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Targeting Barack Obama
Obama to DOJ: Block terrorist ad 8/25/2008 Politico: "Sen. Barack Obama has launched an all-out effort to block a Republican billionaire’s efforts to tie him to domestic and foreign terrorists in a wave of negative television ads. Obama’s campaign has written the Department of Justice demanding a criminal investigation of the “American Issues Project,” the vehicle through which Dallas investor Harold Simmons is financing the advertisements."
Obama Sued in Philadelphia Federal Court on Grounds he is Constitutionally Ineligible for the Presidency 8/23/2008 AmericasRight: "In the lawsuit, Berg states that Sen. Obama was born in Kenya, and not in Hawaii as the senator maintains. Before giving birth, according to the lawsuit, Obama's mother traveled to Kenya with his father but was prevented from flying back to Hawaii because of the late stage of her pregnancy, "apparently a normal restriction to avoid births during a flight." As Sen. Obama's own paternal grandmother, half-brother and half-sister have also claimed, Berg maintains that Stanley Ann Dunham--Obama's mother--gave birth to little Barack in Kenya and subsequently flew to Hawaii to register the birth. Berg cites inconsistent accounts of Sen. Obama's birth, including reports that he was born at two separate hospitals--Kapiolani Hospital and Queens Hospital--in Honolulu, as well a profound lack of birthing records for Stanley Ann Dunham, though simple "registry of birth" records for Barack Obama are available in a Hawaiian public records office. Should Sen. Obama truly have been born in Kenya, Berg writes, the laws on the books at the time of his birth hold that U.S. citizenship may only pass to a child born overseas to a U.S. citizen parent and non-citizen parent if the former was at least 19 years of age. Sen. Obama's mother was only 18 at the time. Therefore, because U.S. citizenship could not legally be passed on to him, Obama could not be registered as a "natural born" citizen and would therefore be ineligible to seek the presidency pursuant to Article II, Section 1 of the United States Constitution."
A Book Written to Defeat Obama 8/19/2008 Consortium News: "Jerome R. Corsi has written a “new attack book” titled: The Obama Nation: Leftist Politics and the Cult of Personality The chief editor of the publisher, Threshold Editions, is Mary Matalin, the former Republican operative turned publisher-pundit. As of Aug. 17, the book was No. 1 on the New York Times Best Seller list for the second week, being pushed along by a large volume of bulk sales to conservative organizations and an estimated 100 author interviews with talk show hosts."
Why We Disrupted Obama's Speech - What About the Black Community, Obama? 8/8/2008 Counterpunch: "These issues include the targeting of African and Latino communities with predatory “sub-prime” mortgages – a scheme that has made millions for people like Obama’s chief financial advisor Penny Pritzker, while stripping black families of billions of dollars, the greatest loss of wealth our community has suffered since being brought in chains to this country. We also challenged Obama to take a stand against the police shootings of unarmed African people, and explain why he has publicly defended the judge’s acquittal of the NYC police who murdered Sean Bell. He has said that he cannot speak out on behalf of those who have been historically oppressed for fear of offending other people. Yet in Miami, he promised the Jewish community, which considers itself a historically oppressed community, that he supports turning all of Jerusalem over to Israeli control, despite the internationally enforced sharing of that city with the Palestinians. When Obama speaks to black audiences, he attacks us, attributing our community’s poverty, not to systemic oppression, but to bad culture and lack of work ethic."
Rove Protégé to Dig for Dirt on Obama 5/23/2008 Consortium News: "FirstRead, a political Web site of NBC News, cited a Republican source as confirming that Griffin was being brought onboard by the Republican National Committee to handle opposition research on Obama. Griffin hung up on me when I contacted him at his home and asked him to comment about the report. An RNC aide told me he could neither “confirm nor deny the report.” Griffin’s return to the RNC as an opposition researcher – a post he held during the Bush-Cheney campaigns – would seem to mark a return to a “dirty tricks” style of campaigning that presumptive Republican nominee John McCain has vowed to avoid."
Republicans fear Obama victory after polls shock 5/18/2008 Guardian, UK: "The McCain campaign is also now closely studying a dossier of tactics drawn up by Obama's Republican opponent in a Senate election of 2004. That opponent, Jack Ryan, dropped out due to a sex scandal, which ensured the dossier went unused. But now it is being dusted off by McCain staffers. It detailed various votes and statements by Obama that could be used to portray him as being in favour of legalising marijuana, soft on crime and too tolerant of sex offenders. The dossier's contents and tone seem likely to ensure the coming anti-Obama assault will be dirty. One internet advert attacking Obama's wife, Michelle, is already being circulated by the Tennessee Republican party, featuring a four-minute video based on her remarks that she became proud of her country only after her husband decided to run for President. The video plays Michelle Obama's words six times, interspersed with ordinary Tennesseans explaining why they have always been proud of America. McCain's campaign team also believes that Obama is going to be vulnerable on a traditional Democratic weakness: national security. Recent statements seeking to link him to Hamas, and Bush's speech in Israel last week on appeasement were seen as the first attempts to paint Obama as weak on terrorism. 'If Obama can convince the American people he can protect them, then he cannot lose. But it is a tough job. And if he can't convince them, then I don't think he can win,' said Covington."
Racist Incidents Give Some Obama Campaigners Pause 5/13/2008 WaPo: "The first person I encountered was like, 'I'll never vote for a black person,' " recalled Ross, who is white and just turned 20. "People just weren't receptive." For all the hope and excitement Obama's candidacy is generating, some of his field workers, phone-bank volunteers and campaign surrogates are encountering a raw racism and hostility that have gone largely unnoticed -- and unreported -- this election season. Doors have been slammed in their faces. They've been called racially derogatory names (including the white volunteers). And they've endured malicious rants and ugly stereotyping from people who can't fathom that the senator from Illinois could become the first African American president. The contrast between the large, adoring crowds Obama draws at public events and the gritty street-level work to win votes is stark. The candidate is largely insulated from the mean-spiritedness that some of his foot soldiers deal with away from the media spotlight."
The Right's America-Hating Preacher 5/2/2008 Consortium News: "One of the advantages that the American Right has achieved from investing tens of billions of dollars in media – from talk radio and cable TV, to print and the Internet – is the ability to define what is and what isn’t a “scandal,” a powerful factor in determining who wins national elections."
Even missionaries botch their facts 5/2/2008 St Petersburg Times: "American missionaries who lived in Kenya have spun a conspiratorial tale about Barack Obama that's bouncing around the Internet, but the allegations don't hold up to scrutiny. Sound familiar? "
Wright Remains a Concern for Some Democrats 5/1/2008 NYT: "Senator Barack Obama picked up several endorsements by Democratic superdelegates on Wednesday in his presidential campaign, as some party leaders tried to assess the damage done to his candidacy by the controversy over his former pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr."
Obama Snubs Black Media 4/23/2008 Black Agenda Report
The Weather Underground 'Theme' 4/19/2008 Consortium News: "But none of that is true. The offensive comment that Clinton and Stephanopoulos referred to was from an interview about a memoir that Ayers published earlier in 2001. The comment was included in a New York Times article that appeared in the newspaper’s Sept. 11, 2001, edition. As Sen. Clinton and Stephanopoulos surely know, that edition went to press on Sept. 10, hours before the 9/11 attacks. In other words, the Ayers comment had no relationship to the 9/11 attacks. What Clinton and Stephanopoulos did was what lawyers refer to as “prejudicial” – they introduced an emotional component, 9/11, in a deceptive way to elicit a visceral reaction from those listening."
