domingo, 31 de agosto de 2008

This cartoon is genius - Obama as Gulliver, surrounded by the Lilliputian press. By NY Times cartoonist Barry Blitt

sexta-feira, 29 de agosto de 2008

Obama's Nomination Address

My younger daughter and I made a point of watching Obama's speech live last night, here in Salvador, Bahia, Brazil, though it meant going to bed after midnight. We both knew it was an historic moment, not to be missed. We sat on the sofa and held hands and hugged as we listened to his heart-felt words. We also drank in the emotions of people in the audience, particularly African-Americans - some, both men and women, had tears streaming down their faces.

We are both sorry we can't vote for Obama in this election, and we're sure that he is the right person to set right the wrongs that the Bush administration has committed around the world. But then again, if the US is dumb enough to miss this chance to have a brilliant, inspiring and compassionate leader like Barack Obama, he can come and be President of Brazil, as far as we're concerned. He's already a "poster child" for change in this country.

Sabrina Gledhill

quarta-feira, 27 de agosto de 2008

The whackos are coming out of the woodwork

Men's Threat to Kill Obama is Downplayed

Wednesday 27 August 2008


by: Nicholas Riccardi, The Los Angeles Times

Federal authorities say the pair's rants while on a methamphetamine binge do not meet the legal standard for filing charges, despite their possession of rifles and sniper scopes.

Denver - Federal authorities today downplayed threats made by a pair of men arrested here over the weekend with rifles, sniper scopes and an alleged desire to kill Barack Obama.

Shawn Robert Adolf, 33, and Tharin Robert Gartrell, 28, were being held on parole violations while an associate, Nathan Johnson, was in jail on methamphetamine charges. U.S. Atty. Troy Eid said the men, during a meth binge, had expressed strongly racist views and spoken about killing the presumed Democratic presidential nominee.

The talk, Eid said, does not meet the legal standard for filing charges for threatening a presidential candidate.

"The law recognizes a difference between a true threat - that's one that can be carried out - and the reported racist rants of drug abusers," Eid said at a packed afternoon news conference.

There have been low-grade fears for months about possible threats to the life of Obama, who will become the first African American major-party presidential nominee when he accepts the nomination at a football stadium Thursday night. Obama received Secret Service protection early after he announced his campaign in 2007, a recognition of the risks he faces.

Eid acknowledged that many questions have not been answered, including why the men had high-powered weaponry, body armor, two-way radios, wigs and camouflage gear. It was also unclear why they decided to base themselves in a suburban Hyatt hotel where they believed - erroneously - Obama was staying.

"We are just going to continue to investigate this," Eid said.

In a jailhouse interview with KCNC-TV, Johnson said he did not know whether Adolf and Gartrell would have taken action.

"I don't want to say yes, but I don't want to say no," he said.

Heading off another Swiftboat attack

A few months ago, John McCain went on TV and denounced Swift Boat-style character attacks. He even promised the audience he could put a stop to them.

What a difference a few months make.

The Swift Boaters are back -- spending millions to attack Barack -- and the McCain campaign has welcomed them with open arms.

Yesterday, the McCain campaign issued a statement effectively endorsing and echoing the latest baseless attacks sponsored by former Swift Boat funder Harold Simmons.

Simmons' next generation Swift Boat group, The American Issues Project, is running a false, negative ad designed to smear Barack with the absurd insinuation that he is connected to terrorism.

We can't stop McCain and the Swift Boaters from spreading sleazy lies, but we can pressure the stations running the ads to follow basic standards of public broadcast.

Last week, committed supporters like you wrote more than 100,000 emails and made countless phone calls to TV stations in Pennsylvania, Virginia, Ohio, and Michigan.

This week, we're putting pressure on advertisers supporting these stations to withdraw their ads and take their money elsewhere.

Write to national advertisers on these TV stations and tell them not to support this garbage.

John McCain could step up and run the clean campaign he promised.

Simmons is not only the new Swift Boat group's top funder, he's one of McCain's top funders. The founder of the group even used to work for McCain. McCain has their phone numbers -- all he has to do is call.

But instead, McCain has backpedaled on his promise -- making a conscious choice to use the same old politics that George Bush used to get elected.

We won't be swift-boated again.

TV stations may want the revenue from these ads, but most other corporations know it's bad for business to be associated with this kind of malicious and controversial smear. Both CNN and Fox News have refused to run the ad.

Help make sure this trash doesn't pollute another election. Let the other advertisers know they can't be seen to support this kind of politics:

Keep fighting the good fight,

Obama Action Wire

terça-feira, 26 de agosto de 2008

Michelle Obama at 2008 Democratic Convention

Excerpt from Michelle Obama's speech at the convention

'Barack and I were raised with so many of the same values: that you work hard for what you want in life; that your word is your bond and you do what you say you're going to do; that you treat people with dignity and respect, even if you don't know them and even if you don't agree with them. And Barack and I set out to build lives guided by these values and pass them on to the next generation, because we want our children and all children in this nation to know that the only limit to the height of your achievements is the reach of your dreams and your willingness to work for them. And as our friendship grew and I learned more about Barack, he introduced me to the work he'd done when he first moved to Chicago after college. Instead of heading to Wall Street, Barack had gone to work in neighborhoods devastated when steel plants shut down and jobs dried up. And he'd been invited back to speak to people from those neighborhoods about how to rebuild their community.'

segunda-feira, 25 de agosto de 2008

Race? What race?

What's race got to do with it?

NY Times Op-Ed Contributor

The Race Isn’t About Race

Published: August 25, 2008


It would be naïve to suggest that race won’t figure in the election. But the danger for Democrats is that dark prophecies of prejudice could be self-fulfilling.

LIKE so much in his presidential campaign, Barack Obama’s search for a running mate was shadowed by the specter of race.

In the weeks leading up to his decision, as a flurry of new polls showed Mr. Obama and John McCain to be almost deadlocked, many Democrats and some members of the news media embraced a new article of faith: Lower-income white voters are resisting Mr. Obama’s candidacy principally because he is African-American. “Where he’s lagging is among white voters, and with older ones in particular," John Heilemann wrote in New York magazine this month. “Call me crazy, but isn’t it possible, just possible, that Obama’s lead is being inhibited by the fact that he is, you know, black?”

Each of the reported finalists for the No. 2 spot on the Democratic ticket — Tim Kaine, the governor of Virginia, Evan Bayh, a senator from Indiana, and, of course, Joe Biden — was considered to be the kind of vice-presidential nominee who could build a bridge to skeptical white men. The thinking among leading Democrats, and perhaps even inside the campaign itself, was that Mr. Obama needed a running mate who was also a validator, some earthy white guy who could say, effectively, of the party’s presidential nominee, “This dude’s as American as I am.”

Once Mr. Biden’s name was announced, commentators were quick to note that not only does he bring the ticket a well-earned expertise on foreign affairs, but he also possesses an ability to relate to working-class white men. Mr. Biden’s coming-out speech in Springfield, Ill., was heavy on allusions to his Irish-Catholic roots in Scranton, Pa., and to the “cops and firefighters, the teachers and the line workers” with whom he grew up.

No doubt the unpretentious, politically incorrect Mr. Biden will make a strong impression on white, working-class voters. The only hitch in this plan is that there’s plenty of reason to think that Mr. Obama’s race is not the insurmountable detriment to his candidacy that a lot of anxious observers believe it is.

The theory that race is holding back Mr. Obama’s candidacy rests on a pretty simple premise. Adherents argue that the Democratic candidate ought to be effortlessly leading by double digits in the polls at this point — and that his failure to do so can only be explained by latent racism among older voters.

After all, this thinking goes, the Republican president suffers from abysmal approval ratings, and even half-witted voters should be able to see that Mr. Obama is a superior candidate to Mr. McCain, were their views not clouded by race.

These are flawed assumptions, however. While it’s entirely possible that Mr. Obama’s race is costing him some support, it’s also true that the electorate that voted in the last two presidential elections was almost symmetrically divided between the two parties. It would defy the laws of politics if, at this early stage of the campaign, moderate Republicans and conservative independents were to reject Mr. McCain (a candidate many of them preferred back in 2000) simply because they don’t like George W. Bush.

Second, Mr. Obama faces genuine obstacles that are more salient than skin color. By any historical measure, he has remarkably little governing experience and almost none in foreign policy. And he represents not only a racial milestone in American life, but also a stark generational shift. It’s hard to extricate these things from Obama’s blackness. (If older white voters recoiled at Mr. Obama when he exchanged a fist-bump with his wife, were they reacting to his youth or to his race?) There are legitimate reasons that some older white voters might reserve judgment on Mr. Obama without being closet racists.

