Archive for June 4th, 2008

Obama And Lieberman In Heated Conversation Today

By- Suzie-Q @ 7:00 PM MST

Obama In Heated Conversation With Lieberman

June 4, 2008 12:24 PM

Update: Obama and Lieberman had a heated conversation on the floor of the Senate later today. Details below.

Senator Joe Lieberman, serving aptly as John McCain’s foreign policy attack dog, jumped on a conference call with reporters on Wednesday to rip holes into Barack Obama’s stance on Israel.

Playing off of Obama’s address to the American Israeli Public Affairs Committee, the Connecticut independent acknowledged that he hadn’t heard the speech — and urged for a “civil and constructive” presidential campaign — before taking Obama to task for not being consistently tough on Iran.

“I appreciate many of the very good intentions to Israel and Israeli security that Senator Obama express today,” said Lieberman. “I thought in the speech there was a disconnect between things Senator Obama said today, particularly in regard to Iran, and things he has said or done earlier either in the campaign or the Senate.”

The crux of Lieberman’s argument, however, was that Obama was putting the blame for Iran’s rise in the Middle East on America’s doorstep, pushing the argument that the Iraq war had strengthened Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s standing in the region and left Israel left secure.

“If Israel is in danger today it is not because of us foreign policy, which has been strongly supportive of Israel in every way,” he said. “It is not because of what we have done in Iraq. It is because Iran is a fanatical, terrorist, expansionist state and has a leader and a leadership that constantly threatens to extinguish the state of Israel.”

The remarks fit into a traditional GOP rallying cry, that the Democrats have a blame-America-first mentality. But there are outstanding factors that could muddle Lieberman’s message. For starters, most objective metrics indicate that Iran has, in fact, been strengthened by America’s involvement in Iraq. The Persian nation, after all, has increasingly meddled in Iraqi affairs.

But also, McCain, despite tough rhetoric on Iran, has several advisers with deep connections to the country; perhaps the most embarrassing of which is Charlie Black, the campaign’s chief strategist. Before leaving his perch as a D.C. lobbyist, Black represented a Chinese oil company that did business with the Iranian government. He and his firm also represented Ahmad Chalabi, the Iraqi exile who helped churn up support for the war in the United States and has subsequently been accused of selling U.S. secrets to Iran.

UPDATE: Roll Call reports:

Furthermore, during a Senate vote Wednesday, Obama dragged Lieberman by the hand to a far corner of the Senate chamber and engaged in what appeared to reporters in the gallery as an intense, three-minute conversation.
While it was unclear what the two were discussing, the body language suggested that Obama was trying to convince Lieberman of something and his stance appeared slightly intimidating.

Using forceful, but not angry, hand gestures, Obama literally backed up Lieberman against the wall, leaned in very close at times, and appeared to be trying to dominate the conversation, as the two talked over each other in a few instances.

Still, Obama and Lieberman seemed to be trying to keep the back-and-forth congenial as they both patted each other on the back during and after the exchange.

Afterwards, Obama smiled and pointed up at reporters peering over the edge of the press gallery for a better glimpse of their interaction.

Obama loyalists were quick to express their frustration with Lieberman’s decision and warned that if he continues to take a lead role in attacking Obama it could complicate his professional relationship with the Caucus.

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Failed Leadership, The Edge Of Oblivion Is Here…

GEF @ 4:18 PM MST

Hungry in America: Failed Leadership From the Top Down

We need to stop re-electing people that sell out America

June 2, 2008
By Frosty Wooldridge

An astounding 35.5 million Americans and 17 percent of our children live with hunger daily. On top of that 28 million American live on food stamps. Last week, Brian Williams showed an 18 percent rise in food bank use by middle class Americans.

According to America’s Second Harvest, one of the nation’s largest hunger relief organizations, 36 percent of the 25 million people served live in a household where someone works. “The working poor increasingly have to choose between rent, electricity, medicine and groceries,” said Ross Fraser of America’s Second Harvest. “When new hunger figures are released, the numbers will be much worse: a loaf of bread costs 15 percent more now than this time last year, and the price of milk has risen 13 percent.”

“To meet demand, one food bank in Maryland installed a commercial kitchen to turn perishables gleaned from restaurants or hotels into frozen dinners to accommodate working families,” said Fraser.

