Obama More Like Roosevelt or DiMaggio?

(Cross-posted from Think it Through)

President Barack Obama marks his first 100 days in office this week, a key milestone for every president since Franklin Roosevelt gave the 100-day mark its meaning 77 years ago.

If you think about it, the comparison is unfair to any president. It is like asking a baseball player at the beginning of the season if he will break Joe DiMaggio's 56 game hitting streak.  As any baseball fan can tell you, it cannot be done.

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ABC/Wa-Po 54-43

No story yet, but looks like the number is 54-43 which would be O +1 and M -1.  Good news on a day when most of the trackers trended the other way the day after "Auntie".  Also nice to hear Cook stating he thinks this is the tracker to watch.

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9/18 Anthrax, ABC's sources, and McCain

Glenn Greenwald at Salon has a lengthy article presenting a subtle but terrifying point of consideration - that ABC, and very possibly the government, was at the very least complicit in presenting the anthrax scare immediately after 9/11 as the work of Iraq, paving the way to public support for the war.

I implore you to take the time to read the entire thing. Greenwald is extremely well sourced and includes numerous examples showing how anthrax was used as a catalyst for support for the war, both for the media and the government. Except that this link between the anthrax and Iraq - the presence of bentonite - that was touted was entirely false. And that this false information was actively promoted by the media as the case to invade Iraq.

An attempt at summation follows:

In 2001 anthrax was sent to then-Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle (D-SD), Sen. Pat Leahy (D-Vt), NBC News anchor Tom Brokaw, and other leading media outlets.

During the last week of October, 2001, ABC News, led by Brian Ross, continuously trumpeted the claim as their top news story that government tests conducted on the anthrax -- tests conducted at Ft. Detrick -- revealed that the anthrax sent to Daschele contained the chemical additive known as bentonite. ABC News, including Peter Jennings, repeatedly claimed that the presence of bentonite in the anthrax was compelling evidence that Iraq was responsible for the attacks, since -- as ABC variously claimed -- bentonite "is a trademark of Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein's biological weapons program" and "only one country, Iraq, has used bentonite to produce biological weapons."

ABC News' claim -- which they said came at first from "three well-placed but separate sources," followed by "four well-placed and separate sources" -- was completely false from the beginning. There never was any bentonite detected in the anthrax (a fact ABC News acknowledged for the first time in 2007 only as a result of my badgering them about this issue). It's critical to note that it isn't the case that preliminary tests really did detect bentonite and then subsequent tests found there was none. No tests ever found or even suggested the presence of bentonite. The claim was just concocted from the start. It just never happened.

That means that ABC News' "four well-placed and separate sources" fed them information that was completely false -- false information that created a very significant link in the public mind between the anthrax attacks and Saddam Hussein. And look where -- according to Brian Ross' report on October 28, 2001 -- these tests were conducted:

   And despite continued White House denials, four well-placed and separate sources have told ABC News that initial tests on the anthrax by the US Army at Fort Detrick, Maryland, have detected trace amounts of the chemical additives bentonite and silica.

Two days earlier, Ross went on ABC News' World News Tonight with Peter Jennings and, as the lead story, breathlessly reported:

   The discovery of bentonite came in an urgent series of tests conducted at Fort Detrick, Maryland, and elsewhere.

Clearly, Ross' allegedly four separate sources had to have some specific knowledge of the tests conducted and, if they were really "well-placed," one would presume that meant they had some connection to the laboratory where the tests were conducted -- Ft. Detrick. That means that the same Government lab where the anthrax attacks themselves came from was the same place where the false reports originated that blamed those attacks on Iraq.

So not only has ABC either falsified or didn't check at all their "sources" who claimed that bentonite was found in the anthrax (which was the smoking gun leading the public to swallow the idea that Saddam was responsible for it), but the only place that those sources could have come from was on a level that had direct contact with the actual source of the anthrax - the now deceased Bruce Ivins at Ft. Detrick.

And ABC has never once retracted their report, nor followed up on who their sources were.

Considering this was the major source of the public push for war in Iraq, ABC has an ethical responsibility to report who their sources were that provided deliberately false and misleading information.

Not only the public push, but the government ran with this as well:

And then, when President Bush named Iraq as a member of the "Axis of Evil" in his January, 2002 State of the Union speech -- just two months after ABC's report, when the anthrax attacks were still very vividly on the minds of Americans -- he specifically touted this claim:

   The Iraqi regime has plotted to develop anthrax, and nerve gas, and nuclear weapons for over a decade.

Bush's invocation of Iraq was the only reference in the State of the Union address to the unsolved anthrax attacks. And the Iraq-anthrax connection was explicitly made by the President at a time when, as we now know, he was already eagerly planning an attack on Iraq.

John McCain, on the David Letterman Show, October 18, 2001 (days before ABC News first broadcast their bentonite report):

   LETTERMAN: How are things going in Afghanistan now?