Proponents of the racial explanation for the closeness of the campaign point to a New York Times/CBS poll last month in which 19 percent of white voters said that most of the people they know wouldn’t vote for a black candidate. Pollsters assume that these answers are really a proxy for voters’ own racial biases. And yet in that same poll, 16 percent of black voters said the same thing — which indicates that the answers reflect suspicions about other people’s racism more than the bigotry of the respondents.

It would be naïve to suggest that race won’t figure in the election. But the danger for Democrats is that dark prophesies of prejudice could be self-fulfilling.

Ever since 2000, a lot of so-called progressives have proudly displayed a healthy contempt for less-educated white voters who cast ballots in defiance of their “economic self-interest,” as Thomas Frank argued in “What’s the Matter With Kansas?” (The widespread acceptance of Mr. Frank’s thesis is how John Kerry largely escaped the scorn that is ritually visited upon losing Democratic presidential nominees; the members of his party directed their exasperation at the voters instead.) But surely caricaturing a large subset of voters as ignorant has made those voters even less inclined to pull the lever for the Democrats this time around. All this talk about racism isn’t likely to help.

After showcasing their new ticket at their convention in Denver this week, Democrats may well see, at long last, the significant boost in the polls for which they have been waiting. But if Joe Biden’s selection does anything to help break the stalemate, it will be because he is a serious foreign-policy thinker and a voice of experience, not because he is somehow reassuring to narrow-minded white voters.

There are plenty of reasons to think Mr. Biden will make a strong running mate. Rampant racism, real or alleged, isn’t one of them.

Matt Bai, a contributing writer for The New York Times Magazine, is the author of “The Argument: Inside the Battle to Remake Democratic Politics.”

The pursuit of perfectibility

Published: August 25, 2008
Race can be a means for Barack Obama to talk about reconciliation — of America with its past, its ideals and the world.

In the castle here, slaves force-marched from the African interior were held in dungeons until their passage through the “Door of No Return” onto the ships that would carry them to the New World.

For centuries, the trade continued, overseen by pious European men of commerce, who prayed to their consoling God as they trafficked in black serfs for whom the Americas held no promise, but servitude.

I walked through Elmina with a handful of tourists. A guide made neither too much nor too little of the construction by the Dutch of a church above the slave depots. He said he did not want to reopen old wounds, merely safeguard memory.

It was not easy to tie this remote fort and other slave-trading centers along the coast, departure points for millions of enslaved Africans, to the plantations of Louisiana or to America’s “original sin,” as Barack Obama has put it, of slavery.

Yet the link must be made. More American kids should be wrested from their computer screens and ushered at an impressionable age to this faraway shore, where they might gaze through that one-way exit at a heaving sea.

They might then better understand acts and their consequences, not least a bloody civil war; they might better see the world’s interconnectedness; and they might better grasp the distance between words and deeds, as in how far the founding fathers were in 1787 from securing “the blessings of liberty” for one and all.

Spreading those blessings took struggle: that civil war, court fights, civil disobedience. No wonder then that, around the world, the first question about the U.S. election is always: “Is America really ready to elect a black man?”

That blunt inquiry, which I’ve heard from Indonesia to Latin America, is a reminder on the eve of the Democratic Party’s convention in Denver of the historic nature of the Obama candidacy.

But the question also suggests the barriers, spoken and unspoken, that he and his running mate, Senator Joseph Biden of Delaware, must still overcome to reach the, so-named, White House.

It’s been a long campaign already. We’ve seen Obama at the glittering top of his game, we’ve seen how introspective remoteness can dull that electricity. We know the main Republican lines of attack against him: untested, aloof, radical and, yes, different.

That’s politics. It’s about winning and damn the means. Power, as an Italian observed, wears out those who do not have it. But none of the above can obscure how this campaign’s moments of upliftment have come from Obama.

Often those moments have emerged from his experience of race even as he has sought to downplay it. It was he who said, in a Father’s Day speech noting that more than half of black children live in single-parent households, that “what makes you a man is not the ability to have a child, it’s the courage to raise one.”

It was he who said he had chosen to run “because I believe deeply that we cannot solve the challenges of our time unless we solve them together — unless we perfect our union by understanding that we may have different stories, but we hold common hopes.”

And it has been Obama who, since his speech at the last Democratic convention, has painted the starkest picture of an America polarized by the underperforming schools and health care of a rich-takes-all culture at odds with the country’s founding promise to “promote the general welfare.”

Contrary to all the talk of radicalism, he has repeatedly identified the center as the place to tackle these ills.

Race, in other words, as lived by Obama, is a means to talk about reconciliation: of America with its past, of America with its ideals, and of America with the world. All three are necessary after the Bush years. Obama should keep saying so. Race hushed is race as quiet poison for him.

There’s a plaque at Elmina which reads in part: “In everlasting memory of the anguish of our ancestors/ May those who died rest in peace/ May those who return find their roots/ May humanity never again perpetrate/ Such injustice against humanity.”


Obama returned to a different corner of this continent to find his roots, pursue a lost father and build his identity. That took courage, as it has taken courage to rise above politics as usual to summon the “better angels” of a divided, debt-ridden America at war.

When I’m asked that question — “Is America really ready to elect a black man?” — I say yes. That readiness exists in this close election of uncertain outcome. Elmina was built in 1482. Over a half-millennium attitudes do change, not least in a land hard-wired since 1787 to perfectibility and hope.

domingo, 24 de agosto de 2008

"Change before it's too late"

Last Call for Change We Can Believe In


by: Frank Rich, The New York Times

Barack Obama at a town hall meeting August 19, 2008 in Raleigh, North Carolina. (Photo: Getty Images)

As the real campaign at last begins in Denver this week, this much is certain: It's time for Barack Obama to dispatch 'Change We Can Believe In' to a dignified death.

This isn't because - OMG! - Obama's narrow three- to four-percentage-point lead of recent weeks dropped to a statistically indistinguishable one- to three-point margin during his week of vacation. It's because zero hour is here. As the presidential race finally gains the country's full attention, the strategy that vanquished Hillary Clinton must be rebooted to take out John McCain.

'Change We Can Believe In' was brilliantly calculated for a Democratic familial brawl where every candidate was promising nearly identical change from George Bush. It branded Obama as the sole contender with the un-Beltway biography, credibility and political talent to link the promise of change to the nation's onrushing generational turnover in all its cultural (and, yes, racial) manifestations. McCain should be a far easier mark than Clinton if Obama retools his act.

What we have learned this summer is this: McCain's trigger-happy temperament and reactionary policies offer worse than no change. He is an unstable bridge back not just to Bush policies but to an increasingly distant 20th-century America that is still fighting Red China in Vietnam and the Soviet Union in the cold war. As the country tries to navigate the fast-moving changes of the 21st century, McCain would put America on hold.

What Obama also should have learned by now is that the press is not his friend. Of course, he gets more ink and airtime than McCain; he's sexier news. But as George Mason University's Center for Media and Public Affairs documented in its study of six weeks of TV news reports this summer, Obama's coverage was 28 percent positive, 72 percent negative. (For McCain, the split was 43/57.) Even McCain's most blatant confusions, memory lapses and outright lies still barely cause a ripple, whether he's railing against a piece of pork he in fact voted for, as he did at the Saddleback Church pseudodebate last weekend, or falsifying crucial details of his marital history in his memoirs, as The Los Angeles Times uncovered in court records last month.

What should Obama do now? As premature panic floods through certain liberal precincts, there's no shortage of advice: more meat to his economic plan, more passion in his stump delivery, less defensiveness in response to attacks and, as is now happening, sharper darts at a McCain lifestyle so extravagant that we are only beginning to learn where all the beer bullion is buried.

But Obama is never going to be a John Edwards-style populist barnburner. (Edwards wasn't persuasive either, by the way.) Nor will wonkish laundry lists of policy details work any better for him than they did for Al Gore or Hillary Clinton. Obama has those details to spare, in any case, while McCain, who didn't even include an education policy on his Web site during primary season, is still winging it. As David Leonhardt observes in his New York Times Magazine cover article on 'Obamanomics' today, Obama's real problem is not a lack of detail but his inability to sell policy with 'an effective story.'

