I only saw about 10mins with Obama talking about abortion. Surprise, surprise, I liked his response :)

Seriously though. Chime in here with your take on Obama, Clinton and the event overall. How were the questions? Is it appropriate for candidates to answer for their “faith” like this?


South Park is one of my favorite joints. I remember when it first came out on the bootleg Internet of the late 1990s. NPR has a new show called “In Character,” and they recently interviewed Cartman, James Lipton style.

Here’s the page for the entire segment on Cartman.

cross-posted to goodCRIMETHINK

It’s a simple question. All these old, white millionaires on TV are saying Obama made a big mistake. That he chose poor words. That he offended small-town Pennsylvania.

How do they know?

They all live in Los Angeles and Manhattan. They eat sushi and drink mad lattes. They read the NY Times. None of these commentators owns a gun. I bet most don’t go to church. I bet most don’t know financial hardship because their town wasn’t decimated by the end of the industrial era in this country.
It’s all bullshit. Almost everything you see on TV is just bullshit. These idiots have big ass microphones and cameras and soapboxes. They are in the top percentile of wage-earners.
Yet somehow they know the hearts and minds of a rural voter?

It’s a complete farce.

They waited all of 30 seconds to say his comments were wrong, but they didn’t ask any of these allegedly-0ffended voters. They just made it up. They pulled political analysis right out of their buttholes. And yet, their uninformed opinions dominate the news and dominate the discussion.

Just look how much time we’ve spent on this topic, and we’re supposed to be new media. Granted, I think we serve a useful purpose in these distraction-debates when we call bullshit. When we counter with information. When we don’t simply amplify or get baited (like Hillary) into a meaningless conversation. However, it’s not easy.

So do I have special insight? Not much, but I have family that’s lived in rural PA and post-industrial Michigan. I also think I use my brain more than these TV people. And I still live in the real world.

The dangerous part is that if PA voters were not offended before, they might be now because they don’t hear the context of Obama’s statement (a reaction to a question about what they might face as volunteers going to PA). They only hear “elite” and “out of touch” and “condescending.” Thus Obama gets defined beyond his control. If it could happen to Max Cleland, of course it can happen to a half-black dude who grew up in Hawaii and Indonesia and graduated from Columbia and Harvard.

It’s so frightening and certainly not isolated to this candidate or this event.

So, can anyone point to actual — and I know this is crazy — evidence that rural or post-industrial small town voters would be offended by Obama’s comments? If not, then just realize we’re all being bamboozled and distracted.

Meanwhile, there are food riots in the developing world due.

In the last year, the price of wheat has tripled, corn doubled, and rice almost doubled. As prices soared, food riots have broken out in about 20 poor countries including Yemen, Haiti, Egypt, Pakistan, Indonesia, Ivory Coast, and Mexico. In response some countries, such as India, Pakistan Egypt and Vietnam, are banning the export of grains and imposing food price controls.

Are rising food prices the result of the economic dynamism of China and India, in which newly prosperous consumers are demanding more food—especially more meat? Perennial doomsters such as the Earth Policy Institute’s Lester Brown predicted more than a decade ago that China’s growing food demand would destabilize global markets and signal a permanent increase in grain prices. But that thesis has so far not been borne out by the facts. China is a net grain exporter. India is also largely self-sufficient in grains. At some time in the future, these countries may become net grain importers, but they are not now and so cannot be blamed to for today’s higher food prices.

If surging demand is not the problem, what is? In three words: stupid energy policies.

I’ll be writing more about energy and food policy later.

Update: 6:12pm ET

The first sign that small town PA isn’t buying this elitism and bitterness b.s. comes from a Kos diarist who checked the local town papers in PA. They’re hardly acknowledging it.

Update 6:34pm ET

via YouTube:

From The Los Angeles Times.com


Bill Clinton, China linked via his foundation
Eugene Hoshiko, Associated Press

IN HANGZHOU: President Clinton gave the keynote address at a 2005 conference organized by Alibaba, hailing the Internet as “an inherently cooperative instrument.”
A firm that has donated to the president’s charity is accused of collaborating with the government in its crackdown on Tibetan activists. Hillary Clinton has spoken out against China’s actions.

By Stephen Braun, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
April 13, 2008

NEW YORK — As Chinese authorities have clamped down on unrest in Tibet and jailed dissidents in advance of the 2008 Olympics, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton has taken a strong public stance, calling for restraint in Tibet and urging President Bush to boycott the Olympics opening ceremonies in Beijing.

But her recent stern comments on China’s internal crackdown collide with former President Bill Clinton’s fundraising relationship with a Chinese Internet company accused of collaborating with the mainland government’s censorship of the Web. Last month, the firm, Alibaba Inc., carried a government-issued “most wanted” posting on its Yahoo China homepage, urging viewers to provide information on Tibetan activists suspected of stirring recent riots.

