Friday, March 28, 2008

Spineless, Centrist CATFIGHT!!!

Okay I just thought I'd throw a misogynistic term out there right away so all the people that want to slam me with sexist claims will stay away from the post from the get-go.

It's interesting to me to see how this feud is developing. Hillary Clinton runs a dirty campaign where she constantly attacks Barack Obama, who is certain to become the party's nominee for the Presidential general election. Knowing she can't win by the will of the people, her team scheme in every possible way to steal it. They play the racism card against him, say he's not as qualified as John McCain, go after his church and then Hillary goes completely batshit crazy and thinks she was an action hero star who dodged sniper fire in Bosnia and was the person who brought peace to Northern Ireland. No really, former leader of the DNC and DLC douchebag Terry McAuliffe actually said that:

But now the Clinton campaign is really pushing the blarney boat out. On March 4th, Terry McAuliffe, her campaign chairman, has gone the further that I can see. “We would not have peace today had it not for Hillary's hard work in Northern Ireland," he said on CNN on March 4th. Well, that’s certainly news to those who were there at the time.

Of course the Irish have something altogether to say about that lie.

Anyway all the while they were going the smear route (and here's a partial list of the attacks), they were dreaming of ways to steal this. Go after Super Delegates, challenge the legality of caucuses, declare Michigan and Florida's delegates should be seated even if Hillary signed a pledge not to campaign and no other candidate's names were on the ballot in Michigan. Hell they even went as far as to suggest that she was going to try to twist the arms of Pledged delegates in order to subvert the will of the voters.

Of course there was going to be public pressure on Democratic Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi to say something in this regard. Especially with Hillary both slamming Obama as worse than McCain AND begging to be on a ticket with Obama at the same time.

So she did and the Hillbots went nuts. Her rich corporate donors decided to try to blackmail Pelosi and the party if she stands in the way of the Superdelegates cheating for Hillary.

Basically they feel that if Pelosi stops the Superdelegates from stealing the election for Hillary that they will withdraw the support that they give to Democratic Candidates.

Upon closer inspection though, these twenty donors who signed this letter should give serious pause to any Democrat who actually wants change in this country. All this does is open up more questions of why the Clintons still refuse to release their tax returns and makes you wonder how much money from these donors has made it into their personal finances. And if it made it into their personal finances, then you can makes claims of illegal donations to the Clinton campaign since she used some of the wealth she's obtained to lend $5 million to her own campaign. After all, if she received money from these people and then funded herself with it that's a ridiculous loophole for one to use to cheat their way around campaign finance reform.

And look at the donors. 7 of them stayed in the Lincoln Bedroom at the White House when the Clintons were practically renting it to their corporate buddies. One of them got in serious trouble for selling missile secrets to China. This is a rather notorious list of people to be trying to strong arm our party.

The Democratic Party is supposed to be, at least my definition of it has always been, the party of the people. While it was no secret that the GOP only cared about rich people and corporate interests, the Democrats were supposed to be counter to that. The opposition party.

Allowing these donors to dictate anything is bad for the party and frankly, bad for America. We already have a party that caters to the rich and is willing to destroy the poor and middle class for their benefit.

In this fight I would almost certainly support Nancy Pelosi. Yes she has been a great disappointment. When she ran against former Tennessee Congressman and current head of the DLC Harold Ford for House Minority Leader after Dick Gephardt retired she was painted as the liberal San Franciscan Democrat who would bring the party to some sort of tree hugging hippie revival or something. When she won the election amongst Democratic members of the House there was a feeling of hope that she would be the strong liberal she was painted as. After all, nobody in the House looked very strong at that point and Republicans were playing every dirty trick in the book to get legislation on the floor before anyone could read it, deny Democrats meeting rooms and pretty much silence the Democratic voice completely.

Pelosi held her own but when it was clear in 2006 that public sentiment and backlash was so strong that she could see a Democratic tidal wave of new House members elected and she could become the Speaker of a huge majority, she decided to play the spineless centrist card we all feared. Before the 2006 mid-terms she declared that impeachment was off the table. I could somewhat understand that being said before the election.

After all there are 30% of the country that are completely lacking common sense or understanding of the world and they would come out in droves to save their leader from facing the crimes he committed. So keeping them at home made sense. But after they won there was no excuse. Bill Clinton committed perjury on a personal indiscretion. The House Republicans which spent $60 million of taxpayer money and could only come up with this weak charge, impeached him.

That was a minor offense. A misdemeanor at best. Bush has committed treasonous acts against his country. It's well documented that he broke FISA laws, used signing statements to break a majority of other laws that have been passed and then tried to cover his tracks by breaking yet another law and deleting all computer records of communications. We're not even addressing the obvious election theft that they should be prosecuted for.

For the future of our country and to send a statement to American citizens as well as children who are learning about the Constitution and how America works we should have impeached and prosecuted the entire bunch of criminals. Bush, Cheney, Rove, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, Rice... all of them.

The problem is the Senate is too closely divided to complete the conviction and removal from office. So Pelosi figured a failed impeachment would look bad and partisan to the American people.

The issue isn't whether or not that was true because that reasoning certainly isn't misguided it's that it fails to recognize how the media coverage of the impeachment and the trials which would be covered nationally, interrupting daily television programming so everyone could see, would prove without a doubt the crimes they committed and turn public sentiment for the conviction so strongly in favor of it that even the safest of DLC and Republican incumbents would have to consider their own necks versus saving Bush.

She never even gave that proposition a second thought and just kept impeachment off the table.

It's that sort of spinelessness that kills Democratic hopefuls before they ever get a chance to be elected and make an impact on Congress. It reinforces every bad stereotype of the party and does it in a way that the Right Wing talking heads and the mainstream media pundits alike can attack and have some credibility on. After all some credibility is way more than the zero they usually have.

So I'm usually inclined to think everything Pelosi says is garbage, but she's absolutely right here. The will of the people should trump the opinions of party insiders and rich donors.

But even when I am warming to the idea of supporting Pelosi in a fight of this magnitude she says something stupid again.

"We can't allow the tension and pressures of a spirited Presidential contest to spill over and harm hard-working Democratic candidates running to strengthen our Democratic majority in the House," Pelosi wrote in an e-mail sent to a vast list of Democratic donors and supporters. "I will do whatever it takes to protect our candidates and make sure their campaigns to drive change forward don't skip a beat."

And Pelosi urged potential donors to make a contribution to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee before the March 31st deadline for the current fundraising quarter.

Her appeal comes two days after a group of 20 Clinton backers sent a letter to Pelosi chastising her public position that superdelegates should support the will of the people -- in other words, vote for the candidate with the most pledged delegates.

See that's the problem. Who does Pelosi urge you to send money to? The former Clinton Administration official turned Congressman Rahm Emanuel's DCCC.

The DCCC, run by Emanuel and the DSCC run by the other New York Senator Chuck Schumer are breeding grounds for DLC Centrists. Their purpose is supposed to be to help all Democratic House and Senate candidates win their races against Republicans.

The problem is they don't stay out of the primaries. They endorse the weakest, most centrist candidates whom they feel will be easiest to control in continuing their goals to serve their corporate masters. This was never more apparent than in Minnesota's 2006 Senate Campaign when centrist Amy Klobuchar who didn't really have positions on a lot of major topics was losing debates to the progressive Democratic candidate Ford Bell. Schumer ran the DSCC in, endorsed her before the primary was close to done, got big name Democrats to do fundraisers for her and voila, she had a boatload of cash and party backing to squash all opposition voices.

Those weak kneed candidates are the ones that the DCCC and DSCC constantly try to prop up. They want to infuse as much cash as possible into those candidates in specific winnable races where they can gain a seat, brag about it and claim that their strategy of a Republican, er, Centrist Democratic Party is what the voters want.

