Elections 2008 Resources:
Get out the Vote and Voter Protection
Opposition Research on John
on Hillary Clinton
Targeting Obama: what the opposition is
1/03 - 3/03
2000 - 2002
Elections News Sources
Sun - the Swamp
Elections Center 2008
York Times - the Caucus
Vote 2008 Primaries
Points Memo Election Coverage 2008
Today 2008 Election Coverage
News & World Report
Post Politics / Elections
Black America News
Black Youth Vote
Katrina Survivors Fight Back
The Democratic Race for the White House and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. 1/31/2008 Black Commentator: by Bill Fletcher Jr.
Moynihan Backed Clinton; His Widow Backs Obama 1/31/2008 NYT: "Elizabeth B. Moynihan, the widow of Daniel Patrick Moynihan, the New York senator who, from a hayfield on his upstate farm, helped shepherd Hillary Rodham Clinton into his Senate seat, has endorsed Barack Obama for the Democratic presidential nomination. Candidate Topic PagesMore Politics NewsIn an e-mail statement to the Obama campaign, Mrs. Moynihan, an architectural historian who successfully managed three of her husband’s four Senate campaigns, said she had been inspired by an Op-Ed article by Caroline Kennedy, daughter of the slain president, in The New York Times on Sunday. Mrs. Moynihan added that she was also dismayed at Bill and Hillary Clinton’s recent hostility toward Mr. Obama’s candidacy."
Obama Is Sub-Prime on Lending Crisis 1/31/2008 The Nation: "As the subprime mortgage debacle drives a recession that threatens financial markets around the world, the Democratic presidential candidates are pushing plans to address the crisis. John Edwards and Hillary Clinton are pledging substantial federal resources to stabilize the mortgage market and intervene on behalf of borrowers. Barack Obama's proposal is tepid by comparison, short on aggressive government involvement and infused with conservative rhetoric about fiscal responsibility. As he has done on domestic issues like healthcare, job creation and energy policy, Obama is staking out a position to the right of not only populist Edwards but Clinton as well."
Congressional Black Caucus Split Evenly Between Backers of Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama 1/30/2008 Black America Web: "Among those endorsing Clinton are Sheila Jackson Lee of Texas; Stephanie Tubbs Jones of Ohio; Kendrick Meek, Corrine Brown and Alcee Hastings of Florida; Yvette Clarke, Charles Rangel, Gregory Meeks and Edolphus Towns of New York; Emanuel Cleaver of Missouri; Dianne Watson and Laura Richardson of California; David Scott and John Lewis of Georgia and Donna Christian-Christensen (V.I.).
Obama’s supporters include Bobby Scott of Virginia; Danny K. Davis, Bobby Rush and Jesse Jackson Jr. of Illinois; Barbara Lee of California; Artur Davis of Alabama; Gwen Moore of Wisconsin; William Lacy Clay of Missouri; Elijah Cummings of Maryland; Sanford Bishop and Hank Johnson of Georgia; John Conyers of Michigan; Keith Ellison of Minnesota; Chaka Fattah of Pennsylvania and Al Green of Texas."
Carter praises Obama 1/30/2008 CNN: "Jimmy Carter says he's not formally endorsing any candidate, but in an interview with the Wall Street Journal, the former president lavished praise on Barack Obama, calling his campaign "extraordinary"
"Obama's campaign has been extraordinary and titillating for me and my family," Carter told the newspaper in an interview published in its Wednesday edition. According to the paper, Carter was particularly praiseworthy of the Illinois senator's rhetorical skills, comparing them to those of Martin Luther King, Jr.
Carter also said Obama "will be almost automatically a healing factor in the animosity now that exists, that relates to our country and its government.""
Obama has the Whitehouse 1/30/2008 SF Bay View: "San Francisco - "We believe Obama," said Carol McGruder and Jeannette Fisher-Kouadio (pronounced Kwa-jo), as they heard Sen. Barack Obama deliver his victory speech in South Carolina via satellite at his San Francisco headquarters on Market Street Saturday. The jam packed audience was charged with the kinetic energy of inspiration.
"We believe Obama!" is not just talk. With help of friends, well known activist McGruder and attorney Fisher-Kouadio have opened a "Whitehouse" for Obama in the Bayview. The white building, located at 1599 Revere Ave. at Lane, is ready for volunteers."
The Audacity of Questioning Obama's Commitment to Israel 1/29/2008 American Thinker: "Senator Obama's appointment of Zbigniew Brzezinski as a foreign policy adviser "worries Israel supporters" . His deep bond with Pastor Jeremiah Wright, Jr. (who has close ties with Louis Farrakhan -- a notorious anti-Semite elicited a critical column by Washington Post columnist Richard Cohen -- a column which seemed to open a window for others to come forward.
Cohen is a liberal Democrat, and calling him a part of the vast right wing smear machine, as National Democratic Jewish Council Executive Director Ira Forman called Lasky in an ad hominum attack column released Monday won't work any better than labeling Alan Dershowitz and Martin Peretz as right wing smear artists for the deep concerns they have expressed about Obama's foreign policy team. Forman makes no attempt to offer any defense of that foreign policy team in his article. Nor has any other Obama defender who supports Israel made such a defense to this point."
