This is a discussion on Anti Racism, the media, and the African American experience.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Regarding Rev. Jeremiah Wright

Responding to Wright controvery, Thomas asks, 'What kind of prophet?'

Written by staff reports
March 17, 2008

The Rev. John H. Thomas, UCC general minister and president, released the following statement on March 17 on the rhetoric of preaching, in light of recent news coverage of Jeremiah A. Wright, Jr., and Chicago's Trinity UCC.

What Kind of Prophet?
Reflections on the Rhetoric of Preaching
in Light of Recent News Coverage of Jeremiah A. Wright, Jr.
and Trinity United Church of Christ

The Rev. John H. Thomas
General Minister and President
United Church of Christ

Over the weekend members of our church and others have been subjected to the relentless airing of two or three brief video clips of sermons by the Rev. Dr. Jeremiah A. Wright, Jr., pastor of Trinity United Church of Christ for thirty-six years and, for over half of those years, pastor of Senator Barack Obama and his family. These video clips, and news stories about them, have been served up with frenzied and heated commentary by media personalities expressing shock that such language and sentiments could be uttered from the pulpit.

One is tempted to ask whether these commentators ever listen to the overcharged rhetoric of their own opinion shows. Even more to the point is to wonder whether they have a working knowledge of the history of preaching in the United States from the unrelentingly grim language of New England election day sermons to the fiery rhetoric of the Black church prophetic tradition. Maybe they prefer the false prophets with their happy homilies in Jeremiah who say to the people: "You shall not see the sword, nor shall you have famine, but I will give you true peace in this place." To which God responds, "The prophets are prophesying lies in my name; I did not send them, nor did I command them or speak to them. They are prophesying to you a lying vision, worthless divination, and the deceit of their own minds. . . . By sword and famine those prophets shall be consumed," (Jeremiah 14.14-15). The Biblical Jeremiah was coarse and provocative. Faithfulness, not respectability was the order of the day then. And now?

What's really going on here? First, it may state the obvious to point out that these television and radio shows have very little interest in Trinity Church or Jeremiah Wright. Those who sifted through hours of sermons searching for a few lurid phrases and those who have aired them repeatedly have only one intention. It is to wound a presidential candidate. In the process a congregation that does exceptional ministry and a pastor who has given his life to shape those ministries is caricatured and demonized. You don't have to be an Obama supporter to be alarmed at this. Will Clinton's United Methodist Church be next? Or McCain's Episcopal Church? Wouldn't we have been just as alarmed had it been Huckabee's Southern Baptist Church, or Romney's Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints?

Many of us would prefer to avoid the stark and startling language Pastor Wright used in these clips. But what was his real crime? He is condemned for using a mild "obscenity" in reference to the United States. This week we mark the fifth anniversary of the war in Iraq, a war conceived in deception and prosecuted in foolish arrogance. Nearly four thousand cherished Americans have been killed, countless more wounded, and tens of thousands of Iraqis slaughtered. Where is the real obscenity here? True patriotism requires a degree of self-criticism, even self-judgment that may not always be easy or genteel. Pastor Wright's judgment may be starker and more sweeping than many of us are prepared to accept. But is the soul of our nation served any better by the polite prayers and gentle admonitions that have gone without a real hearing for these five years while the dying and destruction continues?

We might like to think that racism is a thing of the past, that Martin Luther King's harmonious multi-racial vision, articulated in his speech at the Lincoln Memorial in 1963 and then struck down by an assassin's bullet in Memphis in 1968, has somehow been resurrected and now reigns throughout the land. Significant progress has been made. A black man is a legitimate candidate for President of the United States. A black woman serves as Secretary of State. The accomplishments are profound. But on the gritty streets of Chicago's south side where Trinity has planted itself, race continues to play favorites in failing urban school systems, unresponsive health care systems, crumbling infrastructure, and meager economic development. Are we to pretend all is well because much is, in fact, better than it used to be? Is it racist to name the racial divides that continue to afflict our nation, and to do so loudly? How ironic that a pastor and congregation which, for forty-five years, has cast its lot with a predominantly white denomination, participating fully in its wider church life and contributing generously to it, would be accused of racial exclusion and a failure to reach for racial reconciliation.

The gospel narrative of Palm Sunday's entrance into Jerusalem concludes with the overturning of the money changers' tables in the Temple courtyard. Here wealth and power and greed were challenged for the way the poor were oppressed to the point of exclusion from a share in the religious practices of the Temple. Today we watch as the gap between the obscenely wealthy and the obscenely poor widens. More and more of our neighbors are relegated to minimal health care or to no health care at all. Foreclosures destroy families while unscrupulous lenders seek bailouts from regulators who turned a blind eye to the impending crisis. Should the preacher today respond to this with only a whisper and a sigh?

Is Pastor Wright to be ridiculed and condemned for refusing to play the court prophet, blessing land and sovereign while pledging allegiance to our preoccupation with wealth and our fascination with weapons? In the United Church of Christ we honor diversity. For nearly four centuries we have respected dissent and have struggled to maintain the freedom of the pulpit. Not every pastor in the United Church of Christ will want to share Pastor Wright's rhetoric or his politics. Not every member will rise to shout "Amen!" But I trust we will all struggle in our own way to resist the lure of respectable religion that seeks to displace evangelical faith. For what this nation needs is not so much polite piety as the rough and radical word of the prophet calling us to repentance. And, as we struggle with that ancient calling, I pray we will be shrewd enough to name the hypocrisy of those who decry the mixing of religion and politics in order to serve their own political ends.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Will Clinton ever STOP LYING?

"...Obama has been credited with foreseeing a troublesome war in Iraq primarily due to a speech he gave in 2002 while he was a state senator, where he spoke out against the war. Clinton said, “I started criticizing the war in Iraq before he did. So, I’m well aware that his entire campaign is premised on a speech he gave in 2002 and I give him credit for making that speech. But that was not a decision.”

Monday, April 7, 2008

McCain & O'Reilly: The White, Christian, male power structure

Racism is so rampant in our culture today - I'd venture to say even more than it was 30 years ago. Racists are so arrogant that on the MAIN STREAM MEDIA Bill O'Reilly and John McCain can sit there on TV and admit and defend the white christian male power structure.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Of National Lies and Racial Amnesia:

Of National Lies and Racial Amnesia:
Jeremiah Wright, Barack Obama, and the Audacity of Truth

By Tim Wise

March 18, 2008

For most white folks, indignation just doesn't wear well. Once affected or conjured up, it reminds one of a pudgy man, wearing a tie that may well have fit him when he was fifty pounds lighter, but which now cuts off somewhere above his navel and makes him look like an idiot.

Indignation doesn't work for most whites, because having remained sanguine about, silent during, indeed often supportive of so much injustice over the years in this country--the theft of native land and genocide of indigenous persons, and the enslavement of Africans being only two of the best examples--we are just a bit late to get into the game of moral rectitude. And once we enter it, our efforts at righteousness tend to fail the test of sincerity.

But here we are, in 2008, fuming at the words of Pastor Jeremiah Wright, of Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago--occasionally Barack Obama's pastor, and the man whom Obama credits with having brought him to Christianity--for merely reminding us of those evils about which we have remained so quiet, so dismissive, so unconcerned. It is not the crime that bothers us, but the remembrance of it, the unwillingness to let it go--these last words being the first ones uttered by most whites it seems whenever anyone, least of all an "angry black man" like Jeremiah Wright, foists upon us the bill of particulars for several centuries of white supremacy.

But our collective indignation, no matter how loudly we announce it, cannot drown out the truth. And as much as white America may not be able to hear it (and as much as politics may require Obama to condemn it) let us be clear, Jeremiah Wright fundamentally told the truth.

Oh I know that for some such a comment will seem shocking. After all, didn't he say that America "got what it deserved" on 9/11? And didn't he say that black people should be singing "God Damn America" because of its treatment of the African American community throughout the years?

Well actually, no he didn't.

Wright said not that the attacks of September 11th were justified, but that they were, in effect, predictable. Deploying the imagery of chickens coming home to roost is not to give thanks for the return of the poultry or to endorse such feathered homecoming as a positive good; rather, it is merely to note two things: first, that what goes around, indeed, comes around--a notion with longstanding theological grounding--and secondly, that the U.S. has indeed engaged in more than enough violence against innocent people to make it just a tad bit hypocritical for us to then evince shock and outrage about an attack on ourselves, as if the latter were unprecedented.

He noted that we killed far more people, far more innocent civilians in Hiroshima and Nagasaki than were killed on 9/11 and "never batted an eye." That this statement is true is inarguable, at least amongst sane people. He is correct on the math, he is correct on the innocence of the dead (neither city was a military target), and he is most definitely correct on the lack of remorse or even self-doubt about the act: sixty-plus years later most Americans still believe those attacks were justified, that they were needed to end the war and "save American lives."