Alibaba, which took over Yahoo’s China operation in 2005 as part of a billion-dollar deal with the U.S.-based search engine, arranged for the former president to speak to a conference of Internet executives in Hangzhou in September 2005. Instead of taking his standard speaking fees, which have ranged from $100,000 to $400,000, Clinton accepted an unspecified private donation from Alibaba to his international charity, the William J. Clinton Foundation.

The former president’s charity has raised more than $500 million over the last decade and has been lauded for its roles in disaster response, AIDS prevention and Third World medical and poverty relief. But his reliance on influential foreign donors and his foundation’s refusal to release its list of donors have led to repeated questions about the sources and transparency of his fundraising — even as Hillary Clinton has talked on the campaign trail about relying on him as a roving international ambassador if she is elected president.

Foreign contributions to American-based charities are allowed under U.S. law, but political and philanthropy ethics advocates worry that Bill Clinton’s reliance on international businesses and foreign governments to finance his worldwide charity campaigns raise issues of potential conflicts of interest if he were to take an active role in his wife’s administration.

“This is a perfect example of why it’s critical for both Clintons to provide prompt and complete disclosure of all their sources of income, not just personal sources but also his foundation,” said Sheila Krumholz, executive director for the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics, a government reform advocacy group.

The Clinton foundation and the former president’s library in Little Rock have received millions of dollars in donations from the Saudi royal family and the Middle East sheikdoms of the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait and Qatar, along with the governments of Taiwan and Brunei.

Fueled by such cash, the foundation has grown into a worldwide philanthropic dynamo, using its financial clout and influence with business leaders to streamline solutions for logistical logjams that have long plagued charity operations. The foundation has pressed to lower the price of expensive AIDS medications and set up long-term projects across the Third World.

But like many charities, the Clinton foundation maintains a strict policy of keeping its donations confidential to protect the privacy of donors. Still, partial lists have emerged in the foundation’s tax filings and in press accounts, leading to growing scrutiny of the activities of some contributors.

Some human rights activists suggest that the Clinton foundation’s contribution from Alibaba undermines his wife’s outspoken stance on China’s internal crackdown.

“A former president of the United States received a donation from a Chinese firm that is involved in censorship, and now his wife is running for president. This is a shame of the U.S.,” said Harry Wu, an exiled Chinese activist based in Washington.

Rest of article at link above.


See, while the MSM obssesses over Obama’s so-called ‘Elitist’ comments,

They still havent gotten the list of Donors to
1. Bill Clinton’s Charity
2. Bill Clinton’s Library

I wanna know how much the Chinese have given him, as well as others.

It’s called TRANSPARENCY…something The Clintons don’t want any parts of this election season…just exactly WHERE are those 2007 Tax Returns? And what’s up with that partnership with Ron Burkle? What did you do to earn those millions?

What’s up? What links have you found to share?

In the sidebar, we’ve just posted a poll. Please weigh in.

Should we allow anonymous comments?
+ No, people should at lease use a pseudonym
+ I don’t care
+ Yes, there may be good reasons.

We’ve had a recent flood of anonymous commenting. I personally can see good reason for folks not to ID themselves. Most of the writers on this blog use pseudonyms. However, it makes reading comments really confusing to have a long list of “anonymous.”

Again, please vote in the poll on the left side of the page. If you have extended commentary, throw it here.

Poll closes Monday 11:15AM ET.

Update: 12:40 PM ET
I’ve made a screencast video tutorial showing how to use the commenting system. Here’s the direct link. I used a service called Jing to make it. Let me know if it’s helpful

Within days, someone has set up this website, and it’s reached the front page of Digg. Talk about rapid response. Not from a campaign, but from a citizen.

That’s incredible.

What would we do if all we had were cable news yappers and Clinton backstabbers to explain what was going on?

Read the entire thing. Here’s an excerpt:

Imagine my surprise to see an article in the Huffington Post by Mayhill Fowler describing his answer as “a problematic judgment call in trying to explain working class culture to a much wealthier audience.” and his answer being like “explaining the yawning cultural gap that separates a Turkeyfoot from a Marin County.” I guess Ms. Fowler thought that, unlike herself, the other attendees had never gone outside the large house in Pacific Heights where the event was held.

I grew up working class in Texas. I thought it ironic that Ms Fowler, was attempting to paint Obama as a condescending elitist, while at the same time she was stereotyping everybody at the event with her omniscient insight. In any case, her agenda was clear. Despite Ms. Fowler talking about the people at the fundraiser being middle class in an earlier post, the “rich man poor man” theme fit better with the “Obama as a judgmental elite, talking to judgmental elites” spin. This also seemed to fit with some of her earlier articles where she had described Obama as cocky, arrogant, and even “flirty”.