That story is there to be told, but it has to be a story that is more about America and the future and less about Obama and his past. After all these months, most Americans, for better or worse, know who Obama is. So much so that he seems to have fought off the relentless right-wing onslaught to demonize him as an elitist alien. Asked in last week's New York Times/CBS News poll if each candidate shares their values, registered voters gave Obama and McCain an identical 63 percent. Asked if each candidate 'cares about the needs and problems of people like yourself,' Obama beat McCain by 37 to 23 percent. Is the candidate 'someone you can relate to'? Obama: 55 percent, McCain: 41. Even before McCain told Politico that he relies on the help to count up the houses he owns, he was the candidate seen as the out-of-step elitist.

So while Obama can continue to try to reassure resistant Clinton loyalists in Appalachia that he's not a bogeyman from Madrassaland, he must also move on to the bigger picture for everyone else. He must rekindle the 'fierce urgency of now' - but not, as he did in the primaries, merely to evoke uplifting echoes of the civil-rights struggle or the need for withdrawal from Iraq.

Most Americans, unlike the press, are not obsessed by race. (Those whites who are obsessed by race will not vote for Obama no matter what he or anyone else has to say about it.) And most Americans have turned their backs on the Iraq war, no matter how much McCain keeps bellowing about 'victory.' The Bush White House is now poised to alight with the Iraqi government on a withdrawal timetable far closer to Obama's 16 months than McCain's vague promise of a 2013 endgame. As Gen. David Petraeus returns home, McCain increasingly resembles those mad Japanese soldiers who remained at war on remote Pacific islands years after Hiroshima.

Economic anxiety is the new terrorism. This is why the most relevant snapshot of voters' concerns was not to be found at Saddleback Church but at the Olympics last Saturday. For all the political press's hype, only some 5.5 million viewers tuned in to the Rev. Rick Warren's show in Orange County, Calif. Roughly three-quarters of them were over 50 - in other words, the McCain base. By contrast, a diverse audience of 32 million Americans tuned in to Beijing that night to watch Michael Phelps win his eighth gold medal.

This was a rare feel-good moment for a depressed country. But the unsettling subtext of the Olympics has been as resonant for Americans as the Phelps triumph. You couldn't watch NBC's weeks of coverage without feeling bombarded by an ascendant China whose superior cache of gold medals and dazzling management of the Games became a proxy for its spectacular commercial and cultural prowess in the new century. Even before the Olympics began, a July CNN poll found that 70 percent of Americans fear China's economic might - about as many as find America on the wrong track. Americans watching the Olympics could not escape the reality that China in particular and Asia in general will continue to outpace our country in growth while we remain mired in stagnancy and debt (much of it held by China).

How we dig out of this quagmire is the American story that Obama must tell. It is not a story of endless conflicts abroad but a potentially inspiring tale of serious economic, educational, energy and health-care mobilization at home. We don't have the time or resources to go off on more quixotic military missions or to indulge in culture wars. (In China, they're too busy exploiting scientific advances for competitive advantage to reopen settled debates about Darwin.) Americans must band together for change before the new century leaves us completely behind. The Obama campaign actually has plans, however imperfect or provisional, to set us on that path; the McCain campaign offers only disposable Band-Aids typified by the 'drill now' mantra that even McCain says will only have a 'psychological' effect on gas prices.

Even as it points to America's future, the Obama campaign also has the duty to fill in its opponent's past. McCain's attacks on Obama have worked: in last week's Los Angeles Times-Bloomberg poll, Obama's favorable rating declined from 59 to 48 percent and his negative rating rose from 27 to 35. Yet McCain still has a lower positive rating (46 percent) and higher negative rating (38) than Obama. McCain is not nearly as popular among Americans, it turns out, as he is among his journalistic camp followers. Should voters actually get to know him, he has nowhere to go but down.

The argument against Obama's 'going negative' is that it undermines his message of 'transcendent politics' and will make him look like an 'angry black man.' But pacifistic politics is an oxymoron, and Obama is constitutionally incapable of coming off angrier than McCain. A few more fisticuffs from the former law professor (and many more from his running mate and other surrogates) can only help make him look less skinny (metaphorically if not literally). Obama should go after McCain's supposedly biggest asset - experience - much as McCain went after Obama's crowd-drawing celebrity.

It is, after all, not mere happenstance that so many conservative pundits - Rich Lowry, Peggy Noonan, Ramesh Ponnuru - have, to McCain's irritation, proposed that he 'patriotically' declare in advance that he will selflessly serve only a single term. Whatever their lofty stated reasons for promoting this stunt, their underlying message is clear: They recognize in their heart of hearts that the shelf life of McCain's experience has already reached its expiration date.

Is a man who is just discovering the Internet qualified to lead a restoration of America's economic and educational infrastructures? Is the leader of a virtually all-white political party America's best salesman and moral avatar in the age of globalization? Does a bellicose Vietnam veteran who rushed to hitch his star to the self-immolating overreaches of Ahmad Chalabi, Pervez Musharraf and Mikheil Saakashvili have the judgment to keep America safe?

R.I.P., 'Change We Can Believe In.' The fierce urgency of the 21st century demands Change Before It's Too Late.

sexta-feira, 22 de agosto de 2008

McCain and his homes - from 4 to 7 to 8...then none

As it turns out, McCain doesn't own any of his homes - they belong to his wife and her children. Does that make him homeless?

"The presumptive Republican nominee, though, may have some wiggle room in explaining why he couldn't immediately provide an answer when asked by Politico how many houses he and his wife, Cindy, own. Sen. McCain himself does not own any of the properties. They're all owned by Cindy McCain, her dependent children and the trusts and companies they control."
Read the article in full here:

More on McSame: Barack Obama in Chester, VA

What Does Obama Have in Common With Frederick Douglass?

NY Times "Campaign Stops" August 17, 2008, 7:46 pm

By Michael A. Cohen

Michael A. Cohen is is a senior research fellow at the New America Foundation and the author of “Live From the Campaign Trail: The Greatest Presidential Campaign Speeches of the 20th Century and How They Shaped Modern America.” (Full biography.)

In his brief time on the national stage Barack Obama has been compared to a host of great 20th-century orators, including John F. Kennedy and Ronald Reagan. But the most apt comparison may be to one of the greatest 19th-century orators: Frederick Douglass, the abolitionist leader.

In The New York Times recent examination of Mr. Obama’s career as a law school professor, a former student noted that he regularly evoked Douglass and not simply for his speaking skills but also for his “use of a collective voice that embraced black and white concerns.” For those seeking to get a clearer sense of what type of president Mr. Obama may be, his invocation of Douglass lends itself to several interpretations.

Douglass’s rise to prominence came from being a radical spokesman for abolition and a frequent critic of President Abraham Lincoln for the slow pace in which he worked to end slavery. But that was the younger Frederick Douglass. The thinking of the older Douglass appears to have had a more significant impact on Mr. Obama’s political thinking and in particular his campaign rhetoric.

Take a look at a speech that Douglass delivered on April 14, 1876. It is one of the greatest and most misunderstood speeches in American history.

Speaking at the dedication of a monument to Lincoln in Washington, Douglass began his remarks by declaring that the 16th president was “preeminently the white man’s president, entirely devoted to the welfare of white men” and that African-Americans were “at best only his stepchildren.” On the surface it seemed to be a shocking indictment of the Great Emancipator.

But Douglass quickly pulled back on the rhetoric to show that such simplistic characterizations failed to do justice to the complexity of Lincoln the politician (just as calling him the Great Emancipator was empty hagiography).

For Douglass, what made Lincoln special was that he was able to end slavery not by the force of his words, but by the nuance of his political machinations. Lincoln married the call for abolition with the savvy of a politician who made his decisions based on what Douglass called “the sentiment of his country, a sentiment he was bound as a statesman to consult.” By these standards, even though he waited until more than a year and a half into the war to emancipate the slaves, Douglass argued that Lincoln “was swift, zealous, radical and determined.”

To Douglass’s mind Lincoln deserved to be honored not because he freed the slaves, but because of how he freed the slaves. For a man who had spent much of his career lambasting Lincoln for not being a more aggressive abolitionist, it was a startling acknowledgment. Douglass’s words were recognition that radicalism and even the most principled stands must be balanced with the often difficult and far less enthralling process of incrementalism and political compromise.

Some on the left would like Mr. Obama to be like the younger Douglass, the firebrand reformist. But Mr. Obama’s rhetorical approach seems more attuned to the pragmatic observer of American politics that Douglass became.

A recent article in The New Yorker lays out well the manner in which Mr. Obama has kept one foot in the world of progressivism and one foot in the world of practical politics.

