Wednesday, July 23, 2008
Monday, July 21, 2008
In a never-ending string of mis-steps showing that Barack Obama isn't ready to be President, he has chosen to give a major campaign speech at a monument set up by Hitler to symbolize German dominance over Europe, a monument that celebrated Prussian victories over other European countries.
From "Is Obama Speech Site Contaminated by Nazi Past?":
Still, even as the issue of his speech's location has now been settled, a number of politicians in Berlin are still dissatisfied with the site. The Siegessäule -- or Victory Column -- was erected in memory of Prussia's victories over Denmark (1864), Austria (1866) and France (1870/71). The column originally stood in front of the Reichstag, Germany's parliament building, but was moved by Adolf Hitler to its current location in 1939 to make way for his planned transformation of Berlin into the Nazi capital "Germania."
"The Siegessäule in Berlin was moved to where it is now by Adolf Hitler. He saw it as a symbol of German superiority and of the victorious wars against Denmark, Austria and France," the deputy leader of the Free Democrats, Rainer Brüderle, told Bild am Sonntag.
Obama previously was going to campaign at the Bradenburg gate, forcing the German Chancellor Angela Merkel to "dissuade" him (another of Obama's many acts which put our allies in a bad situation). Apparently he didn't think it important to actually LEARN the history of the countries he is visiting.
Sunday, July 20, 2008
The funny thing is, a "surge" may not actually be the answer in Afghanistan. The Bush administration is working out the forward plan for Afghanistan, as was reported yesterday:
U.S. intelligence officials summoned top Afghanistan experts to Virginia, including ex-ground commander Army Lt. Gen. David Barno, to chart a plan for victory, the Daily News has learned.
One point several of the experts agreed on: Republican John McCain and Democrat Barack Obama are clueless about the seven-year war, because each wants a troop surge. "Both candidates putting so much emphasis on troop numbers in Afghanistan have illustrated they have not grasped what the problem is," said New York University scholar Barnett Rubin, who attended the brainstorming summit.
I certainly don't know who is right here. But one thing I'm sure of -- Obama's "me-too" following McCain's lead on Afghanistan is not something you can count on him supporting in a month or two -- because after all, he is the candidate of "change" -- change you can count on.
But now there is additional evidence that Obama just doesn't know how to count, from Jake Tapper:
Read more over at "All About Obama", "Obama Can't Count".
Saturday, July 19, 2008
This is inconvenient for Barack Obama, to say the least, and once again demonstrates how he's really not ready for any responsible leadership position, as he is so clearly irresponsible. In thie case, Obama made the rookie mistake of preparing and presenting the "results" of his "fact-finding" tour before he actually took the tour. He published those "results" on July 14th in the New York Times. If he had waited, he wouldn't have looked so clueless. From Obama's July 14th Op-Ed:
Obama: "Iraq’s leaders have failed to invest tens of billions of dollars in oil revenues in rebuilding their own country, and they have not reached the political accommodation that was the stated purpose of the surge."
From today's news, while Obama is off on his junket, Iraq's Sunni Arab bloc rejoins government :
BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Iraq's main Sunni Arab bloc rejoined the Shi'ite-led government on Saturday in a breakthrough for national reconciliation after parliament approved its candidates for several vacant ministerial posts.
Pretty much whenever Obama speaks with any specificity, he is shown to be wrong shortly after. I don't know what is worse for Obama -- feeling bad about good news because it goes against his philosophy of defeat and surrender, or watching as his rival's plan for Iraq, which he denounced, WINS the war that Obama was so sure was lost and would lead to his victory in November.
In today's misstep, Obama jumped on a mis-quote from a foreign paper to claim an endorsement of his policies by the Iraqi leader. As a candidate, this put our ally in a tough position of having to clearly clarify his remark and correct the error. If Obama was President, this would have been an international incident.
Any reasonably intelligent person would have known better than to believe everything you read in the papers. And while a LOT of bloggers and even some reporters jumped on the mis-reported information, we expect the leader of the free world to be more circumspect, to fully evaluate information before jumping to conclusions, and to NOT publicly humiliate other foreign leaders who are our allies in the war on terror.
First, from Fox News, Obama stepping in it:
The apparent endorsement of a cornerstone of Obama’s foreign policy drew swift praise from the Obama camp. But the White House stressed that any timelines are contingent on “security gains” in the region.
Senator Obama welcomes Prime Minister Maliki’s support for a 16 month timeline for the redeployment of U.S combat brigades,” Obama foreign policy adviser Susan Rice said in a statement Saturday. “This presents an important opportunity to transition to Iraqi responsibility, while restoring our military and increasing our commitment to finish the fight in Afghanistan.”
This forced Maliki to publicly dispute the report, which most certainly wasn't helpful for his leadership, but was necessary before Obama made any more stupid statements and really damaged our relationship. Iraqi PM disputes report on withdrawal plan:
But a spokesman for al-Maliki said his remarks "were misunderstood, mistranslated and not conveyed accurately."
Government spokesman Ali al-Dabbagh said the possibility of troop withdrawal was based on the continuance of security improvements, echoing statements that the White House made Friday after a meeting between al-Maliki and U.S. President Bush.
In the magazine interview, Al-Maliki said his remarks did not indicate that he was endorsing Obama over presumptive Republican presidential nominee Sen. John McCain.
"Who they choose as their president is the Americans' business. But it's the business of Iraqis to say what they want. And that's where the people and the government are in general agreement: The tenure of the coalition troops in Iraq should be limited," he said.
This of course is what we all want, and what the President has been working for, and what McCain's position is -- that we will stop fighting when the war is won, that we will as quickly as we can get our troops out of harms way.
This is NOT what Obama wants. In fact Obama wanted all of our troops out by March of 2008. That's 5 months ago, before the surge had finished working, before the gains became so entrenched that we reasonably can say the war is over. Under Obama's plan, we never had the surge, we pulled out while Sadr's troops controlled the south, while Iran still ran all over the country, while the government was in disarray, and the Iraqi military unable to control the violence.
Obama's plan was to leave an Iraq embroiled in a civil war run by Iran, turning the country into an enemy of the United States, threatening the entire Mideast supply of oil, and causing terrible harm to the war on terror.
Obama has stubbornly stuck to his plan, even as Iraq met goal after goal related to the Surge. In fact, even now Obama is claiming there is no political process -- while Iraq announces that the Sunnis have rejoined the government. It is like a sad parody, almost any time Obama speaks anything of substance, he is proven wrong within the news cycle.
But remember -- at some time, Obama will be "right", because at some time it will be time to withdraw. At some time, it will be 16 months until we are done. It's quite possible that time is today -- things are going well after all.
But after saying for 17 months that we needed to pull out our troops, Obama can no longer rationally claim to be "right" when that day finally comes, any more than the guy who every day plays the same lottery ticket is somehow a "prognosticator" if one day he hits some of his numbers.
Sunday, July 13, 2008
Obama is gaining experience in flip-flopping with each new change. This one took only two days.
Presidential candidate Obama to sponsor Cup car at Pocono race, Sports Illustrated, July 11, 2008:
A BAM spokesperson has revealed the team will hold a press conference July 23 in Miami to reveal the partnership, currently a proposed one-race deal with an option to continue. Obama will be at the briefing, which will be tied to the "Get Out The Vote" campaign message he spread throughout the 2008 primary season.
That was Friday. Today, Obama Passes on potential NASCAR sponsorship, Miami Herald:
Late Friday, the Obama campaign said there would be no sponsorship.
"The Obama campaign will not be sponsoring a car in the Sprint Cup series, though we will continue to look for ways to reach out to voters and convey Senator Obama's message of change." said Bill Burton, an Obama campaign spokesman
Why? When it was first announced, people generally took the news positively, as an example of how Obama was in fact willing to reach out beyond his narrow constituency of elitists, liberals and African-Americans.
As David Knowles noted in "Obama, NASCAR Sponsor?" on AOL news:
Shrewd. What I like is that, as with evangelicals, Obama is not content to cede the playing filed to the Republican nominee. John Kerry was pretty hopeless on that score back in '04. The potential downside of such a maneauver? The charge of callous vote mongering. Still, it's a preemptive strike. We can only wait for McCain to announce his sponsorship of a wind-surfing team in retaliation.
But maybe with all his other flip-flops, he needed to send a message to his rich white liberal supporters that he really was part of their crowd.
Saturday, July 12, 2008
McCain thought it was a good idea, and invited Obama to a series of town hall meetings. The New York Times reports thatObama, like the Cowardly Lion, has chickened out:
Obama Won’t Commit to Event at Military Base: “I’m having extreme difficulty getting the Obama campaign to commit to this event, and we do not understand why,” said Ms. Picard, whose husband is deployed in Iraq.