But not only does such a calculus suggest that American lives are inherently worth more than the lives of Japanese civilians (or, one supposes, Vietnamese, Iraqi or Afghan civilians too), but it also ignores the long-declassified documents, and President Truman's own war diaries, all of which indicate clearly that Japan had already signaled its desire to end the war, and that we knew they were going to surrender, even without the dropping of atomic weapons. The conclusion to which these truths then attest is simple, both in its basic veracity and it monstrousness: namely, that in those places we committed premeditated and deliberate mass murder, with no justification whatsoever; and yet for saying that I will receive more hate mail, more hostility, more dismissive and contemptuous responses than will those who suggest that no body count is too high when we're the ones doing the killing. Jeremiah Wright becomes a pariah, because, you see, we much prefer the logic of George Bush the First, who once said that as President he would "never apologize for the United States of America. I don't care what the facts are."

And Wright didn't say blacks should be singing "God Damn America." He was suggesting that blacks owe little moral allegiance to a nation that has treated so many of them for so long as animals, as persons undeserving of dignity and respect, and which even now locks up hundreds of thousands of non-violent offenders (especially for drug possession), even while whites who do the same crimes (and according to the data, when it comes to drugs, more often in fact), are walking around free. His reference to God in that sermon was more about what God will do to such a nation, than it was about what should or shouldn't happen. It was a comment derived from, and fully in keeping with, the black prophetic tradition, and although one can surely disagree with the theology (I do, actually, and don't believe that any God either blesses or condemns nation states for their actions), the statement itself was no call for blacks to turn on America. If anything, it was a demand that America earn the respect of black people, something the evidence and history suggests it has yet to do.

Finally, although one can certainly disagree with Wright about his suggestion that the government created AIDS to get rid of black folks--and I do, for instance--it is worth pointing out that Wright isn't the only one who has said this. In fact, none other than Bill Cosby (oh yes, that Bill Cosby, the one white folks love because of his recent moral crusade against the black poor) proffered his belief in the very same thing back in the early '90s in an interview on CNN, when he said that AIDS may well have been created to get rid of people whom the government deemed "undesirable" including gays and racial minorities.

So that's the truth of the matter: Wright made one comment that is highly arguable, but which has also been voiced by white America's favorite black man, another that was horribly misinterpreted and stripped of all context, and then another that was demonstrably accurate. And for this, he is pilloried and made into a virtual enemy of the state; for this, Barack Obama may lose the support of just enough white folks to cost him the Democratic nomination, and/or the Presidency; all of it, because Jeremiah Wright, unlike most preachers opted for truth. If he had been one of those "prosperity ministers" who says Jesus wants nothing so much as for you to be rich, like Joel Osteen, that would have been fine. Had he been a retread bigot like Falwell was, or Pat Robertson is, he might have been criticized, but he would have remained in good standing and surely not have damaged a Presidential candidate in this way. But unlike Osteen, and Falwell, and Robertson, Jeremiah Wright refused to feed his parishioners lies.

What Jeremiah Wright knows, and told his flock--though make no mistake, they already knew it--is that 9/11 was neither the first, nor worst act of terrorism on American soil. The history of this nation for folks of color, was for generations, nothing less than an intergenerational hate crime, one in which 9/11s were woven into the fabric of everyday life: hundreds of thousands of the enslaved who died from the conditions of their bondage; thousands more who were lynched (as many as 10,000 in the first few years after the Civil War, according to testimony in the Congressional Record at the time); millions of indigenous persons wiped off the face of the Earth. No, to some, the horror of 9/11 was not new. To some it was not on that day that "everything changed." To some, everything changed four hundred years ago, when that first ship landed at what would become Jamestown. To some, everything changed when their ancestors were forced into the hulls of slave ships at Goree Island and brought to a strange land as chattel. To some, everything changed when they were run out of Northern Mexico, only to watch it become the Southwest United States, thanks to a war of annihilation initiated by the U.S. government. To some, being on the receiving end of terrorism has been a way of life. Until recently it was absolutely normal in fact.

But white folks have a hard time hearing these simple truths. We find it almost impossible to listen to an alternative version of reality. Indeed, what seems to bother white people more than anything, whether in the recent episode, or at any other time, is being confronted with the recognition that black people do not, by and large, see the world like we do; that black people, by and large, do not view America as white people view it. We are, in fact, shocked that this should be so, having come to believe, apparently, that the falsehoods to which we cling like a kidney patient clings to a dialysis machine, are equally shared by our darker-skinned compatriots.

This is what James Baldwin was talking about in his classic 1972 work, No Name in the Street, wherein he noted:

White children, in the main, and whether they are rich or poor, grow up with a grasp of reality so feeble that they can very accurately be described as deluded--about themselves and the world they live in. White people have managed to get through their entire lifetimes in this euphoric state, but black people have not been so lucky: a black man who sees the world the way John Wayne, for example, sees it would not be an eccentric patriot, but a raving maniac.

And so we were shocked in 1987, when Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall declined to celebrate the bicentennial of the Constitution, because, as he noted, most of that history had been one of overt racism and injustice, and to his way of thinking, the only history worth celebrating had been that of the past three or four decades.

We were shocked to learn that black people actually believed that a white cop who was a documented racist might frame a black man; and we're shocked to learn that lots of black folks still perceive the U.S. as a racist nation--we're literally stunned that people who say they experience discrimination regularly (and who have the social science research to back them up) actually think that those experiences and that data might actually say something about the nation in which they reside. Imagine.

Whites are easily shocked by what we see and hear from Pastor Wright and Trinity Church, because what we see and hear so thoroughly challenges our understanding of who we are as a nation. But black people have never, for the most part, believed in the imagery of the "shining city on a hill," for they have never had the option of looking at their nation and ignoring the mountain-sized warts still dotting its face when it comes to race. Black people do not, in the main, get misty eyed at the sight of the flag the way white people do--and this is true even for millions of black veterans--for they understand that the nation for whom that flag waves is still not fully committed to their own equality. They have a harder time singing those tunes that white people seem so eager to belt out, like "God Bless America," for they know that whites sang those words loudly and proudly even as they were enforcing Jim Crow segregation, rioting against blacks who dared move into previously white neighborhoods, throwing rocks at Dr. King and then cheering, as so many did, when they heard the news that he had been assassinated.

Whites refuse to remember (or perhaps have never learned) that which black folks cannot afford to forget. I've seen white people stunned to the point of paralysis when they learn the truth about lynchings in this country--when they discover that such events were not just a couple of good old boys with a truck and a rope hauling some black guy out to the tree, hanging him, and letting him swing there. They were never told the truth: that lynchings were often community events, advertised in papers as "Negro Barbecues," involving hundreds or even thousands of whites, who would join in the fun, eat chicken salad and drink sweet tea, all while the black victims of their depravity were being hung, then shot, then burned, and then having their body parts cut off, to be handed out to onlookers. They are stunned to learn that postcards of the events were traded as souvenirs, and that very few whites, including members of their own families did or said anything to stop it.

Rather than knowing about and confronting the ugliness of our past, whites take steps to excise the less flattering aspects of our history so that we need not be bothered with them. So, in Tulsa, Oklahoma, for example, site of an orgy of violence against the black community in 1921, city officials literally went into the town library and removed all reference to the mass killings in the Greenwood district from the papers with a razor blade--an excising of truth and an assault on memory that would remain unchanged for over seventy years.

At the risk of violating some copyright laws you will have to go to original pub. to read the rest.

to read the rest go here:

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Hillary Clinton relates her foreign policy experience

Please view this and let me know what you think of her vast experience with foreign policy.

Jeremiah Wright God damn America IN CONTEXT

John 8:32 - "...And you will know the Truth, and the Truth will set you free..."

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Fox News combs through user-generated pages on

Apparently, today was a slow news day.

So Fox News evidently decided to pore through our millions of user-created pages on and put a screenshot of inflammatory content on the front page of

You see, more than 700,000 people have created accounts on the system. You can create one right now if you choose, in about a minute -- anyone can.

Now, from time to time people get up to no good -- creating fake profiles (like one for Sean Hannity created today), or posting profane or inappropriate content. When they do, the community reports the offending content and if it violates our terms of service it is removed (as the Sean Hannity profile was). has been at the core of our bottom-up organizing strategy. The tools available have been put to work by a community of supporters that is bigger and more powerful than anything presidential politics has ever seen.

Evidently, Fox News didn't think it was a big deal that hundreds of thousands of ordinary Americans are participating in the democratic process creating groups and local events in communities all across the country.