He campaigns on reforming a broken political process, yet he has always played politics by the rules as they exist, not as he would like them to exist. He runs as an outsider, but he has succeeded by mastering the inside game. He is ideologically a man of the left, but at times he has been genuinely deferential to core philosophical insights of the right.

Mr. Obama’s speechcraft is a reflection of these words. Largely eschewing strident partisanship (even at a time when Republicans are deeply unpopular), Mr. Obama is instead running against “Washington,” (which of course lumps both parties together). In 2004, he spoke of America not being a collection of red states or blue states but the United States. In his race speech, he acknowledged white grievances and black grievances, but then declared, “working together we can move beyond some of our old racial wounds, and that in fact we have no choice if we are to continue on the path of a more perfect union.”

Even when launching his campaign for the White House in the proverbial shadow of Lincoln in Springfield, Ill., he chose an unusual Lincoln quote, “Of strange, discordant, and even hostile elements, we gathered from the four winds, and formed and fought to battle through.” These words suggest a politician who is most focused on organizing disparate groups toward a larger goal.

There is a tension in Mr. Obama’s rhetoric; the veering between liberal ideology and solution-oriented politics; between, say, a younger Frederick Douglass and an older one. Indeed, in his book, “The Audacity of Hope” Mr. Obama references in equal measure Lincoln’s “firmness and the depth of his convictions” and the fact that his presidency was “guided by practicality.”

Mr. Obama appears to take lead from Douglass’s later analysis of Lincoln, who abolished slavery not by adopting radical means, but by taking a meandering, pragmatic course to achieve his goals. It’s a similar route to the one taken by Franklin D. Roosevelt, who even at the height of the Great Depression did not ram the New Deal down the throats of the American people but offered it to them in bite-size morsels.

On the stump, Mr. Obama is far more about poetry and sweeping rhetoric grounded in a powerful message of political change; but the admonition that one campaigns in poetry but governs in prose may well define an Obama presidency. Of course many will argue that in a partisan political culture, Mr. Obama must be prepared to carry a big, and occasionally sharp stick. That may be correct; but if Barack Obama wins the White House in November one can be reasonably sure that he will aim to prove these critics wrong — and prove the elder Mr. Douglass correct by seeking out the proper balance between what is right and what is possible.

quinta-feira, 21 de agosto de 2008

Obama: Hope vs. Doubt


I was not a fan of Ronald Reagan, but this video makes a valid point and is an excellent rebuttal of McCain's cynical, green-eyed "Celebrity" advert


Kaine on McCain's House Gaffe: "He Couldn't Count High Enough"


August 21, 2008 9:30 AM

ABC News' Teddy Davis and Hope Ditto report: Obama V.P. prospect and Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine mocked Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., on Thursday for not knowing exactly how many houses he owns.

"I understand that Sen. McCain was asked yesterday this question, 'how many houses do you own?,' and he couldn't answer that question. He couldn’t count high enough apparently to even know how many houses he owns," said Kaine.

Time Magazine's The Page has the video. Watch it here.

Kaine, who made his remarks on CNN's "American Morning," was referring to an interview that the presumptive Republican nominee gave to Politico on Wednesday when the Arizona senator was uncertain how many houses he and his wife, Cindy, own.

"I think -- I'll have my staff get to you," McCain told Politico in Las Cruces, N.M. "It's condominiums where -- I'll have them get to you."

The correct answer, McCain's staff told Politico, is at least four, located in Arizona, California and Virginia. Newsweek estimated this summer that the potential first couple owns at least seven properties.

Obama on his VP choice

'I think people will see that I'm not afraid to have folks around me who complement my strengths and who are independent. I'm not a believer in a government of yes-men. I think one of the failures of the early Bush Administration was being surrounded by people who were unwilling to deliver bad news, or who were prone to simply feed the president information that confirmed his own preconceptions.'

From Mike Allen's POlitico Playbook Daily Update:

The cover of Time is 'Special Issue: The Democrats,' with a DEBUT COLUMN BY MIKE MURPHY and a very tight cover shot of Senator Obama. Time's Karen Tumulty concluded, based on comments he made in an interview for the cover package, that his veep pick is 'either Senator Evan Bayh of Indiana (low profile, both executive and foreign policy experience, but a supporter of the Iraq War), or a surprise whose name has not been circulating on the pundits' short lists.'

Obama told Karen and David Von Drehle, when asked what the pick would tell the country about himself: 'Hopefully, the same thing that my campaign has told the American people about me. That I think through big decisions. I get a lot of input from a lot of people, and that ultimately, I try to surround myself with people who are about getting the job done, and who are not about ego, self-aggrandizement, getting their names in the press, but our focus on what's best for the American people.

'I think people will see that I'm not afraid to have folks around me who complement my strengths and who are independent. I'm not a believer in a government of yes-men. I think one of the failures of the early Bush Administration was being surrounded by people who were unwilling to deliver bad news, or who were prone to simply feed the president information that confirmed his own preconceptions.'
Portrait of Obama by Kim Gledhill

A House is not a Home

I seem to remember that a TV commentator once complained that Obama lives in a fancy house with a skylight - well, he just has the one.

Politico: McCain unsure how many houses he owns

Text Size:

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) said in an interview Wednesday that he was uncertain how many houses he and his wife, Cindy, own.

"I think - I'll have my staff get to you," McCain told us in Las Cruces, N.M. "It's condominiums where - I'll have them get to you."

The correct answer is at least four, located in Arizona, California and Virginia, according to his staff. Newsweek estimated this summer that the couple owns at least seven properties.

In recent weeks, Democrats have stepped up their effort to caricature McCain as living an outlandishly rich lifestyle – a bit of payback to the GOP for portraying Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) as an elitist, and for turning the spotlight in 2004 on the five homes owned by Sen. John F. Kerry (D-Mass.) and his wife, Teresa Heinz Kerry.

Pro-Obama labor groups have sent out mailers highlighting McCain’s wealth, and prominent Democrats have included references to it in comments to reporters.

Twice in the past two weeks, those Democrats have focused on McCain’s houses.

Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) told Politico’s Ben Smith that it was McCain “who wears $500 shoes, has six houses, and comes from one of the richest families in his state."

And David Axelrod, Obama’s chief strategist, referred in an interview with Adam Nagourney of The New York Times to an imagined meeting of McCain strategists “on the portico of the McCain estate in Sedona — or maybe in one of his six other houses.”

McCain’s comments came four days after he initially told Pastor Rick Warren during a faith forum on Sunday his threshold for considering someone rich is $5 million — a careless comment he quickly corrected.

In the interview, McCain did not offer an alternative number, but had a new answer ready.

“I define rich in other ways besides income,” he said. “Some people are wealthy and rich in their lives and their children and their ability to educate them. Others are poor if they’re billionaires.”

McCain, by anyone's measure, is well off if you include his wife's fortune. Cindy McCain inherited control of her father’s beer distributorship, the largest in Arizona, and has an estimated worth of over $100 million.

quarta-feira, 20 de agosto de 2008

Is McCain Another George W. Bush?


by: Jack Cafferty, CNN

(Photo: AP)

New York - Russia invades Georgia and President Bush goes on vacation. Our president has spent one-third of his entire two terms in office either at Camp David, Maryland, or at Crawford, Texas, on vacation.

His time away from the Oval Office included the month leading up to 9/11, when there were signs Osama bin Laden was planning to attack America, and the time Hurricane Katrina destroyed the city of New Orleans.

Sen. John McCain takes weekends off and limits his campaign events to one a day. He made an exception for the religious forum on Saturday at Saddleback Church in Southern California.

I think he made a big mistake. When he was invited last spring to attend a discussion of the role of faith in his life with Sens. Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, at Messiah College in Pennsylvania, McCain didn't bother to show up. Now I know why.

It occurs to me that John McCain is as intellectually shallow as our current president. When asked what his Christian faith means to him, his answer was a one-liner. "It means I'm saved and forgiven." Great scholars have wrestled with the meaning of faith for centuries. McCain then retold a story we've all heard a hundred times about a guard in Vietnam drawing a cross in the sand.

Asked about his greatest moral failure, he cited his first marriage, which ended in divorce. While saying it was his greatest moral failing, he offered nothing in the way of explanation. Why not?

Throughout the evening, McCain chose to recite portions of his stump speech as answers to the questions he was being asked. Why? He has lived 71 years. Surely he has some thoughts on what it all means that go beyond canned answers culled from the same speech he delivers every day.

