Category Archives: Barack Obama

>Et Tu, Obama?????

>ZOMG.

Is that a Detroit Red Wings Jersey???!!!!!!

This gives me pause. A Red Wings fan for president??!!! Never!!!!

Just kidding. I’ll overlook Obama’s lapse in judgment this once. But when he comes to Nashville for the second debate next week, I’d better see a Nashville Predators jersey in his hands!

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Filed under Barack Obama, Nashville Predators

>Return Of The Wedge Issue

>[UPDATE]: Heh. The New York Times agrees with me. Imagine that.

Okay, folks. If you liked the culture wars, you’re gonna love seeing them drag on for another four years. War on Christmas, beeyatches!!!!!
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Last night’s speech by John McCain was so lackluster, it took real effort to keep from switching to, oh, I dunno, a World Series of Poker rerun. As one commenter at Eschaton posted, “the crowd went mild.”

And what was up with the green screen? Have they learned nothing?

John McCain has already been overshadowed by Sarah Palin. I’ve had fun taking potshots at Palin this week: the puppy killer, the slutty daughter, the podunk town she ran that is supposedly the perfect proving ground for the White House. But she’s a far more effective speaker than McCain, prompting more than one person to wonder: At what point will Palin drop McCain?

Ouch.

But really what Sarah Palin has done is bring the evangelical base back into the voting booth. And along with them come those rancorous, divisive social issues. Karl Rove is ecstatic. 

I really didn’t think this election would be about gays and abortion; I mean, after eight years of this crap who isn’t sick of being hammered over the head by an issue that has absolutely no bearing on jobs, gas prices, healthcare, the mortgage crisis, or any of the other real issues affecting people’s daily lives?

Aren’t we sick of being manipulated by divisive social issues? Haven’t we had enough of that crap?

Apparently not. At least, the Republican Party doesn’t seem to think so.

And here’s where I see an opportunity for Barack Obama. The whole point of the “Yes We Can” message was to say, let’s move past the politics of divisive wedge issues and work together to solve the real problems challenging American families.

Here’s an excerpt from Obama’s January 27 speech after he won the South Carolina primary:

It’s the politics that uses religion as a wedge and patriotism as a bludgeon, a politics that tells us that we have to think, act and even vote within the confines of the categories that supposedly define us, the assumption that young people are apathetic, the assumption that Republicans won’t cross over, the assumption that the wealthy care nothing for the poor and that the poor don’t vote, the assumption that African-Americans can’t support the white candidate, whites can’t support the African-American candidate, blacks and Latinos cannot come together. We are here tonight to say that that is not the America we believe in.

Yes, my friends, that is change we can believe in. And that is not what I’m hearing from the Republican Party these days.

Adding Sarah Palin to the ticket did not offer any change from the past four years. To the contrary, it showed us that if elected, the debate of the next four years will look exactly like that of the past eight: more wrangling over “activist judges” and Roe v. Wade, more rancor over funding for abstinence-only education and who’s wearing a flag pin (and by the way, last night John McCain was not).

We can expect more Dr. David Hager-type appointments to key posts affecting women’s health, and more Monica Goodlings in the Justice Department. Sarah Palin is George W. Bush in a dress, so if you’ve liked debating gay marriage while American jobs are shipped to China and India, then by all means go right ahead and support the GOP ticket.

As for me: I’m sick of these stupid distractions. I’m sick of Rove-style wedge issues that allow the corporatists in Washington to raid our treasury and undermine our economy.

So, my advice to Barack Obama is: get back on message. I’m sick of politics as usual, wedge issues, gays-guns-and-God. Surely I’m not the only one.

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Filed under 2008 presidential election, Barack Obama, Sarah Palin

>So It’s Biden

>And CNN is repeating that “articulate and bright” statement. It’s 7 am.

Geeez.

Now CNN is running the McCain campaign’s “response” ad to the Biden announcement. It’s nice that the McCain campaign doesn’t actually have to pay for any advertising, since it will run as a news story. At some point management at these news channels will realize they’re cannibalizing themselves by running campaign ads as news stories. Something about why buy the cow when the milk is free?

But I digress.

I’m still mulling this decision. I know Biden will not please the netroots crowd, with his support for the war and also the bankruptcy bill. Those Hillary holdouts will no doubt stamp their feet and shout that they’re voting for McCain now. This argument still makes no sense to me–you think that will teach the Democratic Party a lesson or something? What are you, five years old? Grow up.

Biden is a Roman Catholic and while I don’t have a problem with that, we should be prepared for another round of Catholic League types denying him communion. That’s a given. Biden is a tough talker, so I would hope that those smears from the right will get some kind of immediate response. I don’t mind that he’s considered something of a loose cannon–that stuff’s all just partisan spinning, and you can’t beat the gaffes that McCain has given us so far.

