barack obama, in the news

Nine years, seven months, and twenty days since nine-eleven

Tonight, I can report to the American people and to the world that the United States has conducted an operation that killed Osama bin Laden, the leader of al Qaeda, and a terrorist who’s responsible for the murder of thousands of innocent men, women, and children.

On September 11, 2001, in our time of grief, the American people came together. We offered our neighbors a hand, and we offered the wounded our blood. We reaffirmed our ties to each other, and our love of community and country. On that day, no matter where we came from, what God we prayed to, or what race or ethnicity we were, we were united as one American family.

Yet his death does not mark the end of our effort. There’s no doubt that al Qaeda will continue to pursue attacks against us. We must –- and we will — remain vigilant at home and abroad.

As we do, we must also reaffirm that the United States is not –- and never will be -– at war with Islam. I’ve made clear, just as President Bush did shortly after 9/11, that our war is not against Islam. Bin Laden was not a Muslim leader; he was a mass murderer of Muslims. Indeed, al Qaeda has slaughtered scores of Muslims in many countries, including our own.

Full text

I’ve been following the news since about 7 pm while I was taking a break from writing one of my last undergrads paper by watching The Late Show with Jimmy Fallon and looking through my twitterfeed that the President was planning to announce… something. And that something turns out to be a something that caused me to stop everything I was doing (like getting my paper done on time, which is a first in my entire education) to sit and read and reflect. My emotions have been on a rollercoaster trying to sort through my overwhelmed state.

I can’t celebrate a death. Not even of someone who is responsible for thousands of deaths. I don’t think that’s where wisdom and truth comes from, so I refrain from it. But I’m relieved and proud of my country and everyone involved in this event. I’m just overwhelmed. It took almost a decade, but we did it. The details are continuing to leak out, and I’m taking a break from looking at them to jot this for posterity sake.
What happens now and what does this mean? I’m not sure anyone can predict. We’ll still fight bad guys, try to stay true to our values, make friends and enemies. What does this change? I’m trying to answer, at least partially, and I can’t come up with anything. Not that I should, but it would make it feel a little better. American Embassies received a warning about possible retaliation attacks. When does it end?
But really, what a ride this weekend. The jubilant party of last night’s Correspondents’ Dinner to the capture today of the number one most wanted for almost ten years. I don’t think he can beat this weekend for the rest of his life if he tried.
It also reminds me how difficult this job is. That you do so much and can’t talk about most of it. That a lot of it doesn’t pan out so you can’t talk about it. But when it works, it works.
2008 election, barack obama

This isn’t working for me.

Apparently I am awful at this blogging deal.

The tide is increasingly turning for a great Obama victory. More conservatives are endorsing him, including Christopher Buckley and David Brooks is denouncing Palin [though he’s probably secure in the McCain column]. And really, I have issues with McCain’s campaign this year, but he’s not as a bad as many other people. Just – he best stay in office the whole time because Palin is both not experienced enough nor does she have the right judgment to be in that seat.

The University of Washington also say that Polls may underestimate Obama’s support by 3 to 4 percent, researchers say. A reverse Bradley Effect in most of the country!

And hey, Design for Obama is a nifty site, even though posters and designs don’t vote nor do they sway voter’s minds. Art and feeling like you matter goes a long way.

2008 election, barack obama, politics

Obama in Berlin

That is why the greatest danger of all is to allow new walls to divide us from one another.

The walls between old allies on either side of the Atlantic cannot stand. The walls between the countries with the most and those with the least cannot stand. The walls between races and tribes; natives and immigrants; Christian and Muslim and Jew cannot stand. These now are the walls we must tear down.

Those are the aspirations that joined the fates of all nations in this city. Those aspirations are bigger than anything that drives us apart. It is because of those aspirations that the airlift began. It is because of those aspirations that all free people – everywhere – became citizens of Berlin. It is in pursuit of those aspirations that a new generation – our generation – must make our mark on history.

People of Berlin – and people of the world – the scale of our challenge is great. The road ahead will be long. But I come before you to say that we are heirs to a struggle for freedom. We are a people of improbable hope. Let us build on our common history, and seize our common destiny, and once again engage in that noble struggle to bring justice and peace to our world.

video ; transcript

Not his best speech, but I’m a sucker for historical references and his style. He talked about Iraq about a week ago too. I’ve just been busy with work and summer.

