Monday, June 30, 2008
That is in contrast to Republican presidential candidate John McCain's Senate office, where women, for the most part, out-rank and are paid more than men."
The McCain campaign is holding a conference call today to respond to these attacks, and is forming a "Truth Squad" to defend against this stuff.
Sadly, Sen. Obama has had multiple opportunities to make this campaign different, by debating one-on-one with Sen. McCain, and by negotiating one-on-one with Sen. McCain to keep this stuff out of the campaign with an agreement to disarm 527s and enter public financing. He's declined.
UPDATE: At a news conference in Harrisburg, Pa., McCain was asked about Clark's comments.
"I think that that kind of thing is unnecessary," McCain said. "I'm proud of my record of service, I have plenty of friends, leaders who will attest to that.
"The important thing is if that's the kind of campaign Senator Obama and his surrogates and supporters want to engage in, I understand that. But it doesn't reduce the price of gas by one penny. It doesn't achieve our energy independence or make it come any closer. Doesn't make any American stay in their home who's at risk of losing it today. And it certainly doesn't do anything to address the challenges Americans have in keeping their jobs, homes and supporting their families."
A sampling from the article linked above:
"Honestly, besides being tortured, what did McCain do to excel in the military?" - Americablog's John Aravosis.
West Virginia Senator Jay Rockefeller in April cut a bit closer, suggesting that McCain's days as a fighter pilot were themselves a critique of his character.
"What happened when they [the missiles] get to the ground?" he asked. "He doesn't know. You have to care about the lives of people. McCain never gets into those issues."
I wouldn't characterize anybody who fought in Vietnam as a war hero," said Medea Benjamin, a co-founder of the theatrical anti-war group Code Pink. "In 23 bombing sorties, there must have been civilians that were killed and there's no heroism to that."
Saturday, June 28, 2008
Watch this compelling video from the Boston Globe story:
Friday, June 27, 2008
Thursday, June 26, 2008
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
Here's the complete column from Ruth Marcus of the Washington Post.
In our new book, Fleeced, we try to bring the debate back down to earth, focusing on the specific plans that Obama has announced during his presidential primary campaign and discussing the consequences. This is the debate Barack Obama hopes he can avoid.
Consider his proposals:
• In effect, he would legislate a 60 percent tax bracket for upper-income Americans, killing all initiative and innovation. He'd raise the top bracket to 40 percent. He'd apply FICA taxes to all income, not just that under $100,000 as at present. So add 40 percent plus FICA's 12.5 percent plus Medicare's 2 percent plus state and local taxes averaging, after deduction, at 5-6 percent, and you have a 60 percent bracket.
• He would double the capital gains tax, saddling the 50 percent of Americans who own stock with dramatically higher taxes.
• He'd double the dividend tax, hitting elderly coupon-clippers now retired and depending on fixed incomes.
• He wants to cover 12 million illegal immigrants with federally subsidized health insurance, dramatically driving up costs and forcing federal rationing of healthcare. As in the U.K. and Canada, you will not be permitted certain medical procedures if the bureaucrats decide you are not worth it.
• He proposes requiring Homeland Security operatives to notify terror suspects that they are under investigation within seven days of starting the investigation.
• He says that unless they can establish that there is "probable cause to believe that a certain individual is linked to a specific terrorist group," Homeland Security cannot seize his documents and search his business. The current standard is only that the search be "relevant" to a terror investigation.
He does not oppose $5-per-gallon gasoline but only says that he wishes there had been a more "gradual adjustment" to the higher prices.
Obama can talk about the Rev. Wright and flag lapel pins and his wife's love of America all day long. But what he resists is a specific discussion of his own plans for our country. That's the discussion he fears and he avoids. And it's the discussion John McCain must force upon him if he is to have any realistic chance of winning the election.
Tuesday, June 24, 2008
That eagle looks like someone taped on the wings... also, he's taking some major liberties with the Presidential Seal, by putting his "O sun with stream" over the eagle's shield... What's next, an "Obama American flag" with the "O Sun" instead of stars??
This is all a bit messianic for me... let's just forgo the election, it looks like he's already declared himself the President...
