3.31.2008

Hillary's All or None Strategy.

From Herrold:

This image pretty much sums up the 'Tonya Harding' tactics that she is now employing.



(click for larger image)

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Too True.

CNN Scrubs Dobbs’ Racially Charged Comment From Transcript

From TPM:

When asked to respond to Rice’s remarks (on race) on the Situation Room last Friday, CNN host Lou Dobbs became agitated. TPM’s Josh Marshall noted that Dobbs explained “how he’s sick of ‘cotton pickin’ black leaders telling him how he can and can’t talk about race (he catches himself at the last minute — sorta).

While it appears that Dobbs was about to say “cotton picking” (often used as a racially charged slur) in reference to Rice, he caught himself, only uttering the word “cotton.” Yet, the CNN transcript from Friday’s Situation Room has omitted the word “cotton” from Dobbs’ remarks:

DOBBS: We’ve got to be able to talk about it and I can guarantee you this, not a single one of these [the word “cotton” should appear here] — just ridiculous politicians should be the moderator on the issue of race. We have to have a far better discussion than that.

One could perhaps wonder then if CNN has a habit of doctoring Lou Dobbs’ statements for its official transcripts.

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Lou Dobbs - "cotton pickin'" black leaders

How his Mexican American wife stays with him is beyond me. Sounds like a case of "battered wife syndrome" or something.

From TPM:

Racial healer Lou Dobbs explains how he's sick of "cotton pickin'" black leaders tell him how he can and can't talk about race (he catches himself at the last minute -- sorta). Well, we know where HE stands on race.


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Carpetbagger's list of John McCain's Biggest Flip-Flops

"McCain was consistent on most of these issues, right up until he started running for president, at which point he conveniently abandoned practically every position he used to hold. The problem isn’t just the incessant flip-flops; it’s the shameless pandering and hollow convictions behind the incessant flip-flops."

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3.30.2008

Obama win appears big in Texas delegate battle

It's official! Barack WINS Texas.

Via McClatchy:

Barrack Obama appeared to have scored a clear victory over Hillary Clinton on Saturday in the second step of Texas' multi-tiered process for selecting its delegates to the Democratic National Convention. With results available from about half of the district conventions held statewide, the Associated Press reported that Obama had won 59 percent of the delegates headed to the state party's June convention to Clinton’s 41 percent. That translates into 1,858 delegates for Obama and 1,270 for Clinton.

[snip]

Tens of thousands of Texas Democrats turned out for Saturday's district conventions in a chaotic day in which many of the meetings in Texas' large cities lasted late into the night. Some delegates — confused and frustrated by hours-long delays, disorder and disorganization — gave up on the process and left, still not sure if their vote counted. “Please move a bit faster,” urged delegate Whitney Larkins, who attended the largest senatorial district in Fort Worth gathered at the Will Rogers Coliseum. “Have some consideration. Think about those of us who took time out of our lives to participate in this.”

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Hillary Clinton's lie hits real sniper vics

Ouch.

From The Daily News:

Every time I see the video of Hillary Clinton talking about landing in Bosnia under sniper fire, I also see the shamrock scarf she wore to the podium in honor of St. Patrick's Day.

And then I think once again of the courageous 30-year-old Marine Capt. John McKenna of Brooklyn, born on St. Patrick's Day in 1976 and killed two years ago by a sniper in Iraq.

The same sniper had just shot another New York Marine, 28-year-old Lance Cpl. Michael Glover of Queens. Glover had been the point man in a patrol down a street in Fallujah. He had just reached an intersection when he was hit.

This is gonna hurt.

When I looked at the whole speech she delivered at George Washington University, I saw that she went directly from the Bosnia fantasy to the current situation in Iraq. She actually said, "The American people don't have to guess whether I'm ready to lead or whether I understand the realities on the ground."

In Bosnia, the reality was Clinton was greeted in total safety by an 8-year-old Muslim girl who read her a poem. The reality is the self-styled champion of children erased that moment in favor of a self-glorifying tale of being under fire.

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Thank you, Mr. Daly.

A leading indicator of a doomed candidacy

Today's headline in the Washington Post: "Clinton Vows To Stay in Race To Convention," is very reminiscent of Romney's, Giuliani's & Huckabee's similar declarations, just before they withdrew from the race.

The author of this article, JedReport, makes that simple, yet powerful point:

Today's headline in the WaPo:

Clinton Vows To Stay in Race To Convention.

It was a beautiful thing to see -- because the moment a presidential candidate is forced to vow that he or she isn't quitting, you know they are toast.

In recent history:

Feb 5: Romney Vows to Stay in GOP Race

Feb 4: Huckabee vows to stay in race

Jan 24: Giuliani Vows to Stay in the Race

Jan 6: Edwards vows to stay in race to convention

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Obama (certifiably) wins Texas

Obama landed a lead of nine delegates to the national convention thanks to Texas' caucuses, upheld in today's county conventions. Despite the Clinton campaign's widespread attempts to prevent many Texans from participating in their district convention, the voters of Texas confirmed Senator Obama’s important delegate win in the Lone Star State.

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3.28.2008

Nipples Are NOT Lethal Weapons!

I thought it was a pain to have to remove your shoes and dump your baby’s bottle to get through the security checkpoint. Okay, this is just stupid. The belly button ring stays, but the nipple piercings have to go? What is the fear? That she’ll rub up against the plane with her chest & scratch the fuselage?

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John McCain, Campaign Finance Criminal on CNN

MSM is finally talking about McCain's breaking finance law and how Daily Kos & Fire Dog Lake are leading the charge in filing the complaint with the FCC. This is people powered politics at it's best.

From Firedoglake:

CNN reports on bloggers filing complaint with the FEC over John McCain's campaign finance illegalities.



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Hillary's Just Making It Up As She Goes Along

We all exaggerate. Life is mundane. Stories about it are usually more entertaining with just a bit of tweaking. That's how you can conflate George Clooney's once having gone to the same restaurant you ate at into a story about how you were both at Spago Sat. night. Gore was a lot closer to inventing the Internet than Clinton was to sniper fire.