2008 election, barack obama, bill richardson, hillary clinton, john mccain, politics, religion

Always something to say

How Will Hillary’s Bosnia Whopper Play in the Media? A criticism of the amount of power the media has on elections. They get to choose what to make a big deal of (Reverend Wright’s comments), and what to ignore (McCain’s Iran/al-Quaida thrice misspeak, Clinton’s hyperbolic choice of words) and what will make a bigger impact on the final story of this “three man” race.

I like seeing all sides of an argument if they’re presented in a tasteful and reasonable way. Is Obama the Right Choice? is a very interesting article from America Conservative. It’s always refreshing to see reasonable journalism from the right. The Republicans know how to manipulate, this much is true, but if you go back to true conservative platform, it’s really not that bad. I don’t agree with all, but I can understand most of them.

Seeing as McCain will be 72 by January 2009, Where’s Our Discussion on Age?

White America’s Blind Spot

Hillary Clinton has many admirable qualities, but candor and openness and transparency and a commitment to well-established fact have not been notable among them.

“Hillary values context; she does see the big picture. Hers, in fact, is not the mind of a conventional politician,” I wrote in A Woman In Charge. “But when it comes to herself, she sees with something less than candor and lucidity. She sees, like so many others, what she wants to see.”
Hillary Clinton: Truth or Consequence

Not to say it’s inherently bad, it’s just there.

[H]ow a candidate campaigns is a strong reflection on how that candidate governs. For example, we could tell from the 2000 election that George Bush would govern through a series of power grabs, Orwellian language, and with a total disregard for popular opinion. Barack Obama, by contrast, is campaigning through unprecedented national grassroots organizing, speeches that are becoming the stuff of legend, and the manifestation of a new political coalition that moves us away from the political alignment of 1968-2004. Too often, I have heard from the Clinton campaign and its surrogates about states and demographic groups that don’t matter. Such statements are a stark reminder of a recent version of the Democratic Party that takes its base for granted, and only campaigns in a select few swing districts. We need a Democratic Party that organizes and governs based on Barack Obama and Howard Dean’s campaign styles, rather than one that is based on Hillary Clinton’s and Terry McAuliffe’s.
Daily KOS, Open Left among the Blue Majority sites to endorse Obama

14% of Republicans, 10% of Democrats think Obama is Muslim which reminds me of a CSPAN caller who said something to the effect of “I can’t understand why anyone would vote for him. HIS MIDDLE NAME IS MUHAMMED . HE IS A MUSLIM. Do you know who we’re fighting in Iraq? MUSLIMS!” when his middle name is Hussein and he’s Christian. And we’re also fighting FOR Muslims in Iraq too. Spreading lies and hate isn’t good for the country.

Poor Governor Richardson, he had to go and write in the Washington Post defending his endorsement of Obama. Let the man do as he wants and stop attacking him for having his own thoughts.

Oh, and WA State Young Dems convention was fun.

barack obama, politics, race

The Speech.

Obama’s speech on race

Full transcript

This speech. This speech. It was a breath of fresh air for me, honestly. My support was waning a bit, but not nearly enough to say I wasn’t a supporter. And it didn’t have to do with Clinton’s 3 AM commercial or any of her negative campaigning [funny how during that time my respect for her increased, for very different reasons]. I was trying to figure things out. In any case, reading the comments at various news sites upsets me, so I usually avoid them. After this speech, many anti-Obama’s, who were already against him before, just called him a liar, repeatedly.

I think it was brave of him to answer, head on, the topic of race, which he was dodging for most of this primary season. I’m glad to hear him acknowledge its existence and manifestations. That he didn’t discount his Reverend in total and tried to explain the anger. I think it’s true of the “Black Experience” though I haven’t experienced it. It was interesting that he admitted the failings of government welfare.

I don’t see anything he said as blatantly contradicting his past statements [but I haven’t been following the pastor controversy closely as I felt it was just a media distraction, and same with Ferrero/Clinton], I could be wrong. Still, the general ideas have stayed in tact.