Ha'aretz Rates the Candidates 1/29/2008 AntiWar: "Some critics of Middle Eastern policy have been hopeful that Barack Obama, who has less baggage on the issue than the other candidates, might approach the Israel-Palestine conundrum with a more open mind. Such hopes are fleeting, as Obama has adopted an increasingly strident pro-Israel line to make himself more electable. This line was apparently crafted by his key adviser on the region, Dennis Ross, a former State Department official who was the key negotiator between Palestinians and Israelis under President Bill Clinton. Ross has invariably tilted in the Israeli direction by defining most regional problems in terms of Israeli security concerns. When he is not advising Obama, Ross is now a "distinguished fellow" at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy (WINEP), the strongly pro-Israeli Washington think tank that was founded by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC). He is also a Middle East analyst for Fox News… At the bottom of the heap? Yes, it's Barack Obama with a 5. He has tried to demonstrate that he is true blue when it comes to Israel by manfully supporting last year's invasion of Lebanon, which killed more than 1,000 civilians and caused billions of dollars worth of damage: "I don't think there is any nation that would not have reacted the way Israel did after two soldiers had been snatched. I support Israel's response to take some action in protecting themselves." I suppose that, In spite of the bad grammar, that came off a bit too eggheaded, not to mention mealy-mouthed. Obama lived for a while in Indonesia, which is known to be overrun with Muslims. He could himself be some kind of crypto-Islamofascist, and a few years ago he had some nice things to say about Palestinians. You lose, Barack."
California Blacks, Lifted by Obama’s Decisive S.C. Win, are Fired Up for State’s Big Primary 1/29/2008 Black America Web
Virginia Democrats: 'We're Fired Up' 1/29/2008 NNPA: "With Virginia’s Democratic primary coming up on Tuesday, Feb. 12, Sen. Obama’s victorious South Carolina team, which remained steady on Super Tuesday, has set up shop in Virginia and has begun to woo voters.
The team is being led by Stacey Y. Brayboy, a South Carolina native who was Sen. Obama’s state director there.
Ms. Brayboy, who holds a master’s
degree from Clark Atlanta University,
is no stranger to the commonwealth.
She was a state director for
Gov. Tim Kaine’s gubernatorial run
Washington elite lead Clinton backlash 1/29/2008 Politico
Cards From a Worn-Out Deck 1/29/2008 WaPo: "But a funny thing happened in South Carolina. Clinton didn't lose by 10 or 12 points, as most polls had predicted; it was a 28-point blowout, with Obama more than doubling her vote. Yes, he took 78 percent of the black vote, according to exit polling, and she beat him among white voters, 36 percent to 24 percent. But if you look more closely, Clinton and Obama were practically tied among white men, 28 percent to 27 percent. Clinton's advantage among whites came from women."
Obama aide wants talks with terrorists - Foreign adviser's 'anti-Israel policies,' sympathy for Hamas, raise concerns 1/29/2008 WorldNetDaily
Morrison endorses Obama for president 1/28/2008 AP: "The woman who famously labeled Bill Clinton as the "first black president" is backing Barack Obama to be the second. Author Toni Morrison said her endorsement of the Democratic presidential candidate has little to do with Obama's race — he is the son of a black father from Kenya and a white mother from Kansas — but rather his personal gifts."
McCain win would mean war with Iran 1/28/2008 Global Research: "There's no doubt John McCain is going to be a war president. ... His whole career is wrapped up in the military, national security. He's in Putin's face, he's threatening the Iranians, we're going to be in Iraq a hundred years."
"So when he says more war," Scarborough commented, "he is promising you, if he gets in the White House, we'll not only be fighting this war but starting new wars. Is that what conservative Republicans want?
"I don't say he's starting them," Buchanan answered. "He expects more wars. ... I think he's talking straight, because if you take a look at the McCain foreign policy, he is in everybody's face. Did you see Thad Cochran's comment when he endorsed Romney? He said, look, John McCain is a bellicose, red-faced, angry guy, who constantly explodes."
Clinton's Latino spin 1/28/2008 LA Times: "A few weeks ago, Sergio Bendixen, a Clinton pollster and Latino expert, publicly articulated what campaign officials appear to have been whispering for months. In an interview with Ryan Lizza of the New Yorker, Bendixen explained that "the Hispanic voter -- and I want to say this very carefully -- has not shown a lot of willingness or affinity to support black candidates." ...But was Bendixen's blanket statement true? Far from it, and the evidence is overwhelming enough to make you wonder why in the world the Clinton campaign would want to portray Latino voters as too unrelentingly racist to vote for Barack Obama.
University of Washington political scientist Matt Barreto has compiled a list of black big-city mayors who have received broad Latino support over the last several decades. In 1983, Harold Washington pulled 80% of the Latino vote in Chicago. David Dinkins won 73% in New York in 1989. And Denver's Wellington Webb garnered more than 70% in 1991, as did Ron Kirk in Dallas in 1995 and then again in 1997 and 1999.
He could have also added that longtime Los Angeles Mayor Tom Bradley won a healthy chunk of the Latino vote in 1973 and then the clear majority in his mayoral reelection campaigns of 1977, 1981, 1985 and 1989.
Here in L.A., all three black members of Congress represent heavily Latino districts and ultimately couldn't survive without significant Latino support. Five other black House members represent districts that are more than 25% Latino -- including New York's Charles Rangel and Texan Al Green -- and are also heavily dependent on Latino voters."
Obama takes big risk on driver's license issue 1/28/2008 SF Chronicle: "Sen. Barack Obama easily won the African American vote in South Carolina, but to woo California Latinos, where he is running 3-to-1 behind rival Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, he is taking a giant risk: spotlighting his support for the red-hot issue of granting driver's licenses to illegal immigrants.
It's a huge issue for Latinos, who want them. It's also a huge issue for the general electorate, which most vehemently does not. Obama's stand could come back to haunt him not only in a general election, but with other voters in California, where driver's licenses for illegal immigrants helped undo former Gov. Gray Davis."
Obama to Hispanics: “This is your country.” 1/28/2008 The Border Line
Hillary and Sun Myung Moon: A Strategic Catastrophe 1/28/2008 The Real Sun Myung Moon: [Moon's Unification Church has long been suspected of money laundering and alliances with major narcotraffickers] - "The video included one prominent American politician, Senator Hillary Clinton who is quoted as expressing the following sentiments: "I applaud the Universal Peace Federation's global networks of individuals and organizations committed to peace building through dialogue, education, and service." "
Would Clinton Betray Armenia, Again? 1/27/2008 Armenian National Committee of America: "Hastert explained that he was doing so at the behest of President Bill Clinton, who was twice endorsed by the ANCA. Clinton claimed recognizing the Armenian genocide would hurt national security by damaging the U.S. relationship with Turkey."
