Video: Believe in America Again

Video: Believe in America Again

Everyone has their own reasons for supporting a particular candidate and I decided to dedicate a diary to why I support mine.  It is no secret that I am an extremely strong supporter of Barack Obama but this was not always so.

During the 2004 campaign, I supported Howard Dean with a strong leaning towards John Edwards.  Howard Dean had a fiery passion to his candidacy that others in the race lacked.  However, it was John Edwards sense of idealism and hopefulness about government that really appealed to what I wanted to see in my next president.  We all know how that 2004 story turned out so no need to revisit it in detail.

After that devastating 2004 loss, my hopes quickly dashed to 2008 and I began contemplating a Hillary Clinton candidacy as early as December 2004.  But it was in early 2006 where I discovered this little unknown Black senator named Barack Obama.  He was doing an interview on CNN, I believe, discussing his 2004 speech, which I had not heard at the time, and revelations that he could be the next president of the United States.  I quickly dimissed the premise of the whole interview because I assumed like many others that a Black president was impossible.  However, after listening to him speak I became slightly more convinced of the possibility that this guy could do it.

Following that interview, I searched the internet for the video of Obama's 2004 DNC speech that everyone seemed to be so giddy about.  After a dab of google, I played an 18 minute clip that would finally put to rest my doubts that Obama could be the next president of the United States.  That awe inspiring speech motivated a man from Michigan with a wife and three kids to believe in his country again.  That man was me.

I have never been an active participant in politics.  I just voted in the general election every four years and went about the business of my life.  However, Obama's candidacy changed my passive approach to politics.  Obama's candidacy motivated me in early 2006 to join www.draftobama.org to persuade Obama to run in 2008.  Obama's candidacy motivated me to become a member of MyDD and Daily Kos so that I can learn about promoting progressive politics.  Obama's candidacy motivated me to create citizen ad videos that can sometimes take seven to eight hours out of my life without a single penny in compensation.  Obama's candidacy allows me to believe in America again.

The following citizen ad is dedicated to all of us believing in America again.

 

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Obama Smackdown Series: ABC News Iowa Debate 8/19/07: The experience old way of doing things establishment candidates, Biden, Clinton and Dodd tried to gang up on Obama about his length of time in the senate. Obama fought back hard against their nonsense.


lovingj calls Thom Hartman Show to discuss Barack Obama: I listen to a lot of progressive talk and watch a great deal of cable news (NOT FOX!!!!). I have been annoyed as of late how progressive radio hosts only mention Obama as it pertains to Clinton and their money and the MSM only discusses Obama in the context of the latest Clinton/Obama fight. Talk radio is actively pushing John Edwards while the MSM is actively pushing Hillary Clinton and they overlook what Obama is really about.


Obama and Gore: Leaders to deal with Global Warming: A tribute to two leaders who are significantly changing the political landscape.


What Obama is About: A summary of his policies

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Barack Obama pulls the sheeps clothing off the Petraeus report

Barack Obama pulls the sheeps clothing off the Petraeus report

Obama has begun his pushback against the white house Petraeus spin and delivered some impressive points during his questioning of Petraeus and Crocker. I pointed out in an earlier diary that Obama's silence may be a smart strategic move and this was amid criticisms from Markos of Daily Kos and others in the blogosphere that Obama was lacking in the leadership department.

I have to say I'm shocked at the silence from the Obama campaign. The utter lack of leadership shown thus far on his part is appalling.

- Kos 9/7/2007

The criticisms were not limited to front page posters and non Obama supporters but Obama supporters as well. One very strong Obama supporter who I will not name said the following:

And Obama, as I stated yesterday, got to come out with his position on Iraq, period.  It is coming down to this issue.

Geeksque, who is probably one of the most prominent (excellent writer by the way) Obama supporters on Daily Kos wrote one of the best Obama diaries I have read in a long while entitled take the damn ball. He like other fellow Obama supporters know that the Senator is capable of leading on this issue unlike any of the other top tier candidates because he has a certain credibility on Iraq that they lack, namely his vocal opposition to the invasion back in 2002.

Well those calls to take the ball has been answered today and will conclude with his major policy speech on Iraq tomorrow when he is accompanied by the greatest foreign policy mind in the democratic party, Zbigniew Brezezinski.

Today, however, he took the opportunity to reframe the surge debate during his time questioning Petraeus and Crocker.

The question is one of strategy, not tactics. And the difficulty we have, I think, is that, each time we've talked to you, questions have been posed to you about the broader strategy of our war in Iraq, you've punted a little bit because you've said, look, that's a little outside my bailiwick.

But as Senator Feingold pointed out, we don't have limitless resources. And we've got to make these decisions, at least, in the Senate, based on priorities and the costs, as well as benefits, to pursuing a particular strategy.

I have to say, and this hasn't been commented on, I think that we should not have had this discussion on 9/11 or 9/10 or 9/12. Because I think it perpetuates this notion that, somehow, the original decision to go into Iraq was directly related to the attacks on 9/11.