Let me get this straight! America leads the world in wealth! We enjoy the highest standard of living. We send $6 billion in foreign aid to Israel annually along with another $4 billion to Egypt. We spend $70 billion annually for the War on Drugs that’s been going on for 37 years—total waste of money as evidenced by drugs’ unlimited quantities across America today! We spend $12 billion a month for the War in Iraq. We spend $1 trillion annually for over 700 military bases around the world. We spend, according to http://www.thesocialcontract.com with economist Edwin Rubenstein, $346 billion annually to pay for illegal aliens across 15 federal agencies. And, we spend $400 million a day paying for the $8 trillion federal debt.

Our citizens spend more money, something like $11 billion annually, trying to lose weight than the GNP of dozens of countries. At the same time, an astounding 14 million Americans remain unemployed.

Yet today in America, 35.5 million people struggle to eat! What do you think caused such a personal crisis for that many Americans inside the richest country in the world?

For starters, last week, U.S. Senator Diane Feinstein proposed legalizing three million illegal aliens in a bill that suffered defeat via the actions of many fed-up citizens, through the education of http://www.numbersusa.com and a dozen other immigration web sites. Additionally, Ms. Feinstein, in her fraudulent behavior tried to pass another giant leap in quota numbers for more 2-HB visas. Again, defeated by millions of faxes and phone calls! This behavior does not merit her being paid by U.S. taxpayers.

While our people starve, Congress imports 182,000 legal immigrants and illegal alien migrants every 30 days—all of them take jobs away from American citizens. In fact, our money pays for the breakfasts and lunches for their illegal alien children. Oh, that’s why our citizens don’t eat! Silly me for thinking our elected officials work for us! Total diverted funds for this caper annually exceed $28 million.

While our people hang in unemployment lines, Congress out-sourced, in-sourced and off-shored three million jobs in the past 10 years. They killed one million IT jobs for American citizens. Congress remains liable for our $700 billion annual trade-deficit with China and other third world countries because Congress obliterated our manufacturing base. When, pray-tell, will Congress present us with a “Strategic Economic Business Plan” for their conjured fiasco now devastating so many millions of our lives?

Does anyone get the idea that our own U.S. Senators and House representatives do everything in their power to degrade, destroy and vanquish America’s middle class? Is it possible the president of the United States fails his nation while he builds Iraq’s society in the face of our disintegrating under the loss of jobs, wages and the ability to feed our families? Even if you support Bush, it’s your civic duty to call him out on his lack of leadership.

Would you say that malfeasance, corruption, sleaze and outright multiple violations of oath of office applies to our president and Congress? It’s time to elect new, smart and fresh minds to replace people like Diane Feinstein, John McCain, Teddy Kennedy, Arlen Specter, Ken Salazar and others who continually degrade the Constitution while working against the interests of America’s middle class.

We need to send Feinstein and her cronies to serve in soup kitchens for their new jobs after we boot them out of Congress!

To take action:

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Clinton: “Obama will be good friend to Israel”

by Geezer Power…1:06 pm

Can you believe the unpremeditated gall of this presumptive Senator in a pants suit?

Instead of admitting defeat, and calling for unification of the Democratic party, she is speaking to AIPAC about Obama when he has already shown that he speaks very eloquently for himself.

The very idea that she has mentioned her willingness to be Obamas running mate makes me nauseous and p*ssed off at the same time. I can only hope that she will lose her position as a so called Democratic Senator…G:

Clinton address AIPAC Wednesday.

June 4, 2008

WASHINGTON (CNN) — Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama would be “a good friend to Israel” if elected, Sen. Hillary Clinton told a pro-Israel lobbying group Wednesday.

Though Clinton has yet to concede the Democratic race and spoke Wednesday of what she would do as president, she told the America-Israel Public Affairs Committee that Obama “understands what is at stake here.”

“It has been an honor to contest these primaries with him. It is an honor to call him my friend. And let me be very clear: I know that Senator Obama will be a good friend to Israel,” the New York senator and former first lady said.

“I know that Senator Obama shares my view that the next president must be ready to say to the world: America’s position is unchanging, our resolve unyielding, our stance nonnegotiable. The United States stands with Israel, now and forever,” she said.