Krugman's Latest Attack on Obama Not Supported by Evidence 4/19/2008 Real Clear Politics: "It is clear from these data that the Democratic Party's problems in recent years have not been confined to white voters in the South. Democrats have also lost ground among white ethnic and working class voters outside of the South, voters who were once crucial components of the party's electoral base. While Barack Obama's formulation of the problems that the Democratic Party has been having with these voters may not have been artful, there is no doubt that the problem is real."
Obama's Ayers connection never bugged anyone 4/18/2008 Chicago Sun Times
Who is Bill Ayers? 4/18/2008 Chicago Sun Times
Fox's Hannity again smeared pastor of Barack Obama's church as "black separatist" 4/16/2008 Media Matters: published 6/07
Obama’s Explanation of “Controversial” Remarks Moves Democrats and Independents 4/14/2008 HCD Research: "A new national study among 843 self-reported Democrats, Republicans and independents, indicated that Senator Obama’s explanation for his recent controversial remarks, successfully addressed criticism, especially among Democrats and independents."
Obama Turns Table on Clinton 4/13/2008 AP: "Democrat Barack Obama lashed out Sunday at rival Hillary Rodham Clinton, mocking her vocal support for gun rights and saying her record in the Senate and as first lady belied her stated commitment to working class voters and their concerns. "She knows better. Shame on her. Shame on her," Obama told an audience at a union hall here. The Illinois senator has spent three days on the defensive after comments he made at a San Francisco fundraiser were disclosed that suggested working class people are bitter about their economic circumstances and "cling to guns and religion" as a result."
A Bitter Pill To Swallow 4/13/2008 Huffington Post: "Already, Hillary Clinton has gone too far with her criticism of Obama, and is beginning to frame the issue in a way she might actually lose. By suggesting that Obama is out-of-touch at the same time that she insists that people are optimistic, not bitter, she is putting herself at great risk. After all, countless Pennsylvanians are in fact quite embittered at being abandoned by their government and will likely be unreceptive to the notion that they don't deserve to be. Hillary might be in touch with some, but it seems likely that Obama is in touch with far more."
What Clinton wishes she could say 4/13/2008 Politico: "Rip off the duct tape and here is what they would say: Obama has serious problems with Jewish voters (goodbye Florida), working-class whites (goodbye Ohio) and Hispanics (goodbye, New Mexico). Republicans will also ruthlessly exploit openings that Clinton — in the genteel confines of an intraparty contest — never could. Top targets: Obama’s radioactive personal associations, his liberal ideology, his exotic life story, his coolly academic and elitist style. This view has been an article of faith among Clinton advisers for months, but it got powerful new affirmation last week with Obama’s clumsy ruminations about why “bitter” small-town voters turn to guns and God."
LA TIMES REVIVES OBAMA SMEAR… 4/10/2008 The Nation: "Does being friends with Palestinians make one anti-Israel? Peter Wallsten of the LA Times apparently thinks so. His latest piece about Barack Obama's past ties to pro-Palestinian activists in Chicago is certainly meant to give the reader that impression. [See my recent Nation article, "Smearing Obama," for background on this topic. One of Wallsten's sources happens to be a key purveyor of the "Obama is a Muslim" lie. Updates below.] "
In Defense of Rev. Jeremiah Wright 4/9/2008 Alternet: "I heard that great humanitarian Karl Rove criticizing Dr. Jeremiah Wright's sermon in which he talks about a black and poor Jesus being crucified by the Roman ruling class. He expressed outrage that Dr. Wright would say this. At that point it clarified for me why so many people had rushed to call Dr. Wright's words hateful and racist. The reverend had attacked all of America's sacred cows, including its civil religion, in which the idea of a black Jesus just doesn't fit."
The New Decider - Hillary's Western Swing 4/8/2008 Counterpunch: "While watching NCAA basketball, I overheard the bartender and a bunch of older white guys down the bar just going off on the Rev. Wright issue. Seems they were all Marines and they were hopping mad that Wright was coming under attack. One of them cited the fact that he knew of three Marines whom Wright had helped "save their lives" back in the LBJ era when Wright served as a medical corpsman. I thought I was having a Hillary "mishearing" moment and commented such to Dan sitting at my side, but it was all true. Wright gave up his student deferment and enlisted in the Marines in 1961. After two years in the Marines, Wright reenlisted as a Navy corpsman, graduating as valedictorian of his corpsman class. He later even served on the team that treated LBJ in 1966 at Bethesda Naval Hospital and gained three letters of commendation. Obama did his pastor a grave disservice, not to mention his own campaign, by not forcefully retelling this history in his now-famous speech on Race. Contrast Wright's actual patriotism and compassion with the ravings of the pro-GOP clerics (Hagee, et al.) that McCain has been aligning with and it's no contest--kinda like the Democratic Party Primary."
Why Obama Lost Massachusetts 4/8/2008 Counterpunch: "It was basically a sop to the insurance industry, and it forced everyone to buy insurance or be fined as with car insurance. (This year one must submit proof of health insurance with the state tax form or else pay a fine!) And the legislation used numbers of uninsured that were too low, thus underestimating the state subsidies that would have to be paid to employers and employees. Now the chickens have come home to roost; and it is apparent that the plan is much more expensive than the pols had claimed with a big revenue shortfall as a result. Patrick's answer is a wave of hiring freezes, layoffs and funding cuts. ...Of course Patrick and the Dems had another choice --a single-payer plan, which has wide support in the state. In fact the Mass Medical Society commissioned two studies some years back, both showing that single-payer in Mass would ensure everyone and result in lower costs than the present system, which leaves untold hundreds of thousands without insurance. ...So like Obama, Patrick has no use for single-payer. And like Obama he is very much into book contracts. In Patrick we already have our Obama. Another one as president? No thank you."
Obama's Wife And Their Spiritual Adviser 4/7/2008 National Journal
What Obama Could Have Said About His Pastor - Rev. Jeremiah Wright, a True Patriot 4/5/2008 Counterpunch: "In 1961, a young African-American man, after hearing President John F. Kennedy's challenge to, "Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country," gave up his student deferment, left college in Virginia and voluntarily joined the Marines. In 1963, this man, having completed his two years of service in the Marines, volunteered again to become a Navy corpsman. (They provide medical assistance to the Marines as well as to Navy personnel.) The man did so well in corpsman school that he was the valedictorian and became a cardiopulmonary technician. Not surprisingly, he was assigned to the Navy's premier medical facility, Bethesda Naval Hospital, as a member of the commander in chief's medical team, and helped care for President Lyndon B. Johnson after his 1966 surgery. For his service on the team, which he left in 1967, the White House awarded him three letters of commendation. What is even more remarkable is that this man entered the Marines and Navy not many years after the two branches began to become integrated. While this young man was serving six years on active duty, Vice President Dick Cheney, who was born the same year as the Marine/sailor, received five deferments, four for being an undergraduate and graduate student and one for being a prospective father. Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, both five years younger than the African-American youth, used their student deferments to stay in college until 1968. Both then avoided going on active duty through family connections. Who is the real patriot?"
Rev Wright: Factor military duty into criticism 4/3/2008 Chicago Sun: "While this young man was serving six years on active duty, Vice President Dick Cheney, who was born the same year as the Marine/sailor, received five deferments, four for being an undergraduate and graduate student and one for being a prospective father. Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, both five years younger than the African-American youth, used their student deferments to stay in college until 1968. Both then avoided going on active duty through family connections. Who is the real patriot? The young man who interrupted his studies to serve his country for six years or our three political leaders who beat the system? Are the patriots the people who actually sacrifice something or those who merely talk about their love of the country?"