. . . And so I think that some of the frustration you hear from some of the questioners is that we have now set the bar so low that modest improvement in what was a completely chaotic situation, to the point where now we just have the levels of intolerable violence that existed in June of 2006 is considered success, and it's not.

That is exactly the problem and the reason, to date, that the democrats have been having such a hard time leveraging a pull out from Iraq. The Republican party cleverly lowers the bar of expectations and a complacent corporate media does what it always does and just goes along. That is how you get a ghost written article on CBSNews called surge success goes unnoticed written by none other than Bill Kristol.

Obviously, it's too early to say anything more definitive than that there are real signs of progress in Baghdad.

That prediction made by Kristol back in March of this year was followed a month later by reports that the American military was considering building a wall around Baghdad to curb the growing violence. The bar for progress we have set now would have been considered a complete and utter failure back in 2003.

"Our mission continues...The War on Terror continues, yet it is not endless. We do not know the day of final victory, but we have seen the turning of the tide."

- George W. Bush "Mission Accomplished" speech on May 1, 2003

Turning of the tide? The occupation of Iraq is not endless? We are sick of this administration kicking the ball on this utter failure we call Iraq down the road another six months. The Iraqi government has only met 7 of the 18 goals set by the US congress for this surge. A 39% complete report by any standard is an F.

Greg Sargent of TPM noted Obama's best moment came when he posed the following question to Petraeus and Crocker:

"If we're there the same place a year from now can you please describe for me any circumstances in which you would make a different recommendation and suggest it is now time for us to start withdrawing our troops? Any scenario. Any set of benchmarks, that have not been met."

- Barack Obama per Obama Confronts Petraeus And Crocker

There is no longer a rationale for continuing this war. The situation in Iraq is not likely to get better under either scenario of staying or leaving. However, our country's resources and troops are best serve by leaving this bad situation as soon as possible. It is unfortunate that Obama's opposition back in 2002 was not heeded before this war was authorized. But we are now at the point that we cannot authorize more money without a timeline. I hope Obama sticks to his guns on this one and call the sheep what it is . . . a wolf.

 


Cool Videos


Obama Smackdown Series: ABC News Iowa Debate 8/19/07: The experience old way of doing things establishment candidates, Biden, Clinton and Dodd tried to gang up on Obama about his length of time in the senate. Obama fought back hard against their nonsense.


lovingj calls Thom Hartman Show to discuss Barack Obama: I listen to a lot of progressive talk and watch a great deal of cable news (NOT FOX!!!!). I have been annoyed as of late how progressive radio hosts only mention Obama as it pertains to Clinton and their money and the MSM only discusses Obama in the context of the latest Clinton/Obama fight. Talk radio is actively pushing John Edwards while the MSM is actively pushing Hillary Clinton and they overlook what Obama is really about.


Obama and Gore: Leaders to deal with Global Warming: A tribute to two leaders who are significantly changing the political landscape.


What Obama is About: A summary of his policies

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Obama's silence may be a smart strategic move.

Obama's silence may be a smart strategic move.

A lot noise is being made of Obama's silence on a withdrawal timetable for the upcoming spending supplemental.  Some have suggested it is a lack of leadership on his part.  A fellow Obama supporter and prominent Daily Kos member, Geeksque, said it best when he urged Obama to "take the damn ball" on the Iraq issue. However, there is reason to believe that the best is yet to come.

Chris Dodd, John Edwards, and just recently, Hillary Clinton have all stepped up to the plate on this issue in some way or another.  I would be remiss if I did not say that John Edwards has issued the most forceful language of the three so far on this issue.  With that said, there is another element to consider which I think is far more important and that is timing.

Stating your intentions on the withdrawal bill now provides a good setup but it still leaves Bush and his Republican cohorts one talking point that has the effect of killing the upcoming fire that is certain to ensue on the new spending supplemental . . . Petraeus has not delivered the report yet.  Leaving this opening to the Republicans may do far more damage in the long run as it allows the case to be made that the Democrats would not listen to any opposing reasoning and that they made up their minds, as the Bush administration always does, before they even heard the report.  Coming out steadfast after the report with an effective argument against the continued occupation of Iraq could in the end be the better opening to the withdrawal debate.

Its like a few kids trying to target a rabbit ten feet away with some rocks.  If the kids become too eager and just lobbed the shot at the rabbit, from that distance they will likely miss and concede a golden opportunity to a rabbit that could have been hit.  However, if they smartly timed their opportunity until the rabbit was only five feet away, then they would have a nearly unmissable shot.

Our golden shot is coming up.  The moment of truth is what the Democrats do after the Petraeus report and I am confident that Obama is going to finally "take the damn ball."