Obama addressed the AIPAC conference earlier Monday, praising Clinton for “the outstanding race she has run.” Some Clinton supporters have begun to campaign for him to pick Clinton as his running mate, but the two campaigns deny that discussions on the subject have begun.

Clinton said Tuesday night that she would make a decision about the future of her campaign “in the coming days.” Though some of her supporters have urged her to fight on to the party’s August nominating convention in Denver, a leading Clinton backer told CNN that the campaign is most likely over.

“I don’t think Hillary Clinton is going to contest all the way to Denver,” Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell said. “I think very soon she’s going to do the right thing and get behind the party, get behind Senator Obama, whether she’s vice president or not. She’ll work hard for this ticket.”

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By- Suzie-Q @ 12:05 PM MST

Pelosi, Reid, Dean To Go Public: Democrats Need To Endorse

June 3, 2008 11:49 PM

In the absence of a concession speech from Sen. Hillary Clinton on Tuesday night, top figures in the Democratic Party are set to go public, urging all uncommitted officials to declare their presidential affiliations.

Sources have confirmed that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, DNC Chairman Howard Dean, and an official with the Democratic Governors Association are planning to release a public statement on Wednesday morning requesting that the party close its ranks and prepare for the race against Sen. John McCain.

The move, which had been anticipated but seemed unnecessary following Obama’s clinching of the nomination on Tuesday night, is an indication that few figures beyond Clinton’s utmost loyalists are willing to stomach a prolonged vacation period for the New York Democrat to make up her mind.

Obama, regardless of how the remainder of uncommitted officials come down, has declared the mantle of presumptive Democratic nominee. And it seems, at this point, that he is willing to put Clinton behind him in his efforts to focus on the general election match-up.

But during her speech in New York on Tuesday, Clinton offered scant indication that she was fully committed, at this juncture, to getting behind the Illinois Democrat.

“Now the question is, where do we go from here,” Clinton said, “it’s a question I don’t take lightly. This has been a long campaign, and I will be making no decisions tonight. But this has always been your campaign, so to the 18 million people who voted for me and to our many other supporters out there of all ages, I want to hear from you. I hope you’ll go to my website at HillaryClinton.com and share your thoughts with me and help in any way that you can.”

Wednesday’s statement by Democratic leadership seems designed to preempt any thoughts of a continued primary challenge. It declares that Democrats will be united heading towards November, and stresses the need of uncommitted superdelegates to declare their support for a candidate.

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Afternoon Jukebox… Everyone’s A Winner

By- Suzie-Q @ 12:00 PM MST

Hot Chocolate – Everyone’s A Winner (1978)

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By- Suzie-Q @ 7:00 AM MST

From: Carpetbagger Report

Yes he did

It’s hard to overstate how exceedingly unlikely this was. When Barack Obama launched his presidential campaign in February 2007 — it seems like years ago — he was a candidate to be taken seriously, but hardly the likely nominee. Obama not only faced a popular former senator who was the VP candidate one cycle earlier, but was also launching a challenge against the overwhelming favorite — a popular senator with an impressive background, universal name recognition, and the best name in Democratic politics.

If you took a poll in all 50 states the day Obama announced, he would have trailed in 49. Nationally, Obama started out with less money, fewer endorsements, less institutional support, and a smaller, less experienced staff. He started off trailing Hillary Clinton by about 20 points. By the late fall of 2007, it was about 25 points.

He was too young. Too inexperienced. His name sounded too funny. And yet, today, Barack Obama, the son of a Kenyan farmer and a white Kansan mother, is the improbable, presumptive Democratic nominee for President of the United States.

Senator Barack Obama claimed the Democratic presidential nomination on Tuesday evening, prevailing through an epic battle with Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton in a primary campaign that inspired millions of voters from every corner of America to demand change in Washington.

A last-minute rush of Democratic superdelegates, as well as the results from the final primaries, in Montana and South Dakota, pushed Mr. Obama over the threshold of winning the 2,118 delegates needed to be nominated at the party’s convention in August. The victory for Mr. Obama, the son of a black Kenyan father and a white Kansan mother, broke racial barriers and represented a remarkable rise for a man who just four years ago served in the Illinois Senate.

“Tonight, we mark the end of one historic journey with the beginning of another — a journey that will bring a new and better day to America,” Mr. Obama told supporters at a rally in St. Paul. “Because of you, tonight I can stand here and say that I will be the Democratic nominee for president of the United States of America.”

