Friday, February 29, 2008

McCain's zinger failed

John McCainI think that this dovetails into what Bill (Liberal Oasis) wrote previously about McCain. He is going to have trouble slinging mud at Obama. He is going to have a lot of trouble. I'll try and explain what happened yesterday and I'll try not to mix my metaphors.

In tennis if you have a strong serve you have the advantage. You can ace your opponent. You can smack the ball wide so even if your opponent gets their racket on the ball they are way out of position to make the next shot. Of course, if your serve is weak, you are in trouble.

Yesterday, McCain's zinger was weak. First, he admits that he didn't watch the debate. Okay, if you didn't watch the debate then you need to shut up until have watched it but not McCain. He has to venture out into this fray. He says, "I have some news. Al-Qaeda is in Iraq. Al-Qaeda is called al-Qaeda in Iraq. My friends, if we left, they wouldn't be establishing a base...they would be taking a country. I will not allow that to happen my friends. I will not surrender. I will not surrender to al-Qaeda."

Come on. Is that it? That is what McCain is serving up? Barack Obama masterfully, returned the serve for a winner.

From WaPo:
Obama in Fort WorthSpeaking to 7,000 voters at Ohio State University, Obama answered McCain's mocking tone with his own. "McCain thought that he could make a clever point by saying , "Well let me give you some news Barack, al-Qaeda IS in Iraq.' Like I wasn't reading the papers, like I didn't know what was going on. I said, 'well first of all I DO know that al-Qaeda is in Iraq , that's why I've said we should continue to strike al-Qaeda targets."

"I have some news for John McCain, and that is that there was no such thing as al-Qaeda in Iraq until George Bush and John McCain decided to invade Iraq," Obama said, as the crowd roared. "I've got some news for John McCain! He took us into a war along with George Bush that should have never been authorized and should have never been waged. They took their eye off the people who were responsible for 9/11, and that would be al-Qaeda in Afghanistan that is stronger now than at any time since 2001."

"I've been paying attention, John McCain," Obama continued, the cheers growing so loud that the audience could hardly make out the words. "That's the news. So John McCain may like to say he wants to follow Osama bin Laden to the gates of hell, but so far all he's done is follow George Bush into a misguided war in Iraq that's cost us thousands of lives and billions of dollars...I respect John McCain but he's tied to the politics of the past -- we are about the policies of the future! Hes the party of yesterday -- we want to be the party of tomorrow."

So, now, what does John McCain do? He goes and gets his the President to fight his fight for him. George Bush jumps into this fight. I find this interesting. Very Interesting. Why did President Bush jump into this fight? Did he think that McCain needed the help? So, the President gets the following question:
Q Mr. President, do you believe if we have the kind of rapid pull-out from Iraq that Democrats are talking about, that we would be at greater risk of a terrorist attack here at home? And when Senator Obama was asked a similar question, he said, "If al Qaeda is forming a base in Iraq, then we will have to act in a way that secures the American homeland and our interests abroad." So I'm wondering if --

THE PRESIDENT: That's an interesting comment. If al Qaeda is securing a al Qaeda base -- yes, well, that's exactly what they've been trying to do for the past four years. That's their stated intention, was to create enough chaos and disorder to establish a base from which to either launch attacks or spread a caliphate. And the intent of the surge was to send more Marines into the area that -- where they had proclaimed their desire to set up a base. That was Anbar province. And so, yes, that's one of the challenges we face, is denying al Qaeda a safe haven anywhere. And their intentions -- that's what they said, that they would like to have a base or safe haven in Anbar province.

Oh, that answer wasn't too predictable, was it? The President is a broken record (LP). He hasn't said anything new or innovative about Iraq since 2003. I do find it interesting that the President thought that it was necessary to "help" John McCain. I guess if you see a zinger come back that fast, all Republicans had to jump to McCain's side. I think that it is going to be a long 8 months for McCain if his "zingers" don't get any better.


Why I Have Issues With Black Clinton Supporters

Reading these two articles:

Black Backers Steadfast for Clinton
Committed: Why I'm Sticking With Hillary

They bothered me. They bothered me for several reasons. The main thing is that they're putting out there, in the MSM, that Black folk are pressuring them, for no good reason. Like, ' irrationally', Black folk are demanding they switch their allegiance to Obama - JUST BECAUSE HE'S BLACK.

And, that's simply not the case.

This came to me last night, and I'll present it to you:

Imagine if this were any other ethnic group. They had one of ‘their own’ running, and the main competition race-baited/ethnic-baited ‘your own’.

Please explain to me what other ethnic group would remotely tolerate THEIR elected representative supporting the competition POST race-baiting?

Can you imagine it with ANY other group? Yeah, neither can I.

WE’RE the only ones who would allow this BS….and SHAME ON US.

That's the key for me:::: POST RACE-BAITING::::

And, why I say, straight up, I have no respect for any Black Clinton supporter.

I tried to explain this point on another blog last night:

I have Black Republican friends who won't vote for Obama on philosophical grounds. I respect that.

I have Black Radical friends who won't vote for Obama because he's not radical enough and they disagree with him on philosophy - they're going Green Party. I respect that.

But, considering that Black folk vote 90% Democratic, I expect them to vote for Obama, who is the most Progressive between the two, and is Black.

ESPECIALLY post race-baiting - there is no excuse. The only Black folks for Hillary now, post race-baiting are either: Handkerchief Heads or Haters.

Post race-baiting is the key. That is a dealbreaker.

Like I've said before: Black folks will take care of Negroes that help the Clintons ' Stack the Deck'.

This blogger asked:

So what you're saying is that there is no acceptable reason for voting for Hillary because of what they did in South Carolina?

That's what I'm saying.

When they race-baited Obama, it wasn't even about Obama anymore. It was about ANY future Black politician with aspirations higher than a gerrymandered Congressional Seat.

If the Clintons succeed, then they will have given the blueprint for how to defeat other Black politicians.

We are right at the cusp of a new generation of Black politicans. They are the post-Civil Rights generation, and most of them have decided, on their own, to use the same track as Obama.

That is...

They are NOT running as The Black Candidate.

They are running as The Candidate who happens to be Black.

Corey Booker. Adrian Fenty. Deval Patrick. Harold Ford, Jr., Artur Davis. Hell, even Republican Michael Steele. They all run that way.

Even those who used to run as candidates that are Black, have tried a great deal to change themselves to The Candidate who happens to be Black - I'm thinking about Congressman Jesse Jackson, Jr. He's definitely in a trick bag, because of his name - without it, he wouldn't have been elected to Congress. But, since the moment he arrived, he's been trying to turn himself into a post-Civil Rights candidate. He really is a very smart guy, with a terrific wife.

The problem with what the Clintons did was multi-fold:

1. They pretended to be the Black community's friend...who can betray you MORE - an enemy or a friend?

The racial attacks on Obama by Cunningham and the TN GOP this week? Rolling off the backs of Black folk - because we never thought they were friends in the first place. But, the Clintons? supposed friends.

2. Obama, to his credit, never really altered his message - though he was criticized by many, who thought he should have added more ' fire and brimstone' when speaking to Black audiences. Me? I thought it was the only way for Obama to keep on message and keep with consistency.

In doing so, Obama ran this campaign on his own terms, and ' The Community' spent the better part of a year - from February 2007 to January 3, 2008 - getting used to , psychologically, thinking and then accepting Barack Obama as

" The Candidate Running for President Who Happens To Be Black"

and ALL that means. That was a HUGE psychological breakthrough and quite a victory for the Obama campaign. And a victory for the future of all Post-Civil Rights Candidates.

And, just as we, The Community, were making peace with it, and getting comfortable with it, here come THE CLINTONS trying to turn Obama into THE BLACK CANDIDATE, marginalizing HIM, and, by proxy, the Black community.

THE Black Community which has been THE BASE of the Democratic Party. The Community which has been the most loyal. The Community which, through thick and thin, showed up, and fought for the Democrats, when everyone else had abandoned them.

It cut deep.

Me? I never had high impressions of The Clintons. They never were willing to expound political capital to help out 'controversial' Black nominees/appointees...and, threw them under the bus without blinking.

But, I watched, as The Clintons broke the hearts of family and friends, who were HURT, truly HURT by what they tried to do to Barack Obama....made me even most pissed at them.

