Saturday, May 31, 2008

Obama Resigns from Church Now a Distraction

anything anyone says at his church is scrutinized and then attributed to obama, he said. obama, who seemed very solemn or just tired, said he was sad to resign but it's all become a distraction for him and for the church.
you know the extremists (both republicans and the hillarys) are constantly checking in there to find things to use against obama.
how will obama go to another church? he says he hasn't figured it out yet. he and michelle will have to sort through it.
obama shuts down a reporter who suggests that obama would join a church to manuever politically. he says there are a lot more powerful churches in chicago.
obama says he just wants to sit in a pew quietly with his family, hear nice music, have good reflection, praise god, put money in the collection plate, grab bunch, sunday school. that's what i'm looking for, he said.
a reporter suggests he should be denouncing the church. obama says the church is not worthy of being denouncable.
frankly, i think this pursuit of obama and his church and faith has all gone too far. it's shameful.
on dnc, hillary nets a significant number of pledged delegates, he said.
obama trusts that hillary and bill will do the right thing. hmmmmm
a reporter asked about tuesday's rally in minnesota: we are getting very close to the number to win the nomination. if we hit that number on tuesday night then we will announce that and even if we don't, this is the end of the primary season and it's time to focus.

Obama Now 66 Delegates Away From Nomination

with the florida and michigan delegates resolved, here's the rundown of what it means. obama should be able to gain those (about) 66 delegates with delegates from the south dakota, montana and puerto rico primaries (84 delegates altogether) and superdelegates to be the nominee by june 3, when obama will be in st. paul, minnesota with michelle for a rally.
hillary is too far behind to catch up.
let's hope that the superdelegates step up to the plate and finally end this so hillary doesn't plod on to the convention.
after watching the rules and bylaws meeting, i have to wonder: what is it that hillary's supporters are really fighting for or against? they've sort of got a mob mentality going on and were highly disrespectful of the proceedings. here's a hillary supporter who's switched to obama after ickes incited the hillarys.

Hillary's Crowd Goes Bonkers

omg. they start shouting "denver" when the motion to seat all the florida delegates in full. "you just took away votes," one person yelled.
alice huffman, hillary advocate, tries to bring some solace to the crowd as they vote for the half vote for each florida delegate. "when we get this vote we will leave more united than we came," alice said. hillary's crowd got ruder.
the motion passes by 27, considered unanimous.
michigan next.
harold ickes said the process was flawed. it's all wrong, wrong, wrong. more lunacy from the hillary camp.
he poked fun at wexler for drinking too much wine (according to the hillary loyalist), incited hillary's crowd. i think these people truly have crossed the line.
lastly, ickes said, as per hillary, she reserves her right to continue on like the never ending candidate to the convention.
hillary's voters keep needing reprimanding, shouting out while the committee members are speaking. it sounds like it's going to come to blows. these people are vicious and hillary's campaign needs to be shut down now.
cheers and ovations when one of the committee members tells the hillarys to stop with their propaganda.
the michigan motion: all pledged delegates restored at one half vote. hillary 69 delegates; obama 59 delegates. the motion passes 19 votes in favor; 8 votes against.motion passed. hillary's supports go nuts once again. they won't be quiet enough for people to hear what the vote was. security has been called.
the committee co-chairs get standing o for job well done

Obama South Dakota Town Hall Video

Michigan Wants 69 Hillary 59 Obama Delegates

if you ask me, michigan's election was completely bogus and none of the delegates should be seated.

obama's name wasn't on the ballot and michigan is arguing for seating the delegates. this is going to be more contentious than florida.

michigan is bitter and angry and has deep resentment that new hampshire and iowa got to go first, and that they have had "perpetual" privilege, which is why michigan changed its primary date. in other words, michigan broke the rules and it's the dnc's fault.

Florida Only State With More Republican Primary Voters

florida congressman robert wexler came out strong for obama at the dnc meeting. he said contrary to the rumors and gossip, obama was not responsible for what happened with the florida primary.
he said hillary should be happy with obama's willingness to offer this concession -- she would get 19 more delegates than obama.
he also pointed out that florida was the only state in the union where the democratic turnout was less than the republican turnout (wow. more democrats have turned out than republicans in every state except for florida), making the point that all the voters didn't turn out because they didn't think their vote would count.
clinton's ickes, harold ickes, asked why 19 delegates should be considered a concession. because 19 equals the amount of delegates hillary won in ohio and pennsylvania combined, wexler said.
ickes asked wexler if he knew what "fair reflection" was.
wexler said what the heck? ickes chose not to answer. shrug on my end.
now it's getting heated.
wexler went on to take the committee to task for penalizing florida for 100%, when he and others were against it. don't fault us, he said.
alice huffman, clinton surrogate, insinuates that wexler doesn't care about the voters.
he comes back with his credentials of voter support. allan katz of florida, obama supporter, who can't be part of the dnc decision, backs wexler up.
on to michigan......

Barack and Michelle Obama in St. Paul June 3

live streaming
welp, this says a lot. minnesota is a swing state in the general election and the site of the republican convention. june 3 is the final day of primary voting. by then, everything is expected to be ironed out as far as the solution for florida and michigan and a nominee. i'd say this says obama's pretty confident on who will be the nominee.

Rally with Barack and Michelle Obama
Xcel Energy Center
175 W. Kellogg Blvd.
St. Paul, MN 55102

Tuesday, June 3rd
Doors Open 7:00 p.m.

Public Entrance: Gates 1 and 3

The event is free and open to the public. Tickets are NOT required, but an RSVP is strongly encouraged. Admission is on a first-come, first-served basis. Please RSVP using the form to the right.

For security reasons, do not brings bags. Please limit personal items. No signs or banners permitted.

DNC Meeting

obama is campaigning in south dakota today and hillary is drinking pina coladas in puerto rico and the dnc is trying to come up with a resolution.
for live blogging, i'll send you here. i can't stand to hear all the pretend caring about florida voters.
live streaming here.
the rules and bylaws committee (rbc) members met last night before this mornings meeting and agreed that the party would come together.

Half of Puerto Ricans Won't Vote

why should they vote in the primary when they can't vote in the general election? i don't blame them. keep in mind, when writers rumble about "popular vote," they don't include caucus voters. but even without the caucus voters, obama still leads the popular vote so i don't get why hillary's running around saying she leads in the popular vote.

salon: So even though Hillary, Bill and Chelsea Clinton have spent enough time wandering around Puerto Rico over the last few weeks that you could easily confuse them with tourists who got a good rate on a family vacation package, it's looking like the turnout for Sunday's primary won't hit the mark Clinton needs to take a lead in the popular vote before the Democratic campaign finally lurches to an end on Tuesday. She may not even win with the kind of blowout margin that she's racked up in recent primaries in West Virginia and Kentucky, despite her familiarity among islanders built by Bill's eight years in the White House and her six years representing more than a million nuyoricans in the Senate.

......

Some Clinton backers had been counting on Puerto Rico as a popular-vote mother lode, with its 2.4 million voters giving Hillary enough of a plurality to change the conversation, however briefly. As Clinton surrogate Rob Reiner told Salon in April, "People don't understand that Puerto Rico has a lot of voters ... We can pick up 400,000-500,000 there with the popular vote."

That kind of number could give Clinton a national popular-vote victory over Obama even without including Florida's votes. But that number depends on both a turnout and a Clinton margin that may not be achievable. Clinton supporters have grasped at the fact that 2 million voters showed up for the commonwealth's 2004 gubernatorial election and at the lopsided margins among Latino voters in earlier primaries. But a poll in Wednesday's El Vocero newspaper put Clinton up just 51 to 38 in Puerto Rico, and 50 percent of the respondents said they didn't plan to vote at all. Even counting Florida's outlaw primary, Obama leads Clinton by 163,000 votes nationwide, so she needs to win by more than 16 points, with turnout topping 1 million, to make up that ground on Sunday.

Bill Clinton: Left Wing Conspiracy

are the clintons being for real or are they still just playing politics?

Friday, May 30, 2008

Obama's Remarks in Montana

obama is about to speak at a rally in montana. john mccain will be the target of some of his speech. read it in full, as prepared. rally may be live streamed at cnn.com
obama speaking about bush mccain's iraq war

McCain Stingy on Veteran Bills

mccain's voting record:

latimes: On Webb's GI Bill, he expressed opposition, and he was AWOL when it was time to vote on May 22.

* Last September, he voted against another Webb bill that would have mandated adequate rest for troops between combat deployments.

* On a badly needed $1.5-billion increase for veterans medical services for fiscal year 2007 -- to be funded through closing corporate tax loopholes -- he voted no. He also voted against establishing a trust fund to bolster under-budgeted veterans hospitals.

* In May 2006, he voted against a $20-billion allotment for expanding swamped veterans medical facilities.

* In April 2006, he was one of 13 Senate Republicans who voted against an amendment to provide $430 million for veterans outpatient care.