But they did think it was a big deal that one random person on the Internet, without the knowledge of the Obama campaign, posted a profile in the system with the image of the New Black Panther Party on it.

When we were alerted of the existence of this page, we pulled it down. Yet even after we pulled the page, Fox News continues to disingenuously and prominently feature this "story" on their homepage.



Dear FoxNews and every other so-called news agency:

I truly believe that we have come to a point in our history where we must make a decision about who we are as a nation. Are we a nation that’s only objective is to continue with the dumbing down of America? Or are we going to restart the nurturing of thoughtful and provocative analysis? Will we continue to sensationalize hyperboles, distortions, and histrionics or will we start taking a critical view of what it is really going to take to create the America that our Founding Fathers dreamed of?

The definition of patriotism is: devoted love, support, and defense of one's country; national loyalty.

True love for one’s country is exhibited by actions, not words. True love is illustrated by what one is willing to risk in order to help another grow and become greater. Some call it tough love. I call it nurturing. In order to nurture effectively you have to be willing to take the blinders off, recognize the character defects, and help them towards growth. The key phrase here is RECOGNIZE THE CHARACTER DEFECTS. Yesterday, Senator Obama potentially risked his presidential nomination for the good of this country. THAT IS PATRIOTISM. What has NewsCorp risked for the good of our country?

Now I understand that NewsCorp is a business and that the purpose of the business is to increase shareholder value. However, one has to question an entity that has portrayed itself as a source of true journalism yet has to answer not to the community in which it is supposed to serve; but to shareholders and the corporations that give it money to advertise. So in truth, NewsCorp’s true customer is not us, the consumer; but the mega corporations that advertise on its airwaves, etc. And that would be fine, if NewsCorp were honest about its true reason for being.

Unfortunately, the American public still views journalists as one of the checks and balances of our society. NewsCorp has absolutely failed in this regard. Not only have you compared one of the most courageous presidential candidates in recent history to Adolph Hitler, you are now scouring for rogue blogs. Your tactics do not alleviate my suspicion that FoxNews itself could be the perpetrator of these rogue pages. If Bill O’Reilly would compare our candidate to Adolph Hitler; if FoxNews will continuously give voice to verbal terrorists like Ann Coulter and portray it as news or true journalism; if FoxNews continues to report lies (as it did with the madrassa stories) pandering to fear and the lowest common denominator while only offering small insignificant retractions; then FoxNews has set itself up to be the object of suspicion when it starts to report on trivial matters as these.

You are on notice FoxNews and every other so-called news agency. This time is different. This time we will not follow blindly like lemmings. This time we will rise up and say, “That just won’t do”. This time we will rise up and say, “NOT THIS TIME”. We want truth, we want justice and we’re sick and tired of FoxNews lying to the American public and calling itself a voice of the people.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

A Pastor of the UCC church speaks out about Jeremiah Wright

Brothers and sisters (in honor of Jeremiah Wright), Hotlist

Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 04:50:08 PM PDT

It's been a painful couple of days.

As many if not all of you already know, I am an ordained minister in the United Church of Christ. If the UCC were a ship, I'd own a plank: my family's roots go back to the Reformation in Westphalia. My grandfather was ordained in the Evangelical and Reformed church, a predecessor to the UCC, and served a church in suburban Detroit for nearly forty years. My father was in one of the earliest classes of ordinands in the new denomination, and pastored ably in Ohio, Missouri and Wisconsin. I told God to look elsewhere for the fourth generation, which of course just about guarantees that one of our kids will grow up to become a pastor.

Scratch me and I bleed United Church of Christ. I was born in a UCC-affiliated hospital, grew up in a UCC congregation, found myself in another, and owe my sanity and career to the service to which I have been called.

You dis the UCC, and you dis mi familia, ese.

Honestly, I don't know what's been worse: the ignorant slurs against Jeremiah Wright or the well-intentioned inaccuracies. Some of the latter are understandable. As the national denomination says, Trinity UCC in Chicago is our "flagship congregation," yet it is also an anomaly: a black evangelical megachurch in a denomination that is overwhelmingly white, traditional and mostly small.

And while we have a long tradition of social activism, we're not even as liberal as some folks would have you believe. Like most mainline denominations, we're only modestly more Democratic than Republican, and only recently so. (Which makes us moderates, not conservatives, but drifting to the left.)

In any event, we're not all radical fire-breathers like Jeremiah Wright, but we do take a familial protectiveness toward him. Even when we can't live up to the preaching of the prophets, we pride ourselves in being goaded by the best.

And we are certainly not a gang of haters. Nor is Jeremiah Wright. To mention one example I'm familiar with, the Conference Minister of the very white Wisconsin Conference went to Wright to ask for his help in establishing a black congregation in Milwaukee. The Conference Minister thought he was going to get some advice and perhaps a commitment to help in the future. Instead, after a one hour meeting, Wright declared that one of his associates would plant the church, with one year's full financial support from Trinity, since extended to two or three. Does that sound like the actions of a hater to you? It doesn't to me.

I am likewise proud of Jeremiah Wright (and yes, Barack Obama), even if I can't always go where he does in his Afrocentrism. I have enjoyed the company of more than one black congregation, and know how vibrant their faith is, how deeply held it is and how deeply connected to the plight of their people. And make no mistake: they are still in plight. Perhaps the very richest African-Americans no longer know poor folks or the sting of continued discrimination. I've never met any who didn't.

In that, for all their other faults, black Christians live close to the gospel, where white folks should be but seldom can push themselves. It stings to see a political ally dragged through the mud, but it hurts, deep, to watch as someone who actually tries to live the message of redemption and liberation in Jesus Christ is pilloried as a hater, a racist, and a purveyor of violent rhetoric.

This one is for you, Rev. Wright:

The United Church of Christ Statement of Faith in the form of a doxology

We believe in you, O God, Eternal Spirit, God of our Savior Jesus Christ and our God, and to your deeds we testify:

You call the worlds into being, create persons in your own image,and set before each one the ways of life and death.

You seek in holy love to save all people from aimlessness and sin.

You judge people and nations by your righteous will declared through prophets and apostles.

In Jesus Christ, the man of Nazareth, our crucified and risen Savior, you have come to us and shared our common lot, conquering sin and death and reconciling the world to yourself.

You bestow upon us your Holy Spirit, creating and renewing the church of Jesus Christ, binding in covenant faithful people of all ages, tongues, and races.

You call us into your church to accept the cost and joy of discipleship, to be your servants in the service of others, to proclaim the gospel to all the world and resist the powers of evil,to share in Christ's baptism and eat at his table, to join him in his passion and victory.

You promise to all who trust you forgiveness of sins and fullness of grace, courage in the struggle for justice and peace, your presence in trial and rejoicing, and eternal life in your realm which has no end.

Blessing and honor, glory and power be unto you.


Obama's Minister Committed "Treason" but When my Father Said the Same Thing He Was a Republican Hero

When Senator Obama's preacher thundered about racism and injustice Obama suffered smear-by-association. But when my late father -- Religious Right leader Francis Schaeffer -- denounced America and even called for the violent overthrow of the US government, he was invited to lunch with presidents Ford, Reagan and Bush, Sr.

Every Sunday thousands of right wing white preachers (following in my father's footsteps) rail against America's sins from tens of thousands of pulpits. They tell us that America is complicit in the "murder of the unborn," has become "Sodom" by coddling gays, and that our public schools are sinful places full of evolutionists and sex educators hell-bent on corrupting children. They say, as my dad often did, that we are, "under the judgment of God." They call America evil and warn of immanent destruction. By comparison Obama's minister's shouted "controversial" comments were mild. All he said was that God should damn America for our racism and violence and that no one had ever used the N-word about Hillary Clinton.

Dad and I were amongst the founders of the Religious right. In the 1970s and 1980s, while Dad and I crisscrossed America denouncing our nation's sins instead of getting in trouble we became darlings of the Republican Party. (This was while I was my father's sidekick before I dropped out of the evangelical movement altogether.) We were rewarded for our "stand" by people such as Congressman Jack Kemp, the Fords, Reagan and the Bush family. The top Republican leadership depended on preachers and agitators like us to energize their rank and file. No one called us un-American.

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Consider a few passages from my father's immensely influential America-bashing book A Christian Manifesto. It sailed under the radar of the major media who, back when it was published in 1980, were not paying particular attention to best-selling religious books. Nevertheless it sold more than a million copies.

Here's Dad writing in his chapter on civil disobedience:

If there is a legitimate reason for the use of force [against the US government]... then at a certain point force is justifiable.