Cool Videos

Obama Smackdown Series: ABC News Iowa Debate 8/19/07: The experience old way of doing things establishment candidates, Biden, Clinton and Dodd tried to gang up on Obama about his length of time in the senate. Obama fought back hard against their nonsense.


lovingj calls Thom Hartman Show to discuss Barack Obama: I listen to a lot of progressive talk and watch a great deal of cable news (NOT FOX!!!!). I have been annoyed as of late how progressive radio hosts only mention Obama as it pertains to Clinton and their money and the MSM only discusses Obama in the context of the latest Clinton/Obama fight. Talk radio is actively pushing John Edwards while the MSM is actively pushing Hillary Clinton and they overlook what Obama is really about.


Obama and Gore: Leaders to deal with Global Warming: A tribute to two leaders who are significantly changing the political landscape.


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lovingj calls Thom Hartman Show to discuss Barack Obama

lovingj calls Thom Hartman Show to discuss Barack Obama

An interesting exchange between myself and Thom Hartmann regarding Barack Obama.

 


Cool Videos

Obama Smackdown Series: ABC News Iowa Debate 8/19/07: The experience old way of doing things establishment candidates, Biden, Clinton and Dodd tried to gang up on Obama about his length of time in the senate. Obama fought back hard against their nonsense.


Hardball Ad 2 - Obama the counter puncher: This one of the major reasons Obama needs to get the democratic nomination because he excels at thinking on his feet. If you try to hit him he will hit you back twice as hard.


Obama and Gore: Leaders to deal with Global Warming: A tribute to two leaders who are significantly changing the political landscape.


What Obama is About: A summary of his policies

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Aggressive Ethics Reform: Obama's Plan To Restore Trust In Government

Aggressive Ethics Reform: Obama's Plan To Restore Trust In Government

The New York Sun did an article today on Obama entitled Obama Unveils Government Ethics Plan. This article serves as another example of Obama not just talking the talk but actually walking the walk. By putting in writing his intent to marginalize special interest influence in Washington, he is signaling to the American people that ethics is not just something he talks about during an election year but the "cause of his life."

The Sun article notes that his plan is broadening the differences between a Clinton presidency and an Obama presidency.

Senator Obama of Illinois is seeking to sharpen the contrast with one of his rivals for the Democratic presidential nomination, Senator Clinton, by unveiling an ethics-in-government plan with provisions that appear to target alleged ethics lapses under President Clinton.

Mr. Obama's "Plan to Restore Trust in Government" calls for mandatory registration of lobbyists seeking presidential pardons and requires disclosure of all donations to presidential libraries. Both are requirements that were widely discussed after the last-minute pardon of a fugitive financier, Marc Rich, as Mr. Clinton left office in 2001.

President Bill Clinton was no doubt one of the better presidents in the last twenty seven years, however, his presidency was far from being free of corrupt influences. Since the Reagan years, the partisan divide continues to grow larger and the influence of special interest continues to grow stronger. Obama is one of the few presidential candidates with a consistent record of closing the partisan divide without compromising his values and core beliefs while also working hard to ensure that government is accountable to the people. That is why, as you have probably heard in his stump speeches, that he worked with Republicans in the Illinois state legislature to introduce the first ethics bill in twenty five years. That is why in less than two weeks into the 110th Congress he immediately went to work to help pass the Legislative Transparency and Accountability Act.

Obama has shown that he has the best judgment as exemplified by his 2002 opposition to the Iraq war. He has as many plans as John Edwards and offers the specifics, unlike Hillary Clinton, to point the country back in the right direction. He has introduce the most aggressive approach to ethics for the office of the presidency because he wants to restore the American people's trust in their government. He has shown a better grasp of foreign policy than many of his opponents who were critical of his length of experience in Congress. He has cleverly use the debates to unravel the media frames of experience and their rampant criticism of him being "naive." He also never gets caught off guard with credibility questions during TV interviews. He has shown the resolve and the right amount "steel" that is necessary for our next president and that is why Obama supporters' are optimistic about his chances for the democratic nomination.

You just know when you made the right choice and I am confident about mine.


Cool Videos

Obama Smackdown Series: ABC News Iowa Debate 8/19/07: The experience old way of doing things establishment candidates, Biden, Clinton and Dodd tried to gang up on Obama about his length of time in the senate. Obama fought back hard against their nonsense.


Hardball Ad 2 - Obama the counter puncher: This one of the major reasons Obama needs to get the democratic nomination because he excels at thinking on his feet. If you try to hit him he will hit you back twice as hard.


Obama and Gore: Leaders to deal with Global Warming: A tribute to two leaders who are significantly changing the political landscape.


What Obama is About: A summary of his policies

There's more...

"It's going to be tough to beat that guy"

"It's going to be tough to beat that guy"

Washington Post released an interesting article on the size of the Obama supporting crowd at the Milford, New Hampshire Labor Day parade entitled, Barack Obama, Drawing the Big Crowds. Barack Obama drew crowds larger than any of the other '08 candidates' supporters at the parade.

