Head over to TaylorMarsh.com — she’s doing great coverage of Jeremiah Wright and Obama’s 20 years seeking Wright’s spiritual guidance. She also notes that Michelle Obama chose to raise their two young children in this church, exposed to Wright’s sermons. Has she taught her daughters to be as proud of America as she is?
In the spirit of bipartisanship, we at HillBuzz salute John McCain today.
35 years ago, this brave man was released from his living Hell in Hanoi. Regardless of what you think of the Republican party, or its policies, you have to be proud of John McCain, as an American, today.
This man may not have the best healthcare or economic plan for the nation in 2008, but he HAS GUTS, and proved it 35 years ago.
Senator Clinton has worked with Senator McCain on numerous projects through the years; the two are indeed friends, and traveled to Iraq together. With Clinton in the White House and McCain in the Senate, these two pragmatists will bring real change in Washington with strong bipartisan support.
All of us in this country, regardless of party, owe ALL men AND women who have served in uniform our constant, undying gratitude. Not only today, but each and every day. We can disagree on many things as Democrats and Republicans, and the nature of our democracy is such that we SHOULD disagree on many things, save one: we all honor our troops, our brave volunteers, wherever in the world they may be.
We at HillBuzz look forward to campaigning against McCain in the fall, but with the utmost respect for his honorable service in Vietnam.
HillBuzz was asked this same question and wondered the same thing: it’s being asked all over the internet.
Where’s Obama ?
It is now about 12:00 noon est and we have not seen or heard from Obama. The man with the superior judgement.Where’s Obama ? This story is going to drive the news all weekend and the only response from Obama is a statement released by his communications director. Where’s Obama ?I have visited the obvious Obama hangouts. It’s awful quiet about this out there. I think Obama boosters are stunned. What do they do now ? How does Claire McCaskill in Missouri climb down off of the bandwagon unscathed.I don’t know how Obama can overcome 20 yrs of membership in that church. Now I understand why Michelle seems so negative and bitter. Have their children been immersed in this stuff ? This is very scary. I have never been this upset about an election in my life. My world is turned upside down…last night I found myself agreeing with Bill O’Reily (OMG).God Damn America ? Where IS Obama.
HillBuzz was asked to pass this on: an appeal for all Democrats to ask the SEIU if it’s appropriate to maintain its endorsement of Obama in light of the revelation that he’s supported a hate-filled Chicago church for the last 20 years, and claims its demogogue as his spiritual advisor.
Here’s how to contact the SEIU and make your opinion known:
Everyone, PLEASE CALL Anna Burger at SEIU union too. Per Debbie’s posts @ 3:11pm and 3:17pm, Anna is very anti-Clinton and is the one making political decisions for Change to Win and SEIU. We need put pressure on the SEIU union who endorsed BO. They have 1.9 million union members and have contributed HUGE amounts of money towards ads for Bambi. Losing this endorsement could be critical for this election!
Everyone, please call now about the Rev. Wright video and ask why SEIU is still endorsing BO, especially given these anti-American comments and NAFTA-gate!
Union President Andy Stern, x7300
Executive VP Eliseo Medina, x7863
Executive VP Tom Woodruff, x7210
Executive VP Mary Kay Henry, x7708
Local Union Lorna abraham, x7451
Sec/Tres Anna Burger, x7303
HillBuzz read this today on NBC:
From NBC’s Mark Hudspeth
The Obama campaign says they have no plans to ask the Rev. Jeremiah Wright to step down from a campaign spiritual advisory committee. They’re stressing that this committee — the African American Religious Leadership Committee — was a laundry list of people associated with the campaign and didn’t really do anything. The group never actually met.
They say Wright has no formal role on the campaign (unlike some others on this committe who do have a formal role in faith-based outreach). They say he was included mostly out of respect to his long relationship with Obama.
Aides say he was not present during the Christmas 2007 sermon or the post-Sept. 11 sermon. They weren’t sure about some of the others in question, are not sure when the last time the two spoke, and they stressed they don’t speak frequently.
We wonder if anyone can find a video or news story where Obama is in attendance for one of Jeremiah Wright’s fiery speeches.
Who’s up for a little sleuthing?
