Posts Tagged ‘Barack Obama’

Fox News: Oh no, Obama (gasp) SMOKES!

A few questions to keep in mind while watching the latest salvo in the Faux News bombardment of Senator Obama:1. So we haven’t seen Obama smoke. Since when have we seen any politician smoke? Do they expect the Senator to fire up a Marlboro while he’s on camera with Wolf Blitzer?2. Why does the commentator who’s apparently on this show because they want a Black man to comment on Obama make the argument that America only cares about the Senator because he’s Black? Is this guy Fox’s resident Irony Expert?3. Where does the Media get off calling him “Barack?” Where do we all get off calling Senator Clinton “Hillary?” Do we routinely refer to White male Senators as “Trent,” or “Edward,” or do we give them the respect of using their title or at least their last names?4. Since when does not smoking in public make someone duplicitous?5. “Mammy?”

Clinton spins the war vote

Oh, please…

From The Hill:Former President Bill Clinton yesterday complained that “it’s just not fair” the way his wife, presidential candidate Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.), is being depicted for her controversial Iraq war vote.Speaking to hundreds of supporters on conference call, the former president said, “I don’t have a problem with anything Barack Obama [has] said on this,” but “to characterize Hillary and Obama’s positions on the war as polar opposites is ludicrous.“This dichotomy that’s been set up to allow him to become the raging hero of the anti-war crowd on the Internet is just factually inaccurate.”The ex-president’s aggressive defense of his wife’s position revealed frustration in the Clinton camp over how the issue is playing into the already-overheated presidential campaign.On a conference call with Hillraisers, Sen. Clinton’s biggest donors, which The Hill listened to after being provided the call-in information, the former president said there was a stark difference between those who voted for the Iraq resolution and those who wanted to go to war.In response to a question from one of the supporters on the phone about explaining Hillary Clinton’s Iraq vote to undecided voters, the former president jumped in front of former Democratic Party Chairman Terry McAuliffe, saying, “Let me answer this.”He said he had re-read the Iraq resolution last week, and that his wife had voted only for “coercive inspections.” Clinton justified his wife’s refusal to apologize for her vote by explaining that she was acting out of concern that future presidents might need similar language authorizing “coercive inspections to avoid conflict.”“It’s just not fair to say that people who voted for the resolution wanted war,” Clinton said.

Does he think anyone’s going to buy that? Technically, he’s right. Congress voted to authorize “coercive inspections,” and for the President to return to the UN Security Council for approval before launching his invasion, and the President did neither. He pulled the inspectors out (and then claimed Hussein expelled them) and did not return to the UN until after he’d invaded to demand the UN retroactively give him authorization. Nobody would’ve expected the President to do that, right? Nobody except the millions of Americans who were sure he was going to war no matter the evidence or excuse. If the Democrats in Congress who voted for that resolution were among the segment of our population who didn’t accurately assess Bush’s intentions (which couldn’t have been more obvious), that casts serious doubt on their judgement.Either Bill Clinton is wrong and Senator Clinton did suspect this was a vote for war, or he’s right and she was too naive to realize it was a vote for war. There’s no way to put a good spin on this, so please, Mr. Clinton, stop trying.

Image Over Substance

Perusing the conservative blogosphere this morning, this caught my eye. To an extent, all candidates are chosen based on their image. It’s why Barack Obama or Rudy Giuliani may someday be President, and Dennis Kucinich never will. What I found interesting is that these people at one of the leading Conservative blogs apparently see nothing wrong with that, and are in fact downright giddy about it:

In a sense, then, [Fred] Thompson looks like the perfect blend of the Allen/Frist/Romney/Gingrich and McCain/Giuliani “factions.” He seems to combine the conservatism of the former cluster with at least some of the popularity and stature of the latter pairing. This is not to suggest that Thompson is a national hero like McCain and Giuliani. But in addition to a long and distinguished record of public service, he has the good fortune to play a distinguished public servant on television. Millions of Americans see Thompson exercise sound judgment every week as the district attorney on “Law and Order.” I’m reliably informed that the show’s creator, Dick Wolf, developed the persona of this fictional D.A. specifically for Thompson, and that the actor/politician protects his image by pushing back when he thinks his lines don’t portray him in the proper light. But the point isn’t whether we’re seeing the real Fred Thompson on the show; the point is that, if Thompson runs, millions of America will see the character when they see the candidate, and to that extent will like what they see. 