* In March 2004, he voted against and helped defeat on a party-line vote a $1.8-billion reserve for veterans medical care, also funded by closing tax loopholes.
more

Obama South Dakota Town Hall May 31

typically live streamed at cnn.com

TOWN HALL MEETING WITH BARACK OBAMA
Pennington County Event Center
915 E. Centre Street
Rapid City, SD 57701

Saturday, May 31st, 2008
Doors Open: 8:00 a.m.
Program Begins: 10:00 a.m.

The event is free and open to the public, however tickets are required. To pick up a ticket, please visit our ticket distribution location listed to the right.



TOWN HALL MEETING WITH BARACK OBAMA
Aberdeen Civic Arena
203 S. Washington St.
Aberdeen, SD 57401

Saturday, May 31st, 2008
Doors Open: 3:30 p.m.
Program Begins: 5:30 p.m.

The event is free and open to the public, however tickets are required. To pick up a ticket, please visit our ticket distribution location listed to the right.

For security reasons, do not bring bags or umbrellas. Please limit personal items. No signs or banners permitted

McCain "Misspoke" on Troop Levels

oopsies.
so what says mccain's foreign policy adviser? so what? here's what: mccain is trying to say obama doesn't know what he's doing. it's interesting to note that the only way that bush can have any remnant of hope of not being the absolutely worse president in history, in history books, anyway, is if mccain wins and keeps the war going.

Even then, however, the Pentagon has said the troop levels in Iraq are expected to be at 140,000, about 8,000 more than they were prior to the troop buildup, because some of the support troops sent to Iraq would be needed.
In a conference call, Randy Scheunenmann, Mr. McCain’s senior national security and foreign policy adviser, along with Senator Jon Kyl, Republican of Arizona and a McCain supporter, went through a variety of tortured explanations defending the accuracy of Mr. McCain’s statement, before essentially conceding he had misspoken.
They criticized nitpicking over “verb tenses,” saying the examination distracted from the broader issue that Mr. Obama was ignoring the facts on the ground in Iraq, that the troop buildup was making progress.
“Take the worst possibility here, which is Senator McCain misspoke,” Senator Kyl said. “And that because of the specific words used, what he said was not entirely accurate. O.K. so what?”
Obama’s Advisers
Obama’s Team
Obama’s Foreign Policy Brain Trust

DNC Saturday Meetup

these are the peeps that will decide how many florida and michigan delegates will be seated. and it is a question of how many not if. obama doesn't have to agree to seat any, but he has ALWAYS contended that they would be seated in a FAIR manner. FAIRNESS, however, isn't something hillary's crowd understands. here's an update. clinton's lawyer is demanding all delegates be seated and not award obama ANY delegates in michigan, so perhaps hillary should get fewer than obama is willing to give. all the drama will be live streamed at cnn.com.

cnn: In a letter addressed to the co-chairs of the committee, Clinton lawyer Lyn Utrecht said both states have already been sufficiently punished because of lack of campaign activity.
Florida Democrats voted 50 percent for Clinton and 33 percent for Obama.
"It is a bedrock principle of our Party that every vote must be counted, and thereby every elected delegate should be seated," Utrecht wrote.
"The States have already been punished because no campaign activity
was conducted in Florida or Michigan. There is no requirement or need to punish
their duly elected delegates who represent the 2.3 million voters in Michigan
and Florida who participated in the nominating process." Read the full letter (pdf)

here's a q&a of how tomorrow's throw down will work.

talking points for obama supporters attending.

Two Texas Superdelegates for Obama

burnt orange: According to sources in both presidential campaigns, Texas Democratic Party Chairman Boyd Richie and his wife and DNC member Betty Richie will announce their public support for Barack Obama.
Both are Democratic superdelegates, though as chairman of the Texas Democratic Party, Boyd Richie's superdelegate vote is dependent upon his re-election at the Texas State Democratic Convention June 6-7. Barack Obama's delegates are expected to control the Texas convention by a margin of at least 10% points.

Obama May Go To Iraq For the Right Reasons

john mccain tried to make it all about politics when he challenged obama to visit with mccain. that's cheap.
obama is mulling a trip based on the merits of such a trip.

cnn: The Illinois Democrat told reporters that "Iraq would obviously be at the top of the list of stops."

"I think that if I'm going to Iraq, then I'm there to talk to troops and talk to commanders. I'm not there to try to score political points or perform," Obama said Wednesday. "The work they're doing there is too important."

Obama said he was considering visiting Iraq after Sen. John McCain had suggested that the two should make a joint trip to the country, a proposal Obama dismissed Tuesday as "nothing more than a political stunt."

What Happens When Hillary Turns on her Supporters?

eventually, hillary clinton will stop her campaign and declare obama the winner and say a bunch of nice stuff and begin rallying her supporters. she'll be working hard, but on behalf of obama and the democrats.
how are her hard core supporters going to feel then? when she's highlighting obama's strengths? how are they going to feel when she's saying he can win and he can win big? are they going to feel that hillary is just a typical politician who says anything to win? will they feel that their womanhood was used for political gain? or that she's lying for the good of the party? where's the integrity for hillary? it seems she's pushed too far.

Don't Blame McClellan

i understand scott mcclellan and why he didn't come to any realizations until years after he served with bush and his club. sure, it would've been nice if he spoke up then, instead of selling the war.

the thing i don't get is i understood cheney and his sidekick bush were selling a war and i'm not exactly brilliant or anything but so many took the bait. i don't think americans took the bait because we were stupid or because the bush administration did a particularly good job at selling the war.

i think bush and his lot were able to sell it because that's what the majority of americans wanted at that time. they wanted a war and so they chose to close their eyes to the evidence. that's exactly what scott mcclellan did. he closed his eyes and hoped for the best.

now this man is being held up as a disloyal monster. he didn't know any better. he was part of the bush bubble, the small world with small beliefs. it's like being a member of any tight knit group, you tend to feed off one another, support one another. the tendency is to never be critical of one another. he was on the selling team and we were on the buying team and both parties were ready and willing.

he's said stuff that we all know now (and some of us then) was true and now he's being made into a villain because he didn't speak up then. well, that's how learning happens. we can always look back in hindsight and say, wow, was that stupid. for our part, as americans, i don't think we've looked at why we were culpable for the war in iraq. we should have held our media to a higher standard. we should've looked more carefully at the evidence, or lack of. we need to share in the blame. we need to learn a lesson so it doesn't happen again.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Superdelegate Mollohan Endorses Obama

Today, United States Congressman Alan B. Mollohan endorsed Barack Obama.
Mollohan is the 323.5th superdelegate to endorse Obama. Obama is 43 delegates away from securing the Democratic nomination for president.

Congressman Mollohan said, “I believe Senator Obama will bring America a new era of trust, principled leadership and positive results. He has the intelligence, capacity and values that assure me he will confront the real issues that Americans face every day - health care, pension reform, energy prices, the struggling economy, and, of course, the issue of Iraq. “

Congressman Mollohan has represented the First District of West Virginia in the United States House of Representatives since 1983.

The General Election


the only hillary supporters left now are those who wouldn't vote for barack obama in the first place. you may have noticed, their language has gotten uglier and their comments all over the internet are tinged with words like "liberal" and "theology" and all the other mean and nasty unmentionables. these are people that even hillary, when she comes to her right mind, would be ashamed to have as supporters. these people are loud for sure but will not matter in the general election.


first, the true democrats will unite (including the majority of hillary's supporters). second, the youth voters are going to come out in bigger numbers. third, obama will get his share of independents. fourth, black voters will be out in force. fifth, mccain will have some libertarian opposition sucking away votes from him. sixth, mccain is too close to bush, who is now being called possibly the worst president ever. people look at mccain and see bush. seventh, obama has always been vastly underestimated. eighth, obama doesn't have to win the west. he doesn't have to win ohio and pennsylvania. he only needs to get the most electoral votes and there are many, many ways to do that. obama has always been tops when it comes to strategy.

lastly, obama will win and he'll win big. hillary will be a faint memory and mccain will be ready to relax.

Murdoch: Obama in a Landslide

who knows his motives or intentions, but yep, that's what i'm predicting too. buck up naysayers for the best president ever. it would be about time. rupert, by the way, owns myspace, fox, the wall street journal, among other stuff.

cnn: Rupert Murdoch offered a dire prediction Wednesday for John McCain's chances in the general election.

He will lose in a landslide, the News Corp. chairman said at a California conference, according to Reuters.

"You have got the Obama phenomenon, Murdoch said. "You have got, undoubtedly, a recession … The average American is really getting hurt financially and that all bodes well for [Obama].