No one on the left seriously thought Obama would pick Dennis Kucinich to be his running mate, so I think we were all prepared for a choice not geared for our needs.

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Filed under Barack Obama, Joe Biden

>IOKIYAR … On Steroids!

>It was only a matter of time before the partisans at Fox News came up with this one:

Fox News: “Is Obama Bashing ‘American Dream’ By Bashing McCain’s 7 Homes?”

On Fox News’ Your World, host Neil Cavuto defended John McCain’s inability to recall the number of homes he owns by attacking critics who have sought to highlight McCain’s failure. He opened the segment by asking, “Well, instead of slamming McCain, is Obama really bashing the American Dream?”

Dude, you’re on the side that keeps bashing the American Dream, with your “elitist” slurs and attacks on Obama’s education. And I don’t know about you, but the guy raised by a single mother who attended school on a scholarship is more representative of the American Dream to me than the one who dumped his wife for a wealthy heiress. But I guess it depends on what you mean by “dream.”

I’ve always been amazed at the chutzpah of conservatives to attack their opponents for being what they themselves are to the 100th degree. Look, we aren’t voting for dog catcher here. This is the president of the United States. If he isn’t smarter, better looking, better educated, more well traveled, more experienced, wealthier and better connected than me, why the heck would I want him in the highest office of the land? Average Joe cannot do this job. It takes someone spectacular.

Come on, people. This stupidity has got to stop.

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Filed under 2008 presidential election, Barack Obama, FOX NEWS, John McCain

>That Scheiße Touch

>[UPDATE]:

Hah. I see This Modern World had the same idea I did–with much better photos. Go check it out.

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Who is running the McCain campaign? When the RNC came up with its cockamamie idea to run radio ads in Berlin, PA; Berlin, WI; and Berlin, NH, on a day when Barack Obama was giving his big speech in Berlin, Germany, someone should have told them no.

And what idiot thought it was a good idea to schedule a McCain appearance at the cheesy Schmidt’s Sausage Haus und Restaurant tourist trap in Columbus, Ohio? What a way to highlight the difference between the two candidates. While Obama makes the big, important, statesmanlike international appearance, McCain enjoys the Senior Citizen discount and orders “a couple of cream puffs to go”? Bizarre.

Maybe next time Obama leaves the country John McCain can open a shopping center.

Which is more impressive: the photo at left, or this:

And what’s up with Lindsey Graham of South Carolina tailing him wherever he goes? It’s starting to creep me out.

The funniest thing is how McCain is trying to play the “humble” card now:

McCain told reporters that he’d loved to give a speech in Germany. “But I’d much prefer to do it as president of the United States rather than as a candidate for president.”

This from the guy who was in Colombia, Mexico and Canada a month ago, who met with the leaders of these countries and yes, gave speeches.

This is the most inept presidential campaign I ever remember.

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Filed under 2008 presidential election, Barack Obama, Germany, John McCain

>Iraqi Puppet Theater

>No one could have predicted ….

The statement by an aide to Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki calling his remarks in Der Spiegel “misinterpreted and mistranslated” followed a call to the prime minister’s office from U.S. government officials in Iraq.

Maliki had expressed support for a withdrawal plan similar to that of presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama in an interview with Der Speigel. U.S. troops should leave Iraq “As soon as possible, as far as we’re concerned,” Maliki had said. “U.S. presidential candidate Barack Obama talks about 16 months. That, we think, would be the right timeframe for a withdrawal, with the possibility of slight changes.”

But after the Spiegel interview was published and began generating headlines Saturday, officials at the U.S. embassy in Baghdad contacted Maliki’s office to express concern and seek clarification on the remarks, according to White House spokesman Scott Stanzel.

Later in the day, a Maliki aide released a statement saying the remarks had been misinterpreted, though without citing specific comments.

Yesterday, Kevin Drum revealed how shaken the White House was by al-Maliki’s statement. How absolutely predictable that someone would get on the horn and tug al-Maliki’s strings, like they’ve done every time the prime minister tries to show some disapproval of White House policy toward their supposedly “sovereign” country.

I’m remembering this comment on a Kleinheider thread from Nashville blogger Bob Krumm, currently serving in Iraq:

I am not in “occupied Iraq.” I am stationed in Iraq. It is its own sovereign nation. Were it not, there would be no need for the Status of Forces Agreement currently so much in the news.

Right. I’m sure it helps to keep telling yourself that, but I have to wonder how “sovereign” a country is that gets its hands slapped every time the prime minister or parliament tries to assert Iraq’s sovereignty.