A President Like My Father 1/27/2008 NYT: by Caroline Kennedy - "Senator Obama is running a dignified and honest campaign. He has spoken eloquently about the role of faith in his life, and opened a window into his character in two compelling books. And when it comes to judgment, Barack Obama made the right call on the most important issue of our time by opposing the war in Iraq from the beginning.
I want a president who understands that his responsibility is to articulate a vision and encourage others to achieve it; who holds himself, and those around him, to the highest ethical standards; who appeals to the hopes of those who still believe in the American Dream, and those around the world who still believe in the American ideal; and who can lift our spirits, and make us believe again that our country needs every one of us to get involved.
I have never had a president who inspired me the way people tell me that my father inspired them. But for the first time, I believe I have found the man who could be that president - not just for me, but for a new generation of Americans."
EXIT POLLS - Black Vote Was Vital, But Not the Whole Story 1/27/2008 WaPo: "Overwhelming support from African American voters fueled Sen. Barack Obama's big win in yesterday's South Carolina Democratic primary, but he also continued to demonstrate broad appeal across racial lines, particularly among younger, better-educated and wealthier voters.
Black voters made up 55 percent of primary voters, up from 47 percent in 2004, and nearly eight in 10 supported Obama in South Carolina, according to National Election Pool exit poll results. White voters split more evenly, with 40 percent supporting former senator John Edwards (N.C.), 36 percent backing Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (N.Y.) and 24 percent opting for Obama (Ill.).
As he has elsewhere, Obama scored better among younger white voters, and among those with higher incomes and more education. Half of white voters younger than 30 voted for Obama, as did about one-third of those with at least a college degree and a similar percentage of those with family incomes of $100,000 or more."
CNN Exit Poll numbers 1/26/2008 CNN
Exit polls: Bill Clinton's effect 1/26/2008 CNN: "Bill Clinton's aggressive campaigning in South Carolina in the days leading up to the state's primary may have had a net negative effect among South Carolina’s Democratic primary voters, CNN exit polls indicate."
Exit polls: Obama won across demographic lines 1/26/2008 CNN: "But exit polls showed Obama winning majorities across nearly all demographic groups -- including women, who made up about 60 percent of Saturday's voters and who were a bulwark of Clinton's wins in New Hampshire and Nevada.
Voters listed the ability of a candidate to bring about change as their top quality -- and Obama, who has made that a central theme of his campaign, drew three-quarters of those who picked that as their most important characteristic."
A week after vote, Nevada outcome still puzzling 1/26/2008 LA Times
The Super Tuesday Strategy Guide 1/26/2008 Slate
Sobering Numbers for Hillary Clinton 1/26/2008 The Nation: "Sixty-five percent of delegates chosen so far in Democratic primaries and caucuses have gone to Hillary Clinton's opponents. Of course, the opposition is divided between Barack Obama, with 63, and John Edwards, with 26. But when you add those totals together -- the most likely calculation in the eyes of anyone who has been watching the subtle cooperation between the Obama and Edwards campaigns -- they don't just trump Clinton's 48. They obliterate it."
Obama returns to Clinton's war vote 1/25/2008 AP
Is All Fair in Political Campaigning? The Testy Climate in South Carolina Begs the Question 1/25/2008 Black America Web
Photo surfaces of Hillary Clinton and Tony Rezko 1/25/2008 Chicago Tribune
The Clinton Audacity 1/25/2008 Consortium News: "Some rank-and-file Democrats who have weathered three decades of Republican hardball politics aren’t sure what to think when Bill and Hillary Clinton attack Barack Obama over the Iraq War, his attitude toward Ronald Reagan, and his relationship with a sleazy real-estate developer."
The Hypocrisy of BET's Bob Johnson's Obama Smears 1/24/2008 Alternet: by Davey D - "It was a cheap shot -- referencing Obama's drug use when he was a young man. This was an activity that Obama freely admitted to in his memoirs Dreams From My Father, and on some level I can see it being fair game, but coming from a guy like Johnson, that's like former President Bill Clinton giving marital advice to Halle Berry's former husband and admitted sex addict Eric Bonet. I heard Johnson make these remarks, and I was like, "Negro, go back into your cave; please sit down and leave the politics to someone else."
I keep asking myself: Where does Johnson get off slamming Obama about the wrongs of drug use when he piloted one of the largest media institutions (BET) that provided a worldwide platform that for the most part glorified and legitimized the lifestyles of those who not only used drugs but also sold them? In all the years we've known of billionaire Bob Johnson, we have not seen him get on any stage and diss former drug dealers like Jay-Z, 50 Cent, Rick Ross or any number of artists whose videos he would routinely play coupled with sit-down interviews conducted by fawning hosts who never, ever challenged these artists for resurrecting a "criminal" lifestyle they supposedly left behind in both their songs and videos."
Response to Clinton's attacks on Obama's record on choice 1/24/2008 Barack Oblogger
Mitt Romney Encounters Black Voters, Asks "Who Let the Dogs Out?" [VIDEO] 1/23/2008 Alternet: "Later, Mr. Romney admired a child's gold necklace and said, "Oh, you've got some bling-bling here.""
How Clinton Will Win the Nomination by Losing S.C. 1/23/2008 Real Clear Politics: by Dick Morris - "Of course, Clinton is going to lose that battle. Blacks in Nevada overwhelmingly backed Obama and will obviously do so again in South Carolina, no matter how loudly former President Clinton protests. So why is he making such a fuss over a contest he knows he's going to lose?