UPDATE: Mickey Kaus of Slate says this ridiculous seal is Sen. Obama's "Mission Accomplished" moment... this has been a really bad week for his campaign, I believe...
The presumptive Democratic nominee faces a number of financial challenges in the wake of his decision not to join McCain in accepting $84 million in public financing for the general election. He must raise money for: the two months remaining before the party convention, the convention itself (the Denver host committee has appealed to him to help with a more than $10 million shortfall), and the two month post-convention campaign. In these circumstances, he faces pressures to try to reinvigorate his appeal to small donors and to turn to large donors and bundlers who provided the majority of his funding in 2007. Were he to build up his proportion of support from the latter group (including Clinton’s financial supporters), it could weaken his claim that his small donor base in the general election can make him the first candidate “truly funded by the American people.”
Here are the first two paragraphs:
It is a common complaint from George W. Bush’s critics that he is an “ideologue” or even the “most ideological president in history.” His critics, including the Democratic presidential contenders, often have argued that he ignores empirical evidence, whether about foreign policy or science, in order to maintain his devotion to predetermined and deeply held philosophical beliefs.
So shouldn’t pundits be wary of and be on the lookout for politicians who disregard the facts, overlook inconvenient evidence, and plunge ahead with their philosophically fixed plans, impervious to the real world? Well so far they seem utterly unconcerned that Barack Obama has racked up a fairly consistent record of doing just that.
Sen. John McCain is putting energy policy at the center of his presidential campaign, embracing a diverse array of positions that defies easy categorization.
He is for more oil drilling and also for alternatives to oil. He wants to drill off the coasts but not in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. He supports subsidies for nuclear power and clean-coal technology, but has opposed them for ethanol, solar and wind power.
This diverse viewpoint is frustrating to pin-down, and can be easily criticized in "sound-bite" politics, which sadly our national political process has degenerated into... I would call Sen. McCain's approach a non-partisan "SEARCHING FOR SOLUTIONS" approach. That's who he's been for the 27 years he's been involved in national politics. That's what we need. He's beholden to no interest group... Oil, as President Bush is, or ethanol and the hard-core environmental lobby as Sen. Obama is... he's just SEARCHING FOR SOLUTIONS. Anyone else who is interested in SEARCHING FOR SOLUTIONS should support him in this effort.
Monday, June 23, 2008
Sen. McCain's campaign has the facts/history on the issue...
This ad, along with the Gen. Petraeus slander shows Moveon's disrespect for those who choose to serve their country in the military... it should offend every patriotic American. (Where you at on this one Sen. Obama??) Remember when he had the opportunity on the Petraeus slander he voted present (or technically "not voting", although he was there)...
Sunday, June 22, 2008
I think a lot of Obama is the "New-style"/outsider/not a politician small donors may think again about continuing to donate... you all are more than welcome to take a second look at Sen. McCain. He's the true bi-partisan, patriotic candidate.
David Broder... the "dean of the Washington Press Corps" says Americans will question whether to trust Obama...
But it's also the case that the multiple joint town meetings McCain proposed would be a real service to the public and that suspending the dollar-chase for the duration of the campaign, as McCain but not Obama will do, would be a major step toward establishing the credibility of the election process.
By refusing to join McCain in these initiatives in order to protect his own interests, Obama raises an important question: Has he built sufficient trust so that his motives will be accepted by the voters who are only now starting to figure out what makes him tick?
Saturday, June 21, 2008
Through March, small donations amounted to 39 percent of the combined fundraising of Obama and Sen. Hillary Clinton. But over a comparable period four years ago, such contributions made up an even greater share (42 percent) of the fundraising of the two leading Democratic contenders, Sen. John Kerry and former Vermont governor Howard Dean.
On the GOP side, small donors were much more important for McCain in 2007 than they were for George W. Bush in 2003. But for most of last year McCain was not the front-runner, and his campaign was famously broke. Now that he is the presumptive nominee, big donors are his bread and butter.
