Monday, June 30, 2008

Obama's Focus on Registering New Voters

Why is Obama interested in getting as many new voters as possible instead of just firing up the base? 


He's a smart man, that's why. Obama focuses on the details. He goes where others don't go, in the nooks and crannies. It's how he won the primary -- focusing on the caucuses and delegate math, which Hillary neglected.

The campaign has focused on younger voters, who will probably be largely responsible for an Obama win, and is now focusing on registering new black voters, some of his staunchest supporters, who have lower rates of registration than whites in certain states.

WSJ: This focus on new voters is unusual. Most presidential campaigns concentrate on firing up their base or wooing independents. Voter-registration drives are treated as an afterthought, overshadowed by fund raisers and door-to-door canvassing.

The presumptive Republican nominee, John McCain, has no parallel major voter-registration operation. The Republican Party has stepped up efforts in recent years to woo black voters, though President George W. Bush had limited success in this effort in 2004. However, Sen. McCain is likely instead to spend most of his campaign attempting to pluck off independents and conservative Democrats who may view Sen. Obama as too liberal.

For Sen. Obama, the registration initiative is at the fore, especially since the main reason for low black turnout is low registration. The U.S. Census Bureau says that while registered black voters turn out at a rate generally even with white counterparts, qualified African-Americans register at a lower rate nationally -- 68% to 75% for whites. The gap is particularly stark in the battleground state of Florida, where only 53% of eligible blacks were registered in 2004, compared with 71% of whites. In Virginia, it was 58% to 72%.

If Sen. Obama can achieve registration parity, the effect could be significant, since African-Americans traditionally vote Democratic about 90% of the time. Nationally, black turnout at white levels would have meant an additional 1.6 million voters in 2004, narrowing the three million-vote gap separating President Bush and Democratic challenger John Kerry. In states and districts with a heavy concentration of black citizens, the gap could have thrown victory to Democrats, including North Carolina, long a Republican stronghold, and currently considered a virtual toss-up by many analysts.

Why is McCain's Experience Off Limits

It wasn't the first time Gen. Wesley Clark said that McCain's war hero status doesn't necessarily qualify him to be president. He's said it before. So why did it get so much traction this time


Because McCain decided to make an issue out of it? Probably. 

McCain went and made a big whoop, enlisting a truth squad. Now, he just seems like an old man, trying to command respect. Why can't we respect his service but question his experience?

Clark is right. Why is McCain perceived as more capable to be commander in chief? Because he was a war hero is all I know. I'd like to hear how being a war hero qualifies him to be commander in chief. 

I'd rather have a leader who is less inclined to solve problems with military answers. If McCain was president, Bush would simply hand him off the war and there we would be for years, maybe 100. 

update: Obama rejected Clark's statements. Apparently, military service is to McCain as race is to Obama (that's courtesy of ABC news). 

Criticizing Government When Necessary is Patriotic

Patriotism is supporting your country all the time and your government when it deserves it, Obama said. He said he will never question the patriotism of others like his has been questioned. 

I'll post video when it's available. 
When he confronts these smears head on, he leaves the attackers looking pretty foolish as they scramble for another straw. Soon, they'll have nothing left and nowhere to hide and no one will believe their silly chain emails, except for the very ignorant, who will continue to be very ignorant, unfortunately.
He also continues to show how stark the difference is between he and McCain. 

Response: 


Obama to Give Speech on Patriotism Today

In Independence, Missouri. 

Obama and Bill To Meet

Who cares. 

I have major Clinton fatigue. 

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Obama Says Michelle Doesn't Need Retooled

There's all this talk by the media about remaking Michelle Obama but Barack Obama says it's about fighting the attacks against her.
"She does’t need to be retooled. She’s fabulous the way she is," he said on Our World this morning. He's right, she's fabulous.
Obama says if she's attacked, the response will be immediate.

Obama's Courage


McCain is going down the road of trying to paint Obama as a flip flopper, as someone who can't be trusted (hmmm, I wonder who he's tagging on that one?). WaPo columnist Charles K. recently called Obama malleable. 


I say, what's wrong with being flexible? We've had a president who has only trusted his gut and has been as stubborn as an obnoxious mule and as visionary as a turtle. Bush has never admitted a mistake and doesn't listen to reason when it's presented. 

I'd rather have someone who changes his mind, if it works. We need someone who has the COURAGE to change his mind. The problem is McCain is having troubles campaigning against Obama's many strengths. 

On public financing, Obama needs to win this election and to do that he needs money. That was a courageous decision to make because I'm sure he was aware of the ramifications. But I don't think the average person gave it much thought. People have more important things to think about.
 
This country is in great decline and we don't need stodgy and more of the same. We need enthusiasm and brilliance. Obama has established a vision for this country. McCain hasn't done that. I know what Obama's America looks like. 

There is a clear distinction between Obama and McCain -- Obama is a thinker and has a clear vision, yet he's pragmatic. McCain is ordinary on both counts. 
McCain has changed his position on things that really matter, keeping the Bush tax cuts and immigration reform. 

If anyone would stop and think what Obama has accomplished so far, what he's overcome, the masses he's inspired, the audacity that he's had, you wouldn't have to wonder who is likely to be our next president. Sure, it's going to get bitter, the GOP is going to roll out all their ol, petty ammunition but it's not going to work because while the country's in decline, there is a movement to lift it up. 

Obama's Chicago Stomping Grounds

A neat map of Obama's Chicago.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Obama Speaks to Latinos at NALEO

Obama at the National Association of Latino Elected & Appointed Officials forum

McCain's Delinquent on California Property Tax


Seems to me, if you can't run your own finances, you're probably not going to do well with the country's. The McCains were four years late paying property tax and they're six figures in debt on their credit cards. Wowza! 

They could learn a thing or two from the young Obama who has no financial debt. 


Obama Event in Independence Missouri June 30

it will be streamed here. 

This woman makes me happy, all decked out in her Obama gear. 
live streamed usually at cnn.comor barackobama.com. 
Obama will give a speech on patriotism. 
EVENT WITH BARACK OBAMA
Truman Memorial Building
416 W. Maple Avenue
Independence, MO

Monday, June 30th
Doors Open: 9:00 a.m.

The event is free and open to the public; however, seating is limited, and tickets are required. Tickets are available on a first-come, first served basis.

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

Obama Visits Soldiers At Walter Reed

AP: Barack Obama stopped by Walter Reed Army Medical Center Saturday to visit wounded war veterans, a group that he has said endures substandard care under the Bush administration.
The presumed Democratic nominee, who was in Washington to speak to the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials, slipped into the facility shortly after 9 a.m. without stopping to speak to the small group of reporters who follow him. The visit wasn't on his public schedule.
Obama has criticized the Bush administration for its treatment of veterans returning from the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, and has suggested Republican rival John McCain would continue Bush policies if elected.

Obama's Travel Plans

Update: Who Obama will meet.
At last, we'll have someone with intelligence assessing world relations.
Update: Big name anchors follow Obama overseas.
Update: USA Today dampens Obama's trip.
NYT: Mr. Obama, the presumptive Democratic nominee, will visit Jordan, Israel, Germany, France and the United Kingdom. On a separate trip, he is also planning to visit American troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, but aides declined to disclose those details for security reasons.

It will be Mr. Obama’s second tour of Iraq and his fourth international trip since being elected to the United States Senate four years ago. His Republican rival, Senator John McCain of Arizona, has sought to make foreign policy experience a central issue in the presidential race and has criticized Mr. Obama for not visiting Iraq in more than two years.

The trip was announced today as Mr. Obama visited wounded American troops at Walter Reed Army Medical Center.