If the Milford parade several hours later was a snapshot of how Obama is faring, it bodes well. He drew by far the loudest and most boisterous group of supporters, who became so enthusiastic about marching that they started down the road ahead of schedule -- and were then banished by organizers to the back of the parade line. (The second-largest group was an orderly bunch of Romney backers, followed by a loud cadre carrying signs for Sen. Christopher J. Dodd -- though Dodd's group included many members of his family.)

Obama's crowds were so large and intimidating that one Mitt Romney supporter apparently became discouraged according to the Post article.

As Sen. Barack Obama led a rowdy mob down the street here during a Labor Day parade, an organizer wearing a Mitt Romney pin stood on the sidewalk and stared in astonishment.

"It's going to be tough to beat that guy," he said, shaking his head, to another man with a Romney sign.

Kudos to those NH Obama supporters for showing there is no shortage of enthusiasm for the Obama campaign. I have a very good feeling about the coming nomination.

Cool Videos

Obama Smackdown Series: ABC News Iowa Debate 8/19/07: The experience old way of doing things establishment candidates, Biden, Clinton and Dodd tried to gang up on Obama about his length of time in the senate. Obama fought back hard against their nonsense.


Hardball Ad 2 - Obama the counter puncher: This one of the major reasons Obama needs to get the democratic nomination because he excels at thinking on his feet. If you try to hit him he will hit you back twice as hard.


Obama and Gore: Leaders to deal with Global Warming: A tribute to two leaders who are significantly changing the political landscape.


What Obama is About: A summary of his policies

There's more...

Barack Obama Rightly Warns Of Divisive Politics

Barack Obama Rightly Warns Of Divisive Politics

Tod Beeton is a MyDD frontpager who has consistently shown the capacity to look at the presidential primaries from different perspectives. I am not of the opinion that he has some hidden bias or is conspiring to actively support a candidate of choice. With that said, he recently did a FP post entitled, Breaking: Obama Warns Of Divisive Politics which offered a critical analysis of Barack Obama's recent Manchester, New Hampshire Labor Day speech. In this post Tod Beeton concluded that Barack Obama was attacking Hillary Clinton and that such tactics in the past have yielded rising poll numbers for Senator Clinton. Tod Beeton went on to surmise that this was a failing strategy for the Obama campaign and offered the appearance, according to Mr. Beeton, that Obama was reacting to Senator Clinton's lead to drive the terms of the debate. I find Mr. Beeton's analysis, while insightful, to be wrong and a bit misleading and thus I wanted to counter those points he made in his post through my own following assessment.

Mr. Beeton claims in his post the following:

A new way of expressing her [Senator Clinton] theme of experience = change. But while the article portrays the speech [Hillary's 9/2/07 NH Speech] as a response to Obama and Edwards, I see it as more of a taunt. Clinton has seen the pattern -- she is attacked and her poll numbers rise; so why wouldn't she want to invite more?

Is that a correct assumption that Hillary's poll numbers have risen as a consequence of Obama fighting back her misleading rhetoric? Polling data suggest that this is an inaccurate statement and a simple observation of Rasmussen Reports weekly democratic primary poll numbers rebuts Mr. Beeton's claims.

Obama and Clinton's war of words campaign kicked into full gear in late July beginning with the following exchange at the CNN/Youtube Debate in Charleston, South Carolina:

CLINTON: . . . I happen to agree that there is no military solution, and the Iraqis refuse to pursue the political solutions. In fact, I asked the Pentagon a simple question: Have you prepared for withdrawing our troops? In response, I got a letter accusing me of being unpatriotic; that I shouldn't be asking questions.

Well, one of the problems is that there are a lot of questions that we're asking but we're not getting answers from the Bush administration.

COOPER: Time.

CLINTON: And it's time for the Republicans to join us in standing up to the president to bring our troops home.

(A little later in the debate)

OBAMA: Our soldiers have done everything that's been asked of them. They deposed Saddam Hussein.

They have carried out extraordinarily difficult missions with great courage and great bravery.

But, you know, one thing I have to say about Senator Clinton's comments a couple of moments ago. I think it's terrific that she's asking for plans from the Pentagon, and I think the Pentagon response was ridiculous. But what I also know is that the time for us to ask how we were going to get out of Iraq was before we went in.

(APPLAUSE)

And that is something that too many of us failed to do. We failed to do it. And I do think that that is something that both Republicans and Democrats have to take responsibility for.

When I am president of the United States, when I send our troops into battle, I am going to be absolutely sure that it is based on sound intelligence, and I'm going to tell the truth to the American people, as well as the families who are being asked to sacrifice.

Part I: CNN/YouTube Democratic presidential debate transcript

That exchange marked a turning point for the Obama campaign because it set in motion a chain of events that has allowed Senator Obama to draw clear lines of contrast between he and Senator Clinton. Most importantly, it allowed Senator Obama to finally begin closing the door on the free pass that the corporate media and some in the netroots blogosphere has provided Hillary Clinton on her past 2002 Iraq War authorization vote. Kathleen Turner of Real Clear Politics said it best in her June 6th editorial 'Bush's War' Is Clinton's Rewrite:

Hillary Clinton's remark during Sunday night's Democratic presidential debate that Iraq is "George Bush's war" may be interpreted as either brilliant strategy or desperate deflection.