"You have probably the making of a complete phenomenon in this country," Murdoch continued, referring to what he thinks will be an overwhelming victory for the Democratic presidential candidate more

McCain's Obama

what mccain is selling
it's all boring if you ask me. his association with the icky people -- bush, karl rove.... -- will squelch his chances of winning the election.
john mccain seems so out of touch with real people. the fact that he's still pushing the war and his lack of understanding on the economy is pretty apparent. i don't necessarily think obama is going to get into office and pull out the troops immediately but at least i know, war and military solutions aren't his mindset. for mccain, military solutions are simply viable options. the u.s. doesn't need to be the bully on the block anymore. it really needs to be a global citizen and obama has a handle on that concept. i don't think mccain does.

Consider the Source

some writers have no credibility because their agenda is see through.
take columnist richard baehr of american thinker. he wrote a foolish column about how obama is the wrong choice for democrats but if you google his name and "barack obama," you come up with a series of scathing stories by the man who may be american but is no thinker. he just hates obama.
his hate goes back a ways. in this 2006 story, he says the media made obama who he is. there are tinges of racism there (from the story: But as John McWhorter asks, would any of these attributes been enough to have gotten Obama where he is today, were he not black?) uh, yes, yes he would. i've found this topic of racism fascinating because on one hand you have the outright racists-- those appalachians -- then you have the ones who are college educated and are bright in some regards but offer a more subtle racism, so subtle that they don't even see it in themselves.
here's another that says jewish people won't vote for obama.
that's enough.

Superdelegate Rasmussen Endorses Obama

44 to go.

Gail Rasmussen has become Oregon's third Democratic superdelegate in two days to come out in support of Barack Obama.
Obama beat Hillary Rodham Clinton by 18 percentage points in last week's Oregon primary, and the Democratic National Committee member cited that win in explaining why she will vote for the Illinois senator at the party's national convention in Denver this summer.

obama speaking on education reform in colorado

Pelosi Says No Way

i really admire nancy pelosi, house speaker. she seems to be one of the few democrats with a backbone. she's not afraid to speak her mind on any issue and often does.
hillary says she's going to take her mess all the way to the convention. pelosi says she'll step in. right now, i think we're all being bullied by a few loud hillary die-hards and more leaders need to step up. democrats need to unite and the sooner the better.

cnn: Hillary Clinton has hinted that she is prepared to take her fight to fully seat Florida and Michigan all the way to the party's convention in late August, but House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says that's not going to happen.

In an interview with her hometown newspaper, the San Francisco Chronicle, the California Democrat said she is prepared to "step in" if the presidential race does not resolve itself by the end of next month.

"I will step in," Pelosi told the paper. "Because we cannot take this fight to the convention…It must be over before then."

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Obama on Making an Impact This DNC Weekend

from the obama campaign:
On Saturday, the Rules and Bylaws Committee of the Democratic National Committee will meet in Washington D.C. to determine whether Florida and Michigan delegates should be allowed to participate at the Democratic convention in August. We look forward to the meeting proceeding smoothly—and we're asking that our supporters not demonstrate or disrupt the proceedings in any way.
Instead, we're urging supporters from across the region to make a positive impact this weekend by helping out with voter registration and organizational events taking place on Saturday.
Here are just a few of the many going on in Virginia this weekend:
In Arlington, supporters will meet at the Court House Metro Stop at 10:00 AM on Saturday morning before heading out to register voters throughout the area
Also in Arlington, Spanish speaking volunteers will be manning a nonpartisan voter registration table at the Arlington Mill Community Center, before heading out to register voters at shopping centers, grocery stores, and other high traffic areas in the neighborhood
In Clifton, volunteers will be going door-to-door talk to unregistered voters
In Alexandria, Gloria will be hosting an "Obama Mamas" Women For Obama House Party
In Norfolk, supporters will be canvassing to register new voters and to recruit new volunteers
In Manassass, supporters will be registering new voters throughout Prince William County
In Petersburg, volunteers will be meeting at the public library before heading out to register voters
And in Richmond, Kristen is organizing a series of voter registration events as part of an ambitious, ongoing effort to register 4,000 new voters, with staging locations at:
Chimborazo Park
Broad Rock Sports Complex
Battery Park Pool
Randolf Pool
There are dozens of grassroots events like these taking place across the country this weekend, and there will be many more in the weeks and months to come. You can search for an event in your own community, or sign up and create your own.
As the attention begins to turn towards the general election, there is no better way to make an impact than by registering new voters and bringing more people into this movement. No matter where you are this weekend, you can connect with people in your own community and continue the work of building a true grassroots political machine, one new voter at a time.

Obama 280 McCain 258

newsweek analysis based on survey usa general election map.

Superdelegate Rodriquez Changes His Mind Again

the superdelegate danger.

ABC News' Karen Travers reports: The nearly 800 Democratic superdelegates are free to support any candidate and are free to change their mind at any time, as many times as they want.

In the ABC News delegate estimate, about a dozen unpledged "superdelegates" have switched their support from Hillary Clinton to Barack Obama, but until tonight none had switched from Obama to Clinton.

Kevin Rodriquez, a superdelegate from the Virgin Islands, was supporting Clinton earlier this year, then switched to Obama and, according to the Clinton campaign tonight, is now back in the New York senator’s corner.

The Clinton campaign announced in a press release that Rodriquez was backing Hillary Clinton but did not provide a statement from Rodriquez.


on the obama superdelegate front: DNC Wayne Kinney (OR) and DNC Ben Pangelinan (GU).

the superdelegates who are uncommitted

How Hillary Conveniently Shifted Her Delegate Strategy

first, michigan didn't matter, she said. by january, when she was losing, michigan mattered and suddenly, so did all the people, who deserve their votes to be counted!

Hillary Supporters Trying to Send Nation a Message

the message: we're victims of sexism.
as a woman, it's really hard for me to believe that all these women feel so victimized. i guess i don't choose to live my life that way. to me, that's not feminism. i guess i don't identify so much with my gender. i'm a person first. do i come across sexism? sure.


one of the best ways to eradicate sexism is to have more women in power and hillary blew it. that's sad.

hillary could have been a role model. but she squandered her opportunity, choosing to draw the sexism card at the end of a long, weary campaign as a last ditch effort. many women chose to turn the other way while her campaign was spreading the gossipy emails about obama. they chose to look away when hillary said she'd be ready and willing to obliterate iran. they have been blinded by the idea of the first woman president.

hillary's own blind ambition and low-road tactics and strategy misteps did her in. i don't think for a second she feels like a victim of sexism. it's just that it's a convenient way, and the final way, for her to manipulate her supporters. she didn't hesitate to roll out bill when she needed the votes of the "hard working white worker" who wouldn't vote for a woman or a black man in pennsylvania but would vote for the woman who's husband was the former president. the clintons are cunning politicians. i think she'd do whatever it took to win. she now seems to be delusional and it's sad and scary at the same time. what i'm wondering is: what will her concession speech look like?

a supporter, hilary rosen, tries to explain:


There are all of the political reasons that keep her campaign going like the popular vote, the polling in swing states, finishing out the primary states before the superdelegates make their judgments, etc. But that doesn't explain the passion.

It endures out of, not just the determination of Hillary Clinton to be heard, but of her supporters desire to send a message to this country. A message that I am still not sure has been heard. For all of its historic firsts, this primary race has surprisingly not, until recently, generated a discussion of gender in the same way that it has triggered an education on race.

I consider myself one of the most race conscious, race sensitive people I know. My own children are bi-racial (like Obama -- white birthmother, black birthfather). And yet I learned something so important about race and black consciousness during this campaign. I learned that it doesn't matter if Bill Clinton (for instance) is a racist or not. The intentions of a person speaking are less relevant in the moment than the impact of the words being spoken. So whatever has been said about African-Americans by white people in this campaign has been heard by many African-Americans as one more layer of seemingly innocent comments built upon a lifetime of insensitivity and slights.

Yet, for the past few weeks, when Hillary's supporters suggest that similar comments made about gender have the same hurtful impact, Obama supporters guffaw and most of the media ridicules the notion and ridicules the Senator herself as though she is suggesting that she is losing because of her gender -- which incidentally I have never heard her say.

I don't really buy into this notion of the campaign is faltering because Hillary is a victim of sexism. I may part company with some of the Hillary sisterhood on this point. There has been lots of sexism in this race, but this campaign is losing because of choices and strategies of it's own making. Articles and books will be written after the fact about the lost opportunities, the mixed messages, the insular in-fighting, the financial recklessness and the lack of focus on delegates. She has never caught up in the delegate hunt from those early mistakes.

There are all of the political reasons that keep her campaign going like the popular vote, the polling in swing states, finishing out the primary states before the superdelegates make their judgments, etc. But that doesn't explain the passion.

It endures out of, not just the determination of Hillary Clinton to be heard, but of her supporters desire to send a message to this country. A message that I am still not sure has been heard. For all of its historic firsts, this primary race has surprisingly not, until recently, generated a discussion of gender in the same way that it has triggered an education on race.