What a coincidence that she now writes an article putting another twist on Obama’s personality. All she had to do was a sneak a recorder in an small event for Obama supporters and do a little bit of crafty writing and out of context editing. Now Fox News and Lou Dobbs are having a field day.

I say again, the people moderating our political discourse are dangerously unqualified and irresponsible. I’m amazed this country still functions at all with the amount of well-financed ignorance that passes for media coverage. Amazed.

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I don’t have much to add except to say that Tavis’s departure from Tom Joyner looks petty and childish.

(for some of our past coverage of Tavis/Obama, check here, here, and here)

Now, I’ll pass the mic to Black Snob and AAPP.

Democratic Primary Spoiler Hillary Tonya Harding Sniper Fire Clinton fails yet another test. She’s like a rat, and the opportunity to distort and attack Senator Obama is her cheese. I really think she doesn’t know any better.

Again she proves that her criticism of Obama is really self-hate. “People don’t want a president who looks down on them…” Mrs. $109 million says Obama is elitist. Mrs. “Let’s Pit Latino Voters Against Black Voters” says Obama is trying to divide the nation.

I can’t wait for this to be over.

Lord, and people wonder why folks call CNN, The Clinton News Network. You’d think that they’d found that second family in Idaho, the way Lou Dobbs’ show was going off with this quote they found by Obama at a fundraiser.

All I can say is, thank goodness for Roland Martin, cause he at least tried not to burn Obama at the stake. Errol from the Daily News needed Roland for fortification…

Just so, you’re not left with the Lou Dobbs Distortion……

FULL Transcript of Obama’s Remarks at San Francisco Fundraiser Sunday

OBAMA: So, it depends on where you are, but I think it’s fair to say that the places where we are going to have to do the most work are the places where people are most cynical about government. The people are mis-appre…they’re misunderstanding why the demographics in our, in this contest have broken out as they are. Because everybody just ascribes it to ‘white working-class don’t wanna work — don’t wanna vote for the black guy.’ That’s…there were intimations of that in an article in the Sunday New York Times today – kind of implies that it’s sort of a race thing.

Here’s how it is: in a lot of these communities in big industrial states like Ohio and Pennsylvania, people have been beaten down so long. They feel so betrayed by government that when they hear a pitch that is premised on not being cynical about government, then a part of them just doesn’t buy it. And when it’s delivered by — it’s true that when it’s delivered by a 46-year-old black man named Barack Obama, then that adds another layer of skepticism.

But — so the questions you’re most likely to get about me, ‘Well, what is this guy going to do for me? What is the concrete thing?’ What they wanna hear is so we’ll give you talking points about what we’re proposing — to close tax loopholes, uh you know uh roll back the tax cuts for the top 1%, Obama’s gonna give tax breaks to uh middle-class folks and we’re gonna provide healthcare for every American.

But the truth is, is that, our challenge is to get people persuaded that we can make progress when there’s not evidence of that in their daily lives. You go into some of these small towns in Pennsylvania, and like a lot of small towns in the Midwest, the jobs have been gone now for 25 years and nothing’s replaced them. And they fell through the Clinton administration, and the Bush administration, and each successive administration has said that somehow these communities are gonna regenerate and they have not. And it’s not surprising then they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.

Um, now these are in some communities, you know. I think what you’ll find is, is that people of every background — there are gonna be a mix of people, you can go in the toughest neighborhoods, you know working-class lunch-pail folks, you’ll find Obama enthusiasts. And you can go into places where you think I’d be very strong and people will just be skeptical. The important thing is that you show up and you’re doing what you’re doing.

Just trying to put the remarks IN CONTEXT.

Of course trying to point out that Obama is the poorest of the candidates. The one who, a few short years ago, paid more for student loans than his mortgage, but HE’s the elitist?



Well, it seems that there are a few CNN Contributors that agree with me on this issue: Borger, Toobin and Cafferty. From the Situation Room this afteroon-

TOOBIN: I just think it’s remarkable that Barack Obama, this guy who grew up in a single-family household with no money, who lived in Indonesia, who came from very modest upbringings, somehow he’s the elitist? That’s really a pretty extraordinary sort of contortion of his background. I mean.

BORGER: It’s that Harvard, Yale thing.

CAFFERTY: He did not make $109 million in the last eight years did he?

BORGER: Right.

Update: Video Here

That’s just meta.

When I was in Philly for Obama last week, a friend made a pretty insightful statement.