Max Blumenthal Probes Hannity's History With Talk Radio's 'Angry White Men' -- and Fanning the Flames of Racial Politics 4/1/2008 Buzzflash
Wright Questions - What the national press should ask Barack Obama about his former pastor. 3/31/2008 National Review
The Wright Controversy Revealed America's Deeply Insecure Side 3/27/2008 Rolling Stone: "But whether or not any of Wright's "controversial" statements have any validity at all is beside the point. The point is that a country that had any balls at all -- that was secure enough in its patriotic self-image to stare vicious criticism right in the face and collectively decide for itself, in a state of sober reflection, what part of it was bullshit and what wasn't -- such a country wouldn't do what it did in the case of the Wright flap, which is to panic instantly, collectively leap off the ground in terror like a bunch of silly bitches, and chase the criticism away in a torch-bearing mob with its eyes averted without even bothering to talk about what was actually said."
Hannity, Clinton, Obama, Rev. Wright and "Racism 101" 3/27/2008 Walter C Uhler: "Finally, before the three of you persist in your respective hate-mongering, racial triangulation and political retreat, consider the immortal words that Thomas Jefferson wrote about the morally debilitating impact of slavery: "Can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are the gift of God? That they are not to be violated but with his wrath? Indeed I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just: that his justice cannot sleep for ever . . .." Wasn't Thomas Jefferson suggesting that a just God would damn America?"
Conservatives' Hate-Based Campaign Against Obama 3/25/2008 American Prospect
The Crazy Rev. Wright By ISHMAEL REED 3/25/2008 Counterpunch: "The classic indicator for racism has been the double standard applied to blacks and whites. This still exists for blacks in everyday life. In the criminal justice system, the mortgage lending industry, and the treatment of blacks by the medical industry, etc. Why is Rev. Wright crazy for citing racism in the criminal justice system? ..."The infringement of black Americans' rights to their own bodies in the name of medical science continued throughout the 20th century. In 1945, Ebb Cade, an African American trucker being treated for injuries received in an accident in Tennessee, was surreptitiously placed without his consent into a radiation experiment sponsored by the U. S. Atomic Energy Commission. Black Floridians were deliberately exposed to swarms of mosquitoes carrying yellow fever and other diseases in experiments conducted by the Army and the CIA in the early 1950s. Throughout the 1950s and '60s, black inmates at Philadelphia's Holmesburg Prison were used as research subjects by a University of Pennsylvania dermatologist testing pharmaceuticals and personal hygiene products; some of these subjects report pain and disfiguration even now. During the 1960s and '70s, black boys were subjected to sometimes paralyzing neurosurgery by a University of Mississippi researcher who believed brain pathology to be the root of the children's supposed hyperactive behavior. In the 1990s, African American youths in New York were injected with Fenfluramine -- half of the deadly, discontinued weight loss drug Fen-Phen -- by Columbia researchers investigating a hypothesis about the genetic origins of violence." With this kind of record, is Rev. Wright paranoid when he speculates that AIDs might be the result of an experiment gone wrong or even as some black intellectuals assert a ethnic weapon?"
War of the Word 3/25/2008 Truth Dig: "However, in this season of pastor-baiting, McCain has his own problem, having expressed his thrill in receiving “the endorsement of Pastor John Hagee.” Hagee, citing a planned “homosexual parade,” had previously told National Public Radio that Hurricane Katrina was God’s punishment of the people of New Orleans for “a level of sin that was offensive to God.” Obviously, the almighty with whom Hagee is on intimate terms is in need of MapQuest, given that New Orleans’ gay neighborhoods were among the ones least impacted by the hurricane. Hagee long has been denounced by Catholics for labeling the Vatican “The Great Whore” and blaming Hitler’s genocidal policies on his having “attended a Catholic school as a child.” A Hagee issue that has some current relevance to the Iraq disaster is his blasting of the Roman Catholic Church for sponsoring the Crusades, which “plunged the world into the Dark Ages.”
A Response to MoveOn's Umpteenth Forward of Obama's "Amazing Speech" - A Letter to Mom on Obama 3/24/2008 Counterpunch: "Obama included statements condemning the effect of corporate lobbyists on Congress -- without acknowledging that his own voting record is one of kowtowing to the corporate agenda or that he himself has accepted millions of dollars from corporate PACs and registered corporate lobbyists. He mentioned that the founding fathers failed to stop slavery; he did not mention that the founding fathers institutionalized slavery in the Constitution in order to achieve a union in the first place. (Those bits about suppressing insurrections were put in there to lure the slavery-dependent South into the nascent nation by promising to put down revolts by slaves.) Obama apologizing for his corporate-controlled voting record and vowing to amend his ways and forego contributions from corporate PACs and lobbyists would have been radical. Confronting, instead of flattering, the self-deceits of the passive American public would have been radical. What he did do was politely divert unfair criticism. Well done and good job. But there is nothing to bowl me over into thinking that I would vote for a candidate who failed to defend the precious amendments to that Constitution known as the Bill of Rights."
The Path Toward a More Perfect Union? The Politics of Jeremiah Wright 3/24/2008 Counterpunch: "Jeremiah Wright" as the excesses of "the Black Church," "black rage," and "the Civil Rights generation," do not possess the requisite level of knowledge and sophistication of skill to deal with the problems facing a new generation. "Jeremiah Wright" is impolite when speaking on American imperialism abroad and capitalist empire at home. "Jeremiah Wright" uses outdated language to speak to the fact that the public schools are as segregated now as during the age of Brown and the gap between the rich and the poor is at a level unseen since the Depression era. "Jeremiah Wright" tells inconvenient truths of the expansion of American policing abroad and the politics of policing and prisons at home."
Meet The (White) Man Who Inspired Wright's Controversial Sermon 3/21/2008 Huffington Post: "Meet the man who inspired Reverend Jeremiah Wright's now famous tirade about America's foreign policy inciting the terrorist attacks of September 11. His name is Ambassador Edward Peck. And he is a retired, white, career U.S. diplomat who served 32-years in the U.S. Foreign Service and was chief of the U.S. mission to Iraq under Jimmy Carter -- hardly the black-rage image with which Wright has been stigmatized. In fact, when Wright took the pulpit to give his post-9/11 address -- which has since become boiled down to a five second sound bite about "America's chickens coming home to roost" -- he prefaced his remarks as a "faith footnote," an indication that he was deviating from his sermon. "I heard Ambassador Peck on an interview yesterday," Wright declared. "He was on Fox News. This is a white man and he was upsetting the Fox News commentators to no end. He pointed out, a white man, an ambassador, that what Malcolm X said when he got silenced by Elijah Muhammad was in fact true: America's chickens are coming home to roost.""
Obama Race Speech Analysis 3/20/2008 Black Commentator: by 14 Editorial Board Members.
Obama: the attacks have only just begun 3/20/2008 Black Commentator
When Reality is Too Much - Obama and the Pyshic Auto-Shrink-Wrapping Called Race in America 3/20/2008 Counterpunch
Hannity Denies Past Association With White Supremacist But Evidence Suggests Otherwise 3/20/2008 News Hound: "Another night, another high tech lynching of Barack Obama on Hannity & Colmes. It was the usual attacks on Obama over those with whom he associates. But last night (3/19/08), Sean Hannity was confronted about his own past association with white supremacist Hal Turner. First Hannity denied knowing Turner, then he said he had long ago banned Turner from his show. While it’s probably true that Hannity banned Turner, what Hannity didn’t mention is that before Turner got banned, he was regularly welcomed on Hannity’s show, even after saying on the air that if it weren’t for the graciousness of white people, "black people would still be swinging on trees in Africa." "
Hannity's Soul-Mate of Hate 3/20/2008 The Nation: published 6/3/05
Hannity's Soul-Mate of Hate 3/20/2008 The Nation
Fire and Damnation Awaits Those Who Transgress Against White America’s Civic Religion 3/19/2008 Black Agenda Report: "Wright questioned white America's civic religion, its fraudulent self-image as benevolent conqueror and justified leader of the planet. Heretics of this kind are speedily cast from the public American public discourse, despite the fact most of the planet agrees with them. What does it say about the "change" Obama "brings with him" that his "multiracial coalition" seems to depend is eagerly endorsing pernicious lies rather than speaking truth to power. Who will Obama denounce, or be required to denounce next?"