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Clinton Risks Credibility Gap Over `Fudged' Claims, Stances

Hillary Clinton, accused of exaggerating her experience and reversing policy positions, risks a widening credibility gap that may undermine her bid for the Democratic presidential nomination.

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Getting Mrs. Clinton

Many in the press get it, to their dismay, and it makes them uncomfortable, for it sours life to have a person whose character you feel you cannot admire play such a large daily role in your work. But I think it's fair to say of the establishment media at this point that it is well populated by people who feel such a lack of faith in Mrs. Clinton's

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Obama Rewriting Rules for Raising Campaign Money Online

Obama has shattered fundraising records and challenged ideas about the way presidential bids are financed. While past campaigns have relied largely on support from small circles of wealthy and well-connected patrons, Obama has received contributions from more than 1 million donors. He raised $91 million in the first two months of 2008 alone, most o

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3.27.2008

TPM's "Summa Bosniatica" or Hillary's Bosnia Adventures

Your Daily Politics Video Blog: If you want to see the whole story of Hillary Clinton's Bosnia flap from start to finish and make up your own mind (or just relive the trainwreck) behold...



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Hillary in Tuzla: The Tale of Bosnian Sniper Fire (TRAILER)

Hillary Clinton Lies About Her Bosnia Trip

From heathj82: Watch a news report from 1996 about HRC's trip to Bosnia and then see her speech from March 18, 2008 where she answers a question about the trip. So embarrassing!

3.26.2008

Hillary's Approval Rating Plummets In NBC/WSJ Poll

I just heard Hillary's bloggers, Algre's & Taylor Marsh's heads explode. Did anyone else? LOL!

From MSNBC:

As expected, one of the two major Democratic candidates saw a downturn in the latest NBC/WSJ poll, but it's not the candidate that you think. Hillary Clinton is sporting the lowest personal ratings of the campaign. Moreover, her 37 percent positive rating is the lowest the NBC/WSJ poll has recorded since March 2001, two months after she was elected to the U.S. Senate from New York.

[snip]

(Watch Tim Russert's analysis of the poll results.)

On that issue specifically (Rev. Wright), 32 percent of voters overall said Obama "sufficiently addressed the issue," while 26 percent of folks believe he needs to address the Wright controversy further; 31 percent did not see the speech or had no opinion.

Interestingly, of those voters who said they saw the speech, 47 percent said Obama sufficiently addressed the Wright issue while 37 percent said he needs to address it further. Among whites, 45 percent were satisfied with Obama's explanation, 38 percent were not. Among blacks, 67 percent said the speech was sufficient, while 25 percent want him to address it further.

[snip]

Considering the doom-and-gloom some predicted for Obama with regard to the Wright controversy, the overall tenor of the electorate appears to still be favorable for him. He's mortal, but he's survived ... for now. It's not clear whether he'd be this resilient if another controversy exploded as big as Wright, but it appears that voters are giving him the benefit of doubt.

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Iraqi Fever named after Blackwater Mercenaries

Perfect! I hope Webster's uses their logo when one day they add the term into their dictionary.

From C&L:

Offered without comment. IPS:

Iraqi doctors in al-Anbar province warn of a new disease they call “Blackwater” that threatens the lives of thousands. The disease is named after Blackwater Worldwide, the U.S. mercenary company operating in Iraq.

“This disease is a severe form of malarial infection caused by the parasite plasmodium falciparum, which is considered the worst type of malarial infection,” Dr. Ali Hakki from Fallujah told IPS. “It is one of the complications of that infection, and not the ordinary picture of the disease. Because of it

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Hillary Clinton's Bosnia Story A Hit On YouTube!

Currently at 1,373,104 views.

Via The Huffington Post:

Remember last week when Barack Obama's race speech racked up millions of views on YouTube? Well, history is repeating itself this week for Hillary Clinton — though not for anything she'd want voters to see. YouTubed videos showing the debunking of her Bosnia claim have been viewed at least two million times over the past two days — at least — showing her claims of running across the tarmac to avoid gunfire to footage of her and her then-teenaged daughter, Chelsea, being greeted by a sweet little girl. The most-viewed of the videos, a pull of a CBS News segment that has currently clocked 1,373,104 views, is also the #1 most-viewed video today and # 4 this week (Obama's race speech is #5); other versions of the video have gotten 388,057, 31,555, 25,786, 4,190 and 2,149 views respectively (ironically, CBS' own video on their YouTube channel only has 4,205 views so far).

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San Francisco Mulls Fines for Leaving Lights on at Night

This is a GREAT idea (via The Daily Green) :

Mayor Gavin Newsom has been recognized nationwide for his attempts to make the city green, but this proposal came instead from Board of Supervisors President Aaron Peskin.

The first-in-the-nation rule would impose the commonsense energy-saving practice in a draconian way, with fines of $50 to $250 per offense, depending on the frequency of the problem.



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The Clinton Campaign Keeps Lying About NAFTA

From John Nichols over at The Nation:

Clinton has campaigned this year as a critic of the North American Free Trade Agreement.

Despite the fact that the deal was promoted and passed during the Bill Clinton presidency, and despite her own long record of praising NAFTA's "benefits," Clinton has been claiming on the current campaign trail that, "I have been a critic of NAFTA from the very beginning."

In truth, she was an advocate for NAFTA within the Bill Clinton White House. White House records released last week confirm that Hillary Clinton spoke on behalf of NAFTA and participated in strategy sessions organized to figure out how to gain congressional approval of an agreement that was opposed by labor, farm, environmental and human-rights groups.

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Progressives for Obama

Damn right, people.

From Tom Hayden, Bill Fletcher Jr., Danny Glover & Barbara Ehrenreich over at The Nation:

All American progressives should unite for Barack Obama. We descend from the proud tradition of independent social movements that have made America a more just and democratic country. We believe that the movement today supporting Barack Obama continues this great tradition of grassroots participation, drawing millions of people out of apathy and into participation in the decisions that affect all our lives. We believe that Barack Obama's very biography reflects the positive potential of the globalization process that also contains such grave threats to our democracy when shaped only by the narrow interests of private corporations in an unregulated global marketplace. We should instead be globalizing the values of equality, a living wage and environmental sustainability in the new world order, not hoping our deepest concerns will be protected by trickle-down economics or charitable billionaires. By its very existence, the Obama campaign will stimulate a vision of globalization from below.