Then they act surprised when voters, the media, the pundits all see the forest for the trees and call this group of Democrats cowards when they vote for Bankruptcy laws that help Credit Card companies but not the middle class, or when they have a shot to end the war but refuse to cut off funding, when they can show backbone and stick up for the constitution and impeach Bush but don't lift a finger to do so, when they have a chance to stand up to Bush on FISA and telecom immunity and then let the bills even get to the floor.... well at least the House stepped up to the plate on that one.

In 2006 Democrats won in places they hadn't before. Thanks to the 50 state strategy employed by Howard Dean at the DNC. Considering it was his first national election as chair of the DNC and we won so big, I'd say he did a great job. Emanuel and Schumer went off on him for not limiting our money to races they targeted that we could win. Aka spend money only on a few seats in Blue states or in places where we absolutely know we can win.

That sort of alienates the rest of the Democratic Party who are trying to push back against the Republican majorities that this sort of ignorance created.

Obama's success in traditional red states is not just that he won in most of them, it's that he drew such large numbers of voters there. Voters that were not there before Howard Dean started employing his strategy to build the party in states that were not Democratic safe havens. The only way to win for the long term is to get into every state, every city, every region and get our message out there. Republicans count on and depend on these locations not having Democratic challengers and they have been able to maintain one voice, one theme on the airwaves in that area precisely because there has never been opposition there. In those cases many Democrats just refuse to vote. Why bother? Your party isn't putting out serious challengers or backing them in a meaningful way so you'll lose badly no matter what.

And that's precisely what's wrong with Nancy Pelosi here. Even when she has these people blackmailing her, she goes out and tells people to support another one of them.

There are organizations like MoveOn, Blue America, Progressive Democrats for America, etc that support progressive Democrats. That fight for candidates that aren't just status quo defenders of the rich. And short of telling people to go outside the party for help from these groups she should be telling people to help Howard Dean and the DNC out here.

Thanks to Hillary's prolonged primary battle, the DNC will be weakened considerably in the fundraising arena. Of course maybe that's what the Clintonites want since they hate Howard Dean anyways.

Even when it's clear she's in the right in a situation, Nancy Pelosi muffs the punt so to speak and fumbles away what would be an opportunity to finally recognize the impact people-driven politics has over the old-school lobbyist-funded fat cats that used to run the party. She could have driven people to places that support the power of grassroots and away from the DLCers who have helped kill the party in almost every way since Bill Clinton's 1992 election win.

In her best chance to do what was right, she couldn't even hang on to the ball.

It's a shame really.


Thursday, March 27, 2008

Tom Tomorrow Comic: Neo-Con Regrets

Hilarious Tom Tomorrow strip from (h/t to C&L who posted a snippet on their page as well)

Hillary won't just go away....

Unfortunately for Democrats, Hillary is here to stay. Yes she has no shame about all the negative attacks her filthy dirty campaign has pulled. No shame over illegal contributions to her campaign, no shame over not releasing tax returns that would incriminate her even more. She certainly feels no shame for acting like she was some badass Rambo character who had to dodge sniper fire in Bosnia. Look, she's in Bosnia in this picture! See her RUNNING from the plane to dodge bullets? What a hero!

She'll stay in until she's destroyed the party and Barack Obama's chances of winning.

It's a sad state of affairs when you, who through political connections and your husband's past job title were assumed to be the presumptive nominee even before the primaries happened and then lied and trashed your way to being a pariah who should be lucky to even get a seat at the Convention let alone be considered a possible nominee.

The longer Hillary stays in the more Bush-like she becomes. And hey the Clintons admired Karl Rove anyway. With John Kerry and Al Gore in attendance at the dedication of the Clinton Presidential Library, Bill Clinton pulled this stunt:

The Clintons recognize the skill Rove has brought to politics and admire his craft, if not his ideology. Just days after the November 2004 election, Bill Clinton pulled Rove aside at the dedication of the William J. Clinton Presidential Library in Arkansas. "Hey, you did a marvelous job, it was just marvelous what you did," Clinton told Rove, according to the book "The Way to Win: Taking the White House in 2008," by John F. Harris and Mark Halperin. "I want to get you down to the library. I want to talk politics with you. You just did an incredible job, and I'd like to really get together with you and I think we could have a great conversation."

Obviously they decided to get playbook tips from Rove and have employed all of his dirtiest tricks in this campaign.

What's worse is, also like Bush, it is apparent the Clintons have encapsulated themselves in a bubble of yes men and yes women who only tell them what they want to hear.

From Reuters:

But Clinton, a New York senator who has flirted with disaster before in the back-and-forth nominating battle with Obama, shrugs off growing predictions of doom and still sees at least a narrow path to victory.

"I hear it in the atmosphere," Clinton said of the increasingly loud chatter about whether she should drop out and let Democrats focus on the general election campaign. "But the most common thing that people say to me ... is 'Don't give up, keep going. We're with you.' And I feel really good about that because that's what I intend to do," she told reporters on Tuesday.

The sad part is if Hillary doesn't get it about the party, then her supporters are even worse.

According to a new Gallup poll, 28% of Hillary supporters have said they will not support Obama if he is the Democratic nominee and will support John McCain in the general election.

To me that means either Hillary supporters are not Democrats (not unlike their candidate) to begin with or worse, racists. And she carries a lot of old Democratic support. Old Democrats, when it comes to race, are not much different than their Republican counterparts.

That pretty much says it all. You take that 28% and add them to the Republicans who are voting for Hillary in open primaries to try to mess with our nomination and you have exactly why Hillary is not supported by Democrats and needs to be stopped.

Friday, March 21, 2008


Thursday, March 20, 2008


From The NY Times:

Finally, Mrs. Clinton’s aides hope that disclosures about Mr. Obama’s past like the one involving Mr. Wright could give superdelegates’ pause. Mr. Devine said he thought that at least in terms of Democratic primary voters Mr. Obama had turned the furor to his advantage with his speech on race.

“Obama, confronted by an issue that was boiling, seemed to wade into it with a speech that was in many ways profound,” Mr. Devine said. “As a result, now these people who were so interested and awakened by his candidacy are back with him again. Instead of this being a setback, it becomes an opportunity.”

But the audience now is as much the Democratic superdelegates, who are especially attuned to politics and questions of electability in the fall, as it is rank-and-file voters.

Mrs. Clinton’s advisers said they had spent recent days making the case to wavering superdelegates that Mr. Obama’s association with Mr. Wright would doom their party in the general election.

That argument could be Mrs. Clinton’s last hope for winning this contest.

Kind of hard to pin this on Obama if Bill has been in Wright's company as well... well actually just being in his company would be downplaying it....

Wright is the recipient of numerous awards, including three honorary doctorates and three presidential commendations. An accomplished musician and author, Wright has written four books, numerous articles and countless sermons and was named one of Ebony's top fifteen preachers. In addition to national and international ministry, Wright serves on several boards of directors and committees. Married to the Reverend Ramah Reed Wright, Wright has five children and three grandchildren.

All this does is point out the dirty, ridiculous tactics that the Clinton Campaign have been involved in.

Of course then you have the late breaking news tonight that Obama's passport security had been breached three times in Bush's State Dept. and that one of the three people involved was a former Bush and oh yeah Clinton connected appointee, Maura Harty.

Whether or not she devulged info to them or did it under direct orders is still not known but it is ridiculously suspicious and there is a tight relationship between the Bushes and Clintons. Obama is the outsider and common enemy here.

Just sickening.


Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Some perspective on the Reverend situation and some light on the true beliefs of the most vocal critics here

Long title I know but I couldn't think of a better way to phrase it. The point of this post is simple, to link to the post below. It's a few days old now and I had meant to post this a few days earlier. Unfortunately being sick keeps me away from the computer sometimes.

Anyways the far right are the loudest and bitchiest of the complainers over Reverend Wright's comments and have denounced him and his sermons as unpatriotic, treasonous or worse.

The problem these douchebags have is they are always supported by legions of worse religious nutcase zealots.

Hell John McCain was endorsed by Hagee and Parsley, two pastors who have basically said they want us to begin a new world war with Islam to kill them all and bring us to the Rapture. Yes they are certifiable.

Of course we can go back a little bit. Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson tried to pin 9/11 as something America deserved because of the tolerance of homosexuals in our country.

One only needs to watch the documentary movie Jesus Camp to see that this sect of people are raising their children to be ready to fight the religious crusade against Islam.

So I find it incredibly laughable that Hannity or sex offender Bill O'Reilly or resident fat fuck Rush Limbaugh dare say anything here when they are the ones endorsed by and endorsing these far right wing extremist views.

Last week one of their own, or at least one involved in creating the insane movement that rages on the right today spoke out against the condemnation of Rev. Wright and tried to put into perspective exactly who the critics of Wright have been listening to themselves.

From The Huffington Post:

Obama's Minister Committed "Treason" but When my Father Said the Same Thing He Was a Republican Hero

Frank Schaeffer
Posted March 16, 2008

When Senator Obama's preacher thundered about racism and injustice Obama suffered smear-by-association. But when my late father -- Religious Right leader Francis Schaeffer -- denounced America and even called for the violent overthrow of the US government, he was invited to lunch with presidents Ford, Reagan and Bush, Sr.

Every Sunday thousands of right wing white preachers (following in my father's footsteps) rail against America's sins from tens of thousands of pulpits. They tell us that America is complicit in the "murder of the unborn," has become "Sodom" by coddling gays, and that our public schools are sinful places full of evolutionists and sex educators hell-bent on corrupting children. They say, as my dad often did, that we are, "under the judgment of God." They call America evil and warn of immanent destruction. By comparison Obama's minister's shouted "controversial" comments were mild. All he said was that God should damn America for our racism and violence and that no one had ever used the N-word about Hillary Clinton.

Dad and I were amongst the founders of the Religious right. In the 1970s and 1980s, while Dad and I crisscrossed America denouncing our nation's sins instead of getting in trouble we became darlings of the Republican Party. (This was while I was my father's sidekick before I dropped out of the evangelical movement altogether.) We were rewarded for our "stand" by people such as Congressman Jack Kemp, the Fords, Reagan and the Bush family. The top Republican leadership depended on preachers and agitators like us to energize their rank and file. No one called us un-American.

More at the link above. The hypocrisy of these people is astounding.


Only 9 More Months of This...

Wow these people are completely oblivious to the facts. It's no longer simply reality denial so much as it is reality refusal. Denial would more likely imply an innocence to their inability to grasp facts. Refusal better explains their ability to see facts that counter their claims and outright refusal to care about them.

How else might one explain these recent gaffes by the Worst Presidential Administration Ever?

From ABC News:

The failure of U.S. intelligence in assessing Iraq's weapons of mass destruction was like "a yearbook photo on your worst hair day ever," according to one of the country's top spy bosses, Thomas Fingar, deputy director of National Intelligence.

Fingar made the comment in defending the overall quality of U.S. intelligence during an appearance at the Council of Foreign Relations in New York, five years to the week after the 2003 start of the Iraq war.

At another point, Fingar called the U.S. assessment of whether Iraq had nuclear weapons "the single worst product" he had seen in his 38 years serving in various U.S. intelligence agencies.

Bad Hair Day? Product? What fucking reality are these people living in? I wonder how many times this asshole would be punched in the face if he said the "bad hair day" line in a speech to families of dead soldiers.

But of course nobody can top the Dick in reality refusal...

From Reuters:

WASHINGTON, March 19 (Reuters) - U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney said on Wednesday that the economy is going through a "rough patch," a day after the Federal Reserve slashed interest rates to try to protect the economy from financial turmoil.

"We're currently going through a rough patch here, there's no question about it," Cheney said on ABC's "Good Morning America."

"We've got problems in the housing industry, mortgage backed securities and so forth, that have created problems we're having to deal with," he said.

The Federal Reserve on Tuesday slashed interest rates by 75 basis points to 2.25 percent as policymakers scramble to bolster the economy amid a housing downturn.


Informed that two-thirds of Americans now think the war was not worth fighting, Cheney said: "So?"

He added: "I think we cannot be blown off course by the fluctuations of the public opinion polls. There has in fact been fundamental change and transformation and improvement for the better. That's a huge accomplishment."

A rough patch? Tell that to the millions of people who are going to lose their homes and the billionaires you have to bail out because of your failure to police economic policies and make sure the SEC and other oversight agencies were doing their jobs.

Oh and in response to your, "So?" comment: FUCK YOU.

You, Dick, have been wrong on everything. Wrong on greeting us as liberators, wrong on flowers and candy, wrong on the insurgency being in its "last throes", wrong about WMD intelligence to start and now you and Bush have been critically wrong on Iran. You're ALWAYS wrong.

The war is a failure, people know it and it's no longer just an "opinion poll" to Americans. Those two-thirds of Americans are, unlike you, reality based.

Thankfully there's only Nine Months left of these assholes being able to fuck it up for the rest of us. Hmmm... Nine Months, that's the span of a human pregnancy.

Think we could abort Bush and Cheney? Hell I don't mind waiting a little for the late-term effect either. Just get them out!


Tuesday, March 18, 2008

All he has is a speech.

I have on several occasions posted great speeches in American history including some from Kennedy and Eisenhower. I had planned on posting the infamous MLK "I Have a Dream" speech as well.

Barack Obama made a great speech today that while current already stands up to the best campaign speeches ever made and addresses one of the most difficult topics that any American Presidential Candidate has ever addressed prior to being elected in such a position.

Regardless of your take on the significance of the speech (and there were haters on TV today like Tucker Carlson, Dan Abrams, Joe Watkins and yes Rush Limbaugh who was ridiculous about it) the vast majority of pundits and writers immediately proclaimed how important and how well delivered the speech was.

Allow me to use his speech to expand the context to a larger topic.

We constantly are bombarded with the whole "post-9/11 world" commentary when we try to present hope as an option. It is an easy response to somehow explain why we must be perpetual cynics and militarily aggressive towards friend and foe from now on.

It is an obvious oversimplication Americans make because in facing reality we must face our own roles in the motivation for an attack on America. If we say to ourselves, "they hate us for our freedoms" that sounds a lot simpler than saying, "they hate us because we have meddled with their freedoms".

In continuing our ignorance towards our role in negative events we never seem to change the course of the discourse and thus we create divisions in America. Divisions that shall never heal because over time those pre-dispositions that were created based on emotional response and simplicity over fact have hardened into false concrete patriotism. Patriotism where America is never questioned and anyone who dare to delve into such a difficult to accept topic as the role of American interventionism are labeled traitors, treasonous, part of the 'Blame America First' crowd.

Our inside questioning of our role in our problems is but a tiny microcosm of the American attitude towards larger problems.

Race is one of these larger problems. Concrete divisions have formed from over 200 years of verbal, mental, emotional and very physical conflicts on the role of race in our culture.

Just as we would like to use a positive light and give nothing but blanket support to America in justifying all of her actions, we want there to be a positive light in terms of racial relations in America. Unfortunately our best wishes that racism would just go away haven't come true due to our own cemented attitudes. Here are some generalizations, while not completely true, that have helped create negative perceptions amongst the different groups.