Obama's Multiracial Coalition and the Politics of Racial Reconciliation 3/19/2008 Black Agenda Report
Absurb Litmus Test for Black Presidential Candidates 3/19/2008 Black News: "This litmus test denies the very history of our nation and forces any potential Black candidate to completely separate himself from the African-American community. By this standard, the candidate wouldn't be Black at all – just a person who happens to have more melanin than most, but whose views and perspective reflect the majority population. These are the kinds of candidates Republicans seem to like, as evidenced by the African Americans the party promotes."
Local clergy say pastor's devotion, deeds overlooked 3/19/2008 Boston Globe: "Three years ago, when Massachusetts' largest Protestant denomination was looking for a highly regarded preacher to headline its annual meeting, the organizers chose one of the biggest names in their world: the Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr. Wright, the pastor of one of the few predominantly black congregations in the overwhelmingly white United Church of Christ, gave a rousing sermon on stewardship to about 1,200 local clergy and laypeople at Mt. Holyoke College's Abbey Chapel, and when he was finished, the crowd rose to its feet and cheered. Now, as Wright's most prominent congregant, Barack Obama, is distancing himself from his pastor's most inflammatory remarks, leaders of the United Church of Christ, and African-American clergy of multiple denominations, say they are increasingly angry at what they view as a misinterpretation of Wright's views and an effort to use the preacher's words to damage the first African-American with a real shot at winning a presidential election."
Critics dial it up on talk radio 3/19/2008 Boston Herald
Local black clergy defend message - They say Obama's pastor expresses long-held frustrations 3/19/2008 Dallas Morning News: "The Rev. Jeremiah Wright's fiery commentary about America went beyond the usual political discourse but reflected long-held frustrations that African-Americans often release at churches and other social settings, local black pastors say. ...Many black Dallas pastors view Mr. Wright as a longtime hero and mentor, defending his message and bridling at what they call media misrepresentation of it. "I have preached at Trinity [Mr. Wright's church in Chicago] and he has preached here," said the Rev. Tyrone Gordon, pastor at St. Luke Community United Methodist Church in Dallas. "One thing I said to the church on this past Sunday is that a lot of us are taking it personally because it is an attack on the whole black prophetic experience.""
Shawn Williams: Black pastors speak truth to power 3/19/2008 Dallas Morning News: "Sick. Disgusted. Appalled. Those were some of the feelings that washed over me as I have listened to the mainstream media launch what I believe was an unwarranted attack on Dr. Jeremiah Wright Jr. in the past week or so. It should have been no surprise, but even my wary eyes were taken aback by the ferocity of the assault on his character and career. I have had the pleasure to observe the gospel genius and hermeneutical excellence of Dr. Wright many times over the last 10 years since I joined Friendship-West Baptist Church here in Dallas. Dr. Wright has served as a mentor to my pastor, Dr. Frederick D. Haynes III, and visits our church once or twice each year. What is most unfortunate about the episode with Dr. Wright and Barack Obama is that it shows how little America knows – and how much less it understands – about the black church. The concept of social activism in the African-American church is a novel concept to many observers who don't know its history."
Obama Campaign Removes New Black Panther Party Endorsement From Web Site 3/19/2008 Fox News: "“The page in question has been removed from our campaign Web site,” Obama spokesman Tommy Vietor told FOXNews.com after inquiries about the endorsement. “It’s our policy with any content generated by a group that advocates violence.” The blogosphere was buzzing Wednesday about whether his campaign planned to remove the Panther posting. The New Black Panthers, who inherited their name from the Black Panther Party of the 1960s, had the page on the Obama campaign’s public forums that says it is backing Obama because he “represents ‘positive change’ for all of America. Obama will stir the ‘Melting Pot’ into a better ‘Molten America,’” the group says. Obama spokeswoman Tiffany Edwards said before the campaign removed the endorsement that that section of the Web site “has nothing to do with us.”"
Obama's Lincoln moment 3/19/2008 LA Times: ""That was the most sophisticated speech on race and politics I've ever heard," said CNN's Bill Schneider, the only network pundit who actually has taught American political history at elite universities. It was all the more remarkable because, while Kennedy presided over what may have been the greatest speech-writing team in electoral history, Obama -- like Lincoln -- wrote his address himself, completing the final draft Monday night. Obama did what he had to do, unequivocally repudiating Wright's extreme rhetoric. But what was truly radical about his analysis was his implicit demand that black and white Americans accept the imperfection of each other's views on race. Embedded in such acceptance is the seed of that "more perfect union" toward which this country -- unquestionably great but itself imperfect -- must strive."
Obama speech on race gives Web a workout 3/19/2008 USA Today: "Sen. Barack Obama's speech Tuesday on race and his former pastor's controversial remarks lit up the Internet on a day when the story competed with a surging stock market and a political sex scandal in New York."
A Speech That Fell Short 3/19/2008 WaPo: "The problem with Obama's argument is that Wright is not a symbol of the strengths and weaknesses of African Americans. He is a political extremist, holding views that are shocking to many Americans who wonder how any presidential candidate could be so closely associated with an adviser who refers to the "U.S. of KKK-A" and urges God to "damn" our country. Obama's excellent and important speech on race in America did little to address his strange tolerance for the anti-Americanism of his spiritual mentor."
Jeremiah Wright, Barack Obama and the Unacceptability of Truth - Of National Lies and Racial America 3/18/2008 Counterpunch: "Finally, although one can certainly disagree with Wright about his suggestion that the government created AIDS to get rid of black folks--and I do, for instance--it is worth pointing out that Wright isn't the only one who has said this. In fact, none other than Bill Cosby (oh yes, that Bill Cosby, the one white folks love because of his recent moral crusade against the black poor) proffered his belief in the very same thing back in the early '90s in an interview on CNN, when he said that AIDS may well have been created to get rid of people whom the government deemed "undesirable" including gays and racial minorities."
Best Speech This Year 3/18/2008 NYT: "Barack Obama’s speech on race just ended and, boy, can he speak! That was the best political speech I’ve heard at least since a certain keynote address in 2004 at the Democratic National Convention. And maybe this was better, because it was substantive and peeled away layers to confront sensitive matters that normally go unexamined."
The crazy uncles in Obama's attic 3/18/2008 Salon: "And it wasn't Honolulu, or Jakarta, or Nairobi that put Obama in touch with folks supposedly bent on undermining heartland values. It was the heart of the heartland's biggest city: the South Side of Chicago, where Obama launched his political career. The South Side is responsible for the black nationalist preachers and violent radicals-turned-professors whose sound bites and rap sheets have now mired Obama in the worst patch of his presidential campaign. But without them Obama wouldn't have had a seat in the state Senate, much less a shot at the White House. And now the black street cred and lefty bona fides they provided, so crucial to Barack Obama's early local success, are proving corrosive to his national ambitions."
"A More Perfect Union" 3/18/2008 Truth Out: Barak Obama's speech on race, full text and video.
