Obama Triumphs At Notre Dame

May 17 2009 Published by under Featured News

President Barack Obama was warmly welcomed at Notre Dame’s commencement today. Obama used his speech to not only called for a reduction in abortions performed, and for two sides of a debate that will probably never agree on the issue, but they can have an open hearted and minded debate.

Obama said, “Maybe we won’t agree on abortion, but we can still agree that this is a heart-wrenching decision for any woman to make, with both moral and spiritual dimensions. So let’s work together to reduce the number of women seeking abortions by reducing unintended pregnancies, and making adoption more available, and providing care and support for women who do carry their child to term. Let’s honor the conscience of those who disagree with abortion, and draft a sensible conscience clause, and make sure that all of our health care policies are grounded in clear ethics and sound science, as well as respect for the equality of women.”

He continued, “Understand — I do not suggest that the debate surrounding abortion can or should go away. No matter how much we may want to fudge it — indeed, while we know that the views of most Americans on the subject are complex and even contradictory — the fact is that at some level, the views of the two camps are irreconcilable. Each side will continue to make its case to the public with passion and conviction. But surely we can do so without reducing those with differing views to caricature. Open hearts. Open minds. Fair-minded words.”

Obama certainly didn’t sound like the baby killing radical that religious right has painted him to be. Obama once again demonstrated that the worst thing his political opponents can ever do is to paint him as a radical. He excels in the middle. Obama emerged as the real winner of this controversy today. He used the radical right’s protests as an opportunity to position himself in the middle of America’s toughest cultural issue.

The protests and outrage were an outside manufactured creation, which didn’t materialize inside the university community. Before the speech some experts said that Obama’s remarks could hurt him with Catholics, but I don’t think that is what happened here. By voicing his desire to reduce the number of abortions performed in the country, while calling for a respectful dialogue, Obama appealed to the people on both sides of the debate that aren’t zealots. His position may not be popular on the fringes, but it works quite nicely for those in the middle.

Full Text of Obama’s Speech

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Michael Savage Threatens to Sue the UK for Banning Him

May 06 2009 Published by under Featured News

Conservative right wing talker Michael Savage threatened today to sue U.K. Home Office Sec. Jacqui Smith for banning him from the United Kingdom. Savage was banned for stirring up hatred that could lead to inter-community violence. Savage apparently has failed to see the irony in the fact that he regularly calls for Muslims to be banned from the U.S.

Here is the audio courtesy of Media Matters:

According to the official statement, Savage was banned because he was, “Considered to be engaging in unacceptable behaviour by seeking to provoke others to serious criminal acts and fostering hatred which might lead to inter-community violence. The tougher exclusions policy follows the Prime Minister’s commitment in the National Security Strategy to take ‘stronger action against those we suspect of stirring up tensions’ and the Home Secretary’s decision to introduce a presumption in favour of exclusion for extremists promoting hatred or violence.”

This decision has Savage threatening to sue, “This lunatic Jacqui Smith, in my opinion, has defamed me, and if possible, I will sue her personally. There are two points to be made here. First, I don’t think that he can sue. He probably can appeal his ban, but I don’t think that he has legal basis for a lawsuit for defamation. Secondly, Savage has called for the banning and deportation of Muslims and Mexicans regularly on his show.

The hypocrisy here is unbelievable. Media Matters documented four occasions over the past two years where Savage has called for people to be banned or deported on his show. Savage has called for the banning of all minorities, imprisoning every member of the ACLU, CAIR, and a ban on Muslim immigration. I’ll be honest. I am not aware of the racial situation in the U.K., so I can’t comment on whether or not this was a good move, but Savage does stir up hate. It is his gimmick.

At least now he knows how it feels to be banned from a part of the world. Obviously, he hasn’t learned anything, so you can be certain that his views won’t change. A smarter man would think twice before calling for banning and deportatation, but Savage isn’t that smart. Instead, he will blame the government official, and try to file what looks like it will be a frivolous lawsuit.

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Steele Approves of the GOP’s Barack the Magic Negro Racism

May 01 2009 Published by under Featured News

While serving as guest host of Bill Bennett’s radio show, RNC Chairman Michael Steele agreed with a caller’s description of President Obama as Barack the Magic Negro. This is in contrast to his condemnation of this attack when he was running for RNC chair.