For a lot of White America, blacks are gaming the system. Welfare was a scam in which black women would just have child after child to collect more free money and benefits from the government. Affirmative Action was set up to give undeserving blacks jobs that more qualified Whites deserved. Blacks statistically were more likely to be in prison than Whites so they are all rap listening, gang member thug criminals who deserve their fates. And when reparations were brought up it was all a scam to steal even more money from the hard working whites (in contrast to lazy blacks).

Not to mention Whites feel threatened by the inevitability of their own soon-to-be minority status due to the rise of population of hispanics in America (which explains such negativity towards immigration but this is a different issue altogether).

There's a ton of generalization in these paragraphs. Unfair stereotyping is part of how America works.

For Black America the system is set up to keep them down. Their ancestors were brought here as slaves, raped and tortured in their own right and they had to fight for another 100 years after the Civil War just to reach a modicum of racial equality. Whites want to keep blacks poor and white congressmen target social programs that would most help poor blacks when they need it most. Their schools are given less money and the inner city is allowed to rot while all the development projects are set up for the White Suburbs.

Hurricane Katrina had a direct impact on a large black community and it was clear that Bush and other White politicans manipulated the system to take public housing that was perfectly fine from Blacks to give to big business friends. All the while poisoned, toxic FEMA trailers were given to those displaced Blacks. A White police force and justice system works against blacks (Rodney King, etc) while it protects rich White folk. One only need to look at the sentences of crack users versus the much higher cost cocaine equivalent.

There are a lot of truths and untruths in both paragraphs. Either way these are attitudes cemented by years of arguing and mistrust. Simplified stereotyping is easier to do than addressing the difficulties of the situation.

So many times it is easier to brush off the opinion of those who oppose your own than to face your own factual shortcomings.

It is the American ego that believes we must never be wrong and never admit defeat. It is this reason that our history books are whitewashed to leave out American-made atrocities because we fear our children will not see America under the same blinded patriotism that comforts us as adults in the face of very real earned criticisms from native and foreign sources.

That same ego that allows George W. Bush to refuse to admit any mistakes when countless have been made under his watch or that allows Hillary Clinton to feel vindicated by not admitting the mistake of nor apologizing for her vote to authorize war in Iraq.

No matter the ideology, no matter the race, no matter the gender, no matter the topic the one American experience we all share is one where we have not faced our greatest challenge today.

That challenge, examining our own attitudes.

Whether it is our attitude towards how we handle foreign policy and if we can, like JFK, speak to those who oppose us with an open mind and empathy for their positions or it is our attitude towards people different from ourselves that we encounter on a daily basis be it different gender, race or sexual orientation, we have to begin to take a deeper examination of ourselves if we want to change for the better and make progress for the future.

And that is what this is all about. Future generations as well as our own. Do we want our children to continue to have division over gender or race or sexual orientation? Do we want them to pit one religion against another even in the face of uncertainty over the legitimacy of any of them? Do we want to teach our children intolerance of opinions differing from our own so that they cannot understand or deal with people of different cultures that disagree or clash with our own?

For many, many centuries in history such ignorance or blatant dismissal of the beliefs or opinions of others has created clashes of civilizations which has cost millions of people their lives. Dating back to the Roman Empire, through the Crusades, through the Civil War and even up to Hitler and beyond we have long been lacking in a serious understanding of our differences and confronting these differences in a calm, constructive manner that can draw a peaceful coexistence and a consensus amongst the parties.

This is in essence the specific idealism that drives liberals and progressives.

It is not an over-optimistic view or a pie in the sky dream, it is an easily achieved reality in which all it takes is the judgment to listen and take account of all the differing views on every issue.

Nobody believes that this is the end-all, be-all to conflict. That the whole world would be solved by this simple solution. Again that's a simplification that the cynical or warmongers choose to make to keep you from credibly making such a peaceful argument to the people.

If it were that simple there wouldn't have been broken treaties in the past and there would have never have been war. Many times in history there have been summits where the parties involved sat down and attempted to reach accord.

The difference is that the motivation in reaching such an accord must be pure. If you're sitting down to game your peers for what you can get out of them or are looking for lip service and nothing more than your path is set already and you know the future result of breaking the agreement.

When I listen to Barack Obama I hear this kind of judgment. The kind of open mind that can sway the pessimistic and make the real progressive changes that affect the attitudes of foreign leaders and foreign citizens towards us.

And ultimately I come back to the reason for Obama's speech. The fact that he is willing to take political risk to open up such a deep wound in America and discuss this from all points of view points to the fact that he will have such courage to discuss similar hard headed differences of opinions we have had with many of our rival nations.

Race is our great divide. Race relations have improved quite a bit over the past 50 years but there is still deep resentment and a lot of cemented attitudes based on stereotypes, innuendo and emotional reasoning. We use those attitudes to openly discriminate against one another and because of our self-justified reasoning for these beliefs, most of us don't even realize we are doing it. Without a doubt though, we are.

We have been waiting for someone to bring both sides together to open this topic up for discussion. The discussion can create more depth in our understanding of one another and actually could begin to bring about a stronger trust and accord between blacks and whites.

Will this change overnight? Nobody including Obama believes it will. But it's finally a step in the right direction.

If we elect Obama this November, I believe we will be making that step in the right direction. He won't eradicate anti-American sentiment overnight. The damage Bush has done to our image in the Middle East and in the World may take generations to overcome. But he can take the deep divisions between us and our enemies and bring them out in the open. He can use an open mind, an attentive ear and solid judgment to come to agreements that bring us closer to accord with those who have viewed us as evil or the enemy.

In doing so we will have saved a lot of young soldiers their lives. Saved a lot of Middle Eastern citizens theirs. And hopefully put a lot of bomb manufacturers out of business.

All it takes is an open mind and judgment. It's no easy feat but it seems finally we have the candidate who has the courage to take on difficult topics and broach them in a way that is fair-minded and open.

This is real change.

Let's stop talking about some comments by a minister and start talking about what truly matters. Change in every aspect of America.

Obama is that change.


Here's the speech.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Random Toon Find

Hilarious. :)

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Racists for Hillary

Hillary sure has a lot of surrogates doing the dirtiest of dirty work for her. Geraldine Ferraro, who was respected as the Democratic Vice-Presidential Candidate in 1984 (let us not recall how badly they were destroyed at the polls in that race) flushed the last of her credibility down the drain by claiming that Obama's campaign was "playing the race card" and that the only reason he was in this position was because he was black.

I'd expect charges like this out of the members of the old Democratic Party. After all there was a shift of huge magnitude during the civil rights movement in which liberals and civil rights activists went from Republican to Democrat and a lot of the old racist Southern Democrats became the Republicans we see today. We shouldn't see these Democrats in this day and age, this removed from that movement. Yet you still hear comments like this that come up from time to time.

The problem for Ferraro is that she's gone on show after show not only defending the comment but claiming the victim from it. And she's said it before in 1988 about Jesse Jackson which proves this is a pattern of racism with her.

The problem for Hillary Clinton is after each of these racist comments from people associated with her campaign she makes a little vague comment that claims to reject it but never apologizes for it and doesn't force the people that say it out. Ferraro resigned on her own accord.

The irony of it is when Obama supporter Samantha Power made a completely valid reference to Hillary Clinton being a monster for her campaign tactics, the Clinton campaign cried foul to have her removed, which Obama did with great urgency. They also made similar cries about David Schuster at MSNBC when he commented that the Clinton Campaign was "pimping" Chelsea out to campaign all week. He was suspended.

Such accountability does not reside with Hillary's camp. Which makes sense since accountability doesn't exist to Bush either and that's who she is trying to mimic with her foreign policy stances and campaign tactics.