Precisely because he is going to lose it. If Hillary loses South Carolina and the defeat serves to demonstrate Obama's ability to attract a bloc vote among black Democrats, the message will go out loud and clear to white voters that this is a racial fight. It's one thing for polls to show, as they now do, that Obama beats Hillary among African-Americans by better than 4-to-1 and Hillary carries whites by almost 2-to-1. But most people don't read the fine print on the polls. But if blacks deliver South Carolina to Obama, everybody will know that they are bloc-voting. That will trigger a massive white backlash against Obama and will drive white voters to Hillary Clinton.
Obama has done everything he possibly could to keep race out of this election. And the Clintons attracted national scorn when they tried to bring it back in by attempting to minimize the role Martin Luther King Jr. played in the civil rights movement. But here they have a way of appearing to seek the black vote, losing it, and getting their white backlash, all without any fingerprints showing. The more President Clinton begs black voters to back his wife, and the more they spurn her, the more the election becomes about race -- and Obama ultimately loses."
Erdogan advises Obama to outgrow amateur talk 1/23/2008 Turkish Press: "Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan dubbed Barack Obama, one of the Democratic frontrunners in the U.S. presidential elections who promised to recognize the killing of Armenians in 1915 as “genocide,” an amateur of politics without explicitly mentioning his name."
Why Lorna Switched from Clinton to Obama 1/23/2008 You Tube: "Finding crack and driving wedges, exploiting divisions, telling lies: Bill and Hillary Clinton. It's how they narrowly won in New Hampshire and now they are driving it home. Please watch this short post regarding the direct mail piece in New Hampshire that drove the former president of NOW in Chicago from supporting Hillary to now being an outspoken supporter of Barack."
Obama battles rumor he’s a Muslim 1/22/2008 Black News Weekly: "Obama did not hypothesize who was behind the e-mails, but noted, "somehow they appear magically wherever the next primary or caucus is."
His comments are the latest in a heightened effort to beat back the Internet rumors ahead of South Carolina's Democratic primary Saturday."
How the Clinton Campaign Armed a Black-Latino Time Bomb in Nevada - Divide and Conquer Politics 1/22/2008 Counterpunch: by Al Giordano, NarcoNews - "Obama--not Clinton--was a co-sponsor of the Immigrant Reform Bill that was the central issue of 2007 for the Latino population. He has to make that case and do so fast or the black-Latino rift that the Clintons have so cynically encouraged could become the story of the remaining Democratic primaries, leading to such acrimony that one group, or the other, stays home in November.
In addition to those factors, Obama needs to shine an eviscerating light upon the actual record of the first Clinton administration and the brutality of its increased prosecution of Hispanics for non-violent federal drug crimes. According to a 2003 survey by Fairbanks, Maslin, Maulin & Associates for the Drug Policy Alliance, a wide majority of Latinos in California oppose prison terms for drug offenders… The terrible Clinton legacy of US government mistreatment of Mexican-Americans--including the majority that are legal citizens--provides the constitutional law professor and civil rights lawyer from Illinois the opening to do so. But the time bomb of black-Latino division is ticking and could explode, if not disarmed in the next week, as soon as Tsunami Tuesday rolls in on February 5."
No Habla Español 1/22/2008 NYT: "Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton does not usually speak in Spanish as she makes overtures to Hispanic voters, and now we have evidence of why.
Speaking Tuesday afternoon before a predominantly Hispanic audience of more than 2,000 people here, where she accepted the endorsement of Cesar Chavez’s United Farm Workers union, Mrs. Clinton repeatedly heard the crowd chant “Si se puede” – a signature political phrase at Hispanic rallies that translates to “Yes, It Can Be Done!”
Politicians usually join in, but Mrs. Clinton refrained from doing so on one, two, and then three occasions; she simply nodded and smiled and said nothing."
Obama most likely Democrat to unify America 1/22/2008 The State, South Carolina: the most important paper in SC.
Voices Are Raised in Democratic Debate 1/22/2008 Washington Post
Atlanta mayor takes political shot at Bill Clinton - During the MLK service, Franklin addresses Clinton's reference to Barack Obama's rise as a 'fairy tale' 1/21/2008 Atlanta Journal Constitution
At Ebenezer, Obama Calls for Unity to Heal Divisions 1/20/2008 AP
Oh, the Irony – Why Are So Many Old-Guard Leaders Choosing Clinton Over Barack Obama? 1/20/2008 Black America Web
Who Won Nevada: Clinton or Obama? 1/20/2008 Buzzflash
Obama surfaces in Rekzo's federal corruption case 1/20/2008 Chicago Sun Times: "The allegations against Rezko that involve Obama are contained in one paragraph of a 78-page document filed last month in which prosecutors outline their corruption and fraud case against Rezko, who was also a key money man for Gov. Blagojevich and other politicians.
Rezko is set to go to trial Feb. 25. The revelation that Obama’s name could come up in court is a political headache he doesn’t need as he heads into a round of primaries that are likely to determine his party’s nomination for president.
Obama is not named in the Dec. 21 court document. But a source familiar with the case confirmed that Obama is the unnamed “political candidate” referred to in a section of the document that accuses Rezko of orchestrating a scheme in which a firm hired to handle state teacher pension investments first had to pay $250,000 in “sham” finder’s fees. From that money, $10,000 was donated to Obama’s successful run for the Senate in the name of a Rezko business associate, according to the court filing and the source."
The Campaign in Black and White 1/20/2008 Counterpunch: "The Clintons' relationship with African-Americans has always been starkly instrumental. When he was in trouble with white voters in New Hampshire in 1992 Governor Bill sprinted back to Little Rock to preside over the execution of a mentally retarded black man. To ensure her husband's victory in his reelection race in 1996 Hillary insisted Bill chop poor mothers--a good slice of them black--off the welfare rolls. Nonetheless many blacks rooted for Bill, absurdly dubbed by Toni Morrison "the first black president" and in the impeachment crisis over Monica Lewinsky they were his most steadfast friends, as Bill recognized when he summoned the Rev Jesse Jackson into the White House to help him pray for forgiveness and redemption.