Obama Silent on Earmarks As Ill. Senator
The Associated Press
Fri, Mar 14, 2008 (12:57 p.m.)
Sen. Barack Obama is open about the pet projects he’s tucked into federal legislation, but it’s a different story when it comes to the extra spending he added to state budgets while serving in the Illinois Legislature.
Public records reveal some of the projects he sponsored as a state senator, from literacy programs and park improvements to drill team uniforms and jazz-appreciation events. They add up to more than $6 million.
But that covers just two of Obama’s nearly eight years in the Illinois Senate. State records don’t detail his projects from other years, and his presidential campaign has not responded to repeated requests from The Associated Press for information.
While silent about Obama’s spending in Illinois, his campaign has criticized Democratic presidential rival Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton for withholding similar information about her years in the U.S. Senate.
Obama communications director Robert Gibbs said Thursday that her position should prompt voters to “ask why she doesn’t believe they have the right to know she wants to spend their tax dollars.”
Since entering the U.S. Senate and launching his presidential campaign, Obama has made a political issue of openness.
He voluntarily discloses the “earmarks” he adds to the federal budget; Clinton does not. He initially released one year’s worth of earmark information, for 2007, but on Thursday he released his 2005 and 2006 requests, as well. Aides said he will not seek any earmarks this year.
“I have been consistently in favor of more disclosure around earmarks,” Obama said in a debate last month. “Now, keep in mind a lot of these are worthy projects in our states … but I want to make sure that they’re not done in the dark of night.”
That disclosure, however, so far applies only to federal spending.
When Obama served in the state Legislature, from 1997 until late 2004, it was routine for money to be added to the annual budget for lawmakers to dole out. In most years, this was done without any public record of which legislator was sponsoring which grant, leaving no way to tell how Obama used his share of the money.
But for a couple of years, the state did link lawmakers and grants.
Records from that period show Obama sponsored a little more than $6 million in projects.
Of that, $2 million went to the Chicago Park District for projects ranging from adding or expanding parks to repairing fountains to building a running track.
Chicago schools got grants of $5,000 and $10,000 to buy computers, improve security systems or offer new programs. The transportation department got $200,000 for new stoplights.
Private organizations got money, too.
Neighborhood groups in the South Side district he represented were given grants, typically $15,000 or $20,000, for such projects as senior centers, park improvements and teen mentoring programs.
Obama was one of several lawmakers to direct money to the South Shore Drill Team, which tries to keep poor children away from drugs and gangs by involving them in dance and music. Obama’s grant to them was $25,000.
He also directed $100,000 to the Museum of Science and Industry for an exhibit on the nature of time, and provided two $5,000 grants for groups promoting jazz appreciation.
(This version CORRECTS UPDATES with Obama forgoing earmarks next year; corrects that earmark information released for 2005 and 2006 was for the calendar years, sted according to federal budget cycle.)
March 14, 2008 — Which of these outrageous positions of his pastor and longtime spiritual advisor, Rev. Jeremiah Wright, does Barack Obama endorse?
That African-Americans should not say “God Bless America,” but rather “God damn America” for “killing innocent people”?
That 9/11 was a case of “America’s chickens coming home to roost”?
That Zionism has an element of “white racism”?
The one implied by his decision to make a pilgrimage to Libyan dictator Moammar Khadafy with Louis Farrakhan – a man Wright’s church has hailed for having “truly epitomized greatness”?
These are not idle questions. And certainly not unfair ones.
Just two weeks ago, the Democratic National Committee put out a press release asking the same kind of questions of John McCain, the presumptive GOP presidential nominee.
The attack concerned Rev. John Hagee, a leading televangelist who endorsed McCain’s candidacy; the DNC demanded that McCain renounce Hagee’s support because of the minister’s past anti-Catholic and anti-Muslim remarks.
Noting McCain’s statement that he was “not endorsing some of [Hagee’s] positions, the DNC asked: “Which Hagee positions does McCain endorse?”
Well, right back at ‘em.
Hagee, it should be noted, has merely announced his support for McCain, with whom he’s had no longstanding relationship.
Obama and Wright, by contrast, have been intensely close for two decades: The Chicago minister married the Obamas, baptized their children and dedicated their house. He even provided the title of the senator’s book, “The Audacity of Hope.”