Now, post South Carolina.

The use, REPEATEDLY, of Black surrogates to attack Obama - PERSONALLY.(Bob Johnson, Magic Johnson, Tubbs-Jones, Jackson-Lee, Maggie Williams etc.) Therein lies the rub; using Black folk to do your dirty work, thus being able to pretend that the mess isn't racial. Volunteering yourself for the dirty work, and then thinking that Black folk ought not to call you on it.


The MSM, of course, is deliberately skipping over the issue of WHY supporting Clinton at this point, is seen as a betrayal.

BECAUSE OF THE RACE-BAITING....that hasn't stopped, but put a Black face on it, so it's supposed to not make it so.

Despite what folks have been telling The Black Community - we know race-baiting when we see it...and, we respond accordingly.

Why shouldn't we respond to being insulted? What is it about Black folks that folks believe we should just sit there and take being continually insulted, and make it ' no big deal'?

I ask again:

Please explain to me what other ethnic group would remotely tolerate THEIR elected representative supporting the competition POST race-baiting?

Can you imagine it with ANY other group?

I Guess the Clinton Motto Is: If You Can't Win Fairly, Change the Rules

Hat tip:

From the McClatchy Washington Bureau:

Clinton aides threatened lawsuit over Texas caucuses, officials say
By Jay Root McClatchy Newspapers
Posted on Thursday, February 28, 2008

AUSTIN — The Texas Democratic Party warned Thursday that election night caucuses scheduled for next Tuesday could be delayed or disrupted after aides to Hillary Clinton threatened to sue over the party's complicated delegate selection process.

In a letter sent out late Thursday to both the Clinton and Barack Obama campaigns, Texas Democratic Party lawyer Chad Dunn warned a lawsuit could ruin the Democrats' effort to re-energize voters just as they are turning out in record numbers.

Spokesmen for both campaigns said there were no plans to sue ahead of the March 4 election.

"It has been brought to my attention that one or both of your campaigns may already be planning or intending to pursue litigation against the Texas Democratic Party,'' Dunn wrote in the letter, obtained by the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. "Such action could prove to be a tragedy for a reinvigorated Democratic process.''

Democratic sources said both campaigns have made it clear that they might consider legal options over the complicated delegate selection process, which includes both a popular vote and evening caucuses. But the sources made it clear that the Clinton campaign in particular had warned of an impending lawsuit.

"Both campaigns have made it clear that they would go there if they had to, but I think the imminent threat is coming from one campaign,'' said one top Democratic official, referring to the Clinton campaign. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity.

Another Democratic official who was privvy to the discussions confirmed that Clinton representatives made veiled threats in a telephone call this week.

"Officials from Sen. Clinton's campaign at several times throughout the call raised the specter of 'challenging the process,' the official said. "The call consisted of representatives from both campaigns and the Democratic Party.''

The source, who asked not to identified by name because he did not have authorization to speak about the matter, said Clinton 's political director, Guy Cecil, had forcefully raised the possibility of a courtroom battle.

Rest of article HERE.

It's not Obama's fault that Clinton didn't have a post-February 5th plan. And, it's not like the Texas rules were invented in the dead of night on February 5th. They've been there all along. This changing the rules in the middle of the game garbage has got to go.

UPDATE: Copy of letter from Texas Democratic Party is HERE.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Republican Party Spokesman Bill Cunningham on NPR

NPR interviewed McCain cheerleader Bill Cunningham, after his attempt to slander Obama at a McCain Rally in Ohio.

Cunningham now says that he doesn't support McCain (because of McCain's objection to his remarks).... but he now thinks he will support Hillary Clinton. Isn't that interesting. It looks like Hillary will be supported by two Republican hacks now.... Bill Cunningham and Ann Coulter.

Will Hillary Clinton now be cornered by the media and forced to denounce and reject the support of Bill Cunningham or Ann Coulter?

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

John Lewis Flips to Obama - REALLY, this time.

This is what scrolled across the screen while watching CNN. Maybe it has something to do with him getting a Primary Challenger.....hmmmmmm.....

How many will follow?

Obama and His Threat to ' Business as Usual' in Washington

Hat tip: Jack and Jill Politics

This relates to the story I posted below about Obama passing his One Millionth Donor down below, and how Obama's campaign threatens the status quo of Washington, and they don't like it.

Why the War on Obama
By Robert Parry
February 26, 2008

While some cynics still view Barack Obama’s appeal for “change” as empty rhetoric, it’s starting to dawn on Washington insiders that his ability to raise vast sums of money from nearly one million mostly small donors could shake the grip that special-interest money has long held over the U.S. government.

This spreading realization that Obama’s political movement might represent a more revolutionary change than previously understood is sparking a deepening resistance among defenders of the status quo – and prompting harsher attacks on Obama.

Right now, the front line for the Washington Establishment is Hillary Clinton’s struggling presidential campaign, which has been stunned by Obama’s political skills as well as his extraordinary ability to raise money over the Internet. Obama’s grassroots donations have negated Clinton’s prodigious fundraising advantage with big donors.

Powerful lobbies – from AIPAC to representatives of military and other industries – also are recognizing the value of keeping their dominance over campaign cash from getting diluted by Obama’s deep reservoir of small donors. It’s in their direct interest to dent Obama’s momentum and demoralize his rank-and-file supporters as soon as possible.

So, neoconservatives and other ideological movements – heavily dependent on grants from the same special interests – are now joining with the Clinton campaign to tear down Obama by depicting him as unpatriotic, un-vetted, possibly a “closet Muslim.”

Meanwhile, the Clinton campaign – having burned through $130 million and needing a $5 million emergency loan from the Clintons’ personal finances – has gone hat in hand to some of the special interests with a strong stake in protecting the Washington status quo.

For instance, campaign finance director Jonathan Mantz met with donors from the American Israel Public Affairs Committee in a Washington hotel lobby when these pro-Israel AIPAC supporters were in town for other business, the Wall Street Journal reported on Feb. 14.

The approach made sense because these pro-Israeli lobbyists remain wary of Obama’s advocacy of high-level talks with Iran, his opposition to the Iraq War, and his skimpier record of supporting Israel when compared with Hillary Clinton or John McCain.

One former Israeli official told me that the Israeli government feels it can work with Obama, Clinton or McCain, but that the Israeli lobby in the United States is adamantly opposed to Obama, preferring Clinton because “they own her.” The ex-official said the lobby has some concern, too, with McCain because of his independent streak.

Like other powerful lobbies, AIPAC is threatened by Obama’s ability to raise large sums of money from everyday Americans, thus reducing the need of Washington politicians to hold out their tin cups to AIPAC’s legendary network of wealthy donors.

Rest of article is HERE.

Think about what the author has written. Barack Obama is a threat because he has connected with THE PEOPLE, and has been fully funded by THE PEOPLE. It's articles like this that make me shake my head in disgust, and explain more than a little bit about Obama's candidacy. I believe THE PEOPLE have wanted, for a long time, to believe that they can make a difference. For so long, they have watched as THEIR GOVERNMENT pulled away from them, frustrated them, disgusted them. Made them feel as if they didn't count and that they were impotent to do anything about it. When Obama tells them that they can, it awakens a fundamental AMERICAN SPIRIT that, deep down, we all have, no matter our background.

I wonder if the MSM will pick up on this story....why do I believe the answer to this question is HELL NO.


Sometime, last night, the ONE MILLIONTH DONOR signed onto Barack Obama's campaign.


One million people who have said, I believe in this campaign.

This is the core of why I believe Obama should reject public financing. Why should he take something that will handicap him? He doesn't take lobbyist or PAC money. So, let the donors decide their funding level of his campaign.

If you'd like to join one million others:

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

The Mixed Chicks

If you are not familiar with the Mixed Chicks, you are missing out.

The Mixed Chicks = Actress, Producer, Comedienne, & Educator Fanshen Cox, and Author, Attorney, & Blogger Heidi Durrow. These were the girls who finished #1 in everything in your High School... (& perhaps college too) they were the really gifted, extraordinary students.