And this:

In the United States the materialistic, humanistic world view is being taught exclusively in most state schools... There is an obvious parallel between this and the situation in Russia [the USSR]. And we really must not be blind to the fact that indeed in the public schools in the United States all religious influence is as forcibly forbidden as in the Soviet Union....

Then this:

There does come a time when force, even physical force, is appropriate... A true Christian in Hitler's Germany and in the occupied countries should have defied the false and counterfeit state. This brings us to a current issue that is crucial for the future of the church in the United States, the issue of abortion... It is time we consciously realize that when any office commands what is contrary to God's law it abrogates it's authority. And our loyalty to the God who gave this law then requires that we make the appropriate response in that situation...

Was any conservative political leader associated with Dad running for cover? Far from it. Dad was a frequent guest of the Kemps, had lunch with the Fords, stayed in the White House as their guest, he met with Reagan, helped Dr. C. Everett Koop become Surgeon General. (I went on the 700 Club several times to generate support for Koop).

Dad became a hero to the evangelical community and a leading political instigator. When Dad died in 1984 everyone from Reagan to Kemp to Billy Graham lamented his passing publicly as the loss of a great American. Not one Republican leader was ever asked to denounce my dad or distanced himself from Dad's statements.

Take Dad's words and put them in the mouth of Obama's preacher (or in the mouth of any black American preacher) and people would be accusing that preacher of treason. Yet when we of the white Religious Right denounced America white conservative Americans and top political leaders, called our words "godly" and "prophetic" and a "call to repentance."

We Republican agitators of the mid 1970s to the late 1980s were genuinely anti-American in the same spirit that later Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson (both followers of my father) were anti-American when they said God had removed his blessing from America on 9/11, because America accepted gays. Falwell and Robertson recanted but we never did.

My dad's books denouncing America and comparing the USA to Hitler are still best sellers in the "respectable" evangelical community and he's still hailed as a prophet by many Republican leaders. When Mike Huckabee was recently asked by Katie Couric to name one book he'd take with him to a desert island, besides the Bible, he named Dad's Whatever Happened to the Human Race? a book where Dad also compared America to Hitler's Germany.

The hypocrisy of the right denouncing Obama, because of his minister's words, is staggering. They are the same people who argue for the right to "bear arms" as "insurance" to limit government power. They are the same people that (in the early 1980s roared and cheered when I called down damnation on America as "fallen away from God" at their national meetings where I was keynote speaker, including the annual meeting of the ultraconservative Southern Baptist convention, and the religious broadcasters that I addressed.

Today we have a marriage of convenience between the right wing fundamentalists who hate Obama, and the "progressive" Clintons who are playing the race card through their own smear machine. As Jane Smiley writes in the Huffington Post "[The Clinton's] are, indeed, now part of the 'vast right wing conspiracy.'

Both the far right Republicans and the stop-at-nothing Clintons are using the "scandal" of Obama's preacher to undermine the first black American candidate with a serious shot at the presidency. Funny thing is, the racist Clinton/Far Right smear machine proves that Obama's minister had a valid point. There is plenty to yell about these days.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Jeremiah Wright, Obama, and Hitler - what do they have in common?

Obama being compared to Hitler?!?
Obama has to take responsibility for a few of the 2000+ sermons his pastor has given!
Obama's patriotism being questioned!

The definition of patriotism is: devoted love, support, and defense of one's country; national loyalty.

True love and support is exhibited by our actions not our words. True love and support of our friends and families is illustrated by our willingness to jeopardize our relationship with that family member in order to help them grow. Some call it tough love. I call it nurturing. In order to nurture effectively you have to be willing to take the blinders off, recognize the character defects, and love them towards growth. The key phrase here is RECOGNIZE THE CHARACTER DEFECTS.

Pastor Jeremiah Wright recognizes this country's character defects. Senator Barack Hussein Obama recognizes this country's character defects and so do I. If America were our friend what would we say to him? What would we say as he strutted around, chest poked out, claiming intellectual and moral superiority?

Let's take it a step further. Say our friend, we'll call him Joe. Say Joe was the victim of slander at his job. It wasn't enough to get him fired but it was enough to slow down or stop a promotion. What would we advise him to do? What if Joe found out who started the rumors and decided that he would retaliate. Perhaps the perpetrator (let's call him Tim) had been padding his expense report and Joe knew about it. So Joe let's everyone know that Tim has been padding his expense reports - the news gets Tim fired. But it also gets his two supervisors fired because they should've caught it. And it gets Tim's secretary fired because maybe she conspired with him. What would we tell Joe? Should we say anything if he asks for our advice? Does he have a right to still feel morally superior? In his fury and lust for revenge and so called justice, he not only "killed his foe" but also "killed 3 innocents". Was this justified?

When asked, would we advise Joe that what he did was fine but his method was wrong (ala Clinton)? Would we tell him that he is the father figure and therefore the moral authority so if he says it's right then it's right? (ala John McCain). Or would we advise him that what he did was wrong because his thought process was wrong, because his motivations were wrong and so the outcome was wrong? Would we say that we have to get at the root cause of A. why did Tim disrespect him enough to smear him in the first place and B. What could he have done differently, without becoming a doormat or flunky, so as to create an ally out of Tim as opposed to an enemy. (ala Obama)

True love is rooted in the notion that one has an obligation to respect and nurture the objects of that love. So I question the patriotism of, the Rush Limbaughs, GW Bushes, and Bill O'Reillys of the world. Do they truly love this country? Are they truly patriotic? Or are they that sick, self-indulgent parent who can't be bothered to nurture their child; who can't be bothered to correct that child because it gets in the way of what they want to do.

I feel confident in saying it is the latter. Now watch as Fox News continues the mind manipulation and smears the hope of this nation - Senator Barack Obama

If you like this video, you might want to donate to the filmmakers so that they can continue with the truth;

Monday, March 10, 2008

PENTAGON REPORT - Iraq had no previous link to al Qaida

WASHINGTON — An exhaustive review of more than 600,000 Iraqi documents that were captured after the 2003 U.S. invasion has found no evidence that Saddam Hussein's regime had any operational links with Osama bin Laden's al Qaida terrorist network.
The Pentagon-sponsored study, scheduled for release later this week, did confirm that Saddam's regime provided some support to other terrorist groups, particularly in the Middle East, U.S. officials told McClatchy. However, his security services were directed primarily against Iraqi exiles, Shiite Muslims, Kurds and others he considered enemies of his regime.
The new study of the Iraqi regime's archives found no documents indicating a "direct operational link" between Hussein's Iraq and al Qaida before the invasion, according to a U.S. official familiar with the report.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Barack supporter makes us look GOOD

This interviewer thought he was going to railroad this beautiful black man. He got tricked. He was so taken aback by the knowledge in this young man that he ended up agreeing with him. HAH!

Clinton, the Prime Minister, and NAFTA

Why do you suppose this story is not bigger than it is? Why have most of the media outlets chosen to ignore the fact that while Clinton was accusing Barack Obama of double talk - it was HER CAMP, doing the political two-step?

The Clinton camp denies the allegations, and so did Obama's team. So why is her denial more believable than Obama's?

Friday, March 7, 2008

Why does the media LIE?

Here we go again, CNN is saying that Obama is an amateur because a member of his team, said that he will re look at the best way to withdraw from Iraq in 2009. Is that the rational thing to do? Does that mean he will turn into John McCain? And why wasn't the Clinton campaign called amateurs when a member of her team spoke out of turn? hmmmm....

The truth is that Obama's economic adviser did not talk our of turn, his words were twisted - purposely. Here is the apology that is on the Canadian consulate's website.

Statement by the Consulate General of Canada in Chicago

Chicago, IL, March 3, 2008 — The Canadian Embassy and our Consulates General regularly contact those involved in all of the Presidential campaigns and, periodically, report on these contacts to interested officials. In the recent report produced by the Consulate General in Chicago, there was no intention to convey, in any way, that Senator Obama and his campaign team were taking a different position in public from views expressed in private, including about NAFTA. We deeply regret any inference that may have been drawn to that effect.

The people of the United States are in the process of choosing a new President and are fortunate to have strong and impressive candidates from both political parties. Canada will not interfere in this electoral process. We look forward, however, to working with the choice of the American people in further building an unparalleled relationship with a close friend and partner.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

NAFTA, CANADA Hillary and the Minister

Why are the members of the Canadian Parliament so upset at the supposed "wink wink nod nod" agreement that Obama's people made with Canada? BECAUSE IT IS A LIE! That's why. Here is actual footage from the Canadian Parliament's last session.

The other thing that I find very odd after looking at the interactive maps on CNN politics is that in some counties not one single Republican vote was cast...this on the heels of Limbaugh urging the GOP to vote for Clinton. Needless to say that in these counties Clinton won. hmmmm.... Is this how America chooses a President?!?