Contributions of less than $200 do not have to be itemized in reports to the Federal Election Commission, so we have no idea how many are made. We also cannot rely on the candidates' rhetoric to match the facts. During a Feb. 26 debate in Cleveland, for example, Obama said that "we have now raised 90 percent of our donations from small donors, $25, $50." His campaign's own data from January 2007 through January 2008 show that 36 percent of donated funds were from small donors. Obama probably meant that 90 percent of the individuals who contributed were small donors, but the number of donors has not been verified.
Factcheck.org also calls him out:
Was Obama correct to say 90% of his money comes from donors giving $50 or less?
Last debate Obama stated that his campaign gets 90% of his donations from people that donate $25-$50. Is this possible?
"We have now raised 90 percent of our donations from small donors, $25, $50. We average -- our average donation is $109 so we have built the kind of organization that is funded by the American people that is exactly the goal and the aim of everybody who's interested in good government and politics supports."
No. He gets more from small donors than either Clinton or McCain, but two-thirds of his money still comes from those giving $200 or more.
Barack Obama said that in the Feb. 26 debate with Hillary Clinton in Cleveland. He was wrong. We should have caught it, and we didn't.The Center for Responsive Politics, which tracks donations at its Web site Opensecrets.org, figures that 34 percent of the donations that Obama raised and reported as of Feb. 20 came from donors who gave $200 or less.
Friday, June 20, 2008
This decision is the most short-sighted decision of the campaign for Sen. Obama. It's based purely on tactical politics with no thought about the policy implications. I sincerely hope the media and the people make him pay dearly for it... It's a variation on the General who tells you he had to destroy the village to save it...
“John McCain’s campaign and the Republican National Committee are fueled by contributions from Washington lobbyists and special interest PACs,” Obama said in his message to supporters yesterday. “And we’ve already seen that he’s not going to stop the smears and attacks from his allies running so-called 527 groups, who will spend millions and millions of dollars in unlimited donations.”
To date, no conservative 527 groups have materialized.
Newsweek: FACTCHECK.ORG: Obama's Lame Claim About McCain's Money: Obama says McCain is "fueled" by money from lobbyists and PACs, but those sources account for less than 1.7 percent of McCain's money.
Steve Schmidt breaks it all down in a point-by-point analysis here…
Thursday, June 19, 2008
Washington Post: The Politics of Spare Change: Even $85 million wasn't enough to get Barack Obama to keep his promise.
David Brooks: On "Fast Eddie" Obama
Wall Street Journal: "This is the reward Senator McCain gets for becoming the flag-bearer for the modern public-finance crusade. He is going to be hugely outspent, even as he is "attacked" by Mr. Obama, a candidate who entered the campaign as a "reformer" and who will no doubt end a half-billion dollars later proclaiming himself to be even more of a reformer."
Public Citizen: "Public Citizen is deeply disappointed by presumptive Democratic nominee Barack Obama’s decision this morning to opt out of the presidential public financing system for the general election."
PoliticsNation: "One more observation on the money: The, well, audacity of it all. Break a campaign promise before the campaign is over, and the campaign takes not the defensive posture one might expect, but an offensive position, attacking McCain for the involvement of 527 groups (Which, legally, he has no control over and cannot communicate with) and the Republican National Committee. Too, Obama campaign manager David Plouffe is actually fundraising off the decision! "To compete, Barack has put his faith in ordinary people giving only what they can afford," Plouffe wrote in a fundraising email seeking 50,000 new donors by July 4. (Donors can even exchange an email with a fellow donor who will match their support. What is this, a dating service?)"
AP: Analysis: Obama chose winning over his word
Democracy 21: "Democracy 21 is very disappointed that Senator Barack Obama (D-IL) has decided not to accept public financing for his presidential general election campaign.
We had hoped and expected that Senator Obama would stick with the public pledge he made to accept public financing and spending limits for the presidential general election, if he was nominated, and if his Republican opponent also agreed to accept public financing and spending limits for the general election. These conditions have been met.
We do not agree with Senator Obama's rationale for opting out of the system. Senator Obama knew the circumstances surrounding the presidential general election when he made his public pledge to use the system."