Here is the audio courtesy of Think Progress:

Steele’s laughter at a racial slur used against Obama makes me wonder if Steele realizes that he is black too. Here is Steele’s reaction to the holiday greeting card sent out to RNC members by then fellow candidate Chip Saltsman that contained CD of the song “Barack the Magic Negro”:

Steele said then, “Oh it doesn’t help at all. Absolutely, it reinforces a negative stereotype of the party…And so now we have a opportunity to step in the breach and clear that up and make sure that people appreciate and know that look, this is not representative of the party as a whole, this is not a direction that we want to go in or a system that we believe.”

During Bill Bennett’s show Steele had a chance to stick to his original position, and move his party away from racism, but it appears that Steele is caving to the majority, and changing his positions to fit in. The GOP is not going to grow by using racist language, whether it is towards President Obama or Mexicans. Many RNC members want Steele removed because he is too moderate. Well, if this is an example of a moderate, I don’t want to see what passes for a mainstream Republican today.

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Comparing George W. Bush and Barack Obama’s First 100 Days

Apr 26 2009 Published by under Featured News

President Barack Obama will mark his first 100 days in office this week. To mark the anniversary, here is a comparison of how Barack Obama and George W. Bush spent their first 100 days in office. You may be surprised to learn that both presidents were/are still popular after their first 100 days.

Here are the major accomplishments of the first 100 days of the Bush administration:

1). $1.6 Trillion Tax Cut – In his first 100 days George W. Bush’s top administrative priority, a $1.6 trillion tax cut, passed the House of Representatives, on its way to eventual passage in the Senate.

2). Faith Based Initiatives – Early in his first 100 days, President Bush signed an executive order creating White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives. The office focused solely on helping religious or “faith-based” groups obtain federal tax dollars.

3). The Environment – Bush rolled back some of the Clinton era environmental regulations. He also announced that the U.S. was abandoning the Kyoto Protocol, and began his push to allow drilling in the Alaska National Wildlife Refuge.

4). No Child Left Behind - Only six days after taking office, President Bush sent his No Child Left Behind education reform plan to Congress. The bill, H.R. 1, was the first major piece of legislation passed for the new president.

It might seem odd now, but at the time George W. Bush had an approval rating of 60% after his first 100 days. Americans also gave Bush high marks are the economy with 52% favoring his handling of the issue. However, some early trends were starting to take shape as 58% of those surveyed said that Bush favored business over the environment, and nation was split 44%-43% over whether or not the nation was on the right track.

Here are the major accomplishments of Obama’s first 100 Days:

1). Economic Stimulus Plan – Obama got Congress to pass a $787 billion economic stimulus plan.

2). Expanded SCHIP – Obama signed a law that expanded the State Children’s Health Insurance Plan to cover an additional 4 million children.

3). Lilly Ledbetter Act -Obama signed the Lilly Ledbetter Act which requires equal pay for women.

4). Ethics Guidelines- Obama implemented new ethics guidelines that are designed to curtail the influence of lobbyists.

5). Iraq and Afghanistan – Obama announced the phased withdrawal of combat troops from Iraq, while sending an additional 4,000 troops to Afghanistan.

6). Budget and Healthcare- Obama got his budget passed, which paves the way for healthcare reform later this year.

Obama also has gotten high marks from the public on his first 100 days performance. A new ABC News/Washington Post poll found that Obama has a 69% approval rating. Americans are also giving Obama high marks on the economy as 58% approve of his handling of the issue. They approve of Obama’s handling of the environment by 61%-23% margin, and 50% of Americans think that the country is heading in the right direction.

Both Bush and Obama had major accomplishments in their first 100 days. The major difference between the two is the speed with which Obama has been able to get things done. Bush and Obama took office facing very different expectations. Not much was expected of Bush, so many experts gave him credit for exceeding the modest expectations set for him, while much has been expected of Obama, and so far he has delivered.

The argument that Obama has done too much doesn’t hold up well, when compared to the fact that Bush laid the groundwork for most of his priorities in his first 100 days. With the exception of the time after 9/11, these first 100 days were the high point for the Bush administration. Only time will tell, how we will someday look back at Obama’s first 100 days.

See Also: Comparing Bill Clinton and Barack Obama’s First 100 Days

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The Top 5 Obama Conspiracy Theories

Apr 20 2009 Published by under Featured News

Just for kicks, I have put together a list of the top 5 Obama conspiracy theories. Many of these have been built upon since the election. Obama is now a fascist, who is a British citizen, who is also working on a long form forgery of his birth certificate.

Note: The quotes are unedited.

5). Obama and Iran’s Bomb

The theory goes that since Barack Obama is a closet Muslim, he is going to let Iran develop a nuclear weapon, so that they can bomb Israel. Here is comment from Repubx.com, “You have to remember Obama is also an agent for Radical Islam. He wants Iran to have Nuclear weapons. Before, he spoke about not letting Iran have Nukes. It was just another pathilogical lie. I was saying for months, even before the Campaigns for President, that Obama would let Iran have Nukes if elected. Of course, he is going to lie and say otherwise. Muslims are allowed to lie if it furthers the Muslim cause.”