Other well known landmarks in the Clintons' relations with blacks include Bill Clinton's set-up of Sister Souljah and his disgusting treatment of Lani Guinier and Jocelyn Elders. The Clintons reach out when they have no alternative and stab you in the back when it seems marginally to their advantage. They are without doubt among the most unprincipled duos ever to have operated in the upper tiers of American political life."
Women turn on ‘traitor’ Oprah Winfrey for backing Barack Obama 1/20/2008 London Times
Poll: Obama makes big gains among black voters 1/19/2008 CNN
Belittling Dr. King’s Words and Actions 1/18/2008 Amsterdam News: "Sen. Hillary Clinton has inadvertently taught most Blacks a valuable lesson this month. Race leaders are more important than political leaders. Unfortunately, Blacks have traded in Malcolm X, Dr. Martin L. King, Jr., Medgar Evers, Fannie Lou Hamer et. al. for Bill and Hillary Clinton, who head a list that includes “Honest Abe,” FDR, JFK and LBJ."
Edwards, Clinton Critical of Obama's Praise for GOP And Reagan 1/18/2008 AP
Hillary Clinton’s Sleaze Parade 1/18/2008 Common Dreams: "Start with the hiring of chief campaign strategist, Mark Penn. He’s CEO of a PR firm, Burson-Marsteller, that prepped the Blackwater CEO for his recent congressional testimony, is advising the giant industrial laundry corporation Cintas in fighting unionization, and whose website proudly heralded their union-busting expertise until it became a potential Clinton liability and they removed that section. B-M has historically represented everyone from the Argentine military junta and Philip Morris to Union Carbide after the 1984 Bhopal disaster."
Barack Obama on Diplomacy 1/18/2008 Foreign Policy in Focus: "This article examines Obama’s overall foreign policy positions which, while containing many positive attributes that are bolstering the presidential candidate’s popularity, also reveal that he’s far less progressive than many of his enthusiastic supporters tend to believe. It therefore remains an open question as to whether these positions really represent the kind of sweeping changes his campaign has promised an Obama presidency would bring."
Obama and the Reagan Wing of the Democratic Party 1/18/2008 The Nation: "And they can live with Barack Obama, who could finish off the Clintons, who eschews edgy populism for “hope” and who this week said of a certain conservative: “I think Ronald Reagan changed the trajectory of America in a way that Richard Nixon did not and in a way that Bill Clinton did not. He put us on a fundamentally different path because the country was ready for it. I think they felt like with all the excesses of the 1960s and 1970s and government had grown and grown but there wasn’t much sense of accountability in terms of how it was operating. I think people, he just tapped into what people were already feeling, which was we want clarity we want optimism, we want a return to that sense of dynamism and entrepreneurship that had been missing.”"
Why I got Angry after NH: The White Curtain and the Possibility of Hope 1/17/2008 Black Commentary: by Bill Fletcher, Jr.
Bill Clinton paints Obama as 'establishment' candidate 1/15/2008 AP
Clinton Gets Respectful Applause At MLK Observance - Obama Supporters Show Up En Masse At Manhattan Event 1/15/2008 CBS: "It didn't start off well. Clinton was reminded by The Rev. Dr. Johnny Ray Youngblood, "that we would not be where we are today it not for Dr. Martin Luther King."
Sure, she clapped, but the comment reminded everyone of the reason she was at an event dedicated to the Civil Rights leader -- to make amends for saying Dr. King's dream of racial equality was realized only after President Lyndon Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act of 1964."
Clinton, Obama Vow to Bury Race Debate 1/15/2008 MyWay: "Democratic presidential rivals Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama blamed aides and campaign surrogates Tuesday night for fueling a campaign controversy over race, jointly pledging at a debate on the birthday of Martin Luther King Jr. to put the matter behind them.
Obama said "not only in hindsight, but going forward," he regretted that his staff had prodded reporters to pursue the issue.
"Our supporters, our staff, get overzealous. They start saying things that I would not say," added the most viable black candidate in history.
"We both have exuberant and sometimes uncontrollable supporters," Clinton said in the opening moments of a two-hour round-table debate televised on MSNBC. "We need to get this campaign where it should be," said the former first lady, seeking to become the first woman to occupy the White House."
Obama's Farrakhan Test 1/15/2008 WaPo: "Barack Obama is a member of Chicago's Trinity United Church of Christ. Its minister, and Obama's spiritual adviser, is the Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr. In 1982, the church launched Trumpet Newsmagazine; Wright's daughters serve as publisher and executive editor. Every year, the magazine makes awards in various categories. Last year, it gave the Dr. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr. Trumpeter Award to a man it said "truly epitomized greatness." That man is Louis Farrakhan."
Obama Needs a History Lesson about Hillary and King 1/14/2008 Alternet: by Earl Ofari Hutchinson
Going Old South on Obama - Ma and Pa Clinton Flog Uppity Black Man 1/14/2008 Counterpunch: "By ISHMAEL REED - During Bill Clinton's first run for President, I appeared on a New York radio panel with some of his black supporters, including Paul Robeson, Jr., son of the actor and singer. I said that Clinton had character problems. They dismissed my comments and said that I didn't know anything about politics and should stick to writing novels. (Clarence Page, who has monopoly on the few column inches and airtime made available to black columnists by the corporate media, said the same thing about me. I should stick to creative writing and leave politics alone.)