. . . "The differences among us are minor. The differences between us and the Republicans are major," she said.

. . . The 90-page NIE report was made available to all 100 senators 10 days before the Senate vote.

If she had read the whole report, could Clinton have voted as she did? If she didn't read it, can she now claim that she was misled? Van Natta and Gerth quoted Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.V., then the vice chairman of the Intelligence Committee, as saying that only six (unnamed) senators had read the complete report.

Whatever Clinton thinks she thought, her vote and words do not accurately reflect what she now insists she meant.

Obama was now shutting down the notion that Senator Clinton had no culpability in the worst foreign policy decision in U.S. history. Obama's actions infuriated Senator Clinton and thus lead to her erroneous "Bush-Cheney lite" foreign diplomacy comments in an attempt to hit back at Obama.

CLINTON: Well, I will not promise to meet with the leaders of these countries during my first year.

. . . we're not going to just have our president meet with Fidel Castro and Hugo Chavez and, you know, the president of North Korea, Iran and Syria until we know better what the way forward would be.

The corporate media and Senator Clinton went on a tyrade to paint Barack Obama as "inexperienced" and "naive" and completely ignored Clinton falling on her own sword on August 2nd regarding the use of nuclear weapons (see included youtube). This lead to Hillary's rise after the CNN/Youtube debates on July 23. Rasmussen Reports showed that from 7/23 to 8/06, Hillary Clinton went from a stagnating 38% to an astounding 44% and most pundits concluded as a result that she was headed to the inevitable 50% territory.

Hillary Clinton's unstoppable rise in the polls came to a screeching halt after Obama's superior performance at the AFL-CIO presidential forum on August 7th in Chicago, Illinois. During this debate he put the brakes on the corporate media's false narratives, Hillary Clinton's Washington insider friendly foreign policy, and the Clinton/Dodd senior Senatorial experience mythology.

OBAMA: Well, look, I find it amusing that those who helped to
authorize and engineer the biggest foreign policy disaster in our
generation are now criticizing me...
(APPLAUSE)
... for making sure that we are on the right battlefield and not
the wrong battlefield in the war against terrorism.
(APPLAUSE)
Chris, respectfully -- and you and I are close friends -- but the
fact is: You obviously didn't read my speech. Because what I said
was that we have to refocus, get out of Iraq, make certain that we are
helping Pakistan deal with the problem of Al Qaida in the hills
between Afghanistan and Pakistan.

OBAMA: But, Chris, if we have actionable intelligence on Al
Qaida operatives, including bin Laden, and President Musharraf cannot
act, then we should. Now, I think that's just common sense.

. . . But the fact of the matter is that when we don't talk to the
American people -- we're debating the most important foreign policy
issues that we face, and the American people have the right to know.
It is not just Washington insiders that are part...

AFL-CIO Forum Transcript

That direct confrontation between Obama and Clinton resulted in Clinton's poll numbers diving from an all time Rasmussen high of 44% during the week of 8/06 to a more normal 40% during the following week of 8/13.

Obama continued to aggressively draw these contrasts on the campaign trail and that lead to his best debate performance to date during the last DNC sanctioned primary debate hosted by ABCNews in Iowa on August 19th. He defended himself against the three headed juggernaut of Clinton, Dodd and Biden's insistence that senior Senate experience is the key to an effective presidency.

. . . earlier on we were talking about the issue of experience. Nobody had more experience than Donald Rumsfeld and Dick Cheney and many of the people on this stage that authorized this war.

(APPLAUSE)

And it indicates how we get into trouble when we engage in the sort of conventional thinking that has become the habit in Washington.

- Barack Obama at the 8/19 Iowa Debate

This direct confrontation between Obama and Clinton again lead to another dip in poll numbers for Senator Clinton. After the 8/19 primary debate, Clinton's Rasmussen numbers went from 41% on 8/20 to 39% on 8/27. So Tod Beeton is clearly wrong in suggesting that Obama should not contrast himself with Senator Clinton on the campaign trail.

One final point I would make is that events to date clearly contradict Mr. Beeton's other claim that Clinton is driving the debate. Obama took the lead on negotiating with our adversaries and forced Senator Clinton to clarify her stance on diplomacy. Obama defined Washington experience as repeating the same mistakes that lead us to war in 2003 and Senator Clinton has reacted with her recent "experience + change" meme that Mr. Beeton gave the Clinton campaign high praise for. I will also note that Senator Clinton debuted this new platform after Governor Richardson first introduce the notion as representative of himself during the 8/19 democratic primary debate where he said, "I think Senator Obama does represent change and Senator Clinton has the experience. With me you get both. [Applause]"

So I would argue that Senator Clinton is not driving the car at all. She is just a passenger and the license plate on the car she is in is registered to a resident in Illinois name Barack Obama.