4). Obama and the NWO

Obama’s calls for global cooperation are really calls for a New World Order:

3). Obama is a British Citizen
This is a newer one based on the idea that Obama isn’t an American citizen, because he was born in a British territory. The claim is that Obama is a British citizen who is not eligible to be president. According to Mario Apuzzo’s blog, “This all leads to the question of how can Obama be an Article II “natural born Citizen” if he was at birth both a U.S. citizen (assuming he was born in the U.S.) and a British citizen which alone disqualifies him from having that status? But to make matters worse, Obama continues to be a British citizen at a time that he is currently the President of the United States.”

2). Obama the Fascist

Here is an example of some the evidence that the right uses to prove that Obama is a fascist, “In fact, with his constant inspirational calls for national unity, Obama is eerily reminiscent of the Fascists. If he spoke German he might well be inclined to adopt as his slogan Ein Volk, ein Reich, ein Fuehrer — as Hitler did (“One nation, one government, one leader”). After all, right to the end most Germans saw Hitler as a warm and kindly father-figure. And if the ruthless power-seeker that is Hillary reminds you of Joe Stalin, don’t blame me!”

How could I NOT include Glenn Beck:

1). Obama’s Forged Long Form Birth Certificate

Ah, an updated classic from the 2008 presidential campaign,Obama is faking his birth certificate . “Don’t know about 9/11 conspiracy, but do know from DC source that an Administration team is working on perfecting a forgery of the long-form birth certificate. They plan on presenting it in a a month or so. The source is FBI agent who has drinking buddy from University of Illinois now in the Administration. Its second hand, but the source is supposed to be solid.

They have already prepared the forgery with special paper and ink. The document was printed on a fully functional 1960 Heidelberger printing press located at a print museum in Toronto. Access was arranged by a trustee of the museum who is connected to a large Canadian banking/investment firm with major US interests.

The blanks in the forged form were filled in with an old Underwood Manual typewriter bought at an estate sale in Skokie, IL. The raised seal was the easiest piece to fake, since you can by a special order corporate seal from just about any online office supply store. The only reason they haven’t rolled out the foregery yet is that it is “seasoning” under mild UV light and a back and forth rotation between between a humidifier and a sauna. Get ready….one to two months tops. “

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Barack Obama and Ron Paul Named Internet Politicians of the Year

Apr 20 2009 Published by under Featured News

The Institute for Politics, Democracy, and the Internet is giving out its Golden Dot awards today and tomorrow at the Politics Online Conference. The awards recognize the best intersections between politics and technology. Barack Obama and Ron Paul were named the Democratic and Republican online politicians of the year.

Barack Obama’s was voted the best candidate website, while Ron Paul’s was voted the most networked Republican campaign, and Obama’s was its Democratic counterpart. Obama also won for awards for best online campaign and the best online get out the vote campaign. Obama’s Yes We Can video won for the best supporter created web video, and Obama won the Democrat Technology Impact Moment of the year for his announcement of Sen. Joe Biden as his running mate.

The big Republican winner was the Prop 8 movement, which was voted the Republican Technology Moment of the Year, and the Best Online Advertising Campaign. Prop 8 was also named the Republican Outstanding State and Local Campaign. 2008 Republican nominee John McCain won the award for Best Campaign Video for “The One.” The only Sarah Palin related award was for Best Online Game for Dress Like a Palin.

There were no upsets in these awards. Obama and Paul dominated the Internet in 2008. Obama’s campaign website was not like anything we have seen before. It was the perfect mix of online activism and information resource. Ron Paul has turned social networking into an art form. The GOP may think that they are catching up through Facebook and Twitter, but their efforts on those two platforms are still light years behind the way Rep. Paul organized.

McCain’s campaign website suffered for the same reason that Hillary Clinton’s did. They both were fine until the money ran out. One of the areas that each of these campaigns cut back was their websites. It was noticeable for Clinton after Super Tuesday, and McCain’s website started off with bells and whistles, but was never updated enough.

People forget that when Hillary Clinton had the fundraising advantage, she was churning out net videos on her site, but Obama was better at using his site as a community and an organizing tool. I visited these sites on a daily basis, so I have my own opinions on the subject. In general Democrats are ahead of Republicans in this area. Republicans, except for Ron Paul, don’t get that their sites should be used, not only for fund raising, but for information and networking.