I consider myself one of the most race conscious, race sensitive people I know. My own children are bi-racial (like Obama -- white birthmother, black birthfather). And yet I learned something so important about race and black consciousness during this campaign. I learned that it doesn't matter if Bill Clinton (for instance) is a racist or not. The intentions of a person speaking are less relevant in the moment than the impact of the words being spoken. So whatever has been said about African-Americans by white people in this campaign has been heard by many African-Americans as one more layer of seemingly innocent comments built upon a lifetime of insensitivity and slights.

Yet, for the past few weeks, when Hillary's supporters suggest that similar comments made about gender have the same hurtful impact, Obama supporters guffaw and most of the media ridicules the notion and ridicules the Senator herself as though she is suggesting that she is losing because of her gender -- which incidentally I have never heard her say.

I don't really buy into this notion of the campaign is faltering because Hillary is a victim of sexism. I may part company with some of the Hillary sisterhood on this point. There has been lots of sexism in this race, but this campaign is losing because of choices and strategies of it's own making. Articles and books will be written after the fact about the lost opportunities, the mixed messages, the insular in-fighting, the financial recklessness and the lack of focus on delegates. She has never caught up in the delegate hunt from those early mistakes.

But that does not mean that the zeitgeist of sexism and the numerous comments and visuals that women have seen during the course of this campaign have not had the same impact on the woman who have witnessed or heard it in the exact same way that African Americans have heard comments about race.


Superdelegates Waak and Woods Endorses Obama

meridith wood smith

oregonian: For the first time in 40 years, the Oregon Democratic primary has played a pivotal role in deciding who may be our president. In casting our votes, we Oregonians understood the seriousness of our decision.

As one of the superdelegates to the Democratic convention, I've been especially aware of the importance of my choice. It's a choice that may tip the scales between two extremely well-qualified and able people.

I chose to remain neutral until the Oregon votes were counted. It seemed right not to attempt to influence that vote, to listen to both candidates' messages to Oregon voters and to wait until we knew the pledged delegate count.

I have decided to support Sen. Barack Obama.

Why Obama? Because he received the majority of the votes in the Oregon primary, and he demonstrates the leadership needed to get us out of Iraq, restore our economy, begin the tough job of providing health care for all Americans and, most of all, heal the divisions in our nation. His commitment to grass-roots organizing, similar to Howard Dean's "Fifty State Strategy," will help Democrats win our down-ticket races. His deep understanding of our Constitution ensures that he will appoint judges, to both the Supreme Court and lower federal courts, who will truly defend our constitutional rights and freedoms.

In 1960, I was too young to vote, but I was so inspired by John F. Kennedy that I worked on his campaign and continue to be motivated by his legacy of social and civic responsibility. He is one of the reasons I became chairwoman of Oregon's Democratic Party. I believe that Obama is providing that same inspiration for our next generation of leaders.

Finally, the contrast between Obama and Sen. John McCain could not be clearer. On bringing troops home from Iraq. On commitment to our Constitution. On telling the American people the truth. Obama has the ability to build -- not just talk about -- a governing majority to actually solve the major challenges facing America. more



Chicago, IL -- Today, Colorado Democratic Party Chair and superdelegate Pat Waak announced her support for Barack Obama, citing his electability and strong support in Colorado.
Waak said...

Today I am proud to announce my endorsement of Senator Barack Obama as the Democratic nominee for President of the United States.

I have maintained my neutrality throughout Colorado’s selection process but feel compelled today to announce my support for several important reasons:

First, as Chair of the Colorado Democratic Party, I am influenced by the voters of Colorado who have turned out in historic numbers over the past four months. Senator Obama won the precinct caucuses, county conventions, Congressional District conventions and the Colorado State Democratic Convention with over 60% of the vote and has brought thousands of new voters into the process.

Second, I believe that Sen. Obama and his message of change is what Colorado wants and that he will defeat John McCain in November. In fact, the most recent Rasmussen poll on May 19, 2008 shows a Sen. Obama with a 6-point lead in a head-to-head race and I think that margin will only increase as voters see the clear difference.

Finally, I believe that our country needs the type of visionary, uplifting leadership that Senator Obama has shown during this long campaign. In the state of Colorado his message of hope has attracted young people, new Democrats and Independent voters who will make up a winning coalition this fall.

As state party chair, I will continue to respect all the voters who have made different choices and I will ensure everyone is treated fairly. However, I believe the time has come to step forward and endorse Sen. Obama for president of the United States.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Will The Lady in the Pantsuit Sing Soon?

hillary has new ads out and she's in montana campaigning. she's showing no signs of singing. but apparently, there's going to be a superdelegate surge:

abc: The Democratic primary war will end within days of next week's final primary votes when "several dozen" superdelegates will end their silence and endorse Sen. Barack Obama, ABC's chief political correspondent George Stephanopoulos reported Tuesday.

When asked by "Good Morning America" what the chances are of Sen. Hillary Clinton continuing her fight for the nomination into the Democrats' August convention, Stephanopoulos replied, "Zero."

"There's so many superdelegates out there who agreed with what Jimmy Carter said," Stephanopoulos said. Former President Carter said last week that once the voting was over he felt that "at that point it will be time for her to give it up."

"Once these contests are done, you'll see several dozen superdelegates go his [Obama's] way following June 3," Stephanopoulos said.

That surge of support will be enough to put Obama's delegate count over the top and allow him to claim the nomination, he said.

Obama Camp Advises Supporters Not to Protest DNC

that's a good sign.
obama supporters were going to counter the hillaries who will be arriving by bus to do their thing. but the obama camp says no protests needed.

Obama Rejects McCain's Walk in the Park

let's go to iraq where everything is coming up roses, says mccain.

Former Bush Loyalist McClellan Tells it Like it Is

former white house press secretary scott mcclellan writes a new book and says stuff that we pretty much already know.

politico: Among the most explosive revelations in the 341-page book, titled “What Happened: Inside the Bush White House and Washington’s Culture of Deception” (Public Affairs, $27.95):

• McClellan charges that Bush relied on “propaganda” to sell the war.

• He says the White House press corps was too easy on the administration during the run-up to the war.

• He admits that some of his own assertions from the briefing room podium turned out to be “badly misguided.”

• The longtime Bush loyalist also suggests that two top aides held a secret West Wing meeting to get their story straight about the CIA leak case at a time when federal prosecutors were after them — and McClellan was continuing to defend them despite mounting evidence they had not given him all the facts.

• McClellan asserts that the aides — Karl Rove, the president’s senior adviser, and I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby, the vice president’s chief of staff — “had at best misled” him about their role in the disclosure of former CIA operative Valerie Plame’s identity.

And When They Get Behind Closed Doors

mccain is afraid to be seen with bush so he's having a secret fundraiser. let's hope there's a cool audio to come out of that. maybe john mccain saying he's proud to offer the third bush term or something fun like that.

cnn: The Phoenix fundraiser was originally to be held as a public event at the Phoenix Convention Center but was moved to a private residence. The McCain campaign said the fundraiser was moved for privacy's sake.

But the Phoenix Business Journal said the event was moved from the convention center due to lackluster ticket sales and concern over anti-war protesters. A McCain aide denied the report on poor ticket sales.

The aide also denied that the event was moved to avoid having the senator and president appear together on camera.

"We have a policy that fundraising events are closed events," the aide said, adding that any confusion about the fundraiser originally being open to the press should be chalked up to the campaign "working out the kinks" on its first event with Bush.

obama on the mccain and bush fundraiser

Republican Field Day

i guess a mature conversation about issues this election cycle is going to be out of the question.
republicans have been having a field day with obama's mistake yesterday when he said his uncle helped liberate auschwitz. it should've been buchenwald. the obama camp corrected it today.
republicans have gone on to make a mistake about his mistake, saying obama said is was his grandfather, when obama said it was his uncle.
my question for these idiots who have a candidate they don't seem to like very well and slim chances of winning the general election is: how is it an exaggeration? is liberating auschwitz better than the buchenwald?
enjoy your three-legged race while you can, rnc.

McCain on the Wrong Side of GI Bill

what was he thinking?
mccain (and george bush, who also opposes the GI bill) obviously doesn't have any faith in the soldiers. he thinks they'd sign up for the military and bail after three years to go to college. even if they serve three years and go to college, that would be their right. obama supports the bill, sponsored by jim webb.

cnn: The bill, which passed the Senate last week 75-22, would expand education benefits for veterans who served at least three years in the military after the September 11, 2001, attacks.

A former Navy officer and prisoner of war during Vietnam, McCain says the bill would hurt military retention by 16 percent and be a disincentive for service members to become noncommissioned officers, which he called "the backbone of all the services." Democrats cite the Congressional Budget Office, whose figures say the expanded benefits would boost enlistment by 16 percent. Watch more of McCain's comments »

"I think John McCain has been outmaneuvered," said GOP strategist Ed Rollins, who had served as former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee's presidential campaign chairman. "Sometimes in politics, there are intellectual issues and emotional issues."