Fearwatch08@huffingtonpost.com

Find an Obama hater spreading hate? Huffington Post wants to hear about it at  fearwatch08@huffingtonpost.com.

The fear mongers are out in force and unfortunately, fear works really well on Americans, but we need to move past the Bush era if the country is going to get back on track.
This fright-fest came in the wake of McCain telling us that al Qaeda will increase its violent attacks to try to defeat him, and that Hamas wants Obama to win.

In case we didn't get the message, up popped McCain's chief campaign advisor Charlie Black with his considered opinion that another terrorist attack on U.S. soil "certainly would be a big advantage" for McCain.

McCain quickly disavowed the comment and claimed, "I cannot imagine why he would say it." Really, Senator, you cannot imagine why your top advisor would follow in the footsteps of Karl Rove, who made scaring the bejesus out of the American people the centerpiece of GOP strategy for the last six years?

Let me break it down for you: fear is a frighteningly effective sales pitch -- one that has worked like a charm for Republicans since the days of the Cold War Red Scares, and especially since 9/11.


New Limited Edition Obama Shirt


Donate $30 and get the t-shirt

FreeRepublic Obama Haters in the Light of Day

These creepy people, spreading hate about Obama, now know people are on to them.  That will probably make them hate all the more, entrench in their foolishness, but at the very least, people who get their ridiculous emails might begin to think twice about believing them. 


See what they're saying about the story that exposes them. Look at how foolish and utterly despicable they are. 

Obama's Top Economic Advisers

Santa Cruz Obama supporters

Reuters:
* AUSTAN GOOLSBEE - The University of Chicago economist is an expert on tax policy and has written extensively on the role of the Internet and technology in the economy. Though he is not on staff with the Obama campaign, he has been a major player in shaping the candidate's economic plans. He sparked controversy in March after he met with Canadian officials. A leaked memo suggested Gooslbee played down Obama's opposition to NAFTA. The Obama campaign said the memo was inaccurate.

* JASON FURMAN - Furman is Obama's top campaign staff aide on economic policy. He was hired shortly after Obama clinched the Democratic nomination on June 3. Furman was an aide in the Clinton White House and is a close associate of former Treasury Secretary Rubin through their work together on the Hamilton Project, a centrist research organization that promotes policies like free trade and fiscal discipline. Furman's reputation as a backer of free trade has concerned some of Obama's union supporters.

* DAN TARULLO - A professor at Georgetown University Law school, Tarullo is an expert on trade and international economics. He was a senior White House aide to Clinton and served as a "sherpa" to meetings of the Group of Eight industrialized economy meetings. In a June 9 CNN interview, Tarullo said Obama supports free trade but "he's not for trade policies that don't protect American workers."

* LAURA TYSON - Tyson the former chairwoman of Bill Clinton's Council of Economic Advisers and also served as his director of the National Economic Council. She is now a professor at the University of California, Berkeley and has only recently been tapped as a key adviser to Obama.

* PAUL VOLCKER - The former Federal Reserve chairman became a formidable figure in the financial world during the 1980s and is credited with breaking the back of double-digit inflation that marked the early part of the decade. He endorsed Obama in January and attended a March speech the Illinois senator gave in New York in which he called for an overhaul of U.S. financial regulations.

* JARED BERNSTEIN - Bernstein, an economist at the Economic Policy Institute, has written about income inequality and labor markets. His latest book is "Crunch: Why Do I Feel So Squeezed? (And Other Unsolved Economic Mysteries)." He has called for increased bargaining power for workers.

* ROBERT REICH - Reich was Labor Secretary under Clinton and was seen as a more liberal counterweight to Robert Rubin. He teaches at the University of California, Berkeley.

* PETER HENRY - An expert on emerging markets and the global economy, Henry teaches at Stanford University's Graduate School of Business.

PUMAs Phony Hillary Supporters

The self-declared PUMAs aren't really Hillary supporters. Hillary, after all is a democrat, and she and Obama see nearly eye to eye on issues. PUMAs are voting for John McCain. 


These "supporters," which Hillary probably would be embarrassed to have, voted solely to see the first woman in office, not a good reason to vote for someone. 

My hunch is they would've voted for McCain if there had been two men in the race for the democratic nomination. Otherwise, how would you explain such a shift: Hillary to McCain? I'm sure McCain and plenty of men are having their laughs at the expense of these women who've turned a political campaign into an emotional affair. 

Friday, June 27, 2008

Sources of Obama Smear Chain Email Uncovered

We all know that email by now, the one that says Obama is a radical Muslim. Well, the very bright Danielle Allen, discovered that there are a few known sources of the emails-- a former opponent of Obama's, Andy Martin, Donna Shaw, a 60-year old teacher (shame on her especially), and "Beckwith."

It started in 2004. Here's the rumor timeline
Here you'll see hordes of stupid people who fell for it. They're still spreading rumors amongst their loser selves here at freerepublic.com, under the obamatruthfile. Be prepared, it is a total hate site. 
Can you imagine having nothing better to do with your life? I wonder what they do for a living? They're probably like Donna, teaching our children in the day, spreading hate on the Internet at night. 
The point is, we can't let stupid people drag the nation into the gutter this time. 
This is a must-read story in the Washington Post
Laid out before Allen, a razor-sharp, 36-year-old political theorist, was what purported to be a biographical sketch of Barack Obama that has become one of the most effective -- and baseless -- Internet attacks of the 2008 presidential season. The anonymous chain e-mail makes the false claim that Obama is concealing a radical Islamic background. By the time it reached Allen on Jan. 11, 2008, it had spread with viral efficiency for more than a year.

During that time, polls show the number of voters who mistakenly believe Obama is a Muslim rose -- from 8 percent to 13 percent between November 2007 and March 2008. And some cited this religious mis-affiliation when explaining their primary votes against him.

The process:
As Allen scrolled through the e-mail about Obama, she saw that the list of people who had received the missive consumed several full screens. Her first thought was to try to learn about the people behind the addresses. She traced a number to North Carolina Web sites about golf, but quickly hit a dead end. Then she had another thought: What if she took some of the unusual phrases from the text of the e-mail and Googled them?

Her eyes fell on this untrue sentence: "ALSO, keep in mind that when he was sworn into office he DID NOT use the Holy Bible, but instead the Kuran (Their equivalency to our Bible, but very different beliefs)."

The use of "their equivalency" and the spelling of "Kuran" instead of "Koran" made the sentence her point of departure.

That search showed that the first mention of the e-mail on the Internet had come more than a year earlier. A participant on the conservative Web site FreeRepublic.com posted a copy of the e-mail on Jan. 8, 2007, and added this line at the end: "Don't know who the original author is, but this email should be sent out to family and friends."

Allen discovered that theories about Obama's religious background had circulated for many years on the Internet. And that the man who takes credit for posting the first article to assert that the Illinois senator was a Muslim is Andy Martin.

Martin was trying to launch a Senate bid against Obama when he says he first ran the Democrat's name by a contact in London. "They said he must be a Muslim. That was interesting to me because it was an angle that nobody had covered. We started looking. As a candidate you learn how to harness the Internet. You end up really learning how to work the street. I sort of picked this story up as a sideline." Martin said the primary basis for his belief was simple -- Obama's father was a Muslim. In a defamation lawsuit he filed against the New York Times and others several months ago, Martin says that Obama "eventually became a Christian" but that "as a matter of Islamic law began life as a Muslim" due to his father's religion.

The belief that Obama unavoidably inherited his religion was not uniquely Martin's -- as recently as May, it was proffered by Edward N. Luttwak, a fellow at the Center for Strategic & International Studies, in a New York Times op-ed piece.