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A Detailed Analysis of Hillary's Bosnia Trip in Cartoon Form

Great cartoon by Lee Camp:


Hillary: "Incoming fire!! Every man for himself!!!"

Sinbad: "What the hell's she talkin' about?"

Chelsea: "God knows. I've had to live with this sh*t all my life."
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Will The Media Finally Report That The Surge Has Failed?

Iraq is collapsing before our eyes while McCain gives his foreign policy speech today, noting how successful the surge is and how normal life is returning to the Iraqi people.

It's a parallel universe I tell you!

From georgia10:

The centerpiece of John McCain's campaign is that "the surge is working" in Iraq. He has repeated this lie hundreds of times on the trail, and in doing so, he has rarely been challenged. The press has largely reported his contention as fact, despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary.

The surge, the president's "New Way Forward," was supposed to provide stability, promote political progress, and otherwise assist the Iraqi government in meeting certain benchmarks. As to those expressed goals, the surge has, by any measure, failed.

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It's Time to Give Hillary Clinton a Break

Rena is dead on funny with this sarcastic take on all the things Hillary has done to try and nail this thing down. In the end, the length of the list even shock Rena. Great read.

From RenaRF:

I think we need to give Hillary Clinton a break. After all - she's only trying to win here, right? I guess I can understand. She didn't get into this race to lose the nomination. She didn't serve as First Lady for eight years or stand by her man or run for the US Senate only to lose the biggest, most historic race of her life.

So I can see how she feels motivated to find a way to win and it casts some of her activities in a different light.

She really does believe that she would be the best President, that she is what the country needs at this time. It's unfortunate that actual voters haven't fallen into line. But there's still hope - it's still, theoretically, close enough. So she does what she has to do to win.

Despite what was then an air of inevitability, I'm sure she was protecting her presumptive "win" when she planted questions in the crowd. (h/t retriever)

It was also probably in the spirit of safeguarding the win that she dug into Barack Obama's secret Kindergarten files. (h/t lams712)

She had to distort Barack Obama's abortion record to try to confuse and mislead voters.

She needed to cry to stay alive in New Hampshire.

[snip]

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Veterans React to Hillary Clinton's Bosnia Lie

This lie is probably the lie that ends it all for her. Good.

From Sharon Jumper:

When you're running to be Commander-in-Chief, it's never a good idea to lie, but to lie about coming under sniper fire in a war zone when in reality you were greeted by children and flowers is particularly offensive to veterans.

Gen. Walter Stewart, the former head of the Pennsylvania National Guard has said of Clinton's lie:

She has no sense of what a statement like that does to soldiers...She is insulting the command in its entirety...Believe me, heads would have rolled all over if the military put the then-first lady at unacceptable risk...

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3.25.2008

A Mosaic: 4,000 Americans Dead

From Nico Pitney:

In remembrance of the 4,000 brave men and women who sacrificed everything for us -- and the two men who would continue this great tragedy, despite the cost to our soldiers, our military, and our nation.

Click image for larger view:


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3.24.2008

Hillary in Tuzla: The Tale of Bosnian Sniper Fire (TRAILER)

From jedreport:

Coming soon to a superdelegate near you: Hillary Clinton in Tuzla, Bosnia.It's an unbelievable tale of heroism, written and directed by Mark J. Penn.The Baltimore Sun calls it a "whopper.""Four Pinnochios!" says the Washington Post."Requires enormous suspension of disbelief" raves the Huffington Post.


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Hillary's 3 Am Ad Girl, Casey Knowles, Rejects Hillary Clinton

3.23.2008

Hillary Clinton Lies About Her Trip to Bosnia

From heathj82:

Watch a news report from 1996 about HRC's trip to Bosnia and then see her speech from March 18, 2008 where she answers a question about the trip. So embarrassing!


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Chuck Todd: Media gave McCain pass over Iran/al-Qaeda gaffes

Can you imagine how Dems would have been attacked making the same "gaffe" over & over & over again? They'd be crucified.

Instead, McCain's gaffes are laughed out, downplayed and written of jokingly as a "senior moment" by his media lackeys. What's scary is it probably is a "senior moment" and that’s not something they should be laughing at.

It should terrify them.

From Crooks & Liars:
On Meet the Press this morning, NBC’s Chuck Todd got honest and told us what we already know, but what the media rarely likes to confess. McCain has a lot in the bank with the media and they will help him out of his problems. You’re all aware of McCain’s linking al-Qaeda to Iran all last week—which is not happening because of the Sunni/Shia difference. He had to get bailed out by his Lieberman posse and his FOX friend Britt Hume, but the real story given to us by Chuck Todd is that the media would have attacked either of the two Democratic nominees for days on end over the same gaffe.

Todd: He’s got enough of that in the bank, at least with the media, that he can get away with it. I mean, the irony to this is had either Senator Clinton or Senator Obama misspoke like that, it’d have been on a running loop, and it would become a, a big problem for a couple of days for them.

{snip} ...You could assume that Lieberman would then have been booked on teevee 24/7 —yelling into the cameras that they are incompetents on the very serious issue of foreign policy instead of whispering sweet answers in McCain’s ear to correct him. Get used to this treatment from the media. It’s sickening…

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3.22.2008

The Obamathon (2.0) Begins

This guys is just 14 year old! He puts most bloggers to shame. He has been one of THE most prolific diarists on DKos. He's absolutely amazing. Give this kid some love, people.

Philly Inquirer:

"And in St. Paul, Minn., a blogger named Karl just became one of the Obama campaign's more prolific fund-raising bundlers, raising more than $42,000 in only a week from hundreds of friends and strangers over the Internet. Karl, mind you, is only 14 years old.

Those of us who care about the influence of big money on politics don't really need more laws. We need more Karls. "
From Populista over at Dailykos comes another Obama fundraising drive:

8 weeks ago today in a blog on DailyKos and many other sites I posted a proposal for a Obamathon fundraising drive to help Barack Obama win in the first Super Tuesday (February 5th). Since then 896 people have donated $48,771 dollars via that page and Obama has gone from a underdog to a clear front runner within reach of the nomination.