Cool Videos

Obama Smackdown Series: ABC News Iowa Debate 8/19/07: The experience old way of doing things establishment candidates, Biden, Clinton and Dodd tried to gang up on Obama about his length of time in the senate. Obama fought back hard against their nonsense.


Hardball Ad 2 - Obama the counter puncher: This one of the major reasons Obama needs to get the democratic nomination because he excels at thinking on his feet. If you try to hit him he will hit you back twice as hard.


Obama and Gore: Leaders to deal with Global Warming: A tribute to two leaders who are significantly changing the political landscape.


What Obama is About: A summary of his policies

There's more...

lovingj, tomp and georgep? What they have in common on Labor Day.

lovingj says, "I want Barack Obama to win the primaries."

tomp says, "Nah lovingj. John Edwards should be the one to win the primaries."

Then georgep tells them both, "Hillary Clinton has to win the primaries."

Finally, Jonathan Singer, Tod Beeton, and Jerome Armstrong shuts the ridiculous flame thread down with the following words . . .

MYDD, DAILYKOS, OPENLEFT, PROGRESSIVES AND THE REST OF AMERICA, OUTSIDE OF THE 28 PERCENT OF INSANE PEOPLE WHO STILL SUPPORT BUSH, JUST WANT A DEMOCRAT IN THE WHITE HOUSE IN 2008.

No matter how many disagreements we have as a community and probably will continue to have as the primaries wind down, we are all progressives fighting for the same goal come November 2008.

Happy Labor Day!!!!!!!!!!!!

There's more...

Why the GOP is no match for Barack Obama?

Why the GOP is no match for Barack Obama?

Barack Obama on ABC's This Week Part 2
Barack Obama on ABC's This Week Part 3

Barack Obama's campaign has evolved and changed according to the needs of the times. He has handled himself under pressure better than any candidate in the race. No better example of this is during his interview on George Stephanopolous' This Week included in this diary. He was asked very tough questions like his answer during the first debate to what he would do in response to a terrorist strike.

STEPHANOPOULOS: One moment that got a lot of scrutiny was at the
debate. You were asked what you would do if al Qaida attacked two
American cities.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BRIAN WILLIAMS, NBC NEWS: How would you change the U.S. military
stance overseas as a result?

OBAMA: Well, the first thing we'd have to do is make sure that
we've got an effective emergency response, something that this
administration failed to do when we had a hurricane in New Orleans.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

STEPHANOPOULOS: What you didn't say in your first answer is that
you would strike back.

OBAMA: Right.

STEPHANOPOULOS: And a lot of your rivals said, boy, it shows
that his instincts are soft.

OBAMA: Well, look. I will repeat what I said, which is that the
first thing I would do is make sure that the emergency response was
appropriate and the people were safe.

The second thing I'd do is make sure that we weren't going to
have another attack, and that we had adequate intelligence to make
sure that that was prevented.

The third thing I would do is to find out who had perpetrated the
crime, and then I would attack.

Now, that, I think, is how every American should want their
president to operate. And that is something that I think is the kind
of judgment that we're going to need out of a chief executive --
somebody who can respond in a crisis to make sure that the American
people are safe, that the international community has confidence about
the intelligence that we are operating under.

But I don't think there can be any doubt that I would strike
swiftly, promptly and vigorously, if there was an attack.

. . . It's not just talking tough, because the truth is, nobody has talked tougher than
George Bush over the last six years. Being tough means, first of all,
not having to talk about it all the time. And the second is being
able to apply to apply judgment and understanding where can you get
things done by cooperation, and where do you have to make tough
decisions.

That is just one example of Barack Obama handling himself under fire. He does not back down and does not have to since he is usually on the right side of the issues. The reason I bring this up is because we have all live through the Kerry experience of 2004 and the notorious "I actually did vote for the $87 billion before I voted against it." Worst yet is his Hillary Clinton like proclamation, "We should not have gone to war knowing the information that we know today." However, everyone now knows that those senators who voted for the war did not do the due diligence of questioning the intel that could have possibly averted this disaster.

Recently is the issue brought up by Mrs. Elizabeth Edwards regarding electability and Senator Obama's interest being brought on by his race.

The media goes to this very engaging story about a legitimate woman candidate and a legitimate candidate with an African-American heritage, and that drives up their fund-raising numbers," says Elizabeth, the unfiltered voice of the campaign, during an interview on the bus a week before that speech.

. . . Soon she's pressing the argument that her husband is the most electable candidate, the one who will help other Democrats win in the South and West . . .