.....

That was easier when the rumors flew off a printing press, or when they appeared -- as with Swift boat attacks against Kerry -- in television ads paid for by a well-funded group of partisans. The attacks on Obama are different, Allen says. The level of anonymity, the technical efficiency, and above all the electoral impact of Internet-based smears all represent a new challenge.

"What I've come to realize is, the labor of generating an e-mail smear is divided and distributed amongst parties whose identities are secret even to each other," she says. A first group of people published articles that created the basis for the attack. A second group recirculated the claims from those articles without ever having been asked to do so. "No one coordinates the roles," Allen said. Instead the participants swim toward their goal like a school of fish -- moving on their own, but also in unison.
read the story




Florida Newspaper Asks Stupid Question

A Florida newspaper asks: is America ready for a black president? The paper actually had the audacity to write it this way: Some critics of Barack Obama say the United States isn't ready for a black president. 


Exactly which critics are those? What does that question mean exactly? Why wouldn't America be ready for a black president? Then, people made their comments and people come up with their lame excuses of why Obama shouldn't be elected.

It always surprises me how ignorant people are and by now, I shouldn't be surprised. It's exasperating. I wish I could shake each of these individuals personally and teach them a thing or two. I do believe that there are more of us than them and these people will evolve in their intelligence once Obama's elected. Perhaps not.

McCain's Working Surge Irrelevant

John McCain keeps saying "the surge is working," the surge is working, the surge is working. So what if the surge was working.  


How long have we been in Iraq? How many soldiers and innocent people died because we attacked a country that didn't attack us? How long did it take to make progress? Why did we really go there? What exactly does "winning in Iraq" mean? What about Afghanistan? 

Seems to me if the surge was working, we'd be pulling troops out of Iraq. 
Then, the whole notion that the surge is working is highly debatable. 

McCain Tries to Paint Obama as Immature

Of course, John McCain is the mature one, running around calling Obama "Dr. No." What the heck?

McCain's latest strategy is a feeble attempt.  
Newsweek: But now, in a neat bit of campaign jiujitsu, the McCainiacs are trying to change a liability into a strength. McCain's 71 years have given him not only vastly more experience than Obama, the new thinking goes, they have ensured that America will have, once again, an "adult" president in the mold of an Eisenhower or a Truman. And there is no better evidence than McCain's energy plan, which the candidate has laid out in a very, er, energetic series of appearances and speeches over the last week. "We wanted it to be a grown-up vision," said Mark Salter, McCain's chief speechwriter and alter ego, who in a Newsweek interview reiterated several times that McCain's approach is that of an "adult." This evidence of mature judgment specifically includes McCain's decision to reverse himself—grown-ups adjust, after all, to changed circumstances—by calling for offshore oil drilling. "We wanted to show that McCain would view the presidency as a problem solver—a bipartisan problem solver," says Salter.

John McCain Who?



Loved the Unity rally, which unfortunately I had to watch after the fact. I'm such a sucker for unity. I almost want to sign Hillary up for vice president.
It really feels like we're at a turning point. Either we move forward with Barack Obama, or our country descends into a deeper hole. It's just not John McCain's time. 
If you're like me and missed the rally, catch it here.



New Details On Obama's Tax Plan

It appears the only people who will be affected are those who make more than $200,000.

CNN: Indeed, under Obama's tax plan, married couples with at least $250,000 in gross income are likely to see their taxes go up if Obama is elected president.

But what about single filers? The line for them would likely be about $200,000, according to an Obama adviser.
......

Obama would restore the top two income tax rates to their pre-2001 levels of 36% and 39.6%. Currently they're 33% and 35%.

Obama's proposal would also reinstate some limitations on how much of a given deduction or personal exemption high-income taxpayers may take.

However, not everyone in the top two brackets would necessarily be affected by the rate increase. Much depends on whether they've been subject to the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) in the past.
.....
In addition to wages up to $102,000 - the current cap on salary subject to the payroll tax, which funds Social Security - Obama would also tax amounts over $250,000.

In other words, income between $102,000 and $250,000 would be protected. more

New Conservative Voices

I'm not a conservative, obviously, but I can appreciate a new vision for conservatives that doesn't include Rush and Ann or Charles K at the Washington Post. 

David Brooks at the NYT:
These writers came of age as official conservatism slipped into decrepitude. Most of them were dismayed by what the Republican Party had become under Tom DeLay and seemed put off by the shock-jock rhetorical style of Ann Coulter. As a result, most have the conviction — which was rare in earlier generations — that something is fundamentally wrong with the right, and it needs to be fixed.

Moreover, most of these writers did not rise through the official channels of the conservative or libertarian establishments. By and large, they didn’t do the internships or take part in the young leader programs that were designed to replenish “the movement.” Instead, they found their voices while blogging. The new technology allowed them to create a new sort of career path and test out opinions without much adult supervision.

As a consequence, they are heterodox and hard to label. These writers grew up reading conservative classics — Burke, Hayek, Smith, C.S. Lewis — but have now splayed off in all sorts of quirky ideological directions.

There are dozens of writers I could put in this group, but I’d certainly mention Yuval Levin, Daniel Larison, Will Wilkinson, Julian Sanchez, James Poulos, Megan McArdle, Matt Continetti and, though he’s a tad older, Ramesh Ponnuru.

Obama 39 Electoral Votes More to Win

With Minnesota and Wisconsin, Obama is 39 electoral votes away, according to CNN's map. 


Thursday, June 26, 2008

Schwarzenegger Says McCain Blowing Smoke

California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, McCain supporter, anti-offshore drilling, says John McCain and Florida Gov. Charlie Crist are hoodwinking Americans when they say offshore drilling will lower gas prices.

“Anyone who tells you this will lower our gas prices anytime soon is blowing smoke.”

Miami Herald: Flying across the country to support the fight against global warming, California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger in Miami Thursday praised Gov. Charlie Crist's efforts, but firmly separated himself from Crist's recent support of off-shore drilling.

"Politicians have been throwing around all kinds of ideas in response to the skyrocketing energy prices, from rethinking nuclear power to pushing biofuels and more renewables and ending the ban on off-shore drilling, and it goes on and on the list," Schwarzenegger said.

"But anyone who tells you this will bring down our gas prices immediately and/or anytime soon is blowing smoke," he said as the audience applauded. "America is so addicted to oil that it will take years to wean ourselves off from it. And to look for new ways to feed our addiction is not the answer."

Obama's energy plan does not call for offshore drilling.

Behind the Scenes Obama Art

Lonely McCainiacs

Wash post: That's best seen on the Big Three social networking sites -- soc-nets, in onlinespeak -- where the junior Illinois senator beats the senior Arizona senator right into the ground. On MySpace, Obama lists more than 401,000 friends to McCain's nearly 56,000. A similar sevenfold gap exists on Facebook, where Obama supporters number 1,040,185 while McCain's clock in at 152,570.
And on YouTube, it's like Obama and McCain operate in two separate layers of the atmosphere. McCain's channel, which has posted 208 videos, has been viewed 3.7 million times; Obama's more than 1,100 videos on his channel have been viewed 53.4 million times.

The most obvious reason for the gap is age: Young voters are the savviest online users, and most of them flocked to Obama in the primaries. But the Internet's potential political effect is by no means limited to voters younger than 30. According to a study by the Pew Internet & American Life Project released last week, 46 percent of all Americans -- young and old -- have used the Web to get news about the campaign, share their opinions and mobilize friends, relatives and co-workers.

And as Obama has made clear, online is where the money is.