He was asked "if evil exists." His response was to repeat for the umpteenth time that Osama bin Laden is a bad man and he will pursue him to "the gates of hell." That was it.

He was asked to define rich. After trying to dodge the question -- his wife is worth a reported $100 million -- he finally said he thought an income of $5 million was rich.

One after another, McCain's answers were shallow, simplistic, and trite. He showed the same intellectual curiosity that George Bush has -- virtually none.

Where are John McCain's writings exploring the vexing moral issues of our time? Where are his position papers setting forth his careful consideration of foreign policy, the welfare state, education, America's moral responsibility in the world, etc., etc., etc.?

John McCain graduated 894th in a class of 899 at the Naval Academy at Annapolis. His father and grandfather were four star admirals in the Navy. Some have suggested that might have played a role in McCain being admitted. His academic record was awful. And it shows over and over again whenever McCain is called upon to think on his feet.

He no longer allows reporters unfettered access to him aboard the "Straight Talk Express" for a reason. He simply makes too many mistakes. Unless he's reciting talking points or reading from notes or a TelePrompTer, John McCain is lost. He can drop bon mots at a bowling alley or diner -- short glib responses that get a chuckle, but beyond that McCain gets in over his head very quickly.

I am sick and tired of the president of the United States embarrassing me. The world we live in is too complex to entrust it to someone else whose idea of intellectual curiosity and grasp of foreign policy issues is to tell us he can look into Vladimir Putin's eyes and see into his soul.

George Bush's record as a student, military man, businessman and leader of the free world is one of constant failure. And the part that troubles me most is he seems content with himself.

He will leave office with the country $10 trillion in debt, fighting two wars, our international reputation in shambles, our government cloaked in secrecy and suspicion that his entire presidency has been a litany of broken laws and promises, our citizens' faith in our own country ripped to shreds. Yet Bush goes bumbling along, grinning and spewing moronic one-liners, as though nobody understands what a colossal failure he has been.

I fear to the depth of my being that John McCain is just like him.

Editor's Note: Jack Cafferty is the author of the best-seller "It's Getting Ugly Out There: The Frauds, Bunglers, Liars, and Losers Who Are Hurting America." He provides commentary on CNN's "The Situation Room" daily from 4 p.m.-7 p.m. You can also visit Jack's Cafferty File blog.

NY Times - Obama subtly plays "good cop and bad cop"

Obama’s Ads in Key States Go on Attack

Barack Obama has started a hard-hitting ad campaign against John McCain in vital states, painting Mr. McCain as disconnected from middle-class struggles.


terça-feira, 19 de agosto de 2008

Is Obama the End of Black Politics? A Ridiculous Question

by: Dr. Wilmer J. Leon III, t r u t h o u t | Perspective

Senator Barack Obama in New Mexico. (Photo: Getty Images)

On August 6, 2008, The New York Times published an article by Matt Bai entitled "Is Obama the End of Black Politics?" The premise of the article is that in 2008, 60 years after Strom Thurmond left the Democratic Party over the issue of integrating the armed forces and 45 years after Dr. King's "I Have a Dream" speech, the Democratic Party is poised to deliver its nomination for the nation's highest office to an African-American, and this somehow signals the end of black politics.

To equate Senator Obama's historic campaign for the highest office in the land and presumed nomination by the Democratic Party with the end of black politics demonstrates that the author does not understand either issue. The fact that The New York Times would publish such rubbish begs the same questions that were recently asked about The New Yorker magazine, "Are these editors serious? Are they paying any attention to what they are publishing?"

All too often writers, journalists, reporters and analysts demonstrate their ignorance of African-American people and the African-American experience by trying to assign simplistic answers to very complex problems, events and circumstances. This usually results in African-Americans and their politics being viewed as devoid of substance, myopic, shallow and emotional. when in fact, black politics is policy-focused and born out of a people's historical experience. It's based upon slavery, oppression, exploitation and the lifelong quest for human and civil rights. To think that a major political party nomination or the election of an African-American as president can bring an end to black politics as opposed to being part of its continuum is utterly ridiculous.

Bai writes, "However, a lot of the old activists stood in the path of an African-American's advancement rather than blazing it. While Democratic black voters embraced Obama by ratios of eight or nine to one in a lot of districts, the 42 House members in the Congressional Black Caucus, for a time, split more or less down the middle between Obama and Clinton." In these perilous times, Americans, particularly African-Americans, can ill afford to engage in sentimental politics; there's too much at stake.

"Old activists" have not stood in Senator Obama's path; they've questioned his politics, his position on critical issues and his viability as a candidate. That's what an intelligent and engaged electorate does. Contrary to Mr. Bai's data, African-American voters did not initially embrace Obama by the margins he referenced. Many African-American voters did not know who he was and had no idea of where he stood on their issues. They were not just going to emotionally "vote for the black guy." Only over time and by developing a sense of viability did more of the African-American community embrace his candidacy. Again, that's practical politics.

Bai continued, "It is hard for any outsider to fully understand the thinking that led many older black leaders to spurn the candidacy of a man who is now routinely pictured with 60's-era revolutionaries like Angela Davis and Malcolm X, on T-shirts sold at the street-corner kiosks of black America." It's only hard to understand if one confuses marketing with politics and change with revolution. Just because vendors put Obama's image on T-shirts does not mean that "old black leaders" or African-American voters are confusing Obama's deracialized campaign with the true revolutionary politics of Angela Davis and Malcolm X. Senator Obama has called for change, not revolution. He is working within the established structure, not working to overthrow it. African-Americans clearly understand the pitfalls of allowing mainsteam media to select their leaders.

Bai says, "On a surface level, those who backed Clinton did so largely out of a combination of familiarity and fatalism." Again, this is equating black politics as myopic and emotional, and that is incorrect. Some backed [Hillary] Clinton because they respected her politics. Others backed her out of loyalty and their long-standing relationships with the Clintons and the positions that many of them were able to acquire or retain during the Clinton administration. That's not "familiarity"; that's realpolitik. In these difficult times, winning, not sentiment, is key. Early in this process, Senator Obama was battling the history of racism in America (and still is) and the media-created perception that Senator Clinton's lead was insurmountable. Early in this process, practical politics said vote for Clinton.

Bai talks about a "generational transition that is reordering black politics" and how members of the civil rights generation are failing to "embrace the idea that black politics might now be disappearing into American politics in the same way that the Irish and Italian machines long ago joined the political mainstream." There's no failure to embrace anything. It is true that some African-American politicians from multicultural districts have to change or deracialize their politics in order to appeal to a broader cross-section of the political spectrum. That's a political reality for African-American politicians in a country that is still blinded by color. Obama can not appear to be "too black" for fear of alienating European-American voters who will be threatened by a candidate that champions "black issues." Just as the Democratic Party decided in the 90's that it could no longer be identified with the "historical or traditional issues of the party" (code language for black issues) and moved its politics to the right for fear of alienating white voters. The fact that Iowa will vote for an African-American shows us how far America has come. The fact that Obama has to deracialize his politics in order to stand any chance of being elected shows us how far America has to go.

Don't get confused. The Irish and Italian machines of long ago were able to integrate into the "political mainstream" for one reason and one reason only: they are white! Race, (even though it's an artificial construct) was never their problem; labor was. As new immigrants in America who were willing to work for lower wages in order to acquire a piece of the American dream, they threatened the labor pool and dominant wage structure.

The main barrier for African-Americans, politically and otherwise, has always been, and continues to be, race and the manner in which race is used to define and diffuse issues. Yes, class is a factor as well, but race is still the dominant variable in the equation.

Historically, issues - not individuals or personalities - have been the driving force behind black politics, and this will continue in the future. During the 1930's and 1940's, a majority of African-Americans registered Republican but were beginning to vote Democratic (Roosevelt Republicans) - not out of love or loyalty to Roosevelt, but due to his New Deal policies. In fact, during his first two terms, Roosevelt did very little if anything for the African-American community. The shift from the Republican Party to the Democratic Party was based on a conscious evaluation of policy benefits and gains.

What brought African-Americans into the Democratic Party and has kept them there to this day was the enactment of civil rights legislation during the Kennedy-Johnson administrations. According to Katherine Tate in "From Protest to Politics," in the summer of 1963 Kennedy announced on national television that he would introduce sweeping civil rights legislation to Congress. During the Johnson administrations, the 1964 and 1968 Civil Rights Acts were passed and also the 1965 voting rights bill. "He would also initiate the War on Poverty, a set of federal programs aimed at creating new social service structures that would greatly benefit poor blacks." It was substantive legislation that brought blacks into the Democratic Party, not empty promises, rhetoric and symbolism.