Hillary never apologizes for anything. She doesn't apologize for NAFTA, for the Iraq War Resolution, for saying McCain is more qualified to be President than Obama and she certainly isn't going to apologize for racists in her campaign. After all her own Husband started this and they seem eager to paint Obama as Jesse Jackson and pull him away from White voters in any way that they can.

Besides Ferraro and Bill, there was another perfect example of this in Texas when Adelfa Callejo, Hillary supporter and key latino community leader that the Clintons counted on said:

"Obama has the problem that he happens to be Black," said Callejo when asked if it was smart for Senator Barack Obama to reach out to Latino voters.

See video:

Now only after she got extreme heat for the comment did they backtrack and say they reject and denounce it, but it sure hasn't stopped others in the campaign from spreading this sort of tripe.

What's sad about this is it is bringing petty racism back into the public vernacular for this campaign. It's no longer about who is the best person for the job or the best candidate it's about the White Woman vs. the Black Muslim Man. And Muslim isn't even true!

That's how far down in the mud they have dragged Obama with them in their attempt to self destruct the party. The worrisome part is, have the Clintons, in which Bill always took pride in falsely claiming himself as "the first black president", destroyed this primary so badly that what was finally the transcendence of race in our nation, is now back to old school black and white race bait politics?

Keith Olbermann once again, hits it out of the park:


Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Two Words for Hillary: Tax Returns

So Hillary, what do you say? Want to release these before the end of the decade maybe? Probably not.

Here are Obama's returns from last year:

Okay Hillary, ante up.


Monday, March 10, 2008

Is Hillary Clinton thinking about a 3rd Party Candidacy?

"Win if you can, lose if you must, but always cheat." - Bobby "The Brain" Heenan

In looking over the strategy of the Clinton Campaign and their unwillingness to accept defeat I started thinking about how their tactics were reminiscent of Holy Joe Lieberman's when he was soundly defeated by Ned Lamont.

Lieberman knew he was going to lose and turned to Karl Rove for advice and help to defeat Lamont in a general election bid where after spending several terms as the elected Democratic Incumbent Senator from Connecticut he was now on the outside looking in. Ousted by his own party because of his pro-war and pro-Republican views, his only chance was to declare himself an Independent and torch the party that had so graciously elected him and appointed him to important committee chairs in the Senate.

Hillary too has now been a key member of the party establishment for a very long time. Just like with Joe, going into their races they both seemed inevitable locks to win. Anointed even before the primary opponents had been named.

Also like Joe she faced someone with a comparably new face in Washington politics and it turns out her message of basically more of the same has been turned away rather clearly by enough voters to warrant her exit from the race.

I admit the night after the March 4th primary I thought there was reason for Hillary to stick around but after the delegate counts ended up becoming official her win was so negligible that there's no way for her to make up ground now. Getting out is the only honorable thing to do for the party.

Of course this isn't about the party. If it were Hillary would have stepped down on March 5th when she saw that it was clear that she would lose.

No, this is about Hillary and the sense of entitlement which surrounds the Clintons. After having two terms as President they, much like the Bush regime, seem to believe they have some linear right to the White House.

When you listen to the Clinton camp, they make it clear that they will pull out all the stops to win. Dignity is secondary to their desire to win.

For example, when you hear about the Clinton camp arguing about the unfairness in seating Michigan or Florida's delegates you don't hear them talking about redoing the primaries altogether. Other media pundits have taken that idea up but the Clintons generally steer towards one direction, seating the delegates based on the already completed primary results. Why does that matter? Because in Michigan hers was the only name on the ballot.

Fairness means nothing to her campaign.

For quite a time they decided to forego worrying too much about winning the primaries to earn pledged delegates based on the will of the voters and were openly trying to court Superdelegates to circumvent the will of the people. Once that turned out to be viewed negatively and viewing the positive momentum of the Obama campaign Superdelegates started switching allegiance to Obama, her plan to blow the competition away with party insiders was shattered.

So onto plan C, so to speak. Trying to corrupt the process by going after pledged delegates.

Now there's nothing illegal about this process technically. Pledged delegates are not locked into the campaign that won them in the primary. However they generally do not switch and it would be a rarity for them to do so in such a way as to change election results.

Still it illustrates a point that needs to be made. It's very clear that Hillary is willing to stoop to any tactic that wins this race. They've already said they will go to the convention no matter the lead Obama has at that point and in doing so seem willing to pull apart the Democratic Party at the seams to get their way.

There seems to be more to this than meets the eye.

For as inept as their campaign has been this primary season they are not stupid. They have to know they cannot win even if they swept the rest of the primaries and made it to the convention with a closer count. Obama will still have the popular vote, delegate lead and superdelegate lead. The party will clearly give the nomination to him.

So what's in it for Hillary to keep this going?

How about playing the "they were unfair to me" ploy? Once they've exhausted all possible options in the Democratic primary they could conceivably state that due to how Michigan and Florida were handled, how the superdelegates are set up (ironic since they were the team that most actively courted the superdelegate scenario) and how the convention played out showed that there was no mandate for Obama in the Democratic Party and that she will run as a third party independent.

As a third party independent she will clearly cost Obama a lot of Democratic votes and probably the Presidency. Her hope is that she can win those older Democratic Women she has currently and then maybe run to the right of McCain which might be plausible with the way Right Wing hate radio cannot stand McCain and seem eager to cozy up to Hillary. Her winning even in that scenario seems implausible but if they muddy the waters a bit they at least have a shot which is more than they have now.

Would Hillary destroy her career in the Democratic Party to become an Independent? There's no guarantee she wouldn't. She has to have seen how Joe Lieberman winning as an Independent has held the Democrats in the Senate hostage to his one vote and this is a woman who loves wielding power.

Plus there's little doubt in my mind that the DLCers who have long been part of the Clinton regime wouldn't appreciate a pull away from a Democratic Party that has generally been shifting more and more to the left while completely isolating and eliminating any influence the DLC once had.

This could happen and ultimately could be the larger doomsday scenario towards the Democratic Party's chances at the White House in November than the elongated primary is.

And if you think Mark Penn's clients (Hillary and McCain) are doing tandem attacks now, wait until it's the general election.


Sunday, March 9, 2008

The Evil Forces Behind Hillary McClinton

There's always someone behind the scenes of every campaign, either steering the ship into calm waters with plenty of fish to eat on a long journey or recklessly heading straight for an iceberg because of ignorance of the facts.

For John Kerry in 2004 he was stuck with longtime party moderate Bob Shrum who is noted for always guiding the campaigns he works on into icebergs. Karl Rove, using shrewd and slimy tactics always managed to find those calm, fish filled waters... until after 2004's reelection campaign when the Bush ship practically became a bumper boat that bounced continuously from one scandal to the next.

For Hillary Clinton it is certain that this captain not only is heading straight into the iceberg but he wants to tow the entire Democratic Party with it.

Generally even the most ardent supporters of a party's candidate that loses doesn't want their party to lose the general election in the fall but we're pretty certain at this point that for Hillary and for her top advisor, Mark Penn, this does not matter at all.

For Hillary it's win at all costs. She has no real admiration for Obama and if anything seems willing to get as dirty as possible to help John McCain win. As I mentioned below, scorched earth.

For Mark Penn the motivation is a bit different. He's got a pretty dubious distinction of being for everything anti-Democratic Party.

For example, we mentioned below that his PR firm represents Blackwater. They also represent United Technologies who this week tried to buy Diebold, the voting machine company that has helped Bushco steal that last two elections. Diebold's owner Warren O'Dell said infamously in August 2003 that, "I am committed to helping Ohio deliver its electoral votes to the president (Bush) next year."