It was eloquent, honest, sincere; it was brilliant and its message was that race is not a simple matter. It cannot be boiled down to a thirty second analysis on the evening news and it has to be confronted before it can be transcended. Some pundits don’t think this will be enough to convince “middle America” that Obama is on the right side of this debate; that it may just give more fodder to Clinton and McCain since Obama can “no more disown [Reverend Wright] than [he] can disown the black community” (pundits have also jumped on this particular sentence).

I hope to have more faith in the American people; that they overlook this simplicity and accept racism as it is, on both sides, and understand where Obama is coming from.

I have heard many critics of this candidate call him a liar after this speech, and fail to see where they come to this conclusion, at least as much a liar as most politicians.

There was so much to be talked about in this forty minute speech, but hopefully America and the media will take his advice:

For we have a choice in this country. We can accept a politics that breeds division, and conflict, and cynicism. We can tackle race only as spectacle — as we did in the O.J. trial — or in the wake of tragedy, as we did in the aftermath of Katrina — or as fodder for the nightly news.

We can play Rev. Wright’s sermons on every channel, every day and talk about them from now until the election, and make the only question in this campaign whether or not the American people think that I somehow believe or sympathize with his most offensive words.

We can pounce on some gaffe by a Hillary supporter as evidence that she’s playing the race card, or we can speculate on whether white men will all flock to John McCain in the general election regardless of his policies.

We can do that.

But if we do, I can tell you that in the next election, we’ll be talking about some other distraction. And then another one. And then another one. And nothing will change.

That is one option. Or, at this moment, in this election, we can come together and say, “Not this time.” This time we want to talk about the crumbling schools that are stealing the future of black children and white children and Asian children and Hispanic children and Native American children.

This time we want to reject the cynicism that tells us that these kids can’t learn; that those kids who don’t look like us are somebody else’s problem. The children of America are not those kids, they are our kids, and we will not let them fall behind in a 21st Century economy. Not this time.

This time we want to talk about how the lines in the emergency room are filled with whites and blacks and Hispanics who do not have health care, who don’t have the power on their own to overcome the special interests in Washington, but who can take them on if we do it together.

This time we want to talk about the shuttered mills that once provided a decent life for men and women of every race, and the homes for sale that once belonged to Americans from every religion, every region, every walk of life.

This time we want to talk about the fact that the real problem is not that someone who doesn’t look like you might take your job; it’s that the corporation you work for will ship it overseas for nothing more than a profit.

This time we want to talk about the men and women of every color and creed who serve together, and fight together, and bleed together under the same proud flag.

We want to talk about how to bring them home from a war that never should’ve been authorized and never should’ve been waged, and we want to talk about how we’ll show our patriotism by caring for them, and their families, and giving them the benefits they have earned.

barack obama, hillary clinton, john mccain, politics

I like a little Caronline all night long.

Mish-mash of little sentences I found floating around.

Too often in this country political debate turns into personal attack. The idea that if someone doesn’t agree with you that obviously makes them weak-minded or less intelligent. As if viewing these often shifting policies as fact makes us better for it.

Watch it, Democrats. You could still slip up.

The media loves to play this card; as did the Clintons during parts of the campaign. John Edwards won the white male vote in South Carolina and now NPR is saying that the white male has no other candidate to run to since, oh Clinton is female and Obama is black. As an Asian female, I don’t know where I stand anymore. I suppose I should vote for Clinton since she’s female, but I’m also a minority like Obama! OH NOES. Not like anyone is paying the least attention the Asian vote, since it’s so small. I think my femaleness trumps my minority status in this case. The same issue that CNN was going on and on about, but just about the black female vote.

When the campaigns have been, more or less, trying to break free from the race or sex stereotypes, it’s been hard when the media is focused on it.

I also read an article talking about how demographics have worked so far this campaign because people keep using different ones. That was before Wisconsin, but pundits can still twist the numbers so that it will always work, when if you look closer, it’s too lose to hold completely.

Politics of the Past
Obama is reaching for Kennedy, the Republicans want to be the next Reagan [and so does Obama in the sense of uniting the country], and even Clinton has reached to Johnson. This election that is taunting “change” sure is friendly with the past. Clinton does so in a more pragmatic way, Obama’s is in his words, and the Republicans continue to tout the name of Reagan whenever they can. Some is of the media’s doing, but I wonder how much the past looked to the past as well.