Monday, March 3, 2008

Hillary Clinton's foreign policy experience

Well folks, here it is. All of her famed experience can be summed up in this media conference call with Clinton's campaign advisers.

Click below to listen to the actual phone call

Clinton continues the Muslim Smear

“You don't believe that Senator Obama's a Muslim?” Kroft asked Sen. Clinton.

“Of course not. I mean, that, you know, there is no basis for that. I take him on the basis of what he says. And, you know, there isn't any reason to doubt that,” she replied.

“You said you'd take Senator Obama at his word that he's not…a Muslim. You don't believe that he's…,” Kroft said.

“No. No, there is nothing to base that on. As far as I know,” she said.

“It's just scurrilous…?” Kroft inquired.

“Look, I have been the target of so many ridiculous rumors, that I have a great deal of sympathy for anybody who gets, you know, smeared with the kind of rumors that go on all the time,” Clinton said.

So I ask the question again, at what point is an apology no longer acceptable? Is this the America that we want; where politicians will get on national TV and lie to get votes? We must not let this happen - for our children's sake!

Sunday, March 2, 2008

McCain and Clinton's record listed as EXTREMELY POOR

In fairness Obama's success rate is listed as poor the other two extremely poor. So what is all of this experience that they're talking about?

Barack Obama has sponsored 129 bills since Jan 4, 2005, of which 120 haven't made it out of committee (Poor) and 1 were successfully enacted (Average, relative to peers). Obama has co-sponsored 551 bills during the same time period (Average, relative to peers).
S. 2030: A bill to amend the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971 to require reporting relating to bundled contributions made by persons other than registered lobbyists.
S. 2111: Positive Behavior for Effective Schools Act
S. 2066: Back to School: Improving Standards for Nutrition and Physical Education in Schools Act of 2007
S.Con.Res. 46: A concurrent resolution supporting the goals and ideals of Sickle Cell Disease Awareness Month.
S. 2044: Independent Contractor Proper Classification Act of 2007 (to help workers not get exploited by employers by labeling them indie contractors)

Hillary Clinton has sponsored 354 bills since Jan 22, 2001, of which 307 haven't made it out of committee (Extremely Poor) and 2 were successfully enacted (Average, relative to peers). Clinton has co-sponsored 1728 bills during the same time period (Average, relative to peers).
S. 2114: American Home Ownership Preservation Act of 2007 (no co sponsors)
S. 2082: A bill to amend the Public Health Service Act to establish a Coordinated Environmental Public Health Network, and for other purposes. ( no explanation of goals)
S. 2059: Airline Flight Crew Technical Corrections Act (family and med leave amendment)
S. 1148: Hudson-Fulton-Champlain Quadricentennial Commemoration Commission Act of 2007 (PR bill let’s commemorate some one)
S. 2054: Neighborhood Reclamation and Revitalization Program Act of 2007 (self explanatory – want’s to give grants to realestate developers)

John McCain has sponsored 403 bills since Jan 21, 1997, of which 263 haven't made it out of committee (Extremely Poor) and 12 were successfully enacted (Extremely Good, relative to peers). McCain has co-sponsored 876 bills during the same time period (Average, relative to peers).
Some of McCain's most recently sponsored bills include... (View All)
S. 722: Walnut Canyon Study Act of 2007 (land study – goals not mentioned)
S. 2172: Saffron Revolution Support Act of 2007 (a bill to stop import of gems and hardwood from Burma?!?!)
S. 1304: Arizona National Scenic Trail Act
S. 32: Defense Acquisition Reform Act of 2007 (how they acquire stuff)
S. 1255: Indian Arts and Crafts Amendments Act of 2007

So, McCain get's extremely good for the amount finally enacted. However, let's look at the last 5 bills sponsored. They seem really safe! I've added explanations when the titles of the bills weren't self-explanatory. I'm not going to go back to the 1990s to look but I did at least look at 2007 and McCain’s only sponsored one bill dealing with foreign policy and ZERO dealing with the troops. Obama has sponsored 4 regarding foreign policy and Clinton 1.5 (one is so vague and has no explanation) Both Obama and Clinton have sponsored a handful of bills dealing with the troops, but Obama has sponsored more. Remember now, the Republicans claim to have the patent on patriotism. Forget a lapel pin how about trying to help our troops!!! The media doesn't bring up these things. I wonder why not...

Now let's see what they value based on these last 5 bills:
Obama: schools, public health, worker's rights, and ethics
Clinton: public health, worker's rights, housing, revitalization (though I question this last one there's not enough info)
McCain: protecting Native American arts and craft, studying the land, stopping Burma from exporting, and adding bureaucracy to the military acquisitions process

Hmmmm, now who cares more about America? Obama and Clinton win this hands down, but again the Republican's think they own the patent on patriotism. Forget the lapel pin bring our troops home!

So, we've blown experience out of the water, and values, now let's look at character.

Do I need to even comment on Sen. Clinton - naahhh
McCain was demonized by Karl Rove in the 2000 election calling his adopted daughter an illegitimate black child of his - now he embraces Rove. Hmmmm (this is a fact mentioned on numerous news programs- including CNN just last night)
Regarding Obama's church; Barack Obama attends a historically black church. This church’s pastor has some daughters who run a magazine. That magazine published by the daughters of the pastor of the church that Sen. Obama attends gives out awards to those who have helped the downtrodden — historically black communities across the country and black peoples around the world. Last year, one of those awards was given to Louis Farrakhan because of his and his organizations’ dedication to rehabilitating and improving the plight of ex-convicts. (for those of you who don't know The Nation of Islam has had a phenomenal success rate for eliminating recidivism among ex-cons. I don't agree with Farrakhan - but I cannot dispute a fact)
Regarding its African-centric views: "This is no different than the hundreds of UCC churches from the German Evangelical and Reformed stream that continue to own and celebrate their German heritage, insisting on annual sausage and sauerkraut dinners and singing Stille Nacht on Christmas Eve. Recognizing and celebrating our distinctive racial-ethnic heritages, cultures, languages and customs are what make us unique as a united and uniting denomination.' While Trinity UCC is predominately African American, it does include and welcome non-Black members. The Rev. Jane Fisler-Hoffman, Illinois Conference Minister, who is white, has been a member of the congregation for years."

It's 3am and your children are safe and asleep... What CRISIS DECISION has Clinton ever been forced to make?

RHETORIC: Clinton claims she is better qualified to answer the phone at the White House

FACT: Clinton failed her key foreign policy test with her support for Iraq. Also, Clinton and her campaign can still not answer the question of what in her experience makes her more qualified than Obama to handle tough foreign policy decisions

On CNN today:
Q: Senator, can you talk about one specific time when you've had to make that kind of 3 A.M., split-second decision based on foreign policy?

Clinton: Well, I was involved in a lot of the decisions that were made. But again, you're looking at it from the wrong perspective. I'm presenting – you know, no one who hasn't been president has ever done that. So, that's not the right question. The question is, what have you done over the course of a lifetime to equip you for that moment. Now, I think you'll be able to imagine many things Senator McCain will be able to say. He's never been the president, but he will put forth his lifetime of experience. I will put forth my lifetime of experience. Senator Obama will put forth the speech he made in 2002. And that's why national security is a critical issue for Democrats as we go into this primary; because everyone knows that John McCain will make this election about national security, that is a given. And it will be imperative that we have a nominee who is able to stand on that stage with Senator McCain, and I believe I am the person best able to do that. [CNN, 3/1/08]

From her campaign's conference call yesterday:
It was, in this reporter's opinion, the most interesting moment in today's Clinton campaign phoner with reporters. Responding to the release of HRC's new TX TV ad, which asserts in no subtle terms that only she has the experience to deal with a major world crisis, and, relatedly, to keep your children safe, Slate's John Dickerson asked the obvious question: "What foreign policy moment would you point to in Hillary's career where she's been tested by crisis?" he said. Silence on the call. You could've knit a sweater in the time it took the usually verbose team of Mark Penn, Howard Wolfson and Lee Feinstein, Clinton's national security director, to find a cogent answer. And what they came up with was weak -- that she's been endorsed by many high ranking members of the uniformed military. Take a listen... [Hotline, 2/29/08]

Friday, February 29, 2008


Clinton in 2004 campaigning for John Kerry

WE ARE THE ONES - new song by

"...The larger question going forward is: do specifics really matter? To quote Mike Tyson: the best fight plan in the world only lasts until you take the first punch in the face. Similarly, the best political ideas only last until you get them before a divided and ineffectual Congress.