His firm is also involved in union busting and has been very anti-labor. Of course being a part of the Democratic Leadership Council which is the supposed "moderates" of the Democratic Party who lean right and take business interests over those of workers and regular people usually means you're for busting out unions. And hey that works well with Hillary who was pro-NAFTA and worked for Wal-Mart (the biggest union busting corporation in the world).

Of course the ultimate slap in the face to Democrats is that while his firm is working for Hillary and choosing her path to go nuclear and destroy Barack Obama at all costs, they are also representing John McCain at the same time.

As Ari Berman put it for The Nation last May, there is a deep Republican connection to Penn.

A host of prominent Republicans fall under Penn's purview. B-M's Washington lobbying arm, BKSH & Associates, is run by Charlie Black, a leading GOP operative who maintains close ties to the White House, including Karl Rove, and was a partner with Lee Atwater, the consultant who crafted the Willie Horton smear campaign for George H.W. Bush in 1988. In recent years Black's clients have included the likes of Iraq's Ahmad Chalabi, the darling of the neocon right in the run-up to the war; Lockheed Martin; and Occidental Petroleum. In 2005 he landed a contract with the Lincoln Group, the disgraced PR firm that covertly placed US military propaganda in Iraqi news outlets.

Black is only one cannon in B-M's Republican arsenal.

AmericaBlog sums it up nicely:

Penn works for Clinton.

Black works for McCain.

And Black works for Penn.

Keep this in mind as you read some of the guiding principles for Penn's and Black's firm, courtesy of the Burson-Marsteller website:

# We, the directors and employees of all companies in WPP recognize our obligations to all who have a stake in our success including shareowners, clients, employees, and suppliers;...

# We will not for personal or family gain directly or indirectly engage in any activity which competes with companies within WPP or with our obligations to any such company;

# We will not have any personal or family conflicts of interest within our businesses or with our suppliers or other third parties with whom we do business;

So, again, we have to ask: Why is Mark Penn on a mission to destroy Obama? It's clear that Penn benefits if Hillary wins -- she's his client, his firm's client. His company benefits if McCain wins -- he's the client of one of Penn's top employees. Penn has an obligation to his shareholders and clients. And his firm seems to have clients on both sides of the aisle, on both sides of this fight. If Obama wins the presidency, Penn gets nothing. He was helping the other guy, or gal. But if McCain wins, Penn's firm has one hell of a contact with the new president - heck, one of his top employees had the new president as a client and didn't even charge him! Is it a conflict of interest? Not with his clients. But how about with the Democratic party and our interests?

Blackwater, McCain, Bush/Rove, Union Busting and possibly Diebold. Are there any more anti-Democratic establishments that this guy could be connected to?

As you take that into account you have to then realize Hillary is not running as a Democrat. When you hire PR firms that represent Republicans, worked with Bush/Rove and McCain at the same time as they have worked with you and have completely opposite principles as the party you claim to be strongly in support of then you are clearly not running as a Democrat.

It then makes sense why you have Rupert Murdoch fundraisers and won't release your taxes or make public what you did while in the White House. All of these things openly would tie you to the enemy because that's the team you play for.

It's probably also why Hillary would be proud of all the Republican cross over votes she got in Texas and Ohio (as we were quick to point out in the aftermath of last Tuesday's primaries). Especially knowing most were following the lead of Rush Limbaugh and keeping you in the race just to destroy your opponents so the Republicans can win and knowing you'll never have these people in the general election.

Don't believe it? Tell that to the investigators who want to know why 16,000 Republicans voted for Hillary in Cuyahoga County or the many who seemed to tell Howard Wilkinson of the Cincinnati Enquirer that they voted for Hillary to keep the race going:

In the fall, voters like Mary Kuhl of Westwood and Ryan Poirier of Norwood will be deluged with phone calls asking them to support the Democratic presidential nominee. Their mailboxes will fill up with the same kind of pleas.

The irony is that they are Republicans.

They - and untold thousands all over Ohio - walked into their polling places Tuesday and asked for a Democratic ballot to vote for the Democratic winner, Hillary Clinton. They did it, they say, to keep the Democratic family feud between the Clintonites and supporters of Barack Obama going for a while.

"I voted for Hillary before I vote against her," Kuhl said.

It all goes hand in hand. Hire a right wing, Republican operative that represents the very worst policies and corporations that have reaped the benefit of the Bush Administration. Then under their guidance destroy the Democratic nominee at all costs while propping up his other client, McCain, and convince Republicans to fuck with the Democratic primary to keep you in it.

After all, when you lay your cards down and the best you can muster up is a pair of twos when your opponent has a straight flush, it's better to bluff like hell and pray things work out. In this case the bluffing has worked to some degree but like everything else in Hillary's life there is no substance to her hand...

And bluffing only gets you so far.

It's time to fold them. For the good of the party.


Thursday, March 6, 2008

Hillary = Bush/Cheney/McCain

Well Hillary did it again today. Touting how McCain is Presidential material and Obama is not. It's rather sickening that Democrats who hate George W. Bush and his military policy can even contemplate Hillary Clinton as a serious Democratic choice.

She echoes Bush on everything. It's just ridiculous.

See for yourself what she said today and has said on other military issues in which she practically plagiarizes Bush and Cheney.

h/t to The Jed Report for creating this great video.


Yet Another Reason Not to Vote For Hillary

I have to admit this one is not mine so special props go out to DUer grassfed for this info. I'll link to the post but here's an issue where Hillary's political "experience" is inexcusable.

From grassfed at DU:

Cluster bombs and landmines are particularly terrifying weapons that wreak havoc on communities trying to recover from war. They are fatal impediments to reconstruction and rehabilitation of agricultural land; they destroy valuable livestock; they disable otherwise productive members of society; they maim or kill children trying to salvage them for scrap metal.

Over 150 nations have signed the 1997 Mine Ban Treaty. In the autumn of 2006, there was a chance to take a step in the right direction: Senate Amendment No. 4882, an amendment to a Pentagon appropriations bill that would have banned the use of cluster bombs in civilian areas. Amendment No. 4882 was an easy one to vote against: Who'd want to risk accusation of "tying the hands of the Pentagon" during a never-ending, global War on Terror? As is so often the case, there was no political cost to doing the wrong thing. And there was no political reward for doing the right thing.

But Senator Obama did the right thing.

Senator Obama of Illinois voted IN FAVOR of the ban.

Senator Clinton of New York voted AGAINST the ban.

Analysts say Clinton did not want to risk appearing "soft on terror," as it would have harmed her electability. Amendment Rejected.

Cluster Bombs are just another horrific way that we slaughter people. I have yet to see a real reason why voting against such a ban is 'good for america'.

The problem warmongers have is that we need every weapon of destruction available at our fingertips to annihilate anybody who disagrees with us and take whatever we desire (oil, land, money, control, etc).

This creates a dilemma for those who claim to be Democrats and believe they need to be "hawkish" to stay elected. Democratic principles are not ones of aggression and violence. Progressives and Liberals constitute the majority of the party. This creates a quagmire for these incumbents who face angry electorates in primaries who don't want to continue to support non-Democratic principled candidates.

Stir all of that up and you've just explained why Hillary has basically lost the Democratic nomination.

Besides, dropping bombs on innocent people doesn't "protect" America. It creates numerous new enemies who network and unify in the cause to destroy us later. War begets war.

The sad part is there is no personal accountability in the souls of these people. They seem perfectly fine with sanctioning murder. They also seem perfectly fine with enflaming regions to rise against us and with permanant war with enemies of our own making.

Hillary never apologized for the Iraq War Resolution. She doesn't apologize for the Kyl/Lieberman Iran Amendment pushing aggression towards them either. She doesn't apologize for either Patriot Act and she won't apologize for this vote either.