Carnegie Mellon U President Intros Obama

President Jared Cohon has good things to say about Obama

Here's Obama


Roads and broadband

Putting Mitt Romney in the Corner

Where he belongs. Silly man. This election intelligence is going to trump fear and ignorance

CNN:
McCain hopes to paint Obama as a politician who puts party and self-interest above the needs of the nation, claiming that Obama has "never been a part of a bipartisan group that came together to solve a controversial issue."

Romney faithfully repeated that charge Thursday morning. Watch Romney talk about Obama and McCain »

When I pointed out that Obama reached across party lines to work with Sen. Richard Lugar, R-Indiana, on a nonproliferation measure, and with Sen. Gordon Smith, R-Oregon, on increasing gas mileage requirements, Romney shot back, saying that, "Actually, on both cases, you're talking about two liberal positions, nonproliferation as well as the gasoline mileage."

It struck me as rather odd -- having covered five years of the Bush administration as a White House correspondent -- that the governor would view nonproliferation as a "liberal" issue. I seem to recall a little ditty called the "Proliferation Security Initiative," launched by President Bush on May 31, 2003.

Know Your Obama

How the Rich Are Gobbling

This is why I support Obama's redistribution of wealth. 

Not only are the rich gobbling. They're gobbling at a faster pace.
To allow wealth to pile up in the hands of a few, makes us all at their mercy. We are slowly but steadily becoming a society of very rich and very poor. Each end like a magnet and the middle is being stripped. 

Obama's Big Black Agenda

Yep. That's what I heard on NPR, straight from Unity, New Hampshire, where Obama and Hillary unite in a rally. 

"His middle name is Hussein," stated a voter. Another said that Obama would have a "big black agenda."
Most of the voters NPR talked to who were racist, were former Hillary supporters, the ones Hillary nurtured. How do so many of my fellow Americans get so ignorant? It makes me sad. 

Listen to it yourself

Obama's 50 State Strategy in Detail


It's all here in pretty graphs and charts.
Obama's energy plan

Obama's Big Lead in New State Polls

Obama leads double digits in Wisconsin and Minnesota; Michigan by 6 and Colorado by 5.

Wallop would be the appropriate word in Minnesota. Republicans think they have a chance in Minnesota and are holding their convention there. They think that Minnesotans like Gov. Tim Pawlenty.  

It should be noted that polls can be misleading and that polls are virtually meaningless at this point, except for one aspect -- they influence and give the idea that Obama is ahead, a psychological advantage.

WSJ:
Women, younger voters and minorities, who typically trend Democratic, favor Sen. Obama in all four states. But the Illinois senator's support also seems solid among independents and among some groups that Republicans have been able to count on the in past.

Sen. Obama leads Sen. McCain among all age groups, including voters over 55. He trails among whites in Colorado and Michigan, but leads Sen. McCain handily among whites in Minnesota and Wisconsin. No Democrat since Lyndon Johnson in 1964 has carried a majority of the white voters nationally, which suggests that "if he can stay this close, he's going to become president," said Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the poll.

Obama VP Feedback

CNN: “I think Barack Obama will pick someone first of all who he believes is most qualified to be president,” David Plouffe told reporters. “Whether someone helps you in an election I think is kind of a side benefit. You certainly want to pick someone who doesn’t hurt you.
Plouffe pointed to Dick Cheney and Al Gore as examples of VP candidates who weren't necessarily chosen to help win states.

“I don’t think that that’s going to be a factor in the selection,” he added.

Imagine that. Obama's going to pick a vice president who is qualified.
I don't know why the media has had such a hard time with that concept. They are again underestimating Obama, thinking that he needs someone else to help him win. We'll elect Obama no matter who his vice presidential choice is. All those Appalachian voters will be outnumbered by the new voters, the youth vote, independents and new democrats. 

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Marines Say Get Us Out Of Here

Marines in Afghanistan say they're tired of politician talk and no action and they feel like they've been forgotten. They wonder what's taking so long. 

But many of the Marines worry that Americans back home don't know what they're doing in Afghanistan.

"People should know kinda what we're doing over here probably a little more than they are," says Mason Bennet, a Navy medic. "It seems like they're focusing a lot more on Iraq right now than they are on Afghanistan. People call this the forgotten war. They need to know what's going on here, I guess."
....

Sgt. Christopher Nipper says he expects to be sent to Iraq next year, after he finishes up this tour in Afghanistan.

"I'd like to see more action from the politicians versus talking," he says, "because they've been talking now for seven to eight years with very little resolve. The conflict in Iraq's been going on for five years now; the Afghanistan thing's been going on with the U.S. and other countries now since 2001."

Listen to their story at NPR Vote Obama.

Nader Turns Nitwit

I USED to respect Ralph Nader. But I believe he's lost it.
Is anybody even paying the least bit of attention to Nader? Some Nader fans had a table set up outside of an organic grocery store and asked if I wanted to sign the petition to get Nader on the ballot. I said: "Are you kidding?" They said you don't have to vote for him. This is just to get him on the ballot. Ha. No thanks. 

The Big Obama Hillary Rally June 27

Should be live streamed at cnn.com

Join Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton for a rally in Unity, NH on Friday, June 27th. The event is free and open to the public.
There is NO ONSITE PARKING. Members of the public must take shuttles provided by the campaign to access the event.
Shuttles will begin running at 10:00 a.m. from the locations listed below. Tickets are REQUIRED to ride the shuttles. RSVP using the form to the right to receive your free ticket via email.
Unite for Change Rally With Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton
Unity Elementary School
864 Second NH Turnpike
Unity, NH 03773
Friday, June 27th
Shuttles service begins at 10:00 a.m.
Gates Open at 11:00 a.m.
This weekend's Unity Rallies everywhere: 
This weekend, Obama supporters will be opening their homes to people in their communities for Unite for Change meetings -- in over 3,000 homes, in all 50 states. The goal is to come together -- as Democrats who supported other candidates in the primary, as well as Independents and even Republicans -- to unite behind common values and build a volunteer organization in cities and towns across the country.

You can find a meeting near you and RSVP today.

McCain's Dr. No Ad

Who's he trying to kid?
He's trying so hard to keep up with Obama. Cute name, though. Dr. No. If that's all he can come up with, I may as well go fishing.
Dr. Know, that would be Obama, has a far better grip on energy.

Bayh and Biden Would Say Yes to Veep

It's a switch for Joe Biden, who seemed adamantly opposed to being vice president. Evan Bayh, Hillary's fan, said he's say yes. I say yes to Biden and no to Bayh.

Right now, I'm thinking Obama Edwards. They seem to go together. Obama could then stuff his cabinet with in-the-know military types.

But in the last two weeks, two Senate Democrats have flatly confessed they'd take the position if asked. On Sunday, Delaware Sen. Joe Biden said candidly, "The answer I’ve got to say is yes," if the No. 2 position is offered.

And on Tuesday, Sen. Evan Bayh, a former Hillary Clinton supporter from the potential battleground state of Indiana, also admitted he'd take the job if it is offered.

"I don't think it's the kind of thing you say no to….the answer to that is yes," Bayh said in an interview on MSNBC.

"If you care about serving your country, that is the kind of thing that you do," he argued.


Another thing, it seems the vice presidential process is doing a good job of weeding out the bad democrats, the ones who are still holding their breath.

Obama Touts Energy Plan in Las Vegas

Obama's new energy site. Be informed!

Obama spoke about his energy plan in Las Vegas yesterday and this blog captures Obama's plan in depth.

