Get Obama's Back: WE DO HAVE THE MONEY

As I said yesterday, this election was not the end of a fight, but merely the beginning.  Many struggles still remain--including the one for marriage equality (see Paul Hogarth's excellent piece for why we failed in CA, and what we can do better in the future)--but by far the biggest challenge facing us now is the argument about money.

As soon as Obama takes the oath of office, Republicans will become sudden deficit-hawks.  Their allies in the conservative media (like the AP) will begin saying that there is no money for any of Obama's programs like national healthcare, national service, alternative energy and so many others.

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Suicidal vet was "begging for help, and they kicked him to the curb"

A few months ago, when I interviewed Josh, an Iraq War veteran, about his struggles with a traumatic brain injury and PTSD that he was affected with in Iraq, and which followed him home to Wisconsin, he told me that it had taken him 2 years to receive treatment for his conditions. His girlfriend told me that she was grateful that Josh was not one of the approximate 1,000 veterans who attempt suicide a month.

"Hundreds of thousands of soldiers who need it aren't even getting taken care of by the VA, and thousands more are attempting to commit suicide under their care. Not only that, but when I went there as 'a danger to myself and other people,' they said it was in the past and that it didn't mean that I was still. They didn't want me to be there and they didn't know what to do with me. It's no wonder they wanted to 'Shhh...' the numbers of veterans attempting to commit suicide under their care."

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VA Chief Likens PTSD to "High School Football Injury"

I recently traveled to Madison, WI, to interview Rachel and Josh, two young Iraq War veterans about the health issues they've dealt with, due to poor accountability for both the private contractors who are supposed to be supporting our troops, and for the mental health needs of returning soldiers.

When I interviewed Josh about his difficulties seeking help for his PTSD, he recounted the whole horrific process with a smile on his face and a self-effacing laugh. It took me a while to realize that Josh laughed about his troubles because the seriousness of the situation was overpowering. Unfortunately, even the VA is starting to turn its back on the gravity of this problem, even as it escalates to frightening proportions.

Stay tuned to the Progressive Future website, as we will be launching these videos in the near future.

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Obama's Rezko--and Iraq--problem

Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) consistently gets credit for his reservations about the United States pre-emptively going to war with Iraq in 2003. In a single speech delivered October 26, 2002, at a Chicago anti-war rally, Obama said

I don't oppose all wars. ... And I know that in this crowd today, there is no shortage of patriots, or of patriotism. What I am opposed to is a dumb war. What I am opposed to is a rash war. ... That's what I'm opposed to. A dumb war. A rash war. A war based not on reason but on passion, not on principle but on politics.
This is the part of his anti-war speech that anyone with access to media has heard. It is the part of his speech upon which Obama has based his run for the presidency, the highest office in the United States, the most powerful nation in the world. But there is within this October 2002 speech, the very next paragraph, in fact, a commentary which begs explanation.
Now let me be clear - I suffer no illusions about Saddam Hussein. He is a brutal man. A ruthless man. A man who butchers his own people to secure his own power. He has repeatedly defied UN resolutions, thwarted UN inspection teams, developed chemical and biological weapons, and coveted nuclear capacity.

He's a bad guy. The world, and the Iraqi people, would be better off without him.

But I also know that Saddam poses no imminent and direct threat to the United States, or to his neighbors, that the Iraqi economy is in shambles, that the Iraqi military a fraction of its former strength, and that in concert with the international community he can be contained until, in the way of all petty dictators, he falls away into the dustbin of history.

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Obama's 2002 Antiwar Speech Date Inconsistency (Updated)

Following the "reality" theme set by susanhu in her January 14, 2008, MyDD diary Reality: Why Obama Is Exploiting Racism, let's explore the "reality" of Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.)'s antiwar stance prior to his run for the U.S. Senate with a focus on the date of that much-touted October 2002 speech given in Chicago's Daley Plaza.

Obama's website BarackObama.com provides a copy of his speech entitled "Remarks of Illinois State Sen. Barack Obama Against Going to War with Iraq", dated October 2, 2002.

Elsewhere on the internet, however, the date for the speech delivered in Chicago is stated as October 26, 2002, including the text of the speech published at Wikisource and by The Network Journal (September 2004), for example.

On January 13, 2008, DemocraticUnderground forum commenter stillcool47 posted the speech dated October 26, 2002, with the source link cited as barackobama.com/pdf/warspeech.pdf. The date on the pdf document now reads October 2, 2002.

Alegre, a well-known blogger at The Daily Kos, as recently as January 11, 2008, hyperlinked to the October 26, 2002, speech at EnwikiSource.org. It is now an inactive link.

In February 2007, Obama supporters cited the date of the speech as October 26, 2002. In his February 12, 2007, post, Lawrence Jones included the text of the speech—dated October 26, 2002 on his Obama community page and, on February 13, 2007, an Obama diarist at SouthernDemocrats.us posted the text of the speech under the heading October 26, 2002.

Even the Wikipedia article Political positions of Barack Obama dates his speech to October 26, 2002. The date, cited in Footnote 52, originally linked to Obama's 2010 U.S. Senate re-election campaign webpage Obama2010.us/2002/10/26/iraq_war.php. When clicking on the link now, one is redirected to BarackObama.com.

Why is this important?

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