Hillary Hatred Is "Hard For John To Talk About, But It's The Reality"

I have nothing but the utmost respect for Mrs Elizabeth Edwards but she is completely wrong on this one. Let's assume she is allowed to make the case for Barack Obama based on race, then I would be completely justified in saying that older minded supporters go with John Edwards because he is the highest polling traditional looking candidate among the top tier. How about Bill Maher or Thom Hartman? Barack Obama and John Edwards are running equally progressive campaigns, however, Barack Obama has the advantage of better stump speeches, dealing with attacks more effectively, and better handling of TV interviews. Would I be justified in saying that they are picking John Edwards because he is the traditional looking candidate? Well if Elizabeth Edwards can make the case that the media is focusing on Obama because of his "African-Americaness" then I would be completely justified in making the argument I've made.

I sense that people are siding with candidates for a different reason and that is why we cannot rule out any of the top tier. I believe that people who support John Edwards do so because they believe he is the best candidate in the race and vice versa for any of the other candidate supporters. I support Barack Obama and while I respect Hillary Clinton and John Edwards, I think Barack Obama is the best candidate for 2008. Everyone now knows he was right on the war in 2002. Above and beyond that, I am impress with how he handles attacks on his experience, judgment and race. If he can defend himself against attacks from his fellow progressives then there should be no doubt that he can do the same against the republicans. The following is a list of some of the attacks from progressives he has handled exceptionally.

1. Experience and judgement on the Iraq War:

OBAMA: There are only bad options and worse options, and we're going to have to exercise judgment in terms of how we execute this. But the thing I wish had happened was that all the people on this stage had asked these questions before they authorized us getting in.

And I make that point because earlier on we were talking about the issue of experience. Nobody had more experience than Donald Rumsfeld and Dick Cheney and many of the people on this stage that authorized this war.

(APPLAUSE)

And it indicates how we get into trouble when we engage in the sort of conventional thinking that has become the habit in Washington.

TRANSCRIPT: The Democratic Debate

2. Disagreement with Hillary Clinton about ruling out nuclear weapons in strikes against terrorists in Pakistan:

CLINTON: So I think there's a big difference, and I think it's a difference that really goes to the heart of whether we should be using hypotheticals. I mean, one thing that I agree with is we shouldn't use hypotheticals. You know, words do matter.

And this campaign, just like every other things that happens in the United States, is looked at and followed with very great interest. And, you know, Pakistan is on a knife's edge. It is easily, unfortunately, a target for the jihadists. And, therefore, you've got to be very careful about what it is you say with respect to Pakistan.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Do you accept that distinction?

OBAMA: There was no difference. It is not hypothetical that Al Qaida has established base camps in the hills between Afghanistan and Pakistan. That was acknowledged in the national intelligence estimates. And every foreign policy understands that.

No military expert would advise that we use nuclear weapons to deal with them, but we do have to deal with that problem.

And so, this is part of what I think Americans get frustrated about in politics, where we have gamesmanship and we manufacture issues and controversies instead of talking about the serious problem that we have, a problem that this administration has made worse and that our invasion of Iraq has made worse, but a problem that the next president is going to have to deal with. And the American people deserve to hear what we're going to do.

TRANSCRIPT: The Democratic Debate

3. Obama's decision to attack terrorists in Pakistan:

SEN. DODD: Well, let me say on these matters here, I’ve spent 26 years on the Foreign Relations Committee dealing with these matters here on almost every major foreign policy debate; words mean things. We’ve got to be very careful about language that’s used in terms of the danger and harm it can do to our nation.

My view was when you raise -- issues are being raised about Pakistan, understand that while General Musharraf is no Thomas Jefferson, he may be the only thing that stands between us and having an Islamic fundamentalist state in that country. And so what I’d like to see him change -- the reality is if we lose him, then what we face is an alternative that could be a lot worse for our country.

I think it’s highly responsible -- or irresponsible for people who are running for the presidency and seek that office to suggest we may be willing unilaterally to invade a nation here who we’re trying to get to be more cooperative with us in Afghanistan and elsewhere.

So my views -- and I say this respectfully to my friend from Illinois here -- I think it was wrong to say what he did in that matter. I think it’s important for us to be very careful about the language we use, make it clear that if this United States is going to build the relationships around the world, we’re going to have to do so with allies, in some cases allies that we may not particularly like.

MR. OLBERMANN: Senator Dodd, thank you.

SEN. OBAMA: First --

MR. OLBERMANN: Senator Obama -- yes, you’ve taken some hits here from us, so yours is the last word on this subject.

SEN. OBAMA: Well, look, I find it amusing that those who helped to authorize and engineer the biggest foreign policy disaster in our generation are now criticizing me for making sure that we are on the right battlefield and not the wrong battlefield in the war against terrorism. (Cheers, applause.)