But there is still work to do to get there. Obama has to run two campaigns at once. He still has to win the Democratic nomination and also he has to run against Senator McCain. He is facing a two front battle. It is still a uphill fight but it can be won.

So I'm relaunching the Obamathon as the Obamathon 2.0 (real original name I know) and setting a new goal of $100,000 by April 22, the day of the next primary...

Donate to the Obamathon Netroots Fundraising Drive

Yes. We. Can.

REGISTER VOTERS. TAKE ACTION. DONATE

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3.21.2008

Will Rush Limbaugh Be Indicted for Voter Fraud?

As Ohio election officials investigate illegal crossover voting in the 2008 primary, questions arise on Limbaugh's role.

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Martink Luther King: Another Angry Black Preacher

Great article from E.J. Dionne on race. He isn't attacking Obama or justifying for him, his merely explaining the same disconnect between what Rev. Wright said and people's not understanding why Obama would stay in his Church.

From the NY Times:

One of the least remarked upon passages in Obama's speech is also one of the most important -- and the part most relevant to the Wright controversy. There is, Obama said, a powerful anger in the black community rooted in "memories of humiliation and doubt" that "may not get expressed in public, in front of white co-workers or white friends" but "does find voice in the barbershop or the beauty shop or around the kitchen table. . . . And occasionally it finds voice in the church on Sunday morning, in the pulpit and in the pews."

Yes, black people say things about our country and its injustices to each other that they don't say to those of us who are white. Whites also say things about blacks privately that they don't say in front of their black friends and associates.

One black leader who was capable of getting very angry indeed is the one now being invoked against Wright. His name was Martin Luther King Jr.

[snip]

Listen to what King said about the Vietnam War at his own Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta on Feb. 4, 1968: "God didn't call America to engage in a senseless, unjust war. . . . And we are criminals in that war. We've committed more war crimes almost than any nation in the world, and I'm going to continue to say it. And we won't stop it because of our pride and our arrogance as a nation. But God has a way of even putting nations in their place." King then predicted this response from the Almighty: "And if you don't stop your reckless course, I'll rise up and break the backbone of your power."

[snip]

I cite King not to justify Wright's damnation of America or his lunatic and pernicious theories but to suggest that Obama's pastor and his church are not as far outside the African American mainstream as many would suggest. I would also ask my conservative friends who praise King so lavishly to search their consciences and wonder if they would have stood up for him in 1968.

[snip]

I'm a liberal, and I loathe the anti-American things Wright said precisely because I believe that the genius of our country is its capacity for self-correction. Progressivism and, yes, hope itself depend on a belief that personal conversion and social change are possible, that flawed human beings are capable of transcending their pasts and their failings.

Obama understands the anger of whites as well as the anger of blacks, but he's placed a bet on the other side of King's legacy that converted rage into the search for a beloved community. This does not prove that Obama deserves to be president. It does mean that he deserves to be judged on his own terms and not by the ravings of an angry preacher.

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3.20.2008

VIDEO: NAFTA and Hillary Clinton's Credibility Problem

From the jedreport:

Hillary Clinton has a serious credibility problem and NAFTA is just the latest example.


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MySpace, Rupert Murdoch, FOX News, and terrorist Web pages

Oh, this is just too much.

Via AmericaBlog:

Earlier this year, arm chair terrorism fighter Bill O'Reilly blasted the chair of General Electric for doing business with terrorist countries like Iran. Bill was in rare form when he took on this issue. But, Bill needs to have on another guest and blast him for cavorting with Iranians and Syrians, possibly even aiding in the recruitment of terrorists and certainly facilitating the spewing of hatred against Israel.

That guest would be Rupert Murdoch, the head of FOX News.

[snip]

Here is the self-described "Offical Hezbollah MySpace" page:



There's a page for Hamas:



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3.19.2008

The Reviews Are In: Obama's Speech was Historic.

I thought those of you out there in the mainstream media bubble might want to take a gander at an overall theme emerging from yesterday’s historic speech by Barack Obama. In a word: Historic.

Forget the polls, forget the rhetoric on hate radio and Fox ‘news’. The YouTube video of Obama’s speech now has over 1.3 million views in less than 24 hrs.

1.3 Million.

Barack Obama treated American’s like adults yesterday. Something the blow-dried, blowhards on and behind the cameras over at the 24 hours news outlets could take a lesson or two from.

It’s quite something to behold:

New York Times editorial:

There are moments — increasingly rare in risk-abhorrent modern campaigns — when politicians are called upon to bare their fundamental beliefs. In the best of these moments, the speaker does not just salve the current political wound, but also illuminates larger, troubling issues that the nation is wrestling with.

Inaugural addresses by Abraham Lincoln and Franklin D. Roosevelt come to mind, as does John F. Kennedy’s 1960 speech on religion, with its enduring vision of the separation between church and state. Senator Barack Obama, who has not faced such tests of character this year, faced one on Tuesday. It is hard to imagine how he could have handled it better.

Washington Post editorial:

Sen. Barack Obama's mission in Philadelphia yesterday was to put the controversy over inflammatory statements made by the Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr., his spiritual mentor and pastor for 20 years, behind him. But Mr. Obama (D-Ill.) went deeper than that. He used his address as a teachable moment, one in which he addressed the pain, anger and frustration of generations of blacks and whites head-on -- and offered a vision of how those experiences could be surmounted, if not forgotten. It was a compelling answer both to the challenge presented by his pastor's comments and to the growing role of race in the presidential campaign.

Boston Globe editorial:

Barack Obama could have made a much shorter speech. He could have protected his campaign yesterday by denouncing and rejecting his former pastor, Rev.Jeremiah Wright, as a crank. Then Obama could have rushed on, hoping that someone else's scandal would push his own out of the headlines.

Instead, Obama took the opportunity to engage the question of race in America, starting a bold, uncomfortably honest conversation. He asked Americans to talk openly about the deep wells of anger and resentment over racism, discrimination, and affirmative action. It's a call to break out of the country's racial stalemate and finally reach a new national understanding.