Sen. Russ Feingold (D-WI): "This is not a good decision," Feingold said in a statement today. "While the current public financing system for the presidential primaries is broken, the system for the general election is not. The entire system must be updated."
Lynn Sweet/Chicago Sun-Times: Obama told Tim Russert at Feb. 27 debate he would "sit down with John McCain" to discuss public financing. Obama never did before opting out of system.
This is a response to Common Cause in November 2007:
If you are nominated for President in 2008 and your major opponents agree to forgo
private funding in the general election campaign, will you participate in the presidential
public financing system?
OBAMA: Yes. I have been a long-time advocate for public financing of campaigns
combined with free television and radio time as a way to reduce the influence of
moneyed special interests. I introduced public financing legislation in the Illinois State
Senate, and am the only 2008 candidate to have sponsored Senator Russ Feingold’s (DWI)
bill to reform the presidential public financing system. In February 2007, I proposed
a novel way to preserve the strength of the public financing system in the 2008 election.
My plan requires both major party candidates to agree on a fundraising truce, return
excess money from donors, and stay within the public financing system for the general
election. My proposal followed announcements by some presidential candidates that they
would forgo public financing so they could raise unlimited funds in the general election.
The Federal Election Commission ruled the proposal legal, and Senator John McCain (r-
AZ) has already pledged to accept this fundraising pledge. If I am the Democratic
nominee, I will aggressively pursue an agreement with the Republican nominee to
preserve a publicly financed general election.
UPDATE: Patterico saw this coming a week ago... Sen Obama's word is definitely not his bond... he's as faithful as his options...
UPDATE #2: McCain campaign's statement on Obama's broken promise... "“Today, Barack Obama has revealed himself to be just another typical politician who will do and say whatever is most expedient for Barack Obama.
“The true test of a candidate for President is whether he will stand on principle and keep his word to the American people. Barack Obama has failed that test today, and his reversal of his promise to participate in the public finance system undermines his call for a new type of politics.
“Barack Obama is now the first presidential candidate since Watergate to run a campaign entirely on private funds. This decision will have far-reaching and extraordinary consequences that will weaken and undermine the public financing system.”
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
National Town Hall #2 is Thursday night in Minnesota. Sadly, at this point, there will only be one participant... I really think an empty chair is in order...
Those who supported Obama in Ohio due to his protectionist/isolationist sentiments are being played for fools... I'm gonna guess they see through that and turn away from this type of cynical politics.
I'm also hoping the folks in Iowa do the same thing with the ethanol pandering, but I'm an eternal optimist...
Tuesday, June 17, 2008
Now, apparently, it's an appropriate magazine to appear on the cover when running for leader of the free world. What's next? Does National Enquirer get an interview??
If Presidential candidates are just another "celebrity" then Barack Obama should not be angry when US Weekly starts covering the "ups and downs" of his relationship with his wife and children. Nothing is too personal if you're willingly appearing on the cover of a magazine next to "Hulk Hogan: Mom Dates 19 Year Old" and "Angelina talks about sex during pregnancy". Classy....
On energy policy: if questioned about changing your position on developing US resources ("drilling"), use the old Keynesian line "When the facts change, my policy changes... what do you do, sir?"
A national politician can't rail on our "dependence on foreign oil" and not seek to develop our own resources to prevent this dangerous situation. Conservation, yes. Alternatives as a long-term solution, yes. But a good policy will look at all solutions, and developing US resources is an important aspect of a comprehensive solution.
Barack Obama's solution of a "windfall profits tax" on the other hand, may feel good to those who hate capitalist corporate power, but it does nothing but appropriate more power to the government and actually increases our dependence on foreign oil.
The full quote is: "Globalization and technology and automation all weaken the position of workers," [Obama] said, and a strong government hand is needed to assure that wealth is distributed more equitably.
This sort of zero-sum, class-warfare, big government populism has been tried before in this country and in Western Europe... it drains growth and creativity and hurts everyone. The fact that he attacked technology and automation while watching a satelite and big screen TV while traveling is just additionally ridiculous, but I agree with the commenter that the "strong government hand" business is the most disturbing.