“[Clinton] is 60. She left Yale Law School at age 25. Evidently she considers everything she has done since school, from her years at Little Rock’s Rose law firm to her good fortune with cattle futures, as presidentially relevant experience.

The president who came to office with the most glittering array of experiences had served 10 years in the House of Representatives, then became minister to Russia, then served 10 years in the Senate, then four years as secretary of state (during a war that enlarged the nation by 33 percent), then was minister to Britain. Then, in 1856, James Buchanan was elected president and in just one term secured a strong claim to the rank as America’s worst president. Abraham Lincoln, the inexperienced former one-term congressman, had an easy act to follow.” [source]

Obama’s Winning, Suddenly I’m Nervous.

I think it’s an interesting argument, and I have to say it should be reported as part of a balanced look at all the candidates. Still, what if’s are all apart of the future and you take the risk of voting who you think is best. Best won’t be perfect, but I still have trust that although Obama is a politician; his rhetoric is impeccable and his plans left of center; his head and heart work together better than other politicians.

As much as having John McCain in the White House scares me, I think it was unfair of the Times to write such a lofty article about something that possibly happened almost ten years ago. The timing was rather unfortunate; they could have sat on it for a few more months and gotten actual proof. NY Daily News.

McCain likes rather plastic looking blondes, this is old news.

Why we should end the “war on terror” and Obama is the only man for the job, if he chooses to accept.

Too bad the majority of America wouldn’t “buy” that factual account of our Foreign Policy. 😦 We’re fighting a giant scarecrow but the population is keeping us from fighting the actual monsters lurking worldwide.

al gore, barack obama, cuba, hillary clinton, kosovo, politics

There’s lots going on.

With Obama’s surge starting to plateau, the Clinton camp has been doing all it can to bring down the first-term senator to get the chance to become the next President of the United States, and it isn’t pretty.

First, there was the Patrick “scandal”. Clinton’s campaign is trying to pain Obama as a plagiarist, when in fact, politicians “steal” lines from each other all the time. Both Clintons have done it, and even worse, Patrick and Obama already discussed the merits of Obama using Patrick’s lines and everything was all cleared. Whether or not Obama should have cited him better is really a petty issue at this point.

“Obamania” makes me, as an Obama supporter, feel devalued as a voter. How can it be seen that all Obama supporters are just buying into a “cult of Obama”. Placing personality at all as a basis for President is not a new phenomenon; it’s a big reason Bush won the seat twice, and all sorts of politicians before that. Would Bill Clinton have been voted in if he were not as charismatic as he is? Probably not, and it can be said about nearly every president elect. There are dozens of reasons I chose Obama over Clinton, his personality is just one.

And even if this article is a little cynical, I like it. When the magic fades his supporters are still there.

The victims of O.C.S. struggle against Obama-myopia, or the inability to see beyond Election Day. But here’s the fascinating thing: They still like him. They know that most of his hope-mongering is vaporous. They know that he knows it’s vaporous.

But the fact that they can share this dream still means something. After the magic fades and reality sets in, they still know something about his soul, and he knows something about theirs. They figure that any new president is going to face gigantic obstacles. At least this candidate seems likely to want to head in the right direction. Obama’s hype comes from exaggerating his powers and his virtues, not faking them.

But this is the sort of thing I came into supporting this campaign with the idea of. Do I like everything he does? Of course not, but like David Brooks said, it’s a step in a the correct direction. It will take time to fix decades of built-in problems with government, I’m not foolish.

Kosovo is now its own country. Should we rejoice? I’m still trying to figure it out.

Today’s BIG NEWS: Castro Steps Down. In his place, Rual Castro, Fidel’s brother will be president until elections.

And some older articles:
Obama may be inexperienced, but does it matter? A judgment/experience debate

An Al Gore person told me, “Now you understand why Al Gore didn’t use Bill Clinton in 2000.” The bottom line: with the former president it’s all about him, and you can’t trust him to stay on message. Democrats still love him, but they’ve had their fill. [source]

As for today, Wisconsin has a primary for both parties, Hawaii has a Democratic caucus, and Washington State [woot!] has a primary for both parties where only the Republican primary counts for delegates.