Time Magazine editorial:


Politicians don't give speeches like the one Barack Obama delivered this morning at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia. Certainly presidential candidates facing the biggest crisis of their campaigns don't. At moments like these — when circumstances force them to confront and try to defuse a problem that threatens to undermine their campaigns — politicians routinely seek to clarify, diminish and then dispose of the problem. They play down the conflict, whatever it is, then attempt to cut themselves off from it and move on, hoping the media and electorate will do the same. What they don't do is give a speech analyzing the problem and telling Americans that it's actually more complicated than what they believed. They manifestly do not denounce the offensive comments that stirred up the trouble to begin with and then tell Americans to grow up and deal with the fact that those same remarks, however wrong and offensive, are an elemental part of who they are, and who we are.


But that is the breathtakingly unconventional speech Obama gave today. Rather than disown his former pastor and spiritual adviser, the Rev. Dr. Jeremiah Wright, Jr., as well as denounce Wright's controversial sermons, Obama declared that he could denounce but not disown. "I can no more disown him than I can disown the black community," he said. He castigated Wright, but did not cast him off. Obama refused to add his voice to the chorus vilifying Wright. Acknowledging how disingenuous that would have been, and how craven, Obama instead pulled Wright back and re-owned him, saying, "As imperfect as he may be, he has been like family to me."


Mike Huckabee:

Obama made the point, and I think it's a valid one, that you can't hold the candidate responsible for everything that people around him may say or do. You just can't. Whether it's me, whether it's Obama...anybody else. But he did distance himself from the very vitriolic statements…

…Now, the second story. It's interesting to me that there are some people on the left who are having to be very uncomfortable with what Louis Wright said, when they all were all over a Jerry Falwell, or anyone on the right who said things that they found very awkward and uncomfortable years ago. Many times those were statements lifted out of the context of a larger sermon. Sermons, after all, are rarely written word for word by pastors like Reverend Wright, who are delivering them extemporaneously, and caught up in the emotion of the moment. There are things that sometimes get said, that if you put them on paper and looked at them in print, you'd say "Well, I didn't mean to say it quite like that." …

…And one other thing I think we've gotta remember. As easy as it is for those of us who are white, to look back and say "That's a terrible statement!"...I grew up in a very segregated south. And I think that you have to cut some slack -- and I'm gonna be probably the only Conservative in America who's gonna say something like this, but I'm just tellin' you -- we've gotta cut some slack to people who grew up being called names, being told "you have to sit in the balcony when you go to the movie. You have to go to the back door to go into the restaurant. And you can't sit out there with everyone else. There's a separate waiting room in the doctor's office. Here's where you sit on the bus..." And you know what? Sometimes people do have a chip on their shoulder and resentment. And you have to just say, I probably would too. I probably would too. In fact, I may have had more of a chip on my shoulder had it been me.

The Corner, Charles Murray:


I read the various posts here on "The Corner," mostly pretty ho-hum or critical about Obama's speech. Then I figured I'd better read the text (I tried to find a video of it, but couldn't). I've just finished. Has any other major American politician ever made a speech on race that comes even close to this one? As far as I'm concerned, it is just plain flat out brilliant--rhetorically, but also in capturing a lot of nuance about race in America. It is so far above the standard we're used to from our pols.... But you know me. Starry-eyed Obama groupie.

The Politico, Ben Smith:


A smart colleague notes that this speech is the polar opposite of this year's other big speech on faith, in which Mitt Romney went to Texas to talk about Mormonism, but made just one reference to his Mormon faith.

Obama mentions Wright by name 14 times.


Atlantic.com, Andrew Sullivan:


Alas, I cannot give a more considered response right now as I have to get on the road. But I do want to say that this searing, nuanced, gut-wrenching, loyal, and deeply, deeply Christian speech is the most honest speech on race in America in my adult lifetime. It is a speech we have all been waiting for for a generation. Its ability to embrace both the legitimate fears and resentments of whites and the understandable anger and dashed hopes of many blacks was, in my view, unique in recent American history…


…I have never felt more convinced that this man's candidacy - not this man, his candidacy - and what he can bring us to achieve - is an historic opportunity. This was a testing; and he did not merely pass it by uttering safe bromides. He addressed the intimate, painful love he has for an imperfect and sometimes embittered man. And how that love enables him to see that man's faults and pain as well as his promise. This is what my faith is about. It is what the Gospels are about. This is a candidate who does not merely speak as a Christian. He acts like a Christian.


TPM, Josh Marshall:

I think I have to dissent from David's view that Obama didn't bring his A-game to the speech this morning. I was only able to listen/watch out of the corner of my eye because I was on deadline for something else. But my sense was that the tempo and tenor was suited to the occasion. The kind of stirring delivery he's made a trademark of in his victory celebrations would not have been appropriate for the moment.

Mother Jones, David Corn:

With racial sentiments swirling in the 2008 campaign--notably, Geraldine Ferraro's claim that Barack Obama is not much more than an affirmative action case and the controversy over his former pastor's over-the-top remarks-- Senator Obama on Tuesday morning responded to these recent fusses with a speech unlike any delivered by a major political figure in modern American history. While explaining--not excusing--Reverend Jeremiah Wright's remarks (which Obama had already criticized), he called on all Americans to recognize that even though the United States has experienced progress on the racial reconciliation front in recent decades (Exhibit A: Barack Obama), racial anger exists among both whites and blacks, and he said that this anger and its causes must be fully acknowledged before further progress can be achieved. Obama did this without displaying a trace of anger himself.

Atlantic.com, James Fallows:

It was a moment that Obama made great through the seriousness, intelligence, eloquence, and courage of what he said. I don't recall another speech about race with as little pandering or posturing or shying from awkward points, and as much honest attempt to explain and connect, as this one.

Radar, Charles Kaiser:

He did it.

No other presidential candidate in the last forty years has managed to speak so much truth so eloquently at such a crucial juncture in his campaign as Barack Obama did today. And he did it by speaking about race, the most persistent source of hatred among us since America began.

It turns out that a candidate for president with a white mother and a black father has a capacity that no one else has ever had before: he can articulate an equal understanding of black racism and white racism --and that makes it possible for him to condemn both of them with equal passion.