"John McCain is going against veterans groups; he is going against a constituency that should be his. ... But I think he is on the wrong side of this issue," Rollins said. "A lot of Republicans are voting for this, and I think to a certain extent as it moves forward there will be more and more. There will be tremendous pressure from veterans groups past and present and I think you will see a lot of bipartisan support for this as well." more

wesley clark makes the argument for why mccain is wrong:

The White House has voiced concern on the bill, arguing that if returning troops are offered a good education, they will choose college over extending their service. This is as offensive as it is absurd.

First, it is morally reprehensible to fix the system so that civilian life is unappealing to service members, in an attempt to force them to re-up. Education assistance is not a handout, it is a sacred promise that we have made for generations in return for service.

Second, falling military recruitment numbers are just as serious as retention problems. To send the message that this nation will not help you make the most of your life will dissuade a large number of our best and brightest from choosing military service over other career options.

McCain has made it a point to remind audiences that service to one's nation is bigger than one's self. Indeed, there is nothing more noble than risking your life for your country. Every day, Americans are doing just that, as they serve longer and more frequent deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Hillary Clinton Squandered her True Power

the thing is, it's probably too late for her to exit with dignity, though this story calls for her to try.
the truly sad thing about hillary is she could've used her womanly powers to her advantage instead of looking at her womanness as a liability. perhaps she didn't know how. perhaps she didn't believe she truly had the power. perhaps the men in her life were coaxing her to do otherwise, to be manly instead.

the nation: Check out CNN.com for Bill Clinton's vent about how a "cover up" is hurting Hillary Clinton's chances of becoming the Democratic nominee. This is a man who has trampled on his spouse's voice every time, in this campaign, that she's found it.

The women of The Nation are the first to deplore the sexism in media commentary this primary season, but a "cover up"?

Hillary Clinton started this race last year as the one to beat--she had the money, the machine and the name recognition that assured her of quasi-incumbent status. And, indeed, she ran as a quasi-incumbent, an establishment candidate in a change-year election. Yes, there were the Chris Matthews and the Tucker Carlsons and the Mike Barnicles and the Rush Limbaughs and the women who were working out their Clinton hatred through Hillary's candidacy.

Betsy Reed's superb May 19th cover story, "Race to the Bottom: How Hillary Clinton's Campaign Has Divided the Feminist Movement," documents those sexist remarks--and explains how Clinton's campaign has divided the feminist movement. But Clinton's losses cannot be attributed solely or largely to a sexism that still runs deep in our political culture.

Clinton made the mistake of running a top-down campaign in a rules-changing year, and acceding to a sexism within her campaign that advised her not to apologize for her disastrous vote supporting Bush's war resolution. Yes, she was in charge. She could have rejected the guys' advice. But Clinton appears to have bought into the idea that a Commander-in-Chief has to play by "men's rules"--and be tougher than the toughest. If she'd been smart and right, not strong and wrong, how in her right mind would she not have said, I made a mistake when I accepted the word of a man who, it is now widely accepted (except in FoxLand), lied us into a war that has gravely undermined the US's security? John Edwards managed to issue an apology--and he was dueling with a media that had pegged him as "the Breck Girl." Could it be that macho boys like Mark Penn and Bill Clinton counseled Hillary that if she issued honest regret she wouldn't be macho enough to be treated as a serious Commander-in-Chief?

If Clinton had listened to alternative voices --if there'd be some "woman- common-sense" over in her campaign--they might have suggested that she reframe what a commander-in-chief for the 21st century means. That what's needed to deal with the challenges of this world is not more militarism and macho swagger, but a commitment to smart, principled use of non-military tools. After all, how does military might address genocidal conflicts? Or the worst pandemic in world history (AIDS)? Or staggering and destabilizing global inequality? Or, for that matter, the spread of weapons of mass destruction? more

Clinton Backer Edward Lewis Switches to Obama

Chicago, IL – Edward Lewis, chairman and founder of Essence Magazine and chairman of Latina Magazine, today endorsed Barack Obama for President. He switched his endorsement from Clinton to Obama, citing Obama's vision for a better America.

Lewis said, "As the founder of a woman's magazine, I acknowledge that Senator Clinton has served as a role model for many women across America and I have great admiration for her."

"However, as the campaign has unfolded, I have witnessed the strength of Senator Obama and both his passion and commitment for new possibilities for a better America. His conviction has led to my conviction that he is the hope for our country. I urge all Americans to support his candidacy for President of the United States."

Mr. Lewis is the chairman and founder of Essence Communications Inc., which he built into one of the country’s largest African-American multi-media organizations. Essence Communications is the publisher of Essence Magazine, the leading lifestyle magazine for African-American women. Lewis is also chairman of the Board for Latina Media Ventures LLC (LMV), which publishes Latina Magazine and is the leading integrated media company for bicultural U.S. Latin women.

Wyoming Superdelegate Drummond Endorses Obama

Today, superdelegate and Wyoming Democratic Party Vice Chair Nancy Drummond endorsed Barack Obama for President, citing his advocacy for veterans.

Drummond is the 318.5th superdelegate to endorse Obama, who is now 48 delegates away from capturing the Democratic nomination.

Drummond said...

After much thought and prayer, I feel the time has come for me to endorse a presidential candidate. This isn't a decision I have taken lightly but after listening, watching and reading about both candidates, I feel that Senator Obama is the candidate that can lead this Country in the direction I would like to see us go.

His position on education, his work with senior citizens and his advocacy for union members and veterans make me proud to support Senator Obama.

My husband was a Marine during Vietnam -- he was one of many vets that has VA Benefits. The men and women in the military and their families are giving the ultimate sacrifice now and I support Senator Obama's plan to honor their service by improving their healthcare, taking care of issues related to combat duty and caring for our homeless vets.

We have two incredible candidates and I will support which ever one is our candidate but as I said back in March I wanted to be sure to represent Wyoming well as the Vice Chair of the Wyoming Democratic Party. At both our caucuses and our State Convention, the majority said they want Senator Obama to be our Candidate to run for President. So with that being said, while I certainly respect and admire Senator Clinton's tenacity, I have proudly decided to endorse Senator Barack Obama.

The Hillary Boomers and the New Generation

age, or thinking in an enlightened, new or more global way, seems to be, above all, the chief dividing element between the obama and hillary camps. it seems ageism is being directed at the youth. obama supporters are being called naive.

the older people, or the people more inclined to relish old politics, are indignant of any kind of new thinking. how dare they? obama is often called an "empty suit" by these folks because they don't hear what the obama supporters hear. they don't hear the message. they haven't even paid attention. they've only seen hillary, the first woman president.

i think hillary and her supporters really do think that a black man can't win because they're trapped in this mindset that some of us can barely comprehend.

younger people, and more enlightened (i know that's a scary word for some) "don't give a fig about color." indeed.

this post gets to the heart of that.

Obama Supporters Countering on Michigan and Florida

obama has always contended florida and michigan delegates would be seated but they would be seated in a manner that is fair, given obama's name was not on the michigan ballot and both candidates agreed to abide by party rules and not campaign in those states.

hillary, in her despicable desperation, has incited her followers to protest the dnc may 31 to have the delegates seated according to the results of the january primaries. obama supporters are countering.

cnn:
Supporters of Barack Obama’s presidential bid are planning to demonstrate outside the Saturday meeting in Washington where Democratic officials are slated to debate the seating of the Florida and Michigan delegations at the party’s summer convention.

The move comes days after backers of Hillary Clinton’s White House run announced plans to converge on the Washington, D.C. hotel where members of the Democratic National Committee’s Rules and Bylaws Committee are meeting.

“Hillary Clinton's supporters are going to be bussing in protestors for the Rules and Bylaws Committee meeting, so it's critical that we show up for the counter-protest,” wrote on organizer in a post on the Daily Kos Web site Tuesday morning.

Last week, the pro-Clinton Committee to Count Every Vote said it was organizing a day-long May 31 rally outside the RBC meeting.

“Our purpose is not to divide the party or attack the DNC or Senator Obama. Michigan and Florida, however, in addition to Hillary's strong support nationwide, cannot and must not be dismissed in DNC efforts to unify the party.”

Obama's Body Man Reggie Love

obama seems to have a knack at surrounding himself with decent people.

nyt: Mr. Love now knows that when it comes to food, Senator Obama “eats pretty much anything, from chicken wings and barbecue and ribs to grilled fish and steamed broccoli.” But when he is campaigning in a small town with limited options, a cheeseburger is always a good bet. (“Cheddar is the cheese of choice,” Mr. Love added.)

He knows that “the boss,” as he calls Mr. Obama, likes MET-Rx chocolate roasted-peanut protein bars and bottles of a hard-to-find organic brew — Black Forest Berry Honest Tea. He keeps a supply of both on hand.