These criticisms didn't deter me. Writing in The Baltimore Sun, I was the first to identify Clinton as a black president as a result of his mimicking a black style. (I said he was the second, since Warren G. Harding never denied the rumors about his black ancestry.) As a result of his ability to imitate the black preaching style, Clinton was able to seduce black audiences, who ignored some of his actions that were unfriendly, even hostile to blacks. His interrupting his campaign to get a mentally disabled black man, Ricky Ray Rector executed. (Did Mrs. Clinton tear up about this act?) His humiliation of Jesse Jackson. His humiliation of Jocelyn Elders and Lani Gunier. The welfare reform bill that has left thousands of women black, white, yellow and brown destitute, prompting Robert Scheer to write in the San Francisco Chronicle, "To his everlasting shame as president, Clinton supported and signed welfare legislation that shredded the federal safety net for the poor from which he personally had benefited." "
Dick Morris Responds to the Clinton/Obama Race Controversy 1/14/2008 FOX
Clinton Smears Obama on Iraq — Again 1/14/2008 Mother Jones
Responding to Recession 1/14/2008 NYT: "The Obama campaign’s initial response to the latest wave of bad economic news was, I’m sorry to say, disreputable: Mr. Obama’s top economic adviser claimed that the long-term tax-cut plan the candidate announced months ago is just what we need to keep the slump from “morphing into a drastic decline in consumer spending.” Hmm: claiming that the candidate is all-seeing, and that a tax cut originally proposed for other reasons is also a recession-fighting measure - doesn’t that sound familiar?
Anyway, on Sunday Mr. Obama came out with a real stimulus plan. As was the case with his health care plan, which fell short of universal coverage, his stimulus proposal is similar to those of the other Democratic candidates, but tilted to the right.
For example, the Obama plan appears to contain none of the alternative energy initiatives that are in both the Edwards and Clinton proposals, and emphasizes across-the-board tax cuts over both aid to the hardest-hit families and help for state and local governments. I know that Mr. Obama’s supporters hate to hear this, but he really is less progressive than his rivals on matters of domestic policy."
Is Hillary playing the reverse race card? 1/14/2008 OutragedModerates.org: " I think Hillary is starting to write off the black vote, realizing that the main reason for black voters' hesitation about Obama has been the fear that he can't get enough support from whites. So the fact that the MLK-Lyndon Johnson comment may offend some blacks is no longer as relevant to her - and if she can use the ensuing fracas to claim that Obama is playing the race card, the gain in support among white voters (in SC, Nevada, and the rest of the country) will make up for the impending drop in support among blacks."
Clinton Blames Obama Campaign For Distorting MLK Comments 1/13/2008 CBS
Candidates’ Unconditional Support Isn’t Right for Jewish State 1/13/2008 The Oregonian: by John J. Mearsheimer, a professor of political science at the University of Chicago. Stephen M. Walt is a professor of international affairs at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. They are the authors of “The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy,” published last year by Farrar, Straus and Giroux.
Clinton camp hits Obama | Attacks 'painful' for black voters 1/12/2008 The State, SC: "Sharp criticism of Barack Obama and other comments about Martin Luther King Jr. — all from people associated with Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign — have generated resentment among some black S.C. voters.
The furor comes just two weeks before those voters will have a significant say in who wins the Jan. 26 primary here.
The Clinton-Obama battle has the potential to become a wrenching divide for black voters. Historically those voters have been strong backers of Bill and Hillary Clinton. But many black voters now are drawn to the prospect of a black man winning the presidency."
Racial Tensions Roil Democratic Race 1/11/2008 CBS
New York Times Keeps Running Truncated Version Of Hillary's Quote About Martin Luther King 1/11/2008 Horse's Mouth
Kerry throws his support to Obama - Endorsement may prove to be double-edged sword: experts 1/11/2008 National Post, Canada
Hillary Plays a Risky 'Gender Card' 1/10/2008 Consortium News
Clinton wins back women, narrowly takes New Hampshire 1/9/2008 CNN: "Age is also playing a big factor -- older voters are overwhelmingly outnumbering younger voters -- a proportion that is clearly benefiting Clinton," Schneider said. "Sixty-seven percent of Democratic primary voters are over the age of 40, and they are breaking heavily for Clinton over Obama."
Democratic Scorecard 1/9/2008 CNN
Republican Scorecard 1/9/2008 CNN
Exit Polls: Behind Clinton, McCain Comebacks 1/9/2008 NPR: "Obama overwhelmingly held a lead among independents and first-time voters, although the number of first-time primary goers was up only slightly from 2004. Obama also won the youth vote: the 18 percent of the New Hampshire electorate under 30, while Clinton won among voters age 45 and older."
Seven Jewish senators sign letter deploring "false and malicious" attacks on Obama 1/9/2008 Sweet
Brazile on Bill: 'Depressing' 1/8/2008 Politico.com: "Brazile: I could understand his frustration at this moment. But, look, he shouldn't take out all his pain on Barack Obama. It's time that they regroup. Figure out what Hillary needs to do to get her campaign back on track. It sounds like sour grapes coming from the former commander in chief. Someone that many Democrats hold in high esteem. For him to go after Obama, using a fairy tale, calling him as he did last week. It's an insult. And I will tell you, as an African-American, I find his tone and his words to be very depressing."
US Military Escalation Gets Underway In Pakistan 1/6/2008 Common Dreams: "The US government is considering direct military intervention in the tribal areas of Pakistan, risking an escalated conflict with Pashtun nationalism in the name of crushing al Qaeda. An essay in last week’s Washington Post, a front page story in today’s New York Times and reports from the Real News Network all confirm that a decision to intervene is near. The Times confirms that as many as 50 American personnel, whether special forces or CIA, already operate clandestinely inside the Pakistani border.
Democrats have called no hearings nor raised significant voices of opposition to the unfolding plan. In New Hampshire last night, Sen. Barack Obama repeated his endorsement of unilateral US military intervention in Pakistan if “actionable intelligence” exists. His Democratic rivals did not dissent.
The consequences of the possible escalation are extremely unpredictable. The alleged al-Qaeda militants are embedded in complex tribal networks in a remote mountainous area. Military action could inflict severe casualties and damage to these traditional communities and inflame anti-American sentiment across Muslim Pakistan. It might accelerate the disintegration of the US-backed Musharraf dictatorship which currently possesses nuclear weapons. Musharraf and the Pakistani military have steadfastly opposed direct American intervention for the past five years."