The American Prospect, Kate Sheppard:

Obama's much-anticipated speech on race today hit the appropriate tone not just for addressing the Jeremiah Wright flap, but for framing the relevance of his candidacy in general. It was best in the way it framed the discomfort and resentment in the discussion of race in America that has lead to a "racial stalemate" for so many years, and made race "a part of our union that we have not yet made perfect.

Charles Murray:

Has any other major American politician ever made a speech on race that comes even close to this one? As far as I'm concerned, it is just plain flat out brilliant -- rhetorically, but also in capturing a lot of nuance about race in America. It is so far above the standard we're used to from our pols.

First Read:

His tone throughout was quiet and thoughtful. The same speech could have been delivered in a fiery tone. But Obama chose one that was quiet and thoughtful. It did little to lessen the impact and may have added to the weight of his words.

Marc Ambinder:

How it plays will determine how it plays. If the media focuses more on the Wright defense-by-renouncements and then juxtaposes them with clips of Wright's comments, then I think the trouble remains. The seeds of doubt about who this guy really is may be nourished. I know that Obama believes that a discussion about race plays to his benefit, no matter what people think about white working class voters and their latent feelings. Perhaps this is the beginning of his opportunity to lift the veil and get everyone -- not just himself and the media -- to talk openly.

dnA:

The question is really whether America has already decided Obama is too black to be president. If that line has been crossed, than there's really nothing he can do to convince them otherwise. Ultimately though, you have to wonder whether Obama being marginalized because of his race (and whatever you think of Wright, putting his words in Obama's mouth is about seeing Obama as the sum of racial fears) was an "if," rather than a "when".

Whether or not he gets elected, his candidacy has complicated the way we talk about race in America. On some level, that has to be a good thing.

The Huffington Post, Charles Durang:

…I thought Barack Obama's speech, which finished just minutes ago, was brilliant, nuanced, healing and shows him to be incredibly worthy as a candidate. I hope America is interested enough in progress to embrace this man. We would be lucky, very lucky, to have him as a president. If you didn't see the speech, please seek it out...

I'm sorry -- I don't often get moved and inspired listening to a speaker. I think Barack Obama is brilliant, and he is a genuine healer. If we don't take our chances with him, we are doomed to more of this endless, idiot, non-constructive bickering deadlock that passes for governance in our stuck, stalled political landscape.

Rev. Jesse Jackson:

I thought it was a culmination of tough-minded, tender-hearted and a clear vision," Jackson told the Huffington Post. "It really was warm, filling, captive, reconciling and comprehensive and it displayed real true grit. He was forthright not evasive and used it as a teaching moment in American history: America's struggle to overcome its past and become a more perfect union. And once he made the case about the past and the complexities of Reverend Wright's life or [Geraldine] Ferraro's for that matter, he made the case that we are here now, but this time we will go forward by hope and not backwards by fear.

Atrios:

Aside from disparate treatment of left and right and black and white in our mainstream discourse, there's also a difference in the basic narrative provided. The narrative from the Right - and its representatives in the conservative religious community - is of an America which was once the garden of Eden, until its tragic fall at the hands of (feminists, liberals, civil rights movement, whatever), and they wish to bring the country back to its former state. Thus they can hate the America that is while dreaming of the perfect America that was. Thus there's no conflict between their unquestioned patriotism and their hatred of the country, as their patriotism is for the True America that was, not its current corrupted incarnation.

While the mirror image rhetoric from the Left is about a country which was flawed, often tragically so, but which has the capacity for improvement. Be disgusted with the country as it was and is, while hoping for an evolution to a better country.

Oliver Willis:

One of my personal maxims has been that politicians will disappoint you. The ones you like will have personal failings, while the ones you detest will fail time and time again. With Senator Obama, for the first time in my life, I have watched a political leader who I don’t worry if he’ll be up to the task.

It’s like you had Michael Jordan in his prime or Joe Montana with 2 minutes to go. It’s that feeling where you say to yourself: Ok, breathe, he’s got it.

Chill, Barack’s got it.

The Page, Time Magazine, Mark Halperin:

Obama Rises to the Occasion on Race and the Race…Blows away the chattering class with Philadelphia speech…Delivers historic remarks on race in address that was wide-ranging, personal, and (at times) passionate...Widespread praise from anchors/pundits/reporters for sweeping remarks drawing on American history and his own biracial upbringing.

And just for good measure:

Frank Schaeffer, son of highly influential Religious Right figure Francis Schaeffer (on the Rev. Wright issue in general):

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.

UPDATE:

Pennsylvania Political Science Professor, Rogers M. Smith (via The Huffington Post):
"Senator Obama sought simultaneously to assure white and Latino Americans that he was not siding with any form of race hatred while also assuring black Americans that he understood their anger and affirmed his community with them. But above all, he strove to shift the prevailing political discourse from a focus on racial divisions to a common progressive agenda of change," said Smith.

[snip]

"Pennsylvania is one of the places where Obama had to be careful not to appear to be "dissing" the black church, particularly outspoken clerical leaders, while he nonetheless did have to distance himself from the despair about white Americans and American progress that he discerned in some of Wright's sermons. The focus on Wright's comments and Obama's stance toward them was not helpful to him here, so it was risky but also wise to address the issue head on as he did," said Smith.

[snip]

"It will most help white liberals feel comfortable about voting for Obama, both because they will agree with its substance and because it will strengthen their belief that he can win. But it will also bolster his already very strong support among most black voters, because it does articulate how many feel. It will help some with white moderates and not at all with conservatives."
UPDATE II:

The New York Times, Janny Scott:

It was an extraordinary moment — the first black candidate with a good chance at becoming a presidential nominee, in a country in which racial distrust runs deep and often unspoken, embarking at a critical juncture in his campaign upon what may be the most significant public discussion of race in decades.

In a speech whose frankness about race many historians said could be likened only to speeches by Presidents Lyndon B. Johnson, John F. Kennedy and Abraham Lincoln, Senator Barack Obama, speaking across the street from where the Constitution was written, traced the country’s race problem back to not simply the country’s “original sin of slavery” but the protections for it embedded in the Constitution.