During different times in history, the focus has shifted. Charles V. Hamilton discusses the shift from the "politics of rights" to the "politics of resources" that has occurred over the past few decades. As the economic and social conditions for African-Americans have worsened, the political agenda has had to shift in order to address the immediate reality. This is a natural part of the social and political landscape, not race-based or personality-driven politics.

As long as African-American men are incarcerated at a rate of more than six times the rate of white men and the incarceration of black women continues to grow at record numbers, black politics will be alive and well. As long as unemployment among African-Americans is more than twice the rate of white Americans, and as long as studies show that a black family's income is a little more than half that of a similar white family's income, black politics will be alive and well. As long as African-Americans continue to deal with Driving While Black, excessive high school dropout rates, and imbalances in health care, black politics will be alive and well. The election of Senator Obama can't change that.


Dr. Wilmer J. Leon III is the producer/host of the nationally broadcast call-in talk radio program "On With Leon" on XM Satellite Radio Channel 169, and a teaching associate in the Department of Political Science at Howard University in Washington, DC. Go to or email:

sábado, 16 de agosto de 2008

Spreading the word

Another day, another low-road attack ad from a desperate McCain campaign.

Yesterday, John McCain released an ad with the same old false and discredited smears we've come to expect from his Karl Rove-style campaign.

We've put together a short fact-check video responding to the lies and arming you with the truth.

Watch this video response to McCain's false attacks and share it with your friends:

Watch Our Fact-Check Video

We're not going to let John McCain's low-road tactics take hold.

sexta-feira, 15 de agosto de 2008

Swiftboating redux - the counterattack continues

We Won't Be Swift-Boated

Yesterday, you learned about the right-wing's latest attack: extremist Jerome Corsi and his book of the same old smears and lies.

Today, you can take the next step.

Tackle this smear campaign head on. The Obama research team released a 41-page rebuttal called "Unfit for Publication," refuting Corsi's rehashed distortions point-by-point, leaving no smear unanswered.

Arm yourself with the facts and write a letter to your local newspapers telling them to do their job by debunking this kind of garbage. The media are not playing their role as watchdogs. In fact, they are fanning the flames of controversy and legitimizing a discredited political bottom-feeder.

Take action now and tell the media to report the truth, not debunked lies and smears that are unfit for publication:

The right-wing smear machine is in full force -- blasting out Corsi's stale fabrications far and wide to a media that's so far been eager to pick them up. In just three days, Corsi's made front page news in both the New York Times and Washington Post.

We've posted the full truth online so you have the tools to fight back in your community and local papers.

Can you write a letter to the editor exposing Jerome Corsi and his book for what they really are -- another hack job by a desperate right-wing fabricator?

In 2004, Corsi helped launch the Swift Boat smear campaign with a book of distortions and lies he wrote about John Kerry. This time we won't be Swift Boated.

Keep up the good fight,

Obama Action Wire

Russia must really want McCain to win!

August 15, 2008

Kremlin dusts off Cold War lexicon to make US villain in Georgia

Russians were told over breakfast yesterday what really happened in Georgia: the conflict in South Ossetia was part of a plot by Dick Cheney, the Vice-President, to stop Barack Obama being elected president of the United States.

The line came on the main news of Vesti FM, a state radio station that — like the Government and much of Russia's media — has reverted to the old habits of Soviet years, in which a sinister American hand was held to lie behind every conflict, especially those embarrassing to Moscow. Modern Russia may be plugged into the internet and the global marketplace but in the battle for world opinion the Kremlin is replaying the old black-and-white movie.

The Obama angle is getting wide play. It was aired on Wednesday by Sergei Markov, a senior political scientist who is close to Vladimir Putin, the Prime Minister and power behind President Medvedev.

“George Bush's Administration is promoting interests of candidate John McCain,” said Dr Markov. “Defeated by Barak Obama on all fronts, McCain has one last card to play yet - the creation of a virtual Cold War with Russia . . . Bush himself did not want a war in South Ossetia but his Republican Party did not leave him any choice.” The Americans were now engineering an armed conflict between Ukraine and Russia, Dr Markov added.

The Establishment and its media supporters are dusting off favourites from the Cold War shelf. Sergei Lavrov, the Foreign Minister, accused Washington of playing dangerous games. The West was guilty of “adventurism”, supporting aggression against peace-loving Russian forces who are engaged on a humanitarian mission to protect human life. Yesterday's headline in Commersant, a generally admired newspaper, announced with old-style sarcasm the imminent American “Military Humanitarian Landing” in Georgia.

A classic of Soviet-speak also came from Vasili Lickhachev, a former Russian Ambassador to the EU. “The West has spent a lot of time, energy and money to teach Georgia the tricks of the trade . . . to make the country look like a democracy,” he said.

“We and many other nations see through this deceit. We understand that the seditious tactics of the so-called colour revolutions are a real threat to international law and the source of global legal nihilism.”

These grooves from the Cold War grave are shrugged off by many Russians but they strike a chord in a nation ready once again to see itself as the victim of outside conspiracy. Blogs everywhere attract conspiracy lovers but Russian blogs have been exceptionally rich this week in theories of Western skulduggery over Georgia.

The old thinking finds more fertile ground now because, in the view of disillusioned Russians, President Bush relaunched the ideological war through a compliant American media, especially at the time of the invasion of Iraq.

“In the old days under Soviet rule we didn't believe a word of our own propaganda but we thought that information was free in the West and we longed for it,” said Katya, a middle-aged Muscovite. “But we have learnt since that the West has its own propaganda and in some ways it is more powerful because people believe it.”

Moscow is using novel methods to spread a very unsubtle, Cold War version of the Caucasian conflict to the world. Chief among them is Russia Today, a state 24-hour news channel that is fronted much of the time by cheery British and other English-speaking television professionals.

The smiles and studio banter could come from BBC World or CNN but the story is unrelentingly the Kremlin version. Banners flash along at the bottom of the screen saying such things as “genocide” and “aggression” or “city turns into human hell, many people still trapped under rubble”. Recapping the conflict yesterday RT's presenter said that Georgia's “brutal assault” had killed 1,600 civilians in its breakaway province in a campaign that destroyed 70 per cent of the buildings in Tskhinvali, its capital. Russian forces had moved in only to bring peace as Georgian forces killed women and children who were trying to flee, it said. Throughout its rolling cover of alleged Georgian atrocities, there was no mention of the heavy Russian military offensive.

The coverage goes down well in developing countries that want an alternative to CNN and BBC World Service, a Russian official said. “We have learnt from Western TV how to simplify the narrative.”

The Soviet crackdown

— In January 1968 Alexander Dubcek became First Secretary of the Czechoslovak Communist Party, instituting the “Prague Spring” liberalising reforms

— In August the Soviet-led Warsaw Pact invaded, below, claiming that its assistance had been requested by Communist Party leaders. Dubcek was arrested

— Lyndon Johnson, the US President, declared the invasion in violation of the United Nations Charter, but America was in the middle of a presidential election campaign and a war in Vietnam. The West took no action

— In 1988 mass demonstrations marked the anniversary

— The Communists were finally ousted in 1989 and Václav Havel was elected President in what became known as the Velvet Revolution. Soviet forces withdrew in 199

Popbitch weighs in (McCain is toast)

>> Thought for the week <<
John McCain v Barack Obama

For anyone that didn’t know. John McCain was
at the bottom of his military class at Annapolis,
but still got to pilot a fighter plan due to
his father’s connections. He is the son and
the grandson of admirals. He finished
894 of 899 in his graduating class. Despite
crashing five aircrafts, John McCain was never
disciplined. And son-of-single-mother Obama
is, of course, the privileged elitist.

quinta-feira, 14 de agosto de 2008

Good to see the Obama campaign fighting back

Right now, vile smear-peddler Jerome Corsi is back with a new book of lies -- this time about Barack Obama.

In 2004, Corsi helped launch the Swift Boat smear campaign with a book of distortions and lies he wrote about John Kerry. We'll need the combined efforts of every member of the Action Wire to push back against this year's vicious Republican attack book.

Corsi and his right-wing backers are counting on you not to fight back. Spreading these lies about Barack is their best chance to elect John McCain and continue George Bush's failed policies for another four years.

Check out some facts about Corsi and his desperate fabrications in the DNC research document below. Forward this message to your friends and family or use this online form to push back with the truth:

Together we'll show Corsi and the right-wing smear machine that we won't back down from a fight.