Maturity does not apparently describe the core Obama supporter...
Remember, it was Moveon that called David Petraeus at traitor.
When asked to condemn the ad, Sen. Obama decided not to vote... he's always right out front, leading the way...
Monday, June 16, 2008
Clinton people are not happy...
Sen. Obama's website still denies that any political progress has been made in Iraq...
Finally, Sen. McCain met face-to-face with Iraqi foreign minister Zebari yesterday. Sen. Obama apparently doesn't think this foreign leader deserves a face-to-face (similar to the troops serving in Iraq).
Friday, June 13, 2008
It is truly stunning that this court has seen fit to arrogate unto itself a role in the most important issue facing any country, self-defense, in a case in which Congress has in fact repeatedly acted. This was not a case where Congress did not set the rules; it did. But the court still decided – in the face of overwhelming precedent to the contrary – to intervene. This decision, or course, will allow for "President Bush Is Rebuffed” headlines, the implication being that the Administration was caught red-handed violating clearly established Constitutional rights when in fact the Administration, and the Congress for that matter, followed guidelines established by the Supreme Court itself in prior cases.
People can disagree over whether Congress got it right, but at least members have to face the voters. What remedy do people have now if they don’t like the court’s decision? None. If that thought is not enough to cause concerned citizens to turn out on Election Day to elect a new president, then I don’t know what will be.
A minor civics lesson: The Constitution is a compact between the government and her citizens. The citizens control the government through electing the legislature (the citizens right as a sovereign) and the executive. The judiciary, when interpreting the Constitution protects the basic Constitutional rights of the citizens from overreaching by the legislature and executive and limits the powers of the federal government to those enumerated powers granted them in the Constitution.
The Supreme Court Thursday granted access to our civilian court system, a basic Constitutional right of citizens to non-citizen enemies of the United States. This is the third split decision by the court in this area. It goes against two enactments of the Congress, the last of which explicitly barred access to civilian courts. This is judicial overreaching in it's finest hour. As Justice Scalia said in his dissent Thursday: this decision "will almost certainly cause more Americans to be killed.”
Sen. McCain weighed in today, and I couldn't agree more:
Thursday, June 12, 2008
Take a Nap... awwww. NYT telling baby Tigger to tawwke a nawwp... will there be milk and cookies?? Maybe that can be made part of the agenda for summits with Castro, Chavez and Ahmadinejad. Milk and Cookies... followed by Presidential nap time.
Wednesday, June 11, 2008
Tuesday, June 10, 2008
For some history, I blogged about the threat from the Senate floor last week...
This event was sponsored by New York Women for McCain, and the attendance was magnificent. Much thanks to Kristen Kelly Fisher of NY Women for McCain for showing there is substantial support among New York City women for Sen. McCain.
Cindy was gracious, as always, and spoke from her heart to the crowd of 300. She spoke with conviction about her love for her country, and her family’s service to the country (including a son who served as a Marine in Iraq, and another son at the Naval Academy).
Sen. McCain’s family has strength that is a testament to the type of President he would make…
The excitement is building!!
Sen. McCain made the comparison directly yesterday in a big way...
Do we want an ultra-leftist foreign and energy policy right out of the 1970s (rationing, cardigans, Iranian-style revolutions all over the Middle East)?? Or do we want a center-right, Reagan-style "Peace through Strength"?
I guess I can see why Iran and her allies Hezbollah and Hamas are endorsing Barack Obama... they see the similarity.
Monday, June 9, 2008
According to the CBS poll, 22 percent of Clinton supporters say they prefer John McCain to Barack Obama. Additionally, 7 percent claim they're undecided, and 8 percent say they won't vote at all.
I noted this before back in March, and not much has changed.
Sunday, June 8, 2008
Ultimately, and ironically, it seems she fell victim to a vast left-wing conspiracy that resented her generally centrist foreign policy views (early support for the Iraq war, support for Kyl-Lieberman, unwavering support for Israel, etc.).
And so it was interesting that she barely touched on foreign policy in her concession speech today. She mentioned Iraq only twice, she mentioned terrorism only once, and she didn't mention Iran at all. After all, her serious approach to each of these issues proved liability in the Democratic primary. She spent years building a strong record on national security, and in the end her party opted for a candidate with no national security experience at all.