Al-Maliki owes his position to the Bush Administration, but it’s obvious he wants U.S. troops out of his country; even spinmasters like Joke Line have gotten the message:

In short, what Maliki is saying is: Please leave, as soon as possible. He may be saying this for local, political reasons, in the runup to the regional Iraqi elections, but he’s saying it.

Yes, he’s been saying that, over and over. Meanwhile, President Bush has his heart set on 58 permanent military bases in Iraq. That’s not an occupation?

The Bush Administration has been pushing the so-called “sovereign” Iraq government around on everything, from ending our troop presence to oil contracts to permanent military bases (ooops, I mean “permanent duty stations”) in that country. Al-Maliki has such a tenuous hold on power over there that the tiniest push from Bush will see him toppled and replaced with someone more to our liking.

It’s just really sad to see this puppet theater play out.

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Filed under Barack Obama, Iraq War, Nouri al-Maliki

>Elitist: Yes, or No!

>Okay, kids, it’s time for that wacky new game: Elitist: Yes or No? (Cue cheesy game show music)

First, we have Cindy McCain, heiress to a beer fortune, telling CNN that the only way to get around the state of Arizona is by private plane! Elitist: yes, or no?

Answer: No! Of course not!

Next, we have Michelle Obama, and her famous “proud of her country” speech. Here’s what she actually said:

let me tell you something … for the first time in my adult lifetime, I am really proud of my country. And not just because Barack has done well, but because I think people are hungry for change.

Is this elitist! If you answered yes you are correctimundo!

Next: conservative columnist George Will, calling Americans the “crybabies of the western world.”

Elitist? Yes, or no!

If you said no, give yourself 10 points!

Barack Obama said working class voters are bitter about the economy. Elitist, yes or no?

The answer: Yes!

The McCains don’t pay property taxes for four years on one of their seven homes. Elitist? This is tougher: a lot of people nowadays are having trouble paying their taxes. But seven homes?

(tick tock tick tock tick tock)

Answer? No! It’s not elitist!

And now the final round. It gets trickier! Cindy McCain is a wealthy heiress worth millions. She wears designer suits, owns seven homes, and a private plane. She also racks up astronomical credit card bills, $500,000 in a single month on one card, $250,000 on another. Elitist? Out of touch? Never!

Teresa Heinz Kerry is also a wealthy heiress worth millions who wears designer suits, owns a private plane, and owns five homes. But she would have mandated federally-funded Botox clinics.

Which is the elitist? Can you tell?

Sadly, this isn’t a game. This is serious business. We’re choosing the president of the United States here. There’s a lot at stake. And I can’t believe our national media has steered the national conversation in such a moronic direction.

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Filed under 2008 presidential election, Barack Obama, Cindy McCain, John McCain

>Never Give Up! Never Surrender!

>Is everyone ready for a third Rove term? Because that’s what it’s looking like a John McCain presidency will be. Paul Krugman writes:

But the McCain campaign went beyond condemning General Clark’s remarks; it went out of its way to distort them. “This backhanded slap against John as not being a worthy warrior because he just got shot down is one of the more surprising insults in my military history,” said retired Col. Bud Day, who participated in a conference call organized by the campaign. In fact, General Clark had said no such thing.

The irony, not lost on Democrats, is that Col. Day himself has done what he falsely accused Wesley Clark of doing: he appeared in the 2004 Swift boat ads that impugned John Kerry’s wartime service.

The willingness of the McCain campaign to engage in these tactics, employing such tainted spokesmen, tells us that the campaign has decided to go negative — specifically, to apply the strategy Karl Rove used so effectively in 2002 and 2004 (but not so effectively in 2006), that of portraying Democrats as unpatriotic.

I was sorely disappointed that Sen. Obama capitulated so quickly in the face of this classic Rovian smear. It was a phony controversy — a “fauxtroversy” — and it deserved to be mocked. The absolute last thing Obama should have done is treat the mock outrage seriously.

Memo to Democrats: just because the Rove Machine yanks your tail, it doesn’t mean you have to respond every time. It makes you look wishy-washy. It makes you look weak. No, it makes you be weak.

You know, you never see Republicans apologize to anyone for anything one of them says or does–real or imagined. They close ranks. They present a united front.

Look, I was a John Edwards supporter during the primary. When he dropped out, I said I’d support either Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama–I could see strengths and weaknesses with both. But my main fear about Obama was that he wouldn’t know how to fight the Swift Boat machine. I was afraid he’d make the same mistakes that sank John Kerry’s campaign: capitulating and apologizing for every comment taken out of context, every word our “liberal” media blows out of proportion, every Rovian smear.

One thing I knew without a doubt: Hillary Clinton knows how to fight back against the kabuki theater that now constitutes our political discourse.