And he has learned that all campaigns have their superstitions — Senator John McCain has a penchant for heads-up coins — and that Mr. Obama is no exception. That means that Mr. Love and Mr. Obama, for luck, play basketball every primary day.

Mr. Love, 26, is Mr. Obama’s body man, the personal aide who shadows the senator and anticipates everything he needs — and everything he does not need. He is not a bodyguard (security is provided by the Secret Service), but rather the ultimate assistant, rarely more than a body length away from the candidate.

Young, eager campaign aides are stock characters in movies and on television, but few have quite the élan of Mr. Love, who, at 6-foot-5, is about three inches taller than the tall candidate, fitter than the fit candidate (he can bench press more than 350 pounds) and cooler than the cool candidate.

“There’s no doubt that Reggie is cooler than I am,” Mr. Obama said, laughing, in a phone interview. “I am living vicariously through Reggie.”

Mr. Love, who played football and basketball at Duke, usually starts the day with Mr. Obama with a dawn workout in the hotel gym. They end the day more than 15 hours later, often unwinding before bed by watching ESPN’s “SportsCenter” or that night’s big game. (Mr. Obama sometimes flosses his teeth to ESPN while lying down.)

The Apologies Keep Rolling in

who would've thought so many people in positions of power could be such complete knuckleheads? it seems obama is the only one who wants to have an adult conversation.

nyt: Note to pundits and politicians: Assassination jokes just don’t go over well.
A week after former Gov. Mike Huckabee of Arkansas apologized for joking at a National Rifle Association gathering that a thud heard backstage was Senator Barack Obama diving to the floor to avoid gunfire, a Fox News Channel commentator found herself in similar territory this weekend.
Discussing Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton’s reference last week to the assassination of Robert F. Kennedy during the 1968 primary season, the Fox analyst, Liz Trotta, said Sunday that “now we have what some are reading as a suggestion that somebody knock off Osama, um, Obama — well, both, if we could.”
more

Monday, May 26, 2008

Castro Opposes Obama's Call for Continued Sanctions

i think it's interesting that castro calls obama the "most advanced" candidate. i know those who like having enemies won't appreciate that sentiment. but i'd like to see the u.s. have better relations with cuba.
of course, castro then goes on to bash obama's policy. i'm wondering how mccain will spin this.
what's most interesting about this story is the comments. they are argued illogically from both the obama supporters and the hillary supporters. we've all lost it! hoping for blowouts in puerto rico, south dakota and montana!

cnn: Former President Fidel Castro says Sen. Barack Obama's plan to maintain Washington's trade embargo against Cuba will cause hunger and suffering on the island.

In a column published Monday by government-run newspapers, Castro said Obama was "the most-advanced candidate in the presidential race," but noted that he has not dared to call for altering U.S. policy toward Cuba.

"Obama's speech can be translated as a formula for hunger for the country," Castro wrote, referring to Obama's remarks last week to the influential Cuban American National Foundation in Miami.

Obama said he would maintain the nearly fifty-year-old trade sanctions against Cuba as leverage to push for democratic change on the island. But he also vowed to ease restrictions on Cuban Americans traveling to Cuba and sending money to relatives.

Bill Clinton Makes Last Ditch Scramble for Whitehouse

bill has stars in his eyes and can't wait to get back in that big white house. but it ain't going to happen.

he says there is a big "cover up" against hillary's chances of winning. he's saying superdelegates are being bullied to choose now.

i think bill and hill and their die-hard supporters are suffering a mass delusion. the incredibly shrinking clintons aren't what they used to be. nah, hill and bill know exactly what they're doing. they're using twisted logic to dupe people, exploiting those who don't know any better. her campaign has failed in strategy from the start because it discounted the rules. ever since, hill and bill have been trying to change the rules as they go.

on another note, i heard on npr today that although puerto rico is deemed as hillary's territory, it may not be so. puerto ricans view themselves as "mulatto," of mixed heritage, and identify with obama in that regard, according to a political analyst there.

interesting thing about puerto rico is it can vote in the primary but not in the general election, even though they are U.S. citizens, because it is considered a U.S. territory. some in puerto rico would like that changed. others want to become independent. the analyst made another interesting point. ironically, it might be puerto rico, not allowed to vote for president, that might give obama the delegates he needs to win when it votes on june 1. montana and south dakota go to the polls on june 3.

cnn: "I can't believe it. It is just frantic the way they are trying to push and pressure and bully all these superdelegates to come out," Clinton said at a South Dakota campaign stop Sunday, in remarks first reported by ABC News.

Clinton also suggested some were trying to "cover up" Sen. Clinton's chances of winning in key states that Democrats will have to win in the general election.

" 'Oh, this is so terrible: The people they want her. Oh, this is so terrible: She is winning the general election, and he is not. Oh my goodness, we have to cover this up.' "

Clinton did not expound on who he was accusing.

The former president added that his wife had not been given the respect she deserved as a legitimate presidential candidate.

"She is winning the general election today and he is not, according to all the evidence," Clinton said. "And I have never seen anything like it. I have never seen a candidate treated so disrespectfully just for running."

"Her only position was, 'Look, if I lose I'll be a good team player. We will all try to win, but let's let everybody vote, and count every vote,' " he said.

The former president suggested that if the New York senator ended the primary season with an edge in the popular vote, it would be a significant development.

"If you vote for her and she does well in Montana and she does well in Puerto Rico, when this is over she will be ahead in the popular vote," Clinton said.

Obama’s Advisers
Obama’s Team

Obama’s Foreign Policy Brain Trust

Obama Will Reverse Priority 8 for Veterans

speaking to a crowd of vets in new mexico, here is some of what obama said during the question and answer period:
"one of the best ways to honor the fallen soldiers is to honor the ones who came back, who survived."
obama will reverse priority 8 (vets that have incomes that exceed the threshhold, which is between $30-35,000 nationwide, who don't get healthcare) so all vets have access to healthcare. bush reduced the number of vets able to get healthcare to save money. i'll add here that on that income, you can't afford healthcare. what was george bush thinking? with all the money being spent on the war in iraq, it probably didn't make the budget.
obama said he will work to get veterans facilities just for women.
he will work for better veteran's administration clinics and more efficient ones by putting in an electronic system.
he will screen every vet for post traumatic stress disorder.
he will completely revamp the small business administration. he called it a "sleepy bureacracy." there's not enough outreach in general or to vets. he wants to provide more opportunities for vets, as well as more access to capital.

a questioner asked what he thought about blackwater, a private company that provides security in iraq. obama says he's not a believer in private contractors doing this job. he won't be able to pull contractors out right away. first he'll need to build up ground security forces.

a questioner said: tell us about your grandfather and how it affected you.
obama said that like a lot of veterans of wwII, his grandfather didn't like talking about it. part of the reason is they suffered in silence. the concept of post traumatic stress disorder wasn't known then. vets sometimes resort to alcohol or drugs, which explains why so many vets are homeless. he says there are 200,000 homeless vets.
obama said he had an uncle who went to liberate auschwitz. when he came home, he went into the attic and didn't come out. they didn't have facilities to help them work through that kind of pain.

obama said part of our security is our economy. that's what bush doesn't understand. if our economy isn't strong, then we will have a weak military. there's never been a nation on earth that saw its economy decline and maintained a strong military.

a questioner asks about foreign language training: we've got to train today's troops for today's wars. it's unlikely that we have the same kind of traditional wars in wwII. most of our wars will be like the battles in afghanistan. more emphasis will be on peace keeping, conflict resolution and nation building. that training has to include foreign language training.

when obama visited iraq, he asked about translators. they said they didn't have enough for every platoon. they rely on local translators. if we're going to ask our military to train local police officers, they should have some expertise in that.

he also called for a stronger, non military, civilian security operation. we're asking our military to do everything -- teachers, social workers, engineers. that's not what they're trained to do.

we need troops on the ground in afghanistan but we also need people to teach them to grow something other than poppy.

obama's remarks prior to the q&a

Hillary as Robert E. Lee

hillary's supporters have been duped. hillary has used power irresponsibly-- not a good sign of a capable president. bill clinton is still running around saying she can win. now we know why.

the long but certain exit, as predicted, is getting uglier by the day. i could understand if she's staying in the race for some moral reason, but she seems to be aimlessly hacking at everyone along the way, enlisting her diehard supporters to accelerate the madness. it doesn't make any sense anymore, which is why we all keep asking: what is the REAL reason she stays in?

could it be that she just wants to raise enough money to pay off her debts?
here's a very good post that you should read in its entirety.

tpm: Here's an Memorial Day appropriate analogy for the historically minded. By the time Robert E. Lee got to Appomattox, the Army of Northern Virginia was down to about 25,000 diehards. These were men who stuck it out because of personal devotion to Lee, to the Noble Cause of continued slavery or just because they didn't want to say they left before it was over. Around the campfires, there was a lot of dark crazy talk being bandied about over their starvation rations, talk of guerrilla warfare that could have set the South, and maybe the whole country, ablaze with murder and bushwhacking and, inevitably, assassination, for generations. That talk had to have pushed a lot of guys who'd been with Lee since the Seven Days into desertion on that last march which only had the effect of removing voices of reason from the circle.

