya think????????

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By paul easton, June 6, 2008 at 3:20 am Link to this comment

As his supporters like to say, Obama restores the possibility of hope, but that is a meager sort of thing to get excited about, if you think about it. I can remember other times, long ago, when we had hopes, but they always came to nothing, one way or another.

It is sort of funny that all those people are fighting so hard to get elected captain of a sinking ship. Presumably Obama has some ideas about what to do. Let us hope so, and hope that he can make them stick.

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