So I have a memo to Barack Obama: don’t apologize out of fear of looking weak. That is the surest way to make yourself look weak. The right wing will be relentless in their attacks, and apologizing at every turn, especially when it’s not warranted, is the surest way to lose in November.

That is all.

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Filed under 2008 presidential election, Barack Obama, Karl Rove

>Obama’s Faith Based Idea Will Work

>Count me among those liberals welcoming Barack Obama’s announcement about giving faith-based groups a role in his administration.

Not the phony-baloney Office Of Faith Based Initiatives that President Bush used to varnish his Christian cred and shove tax money to his pet abstinence-only education programs that don’t work. But a real department that can work with faith-based community groups, do some oversight, help with coordination, and yes, offer funds:

“Every house of worship that wants to run an effective program and that’s willing to abide by our constitution – from the largest mega-churches and synagogues to the smallest store-front churches and mosques – can and will have access to the information and support they need to run that program,” Obama said.

The Obama campaign distributed a statement from John DiIulio, former director of Bush’s White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives, praising Obama’s proposal as “a principled, prudent, and problem-solving vision for the future of community-serving partnerships involving religious nonprofit organizations.”

I really don’t see why anyone would have a problem with this. Congregations of all faiths provide valuable community services, from drug and alcohol programs to day-care centers to housing the homeless. To give just three examples, my church houses the homeless during the winter, has an after school program for refugee kids, and houses Senior Citizens’ Inc.’s Meals On Wheels and Adult Day Care services. All of the clients receiving these services are low-income. No one gets religion forced on them, and no one is turned away because of their race, religion, sexual orientation, or for any other reason (indeed, most of the refugee children are Muslim).

The government can’t provide all of these services; the need is just too vast. I don’t have a problem with secular groups providing these services too, but I think it’s silly to shut faith-based groups out of the mix. Faith groups have always done service work, and in many instances, faith groups are the best equipped to provide certain services. City governments have contracted with the Salvation Army to operate soup kitchens for years.

The problem is when religious groups use their role as service provider to proselytize, discriminate, or further a partisan political agenda. That’s been a big problem for the Bush Administration. Not only did the Silver Ring Thing promote Christianity, the ridiculous program doesn’t even work! The Salvation Army was happy to take government money, but they didn’t want to abide by non-discrimination laws. Under Bush, faith-based federal funds became “slush funds for conservative interest groups.” This is how not to do a faith-based program.

Obama is right. Faith-based groups provide important services to our communities. But just because a group is faith-based doesn’t make it perfect. Not every program works, not every program is even legitimate. There are a lot of charlatans out there wanting to dip their fingers in the money pot. There needs to be oversight, accountability, and follow-up. You can’t just hand a grant out because a church asks for it.

Under a President Obama, I think a faith-based office would actually have a chance of functioning properly. I don’t see President Obama using this office to send money to buddies like Chuck Colson, or stage phony events to help swing elections. That’s the Republican way of doing things. Democrats know better. We know how to run government.

You know, we’re the party that believes government can actually work, remember?

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Filed under 2008 presidential election, Barack Obama, religion

>Hell Freezes, I Thank The NRA

>Why? Because they just took away the trusty old standby argument they’ve used against every Democratic candidate since forever:

“They’re gonna take away our guns!!!”

Well, no we’re not. We can’t. Even if we wanted to (which we don’t). The Supreme Court just said we can’t. Thank you, NRA and SCOTUS! They’ve trotted out that ridiculous “they’re gonna take away my gun” nonsense so many times, it’s become like kissing babies and eating barbecue: an expected part of every campaign.

It’s even resulted in ridiculous moments of Democratic pandering like this one:


So thank the heavens we will no longer be subjected to that tired old warhorse. We won’t have to see pictures of Barack Obama trotting through a Midwestern field in a brand-new LL Bean hunting jacket, or wearing hunter orange at some Florida hunting reserve. Democrats don’t do that type of pandering very well, it always rings false–whether it is or not. Chalk that up to another label conservatives stuck us with, despite the fact that there are plenty of Democratic sportsmen and women who love their guns.

Now we don’t have to worry about defending ourselves against the stereotype of the anti-gun liberal. It was never true anyway, but now it doesn’t matter. Thank goodness that’s over! Whew. Now we just have to say, “hey, even if we wanted to, we can’t. End of discussion.” The point is moot.

That fear-mongering talking point that’s been a standby of every single election since forever? Kiss it goodbye, GOP. It has been effectively retired. I guess that just leaves you with God and gay-hate to hammer your base into the polls from now on, eh? Too bad for you those don’t seem to be working so well lately.

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Filed under 2008 presidential election, Barack Obama, gun control, NRA