Supporters go to these sites to get news, and meet other people who share their views. Too many Republicans still aren’t using their sites to their full potential. The website should be a destination point for multiple reasons. Republican websites also tend to be less attractive, and not as easy to navigate, which to me points towards the candidates’ lack of emphasis on the web. I think that Obama and Paul have shown what the Internet can do, so I expect that candidates from both parties will become much more aggressive with their Internet strategies.

The Full List of Winners

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GOP Tries to Muscle in on the Tea Party Movement

Apr 10 2009 Published by under Featured News

The organizers of the April 15 Chicago Tea Party claim that they rejected a request from RNC Chairman Michael Steele to speak at the event, but Steele claims that he never asked to speak. The real story here is that the GOP is trying to muscle in on the Tea Party Movement, but not all Tea Parties will be alike.

The Don’t Go Movement’s National Communications Director, Juliana Johnson said in a statement yesterday, “Steele hasn’t shown any interest in this movement until now, until the cameras are rolling. We denied his invitation. In addition, this is a nonpartisan event, not an RNC event.”

The Executive Director of the Don’t Go Movement, Eric Odom posted his email reply to Steele’s scheduler’s request, “As I mentioned on the phone the other day, I very much appreciate the fact that Chairman Steele is now finally starting to reach out to the true grassroots side of the free-market movement in America. Unfortunately, it appears that he has only just decided to reach out after realizing how big the movement has gotten and how much media is now involved.”

Odom then said no to Steele’s request for stage time, “With regards to stage time, we respectfully must inform Chairman Steel that RNC officials are welcome to participate in the rally itself, but we prefer to limit stage time to those who are not elected officials, both in Government as well as political parties. This is an opportunity for Americans to speak, and elected officials to listen, not the other way around.” However an RNC official says, He never asked to speak. There was never an expectation nor formal request for our participation.”

The real problem here is not all Tea Parties are alike. Some like the one in Chicago are springing out of the grass roots Ron Paul movement, while others are becoming Republican Party events. Many of these events are being bankrolled by GOP lobbyists like Freedom Works, while others are sticking to their roots. The problem is that Republican Party has gotten so desperate that they are trying to co-opt the Tea Parties and turn them into strictly anti-Obama gatherings. The GOP is going to try to claim a mass protest victory for Republicans on April 15, when many of those who show up, may not support the Republican or Democratic parties.

The GOP is pushing into an area that they don’t belong in. Tea Parties have been going on around the country since the Paul campaign, but they now decided to jump in when they are fragmented and in desperate need of publicity. It is my opinion that the grass roots organizers turned down Steele, as they should have. The GOP treated the Paul supporters like kooks that they couldn’t be bothered with, but now they want the concept of the Tea Party so they are stealing it.

I can’t wait for Republicans to see that will be unwelcome at the real grass roots Tea Parties, if they try to make this partisan. Steele is a publicity whore who loves the cameras. Of course, he wanted to speak at the Tea Party in Chicago, which is President Obama’s hometown. The whole GOP explanation is a lie, born out of trying to cover up the fact that Republicans are not very popular either within the true Tea Party movement. The GOP would be best served to stick the events that they are funding and staging, because they are in for a shock at the true grass roots events.

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Right Wing Blames “Wealthy Homosexuals” for Vermont Same Sex Marriage Law

Apr 07 2009 Published by under Featured News

The state of Vermont has become the latest target for the wrath of social conservatives after the state legislature overrode a gubernatorial veto and legalized same sex marriage. Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council blamed the veto override on, “wealthy homosexual activists.”

Perkins also blamed the liberal elite for the spread of same sex marriage, “Same-sex ‘marriage’ is a movement driven by wealthy homosexual activists and a liberal elite determined to destroy not only the institution of marriage, but democracy as well. Time and again, we see when citizens have the opportunity to vote at the ballot box, they consistently opt to support traditional marriage.”

While the Concerned Women for America lived up to their name, “While government officials may change definitions, they cannot change nature. The first human relationship was between one man and one woman, and it became the foundation of all society. Vermont legislators’ futile attempt to replace God by vainly redefining marriage eerily follows how that first man and woman acted on the first temptation — and the root of all temptations — to act as if they were gods. That one decision by Adam and Eve to believe that they could ‘be like God’ separated them from God destroyed the peace that they had experienced, and ushered in what some would call ‘unintended consequences’ of pain and destruction. The decision by Vermont legislators to attempt to redefine marriage creates urgency for other states and officials to protect marriage.”