Now ABC News says it has reviewed dozens of Wright’s sermons – and found repeated public denunciations of America.
In response to media inquiries about the relationship, Obama has condemned some of Wright’s more incendiary remarks and sidestepped others by saying he wasn’t in church that day.
As recently as this week, his campaign has insisted, “There are things [Wright] says with which Sen. Obama deeply disagrees.”
Of course, when John McCain said pretty much the same thing about Hagee, the DNC went up the wall.
Obama clearly realizes that his spiritual mentor could be a major political liability – which explains why, at the last minute, he canceled plans to have Wright deliver an invocation at his presidential-campaign kickoff.
He’s going to have to do better than that. For surely the Democratic Party can’t hold its own candidate to a different standard than it does Republicans.
The attack on Ferraro comes out of a conscious strategy of the Obama campaign — to seek immunity from attack by smearing any and all attackers as having racist motives. When Bill Clinton dismissed Obama’s claim to have been consistently antiwar as a “fairy tale,” and twinned Obama’s victory in South Carolina with Jesse Jackson’s, his statements were described as tinged with racism.
Early this week, Harvard Professor Orlando Patterson’s sensitive nostrils sniffed out racism in Hillary’s Red Phone ad, as there were no blacks in it. Patterson said it reminded him of D.W. Griffith’s pro-KKK “Birth of a Nation,” a 1915 film.
What Barack’s allies seem to be demanding is immunity, a special exemption from political attack, because he is African-American. And those who go after him are to be brought up on charges of racism, as has Bill Clinton, Ed Rendell and now Geraldine Ferraro.
Hillary, hoping to appease Barack’s constituency, is ceding the point. Will the Republican Party and the right do the same? Play by Obama rules, and you lose to Obama.
Video emerged of Barack Obama’s pastor’s saying that the U.S. invited the September 11 attacks with its support for state terrorism abroad.
Ever since the rise of the religious right, conservative politicians have attempted a delicate two-step with conservative Christianity’s more extreme elements, simultaneously welcoming their support and keeping their more outlandish positions at arm’s length. Now it’s Barack Obama’s turn to try the same trick — except that the extremist in question is the pastor of his church, a spiritual mentor, and the man who married him and baptized his children.
For a time, it looked like the controversy surrounding the Reverend Wright would be confined to his connection to Louis Farrakhan and his Afrocentric gloss on Christianity. But the new video footage takes things a step further: The problem is less that Wright sounds Malcolm X than that he sounds like Jerry Falwell crossed with Ward Churchill, calling down God’s vengeance on a corrupt U.S.A., but for leftist instead of right-wing reasons.
So far, Obama has attempted to laugh off Wright’s penchant for inflammatory rhetoric, comparing him to “an old uncle who says things I don’t always agree with,” and suggesting that this is “what happens when you just cherry-pick statements from a guy who had a 40-year career as a pastor.” But as Wright’s America-bashing gets more airtime — and as his Obama-boosting sermons put his church’s tax exemption at risk — Obama may have to go further down the road to explicitly disavowing his pastor. His connection to Wright isn’t the equivalent of John McCain’s going to Liberty University to make nice with Jerry Falwell. It’s the equivalent of John McCain taking his wife and children, most Sundays, to Jerry Falwell’s church. And the disconnect between Obama’s studied moderation and his congregation’s radicalism requires more of an explanation than he’s offered so far.
In an election when many expected that Mitt Romney’s fate would be determined by how he talked (or didn’t) about his Mormon faith, it may be Obama whose candidacy ends up riding on how he addresses the relationship between his politics and his church.
— Ross Douthat
And his insistence on standing by his man, The Reverend Jeremiah Wright Jr., his pastor for the last 20 years at the Trinity United Church of Christ on Chicago’s south side who just happens to be a bigot, is troubling, indeed.
Reverend Wright has been the topic of much discussion amongst inquiring minds for lo these many months of this presidential campaign. The Rev. Jeremiah Wright Jr. has a long history of what even Obama’s campaign aides concede is “inflammatory rhetoric,” including the assertion that the United States brought on the 9/11 attacks with its own “terrorism.”