Obama’s odd reason for opposing impeachment

Barack Obama on the incompetence and secrecy of the Bush administration, and on why impeaching them is unacceptable:

“There’s a way to bring an end to those practices, you know: vote the bums out,” the presidential candidate said, without naming Bush or Cheney. “That’s how our system is designed.”-USA Today 

Well, no. Our system was actually designed so that we can remove criminal officials through impeachment.He goes on:

“I think you reserve impeachment for grave, grave breeches, and intentional breeches of the president’s authority,” he said. 

Illegally spying on millions of Americans in violation of the Fourth Amendment, holding American citizens without providing access to counsel for years, torturing captives, evidence of felonious vote caging (aimed at denying Blacks their right to vote), etc., don’t constitute “grave breeches”? Exactly what would constitute a “grave breech” in Obama’s mind? And what does he mean “intentional breeches”? Does he think Bush spied on Americans by accident?

Why Bush should be Impeached

I still have no idea why Barack Obama believes the current administration’s violations of our Constitutional rights do not constitute “grave breaches.” I’m sure his desire to not be impeached himself, should he win, has nothing to do with it. Watch this recent Bill Moyers special (in 5 parts) for a less self-interested assessment:

Hillary Clinton, Get Out Now. It’s over.

Over 1900 years ago, the prominent Roman historian Gaius Suetonius Tranquillus pinpointed what he saw as the exact moment the great Republic fell. In his eyes, it was the moment when Caesar, undecided until the last second, finally made up his mind and crossed the Rubicon river. Ever since, “crossing the Rubicon” has been shorthand for points of no return, either when the returning is physically impossible, or when there’s just no point in trying because the goal isn’t any greater than the least effort required to reach it. The phrase is used for everything from the moment the first bomb drops in a war, to the moment you open the shrink wrap on your new iPod.

Hillary Clinton’s just crossed the Rubicon.

“Hillary Clinton today brought up the assassination of Sen. Robert Kennedy while defending her decision to stay in the race against Barack Obama. ‘My husband did not wrap up the nomination in 1992 until he won the California primary somewhere in the middle of June, right? We all remember Bobby Kennedy was assassinated in June in California. I don’t understand it,’ she said, dismissing calls to drop out.” –MSNBC

Today, cable news and the Internet is filled with speculation that Clinton, who’s now invoked this RFK assassination rationale twice, is subtly encouraging – or at best privately hoping for – the assassination of Senator Obama (who has been likened to RFK for months now). Her campaign’s explanation, that she was merely mentioning that RFK was assassinated to point out another instance where the nomination contest went into June, has yet to gain traction. And there are a couple reasons for that.

1. Barack Obama recently won the majority of pledged delegates, he’s won about twice as many primaries, he’s within spitting distance of the 2025 delegates needed to win, Florida and Michigan aren’t going to be counted in any way that would hand Clinton the nomination, and her argument that she’s won the popular vote is being widely ridiculed because it presupposes that none of the caucus states matter, and not a single person would have voted for Obama in Michigan were his name on the ballot. The bad blood between the two campaigns, largely caused by Clinton’s gutter politics (or “hardball politics,” as her supporters have been excusing it), is far from assured a spot on the ticket as V.P. So the only way her now-quixotic quest for the nomination could succeed is if something cataclysmic happens to the Obama campaign. Something like an assassination.

Ordinarily, that wouldn’t be nearly enough to deny a candidate the benefit of the doubt. The Media, and even the usual suspects on the Internet, would be inclined to believe no malice was meant. However…