In the eyes of far right the fact that more states are approving same sex marriage laws has nothing to do with society becoming more accepting of same sex couples, and everything to do with a left wing wealthy homosexual conspiracy. All the rich gay people in America are going around and buying these lawmakers off so that they go against the will of the people in these states. Do they realize how insane this sounds to the rest of us?

The reality is that the anti-gay marriage movement is on the wane. It peaked in the 2004 election and has been in decline ever since. However, polls all through 2008 demonstrated that the popular tide was starting to turn towards same sex marriage. The nation has moved towards a small margin of support for same sex marriages, which is a big change in contrast to 2004 when a solid majority opposed it.

The country’s attitude is slowing changing, as more people are viewing the issue through the prism of civil rights. Early opponents had a great deal of success opposing measuring by framing their arguments in religious terms, but the nation is changing and religious zealots like those at the Family Research Council are being left behind.

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Former Cheney Aide Doesn’t Deny Assassination Hit List

Mar 30 2009 Published by under Featured News

Last month journalist Seymour Hersh broke the story that the Bush administration used an executive assassination ring to go into countries and execute people on a hit list. Today on CNN’s The Situation Room, former Cheney aide John Hannah said that a list of targets exists and there are troops in the field who have the authority to capture or kill certain individuals.

Here is the video courtesy of Think Progress:

Host Wolf Blitzer asked Hannah about a list of targets for assassination, and he replied, “There’s clearly a group of people that go through a very extremely well-vetted process, interagency process…that have committed acts of war against the United States, who are at war with the United States or are suspected of planning operations of war against the United States, who authority is given to our troops in the field in certain war theaters to capture or kill those individuals. That is certainly true.”

Hannah also said that he doubted that Congress was notified about the assassinations. Hersh originally said at a University of Minnesota event last month that, “Right now, today, there was a story in the New York Times that if you read it carefully mentioned something known as the Joint Special Operations Command — JSOC it’s called. It is a special wing of our special operations community that is set up independently. They do not report to anybody, except in the Bush-Cheney days, they reported directly to the Cheney office. They did not report to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff or to Mr. [Robert] Gates, the secretary of defense. They reported directly to him. …Congress has no oversight of it. It’s an executive assassination ring essentially, and it’s been going on and on and on.”

At first I thought that this story was too outrageous to be true, but with the story yesterday that Cheney tried to sabotage Obama with Israel, and with the wide list of documented secret activities that have been confirmed to have gone on under the Bush administration, is this really a surprise? Cheney believes in the unlimited authority of the Executive Branch, so would it really be that big of a stretch that he would be in charge of an executive assassination ring? Until I see evidence that contradicts this report, I am inclined to believe it.

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Real Change: Obama to Convene Climate Change Forum

Mar 28 2009 Published by under Featured News

Another sign of the big changes brought by President Obama came today as he announced that he is going to convene the Major Economies Forum on Energy and Climate. In a little more than two months we have gone from an administration that resisted any climate change science to becoming a leader on the issue.

The White House said, “The Major Economies Forum will facilitate a candid dialogue among key developed and developing countries, help generate the political leadership necessary to achieve a successful outcome at the UN climate change negotiations that will convene this December in Copenhagen, and advance the exploration of concrete initiatives and joint ventures that increase the supply of clean energy while cutting greenhouse gas emissions.”

The session will feature 16 major economies and the Secretary General of the United Nations getting together in Washington on April 27-28. The point of the meeting is to prepare for Major Economies Forum Leaders meeting that will take place in July in Italy. The 17 major economies are, “Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, the European Union, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Russia, South Africa, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Denmark, in its capacity as the President of the December 2009 Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, and the United Nations have also been invited to participate in this dialogue.”

Compare this position to a 2007 House Committee on Government Oversight and Reform report which found that, “The White House exerted unusual control over the public statements of federal scientists on climate change issues. It was standard practice for media requests to speak with federal scientists on climate change matters to be sent to CEQ for White House approval. By controlling which government scientists could respond to media inquiries, the White House suppressed dissemination of scientific views that could conflict with Administration policies. The White House also edited congressional testimony regarding the science of climate change.”

This is a great change from the Bush position that climate change is an issue that must be studied more. Frankly, I would have been happy with a scientific community that wasn’t being censored anymore. The fact that Obama is acting so quickly is a bonus. Of course, Republicans oppose Obama’s climate change agenda because it is the equivalent of a “sales tax on energy.”

However, if the nation was to follow the GOP way, we would be left behind and miss out on the potential of a green economy in order to save a few special interests some money. In my opinion, this announcement represents the Obama administration as a government that intends to govern for the people.

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