Read more at "Obama like the Cowardly Lion from the Wizard of Oz", over at All About Obama.
Saturday, July 05, 2008
However, when he is targeting specific audiences, he sometimes like to drag people out from under the bus.
In an interview in April with the gay magazine "The Advocate", Barack attacked black Christian churches, and praised his former advisor:
I think that the difference has to do with the fact that the African-American community is more churched and most African-American churches are still fairly traditional in their interpretations of Scripture. And so from the pulpit or in sermons you still hear homophobic attitudes expressed. And since African-American ministers are often the most prominent figures in the African-American community those attitudes get magnified or amplified a little bit more than in other communities.
Remember, this is a supposedly intelligent man who attended a church for 20 years and doesn't remember a single instance of racist comments from his own pastor. But he apparently is very much in tune with the "homophobic" message from black Christians who apparently are hung up on traditional scripture, and an acceptance of homphobia because too many people in the AA community are "churched".
I mean, ironically, my biggest … the biggest political news surrounding me over the last three weeks has been Reverend Wright, who offended a whole huge constituency with some of his statements but has been very good on gay and lesbian issues. I mean he’s one of the leaders in the African-American community of embracing, speaking out against homophobia, and talking about the importance of AIDS.
Apparently Obama thinks there is a constituency of his that was offended by Wright's racism, but that Wright's pro-gay religious views were "very good".
BTW, in keeping with my previous post, in this interview Barack essentially says he supports gay marriage but won't actually SAY it himself (he has since as I noted below), and he also is opposed to the Defense of Marriage act, and supports including "gender identity" in a bill forcing employees to accept alternative lifestyles:
I reasonably can see “don’t ask, don’t tell” eliminated.
I think that I can help usher through an Employment Non-Discrimination Act and sign it into law. ... I have been clear about my interest in including gender identity in legislation, but I’ve also been honest with the groups that I’ve met with that it is a heavy lift through Congress.
Absolutely, and I for a very long time have been interested in repeal of DOMA.
So I strongly respect the right of same-sex couples to insist that even if we got complete equality in benefits, it still wouldn’t be equal because there’s a stigma associated with not having the same word, marriage, assigned to it. I understand that, but my perspective is also shaped by the broader political and historical context in which I’m operating.
IN other words, I'm for gay marraige, but I might not get elected if I say it.
Tuesday, July 01, 2008
I will tell you that I don't believe in gay marriage, but I do think that people who are gay and lesbian should be treated with dignity and respect and that the state should not discriminate against them. So, I believe in civil unions that allow a same-sex couple to visit each other in a hospital or transfer property to each other. I don't think it should be called marriage, but I think that it is a legal right that they should have that is recognized by the state.
Barack Obama, June 29, 2008:
That is why I support extending fully equal rights and benefits to same sex couples under both state and federal law. That is why I support repealing the Defense of Marriage Act and the "Don't Ask Don't Tell" policy, and the passage of laws to protect LGBT Americans from hate crimes and employment discrimination. And that is why I oppose the divisive and discriminatory efforts to amend the California Constitution, and similar efforts to amend the U.S. Constitution or those of other states.
But the Defense of Marriage Act says that if one state calls gay civil unions "marriage", other states don't have to recognize it -- something Barack said in March he agreed with.
And in California, they already have civil unions. The entire fight is over whether those unions would be called "marriage". Barack said in March he opposed calling civil unions "marriage", but now he opposes the effort in California to prevent just that. Barack said he doesn't believe in "gay marriage", but now he calls an effort by others who agree with him "divisive and discriminatory".
Then there is this, also from June 29:
Finally, I want to congratulate all of you who have shown your love for each other by getting married these last few weeks.
In March, Obama said "I don't believe in gay marriage". But by June, he believed in it so strongly that he is congratulating people who have practiced it.
Barack Obama - "Change you can count on". Or as they say about the weather, if you don't like the position Barack Obama has taken, don't worry -- just wait a week, and it will change.
One thing is certain. Barack is not a different kind of politician. He is the same old same old -- a person who will say anything to get elected, and will change his positions based on what is best for his advancement.
McCain takes a lot of positions I don't agree with -- but one thing is clear, he doesn't pander or waver, in his correct positions or his incorrect positions. When he changes his mind, it's because he has really changed his mind, not because it will earn him points with his base.