Lasvegasgleaner.com: So Obama reiterated the facts that are now so familiar to people who pay attention, which is to say the facts that are completely and totally lost on the American electorate generally and people who watch Fox News specifically:

New drilling, whether in the Alaskan National Wildlife Refuge or offshore, though a trendy notion, isn't going to produce oil for a decade or so and does nothing for gas prices today.


Even when the production comes online, and even under the conclusions reached by Bush's own Energy Department, such new drilling isn't going to produce enough oil to have a significant impact on the price of gas.

There are 68 million acres of available federal oil and gas leases on and offshore already controlled by the oil industry and available for drilling, but the industry isn't drilling on it.

The industry's only interest in opening up ANWR or new offshore areas for drilling, Obama said, is to bank the leases while the public is softened up to the idea, and then the companies can dribble out any production on them at some point in the future.

And yet, people are freaking out about the price of gas, so when Republicans (whose previous energy policy -- invading Iraq -- failed to work out as planned) yammer on about more drilling, it's understandable that a lot of folks might think it's a good idea.

"If I thought it was a meaningful way to solve the problem, I would consider it," Obama said, even given the environmental risks of opening up areas for drilling that have been closed off in large part due to environmental concerns.

.......

Obama is touting:

Tax the oil industry's obscene profits.
Another stimulus package to give people more cash money.
A $1,000 tax cut for 95 percent of the workforce.
Close the Enron loophole (crafted by John McCain economic guru Phil Gramm, a point Obama neglected to mention) that has allowed hedge fund managers and speculators to artificially explode the price of oil in completely unregulated markets (Obama also neglected to use the word "bubble" though it seems an increasingly apt description of a dysfunctional global oil market).
Obama also said oil companies should be charged a fee for every acre where they are already allowed to drill but aren't doing it. Good one.


John McCain States the Obvious

CNN: "When we buy foreign oil, we are enriching some of our worst enemies," he said in Las Vegas, Nevada.

McCain said if he were to become president, he would put the country "on a course to energy security."

"Three decades of partisan paralysis on energy security is enough. Since I am not president, I cannot say the buck stops here -- but I will say that it must stop now," he said.

Uh, yeah.
Dependence on foreign oil makes us vulnerable. So why was McCain so hep on the Iraq war, the war for oil? Why didn't Bush, McCain and the republicans push an energy independence agenda? Oh, that's right. We thought we could just exercise our might and simply take the oil that we need. Now it seems it's not that simple anymore.

Of course, John McCain's pushing his domestic drilling idea that virtually every economist says is bogus. Even his supporter, California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger is opposed to it.

Drilling domestically would no way, no how make us safer. It wouldn't lessen our dependence on foreign oil and it wouldn't lower gas prices.

He's also pushing nuclear power energy without a plan to safely store spent fuel rods. The rest of his energy policy is a mish mash of reaction to Obama's policy. Obama is ahead of the curve on this one.

Karl Rove's Phony Baloney

Dick Cheney used to admire Obama too. That is until he was succeeding.

Maureen Dowd paints Rove as fool in his efforts to paint Obama as an elitist:
The cheap populism is really rich coming from Karl Rove. When was the last time he kicked back with a corncob pipe to watch professional wrestling?

Rove is trying to spin his myths, as he used to do with such devastating effect, but it won’t work this time. The absurd spectacle of rich white conservatives trying to paint Obama as a watercress sandwich with the crust cut off seems ugly and fake.

Obama can be aloof and dismissive at times, and he’s certainly self-regarding, carrying the aura of the Ivy faculty club. But isn’t that better than the aura of the country clubs that tried to keep out blacks? It’s ironic, and maybe inevitable, that the first African-American nominee comes across as a prince of privilege. He is, as Leon Wieseltier of The New Republic wrote, not the seed but the flower of the civil rights movement.

snip

Conservatives love playing this little game, acting as if the “elite” Democratic candidates are not in touch with people like themselves, even though the guys doing the attacking — like Rove, Limbaugh, O’Reilly and Hannity — are wealthy and cosseted.

Haven’t we had enough of this hypocritical comedy of people in the elite disowning their social status for political purposes? The Bushes had to move all the way to Texas from Greenwich to make their blue blood appear more red.

Karl Rove brought us George Bush, so why would anyone listen to what he had to say? Be gone. 

Michelle Obama in New Hamshire June 26


A DISCUSSION WITH NH WOMEN, MICHELLE OBAMA AND GOV. JEANNE SHAHEEN
The Armory
Radisson Hotel
700 Elm Street
Manchester, NH

Thursday, June 26th, 2008
Doors Open: 12:30 p.m.
Program Begins: 1:15 p.m.

The event is free and open to the public; however, space is limited and tickets are required. Free tickets are available at the location listed. Seating is available on a first-come, first-served basis.

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

Obama's Music

















Rolling Stone has put Barack Obama on the cover. Again. Do you think they're selling a lot of magazines? I'd say. 
The magazine has a few stories and a great photo gallery.I lifted a few, including the one with Dick Cheney. Bet he never expected Obama to be the democratic nominee. There are photos of him smiling with Karl Rove. Oh, those were the days. Obama with Bono and George Clooney. George is a big supporter of Obama, thanks George, but stays out of the press because the media gets carried away when it comes to Clooney.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Obama Responds to Dobson

Earlier in the day, evangelical James Dobson had a fit.
Obama responds and his supporters respond:

The Rev. Kirbyjon Caldwell, a Methodist pastor from Texas and longtime supporter of President Bush who has endorsed Obama, said Tuesday he belongs to a group of religious leaders who, working independently of Obama's campaign, launched a Web site to counter Dobson at http://www.jamesdobsondoesntspeakforme.com. The site highlights statements from Obama and Dobson and asks visitors to compare them.
Caldwell said he has great respect for Dobson's advocacy for families, but said the criticism of Obama was "a bit over the top" and "crossed the line."
"There has been a call for a higher level of politics and politicking," Caldwell said. "So to attack at this level is inappropriate and I think unacceptable and we at least want to hold everybody accountable."
Tom Minnery, a senior vice president at Focus on the Family, responded: "Without question, Dr. Dobson is speaking for millions of evangelicals because his understanding of the Bible is thoroughly evangelical."
Sign the action form

Obama's Traveling Abroad

Politico: Barack Obama was to have a military briefing from officials with the Joint Chiefs of Staff office last week, but canceled to attend Tim Russert’s funeral.

Pentagon press secretary Geoff Morrell confirmed the original plan for the meeting and said Obama was seeking a so-called “ops-intel” briefing.

Members of Congress typically request such information on military intelligence and operations in advance of foreign trips. Following a conversation last Monday with Iraq’s foreign minister, Obama told reporters that he intended to visit both Iraq and Afghanistan before the election.

Obama Talks Business in Fortune

A very good read.
Obama sees credit card debt as big trouble:

The next potential implosion, he says, is credit card debt, and Obama has proposed a consumer bill of rights that restricts card companies' ability to raise rates and creates a federal credit-card rating system.
snip

"There's a reason why the business community in Chicago as a whole has been very supportive of me," he says. "They know I am a pro-growth guy, and I'm a pro-market guy. And I always have been. What I do get frustrated with is an economy that is out of balance, that rewards a very few - with rewards that are all out of proportion to their actual success - while ordinary, hardworking Americans continue to get squeezed. Over the last decade or so, this economy grew substantially, and more than half of the total growth was captured by the top 1%."


He didn't sell us hardworking saps out and that's good for business.
 