They co-host their own weekly podcast on Shows usually run for approximately half an hour. They usually get together to have interesting discussions about issues that impact mixed raced individuals and families.... sometimes focusing on racism and the social awkwardness that comes with being mixed or that comes with being in interracial relationships. They cover everything from racial identity, the use (or misuse) of words, to the absurdities that mixed raced people often face. Sometimes their discussions get deep and uncomfortable (metaphorically, they really strip themselves down sometimes for these discussions)...almost like intellectual/emotional S&M. (That's what makes the show work). But usually the show is a balance between humor and the uncomfortable. Some of their discussions can be a little edgy or controversial. They leave no doubt that the issue of race in America is still very real.

For a taste of a Mixed Chicks discussion, take a listen to one of their podcasts from earlier this month. This episode was a slightly different format from their usual show, because this installment was part of the Story Corps program.

You can find 3 links on my sidebar for the Mixed Chicks...yes, they have a lot of websites. But on my sidebar, you will find: 1. Lightskinned-ed girl (Heidi Durrow), 2. Mixed Chicks Blog, and 3. Mixed Chicks Podcast (scroll down to the bottom of their site for archived shows).

Post Debate - Any Thoughts?

This was a rather boring debate. Clinton did not get the killer victory that she needed (and it may be too late for that anyway).

I didn't like the swiftboat attempt on Obama. These debate moderators and news organizations should be neutral (but as I have mentioned from the beginning, the media always favors the establishment candidates).

I also didn't like Obama's pledge that he would be beholden to Israel, rather than beholden to me as an American citizen. If he wants to run for the position of Israeli Prime Minister, perhaps he should move to Israel. One of the main problems with U.S. Mideast policy is the fact that the U.S. is not impartial and is therefore not viewed as a trusted peacemaker by all of the stakeholders. As long as that situation continues, Mideast Peace will be nearly impossible to achieve.

Obama's comments suggest that we will have 4 more years of the same failed U.S. policies in that troubled region. His comments did not portend "change". It sounded more like we will support Israel at all costs, even at our own peril. That is the approach that the U.S. has been using for 30 years, and it hasn't worked.

I also didn't like his praise of the Clinton Administration for its policy on Kosovo. It was their misguided policy that has created the current conditions for war in the region. That is not praiseworthy. We are still suffering the consequences of Bill Clinton's decision to attack Yugoslavia.

This is the main part of Obama's policy positions that bothers me most- his foreign policy. He is quick to adopt the Republicrat status quo on foreign policy.... The view that the U.S. should be the global cop with an imperialist, militaristic view of international affairs. The established policy (for both Parties) has been to gain U.S. influence around the world by projecting military power.

They both gave troubling statements about Russia... they didn't seem to realize that it has been U.S. foreign policy (since the mid 1990's) that has helped to create the current conditions in Russia, both economic and political. Now they want to get tough with Russia. To me, they sounded like the Republicans. Again, it looks like we will have 4 more years of the same U.S. foreign policy, particularly as it relates to Russia, no matter who becomes the next figurehead President.

This debate reminded me of why I never originally supported Obama...

But when compared to Hillary Clinton, I support Obama 100%. This is just as much about watching Hillary go down in flames, as it is about seeing Obama become the next President. The issue of a "Black" President was never a primary issue for me... although I would like to see it. For me, having "a Black President" has never been a major factor in determining who to support.

I also didn't like his weak response to that obvious attempt by the Clinton camp to race bait, divide, and scare white voters in Ohio and Texas. I predict that this ploy (along with the attempt to swiftboat Obama using Farrakhan), along with other lies told by Clinton, will begin to take its toll on Obama.... But I am hoping that it won't be enough to allow Clinton to catch up.

Clinton did get tripped up regarding NAFTA...and that was just beautiful to watch.

Any thoughts?

More from the New York Times

Watching the Debate....Did You See How They Set Obama Up?

The slob Tim Russert set up the swiftboat attempt by raising the issue of Louis Farrakhan (who had to know that he would hurt Obama with his "endorsement"). F@ck Louis Farrakhan!

But how did this even become an issue?

Clinton and her media allies brought this up as a way to:

#1. Drive a wedge between Obama and Black Americans... by putting him in a position to "reject" Farrakhan (a man who many negroes love).

#2. For the purpose of peel White support away from Obama.

This was a swiftboat (political) assassination attempt on Barack Obama.

Hillary Can Run But Can't Hide from NAFTA

Clinton Claims That She Had Nothing To Do With Supporting NAFTA.

Oh Really?

Obama Responds to the Clinton Tirade on NAFTA

The Following Commentary From David Sirota at the Huffington Post

In response to Barack Obama's attack on NAFTA, the Hillary Clinton campaign has gone into meltdown mode. Here's Dow Jones' Marketwatch:

"Clinton's campaign fired back at Obama, charging the Illinois senator with misrepresenting Clinton's position on trade...'Recently [Obama] falsely claimed that Hillary said that NAFTA was a 'boon' to the economy. Now, Obama is resting his argument on a single paraphrase from an article written twelve years ago,' Clinton's campaign said in an emailed statement."

The Huffington Post has followed along with a laugh-out-loud piece in which the chief architects of NAFTA (many who are now wealthy corporate lawyers and lobbyists) are now saying, no, no, Hillary Clinton was really opposed to it. These are the same people, of course, who are looking for jobs in the Hillary Clinton White House.
What a total joke, really. This campaign clearly thinks we are all just a bunch of fools.

Hillary Clinton has made statements unequivocally trumpeting NAFTA as the greatest thing since sliced bread. The Buffalo News reports that back in 1998, Clinton attended the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, and thanked praised corporations for mounting "a very effective business effort in the U.S. on behalf of NAFTA." Yes, you read that right: She traveled to Davos to thank corporate interests for their campaign ramming NAFTA through Congress.

On November 1, 1996, United Press International reported that on a trip to Brownsville, Texas, Clinton "touted the president's support for the North American Free Trade Agreement, saying it would reap widespread benefits in the region."

The Associated Press followed up the next day noting that Hillary Clinton touted the fact that "the president would continue to support economic growth in South Texas through initiatives such as the North American Free Trade Agreement."

In her memoir, Clinton wrote, "Senator Dole was genuinely interested in health care reform but wanted to run for president in 1996. He couldn't hand incumbent Bill Clinton any more legislative victories, particularly after Bill's successes on the budget, the Brady bill and NAFTA."

Yes, we are all expected to just forget that, so that Hillary Clinton's campaign can manufacture supposed "outrage" that anyone would say she supported NAFTA - all at a time her chief strategist, Mark Penn, simultaneously heads a firm that is right now pushing to expand NAFTA into South America.

What a total insult to America's intelligence.


Further Reading:

As of November 2007, Clinton's position has been that she will vote to expand NAFTA.

Obama's response to Clinton's claim that she had nothing to do with NAFTA...that she never supported the deal.

Details of Hillary's Public Support for NAFTA.... What She Said, and when she said it.


Hillary On Record Supporting NAFTA

Hillary and NAFTA from Meet The Press

McCain Supporter Launches Personal Racist Attack On Obama

McCain Supporter Disparages Obama; McCain Apologizes

By Michael D. Shear

CINCINNATI -- A supporter of Arizona Sen. John McCain repeatedly used Barack Obama's middle name, Hussein, while ridiculing him as a terrorist sympathizer in an introductory speech for McCain at a rally here this morning.

Immediately afterward, former Ohio congressman and former Bush administration official Rob Portman praised the supporter, talk show host Bill Cunningham, as an "extremely important" part of the McCain campaign.

Cunningham, who is known for his right-wing, fiery rhetoric on the radio, challenged the media to "stop taking sides and begin covering Barack Hussein Obama" as they do Republicans.

He used Obama's middle name two more times and referred to him as "a hack, Chicago-style Daley politician who's picturing himself as change. When he gets done with you, all you're going to have in your pocket is change."

He then mocked foreign policy statements of "Barack Hussein Obama," calling him the "fraud from Chicago" and saying that if Obama were to be elected president he would meet with the leaders of enemy nations. He said the "world leaders who want to kill us" will be "singing Kumbaya together around the table with Barack Obama."

Later in his comments, he said there is a big difference between Secretaries of State "Condoleezza Rice and Madeleine Albright, who looks like death warmed over. I think there's a difference between Condi and Madeleine. "

He also referred to retired Gen. Wesley Clark as a "Clintonista."