Perhaps, more than specifics, we need a leader who can inspire people to pressure their reps to bend to the will of the new. What is rhetoric if not a call to action?

Perhaps that's a question someone would care to ask of Barack Obama..." (excerpts from a Huffington Post article written by writer of Three Kings, John Ridley)

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Barack HUSSEIN Obama - what's in a name?

At what point has an apology lost its meaning? At what point should we start looking at the aggressor as an intentional foe as opposed to a friend with a lapse in judgment? Should we assume that those in control of the airwaves or large organizations are not as intelligent as they’d like us to perceive them to be? They claim to be worthy of our trust in their abilities to lead, yet they continuously act in a manner that demands an apology.

So, I find myself in a quandary. There is a disconnect. Three of Clinton’s staff members acted in a manner that demanded not only an apology but in at least one case a dismissal. McCain’s staff thought it was wise to solicit the services of Mr. Cunningham as a surrogate for Senator McCain. And the staff of the Tennessee GOP thought it was prudent to distort the truth with hyperbolic allegations of anti-Semitic intent on the part of Barack Hussein Obama. In all three of these cases, staff was reprimanded, denounced, rejected and dismissed.

Were the leaders of the organizations sincere in their pronouncements? I have no idea because God did not grant me the gift of psychic abilities. However, the actions and non actions do have further implications that do not take a psychic to dissect.

  1. Either the leaders of these organization SANCTIONED the racist remarks or
  2. The “leaders” of these organizations ARE NOT LEADERS and are therefore not worthy of our trust.

It’s either one or the other and there is no middle ground. If these organizations were for-profit companies, these travesties would never have happened. Could you imagine Bill Gates alleging that Steve Jobs is a socialist? Or that he has anti – Semitic sentiments?!? It would never happen! Yet somehow in politics its allowed – even expected. And maybe that’s the part that makes me madder than ever. That America has sunk to the level where slander is a part of the daily lives of our leaders – that this is accepted behavior. And we follow along like the lemmings willfully stepping off of the cliff – without a safety net.

This is indeed the Washington that Barack wants to change. And so I ask, is this the America that I should be so proud of? Never mind the Rovian disgraces leveled against not just Dems but Repubs too; is this somehow okay?

It is time that we stop being so conservative and accepting of the status quo, afraid that change might be uncomfortable. Of course it will be uncomfortable. As a friend of mine used to say, “all growth is preceded by pain”. We can only hope that the same is true for America and that there is indeed growth after the pain.

A Letter to the Republican Party and any other anarchists

You still to do not realize that this time is different? That this time we're not going to accept business as usual? This time we're paying attention and we don't like what we see! We will not tolerate inflammatory, divisive rhetoric.

It is amazing to me that the party that claims to be a part of the 'moral majority' are acting so contrary to that. You coddle and idolize people like Karl Rove who even against his own fellow Repubs., will race-bait. As he did by passing around pictures of McCain's adopted child and calling her McCain's illegitimate black child.

So, is this the change that we can expect from the Republican party? Is this the change that McCain, who now embraces Rove, speaks of? Or better question, is this really who America is?

Are we an America that decides if one of our own disagrees with us then they are fair game to demonize? If so, then how are we any better than common criminals or better yet, how are we any better than the Taliban or other terrorist groups? Oh what, because we don't physically kill people? Well contrary to what Clinton believes, words are powerful and you can kill with them.

I believe we're better than that. WE HAVE YET to live up to the words of our founding fathers - AS LONG AS A GROUP IN AMERICA IS OPPRESSED - we are FAILING.

Be a part of the solution, not the problem.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Barack Obama does the work of the average person

Barack decided to spend a day doing the work of a home care provider -- so that he would have first hand knowledge of what America's average laborer's day is like. Please watch this, then ask yourself if you believe Hillary Clinton or John McCain would EVER do something like this.

Farrakhan and Obama

Senator Barack Obama is a Christian.

Christians are taught to DENOUNCE the SIN not the sinner.

For Sen. Clinton or MSNBC to demand that he do otherwise is reprehensible.

This is the Change that the Republican's offer

You know for a party that supposedly represents the MORAL MAJORITY, they seem to be seriously lacking in the morals department and polls show they definitely aren't in the majority.

However, John McCain and his republican cohorts offer that they are the voice and face of change - that they are what America needs:

Well I offer you this clip as evidence of the change that they offer. Whether it is Bill O'Reilly and Ann Coulture calling people pinheads or Hannidy race baiting. The Republicans offer politics, fear, and racism as usual. They have not yet realized that America is TIRED OF BEING DIVIDED. That Anglos are tired of feeling like they have to apologize for the stupidity of the Bill Cunninghams of the world.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

On Racism

First they came for the Jews
and I did not speak out
because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for the Communists
and I did not speak out
because I was not a Communist.
Then they came for the trade unionists
and I did not speak out
because I was not a trade unionist.
Then they came for me
and there was no one left
to speak out for me.

Pastor Martin Niemöller

Healthcare in American - Bush/McCain style

Friday, February 22, 2008

I for one am VERY proud to be an American

Well I for one am very proud to be an American, gosh I don't know what's wrong with that tacky Michelle Obama.
I was proud when my nephew went to Afganistan and my sister in law had to buy him a kevlar (sp?) vest out of her own money
I was proud when our president said that we have WMD's then papers came out proving he was planning to go to Iraq at the first opportunity
I was proud when Rumsfeld told the soldiers who were digging up scrap metal to protect their unarmored Humvees that "you go to war with the army you have not the army you want"
I was proud when our president was reading a book (upside down) to kids at the elementary school while terrorist ran OUR airplanes into the WTC
I was proud when our President was impeached and disbarred for lying because he had some woman sucking his #$*(*#&
I was proud when Bush sent our men over to Afghanistan and they came back with weird cancers (my brother did!!!)
I was proud when Reagan started to dismantle the middle class with his trickle down theory voodoo economics
I was proud when jimmy carter allowed our people to become hostages in Iran
I was proud when nixon was ALSO GOT CAUGHT LYING and was impeached
I was proud as we threw sticks at the poor service men coming home from Vietnam
I was proud when they shot MLK
I was proud when they shot Bobby Kennedy
I was proud when they shot JFK
I was proud when then shot my brothers and sister who marched through the streets of the south for freedom
I was proud for 100 years that we've spent in servitude in the south while our young men were lynched and hung from trees
I was extremely proud when we nuked Nagasaki and Hiroshima instead of Germany
I was proud for the 300+ years prior to that that my people were enslaved -- that means FREE LABOR that was stolen which made this country able to become so wealthy
I was proud when they separated the children from their parents and severed families
I was proud when they ended slavery and took a people that had no sense of community and dumped by the side of the road and said go figure it out (and still we stand)
I was proud when the ships came into the harbor carrying my brothers and sister in shackles
and I'm still proud when I go in to urban america and see how schools that have children of color have less resources than suburban schools
and I'm proud that my family gets to choose where to live based on how the police treat black people
and I'm proud when members of my VERY WELL EDUCATED family get thrown on the ground and handcuffed because they "look like some one who..."

FORGIVE ME IF I SOUND A LITTLE ANGRY I'm actually very happy and proud to be an AMERICAN!!!!

I Refuse to Buy into the Obama Hype (now a supporter)

(this has been "reprinted" with the universal permission from grassroots mom)

Wed Feb 20, 2008 at 05:13:32 PM PST

The next President is going to have some MAJOR challenges.
I refuse to buy into the hype, on either side, but especially on that of Obama. However the "empty rhetoric" v. "history of accomplishments" arguments have prompted me to check it out on my own, not relying on any candidate's website, book, or worst of all supporters' diaries, like this one.

I went to the Library of Congress Website. The FACTS of what each did in the Senate last year sure surprised me. I'm sure they will surprise you, too. Whether you love or hate Hillary, you will be surprised. Whether you think Obama is the second coming of JFK or an inexperienced lightweight, you will surprised. Go check out the Library of Congress Website. After spending some time there, it will be clear that there is really only one candidate would is ready to be the next president, even better than Gore. If you don't want to spend an hour or two doing research, then I'll tell you what I discovered on the jump.

I looked up Obama and looked up Clinton. I looked at the bills that they both authored and introduced. Anyone who has been around politics, and is honest, realizes that there are a lot of reasons why a Senator votes one way or another on bills or misses votes. However an examination of the bills that each of these Senators cared enough about to author and introduce revealed much to me: what they care about, what their priorities are, how they tackle problems. And the list of co-sponsors showed something about how they lead, inspire and work with others. Finally, looking at which bills actually passed is pretty indicative of how effective each would be at getting things done.