Toward the business community, he will build on a message of "tough love" that he has delivered since he landed in Detroit a year ago to tell the auto industry he would impose strict emissions standards, but in return help them with crippling health-care costs. In the coming months voters will hear that a decade-long middle-class squeeze hurts business, because it "reduces demand for the stuff that companies are selling," says his economic advisor, Austan Goolsbee. Therefore, he argues, business should support Obama's plan to shift the tax burden toward the wealthy and raise the federal minimum wage to $9.50 over two years (under current law it goes to $6.55 in July).

As Obama says on the campaign trail, "In America, prosperity has always risen from the bottom up." Likewise, he argues, increased regulatory oversight, capital requirements, and transparency standards will help capital markets by injecting stability. More federal spending on education and basic science will improve workforce quality.

"I still believe that the business of America is business," Obama told Fortune. "But what I also think is that with all that power and talent, and all those resources at their disposal, comes some responsibilities - to not game the system, to not oppose increased transparency in the marketplace, to not oppose fiscally prudent measures to balance our budget."
snip

He is frequently on the phone with billionaire CEO Warren Buffett ("one of my favorite people," says Obama, "he's just completely down-to-earth and as smart as they come"), a critic of the financial industry and of tax breaks for the rich who also happens to understand capital markets better than just about anyone.

Obama calls on Apple's Steve Jobs to help him "think about how to be successful and nimble in the current global environment."

Advice also comes from Wall Street veterans like J.P. Morgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon and Centerbridge Partners founder Mark Gallogly - as well as longtime Chicago friends Penny Pritzker of Hyatt (who runs his campaign finances), Ariel Capital's John Rogers, and investor James S. Crown.

the essence of his plan:
a) more government spending: $65 billion a year for universal health insurance, $15 billion a year on alternative energy, $20 billion to help homeowners avoid default, $60 billion to bolster the nation's infrastructure, $10 billion annually to give students college tuition in exchange for public service, and on and on;

and (b) shifting the tax burden upward: ending the Bush tax cuts on families making more than $250,000 and raising payroll taxes on those same higher-income earners (the latter meant to bolster Social Security without cutting benefits or raising the retirement age). Middle-class earners would receive tax cuts, and low-income seniors would pay no income tax. Combined with a tax rebate as part of this new $50 billion stimulus plan, he argues, putting more money in the hands of middle-class consumers will help them cope with the income squeeze as well as rising energy prices.

Obama also wants to raise a range of other taxes on business and investment. He would increase the 15% capital gains tax rate - probably to 25%, according to advisors, though he excludes small businesses and new ventures from the tax altogether. He would raise the dividends tax, reinstate a 45% tax on estates worth more than $3.5 million, and close $1.3 trillion in "corporate tax loopholes." The thinking behind those tax hikes comes in part from Goolsbee, a University of Chicago economist who has studied behavioral response to economic policies. Goolsbee believes the Republican argument that lower tax rates - by spurring investment and productivity - end up generating more revenue than they lose is overblown. (He notes that Obama wants to go back to the rates of the '90s, when the economy was booming.) Instead, he believes the tax code should be used to ease financial pressures on the middle class.

Obama's Double Digit Lead in New Poll

This is good news but we can't let it go to our heads. We've seen how misleading polls can be and how simply wrong they can be. But Obama is leading McCain by 12 points.


LA Times: In a two-man race between the major party candidates, registered voters chose Obama over McCain by 49% to 37% in the national poll conducted last weekend.

On a four-man ballot including independent candidate Ralph Nader and Libertarian Bob Barr, voters chose Obama over McCain by an even larger margin, 48% to 33%.

Obama's advantage, bigger in this poll than in most other national surveys, appears to stem in large part from his positions on domestic issues. Both Democrats and independent voters say Obama would do a better job than McCain at handling the nation's economic problems, the public's top concern.

In contrast, many voters give McCain credit as the more experienced candidate and the one best equipped to protect the nation against terrorism -- but they rank those concerns below their worries about the economy.

Moreover, McCain suffers from a pronounced "enthusiasm gap," especially among the conservatives who usually give Republican candidates a reliable base of support. Among voters who describe themselves as conservative, only 58% say they will vote for McCain; 15% say they will vote for Obama, 14% say they will vote for someone else, and 13% say they are undecided.

By contrast, 79% of voters who describe themselves as liberal say they plan to vote for Obama.

Even among voters who say they do plan to vote for McCain, more than half say they are "not enthusiastic" about their chosen candidate; only 45% say they are enthusiastic. By contrast, 81% of Obama voters say they are enthusiastic, and almost half call themselves "very enthusiastic," a level of zeal that only 13% of McCain's supporters display.

"McCain is not capturing the full extent of the conservative base the way President Bush did in 2000 and 2004," said Susan Pinkus, director of the Times Poll. "Among conservatives, evangelicals and voters who identify themselves as part of the religious right, he is polling less than 60%.

"Meanwhile, Obama is doing well among a broad range of voters," she said. "He's running ahead among women, black voters and other minorities. He's running roughly even among white voters and independents."

Obama Action Figure and Soda






America at its best.
Campaign cola
Obama action figure
Obama wristband

The best place to buy is at Obama's store, because the money goes toward the campaign. There you can get golf balls, umbrellas and hope bands.

Obama on Nuclear Power and Green Technology

Campaigning in Las Vegas, Obama said the problem with nuclear power is that we haven't found a way to store it safely. Dumping it in Yucca Mountain is not the solution.

"I'm not somebody who rules it off the table." But if there is no serious effort of storage of the materials then we need to look at things such as clean coal, he said. If the technology is not there for "clean coal," then we shouldn't be building coal plants.

a questioner asked if Obama could used "advanced coal" because many of the old technology coal companies are using the term "clean coal" even though they want to build traditional coal plants.

Obama would consider federal land in Nevada for construction of solar panels. Much of Nevada's land is owned by the federal government.

It occurs to me that Obama is specially qualified to be president at this time because the person at the helm needs to have the skills of an organizer. Obama needs to direct the nation in so many different areas and at the same time, he needs to tie all those areas together -- education, energy, and the like -- because it's all linked.

Lastly, he talked about government reforms.
Government needs to get out of the way when it's blocking progress. Government needs to be consumer friendly government at the post office, getting permits... Al Gore had some good ideas in terms of government makeover, he said.

It will be Reinventing Government 2.0 under the Obama administration, he said. He wants government to cut through the bureaucracy and the red tape as much as possible. I want to simplify our tax system.

Dobson Stakes Claim to Holy Bible

The evangelical leader James Dobson accuses Obama of making a "fruitcake" out of the Bible. I like his word choice.

Obama's right. Misinterpretation of the Bible has led to crimes against humanity, hatred of gay people or anyone who isn't a white Christian.

It's called religious extremism and it can be had in all religions. People like Dobson make the world more dangerous.

CNN: In comments aired on his radio show Tuesday, Focus on the Family founder James Dobson criticizes the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee for comments he made in a June 2006 speech to the liberal Christian group renewal.

WATCH Dobson says Obama has a "fruitcake interpretation" of the Constitution

In the two-year old speech, Obama suggests it would be impractical to govern based solely on the word of the Bible, noting some passages suggest slavery is permissible and eating shellfish is disgraceful.

"Which passages of scripture should guide our public policy?" Obama asks in the speech. "Should we go with Leviticus, which suggests slavery is okay and that eating shellfish is an abomination. Or we could go with Deuteronomy which suggests stoning your child if he strays from the faith or should we just stick to the Sermon on the Mount."

"So before we get carried away, let's read our Bible now," Obama also said to cheers. "Folks haven't been reading their Bible."

On the radio show Tuesday, Dobson said Obama should not be referencing antiquated dietary codes and passages from the Old Testament that are no longer relevant to the teachings of the New Testament.