Bill Kristol Errs, Times Benefits 3/17/2008 Huffington Post: "Earlier this morning, the New York Times ran William Kristol's Monday morning op-ed, and just a short while thereafter, the Atlantic's Marc Ambinder, rifle trained on the fish-flush barrel, rooted out a ridiculous factual error at the column's foundation - namely, that Senator Barack Obama was in attendance at Trinity United Church of Christ on July 22, 2007, when Reverend Jeremiah Wright "blamed the 'arrogance' of the 'United States of White America' for much of the world's suffering. Ambinder, with relative ease, uncovered evidence - including video footage - that this was not the case. "Now, a simple Google search suggests that Obama spent most of the day in Miami," Ambinder writes, adding, "But a simple e-mail or telephone call to Obama's campaign might have cleared things up." And, one would think, a simple correction on the part of the New York Times might be forthcoming."
The difference between Jeremiah Wright and radical, white evangelical ministers 3/17/2008 Salon: "But 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 by doing things to anger God. John Hagee continues to believe that the City of New Orleans got what it deserved when Katrina drowned its residents and devastated the lives of thousands of Americans. And James Inhofe -- who happens to still be a Republican U.S. Senator -- blamed America for the 9/11 attacks by arguing in a 2002 Senate floor speech that "the spiritual door was opened for an attack against the United States of America" because we pressured Israel to give away parts of the West Bank."
Obama denounces rhetoric but stands behind his pastor 3/16/2008 Chicago Sun Times: "On Friday, after issuing a statement strongly denouncing his sermons, he said Wright would no longer be serving on an advisory committee. But, noting that Wright was retiring from the church, Obama said he had no plans to leave the South Side church. "He's like an uncle you love and respect but has lately said some things that you disagree with," Obama said."
Obama's Rezko narrative 3/16/2008 Chicago Tribune
Obama's Minister Committed "Treason" But When My Father Said the Same Thing He Was a Republican Hero 3/16/2008 Huffington Post: by Frank Schaeffer -- "Every Sunday thousands of right wing white preachers (following in my father's footsteps) rail against America's sins from tens of thousands of pulpits. They tell us that America is complicit in the "murder of the unborn," has become "Sodom" by coddling gays, and that our public schools are sinful places full of evolutionists and sex educators hell-bent on corrupting children. They say, as my dad often did, that we are, "under the judgment of God." They call America evil and warn of immanent destruction. By comparison Obama's minister's shouted "controversial" comments were mild. All he said was that God should damn America for our racism and violence and that no one had ever used the N-word about Hillary Clinton. Dad and I were amongst the founders of the Religious right. In the 1970s and 1980s, while Dad and I crisscrossed America denouncing our nation's sins instead of getting in trouble we became darlings of the Republican Party. (This was while I was my father's sidekick before I dropped out of the evangelical movement altogether.) We were rewarded for our "stand" by people such as Congressman Jack Kemp, the Fords, Reagan and the Bush family. The top Republican leadership depended on preachers and agitators like us to energize their rank and file. No one called us un-American."
Trying Times for Trinity 3/16/2008 Newsweek
Rumor’s Reasons 3/16/2008 NYT: "In the summer of 2004, Andy Martin, a colorful Web columnist and sometime Republican candidate for state office, put out a press release announcing his sadness at having to “expose” Barack Obama as a “Muslim who has concealed his religion.” Reporters ignored Martin’s charge, which offered no proof. But the story took root: Martin’s screed bounced about blogs, mutating over the course of a couple years into an e-mail message that suggested the senator is a kind of Muslim Manchurian candidate for the White House."
Obama's church accuses media of character assassination 3/16/2008 Politico: “Nearly three weeks before the 40th commemorative anniversary of the murder of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., the Reverend Dr. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr.’s character is being assassinated in the public sphere because he has preached a social gospel on behalf of oppressed women, children and men in America and around the globe.”
Story behind the story: Obama's pastor 3/15/2008 Politico
Barack Obama: On My Faith and My Church 3/14/2008 Huffington Post
Obama's judgment: Wright or Wrong 3/14/2008 TPM: extensive reader commentary on Rev Wright.
Obama Repudiates Preacher’s Statements 3/14/2008 WSJ
ABC News Reports on Obama's Controversial Pastor 3/13/2008 ABC
The Media Repeats Stream of Lies About Obama 3/13/2008 Alternet: "What floods into one's inbox these days bears little or no relation to Obama's record. "Some of my earliest and most ardent supporters came from the Jewish community in Chicago," he has said. Obama ran for the Senate promising to help reconstitute the black-Jewish civil rights coalition. His first foreign policy speech of the campaign was before the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), where he pledged "clear and strong commitment to the security of Israel." He has occasionally angered pro-Israel hawks by urging direct negotiations with Iran and Syria, but Obama's foreign policy record is well within the Democratic Party mainstream. He's committed to a two-state solution between Israel and the Palestinians, supported Israel's incursion into Lebanon in 2006 and has criticized Hamas. During his campaign for the presidency, Obama has been defended by AIPAC, the neoconservative New York Sun and The New Republic's Marty Peretz, a noted Israel hawk. And yet no defense of Israel by Obama -- or of Obama by the pro-Israel establishment -- seems to be enough. "When one charge is disproved, another is leveled," says Rabbi Jack Moline, who leads a synagogue in Alexandria, Virginia."
Rezkorama - The Coming Swift Boating Of Obama (Updated) 3/6/2008 Newshoggers: "It's almost impossible now to find an article or news account about Obama that doesn't include some dark reference to the "Rezko" affair, always with the suggestion or even overt claim that it's reflective of some serious vulnerability, some suggestion of wrongdoing and corruption. But what is it? The reporters throwing the word around quite plainly have no idea. Having paid only casual attention to it in the past, I spent several hours yesterday morning reading every "Rezko" article I could find in an attempt to understand as much as possible about the allegations. The point isn't that there is no credible evidence of any wrongdoing on the part of Obama, although that's unquestionably true. It's far beyond that. There aren't even any theoretical allegations or suggestions as to what he might have done wrong at all. The person who is accused of wrongdoing is Tony Rezko, in matters unarguably having nothing to do with Obama. Nobody claims otherwise (although many try to imply otherwise). "
Pyrrhus' Playbook - A Great Day for John McCain (and Maybe Nader) 3/5/2008 Counterpunch: "The press is blaring tidings of a great Clinton comeback in Ohio and Texas last night, both states in which she had twenty point leads in late February. But in terms of delegates Obama is ahead by what appears to be an insurmountable margin. The only way Hillary Clinton can win the nomination is to savage Obama with calumnies, bloodying him to a point where the Clintons can turn make the case to the super delegates in the convention that in a race against McCain Obama has already been fatally wounded. It's a course to which the Clinton campaign is now totally committed, exactly along the lines advocated by Mark Penn, Hillary's pollster and chief strategist. Penn's policy has been the antithesis of any grand coalition of the kind put together by Roosevelt in the 1930s. Already in south Carolina the Clinton campaign was willing to throw the black vote overboard. In Texas Clinton deliberately exploited Hispanic-black animosities."
The "Rezko" game 3/5/2008 Greenwald: "But Obama isn't even accused of -- let alone proven to have engaged in -- any wrongdoing at all. I spent many years litigating all sorts of civil cases involving financial transactions like these. Few things are easier than concocting some nefarious angle to innocuous real estate transactions, yet they can't even do that here. Despite that, the "Rezko" innuendo lurks and grows and clearly isn't going anywhere."