Obama Action Wire

The latest research on Jerome Corsi:


Corsi Was Dropped From Unfit for Command Promotions Because of His Anti-Muslim, Anti-Catholic Comments. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette wrote in an editorial, "Consider the book "Unfit for Command," put out by a collection of partisans who have now made it acceptable for veterans to attack each other's war records. The current National Review carries a piece decrying the bookstores that fail to carry "John O'Neill's book." This is curious in that the volume has a second author, but Jerome Corsi has dropped from the marketing because he has been revealed as the author of religiously bigoted remarks published on a Web site. Corsi not only considers Muslims to be pederasts, but he took the trouble to slam Catholic priests and refers to the pope as senile. Rather than wonder whether a book written by such a man can be trusted, the marketing tactic has shifted to pretend Corsi doesn't exist." [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pennsylvania), 9/19/04]

O'Neill Tried to Minimize Corsi's Role in Unfit for Command After Bigoted Comments Came to Light. "In a bit of historical revisionism, Swift Boat Veterans for Truth founder and Unfit for Command co-author John O'Neill distorted Jerome Corsi's role in co-authoring the book. O'Neill's backtracking comes on the heels of Media Matters for America's documentation of Corsi's history of posting bigoted comments. During appearances on MSNBC's Scarborough Country on August 10 and CNN's Wolf Blitzer Reports on August 11, O'Neill downplayed Corsi's role in writing the book. When asked about Corsi's involvement, O'Neill asserted, Corsi was "simply an editor and not really any sort of co-author." But an MMFA item entitled "Unfit book materials show Corsi more than just an 'editor,'" revealed Corsi to be much more than simply an editor of the anti- Kerry book. [Media Matters Press Release, 8/13/04]

"Anti-Kerry Book Author Apologizes for Slurs." "One of the authors of a new anti-John Kerry book frequently posted comments on a conservative Web site describing Muslims and Catholics as pedophiles and Pope John Paul II as senile. In chat room entry last year on, Corsi writes: 'Islam is a peaceful religion - just as long as the women are beaten, the boys buggered and the infidels are killed.' In another entry, he says: 'So this is what the last days of the Catholic Church are going to look like. Buggering boys undermines the moral base and the lawyers rip the gold off the Vatican altars. We may get one more Pope, when this senile one dies, but that's probably about it'." [AP, 8/10/04]


Corsi Wrote a Book Saying Bush's "Globalist Agenda" Is Leading to a North American Union. "The real reason behind President Bush's push for immigration reform, says author Jerome R. Corsi, is to unite the United States, Mexico and Canada by erasing borders and creating a "North American Union." That is the theme of Mr. Corsi's new book, "The Late Great USA: The Coming Merger with Mexico and Canada," which says the Bush administration's 'globalist agenda' is leading to a merger of the countries through the implementation of policies and laws to open trade barriers and renovate the highway systems in anticipation of increased travel within the new megastate. Mr. Corsi said a growing number of Americans think the North American Union is being forced onto Americans. Government officials say the idea is no more than an unjustified conspiracy theory spread through the Internet. Mr. Corsi said the impetus of the plan was the creation of the Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America, announced by leaders of the United States, Mexico and Canada at Waco, Texas, in 2005." [Washington Times, 7/18/07]

Conservative Human Events Writer: Corsi Isn't "Any More Worthy Of Being Taken Seriously Than Those Who Think Jews Rule The World Or The 'Truthers' Who Think President Bush Is Responsible For 9/11." Under the headline "There Isn't Going to Be a North American Union," John Hawkins wrote, "Yesterday, Jerome Corsi was prattling on about the North American Union again after Michael Medved deservedly spanked him for spreading conspiracy theories. While I don't think Corsi is any more worthy of being taken seriously than those who think Jews rule the world or the 'Truthers' who think President Bush is responsible for 9/11, I thought I would respond to him one last time. (I think that's about the fourth time I've said that.) Now, why respond again? What's the point? Well unfortunately, a lot of conservatives consider this conspiracy theory to be so preposterous that they believe it's beneath them to even bother discussing it, and that leaves Corsi and his ilk to dominate the debate. And since there are a lot of conservatives being taken in by this North American Union nonsense, somebody has got to step up to the plate." [Human Events Online, 1/10/07]

Editor of Human Events: "I Guess There Are People Who Believe In" Corsi's North American Union Conspiracy, "But There Are People Who Believe In Bigfoot." "Corsi plays on growing nationalist fears. He sees a scenario in which a North American Union is born and shares a currency, the "amero." Even some right-wing standard-bearers regard the fears as over-blown. Jed Babbin, editor of the conservative newspaper Human Events, says: "I guess there are people who believe in [the plan for a North American Union]. But there are people who believe in Bigfoot." [Newsweek, 12/10/07]

Corsi Wrote a Book Disagreeing With Most Scientists That There is a Limit to Oil. "All his life, Jerome Corsi's been told that we're running out of oil. "I remember driving with my dad in a 1952 Plymouth and listening to him talk about the end of oil," says the 59-year-old New Jersey author. "Hasn't happened yet, and it's not going to happen." What makes him so sure? He doesn't buy the fossil fuel theory--that oil comes from dead plants and dinosaurs. He believes it comes out of the ground naturally, and that there's more coming up all the time...Eighteenth century Russian scientist Mikhail Lomonosov found biological debris in oil and concluded that it must have biological origin. "I'm at the point where the dinosaur theory seems silly," says Corsi. "You take a pile of cats and you bury them, dig them up 10 years later and you don't get oil." "The truth is that there is so much oil around the world that it's been easy to find," Corsi says. "We're awash in oil. There's more oil today in proven reserves than ever before in human history." [Western Standard (Alberta), 2/13/06]

Corsi Wrote a Book Claiming Democrats Were Being Corrupted by Iranian Funding and Helping Iranians Get Nukes. "After their bitter campaign 2004 experience with the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, John Kerry and his fellow Dems aren't waiting to be shot at again. Yesterday, aides to Sens. Kerry, Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden and Ted Kennedy jumped all over literary mugger Jerome Corsi, co-author of the Kerry-bashing best seller 'Unfit for Command.' They knocked him to the ground and kicked him in the face (metaphorically, anyway) over his next Democrattrashing tome, 'Atomic Iran: How the Terrorist Regime Bought the Bomb and American Politicians.' The book - which Nashville's Cumberland House Publishing won't release till next month - claims Democratic pols are being corrupted by Iranian money and helping the nuke-seeking mullahs in Tehran." [Daily News (New York), 2/24/05]

Corsi Wrote Unfit For Command Although He Was Not a Veteran. "Though not a veteran himself, Corsi co-authored ``Unfit for Command: Swift Boat Veterans Speak Out Against John Kerry." [Boston Herald, 1/25/05]


To read more of his posts, follow this link:

  • "Let's see exactly why it isn't the case that Islam is a worthless, dangerous Satanic religion? Where's the proof to the contrary?"
  • "Islam is like a virus -- it affects the mind -- maybe even better as an analogy -- it is a cancer that destroys the body it infects."

  • "First let's undermine the US in Vietnam. Then we can go for gay marriage. When you get to be Pres. JFK-lite, there will be no end to how much of America we can destroy."
  • "Just don't let anybody put a tablet with the Ten Commandments in front of the school where that girl wants to wear a Muslim scarf -- OH, No --- then the RATS would complain. Anti- Christian, Anti-American -- just like their Presidential Candidate -- Jean Francois Kerrie."
  • "After he married TerRAHsa, didn't John Kerry begin practicing Judiasm? He also has paternal gradparents that were Jewish. What religion is John Kerry?"
  • "Kerry has a long history of Communist supporters."
  • "Kerry offers a clear choice. Anti-American hatred."
  • "John F-ing Commie Kerry and Commie Ted discuss their plan to hand America over to our nation's enemies."