"I think he's deliberately distorting the tradition understanding of the Bible to fit his own worldview, his own confused theology," Dobson said, later adding that Obama is "dragging biblical understanding through the gutter."

Obama on Government Valuing Families

It starts with women, he said. Yes, it does.

Obama was a supporter of the fair pay Lilly Ledbetter restoration act for women. McCain was opposed to it. Obama said McCain said the problem with women is they need more education to earn fair pay. McCain said: the act "opens us up to lawsuits for all kinds of problems." Women earn 77 cents for every $1 that a man earns. In Lilly's case, she was getting significantly less pay than her male counterparts. The wage gap has nothing to do with a lack of education and everything to do with an old fashioned system that valued men as the breadwinners.

Monday, June 23, 2008

If You Don't Do This I'm Going to Hold My Breath

That seems to be the tact that the small group of remaining Hillary diehards are taking. These women are acting like Prima Donnas, making demand after demand. They even have a cute name for themselves. PUMAs. 

They don't seem to realize that it's a political campaign. Not a relationship. Hillary is not your BFF.
No wonder they see themselves as victims. Ick.
Hillary is once again, asking her supporters for money to pay off her more than $20 million in debt and her supporters, once again, are pledging that they will not vote for Obama until he pays her debt. Why doesn't she pay it herself? 
Of course, the democrats will end up paying it, but it's best that she solicits from her donors first. 



Cindy McCain Racecar Driver and Pilot

Cindy doesn't want to move, so let's not make her.

For Cindy, the move to Washington would not be easy. Her family is deeply rooted in Arizona, and she hates to be away from Phoenix for more than a few days at a stretch. Her father, Jim Hensley, was one of the most prominent men in the state. A World War II bombardier, he was shot down over the English Channel. After the war, he and his wife, Marguerite, borrowed $10,000 to start a liquor business. Through the years, it grew to become one of the largest Anheuser-Busch distributorships in the country.

Newsweek also looks at Cindy's rich life, in more ways than one.She's been through a lot and is accomplished. She raced cars and is a pilot. In college, at what her hubby calls the University for Spoiled Children, she drove a gold Mercedes and was a cheerleader. She taught kids with Downs Syndrome and has a degree in special education.
Her first daughter Meghan writes a political blog. Her son James is a Marine.
She's a remarkable woman in her own right. We seem to have two wonderful First Lady candidates and one terrific Presidential candidate.
Here is a touching part of her story:
She named her charity the American Voluntary Medical Team. In 1991, she camped in the Kuwait desert five days after the end of the gulf war to take medical supplies to refugees. That same year, she visited Mother Teresa's orphanage in Dhaka, Bangladesh, where she saw 160 newborn girls who had been abandoned. The nuns handed her a small baby with a cleft palate so severe that the infant couldn't be fed. Another baby, also just a few weeks old, had a heart defect. Worried they would die without medical attention, Cindy applied for visas to take the girls back to the United States. But the country's minister of Health refused to sign the papers. "We can do surgery on this child," an official told her. Frustrated, Cindy slammed her fist on the table. "Then do it! What are you waiting for?" The official, stunned, simply signed the papers. "I don't know where I got the nerve," Cindy told Harper's Bazaar.

When she arrived in Phoenix, she carried the baby with the cleft palate off the plane. Her husband met her at the airport. He looked at the baby. "Where is she going?" he asked her. "To our house," she replied. They adopted the little girl and named her Bridget. Family friends adopted the other little girl.

Last week in Vietnam, Cindy relived that time as she talked to a young Vietnamese mother at a hospital in tiny Nha Trang. The woman clutched a tiny newborn with a severe cleft palate. Ditching her handlers, she went over to talk with her. "Where's the interpreter?" Cindy demanded. In tears, the woman told Cindy that she had been denied a consultation by the Operation Smile workers because they feared her baby was too sick to be helped. "I had a baby just like yours," Cindy slowly told her, allowing the interpreter to translate. She played with the baby's tiny fingers, recalling that her own daughter had been written off as unsavable. She joined the mother in the observation room and listened as cardiologists told them they feared the baby might go into cardiac arrest if they were to operate. As the mother cried, Cindy told her that she knew exactly how she felt and patted her back. "That baby deserved a shot," she said, "just like Bridget did." In the end, the doctors decided to perform the surgery.

Though the story gives context to Cindy's life and proves she's no Stepford Wife, it doesn't shine a light on John McCain. My gut feeling is that Barack and Michelle share a deep love and mutual respect for each other. The McCains seem strained.

Drew Danburry

Just because...


Drew, filmmaker, skateboarder, musician, is in love and getting married:


The most touring-ist musician ever, one of my faves

Obama To Get Chuck E. Cheese Letters

A more lighthearted story: 

Wash Post: Barack Obama was chatting with Katrina Davis, a Missouri woman whose daughter was hospitalized with a heart ailment, when he turned the talk to the half-dozen 7-year-olds who had slept over for his daughter's birthday.

"I know Chuck E. Cheese," Obama said as a group of reporters looked on. "That's as noisy a place as there is on Earth."

In his march to the Democratic presidential nomination, the Illinois senator has demonstrated an ability to mesmerize 20,000 people in an arena, but for all his sudden fame, most voters know little about the texture of his life. Now, in ways large and small, he and his staff are trying to add some dabs of color to a gauzy portrait, using media coverage to convey the sense of a down-to-earth fellow.

snip

The jock narrative continued when Obama's traveling aide, Reggie Love, told the New York Times how the two men wind down after a long day by watching ESPN's "SportsCenter." And Obama repeatedly played hoops before the cameras during the final primaries, in one case with the University of North Carolina Tar Heels.

Such images can be an asset in neutralizing the false rumors that have been dogging Obama. "Where there are gaps in knowledge, there's always the danger of misinformation," Axelrod says.

The media can also serve as a megaphone. After the Chicago biking excursion two weeks ago, Boston Herald columnist Margery Eagan wrote: "It's hard to get Willie Hortoned -- turned into the radical black guy who gives white America the heebie jeebies -- when you look as suburban, as unchic, as let's-hop-in-the-Explorer-and-head-to-Costco wonky as Obama looks in this oh-no! photo."
more

Obama and Hillary Campaign in Unity, New Hampshire

This Friday:

AP: The location, announced Monday, was chosen not only for the symbolism of its name, but because each candidate received exactly 107 votes there in the Jan. 8 primary. Obama spokesman Dan Pfeiffer said the campaign was still working to finalize the site of the rally, which will be open to the public.

Independent-minded New Hampshire is a critical battleground state in November. Bush won the state in 2000, but Democrat John Kerry narrowly captured it in 2004. The state also has one of the most competitive Senate races this year, with former Democratic Gov. Jeanne Shaheen looking to oust GOP Sen. John Sununu.

The Obama campaign's goal is to win all 19 states that Kerry carried and it considers New Hampshire the most competitive among them. Republican John McCain has been a popular candidate in the Republican primaries — he won New Hampshire in his unsuccessful 2000 presidential bid and prevailed again this year.

McCain's Charlie Black Speaks Truth

It was a dumb, insensitive and disgusting thing to say. How could he even have that thought? 


But super lobbyist Charlie Black is probably right. John McCain would benefit if there was a terrorist attack. Given our past history, all rational thought goes out the window, and revenge is first and foremost. That's how we got George Bush-- again. Many Americans likely would view McCain as the guy to go get em, since that's all his campaign is based on. War. War. War. I'm a war hero. War. War. War. I'm tough. War. War. War. 

But maybe we've grown as a nation. 

Obama is clearly the more brilliant strategist and the better Commander in Chief. Smarts-wise, he'd keep us safe.  At least Obama would go after the people who actually hurt us. 