“When people say they hate Hillary Clinton, you don’t know if it’s a Republican or Democrat saying it.”

That wasn’t always the case, but I keep finding myself asking, “was the vast right wing conspiracy right about these people being serial liars?”

There’s no way out for Bill Clinton on this one. This is Bill explaining the actions of Democratic Primary Spoiler Hillary Clinton’s Bosnia deception. From ABC’s blog

President Clinton’s described his wife’s experience, saying, “There was a lot of fulminating because Hillary, one time late at night when she was exhausted, misstated and immediately apologized for it – what happened to her in Bosnia in 1995. Did y’all see all that. Oh, they blew it up. Let me just tell you.” Clinton then criticized the press, saying, “You woulda thought, you know, that she’d robbed a bank the way they carried on about this. And some of them, when they’re 60, they’ll forget something when they’re tired at 11:00 at night, too.”

President Clinton’s version of the story has several inaccuracies. Hillary Clinton actually made the exaggerated comments numerous times, including at an event in Dubuque, Iowa on Dec. 29th, in Waco, TX on Feb. 29th, and twice — bright and early in the morning — on March 17.

Sen. Clinton did not apologize, as Mr. Clinton asserted. His wife did say she had made a mistake and said that she had misspoken when describing the Bosnia incident.

Sen. Clinton also wasn’t as quick with her apology as President Clinton may remember either. In fact, it took a week for her to eventually correct herself, first talking to the Philadelphia Inquirer editorial board on March 24 and again the following day in Greensboro, N.C.

President Clinton also indicated that his wife’s trip took place in 1996 – when it fact it took place in 1995.

President Clinton then later in the evening told the story again in Jasper, Ind., saying the press was treating his wife like the Mata Hari. “She took a terrible beating in the press for a few days because she was exhausted at 11 o’clock at night and she started talking about Bosnia and she misstated the circumstances under which she landed in Bosnia. Did you all see all that? And oh, they acted like she was practically Mata Hari – like she was making up all this stuff.”

There’s just no defense at all. No misinterpretation possible. He’s absolutely destroyed whatever credibility he reconstituted after leaving office. For shame.

Saying she robbed a bank is not far off from the truth. She robbed people who actually were in combat of their experience. She made up a combat story of her own. It’s called valor theft.

Now please go away. I’m so tired of this.

Partly because I’m just so tired of writing about The Clintons and partly because I have a lot of studying up to do on McCain, I’m going to try posting on the Republican nominee a bit more.

Yesterday, I posted on his curious refusal to co-sponsor or publicly support the new GI Bill. He said he hasn’t had time to read it. I say that’s bullshit for a man who’s been touring the country on a biography tour based entirely on the fact that he’s a veteran. He has time to sell his veteran tale but not ensure that today’s veterans are cared for?

Today, it’s McCain and civil rights.

Huffington Post has the headline: McCain Won’t Apologize For Vote Against Civil Rights Act

This past week, Sen. John McCain repented for his decision in 1983 to oppose a federal holiday honoring Martin Luther King.

Speaking on the anniversary of King’s death, and from the site of his assassination, the Arizona Republican declared that he was “wrong and eventually realized that, in time to give full support for a state holiday in Arizona… We can all be a little late sometimes in doing the right thing, and Dr. King understood this about his fellow Americans.”

But while McCain is seeking amends for his King Day vote, he has refused to back down on another controversial decision he made that put him at sharp odds with the civil rights movement.

In 1990, McCain was one of the deciding votes in helping then-President George H.W. Bush sustain a veto against the relatively benign Civil Rights Act of 1990.

In doing so, the senator found himself at odds with majorities in both chambers of Congress, most senior African Americans within the Bush administration, and the Republican-led U.S. Civil Rights Commission. He also helped Bush became the first president ever to successfully veto a civil rights measure — Andrew Jackson in 1866 and Ronald Reagan in 1988 both had vetoes overridden.

It’s also worth reading this Politico story Arizona blacks: Where’s McCain?

“I don’t recall him ever attending any function with the NAACP,” Tillman added. “Each year we send them an invitation [to an annual banquet], and each year they say no.”

Interviews with black civic and business leaders in Arizona found no one who suggested that McCain holds racial animus. And McCain can point to some warm personal and political associations with blacks, some of whom cited his responsiveness to their concerns when they approached him on official business.

But the widespread perception of activists in the state’s traditional civil rights organizations and the African-American press is that McCain has consistently treated them with indifference.

I serioulsy doubt McCain straight up hates black folk. The Politico findings above seem more accurate: he’s just indifferent. He doesn’t get it. He doesn’t actively care.

It has come to our attention that our readers here find great stuff out there, and are generous to spread the word.

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