Sound familiar, anybody?

The one signal service of Robert E. Lee to the United States and the world, after succession occurred in April, 1965 when he firmly put all of his almost supernatural prestige with these men on the line to put a stop to that talk. At Appomattox, Lee recoiled from the vision of an endless guerrilla war and told his diehards that it was over, that what they were talking about was futile and repulsive, and that they should go home. And they did.

There was no fairy tale ending to that war, of course. The violence and the anger were turned from the Yankees to the freed slaves, both metaphorically and actually, for another century and more. But it could have been far worse for everyone. Look at the Congo or Afghanistan or Columbia, and then scale up, if you want to see how much worse.

My point here is that if you are a real leader and a person of character and you are losing the fight, you don't fan the flames of grievance among the diehards, you stamp 'em out. If you are leader and a person of character, you face it when the greater good you wanted to accomplish is irretreivably lost and put the best good available over your own personal interests and ego.

Obama Can Win Blue Collar Voters

there's no need to call in hillary as vice president. she could stand in the way of getting things done, given her blind ambition. obama doesn't need hillary's racist voters and according to the man who wrote the book on why the white working class matters, obama can win them over and better yet, he says obama doesn't even need the majority.

unfortunately now that the media has acknowledged the appalachian voter, the ones who won't vote for a black man, they haven't been able to separate them from the pool of white working class, the majority of whom wouldn't have a problem voting for a black man.

nytimes: Ruy Teixeira, a Democratic analyst of voting trends, wrote the book on the core issue in the endgame of the party’s nomination fight. Its title is “America’s Forgotten Majority: Why the White Working Class Still Matters.”

One might conclude that Mr. Teixeira is troubled by Senator Barack Obama’s performance in recent primaries against Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton among the voters known by nicknames like Joe Sixpack or Nascar Dad or Waitress Mom.

Actually, he is not.

Mr. Obama, who leads the delegate count, “is clocking in where he needs to be” with white, working-class voters to win the White House in November, Mr. Teixeira said.

Through most of the primaries, the constituencies supporting either Mrs. Clinton or Mr. Obama have remained remarkably stable. While Mr. Obama, of Illinois, has energized young, African-American and affluent voters, his rival from New York has dominated among women, Hispanics, blue-collar whites and older voters.

Among white, working-class voters — most commonly identified as those without a college degree — Mrs. Clinton has won by 2 to 1 or better in states like Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio and Pennsylvania. Mr. Obama has fared better among less culturally conservative working-class whites in states like Oregon, where the environment is a central issue for voters. Still, Mrs. Clinton’s claim that she is best positioned to win the “hard-working Americans, white Americans” has become the linchpin of her argument that she is more electable than Mr. Obama.

But Mr. Teixeira, who is not backing either candidate, does not buy that argument. He dismisses intraparty contests as “pretty poor evidence” of whether Mr. Obama, as the Democratic nominee, could attract the blue-collar support he would need against Senator John McCain, the presumed Republican nominee.

No Majority Needed

And how much blue-collar support would Mr. Obama need? Not a majority, said Mr. Teixeira. Though blue-collar Democrats once represented a centerpiece of the New Deal coalition, they have shrunk as a proportion of the information age-economy and as a proportion of the Democratic base.

Al Gore lost working-class white voters by 17 percentage points in 2000, even while winning the national popular vote. Senator John Kerry of Massachusetts lost them by 23 points in 2004, while running within three points of President Bush over all. Mr. Teixeira suggests that Mr. Obama can win the presidency if he comes within 10 to 12 percentage points of Mr. McCain with these voters, as Democratic candidates for the House did in the 2006 midterm election.

In recent national polls, that is exactly what Mr. Obama is doing. A recent Washington Post/ABC News poll showed Mr. Obama trailing by 12 percentage points with working-class whites; a poll by Quinnipiac University, showed him trailing by seven points. In each survey, Mr. Obama led over all by seven points.

Democrats learned from Mr. Gore’s Electoral College defeat that national polls are not everything. Mrs. Clinton’s advisers point to states like Florida, where Mrs. Clinton leads Mr. McCain while Mr. Obama lags behind, as evidence that Mr. Obama’s working-class weakness could prove decisive.

Obama Adds 3 Hawaii Superdelegates

49 to go. obama picked up 3 more superdelegates from hawaii:

ap: Hawai'i Democrats selected three Obama supporters to fill its remaining superdelegate slots at their state convention Sunday, including the new chair and vice chair of the party.

Chairman Brian Schatz and vice chairwoman Kari Luna say they will support Obama at the national convention. State Democrats chose retired Judge James Burns, also an Obama supporter, as the final superdelegate.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Vets For Freedom Smearing Obama

daily kos:This is a Smear Group using an Injured Vet openly in a slime commercial accusing Barack Obama directly of not meeting with veterans while wanting to meet with people who "Hate" America.

vetsforfreedom.org has set up a pac to smear obama. sen. joe lieberman is an "honorary" member of the pac. apparently, it was formed to help bush in his iraq war endeavors.
this pac has gone around the web posting phony information. on yahoo! answers:

Do you know that Obama refused to see 24 veterans while he was IN his office yet? He does realize how many..?
of us are veterans in this country and how many will become veterans by the end of his term in office if he would win? Did u also know he was on the Veterans Affairs Commity when he did this? And this is a man ppl are voting to be our new president?
This is from a congressional update site of veterans affairs.... u must subscribe to receive link site....so this is what i can share..

Sergeant Anderson was one of the 12 veterans denied a meeting with Senator Obama. And like his fellow veterans, Sergeant Anderson would like to ask Senator Obama a few questions: Why hasn't he met with General Petraeus? And why won't he visit Iraq? And why would Senator Obama rather talk about meeting—unconditionally—with Iran, instead of meeting with veterans and commanders? America deserves to know.

PLEASE DONATE NOW TO HELP US AIR THIS AD AROUND THE COUNTRY


obama has been an advocate for vets, more than any other politician that i've seen. he's called for better treatment of soldiers before, during and after war.

more from the swamp

more at huffington post

How Will Hillary Spin Montana

we aren't in appalachia anymore. as i've argued for months now on this blog, there are only a minority of bigots (hillary's hard working white voters) in the white working voter group. plenty of white, blue collar people support obama (i am one) and the bigots are the minority.
kos at daily kos says there are .4% blacks in montana and 90% whites, yet obama is ahead there.
he says:

But it's shocking to me how difficult it has been for the political media to distinguish from Obama's Appalachian problem and his non-existent problems with white voters at large.

Obama Adds 3 Add-On Superdelegates

obama needs 52 more delegates to win the nomination. hillary needs 246. 290 supers and pledged (delegates awarded in the remaining 3 elections) delegates remain.

three additional add on delegates: Georgia State Party Secretary Stephen Leeds, Wyoming state Rep. W. Patrick Goggles, and former Alaskan Governor Tony Knowles.

what is an add-on?

Obama Addresses Wesleyan Grads

obama filled in the big shoes of ted kennedy.

Number of Bigots is Overestimated

we've seen them come out of the woodwork. they don't like obama's color. they won't shake his hand. they won't get to know him. they don't like his name. they think he's a secret terrorist. they think he hates jewish people. there are ignorant people all over and of every group -- jews, catholics, working class, white, black, poor, rich....-- but they seem to be clustered in the appalachian area. they're ugly and it's sad to know that they are there.
it's also sad that hillary exploited these people for her gain.
it's one of the reasons that an obama presidency will be a bonus. people have to be educated. hatred has to stop being perpetuated from generation to generation.
but keep in mind, for as much attention these people are getting, thanks largely to kentucky and west virginia, these folks are the minority. while it's good the media is finally paying attention, it is blowing it out of proportion and losing perspective, as it usually does when it gloms on to an issue.
they no longer represent the views of the whole of america. they aren't going to stand in the way of obama winning the election. as people get to know obama, people will sign on, just as they have this entire nomination process.

A Superdelegate Struggle

uncommitted superdelegates are struggling with their decision or at least feigning a struggle. the reason: the clintons, hill and bill, are so entrenched in the democratic party. they are the democratic party. there are so many loyalties that need to be delicately severed and that's proving hard for some people. it also points to the lack of backbone in the democratic party that helped get george bush elected twice .
here's superdelegate irene stein's "struggle:"

The major TV networks want to know whom she backs. She's been interviewed by the New York Daily News as well as newspapers in Ithaca, Albany and Buffalo. A corr- espondent representing newspapers in the Netherlands called.