Before I get into the nitty gritty, let's all be honest here. It is damn hard to get anything through Congress these days. And Obama and Clinton care about the same issues and have obviously worked together on a lot of legislation, whatever Sen. Clinton's campaign may imply. She is a frequent co-sponsor on his bills, and he on hers. They are both completely competent senators.

I started with Sen. Clinton.

I'm not a Hillary Hater, but I certainly didn't like her much either. I didn't like her DLC history; her votes on Iraq, Iran or the bankruptcy bill; her characterization of the years she spent as First Lady as "executive experience." Hillary Clinton is no Eleanor Roosevelt. Perhaps more like Lady Bird Johnson. Hillary claims to have brought us SCHIP (with a little help from Ted Kennedy). Lady Bird brought us Head Start as well as cleaner, nicer highways. Anyone 40 or older probably remembers when the nation's highways were basically disgusting garbage dumps lined with billboards. But no one thinks Lady Bird should have been president. Might as well argue for Barbara Bush because of her efforts on family literacy, or Nancy Reagan and the War on Drugs.

Hillary Clinton does have a solid record in the Senate, however.

I came away from my research really knowing a lot more about what is important to Hillary in her heart: kids and their well being. My research changed my feeling about her significantly. About 40% of her bills dealt with health care and/or kids. As a mom with small kids, I like her passion for children's issues. But curiously, her big bill to deliver health care to every child, the one she lauds on her website, S.895 : "A bill to amend titles XIX and XXI of the Social Security Act to ensure that every child in the United States has access to affordable, quality health insurance coverage, and for other purposes" had not a single co-sponsor. Not one, according to the Library of Congress. Why is that? Is it a bad bill? Or is she not able to recruit support for her signature issue? Or did she just submit it simply to put in the hopper, so to speak, so she could claim she was working on it. I honestly don't know the answer, but I find it curious and suspicious that not even Ted Kennedy co-sponsored it. Its sister bill in the house, H.R. 1535, introduced by John Dingell has 42 co-sponsors. It's just weird. I honestly don't know what to make of it.

S.895 was major. But most of her other bills are much smaller in scale and scope — more targeted and more careful.

For example, she introduced one bill that offered tax credits for building owners who clean up lead paint. Which is a very good thing. And Obama is a co-sponsor. "S.1793 : A bill to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to provide a tax credit for property owners who remove lead-based paint hazards."

Obama's anti-lead bill (S. 1306) directed the Consumer Product Safety Commission to classify certain children's products containing lead as banned hazardous substances. He had another bill prohibitting the interstate transport of children's products containing lead. (S.2132) And Hillary co-sponsored each of these.

In other words, they both care about protecting children from lead.

The difference is in the scope and the approach.

Obama's bill shows how he thinks big: do everything we can to make sure that lead-painted Thomas the Tank Engine toys don't get into the hands and mouths of millions of toddlers in this country.

Or Hillary: encourage people by offering tax credits to clean up lead paint in old buildings. People have been talking about lead paint in old buildings hurting kids in living in inner cities, since, well when I was a kid — for decades. If it is still a big problem, is offering tax credits for clean up, i.e. scrape down the walls and repaint, the best way to protect kids from lead?

How many of you parents have lead paint problems? How many have (or had) toxic Thomas the Tank Engine Toys? They are everywhere. The local bookstore and kid's shoe store and the doctor's office and the preschool and the toystore all have train tables. There is nowhere you can go anymore with toddlers that doesn't have a Thomas the Tank Engine train table covered with toxic toys. But that's just my feeling.

Obama's bills risk pissing off the toy industry and the Chinese. Hillary's risks nothing.

A lot of Clinton's health bills focus on children. Or women. She introduced a billl for research in the causes of gestational diabetes, for more pediatric research (S.895) and a rural agriculture bill to get farm-fresh veggies into schools (S.1031).

Her bill dealing with the crisis in foreclosure is actually S.2114 : "A bill to amend the Truth in Lending Act, to provide for enhanced disclosures to consumers and enhanced regulation of mortgage brokers, and for other purposes." Again, no co-sponsors. Obama also introduced a bill in the face of the mortgage foreclosure crisis: S.1222 : "A bill to stop mortgage transactions which operate to promote fraud, risk, abuse, and under-development, and for other purposes." Sponsor: Sen Obama, Barack [IL] (introduced 4/25/2007), co-sponsored by Dick Durbin.

In her ads and speeches, Clinton claims that she's fighting to stop foreclosure while implying that Obama is empty rhetoric. Actually, Clinton is calling for "enhanced disclosures to consumers and enhanced regulation", while Obama's bill will "stop mortgage transactions which operate to promote fraud, risk, abuse, and under-development." After looking at the two bills, Obama's appears to be tougher, more directly addressing the problem.

Speaking of Obama, here's a list of some of his proposed legislation.

Four bills on energy including
• S.1151 : A bill to provide incentives to the auto industry to accelerate efforts to develop more energy-efficient vehicles to lessen dependence on oil;
•S.115 : A bill to suspend royalty relief, to repeal certain provisions of the Energy Policy Act of 2005, and to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to repeal certain tax incentives for the oil and gas industry; and •S.133 : A bill to promote the national security and stability of the economy of the United States by reducing the dependence of the United States on oil through the use of alternative fuels and new technology, and for other purposes.

Clinton had only one bill that I could find that addressed the same issue, S.701 : A bill to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to impose a temporary oil profit fee and to use the proceeds of the fee collected to provide a Strategic Energy Fund and expand certain energy tax incentives, and for other purposes.

Obama wants to "repeal certain tax incentives for the oil and gas industry". Clinton sees the answer in a "temporary oil profit fee" and to "expand certain energy tax incentives" for alternative energy. Obama's alternative energy bill (S.133) was co-sponsored by Harkin, Lugar and Salazar. Clinton's bill again had no co-sponsors.

On health care he introduced ten bills/amendments, including one amendment that passed: S.AMDT.1041 to S.1082 To improve the safety and efficacy of genetic tests. Other issues addressed in his proposed health care legislation were AIDS research (S.823 ), hospital report cards (S.692 — the V.A., and S.1824 — Medicare), better emergency care (S.1873), and drug price controls (S.2347).

Clinton's health care bills, for the most part, didn't impress me much, although she introduced many more bills in this area than Obama did:

S.CON.RES.63 : A concurrent resolution expressing the sense of the Congress regarding the need for additional research into the chronic neurological condition hydrocephalus, and for other purposes.
S.RES.176 : A resolution recognizing April 30, 2007, as "National Healthy Schools Day".
S.RES.222 : A resolution supporting the goals and ideals of Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month.
S.201 : A bill to establish a grant program for individuals still suffering health effects as a result of the September 11, 2001, attacks in New York City and at the Pentagon.
S.907 : A bill to establish an Advisory Committee on Gestational Diabetes, to provide grants to better understand and reduce gestational diabetes, and for other purposes.
S.993 : A bill to improve pediatric research.
S.982 : A bill to amend the Public Health Service Act to provide for integration of mental health services and mental health treatment outreach teams, and for other purposes.
S.1065 : A bill to improve the diagnosis and treatment of traumatic brain injury in members and former members of the Armed Forces, to review and expand telehealth and telemental health programs of the Department of Defense and the Department of Veterans Affairs, and for other purposes.
S.1075 : A bill to amend title XIX of the Social Security Act to expand access to contraceptive services for women and men under the Medicaid program, help low income women and couples prevent unintended pregnancies and reduce abortion, and for other purposes.
S.1343 : A bill to amend the Public Health Service Act with respect to prevention and treatment of diabetes, and for other purposes.
S.1712 : A bill to amend the Public Health Service Act to improve newborn screening activities, and for other purposes.

and on and on. Plenty of these have plenty of co-sponsors. Obviously, Hillary Clinton really knows her stuff on the issues of health care. None of them passed, however. On Obama's side, one of his health care initiatives passed in the Senate, the aforementioned amendment to Kennedy's S.1082, the FDA Revitalization Act.

Truth be told, it was very depressing doing this research to see all these great ideas and how little actually gets done. Looking at the legislative history of Kennedy's bill is a good example. It finally passed but its sister bill in the House, H.R.2900, was the one that was finally enacted, and with it, Obama's amendment for safe and effective genetic testing. Clinton submitted two amendments to this bill, one of would have eliminated the sunsetting of pediatric data collection; the other would have begin the process to approve generic versions of complex and expensive drugs called biologics or biotech drugs. Neither were adopted.

Now let's look more closely at Obama.