Let's hope the republicans aren't as loathsome as to even go down that road.
CNN: Sen. John McCain distanced himself Monday from comments made by a senior campaign adviser suggesting that McCain would stand to benefit politically from a terrorist attack on U.S. soul.

In an interview with Fortune magazine, McCain senior adviser Charlie Black said that the Arizona senator demonstrated his fluency in foreign policy and security matters following the assassination of Benazir Bhutto in December of last year.

Bhutto’s killing, Black said, was an “unfortunate event.” But, he argued, McCain’s “knowledge and ability to talk about it reemphasized that this is the guy who's ready to be Commander-in-Chief. And it helped us."

Asked if McCain would stand to benefit from a terrorist attack on U.S. soil, Black answered: “Certainly it would be a big advantage to him.”

Go Obama Go

Raise boodles of money!

Heck, I just contributed for that cool new t-shirt
I don't know what all this hoopla is about -- that he "flipped" on public campaign financing. So what. Obama NEEDS the money to run a widespread campaign. How many people knew who Obama was a year ago? Not many. 
He needs to outspend McCain. Look at what happened in the primary. Obama spent tons of money in Pennsylvania and lost. Obama is still introducing himself to people. Once they know him, and they're inclined to be a democrat, they are likely to become a supporter. 
There isn't anything Obama could do that could change my mind. I know who he is. I've read his books. I've studied his stance on the issues. 
I trust his judgement. 
Do I agree with him on everything? No. I'm still uncertain about the NAFTA issue, but he's head and shoulders above John McCain. 
He's smarter than people know, constantly outwitting everyone. 
But the bottom line is Obama cares about the poorer among us, in the tradition of JFK and Martin Luther King. He supports a bottom up democracy. From there, all he needs to do is surround himself by talented and brilliant people and we're on our way. 

Sunday, June 22, 2008

New Obama T-Shirt


Make at least a $30 donation and get this T-shirt. I love this one. 

The Short VP List and The Real List

There's a difference:

NYT: There are the real lists, bluff lists and lists of politicians who make a big show of saying they don’t want to be on the list even though they never were or would have been. Entire ballrooms in Denver and St. Paul could be filled with people who will claim to have been on Mr. Obama’s and Mr. McCain’s short lists.

“There’s a short list for show, and then there’s the actual short list,” said Chuck Todd, the NBC News political director. And the “short list for show” can actually become quite long. It could include names that the campaign releases as plums to key supporters, whether or not said key supporters are actually being considered as running mates.


Here's my speculation: Joe Biden is out. Jim Webb is out. Mark Warner is out. They've all said they're not interested and seemed to mean it.

Meanwhile, Frank Rich says we've all forgotten the war. Sadly, people are still getting killed but we've tuned out, largely because we want out.
Expect more war mongering from John McCain, though:

NYT: One neocon pundit, Charles Krauthammer, summed up this alternative-reality mind-set in a recent column piously commanding Mr. McCain to “make the election about Iraq” because “everything is changed,” and “we are winning on every front.” The war, he wrote, can be “the central winning plank of his campaign.” (Italics his.)

This hyperventilating wasn’t necessary, because this is what Mr. McCain is already trying to do. His first general election ad, boosted by a large media buy in swing states this month, was all about war. It invoked his Vietnam heroism and tried to have it both ways on Iraq by at once presenting Mr. McCain as a stay-the-course warrior and taking a (timid) swipe at President Bush. “Only a fool or a fraud talks tough or romantically about war,” Mr. McCain said in his voice-over. That unnamed fool would be our cowboy president, who in March told American troops how he envied their “in some ways romantic” task of “confronting danger.”

Really, does anyone think we're "winning" the war. We don't even know what that means. But we can't discount McCain's fear mongering. Bush proved that it works.

Barr McCain's Nader

Many republicans can't stand John McCain and they openly criticize him. Along comes, libertarian Bob Barr to suck up McCain's votes. After all, what's a disenchanted republican to do with a candidate who is economics-challenged.

CNN: Bob Barr's Libertarian Party bid for the White House is the longest of long shots, but political experts say he may be able to exploit the unease some die-hard conservatives still feel about Sen. John McCain, the Republican nominee-in-waiting. Combined with the surge in turnout among Democrats during the primaries and a difficult political climate for Republicans, they see what could be a recipe for trouble for the GOP.

"Bob could be the Ralph Nader of 2008," said Dan Schnur, a GOP consultant in California who worked on McCain's 2000 campaign but is not involved in this year's contest. Consumer advocate Nader is
the third-party candidate many Democrats blame for helping George W. Bush narrowly win in 2000.

Rep. John Linder, a Republican who defeated Barr in 2002 after Georgia's Democratic-controlled Legislature redrew congressional boundaries to put the two lawmakers in the same district, said he
didn't think Barr would top 4 percent of the vote.

"But in some states that may be enough," Linder said.

Democrats seem gleeful at the prospect. Tad Devine, a Washington-based Democratic strategist, said Republicans "are crazy if they aren't worried about Barr."

"Undoubtedly any votes he gets come out of McCain's votes," Devine said. "He hurts them."

Shepard Fairey on Obama Art


On the SoCal TV show News Conference, Shepard, the maker of the iconic red and black Obama poster, is a big fan of Obama. He says he usually does political art but he's usually criticizing.
The Obama poster, a signed one is apparently going for thousands on eBAy, was created to promote Obama, obviously. Though, some wingnuts have suggested there is a communist and even a devilish meaning.

Shepard also wore an Obama poster pin on his tee shirt. Nice touch.
Here's a new one with a smiling "Yes We Can" Obama

Wall Street Will Rebound Under Obama

On the Chris Matthews Show this morning, Jim Cramer said investors are tired of the economy and under Obama, the market would rebound. Wahoo!
Cramer would make a great Meet the Press moderator. Either he or Chris Matthews, but they'd have to develop another show to replace Matthews' show.
Through the election, Tom Brokaw will be the Meet the Press moderator.
Jim Sullivan, from The Atlantic, said Tim Pawlenty will be McCain's veep. He wasn't sure about Obama but said it would be someone boring.

Authors Blog About Obama

Check out the writer's blog at the Redroom


Tim Wise: If it were gender solidarity you sought, you would by definition join with your black and brown sisters come November, and do what you know good and well they are going to do, in overwhelming numbers, which is vote for Barack Obama. But no. You are threatening to vote not like other women--you know, the ones who aren't white like you and most of your friends--but rather, like white men! Needless to say it is high irony, bordering on the outright farcical, to believe that electorally bonding with white men, so as to elect McCain, is a rational strategy for promoting feminism and challenging patriarchy. You are not thinking and acting as women, but as white people. So here's the first question: What the hell is that about?
And you wonder why women of color have, for so long, thought (by and large) that white so-called feminists were phony as hell? Sister please...
Your threats are not about standing up for women. They are only about standing up for the feelings of white women, and more to the point, the aspirations of one white woman. So don't kid yourself. If you wanted to make a statement about the importance of supporting a woman, you wouldn't need to vote for John McCain, or stay home, thereby producing the same likely result--a defeat for Obama. You could always have said you were going to go out and vote for Cynthia McKinney. After all, she is a woman, running with the Green Party, and she's progressive, and she's a feminist. But that isn't your threat is it? No. You're not threatening to vote for the woman, or even the feminist woman. Rather, you are threatening to vote for the white man, and to reject not only the black man who you feel stole Clinton's birthright, but even the black woman in the race. And I wonder why? Could it be...?
See, I told you your whiteness was showing.