  • "The only good Mullah is a dead Mullah." [12/21/01]
  • "Forget about democracy. Just get out the checkbook and put everybody in Iraq on the payroll. That's all they want. Pay them first, democracy (or some b.s. Islamic version of it) will follow." [6/18/03]
  • "Mohammed-al-Mohammed proclaiming guidance from his hate-god allah-i'll-be-da*ned-allah kills another dozen women and children by convincing a teenager to blow him/her/self up for victory in another world. Haven't we all had enough of this stupid "religion"?" [5/17/03]
  • "Another Mohammed-al-Mohammed Islam religion of hate maniac bites the dust. (Top Iraqi army official surrenders") [5/17/03]
  • "Certainly can't be one of the Islam is a Religion of Peace hijackers?" [Bus Hijacking Near Bremen, Germany] [4/25/03]
  • "One more Mohammed al-Mohammed el-Mohammed Mohammed iced -- great. " [Car Bomb Kills Egyptian Islamist in Lebanon Camp] [3/1/03]
  • "Let them build mosques -- seems about all the Germans are worth these days."( Germany's Economic Woes) [2/6/03]
  • "Islam - the Legacy of Clinton." (AFP: Two Chechens with belts of explosives stopped in Moscow) [12/24/02]
  • "Islam is like a virus -- it affects the mind -- maybe even better as an analogy -- it is a cancer that destroys the body it infects. A throwback, Medieval, anti-modern, anti-science, anti-knowledge doctrine." [11/26/02]
  • "Forget it -- the only thing these Islamonazis understand is force -- time to nuke the Temple of the Dome and send this "religion" back to Hell, the place it came from. " [11/17/02]
  • "Go for the Oil Fields. Set the mad dog lawyers loose!!! Let's ROLL!!! Take even the diapers from their heads. Remember -- according to the Koran, Islam approves of lying as long as it is to non-believers. Saudis are lying killers who harbor killers." [11/17/02]
  • "All-ah be damned. What took him so long?" [11/14/02]
  • "Islam is like a virus -- it infects the minds of the believers. Islamonazis are, unfortunately, the logical extreme of the "religion."" [11/13/02]
  • "Good plan -- raise OBL from the dead every time we get ready to ice another Islamonazi -- ON TO BAGHDAD. LET'S ROLL !!!" [11/13/02]
  • "Nuke the ISLAM-nazis and let's move on. No more MUSLAMO-fascists!!" [11/10/02]
  • "Islam has declared World War III against everything non-Muslim. " [10/28/02]
  • " When will the liberal media wake up to see that Islam has declared a World War against everyting non-Muslim. May Allah be damned to the hell Muslims wish to create on earth." [10/25/02]
  • " Are there any Islamic "clerics" who aren't violent?" [10/20/02]
  • " May Islam join the garbage heap of worthless religions we have grown beyond. Any believers of Hermes out there?" [10/13/02]
  • "Muslims regularly trash religious sites holy to others. Jerusalem has a series of sites the Muslims have wrecked (e.g., the bus station they placed below the "Golgatha" site honored by many as an alternative location for the Christ's crucifixion). Seems like the Muslim principle that it is okay to lie to infidels. Very different mindset -- no respect for anything non-Muslim" [9/30/02]
  • "ALL Arab MUSLIMS lie (the Koran endorses lying to infidels, namely us) -- none of these names are real -- Abdallah is really Mohammad Mohammad Mohammad readily altered to include Atta or Haj or whatever else they decide to call themselves for the moment." [7/10/02]
  • "Gotta love this stupid religion, ISLAM -- Makes the Nazis look like a Sunday stroll in the park. ISLAM -- it's gotta be straight from HELL. Just the Devil in disguise -- that seems to about sum it up." [6/14/02]
  • "Arabs lie. ISLAM preaches lying to Infidels. Fingerprints don't lie. Boo-hoo -- time to demand IDs to check into hotels and passport registration for all foreign nationalists who want hotel rooms. Also, ID checks and passport registrations for anyone renting an apartment." [6/5/02]
  • "Let's get rid of all the Saudi Arabians -- that would have gone a long way to preventing Sept. 11." [6/5/02]
  • "Yet another violent raghead named Mohammad. What's new? Islam looks like a cancer, a plague, a deadly virus. No doctor worries about the free speech rights of cancer cells." [6/5/02]
  • "Yet another Little Islamic Man of Hate. Is there any other kind?" [5/31/02]
  • "The only thing the Islamic world understands is force. Let's destroy a few of these hate schools and start targeting these mad preachers of hate." [5/22/02]
  • "Let's see -- who is it not politically correct to profile? Islam the "Peaceful Religion" whose Fundamental believers are insane, suicidal killers that hate America and all democratic societies? Or Arabs whose racial hatred of Jews drives them to create secret societies of terrorists sworn to eliminate Israel and all states who support Israel?" [5/20/02]
  • "Finally a way to end Jihad. Maybe the whole Arab world will blow itself up -- live by the sword, die by the sword -- seems an ancient formula. Bye, Bye Jihad." [5/20/02]
  • "I repeat: Muslims, cancer cells. It's hard to tell the difference. No doctor worries about the First Amendment rights of cancer cells. The therapy is to eliminate cancer cells so the body can go on living. Great to repeat it -- keeps the thread going. Let the Muslims stop preaching terror and I'll revise my view. Meanwhile, Muslims, cancer cells is an equation that works." [5/20/02]
  • "May all these Arab maniacs explode and kill themselves -- next time, maybe they will take Arab*RAT with them. Best solution to the homicide bombers is that they eliminate themselves, with as little loss to civilians as possible." [5/20/02]
  • "I repeat: Muslims, cancer cells. It's hard to tell the difference. No doctor worries about the First Amendment rights of cancer cells. The therapy is to eliminate cancer cells so the body can go on living." [5/19/02]
  • "Muslims, cancer cells. It's hard to tell the difference. No doctor worries about the First Amendment rights of cancer cells. The therapy is to eliminate cancer cells so the body can go on living." [5/17/02]
  • "File under the category "Islam is a worthless, violent CULT, not a Religion."[3/28/02]


FALSE: "We find there is even uncertainty whether Stanley Ann and Obama Senior were ever married in a church." [p. 44]

TIME Reported On Obama's Parents' Divorce Records. TIME reported, "On Feb. 2, 1961, several months after they met, Obama's parents got married in Maui, according to divorce records." [TIME, 4/9/08]

Corsi Cites Time Story To Say "Divorce Papers Confirm..." Corsi wrote, "Other sources say divorce papers confirm that a civil ceremony was held on Maui, on February 2, 1961, when Ann was three months pregnant with Obama." Corsi cites the April 9th, 2008 Time story for his reference to Obama's parents' wedding. [p. 44]


FALSE: "Senator Obama could claim to be a citizen of Kenya, as well as of the United States. Obama can trace his heritage back to his mother, who was born in the United States and was an American citizen when he was born, and to his father, who was born in Kenya and was a Kenyan citizen when Obama was born." [p 103]

Kenya Does Not Allow Dual Citizenship Applications for People Over 21 Years of Age. The U.S. Office of Personnel Management writes of Kenya, "DUAL CITIZENSHIP: Not recognized except for persons under 21 years old." The Kenyan Constitution writes, "A person who, but for the proviso to section 87 (1), would be a citizen of Kenya by virtue of that subsection shall be entitled, upon making application before the specified date in such manner as may be prescribed by or under an Act of Parliament, to be registered as a citizen of Kenya: Provided that a person who has not attained the age of twenty-one years (other than a woman who is or has been married) may not himself make an application under this subsection, but an application may be made on his behalf by his parent or guardian." [U.S. Office of Personnel Management; Kenyan Constitution]

Even if Obama Had Applied for Dual Citizenship Before He Was 21--Which He Did Not--It Would Have Expired. "A person who, upon the attainment of the age of twenty-one years, is a citizen of Kenya and also a citizen of some other country other than Kenya shall, subject to subsection (7), cease to be a citizen of Kenya upon the specified date unless he has renounced his citizenship of that other country, taken the oath of allegiance and, in the case of a person who was born outside Kenya, made and registered such declaration of his intentions concerning residence as may be prescribed by or under an Act of Parliament." [Kenyan Constitution]


Corsi Wrote a Book Claiming Democrats Were Being Corrupted by Iranian Funding and Helping Iranians Get Nukes. "After their bitter campaign 2004 experience with the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, John Kerry and his fellow Dems aren't waiting to be shot at again. Yesterday, aides to Sens. Kerry, Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden and Ted Kennedy jumped all over literary mugger Jerome Corsi, co-author of the Kerry-bashing best seller 'Unfit for Command.' They knocked him to the ground and kicked him in the face (metaphorically, anyway) over his next Democrattrashing tome, 'Atomic Iran: How the Terrorist Regime Bought the Bomb and American Politicians.' The book - which Nashville's Cumberland House Publishing won't release till next month - claims Democratic pols are being corrupted by Iranian money and helping the nuke-seeking mullahs in Tehran." [Daily News (New York), 2/24/05]