McCain did not mention Cunningham's comments in his speech to the enthusiastic crowd. But afterward, in comments to reporters, McCain apologized profusely for "any disparaging remarks" made about his Democratic rivals.

"Whatever suggestion was made that was in any way disparaging to the integrity, character, honesty of either Senator Obama or Senator Clinton was wrong, and I condemn it," McCain said. "I will take responsibility and I apologize for it."
Pressed by reporters, McCain said he will "make sure nothing like that ever happens again" and said, "I absolutely repudiate such comments."

A spokesman for Obama, Bill Burton, said: "We appreciate Senator McCain's remarks. It is a sign that if there is a McCain-Obama general election, it can be intensely competitive but the candidates will attempt to keep it respectful and focused on issues."

Portman said after McCain's speech that Cunningham is "often controversial" and that it did not surprise him that Cunningham would have made news with his comments at the rally.

But on stage earlier, Portman was effusive about Cunningham's speech. "Willie, you're out of control again. So, what else is new? But we love him," Portman told the crowd. "But I've got to tell you, Bill Cunningham lending his voice to this campaign is extremely important."

The sarcastic speech by Cunningham followed comments by another supporter, a prosecutor from the Cincinnati area, who mocked Obama's lack of military service and his message of optimism.

Joe Deters called Obama the "presumptive Democratic candidate" and predicted that Obama's success will quickly fade as people see through his rhetoric.

He said that will happen "after the vortex of love for this candidate stops -- and I feel so badly for the Clintons about this, don't you? -- and everybody sobers up and says, what does this guy really stand for?"

Deters whipped up the audience of about 400 by accusing Obama of supporting policies that Republicans hate.

"How about raising your taxes? How about that?" Deters said, prompting loud boos from the crowd.

"How about universal health care?"

More boos.

"How about the Democrats fighting with each other on how quickly they will surrender to the terrorists in Iraq?"

More boos.

Deters then questioned Obama's lack of military experience. He cited McCain's well-known history of having spent five years in a Vietnamese prison cell and having two sons serving "in uniform," and then accused Obama of having never risked anything.

"The only thing he has ever risked was a filing fee for reelection," Deters said. "That's the only thing he ever risked."

Source: The Washington Post Blog


However, McCain later tried to "distance" himself from the remarks.
I think this will be the beginning of a long trend of McCain "distancing" himself from the attacks launched by his people....knowing full well what they are doing. It looks like this will be a part of McCain's campaign strategy.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Obama Gaining In Texas and Ohio?

Could this be why Clinton is going nuclear with the Obama- Osama, racist fearmongering campaign?

Clinton Launches Nasty (racist) Nuclear Attack on Obama

I am unable to type... I'm afraid I will write something that will get me into big trouble. Just follow the link.

But I will say that it's time for Howard Dean, Nancy Pelosi, Rahm Emanuel, Harry Reid, Clyburn, Durbin, Hoyer and all the rest, to get off of their butts and intervene to bring this to an end. I can't imagine that they will wait much longer, especially after this.

This is worse than anything that I can recall from even the Republicans.

At least with the NAFTA dispute.... IT WAS A DISPUTE ABOUT THE ISSUES. And Clinton cannot run from the past, when she has been qouted supporting NAFTA. (I will get to that later today). But in response, she turns around and goes outside of the actual issues, and counters with a racist, fear based smear campaign, to attempt to play on fears of White voters in Ohio and Texas...fears based on race and religion.

Pelosi, Reid and others should ask her to step aside. In fact, all of the Superdelegates should show their disapproval by abandoning her right now. By sticking with her after this attack.... Clinton's Superdelegates are indicating that they are co-signing this smear effort.

Should I start making a list of who these people are? The world should know who supports Clinton's Smear tactic.

Related Post

Tavis Smiley, SOTBU, and Barack Obama - some final thoughts

I got around to watching the SOTBU.

I've grown tired of Tavis in the past few months because of his repeated condescending commentaries on Tom Joyner insulting Black folk about their support of Barack Obama.

Unlike a lot of Black folk, I've been supporting Obama from early on.

Just recently became an Obamaholic, but I supported him with my money, time, effort, and feet months ago.

I'm tired of Tavis insulting Black folks, intimating that they can't read and choose for themsleves who they want to support.

Quite honestly, he continued that same line of bull at the SOTBU, where he was constantly condescending and questioning the ' emotionalism' of the Black Community's support of Obama.

And, isn't it interesting that Tavis sounds like a milder version of the mocking Billary that has shown up this weekend, insulting Obama AND his supporters. Interesting indeed.

My question, if I had been at the SOTBU, would have been..

I'll have to doubt the RATIONAL thought process of folks supporting someone, Hillary, who the polls have told us, a YEAR OUT


Now, explain to me the RATIONAL thought process behind supporting someone with THOSE kinds of negatives.

Folks have to make up their damn minds about Obama.

You've got those who perpetrate that him voting record is akin to Sam Brownback...which is why we can't vote for him.

Then, there are those who say he is ' too liberal'...and, to be honest, I never thought LIBERAL could be used as a bad word IN BLACK CIRCLES.

Then, there are those who bitch and whine about him not 'talking about Black issues'.

Just exactly what the hell is a Black issue?

I'll give you one that I believe IS a Black issue - retroactivity with regards to those hideous drug sentences....relates to criminal justice, and ' just-us', and the feeding of young Black men and now women to the Prison Industrial Complex.

Well, guess what? Hillary's already told you that she intends to get elected on the back of sending ANOTHER generation of young Black men and women to the Prison Industrial complex - she's AGAINST retroactivity, which puts her to the right of Scalia, and ON PAR WITH UNCLE CLARENCE.

She's ready to get elected on the backs of young Black men and women and tell me again why MY support of Obama is ' emotional'.

Obama is more progressive. Obama is the only chance of ridding ourselves of the Imperial Presidency. If Obama implements HALF of his transparency in government policies, it will transform how government is scene by the average citizen.

Obama was against this war.

Not only did she vote FOR the war, she refuses to apologize for her actions that have cost 4,000 lives, mutli-thousand permanent casualties, nearly 1 TRILLION DOLLARS that could have been used elsewhere.

She refuses to apologize for her vote, and would have had us in IRAN.

Once they race-baited Obama, it wasn't even about Obama anymore.

It was about ANY future Black politician with political aspirations higher than a safe, gerrymandered Congressional seat.

If she is allowed to racebait her way into the nomination, then this will be the future blueprint as to how to take out ANY Black politician, which is why I will NEVER vote for her. I will NEVER be complicit in setting into cement the ceiling for future Black politicians.

Tavis is SUSPECT, because, he didn't just fall off a turnip truck. Stevie Wonder could see the race-baiting being done on Obama, and he didn't say JACK about it.

A LOT of the ' usual suspects' are SUSPECT because of their silence.

If a Republican had done to Barack Obama what the Clintons did, the ' usual suspects' would have been up in arms.

As it is, they were doing Marcel Marceau impersonations.

I fully expect the GOP to go after Obama with race-baiting full throttle.

But, here's the rub...

The GOP has never pretended to be THE FRIEND of the Black community.

And, the Clintons did..but, when push came to shove, and this Uppity Negro began to beat them...

They pulled out Lee Atwater's manual and used it without abandon.

And, anyone who stands with that race-baiter AFTER she's done that to Obama is SUSPECT, A TOOL, AND NOT TO BE TRUSTED.

If the shoe fits, then Tavis should wear it, no matter how many Black Covenant books he writes.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

An Open Letter to Ralph Nader

Nader Mixes Up 2008 Race with New White House Run
Consumer champion Ralph Nader announced Sunday a fresh tilt at the White House, eight years after earning the acid hatred of Democrats for dividing the anti-Republican camp in a razor-thin vote. Denying that he was running as a "spoiler" who could hand the presidency to Republican John McCain, Nader accused both the main parties of shutting out the US public and handing the nation over to corporate interests.

"Dissent is the mother of assent, and in that context I have decided to run for president," Nader, who turns 74 on Wednesday, said on the NBC program "Meet the Press."

Full article here

Dear Mr. Nader

Speaking as someone who respects your work a great deal and who voted for you in 2004, running as a third-party candidate in this year’s presidential elections will only serve to do more harm than good to your reputation as a champion for ordinary people in the U.S.