Saturday, June 7, 2008
Thursday, June 5, 2008
This is trash... it may work in the mean streets of Chicago, with Rev. Wright and Tony Rezko at your side, but in the well of the US Senate?? Watch how Sen. Hagel and Sen. McCain comport themselves rookie... partisanship is not as deep as citizenship, though I know you kind of consider yourself a citizen of the World...
In the aftermath of this saga, it should begin to dawn on attentive observers that Barack Obama represents a type that flourishes on many college campuses. The technical term that applies to Obama is b.s. artist. Obama is an overaged example of the phenomenon, but his skills in the art have brought him great success and he's not giving it up now.
Here give me some money... now "GET OUT OF HERE!!" or "Why Barack Obama's Word is not necessarily his Bond"
Here's my favorite section. Even the head cheerleader for Sen. Obama and the DNC, the New York Times had to point this out:
“We want the Democratic Party to conform to his standards of openness to reduce the influence of special interests,” Linda Douglass, a campaign spokeswoman, told reporters today before Mr. Obama flew from New York City for a campaign stop in Virginia.
The announcement comes the morning after Mr. Obama helped raise about $2.5 million for the D.N.C. at a Manhattan fund-raiser. Aides said the rules would take effect going forward, but would not be retroactive. (Translation: Last night’s haul likely included money from federal lobbyists or PACs.)
The decision underscores what Mr. Obama intends to make a central theme of the general election campaign with Senator John McCain: reducing the influence of Washington lobbyists and special interest money.
But Mr. Obama has yet to answer another looming question governing money and politics: Will he be the first presidential candidate to decline public financing – about $84 million this year – and the accompanying spending limits?
For months, Mr. Obama has sidestepped that question, backing away from a pledge he made last year to accept public financing if the Republican nominee did the same. He said he would make a decision at the conclusion of the primary campaign, but argued that his record-setting fund-raising operation has created “a parallel public financing system” because of the large amount of small donors.
No major-party candidate has turned down public financing for the general election since the system took effect in 1976. And Senator John McCain has indicated that he intends to accept the infusion of public financing.
Wednesday, June 4, 2008
UPDATE: Obama's campaign has responded somewhat favorably. Looks like they've agreed to do them, now they're just arguing over the details...
Here's the statement:
“As Barack Obama has said before, the idea of joint town halls is appealing and one that would allow a great conversation to take place about the need to change the direction of this country. We would recommend a format that is less structured and lengthier than the McCain campaign suggests, one that more closely resembles the historic debates between Abraham Lincoln and Stephen Douglas. But, having just secured our party’s nomination, this is one of the many items we will be addressing in the coming days and look forward to discussing it with the McCain campaign,” said Obama campaign manager David Plouffe.
Tuesday, June 3, 2008
Isn't winning the war and supporting the troops more important??
Monday, June 2, 2008
What will he do to other Americans that become unpopular?
UPDATE: From Commentary Magazine: "Why did it take 20 years?" They say it well:
Imagine if the roles were reversed and John McCain had attended a white separatist church for twenty years. Would his resignation after two decades cure the concern that he had lived some sort of weird double life, cavorting with racists but talking about equal opportunity in his public life? I would imagine he’d have been forced out of the presidential race by now.
So the question remains: was Obama the least observant church congegrant on the planet (racism and anti-Semitism at Trinity? No!) or a hypocrite? Let the voters decide.
Sunday, June 1, 2008
Iraq passed a turning point last fall when the U.S. counterinsurgency campaign launched in early 2007 produced a dramatic drop in violence and quelled the incipient sectarian war between Sunnis and Shiites. Now, another tipping point may be near, one that sees the Iraqi government and army restoring order in almost all of the country, dispersing both rival militias and the Iranian-trained "special groups" that have used them as cover to wage war against Americans.
Where are you New York Times? Are your reporters and editors too busy in Obama campaign strategy meetings to notice the success our military and diplomats are helping to create in the Middle East??