Yet the speech was also hopeful, patriotic, quintessentially American — delivered against a blue backdrop and a phalanx of stars and stripes. Mr. Obama invoked the fundamental values of equality of opportunity, fairness, social justice. He confronted race head-on, then reached beyond it to talk sympathetically about the experiences of the white working class and the plight of workers stripped of jobs and pensions.

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Web video - Clinton's View on Iraq

She must be confused...she didn't KNOW she was authorizing war....or did she???


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3.18.2008

NY TImes Editorial: Mr. Obama’s Profile in Courage

From The NY Times:

There are moments — increasingly rare in risk-abhorrent modern campaigns — when politicians are called upon to bare their fundamental beliefs. In the best of these moments, the speaker does not just salve the current political wound, but also illuminates larger, troubling issues that the nation is wrestling with.

Inaugural addresses by Abraham Lincoln and Franklin D. Roosevelt come to mind, as does John F. Kennedy’s 1960 speech on religion, with its enduring vision of the separation between church and state. Senator Barack Obama, who has not faced such tests of character this year, faced one on Tuesday. It is hard to imagine how he could have handled it better.

Mr. Obama had to address race and religion, the two most toxic subjects in politics. He was as powerful and frank as Mitt Romney was weak and calculating earlier this year in his attempt to persuade the religious right that his Mormonism is Christian enough for them.

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Barack Obama: A More Perfect Union



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This New York Jew knew in his bones that what Barack Obama was saying was more powerful than some of the right-wing pundits and Hillary Clinton supporters (on here) are obviously capable of giving him credit for.

I actually welled up several times during the speech. At a couple of points, I even had to stop what I was doing while he was speaking (folding laundry) and sit down because my knees wobbled.
That's not an exaggeration.

This is much more than just about Wright's words, which I also happen to think have some validity, (though could have been addressed much more eloquently as a religious leader), it was about a truth this country hasn't been willing to face head on, from any point along the color spectrum.

This speech will be looked back upon in a greater light than even JFK's religious speech. 50 years from now naysayers and racists who are alive and well all over the networks and blogs (conscious of it or otherwise) " and who still can only focus on Wright's words " will be forgotten.
Just like the anti-Catholics were after JFK's historical speech.

The media has a decision to make now: Do they continue limiting the discussion (and accusations of hate & anti-Americanism) to Rev. Wright"s fiery words, or do you open conversation to the bigger, more important historical truth of racial and economic injustices that are real, still alive and thriving in both the black and white communities?

I suspect the Pat Buchanan"s, Sean Hannity"s, Joe Scarborough"s and some of the Hillary blogger's of the media world (Taylor Marsh, etc.) will choose the former, but who of the media out there will be courageous enough to choose the later?

3.17.2008

Jeremiah Wright and radical, white evangelical ministers

The idea that America deserves terrorist attacks and other horrendous disasters has long been a frequently expressed view among the faction of white evangelical ministers to whom the Republican Party is most inextricably linked. Neither Jerry Falwell nor Pat Robertson ever retracted or denounced their view that America provoked the 9/11 attacks.

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Daily Kos Founder Responds to Hillary Clinton's Bloggers

Daily Kos founder, Markos Moulitsas -- a.k.a. "kos", responds to the so-called “writer’s strike” by a handful of rabid Clinton supporters (Alegre, SusanHu, etc) and tells why most of the site’s bloggers aren’t Hillary Clinton fans. (hint: it has nothing to do with Clinton’s gender).

If the media – now reporting on the strike and accusations by these Clinton’s bloggers did their homework – they would find (by simply reading through their diaries on Daily Kos) that they are as guilty, if not more so, of the very things they accuse the site of and it’s Obama supporters of.

The irony of course, is their blame-the-others-side-for-your-sins tactic is so Clintonian.

Here's his entire statement:

The Clinton civil war

by kos

Al Giordano, on the laughable Clinton-supporters "strike" of this blog:
There was always something incongruous about the self-proclaimed “Hillary Bloggers” trying to use Daily Kos for their purposes. DKos has been defined as a meeting ground not for every Democrat, but for the kind that wants to change the party to be more grassroots oriented, adhere to a 50-state strategy, stop the war in Iraq, and blunt the influence of lobbyists, PACs and the neoliberal Democratic Leadership Council (DLC). That’s the glue that has always held the DKos community together and made it so large and strong.

Given that candidate Clinton is a member of the DLC, voted to authorize the war, accepts federal lobbyist and PAC money, clearly thinks that a lot (if not most) states “don’t matter,” and epitomizes a 1990s style top-down form of doing politics, it’s no surprise that for all of 2007 Clinton never exceeded 11 percent support in the monthly Daily Kos users straw poll.
I would add one more item to the list above -- this site has also been hostile to the corrosive consultant class that gave us our timid and weak party until Howard Dean shook it up in 2004.

Now I'm willing to stipulate that on the consultant front, there's likely not much difference between the Obama and Clinton campaigns (I don't know if it's true, but I assume it is). But on everything else, Clinton fails the test of the guiding principles of this site, and of my first book, Crashing the Gate.

Clinton isn't just a member of the DLC, she's in their leadership. Obama, by the way, repudiated the organization three times (it's a great story, which I tell in my forthcoming book).

Clinton hasn't just rejected a 50-state strategy, she has openly attacked it. CTG has a great quote from former Virginia Governor and future senator Mark Warner on this very topic:

The Democratic Party is in the upswing in the Mountain West and the South, in places like Montana and Virginia, because Democrats there have made a serious effort to compete for votes everywhere, rather than make a nominal effort to be an "also-ran" outside the Democratic-density areas. As [former Virginia Gov. Mark] Warner asks, how many more times will the Democrats run presidential campaigns where they abandon thirty-three southern and western states and "launch a national campaign that goes after sixteen states and then hope that we can hit a triple bank shot to get to that seventeenth state?"
Well, given Obama's map-changing 50-state mindset, it's clear that the answer to Warner's question is "one more time" if Clinton is the nominee, and "never again" if Obama is the nominee.

Clinton didn't just vote for the Iraq war and refuse to apologize for it, she voted to give Bush the same authority on Iran.