1. The political system is set up as a winner-take-all contest between the two major parties. Until a better system is in place for people to vote for third parties that negates the spoiler effect, it would be better for you to stay out of the race and concentrate your efforts on fixing that system. Long-term, grassroots efforts for structural electoral reform such as Instant Runoff Voting do exist and have been gaining momentum nationwide. They can use a prominent, high-visibility champion. Lending your name and high profile to that cause for the long-term will only serve as a step in the right direction to reform our political system.

2. If you make an impact in the elections by threatening to siphon votes away from the eventual Democratic nominee and they eventually lose the election, you will earn the undying enmity of Democrats and many Progressive activists. Which is a shame because for all intents and purposes, these are potential political allies and followers who share much of the same goals and beliefs that you hold.

3. If, however, you do not make an impact in the elections at all, you will only serve to diminish your reputation as a consumer activist and champion of political outsiders. Not because your work as an activist has diminished in value but because many people will see and treat you as a political non-entity who does not have the type of mass following that can be of significance in a high-profile election.

There is a lot that is wrong in our two-party system and I would be one of the first to say that it is antiquated and needs serious reform so political insurgents and outsider parties can have a fair shot at participating.

However, a longshot candidacy for President where you do not have a realistic chance of winning against the candidates of either major party will accomplish very little to help the cause of reform. Sure, it might, for the short term, allow your lone voice of dissent to resonate in public forums such as debates and the editorial pages. But what happens after the elections?

What would you have accomplished in running except to become vilified among Democratic circles? A person so vilified would not be able to accomplish much politically. No matter the validity of your ideas and the power of your critique against either major party, people are not going to listen to you.

So Mr. Nader, as someone who respects you a great deal and who is pained by the prospect of seeing an activist like you vilified (or worse yet, ignored) on a mass scale this year, I am urging you to refocus your aim. Instead of running as an insurgent candidate for President, I urge you to lend your name, reputation and efforts to the cause of structural political reform. Running for President for anyone outside the two major parties with the system structured as it currently stands is a waste of time, energy and resources.

I do not see such efforts as accomplishing anything more than garnering publicity for a few months and then afterwards everything will go back to being business as usual. Serious, structural political reform for the long term is a much more worthy goal.

The Liberal Arts Dude

UPDATE: A blog post about Ralph Nader and Instant Runoff Voting

More on Instant Runoff Voting

Chuck Todd On The Delegate Battle

Hat Tip:

Update on developments in the race:

Obama has a commanding lead in Vermont.... so the Clinton folks won't be able to claim a sweep on March 4th as they had originally hoped.

Obama has now matched Clinton in Texas...and from the polls that I see (at Dave Leip, Real Clear politics and Pollster) he seems to be maintaining momentum and is behind only a point or two in most poll results. That is probably more of an advantage to Obama, because he should get the hidden boost that usually comes from African American voters. They tend to be concentrated in smaller areas and are notoriously hard for polling groups to factor in. In order for Clinton to feel comfortable, she would have to consistently show leads of more than 5 or 6%...and she's not doing it. And even if she does win Texas, ....and certainly if she wins by a slim margin, Obama could end up with more delegates from the State.

Ohio is also tightening, but Clinton has a comfortable lead.

As things stand right now... I'd say that if Obama wins more delegates in Texas, and takes Vermont....and if she wins Ohio and Rhode Island...but doesn't really crush Obama....then it would basically be a repeat of the February 5th split decision. And that's not what Clinton needs.... she needs to win big in all States.

March 4th, could finally bring an end to the Democratic primary madness...
But something tells me that she won't go away after a split decision. What she will likely do in the case of a split decision is move the goal posts back to Pennsylvania on April 22nd, where she would have an advantage (ex. closed primary, etc). The only problem with that is Obama will likely win the Mississippi contest which takes place before Pennsylvania.

The Clinton people have to really think about when to move out of the way. Because if you really look at where we are... we are now in a 3-way race for the White House... with Obama having to deal with fighting McCain and Clinton at the same time.
I know that Clinton and McCain are good buddies, but I hope they aren't attempting to tag team Obama.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

My Take On Tavis Smiley & The State of the Black Union

I believe Tavis Smiley started out with good intentions when he began hosting these events. However, they have now turned into irrelevant talkathons for the Black elite. It's more like an orgy of Black foolishness.... simply providing a showcase for self appointed and self anointed "Black Leaders" to blame Mr. White Man for all of the problems in so-called "Black America", when in fact, the source of many of the problems facing Black communities comes from within.

Tavis, his bogus Covenant Movement, and his efforts to use the event as some sort of validation for "real blackness", has become a tired affair. I have yet to see the event turn the mirror around and focus on problems that come from within the so called "Black community" and "Black culture", and to create relevant solutions. Because after all... it's the White Man doing all of this..... he's the boogey man that causes all things bad.

They just talk, showboat, have their Black themed celebration, and not a damn thing gets done in any real sense. The State of the Black Union has turned into a business, much like what the wider Civil Rights establishment has become. It's a forum for Tavis to sell his books. I think most of the annoying Negroes on the program simply enjoy seeing themselves on television.

And Tavis's antics regarding Obama have been extremely annoying. Tavis has quickly dropped down on the list of Black folk who I actually appreciate. I'm tired of this "you have to be validated by us to prove that you are really Black" bullsh@t. I'm glad Obama skipped the "Black Party". Tavis would have put Obama in a position where he would have been branded the "Black Candidate" at a crucial time when he is trying (for good reason) to avoid it. And this is exactly why Clinton decided to show up this was a tactical maneuver to try to put pressure on Obama to show up... so that Billary could put him into that Box of being "The Black Candidate". Obama was smart to stay away...especially considering the fact that you don't know what kind of stupid comment one of these "Black Leaders" might make...which could sink Obama....just for being associated with the nonsensical event.

The bottom line is, Obama is running for the Presidency of the whole United States... and not for the office of Black President or Negro-in-Chief. And the man is in the middle of running a historic campaign. I think that takes precedence over Tavis's Black Elite House Party. Author Chris Chambers put it beautifully in his take on the subject.

Clinton is going to the event simply as an attempt to win a few Black votes, and to create a "gotcha" situation for Obama. I guarantee you that during the next debate...she will bring up the issue of Obama not showing up to participate in the Tavis Smiley event. But I am hoping that this tactic doesn't work...just like her other attempts to trip up Obama. But why is Tavis facilitating Clinton's tactical moves? It's no coincidence that Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, an ardent Clinton supporter, is part of the "State of the Black Union" panel. The Black Elite has come out strongly in favor of Hillary Clinton (all the more reason why I want her to lose).

Tavis Smiley knowingly put Obama in a bad position on this issue. By showing up... Obama would be tagged as "The Black Candidate", which helps Clinton...and it's exactly what she has been wanting to do. On the other hand, by not showing up, Obama somehow wouldn't be "Black enough", because he isn't bowing down to "Black Leaders"- and of course, this helps Clinton as well, because she can then use the absence against him. See how this works? See the kind of Catch 22 they tried to put him in?

I watched several of these programs in recent years, but I will skip this one. I was flipping through the channels and caught a 5 minute snippet on C-Span (i'm a C-span addict), but I had to change the channel after Dick Gregory made a joke about Black men raping women. Just the kind of imagery we need Mr. Gregory. Just what I need as a man with Brown skin. More negative bullsh@t imagery and stereotypes to deal with.

Yeah... it's a bitch being Black, but I believe today, the source of most of the grief comes from within, particularly from the Black elite.... and not from "The Man", Jim Crow, or the KKK.

I'm sure they talked about Hurricane Katrina.... but I wonder when they will talk about Hurricane Negro.

The Trend Lines in Texas and Ohio

Look at that trend line for Texas. More often than not, that kind of surge has usually = good things for Obama. I will be looking to see if the trend holds over the next several days. This is definitely good news for Obama, considering that he doesn't even have to win the State to win more delegates.

Obama's ascension in Ohio is not as sharp. But his goal in Ohio should be to close the gap and minimize her net delegate gain....perhaps to the point of nearly cancelling it out. But if he can get within 1, 2, or 3 percentage points in the polls over the next few days (although I don't see that happening), and if he can maintain that level for a while, he will actually have a chance to win. Large urban areas in States like Ohio (Columbus, Toledo, Cleveland, Cincinnati) are notoriously hard to measure in polls, even when polls attempt to compensate and factor in the votes from cities. Often the candidate with more support from minority and urban areas gets a sizable hidden boost on election night.