Hannity’s White Supremacist Pal Threatens Obama 3/3/2008 News Hound: "Sean Hannity was in a self-righteous lather last week about Barack Obama’s indirect and unsubstantial associations with Louis Farrakhan and a former 60’s radical, William Ayers. But a white supremacist named Hal Turner, with whom Hannity bonded during the 90’s, has contemplated the “necessity” of murdering Obama and suggested that ricin be used to “clean out” all the “trash candidates.” (Hat tip to our reader, GrannyStandingforTruth). Will Hannity renounce Turner in the same vein with which he has demanded Obama renounce Farrakhan and Ayers?"
Good for the Jews? Hillary Clinton's surrogates are questioning Obama's commitment to U.S.-Israel relations. 3/3/2008 Newsweek: ""When Brzezinski's name appears on an advisory list, that's a red flag right away," says an influential American Jewish leader who did not want to sour relations with the Obama campaign. Many American Jews mistrust Brzezinski because he endorsed a 2006 article, later a book, called "The Israel Lobby," which blames many U.S. foreign-policy problems on Washington's ties to Israel. Lewis's aside is not an isolated incident. (She did not respond to a request for comment.) As the race between Clinton and Obama has sharpened in recent months, other Clinton campaign operatives have sent around negative material about Obama's relations with Israel, according to e-mails obtained by NEWSWEEK. In addition to Brzezinski, the e-mails attack Obama advisers such as Rob Malley, a former Clinton negotiator at the 2000 Camp David talks who has since written articles sympathetic to the Palestinian point of view, and they raise questions about Obama's relationship with the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, the former pastor at Obama's Trinity Church in Chicago. Wright has criticized Israel, and Trumpet, a publication run by his daughter, gave an award for "greatness" to Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan, who once called Judaism a "bloodsucking religion." (Obama disagreed with bestowing the award.)"
Barack Obama's Israel Bond 2/29/2008 AntiWar: ""Now the gravest threat ... to Israel today, I believe, is from Iran. There the radical regime continues to pursue its capacity to build a nuclear weapon and continues to support terrorism across the region," he explained. "Threats of Israel's destruction can not be dismissed as rhetoric. The threat from Iran is real and my goal as president would be to eliminate that threat."After reiterating that he'd end the war in Iraq first, Obama then promised he would turn his attention to the country's neighbor. "My approach to Iran will be aggressive diplomacy: I will not take any military options off the table." In fairness, Obama did mention something few Democrats in Washington dare to utter, "I think there is a strain within the pro-Israel community that says unless you adopt a unwavering pro-Likud approach to Israel that you're anti-Israel and that can't be the measure of our friendship with Israel.""
Count Me Out - The Obama Craze 2/29/2008 Counterpunch: "Once I started looking at the votes Obama actually cast, I began to hear his rhetoric differently. The principal conclusion I draw about "change" and Barack Obama is that Obama needs to change his voting habits and stop pandering to win votes. If he does this he might someday make a decent candidate who could earn my support. For now Obama has fallen into a dangerous pattern of capitulation that he cannot reconcile with his growing popularity as an agent of change."
State GOP uses Obama’s middle name until chastised 2/28/2008 Nashville City Paper: "The chain of events began Monday when the Tennessee GOP sent out a press release entitled “Anti-Semites for Obama” in which the Illinois Democrat was referred to as “Barack Hussein Obama.” The press release also had a controversial picture of Obama donning traditional Somali attire. Tuesday, after a conservative talk show host made disparaging comments about Obama, McCain, the Republican Party’s presumptive presidential nominee, said it was “inappropriate” to refer to Obama that way and he “repudiates those comments.” "
Anti-Defamation League: Obama okay; McCain equivocates 2/27/2008 Daily Kos
Republicans Abroad blast Obama as threat to Israel 2/27/2008 Global Research
Obama's Line On Lobbyists is Misleading 2/26/2008 Colombia Journalism Review: "Consider the sector called lawyers and law firms. Clearly, lawyers and law firms lobby on behalf of their own interests -- like fighting malpractice reform, which could again surface as a thorny issue for the new administration. Clinton and Obama have raised similar amounts from lawyers and law firms -- $11.8 and $9.5 million. McCain and Huckabee have taken far less. The health sector has also given to Obama, Clinton, and McCain. In the pharmaceutical and health product industries, contributions to Clinton total $349,000 and $338,000 to Obama. Again, McCain trails in donations at about $98,000, an indication that the sector sees the real action on the Democratic side of the ballot. Health professionals, which include doctors, nurses, and dentists, have given Clinton some $2.3 million and Obama $1.7 million. Last August The Boston Globe, in a piece by Scott Helman, took a hard look at Obama's contributions, noting that "behind Obama's campaign rhetoric about taking on special interests lies a more complicated truth." That truth revealed that as a state legislator in Illinois, a U.S. senator, and as a presidential aspirant, Obama had collected hundreds of thousands of dollars from lobbyists and PACs. Helman quoted an Obama campaign spokeswoman saying that after he experienced firsthand the influence of Washington lobbyists, he was taking a different approach to fundraising than he had in the past, and that "his leadership position on this issue is an evolving process." If Obama's leadership on campaign financing is indeed evolving, more news outlets should be following the evolution."
Hillary Clinton Campaign Connection to Drudge Report Detailed by International Herald Tribune (NYT) in October of 2007 2/26/2008 IHT: "Clinton's communications team, led by Howard Wolfson, is not leaving Drudge to the Republicans. Five current and former Democratic officials said Clinton has on her side the closest thing her party has ever had to Rhoades [a GOP leaker to Drudge] in Tracy Sefl, a former Democratic National Committee official. The officials said that Sefl had established a friendly relationship with Drudge and that Clinton's campaign often worked quietly through her to open a line of communication with Drudge."
A New Smear Email: Obama Gave an Anti-Israel Speech at a Black Church 2/26/2008 Mother Jones: "Obama sounds "a GREAT DEAL like Malcolm X." "
Political opposition research team shows up in western Kenya 2/24/2008 Wayne Madsen: Requires subscription.
Brzezinski Seizing Control Over US Policy In Slow-Motion Coup 2/23/2008 Rense: "Events of the past few days indicate that the Zbigniew Brzezinski faction of lunatic Russia haters have now won the upper hand inside the secret councils of the Anglo-American finance oligarchy, displacing the hitherto dominant George Shultz-neocon faction. Although George Bush and his cronies still occupy the White House, the policies that are being carried out are coming from the Brzezinski left CIA machine. Brzezinski has returned to public prominence in recent months due to his role as top establishment controller for the Obama campaign. But Brzezinski is not waiting for the outcome of the November elections to take over key parts of the US government. Brzezinski and his left CIA allies are already moving to assert their strategy, even as the neocons and their characteristic obsessions are moved to the back burner. The probability of an attack on Iran or Syria is declining, even as the danger of confrontation with Russia, China, and Pakistan all much more dangerous targets to trifle with increases exponentially."
I Refuse to Buy into the Obama Hype 2/22/2008 Daily Kos: "I went to the Library of Congress Website. The FACTS of what each did in the Senate last year sure surprised me. I'm sure they will surprise you, too. Whether you love or hate Hillary, you will be surprised. Whether you think Obama is the second coming of JFK or an inexperienced lightweight, you will surprised. Go check out the Library of Congress Website. After spending some time there, it will be clear that there is really only one candidate would is ready to be the next president, even better than Gore. If you don't want to spend an hour or two doing research, then I'll tell you what I discovered on the jump… In my eyes Obama is the superior choice in every way. He cares about more of the issues that matter to me. Kids and health care are important but so is the issue of global warming, on which Clinton introduced not a single bill last year. Obama is a leader. With bigger majorities in Congress, much of his agenda should sail through. He can inspire this country to change course on so many things, from health care to global warming, where attitudes have to be changed first. I remember Bill Clinton's endless laundry lists of small, focus group approved initiatives. For those who say Hillary will not govern like Bill did, I respond that the people who were doing the market testing of his proposed policies were Dick Morris, of course, and Mark Penn, who is now running Hillary's campaign."