And if we want to talk about which party is the most grassroots-oriented, it's no contest. We've seen it in the caucuses, we've seen it in the netroots, and we saw it in the Iowa county convention this Saturday. The party's activists are busting their butts for Obama, while Clinton's campaign is counting on low-information Democratic voters selecting Clinton based on little more than name ID.

But I could deal with all of that, really, if Clinton was headed toward victory. I see this as a long-term movement, and I've always expected setbacks along the way. Clinton isn't the most horrible person in the world. She's actually quite nice, despite all her flaws, and would make a fine enough president.

If she was winning.

But she's not, and that's the rub.

First of all, the only path to victory for Clinton is via coup by super delegate.

She knows this. That's why there's all the talk about poaching pledged delegates and spinning uncertainty around Michigan and Florida, and laying the case for super delegates to discard the popular will and stage a coup.

Yet a coup by super delegate would sunder the party in civil war.

Clinton knows this, it's her only path to victory, and she doesn't care. She is willing -- nay, eager to split the party apart in her mad pursuit of power.

If the situations were reversed, and Obama was lagging in the delegates, popular vote, states won, money raised, and every other reasonable measure, then I'd feel the same way about Obama. (I pulled the plug early on Dean in 2004.) But that's not the case.

It is Clinton, with no reasonable chance of victory, who is fomenting civil war in order to overturn the will of the Democratic electorate. As such, as far as I'm concerned, she doesn't deserve "fairness" on this site. All sexist attacks will be dealt with -- those will never be acceptable. But otherwise, Clinton has set an inevitably divisive course and must be dealt with appropriately.

To reiterate, she cannot win without overturning the will of the national Democratic electorate and fomenting civil war, and she doesn't care.

That's why she has earned my enmity and that of so many others. That's why she is bleeding super delegates. That's why she's even bleeding her own caucus delegates (remember, she lost a delegate in Iowa on Saturday). That's why Keith Olbermann finally broke his neutrality. That's why Nancy Pelosi essentially cast her lot with Obama. That's why Democrats outside of the Beltway are hoping for the unifying Obama at the top of the ticket, and not a Clinton so divisive, she is actually working to split her own party.

Meanwhile, Clinton and her shrinking band of paranoid holdouts wail and scream about all those evil people who have "turned" on Clinton and are no longer "honest power brokers" or "respectable voices" or whatnot, wearing blinders to reality, talking about silly little "strikes" when in reality, Clinton is planning a far more drastic, destructive and debilitating civil war.

People like me have two choices -- look the other way while Clinton attempts to ignite her civil war, or fight back now, before we cross that dangerous line. Honestly, it wasn't a difficult choice. And it's clear, looking at where the super delegates, most bloggers, and people like Olbermann are lining up, that the mainstream of the progressive movement is making the same choice.

And the more super delegates see what is happening, and what Clinton has in store, the more imperative it is that they line up behind Obama and put an end to it before it's too late.


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Living a Republican War

From Crooks & Liars:

CNN’s Kyra Phillips speaks to some Iraqi soldiers about the U.S. presidential election and democracy in Iraq. While they spoke enthusiastically about the American soldiers teaching them discipline and how to effectively combat their enemies in Iraq, the soldiers were less effusive in their praise for those managing the war and their plans for bringing about democracy. Phillips tried in vain to locate any McCain supporters among the group.

“Just to be perfectly clear here, I did ask them are you following any of the republican candidates?…Do you want to talk about John McCain? Within that whole group, not one wanted a republican in the US presidential seat. They were all for a democrat. They were all for that type of change because they said they were living a republican war.”
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TIME Invents Facts to Claim Americans Support Bush's Spying

From Glenn Greenwald:

"No matter how corrupt and sloppy the establishment press becomes, they always find a way to go lower. Time Magazine has just published what it purports to be a news article by Massimo Calabresi claiming that "nobody cares" about the countless abuses of spying powers by the Bush administration; that "Americans are ready to trade diminished privacy, and protection from search and seizure, in exchange for the promise of increased protection of their physical security"; and that the case against unchecked government surveillance powers "hasn't convinced the people." Not a single fact -- not one -- is cited to support these sweeping, false opinions."

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3.16.2008

Clinton to Pelosi: "You sank my battleship"

Nancy gets what Hillary is trying to do and will stop it. This is the closest she has come to saying so. Good for her. Barack Obama has won most delegates, won the most states and won a majority of the popular and even if you count Florida & Michigan, as is, he's STILL ahead with no way for Hillary to catch up, no matter how many times the Hillary campaign tries to say 2 + 2 = 5.

From America Blog:

Okay, she didn't really say that. But it's what Pelosi just did to Hillary. Hat tip to reader Ryan (the "battleship" idea was his). From AP:
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says it would be damaging to the Democratic party for its leaders to buck the will of national convention delegates picked in primaries and caucuses, a declaration that gives a boost to Sen. Barack Obama.

"If the votes of the superdelegates overturn what's happened in the elections, it would be harmful to the Democratic party," Pelosi said in an interview taped Friday for broadcast Sunday on ABC's "This Week."....

In her interview, Pelosi also said that even if one candidate winds up with a larger share of the popular vote than the delegate leader, the candidate who has more delegates should prevail.

"It's a delegate race," she said. "The way the system works is that the delegates choose the nominee."
It's time for Hillary to stop this nonsense and concede. She can't win. But she can sure as hell take the rest of us down with her. And she is.


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"The Forces Of Division" Return To The Democratic Race

From The Huffington Post:

Following a week in which he faced a growing controversy regarding his relationship with his former pastor Rev. Jeremiah Wright, Sen. Barack Obama spoke about the increasingly divisive nature of the Democratic race.

Sen. Barack Obama on Saturday decried "the forces of division" over race that he said are intruding into the Democratic presidential nomination contest.

"We have to come together," he told a town-hall meeting at a high school.[...]

Obama suggested that more and more is being made of racial divisions as his contest with Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton heats up.

"I noticed over the last several weeks that the forces of division have started to raise their ugly heads again. And I'm not here to cast blame or point fingers because everybody, you know, senses that there's been this shift," Obama said.

"It reminds me: We've got a tragic history when it comes to race in this country. We've got a lot of pent-up anger and bitterness and misunderstanding. ... This country wants to move beyond these kinds of things."

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