A Roundup of the Weeks Events

Another great show from

A great line-up of guests cover the Texas Democratic Debate, The Republican & Democratic Primary Races, John McCain's woes, and more. They also gave their opinions of Barack Obama. One guest claimed that Obama needed to do more to explain his plans for the Country. (Even though Obama's policy positions and plans have been spelled out...and are on his website). But the critique seemed to focus more on the fact that Obama needs to go into more detail in public. Somehow these critics want Obama to provide every single detail in a one minute soundbite, when the same standard never seems to apply to the other candidates.

On Point Commentator Jack Beatty holds court once again.

Interesting discussion.

Listen Here

John McCain's Relationship With Lobbyist - It's About More Than Just Sex

A Hole In McCain's Denials of Corruption?

Apparently Newsweek has found one

The real issue for McCain is the unethical relationship with lobbyist Vicki Iseman- doing favors for an individual who represented a company- Paxson Communications - run by a campaign contributor, while he was the chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee. Essentially McCain used the power of his position to do political favors. The Sex (if he got any) was just the side show.

Newsweek is reporting that McCain has a hole in his defense. Apparently he forgot about a lawsuit from 5 years ago, where he may have actually told the truth. His statements then seem to contradict what he is saying now in his defense.

These are legitimate questions for a man who has adopted the theme of cleaning up Government in Washinton, and has positioned himself as a Republican good guy who wants campaign finance reform.

Is this the "straight talk" that McCain has been promising?

Other Problems For John McCain

The McCain campaign is in a little trouble with the FEC regarding a possible improper loan transaction that McCain made in late 2007 when his campaign was on life support. Read More Here.

Also.... Congressman Rick Renzi of Arizona - A friend of McCain & A Member of the McCain Camp (in Arizona)- has just been indicted in connection with an improper land deal, and other possible charges.

See a more detailed report regarding Renzi from the Washington Post

More from The Daily Kos

A Documentary About Bill Clinton's Love For Black People

Watch all of the excerpts from this excellent award winning PBS documentary. (best viewed with RealPlayer option)

The full documentary is no longer available online, but there is still plenty of video. The entire 2 hour documentary is available for rent or purchase at most retailers. Most major libraries also carry the film. I have seen the documentary approximately 6 times, and it punches me in the stomach with the same power everytime I watch it.

It's interesting that Clinton risked everything to stop a white Civil war in Eastern Europe that was barely a genocide...(only a few thousand killed 3,000-10,000 is most often mentioned, which occurred in the Kosovo Civil War over a 2 year period). In fact Clinton sent the U.S. & NATO into 2 wars in the Balkans (even to the point of risking a wider war with major powers), yet hundreds of thousands of Africans meant zero, when the risk of taking action would have been politically and militarily small for the U.S. and other Western Countries.

I'm not attempting to diminish the deaths in Kosovo. By all accounts, it was a particularly nasty Civil War. And Slobodan Milosevic was a maniacal thug who proved difficult to negotiate with. But in terms of the magnitude of the genocide, there is no comparison between Kosovo and Rwanda, or Kosovo and several other genocides, such as the genocide ongoing in the Congo, or previous genocides such as Sierra Leone, East Timor, and others that the U.S. turned a blind eye to...(or at least seemed indifferent to).

Friday, February 22, 2008

Russia Threatens War Over Kosovo

Serbs Protesting Kosovo Independence Declaration

I have been writing about this for years; mainly trying to get peace groups to head this off. Unfortunately Iraq has distracted the Peace Community and the world's attention away from other hot spots. This highlights the importance of being proactive about mediating conflicts before situations are allowed to deteriorate.

(back in November of 2007, I put together a list of the World's Biggest hot spots. Kosovo made the list, but it has quickly climbed to near the top in recent days).

Russia's tough talk is more about allowing the Bear to growl, than allowing it to bite (I hope). However, the U.S. has fought two wars in the Balkans, and the U.S. and Russia came extremely close to a military conflict in 1999, during the U.S.'s second attack on what was then Yugoslavia. Russia is not all about "talk" on this issue. Russian troops have been sent into Kosovo before (uninvited). There is no reason to believe that this couldn't happen again.

The Kosovo mess is yet another remnant of Bill Clinton and his misguided & aggressive foreign policy. This is why U.S. and European military involvement there without a stronger consensus and better cooperation with the Russians and the UN, was so shortsighted. I knew that it would lead to problems later on and that Kosovo (once a protectorate of the U.S.) would probably make a bid for independence, with U.S. and NATO backing.

Russia's NATO representative, Dmitry Rogozin, stated over the weekend that Russia may see that it has no choice but to use force, if NATO and the EU continued down this road (meddling in Eastern European affairs, supporting independence movements in sovereign countries, among other things). However, other reports indicate that, after the statement, Rogozin seemed to back away somewhat from the earlier message. But the statement still set off alarm bells around the World.

This is the culmination of the U.S. treating Russia like a poor little step-child for the past 15 years or so, giving the country no respect and rubbing the Cold War in their faces at every opportunity. Russians (who once leaned towards the U.S. & the West) were turned off by this treatment, and eventually turned inward and became more Nationalistic. Soon, Russians wanted to gain back the kind of prestige that they once had during the Soviet years, when they were not pushed around. This anti-American backlash provided former KGB thugs with enough support to seize power in Russia in the late 1990's, and they have been able to hold on ever since, due to continued U.S. arrogance. So in essence, the U.S. has unwittingly brought hardliners to power in Russia, which has in turn led to a rollback of Democracy there.

I just can't understand why the U.S. chooses to instigate and foment war and tensions in Europe, destabilize relations with Russia, expand NATO, meddle in the internal affairs of sovereign nations (when other tactics and forms of support may be more appropriate), invade Countries that are no real threat to the United States, anger its enemies as well as its friends around the world, shoot down satellites that don't need shooting down just to show off its military capability, etc.... when we have so many domestic, a rehab of social security, fundamental improvements to infrastructure, an economy that is slowly tanking, huge deficits and a national debt that will soon become unmanageable, sky high gas prices, stagnant wages, troubled schools, a housing mess, better services for Veterans, a globalized economy of which the U.S. is not adapting to fast enough, climate change, etc... the list goes on and on.

Now we are facing the possibility of a third war in the Balkans since the 1990's. This is how the Serbs put it back in December when negotiations failed.

This is yet another example of foreign policy that the Clinton's and the Bush's are in lock step agreement on. The war in Yugoslavia was one of the key issues that turned me against Bill Clinton (although there were many others). This is one of the reasons why Hillary must not become the Democratic nominee or God forbid the next President of the United States. When you put Bill and Hillary together a pattern eventually emerges- that is, a pattern of bad judgements, particularly on matters of foreign policy. Bill and Hillary's foreign policy is not that much different from the Neo-Conservative Republican foreign policy. If you look at the goals of the PNAC (Project for a New American Century)- The seeds of the Bush doctrine- you will find several policy points that are in line with the Clinton's view on foreign affairs.

Well, thanks Slick Willy (and Bush & Co.) for yet another foreign policy mess.

Hopefully this situation can be diffused calmly, but Bush & Co. gives me no confidence whatsoever in their diplomatic abilities. They know how to start wars. But they aren't very good at heading them off or ending them once they have begun.

This event (the independence declaration) is not a shock. Everyone already knew that it was coming. However, the consequences of such a decision were always the problem, because of their unpredictability. Kosovo has been an autonomous protectorate since 1999, so for all practical purposes, it was already in control of many of its own affairs. But for the Serbs, it's about honor, and the history and tradition that they have invested in Kosovo, as well as an issue of territorial integrity.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

The Texas Democratic Debate - The Verdict

Update: So, Who Won The Debate? Check The Results of the Daily Kos Poll.


My original Post-debate comments

As expected... the corporate media did its best to help Hillary Clinton tonight, but there was no doubt who came away looking better after this debate.

The bottom line is, Clinton needed a knockout victory in this debate to help halt Obama's momentum going into March 4th. But she came up short. In fact, she didn't even score a knockdown, let alone the knockout blow that she needed.