You know that statistic about there being more Black men in prison than in college? 1/1/2008 Urban Onramps: [scroll down to the 7th commentg for this] "I am the author of the new book “WHY ARE SO MANY BLACK MEN IN PRISON?” It IS TRUE that there are more Black men in prison than college.
You are using government statistics that do not count heads but utilize “methods” of counting as well as flat out false numbers. Excuse me if I do not trust all of the info that the government puts out, especially with regards to Black folks. I grew up under COINTELPRO. Do this: Name me ONE college in this country that is comprised of majority Black males. Don’t just quote slanted government statistics. I can name you hundreds of prisons and jails with 95% Black male occupancy. And the statistics you give here are not even the real statistical numbers. The government actually just put out a report that says the opposite.
The bottom line is, can you name me just ONE college out of the hundreds of colleges in America with a majority Black male population? If not, don’t argue on this point because you sound ridiculous. That is one of the sort of right-wing tactics (slickly decreasing the “hot” statistical sample utilizing semantics and hidden margins) to confuse the direness of the situation by talking about “college age Black men” rather than Black men. Did you know that their supposed sample includes 2 year trade schools THAT REALLY AREN’T COLLEGES OR UNIVERSITIES, which explains why supposedly over 60% of those “in college Black males” reside off-campus and not on-campus according to their own stats! THERE ARE MORE BLACK MEN IN PRISON THAN COLLEGE. That is a fact. I can name you hundreds of prisons that have majority Black male populaces. I know it sounds ugly, but it’s the hard truth. Dr. Alvin P. is really just trying to counter certain negative well-known facts with a positive spin with hopes, I believe, of minimizing some of the negative stereotypes that come with them. I applaud his effort, but on this issue he is doing it at the cost of the truth."
Prison and Jail Inmates at Midyear 2006 1/1/2008 US DOJ: "During the 12 months ending June 30, 2006, the number of inmates in the custody of State and Federal prisons and local jails increased 2.8% to reach 2,245,189." [Of these, Table 13 shows 836,800 as incarcerated African American and if you add up men from 18-35, it totals 481,600.]
The Mendacity of Hope - What We Want to Believe About Obama 1/1/2008 WaPo: "What concerns me is the lie or fib or misstatement -- call it what you want -- involved in Obama's assertion that more young black men are in prison than in college. It is a shocking statistic -- and it is wrong. But when The Post's lonesome but formidable truth squad, Michael Dobbs, brought this to the attention of the Obama campaign, he not only got the brushoff but the assertion was later repeated." [The Washington Post columnist failed to check his facts, there are over 2 million black men incrcerated, not 100,000 as his source cites.]
What Obama Got Wrong 1/1/2008 WaPo: [published 12/14/07] - "Obama has repeated this false claim to predominantly African American audiences, even after The Washington Post pointed out the mistake to his campaign. According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, 106,000 African American men ages 18 to 24 were in federal or state prisons at the end of 2005. An additional 87,000 were temporarily held in local jails in mid-2006. According to 2005 census data, 530,000 African American men in this age group were in college."
Hillary Signals Free Pass for Bush 12/31/2007 Consortium News: "Hillary Clinton’s campaign is signaling that a second Clinton presidency will follow the look-to-the-future, don’t-worry-about-accountability approach toward Republican wrongdoing that marked Bill Clinton’s years in office."
Support Edwards and Obama's decision to reject FOX 12/20/2007 FOX Attacks
Huck's Sins 12/12/2007 New Republic: "Before stepping down as governor, Huckabee wiped almost 100 computers in his offices using $13,000 in state emergency funds. The purge left incoming Governor Mike Beebe with no emergency funds for the second half of the following year."
Huckabee does a flip-flop on Cuba 12/11/2007 LA Times: "As governor of Arkansas five years ago, Mike Huckabee joined a bipartisan chorus of politicians who concluded that the U.S. trade embargo against Cuba was bad for businesses. Now that he's a top-tier candidate for president, Huckabee has decided he favors the embargo -- so much so that he vowed Monday to outdo even President Bush in strangling the regime of Cuban President Fidel Castro and punishing those who do business there.
It was a change of heart sure to please hard-liners among the Cuban exiles who could make up 10% or more of the electorate in Florida's crucial Jan. 29 Republican primary. But it also reflected the latest move by a once-obscure candidate now grappling with how to transform a burst of momentum into a sustainable bid for the White House."
Candidates target Castros for indictment 12/10/2007 Miami Herald: "The frustration of Miami exiles over the Cuban government's downing of two Brothers to the Rescue planes more than a decade ago has now filtered into the presidential race, with top GOP candidates calling for the indictment of Fidel and Raúl Castro.
While stumping through South Florida, three Republican candidates have brought up the Brothers tragedy, and at least two have pledged to hold the Castro brothers responsible for the 1996 shoot-down by Cuban MiGs that killed four Miami-based fliers.
The candidates' interest in the shoot-down may be an indication of the advice they're receiving from key Cuban-American leaders. Among Sen. John McCain's supporters are U.S. Reps. Mario and Lincoln Díaz-Balart and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, all of Miami. In the past, she has brought up the possibility of indictments with President Bush.
''I talked to McCain about this specific recommendation, and he said yes, that as president he would . . . ask the Justice Department to begin a legal inquiry into the illegal shoot-down,'' Ros-Lehtinen said Monday."
Hillary's Mystery Money Men 10/18/2007 The Nation
Obama adviser worries Israel supporters 9/12/2007 Politico: "Brzezinski, 79, stepped into the crossfire this summer when he published an essay in the summer issue of the journal Foreign Policy, defending a controversial new book about the power of the “Israel Lobby” in American politics.
The book’s authors, Harvard’s Stephen Walt and the University of Chicago’s John Mearsheimer, thanked him for his “incisive defense.”