   MCCAIN: I think we're doing fine . . . I think we'll do fine. The second phase -- if I could just make one, very quickly -- the second phase is Iraq. There is some indication, and I don't have the conclusions, but some of this anthrax may -- and I emphasize may -- have come from Iraq.

   LETTERMAN: Oh is that right?

   MCCAIN: If that should be the case, that's when some tough decisions are gonna have to be made.

ThinkProgress has the video. Someone ought to ask McCain what "indication" he was referencing that the anthrax "may have come from Iraq."

Presidential candidate John McCain was on national television, prior to ABC's false story, parroting the exact same false talking point. Where did he get his information from?

Will we demand answers from ABC and John McCain, and the rest of this administration?

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Calling all writers! MSM sites need you! Balance out slander...

Calling all writers!  ABC News, USA Today, CBS News: need a few good pro Obama, on message posts!
These are some sites that could use a couple of pro Obama, on message posts every night.
On some of these sites if you can be one of the first 10 you can be on the same page with the article forever, or just one click away when the user views the oldest posts first. Also remember to recommend other good pro Obama posts!

Many times I see articles and the first 10 or 20 posts are all anti Obama, many slanderous. It would be nice to balance those posts out.

USAToday.com 23.1 million unique visitors a month
http://www.usatoday.com/news/politics/de fault.htm?refresh=1

ABCNews.com  10.6 million unique visitors each month in 2007
http://abcnews.go.com/politics

CBSNews.com 9.2 million unique visitors each month 2007
http://www.cbsnews.com/sections/politics /main250.shtml

We are supposed to dominate the Web but I think we are all at MSNBC.com or here.

I worry sometimes we are blogging to the converted!

Let's make sure these 40 million people have an opportunity to get the facts on Barack Obama.

Thanks
Graham Poor

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A New Campaign Charge: You Supported Clinton

Obama and Hillary's call for Party's Unity have been cold shouldered by PUMA folks. On the other hand the Anybody But Clinton (ABC) and We hate Clintons (WHC) Folks are taking their Clinton hatred to new levels. During the primary, the Clinton supporters amongst African American community faced different explicit and implicit threats and hatred. Amongst the Black Caucus House of Representatives, there were explicit threats of primary opposition. Now ABC and WHC folks are carrying out their threats to reality. NYTimes is reporting :


Brooklyn's 10th Congressional District, home to more African-Americans than any other in New York, gave Senator Barack Obama his highest margin of victory in the state. But the district's longtime congressman, Edolphus Towns, did not share his constituency's preference for Mr. Obama. Now some of those voters are pushing to oust him.

Kevin Powell is challenging Mr. Towns for his seat. "His decision not to back Obama shows he is out of touch with his constituents," said N. Chandler, a former city corrections officer who lives in Bedford-Stuyvesant and who had supported Mr. Towns in the past. "And I think the people of this district are ready for a change."

The tensions in the district echo those in a handful of races around the country as Democratic incumbents with large African-American constituencies try to soothe resentments and anger incited by their support for Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton. Even after Mr. Obama and Mrs. Clinton embraced in Unity, N.H., on Friday and sought to put their divisions behind them, some strains are still evident closer to the ground.

In Georgia, Representative John Lewis, a prominent civil rights leader, is facing primary challenges from two black candidates who have been critical of him for backing Mrs. Clinton for months before shifting to Mr. Obama. To underscore the point, one of the challengers set up his headquarters in the same building that served as Mr. Obama's office for the primary. Nearby, in Savannah, Representative John Barrow, who is white but represents a district that is largely black, is under attack from a challenger who says Mr. Barrow was also late to endorse Mr. Obama.

Another New Yorker, Representative Gregory W. Meeks of Queens, faces a primary opponent who has sought to make an issue of Mr. Meeks's support of the Clinton campaign in a district, New York's 6th, where Mr. Obama drew nearly 56 percent of the vote.

The man seeking Mr. Meeks's seat is Ruben Wills, 36, a former chief of staff for State Senator Shirley L. Huntley and an organizer for Mr. Obama in southeast Queens. "I was on board with Obama from Day 1," Mr. Wills said. "Meeks had to be dragged across the line."

And Representative Yvette D. Clarke, of Flatbush, Brooklyn, is running unopposed but lost the endorsement of a vital organization, the Central Brooklyn Independent Democrats, in part because she embraced Mrs. Clinton's candidacy.

Most of these seats are considered safely Democratic, leaving little incentive for the national Democratic Party, or its leaders, to get involved in the races.

Read more http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/01/us/pol itics/01dems.html?_r=1&oref=slogin

Now for all the Party Unity threads in MyDD, I'm wondering what would you say if former Hillary supporters now put up candidates against Obama supporters like Kerry, Pelosi et al in retaliation of what is going to Hillary supporters in Congress. This action by the ABC crowd is going to have ripples within the Party. I sincerely hope Clinton helps folks who supported her through the primary.

The Party Unity responsibility lies on all which includes both Hillary and Obama's followers. Folks, primaries are over, get over it. Support Obama for the GE...

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