Obama, on the other hand, was polished tonight. He gave one of the best debate performances to date, and it came at a time when he really needed to look good, particularly for voters in Texas and Ohio. Going into the debate, Obama needed to hold his own. But he went above and beyond that tonight. Not only did he hold his ground, but he out maneuvered Clinton, and looked very Presidential in the process.
If by some miracle he wins Texas, his campaign staff will have to look back at this debate as a crucial moment.

Obama had a response for every attack and cheap shot that Clinton threw his way. She continued with the same tired "experience" argument... the same "day one" nonsense that has not worked for weeks. You would think her campaign handlers would have revamped her message by now. Obama was ready for everything she had...which, as it turns out, was nothing new.

Also, when asked about the delegate debacle, Hillary lied and claimed that she was "not worried about that"... that it was no big deal to her. Yet, at this very moment, her operatives are scheming, hoping to take the nomination by underhanded means (if they can). So it's obviously a big issue for her.

The best part?

When the crowd responded with Booos to Hillary Clinton's arrogant attack in which she claimed that Obama's theme of "Change You Can Believe In" really stood for "Change That You Can Xerox". That attack pertained to Obama's use of words that were previously used by Deval Patrick, the Governor of Massachusetts and a friend of Obama' well as being the Co-Chair of Obama's National Campaign. It was Patrick who suggested that Obama use the line.

The media attempted to help Clinton by grossly overplaying what was probably her only strong moment in the debate - when she offered conciliatory comments in the last 20 seconds of the program. Sheila Jackson Lee (yet another CBC Clinton supporter) and the boneheaded pundits from MSNBC and CNN claimed that this was a "glorious moment" for Clinton and suggested that this was where she won the debate. They claimed that the comments drew a standing ovation. WRONG! The standing ovation came because it was the end of the debate. STOP THE LYING AND HYPERBOLE! This is not journalism or first rate reporting. It's infotainment run amuck. All of the spin is enough to give you motion sickness.

Below is a live blog roundup of the debate, taken from the (Read from the bottom up)


By Lisa Anderson


The stakes couldn't be higher in Austin, Texas tonight as Sens. Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama go one-on-one in a Democratic presidential debate sponsored by CNN and airing at 7 PM (CST).

I am blogging for you from my post in New York City, while my colleagues in Austin cover the action on the ground in the Longhorn State.

The crucial, delegate-rich Texas and Ohio primaries are coming up on March 4 and new Washington Post-ABC News polls show the two candidates locked in a Texas tie, while Clinton of New York shows a narrow lead in Ohio over her Senate colleague from Illinois.

Tonight's debate represents their first face-off since their meeting in Hollywood on Jan. 31. They will have only one more planned televised debate--February 26 on MSNBC--before what are shaping up as very close contests in Texas and Ohio.

Clinton, who has lost the last 10 state primaries and caucuses to Obama, desperately needs to win, and win big. To do that, she must use this debate to convince voters that she truly is not only tough enough and experienced enough for the nation's top job, but diplomatic enough to overcome the polarizing image that dogs her.

Obama, who has been on an impressive roll, wants to keep that roll going through the next big contests and beyond. To do that, he must effectively counter Clinton's charges that "the best words in the world aren't enough unless you match them with action." Or, in Texas parlance, that he's all hat and no cattle. And, he must avoid getting lost in the verbal weeds when talking about policy.

Given what has transpired in the last three weeks, it will be interesting to see if the sarsaparilla sweetness that drenched the last encounter between these two will continue or if they are now locked and loaded for a showdown tonight.



While they may have been trying to draw more sharply the differences between them, Clinton and Obama Thursday night succeeded more in showcasing the similarities in their positions.

As hard as they tried to elbow each other, more often than not they ended up saying that they "agreed" with each other.

Given the fact that polls show them deadlocked in Texas and extremely close in Ohio--the next two big primaries on March 4--there seemed to be little in this debate that promised to significantly shift those numbers.

Neither candidate stumbled and both got off some good lines. Some of Clinton's best lines, in fact, were her last and, indeed, she got the very last word in the debate.

Before Texans and Ohioans vote, Obama and Clinton will have one more televised go at each other during the MSNBC debate next Tuesday.

Thank you for joining me tonight.


9:45pm--ONE MORE QUESTION.......

What was the moment that tested you the most, the candidates are asked.

Obama notes he was raised by a single mom, made mistakes in his youth but learned to "take responsibility" not only for his own actions but how to help others. His cumulative experience as a community organizer and attorney,he said, is what helps him to lead and bring people togetrher.

Said Clinton, wryly, "Well I think everybody here knows" I've had some challenges in my life." The audience laughs. But, she said, nothing she has been through is as tough as some of the things she's seen, including badly wounded soldiers coming home from Iraq.."The hits I've taken in life are nothing compared to what goes on everyday" in the lives of people around the country.

No matter what happens, she said of herself and Obama, "We're going to be fine. We have strong support from our families and firends. I just hope we'll be able to say the same thing about the American people and that's what this election should be about."

Obama appeared to open his mouth to add something, but Campbell Brown abruptly ended the debate .

To his credit, Obama nonethless, graciously held Clinton's chair as she rose to leave. She smiled. After all, she had the last word.

And that was that.


9: 36pm--MUM'S THE WORD

The subject is secrecy. Obama is asked by CNN's John King why he has not disclosed what earmarks he has proposed in the budget. Not true, Obama said. He brushed the question away with a promise that he'd get the info for King asap. "I've been consistently in favor of more disclosure about earmarks," he said, making sure they are "not done in the dark of night" and will push for that when he's president.

Clinton says she's going to get us back to "fiscal responsibility," and did we mention middle-class tax cuts, college affordability and universal healthcare? On those counts, she said, she's more than a match for anything McCain can throw at her.



Surge or no surge, Clinton will begin withdrawing troops within 60 days of her inauguration and make the Iraqis get serious about carrying their own water.

Obama admits that violence has been reduced in Iraq since the surge began surging. "But, this is a tactical victory imposed upon a huge strategic blunder," he said. Moreover, he said, it will be easier for the candidate opposed to Iraq from the beginning to debate and draw a contrast with John McCain. The Arizona senator and presumptive GOP presidential nominee, Obama said, has indicated the U.S. may have troops in Iraq for 100 years.

Time for another commercial break.....



Clinton quickly assures the questioner that she's the one who's ready on Day One-- then insists on getting back to her healthcare answer which was so rudely interrupted.

Obama points out that Massachusetts, which has a universal healthcare plan, has had to exempt 20 percent of the uninsured in the state because they simply could not pay for insurance, despite the threat of fines.

Clinton says programs like Social Security and Medicaid would never have worked had everyone not been obliged to contribute. The same thing for universal healthcare, she said. "I want universal healthcare," she added, verbally stamping her feet.

Campbell Brown struggles to get them back to the leadership question.

Clinton launches into another litany of her accomplishments, including serving on the Senate Armed Services Committee. "Just this week," she pointed out, we had elections in Pakistan..change of government in Cuba, independence in Kosovo and our embassy in Serbia set on fire. "When you think about everything that is going to happen...I believe I am prepared and ready on Day One to be the commander in chief, to be the president...And that is what I'm putting forth to the voters."

'I wouldn't be running if I didn't think I was prepared to be commander in chief," Obama countered. He stresses that he will use the military wisely and harks back to Clinton's vote to authorize the war in Iraq.

By opposing the war, he said, "I believe I showed the judgment to be commander in chief and Sen. Clinton was wrong in her judgment." In fact, he basically said, he has shown the best judgment in almost everything. So there--again.



Obama stresses that he and Clinton agree that everybody needs healthcare, they just want to get there in different ways. He says he knows that everyone wants healthcare, but not everyone can afford it and that's why he thinks mandatory insurance is not the way to go.

Clinton opens her mouth, raises her hand and clearly is dying to respond--but Campbell Brown cuts her off to go to commericial....If Clinton's smile gets any tighter she'll need the Jaws of Life.


9:01 pm--"COPYCAT?"

Asked about the charge that he plagarized a speech from Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick, Obama scoffed. "The notion that I stole the line from someone who is my national co-chair, who gave me the line, is silly," he said, saying the "silly season" has set in.