In a campaign appearance earlier this month, Sen. Obama said, “I don’t think my church is actually particularly controversial.” He said Rev. Wright “is like an old uncle who says things I don’t always agree with,” telling a Jewish group in Cleveland before the Ohio primary that everyone has someone like Wright in their family.
Rev. Wright married Senator Obama and his wife Michelle, baptized their two daughters and is credited by Obama for the title of his book, “The Audacity of Hope.”
Wright has a formal role in Obama’s campaign. He is a member of Obama’s African-American Religious Leadership Committee, an honorary advisory group that in recent days has been used mostly to take care of people who say controversial things, according to ABC News Brian Ross.
We’ve been down this road with Sen. Obama before. The young Senator from Illinois seems to have surrounded himself with controversial figures and when speaking to these associations he appears to have mastered the art of the school of having it both ways.
When some people in his campaign step over the line, white folks in particular, they are quickly denounced and retired from his campaign.
A case in point, Obama’s troubled foreign policy advisor, Samantha Power, who in an interview with a foreign newspaper called Obama’s rival, Senator Hillary Clinton, a “monster.” Ms. Power was gone immediately, no walking any line here, nor a room in the family attic.
Yet Obama has a way of dismissing others’ trespasses with a calm demeanor, an insincere apology, a clever retort, or whatever device he needs to put off the inquiring press… particularly when the controversial words are made by his associates who happen to be African-American.
Obama used his rhetorical aplomb recently when confronted about his association with the highly-bigoted Nation of Islam leader Reverend Louis Farrahkan who had endorsed the Illinois Senator.
When during a debate NBC’s Tim Russert asked Obama, “Do you accept the support of Louis Farrakhan?” Obama might have said, “No.” But instead, he seemed to go out of his way to denounce some of Farrakhan’s statements while not taking on Farrakhan himself.
More than a few observers were taken aback by Obama’s not-so-deft sidestep.
Obama’s campaign has been fueled by the African-American vote. A recent Rasmussen poll has Obama garnering 81 percent of the black vote compared to Clinton’s 7 percent.
A large segment of the African-American community worships the very ground Rev. Farrakhan walks on. Rev. Wright is thought to be one of the ten most influential black pastors.
There has been much talk about the uncomfortable subjects of racism and gender bias in this campaign in which the first black man and the first woman are fighting to become the Democratic Party’s nominee for president. But the subject of race is front and center these days.
Former Vice-Presidential candidate Geraldine Ferraro, a Clinton supporter, took a lickin’ from the Obama camp this week for making comments after a paid speech to the Torrance Cultural Center in Torrance, California.
“If Obama was a white man,” she asserted, “he would not be in this position. And if he was a woman of any color, he would not be in this position. He happens to be very lucky to be who he is. And the country is caught up in the concept.” Her remarks touched off a torrent of criticisms.
Mrs. Clinton, saying she did not agree with the comments, called it “regrettable that any of our supporters — on both sides because we both have this experience — say things that kind of veer off into the personal.”
Mr. Obama called the remarks “divisive.”
Mrs. Ferraro resigned Wednesday from Senator Hillary Clinton’s campaign finance committee but remained unapologetic.
Now tapes of Reverend Wright’s controversial sermons have surfaced though Sen. Obama in the past denied their content. When questioned about the tapes, Obama’s campaign insisted that Sen. Obama can attend Wright’s church and not agree with everything he says.
It would be impossible to imagine a President of the United States attending a Church where the lead pastor stood on the pulpit and made such statements as blacks should not sing “God Bless America” but “God damn America. God damn America for treating our citizens as less than human. God damn America for as long as she acts like she is God and she is supreme.”
Or this gem: “Barack knows what it means to be a black man living in a country and a culture that is controlled by rich white people. Hillary can never know that. Hillary ain’t never been called the ‘N’ word.”
Despite the controversy Rev. Wright remains on the committee even when it was only a day ago that the Obama Campaign so vehemently went after one of Hillary Clinton’s surrogates and accused the Clinton Campaign of “exhibiting a pattern of racial bigotry.”
But considering the remarks of Obama’s spiritual mentor Rev. Wright, and Rev. Farrakhan’s, too, isn’t this a case of the pot calling the kettle black?