Samantha Power v. Jeremy Scahill: A Debate on U.S. Actions in the Balkans, the Independence of Kosovo, the Iraq Sanctions and Humanitarian Intervention 2/22/2008 Democracy Now: Samantha Power is a senior foreign policy adviser to Obama who defends key elements of the genocidal Clinton campaign against Yougoslavia.
Obama takes heat for skipping annual black forum 2/21/2008 McClatchy: ""Her coming to the event, it's a bit of a risk. She could get a chilly reception," Walters said. "If it hadn't been for South Carolina, she could go into the forum expecting a good reception." Minyon Moore, a Clinton campaign adviser, said the New York senator doesn't know what to expect on Saturday. "After all that's been reported and said, what hasn't changed is the commitment of Hillary, and Bill, Clinton to civil rights and racial equality," Moore said. "If people are willing to listen to her, we'll win the day.""
Obama not yet wise to Freak Show 2/20/2008 Politico: "Last year, Obama's campaign largely ignored the persistent rumor that he was some sort of crypto-Muslim. Emails to this effect circulated for months, tainting the first impression many casual voters had of the young senator. Obama's camp didn't want to give the smear more attention by spotlighting it, but it reached such a fever pitch in the days leading up to Iowa that the candidate himself finally had to bring it up in his stump speech. And even now, new anecdotes emerge every day about voters who are wary of Obama's middle name (Hussein) or his purported Muslim roots."
Larry Sinclair's Obama Allegations: MSM Has Plenty of Practice Ignoring Certain Stories YouTube Suppressing the Popularity of the Sinclair Video? 2/19/2008 Death by 1000 paper cuts: "Larry Sinclair has filed a federal suit against Barack Obama and others for harassment since the gay man released his video on YouTube alleging that the Senator from Illinois and Sinclair shared gay sex and cocaine in the back of a limo in Gurnee, IL in 1999."
Clinton Ups the Ante in Wisconsin 2/18/2008 WaPo: "Barack Obama's campaign is showing it will not stand down in the increasingly vituperative ad war with Hillary Rodham Clinton ahead of Wisconsin's primary on Tuesday."
Do-or-die Hillary turns bully as Obama starts to pull away 2/17/2008 London Times: "Clinton’s camp has been circulating stories criticising the “cult” of Obama in the hope of portraying “Obamania” as a mass delusion. Media Matters, a watchdog organisation sympathetic to Clinton, compiled a report headlined, “Media figures call Obama supporters’ behaviour ‘creepy’, compare them to Hare Krishna and Charles Manson followers”. It was forwarded by Sidney Blumenthal, a top Clinton adviser, to select reporters. The campaign entered a nasty phase last week with the determination of Clinton’s team to revive delegates from the “ghost” primaries of Michigan and Florida, by legal action if necessary."
Right slams Obama as 'shady Chicago socialist' 2/17/2008 London Times: "LEADING Republicans believe they can trounce Barack Obama in the presidential election by tarring him as a shady Chicago socialist. They are increasingly confident that his campaign could collapse by the time their attack machine has finished with him. Grover Norquist, an influential conservative tax reform lobbyist, said: “Barack Obama has been able to create his own image and introduce himself to voters, but the swing voters in a general election are not paying attention yet. He is open to being defined as a leftwing, corrupt Chicago politician.” Norquist’s comments will be music to the ears of Hillary Clinton, Obama’s Democratic rival, who believes Obama has not been sufficiently “vetted” for the White House. She has been unable to attack him too vociferously without risking a backlash from Democratic primary voters, but Republicans may salvage her campaign by doing the job for her."
No, He Can't Because Yes, They Will 2/16/2008 Huffington Post: "Obama's untested achilles heel is his relationship with three men -- Tony Rezko, William Ayers, and Rashid Khalidi. These names will become shorthand for Corruption, Terrorism, and the Destruction of Israel. Oh yes, I know. I am going to extremes. Well, let me lay out the facts and explain how the Republicans will likely use these relationships to bludgeon Obama's presidential aspirations into dust. My challenge to you Obama supporters is to explain to me and other readers of this blog how Obama will defuse these issues."
Wexler blasts e-mails disputing Obama's support for Israel 2/16/2008 Palm Beach Post: "U.S. Rep. Robert Wexler, D-Delray Beach, an early, ardent supporter of Obama's presidential campaign and one of the staunchest Israel supporters in Congress, said of the e-mail: "It's not true." Wexler said he and former Ambassador Dennis Ross, who advised both President George H.W. Bush and President Clinton on the Middle East, are Obama's principal advisers on Israel policy. "I think it's fair to say that no one in Congress is more dedicated to Israel's security than I am, and that's why Sen. Obama includes me at this level," Wexler said."
Obama as the Next McGovern? 2/16/2008 Talk Left: [the pro-Hillary attack machine finally swings into action on this theme]
The War Party Targets Obama - They'll never let him become president 2/15/2008 AntiWar: "In the face of this nationwide upsurge of Obama-mania, the War Party is making threatening noises, such as in this piece in the Jerusalem Post reporting Malcolm Hoenlein's visit to Israel, where he announced that Obama's candidacy may represent a threat: "All the talk about change, but without defining what that change should be is an opening for all kind of mischief. Of course Obama has plenty of Jewish supporters and there are many Jews around him. But there is a legitimate concern over the zeitgeist around the campaign." Yes, the "zeitgeist" just isn't right, according to Hoenlein, who also took out after Obama for going after Hillary Clinton's vote in favor of putting the Iranian Revolutionary Guards on the official list of terrorist organizations. This election year, warns Hoenlein, is signaling a sea change away from unconditional support to Israel, which most Americans see, he avers, as "a dark and militaristic place." Gee, I wonder why? Could it be the repeated invasions of neighboring states by the IDF? Or perhaps it's the ongoing occupation of Palestinian territories, which is both brutal and seemingly never-ending."
Obama's Ties Might Fuel `Republican Attack Machine' (Update2) 2/15/2008 Bloomberg: "I think that it is inevitable that the media and Republicans will try to resort to these tactics,'' said Julian Epstein, a Democratic strategist. Epstein says he isn't affiliated with any campaign, though he has raised money for Clinton, given advice to Clinton and former candidate Bill Richardson, and would advise Obama if asked."