I was blown away as I started going through his record. I've already mentioned his bills on health care and energy. In addition he had introduced bills on Iran, voting, veterans, global warming, campaign finance and lobbyists, Blackwater, global poverty, nuclear proliferation, and education.
On Iran: S.J.RES.23 : A joint resolution clarifying that the use of force against Iran is not authorized by the Authorization for the Use of Military Force Against Iraq, any resolution previously adopted, or any other provision of law.

On votingPassed out of Committee and now on the Senate Calendar for Feb. 22, 2008
S.453 : A bill to prohibit deceptive practices in Federal elections Please check this out! This is a great bill. We need this. I can't believe that this time voter intimidation is not already illegal.

On veterans and military personnel: S.1084 : A bill to provide housing assistance for very low-income veterans;

On global warmingS.1324 : A bill to amend the Clean Air Act to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from transportation fuel sold in the United States;S.1389 : A bill to authorize the National Science Foundation to establish a Climate Change Education Program; S.AMDT.599 to S.CON.RES.21 To add $200 million for Function 270 (Energy) for the demonstration and monitoring of carbon capture and sequestration technology by the Department of Energy. (This last one passed both the House and the Senate as part of the budget bill.)

On campaign finance and lobbyists S.2030 : A bill to amend the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971 to require reporting relating to bundled contributions made by persons other than registered lobbyists; and S.AMDT.41 to S.1 To require lobbyists to disclose the candidates, leadership PACs, or political parties for whom they collect or arrange contributions, and the aggregate amount of the contributions collected or arranged.

On Blackwater S.2044 : A bill to provide procedures for the proper classification of employees and independent contractors, and for other purposes, and S.2147 : A bill to require accountability for contractors and contract personnel under Federal contracts, and for other purposes.

On global poverty S.2433 : A bill to require the President to develop and implement a comprehensive strategy to further the United States foreign policy objective of promoting the reduction of global poverty, the elimination of extreme global poverty, and the achievement of the Millennium Development Goal of reducing by one-half the proportion of people worldwide, between 1990 and 2015, who live on less than $1 per day.

On global nuclear proliferation S.1977 : A bill to provide for sustained United States leadership in a cooperative global effort to prevent nuclear terrorism, reduce global nuclear arsenals, stop the spread of nuclear weapons and related material and technology, and support the responsible and peaceful use of nuclear technology.

I counted nine education bills, but it's getting late and I've got to get my kids ready for bed.

As I mentioned earlier, Clinton is a frequent co-sponsor on many of Obama's bills. So is Ted Kennedy. So are a number of Republicans.

Finally, Obama appears to have a better record last year in the Senate on getting his bills and amendments passed than does Clinton. I've listed everything that passed the Senate for each them at the end in boxes. But check out for yourself. I may have missed something.

In my eyes Obama is the superior choice in every way. He cares about more of the issues that matter to me. Kids and health care are important but so is the issue of global warming, on which Clinton introduced not a single bill last year.

Obama is a leader. With bigger majorities in Congress, much of his agenda should sail through. He can inspire this country to change course on so many things, from health care to global warming, where attitudes have to be changed first. I remember Bill Clinton's endless laundry lists of small, focus group approved initiatives. For those who say Hillary will not govern like Bill did, I respond that the people who were doing the market testing of his proposed policies were Dick Morris, of course, and Mark Penn, who is now running Hillary's campaign.

It's Obama for me! I just sent him $100. My first donation this election.

Yes, We Can!

Clinton's Successes:
S.694 : A bill to direct the Secretary of Transportation to issue regulations to reduce the incidence of child injury and death occurring inside or outside of light motor vehicles, and for other purposes. (This is currently in conference committee to reconcile difference with the House bill)
Passed in the Senate:
S.CON.RES.27 : A concurrent resolution supporting the goals and ideals of "National Purple Heart Recognition Day".
S.RES.21 : A resolution recognizing the uncommon valor of Wesley Autrey of New York, New York
S.RES.92 : A resolution calling for the immediate and unconditional release of soldiers of Israel held captive by Hamas and Hezbollah.
S.RES.141 : A resolution urging all member countries of the International Commission of the International Tracing Service who have yet to ratify the May 2006 amendments to the 1955 Bonn Accords to expedite the ratification process to allow for open access to the Holocaust archives located at Bad Arolsen, Germany.
S.RES.222 : A resolution supporting the goals and ideals of Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month.
S.AMDT.666 to H.R.1591 To link award fees under Department of Homeland Security contracts to successful acquisition outcomes under such contracts.
S.AMDT.2047 to H.R.1585 To specify additional individuals eligible to transportation for survivors of deceased members of the Armed Forces to attend their burial ceremonies.
S.AMDT.2108 to H.R.1585 To require a report on the planning and implementation of the policy of the United States toward Darfur.
S.AMDT.2390 to H.R.2638 To require that all contracts of the Department of Homeland Security that provide award fees link such fees to successful acquisition outcomes.
S.AMDT.2474 to H.R.2638 To ensure that the Federal Protective Service has adequate personnel.
S.AMDT.2823 to H.R.3074 To require a report on plans to alleviate congestion and flight delays in the New York/New Jersey/Philadelphia Airspace.
S.AMDT.2917 to H.R.1585 To extend and enhance the authority for temporary lodging expenses for members of the Armed Forces in areas subject to a major disaster declaration or for installations experiencing a sudden increase in personnel levels.

Obama's Success:
S.AMDT.1041 to S.1082 To improve the safety and efficacy of genetic tests.
S.AMDT.3073 to H.R.1585 To provide for transparency and accountability in military and security contracting.
S.AMDT.3078 to H.R.1585 Relating to administrative separations of members of the Armed Forces for personality disorder.
S.AMDT.41 to S.1 To require lobbyists to disclose the candidates, leadership PACs, or political parties for whom they collect or arrange contributions, and the aggregate amount of the contributions collected or arranged.
S.AMDT.524 to S.CON.RES.21 To provide $100 million for the Summer Term Education Program supporting summer learning opportunities for low-income students in the early grades to lessen summer learning losses that contribute to the achievement gaps separating low-income students from their middle-class peers.
S.AMDT.599 to S.CON.RES.21 To add $200 million for Function 270 (Energy) for the demonstration and monitoring of carbon capture and sequestration technology by the Department of Energy.
S.AMDT.905 to S.761 To require the Director of Mathematics, Science, and Engineering Education to establish a program to recruit and provide mentors for women and underrepresented minorities who are interested in careers in mathematics, science, and engineering.
S.AMDT.923 to S.761 To expand the pipeline of individuals entering the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics fields to support United States innovation and competitiveness.
S.AMDT.924 to S.761 To establish summer term education programs.
S.AMDT.2519 to H.R.2638 To provide that one of the funds appropriated or otherwise made available by this Act may be used to enter into a contract in an amount greater than $5 million or to award a grant in excess of such amount unless the prospective contractor or grantee certifies in writing to the agency awarding the contract or grant that the contractor or grantee owes no past due Federal tax liability.
S.AMDT.2588 to H.R.976 To provide certain employment protections for family members who are caring for members of the Armed Forces recovering from illnesses and injuries incurred on active duty.
S.AMDT.2658 to H.R.2642 To provide that none of the funds appropriated or otherwise made available by this Act may be used to enter into a contract in an amount greater than $5,000,000 or to award a grant in excess of such amount unless the prospective contractor or grantee makes certain certifications regarding Federal tax liability.
S.AMDT.2692 to H.R.2764 To require a comprehensive nuclear threat reduction and security plan.
S.AMDT.2799 to H.R.3074 To provide that none of the funds appropriated or otherwise made available by this Act may be used to enter into a contract in an amount greater than $5,000,000 or to award a grant in excess of such amount unless the prospective contractor or grantee makes certain certifications regarding Federal tax liability.
S.AMDT.3137 to H.R.3222 To provide that none of the funds appropriated or otherwise made available by this Act may be used to enter into a contract in an amount greater than $5,000,000 or to award a grant in excess of such amount unless the prospective contractor or grantee makes certain certifications regarding Federal tax liability.
S.AMDT.3234 to H.R.3093 To provide that none of the funds appropriated or otherwise made available by this Act may be used to enter into a contract in an amount greater than $5,000,000 or to award a grant in excess of such amount unless the prospective contractor or grantee makes certain certifications regarding Federal tax liability.
S.AMDT.3331 to H.R.3043 To provide that none of the funds appropriated or otherwise made available by this Act may be used to enter into a contract in an amount greater than $5,000,000 or to award a grant in excess of such amount unless the prospective contractor or grantee makes certain certifications regarding Federal tax liability.
Senate Resolutions Passed:
S.RES.133 : A resolution celebrating the life of Bishop Gilbert Earl Patterson.
S.RES.268 : A resolution designating July 12, 2007, as "National Summer Learning Day".