"Mostly, I don't want to be interviewed because I feel I have nothing to say because I'm uncommitted," she said.

She also admits she's fearful that she'll slip and say something that would reveal her sentiments.

It's pretty unsettling for this Ithaca bookworm.

Stein grew up in Boston, the daughter of poor immigrant parents who were steeped in patriotism and Democratic politics.

"My father used to have a shot of whiskey before dinner every night, and he would say, 'Down with the communists,' " Stein said.

For 51 years, she's been married to Cornell University physics professor Peter Stein, who is secretary of the state Democratic Party and an Ithaca town board member.

Stein earned a doctorate from Cornell herself while raising three children. She worked as director of the Tompkins County Office for Aging for 13 years before retiring.

For the last three decades, she has been helping mayors, city councilors, governors and senators get elected.

Stein's success in getting Democrats elected in Tompkins County prompted Judith Hope, then the state Democratic Party chair, to ask Stein to run for election to the Democratic National Committee about a dozen years ago. All DNC members automatically are superdelegates.

In 2004, Stein was on the floor at the Democratic convention in Boston when Obama delivered the keynote address and burst into the national spotlight.

"The kind of thing we're hearing (in this campaign) is similar to what I heard. He was very galvanizing. People immediately said, 'He has a future.' "

"I've never met Barack Obama. But I would certainly like to," Stein said.

Stein is much more familiar with his opponent.

Then-first lady Clinton stayed overnight at the Steins' former home at 207 Ithaca Road in 1999 when Clinton was testing the waters for her first Senate campaign.

Stein said she was stunned when a Clinton worker called and asked if Stein would host Clinton overnight in their modest five-bedroom home.

"I said, 'My house? Well, you know she'll have to share a bathroom.' And the person laughed and said the first lady won't care about that at all," Stein said.

"The first thing that happened was 3 million Secret Service people came to visit and looked the house over," Stein recalled. Naturally, before Clinton arrived, Stein said she cleaned her house until it sparkled and purchased every fresh fruit being sold at the local farmers market.

"Her staff told me in advance, 'Eat in the kitchen; don't eat in the dining room. We don't want a fancy breakfast. Hillary mostly will just have tea and toast. Don't make a fancy breakfast.' So I didn't."

"She's very down to earth, very easy to talk to, not self-centered," Stein said of Clinton.
here's another superdelegate who says both candidates are electable but recently endorsed hillary. you have to wonder why would a superdelegate come out now for hillary? why wouldn't he just stay "uncommitted" through the end? what purpose does it serve especially when it's apparent that obama will win?
this q&a with superdelegate w. craig bashien is interesting because he condradicts himself on the point of party division:

newsweek: What about the virtues of party unity? Isn't there a chance that coming out for Clinton at this point is further splitting the party and hurting chances for victory in November?
The quicker that we can reach a decision on a candidate, I think the quicker we can start making John McCain the focal point and his open endorsement of Bush administration policies. Nor do I think this process is going to cause a rift in the party.
if they're both electable, why go with the one who's certain to lose the nomination? what statement is he trying to make? how does that bring the party together?

Hillary is Not the End of the Road

hillary is the beginning of the road, not the end of the road for women in the white house. i wish i said that but it was gwen ifill on meet the press. women have got to open their eyes to that. just like obama quickly rose, on his merits, a woman will rise too. obama's presidency will help in that regard because his cabinet could be one of the most diverse ever.
hillary's supporters are so distraught that she's not going to be the first woman president that they've pulled out all the stops just like hillary. they probably haven't given a moment's thought to supporting obama at any time during the nomination process. but the not so die-hards already have begun the switch. the thing that i don't get is that the hillarys say, in protest, they will vote for the republican man but not the democratic man. i don't think that is ultimately what would happen though. that would be highly selfish of them. this nation that needs to get back on track. ultimately, hillary will come around. there's talk that hillary is staying in for the good of the campaign, that her staying in to the end will help rally her supporters to obama.

Hillary: Why I Continue to Divide the Party

i won't add any commentary because i won't have anything nice to say. on meet the press the morning, it showed a clip of obama suggesting that like lincoln, he might invite his enemies into his cabinet. that's interesting to contemplate.
hillary wrote an op-ed for the new york daily news:

ny daily news: This past Friday, during a meeting with a newspaper editorial board, I was asked about whether I was going to continue in the presidential race.

I made clear that I was - and that I thought the urgency to end the 2008 primary process was unprecedented. I pointed out, as I have before, that both my husband's primary campaign, and Sen. Robert Kennedy's, had continued into June.

Almost immediately, some took my comments entirely out of context and interpreted them to mean something completely different - and completely unthinkable.

I want to set the record straight: I was making the simple point that given our history, the length of this year's primary contest is nothing unusual. Both the executive editor of the newspaper where I made the remarks, and Sen. Kennedy's son, Bobby Kennedy Jr., put out statements confirming that this was the clear meaning of my remarks. Bobby stated, "I understand how highly charged the atmosphere is, but I think it is a mistake for people to take offense."

I realize that any reference to that traumatic moment for our nation can be deeply painful - particularly for members of the Kennedy family, who have been in my heart and prayers over this past week. And I expressed regret right away for any pain I caused.

But I was deeply dismayed and disturbed that my comment would be construed in a way that flies in the face of everything I stand for - and everything I am fighting for in this election.

And today, I would like to more fully answer the question I was asked: Why do I continue to run, even in the face of calls from pundits and politicians for me to leave this race?

I am running because I still believe I can win on the merits. Because, with our economy in crisis, our nation at war, the stakes have never been higher - and the need for real leadership has never been greater - and I believe I can provide that leadership.

I am not unaware of the challenges or the odds of my securing the nomination - but this race remains extraordinarily close, and hundreds of thousands of people in upcoming primaries are still waiting to vote. As I have said so many times over the course of this primary, if Sen. Obama wins the nomination, I will support him and work my heart out for him against John McCain. But that has not happened yet.

I am running because I believe staying in this race will help unite the Democratic Party. I believe that if Sen. Obama and I both make our case - and all Democrats have the chance to make their voices heard - in the end, everyone will be more likely to rally around the nominee.

I am running because my parents did not raise me to be a quitter - and too many people still come up to me at my events, grip my arm and urge me not to walk away before this contest is over. More than 17 million Americans have voted for me in this race - the most in presidential primary history.

I am running for all those women in their 90s who've told me they were born before women could vote, and they want to live to see a woman in the White House. For all the women who are energized for the first time, and voting for the first time. For the little girls - and little boys - whose parents lift them onto their shoulders at our rallies, and whisper in their ears, "See, you can be anything you want to be." As the first female candidate in this position, I believe I have a responsibility to finish this race.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

How Out of Touch is John McCain?

bush is going to be the main event at his fundraisers! i guess mccain really needs the money.

cnn: The White House says there's a reason that President Bush's efforts to raise money for the John McCain campaign next week will take place behind closed doors.

A White House spokeswoman says the McCain camp always keeps the press out of fundraising events.

All three events next week are being held in private residences.

One of them, in Utah, is being hosted by McCain's former rival, Mitt Romney. He's a potential choice to be McCain's running mate.

The White House announced today that Bush will be the main attraction at two events for McCain in Utah and one in Arizona. In addition to building up McCain's campaign account, the events will
also benefit the national Republican Party.

McCain's Parsley and Hagee

mccain waited to reject his pastor friends until he had to. i guess he's not as brave as he makes himself out to be.
the thing is, he wasn't called on to reject them in the same manner obama was called on to reject his former pastor. it's okay in america to hate people as long as they are the right people. wink wink. you might have noticed there isn't the same outrage by the media. mccain has called rod parsley a "moral compass" and a "spiritual guide." mccain sought john hagee's endorsement. let me tell you, these two guys are disturbing, extreme characters.

nytimes: It took a long time for him to do it, but Senator John McCain has finally rejected the endorsements of two evangelical ministers — one whose bizarre and hate-filled sermons deeply offended both Catholics and Jews and the other who has used his pulpit to attack Muslims.

Mr. McCain had it right in his unsuccessful primary campaign eight years ago when he denounced the Christian right’s Pat Robertson and the Rev. Jerry Falwell as “agents of intolerance” who exercised an “evil influence” over the Republican Party. It was particularly disturbing to see him cynically pander this year for the support of that same Christian right.

His belated decision to distance himself from two of the most extreme ministers was long overdue — and we suspect driven more by political ambition than by the principles he espoused in the past.

Mr. McCain had sought the endorsement of the Rev. John Hagee, a televangelist, for more than a year and finally won it in February, only to have the Catholic League denounce Mr. Hagee for waging “an unrelenting war against the Catholic Church.” Mr. Hagee called it “the Great Whore,” an “apostate church,” and a “false cult system.” The pastor apologized and said his remarks had been misconstrued, a truce was declared and Mr. McCain still welcomed the endorsement. more