Jewish functionaries stirring the Clinton-Obama race 2/15/2008 Haaretz, Israel: "Official Israel is making an effort to maintain a respectable neutrality. Has-beens are being called into the ring, like a former ambassador to Washington, Dan Ayalon, who jabbed Obama in a sensitive spot - the volume of his support for Israel. Ayalon is not alone. Jewish advisers and non-Jewish supporters are almost obsessively occupied with searching for skeletons in the black candidate's past. The Republican Party's neoconservative clique is trawling archives for "anti-Israeli" essays by advisers who had been seen in Obama's staff. Robert Malley, who was President Bill Clinton's special assistant during the Camp David talks, joined Obama. The neoconservatives reached Malley's father, a Jew of Egyptian descent, who, alas, kept childhood ties with Yasser Arafat. Malley junior is accused of publishing a joint article with an Oslo-supporting Palestinian, in which they dared to argue that Ehud Barak played a major role in the Camp David summit's failure in July 2000. Obama is working hard to allay the fears of "Israel's friends," a description reserved mainly for activists of the pro-Israeli lobby AIPAC and for Malcolm Hoenlein, the executive vice chairman of the Conference of Presidents. As far as they're concerned, whoever doesn't support the Israeli government's policy 100 percent is unfit for leadership. Clinton is reaping the fruit of her investment in the Jewish community and Israel since first running for a Senate seat in New York. She is also benefiting from Bill Clinton's popularity in synagogues, Israeli homes and among his rich Jewish friends. A long list of initiatives and declarations has erased from the collective Jewish memory the first lady's "slip" in spring 1998, after Arafat threatened Benjamin Netanyahu with a unilateral declaration of a Palestinian state. Clinton then said at a gathering of Israeli and Palestinian youth, members of the Seeds of Peace organization, that it was important to have a "functioning modern" Palestinian state." She also said "it will be in the long-term interest of the Middle East for Palestine to be a state...responsible for its citizens' well-being...education and health care.'' "
Che flag sends 'disturbing' message about Obama 2/13/2008 World Net Daily: Che iconography
Clinton Accuses Obama of Cutting Deals With Contributor 2/12/2008 ABC
Rendell: Race Factor Could Hurt Obama 2/12/2008 AP
Barack Obama And The “End” Of Racism 2/12/2008 Countercurrents: "With respect to Black interests, Obama would be a silenced Black ruler: A muzzled Black emperor. A Black man at the head of the White Amerikkkan State – one who’s unwilling to speak truth to power, but more than willing, like a Condi Rice or a Colin Powell, to become that power and to launch wars of aggression against other people of color. In Obama’s case the targets will be Iran (which he has threatened with “surgical” missile strikes) and Pakistan, rather than Iraq. That’s the only difference between Obama and Rice and Powell, or Bush, for that matter. Even ABC News notes that “Obama, one of the more liberal candidates in the race, is proposing a geopolitical posture that is more aggressive than that of President Bush.”"
Obama and Israel: A Different Angle 2/3/2008 TPM Café: "the Israel-America relationship is best served by a president who can bring external strength to the US through greater internal unity, can restore America’s standing and credibility in the Middle East, be an effective global coalition-builder and deal-broker and end, how can I put it, fairy-tale based foreign policy. And Barack Obama looks like the person to do those things. The Jewish community is not immune to the kind of smear campaigns, ugly innuendos and direct appeals to racism and Islamophobia that have been a feature of the more general anti-Obama sewer politics. MJ has written about this, and the alpha list of Jewish leadership, Orthodox, Reform, ADL, AJC and more, did the right thing and published this open letter speaking out against the “hateful emails,” and “abhorrent rhetoric,” that “mischaracterized Senator Barack Obama’s religious beliefs and who he is as a person.” "
From Hillary's Whitewater Deal to Bill's Uranium Mine to Obama's Ba'athist Ties - Hot Democratic Properties by Alexander Cockburn 2/1/2008 Counterpunch: "At the time of the 2005 transaction Rezko's legal problems had already surfaced and Obama told the Sun-Times that involving Rezko "was a mistake". Rezko is now under indictment by US Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald (Scooter Libby's special prosecutor). He faces trial in federal court on February 25. On January 29 a federal judge, Amy J. St Eve, ordered Rezko held behind bars for violating the terms of his bail and for being a flight risk. Though, as part of his bail terms, Rezko was required by the court to disclose any changes in his financial status the FBI, using a "cooperating individual" identified only as "C14", claims to have established that Rezko did not reveal that in April, 2007, he appeared to have been the beneficiary of a $3.5 million wire transfer from General Mediterranean Holding S.A., a company run by a business associate of Rezko's, N. Auchi. General Meditarranean has been partner with Rezko in a 62-acre property deal in Chicago. Nadhmi Auchi lives in the U.K.,is extremely rich and politically well connected. In November 2003 he was the subject of unsparing criticism by Nick Cohen in The Observer. Cohen claimed that: He was charged in the 1950s with being an accomplice of Saddam Hussein, when the future tyrant was acquiring his taste for blood ... One reason why journalists have shied away from Auchi is that he has expensive lawyers. They have always denied that their client had met Saddam. No one has been able to contradict them, but we do know that Auchi was charged with being a plotter for the Baath Party as it prepared to seize power. In October 1959 he stood trial for conspiring to assassinate the Iraqi Prime Minister, Abdul Karim Qasim. The attempted murder became a revered part of Saddam's cult of personality ... In 1959 Auchi admitted to playing a minor part in the drama. The conspirators had collected a machine gun from his house before the attack, he said, but he had not used the weapon and knew nothing of what was being planned. Auchi prospered when the Baath Party seized control of the state. When Saddam assumed total power he moved to Britain ... the execution [of his brother] did not inhibit Auchi's business dealings with Iraq which, he says, didn't stop until the Gulf war of 1991. His first coup in the West was to broker a deal to sell Italian frigates to the Iraqi Defence Ministry, for which he received $17m in commission. Italian investigators claimed that a Panamanian company owned by Auchi was used to funnel allegedly illegal payments. Auchi denied he had done anything wrong. The Observer's website featuring Cohen's story also supplies a link to a statement in which Auchi's lawyers say their client "was never close to Saddam Hussein or his regime. He never met or even spoke to Saddam Hussein. Mr Auchi has never to his knowledge had any involvement in money stolen by Saddam Hussein and/or Colonel Gadaffi and he has never sheltered funds for Saddam Hussein. During the time when Iraq was considered to be a friend of the west, Mr Auchi conducted business with entities in Iraq. On sanctions being imposed against Saddam Hussein's regime, Mr Auchi ceased conducting such business." Cohen says that in the fall of 2003 Auchi "was convicted of illicit profiteering by the Paris Criminal Court and received a 15-month suspended sentence." Obama is certainly aware that Rezko is a political liability. Thus far the most tangible benefit from his association unearthed by reporters has been some $50-60,000 in campaign contributions from Rezco down the years (Obama's estimate) plus the adjacent-lot property deal in Kenwood which does smell. One inference back in 2005 might have been that Rezko would finally have conveyed the undeveloped lot to Obama in some manner advantageous to the senator. Apparently Obama scented peril as the spotlight came on his association with Rezko and had a substantial fence (which Rezko promised to pay for) erected between the two parcels. The Rezko parcel is supposedly scheduled for a house. In terms of political mudslinging, if Obama continues to prosper politically this year, we can expect ongoing probes for political favors he might have done for Rezko down the years. For the political hit squads the money shot, so to speak, is any headline that links Barack Hussein Obama with an Iraqi millionaire not only linked to the oil-for-food scandal but to the Baath Party and to Saddam Hussein."
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."
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."
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."
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."
Seven Jewish senators sign letter deploring "false and malicious" attacks on Obama 1/9/2008 Sweet
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."
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.)"
Obama to offer pro-Israel views at Chicago gathering 3/1/2007 Chicago Sun Times
Ryan casts shadow on Obama 5/21/2004 Illinois Leader: "Republican U.S. Senate candidate Jack Ryan is casting a shadow on his opponent Democrat Barack Obama, news sources statewide are reporting on Friday. The "shadow" is a 24 year old Ryan staffer, Justin Warfel, who has the unenviable assignment of following Obama around the state Capitol, to media events and public appearances with a mini-cam and tape recorder in hand."
Obama Weary Of Opponent's Video Camera 5/21/2004 WBBM
MCCULLOUGH: Obama -- Oh No! 5/17/2004 Illinois Leader: But even more importantly than his radical views on a woman’s right to kill the child in her womb - Obama strongly supports the progressive - pro-homosexual movement that is oppressing the masses and will begin to be tested this week across America in the newly formed illegitimate institution of “gay marriage.”
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