Sympathy is for the weak, right?

Thankfully it's her campaign that has been clusterbombed by her own arrogance and ignorance.

Go to the site below and sign the petition to end Cluster Bombing Worldwide. It's horrific and needs to stop.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Right Wingers for Hillary

So after all the hoopla about how Hillary had a big comeback last night let's try to keep this in perspective. According to Daily Kos this morning, the delegate wins from last night were Hillary 185, Obama 184. That's a net of +1 Delegates for Hillary. Plus Obama's campaign last night was touting how they had about 40 or 50 Superdelegates they were going to roll out that would pretty much even up the Superdelegate score.

That pretty much means for Hillary to pull this out she's going to need to win Pennsylvania and get Florida and Michigan to have new primaries. If she does and wins those by 10-15 points each, she has a good chance to be close to the delegate lead come Convention time in August and that's what will matter most. Superdelegates are not static support and can leave at any time. If it looks as if Obama has a sizeable enough lead they will go for Obama at the Convention because they don't want to face their electorate as going against the will of the people.

If it's close they don't feel any overriding obligation to the "will of the people" and can vote with their loyalty over their constituency.

The problem I see for Obama is this. The Republican primaries are now a formality. McCain has won and clinched enough delegates to become the nominee. Republicans in the states that are still left to vote will have nothing to vote for on their side so they may want to interject themselves into the Democratic race in hopes of helping their party.

It happened yesterday and might be the reason Hillary won Ohio and Texas.

Obama has been really good at drawing crossover Republicans who are tired of their party and the politics of George W. Bush. Hillary however has no such appeal to them.

They see her as an extension of Bill and his Sex Scandals. They hate the Clintons for beating them in the 1990s in the face of those scandals being so openly presented to destroy them. They believe her being the nominee will galvanize the Republican base and get them to vote when McCain by himself is not an energizing enough candidate to draw the right wing base (especially evangelicals) in.

They also see voting for Hillary in the Democratic Primary as a way to as Fox News put it this morning, "bloody up" Obama before a General Election. Not to mention spend another 7 weeks spending money and attacking one another while they can sit back and fundraise for McCain.

On the flip side there is no motivation to vote for Obama for this reason. They know Obama does not bring out the polarizing hatred that Hillary does and that his calm demeanor and appeal to across the aisle togetherness is attractive to moderate Republicans who are tired of the same old politics in Washington. They also know McCain's only real strength is his appeal to moderates and he would lose that battle to Obama in a major way come the general election.

So when I see that Republicans in Texas voted for Obama 52-47 it's not the 52 that alarms me. Like I said earlier he's getting crossovers who will stay with him in the general election. It's that 47 percent of Republicans who hate the Clintons, voted for her.

Especially when you consider that Rush Limbaugh openly campaigned for Republicans to vote for Hillary in the primaries. They truly feel this will put Democrats in a weak position and get all of the evangelicals out that hate her but would stay home if Obama ran.

In Ohio this number of Republicans voting for each candidate was 49-49. There's no way that this many Republicans would vote for Hillary if they were not trying to screw with the election in some way.

One only needs to look at how Republicans came out and voted for Joe Lieberman in Connecticut after spending years of trying to defeat him. They saw that Democrats had voted for an anti-war liberal to take Holy Joe's seat and they wanted to make sure that Democrats were stuck with a war mongering enemy of the party.

Obviously that was different in terms that it was a general election in Connecticut but similar in that they had nobody to vote for themselves so they came out and voted for whomever would weaken the Democrats the most. In doing so Lieberman became a huge thorn in the side of liberals and Democrats alike. In a one vote majority in the Senate, Lieberman was able to keep chairmanships of committees (if they stripped him he would declare himself a Republican which would give majority rule and leadership of ALL committees to the GOP) and has granted Bushco a pass by not conducting a single oversight hearing.

Republicans knew this going into that election and only voted for Joe because they knew it would hurt their enemies.

Last night was more of the same.

Fox News was bragging this morning about Republicans purposely following Limbaugh's plan and voting for Hillary and said they had over 1,200 responses from Republican emailers who took credit for doing such a thing.

Expect more of this for the rest of the primaries. Republicans have nothing better to do and voting for Hillary is voting for a better chance that they win in November.

But hey with Hillary's tactics of late she might as well be a Republican anyway.

Take for example this fun note from last night:

ABC News' Kate Snow and Eloise Harper report: A controversial party guest was spotted at Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton's election night party in Columbus, Ohio Tuesday.

He was hard to miss. He was the one wearing the "Osama for Obama" t-shirt.

Columbus resident Todd Elbaum told ABC News his friend makes the t-shirts.

Elbaum did not hold back on his views of Obama when he was interviewed by ABC within full view of a Clinton staffer.

"The truth is he was born a Muslim, his father was a Muslim, his mother married a Muslim after divorcing his father. His grandfather was a Muslim. It doesn't matter. But what does matter is when Obama said he was never a Muslim. He was a Muslim. He was born a Muslim. He was a Muslim for six years of his life," Elbaum said.

Nice. Hillary for Right Wingers.... and Right Wingers for Hillary.


And the fight continues...

Well Hillary managed to stave off defeat with wins in Ohio and Rhode Island as well as a very close squeaker in Texas. The delegates will end up practically the same as they were going into the day and while Hillary has reason to hang on for at least another seven weeks you can start to see the beginning of the tuning of the Republican Machine's engine today when Bush has a ceremony endorsing McCain as the nominee in the Rose Garden at the White House.

There's now a very good chance that neither will even approach the 2,025 delegates needed to clinch and that this will end up a battle that was decided by Superdelegates which is a concept that should have never been conceived. It gives power to party hacks and not the voters and to me that is a treacherous way to run a Democracy.

Now unlike my guest blogging friend Samer who is young, probably a bit overconfident about the guarantee of victory that Obama has in either primary contests or the general election and who sees Hillary as worse than McCain (a point I disagree with) I think things are still cloudy for Obama.

Don't get me wrong my support for Obama is not wavering in the least but working on other campaigns in both official and volunteer capacities has given me the foresight to see the challenges ahead.

Hillary managed to show what I had worried about and what John Edwards had privately worried about... that Barack Obama's positive message can be countered by uber-negative campaigning and that it's hard to overcome the appearance of naivety that is imposed on him by older, more experienced candidates.

It's not a positive that Hillary Clinton has nothing positive to offer herself in that she has to resort to such low and dirty tactics. It's even worse that she is so willing to torch the party and its nominees for her own self interests. The problem though was that her fear mongering worked. It worked in Ohio where her support for NAFTA that killed so many of their careers by destroying manufacturing jobs with outsourcing was overshadowed by fear. It worked in Texas where older hispanics rose up in large numbers to vote for Hillary rather than hope.

That doesn't bode well for the last truly big prize left... Pennsylvania. It could be even worse if Florida (practically a retirement home) and Michigan (suffering from auto industry death and a place where Obama gave a tough speech on going green, getting better MPG and emissions reduction) get new primaries in June.

If you look at it from that perspective and even give Obama the Mississippi, Wyoming and Indiana primaries (which are not gimmies) she could make up ground and be in this thing until the Convention in Denver. And if you're looking at this from Hillary's perspective it would be foolish to leave if you think you have that great of a shot.

When I was asked personally how I thought last night would go I pretty much predicted the outcome. I thought She'd win Ohio and Rhode Island, he'd win Vermont and Texas would be a negligible split that wouldn't do any serious delegate damage to either candidate.