(2) The Clinton campaign hasn’t exactly been reluctant to engage in code-speak in the past. After Obama’s wins in Iowa and then South Carolina, when it appeared Obama was appealing to whites, blacks, rich, and poor, and increasingly, young and old, the Clintons began a calculated attempt to marginalize him along racial lines. They used code words. “Spade.” “Rolling the dice.” “Shuck and jive.” They dismissed his South Carolina win by saying Jesse Jackson won South Carolina too (implying he won because he was black, and it was a majority black state, while completelly ignoring Obama’s previous win in Iowa, an overwhelmingly caucasian state). As her delegate losses mounted, Clinton became gradually but steadily more explicit in her race-baiting codewords, just recently claiming that non-college educated working class white people aren’t going to vote for Obama, and rightfully so, since he’s an elitist. It was a nice, uplifting euphemistic argument meant to communicate to two different audiences. To superdelegates, it was clearly meant to stoke fears that racist white people wouldn’t vote for the black guy in the Fall. To racist white people who were either too stupid or who lacked the opportunity to attend college, she was trying to say “he doesn’t understand you. He’s not like you. That’s ok, because I understand you, since I’m just like you.”

I don’t know what’s in Clinton’s heart. I really don’t think she’s calling for Obama’s assassination. But I have to admit, the thought crossed my mind and lingered there for a few seconds before I managed to dismiss it. For a couple seconds, I didn’t know whether she’d simply made a horrendously bad analogy, TWICE, or whether this was a part of her distinct pattern of race-baiting, hatred-stoking gutter politics. I didn’t know, for just a couple seconds, whether she was hoping someone would help her, by proxy, assassinate her way into the White House. No commentator, journalist, blogger, or forum participant I’ve seen today (and I’ve read thousands of posts) seemed to know for sure, either, at least initially. It took Chris Matthews, a pundit who consistently dismisses conspiracy theories, several minutes before he decided he’d give her the benefit of the doubt.

But the fact there’s been any doubt at all is exactly the point. A day ago – hell, 12 hours ago, I would never have entertained even for two seconds the idea that Hillary Clinton would want Barack Obama to be killed. I had never heard even the most rabid Hillary-bashers on the Internet entertain that notion, either. But today, we’ve all seemed capable, for however fleeting a moment, of entertaining that exact notion.

And when we’re at that point – when so many people are able to think it’s a possibility that she’d stoop to something like that – there’s really no going back. Because for such a notion to be this widespread this quickly, a profound lack of trust in Mrs. Clinton must also be widespread. Perhaps so widespread that it, too, has crossed some sort of Rubicon in our political landscape.

Some believe time is cyclical. That time is a wheel, that a thing that’s happened before is a speck on that wheel, and that someday when the wheel turns completely, what’s happened before will happen again. If that’s true, I wouldn’t be surprised if Suetonius, upon Caesar’s crossing of the Rubicon, remarks “Caesar has pulled a Hillary.”

The Republicans Love Their Countup Clocks

gop-countdownclock1.gifYou know you haven’t got much to say about your opposition when you resort to condemning their logistics. First Fox News ran a “days since Barack Obama promised to appear on our show” clock. Now the Republican Party’s homepage is running their own countup clocks which count the days since Obama’s (a) visited Iraq, and (b) was invited to ten town hall meetings by John McCain.

Is the GOP sure it wants to play this game? The Democrats could easily respond with clocks of their own. Such as (dates are rough estimations):

1. “Days since John McCain flip-flopped on off-shore drilling: 2 days”

2. “Days since John McCain officially approved of torture: 730 days”

3. “Days since John McCain used 100 heavily-armed soldiers, 3 Blackhawks, 2 Apache gunships and a flak jacket to prove he could walk around an Iraqi marketplace without protection: 565 days”

4. “Days since the Iraqi marketplace he walked through was back under the control of insurgents: 330 days”

5. “Days since President Bush promised to fire whoever committed treason by outing an undercover CIA operative: 1,460 days”

6. “Days since President Bush vowed to capture Osama Bin Laden: 2,355 days”

7. “Days since President Bush vowed to rebuild New Orleans: 895 days”

8. “Days since President Carter called energy independence a national security matter, vowed to free us from Middle East oil, and was consequently mocked by Reagan and the next two generations of Republicans: 13,870 days”

9. “Days since President Truman tried to give Americans universal healthcare, but was rebuffed by Republicans in Congress: 21,900 days”


Of course, none of that’s as important as Barack Obama’s travel itinerary or the burning question of whether he’ll stick to the five debates he’s offered McCain, or accept McCain’s invitation to ten.

Barack Obama’s Father’s Day Message

For everyone who asks “Why is Lemont planning to marry Roxanne?”: