Ylizaville

Obama takes Lieberman behind the woodshed

Posted in Opinion by yliza on June 5, 2008

(I read about this on Jack and Jill politics. Of course, the next thing I did was look for some video on YouTube.)

Yesterday, Joe Lieberman publicly challenged Obama’s judgement regarding foreign policy (h/t Daily Kos):

Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.), a McCain supporter, challenged Sen. Barack Obama’s judgment and experience on Israel and national security issues, following the Illinois senator’s speech this morning at the influential pro-Israel lobbying group American Israel Public Affairs Committee, or AIPAC, conference in Washington. Lieberman said there was “a disconnect between some of the things [Obama] said today” and some of his past statements.

“To be specific, I was troubled earlier in the campaign season when Sen. Obama compared Iran and other rogue and terrorist states to the Soviet Union, and minimized the threat represented by Iran. I think that’s wrong. Today he said he thought Iran represented a grave threat. I think the statement he made today was right.”

Lieberman brought up Obama’s opposition to the Kyl-Lieberman amendment that labeled the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps as a terrorist organization, pointing out it was supported by 29 Democratic senators. The amendment passed 76-22.

“That measure was supported by three-fourths of the Senate, including Sens. Reid, Schumer, Durbin and Clinton. Sen. Obama opposed it, saying it was saber-rattling referring to the threat of military force. If you look at the Kyl-Lieberman amendment as it was passed, it has none of that in it regarding military action. I still hope he will say that vote was a mistake and he will support that resolution.”

umm….opposing the Kyl-Lieberman admendment was a GOOD thing. The last thing the Senate needs to be doing is giving the administration an excuse to attack Iran.

But back to the point. Lieberman supports McCain and has all but declared himself a Republican. He certainly has no problem echoing GOP talking points. He’s been getting away with it for a year and a half, but it looks like that’s about to change.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

They had a 3-minute chat in a corner. Witnesses say Obama’s body language was “intimidating”. One hopes Obama was laying down the law and telling Lieberman where he’ll be next year if he doesn’t begin to play nice.

It’s about damned time someone took Lieberman to task for pretending to caucus with the Democrats while advancing the GOP’s failed Middle East policies. Let’s hope we elect enough Democratic senators this year so we can kick this poser to the curb.

Howard Dean: No more lobbyist or PAC money for the DNC

Posted in dem primary, Opinion by yliza on June 5, 2008

via Huffington Post:

“The DNC and the Obama Campaign are unified and working together to elect Barack Obama as the next president of the United States. Our presumptive nominee has pledged not to take donations from Washington lobbyists and from today going forward the DNC makes that pledge as well,” said Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean. “Senator Obama has promised to change the way things are done in Washington and this step is a sure sign of his commitment. The American people’s priorities will set the agenda in an Obama Administration, not the special interests.”

It’s about time. I’m glad Howard Dean is supporting Obama in this. This is what real change looks like, and it’s refreshing. Maybe now our government will work for its citizens instead of corporate interests.

Latest attack ad from the GOP

Posted in dem primary, oh FFS, Opinion by yliza on June 5, 2008

I first saw this on Racialicious:

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Can’t say she wasn’t warned. Many pundits pointed out that Hillary’s scorched-earth strategy was enabling the right-wing smear machine, but she wouldn’t listen.

Let’s hope this election year puts an end to this kind of negative campaigning. Let’s defeat McCain on the issues, without stooping to character assassination.

Hillary to end her campaign on Friday

Posted in dem primary, Opinion by yliza on June 4, 2008

via Yahoo News:

Senator Clinton will be hosting an event in Washington on Friday to thank her supporters and express her support for Senator Obama and party unity,” her communications director Howard Wolfson said.

Also in the speech, Clinton will urge once-warring Democrats to focus on the general election and defeating Republican presidential candidate John McCain.

The money quote is the following, though:

On the telephone call with impatient House supporters, Clinton was urged to draw a close to the contentious campaign, or at least express support for Obama. Her decision to acquiesce caught many in the campaign by surprise and left the campaign scrambling to finalize the logistics and specifics behind her campaign departure.

Obama had nothing to do with it. According to Keith Olbermann on Countdown, it was Clinton supporters like Charlie Rangel and party elders like Nancy Pelosi (both of whom were mentioned specifically by Olbermann) who put the pressure on Hillary to end her campaign and support Obama.

Good. Now we can get to the business of beating McCain. I suggest debates, as many as we can stand 🙂

We still have a strong woman to support

Posted in Opinion by yliza on June 4, 2008

Now that Obama is the presumptive Democratic nominee, Clinton supporters are understandably disappointed, but the complaints of some are just annoying.

I agree that Hillary was the victim of many undeserved sexist attacks. I would much prefer focusing on the issues rather than stupid crap like pantsuits and cleavage. I’m sure that there are some people who didn’t vote for her simply because of her gender, just as some didn’t vote for Obama because of his race. I don’t think that’s why she lost, but it IS an undeniable fact, and a serious problem with our national political discourse.

Now that Hillary is (presumably) out of the race, though, where do you think that misogyny will be focused next?

Yes, that’s right. Michelle Obama.

We will, hopefully, have another strong, intelligent, independent woman in the White House come January. Michelle Obama is as much a role model for young American women as any other successful female public figure, including Hillary Clinton. She is successful in her own right, having come from Chicago’s South Side and going on to attend Princeton and Harvard Law School. From BarackObama.com:

For three years after law school, Michelle worked as an associate in the area of marketing and intellectual property at Chicago law firm Sidley and Austin, where she met Barack Obama. She left the corporate law world in 1991 to pursue a career in public service, serving as an assistant to the mayor and then as the assistant commissioner of planning and development for the City of Chicago.

In 1993, she became the founding executive director of Public Allies – Chicago, a leadership training program that received AmeriCorps National Service funding and helped young adults develop skills for future careers in the public sector.

Michelle began her involvement with the University of Chicago in 1996. As associate dean of student services, she developed the University’s first community service program. Michelle also served as executive director of community and external affairs until 2005, when she was appointed vice president of community and external affairs at the University of Chicago Medical Center. She also managed the business diversity program.

Michelle has fostered the University of Chicago’s relationship with the surrounding community and developed the diversity program, making them both integral parts of the Medical Center’s mission.

What an impressive list of accomplishments. If it’s really about empowering women, then Hillary’s feminist supporters should get behind Michelle, right? Right?

The Presumptive Nominee

Posted in dem primary, Opinion by yliza on June 4, 2008

I never thought we’d actually reach this point, but here we are. I’m amazed, excited, and hopeful for the future. I’ve never worked for a candidate in my life, but I’ll be volunteering for this one.

The debates should be wondrous to behold. I hope there are many. Tired talking points, propaganda and straw men won’t stand a chance. I recall Obama being asked a “what if the republicans say ____?” kind of question during one of the primary debates, and he said he was “looking forward to having that conversation”. I am, too. We need some rational dialoge in this country, and it’s going to be difficult to fight the the media talking heads. The debates, though, that is where he’ll shine.

It’s still a long road to go, but I’m with you, Obama.

OBAMA ’08 !!!!

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Hillary’s Snoopy Helmet Moment? (Updated – Update2)

Posted in dem primary, oh FFS, Opinion by yliza on May 23, 2008

Via HuffingtonPost:

Hillary Clinton’s argument for staying in the race took a disturbing turn today. While meeting with the editorial board of South Dakota’s Sioux Falls Argus-Leader, she raised the specter of assassination while discussing why she would stay in the race:

“My husband did not wrap up the nomination in 1992 until he won the California primary somewhere in the middle of June, right? We all remember Bobby Kennedy was assassinated in June in California. I don’t understand it.”

Oh no she didn’t. She did NOT go there.

There is no way that any thinking person could have believed a reference to any assassination would be appropriate, not this year or any year. Obama has had Secret Service protection for a year because of death threats, earlier than any primary candidate in history.

The Obama camp responded quickly:

“Senator Clinton’s statement before the Argus Leader editorial board was unfortunate and has no place in this campaign,” said Obama campaign spokesman Bill Burton.

Of course, now she’s backpedaling:

“Earlier today I was discussing the Democratic primary history and in the course of that discussion mentioned the campaigns that both my husband and Senator Kennedy waged in California in June 1992 and 1968 and I was referencing those to make the point that we have had nomination primary contests that go into June. That’s a historic fact.

The Kennedys have been much on my mind the last days because of Senator Kennedy and I regret that if my referencing that moment of trauma for our entire nation, and particularly for the Kennedy family was in any way offensive. I certainly had no intention of that, whatsoever. My view is that we have to look to the past and to our leaders who have inspired us and give us a lot to live up to, and I’m honored to hold Senator Kennedy’s seat in the United States Senate from the state of New York and have the highest regard for the entire Kennedy family.”

Well, the historic fact didn’t need to include any mention of RFK’s assassination, did it. And I really don’t see an apology to Obama in that mealy-mouthed explanation, only to the Kennedys. But let’s face it, she can’t defend her statement because it’s indefensible.

My husband is calling this her “Snoopy Helmet moment”. He thinks she has completely sunk her campaign with this outrageous remark. I hope he’s right.

Update: Nobody, nobody has anything good to say about Hillary’s statement. There are already three posts up on Huffington Post criticizing her. Bob Cesca writes:

If nothing else, the superdelegates ought to receive this as a blaring, siren-light warning. A giant red flag. Senator Clinton is embarrassing herself and the Democratic Party. She has ceased to be a viable, respectable candidate and has, instead, become a ghoulish, desperate shell of her formerly strong and admirable self.

Maybe my husband is right.

Update 2: I knew Keith Olbermann wouldn’t let this pass without a Special Comment.

Erica Jong compares Obama to George W.

Posted in dem primary, oh FFS, Opinion by yliza on May 17, 2008

The desperation of the Clintonistas is reaching new depths. Yesterday, Erica Jong posted an hysterical screed on The Huffington Post, with the jumping-off point being Obama’s unfortunate use of “sweetie” to reporter Peggy Agar of WXYZ-TV in Michigan.

Despite his penchant for saying “sweetie” to shut women up, Barack Obama does seem more likable than Hillary Clinton. But so what?

The press loved frat boy George W. Bush and hated nerdy Al Gore eight years ago. And look what we got? Endless war, economic meltdown, torture, a bigoted Supreme Court, the destruction of our Constitution and Bill of Rights, a desecrated planet. Will Americans never learn that who they think is a “nice guy” is no reason to elect a president? Apparently not.

The lack of any substantive logic to get from “sweetie” to George W. is worthy of the Lee Atwater school of politics. I don’t understand how Clinton surrogates can tout change when their tactics are straight out of Karl Rove’s political handbook.

But as if that wasn’t bad enough, Ms. Jong continues:

So here we go again. NARAL loves the new boy on the block — even if HRC was there at its founding. So does John Edwards. And Ted Kennedy. The fact that Barack has little experience makes him the hot new ingĂ©nue, whereas Hillary is old like your mother.

The truth is we know about her — and we know very little about Obama. That alone makes her detractors scream: Get Out! Off the stage with you! Give us that hot new boy! Give us that sepia Brad Pitt! Old women are so over!

OK sweetie, we’ll step aside. Watch your own cauldron bubble. You’re in a heap of trouble — and you don’t even know it.

Oh no you didn’t. You did not just refer to the first African American presidential candidate as “boy”, not once but twice. And the veiled threat…how very unifying for the Democratic party.

Ms. Jong sounds like a spoiled kid who didn’t get her way. The entire post is a temper tantrum, ending with taking her ball and going home.

Who’s the REAL Nazi appeaser?

Posted in oh FFS, Opinion by yliza on May 15, 2008

While giving a speech in honor of Israel’s 60th anniversary, President Bush ignored the “politics ends at the water’s edge” concept and likened diplomatic talks with Iran to Nazi appeasers. via The Huffington Post:

“Some seem to believe we should negotiate with terrorists and radicals, as if some ingenious argument will persuade them they have been wrong all along,” said Bush, in what White House aides privately acknowledged was a reference to calls by Obama and other Democrats for the U.S. president to sit down for talks with leaders like Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

“We have heard this foolish delusion before,” Bush said in remarks to the Israeli Knesset. “As Nazi tanks crossed into Poland in 1939, an American Senator declared: ‘Lord, if only I could have talked to Hitler, all of this might have been avoided.’ We have an obligation to call this what it is — the false comfort of appeasement, which has been repeatedly discredited by history.”

Of course that means Robert Gates is a Nazi appeaser too, since he has supported diplomatic relations with Iran.

The irony is inescapable, though. Who is Bush’s grandfather? From The Guardian:

George Bush’s grandfather, the late US senator Prescott Bush, was a director and shareholder of companies that profited from their involvement with the financial backers of Nazi Germany.

The Guardian has obtained confirmation from newly discovered files in the US National Archives that a firm of which Prescott Bush was a director was involved with the financial architects of Nazism.

His business dealings, which continued until his company’s assets were seized in 1942 under the Trading with the Enemy Act, has led more than 60 years later to a civil action for damages being brought in Germany against the Bush family by two former slave labourers at Auschwitz and to a hum of pre-election controversy.

The evidence has also prompted one former US Nazi war crimes prosecutor to argue that the late senator’s action should have been grounds for prosecution for giving aid and comfort to the enemy.

Apparently the Bush family is still under investigation for war crimes for Prescott’s business dealings. Papa George HW has also had criminal charges filed against him, in Iceland:

George H.W. Bush is charged of initiating a war of aggression against Panama in 1989, in breach of international law and the UN Charter, constituting a crime against the peace, and of ordering the kidnapping of Panama’s President Noriega in violation of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of Crimes Against Internationally Protected Persons. George H.W. Bush is furthermore charged for his command responsibility for the multiple war crimes committed by US forces in the Gulf War in 1991, including the policy of deliberately bombing civilian targets and the massacre of soldiers hors combat. His command responsibility for these crimes is equivalent to those of other heads of states who have been charged, indicted and convicted for international crimes, including torture, war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide. George H.W. Bush is also charged for inducing an uprising of Kurds and Shi’ites in Iraq during the Gulf War and then ordering US forces to withhold aid from those who risked the uprising, thus leaving unarmed uprising masses unprotected against Saddam Hussein’s brutal forces. By such policies, he knowingly facilitated the commission of crimes against humanity by Saddam Hussein. He is finally accused for conspiring in imposing deadly economic sanctions against the people of Iraq, with the intent to harm the well-being, health and lives of the Iraqi civilian population, with foreknowledge of the likely consequences and with the subsequent knowledge of the sanctions’ devastating consequences. Such conduct is considered to be a crime against humanity under international customary law. About one million persons are believed dead as a result of the economic sanctions, thereof half a million children below five years of age.

Three generations of war criminals. What else needs to be said?

Edwards endorses Obama (Updated)

Posted in dem primary, Opinion by yliza on May 14, 2008

Finally! via The Huffington Post:

Former Sen. John Edwards is endorsing Sen. Barack Obama’s presidential candidate Wednesday evening, in a dramatic attempt by the Obama campaign to answer concerns regarding Obama’s appeal to working-class voters, several senior Democratic sources tell ABC News.

Edwards, who ran for president on a platform of eradicating poverty, plans to appear alongside Obama in Grand Rapids, Mich., Wednesday evening.

Edwards actually got seven percent of the vote in West Virginia yesterday. I have always thought he could bring a lot to Obama’s campaign, maybe he can capture some of that WV demographic. With luck, the next announcement will be MY dream ticket: Obama-Edwards ’08!

Update: Here’s some video of the endorsement.

Part 2: Start here if you want to skip Edwards saying nice things about Hillary.