The problem for Obama is now that Hillary has chosen to go negative she has exposed how soft his campaign has been at times. Sure they put out a rebuttal ad but they never strike first and while he's able to parry most of her attacks, some are sticking and will begin to become more of the dialogue that is included when people speak of Obama. The media will listen to two campaigns slamming Obama in unison and they will start to repeat the memes and challenge the Obama campaign more often.

This is where it gets really tough.

We haven't had a brokered convention since 1984 and only two other times prior to that. In all three occasions we lost by landslides.

Now we have much stronger candidates and stronger personalities running than we did when it was Hubert Humphrey or Walter Mondale but spending another 7 weeks having to fundraise and attack other Democrats while McCain has 7 weeks to fundraise and build up a war chest while being able to sit back as these two destroy each other is a ridiculous advantage that hurts our nominee in November.

I dislike Hillary Clinton. I hate her tactics. I disagree with her on practically every policy. I will continue to post reasons why not to vote for her.

But it is her right to continue on considering the circumstances and when you look at her position, as much as I'd prefer her to go so my candidate can win, it would be foolish for her to do so.

And frankly Obama needs this fight. He needs to learn to sharpen his claws and fight back against Hillary. The Clinton Machine is well oiled and sleazy for sure but they don't even compare to the Republican Attack Dogs and the 527s they will use to smear Obama every second of the general election.

They had Americans questioning the heroic nature of John Kerry's distinguished military career and even questioning his patriotism altogether while George W. Bush who went AWOL was considered a better judge of military and wartime affairs.

If they can do that to a genuine hero, think what they can do to a relative national stage political novice.

He can continue to play the good guy who is above the fray and lose ground in tough battleground states or he can, to steal a phrase from the Basketball game he loves so much, post up on Hillary and bang down low until he tires her out and he can take it to the hoop at will.

The longer he plays the nice guy game, the worse his chances at being the nominee or the winner of the general election.

That's the problem with us progressives. We're thinkers and think our ideas will win the day. Unfortunately too many Americans loathe thinking. It's too hard for them. So they want a fight.

And that's what we have now.


Tuesday, March 4, 2008

More Reasons Not to Vote For Hillary: Scorched Earth Edition

In case you were still thinking about voting for Hillary Clinton today in the Texas, Ohio, Rhode Island or Vermont primaries, please allow me to toss a few extra reasons why Hillary is the worst possible choice for Democrat in there.

Namely the Scorched Earth theory.

Basically that works in the following way. If Democrats don't want me to be their nominee then I will get so dirty with my tactics that the Republicans can use it to destroy Obama. If it's not me it's nobody from this party essentially.

She has nothing positive to run on. She's got, "I'm a woman" and "My husband was a popular President". Wow. Those are such substantiative reasons to vote for someone.

But as she's learning quickly, women that pay attention to issues over gender are not voting for her and her husband's pandering to Republicans (see: NAFTA) is killing her across states where manufacturing jobs have rapidly disappeared over the past 15 years.

So this week, sensing a desperation not before seen by the Clinton Machine, they went as negative as they possibly could.

First releasing the Republican-esque "Red Phone" Ad. It looks like an ad straight out of the 1980s Reagan playbook.

Then she went out and slyly tried to cloud whether or not Obama was a Muslim. He's not and has clearly stated such but in doing so she basically made a discriminatory slur. Being Muslim should not disqualify you from being President no more than being a Christian, being Black or Hispanic or yes in your case Hillary, being a WOMAN should. Still in this post-9/11 paranoia world, Muslims are the bad guys to many of the non-thinking in America.

Finally she closed the week off with concrete proof of her willingness to destroy her own party's nominee at all costs... by endorsing JOHN MCCAIN over Obama!

"I have a lifetime of experience that I will bring to the White House. I know that Senator McCain has a lifetime of experience that he will bring to the White House. And Senator Obama has a speech he gave in 2002."

Sometimes it smarter to bow out gracefully rather than put yourself ahead of your party and your life long friends and allies. For Hillary, she could give a fuck about those friends.

It's all about her.


Monday, March 3, 2008

More Reasons Not to Vote for Hillary #3-4-5

Well now that I'm rolling on this I might as well add a few other easy ones.

How about her lack of will to restore the civil liberties Bushco stole from us? Amongst the many criminal acts perpetuated on America by the Bush Administration, stealing our civil liberties might be the worst. It stains all that America stands for and the entire reason we have been considered a beacon of light and hope for other countries.

Hillary had an opportunity to stop them cold in their tracks but true to Clinton form she basically gave the finger to liberals and libertarians alike (possibly hoping to have such power to herself if she and her supposed inevitable campaign were to steamroll into the Presidency?).

From Jeffrey Rosen at the NY Times:

In the Senate, Mr. Obama distinguished himself by making civil liberties one of his legislative priorities. He co-sponsored a bipartisan reform bill that would have cured the worst excesses of the Patriot Act by meaningfully tightening the standards for warrantless surveillance. Once again, he helped encourage a coalition of civil-libertarian liberals and libertarian conservatives. The effort failed when Hillary Clinton joined 13 other Democrats in supporting a Republican motion to cut off debate on amendments to the Patriot Act.

That wasn’t the first time Mrs. Clinton tacked to the center in a civil-liberties debate. In 2005, she co-sponsored a bill that would have made it a federal crime to intimidate someone by burning a flag, even though the Supreme Court had struck down similar laws in the past. (Mr. Obama supported a narrower bill that would have satisfied the Constitution.) And Mrs. Clinton opposed a moderate proposal by the United States Sentencing Commission that would have retroactively reduced the draconian penalties for possession of crack cocaine — a proposal supported by Mr. Obama, and by liberal as well as conservative judges.

Or there's the shadiness of her past. Like when she goes out and touts her "35 years of experience" and proclaims herself a fighter. She neglects to mention that some of the fights she has taken up have been pretty disgusting in nature. Like attacking a 12 year old rape victim as if she asked for it.

According to Glenn Thrush at Newsday:

Hillary Rodham Clinton often invokes her "35 years of experience making change" on the campaign trail, recounting her work in the 1970s on behalf of battered and neglected children and impoverished legal-aid clients.

But there is a little-known episode Clinton doesn't mention in her standard campaign speech in which those two principles collided. In 1975, a 27-year-old Hillary Rodham, acting as a court-appointed attorney, attacked the credibility of a 12-year-old girl in mounting an aggressive defense for an indigent client accused of rape in Arkansas - using her child development background to help the defendant.

-more at link above-

Or how about the fact that she is sponsored by FOX's Rupert Murdoch and supported by nutcases like Ann Coulter and Rush Limbaugh?

Hell this doesn't even broach her positions on the war or healthcare but if you see slime on the top of the water usually you refrain from even jumping into the pool.


Another Reason Not to Vote for Hillary #2

As I find more of these reasons, I'll probably just keep this concept going and work on pointing out the many flaws to having Hillary Clinton as our President.

This one sort of goes well with the concept discussed below. After all, Hillary likes to point out in her stump speeches that Big Business has had a President for the last 8 years all the time.

Except that Hillary is just as popular with big business and they feel she will deliver for them in the way that Bushco did.

We all know by now that Hillary spent quite a few years on Wal-Mart's board being "Sam Walton's girl".

But since that time Wal-Mart has grown to become the biggest global corporation in the world. They have killed entire towns that once flourished with small businesses and have taken their act abroad hiring slave labor and not following safety or environmental standards (See: Wal-Mart - the High Cost of Low Prices).

So it should come as no surprise that Hillary, Wal-Mart's old friend, is way, way ahead in accepting contributions from the corporate giant.

After all the best way to prove you'll be a President for the people and not the corporations is to take all the corporate money you can get.

Hat tips to Brave New Films and Common Dreams for their info on this...