Clinton swooped in like a raptor . "If your candidacy is going to be about words, they should be your own words," she snapped Then, she came in for the kill, "Lifting passages from someone else's speeches isn't change you can believe in, it's Xeroxing," she said, to a chorus of boos.



John King asks them about the difference between their jabs at each other on the stump and c the cordiality on display so far tonight,
He asks Clinton if she things Obama is all hat and no cattle. She says she thinks the next president will have to be less hat and more cattle, without commenting directly on Obama's haberdashery or livestock.
However, she stresses "there are differences between our records and our experiences." She notes nastily that one of Obama's surrogates was tongue-tied recently when asked to name one of his accomplishments.

"I think actions do speak louder than words," Obama shot back and began listing all the great things he accomplished in his political career so far, both in the Illinois legislature and in the U.S. Senate.

"I do think there is a fundamental difference between us in how change comes about," he said, noting he's been endorsed by every major newspaper in the state of Texas. He said his rival has implied that "somehow they've been duped" and have yet to see the reality of things.

You need more than policy positions to govern, he said pointedly You also need to inspire.



Both Obama and Clinton agree--yes again--that everyone should learn to speak English in America, although bilingual education is an important aid in that effort.
Obama also wants English speaking children to learn other languages.

So far, a bit sharp elbowing at the top, but mostly they seem to agree on just about everything--except who should be president....

Commercial Break...



Clinton said the U. of Texas at Brownsville would wind up with part of its campus cut off by the proposed border fence with Texas, calling some of these plans absurd. "There may be some places where a physical barrier is appropriate" but as with so much the "Bush administration has gone off the deep end," she said.
"There is technology than can be used instead of a physical barrier," Clinton said, noting that the views of the people who live along the border should be heard.

Obama said, "Well, this is an area where Sen. Clinton and I almost totally agree." Clinton nodded her head and smiled slightly.



Asked if the canadidates would stop raids on illegal immigrants--a huge issue in Texas--Clinton emphasized a more humane approach that keeps parents from being ripped suddenly from their children and that would establish a path to citizenship.
Obama agreed and added that it is "absolutely critical" that we tone down the rhetoric in the immigration debate that leads to discrimination. He also wants to institute comprehensive reform that cracks down on employers who hire undocumented workers but doesn't make the path to legal citizenship so expensive and difficult that people are discouraged from trying.


8:25 pm--ECONOMICS 101--AGAIN

Obama said he and Clinton agree on many economic issues, the question is "how to get it done?"

A priority must be to overcome the influence of special interests, he said, noting that's an area where he thought he and Clinton slightly diverge.
Clinton also agreed that they agree on a number of things, including adjusting the tax code to help the middle class. Clinton launched into a litany of all the other things she would do, such as creating new "green jobs," put people to work rebuilding the infrastructure and "end George Bush's war on science."


Clinton says she's ready to work with a new Cuban government and "make it very clear if Cuba moves toward democracy and freedom for its people" the U.S. will work with them.

Obama said he's ready to meet with the next leader of Cuba--with preparation and an agenda--saying the US should talk not just with its friends. This is where he got into trouble on another occasion, when Hillary jumped him, insinuating he was naive for saying he would talk to any leader without condition.
This time he seemed to side-step that, but Clinton wouldn't let him off the hook that easily. "There has been this difference between us about when the president should offer a meeting, without conditions....," she said, stressing that while the unilateral arrogance of the Bush administration is over, prudence is also in order.
Obama reiterated that "preparation is important," but said the president must take a more active role in diplomacy than in the past.
So there.


8:03 pm--AND THEY'RE OFF

Obama won the coin toss and opted to go second with his opening statement, so Clinton has begun with a chat about her happy memories of the Longhorn State, about how Rep. Barbara Jordan and Gov. Ann Richards were such inspirations to her. Then she launched into how she has pioneered health care for children and families and will continue to do that in the White House. She heartily invited the people of Texas and Ohio to help her "continue to make a difference" for Americans.

Obama, in his turn, assured the audience that he and Clinton were friends before this campaign and will be friends when it's over. Then he talked about how he has encountered families whose mortgages have doubled, people who work two jobs and can't afford health care, communities devastated by jobs shipped overseas. And families whose loved ones have been lost in "a war I believe never should have been authorized." Zing into Clinton, who smiled tightly but looked taken aback.
"Washington is a place where good ideas go to die," Obama said, because "too many politicians are interested in scoring political points rather than" resolving differences to get things done.

So, the gloves are off from the get-go tonight.

U.S. Presidents - Where They Rank

I got the idea to do this on Presidents day... My view of how the Presidents rank, based on 5 general categories: Super Greats, Greats, Significant, Average-Mediocre, Poor-Worst. This list is not in any way an endorsement of any of the policies created and supported by these Presidents, or any of the actions they took while in office. This was a list put together in the context of the Presidency...

How would you rank them? Could you imagine an Obama ending up near the top? Would that be possible with the Country as divided as it is today?

The Super Greats

Abraham Lincoln, George Washington, Franklin D. Roosevelt

The Greats

Thomas Jefferson, Woodrow Wilson, Harry Truman, Dwight Eisenhower, JFK


Benjamin Harrison, Teddy Roosevelt, Gerald Ford, John Adams, Ronald Reagan, James Monroe, James Polk, Jimmy Carter, Ulysses S. Grant, William Clinton, Lyndon Johnson


George H. W. Bush, Franklin Pierce, James Madison, Andrew Jackson, Grover Cleveland, William Taft, Calvin Coolidge, James Buchanan, John Quincy Adams, William Henry Harrison, Zachary Taylor, Rutherford B. Hayes, John Tyler, Millard Fillmore, James Garfield, Chester Arthur, William McKinley


Martin Van Buren, Warren G. Harding, Richard Nixon, George W. Bush, Herbert Hoover, Andrew Johnson

O'Reilly doesn't WANT to go on a LYCHING PARTY against Michelle Obama, BUT.........

From Media Matters:

On his radio show:

Summary: In a discussion of recent comments made by Michelle Obama, Bill O'Reilly took a call from a listener who stated that, according to "a friend who had knowledge of her," Obama " 'is a very angry,' her word was 'militant woman.' " O'Reilly later stated: "I don't want to go on a lynching party against Michelle Obama unless there's evidence, hard facts, that say this is how the woman really feels. If that's how she really feels -- that America is a bad country or a flawed nation, whatever -- then that's legit. We'll track it down."


Oh Really, O'Reilly?

WHY is his racist ass still on the air?

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

John McCain - Playa?

The NYTimes is reporting that there are questions about John McCain's ' relationship' with a lobbyist.

As per the

For McCain, Self-Confidence on Ethics Poses Its Own Risk
Published: February 21, 2008

WASHINGTON — Early in Senator John McCain’s first run for the White House eight years ago, waves of anxiety swept through his small circle of advisers.

A female lobbyist had been turning up with him at fund-raisers, visiting his offices and accompanying him on a client’s corporate jet. Convinced the relationship had become romantic, some of his top advisers intervened to protect the candidate from himself — instructing staff members to block the woman’s access, privately warning her away and repeatedly confronting him, several people involved in the campaign said on the condition of anonymity.

When news organizations reported that Mr. McCain had written letters to government regulators on behalf of the lobbyist’s client, the former campaign associates said, some aides feared for a time that attention would fall on her involvement.

Mr. McCain, 71, and the lobbyist, Vicki Iseman, 40, both say they never had a romantic relationship. But to his advisers, even the appearance of a close bond with a lobbyist whose clients often had business before the Senate committee Mr. McCain led threatened the story of redemption and rectitude that defined his political identity.

It had been just a decade since an official favor for a friend with regulatory problems had nearly ended Mr. McCain’s political career by ensnaring him in the Keating Five scandal. In the years that followed, he reinvented himself as the scourge of special interests, a crusader for stricter ethics and campaign finance rules, a man of honor chastened by a brush with shame.

But the concerns about Mr. McCain’s relationship with Ms. Iseman underscored an enduring paradox of his post-Keating career. Even as he has vowed to hold himself to the highest ethical standards, his confidence in his own integrity has sometimes seemed to blind him to potentially embarrassing conflicts of interest.

Methinks the Bible Thumpers won't like this.....AS IF they needed another reason to not like McCain.....and, somewhere...Mitt Romney is PISSED!