But the article inserted him into one of the most heated debates in America-Israel politics, a bitter dispute about whether the authors’ claims smacked of bigotry, whether their critics are – as Brzezinski put it — “McCarthyite.”
“It is a tremendous mistake for Barack Obama to select as a foreign policy adviser the one person in public life who has chosen to support a bigoted book,” said Harvard Law professor Alan Dershowitz, one of the most visible critics of the Walt and Mearsheimer volume, titled “The Israel Lobby.” (Dershowitz has contributed to the campaign of Obama’s leading rival, Senator Hillary Clinton of New York.)"
Video: Giuliani stumps for 'Confederate Flag' supporters 4/12/2007 Raw Story: ""It's not a question I'm gonna decide, I don't think it's a question I should decide, I think that it's something that states should decide," Giuliani said in Atlanta on Wednesday."
The winds of change are blowing
in Miami 11/23/2006 Granma: "These three reactionary Congress members, the Díaz-Balart brothers and Ileana (the Gabys, Fofós and Milikis, of our political fauna) were reelected by a slight majority. The opponents of all three were political unknowns who had neither the backing of the Democratic Party – even though they were running as Democrats – nor the money to buy even a burger… For everyone in Miami, it is obvious that the votes won by the opponents of the three Congress members were not for the former, but instead a vote of categorical rejection of the other three. It was, above all, a spontaneous vote, without any political entity organizing or backing it.
The vote against these three sinister individuals was against their politics, which is preventing the free exercise of political rights in our community, and via which the minority section of the extreme right – through many means, including the use of terrorism –, has achieved absolute control of this; it was a vote against the policy that arbitrarily denies us our Constitutional rights of being able to travel to Cuba to share with our families, as well as against the sadistic policy of permanent aggression against the safety and well-being of all our families on the island."
500G sinks a stalwart - Angry gay man's revenge 11/12/2006 NY Daily News: "Rose's money produced a series of harsh television and radio attacks in the final weeks of the race. No one in the district, however, made the connection between the marriage vote and the massive campaign against Kelly, run through an independent group called Majority Action, which hit her for taking contributions from oil companies. The group also linked her to the scandal over former Florida GOP Rep. Mark Foley's relationship with teenage pages.
"They were basically calling her a coddler of pedophiles," her campaign consultant, Jay Townsend, said bitterly. "It was legal, but it was filthy politics, and nobody up there knew where it was coming from or what the purpose behind it was.""
Direct Democracy Lost in Florida and Colorado 11/12/2006 OpEd News: "With all the hoopla about the big Democratic win, little attention has been given to the assault on direct democracy. Sadly, Florida voters caved in and passed Amendment 3 that requires 60 percent to pass ballot initiatives instead of the present simple majority. What should be viewed as one of the great ironies of all times is that this amendment passed by a statewide vote of 57.8 percent to 42.2 percent. That's right; this terrible amendment would not have passed under the new rule that now has become law! ...Indeed, proof that expanding direct democracy faces increasing opposition is that Colorado voters just rejected Petition Rights Amendment 38 by a vote of 69 percent to 31 percent.
It would have expanded and simplified citizens' ability to put proposed changes in state and local laws on the ballot. Proponents of the amendment raised less than $1,000. Opponents raised over $300,000 for TV ads; much of the money came from home builders and other corporate interests.
Here is what an official with the Chamber of Commerce said in favor of the Colorado amendment: "We have to have representative government; that's the form we've chosen, and we don't want to get hurt by people with special interests.'" What audacity! That view from a major business special interest that wants to keep its hold over elected legislators. Similarly, an official with the Colorado Association of Commerce and Industry said: "We support representative government and a more thoughtful way of solving complex problems." More thoughtful? Apparently meaning the thought that goes into deciding how much money to spend on legislators to get what they want.
In contrast, Dennis Polhill in support of the amendment observed: "The establishment despises petitions because it fears the people's voice. Petitions allow governmental reforms, just what politicians, lobbyists and special interests fear. Petitions provide checks and balances that make government more representative. That's good."
A Muslim, Black Progressive Keith Ellison makes History in Minnesota - Election Reaction & Analysis 11/9/2006 Black Commentator
Musings on the Midterms 11/9/2006 Black Commentator: "The first female Speaker of the House of Representatives, my former Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), after all, has released a six-point program that she says will be implemented in the first 100 hours of Democratic leadership. It includes some very important measures – like an increase in the minimum wage, a reduction in the student loan interest rate and better rates for prescription drugs. In includes a “feel good” olive branch, the promise of civility with the other side. But the 6 for ’06 thrust that was rolled out in the middle of this campaign does not say a word about survivors of Hurricane Katrina. Somehow the continued displacement of a disproportionate number of African American New Orleaneans has lost any national urgency."
The ‘I am fed up‘ Vote - Election Reaction & Analysis by Bill Fletcher, Jr. 11/9/2006 Black Commentator
Progressives Poised to Take Control of the Democratic Party 11/6/2006 Alternet: "Divisions in the Democratic Party are sure to grow larger, whether the party wins or loses the mid-term elections.
For the better part of 20 years, Democratic divisions have seethed under America's political surface, with only the rare contested presidential primary providing a release valve. Any number of self-defeating pathologies emanating from inside the Democratic Party have worked to raise the temperature: From President Bill Clinton's embrace of corporate-written trade deals that crushed the party's working-class base to congressional Democrats' complicity in the Iraq War and rejection of the growing anti-war movement, Democratic Party elites have gotten used to kicking the party base in the face.
The situation is ready to explode. What the late Paul Wellstone called the "Democratic wing of the Democratic Party" is growing feisty. And progressives are increasingly in a position to flex their muscles thanks to a convergence of factors: the rise of Internet fundraising, the ascendancy of blog and vlog (video blog) media and the crushing economic forces that are radicalizing previously apolitical middle-class constituencies. These developments have exposed the Democratic establishment to the same kind of pressure that conservative grassroots activists have exerted on the Republican Party to great electoral success."