And, Chris, respectfully -- and you and I are close friends -- but the fact is you obviously didn’t read my speech. Because what I said was that we have to refocus, get out of Iraq, make certain that we are helping Pakistan deal with the problem of al Qaeda in the hills between Afghanistan and Pakistan. But, Chris, if we have actionable intelligence on al Qaeda operatives, including bin Laden, and President Musharraf cannot act, then we should. Now, I think that’s just common sense. I don’t know about you, but for us to authorize -- (cheers, applause) -- (inaudible) --

MR. OLBERMANN: Senator --

SEN. OBAMA: -- where the people who attacked 3,000 Americans were not present -- which you authorized -- and then to suggest that somehow we should not focus on the folks that did attack 3,000 Americans --

MR. OLBERMANN: Senator Obama, we’re well over -- we’re well over time. (Cheers, applause.)

Senator Clinton, I must ask for your -- Senator Clinton -- Senator Clinton, give me your response to this. We’re going to -- I’m going to give you both a chance here, but, Senator Clinton, please give me your response to what we’re hearing tonight.

SEN. CLINTON: Well, I do not believe people running for president should engage in hypotheticals. And it may well be that the strategy we have to pursue on the basis of actionable intelligence -- but remember, we’ve had some real difficult experiences with actionable intelligence -- might lead to a certain action.

But I think it is a very big mistake to telegraph that and to destabilize the Musharraf regime, which is fighting for its life against the Islamic extremists who are in bed with al Qaeda and Taliban. And remember, Pakistan has nuclear weapons. The last thing we want is to have al Qaeda-like followers in charge of Pakistan and having access to nuclear weapons.

So you can think big, but remember, you shouldn’t always say everything you think if you’re running for president, because it has consequences across the world. And we don’t need that right now. (Chorus of boos.)

MR. OLBERMANN: Senator Dodd -- I owe Senator Dodd a response. Your name was invoked in several of these answers. Please take 30 seconds here.

SEN. DODD: Well, I just want to say, look -- and Barack, you know, I’ve certainly said, look, I made a mistake in that vote in 2002. I don’t deny that. But when you make a mistake, as you run on something like this, I think if I had the courage, I made a mistake on the vote in 2002; if you’re making a mistake today, you ought to stand up and say so.

It was a mistake, in my view, to suggest somehow that going in unilaterally here into Pakistan was somehow in our interest. That, I think, is dangerous. And I don’t retreat from that at all.

SEN. OBAMA: Keith, I’m sorry, but --

MR. OLBERMANN: Go ahead.

SEN. OBAMA: -- this came to me, and so let me just be clear about this.

MR. OLBERMANN: All right, Senator Obama, 30 seconds, and then I have to stop this.

SEN. OBAMA: I did not say that we would immediately go in unilaterally. What I said was that we have to work with Musharraf, because the biggest threat to American security right now are in the northwest provinces of Pakistan and that we should continue to give him military aid contingent on him doing something about that.

But the fact of the matter is that when we don’t talk to the American people -- we’re debating the most important foreign policy issues that we face, and the American people have a right to know. It is not just Washington insiders that -- (cheers, applause) -- are part of the debate that has to take place with respect to how we’re going to shift our foreign policy. This is a seminal question.

AFL CIO: The Democratic Candidates Forum

We are well past the point of questioning Obama's legitimacy because of race. If you have reservations about voting for an African American then just say so but do not use the excuse that he has gotten to this point because of race because it is simply not true. He has got to this point because of talent and an interesting platform just like John Edwards and Hillary Clinton. Let those be the determining factors in who you choose to vote for . . . not some obscure measurement of electability that all the candidates meet in some way or another.


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ZBIG for Obama

Crossposted from Daily Kos courtesy of author icebergslim

This is short and sweet...

Yes, Zbigniew Brzezinski, former National Security Advisor for Jimmy Carter is throwing his support behind Obama.

Primarily, due to Obama's approach to foreign affairs and the "NEW" word of everything.

Zbigniew Brzezinski, one of the most influential foreign-policy experts in the Democratic Party, threw his support behind Barack Obama's presidential candidacy, saying the Illinois senator has a better global grasp than his chief rival, Hillary Clinton.

Is this big?  I don't know.  But this does open the doors to questions about why Clinton should be the only one to look at, for any type of foreign relations experience.  There already is a bunch of flap going on with that terror gaffe, or ceding this to the Republicans.  Again, why?

Anyway, Zbig, states the following:

Obama ``recognizes that the challenge is a new face, a new sense of direction, a new definition of America's role in the world,'' Brzezinski said in an interview on Bloomberg Television's ``Political Capital with Al Hunt.''

``Obama is clearly more effective and has the upper hand,'' Brzezinski, who was President Jimmy Carter's national security adviser, said. ``He has a sense of what is historically relevant, and what is needed from the United States in relationship to the world.''


But the clincher for me is this:

``Being a former first lady doesn't prepare you to be president,'' Brzezinski said.

And it does not.  And I have stated so.  It is time for Hillary Clinton to stop pandering with soundbites to lead a news show and start telling the people what she intend to do, if president.  And not words in a vacumn, DETAILED FACTS, SPECIFICS, if you please.

Thank you.

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