In a narrow sense, Obama’s success makes it easy to proud to be a Democrat. This is the first party to feature a Catholic candidate on a national ticket (80 years ago), the first party to feature a woman candidate on a national ticket (24 years ago), the first party to feature a Jewish candidate on a national ticket (8 years ago), and now the first party to feature an African-American candidate on a national ticket. It’s a reminder that in the Democratic Party, everyone has a voice, and everyone can reach for the ring.

But in a broader sense, Obama’s achievement is a milestone for the nation. This is a landmark American moment.

I found this McClatchy piece about the historical context quite poignant.

There are moments in American history when the country knows that things have changed.

An enemy attacks. A leader is struck down. A new one emerges. Barriers are broken, in sports, in science, in popular culture. The shot heard round the world. Dred Scott. Appomattox. Black Friday. Pearl Harbor. Jackie Robinson. Salk vaccine. Brown v. Board of Education. Dallas. Martin. One small step for a man. Windows. 9-11.

And now, Barack Obama. The first African-American to secure the presidential nomination of a major political party.

It’s been said so many times during the longest primary campaign in history that the fact has become background noise. But it’s a profound development in a nation where the gulf between blacks and whites has been the defining divide since the first African slaves were unloaded at Jamestown in 1619.

“We’ve never gone this far before,” said John Geer, a political scientist at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tenn.

It says as much about the country as it does about him. Maybe more.

I also loved Ezra’s piece.

Obama’s speech tonight was powerful, but then, most all of his speeches are. This address stood out less than I expected. It took me an hour to realize how extraordinary that was. I had just watched an African-American capture the Democratic nomination for the Presidency of the United States of America, and it felt … normal. Almost predictable. 50 years ago, African Americans often couldn’t vote, and dozens died in the fight to ensure them the franchise. African-Americans couldn’t use the same water fountains or rest rooms as white Americans. Black children often couldn’t attend the same schools as white children. Employers could discriminate based on race. 50 years ago, African Americans occupied, in effect, a second, and lesser, country. Today, an African-American man may well become the president of the whole country, and it feels almost normal.

Put aside delegates, Bylaw Committees, talking points, pundits, and polls. Put all of that aside and tell me that this morning, right now, this isn’t a nation to be proud of. Tell me that this doesn’t make you feel like anything is possible in the greatest country on earth. Tell me that this ripple of hope won’t capture the imagination of people who still look to the United States as a beacon. Go ahead. I dare you.

As for last night, Obama’s speech in Minnesota — at the very site where John McCain will accept the Republican nomination — it looked to me like we were watching a president.

You’ll notice, of course, Obama’s effusive praise for Hillary Clinton, and his assertiveness towards John McCain. Barack Obama worked hard to get to this point, but he’s not in this game to get to the big show, and he has no intention of settling for second place. There’s too much to be done, and the nation can’t afford another disappointment.

Game on.

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Hillary Clinton and American dynasties

Sudhan @12:30 CET

Gerard Warner | Telegraph.co.uk, June 4, 2008

The sun setting on Hillary Clinton’s presidential bid also represents a setback to the dynastic character of American politics. Since the Founding Fathers so ostentatiously renounced monarchy in 1776, dynasties have frequently flourished in the Land of the Free. By the time America’s second president John Adams died in 1826 his son, John Quincy Adams, was occupying the White House.

Chelsea, Hillary and Bill Clinton
A family affair: Chelsea, Hillary and Bill Clinton

Presidents Theodore and Franklin D. Roosevelt were, of course, cousins. Only a relentless campaign of assassination prevented the institutionalisation of the Kennedy dynasty. If Hillary Clinton had won this year, by the end of her first term in 2012 the United States would have been governed by alternating members of the Clinton and Bush dynasties for 24 consecutive years. The illness of Senator Edward Kennedy signals the demise of another American quasi-royal line.

Anomaly is no stranger to the US constitution, which George III might legitimately have denounced, in American terminology, as a “crock”. The egalitarian rhetoric of 1776 was shamelessly bogus, full of rhodomontade such as Patrick Henry’s operatic declamation: “Give me liberty or give me death!” To appreciate the extravagant cynicism of the joke you have to bear in mind he owned 66 slaves.

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